Brotherhood - Occult Science
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Vol. XXIX, No. 1 Toronto, March 15th, 1948 Price 20 Cents
Prayer is an inward act, even though the god invoked be a seemingly outer deity, and as such may be altogether helpful in drawing a man nearer to a more ideal concept.
Religion, in spite of all its abuses, its incidental deceptions and ineptitudes has struggled consistently toward the goal of ultimate harmony between natural man and his highest good. Man's own intuitions eventually wean him away from acceptance of those forms that would establish fictions as literal truth. "Out of the imaginations of the heart come forth the issues of life", and the religious impulse, springing as it does from the sense of wonder, feels, rather than thinks, its way to the heart of things.
George Santayana has said that the indwelling lends all the gods their divinity and that man is spiritual when he lives in the presence of the ideal. The god first believed in as a physical thing or a dramatic picture of an existent power, by turns malign and beneficient becomes an ideal standard of excellence to be contemplated and loved; a companion to the hopes and generosities of the spirit of man. The jealous god becomes the God of righteousness; the historical Jesus becomes the symbol of perfect charity; Apollo ceases to be the material sun and becomes the symbol of prophecy and healing, poetry and song, all the longings of mankind toward vitality and poise compacted into that clear, single image of divinity. This same philosopher, who strangely enough calls himself a materialist, in his very penetrating analysis of the nature of prayer and sacrifice marks the profound changes that may take place in these two expressions of the religious impulse. Sacrifice, he says, originally expressing fear, in its more amiable aspect can become thanksgiving, or undergo an even nobler transformation while retaining all its austerity. "Renunciation is the cornerstone of wisdom, the condition of all genuine achievement. The gods in asking for a sacrifice, may invite us to give up not a part of our food or of our liberty, but the foolish and inordinate part of our wills. The sacrifice may be dictated to us, not by a jealous enemy needing to be pacified, but by a far-seeing friend, wishing we may not be deceived. If what we are commanded to surrender is only what is doing us harm, the god demanding the sacrifice is our own ideal. He has no interests in the case other than our own; he is no part of the environment; he is the goal that determines for us how we should proceed in order to realize as far as possible our inmost aspirations. When religion reaches this phase it has become thoroughly moral. It has ceased to represent or misrepresent material conditions, and has learned to embody spiritual good."--- 2
Early sacrificial rites have left ghosts behind them. The mass and communion have a very close resemblance to ritual sacrifice. But the church, as Santayana points out, realizing that an emotionl catharsis does not always bring about permanent moral improvement has introduced confession, where a man may be asked to consider what sacrifices he should make in his turn, and in what practical direction he should imagine himself to be drawn by the vague, dionysiac influences to which the ritual subjects him.
The magical side of religion mostly manifests itself in prayer. Prayer and contemplation may seem to have little place in the life of modern man, who momentarily looks to a new god, science, to relieve him of his mortality. But if the essence of life is spiritual, a god now harnessed to forces that bring chaos, will soon be dethroned. The proper function of science is to unveil cosmic order to the mind of man.
To quote Santayana again "Spiritual man needs something more than a cultivated scintillation. He needs to refer that scintillation to some essential light, so that in reviewing the motley aspects of experience, he may not be reduced to culling supercilliously the flowers that please him, but may view in them all only images of some eternal good. Spirituality has never flourished apart from religion, except momentarily, perhaps, in some master mind, whose original intuitions at once became a religion to his followers. For it is religion that knows how to interpret the casual rationalities in the world and isolate their principle, setting this principle up in the face of nature as nature's model and standard. This ideal synthesis of all that is good, this consciousness that over earth floats its congenial heaven, this vision of perfection that gilds beauty and sanctifies grief, in a mythology so opaque and pseudo-physical, that its moral essence has been sadly obscured; nevertheless, every religion worthy of the name has put into its gods some element of real goodness . . . . The spiritual man, fixing his eyes on them, could live in the presence of ultimate purposes and ideal issues." As we read in the Gita "Those who worhip Me with devotion, verily they findeth for themselves the road to my heart, and I am in them and they in Me."
Hitherto the east has provided proper soil for the nourishment of that last phase of Man's spiritual quest, pure contemplation in which the self is liberated into the Self. Yet who could prophesy what may be the spiritual destiny of the west? Gerald Heard, in "Preface to Prayer" speaks of the present breakdown and exhaustion of analytic thought, whereby meaning is disappearing from life. The path of prayer is the way home, he tells us. "Prayer is not only the continuation of the creative process until the soul hands its separate power back to its creator; prayer is the redemptive process also, and this redemptive process is not only for the recovery of the individual but fo the restoration of Society also."
- Eve Cunningham.
THE THREE TRUTHS
The soul of man is immortal, and its future is the future of a thing whose growth and splendour have no limit.
The principle which gives life dwells in us, and without us, is undying and eternally beneficent, is not heard or seen, or smelt, but is perceived by the man who desires perception.
Each man is his own absolute law-giver, the dispenser of glory or gloom to himself; the decreer of his life, his reward, his punishment.
These truths, which are as great as is life itself, are as simple as the simplest mind of man. Feed the hungry with them. - Idyll of the White Lotus.
