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Vol. XXVII. No. 6 Hamilton, August 15th, 1946 Price 20 Cents
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW XC
George Bernard Shaw, passed his 90th birthday on July 26 with the unconcern which has distinguished him in his relation to material things. If it had been suggested that something outside the common order of things had led to his attaining 90 years he would have been up in arms at once. Some one has said that his chief characteristic is "violent common sense". This is well put, for it was said by the Galilean that the kingdom of heaven was to be taken by violence, and if it be not to be taken by common sense it will be of little value to Shaw or anyone else. The English do not like the Irish genius, but he made them laugh, and some of them to think. They did not take him to their hearts, but to the hearts of their bankers, who crowned him with a crown of gold of his own refining. He is the greatest literary Irishman since Dean Swift of whom he might reasonably be a reincarnation, but he refuses to entertain theories and sticks to facts like the Brotherhood of Man, the Unity of all Life, and the development of perfect men through limitless evolution. Women are more sensitive to facts than men, who revel in speculations, theories, hypotheses and scientific explanations which they do not understand but take for granted. Shaw wrote one of his best books for an intelligent woman. Shaw's common sense is drawn from the common consciousness that forms one of the levels of the cosmic mind, and is open to all who wish to train their brains for it. To read the introduction to Shaw's plays is capital training in this direction. If you do not like Shaw you should hasten to find out what is the matter with you. Some people do not like rain, but we cannot live without it. Shaw is a vital element in the thought of the century. Our rulers, statesmen, diplomatists and politicians are all at sea. Shaw knows where he is at and where he is going. Who else? If the Theosophical Society in its elections possessed the privilege that belongs to the College of Cardinals at Rome which permits them to elect anyone they choose as Pope, even if he be a layman, I would not hesitate about nominating Shaw for the Presidency, though he would be sure to decline and would only get a handful of votes. But he is a man in a world of men, and typical of the quality which will increase as the milleniums roll along.
It is a general view among most students who have braved the terrors of The Secret Doctrine without previous academic discipline that the second volume is less difficult than the first. I have been in the habit of recommending quailing students to read thoroughly the introductory matter and the Proem in the first volume and then to skip everything and read the second volume through; then take up the book from the beginning familiarizing oneself with the stanzas and the commentaries, and passing on to the special studies in the later divisions of the work. This, while perhaps not the best way, is at least better than giving up in despair as too many do. I remember a lady physician of fifty years ago, telling me that she found nothing in the book that was not known to modern science. The fact was, I believe, that she skipped what she could not understand and only read the exoteric everyday passages. Anyway she dropped out of Theosophy and took the low road instead of the high one. But the first volume is important to the student for its Stanzas furnish the basis of what H.P.B. describes as the unvarying and immutable Law of Analogy. The processes by which the cosmos comes into manifestation are parallelled by the processes by which the microcosmic man gains his embodiment.
The Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge are reports of the questions asked by the president of the Lodge about the seven Stanzas in the first volume, and answers given by Madame Blavatsky who attended by request for that purpose. As a kind of adult kindergarten these Transactions may SAVE THE BEGINNER MANY A PLODDING HOUR IN HIS EFFORT TO GRASP AND UNDERSTAND the fundamental metaphysics of Occultism. These are not intellectual problems as so many object, with the hope of an excuse to save themselves a little mental worry. There is more intellect needed in solving the odds on a horse-race or the angle to direct a billiard ball than is required to master the mysteries of Space and Duration and Motion. Unusual Sanscrit and other terms are used, but stymie and birdie and niblick never stopped anyone who wanted to learn to play golf. Such terms have definite meanings and cannot be mistaken for anything else. So also the Secret Doctrine terms cannot mean anything but what they are intended to represent. Confusion is thus avoided, which in the English Bible misleads everybody who does not know Greek, the same English word being used to translate several Greek words with different meanings, so that ignorant but well-meaning evangelists (and others too) talk a lot of nonsense and do not know it. Theosophy says what it means in chosen and unmistakable language which is really not difficult to learn.
As late as 1923 the Transactions were out of print, and The Theosophy Company of Los Angeles issued a new edition. The demand for Theosophical classics is steadily growing and The Theosophical Society with Headquarters at Covina has just issued a new up-to-date edition, reproducing the original with the addition of an exhaustive index, indispensable to the student and a real labor of love. The book, which matches The Secret Doctrine in height and breadth, runs to 118 pages, price $2.
Speaking of the four elements, occultly and not as the chemists do, on this earth water is an element quite distinct from any other element, using the term in the sense of different manifestations of the one element. The root elements, Earth, Water, Air, Fire, are far more comprehensive states of differentiation. Such being the case, in Occultism Transubstantiation becomes a possibility, seeing that nothing which exists is in reality that which it is supposed to be. We have first of all the
Element Fire, not the common fire, but the Fire of the Medieval Rosicrucians, the one flame, the fire of Life. In differentiation this becomes fire in different aspects. Occultism easily disposes of the puzzle as to whether oxygen and hydrogen cease to exist when combined to form water. Nothing that is in the Universe can disappear from it. For the time being, then, these two gases when combined to form water are in absentia, but have not ceased to be. For had they been annihilated, Science, by deomposing the water again into oxygen and hydrogen, would have created something out of nothing, and would, therefore, have no quarrel with Theology. Therefore, water is an element, if we please to call it so, on this plane only. In the same way, oxygen and hydrogen in their turn, can be split up into other more subtle elements, all being differentiations of one element or universal essence.
This statement involves the idea that our so-called elements are really molecular in structure, which would place our modern Science still some distance back in the race for knowledge. The method of hypothesis must eventually give way to that of intuition, a power of perception of truth, an "innate spiritual force which is in every man." Schopenhauer and Newton both obtained results by the exercize of this gift, of which H.P.B. observes: "The time will come when the Platonic method will not be so entirely ignored and men will look with favor on methods of education which will enable them to develop this most spiritual faculty."
This leads us to the passage near the end of Section VII, which we quoted months ago when speaking of the so-called "atomic bomb." A question is put regarding the Milky Way, the world-stuff, or primordial matter in its first form. Is this world-stuff resolvable into atoms, or is it non-atomic?
"In its precosmic state it is of course, non-atomic, if by atoms you mean molecules; for the hypothetical atom, a mere mathematical point, is not material nor applicable to matter, nor even to substance. The real atom does not exist on the material plane. The definition of a point as having position, must not, in Occultism, be taken in the ordinary sense of location; as the real atom is beyond space and time. The word molecular is really applicable to our globe and its plane only, once inside of it, even on the other globes of our planetary chain, matter is in quite another condition, and non-molecular. The atom is in its eternal state, invisible even to the eye of an Archangel; and becomes visible to the latter only periodically, during the life cycle. The particle, or molecule, is not, but exists periodically, and is therefore regarded as an illusion.
"The world-stuff informs itself through various planes and cannot be said to resolve itself into stars or to have become molecular until it reaches the plane of being of the visible or objective Universe."
A further statement may be quoted: "An atom may be compared to (and is for the Occultist) the seventh principle of a body or rather of a molecule. The physical or chemical molecule is composed of an infinity of finer molecules and these in their turn of innumerable and still finer molecules. Take for instance a molecule of iron and so resolve it that it becomes non-molecular; it is then, at once transformed into one of its seven principles viz., its astral body; the seventh of these is the atom. The analogy between a molecule of iron, before it is broken up, and the same molecule after resolution, is the same as that between a physical body before and after death. The principles remain minus the body. Of course this is occult alchemy, not modern chemistry."
Modern, or Occult, it seems obvious
that the force that holds the multiplicity of molecular bodies together must be cohesion, one of the aspects of cosmic electricity, or Fohat. A hint is given in The Secret Doctrine. Cohesion, it is said, "may be disturbed and diverted to use." Perhaps this is what the chemists are worrying about. For use, not for war.
This book is, of course, only useful to those who have determined to live chiefly in their minds, the realm of the ideal, or the over-world, actually the inner world, called heaven by ill-educated Christians. The outside world, which we contact through our senses, has no permanent existence, and is therefore an illusion, or Maya. Those who seek the Real will find the volume greatly helpful.
PRESIDENT JINARAJADASA'S QUARTERLY MESSAGE
Adyar, June 10, 1946.
This is my second Quarterly Letter. A revolutionary change has taken place in the material affairs of Headquarters. Hitherto Adyar Headquarters has not been a part of the Corporation of Madras, but of the District of Chingleput. But since April of this year Headquarters has been incorporated into the Municipality.
From 1882 when the Society bought this estate, and even after it became a registered body in 1904 under an Act of Government, few taxes have been paid, as we are listed as a religious body. But we have now become a part of the Corporation, with the result that every one of the sixty odd buildings except the Shrines of the Religions, and even that land which is not built upon, will be taxed. We are an estate of 264 acres (106 hectares). We calculate that the Corporation taxation will amount to Rs. 10,000 (L758 or $3,058) per year. As we have our own water supply from our private wells, and get electric current at the same rate as the city of Madras, there is therefore little benefit that we shall gain by being a part of the Corporation.
The second great event is the increase all round of all salaries of clerical and other workers. This matter has been pending for two or three years, but after I became President I had several meetings of the Executive Committee, and finally all have agreed upon the new scales. We have classified our clerical staff under five grades: Managerial, sub-Managerial, Senior Grade, Junior Grade and sub-Junior Grade. The starting salary and the final limit have been fixed for each grade, with the annual increment according to years of service. This necessary reform, however, means Rs. 4,800 (L363 or $1,468) in addition to the deficit of Rs. 17,500 (L1,326 or $5,532) already budgetted by the General Council at its last meeting in December. We have a gratuity allowance given to each employee, according to his years of service.
Putting together the various deficits due to Corporation taxes, increased salaries, and Dearness Allowance of Rs. 9,000 (L682 or $2,721) per year, the Society is going to be heavily burdened to the extent of Rs. 41,350 (L3,133 or $12,645) this year. This means that I shall have to appeal to all members throughout the world to help to share the burden of Headquarters, because about this amount will have to be raised each year, in addition to our present expenses. Purposely the quota of Section annual dues to be sent to Headquarters has been kept at the low rate of 10 per cent, in order to allow the National Societies to retain as much as possible for their local work. What is sent to Adyar covers only 11 1/2 percent of the running expenses of Headquarters.
We have to try to make up the remainder by the rents we charge to all
residents, by the money we earn from our productive gardens - palm trees, mangoes, a few sapotas and oranges - and some agricultural land leased yearly to a contractor, and especially from donations.
I have barely been four months President, and already the burden has become heavier than that of any previous President.
- C. Jinarajadasa.
HAND AND SOUL
By Dante Gabriel Rossetti
I turned me to the side
Whence came the voice,
And there appeared to me a light
That shone bright as a star:
My own soul it was.
