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Vol. XXVII., No. 5 Hamilton, July 15th, 1946 Price 20 Cents
"CONSCIOUSNESS WITHOUT THOUGHT"
A Theosophist might well have headed this, "The Mind is the great Slayer of the Real. Let the Disciple slay the Slayer". But the title is given by Edward Carpenter as the secret of India's spiritual power, in some striking passages, here put together from his "From Adam's Peak to Elephanta", 1892. He says
"There is some reality, some body of real experience, of no little value and importance, which has been attained in India by a portion at any rate of those who have claimed it, and which has been handed down through a vast number of centuries among the Hindu peoples as their most cherished and precious possession."
The question is, What is this experience? or rather - since an experience can really only be known to the person who experiences it - we may ask, `What is the nature of this experience?' I prefer not to attempt or pretend to give the exact teaching, unbiassed, of the Indian Gurus, or their experiences; but only to indicate as far as I can, in my own words, and in modern thought-forms, what I take to be the direction in which we must look for this ancient and world-old knowledge which has had so stupendous an influence in the East, and which indeed is still the main mark of its difference from the West. I think we may say that what the Gnani seeks and obtains is a new order of consciousness - to which for want of a better we may give the name universal or cosmic consciousness, in contradistinction to the individual or special bodily consciousness with which we are all familiar. I am not aware that the exact equivalent of this expression `universal consciousness' is used in the Hindu philosophy; but the Sat-chit-ananda Brahm to which every yogi aspires indicates the same idea: sat, the reality; the all pervading; chit, the knowing, perceiving; ananda, the blissful - all these united in one manifestation of Brahm.
The West seeks the individual consciousness - the enriched mind, ready perceptions and memories, individual hopes and fears, ambitions, loves, conquests - the self, the local self, in all its phases and forms - and sorely doubts whether such a thing as an universal consciousness exists. The East seeks the universal consciousness, and in those cases where its quest succeeds individual self and life thin away to a mere film, and are only the shadows cast by the glory revealed beyond.
The individual consciousness takes the form of Thought, which is fluid and
mobile like quicksilver, perpetually in a state of change and unrest, fraught with pain and effort; the other consciousness is not in the form of Thought. It touches, sees, hears, and is those things which it perceives - without motion, without change, without effort, without distinction of subject and object, but with a vast and incredible Joy.
The individual consciousness is specially related to the body. The organs of the body are in some degree its organs. But the whole body is only as one organ of the cosmic consciousness. To attain this latter one must have the power of knowing one's self separate from the body, of passing into a state of ecstasy in fact. Without this the cosmic consciousness cannot be experienced. `The Wise', it is also said, `when their thoughts cease to move perceive within themselves the Absolute consciousness, which is Sarva sakshi, Witness of all things'.
Great have been the disputes among the learned as to the meaning of the word Nirwana - Whether it indicates a state of no-consciousness or a state of vastly enhanced consciousness. Probably both views have their justification: the thing does not admit of definition in the terms of ordinary language. The important thing to see and admit is that under cover of this and other similar terms there does exist a real and recognizable fact (that is a state of consciousness in some sense), which has been experienced over and over again, and which to those who have experienced it in ever so slight a degree has appeared worthy of lifelong pursuit and devotion. It is easy of course to represent the thing as a mere word, a theory, a speculation of the dreamy Hindu; but people do not sacrifice their lives for empty words, nor do mere philosophical abstractions rule the destinies of continents. No, the word represents a reality, something very basic and inevitable in human nature. The question really is not to define the fact - for we cannot do that - but to get at and experience it.
Many actions and processes of the body, e.g. swallowing, are attended by distinct personal consciousness; many other actions and processes are quite unperceived by the same; and it might seem reasonable to suppose that these latter at any rate were purely mechanical and devoid of any mental substratum. But the later developments of hypnotism in the West have shown - what is well known to the Indian fakirs - that under certain conditions consciousness of the internal actions and processes of the body can be obtained; and not only so, but consciousness of events taking place at a distance from the body and without the ordinary means of communication. Thus the idea of another consciousness, in some respects of wider range than the ordinary one, and having methods of perception of its own, has been gradually infiltrating itself into Western minds.
As a solid is related to its own surfaces, so, it would appear, is the cosmic consciousness related to the ordinary consciousness. The phases of the personal consciousness are but different facets of the other consciousness; and experiences which seem remote from each other in the individual are perhaps all equally near in the universal. Space itself, as we know it, may be practically annihilated in the consciousness of a larger space of which it is but the superficies; and a person living in London may not unlikely find that he has a back door opening quite simply and unceremoniously out in Bombay. `The true quality of the soul,' said the Guru one day, `is that of space, by which it is at rest everywhere. But this space (Akasa) within the soul is far above the ordinary material space. The whole of the latter, including all the suns and stars, appears to you then as it were but
an atom of the former - and here he held up his fingers as though crumbling a speck of dust between them.
`At rest everywhere,' `Indifference,' `Equality.' This was one of the most remarkable parts of the Guru's teaching. Though (for family reasons) maintaining many of the observances of Caste himself, and though holding and teaching that for the mass of the people caste rules were quite necessary, he never ceased to insist that when the time came for a man (or woman) to be `emancipated' all these rules must drop aside as of no importance - all distinction of castes, classes, all sense of superiority or self-goodness - of right and wrong even - and the most absolute sense of Equality must prevail towards every one, and determination in its expression. Certainly it was remarkable (though I knew that the sacred books contained it) to find this germinal principle of Western democracy so vividly active and at work deep down beneath the innumerable layers of Oriental social life and custom. But so it is; and nothing shows better the relation between the West and the East than this fact. This sense of Equality, of Freedom from regulations and confinements, of Inclusiveness, and of the Life that `rests everywhere,' belongs of course more to the cosmic or universal part of man than to the individual part. To the latter it is always a stumbling-block and an offence. It is easy to show that men are not equal, that they cannot be free, and to point the absurdity of a life that is indifferent and at rest under all conditions. Nevertheless to the larger consciousness these are basic facts, which underlie the common life of humanity, and feed the very individual that denies them.
Thus repeating the proviso that in using such terms as cosmic and universal consciousness we do not commit ourselves to the theory that the instant a man leaves the personal part of him he enters into absolutely unlimited universal knowledge, but only into a higher order of perception - and admitting the intricacy and complexity of the region so roughly denoted by these terms, and the microscopical character of our knowledge about it - we may say once more, also as a roughest generalization, that the quest of the East has been this universal consciousness, and that of the West the personal or individual consciousness. As is well known the East has its various sect and schools of philosophy, with subtle discriminations of qualities, essences, godheads, devilhoods, etc., into which I do not propose to go, and which I should feel myself quite incompetent to deal with. Leaving all these aside, I will keep simply to these two rough Western terms, and try to consider further the question of the methods by which the Eastern student sets himself to obtain the cosmic state, or such higher order of consciousness as he does encompass.
The subjection of Thought is closely related to the subjection of Desire, and has consequently its specially moral as well as its specially intellectual relation to the question in hand. Nine-tenths of the scattered or sporadic thought with which the mind usually occupies itself when not concentrated on any definite work is what may be called self-thought - thought of a kind which dwells on and exaggerates the sense of self. This is hardly realized in its full degree till the effort is made to suppress it; and one of the most excellent results of such an effort is that with the stilling of all the phantoms which hover round the lower self, one's relations to others, to one's friends, to the world at large, and one's perception of all that is concerned in these relations come out into a purity and distinctness unknown before. Obviously while the mind is full of the little desires and fears which concern the local self, and is clouded over by the thought-images which such desires and
fears evoke, it is impossible that it should see and understand the greater facts beyond and its own relation to them. But with the subsiding of the former the great Vision begins to dawn; and a man never feels less alone than when he has ceased to think whether he is alone or not.
It is in this respect that the subjection of desire is really important. There is no necessity to suppose that desire, in itself, is an evil; indeed it is quite conceivable that it may fall into place as a usefui and important element of human nature - though certainly one whose importance will be found to dwindle and gradually disappear as time goes on. The trouble for us is, in our present state, that desire is liable to grow to such dimensions as to overcloud the world for us, emprison, and shut us out from inestimable Freedom beneath its sway. Under such circumstances it evidently is a nuisance and has to be dominated. The moral element (at which we have now arrived) in the attainment of a higher order of consciousness is of course recognized by all the great Indian teachers as of the first importance. The sacred books, the sermons of Buddha, the discourses of the present-day Gurus, all point in the same direction. Gentleness, forbearance towards all, abstention, from giving pain, especially to the animals, the recognition of the divine spirit in every creature down to the lowest, the most absolute sense of equality and the most absolute candor, an undisturbed serene mind, free from anger, fear, or any excessive and tormenting desire - these are all insisted on. You are not even to differentiate yourself in thought from others; you are not to begin to regard yourself as separate from them. Even to talk about helping others is a mistake; it is vitiated by the delusion that you and they are twain. So closely does the subtle Hindu mind go to the emark! What would our bald commercial philanthropy, our sleek aesthetic altruism, our scientific isophily, say to such teaching? All the little self-satisfactions which arise from the sense of duty performed, all the cheese-parings of equity between oneself and others; all the tiny wonderments whether you are better or worse than your neighbor, have to be abandoned; and you have to learn to live in a world in which the chief fact is not that you are distinct from others, but that you are apart of and integral with them. This involves indeed a return to the command order of society, and difficult as this teaching is for us in this day to realize, yet there is no doubt that it must lie at the heart of the Democracy of the future, as it has lain, germinal, all these centuries in the hidden womb of the East."
- H. Henderson.
The H.P.B. Library, 348 Foul Bay Rd., Victoria, B.C.
PRETENCE OR REALITY
I have been quite frequently asked Why do I oppose Christianity. My reply is that I don't. I oppose Churchianity, as Laurence Oliphant termed it. The Churches distort and deny the direct teachings of Jesus and inaccurately, and, I am inclined to think, deliberately mistranslate the New Testament, in order to support its dogmas. When the Church is thus dishonest how can it be expected to turn out hundred percent followers of Jesus. If it faced the facts fairly and bravely it might get fewer recruits, but they would be mighty in their knowledge as compared with the sloppy believers among the masses. It cannot be said that the clergy do not know. When I was a little boy I posed my elders with the question... How can you call three days and nights from Friday afternoon till Sunday morning? There was no explanation. It was just a manner of speaking, I was told.
There are too many such manners of speaking.
There is plenty of material for those who wish to investigate or inform themselves. But the clergy do not wish to be informed. They are banded together to defend the integrity and authority of the creeds and dogmas and other Church formularies. Twenty-five years ago Edward Carpenter published his last great book, Pagan and Christian Creeds, their Origin and Meaning. It ought to be in every Churchman's library. But all such books are feared with the fear that an ignorant man has for himself and his own powers of discrimination. I will quote some passages from the chapter on "The Genesis of Christianity", but advise the student to obtain the book itself.