THE RIGHTS OF MAN
By Lewis Mumford
(The Commission on Human Rights of United Nations is engaged in the great task of preparing a universal Bill of Rights. The United Nations Weekly Bulletin for November 25, 1947, presented the following comments of a noted American authority on modern culture and social planning, Lewis Mumford. Mr. Mumford is the author of a number of well-known books which include Technics and Civilization, The Culture of Cities, The Conditions of Man, and Values for Survival.)
What is a human right? It is an attempt to define an essential attribute of the human personality, to make this attribute sacred, and to give it a constitutional and juridical status.
As soon as one passes from the essential attributes of the human personality to secondary characteristics, one passes out of the sphere of rights, properly defined. One may have a "right to live" but not a right to have three meals a day, since some communities may be content with two meals and some may demand six. In short, a right should only establish those characteristics without which a person is not a person, but a mere biological organism or a slave.
So far from extending the list of human rights as set forth in the eighteenth century, I would propose, rather, to limit their number and attempt to make them truly universal. Every attempt to elaborate human rights is in fact a covert effort to give a constitutional status to some special and limited human enactment. The following list of rights is offered merely as an illustration of the method and scope of a new Bill of Rights.
I. Human life is sacred. The right to live shall not be abridged, except under universally acknowledged terms of law and justice. These terms shall be defined by a World Court and established by the United Nations. Positively, the right to live constitutes a claim for access to the land and the instruments of production or to their economic equivalents.
II. The right to form a family and to propagate the race is sacred, subject only to such regulations as may be designed to protect the health and welfare of the community as a whole.
III. Every human being has the right to continued growth and development, up to the limit of his capacities. This right constitutes a claim to schooling, to access to libraries and other institutes of culture, and to association in freedom with others for the purpose of study, research, work, play, political action, or worship.
IV. Every human being, since he is born into society, has the right not only to form new associations but to withdraw from associations that do not represent his interests or further his welfare. No state shall abridge the right of two or more people to form associations, corporations, or groups, except when the purposes of such association are contrary to human welfare, as defined by a World Court. The state may, however, require all associations, beginning with the family, to declare their existence and to abide by regulations designed to promote the common good.
V. Every human being has the right to be treated as an equal member of the human family, without respect to race, class, status, or country of origin. On the positive side, this constitutes a claim to travel and migrate, subject to such regulations as may be imposed by the United Nations acting on behalf of all its Members.
VI. Every group and state shall have the right to self-government, on the basis of equal participation by all its adult members. This right implies freedom of opinion and speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of public criticism, and freedom to choose and remove its officers and leaders at regular elections.
AVERTING A THIRD WAR
QUESTIONER: These monstrous wars cry for a durable peace. Every one is speaking already of a Third World War. Do you see a possibility of averting the new catastrophe?
KRISHNAMURTI: How can we expect to avert it when the elements and values that cause war continues? Has the war that is just over produced a deep fundamental change in man? Imperialism and oppression are still rampant, perhaps cleverly veiled; separate sovereign states continue; nations are maneuvering themselves into new positions of power; the powerful still oppress the weak; the ruling elite still exploit the ruled; social and class conflicts have not ceased; prejudice and hatred are burning everywhere. As long as professional priests with their organized prejudices justify intolerance and the liquidation of another being for the good of your country and the protection of your interests and ideologies, there will be war. As long as sensory values predominate over eternal value there will be war.
What you are the world is. If you are nationalistic, patriotic, aggressive, ambitious, greedy, then you are the cause of conflict and war. If you belong to any particular ideology, to a specialized prejudice, even if you call it religion, then you will be the cause of strife and misery. If you are enmeshed in sensory values then there will be ignorance and confusion. For what you are the world is; your problem is the world's problem.
Have you fundamentally changed because of this present catastrophe? Do you not still call yourself an American, an Englishman, an Indian, a German and so on? Are you not still greedy for position and power, for possessions and riches? Worship becomes hypocrisy when you are cultivating the causes of war; your prayers lead you to illusion if you allow yourself to indulge in hate and in worldliness. If you do not eradicate in yourself the causes of enmity, of ambition, of greed, then your gods are false gods who will lead you to misery. Only goodwill and compassion can bring order and peace to the world and not political blueprints and conferences. You must pay the price for peace. You must pay it voluntarily and happily and the price is the freedom from lust and ill-will, worldliness and ignorance, prejudice and hate. If there were such a fundamental change in you, you could help to bring about a peaceful and sane world. To have peace you must be compassionate and thoughtful.
You may not be able to avert the Third World, War but you can free your heart and mind from violence and from those causes that bring about enmity and prevent love. Then in this dark world there will be some who are pure of heart and mind, and from them perhaps the seed of a true culture might come into being. Make pure your heart and mind, for by your life and action only can there be peace and order. Do not be lost and confused in organizations but remain wholly alone and simple. Do not seek merely to prevent catastrophe but rather let each one deeply eradicate those causes that breed antagonism and strife. - (from Krishnamurti's Book of Talks, entitled "Ojai, 1945-1946" and reprinted with the permission of Krishnamurti Writings, Inc., Ojai.)