- Urbiani, translation by William Sharp
Before any knowledge of painting was brought to Florence, there were already painters in Lucca, and Pisa, and Arezzo, who feared God and loved the art. The workmen from Greece, whose trade it was to sell their own works in Italy and teach Italians to imitate them, had already found in rivals of the soil a skill that could forestall their lessons and cheapen their labors, more years than is supposed before the art came at all into Florence. The pre-eminence to which Cimabue was raised at once by his contemporaries, and which he still retains to a wide extent even in the modern mind, is to be accounted for, partly by the circumstances under which he arose, and partly by that extraordinary purpose of fortune born with the lives of some few, and through which it is not a little thing for any who went before, if they are even remembered as the shadows of the coming of such an one, and the voices which prepared his way in the wilderness. It is thus, almost exclusively, that the painters of whom I speak are now known. They have left little, and but little heed is taken of that which men hold to have been surpassed; it is gone like time gone, - a track of dust and dead leaves that merely led to the fountain.
Nevertheless, of very late years and in very rare instances, some signs of a better understanding have become manifest. A case in point is that of the triptych and two cruciform pictures at Dresden, by Chiaro di Messer Bello dell' Erma, to which the eloquent pamphlet of Dr. Aemmster has at length succeeded in attracting the students. There is another still more solemn and beautiful work, now proved to be by the same hand, in the Pitti gallery at Florence. It is the one to which my narrative will relate.
'This Chiaro dell' Erma was a young man of very honorable family in Arezzo; where, conceiving art almost for himself, and loving it deeply, he endeavored from early boyhood towards the imitation of any objects offered in nature. The extreme longing after a visible embodiment of his thoughts strengthened as his years increased, more even than his sinews or the blood of his life; until he would feel faint in sunsets and at the sight of stately persons. When he had lived nineteen years, he heard of the famous Giunta Pisano; and, feeling much of admiration, with perhaps a little of that envy which youth always feels until it has learned to measure success by time and opportunity, he determined that he would seek out Giunta, and, if possible, become his pupil.
Having arrived in Pisa, he clothed himself in humble apparel, being unwilling that any other thing than the desire he had for knowledge should be his plea with the great painter; and then, leaving his baggage at a house of entertainment, he took his way along the street, asking whom he met for the lodging of Giurita. It soon chanced that one of that city, conceiving him to be a
stranger and poor, took him into his house and refreshed him; afterwards directing him on his way.
When he was brought to speech of Giunta, he said merely that he was a student, and that nothing in the world was so much at his heart as to become that which he had heard told of him with whom he was speaking. He was received with courtesy and consideration, and soon stood among the works of the famous artist. But the forms he saw there were lifeless and incomplete; and a sudden exultation possessed him as he said within himself, "I am the master of this man." The blood came at first into his face, but the next moment he was quite pale and fell to trembling. He was able, however, to conceal his emotion; speaking very little to Giunta, but when he took his leave, thanking him respectfully.
After this, Chiaro's first resolve was, that he would work out thoroughly some one of his thoughts, and let the world know him. But the lesson which he had now learned, of how small a greatness might win fame, and how little there was to strive against, served to make him torpid, and rendered his exertions less continual. Also Pisa was a larger and more luxurious city than Arezzo; and when, in his walks, he saw the great gardens laid out for pleasure, and the beautiful women who passed to and fro, and heard the music that was in the groves of the city at evening, he was taken with wonder that he had never claimed his share of the inheritance of those years in which his youth was cast. And women loved Chiaro; for, in dispite of the burden of study, he was well-favored and very manly in his walking; and, seeing his face in front, there was a glory upon it, as upon the face of one who feels a light round his hair.
So he put thought from him, and partook of his life. But, one night, being in a certain company of ladies, a gentleman that was there with him began to speak of the paintings of a youth named Bonaventura, which he had seen in Lucca; adding that Giunta Pisano might now look for a rival. When Chiaro heard this, the lamps shook before him and the music beat in his ears. He rose up, alleging a sudden sickness, and went out of that house with his teeth set. And, being again within his room, he wrote up over the door the name of Bonaventura, that it might stop him when he would go out.
He now took to work diligently, not returning to Arezzo, but remaining in Pisa, that no day more might be lost; only living entirely to himself. Sometimes, after nightfall, he would walk abroad in the most solitary places he could find; hardly feeling the ground under him, because of the thoughts of the day which held him in fever.
The lodging Chiaro had chosen was in a house that looked upon gardens fast by the Church of San Petronio. It was here, and at this time, that he painted the Dresden pictures! as also, in all likelihood, the one - inferior in merit, but certainly his - which is now at Munich. For the most part he was calm and regular in his manner of study; though often he would remain at work through the whole of a day, not resting once so long as the light lasted; flushed and with the hair from his face. Or, at times, when he could not paint, he would sit for hours in thought of all the greatness the world had known from of old; until he was weak with yearning, like one who gazes upon a path of stars.
He continued in this patient endeavor for about three years, at the end of which his name was spoken throughout all Tuscany. As his fame waxed, he began to be employed, besides easel-pictures, upon wall-paintings; but I believe that no traces remain to us of any of these latter. He is said to have painted in the Duomo; and D'Agincourt
mentions having seen some portions of a picture by him which originally had its place above the high altar in the Church of the Certosa; but which, at the time he saw it, being very dilapidated, had been hewn out of the wall, and was preserved in the stores of the convent. Before the period of Dr. Aemmster's researches, however, it had been entirely destroyed.
Chiaro was now famous. It was for the race of fame that he had girded up his loins; and he had not paused until fame was reached; yet now, in taking breath, he found that the weight was still at his heart. The years of his labor had fallen from him, and his life was still in its first painful desire.
With all that Chiaro had done during these three years, and even before with the studies of his early youth, there had always been a feeling of worship and service. It was the peace-offering that he made to God and to his own soul for the eager selfishness of his aim. There was earth, indeed, upon the hem of his raiment; but this was of the heaven, heavenly. He had seasons when he could endure to think of no other feature of his hope than this. Sometimes it had even seemed to him to behold that day when his mistress - his mystical lady (now hardly in her ninth year, but whose smile at meeting had already lighted on his soul), - even she, his own gracious Italian Art - should pass, through the sun that never sets, into the shadow of the tree of life, and be seen of God and found good: and then it had seemed to him that he, with many who, since his coming, had joined the band of whom he was one (for, in his dream, the body he had won on earth had been dead an hundred years), were permitted to gather round the blessed maiden, and to worship with her through all ages and ages of ages, saying, Holy, holy, holy. This thing he had seen with the eyes of his spirit; and in this thing had trusted, believing that it would surely come to pass.
But now, (being at length led to inquire closely into himself), even as, in the pursuit of fame, the unrest abiding after attainment had proved to him that he had misinterpreted the craving of his own spirit - so also, now that he would willingly have fallen back on devotion, he became aware that much of that reverence which he had mistaken for faith had been no more than the worship of beauty. Therefore, after certain days passed in perplexity, Chiaro said within himself, "My life and my will are yet before me: I will take another aim to my life."
From that moment Chiaro set a watch on his soul, and put his hand to no other works but only to such as had for their end the presentment of some moral greatness that should influence the beholder: and to this end, he multiplied abstractions, and forgot the beauty and passion of the world. So the people ceased to throng about his pictures as heretofore; and, when they were carried through town and town to their destination, they were no longer delayed by the crowds eager to gaze and admire; and no prayers or offerings were brought to them on their path, as to his Madonnas, and his Saints, and his Holy Children, wrought for the sake of the life he saw in the faces that he loved. Only the critical audience remained to him; and these, in default of more worthy matter, would have turned their scrutiny on a puppet or a mantle. Meanwhile, he had no more of fever upon him; but was calm and pale each day in all that he did and in his goings in and out. The works he produced at this time have perished - in all likelihood, not unjustly. It is said (and we may easily believe it), that, though more labored than his former pictures, they were cold and unemphatic; bearing marked out upon them the measure of that boundary to which they were made to conform.
And the weight was still close at Chiaro's heart: but he held in his breath, never resting (for he was afraid), and would not know it.
Now it happened, within these days, there fell a great feast in Pisa, for holy matters: and each man left his occupation; and all the guilds and companies of the city were got together for games and rejoicings. And there were scarcely any that stayed in the houses, except ladies who lay or sat along their balconies between open windows which let the breeze beat through the rooms and over the spread tables from end to end. And the golden cloths that their arms lay upon drew all eyes upward to see their beauty; and the day was long; and every hour of the day was bright with the sun.
So Chiaro's model, when he awoke that morning on the hot pavement of the Piazza Nunziata, and saw the hurry of people that passed him, got up and went along with them; and Chiaro waited for him in vain.
For the whole of that morning, the music was in Chiaro's room from the Church close at hand; and he could hear the sounds that the crowd made in the streets; hushed only at long intervals while the processions for the feast-day chanted in going under his windows. Also, more than once, there was a high clamor from the meeting of factious persons: for the ladies of both leagues were looking down; and he who encountered his enemy could not choose but draw upon him. Chiaro waited a long time idle; and then knew that his model was gone elsewhere. When at his work, he was blind and deaf to all else; but he feared sloth; for then his stealthy thoughts would begin to beat round and round him, seeking a point for attack. He now rose, therefore, and went to the window. It was within a short space of noon; and underneath him a throng of people was coming out through the porch of San Petronio.
The two greatest houses of the feud in Pisa had filled the church for that mass. The first to leave had been the Gherghiotti; who, stopping on the threshold, had fallen back in ranks along each side of the archway; so that now, in passing outward, the Marotoli had to walk between two files of men whom they hated, and whose fathers had hated theirs. All the chiefs were there and their whole adherents; and each knew the name of each. Every man of the Marotoli, as he came forth and saw his foes, laid back his hood and gazed about him, to show the badge upon the close cap that held his hair. And of the Gherghiotti there were some who tightened their girdles; and some shrilled and threw up their wrists scornfully, as who flies a falcon; for that was the crest of their house.
On the walls within the entry were a number of tall narrow pictures, presenting a moral allegory of Peace, which Chiaro had painted that year for the Church. The Gherghiotti stood with their backs to these frescoes; and among them Golzo Ninuccio, the youngest noble of the faction, called by the people Golaghiotta, for his debased life. This youth had remained for some while talking listlessly to his fellows, though with his sleepy sunken eyes fixed on them who passed; but now, seeing that no man jostled another, he drew the long silver shoe off his foot and struck the dust out of it on the cloak of him who was going by, asking him how far the tides rose at Viderza. And he said so because it was three months since at that place, the Gherghiotti had beaten the Marotoli to the sands, and held them there while the sea came in; whereby many had been drowned. And, when he had spoken, at once the whole archway was dazzling with the light of confused swords; and they who had left turned back; and they who were still behind made haste to come forth; and there was so much blood cast up the
walls on a sudden, that it ran in long streams down Chiaro's paintings.
