Divine Wisdom Brotherhood Occult Science
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Vol. XXIX, No. 12 Toronto, February 15th, 1949 Price 20 Cents
"THE CANT ABOUT MASTERS"
"The T.S. and its members are slowly manufacturing a creed. Says a Tibetan proverb, `Credulity breeds credulity and ends in hypocriscy' . . . The cant about `Masters' must be silently but firmly put down. Let the devotion and service be to that Supreme Spirit alone of which each one is a part. Namelessly and silently we work and the continual references to ourselves and the repetition of our names raises up a confused aura that hinders our work . . . How few are they who know anything about us. Are we to be propitiated and made idols of . . ."
(Quoted from a letter from K.H. to Annie Besant, described in Letters front the Masters of Wisdom, First Series, as "The last letter, written in 1900, received nine years after the death of H.P. Blavatsky." )
A correspondent has been reading some old Theosophical magazines published in the early part of this century, and disregarding, as so many of us are prone to do, Mrs. Malaprop's sage remark `All comparisons are odorous' has been comparing the earlier writings with the productions of today; the early articles, our correspondent finds were alive, ardent, concentrated - the current literature lacks vividness, depth and is stylized, abounding in pretty phrases. Puzzled and disturbed at the change, our correspondent asks "What has happened?"
A very potent question; but before touching upon the, particular problem may I suggest that possibly the comparison has not been full enough. There are several excellent Theosophical magazines today which preserve the higher standards of former times - some like good wines have become better as they grow older. I suggest a wider reading and the inclusion therein of the magazines of other Theosophical Societies, for example, Theosophy of the United Lodge of Theosophists, The Theosophical Forum of the Theosophical Society (Covina), The Path of the Independent Theosophical Society (Australia), Theosophia, an independent magazine published in Los Angeles, and other magazines which present the Theosophical attitude but are not linked with any particular society.
(May I digress for a moment to say that I can never write `other Theosophical Societies' without feeling how incongruous it is to have more than one `Theosophical Society' - to have `the wisdom of the god' relating as it does to the Universal Brotherhood of Man, parcelled out by different organizations, none of which will have anything to do with the firm next door.)
To return to the question which con-
cerns what has happened in our literature during the past forty years.
During that period the Society has attracted fewer and fewer thinkers and more and more `feelers'. The literature of the Society, its books, magazines and pamphlets, has, consciously or unconsciously, been designed to attract persons whose approach is through the psychic and the sensational rather than through the mind. We have not in the Society today - or if we have they are not writing for our official magazines - thinkers and scholars of the same class as for example, G.R.S. Mead and W. Kingsland. We cannot interest philosophically-minded persons in the `milk for babes' which is being distributed through many of our journals. If they are persuaded to attempt it, they refuse to read further after coming upon a sentence which reveals the innate naivete of the mind that phrased it. Many of these persons would accept Nietzche's dictum `It is better to do evil than to think prettily'. The karma of an evil act would doubtless be cleaned up more quickly and easily than the karma of responsibility arising from `pretty thinkings' impertinent offense against Mind, its covert attack upon man's hard-won citadel of Reason.
A two-fold classification of `thinkers' and `feelers' is perhaps an over-simplification - persons do not divide so cleanly. Intellectual persons often have strong emotional sides to their natures and may have extranormal psychic faculties; persons who are basically emotional in type are often interested quite seriously in intellectual pursuits. Rarely does one find a `pure' specimen, and complex admixtures seem to be the rule among human beings.
However, it may not be an oversimplification to use another twofold division when speaking of the members of the Theosophical Society. Its members constitute a very small proportion of the earth's inhabitants (something less than .000015 %) and the interests which draw them to the Society have much in common. They have in common a recognition of the unity of all life, of a process of reincarnation, of a law of compensatory action and reaction, and a belief that there is a Way by which man may mount to a fuller realization of his innate divinity. They believe in the Universal Brotherhood of humanity, and within the limitations of their characters, the peculiar `screen' or `mesh' through which they look out upon the world, they try to be tolerant, broad-minded and unbiassed - their widened concept of `the amplitude of time' helps them to be patient and to work for their ideals heedless of immediate results.
Within this small group there is one class whose basic tendency is to look inward for Truth, to seek `the Causeless Cause which should have its shrine and altar on the holy and ever untrodden ground of our heart - invisible, intangible, unmentioned save through the still, small voice of our spiritual consciousness'. Some may become over-introspective in this but the majority do not; they have outer interests, some in science, others in philosophy, psychology, the drama, music and other arts, mathematics, social and economic problems, international problems, labor and management problems - and they use their Theosophy as a key to the deeper understanding of these problems and to a wider human application of their interests.
They accept the hypothesis that as the personal wrappings which obscure the hidden splendor of the soul are worn away, a deeper and richer Self is revealed. They accept as highly probable the teaching that eventually as this process continues a human being may become a `Master'. They respect the heart and mind which is disclosed in the teach-
ings of those who are reputed to have reached this stage, but they do not worship them, they do not seek to attract them. They assume that `Masters' have their own work to do and that when any individual comes to the point where his inner divine powers are becoming manifest, he will come in touch with others of equal or superior status and will be able to share in their work.