THE MYSTICISM OF WORDSWORTH
Wordsworth will never be demode - not as long as Milton, Shakespeare and the Bible enrich our language with their memorable lines; for he is indubitably of their company.
We may submit with good grace to being prodded into new forms of awareness by the novel devices of certain modern poets who spurn the obvious. We may even find emotional sequences pleasantly exciting though they are as empty of logic as the vaguely suggestive `two red roses across the moon'. We may be diverted by the sophistications that sparkle so smartly in poems like Prufrock. And finally we may pounce with genuine interest on the work of those modern poets who have created equally significant values for the modern world but have fleshed their dreams in the traditional forms.
Yet in spite of our excursions, begotten of an irrepressible curiosity, into heretofore untrodden ways of poetical expression Wordsworth continues to satisfy our deeper instincts. His verse has retained the power to spread harmony through our being. His lyrical outpourings anoint with the oil of gladness our frayed nerves when the world has been too much with us.
Wordsworth's poetry fulfils what is generally acknowledged to be the primary objective of all poetry - the inducement of wonder, or sense of mystery which is as omnipresent as God. Like all great artists he presents us, not with a photographic likeness of objects and scenes, but the natural event filtered through, and transmitted by, his unique personality. Through the medium of visual imagery he imparts a measure of his ecstatic delight (his Brahmavidya) to us, so that we too may walk, though on common earth, the Elysian fields of light.
It is those flashes of mystic insight then, that constitute the perennial quality of his work. These age cannot dim or custom stale. The setting of verbal purity in which he has encased the intangible of the spirit has insured an immortality to his poems that is denied the verse of many an inferior poet who has weighted his spiritual substance with studied artifice and conceit. Moreover, Wordsworth's expression of the authentic experience of illumination was not entangled with the prejudices of time and place - those religious symbols in the very nature of things, to be emptied eventually of their original vigor and freshness.
It was fortunate for Wordsworth that he lived at a time when the rationalistic faith of Deism had triumphed over Christian mythology. Natural imagery enabled him to give an imperishable robe to supersensuous perceptions or feelings. It would seem as if the naturalism which harmonized with his aesthetic appreciation of 'the mighty world of eye and ear' gave a local habitation and a name to otherwise inexpressible visitations of glory. The religious intensity of the seventeenth century poets, on the other hand, to whom he has frequently been compared, covered its nakedness with the now discredited images culled from the fertile realm of theological fantasy. But the contours of natural objects can never pass into oblivion, as long as there are perceiving intelligences - nor can time radically alter their outlines. Yet the symbologies of dogma may appear more strange, childish and quaint with every rising generation.
The directly incommunicable nature of the new order of perception that was born within him was admitted by the poet. By the careful selection of words
and images he suggests rather than describes those lively sensations and intense forms of awareness that invaded his spirit which had long practiced a `wise passiveness'. In the Prelude he states his inability to articulate completely what passed within his inner being -
" . . . . but in the main
It lies far hidden from the reach of words.
Points have we all within our souls,
Where all stand single; this I feel, and make
Breathings for incommunicable powers."
The illimitable vistas and tremendous reservoirs of powers that are unveiled when the soul takes wings at the mountain moment of initiation are figuratively conveyed by the poet. In the preface to the Excursion the mundane self's awe, approaching terror, when confronted with the majesty of the great Self or Soul, is vividly presented -
"For I must tread on shadowy ground, must sink
deep - and, aloft ascending, breathe in worlds
To which the heaven of heavens is but a veil.
All strength - all terror, single or in bands,
That ever was put forth in personal form;
Jehovah - with his thunder, and the choir
Of shouting Angels, and the empyreal thrones -
I pass them unalarmed. Not Chaos, not
The darkest pit of lowest Erebus,
Nor aught of blinder vacancy - scooped out
By help of dreams, can breed such fear and awe
As fall upon us often when we look
Into our Minds . . . . "
From the context it would appear that Wordsworth is here using mind as synonymous with soul rather than intellect. Elsewhere he speaks of the `meddling intellect' which 'misshapes the beauteous form of things.'
Wordsworth did not completely understand the modus operandi, or the source, of the light that shed its radiance upon him for a brief season. Like the wind which bloweth where it listeth a it had come and gone leaving the well-springs of his inspiration dried up. Bereft of the blessed mood and sweet communion, his quivering ecstacies stilled, the natural bent of his dessicated emotions was toward orthodox piety, the church, and the abandonment of his pantheism and sensationalism.
If Wordsworth's realization of god-like faculties had been scientifically brought about, as in the case of the Eastern mystic who undergoes arduous years of mental and physical discipline with illumination as the conscious goal, he would not have been so prone to ascribe to natural objects the power of inspiration. Like Coleridge and Browning he would have known that the baptismal fount was within.
But in spite of his fidelity to naturalism, his belief in a `life in things', there were moments when the external world took on `the fabric of a dream'. Thus the mystical experience did not leave him completely bound to the illusion of duality, that there is a Self and not-Self, a subject and object, a world of inner ideation and a world of externality. In the Prelude, his spiritual autobiography, he avers that
". . . bodily eyes
Were utterly forgotten, and what I saw
Appeared like something in myself, a dream,
A prospect in the mind."