Chiaro turned himself from the window; for the light felt dry between his lids, and he could not look. He sat down, and heard the noise of contention driven out of the church-porch and a great way through the streets; and soon there was a deep murmur that heaved and waxed from the other side of the city, where those of both parties were gathering to join in the tumult.
Chiaro sat with his face in his open hands. Once again he had wished to set his foot on a place that looked green and fertile; and once again it seemed to him that the thin rank mask was about to spread away, and that this time the chill of the water must leave leprosy in his flesh. The light still swam in his head, and bewildered him at first; but when he knew his thoughts, they were these:-
"Fame failed me; faith failed me and now this also, the hope that I nourished in this my generation of men, shall pass from me, and leave my feet and my hands groping. Yet because of this are my feet become slow and my hands thin. I am as one who, through the whole night, holding his way diligently, hath smitten the steel unto the flint, to lead some whom he knew darkling; who hath kept his eyes always on the sparks that himself made, lest they should fail; and who, towards dawn, turning to bid them that he had guided God speed, sees the wet grass untrodden except of his own feet. I am as the last hour of the day, whose chimes are a perfect number; whom the next followeth not, nor light ensueth from him; but in the same darkness is the old order began afresh. Men say, `This is not God nor man; he is not as we are, neither above us; let him sit beneath us, for we are many.' Where I write Peace, in that spot is the drawing of swords, and there men's footprints are red. When I would sow, another
harvest is ripe. Nay, it is much worse with me than thus much. Am I not as a cloth drawn before the light, that the looker may not be blinded? but which sheweth thereby the grain of its own coarseness, so that the light seems defiled, and men say, `We will not walk by it.' Wherefore through me they shall be doubly accursed, seeing that through me they reject the light. May one be a devil and not know it?"
As Chiaro was in these thoughts, the fever encroached slowly on his veins, till he could sit no longer and would have risen; but suddenly he found awe within him, and held his head bowed, without stirring. The warmth of the air was not shaken: but there seemed a pulse in the light, and a living freshness, like rain. The silence was a painful music, that made the blood ache in his temples; and he lifted his face and his deep eyes.
A woman was present in his room, clad to the hands and feet with a green and grey raiment, fashioned to that time. It seemed that the first thoughts he had ever known were given him as at first from her eyes, and he knew her hair to be the golden veil through which he beheld his dreams. Though her hands were joined, her face was not lifted, but set forward: and though the gaze was austere, yet her mouth was supreme in gentleness. And as he looked, Chiaro's spirit appeared abashed of its own intimate presence, and his lips shook with the thrill of tears; it seemed such a bitter while till the spirit might be indeed alone.
She did not move closer towards him, but he felt her to be as much with him as his breath. He was like one who, scaling a great steepness, hears his own voice echoed in some place much higher than he can see, and the name of which is not known to him. As the woman stood, her speech was with Chiaro; not, as it were, from her mouth or in his ears; but distinctly between them.
"I am an image, Chiaro, of thine own soul within thee. See me, and know me as I am. Thou sayeth that fame has failed thee, and faith failed thee; but because at least thou has not laid thy life unto riches, therefore, though thus late, I am suffered to come into thy knowledge. Fame sufficed not, for that thou didst seek fame: seek thine own conscience (not thy mind's conscience, but thine heart's), and all shall approve and suffice. For Fame, in noble soils, is a fruit of the Spring: but not therefore should it be said: 'Lo! my garden that I planted is barren; the crocus is here, but the lily is dead in the dry ground, and shall not lift the earth that covers it; therefore I will fling my garden together, and give it unto the builders.' Take heed rather that thou trouble not the wise secret earth; for in the mold that thou throwest up shall the first tender growth lie to waste; which else had been made strong in its season. Yea, and even if the year shall fall past in all its months, and the soil be indeed, to thee, peevish and incapable, and though thou indeed gather all thy harvest, and it suffice for others, and thou remain vexed with emptiness; and others drink of thy streams, and the drought rasp thy throat; - let it be enough that these have found the feast good, and thanked the giver; remembering that, when the winter is striven through, there is another year, whose wind is meek, and whose sun fulfilleth all."
While he heard, Chiaro went slowly on his knees. It was not to her that he spoke, for the speech seemed within him and his own. The air brooded in sunshine, and though the turmoil was great outside, the air within was at peace. But when he looked in her eyes, he wept. And she came to him, and cast her hair over him, and took her hands about his forehead, and spoke again: -
"Thou hast said." she continned gently, "that faith failed thee. This cannot be. Either thou hadst it not, or thou hast it. But who bade thee strike the point betwixt love and faith? Wouldst thou sift the warm breeze from the sun that quickens it? Who bade thee turn upon God and say: `Behold, my offering is of earth, and not worthy; Thy fire comes not upon it; therefore, though I slay not my brother whom Thou acceptest, I will depart before Thou smite me.' Why shouldst thou rise up and tell God He is not content? Had He, of His warrant, certified so to thee? Be not nice to seek out division; but possess thy love in sufficiency; assuredly this is faith, for the heart must believe first. What He hath set in thy heart to do, that do thou; and even though thou do it without thought of Him, it shall be well done; it is this sacrifice that He asketh of thee, and His flame is upon it for a sign. Think not of Him; but of His love and thy love. For with God is no lust of Godhead; * He hath no hand to bow beneath, nor a foot, that thou shouldst kiss it." [* "For God is no morbid exactor," is the somewhat prosaic version given in Rossetti's Collected Works, London, 1882 (Vol. 1., 393). I have substituted the interpolated reading made use of by Mr. William Sharp, (Dante Gabriel Rossetti's A Record and a Study, London, 1882, pp. 285, 297), a reading that is peculiarly Rossettian: (Editor Bibelot.) ]
And Chiaro held silence, and wept into her hair which covered his face; and the salt tears that he shed ran through her hair upon his lips; and he tasted the bitterness of shame. Then the fair woman, that was his soul, spoke again to him, saying:
"And for this thy last purpose, and for those unprofitable truths of thy teaching, - thine heart hath already put them away, and it needs not that I lay
my bidding upon thee. How is it that thou, a man, wouldst say coldly to the mind that God hath said to the heart warmly? Thy will was honest and wholesome; but look well lest this also be folly, - to say, `I, in doing this, do strengthen God among men.' When at any time hath He cried unto thee, saying, `My son, lend Me thy shoulder, for I fall?' Deemest thou that the men who enter God's temple in malice, to the provoking of blood, and neither for His love nor for His wrath will abate their purpose, - shall afterwards stand, with thee in the porch midway between Him and themselves, to give ear unto thy thin voice, which merely the fall of their visors can drown, and to see thy hands, stretched feebly, tremble among their swords? Give thou to God no more than He asketh of thee; but to man also, that which is man's. In all that thou doest, work from thine own heart, simply; for his heart is as thine, when thine is wise and humble; and he shall have understanding of thee. One drop of rain is as another, and the sun's prism in all: and shalt thou not be as he, whose lives are the breath of One? Only by making thyself his equal can he learn to hold communion with thee, and at last own thee above him. Not till thou lean over the water shalt thou see thine image therein; stand erect, and it shall slope from thy feet and be lost. Know that there is but this means whereby thou mayest serve God with man; - Set thine hand and thy soul to serve man with God."
And when she that spoke had said these words within Chiaro's spirit, she left his side quietly, and stood up as he had first seen her; with her fingers laid together, and her eyes steadfast, and with the breadth of her long dress covering her feet on the floor. And, speaking again, she said: -
"Chiaro, servant of God, take now thine Art unto thee, and paint me thus, as I am, to know me; weak, as I am, and in the weeds of this time; only with eyes which seek out labor, and with a faith, not learned, yet jealous of prayer. Do this; so shall thy soul stand before thee always, and perplex thee no more."
And Chiaro did as she bade him. While he worked, his face grew solemn with knowledge; and before the shadows had turned, his work was done. Having finished, he lay back where he sat, and was asleep immediately; for the growth of that strong sunset was heavy about him, and he felt weak and haggard; like one just come out of a dusk, hollow country, bewildered with echoes, where he had lost himself, and who has not slept for many days and nights. And when she saw him lie back, the beautiful woman came to him, and sat at his head, gazing, and quieted his sleep with her voice.
The tumult of the factions had endured all that day through all Pisa, though Chiaro had not heard it; and the last service of that feast was a mass sung at midnight from the windows of all the churches for the many dead who lay about the city, and who had to be buried before morning, because of the extreme heats.
In the spring of 1847, I was at Florence. Such as were there at the same time with myself - those, at least, to whom Art is something, - will certainly recollect how many rooms of the Pitti Gallery were closed through that season, in order that some of the pictures they contained might be examined and repaired without the necessity of removal. The hall, the staircases, and the vast central suite of apartments, were the only accessible portions; and in these such paintings as they could admit from the sealed penetralia were profanely huddled together, without respect of dates, schools, or persons.
I fear that, through this interdict, I may have missed seeing many of the best pictures. I do not mean only the most talked of; for these, as they were
restored, generally found their way somehow into the open rooms, owing to the clamors raised by the students; and I remember how old Ercoli's, the curator's, spectacles used to be mirrored n the reclaimed surface, as he leaned mysteriously over these works with some of the visitors, to scrutinize and elucidate.
One picture that I saw that spring, I shall not easily forget. It was among those, I believe, brought from the other rooms, and had been hung, obviously out of all chronology, immediately beneath that head by Raphael so long known as the Berrettino, and now said to be the portrait of Cecco Ciulli.
The picture I speak of is a small one, and represents merely the figure of a woman, clad to the hands and feet with a green and grey raiment, chaste and early in its fashion, but exceedingly simple. She is standing; her hands are held together lightly, and her eyes set earnestly open.
The face and hands in this picture, though wrought with great delicacy, have the appearance of being painted at once, in a single sitting; the drapery is unfinished. As soon as I saw the figure, it drew an awe upon me, like water in shadow. I shall not attempt to describe it more than I have already done; for the most absorbing wonder of it was its literality. You knew that figure, when painted, had been seen; yet it was not a thing to be seen of men. This language will appear ridiculous to such as have never looked on the work; and it may be even to some among those who have. On examining it closely, I perceived in one corner of the canvas the words Manus Animam pinxit, and the date 1239.
I turned to my Catalogue, but that was useless, for the pictures were all displaced. I then stepped up to the Cavaliere Ercoli, who was in the room at the moment, and asked him regarding the subject and authorship of the painting. He treated the matter, I thought, somewhat slightingly, and said that he could show me the reference in the Catalogue, which he had compiled. This, when found; was not of much value, as it merely said, "Schizzo d'autore incerto," adding the inscription. * I could willingly have prolonged my inquiry, in the hope that it might somehow lead to some result; but I had disturbed the curator from certain yards of Quido, and he was not communicative. I went back, therefore, and stood before the picture until it grew dusk. [* I should here say, that in the latest catalogues (owing, as in cases before mentioned, to the zeal and enthusiasm of Dr. Aemmster), this, and several other pictures, have been more competently entered. The work in question is now placed in the Sala Sessagona, a room I did not see - under the number 161. It is described as "Figura mistica di Chiaro dell' Erma," and there is a brief notice of the author appended.]