This is the way that mutual attractions grow up between men in their ordinary outer lives; the inner responsitivity, and not the outer proximity, is the deciding factor. A servant in a savants club might grow old in service and never know what his employers were talking about in their earnest discussions, while a newcomer, a young man of unusual talent might be admitted to the club and immediately establish a position of equality with many of the older members. "We are men like yourselves" wrote K.H., and the philosophically-minded members of the Society do not assume that the Masters desire to be regarded as anything less than men. Manliness is a quality which is recognized wherever men come together and the higher the type of man, the higher its standard of manliness. If a man measures up to it, he is 'in'; if he fails to do so, he is `out' and the charmed circle is closed to him.
That there are men who become Masters is not in question - but the way to these men is by the path that made them Masters. It is a hard road but it is better to face this fact at the beginning, rather than to spend lives fondly hoping to find some easier way to attract their attention. The Gita assures us, "There is no purifier in the world to be compared to spiritual knowledge; and he who is perfected in devotion findeth spiritual knowledge springing up spontaneously in himself in the progress of time."
There is another group within the Society whose tendency it is to look outward for guidance and help, and who consequently externalize all the teachings. This tendency takes them ever farther and farther away from the Self within and from "Theos Sophia", the wisdom of the inner god. The external never completely satisfies and there is an unceasing search for newer and fresher forms, newer and more powerful `Masters', more distant `planes', longer and longer lists of `lives', more and more phenomena, more Angels, Devas, Elementals, Nature Spirits, rites, ceremonies, initiations. This group cannot hear or read the word `initiation' without visualizing some external event, the nature of which depends upon their psychological makeup. For some it may be a terrible trial with `Dark Forces', from which they emerge triumphant; for others the externalization might take the form of a chancel of a lofty hall in which wait stately, white-clad figures from whom emanate radiations of love and power and waves of lovely, everchanging colors. They see the `candidate' aproaching the sacred fane, they hear the mystic words of acceptance. Such self-projected visions gladden them - but take them another step farther from the goal.
For them the `Master' we should seek is not the "Initiator of the Initiates, the personal God . . . within, nowhere outside, the worshipper." (S.D. III. 62) The `Master' is an external being, tall, bearded, robed, almost omniscient, possessed of marvellous psychic powers, and endowed with infinite compassion for the little `me' whose egotistical imagination created that `Master' form.
This externalizing tendency can, if continued, lead to madness. The disease may not develop to its extreme of permanent schizophrenia - the disintegration or division of consciousness into other `selves' - and the subjects may (Continued on Page 185)
THE ETHICAL STRUCTURE OF THE UNIVERSE
- J. Emory Clapp
(Continued from page 165)
We do not live in a static and non-changing world, for change is the evidence of life, which implies growth, development, progress and evolution, all of which are essential to continued existence. Thus it is that we see why the universe is composed of an infinitude of imperfect, growing, progressing and evolving entities, in various stages of imperfection working towards distant goals of ever increasing greatness. It is will or the power of choice that gives man the potentiality of godhood, as will is a divine faculty and must be rightly used in the proper direction, for like a two-edged sword it can clear the pathway towards Truth or react on its possessor when wrongly used. Discord is produced by the conflict of wills exercised by imperfect evolving entities lacking the knowledge requisite for the realization that separateness is an illusion and that when one quarrels with another he is really injuring that which is a part of himself, the inevitable consequences of which he must reap. It is thus that the law of karma comes into action for as stated by H.P. Blavatsky in the Key to Theosophy, "Karma is the unerring law which adjusts effect to cause on the physical, mental and spiritual planes of being. As no cause remains without its due effect from the greatest to the least, from a cosmic disturbance down to the movement of your hand, and as like produces like, Karma is that unseen and unknown law which adjusts wisely, intelligently and equitably each effect to its cause, tracing the latter back to its producer. Though itself unknowable, its action is perceivable." Logic and intuition both tell us that without this great law which makes for ultimate and perfect justice the universe could not have come into being, and existence would be impossible.
Since the effects of many causes are not immediate but are deferred until a later date because of the lack of immediate opportunity, it is necessary that many lives must be lived upon this earth in order that justice may reign and the lessons of life be thoroughly learned. This provision is called the "law of reincarnation," and it can be shown to be universal under the title of Re-embodiment, but we must omit further amplification now for lack of time; so we will merely quote a stanza from the Voice of the Silence, which consists of extracts from the Book of Golden Precepts:
"Thou canst create this 'day' thy chances for thy 'morrow'. In the 'Great Journey' causes sown each hour bear each its harvest of effects, for rigid justice rules the world. With mighty sweep of never erring action, it brings to mortals lives of weal or woe, the Karmic progeny of all our former thoughts and deeds."
Perfect justice being the highest ethical objective, its certain and sure place as the chief essential in the structure of the Universe, brings satisfaction and peace and confidence to all thinking and understanding people; therefore this knowledge should be disseminated as
widely as possible. But there are other matters of importance to our thesis still to be enumerated and this we will proceed to do.
Most people take that which they call 'good' for granted, but are puzzled by the existence of so-called `evil'. They do not pause to consider that if there were no evil, there could be no good; for human understanding is possible only through the law of contrast or as it is sometimes called "The pairs of opposites". This matter has been touched upon previously, but a little amplification will be helpful. Light, for instance, can only be perceived through its contrast or opposite, darkness. If pain did not exist there could be no sensation of pleasure. In other words it is the relation of things to each other that brings understanding, and this principle of relativity must be invoked to understand the problem of the existence of evil.