In the Fenwick Notes the identical psychological state is recorded in prose (Continued on Page 9)
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
We have a surplus of some of the earlier bound volumes of the Canadian Theosophist and have decided to put them on sale at one dollar each whilst they last and can assure any intending purchaser that there is a mine of valuable reading in each and all of them.
Many people are heard to remark "How can I help in furthering
Theosophy?" Here is one way of doing something. A member of the
Toronto Lodge goes to Hamilton once a week at her own expense to take
charge of an instruction class that she has organized there. The book in use
is Judge's "Ocean of Theosophy" and the group is well attended, very keen
and appreciative. We may add that anyone wishing to join will be welcomed
at 502 Dundurn Ave., at 8 p.m. on Thursdays.
It was a singular coincidence that within the space of one week
old members of the Society in London, Ontario passed away to the Great
Beyond. These were Mrs. Helen Shaw, Mrs. Louisa Parsons and Mr. J.B.
Wright. We understand they were especially active between the years
1920-26, and it is with deep regret we note their passing and add our
their efforts on behalf of the Work.
Mr. Van Eden reports very favorably on the success of the Theosophical International Correspondence League and gives a stimulating list of contacts made in diverse parts of the globe, principally South Africa where eleven of the members are domiciled. Anyone interested should write to him at 232 Pacific Ave., Toronto. In connection with this subject I have just received a delightful letter from Miss Dorothy Deacon, Anglo-Chinese Girls' School at Penang, Malaya. In it she thanks us for our help in getting so many Pen-Names in Canada and adds that seven girls joined the "Maple Leaves" and that they have many letters which are passed around and read with the greatest delight. "Altogether," she writes, "a big bundle of mail including papers arrive by each mail-ship and it does much to widen the outlook and sympathies of the girls". All this leads up to the parable of the seed dropped by the wayside, and who knows what the harvest may be
The Resolution of Sympathy on the death of Mr. Gandhi passed at the last meeting of the General Executive and reported in last month's magazine has brought the following letter from Mr. Ahuja: - Dear Col. Thomson, I deeply appreciate your kind letter of the 5th February on behalf of the Theosophical Society in Canada. The tragedy of Gandhi Ji's death is as impossible of discription as its consequence are unpredictable. Gandhi did not belong to India alone, nor to the faith in which he was born. The world was his home, mankind his family and God his only religion. It is, therefore, no small consolation to know that our great loss and sorrow is equally shared by your Society, as by millions all over the world. May God bless you and make us all worthy of those ideals of love and truth for which Gandhi worked and died. With kind regards, Yours sincerely, M.R. Ahuja, India Government Trade Commissioner." We thank Mr. Ahuja for this appreciation of our sympathy and of his touching references to Mr. Gandhi, it is an incentive to us all to try still further to live up to the ideals so expressed.
Mr. Jinarajadasa writes me stressing his desire to further in every way the work of the United Nations now being carried on, and requests the publication of the following Resolution passed by (Continued on Page 11)
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
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Another bit of evidence of the cyclic flow in human affairs. A centre of refuge is being established in Colorado to which members may retire in the event an atomic war breaks out. Shades of 1927-29! It reminds me of I Have Been Here Before, one of J.B. Priestley's Three Time Plays - which, by the way, have recently been published by Pan Books Ltd. in a paperbound edition, with a note by the author acknowledging his indebtedness to J.W. Dunne's Experiment With Time and The Serial Universe and to Ouspensky's New Model of the Universe. The Colorado experiment in communal living in a place of safety secure from the disasters which the organizers foresee, may be more successful than the many previous attempts - but that is very doubtful. Fear, escape, retreat, are words of negation; the basic motives are self-destructive of success.
John M. Watkins, London, hope to republish some of Charles Johnston's books which are now out-of-print, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, The Crest Jewel of Wisdom, and Mr. Johnston's translation of the Bhagavad Gita. Wilmshurst's Meaning of Masonry has just been republished and a reprint of G.R.S. Mead's translation of Pistis Sophia will be ready shortly, and so also will J.W. Hamilton Jones' translation of The Hieroglyphic Monad by Dr. John Dee, with commentary. These are all important books and students will be looking forward to their appearance.
THE ANNUAL ELECTIONS
The attention of the members is called to the notice which appeared in last month's issue respecting nominations for the office of General Secretary and seven members of the General Executive. Nominations should be made by the Lodges during this month, so that all returns may be in by the 1st day of April. When the nominations have been made they should be sent at once by the Lodge Secretaries to the General Secretary in a separate letter. Nominations must be made through a Lodge and the consent of the persons nominated must have been previously obtained.
THE MYSTICISM OF WORDSWORTH (Continued from Page 6)
'I was often unable to think of external things as having external existence, and I communed with all that I saw as something not apart from, but inherent in, my own immaterial nature.' Again in the Prelude he tells us that it is only `when the light of sense goes out' that the supersensuous world stands revealed.