"We learn from Porphyry* [ *De Abstinentia, ii. 56; iv. 16.] that there were several elaborate treatises setting forth the religion of Mithra; and J.M. Robertson adds (Pagan Christs, page 325): `everyone of these has been destroyed by the care of the Church, and it is remarkable that even the treatise of Firmicus is mutilated at a passage
[[no footnote in text: - dig ed.]]
(2) Four Stages, p. 180. We have probably an instance of this destruction in the total disappearance of Celsus' lively attack on Christianity (180 A.D.), of which, however; portions have been fortunately preserved in Origen's rather prolix refutation of the same.
" `If we look close,' says Professor Bousset, `the result emerges with great clearness that the figure of the Redeemer as such did not wait for Christianity to force its way into the religion of Gnosis, but was already present there under various forms.' " (p. 206) .
(v.) where he seems to be accusing Christians of following Mithraic usages/" While again Professor Murray says, `The polemic literature of Christianity is loud and triumphant; the books of the Pagans have been destroyed.' " (p. 205) .
"However, the question is not what we desire, but what we can prove to be the actual fact. And certainly the difficulties in the way of regarding the Gospel story (or stories, for there is not one consistent story) as true are enormous. If anyone will read, for instance; in the four Gospels, the events of the night preceding the crucifixion and reckon the time which they would necessarily have taker to enact - the Last Supper, the agony in the Garden, the betrayal by Judas, the haling before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin, and then before Pilate in the Hall of Judgment (though courts for the trial of malefactors do not generally sit in the middle of the night); then - in Luke - the interposed visit to Herod, and the return to Pilate; Pilate's speeches and washing of hands before the crowd; then the scourging and the mocking and the arraying of Jesus in purple robe as a king; then the preparation of a Cross and the long and painful journey to Golgotha; and finally the Crucifixion at sunrise; - he will see - as has often been pointed out - that the whole story is physically impossible. As a record of actual events the story is impossible; but as a record or series of notes derived from the witnessing of a "mystery-play" - and such plays with very similar incidents were common enough in antiquity in connection with cults of a dying Saviour, it very likely is true (one can see the very dramatic character of the incidents: the washing of hands, the threefold denial by Peter, the purple robe and crown of thorns, and
so forth; and as such it is now accepted by many well-qualified authorities.* [* Dr. Frazer in The Golden Bough (vol. ix, "The Scapegoat," p. 400) speaks of the frequency in antiquity of a Mystery-play relating to a God-man who gives his life and blood for the people; and he puts forward tentatively and by no means dogmatically the following note:- "Such a drama, if we are right, was the original story of Esther and Mordecai, or (to give their older names) Ishtar and Marduk. It was played in Babylonia, and from Babylonia the returning Captives brought it to Judaea, where it was acted, rather as an historical than a mythical piece, by players who, having to die in grim earnest on a cross or gallows, were naturally drawn from the gaol rather than the green-room. A chain of causes, which because we cannot follow them might - in the loose language of common life - be called an accident, determined that the part of the dying god in this annual play should be thrust upon Jesus of Nazareth, whom the enemies he had made in high places by his outspoken strictness were resolved to put out of the way." See also vol. iv, "The Dying God," in the same book.]
There are many other difficulties. - the raising of Lazarus, already dead three days, the turning of water into wine (a miracle attributed to Bacchus of old), the feeding of the five thousand, and others of the marvels are, to say the least, not easy of digestion. The "Sermon on the Mount" which, with the "Lord's Prayer" embedded in it, forms the great and accepted repository of `Christian' teaching and piety, is well known to be a collection of sayings from pre-Christian writings, including the Psalms, Isaiah, Ecclesiasticus, the Secrets of Enoch, the Shemonehesreh (a book of Hebrew prayers), and others and the fact that this collection was really made after the time of Jesus, and could not have originated from him, is clear from the stress which it lays on "persecutions" and "false prophets" - things which were certainly not a source of trouble at the time Jesus is supposed to be speaking, though they were at a later time - as well as from the occurrence of the word "Gentiles," which being here used apparently in contradistinction to "Christians" could not well be appropriate at a time when no recognized Christian bodies as yet existed.
But the most remarkable point in this connection is the absolute silence of the Gospel of Mark on the subject of the Resurrection and Ascension - that is, of the original Gospel, for it is now allowed on all hands that the twelve verses Mark xvi. 9 to the end, are a later insertion. Considering the nature of this event, astounding indeed, if physically true, and unique in the history of the world, it is strange that this Gospel - the earliest written of the four Gospels, and nearest in time to the actual evidence - makes no mention of it. The next Gospel in point of time - that of Matthew - mentions the matter rather briefly and timidly, and reports the story that the body had been stolen from the sepulchre. Luke enlarges considerably and gives a whole long chapter to the resurrection and ascension; while the Fourth Gospel, written fully twenty years later still - say about A.D. 120 - gives two chapters and a great variety of details!" (pp. 212-214).
"I may here, however, dwell for a moment on two other points which belong properly to this chapter. I have already mentioned the great reliance placed by the advocates of a unique `revelation' on the high morality taught in the Gospels and the New Testament generally. There is no need of course to challenge that morality or to depreciate it unduly; but the argument assumes that it is so greatly superior to anything
of the kind that had been taught before that we are compelled to suppose something like a revelation to explain its appearance - whereas of course anyone familiar with the writings of antiquity, among the Greeks or Romans or Egyptians or Hindus or later Jews; knows perfectly well that the reported sayings of Jesus and the Apostles may be paralleled abundantly from these sources. I have illustrated this already from the Sermon on the Mount. If anyone will glance at the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs - a Jewish book composed about 120 B.C. - he will see that it is full of moral precepts, and especially precepts of love and forgiveness, so ardent and so noble that it hardly suffers in any way when compared with the New Testament teaching, and that consequently no special miracle is required to explain the appearance of the latter." (pp. 218-219)
I may say personally and editorially, I have no objection to the ordinances of baptism, marriage and burial. I was confirmed at an early age and when being prepared was led to believe that wonderful things would follow the laying on of the Bishop's hands. I was woefully disappointed. I only received a keener scent for humbug and superstition. It is a fine thing in the baptism of an infant that he should be enrolled as "Christ's faithful servant and soldier till his life's end: so be it that by Christ is meant the Universal Christ Principle by whatever name designated - Jesus, Buddha, Isaiah, Krishna, or Apollo. Marriage ought to be associated with all the high and sacred things of life . . . . The burial service is a disgrace to Christianity. The silly belief that the physical body will rise out of the grave is an attempt to displace the truth as taught by St. Paul that the inner body, either psychic or pneumic passes to its reward, to return after many generations to a new birth in the flesh for further efforts to realize the ideal of the perfect man. What a new and tender grace would be added to the welcome usually accorded to every babe in civilized life if it were understood that an old friend from ancient times has come in the little babe to take up old relationships, to share the common intimacies of former times, and to strengthen the old affections with mutual love and sacrifice.
A STATEMENT OF PEACE LODGE POLICY
The Peace Lodge belongs to and is chartered by The Theosophical Society with international headquarters at Adyar in India, but does not regard a Lodge of the Adyar Society as superior or inferior to a Covina Lodge, a United Lodge, or any other Lodge or Society belonging to the Theosophical Movement, by virtue of being chartered from Adyar. The merit of a Theosophical Lodge or Society derives from the quality of the lives of its members and the extent to which it embodies a Theosophical integrity of spirit and intelligence.
The Lodge therefore acknowledges a natural rapport and accord with all groups of truly Theosophical enquirers and investigators, regardless of institutional affiliation, and welcomes friendly contact and interchange with them. Its bookstall will display the best of the literature of the entire Movement without any conscious prejudice in favor of or against the publications of Adyar, Covina, the U.L.T., the New York T.S., the Independent T.S. of Sydney, The Blavatsky Association, The Buddhist Society, The Vedanta Movement, The Gnostic Society, The Hermetic Society, The Society of the Divine Wisdom, or any other branch.
The Lodge will endeavor to stimulate interest in Theosophy and encour-
age and self-reliant enquiry into the truth of the ideas submitted to mankind through the Theosophical Movement, but is not seeking to add to its own membership any but those who belong to our group by a natural and spontaneious affinity. We regard it as of little importance which genuine Theosophical Lodge or Society a man or woman joins, but of great importance that Theosophical ideas be disseminated widely, and that they be honestly and intelligently assessed by as many men and women as can be genuinely interested in them.
The Lodge will therefore willingly distribute the free literature of all branches of the Movement to enquirers, leaving them free from any pressure in their selection of the Society or Lodge which attracts them most.
The Lodge has now resumed its study meetings interrupted by the war, and the Lodge Charter, dated Feb. 12th, 1923, and issued by Annie Besant as President of the T.S., which hung for over a quarter of a century at 18 Bridge St., Audenshaw, now stands in our new Headquarters at 32 Chapel St., Hyde. Four of the original seven charter-members were present at our first meeting in the new Lodge room. Resumption of London study meetings for members and friends in the south of England has been mooted, and this matter is in the hands of Mr. Phillips.
Members of the recently-formed Correspondents' Lodge of the Covina T.S. are debating Theosophy and Christianity and whether by depreciating Christianity the T.S. will not "lose a lot of its potential power to attract people". There should be no compromise on this issue. The aim of the T.S. is not "to attract people" but to face the facts and proclaim Truth, and welcome whoever may be attracted, however many or few. The Theosophist stands against "pernicious superstitions" in Christianity as in every other religion, proclaims the Universal Christos, and honors Jesus whilst challenging those who, in His name, make a mockery of His teachings. Reference to a document in the Vatican Museum described as a report specially prepared for Tiberius, giving "full information of this wonderful Hebrew prophet" Correspondents' Lodge Bulletin No. 5 has been followed by a correction that this "is not from the 'Tiberius correspondence' but from the so-called `Letter of Lentilus' . . . . . . probably written in Italy, and not earlier than the 13th century." - From Eirenieon, for May-June.
A GREAT CONTRIBUTION TO THEOSOPHICAL HISTORY
Combined Chronology for use with The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett and The Letters of H.P. Blavatsky to A.P. Sinnett, arranged by Margaret Conger. 19 pages, Washington, D.C., 1939, 25 cents or one shilling three-pence from the O.E. Library.
The most remarkable piece of theosophical literary work of this century was the publication in 1923 of The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett. Mr. A. Trevor Barker, the editor, had placed at his disposition by Miss Maud Hoffman, literary executrix of Mr. Sinnett, the entire file of letters received by Mr. Sinnett from the Mahatmas K.H. and M., and, from H.P.B., Miss Hoffman being directed by his will to use them to the best advantage. There were a few other letters or copies of letters to A.O. Hume, and others coming under the same category.