The next day I was there again; but this time a circle of students was round the spot, all copying the Berrettino. I contrived, however, to find a place whence I could see my picture, and where I seemed to be in nobody's way. For some minutes I remained undisturbed; and then I heard, in an English voice: "Might I beg of you, sir, to stand a little more to this side, as you interrupt my view."
I felt vexed, for, standing where he asked me, a glare struck on the picture from the windows, and I could not see it. However, the request was reasonably made, and from a countryman; so I complied, and turning away, stood by his easel. I knew it was not worth while; yet I referred in some way to the work underneath the one he was copying. He did not laugh, abut he smiled
as we do in England. "Very odd, is it not?" said he.
The other students near us were all continental; and seeing an Englishman select an Englishman to speak with, conceived, I suppose, that he could understand no language but his own. They had evidently been noticing the interest which the little picture appeared to excite in me.
One of them, an Italian, said something to another who stood next to him. He spoke with a Genoese accent, and I lost the sense in the villanous dialect. "Che so?" replied the other, lifting his eyebrows toward the figure; "roba mistica: `st' Inglesi son matti sul misticismo: somiglia alle nebbie di la. Li fa pensare alla patria,
`e intenerisce il core
Lo di ch' han detto ai dolci amici adio."
"La notte, vuoi dire," said a third.
There was a general laugh. My compatriot was evidently a novice in the language, and did not take in what was said. I remained silent, being amused.
"Et toi donc ?" said he who had quoted Dante, turning to a student, whose birthplace was unmistakable, even had he been addressed in any other language: "que dis-tu de ce genre-la?"
"Moi?" returned the Frenchman, standing back from his easel, and looking at me and at the figure, quite politely, though with an evident reservation: "Je dis, mon cher, que c' est une specialite dont je me fiche pas mal. Je tiens que quand on ne comprend pas une chose, c' est qu' elle ne signifie rien."
My reader thinks possibly that the French student was right.
THE WISDOM OF THE FIELDS
Mr. Massingham's work should find a good soil in India. He would be preaching there to a people who have not yet committed themselves to modern technical civilization, and who need not do so unless they wish. In England he stands frantically waving a red flag. Quite a lot of people see the flag, approve of waving it, and join with him by waving others; but all the time the Technical Forces in the hands of a Few who are as careless of fundamental values as they are mighty in the service of mammon, dash forward, and no man knows what the end will be. To thousands the prospect seems hateful, deplorable, but many despair of being able to stop the process.
We look abroad. We see the huge, rootless American civilization, truly built upon, not soil, but sand, so that when the winds come the foundations are blown away. It seems plain that America will be the shortest-lived civilization in history. We turn to Russia. We see her imitating America in technical values. How long will she Last before her rivers wash away her cities and her soil is blown away? We turn to China. She lasted for eons precisely because she conserved her soil. But today her Few powerful men, as in Russia, decree the march towards total industrialism for the helpless Many. We turn to India. And what do we see? The same attraction towards the Machine? Perhaps; since it seems to be natural. But her powerful Few have not yet committed her to this course; and one Original Figure, still wielding a vast influence, has no use for any engine except Madame Singer's sewing-machine. India has still a chance to stand aside; before her still lies the possibility of a sane civilization based upon a total agriculturalism. True, her population problem may make this difficult, but what real happiness has industrialism brought to the masses, albeit under the sign of that maddeningly empty phrase, "a higher standard of life"? - The Aryan Path for May.
Ernest Crutcher, M.D., 32̊ ; F.P.S.
Fearful of "falling into the hands of an angry God?" How absurd the idea. Restitution; payment of my debts and obligations; paying in full, pressed down, heaped up - running over. Is not that more sensible? Of what use could it be, to any I may have misused, imposed upon, defrauded, can my burning in a fiery hell? Making good, paying up: this is a better view of recompense than any other of any theology I have yet found, and I've studied most of them. Compensation throughout nature is the law, and why won't it apply in my pleas before the Judge? From the bottom of my heart, I wish I had never heard of the Puritan notion of hell. In my immature mind, it cheapened my conception of my Father's justice. It caused me untold pain to contemplate. It robbed me of initiative and courage of independent action. The fatuous heaven is just as absurd, and utter nonsense. If you think me, or yourself, of such importance that the mighty Creator is "angry every day" just contemplate the nothingness of our earth when compared with the inconceivably great worlds that whirl in space, some requiring trillions of light-years for revolution.
Our sun is a single star in the Milky Way, which contains from ten to fifty billion suns or stars. A new super-galaxy contains 50,000 star systems, with a group of star systems so big that it contains one Milky Way for every single sun in the gigantic Hercules cluster. Ponder this, and then meditate on the Supernal Being "angry with the wicked" animalcula me, "every day". The incalculable mystery of it all is that He even knows me; but I am confident He does because of the care I have in being. All I can do to acknowledge His love is to adore and hand on to others what help I can of good to my fellows.
"What are we to do before it is too late? Make our way of thinking effective in world affairs". What we believe may be pure junk. In our Christian lands we accept the Biblical teaching; but why is it that the entire Christian world is at war? "Thou shalt not kill". Millions are in the ranks, not because they wish, nor killing because of hate or wicked design. Who is responsible for this mighty sinfulness?
The U. S. has twenty million Germans, and five million Jews. How many of this type are in jail or known to be malefactors? Are they not among our best citizens. We use prejudice against the one race, and are propagandized into hatred of the other. For whose commercial benefit was this war projected? We read of Attila and Gengis Khan, but the wreckage of this war means greater disaster than any previous war in history. True, Sherman (an ardent Roman Catholic) ordered, at Atlanta, in his March to the Sea: "Lay waste the land so that if a crow flies over it he must carry his rations with him". And that was what our old South endured. What of the unfoldings of such a thinker in other life and lives?
During the month of July we have received the following magazines: Revista Teosofica Argentina, May-June; The American Theosophist, July; The Kalpaka, January-March; The Theosophist, May and June; The Toronto Theosophical News, July; Theosophical News & Notes, British Isles, July-Aug.; Theosophy, July; Theosophy in Action, June; Bombay Theosophical Bulletin, May and June; Excelsior, Krishta Kunj, Karachi, India, June; Lotus Circle Leaves, Lesson 12, Covina, Calif.; O Naturista, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May; Evolucion, Buenos Aires, Argentina, May; Theosophical Headquarters Bulletin, Covina, Calif., No. 15; Revista
d'O Pentsamento, Sao Paulo, Brazil, June; The Link, Pretoria, Box 47, S. Africa, June; Fraternidad, Santiago, Chile, March-April; Teosofia, Santiago de Cuba, July; The Golden Lotus, Philadelphia, July; The Middle Way, English Buddhist organ, July-August; The Theosophical Forum, Covina, August; United Lodge Bulletin, Nos. 212 and 213, London, July and July; The Aryan Path, Baroda, June; Theosophy, Los Angeles, August.
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
On my return from Muskoka where I spent a vacation I found on my desk many letters awaiting attention, most of these have now been disposed of and this note is to explain possible wonderment at undue delay in receiving answers.
A note to editors of theosophical publications sent to me. The General Secretary is not the editor of the Canadian Theosophist. Mr. Albert E.S. Smythe whose address is on the banner-page is our editor and will be we hope for many years to come, should receive copies of such publications in order that due acknowledgement may be made in the columns of our magazine.
Annual Dues from our members should have been received by now as the end of our financial year expired June 30. Those not having yet put themselves in good-standing are requested to get in touch with the secretary-treasurer of their respective lodges or they may remit direct to me at 52 Isabella Street, Toronto. In doing this a great deal of unnecessary work could be avoided. And by the way, those who can afford it please do not ignore my plea for a little extra as any one who has the interest of the Society at heart can see by perusal of the balance sheet published in July that we have a very small margin for anything beyond bare necessities. Magazine subscribers are also requested to check their subscriptions - many having been carried well over the usual period allotted and in thankfulness should see that any omissions in payment are quickly remedied.
Many letters are received by me from nationalities in Concentration Camps in Europe and elsewhere in that distressful part of the world urgently requesting me to help them to come to Canada. Some of these are from erstwhile members of our Society. It is most distressing to read their urgent applications for me to help them in their desperate efforts to come to this country and get away from the horrors they have been through. To all these I would say I have done everything possible to ascertain if there is any possibility of doing anything to help them. But I find I am up against a brick wall. Until the Government opens up for immigration in the wider sense of the term it seems that nothing can be done. At present only a very limited number can come here and those are restricted to very circumscribed catagories such as those who have relations here and who will be responsible for them. So many of these applicants are extremely well accredited and would make wonderful citizens for the country that it seems doubly strange why something cannot be done for them. All I can hope for or even suggest for them is that the Government will before long see its way to making it possible for these desirable people to come to that land which they so firmly believe, and is so undoubtably true a land of promise, of freedom and of unlimited possibilities.
26th July, 1946.
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
Members who have not paid their dues since July 1st, should note that their names will be removed from the mailing list and they will receive no more magazines after the September issue unless payment of dues is made.
Mrs. Glover, secretary of Calgary Lodge, writes to report the death of Mrs. Anna M. Scott, for some time past resident in Vancouver. Mrs. Scott always attended the Lodge meetings when on return visits to Calgary, having been a member of many years' standing and an ardent theosophist. "We were enriched with her bright optimism and will miss her frequent visits," Mrs. Glover observes in her expressions of regret. We regret that circumstances prevent us from joining in the general acclaim with which Mr. Einstein is being met at present, but we hope next month to have something to say about this very great man.
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.
Errata. In the seventh line from the end of Mrs. Henderson's article, "Consciousness Without Thought," in last month's issue, page 132, second column, the word "command" should have been "communal." In, our June issue, page 119, readers will please note that four lines of type have 'been wrongly transferred from the bottom of the second column to the top of the first.
Delay in the publication of the August magazine has been delayed owing to a holiday taken by his house-keeper, involving the instalment of a substitute, whose ministrations proved so disastrous that the editor was rendered ineffective and had to resort to a hospital for a week. Hope is cherished for further improvement.
We printed an article last month which we intended as a warning as much as anything. Our contributor appeared to rely in some important particulars on Mr. Churchward, who is an authority on Freemasonry, but is misleading on the Secret Doctrine. He has evolved theories of his own regarding Lemuria, taking evidence collected by Atlantean researchers, and applying it for his own purposes. Thus he borrows from Le Plongeon for his alphabet, and attributes Easter Island to
Atlantis; though everything points to its being Lemurian.