Wordsworth considered himself, like Milton, `a dedicated spirit'. * It was the beautiful and elusive face of the Eternal that ravished him. Even his method of poetic creation, regarding which he has given us an explicit account, was consonant with this devotion to the purely abstract and permanent. He has told us that he did not compose his poetry till he recollected his original sensations somewhat later in tranquility. But the resuscitated image or impression did not abide long in an interior calm. There followed an imaginatively passionate hour of metamorphosis, when earthly things and events appeared to his mind's eye shorn of their accidental and transient features, and arrayed only in their ideal or eternal lineaments. Subjected to the alchemy of his heart's holy fire these imaginative apparitions assumed strange and unexpected shapes of beauty. To his spiritualized vision they seemed wrapped in a radiance like Aphrodite when she rose, a phantom of loveliness, from the sea. [* Wordsworth wished to be thought of primarily as a teacher. The religious experience which so radically altered his character is believed to have taken place toward the close of the eighteenth century; yet no one can read the Prelude and not come to the conclusion that he had `intimations of immortality' in his early youth.]
Though it was Wordsworth's mystic insight into a new order of experience, the cosmic state of consciousness, that establishes both his modernity and his theosophy,* all his poetry is not infused with the same high seriousness that Mathew Arnold considered iindispensable to great art. The Wordsworth who wrote the early Descriptive Sketches when the spell of Rousseau's romantic naturalism was upon him, or the later Ecclesiastical Sonnets when the energies of his contemplative vision had waned, was obviously not the same man who wrote Tintern Abbey during the intervening period, around 1798. The beatific presence that agitated him with the "joy of elevated thoughts" by 1808 finally ceased to breathe upon him its holy passion. The "celestial urn" no longer spilled its faery light athwart the landscape, touching the transient cloud with loveliness and flooding the valley depths in splendour. It is generally conceded that the Wordsworth of the `visionary gleam' quietly gave up the ghost about 1808. [ * Wordsworth's Theosophical attitude toward the mythological phase in man's religious development, as evidenced in the fourth book of the Excursion, arouses a certain respect for his intellectual maturity among those who believe in a universal esoteric doctrine. Ancient myth and symbol, even idolatry, were not peurile fancies to him but indications, though in fictional forms, of man's awareness of an all-pervading Divinity.]
In the Complaint he laments its departure in the words, `There is a change and I am poor'. Some students of Wordsworth attribute his sense of spiritual impoverishment to the death of his brother of whom he was very fond. Others, like Professor Garrod, who are inclined to the view that Wordsworth
was Coleridge's greatest creation, believe that he was referring to the withdrawal of mentally exciting stimuli following his alienation from the `subtle-souled psychologist'.
It is true that Wordsworth had many conversations with Coleridge who was well versed in German transcendentalism and Neo-platonism. In this way, he might have provided him with a rational ground for many of his intuitively discerned truths about God, man and nature. Nevertheless, allusions and hints abound in the Prelude and the Excursion of a genuine religious illumination similar to that experienced by Edward Carpenter and Walt Whitman in more recent times. With all his brilliance Coleridge could not have conferred the ecstasy that overwhelmed the poet as he penetrated to the centre of his own mysterious Selfhood.
In spite of Wordsworth's theosophy there are, necessarily, certain unmodern features in his work, for he was the child of his age, though perhaps not to the same extent as Byron and Shelley.
To us who have been long habituated to the notion of development through struggle, the world of nature cannot possibly be the scene of amity and peace as Wordsworth pictured it. Such a view is as insipid to modern taste as the romantic naturalism of Saint Pierre's Paul et Virginie. And how remote from the realistic grasp of the Hindu mind which personified the destructive forces of nature under the image of Siva! And the latter's consort Kali with blood-stained face and breast is an even more dramatic presentation of that Nature who rends with tooth and claw.
Equally unmodern was Wordsworth's preoccupation with subjects conventionally acceptable, if we except of course his poetical treatment of the peasants, the idiot and the nondescript child. Although he scattered the golden dust of romance on commonplace things, affirming that even the meanest flower
awoke in him thoughts too deep for tears, his art never attempted to transmute a gross and recalcitrant subject matter such as did Burns in the Jolly Beggars, where a heightened sense of throbbing vitalism carries us along.
Finally, Wordsworth's mystic feeling was not all-encompassing. His poetry lacks the inclusiveness and wide sweep of Walt Whitman's who was a student of the Sacred Books of the East. Whitman's naturalism meant neither innocence nor blind mechanism but acceptance of the sum-total of reality. The American poet made obeisance to the Divine principle of Life no matter how repulsive its face and denied to no aspect its due recognition. To borrow the words of a Hindu sage he found Him in `the thunderbolt, in shame, in sorrow and in sin'. Whitman recorded sincerely and with deep understanding (without moralizing, or justifying or judging) the polyglot characters he met on the broad thoroughfare of life - those in whom defeat, struggle and frustration had carved their deep tracings. But in Wordsworth's time the ugly and grotesque had not come into their own.
- Alberta Jean Rowell.
The Editor, Canadian Theosophist.
The article "Some Experiences in India" by W.T. Brown, published in your June issue has very special interest for me. Ever since I came into Theosophical circles as a boy I heard of Mr. Brown as always "Poor Brown", the reason for which will appear later.