Mr. Barker decided to arrange the Mahatma Letters in groups classified according to their general character; viz., "The Occult World Series"; "Philosophical and Theoretical Teachings"; "Probation and Chelaship"; "The Phoenix Venture and the Condition of
India"; "The London Lodge of the Theosophical Society"; "Spiritualism and Phenomena"; "Miscellaneous Letters". For students interested only in special phases of the correspondence this had undoubtedly an advantage. But it also had a very serious drawback. No one could follow without great difficulty the order in which the Letters were written, and taking into consideration H.P.B.'s Letters, which are closely related to the Mahatma Letters, the task was an almost hopeless one. The two series cover a very important period of the history of the Theosophical Society; there are many points which do not come to light until they are read in chronological sequence. Many of the Letters are not fully dated and even in the several sections arranged by Mr. Barker the order is not always chronological, as careful investigation has shown. Many of the Letters, both of the Masters and of H.P.B., had been marked by Mr. Sinnett with the date of receipt, but the most superficial examination shows that these dates are not to be depended on implicitly. Mr. Sinnett, as Editor of The Pioneer newspaper, was a very busy man. Obviously he frequently allowed letters to accumulate and then assigned dates of receipt according to his recollection, which was not infallible. It may be said truly that if Mr. Barker had attempted a correction of Mr. Sinnett's dates he would have been literally swamped with additional work and, indeed, could not have made a strictly chronological arrangement without elaborate study of other literature such as The Theosophist of that time, as well as outside sources, and thus the publication of the Letters, which was urgently called for by the neo-theosophical digressions of that time, would have been long delayed. We must therefore acquit him of negligence in this respect land feel everlasting gratitude for his work.
The Mahatma Letters the Highest Authority
As they stand the Mahatma Letters constitute the most authoritative source of theosophical information, ranking above all others, yes, even The Secret Doctrine, for here we have the words of the Mahatmas themselves, the words of the teachers, while all subsequent literature is but the product of pupils, however competent they may have been. Anything conflicting with them set forth by other writers, no matter what their prestige, must be dismissed as an indication of their ignorance or their disposition to set themselves up above the Masters as authorities. And of this we have a-plenty. It is therefore easy to see why the publication of The Mahatma Letters was resented in certain quarters. When they were not actually ignored the flimsy objection was advanced that their publication constituted a betrayal of confidence; and that they should have been kept to all eternity as secret as the day they were written, barring certain excepted ones which had been placed in circulation by Mr. Sinnett himself. Everybody knows that documents which may be strictly confidential today may cease to be so in time when the need for secrecy no longer exists. State documents are an example of this.
The real reason for this opposition on the part of Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater was that these two sages were brought face to face with the Mahatmas and their clairvoyant "investigations" and ecclesiastical folderol were condemned from their mouths. This was too much; the Letters must be suppressed, and as this was not possible, they must be condemned. It is stated, I know not on what grounds, that Mrs Besant was miffed because Mr. Sinnett did not direct the Letters to be turned over to her "for the Adyar Archives". It is safe to say that had this been done they, or most of them, would never have seen the light. It is also known that
Hoffman's reward for her part in the publication was being ejected from the E.S. by Mrs. Besant. Gradually, however, the Letters have come to be recognized even at Adyar, with the most ludicrous attempts of some to show that there are no contradictions between them and the teachings of the Besant-Leadbeater literature, one writer even going so far as to assert that The Mahatma Letters advocate the Liberal Catholic Church! (Clara Codd, Theosophy as the Masters See It.) Some of these Adyarian wigglings are really pathetic, but as this is intended as a review of Mrs. Conger's pamphlet this would carry us too far.
As for The Letters of H.P. Blavatsky to A.P. Sinnett, which were published later in a separate volume by Mr. Barker, there was not a little hullabaloo on the part of those who feared that H.P.B.'s very frank way of writing and her not altogether pious or "refined" expressions at times would prejudice people against her.
It became evident to those who were devotedly attached to the study of these two sets of letters that if the Mahatma Letters and the H.P.B. Letters are read in conjunction and in the order in which they were written, new light appears at every corner; apparent contradictions are explained; reasons for the somewhat fervent sentences of H.P.B. become obvious, and the whole presents a luminous and consistent piece of history. And, it may be added, the claim that the Mahatma Letters were forgeries written by H.P.B. herself, as charged by the Brothers Hare (Who Wrote the Mahatma Letters?) is confuted by internal evidence.
Mrs. Conger Solves the Difficulty
But who would undertake to make such a composite chronological arrangement, which could be depended on, obviously a task which would require much labor and research? Who would have the time and the patience to hunt up every available bit of evidence which would establish beyond doubt just when a letter was written and when received? I have heard that some attempts have been made in this direction, but they appear to have come to naught. We are therefore indeed fortunate in having the aid of one who had not only the inclination, but also the ability and endless patience for the work. Mrs. Conger, an old-time theosophist, has spent about twelve years in searching for every available piece of evidence and has now presented the theosophical world with her results. As one of a group of students of The Mahatma Letters under Mrs. Conger's guidance I have been witness many times to the care with which her researches were conducted, even in the most out of the way places. Here is no guesswork. Every date has been established by careful and often tedious searching, and if perchance an exact date or sequence could not be fixed with mathematical certainty, this is admitted, and the nearest approximation given, with reasons. It may be said, however, that any errors, if existing at all, are trivial. Now we have a complete combined chronological index to the Mahatma Letters and the H.P.B. Letters to Sinnett which enables these to be studied with far more illumination than if they are taken at haphazard.
The pamphlet is not a large one, only nineteen pages in fact, and a casual inspection would give no idea of the immense amount of labor involved; it is of little interest apart from the Letters themselves, but if so taken it is simply invaluable. I have no hesitation in saying that it is the most important and most accurate piece of theosophical history work which has yet appeared, not intending of course to reflect on more general chronological tables like that given in Jinarajadasa's Golden Book of the Theosophical Society. It is intended only for students of the Mahat-
ma Letters, the H. P. B. Letters, and the period covered by these. Students of these Letters, or even the casual readers, have only themselves to blame if they do not acquire a copy and use it constantly. Besides the Index proper there is an interesting preface, a table of explanatory notes and some brief biographical sketches of several important persons mentioned in the Letters.
THE NUMBER SIX
The drawings made by John Dalton, born in 1766, whose life work on the atomic theory made him world-famous - are still preserved in the Science Museum in London. They are diagrams of the chemical atoms so far as they were known in his day. The atom of every chemical element (most of which have been discovered since the time of Dalton) has, as we all know today, a different number of electrons revolving around its central proton, called its atomic number. Later, when Mendelieff classified the chemical elements, gaps were found here and there, and it was surmised that further elements having the missing atomic number would in time be found. This came to pass and at present the atomic numbers of some 92 or more elements are known. A few of the chemical atoms have numbers coinciding in a remarkable way with qualities ascribed to those numbers by the Ancient Wisdom.
Of these the number 6, referred by Dalton to the element of carbon, is perhaps the most interesting. Sir James Jeans, in his book The Universe Around Us tells us that:
"It is becoming increasingly likely that what especially distinguishes the matter of living bodies is the presence of the quite commonplace element of carbon. If this is so, then life exists in the Universe only because the carbon atom possesses certain exceptional qualities. Carbon is noteworthy as forming a sort of transition between metals and non-metals, but so far nothing in the physical is known to account for its special capacity for binding other atoms together. It differs from its nearest neighbor in the table of chemical elements, boron and nitrogen, only in having one electron more than the former and one electron less than the latter. Yet this slight difference must account in the last issue for all the difference between life and non-life. No doubt the reason why the six-electron atom possesses these remarkable qualities resides somewhere in the ultimate laws of Nature, but so far mathematical physics has failed to fathom it."
The ancients were no doubt aware of these facts, for in the Secret Doctrine of Israel the number 6 signifies the Life-blood of the Universe. On that age-old diagramatic representation of the ten Great Emanations of Deity, consisting of ten circles, called the Tree of Life, (The Foundation Stone of the faith of Israel), the sixth and central circle is the sixth of these Great Emanations and represents the Heart of the Tree, whence the Cosmic Life of the Universe ebbs and flows.
The sixth sphere or circle is that of the Messiah of the Jews and of the Christ of the early Christians, to both of Whom the number six is esoterically attributed.
Six is the first of the eight perfect numbers, so-called in mathematics because they are equal to their aliquot parts - that is, they are made up of numbers which can be measured without leaving a remainder. For instance:
The perfect numbers so far known are:
Very remarkable is it that all the numbers in this series end either in 6 or in 28. Beyond these numbers the mind of man has so far failed to penetrate.
In crystology there are six perfect forms: the five regular solids, with the addition of a sixth now sometimes admitted to the society of the famous five; namely, the parallelopiped, having six sides of three divisions of two alike. The most usual illustration is the humble brick with its upper and lower surfaces, two sides and two ends. In one of the Apocryphal Gospels a story is told of Jesus setting up a brickbat and adoring it, which simply means that He recognized it as an exalted symbol.
The sixth sphere of the Sacred Tree is that of the Sun, whose number is also six. The number of the Beast, a puzzle to most students, is that of the Adverse or Evil Aspect of the Sun, the Demonium Solis whose name Soros, Hebrew for "collective evil," is made up of the numerical value of each Hebrew Letter composing it. By "Beast" is meant the destructive power of the Sun in his character of Typhon.
Sir James Jeans remarks that the carbon atom has a strange power of ''binding things together - it is a reconciling force. In the Israelite doctrine, the sixth Letter of the Hebrew Alphabet has the numerical value of six and means a hook or pin - anything which can fasten two things together. Thus it represents a reconciling intermediary force, and it is attributed to the Element of Air, without the help of which the other Elements could not continue to exist. The Messiah of the Jews and the Christ are both called "the Reconciler" or "the Mediator."
The Hexagram, or six-pointed star, the "Shield of David," consisting of the interlaced triangles of Fire and Water, represents the perfect equilibrium of the active and passive, positive and negative, masculine and feminine aspects of Nature and Man, and also the interpenetration of the Worlds of Spirit and Matter.
The Chi Rho, or sacred monogram of Christ, as it is called, is found on tombs of Christian martyrs in the Catacombs of Rome, as are many other symbols originally Pagan. The loop at the summit of the verticle bar was in ancient Egypt a symbol of Horus, representing the mouth of the fish from which that god was born; to the early Christians it was an emblem of the Christ. The whole symbol is formed of three Greek letters, the verticle line standing for iota - I or J - the initial letter of the name Jesus. The St. Andrew's or diagonal Cross is the Greek letter Chi or C, and the loop, together with the verticle line, makes the letter Rho or R. The two letters are the first and second of the name Cristos; the whole, therefore, indicates the name Jesus Christ.