The Theosophist for May reached me on July 14, and that for June on July 24, but circumstances have prevented me from giving these issues the space I had intended. There is a marked change in the tone and atmosphere of these pages, and if we can accept them as the first fruits of a new policy, for the present we may be truly grateful. No longer is the occult centre point at Adyar, but everywhere as the sages declare, with the circumference nowhere, and not merely within the limits of the T.S. Mr. Jinarajadasa is to be congratulated on a real advance. We look eagerly for more to come.
I seek a land more fair than dawn;
A land where hates and strivings cease,
Where from all fear and cares withdrawn,
My storm-blown heart may rest in peace.
Beyond Earth's boundaries are its groves,
Fair hills within rise cool and sweet,
Yet in my heart doth hide its loves,
Its gales blow softly round my feet.
Here by fair paths of gracious Earth
Or there by many a lovely road,
I seek that land of highest worth,
A final home for my abode.
Than this no greater gift is given
And finding it may questings end.
Dearest of all the realms of Heaven -
That land the heart-land of a friend.
- Ernest Fewster.
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
PROFESSOR WOOD IN MANILLA
[[a letter is here in long-hand, which I try to transcibe - dig. ed.]
Dear Mr. Smythe,
I hope you have received my Air Mail letter from Bombay, saying that my wife & I are coming to Canada and U.S.A. again. Our boat has been much delayed in Batavia, Soerabaya, Macassar & here by shortage of loading facilities. We have seen the devastation of these towns, especially Manilla, which seems to be a complete ruin. It is probably that we shall be a fortnight in the Philippines and then take thee weeks to Los Angeles, & so reach there towards the end of August. With Kindest regards, - Ernest Wood
The Edmonton Lodge held its annual meeting for the election of officers on June 17th. Officers elected for the coming year were as follows: President, Mr. Emory P. Wood; Vice-Pres., Mr. C. Paling; Secretary, Mrs. N. Dalzell; Treasurer, Miss W. Robinson; Librarian, Mrs. V.T. Trupp. At present we have 25 members in good standing. Meetings during the past year have been fairly well attended. Our place of meeting has been changed twice during that period, and we are now meeting at Room 9, Labor Hall, corner of 104th Street and 100th Avenue. We are looking forward to a successful season.
Nellie Dalzell, Secretary.
10168 - 104th St.,
INTRODUCTION TO MAGIC
All experience is an arch where through gleams
That untravelled world of light and life
Whose margin seems to forever fade.
Exploring the Kingdom of Nature is still the most fascinating of mysteries. If the field seem somewhat crowded, it is only so at the outer fringes; within the periphery explorers are notably decimated, and while no one is arbitrarily excluded from continued investigation, initiates are few. Theosophists who would see Nature revealed must first understand clearly that the task before them is primarily a moral and ethical one, and it is for this reason the number of seekers are limited. "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna." Rev. II-17. In searching for the Golden Fleece or the Holy Grail, there is no need to travel to far countries, for these are merely terms to indicate initiation, and the path is an inward one.
"Magic," says Eliphas Levi, "called by the ancients the sanctum regnum, the holy kingdom, exists but for kings and for priests - art thou a priest? Art thou a king? The kings of science are the priests of truth and their dominion is concealed from the multitude." In Isis Unveiled we read that magic was established by the Magi, and not by the priests as commonly supposed, though Magi were designated "priests" or kings." They were, Madame Blavatsky says, fire-worshippers and astrologers, who affirm that Mother Earth is subject to the same laws as every one of her children.
Pliny mentions three schools of Magi:
1. Founded at an unknown antiquity.
2. Established by Osthanes and Zororaster.
3. Established by Moses and Jambres.
Their knowledge was derived from India and their teaching declares: "That the practice of moral and physical purity, and of certain austerities, develops the vital soul-power of self-illumination. Affording to man the control over his own immortal spirit, it gives him truly magical powers over the elementary spirits inferior to himself." All physical phenomena were produced simply by applying a knowledge of natural forces.
Alphonse Louis Constant, who studied for the priesthood, became eventually a magus of distinction and any discriminating student would find the works of Eliphas Levi, as he came to be known, worth investigation, despite his exasperating inconsistencies. His writings are glaringly heretical from the point of view of the Catholic Church, yet, such is the paradox of the man, that he insisted on posing as a faithful child of the Roman Church and at the same time refusing to retract a single word of his teachings. ". . . the magical science of Eliphas Levi is essentially one of power - the power of an emancipated will over wills which are not emancipated, the power of a self-controlled and self-containing man over the ill-governed passions of the multitude . . . the power of the enlightened man over his proper self, and his unlimited power over nature . . . " says Arthur Edward Waite in his worthy digest of the writings of Eliphas Levi.
The discipline man exerts over himself develops will, which is a palmary requisite. For the novice, Eliphas Levi suggests some preparatory functions as follows:
"Rise daily at the same hour and at an early hour, bathe summer and winter before daybreak, in a fountain; never wear soiled clothes; wash them yourself if necessary; exercise yourself by voluntary privations, that you may be better able to bear involuntary ones; finally, impose silence on all desires save that of achieving the magnum opus."
It could hardly be expected that we
should all go hunting a fountain to bathe in before dawn, but the general idea is acceptable. Nor, suggests Eliphas, should one concentrate too long upon his magical studies but should alternate them with manual or artistic occupations. It is not wise, he says, to be "always looking." Also, never experiment when ill.
Following the above advice, Levi introduces his readers to certain ceremonial formulas. "The air must be purified at rising and retiring with a perfume composed of the resin of laurels, salt, camphor, and sulphur, and the four sacred names should at the same time be pronounced in turning successively toward the four cardinal points." Perhaps the long robes, the swords, candles and mirrors have an appeal for some students for, to be sure, they make an excellent Hollywood setting, but for a serious study of the occult, I should think they would seem absurd. Eliphas Levi practically admits that they are merely stimulants to reassure ourselves, yet he observes the rituals to the minutest detail. For instance, note the paraphernalia which he used in his evocation of Apollonius of Tyana
"The cabinet prepared for the evocation was situated in a turret; four concave mirrors were hung within it, and there was a kind of altar whose white marble top was surrounded with a chain of magnetic iron. On the marble the sign of the Pentagram was engraved and gilded; the same symbol was drawn on a new white sheepskin stretched beneath the altar. In the middle of the marble slab there was a small copper brazier with charcoal of alder and laurel wood, while a second brazier was placed before me on a tripod. I was vested in a white robe very similar to those worn by Catholic priests, but longer and more ample, and I wore upon my head a chaplet of vervain leaves entwined about a golden chain. In one hand I held a new sword, and in the other the ritual. I set alight the two fires with the requisite and prepared materials and I began at first in a low voice, but rising by degrees, the invocations of the ritual . . . " etc.
Perhaps my own aversion goes back to my tender years when I first became acquainted with ceremonial invocations. I was taken to a woman "healer" who was zealous, kindly, and I suppose sincere enough. She would explain her theory to you as she made passes over your head and down your body, occasionally shaking her fingers to cast off the evil entities she was expelling from you. She believed that all sickness connoted the presence of evil spirits and to exercise them one had to follow certain rituals, viz. to burn a mixture of animal manure, myrrh and other forgotten ingredients, calling on the name of the Lord. Then one had to turn one's shoes upside down with the toes pointing in a certain direction when he took them off at night - the shoes, that is, not the toes. Whatever was the matter with my health, I recovered in spite of her tom-tom prescriptions.
The Lord Maitreya said somewhere, " . . . you know that rites and ceremonies have no intrinsic value, and that all which is done by them can be done without them by knowledge and by will." It would seem to me that one limits himself to the extent he uses automata or any kind of ceremonial practice.
Eliphas Levi places much importance for his success as a magus on the Tarot but in his "History of Magic" he warns that it cannot be used "without danger and without crime." Numbers are more virtuous and their analogy is the keynote to the whole system of magic. We are all familiar with the Hermetic axiom, "That which is above is as that which is below, and that which is below is as that which is above, for the operations of the wonders of the one thing,"
usually epitomized to, "As above, so below."
Recently I read a book by "Sepharial" called "The Kabala of Numbers." He informs us that in the study of numbers are concerned with qualities and geometrical relations. In this doctrine, Matter is the ultimate expression of Spirit, as Form is that of Force. The significance of numbers in the cosmos cannot be disputed but to carry the analogy out indefinitely as does "Sepharial" is fantastic. He would make them the key to every dilemma. Let me illustrate. (Understand, I do not condemn the book as a whole; much of it is excellent.) "Sepharial" provides a kabala whereby a person "possessing the power of divination may find lost articles." The person losing the article concentrates upon it, then says any number that comes into his mind. The Kabalist then merely looks up the meaning of the number, much as you might consult your grandmother's dreambook to find out the meaning of your nightmare. Here are a few of the results:
No. 5. You will get it back yourself with very little seeking... Look under a hat, turban, or other headgear.
No. 13. Ask the wife (or husband) and failing that source, look through the stables or where horses are kept.
No. 44. You have it. Look among the oil-pots or lamps. It will need purifying.
Even if the system works, I should think I'd have sufficient faith in the intuition which is the undisputed magical agent, to discard the ritualistic excess baggage.
The Astral Light, called by Levi, "The Great Magic Agent," is to magic what synthetic resin is to plastics. This force in Nature is variously called by Levi "an all-penetrating fluid," "ray detached from the sun's splendour," "Electro-magnetic ether," "Vital and luminous caloric" and other names, and its symbols are even more numerous: "The winged dragon of Media, the double serpent of the caduceus, the tempter of Genesis, the brazen snake of Moses encircling the Tau." etc. Levi calls it the blind force which souls must conquer in order to detach themselves from the chains of earth. Too much explanation is confusing rather than edifying. If it be a "blind force" it could not manifest intelligence quite apart from me or, at any rate, an intelligence which I was not consciously aware of as coming from myself. It is revealed, claims Levi, by four kinds of phenomena; caloric, light, electricity, magnetism. It is "terrestrial in its connection with the earth, and exclusively human in its connection with man . . . the human light is only fatal to the ignorant; it is subject to the intelligence, subordinate to the imagination, and dependent on the will of man . . . The Astral Light is the key of all dominion, the secret of all powers, the bond of sympathies, the source of love, prophecy, and glory. To know how to master this agent is to accomplish the magnum opus, to be master of the world, and the depositary even of the power of God." A most extravagant description, to be sure. But how to direct this power "depends on an incommunicable axiom." The four properties of the Great Magic Agent are to dissolve, to consolidate, to quicken, and to moderate. Levi says that although he uses the term "fluid" he believes "vibrations" might be more apt. "However this may be," he concludes, "the coming synthesis of chemistry will probably lead our physicists to a knowledge of the universal agent and then what will hinder them from determining the strength, number, and direction of its magnets? A complete revolution in science will follow, and we shall return to the transcendent magic of the
Exercising air, fire, earth and water seems indispensable to Levi in order to rule the elementary spirits, and the prayers of the Salamanders, the Gnomes, etc., make for poetical reading but all, to me, are no more than a "Let's Pretend" passtime. Eliphas Levi first emphasizes the necessity for one to prove his fearlessness of the elements before undertaking to rule the elementary spirits. Once this fact is proven, there is no need, that I can see, for embroidering. The flowery prayers are too long for quotation and many of the exorcisms are in Latin so I shall confine myself to one quotation on Fire:
"Fire is exorcised by casting salt, incense, white resin, camphor, and sulphur therein and pronouncing thrice the three names of the genii of fire - MICHAEL, king of the sun and lightning; SAMUEL, king of volcanos; and ANAEL, king of the Astral Light; then by reciting the prayer of the Salamanders."