When in 1919 I was compiling the book "The Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom", 1st series, I published the two letters received by Mr. Brown from the Master K.H., Letters 21 and 22. It was evident that Mr. Brown had carried out the suggestion of the Master and
had written of his experiences. But no copy of his pamphlet could be found at the Adyar Library or anywhere else where I sought for it. I am, therefore, specially glad to read the reprint of the pamphlet in the Canadian Theosophist.
The reason why the Indian chelas always spoke of Mr. Brown as "Poor Brown" is as follows. Mr. Brown mentions that the Master came to his tent (the Master was at the moment in Lahore on his way further south to Mysore) and that he left "a letter of instructions and a silk handkerchief, both of which, are now in my possession". Evidently through much handling the handkerchief must have become somewhat soiled. It was then that Mr.Brown sent it to the laundry. Hence the appelation given to him by the chelas, "Poor Brown". Perhaps the most astonishing thing about Mr: Brown is that in spite of all that happened to him and the amount of help given, finally he not only left the Society but entered the Roman Catholic Church. The following is what Colonel Olcott says of him in Old Diary Leaves, 3rd Series, pages 326-327:
"He had chopped and changed before coming to us, and has been doing it pretty much ever since; the latest news being that he has turned Cathoilc, taken the soutane, kept it on only a few days, became again a laic, and is now teaching in a Roman Catholic college in Madras Presidency, and married to an Eurasian widow lady of ripe age. May he prosper in his undertakings and find that peace of mind for which he has so long been hoping."
- C. Jinarajadasa.
Editor Canadian Theosophist.
Dear Sir: -
The recent series of lectures by Prof Ernest E. Wood at the Montreal Lodge and at Victoria Hall Westmount, proved to be very satisfactory indeed.
The capable and thorough manner in which these lectures were presented was typical of the man who is living theosophy.
It was evident from the numerous appreciative comments of those privileged to hear Prof. Wood that each had gained a deeper and richer understanding of the true and inspiring life theosophy ever strives to convey. I am confident that Brother Theosophists throughout Canada will join with us in this expression of appreciation to Professor and Mrs. Wood for the great work which they are accomplishing throughout their tour of Canada.
- George Matsell.
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
(Continued from Page 7)
the Council at the 72nd Annual Convention in Benares: - "As all members of the Theosophical Society desire earnestly to establish World Peace as a realization of Universal Brotherhood, the General Council of the Theosophical Society recommends all Lodges throughout the world to be informed of the work of the United Nations. And the Council further suggest that one meeting each year be devoted to describing the work of the United Nations toward ushering in the era of World Peace and Brotherhood." Further he urges that a particular day be set apart for this purpose in each country of the world and be specified "U.N. Day", and for that day he would send the General Secretaries material summarizing the work of that body during the last twelve months. Unquestionably this organization is doing wonderful work to bring about the first object of the Society and it is up to all of us to do everything we can to help it along. The matter will be brought up at the next meeting of the General Executive when it is hoped that some modus operandi will be devised and this will be passed on to the Lodges in due course for their cooperation.
THREE RESEARCH CENTRE PAMPHLETS
An Introduction to the Study of Analytical Psychology; Space-time; and Group Work.
In these three pamphlets the Theosophical Research Center, (50 Gloucester Place, London, W.I.) has well maintained its objective of furthering the spreading of information among Theosophists of advances in science, medicine, art, education and other realms of knowledge.
The first pamphlet contains a very fair presentation of psychoanalytic psychology, it deals with the merits of the Fruedian point of view; its development; and its short-comings both as seen through the eyes of its critics and those of the Theosophist. It likewise has a paragraph or two concerning Adler's school of individual psychology and points out the need for the adjustment of the individual to his environment. And, finally, it takes up the theories of Jung which developed into what Jung himself called Analytical Psychology. Many resemblances are found between Jung's theories and the teachings of Theosophy regarding the constitution of man.
Space-time, essentially deals with the relation between man and the world in which he lives; with his constitution as a child of both the spiritual and the physical worlds.
The pamphlet on group work practical in the extreme, lays down the principles on which all group work should be conducted; it tells what makes some groups go; it tells also why others become total failures. Curiously enough, the rules for success are recognized in the business world today quite as much as in Theosophy. There is in both a technique in group work which has to be mastered.
"THE MAHATMA LETTERS"
Word has come from London that a new edition of this work is in publication. It will be a photographic reproduction and will have a preface by Mr. Christmas Humphries, head of The Buddhist Lodge in that city.
It is expected to be ready for distribution "some time this Spring" and the price in Toronto will be not less than six dollars.
Our Book Steward, Mr. E.B. Dustan, will book advance orders on this basis, but no definite date can be set for delivery.