Prejudice, the mental attitude, and common usage have much to do with man's conception of evil. Some religions consider polygamy good and others teach that only monogamy is proper in marital relations. Many consider smoking or the use of alcoholic liquor good or at least permissible if not indulged in to excess, while others believe in total abstinence. So we perceive that the point of view must be taken into consideration. Also much depends upon the spiritual development of the one who is judging. From this angle, evil might be considered merely a stage in the effort to reach perfection, and thus evil might be called imperfection. I think this could also be inferred from a statement in the Mahatma Letters that "Evil is but the exaggeration of good". As an illustration, Gautama the Buddha taught his disciples to follow the `Middle Way' which means not to go to extremes. In searching for truth, he had himself practiced extreme asceticism by prolonged fasting and other methods of punishing the body and found them fruitless. The Middle Way is the way of balance, not going to extremes for any extreme is harmful. Altruism or selfishness, which means forgetting or foregoing self-interest in working for the good of all, is proper and the true `right conduct', because one's self as part of the whole cannot be ignored; neither should it be coddled and given over to selfishness. Finally to quote William Q. Judge. "If we try to find the Divine in everything we will soon learn not to judge by appearances".
Let us now consider a factor not previously mentioned although it is one of extreme importance. It is one of the chief members of the `pairs of opposites' spoken of before, for it pertains to the law of balance, through which harmony is maintained and manifestation made possible, being known in the abstract under the terms `attraction' and `repulsion'. On the physical plane they are exhibited variously as mass, adhesion, cohesion, gravitation and magnetism, although the quality of repulsion is not generally recognized by science as pertaining to gravitation. Never-the-less the action of repulsion is necessary in all of these to maintain balance or harmony, for all matter is motion or in motion from its atomic standpoint. While the terms centrifugal and centripetal are used, both attraction (or affinity) and repulsion are necessary to change the direction of force from straight to circular.
On the mental plane, at least in its lower form, attraction and repulsion are exhibited in the emotions. Love of a personal or limited nature, affection, kindliness, friendliness, pity and compassion are characteristic of attraction, while envy, dislike, jealousy and hatred in all its forms, are characterized by the contrary element of repulsion.
Love and compassion when universal in character are spiritual and truly manifestations of the Divine element in
man, rather than the expression of individual attraction, thus transcending ordinary human experience. Repulsion must likewise be overcome, but it seems to me that there must be a remnant of both attraction and repulsion until the higher nirvanic stage is reached and complete at-one-ment is attained. The repulsion might and probably would be in connection with that which is called evil. It was likely in that sense that a great spiritual teacher stated that "Love and hatred are the only immortal feelings."
Love has been considered the greatest thing in the world, especially in its universal sense. From it spring all of the greatest and noblest elements in human character. It brings into being kindliness, generosity, helpfulness, self-sacrifice, and in fact everything that makes life beautiful and enjoyable. Without it life is indeed barren and fruitless. It has been most fully manifested by the great spiritual teachers and saviours of mankind. It has been the basis of the greatest and purest religions, for it is that which should and must bind humanity together in one all-embracing brotherhood. It is the attraction which holds worlds, solar systems and universes or galaxies together in harmony and concord thus becoming the ethical structure of being which has made the universe possible. Through its perfect expression, men become gods participating in the conduct of the universe and assisting in the never-ending evolutionary progress of all that is below and even above them.
As previously stated, religion is one factor in human relations which should be the means of uniting all mankind in the ties of Brotherhood since its root meaning is "that which binds together again". Primeval religion was broad and universal and it was the selfishness and ignorance of religious leaders which generated sectarian religions and caused much of the antagonism, evil and suffering of mankind. One indication of primal religious unity is to be found in the Golden Rule which is found in every great religion of the past or present. In the Christian religion it is most fully stated in the words of Jesus "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" and again "Do unto others as you would have them to unto you." Confucius stated it 500 years B.C., but in the negative form, "Do not do unto others what you could not have them do unto you." The ancient Egyptians taught it, also the Brahmins, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs in India; the Parsees or Zoroasterians in ancient Iran. In Palestine it was taught by the Hebrews, in Japan by the Shintoists, in China by the followers of Lao Tsu and in the far-flung countries inhabited by the Arabs it is found in the Koran.
I have previously referred to the glories to be observed at sunset in the shifting and changing shades and tints of sun-bathed clouds against the deep azure blue of the surrounding sky, so that it seemed that here the thoughts of the gods were being symbolically displayed. Perhaps we might interpret them as an aspiration offered for all of mankind to strive towards in that Kingdom of Heaven which the Christ said "is within us." What could be better than the following formulation of the Golden Rule taken from an Oriental source:
"With pure thoughts and fullness of love, I will do towards others what I do for myself; for the practice of religion involves as a first principle a loving compassionate heart for all creatures."
I am also reminded of what has been given as the pledge of Kwan Yin:
"Never will I seek nor receive private, individual salvation. Never will I enter into final peace alone; but forever and everywhere will I live and strive for the universal redemption of every creature through the world."