It was of interest to learn that there were originally two methods of making the sign of the cross, one reserved for priests and initiates, the other for the profane. According to Levi, the initiate raising his hand to his forehead said
"Thine is," then brought down his hand to his breast, "the kingdom," then transferred it to the left shoulder, "justice," finally to the right shoulder, "and mercy;" then joining his hands, he added, "through the generating ages."
The metals corresponding to the four elements are gold and silver for air, mercury for water, iron and copper for fire, and lead for earth. Levi's concluding paragraphs are always a joy to me. After all the rules for divination, after all the pages of poetic prayers and other preparations, he tells us that, "In fact, the four elements are merely instruments to assist second sight . . . which is natural as ordinary sight . . . " And what is more important, "But divination, in whatsoever manner it be performed, is dangerous, or at least, useless, for it weakens will-power, consequently impedes liberty, and fatigues the nervous system." The simple and unalterable fact is that powers come to one as he is morally fit and prepared to use them wisely and any prodigies which he forces prematurely are illegitimate and will madden or kill him if persisted in. Madame Blavatsky divides magic into divine and evil. Each of these is again divisible into two kinds, active and seeing. Man endeavors to place himself on rapport with the world to learn hidden things in the divine art, and in black magic he endeavors to gain power over spirits, so all evocations must be avoided (Isis Unveiled.) "Bring her (the soul) not forth, lest in departing she retain something," says Psellus.
More than once women are treated to a severe word-lashing by Levi. In his chapter on Mesmerism we read: "What causes the greatest obstacle to the direction of magnetism is the bad faith or ill-will of the subjects, of women above all, who are essentially and invariably attitudinizing, who love to impress themselves by the impression of others, and who are the first to be deceived when they act their nervous melodramas - this is the true black magic of magnetism. So is it impossible for operators uninitiated into the supreme arcana, and unassisted by the illumination of the Kabbalah, to ever govern this refractory and fugitive element. To be master of the woman we must divert and deceive her skillfully by permitting her to imagine that it is she who is deceiving us."
In one method of magnetizing Levi states the operator influences the will of the subject so that it modifies the Astral Body (called by Levi the "plastic mediator") of the subject in accordance with the will of the operator. In the
other method, the operator acts directly on the plastic mediator of the subject. There is magnetizing by radiation, by contact, by glance, and by speech. "Warm breathing magnetizes positively and cold breathing negatively. By placing the right hand on the head and the left on the feet of a person wrapped in wool or silk, a magnetic spark passes through them." Astral light is projected by the thumbs and palms of the hands. "Pulverized coal," asserts Levi, "absorbs and retains the Astral Light which explains the magic mirror of DuPotet . . . The astral or rather vital light of the plastic mediator absorbed by the charcoal becomes wholly negative, and this is why animals whom electricity tortures, as cats for example, like to roll among the ashes. Medicine will one day utilize this peculiarity, and nervous persons will find great benefit therefrom."
Eliphas Levi would probably consider women as ineligible as students, of magic, for while they might "know, will, dare, and be silent" they would never be able to keep "silent". It depends entirely upon one's temperament whether this last requisite is achieved with ease or difficulty, but acquired it must be. The Russian poet Fedor Ivanovich Tyutchev has written a beautiful poem called "Silentium" the last verse of which says:
Try living in yourself alone
Within your soul a world has grown,
The magic of veiled thoughts that might
Be blinded by the outer light,
Drowned in the noise of day, unheard...
Perhaps the reader will find something of importance in what Eliphas Levi has to say about the magnum opus:
"The first matter of the magnum opus is, in the superior world, enthusiasm and activity; in the intermediate world, it is intelligence and industry; in the inferior world, it is toil; in science, it is sulphur, mercury, and salt, which condensed and volatilized by turns compose the azoth of the sages.
"The Hermetic art is, therefore, at once a religion, a philosophy, and a natural science. As a religion it is that of the ancient Magi and the initiates of all the ages; as a philosophy, its principles may be found in the Alexandrian School, and in the theories of Pythagoras; as a science, its methods must be ascertaineed from Paracelsus, Nicholas Flamel, and Raymond Lully. The science is real for those alone who admit and understand both the philosophy and the religion, and its processes will succeed only for the adept who has attained to sovereign power of will, and thus has become the monarch of the elementary world.
"To find the philosopher's stone, we must as Hermes tells us, separate the volatile from the fixed with great care and minute attention . . . To find the philosophical stone is to have discovered the Absolute.
"He who would attain to the comprehension of the Grand Word [Arthur Edward Waite tells us that the "Grand Word" is Agla. More than this is not indicated] and to the possession of the Grand Secret must, after studying the principles here laid down, read the Hermetic philosophers attentively and he will attain initiation as others have attained it, but the unique dogma of Hermes must be taken as the key of their allegories. All the alchemical masters who have written on the magnum opus have employed symbolical and figurative expressions and rightly so, as much to repel the profane from a work which for them would be dangerous as to make themselves understood by the adepts by revealing to them the entire world of analogies ruled by the one and sovereign dogma of Hermes. Thus for them gold and silver are the king and queen, or the moon and sun; sulphur is the flying eagle; mercury the winged and bearded goat; matter, or salt, is the winged dragon, the metals in
ebullition are lions of various colors; finally, the whole work has the pelican and phoenix for its symbols . . . No one makes gold, but we can assist nature to make it, and all the science of Hermes consists in the sagacity which selects and arranges Nature's own materials in order that she may perform her work. The whole secret of Hermetic philosophy is contained in this single indication."
"As we have already said, there exist two palmary natural laws, two essential laws which produce by counterpoise the universal equilibrium of things; these are stability and motion . . . The Hermetic philosophers give the name of fixed to all that is ponderable, to all that tends by its nature to central rest and immobility; they call everything which more naturally and readily obeys the law of motion volatile . . .
1. The four imponderable fluids are only diverse manifestations of one universal agent, which is light.
2. Light is the fire which is used in the magnum opus under the form of electricity.
3. Human will directs the vital light by means of the nervous organization; this is now called magnetizing.
4. The secret agent of the magnum opus, the Azoth of the sages, the living and vivifying gold of the philosophers, the universal productive metallic agent, is MAGNETIZED ELECTRICITY, the first matter of the magnum opus.
"The great Hermetic Arcanum, revealed for the first time clearly and without mystic figures, is this: - What the adepts call dead substances are bodies as they exist in nature; living substances are those assimilated and magnetized by the will of the adept."
As a closing warning, we would echo the words of the poet:
And Jesus, answering, said: "Take heed alway
That ye be not deceived or led astray
For many charlatans, of evil soul -
They of the turbid crimson aureole,
Who desecrate my name for power and pelf -
Shall come to you and say, `Lo, I myself
The King-Initiate am; and, `Now the dawn
Is whitening in thy soul.' They are the spawn
Of sorcery and vice. With deep disgust
Shun ye those sons of sorcery and lust.
Be not cajoled by any, or allured,
When they shall say to you, `Be ye assured
That here the King-Initiate is,' or, `there.'
Of such false seers and sorcerers beware
Many are they, the Gorgon's counterparts,
And they shall try, with their goetic arts,
And using many a lure and strategem,
To lead upon the way of death all them
Who seek the hidden knowledge though they lack
Sense to discern between the white and black.
Being prepared by patience, endurance, compassion; possessing abundant faith in yourself and being strong of will; remaining fearless; remembering the laws of equilibrium and analogy, and "the divine basis of the science of Nature - weight, number and measure;" and having developed fully the ability to discriminate, you cannot fail. T he road is open before you.
SUMMARY OF THE CONVENTION LECTURE BY EVA FRANZEN,
former General Secretary of the Theosophical Society in Sweden.
Today a great victory on the physical plane is being celebrated, and perhaps through the spiritual strength that filled this nation during its blackest days, this city has become the spiritual capital of the world. If that great victory is going to be the threshold of a better world, and if something finer is going to rise from the ruins of the past, it must be followed up by another victory, that of spirit over matter, the victory not won by nations but by individuals. That victory the wise men have spoken of down the ages in different ways, and Tao-Teh-King gives one of those positions.
We do not seem to know a great deal about the author. He lived to a ripe old age, and left many writings behind, some hidden away and not revealed to the world in entirety. One, however, this little book, is open to us.
There is a passage in it which gives a very short and true picture of such a time as that through which we have lived, compared with another age:
When Tao was manifested to men,
Horses were used for cultivating the fields.
When Tao was hid within Itself
War horses were reared on the frontiers.
There is no sin greater than desire,
There is no misfortune greater than discontent,
There is no calamity greater than the wish to acquire,
Therefore to be satisfied is an ever-lasting sufficiency.
The calamities of the past seven years have been caused by desire to possess, to dominate, to have power, and so War Horses were reared on the frontiers, horses worse than those known by Lao Tzu. But we hope to grow out of this state of things.
The name of this book gives a key to what the writer wants to convey. Tao is Life itself, the Spiritual or Universal Consciousness. It may be `hid within itself' or It may express Itself. When it is manifested in the world of form, it is called 'Teh'. The Spiritual Consciousness must always be there, but is not always manifested consciously, ready to shape and direct the world of form. It seems that the key to that manifestation lies in the human mind. The flower is perfect, and so are the animals. They manifest life in their own natural and perfect way; but when we come to the human kingdom something is added, a freedom to choose whether one will close the doors to that manifestation, or keep them open. If we wish to attain in our world to the perfection of a flower we must express Tao. We must bring Tao into the world. 'We must suffer great loss to obtain much treasure.'
About 2,500 years ago must have been a very wonderful period in the history of humanity, when two great teachers were among men, Lao Tzu and Buddha, and they both taught a 'middle way.' We ordinary human beings live in the world of opposites; we like to think in opposites. We split up the world into good and evil, light and darkness, and then in our blindness we think we can choose between the two, choose happiness and discard sorrow. Lao Tzu knew, as Buddha knew, that the opposites are the extremes of something which is in between the two, that life can express itself so that it can appear good or bad, light or dark, but to rest in between those two is to know attainment, to have poise, balance. The two opposites are gathered into that oneness and harmony results.