This symbol was used by the adherents of the new religion without arousing too much suspicion among their persecutors, because it was also a Roman emblem. For in the year 312 A.D. Constantine was preparing his campaign against the Emperor Maxentius when he had a marvellous vision of this symbol outlined in the night sky in brilliant light, and heard the words. "By this conquer." He was so deeply impressed that he ordered the emblem to be put upon the armor of his soldiery, and upon giving battle obtained a great victory over the enemy. The sacred monogram was later removed and the eagle restored, but it is
still to be seen upon the coinage of the emperor Constantine.
A number multiplied by itself has in esoteric numerology a special importance, being thus raised to its highest power. Pythagoras laid great stress upon the number 36: 6 times 6 equals 36 - which number is made up of the first four odd numbers and the first four even numbers of the decad. This in itself is significant, without the fact that odd numbers were regarded as masculine and the even as feminine. Both odd and even represent balance in this connection; for odd numbers, by placing one of them exactly in the middle, form the beam of the balance; 5, for instance, can be thought of thus: 2 plus 1 plus 2 equals five. And the even numbers stand for balance because they can be divided into two equal parts: 2 times 2 equals 4.
Thirty-six (36) is the number of Tetraktys, upon which Pythagoras and his followers swore their most sacred oaths: "By Him Who created Tetraktys, overflowing Nature, Soul possessing roots." The roots were the Four Creative Elements: Fire, Water, Air and Earth. The Tetraktys also referred to the 36 Decanates of the Signs of the Zodiac, called by some early writers the "Horoscopi." They were known to the ancients and thought to be astrologically important. Twenty-two of them are attributed to animals and birds.
The Israelite Doctrine postulates six great phases of evolution, representing ancient ideas on the development of the Universe from Chaos to God - ideas which have much in common with those of modern science.
FIRST ORDER (Elementary): Chaos. The Formless. Undifferentiated Matter, not yet sorted out. Beginning of the Elements. Differentiation of the Elements into Fire, Water, Air and Earth. Mixture and combination of these.
SECOND ORDER (Evolution): Minerals differentiate. Vegetatables appear. Seeds germinate in moisture. Fructification of vegetable life. Low forms of animal life appear. Vertebrate life appears in the Elements: reptiles, fishes, birds, etc.
THIRD ORDER (Humanity): Appearance of Man. Man evolves a soul; appears as the Microcosm. Adam Kadmon appears. The Second Man. Man becomes the Image of God.
FOURTH ORDER: The Worlds of the Universe.
FIFTH ORDER: The Kerubim, Seraphim, Thrones, Dominions, Virtues, Principalities and Powers, with their Archangels.
SIXTH ORDER: GOD, He Whom no eye hath seen; Who is known to the Messiah alone. - The American Theosophist for June.
THE THREE TRUTHS
There are three truths which are absolute, and which cannot be lost, but yet may remain silent for lack of speech.
The soul of man is immortal, and its future is the future of a thing whose growth and splendour have no limit.
The principle which gives life dwells in us, and without us, is undying and eternally beneficent, is not heard or seen, or smelt, but is perceived by the man who desires perception.
Each man is his own absolute law-giver, the dispenser of glory or gloom to himself; the decreer of his life, his reward, his punishment.
These truths, which are as great as is life itself, are as simple as the simplest mind of man. Feed the hungry with them. - Idyll of the White Lotus.
I have already mentioned the new edition issued by the Theosophy Company of Los Angeles of W.Q. Judge's Letters that Have Helped Me with notes and additions. The allied company in Bombay has equalled this with a Volame of collected essays, sketches and dialogues chiefly from the pages of The Path, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Mr. Judge's death. I cannot compare it with the first mentioned which I have not seen but knowing the contents of both it is safe to say that the beginner in occultism will find the Bombay volume a most fascinating first step into the most interesting field in all literature. No one who had not had the good fortune fifty years ago to read these articles as they were published can understand the illumination they gave to the beginner of that time. If I had any fault to find with this book it would be with the title which savors of a Young Ladies' Boarding School - Vernal Blooms! The freshness, vigor and maturity of the thought and language suggest Morning Light as a more appropriate designation for the collection. The two-page Foreword by the Publishers among other things has this to say: "Untiring was Mr. Judge's patience and gentleness with his pupils, with his co-workers, and with all the men and women he contacted. The attentive reader of this volume will learn much but the ardent one will gain, by invisible osmosis and assimilation, these outstanding qualities of his. Such a devoted reader will find in the book not only usable knowledge but also exercizes for the conrtol of the mind and the awakening of the heart, exercizes to be daily done. The book contains articles which deal with principles and practices of the higher morality founded upon the metaphysics of Theosophy; next, articles which indicate to the promulgator the methods of service; then expositions on psychic powers and phenomena and on spiritual ones pertaining to Divine Occultism. All this as Vernal Blooms! That these articles are up to date goes without saying. He tried to interest students in the Zodiac, but it was 25 years after his death that the marvellous Wheel of Life was discovered by Mrs. Maltwood in Somerset, and even now after 25 years of the discovery the great theosophical occult centres are all afraid to touch it. Perhaps one of them will discover it independently and inform us all about it. Mr. Judge, in an article on "Two Lost Keys," couples together the Bhagavad Gita and the Zodiac. They are, he says, two great storehouses of knowledge, and that as the Zodiac traces the Sun's path through the heavens, "man is himself a zodiacal highway through which his own particular sun makes a circuit." (page 213) He thinks it strange that the scientific people who laugh at it have not abolished the Zodiac. For some mysterious reason the almanacs still contain the old signs, and the moon's periods continue to be referred to their ancient figures. The book is well printed and strongly bound in stiff paper cover and contains a good portrait of Mr. Judge. The price is not mentioned.
WORTH WHILE BOOKS
- Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine by Madame Blavatsky;
- The Key to Theosophy and The Voice of the Silence by H.P.B.;
- Magic White and Black by Franz Hartmann;
- The Perfect Way, by Anna B. Kingsford;
- The Ocean of Theosophy and Notes on the Bhagavad Gita by Wm. Q. Judge;
- Reincarnation by E.D. Walker;
- The Light of Asia, by Edwin Arnold;
- Light on the Path and Through the Gates of Gold, by Mabel Collins;
- Letters that Have Helped Me, by Wm. Q. Judge;
- Raja Yoga, a collection of articles by H.P.B.;
- The Mahatma Letters, by Two Masters.
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
A pressing need felt acutely by all our lodges is the want of platform speakers. Those available from outside sources are difficult to get and in most cases travelling expenses make it almost prohibitive. Therefore any members who have a modicum of ability as a speaker should be assiduously encouraged by the lodges. Not only would they be a definite asset but if each lodge had one or more it might be possible to arrange interchanges without much expense. Advertised speakers on interesting subjects would attract the public and be the means of spreading our teachings. Slowly but surely Theosophy is leavening the thought of all ranks of society and we should be prepared to take advantage of this potentiality.
It was with sincere regret I learned of the death of Mrs. Gythia Kirkegaard of Toronto who passed away very suddenly on June 15th, 1946. She was born in Copenhagen some seventy-five years ago and was the wife of the late Mr. Peter Kirkegaard sometime Danish Vice-Council. A member for many years in the Toronto Lodge she was well known for her quiet and unassuming manner, her diligence as a student and her faithful attendance at meetings. Many will remember her unvarying sympathy and understanding for those in trouble and distress. In all her ways she exemplified a true theosophical attitude toward life.
The National Society in Canada extends its heartiest greetings to its American friends congregating in Chicago this month to attend the Convention in that city. We assure them that our thoughts and best wishes will be with them in their deliberations and trust that the outcome of the gathering will further the ideals to which we all aspire.
The following, letter from the National President of the Theosophical Society in Southern Africa was recently received: - "The General Secretary, Theosophical Society in Canada, Dear Colleague, On assuming the office of National President of the Theosophical Society in Southern Africa, I send you the warm greetings from this Section and from myself. May the links of unity between all the Sections be ever strengthened, so that at least within the ranks of our Society the Brotherhood of all nations will be felt and a shining symbol, which will radiate its influence and ripen the idea of a world Unity in the minds of men. I express the hope that a happy and fraternal cooperation will result from the links, which are formed by our service in the same great Cause. Sincerely yours, Mrs. J. Eleanor Stakesby-Lewis, National President." It was with more than usual pleasure that this letter was received by me for having spent a number of years in that great country I came to know it very well; I travelled much and met many people in all ranks of life, and retain the happiest memories of the years spent in it. The warm greetings are therefore very heartily reciprocated and in congratulating Mrs. Stakesby-Lewis on her appointment as the National President I trust that the sentiments so beautifully expressed will result as I am sure they will in that altruism and cooperation between our Sections in their endeavor to bring about that World Unity which is the most pressing need of mankind today.
BOOKS ON THEOSOPHICAL SUBJECTS which have passed the tests of time and use supplied on request. Forty years experience at your service. Let me know your wishes.
N. W. J. HAYDON, 564 PAPE AVE., TORONTO
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
A biography of William Quan Judge is being prepared by Mr. C.J. Ryan, Covina, Cal. This is an admirable project undertaken by a most capable writer and historian.
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.
A correspondent enquires about an article describing the alternation of the breath in the nostrils. Why not get
EIla Adelia-Fletcher's book, The Law of the Rhythmic Breath which deals fully with the whole phenomena in 372 pages? But let no student venture to attempt breathing exercizes without the advice and supervision of an adept teacher if he value his heath and sanity.
The Editor was compelled by sheer weakness and the necessity of conserving his energies for his editorial duties to miss the picnic of the Hamilton Lodge members. He pulled himself together, however, to attend the Executive meeting in Toronto on the 7th. He received many kind attentions from fellow travellers and from the railway officials. Especially valuable assistance was rendered him by the Traveller's Aid department of the Toronto Union Station. Not having had a glimpse of the country since February 3rd, it was most cheering to see the broad acres of Ontario in the full flush of summer, with promise of bountiful harvests and prosperity.
I received a post card recently which stirred memories of eighty years ago. The card was a photograph of Carnlough, a quiet little watering place on the northeast coast of Co. Antrim. The card was sent by a playmate of 1872, which greatly enhanced its value. My father drove me one Sunday morning when I was five years old to this seaside resort and there I had the ecstasy of my first sight of the sea with its rolling waves and the joy of paddling with bare feet in the salt water on a sandy beach. Glenarm, a little farther north, is more popular with its white pebble strand, but I am a little-blue-eyed boy again when I think of Carnlough. I hope it is still a sandy shore for happy little boys to learn to love the ocean.
[[this table cannot be reproduced in its entirety here - dig. ed.]]