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
News has reached me of the death of Mary K. Neff on December 10th last. Miss Neff was a valued and well-known member of many years standing. She was the author of two books: The Brothers' of Madame Blavatsky and Personal Memoirs of H.P. Blavatsky and also of a number of essays on the life and works of H.P.B. which were published in the Theosophist. During her residence at Adyar, Miss Neff was in charge of the Archives of the Society and rendered invaluable assistance in the compilation of H.P.B.'s Complete Works, four volumes of which have now been published. Miss Neff gave whole-heartedly of her time and energy and of such a one I can say only `Au revoir' until the ties which bind together all workers in the old Cause, lead her back to another life of further duties and service.
As a change from my usual harping on the fact that many of our members are tardy in remitting their dues I am now happy to state that the majority have now put themselves in good-standing and that the Membership as a whole is in a much better condition. In this respect it is encouraging to note that seventeen new members have joined and sixteen new Subscribers enrolled since our Annual Meeting last July. This is especially noteworthy as we do not proselytize for members leaving them to come in on their own volition; and as for the new subscribers they are evidently attracted by the excellence of the magazine itself which is adduced by the very favorable reports we are constantly receiving.
It is with deep regret I announce the death of an old member of the Society in the person of Mr. Sydney Carr of Victoria, B.C., who died suddenly on December 19. He joined the Victoria Lodge in 1922 and was a faithful adherent through the years and was up till the last, Secretary of that lodge of which his wife, Mrs. Minnie S. Carr is President. The sympathy and condolences of the Society is extended to her in her sad bereavement.
It will be of interest to many of our members to know that Mrs. Elsie Jardine a member of the Toronto Lodge who was demitted to the South African Section some two years ago is now domiciled in Cape Town and is assisting the Secretary of the Theosophical International Correspondence League where she is doing good work in that capacity. Her address is Box 2284, Cape Town, South Africa.
- E. L. T.
The Quarterly Meeting of the General Executive, Theosophical Society in Canada was held at 52 Isabella Street, Toronto on Sunday, January 9, the following members being present: - Miss M. Hindsley, Mr. Dudley W. Barr, Mr. George I. Kinman, Mr. N.W.J. Haydon and the General Secretary. Beyond the usual routine there was nothing of note to report. The next meeting was arranged for the first Sunday in March.
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Isolated students and those unable to have access to Theosophical literature should avail themselves of the Travel-ling Library conducted by the Toronto Theosophical Society. There are no charges except for postage on the volumes loaned. For particulars write to the Travelling Librarian, 52 Isabella Street, Toronto, Ont.
We extend best wishes and congratulations to Manas which completed its first year of publication in December. This eight-page weekly is an unusual magazine and Theosophical students will find it of great interest and value. Its publishers say that the Manas idea is not "the property of any particular
individual or set of personalities. It represents the heritage of independent thinking across all human history, and if we can transmit something of the quality of that heritage, within our time and to the future, we shall rest content." It is interesting to note that India is now second to the United States in the number of subscribers. We confess to a tendency to be perhaps a bit over-enthusiastic concerning every attempt to arouse mankind to nobler thinking, to encourage the discussion of all manner of human problems without anger, fear or resentment, to reassert man's innate dignity and to endeavor to evoke the soul of man in an age when these vital matters are being lost sight of - and so, firmly restraining our enthusiasm, we simply say "Manas is undoubtedly the most vital magazine in the world". Sample copies may be obtained free, from Box 112, Station M, Los Angeles.
Sir Osbert Sitwell, interviewed recently in Toronto, said, "I've always been pessimistic, but I never expected to see the world in such a terrible mess as it is today." He gave civilization a maximum of seven years before annihilation by war. However, a scientist who from his extensive research into past cycles has ventured upon a few predictions for the future, considers that if we get through 1950 without a major war, the prospects are bright for at least fifty years of peace - or perhaps we should say `freedom from war'.
On Nov. 29th amid cries of `Victory to Ghandi' India's new assembly adopted a provision outlawing `untouchability' and the next day passed an Act granting 50,000,000 untouchables free rights as citizens irrespective of religion, race, sex, caste or descent. This action has paved the way for the complete elimination of the outcast idea from India's social attitude, although
doubtless many of the old taboos and degradations will grind along for some time. Just how or when this idea was born seems to be unknown - certainly there is nothing in the ancient Code of Manu to support any such practice of segregation. Once the deadly germ entered the system, the results were predictable; the untouchables were forced into ghettoes, they became `unclean' and even their shadows would contaminate. In recent years the industrialization of certain portions of India has tended to break down caste limitations but India is still a long way from the ancient ideal of the four major groupings of men, all interrelated and each higher group assuming an increased responsibility for those below it.
We note that a gentleman in Illinois has laid claim to "Celestia" a name which he has coined for the upper airs of this planet and for the farther reaches of space. He has asked that title be registered in his name, stating that no one has heretofore claimed title to these areas which, although known to exist, have not yet been explored. Easy on thar, pardner - a little research, but not in a registry office, will show that everything up to and including the Para Nirvanic Plane has been thoroughly explored by a `trained clairvoyant'.