"LEAVES OF GRASS"
Everyman's Library has issued a new and comprehensive edition of Leaves of Grass which will be welcomed by all lovers of Whitman. The Everyman volumes slip easily into the pocket and the lines that appears on each front page,
"Everyman, I will go with thee, and be thy guide,
In thy most need to go by thy side",
have an added significance in the Whitman volume. They brought to mind the stanza from Whoever You Are Holding He Now In Hand
"Or if you will, thrusting me beneath your clothing,
Where I may feel the throbs of your heart or rest upon your hip,
Carry me when you go forth over land and sea;"
The new edition which bears the same serial numbers as the 1912 edition, has been enlarged to include all the poems Whitman published in the Leaves of Grass series up to the time of his death in 1892, and all but a few of the minor poems which were published postumously. The essay Democratic Vistas which was included in the former edition has been omitted and the entire 458 pages are devoted to the poems. There
is an excellent introduction of some twenty-five pages by Professor Emory Holloway of Queen's College, New York. Whitman is referred to as "our perennial contemporary" and his position as "the Poet of Democracy" is emphasized. Whitman's "Democracy", however, was more than a political order; "Individuality" was another of his "suggestive words" and he stressed Individuality "as counterpoise to the levelling tendencies of democracy". He was above all things the poet of the Universal Brotherhood of Man; his poems,
" . . . . balance ranks, colors, races, creeds and the sexes,
They do not seek beauty, they are sought,
Forever touching them or close upon them follows beauty, longing, fain, love-sick."
(Published by J. M. Dent & Sons, Toronto).
Those of our readers, who are interested in Hebrew literature, will be pleased to learn of the discovery of an original Ms. by the famous "Maimonides", or Moses ben Maimon (or "The Light of Israel") who lived in the twelfth century A.D. He became famous as a Rabbinical philosopher and physician, and is quoted by H.P.B. in both volumes of the Secret Doctrine.
One of Maimonides' (Rambam) major works on ancient Jewish law, lost for more than seven centuries, has been discovered through the researches of Professor Saul Lieberman of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
Although many published works of Maimonides have been found, the new MS. is not included in any of them. It was found more than fifty years ago in the Cairo Genizah by Dr. Solomon Schechter and later came into the possession of Cambridge University Library in England, where it remains to this day. As a result of Dr. Lieberman's painstaking research, followed by
the confirmation of Morris Lutzki, research assistant at the Seminary Library and a recognized expert in Maimonides holograph, it has been ascertained beyond doubt that it is an original Maimonides MS.
This MS. has recently been published by the Jewish Theological Seminary in an 80-page Hebrew folio edition. The work deals with the laws of the Palestinian Talmud. It is entitled Hilkoth Ha-Yerushalmi Le-Rabeinu Mosheh ben Maimon. The volume includes an introduction, commentary and notes by Prof. Lieberman. ($5.00).
Fearlessness, singleness of soul, the will.
Always to strive for wisdom; opened hand
And governed appetites; and piety,
And love of lonely study; humbleness,
Uprightness, heed to injure nought which lives,
Truthfulness, slowness unto wrath, a mind
That lightly letteth go what others prize;
And equanimity, and charity
Which spieth no man's faults; and tenderness
Towards all that suffer; a contented heart,
Fluttered by no desires; a bearing mild,
Modest, and grave, with manhood nobly mixed
With patience, fortitude and purity;
An unrevengeful spirit, never given
To rate itself too high; such be the signs,
O Indian Prince! of him whose feet are set
On that fair path which leads to heavenly birth
- The Song Celestial, Chapter 16.
THE EXILE OF THE SOUL
By Roy Mitchell
(Continued from Page 256)
II. THE PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEM.
So much for the demonstrations contained in hypnotic suggestion. The hypothesis of unconscious mind as a lower entity is also the explanation of autosuggestion in its forms of Chris-tian Science, faith-healing, habit-curing and mental therapeutics. The reason why the hypnotist is more successful than the Ego himself in making the lower being do what he is told, is that the hypnotist is detached and has no sentimental or habitual misgivings. He is a successful hypnotist because he does not change his mind.
It is the explanation - and H. P. Blavatsky offered it half a century ago - of the phenomena of the seance room. The lower entity - the elemental or animal soul - is, in the vast majority of cases, the visitant who floods pyschic literature with his puerile recollections of earth and his ante-mortem theories of post-mortem states. Just as we saw him in the hypnotist's laboratory, he cannot, after death, reason inductively. He can offer fragmentary memories or corroborate what the sitters put into his mind. This is why a revenant can create the externals of a disembodied entity but can so rarely transcend the automatisms of earth life. He is the animated bhuta or pisacha of Eastern occultism, the shell of Theosophical literature.
Freud's psychoanalytic system, which owes far more to mediaeval and Renaissance occultists than its author might care to admit, offers valuable testimony to the independent existence of the lower soul, and the active part it plays in demanding from the Ego the intellectual reinforcement it needs for the fulfilment of its desires. The Ego - Freud's "censor" - is not only the creator of ideas for his own use, but he is also most frequently the creator of ideas that have no other purpose than the satisfaction of the desires of the lower being. This is the reason for the desire-saturation of the elements in the subconscious realm of mind, the ideas that have slipped out of the Ego's field of conscious knowledge and form the reservoir of animal mind in man. The fact that Freud, misreading his data, proposes an animal ethic for the divine soul, only demonstrated that psychologists, like other men, do not know what to do with facts when they get them.