STANDING OF THE LODGES FOR THE YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1946
Hamilton ..................... 23
St. Thomas ..............2
Toronto West End ....6
Vancouver Orpheus ................20
Members at Large .....6
STATEMENT OF FUNDS - YEAR ENDING JUNE 30th, 1946
Balance from last year .......... $ 117.24
Lodge Fees and Dues:-
1946 .......... $873.35
1947 ........... 115.00
Magazine Subscriptions .... 351.60
Magazine Donations ...... 158.48
General Fund ...... $ 13.00
Special Fund ....... 78.00
Premium on U. S. Bills ........ 15.48
Bank Interest ......... 5.36
Per Capita - Adyar 1944/5 ......... $ 92.00
Printing ........ $1,200.00
Postage ........ 59.09
Envelopes ......... 62.72
Zincs ............. 3.81
Postage ........ 26.74
Stationery ......... 34.99
Extras ........ 19.11
Cash in Hand ......... 211.00
THE ANNUAL REPORTS
Considering the reactions of the War, and the social and economic conflicts that have flared up and continue in what we are pleased to call a time of peace, the annual reports of the Canadian Theosophical Society among the other National Societies may be regarded as satisfactory and also encouraging. Few join us who are not imbued with deep convictions of the necessity of fighting for Truth, the inner fight that enlists one for the duration, and demands all one's loyalty and all one's courage. A few join each year who think Truth may be found like coin. Outer Truth always has two sides; inner Truth only one. Hence the lapses of those who had hoped to find Truth securely packed and labelled. Congratulations to the General Secretary on a good year. - Editor
THE GENERAL EXECUTIVE
The Annual Meeting of the General Executive of the T.S. in Canada, was held on Sunday afternoon, July 7. Present: Messrs. Dustan, Kinman, Smythe, Thomas and the General Secretary. The annual report of the funds was adopted,
showing a balance of $211.00. It was pointed out that some members acting on the suggestion of the General Secretary through the medium of the magazine had sent in extra amounts to their Annual dues which was greatly appreciated. The report of Membership showed 376 at July 1st, as against 357 last year. These statements appear elsewhere in the magazine. There was some discussion as to how inactive lodges might be galvanized into an active condition and a procedure was adopted for this purpose. Mr. Kinman reported on the possibilities of a Fraternization Convention but the consensus was that one would not be feasible this year. The Chairman of the Propaganda Committee stated that quite a large number of pamphlets had been sent out on request. It was remarked that the magazine more than upheld its reputation and there had been many complimentary reports on the subject. Mr. Smythe was re-elected Editor for the coming year. Colonel Thomson said that he had sent a message of goodwill on behalf of the Canadian T.S. to the American Theosophical Convention now being held in Chicago. The meeting was adjourned to the last Sunday in September.
PROFESSOR WOOD TO LECTURE
The following letter was received since our last issue and I have thought it well to print it as received, as its friendly and informal tone will be the best introduction for those who have not yet heard or met Mr. Wood. I understand that the Toronto Lodge has already written to him at the address he gives.
Bombay, June 5/46
Dear Mr. Smythe,
I have not written you for a very long time. Really our thoughts are so much in accord that there has been little or nothing to say, but after recently having received a letter from Helen Knothe in which she mentions you, I have felt very self-reproachful at not having sent you at least a word of greeting and goodwill, and I ought to have thanked you more than once for sending me the Canadian Theosophist, which I very much enjoy, all these years. Some day, when the Reserve Bank of India lifts the restrictions on sending money outside the Sterling Area I hope to make a little contribution to it.
My wife and I are to sail for America within a week, by S.S. "Bantam", which promises to deposit us at Los Angeles in late July or early August. I hope to do a little lecturing in California and Wyoming and then come to Canada, where my wife has a cousin (Mrs. Kemp, 347 Hamilton Avenue, Ottawa). Fortunately I left a little money in U.S. and Canada - enough to enable us to travel a bit, so that I can lecture for some Lodges, if required. I have been specializing in Sankara's Vedanta, the Gita and Patanjali's Yoga for a good many years, and will make those my principal subjects. I will, of course, lecture under the old flag (T.S.) in U.S. also, provided it is understood that I dissociate Theosophy from the nurseling movements and keep to the original purpose of the T.S.
One of my old College Students got out a folder for me and sent it to several American Universities. I send you several copies by ordinary book post.
We both send you our kindest regards, Ever fraternally yours,
Address: Prof. E. Wood, passenger S.S. "Bantam," c/o Transpacific Transportation CO. 530 West 6th St.,
Los Angeles, Calif., U.S.A.
DR. SHEARMAN ON SELF-RELIANCE
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist: -
Thanks for your commentary in the May issue of The Canadian Theosophist on my article on "Authority" in the pre-ceding issue.
My own view of the three individuals named: - Mr. Krishnamurti, Mrs. Besant and Bishop Leadbeater - is that their public sayings, writings and acts have been the sincere expression of authentic experience. Perhaps indeed the sincerity and authenticity have not been least when they most seemed to contradict themselves and each other.
Into details I don't want to go. There is a problem which I see in all detailed controversial references to the past history of the theosophical movement. That history now contains the annals of over seventy very intricate years. It has been filled with incidents and personalities round which there has been controversy and about which there have been "pros" and "cons". Most of those incidents occurred before I was born. Most of those personalities were dead before I joined the Society. In an academic way, with much study, I have tried to acquaint myself with what occurred at various crises in the past; but most of our newer members cannot find either time or interest to do that fully, and, even if they did, such study would not solve many real problems for them. This will be all the more true in two hundred years' time.
Our lives are not going to be greatly influenced by the correctness or incorrectness of our historical assessment of Madame Blavatsky or of Mrs. Besant or Krishnamurti or the Christ or the Buddha or any other person one may care to name. Accuracy in a historical sense is, of course, very desirable; but I feel that the details of belief are not the most important thing in these matters. The really important thing is what we are individually doing with our belief or our unbelief. Life itself is the great verifier. If we live in belief, we shall find out if it is true. And, paradoxically, if we live a belief and find it true, it becomes less and less necessary for us to convert other people to it. I am, yours sincerely,
36 Cliftonville Road,
Belfast, Northern Ireland,
14th June, 1946.
"UPPER CLOTH" OR "STOLE"
The General Secretary sends me a copy of a letter from President Jinarajadasa to Mr. Lorimer of Montreal, explaining the wearing by Asiatics of an "Upper Cloth", a kind of scarf, mistaken by many for the "stole" worn by ecclesiastics. The passages of general interest are as follows: -
In South America newspaper men made a mistake, and some of the public also, thinking that I wore a stole, so the chairman at meetings had always to explain that it was nothing of the kind but merely part of the dress of a gentleman in South India.
I have several varieties of these "upper cloths", some beautiful ones with heavy gold borders, presented to me by friends. I have one unique one; reminiscent of the days of Dr. Besant's fight with the Madras Government, which has the edging in red and green, her colors (red for Hindus and green for Muhammadans) with the words. "Home Rule for India" embroidered (it is all handmade).
If you will look at any of the pictures of Mr. Krishnamurti wearing Indian
dress, you will always find him wearing this "stole". . . We have on the Estate the following shrines: a Hindu Temple, a Buddhist Temple, a little Chistian Church, a Zoroastrian Shrine and a Muhammadan Mosque and the little Buddhist Shrine, two of the most beautiful stuctures in our Headquarters. We have in addition the foundation of a Jewish Synagogue. All these structures have been raised not by T.S. Funds, but from private funds of members belonging to the various faiths, with the help of everybody all round who sympathized. All these Shrines are the property of the Society, though the Society has nothing whatever to do with the services conducted in them.
In the Great Hall we have also images of Buddha, Christ, Shri Krishna, and Zoroaster, and since no image is permissible for the Prophet Muhammad - a great Arabic inscription. In addition, there are the symbols of all the living and the chief extinct religions, but in large bold letters in English the motto of the Society, "There is no religion higher than Truth."
" I "
What is the "I" that in Eastern Yoga and Western Mysticism we are invited to get rid of, presumably to our gain, but according to some interpretations of Nirvana, to our eternal loss? If the eternal loss is compensation for the ending of sorrow, frustration and incompleteness, we may be permitted to ask, what on earth have we come on earth for, we, or any of the other forms of life? We discern Life continually renewing itself in Form, and we dimly discern that Life more fully expressing itself in Form as the ages roll on. We can say that a particular individual is a cause of despondency rather than of hope and joy. But we cannot say that of the Race. It is an extremely encouraging step from the Australian aborigine to a genuinely cultured man of the Aryan sub-races. What it is for, what goal, if any, is finally set the Race, we may not know, and not knowing, we may furiously defend our own theories. But that the goal is Annihilation, and all the struggle, defeat and achievement but an elaborated cat's play before she finally devours the mouse, seems to outrage every vestige of Justice and Purpose, which, as we perhaps fondly suppose, are found in Kosmos. Yet, teachers ancient and modern, tell us that this sense of outrage arises from our Trishna, our craving for continuance of life and the perpetuation of the "I", in which, say the same teachers, there is blinding woe. Again we protest when we hear this Gospel of Apparent Pessimism. We indignantly deny that we do crave for the continuance of life, as though to imply that such craving is rather beastly and crude. Is it? After all, a Teacher who still maintains some influence in a world that has little room for spiritual philosophers once said: "'That they may have life, and have it more abundantly".
None the less, we have been a little disappointed when some scientist, turning prophet in his spare time, has forecast the Future. Why have we felt so miserable about the Future as seen by such Prophets, to wit, H.G. Wells, veiled most becomingly as a Popular Novelist? It is not because these Prophets are wildly inaccurate. H.G. Wells' gift of prophecy was positively uncanny, and the rather beastly future outlined for man in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World might easily come to pass. Is our disappointment because we feel "We" are not included? That, lacking a belief in reincarnation, the imaginative builders of future Utopias have no room for "US"? Have not some of us joyfully accepted the statement
that the food of the Sixth Root Race will be everlasting blancmange, seven days in a week, because we have been promised that "We" will be there to slither it down? And because "We" are going to be in it, we have already arranged what sort of a Race we want to be in. Clearly, we want an extension in Time for Ourselves, and not a Race devastatingly different to Us. So here comes in the "I" which, if reincarnation be true, defeats its own progress by deciding, more or less, what kind of a future it wants.
Is it for this reason that mystic teachers of the Past and Present deny the Permanent Ego, so hoping to shatter our faith in it, our overwhelming adoration of it? Are they seeking to lead us to a conception of an ever-renewing "I", and so, logically, not permanent? In this conception of an ever-renewing "I" is there a chance that we may really take rebirth into the Future, instead of carrying out present goods arid chattels into a new house ill-fitted for them, so increasing our frustration and unhappiness in the Sixth Root Race, until the Day of Judgement comes, and we drop out? That Possibility certainly confirms the words of the Palestinian Master: "He that loveth his life shall lose it; he that despiseth his life shall find it unto life eternal". Is this what the Great Adept meant in His Letter to the early Theosophical Society when He speaks of "a practical contempt" for this life?. Yet to merely deny the Permanent Ego in order to draw away our overweening affection for it is hardly enough. Shall we see if the fundamental teaching of Theosophy justifies a Permanent Ego, and if so, in what sense we understand the Permanence?