"THE CANT ABOUT MASTERS" (Continued from Page 179)
lead quiet, comparatively harmless lives immersed in a dreamworld of their own making, which, although quite divorced from reality, is satisfying to them. They have a lovely time in a colorful realm peopled by the projections of their own imaginations and added to by their identifications with the more vivid imaginative projections of others. They must ultimately face up to the whispered question of the inner Self, `It's pretty, but is it real?' This is the opening line in the great drama, of the `war longer and greater than any'. If alarmed and dismayed they flee from the question, denying the inner Self and seeking refuge again in their familiar dream world, the problem has been only postponed, not settled, and the ensuing conflict within the psyche may destroy them.
"Let the devotion and service be to that Supreme Spirit alone of which each one is a part" said K.H. "I am the Lord seated deep in the heart of all creatures," said Krishna. The Masters of the Way unite in agreeing that there is but one "Way" for mankind to overcome the misery, ignorance, the partitions, divisions, the self-izing of human existence; that there is but one Way by which men may realize its hope of Brotherhood and that is by finding integration with the divine Self within. The fruits of this are peace, harmony, wisdom, love and compassion for all beings; these qualities are normal to the integrated man. The opposite course of finding assurances in externals, whether these be money, power or fame, or the more subtle externals of astralism and psychism will lead only to further disintegration, disharmony, fiercer and more bitter divisions, no matter how desirable and pleasing to the sensations the immediate results may seem.
If we in the Theosophical Society faced up to this fundamental and devoted the next quarter of a century to propagating straight Theosophy, the Theosophy of the Secret Doctrine and the Mahatma Letters, the way might be opened for a reuniting of all Theosophical organizations in cooperative work for humanity. We might lose a few thousand or so of our present thirty thousand members, but on the other hand we might not, - the response to the
sane, balanced outlook of the original movement might be astonishing. In the past we have lost thousands of members whose interest in externals waned and died; some of these might again be attracted if they were assured that all externalizations would be put aside. It would take courage and wisdom to do it; it would mean getting rid of rites and ceremonies designed to attract and exploit astral entities; withdrawing the literature which is in direct conflict with Theosophy; forgetting the astralism and spookism which has carried the Society far away from its original ideals. It would mean discouraging the believers and sensationalists whose `credulity breeds credulity and ends in hypocrisy'. If the Society is to be a centre for attracting the finest types of mind, it must encourage men and women who are active and independent in their thinking and spiritual in their outlook.
There is an unquenchable, irresistible power in Theosophy which if rightly used could re-establish the Society in a position of dignity and widespread influence and make of it a recognized centre for men and women who through their own integration with their Divine Selves, could be beacons of light in mankind's spiritual darkness. It could attract not thirty thousand merely, but hundreds of thousands of men and women who are sincerely looking for a Way, a Way of fulfillment for the needs of heart and mind alike, a real Way to the thing they seek and have not found, Self-Integration, Wisdom concerning the god, the true Self, the Master within their own hearts. Let us teach the doctrine of that God, and let the half-gods die - and with them all the pretence, hypocrisy, cant and credulity which the demi-gods first accept, then invite, and then demand.
- D. W. B.
The Editor, The Canadian Theosophist.
I have read Mr. Jinarajadasa's letter with much admiration, for his compassion and for his splendid effort in trying to create a brotherhood between peoples. As leader of the Theosophical Society his task is a difficult one and few would be capable of filling his shoes.
I can appreciate his feeling for the Christian's sorrow in time of bereavement but I do not believe it is quite as tragic as he believes. Most Roman Catholics say that bringing back the souls of the departed is an act of evil. Instead, in bereavement, they send good thoughts and prayers to help the departed soul heavenward. It seems that this practice is much more sensible than that of the Spiritualists, who pull the human soul (Kama-Manasic shell) earthward and unconsciously furnish it with the necessary energy to perform human gymnastics for selfish benefit. This practice (only a small part of the wide field of phenomena) has been called necromancy and has been frowned on by the wise men of all religions.
However, in all fairness, if we suggest celebrating the Spiritualists' anniversaries to show our brotherhood and compassion for the apparent good work done by them, let us also suggest holding a mourning day for the tremendous evil they create in multiplying the causes of misery; "causes that will make the unfortunate Ego fail in his spiritual rebirth, or be born into a worse existence than ever." (Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett p. 114) These poor souls need our sympathy as much as those in physical bodies who grieve. In fact, I believe their condition is much more tragic than the grievers who gaze (harmlessly) at a "blank wall."
Besides having a mourning rally for them, we could help, more actively, by explaining the causes that create this horrible misery, namely spreading the Secret Doctrine otherwise called Theosophy. Mr. Jinarajadasa, proving his ability as a Theosophist and a real leader, did this once in London a few years ago, and, as he tells us, received abuse for his effort. Such is the Karma of a Theosophist. We must all have the courage to face it, and to stand pat in the face of abuse as Mr. Jinarajadasa and Mme. Blavatsky and others of our leaders have done.
But between celebrations, mourning days and the days in which we spread the Secret Doctrine, let us get our own history, (which is also the history of the founders) straightened out, for it seems there is a confusion of detail. We must pull together otherwise we will do little good in the world and a good place to start would be the question at hand whether or not Mme. Blavatsky ever forwarded the cause of Spiritualism. Mr. Jinarajadasa apparently believes she did before the year 1890 and especially in 1875.
The evidence I have suggests that she did not; that all she ever did was to try to prove the reality of the phenomena and to explain it. If we examine all evidence, perhaps we can come to some definite understanding about that period of history.