If you desire to be strong,
You must first learn to be weak.
If you desire to be in a lofty position
You must first learn to take a lowly position.
Fullness and emptiness are one pair of opposites which we perhaps misunderstand a good deal. When we set a goal for ourselves, we are rather apt to fill up our lives with many little things which may not be so essential as we think, things which belong to our personal Self, that self which limits us as a cage limits a bird. We fill our lives with a fullness of things that prevent Tao from expressing itself. In order to reach a goal we must first empty our souls of these things. `If you desire to breathe deeply, you must first empty the lungs.' We must empty that inner self before we can know the fullness of what Lao Tzu calls the Inner Life. `The name of Inner Life is Everlasting Tao.'
If only he is pure, though he may be small,
The Servant of Tao dares to stand against the world.
The Name produces, divides, and brings to life.
Things produced ever return into the Name.
The name is that aspect of Tao which expresses itself in form. It produces the manifold universe around us. All is gathered back into the Tao, into the Oneness.
It is sometimes thought that Lao Tzu's teaching means not to strive, but to be passive, to let life do what it wills with you. That surely is a misconception of his meaning, which is that so long as the personality is asserting itself, Tao cannot be expressed, but when the little personal self learns to humble itself, and the mind is open to the inner life, then the Tao will take the lead. `Looking at it you do not see it, you call it invisible.' We tend to have the idea that the goal is something very far away, a mountain top with obstacles to be overcome before one can reach it. The goal is conceived as outside oneself, but the goal is life itself and can be seen in all the simple things. The flower is beautiful because it is the Tao. The waves of the sea are mighty and powerful because they are one with the sea. So we should think of a human being as being one with the Tao and having potentialities, not as a separate manifestation, but as an expression of the One. It cannot be seen or touched because when a man has learned that It is one with him, he will find it has disappeared from his view; but It shines through him.
Bring soul and spirit into unity,
they will become welded in the Inner life.
Let your purity shine forth in all directions
men will see that you have the Inner Life.
Here again we have the familiar idea of the Absolute, that something which was before anything was. Out of the Absolute came the first creative impulse which was at first the Name, the Word, that created form.
Tao that can be expressed
is not Everlasting Tao.
The Name that can be named
is not the Everlasting Name.
To give a thing a name puts it outside yourself. So the Tao we speak of, though it may be a key to the real Tao, is not the real Tao.
The west and the east have always differed a great deal on one point, the appreciation of activity. We seldom give ourselves any time just to be. If a new world is going to rise we have got to learn to `be active with the activity of the Inner Life,' to let the One Life shine through the form.
Thirty spokes surround one nave,
the usefulness of the wheel is always in that empty innermost.
The way is as narrow as the edge of a razor. It is not easy to keep that inner door open, to look away from the outer to the inner, to become one with it and express it; but it is possible because that something within is our real self.
That is why the self-controlled man
to the end of life does not become great.
And thus he can perfect his greatness.
The lure of the outer makes it very difficult to attain the inner life. Outer things content us and we grow away from that true simplicity to which we must return. The real greatness grows from within. Like St. Francis, we should serve Life Itself. He showed the true simplicity which only reckons One Thing great and that Thing is within all things. - Theosophical News & Notes for July-August.
THE BENEFICENCE OF DEATH
- Back behind the great unknown, Standeth God within the shadow,
Keeping watch above His own."
The longer I live, - and I've lived a long time, the more completely I am convinced of an overruling, guiding, governing Intelligence that is purposeful and beneficently concerned in me and you. It saves us so often from blind folly. Yet It permits us to indulge in fatuous wars and kindred disasters because It, seemingly, wishes to give us leash to manifest our idiocies. There is a lesson in such permitted recklessness, no doubt. We are slow to learn.
This is not a tract. I simply "render to Caesar" and to whatever Excellence it is that guards and saves us in blind goings and fatuity. I could hardly have gone more stupidly had I tried, except that I did not indulge in alcoholics, cigarette, and vicious habits that impair the physical engine. I am reaping reward now for such abstinence, in health and well being at advanced age. (88 years)
The wise rule of life is to act as you would like others to act. Joseph McCabe wrote: "If there is no world beyond, there is all the more reason to make this life worth living." If we live only or in large way selfishly, we are not living judiciously nor constructively. There might possibly be another career; and if so, and I and you are to reap there what we sowed here, what will the harvest be? We reap as we sow, inevitably.
Candidly, I have a conviction of a constantly, persistently unfoldment of all things soever, and this means myself and you. That death is merely an episode in the march of spirit, - and that when the physical envelope is worn, torn or unfit, it is discarded through death. This seems obvious. The superstition of our priests has made this relief through death a fearsome thing. "A fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God," is absurd. The same Power that gave birth also gave death, and neither should be feared. Both are divine institutions. Therefore, beneficent. Neither should molest or make afraid. The Ancient Rosicrucians had a splendid motto:
"I fear neither ghost nor goblin, man nor devil, death nor hell, and only God should I wrong my fellow man."
- Ernest Crutcher, M.D., 32̊.
DR. KUHN'S NEW BOOK REVIEWED BY C. J. RYAN
The general object of this erudite work is to demonstrate the Theosophical principle that the employment of symbolism has always been an indispensable method of instruction in the great truths of life and nature, seen and unseen. It is "the one universal language, significan everywhere for conveying
the profoundest concepts of cosmic and human evolution," but the author insists that the special forms of symbolism derived from biological reproduction are the most effective way of expressing the Dual constitution of all being, and this book is mainly devoted to the evidence.
Returning to general principles, in which we fully agree, Dr. Kuhn remarks that, concisely expressed by the greatest minds of remote antiquity, symbols carry the truth down through every kind of vicissitude when written language would utterly fail. He shows that although they came down from prehistoric ages they were not created by infantile minds. Inspired teachers cast the great truths into forms that had the power to hold the attention of the simplest minds as well as of the most learned and so they have persisted. As he says, the childhoods of the race and of the individual pass through the phase of living at the level of the `subconscious' before the descent of the mind into what might be called the `animal,' and at that phase memory is very retentive. The `subconscious' - whatever that may be - dominates, and impressions made on it are very permanent.
"The myths, symbols and dramas embodying the mighty ancient wisdom had to be given to child humanity in a form to be eternally remembered." They had to be framed in an imagery based on natural phenomena because they are universal. Unfortunately these mythical constructions have been woefully misunderstood in comparatively modern times, and treated as if they represented historical facts or were purely fictitious. The western world needs the intelligence to revitalize the myths and symbols to their original power. To illustrate this Theosophical teaching Dr. Kuhn quotes largely from various sources, especially Mediterranean, and these will be found singularly interesting and convincing. He believes that Psychoanalysis is a promising field for these studies as it deals so largely with the `subconscious,' where great secrets are concealed.
When, however, the author begins to stress the paramount importance of the symbols of biological reproduction, etc., so widely diffused, we feel it necessary to put in a warning. His argument is skilfully presented and we do not deny that the subject may be justifiably handled by technical scholars of comparative religion, and perhaps by psychoanalysts, but in this profane and unbelieving age these particular symbols, though perfectly innocent in themselves, contain elements of danger and if popularized in the West would be sure to be horribly misused, as they have been in classical times and even to a degree in the Orient. The Durga aspect of the Hindu Tantrik practices is one example. There are other effective and less equivocal symbolisms that express the Cosmic Law of Duality or Polarity which stretches from the greatest to the smallest, and that are more suitable for our times and our western ideology.
It is true that H.P. Blavatsky wrote that these symbols "have become offensive only because of the element of materiality and animality in them. As they originated with the archaic races . . . such symbols were but natural. If later races have degraded them . . . . this does not affect the origin of the symbols." (The Secret Doctrine, I, 318) But she points out on page 363 that these symbols covered only a small part of the ancient teachings, and that unless at least three of the seven systems were known, only an approximate interpretation could be madle. Fully to understand, the Hierophant had to combine all the keys, and therefore "dangerous indiscretions" could not be committed. - The Theosophical Forum For August.
THEOSOPHY AND SPIRITUALISM
Ferry Over Jordan, by Margery Lawrence, 188pp., London, 1944 (Hale), 8/6.
Lychgate, by Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding, 128pp., London, 1945 (Rider), 7/6.
Here are two very popular books, perhaps a good deal more important on account of the extent to which they reflect the trend of the times than on account of their contents.
"Ferry Over Jordan" is a vigorous, popularly written introduction to Spiritualism as Margery Lawrence understands it. Her book has all the bounce and vitality that one expects in work by a popular woman novelist. There is also a good deal of sloppiness and lack of definition in detail, a lack of finish which is perhaps justifiable in a book written for the moment and not to last. Yet even the man in the street or the girl in the crowd may not always feel very patient with an author who refers the reader to a book which she "thinks" was called so-and-so.
Very rightly, in a popular book, the starting point for exposition is the gropings and desires of the average individual. Chapters are devoted to such subjects as "What it Feels Like to Die" and "Sex on the Other Side," things about which we presumably all want to know. The treatment of certain large subjects, such as cosmis rays, evolutionary cycles and other topics which may be of interest to students of theosophical literature, is deliberately excluded from a book that is intended for simple and not very intellectual people; but some space is given to the exposition of reincarnation. There are rather unsatisfactory elements in her treatment of the inner nature and "principles" of man; and perhaps some study of certain theosophical books would have clarified one or two points for our author. But she does not set rigid frontiers and she stresses the conception of life as a hierarchy and the existence of others who stand higher than we do on the ladder of ascent. A lot of very sensible observations are scattered through the book; and, admitting the limits set by the author's intentions, it is a good piece of work.
There is one "slant" in the mode of treatment which makes this reviewer adversely critical. Mediums are written of through the book with a sort of exuberant awe. By mediums are meant all who have a capacity for giving the inner world expression in the outer. Thus Jesus was a great medium. Now what seems open to criticism is that when the question "Why can't I be my own medium" is discussed, our author gives a rather negative response. Surely, if we take this broad meaning of the word medium, everyone of us has to be his own medium. Surely it is the very purpose of life that we should all become our own mediums and be, not producers of seance room phenomena, but living, positive and self-conscious lines of communication between This and That. Has Spiritualism or any other experience, any value at all unless it aids our growth into mediums of that kind?
"Lychgate" is an account of experiences and teachings principally obtained in a private circle of Viscount Dowding, together with a good deal of speculative comment. It is a rambling book, not very well planned or well written. It has the lack of coordination which is to be expected in a description of personal experiences which have not been altogether assimilated or seen in any systematic shape. Some topics are left rather in the air and we are left with doubts and questionings about which the author might very well have given us satisfaction. How, for instance, do these various German soldiers who come to his circle come to speak such good English, or are they translated?