Buddhism has gone into the question of the "I" very thoroughly and very drastically. Hindu Mysticism has also gone into the same problem thoroughly but not so drastically. Christian mysticism has stood in alignment with Hinduism on this point. Buddhism, alone seems to have dealt with the subject with an unflinching realism that makes the gentlest egoist livid with fear and shuddering with apprehension. Examine the Ten Fetters of Buddhist Teaching, and you find that the Ten blend into one: the belief in a Permanent Self. The belief in a permanent "I" feeds on the others; it is a very, hungry creature; it is, in fact, a glutton. It is the central impulse moving the tentacles of that Octopus I call Myself; it seems to be (and a number of students are convinced it is,) the mysterious assertion of a spiritual consciousness. And the low cunning of the octopus makes it able to do almost miraculous things to enhance that illusion. The other Fetters include Desire for life on earth, or desire for life in heaven. Religions generally regard the desire for heavenly life as far loftier than the desire for life on earth, but is it? Buddhism asserts this simple fact that desire for either; and desire for anything, is the assertion of the "I" in which lies all our torment. In the Northern Schools, at least (and no doubt in the Southern) Buddhism has produced volumes of subtle hair-splitting, such as the Mahaprajnaparamita, the main purport of which is to indicate that the true Bodhisattva (used in a much wider sense than the term is used in Theosophy) or the Arhat allows no conception of an ego-entity; a personality, a separated "I" to enter his purified mind. He shuts the idea of Atma out of his thinking as resolutely as a Catholic monk would reject all thoughts of the seven deadly sins. Naturally, with Arhats, there is still imperfection; with Bodhisattvas and most certainly with Buddhas there is no imperfection arising from the false idea of the Ego. Over and over again, this is impressed on the zealous disciple. He must not think of himself as "entering the stream" (the first step in Buddhist dis
cipleshhip) or as "only to be born on earth once more" (another stage in enlighttenment). Because these ideas imply the Ego, the separated soul entering the stream. The Buddha Himself must not be thought of as attaining Supreme Enlightenment, for fear of the Ego conception. But that it is clear hair-splitting is proved by the fact that the Fully Enlightened Buddha did think of Himself as separate, as different in some ways from His followers. He is stated to have declared that the food prepared for him at his last meal on earth was food that only a Buddha could partake of, and he forbade any of his monks from joining in the meal. No-one, Buddha or otherwise, can say that without the idea of the ego-entity arising, with separation of one ego from another. And His reluctance to found His second Order for women shows also that He drew a distinction between the males of His first Order and the other sex. In short, not a Buddhist Bhikkhu but is encouraged to hold the view of the separated Ego when he turns his eyes from women, keeps to an ascetic routine not imposed on the laity, preaches as by right at Buddhist assemblies and wears a distinctive garb.
Are we getting anywhere? Yes, if we can see that it is desire, craving, grasping, and appropriation that alone hinder our fulfilment and maim the genius of our lives. It is not life in this world, constantly renewed, or life in some other world, lasting indefinitely, that will bind us to sorrow, to illusion. Only desire for what, in any case, will probably came to us in the course of our pilgrimage. If we can see that it is just the transient "I" that, very naturally, braves for some kind of permanence. That what we call the Spiritual Ego is rather a quality than a Person, and so avoid the mistake of proudly maintaining that, when we think of ourselves as continuing we are not thinking of the lower personality at all, but of the Higher Self. For the most part, we are throwing dust in our own eyes (perhaps worse than throwing it in the eyes of other people) and with all our high falutin' we are thinking of the Personality, because it is the only thing with which we are at all familiar. The Higher Self is rather the God above us than the God within, at our present stage of spiritual development. That God demands from us costly sacrifice, a complete burnt offering. We may not be prepared to give it, but at least we ought not to pretend that we are only too glad to make the oblation. If we are willing to attempt the eucharistic offering of our lower selves (to offer at all) we can begin the preparation of the victim by a complete surrender of our lower selves, a life of non-resistance, a balanced life of joy and sorrow, light and shadow, achievement and defeat, missing nothing that comes to us, and holding to nothing that seeks to pass away. We can put away Christian Benevolence, which is rooted in Egotism, and which accepts the worst kinds of separative belief, and we can practise Universal Brotherhood - to the which we are called, and in which there lies the only gleam we can authentically get of the Future. Then, day by day, with Paul, we shall find ourselves saying: "I live . . . . (the unescapeable credo of a sane man) yet not I . . . . (the unescapeable conviction of the mystic) The Spiritual Principle of an Ever-Renewing Mind . . . (Nous to Hermes and Plotinus; Christ to the follower of Jesus) lives in me . . . . . (the union of the sane man's credo with the mystic's realization). We shall not appropriate the Future, so trying to profane it, the Future will eagerly draw us into its manifestation. And that Future can commence tomorrow morning and so go on up to the Seventh Root race as well as the Sixth.
A rough and ready friend, living as a mystic in the East-End slums of Lon-
don, once said to me: "The mystic always finds that he has found a prize-packet." The idea is worth passing on. But if you seek for the prize-packet in the Future, making up your mind you know already what the packet is likely to contain, you will never get it. Real prize-packets contain what you are not looking for, and they frequently come by the next post.
- Ernest V. Hayes.
51 Rosslyn Hill, London, N.W. 3.
Note by Editor. Jesus nowhere speaks of despising life. The word is a mistranslation. The text should read: He that despiseth his psyche, that is, his soul or personality.
Some kind friend has done me the favor of sending me a copy of one of the most charming books I have ever read. It is by an Irish lady, and I say lady advisedly, for the Irish gentry have a tone and quality of their own which is not born of money nor position nor rank but belongs to culture and tradition. What filters into these pages will be recognized by the judicious, who may make a further discovery in meeting a group of natural psychics who never had to "sit for development," but were born into the elect circle and would never dare to presume upon it, much less make it a matter of distinction. Strange things happen but with no more fuss than with the arrival of the mail or the daily paper. The narrative is direct and vigorous, with all the graces of Dublin literary culture. Fresh and animated it is largely culled from a well kept diary. Yet Britons and Irish, black and tans and Republic army men are all treated with such artistic impartially as to create a disarming sense of distant historic detachment. We meet most of the prominent figures of the time, Standish O'Grady, George Russell, W.B. Yeats, Maud Gonne and her sister, etc., all set forth in the index. The book, which is published by Longmans, Green & Co., contains 356 pages; 200 of which are devoted to Ireland and the remainder to America whence Miss Young betook herself after the change in the Irish government. We must leave the American portion of the book for a later notice, but now quote a few passages of Irish experiences to justify our admiration of Miss Young's work.
"Standish O'Grady, PALADIN of Ireland, is conducting a crusade. He speaks and writes `winged words' to those who are sympathetic and those who are not. Scholars and artists respond, but the landed gentry are indifferent for the most part, though warned that now they must either come forward on Ireland's side; or perish, dupes of their own foolishness and of England's statesmanship. The chief convert is Captain the Honorable Otway Cuffe, brother and heir to the Earl of Desart and owner of an estate in Kilkenny, who is establishing a Guild of Woodworkers and a Guild of Woollen-workers in Kilkenny town. The idea is to strengthen the country economically by founding and supporting home industries, whilst reviving in pageant and drama a knowledge of that past which England, banning Irish history in the schools, seeks to obliterate. Standish has retold the Cu-Cullion Saga in language worthy of that great epic; and a Kilkenny printing-press is now at work on those sound-empanoplied words.
The National Spirit has more than stirred, it has lifted its head and shouted. Everywhere little clubs are springing up for the study of the Irish language and of Irish history. Those who have a knowledge of the sagas and the history, lecture night after night to eager listeners. Classes are held at all hours for the teaching of Gaelic. The
language is a difficult one, but the struggle to master it creates a bond that links the earl's son and the street-urchin. It is one thing that we can all do for our country. AE is writing the story of Deirdre in dramatic form. Maud Gonne has secured a promise that he will give the play to the Society of which she is President: `Inghinidhe-na-hEireann' (The Daughters of Ireland).
"The Daughters of Ireland come new to the art of play-acting: indeed they come new to the Gaelic, to the sagas, and to everything! It does not hamper their enthusiasm - on the contrary it affords them occasion for a fiery and untrammeled assault on things as they are. The Society is composed of girls who work hard all day in shops and offices owned for the most part by pro-British masters who may at any Moment discharge them for `treasonable activities.' To be dismissed in such wise means the semi-starvation of long-continued unemployment. These girls dare it, and subscribe, from not too abundant wages, generous amounts for the hire of halls to be used as classrooms and for theatre rehearsals. I have undertaken, under their auspices, to teach Irish history by a re-telling of the sagas and hero-tales.
In a room perched at the head of a rickety staircase and overlooking a narrow street, I have about eighty denizens of untamed Dublin; newsboys, children who have played in street alleys all their lives, young patriot girls and boys who can scarcely write their own names. Outside there is a continuous din of street cries and rumbling carts. It is almost impossible to shout against it if the windows are open, and more impossible to speak in the smothering of dust if the windows are shut. Everyone is standing, closely packed - no room for chairs! They stand there, in ages ranging from 9 years to 18, ready to listen, if there is anything worth listening to, ready to boo or come to fisticuffs the moment they are not interested. But they are interested. I do not need to say to anyone, `These are your heroes!' They have relinquished the luxury of a devil-may-care idleness, and whatever adventures may wait round a street corner, to live in heart and mind with Ireland of long ago: to adventure with Fionn, defend the Ford with Cu-Cullion, and crack jokes with Conan the Bald. Eager-eyed, drawing in breaths of rapturous admiration, their thin hardship-sculptured faces flushed with wrath and pride, they stand there adding new names to the hero-names that they have cherished ever since they could put names together: Cu-Cullion, to Parnell; Brown Diarmid, to Robert Emmet; Fionn, the hero-avenger, to Wolfe Tone." (pp. 69-71)
"This garret room, the fourth story of a tall old-fashioned Dublin house, has several advantages. Craning above comrade roofs it looks across neglected down-trodden fields to the Dublin hills strung out against the sky. They have a light powdering of untimely snow. I can lean from my window and watch them, bright or shadowed with the changing hours. Townward I can see the curve of the street that winds to the cathedral. I can hear the noise of that street, a confused myriad-throated clamour, a surge of sound, a voice behind the transitory pavement noises that come up here - noises of passing feet and passing vehicles. Hope and fear and anguish and triumph throb and cry in that many-throated insistent voice. It is the people's voice, the voice of the crowded poor quarter of Dublin, the fiercely patriotic quarter of Dublin. People there have been welded together by suffering, by a common endeavor: caught up in a fiery ecstasy.