On page 35 of the Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett we find: " - it will appear that the present tidal-wave of phenomena, with it's varied effects on human thought and feeling, made the revival of Theosophical enquiry an indispensible necessity."
From "The Path", New York, Vol. x, March 1896, H.P.B. says: "I was sent to America on purpose, and sent to the Eddy's - I was ordered to let him know that spiritual phenomena without the philosophy of Occultism was dangerous and misleading."
From "Light", London, Oct. 11, 1884, H.P.B. writes: "I say again, I never was a spiritualist. I have always known the reality of mediumistic phenomena and defended that reality; that is all." . . . "But when I heard stated the claims of the American Spiritualists about the Summer Land, etc., I rejected the whole thing point blank."
Mr. Jinarajadasa's evidence is that under orders from the Master, she and Col. Olcott came into close relationship with Mr. Gerry Brown, editor of the "Spiritual Scientist", and whose withdrawal from the attempt to spiritualize Spiritualism, caused H.P.B. to lose hope, and that in order to prevent the collapse of Spiritualism, she herself lent a hand.
Such is not the case according to the way I have it. It seems that a certain Dr. Beard wrote a sceptical letter to the "Daily Graphic", New York, trying to disprove the phenomena at the Eddy's, and, as H.P.B. was there to prove the reality of the phenomena, she wrote a reply to the "Daily Graphic", which was published Oct. 30, 1874. In the Nov. 9 issue of the "Daily Graphic" appeared a reply by Dr. Beard to her letter. She wrote a second, published in the "Daily Graphic", Nov. 13, 1874. As a result of these two letters, she gained the reputation of being a Spiritualist.
She then wrote a letter explaining the whole matter, to the London "Spiritualist", which was published on Dec. 13, 1874. She also submitted the same letter to the American Spiritualist papers. Mr. Gerry Brown was the only one who accepted it and only extracts of the letter were published in the Dec. 3, 1874 issue of the Boston "Spiritualist. Scientist." (Complete Works of H.P. Blavatsky, Vol. 1, p. 24) .
It was in this letter that she indicated that she had become discouraged in her
efforts to help Spiritualism, for the says: "But I am obliged to confess that I really do not believe in having done any good - at least, any practical good - to Spiritualism itself; - "
In that same letter she writes: "As it is, I have only done my duty, first towards Spiritualism, that I have defended as well as I could from the attacks of imposture under its too transparent masks of science." Yet in an "Important Note" attached to her Scrapbook I, in her own handwriting, (see Theosophia, p. 15, Sept.-Oct., 1948) she indicates it was the phenomena she was defending, not Spiritualism. She says there: "Yes, I am sorry to say that I had to identify myself during the shameful exposure of the medium Holmes with the Spiritualists. I had to save the situation, for I was sent from Paris on purpose to America to prove the phenomena and their reality and - show the fallacy of the Spiritualistic theories of "Spirits". How could I do it best?" . . . "Let them call me a medium and a Spiritualist and others an imposter. The day will come when posterity will learn to know me better."
Therefore, it seems, according to the foregoing evidence, that H.P.B. did not forward the cause of Spiritualism, as such. She defended and proved the reality of the phenomena, protecting it from materialistic scepticism, which is quite a different matter. As it became necessary in the case of the Holmes, where no real phenomena was forthcoming, she produced it herself by will, not mediumship, only to save the day, thereby carrying out her orders as she thought best under the circumstances.
Apparently her hope for uplifting Spiritualism was wearing thin that winter for after December 1874 her articles indicated more and more that she was slowly giving the truth about phenomena to the public, therefore disproving any claims that she was a Spiritualist, and by July, 1875, she was ordered to establish a society. About that she says in Lucifer, March 1890, "The Cycle Moveth": "In 1875 the Theosophical Society came into existence. It was ushered into the world with the distinct intention of becoming an ally to, a supplement and a helper of, the Spiritualistic movement - of course, in its higher and more philosophical aspect. It succeeded, however, only in making of the Spiritualists its bitterest enemies, its most untiring persecutors and denunciators. Perchance the chief reason for it may be found in the fact that many of the best and most intellectual of their representatives passed body and soul into the Theosophical Society."
This shows that H.P.B. was only trying to create a balance with Spiritual forces to offset the forces of animalism so prevalent at the time. She was trying to solve the problem as stated in the Mahatma Letters, p. 35: "The only problem to solve is the practical one, of how best to promote the necessary study and give to the spiritualistic movement a needed upward impulse."
In conclusion, I wish to add that I, also, have had many experiences in connection with Spiritualism. Although never a Spiritualist, I was brought up in Spiritualistic circles, often wondering what was behind the phenomena, and, as a young girl, was cured of an illness by a prescribtion of herbs given by an allegedly disembodied doctor through a medium. Now, when I think of the karmic suffering ahead for that unfortunate medium, I heartily wish that another way of healing could have been found.
I have often thought of Spiritualism in relation to children playing with dynamite. I could not approve of the im-
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THE EXILE OF THE SOUL
By Roy Mitchell
(Continued from page 174)
IX. THE HUMANIST PROBLEM
These then are the two doctrines that can arise out of the idea of the evolution of the soul. The one is that the soul is proceeding evenly on its way, that it has known nothing higher than it now knows, and that every step is a new one. The other is the same but with the modifying idea of the lapse, of which Kant has said that it is fundamental in religion.