Behaviorism, the enfant terrible of modern psychology, is for the most part a study of the relation of the animal soul to the body. It disagrees with occult science in the same way that all materialistic science does, and proceeds on the assumption that bodies are real and soul is not. It says that the body of man by its muscular reflexes and visceral twitchings begets the illusion of all higher faculties. Even misinterpreted thus, the Behaviorist data are valuable to the student. Watson's identification of emotions and powers with specific centres in the body is a restoration of the ancient doctrine of the body as a mirror of soul-function. Like so many other schools of psychology, however, Behaviorism survives by denying the existence of phenomena its theory will not explain. It offers a plausible theory of living persons but it gets into trouble when it is confronted with the problems of dead persons, and with the other psychological phenomena of seance rooms. Behaviorists know they will never persuade anybody that visceral twitchings in the present body can continue in an after world after the
physical viscera have ceased to twitch. Neither can it say with authority that visceral twitchings in the medium enable her to know that somebody's deceased mother's cousin was named Edward. Nobody wants to be a failure, so, rather than fail, Behaviorism repudiates psychic phenomena altogether.
It has become apparent to the student of occult philosophy that the principal cause of the psychologist's quandary is his refusal to admit the materiality of any other planes than the physical. The Eastern psychologist has no such problem. For him the world of desire or Kama is a definite realm of matter interior to and interpenetrating the highest state of physical matter as water interpenetrates a solid. His world of mind or manas is a still subtler plane interior to the plane of desire and interpenetrating it and the physical planes as air interpenetrates liquids and solids. Interior to all these is a still subtler plane of radiant matter called Buddhi, that stands in the same relation to the three below it as light does to gases, liquids and solids. A soul in Eastern psychology is an essence, a Jiva, as immaterial as the Western scientist would ask, but possessed of the power of manifesting in any of the planes - in the radiant world of Buddhi as a cognitive spiritual being, in manas as an intellective, form-making creator, in kama as a sensitive, feeling soul, as the souls of animals are. The fundamental fact about him is that he is not the plane in which he operates. He is spirit; it is matter. In all of which the Eastern psychologist may be as wrong as Newton and Dalton were and still he might supply Western psychology with a working hypothesis.
The identification of consciousness or awareness exclusively with mind is an absurdity and responsible for the absurdities in which psychology is enmeshed. The Ego is obviously a being making forms in mind. Quite as obviously the lower entity is another being living a passional life in the realm below mind and borrowing his intellectual elements from a Jiva who is for some reason his instructor. The sodden, forgotten world between the two is the debris of lives of incompetent and mis-used instruction. Subconscious mentality is a disorderly tangle of forms on which Ego and animal draw at will. When years ago Dr. Maudsley reproved science for forgetting that all external objects are really seen within us, he voiced his celebrated witticism, "A thing is a think". Psychology will get out on to terra firma again when it learns to say "A think is also a thing."
In the meantime Goelenius the unskilful word-searcher is being justified. Psychologists are devoting themselves less and less to the thinking soul which must ever elude materialistic science, and are resigning its study to the metaphysicians. More and more they are devoting their inquiries to the feeling soul - the true psyche - which because it is external to man is capable of being studied in the objective manner of science. Gradually they are isolating it, describing it and revealing it as conformable to the animal world from which occult science says the Ego has lifted it. At the same time the true Ego withdraws and day by day becomes more definitely the anomaly he is - a visitor in a world that is not his own. The question is, "What is his true world?"
(To Be Continued.)
I gather to me treasures,
One by one -
The noise of the stream,
The pine, white and green.
A pebble smooth and round,
A nut, picked in the frost.
My soul is the Treasure Chest -
Nothing is ever lost!
We acknowledge with thanks the receipt of the following exchange magazines:
Theosophia (Denmark) Jan.
The American Theosophist, Feb.
The Sun (Belgium), Dec. and Jan.
O Teosofista (Brazil), Nov., Dec. & Jan.
De Theosofische Beweging (Holland), Feb.
The Path (Australia), Oct.-Dec.
O Pensamento (Brazil)
The Bombay Theosophical Bulletin, Nov.-Dec.
Teosofica (Argentina), Nov.-Dec.
Teosofia (Cuba), Jan.
The Theosophical Movement (Bombay), Dec.
The Golden Lotus, Jan.
The Modern Mystic & Monthly Science Review (England).
New India, weekly.
The Divine Life.
The Ancient Wisdom, Jan.
Excelsior (India), Oct.-Nov.
Teosofica Cubana, Jan.
ORIGINAL AND UP-TO-DATE THEOSOPHY
We lend freely by mail all the comprehensive literature of the Movement. Catalogue on request. Also to lend, or for sale at l0c each post free, our ten H.P.B. Pamphlets, including early articles from LUCIFER and Letters from the Initiates.
FOR THE BLIND - STANDARD THEOSOPHY IN BRAILLE Freely lent. Apply For List.
THE H. P. B. LIBRARY, 348 FOUL BAY ROAD, VICTORIA, B.C.
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- VULCAN LODGE: President, Guy Denbigh, Vulcan, Alta.
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