Going about the poverty-bitten unlovely business of life, unhelped, unpitied, in that narrow street are people
who have surged out towards the sound of pistol-shots, to give a young fighter a chance to escape. They have trudged, foot sore, to Mountjoy: to kneel by the prison wall, while men within waited for the hangman. Tears ran down their faces as they knelt there, praying aloud, reciting the Rosary; fingering prayer-beads that dead men had fingered - the sky stark above them, the white pitiful candles blinking in the cold dawn.
I think of the people whom I interviewed in Kerry: their kindliness; their devotion.
`We want something to come out of our victory that will be good for all alike. We have found comrades in unthought of places: we would not have the least one cheated of a share!'
I remember that young girl who was head of Cumann-na-mBan in a remote village. She had the violet-blue eyes and the rich dark hair of the Iberian Celts. She had a free-from-worldly-entanglements Madonna face, all innocent in red and white, yet she was chief adviser of the young fighters, `The Boys', and as brave in the face of danger as any one of them. After a successful ambush, which she had helped to plan, `The Boys' hurried to her:
`The Black and Tans are coming to shoot up the town and burn it house by house. What things under your roof do you value most? We'll carry them out for you.'
`You will take nothing from my house. Let it burn with all it has! This is no place for you, with the Black and Tans on your heels. You belong to Ireland - away with you!'
From the street comes a sound of martial music and measured steps: young men are marching there with Sinn Fein flags. They are wearing the uniform of the Irish Republican Army. They are carrying rifles. They are fiinging as they march.
There is a joyousness in the air though the year is declining. We have all of us the hope of victory in our hearts. If we triumph now in this struggle of wills with England - there seems a good chance of it - seven centuries of disaster triumph with Us. Hugh O'Neill, the Great Earl, triumphs, unregretful of the lost battle and the long exile; Parnell triumphs, and all the dead.
The young men are still passing: They are still singing. I cannot hear the words of the song, but I remember the words of Padraic Pearse:
`We are young today as men were young when to be a young man was to be a hero . . . .We are about to attempt impossible things, for we know that it is only impossible things that are, worth doing.' (pp. 169-171)
"I watched the shadows lengthen on the ruined and desecrated ridges that mark the palace-sites of Tara. Once, sitting idle as I sat, Margaret O'Grady saw Tara as it had been: its flags, its battle-standards and its painted palaces. She saw the people moving about. She heard a sound of trumpets blown. She saw the horses and the horse-boys. Tara must keep many memories, but I could not surprise one. Instead, I turned my mind upon descriptions in old sagas. The palace doors were of red yew, elaborately carved. The roofs were thatched in bright colors. The walls inside had plates of beaten copper with designs of birds, eyed with red carbuncles. How gay must Tara have been when the poets and story-tellers, the princes, the druids, the kings of all Ireland, assembled there for the week of the Samhain Festival! Could they have thought, when Cormac gave the house-warming of the great feast-hall, that grass would grow so thickly underfoot there? For centuries the grass has grown and withered: even as it has grown and withered for centuries on the graves of kings and saint at Clon-
macnoise. Grass renews itself. The dream that held Ireland's lovers, renews itself. From ruin and disaster it struggles back to the light: it burgeons fresh.
The sunshine seemed brighter when we left Tara. As the cars bumped and thundered along the road we felt happier.
'Why don't we do this oftener?' said the Countess. `We could have many days like this.'
`Yes, why don't we?' said all the rest of us. `Let us go again very soon - very soon!'
I knew that I would never visit Tara again." (p. 192)
NOTES ON THE RACES
By N. Dalzell
Of the earlier races in this Round we know little. The Secret Doctrine speaks of the first two races. The home of the first was in the Imperishable, Sacred Land situated near the North Pole. Explorers today say there is no land in that vicinity, but the teachings do not speak of a land of rocks and earth and
rivers. They say the land and its inhabitants were semi-astral. If we try to visualize these people, we get a picture of smoky or misty forms, ever weaving and interchanging, never having a definite shape.
This was the Adamic race. They were mindless. They had one sense only, that of hearing, but it was more a sensing of vibrations with every part of the body, than the sense which we call hearing today, in which the vibrations are sensed by the ear only and transmitted to the brain as sound. Some people, under hypnosis, are said to renew the ancient faculty and to hear, or sense sound vibrations, with the elbow or the knee or some other part of the physical body.
The Second Race was called the Hyperborean. Their continent, it is said, is now Northern Asia. They were still semi-astral and mindless. They had the sense of touch as well as that of hearing. They are credited with a language of vowel sounds, and communicated also by thought-picture transference; but if they were mindless, how could they think? Were they not rather reflecting, unconsciously, those perceptions which they received by touch or hearing?
By the end of the Second Race, the forms had perhaps achieved a little more solidity, and a crust was forming on the Earth's surface. The Third Race developed bodies built on a bony structure but they were not able to stand upright until the third sub-race began to make room for the fourth, approximately 18,000,000 years ago. Until then, man walked on all fours, and the third eye, now atrophied, was in use. He was no longer mindless. He was the first true man. To him came the Lords of Venus, beings who had evolved on an earlier chain of globes. Some of these Venusians still incarnate in Earth bodies, we are told. Others left their teachings, and passed on their way. They brought wheat and bees to Earth. They taught the Lemurian of the divine origin of the life spirit which was himself. They taught that the life spirit, manifesting in millions of forms, was yet one.
Under their tuition, man learned to recognize beauty. He, who had walked in mud and slime, now saw the glory of the sunrise, and instead of mud, the Lotus. He learned to work in textiles and metals; to build great cities of stone. He developed a form of picture writing and certain symbols which Churchward credits to the man of Mu, the Lemurian, are used in our writing today, not greatly changed. These symbols are found in many parts of the world. The letter B, - pronounced "buh" in the ancient tongue, meant a path. Ignatius Donnelly says the Maya Indians today
use the same glyph, which has the same sound and the same meaning. The ancient symbol looks like a corduroy road with a plank down the centre. In later years, the plank became the upright of our B. and with the curves of the corduroy reduced to two on one side only, formed the B. we use today. The letter N. in Lemuria was written exactly as the, symbol of Acquarius is written today. It meant water. In Egypt, the glyph is pronounced N, and means running water. A symbol which looks like a carpenter's T square, meant the builder. The ankh, the tau, the crux ansata, and our T, are all variations. As the ankh or crux ansata, it is a sign of life. In Lemuria it was the builder. What is the Life Spirit but the Builder, the Great Architect?
The Lemurians, as a race, were beautiful, and we are told they were giants. Their height is said to have been from eighteen to seventy feet. "This is impossible!" says the modern scientist, "We find the bones of the huge animals; why do we not find the bores of these huge men?" Almost all of Lemuria sank under what is now the Pacific. There were some colonies existing, which formed the nucleus of the new Fourth Race. H.P.B. tells of a cave in India where the bones of giants are preserved until the proper time has arrived for their eiistence to be made public. During the later Lemurian age, the climate changed. Until then, the Earth had known a sort of perpetual spring. Now the seasons made their appearance. Living under different conditions may have helped to reduce man's stature.
Churchward states that the sounds which today form the letters of the Greek alphabet tell, in the language of Mu, of her destruction. The following quotation is from his book, "The Lost Continent of Mu".
"Alpha Heavily break the waters
extending over the plains,
Gamma they cover the lands in
low places where there are
Epsilon there are obstructions. Shares form and
strike the earth
Eta with water
the waters spread on
all that lives and moves,
obstructions give way, and
Lambda submerged is the land of
Nu Peaks only
Xi appear above the waters,
whirlpools blow around,
and little by little
until there comes
cold air: before,
where valleys existed are
Upsilon now abysses, cold depths. In circular places
Phi mud formed,
Chi a mouth
Psi opens, vapors
Omega come forth, and volcanic sediments."
The man of the Fourth Race, the Atlantean, naturally inherited much from his Lemurian ancestors. He built great cities, as they did. He worked in metals and textiles. He planted colonies in all parts of the world and many traces of his culture still remain.
The Irishman of Connemara, the Basque, and some Hindu tribesmen, are said to use a language common to all three. They understand each other easily and all use words which have no known origin in those languages from which most modern speech is derived.
Great engineering feats are attributed to the Atlanteans. High in the Andes are great stretches of paved road. They start nowhere. They end nowhere. They appear to have been thrown up in an upheaval which left the Andes in their present position. Again, a few years ago, some newspapers carried accounts and photographs taken from a plane, of a great wall similar to the great wall of China. These photo-
graphs were taken over Peru.
The gigantic images of Easter Island are considered to be Atlantean. One still lies in its bed where it was being carved from the living rock. In Baalbec, an obelisk has been found, also in a recumbent position. This has not been entirely separated from the parent rock. Were the Atlanteans responsible for both? Were they Atlantean Egyptians who set up the siege of Stones at Stonehenge? and the Glastonbury Zodiac? They studied astrology. They very likely possessed knowledge in that line of which the modern astrologer knows nothing.
The earlier races had learned to recognize vibrations. The Atlantean who could hear, feel, see, and taste, retained the clairvoyant faculty of his ancestors. The Great Beings, who came to teach Lemurian, remained for a time to teach the Atlantean. When they left trained and initiated men carried on their work. These men died and were worshipped as gods. Others who followed them perverted the teachings. They developed occult powers and they a used these powers to obtain mastery over the rest of humanity. The Secret Doctrine says "they became black magicians, were black with sin!" They did no work for the advancement of the race. These were called "The Lords of the dark Face." There were good Atlanteans, "Lords of the Dazzling Face" and the two factions were in opposition. The Lords of the Dazzling Face knew of the coming destruction of Atlantis. They warned their adherents, and as many as possible left the doomed continent, but they gave no warning to the "black" ones.
Pages 427-28 of the II Volume of the Secret Doctrine give a graphic account of the destruction of Atlantis. The Stanzas say: "All Holy saved. All unholy Destroyed!" Yet it was not a karmic result of the ill-doings of its inhabitants which brought about the Atlantean inundation. It was the necessity for a newer type of body just as it had been in Lemuria. Atlantis and Atlantean bodies had served their purpose.
In the S.D. Vol. II, page 350, we read "The secret teachings show that the deluge overtook the Fourth giant race not on account of their depravity, or because they had become black with sin, but simply because such is the fate of every continent which, like everything under our Sun, is born, lives, becomes decrepit and dies."
From the colonies of Atlantis the Fifth, Aryan Race, was formed. The stature of the early Aryan was much less than that of the Atlantean and Lemurian. It is possible many of the early Aryans were the same height as the average man of today. The races overlap, however, and until the third sub-race made its appearance there were few who could be called true Aryans. They were Atlanto-Aryan.