"That the world lieth in wickedness is a complaint as old as history, even as what is still older, poetry . . . All alike nevertheless make the world begin from good; with the Golden Age, with life in Paradise, or one still more happy in communion with heavenly beings. But they represent the happy state as soon vanishing like a dream, and then they fall into badness . . . Later, but much less general, is the opposite, heroic opinion, which has perhaps obtained currency only among philosophers, and in our time chiefly among the instructors of youth, that the world is constantly advancing in precisely the reverse direction, namely from worse to better . . . This opinion, however, is not founded upon experience, if what is meant in moral good or evil, for the histroy of all times speaks too powerfully against it."
Of the two doctrines, one is a doctrine of ultimate achievement, the other a doctrine of immediate conditions. Each has its place in theosophy but whereas the Vedantin bases his ethic on the ultimate, the theosophist bases his on the immediate.
There is no humanism to be born out of the idea of orderly progression, because none is needed. It is a doctrine of laisser faire. If all men are coming out at the same goal - duly and in the course of the cycles - what virtue can there be in fixing one's concern upon the pilgrims. If there is any matter for concern at all it should be the goal.
Humanism can arise only out of the other, the realization that the Ego of man is one of a broken legion, in sore straits in an alien world, and must find his divinity in the restoration of the scattered host.
The line of demarcation between these two positions runs through all human thought and practice. Here are some of the conflicts.
Our Vedantin is the Pollyanna of metaphysics. His scheme is one of glad progress regardless of ethical choice. All suffering is a necessary part of the joyous plan. No matter what a man does, he is doing it for the unfolding of his divine consciousness. The theosophists, on the other hand, have always said that believing this is a glad world is begotten of what one wants to believe. It is not a glad world. On the contrary it is a world of misunderstanding and division, of death and separation and loneliness, of isolation, of tears and sorrow, of cruelty and distorted lusts, of the terror of little children at being born into earth. Gladness is in spite of the conditions in which we find ourselves. Gautama Buddha enunciated the doctrine of a sad world out of which we must arise and the Vedantins call him a pessimist.
The Vedantin says there is no urgency. Everything is working out according to immutable plan. All beings must go forward and all must achieve. What are a few scores of years in the sweep of evolution? What is the hurry? But turn to the great theosophists -
Gautama, Hermes, Krishna, Jesus. There is the will of man at work in the world, they say, and the will of man is not bound only to the good side of the immutable law. It can be separative as well as unitive; it can do as much evil as it can good. The servitor of mankind who goes to early death, to the faggots and to the rack, who is persecuted in life and slandered in death, is matched by the vampire upon mankind who uses the bondage of the rest to feed his lust. The lovers of mankind find something urgent in man's state. Their world is a field of battle, and they are always too few. Every disciple who comes to them must come as a recruit to an army that never rests. Each enlistment must be an answer to the old question of The Voice of the Silence;
"Can there be bliss when all that lives must suffer? Shalt thou be saved and hear the whole world cry?"
The Vedantin argues that reincarnation into this earth is the unalterable law, and then he undertakes to tell how to escape it. The theosophist says that reincarnation is a necessity only until we complete what we came here to do, then we may leave it, unless in compassion we return as teachers to liberate our brothers.
The Vedantin tells us of great time cycles and of a progress that goes step by step with them. In an aeon we develop this power, in another aeon that; senses come into operation as the cycles unfold. Then if one asks him why anybody should exert any effort at all, why any man should press forward, he will offer some cloudy nonsense about hastening evolution, about speeding up the cycles, as if any man could do that. If he could he would destroy all that is cyclic about them. He would abolish cycles. Theosophists of all schools have, on the contrary, taught "a path to liberation in this life". They say, in effect, "These are not new powers you must steal from the cycles, but old powers you must restore, and you can restore them whenever you will it."
The Vedantin speaks of powers gained anew. When he comes upon a word like "restore" or "regain" he explains it as meaning that all powers are latent in the Absolute and that to gain a power is to draw on a previously existent one. He prefers however to say "attain". The theosophist has always said "attain again". His words are "restore", "renew", "redeem", "remember", "recognize", "resurrect", "religion", (itself the binding back of something broken), "reunion with the companions of their former toil". The theosophist's figures of speech are of prison-houses of the soul, of bondage, of slavery, of deliverance out of Egypt, of liberation from the wheel of rebirth, of being raised from the dead, from the sepulchre, from the roofed-in cave, from the dark meadow of Ate. They are figures of finding a way out of a labyrinth, of rousing a warrior from sulking in his tent, of rising superior to despondency and going into battle, of rising from lethargy or from drunkenness, of turning from the cities of the plain and going up into the mountains, of forsaking the fleshpots. The theosophist talks of exiles, of wanderers, of prodigal sons who have wasted their substance in a far country, of sons that were dead and are alive again, were lost and are found, of Sophia tempted into the vices of the world, of Narcissus falling in love with his image in the waters of desire, of gods dismembered as Osiris was, of heroes like Odysseus fighting their way home over the raging seas of passions and having to do battle for their old heritage.