When this is said, it remains to admit
that there is much interesting material in the book. Much of it is concerned with various forms of "invisible helping," particularly in connection with the war. Many "occult" topics are referred to - Masters (though not quite in the sense in which some theosophists will be accustomed to apply the word), the Seven Rays, force centres, occult schools. Stress is laid on a kind of mystical chivalry, on the dignity of sacrifice and free service under leaders. It would be very hard to summarize the implications of the book's contents or convey the atmosphere of them, not the less so as one feels that the author may not have himself pursued the implications as far as he might.
Both writers in the books under review refer to theosophy. Margery Lawrence writes respectfully of the work of Madame Blavatsky. She has kind words for Mr. Hodson's writings about fairies but objects to his "rather fantastic pseudo-religious theories" and his references to the World Mother. It is not quite clear whether she really understands him. Lord Dowding has evidently read a good deal of theosophy and even attempts to give a bird's-eye view of what is to be found in theosophical literature. He writes: "I want to make it quite clear that I am not a theosophist: I am a Dowdingist if I am any kind of -ist at all. But I do believe that the Theosophists are nearer to the truth than any other Western creed or sect of which I have heard. I say this not so much because I trust my own power of judgment, but because the little doles of information from the other side which we get in our circle from time to time so often fit into the theosophical picture, and into no other frame." He notes many clashes, however, between information given to him and information given in theosophical books. But, even where we find him misquoting C.W. Leadbeater with mild disapproval, he writes: " . . . it would be a thousand pities if anyone were deterred from a study of the framework of theosophical teaching by a revulsion from any of the details. Remember that theosophy is broadly based on the Ancient Mysteries. It is the best exposition of them which I know of as being available to Western Europe."
The two books are interesting examples of literature that is now being widely read. The challenge of these many new spiritualistic and mystical schools and cults to the churches is becoming very powerful. Sometime ago the churches were faced with a negative challenge; people were falling away in mild boredom and disillusionment. Now the challenge is becoming more and more positive; people are beginning to turn increasingly purposively and positively in certain new directions. The menace to the older orthodoxies is no longer just apathy, but the growing attractions of vigorous young rivals. Spiritualism, Christian Science, anything that offers comfort and an explanation such as those older orthodoxies cannot give, are expanding in life and influence at the present time.
The Theosophical Society is in a somewhat different position. The best that it offers would probably not appeal to those who will most eagerly read these two books, and yet these books show evidences that they have been profoundly influenced by the seventy years of theosophical thought and teachings that have preceded their publication. Our society has been a pioneering effort, and now that so many other agencies are entering upon the ground that we have broken, we must recollect that our place is still at the head of the advance. The statement that we are at the head of the advance has been sharply challenged in many quarters; but it is not certain that the characteristics which such challengers would point to as evidences of anyone's being in advance are really the true
marks of those who occupy such a position. If spiritualism has its strength in its scientific and objective nature, it is surely there also that its weakness is to be found. In an age of extraversion and of seeking for objectivity, those who turn into the subjective, into the self, are doing good work; and there is much significance in the stress which Mr. Jinarajadasa has for many years placed upon mysticism in the Theosophical Society and in Dr. Arundale's call for "deeper esotericism." - By Hugh Shearman, Ph.D., T.C.D., in Theosophy in Ireland for April-June.
I have been interested in the correspondence with the executives of The Theosophical Movement which has resulted from the Resolution of Lotus Lodge, dated June 4, 1944, wherein the Lodge stated the reason for its existence to be
"(a) The study of the Eastern Philosophy.
"(b) The dissemination of the Eastern Philosophy.
"(c) Allegiance to the Original Message, Original Programme, and the Adept Founders responsible for the origin of The Theosophical Movement."
The correspondence itself, from various Theosophical headquarters in the world, is a loose-leaf volume of letters nearly two inches thick, and is still growing.
A copy of that part of it which is the official correspondence with The Theosophical Society in America was filed by the Lodge at International Headquarters, Adyar, with our appeal against the decision of the American officials to recall our Charter, because an the opinion of the Executive Council "Lotus Lodge has ceased to perform the function for which it was chartered."
Almost every sentence of the letters written Mr. Sidney A. Cook, past president, and his successor, Mr. James A. Perkins, President of The Theosophical Society in America, is significant as expressing a policy of denial of the Adept Founders and the Original Message, and disapproval of the Original Programme as being inimical to the present program. They are too long to reprint or reproduce. This correspondence of one entire fiscal year (1944-1945) with the officials and Board of Directors of The Theosophical Society in America must be summarized by the sentence quoted above, as it is their reason for attempting to dissolve Lotus Lodge. This recall of the Charter was made by Resolution of the Board of Directors dated August 11th, 1945.
But on July 13th, 1945, by unanimous vote, one month earlier, in protest against continued repudiation of the Original Programme, Adept Founders and Eastern Philosophy as embodied in our Resolution dated June 4, 1944, Lotus Lodge had withdrawn from The Theosophical Society in America and requested direct affiliation with International Headquarters in Adyar. On July 14th, 1945, a copy of the Resolution of Withdrawal was sent to the General Secretary, Mr. Cook, with a request to forward our application for affiliation to Dr. Arundale "in accordance with Section No. 31 of the Rules and Regulations of The Theosophical Society". In answer we received the resolution recalling the Charter dated August 11th, 1945. Our request for affiliation has never been forwarded to Adyar by the officials of the American Section, on the grounds that we did not comply with rules which had never been furnished to Lodges in the American Section.
We prepared to carry the case to Adyar, and assembled the file of over seventy-five pages of typewritten copies, but in the meantime Dr. Arundale died. However the Acting President, Mr. N. Sri Ram, gave his opinion
in a letter dated September 28th, 1945, on our original Resolution of June 4, 1944. He said:
"Every Lodge has the freedom to make its own program of studies and work and stress those aspects of the universal Wisdom to which its members as a whole are particularly attracted. We have always stressed the fact that there is no orthodoxy in The Theosophical Society to which the faithful must conform".
He added that we had no right to enforce our views upon others, presumably those who prefer the divergences to which we object.
We answered by sending our formal demand for a decision and the file of correspondence, asking "Is there room for a Lodge of the Original Programme, Adept Founders, and Eastern Philosophy in the Adyar organization?" It arrived while Mr. Cook was in India receiving appointment as International Vice-President, so that doubtless he was able to advise the new President, Mr. Jinarajadasa, on the best way to uphold the American officials.
Finally we received an official decision from Mr. Jinarajadasa, dated May 1st, 1946. It is his opinion that we must ask affiliation with Adyar through the General Secretary of the American Section. It is our contention we did so on July 11th, 1945, and do not know how to make a more emphatic request.
Sentences in this letter from Mr Jinarajadasa stand out, and I quote without comment:
"All members of the Society are bound by a Constitution and its Rules and Regulations . . . we are allowed to change the Rules and Regulations by a three-fourths vote of the members of the Council".
"In this Memorandum which states the Objects of the Society and describes its organization, and in its Rules and Regulations amended from time to time, neither the words "Theosophy" nor `Theosophist' are mentioned, so that in the one legal instrument which binds us all as members there is no statement of what constitutes Theosophy or what should characterize a Theosophist".
"Every member of the Society has therefore a right, which no one can take from him, to declare what is Theosophy, Neo-Theosophy, or any other form of Theosophy, or what is not Theosophy, and to declare what makes or does not make a Theosophist".
"Every inscribed member, and therefore every group of members chartered as a Lodge, and equally every group of Lodges chartered as a National Society, has perfect freedom to study what it likes and exclude from its studies any authors or subjects . . ."
"In 1895 the principle was laid down that while individual Theosophists are perfectly welcome to believe in the existence of the Masters, the Society is in no way committed to such a belief".
"There is no `original programme' to appeal to under the Constitution as a standard for studies or for propaganda".
"Lotus Lodge therefore, while remaining an integral part of the Society, can attach itself also to any other organization it selects".
The foregoing reveals the calibre of the International President, who cannot say once for all - there are Masters, that the Society stands for Them and Their teachings, that it follows the Original Programme written by H.P. Blavatsky in 1886 (reprinted by Mr. Jinarajadasa himself in 1931) and the Eastern Philosophies from which everything Theosophical has sprung until the inclusion of the Western ideas by later leaders who are credited with "further revelations". He cannot answer unequivocally that there is room for "a Lodge of the Original Programme, Adept Founders, and Eastern Philosophy in the Adyar organization".
This is the situation at the moment in Lotus Lodge. We are deluged with technicalities, rules, and regulations of which we never heard, and a Resolution "not yet embodied in the Consitution", but which Mr. Jinarajadasa tells us "since it is a Resolution of the Supreme governing body, it is binding upon all members of the Society, so long as they desire to remain within the Society". (Italics by Mr. Jinarajadasa.)
It is our contention that every change in Rules and Regulations, and issuance of Resolutions affecting the status of every member, should be placed in the hands of every Lodge President, and of every member of the Society. But Mr. Perkins tells us "no provision exists to supply the lodges with copies of the International Rules", much less resolutions of the "supreme governing body".
Every reference to the fundamental principles, to the origin, the Adept Founders, and the cause for the very existence of The Theosophical Move-ment, is brushed aside, evaded, or ignored completely. No straightforward answer "Yes", or "No" is to be obtained from either the American officials or tile supreme pontiff of the Society regarding the things most important to every member. On these there is silence and by that silence we judge the soul, the spirit, and the inner fire has long departed from a crippled and dying exoteric organization.
- Anne Leslie Roger.
President, Lotus Lodge,
The Theosophical Society in Philadelphia.
THE FRATERNIZATION CONVENTIONS
At the last Fraternization Convention held in Toronto in 1942, it was decided that while the world was at war it was inadvisable to hold any further gatherings, therefore a `holding' Committee was appointed whose job it was to act as sort of "trustees" for the Fraternization Movement.
Last April the majority of this Cornmittee had a meeting and discussed the pros and cons of a Convention in the near future. It is now the general feeling of this Committee that conditions are still too upset to hold a gathering this year, but that plans should be laid for one sometime next year.
At this meeting Mr. Cardinal G. LeGros of Detroit accepted the Chairmanship of the Committee, and Mr. Emory J. Clapp of Boston took over the editing of the Fraternization News. Mr. Geo. Kinman of Toronto is Treasurer for the Committee, and he is quite willing to receive any contributions towards the costs involved in preparing for a Convention.
No doubt the first thing that Mr. LeGros will do is to decide on the time and place for the Convention next year, and as soon as it is definite it will be published in the Canadian Theosophist, so that all those who were interested in making these Conventions a success in the past, will be able to make their plans for attending the next "reunion".
- Kathleen Marks,
209 Avenue Road, Toronto, i/c Publicity in Canada.
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.