Ancient myths and folklore, still extant, are race memories of Atlantis. The Irishman of Connemara tells of a wonderful city, with gleaming towers and spires, somewhere west in the Atlantic. This is the dwelling place of the Tuatha de Danaan, a race which appears to be a part god and part fairy. In England they tell of the Isles of Avilon, in Brittany of the incomparably beautiful city of Is.
For a time, the teachers of the Divine Wisdom helped the Aryan. Every country has its tradition of divine kings or priests, but a time came when kings and priests were purely human.
Looking backward, we see the Wisdom Teaching gradually being withdrawn. It has never been entirely withdrawn. It has always been within reach of those who truly desired it and would not misuse it. The Atlantean error of extreme selfishness and assumption of superiority has been bequeathed to the Aryan.
In the bygone civilizations of Egypt, Greece, India, Rome, we see a few raised almost to the stature of demigods, while the great mass of the people were slaves. That condition persists to some extent today. But men are learning. They know that a slum breeds a pestilence which takes the child of the demi-god as quickly as that of the slum dweller. They are learning that the nation which wishes to survive must educate all and not a favored few of its people.
The highly intelligent trained man, or group of men, may be a source of pride to the race but the untaught millions are a detriment. The few must uplift the millions or the millions will inevitably submerge the few.
That may be the special work of the Fifth Race, to draw all men upward; to make them all fit for equal opportunity. Men will then be no longer chained to earth, the victim of emotions and desires. He will attain that divinity which is his by right.
Edmonton, Alta., Canada.
THEOSOPHY! ORIGINAL AND UP TO DATE
Students may borrow freely by mail all the early literature of the Movement, including the first years of The Theosophist, Lucifer and The Path Magazines, from the H.P.B. Library, 348 Foul Bay Rd., Victoria, B.C., who have also to lend, or for sale post free:
- EVOLUTION: AS OUTLINED IN THE ARCHAIC EASTERN RECORDS, $1.25
- BUDDHISM: THE SCIENCE OF LIFE, This book shows that the Esoteric philosophy of H.P. Blavatsky is identical with Esoteric Mahayana Buddhism. $1.25.
- THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE, Translated and Annotated by H. P. Blavatsky. A faithful reprint of the original edition with an autograph foreword by The Tashi Lama of Tibet. Peking 1931. Cloth 75c.
- H.P. BLAVATSKY: A GREAT BETRAYAL, A protest against perverted Theosophy. 50c.
- H.P. BLAVATSKY: HER LIFE AND WORK FOR HUMANITY, $1.00
- H.P. BLAVATSKY: AS I KNEW HER, $1.00
Ever the circle of the wheel turns round
Birth and Death and Death and Birth are one,
Nor can a boundary line be found betwixt them.
Ever the Circle of the Wheel turns round
And with it turn a million circles more
And a million after that, and millions more.
There is a Universal Wheel greater than Earth itself,
And ever it turns and never it fails,
For in this circle Universal Truth prevails.
In pattern of this Order own we each a smaller wheel,
And when we learn to follow the Great Order,
To turn when it turns -
Then is fulfilment of our dreams,
For we have conquered Life
And learned its inner being.
Then we know no circle of our own,
But share the Greater Wheel with Universal Truth
Which is our Home.
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.
GOOD AND EVIL
By Ethel Trupp
A student once remarked, "I believe that all is good and we need all experiences to become perfect." We wondered if that was true or if that was merely a subconscious excuse for indulgence. We decided to settle the doubt, for the time being anyway, by turning to the Secret Doctrine.
There we found the idea of the One Absolute as Good and the manifestation of the One as evil. (S.D. ii-411 and ii-575) Good and evil are not independent powers but starting from Absolute, and going into matter, the original Forces polarizes into good and evil. (S.D. i-73-74) Again we found that good and evil are known only in manifested matter. (S.D. i-347) Not only in the Secret Doctrine did we find that evil is the absence of good (S.D. i-343) but also in the Mahatma Letters we found the same thing. (M.L. 56)
Therefore, all is not good in the world, as some say. Mr. Judge once remarked: "they say there is no evil, there is no death; all is good, all is life. In this way we are reduced to absurdities." ("The Path," 4:334) There is evil on this globe and plenty of it and it cannot be ignored. We need to fight it and bring all things toward the good.
Good and evil are two poles; one pulling us back to the state we came from and the other pulling us away from it. It is the motivating factor through which Karma works and is what pushes and drags us along in evolution. It is the action and reaction of Cosmic Forces and because of our unity with matter, our "intelligence became impure and therefore evil. We can only acquire Wisdom again by initiation and great struggle". (S.D. ii-134)
We see that we, ourselves, must be the cause of much of the evil and suffering in the world. (S.D. ii-512) "Earthly, which is matter and therefore the realm of evil." (S.D. ii-74) "In human nature, evil denotes only the polarity of matter and Spirit, a struggle for life between two manifested Principles in space and time, which principles are one." (S.D. i-416) It is a war between the White and the Black.
It is easy to understand the Mahatma K.H. when he told Mr. Sinnett that: "humanity alone is the true source of evil." (M.L. 57) If we look into ourselves we can see how true that is. We can see that over-indulgence in anything is evil, and creates misery, disease and unhappiness. The Mahatma K.H. pointed out that one-third of the evil in humanity is from an excess of the necessities of life. Human selfishness and uncontrolled earthly desires and passions, is the cause of mental and physical disease in the world.
The other two-thirds of evil in humanity, is the result of religion. All priestcraft and organized churches create more evil than we can realize. The binding dogmatism keeps man from realizing "Self". It establishes a fear in the evolving individual so that he is afraid to search for the true Divine Spark within, and his effort to find it, even the smallest, is paralyzed. Organized churches breed and promote selfishness and separateness. There is no more evil or unholy teaching than that of influencing and binding another's mind for a selfish benefit. Churches and priestcraft do apparent good, sometimes, but does the amount of good they do come near balancing the amount of evil? Their methods and the results strongly remind one of the method and result of Black Magic. What, some say, are you going to give the masses if you take their church away? The church will never be "taken" away. As people become educated they will leave it one by one. The amount of time it takes depends on the effort of Theosophists, and there will come a
time when priestcraft will crumble on its rotten foundations. If children can understand the puzzling dogmas of the church, they can understand the age-old, simple truths of Theosophy. The difficult part of learning Truth is the getting rid of thought patterns established in childhood. If we are brought up in the church, we spend another twenty years getting rid of early acquired notions. If thought patterns established in youth are the simple truths of Theosophy, we gain twenty years for advanced study in ways and means to uplift evolving entities and work off quickly, some of our own Karma. In our fight against evil, our main duty is there in the young folk.
Of course, we cannot judge all instances of apparent evil as evil; nor can we judge all instances of apparent good as good. The responsibility lies within ourselves. It depends entirely on the motive behind the appearance. It is motive that counts, we read continually throughout Theosophical literature and hear from the wise men through the ages. So we must watch our motives and remember well to keep them on the upward, good side of the polarity. We are in the Iron Age, the Kali Yuga, and the forces of evil are strong. This is the Black magicians' heyday.
To sum up, then, all is not good. Good is anything that loosens earthly desires. Good is that which tends to draw us back to the original source from whence we came. Good is anything that helps us to realize "Self" and the Unity of Life. Evil is the opposite. Evil is all that holds us in "shadow" and that confines us to earthly desires and the excess of the needs of the flesh. Evil is all that keeps us bound to the "Wheel of Life".
If we know good, even a glimmering from our Atma-Buddhic Principle, it will keep us from experiencing evil to the extent of losing the Higher Triad, and if it is true (but of course it is not) that we have to experience all, even the darkest evil, then we are all doomed to Avichi-Nirvana instead of the Nirvana of Compassion, where most of us will probably end up as individuals.
We have to learn to know ourselves again. We can observe evil from the mental and know it by comparing it with good. Actual bodily experience is not necessary. We have to learn to distinguish between the illusionary parts of us and the Real part of us. One way to do that is to study the teachings of those who have gone before. The Secret Doctrine is a great help.
Our aim, in this fourth Round, is consciously to unite our higher Principles and work for the entities coming behind us. If we work hard enough, we will unite the Principles and therefore have nothing to fear as individualized beings and can continue our work in the next Round. We will have transcended good and evil. We will see it and know it but will have control. We will have created balance and harmony. (S.D. ii-81)
The advice of the Buddha in the "Light of Asia" is of much help to the weary pilgrim. He tells us to "tread the Middle Road, whose course
Bright Reason traces and soft quiet smoothes;
Ye who will take the high-Nirvana-way."
Books by Win. Kingsland
The Mystic Quest; The Esoteric Basis of Christianity; Scientific Idealism; The Physics of the Secret Doctrine; Our Infinite Life; Rational Mysticism; An Anthology of Mysticism; The Real H.P. Blavatsky; Christos: The Religion of the Future; The Art of Life; The Great Pyramid, 2 vols.; The Gnosis.
May be had from JOHN M. WATKINS, 21 Cecil Court, Charing Cross Road, London, W. C. 2, England.
During the month of June we have the following magazines: - Sydney, Australia, January-March;. The Theosophical Movement, ", April and May; The Link, Joohannesburg, S. Africa, April-May; Teosofia, Santiago de Cuba, May; The Golden Lotus, Philadelphia, May; The Aryan Path, Bombay, May; Theosophy, Los Angeles, June; The American Theosophist, Wheaton, Ills., June; U.L.T. London, England, Bulletin 211, May; Toronto Theosophical News, June; Revista Teosofica Cubana, Jan.-April; Christian Theosophist, June-Sept.; Eclectica, Tampico, Mexico, May; The Lotus, June; The Library of Congress Quarterly Journal for May; The Theosophical Forum, Covina, July; East-West, Los Angeles, July-August; O Pensamento, Sao Paulo, Brazil, May; Teosofica, Santiago de Cuba, June; Canadian Author & Bookman, June; The Dickensian, Summer issue; L'Action Theosophique, Paris, May; Bulletin T.S. in Mexico, March-April; Theosophicon, Deltion, Greece, March; Toronto Theosophical News, July; Norsk Teosofisk Tidsskrift, Oslo, March-April.
The following books have just been received from the binders, and owing to the advanced prices of material due to the war, prices have had to be raised from the moderate rates.
- ESOTERIC CHARACTER OF THE GOSPELS by H.P. Blavatsky. 60 and 75 cents.
- ANCIENT AND. MODERN PHYSICS by Thomas W. Willson. 60 cents.
- THE EVIDENCE OF IMMORTALITY by Dr. Jerome A. Anderson. 75 cents.
- MODERN THEOSOPHY by Claude Falls Wright. 75 cents.
- THE BHAGAVAD GITA, A Conflation by Albert E.S. Smythe. 75 cents.
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