The Eastern metaphysician of unbroken rhythms and processes has also - as he must have - a garden-hose theory of illumination. He says our ideals and high aims come from high,
kindly beings in the world beyond us. But Hermes and Plato will not have it so. Hermes says, "This race, my son, is never taught, but when it wills it, its memory is restored." Plato makes Socrates say, in the Meno, "It is no wonder that she (the soul) should be able to recollect all that she knew before about virtue and other things." And in the Meno also he says that the greatest of the things we know, we learned before we were human at all.
The Vedantin has curious ideas about the power of the Ego to go on alone. If you perform austerities until you have shut out the world you can attain to a state in advance of the rest. The great Compassionators agree that within limits you can, but they say of one who tries it that he is a Pratyeka or Ekashringa, which means that he is concerned only with one person - himself. Or they pity him and call him a rhinoceros Buddha - a Buddha of a thick and insensitive skin. There is, they say, by reason of his ancient effort, a previously attained stature he can resume, but if he tries to do it thus without compassion, his nirvana is a condition of negation, of rejection, as long as he can will it, of his bond with the rest of mankind. The great restoration of the high ones cannot be entered alone. It is a communal consciousness.
The Vedantin is amused if you talk of white and black magic. The greatest of the teachers have not been amused. White magic is the return of union, black magic is the inevitable pole of severance from the oversoul and plays far too great a part in the struggle for the redemption of the race to be amusing.
The Vedantin says the soul cannot be destroyed or lost. Such an idea is unthinkable. Divine essence lost? Spirit is indestructible, eternal. And so it is, replies Plotinos, but it is not indivisible. If the Absolute has divided into many, such as you and I also break up into many others. Spirit is indestructible but soul is only an integration and its present integrity is not secure. So we find the old teachers of Yoga suggesting that when a man thinks all he has to do is unite himself with the Oversoul, he is flattering himself. His first task is to unite himself - to correct his own tendency to disintegration. He must draw himself out of the multitude of karmic forms into which he has poured his life and by which he is dismembered. When he has regathered his own fragments and become the Diamond Soul he may make the restoration of the Unity of which he is himself a fragment.
These are a few of the conflicts, all parts of the greatest battle in human thought. Every lesser conflict stems off from these. What am I to do about my divinity? Shall I go on alone and let the devil take care of the hindmost? This has been the practice of Calvinism and of our Puritan sects. Or shall I find some metaphysical formula that will give me the sweet assurance that the hindmost are softly pillowed in the Great Law and do not need my care? If I can find such a formula I shall have the gratitude of all the lazy, the rich, the top dogs, the feudal-minded, the people who profit by the distress of others. The Brahmin and the Pharisee long ago found such a formula but they pay a heavy price. Some vital current in them stops, their austerities and taboos increase and complicate, their philosophy becomes arid, circular and unserviceable. Filth, squalor and misery grow up around their doors, their world is peopled by pariahs, untouchables, Mlechchas, through whom they must thread their way as they go to prayers. They must spend their lives avoiding the evils they have made.
Or shall I measure my spiritual altitude only by the number of persons for whom I have made myself responsible?
This is the original theosophy. It is also the original humanism.
"Where," I ask, hastening into rarefied spiritual worlds, "shall I seek God? The age old answer of the Humanists is, "Those broken fragments you fled from back there on the road are the god."
(This concludes the series of articles "The Exile of the Soul". Mr. Mitchell had planned twenty-two chapters in all, but nine only were completed. His note books are in our care and we had hoped to piece together enough material for several more installments; however the notes are not in form suitable for such use.)
CORRESPONDENCE (Continued from Page 188)
mediate good the children were getting from their play, the fun, the laughter, because I could foresee the terrible danger involved, namely, the almost certain death for almost all concerned. Is it wise, considering the great harm and danger involved, to approve of the immediate good the Spiritualists are receiving when it means almost certain, eventual "Spiritual" death for almost all concerned?
No doubt Mr. Judge did say that Spiritualism paves the way for Theosophy but from where I sit, it appears that Theosophy is a tow-line for mired Spiritualists.
- Mrs. Ethel Trupp.
Jan. 5, 1949.
We acknowledge with thanks the receipt of the following Exchange Magazines: The Theosophist, Sept.-Oct. The American Theosophist, Nov.-Dec. Theosophy (U.L.T.), November. Theosophia, Nov.-Dec., Jan.-Feb. Lucifer, December. The Bombay Theosophical Bulletin, Sept., Oct., Nov. The Path (Australia), July-Sept. The Pilgrim Way, Autumn, 1948. Bulletin of the United Lodge of Theosophists, London, Nov. Theosophical News and Notes, London, Sept.-Oct. The Young Citizen, Oct. The Speculative Mason, Oct.
The Link, South Africa, Oct.-Nov. The Golden Lotus, Oct. The Modern Mystic and Monthly Science Review, Oct. The Federation Quarterly, (Canada), Oct. The Indian Theosophist, Oct. The Sun, (Belgium), Oct. Theosophical Bulletin, (Athens), Oct. O Teosofista (Brazil), Oct. & Dec. Theosophical Bulletin (Mexico), Sept.-Oct. Nordisk Teosofi, Dec. Oriris (Portugal), four Quarterly Bulletins for 1948.
THE THREE TRUTHS
The soul of man is immortal, and its future is the future of a thing whose s 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.