Divine Wisdom Brotherhood Occult Science
The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document
Vol. XXIX, No. 4 Toronto, June 15th, 1948 Price 20 Cents
THE SPOKEN WORD
Polarity in nature is uniform and relentless, and in all her kingdoms she shows no favorites. Nature's laws allow no indulgences; and the wise man knows that when they are transgressed, sooner or later payment in full will be exacted for every violation; however the foolish man still believes, that they can be broken with impunity. She does not keep any bad accounts, and integration follows disintegration, as life follows death in never ending cyclic activity. In the east they have a small word that symbolizes all that and volumes more, - karma.
"Every excess causes a defect"; says Emerson; "Every defect an excess." One classic example of this is that of Demosthenes, who in his prodigious efforts to overcome an impediment in his speech, weak lungs, and awkward gestures, became one of the greatest orators of all time. The discovery of the printing press ushered in a new era in the progress of mankind, and many scholars regard it as one of the greatest blessings to the human race; but the excessive use of the written word has also produced its defects. It is true that expression is necessary for the development of consciousness, and the manifestation of life; but our educators have greatly overestimated the importance of the communication of ideas and opinions, by means of symbols recorded on paper; they have failed to realize that too much dependence upon it has resulted in the decline of dynamic living speech. In my opinion, the Muse of Liberty, and the Muse of Eloquence are very closely related; and when the spoken word becomes lifeless and mechanical, like the age that we live in, there is a commensurate decline in human freedom. Lowell warns us in his Bigelow papers against letting our mother-tongue become a dead language, through the introduction into it of pedantic and undemocratic words, which are written by experts, but seldom if ever spoken.
A brain trust or group of technically trained experts may be the embodiment of efficiency in governing a country; but if the citizens are not allowed to voice an honest opinion about it, they will eventually become little better than mechanically driven automatons. The standard of living, and the material comforts may be the highest known to gods or men, poverty and privation of any kind unknown; yet without the encouragement to expatiate upon its merits or demerits; no matter how frivolous the opinions expressed may be, those citizens will soon become as docile as cattle and almost as inarticulate.
We have all met people who vigorously thump the Bible and assert with
greater vehemence than logic, that it is unquestionably the infallible word of God. The statement is made with as much assurance, as though they had actually seen it written upon tablets of stone by the very finger of God himself. At the risk of being regarded as a blasphemous heretic, one might point out that neither the Old Testament nor the Christian Gospels, (either canonical or apocryphal) were written in English; and all men of letters know that when great literature is translated from one language to another, much of the original delicate shades of meaning are lost. There was for example the Frenchman who rendered the following italicized words from Shakespeare's "So dull, so dead, so woe begone," thus "So grief be off with you!" Then again there was another Frenchman who transformed the exclamation of Milton's Satan, "Hail! Horrors hail!" into "Comment vous portez-vous, Messieurs les Horreurs, comment vous portez-vous?" "How do you do, horrors, how do you do?" A translation might well be compared to the reverse side of a piece of tapestry: most of the beauty and sym-bolism have been lost.
The great sages and philosophers of the world, and the founders of great religions could not have had such profound respect for the written word; otherwise why did they not bequeath to posterity, at least a few scratches of a pen or goosequill to settle some of the bitter theological disputes over which rivers of blood have been spilled? They knew full well, I suppose, the inconsistencies of human nature, and the endless interpretations that can be taken from any text. All the information that we obtain about the wise sayings of Jesus, Buddha, Pythagoras, Confucius, Ammonius Saccus, and other great teachers is by studying the testimony of their disciples; and in some cases it was not written until a century after the master had left this vale of tears. These testaments are at considerable variance with one another, and there seems to have been a great deal of controversy, regarding which were authentic and which were not. All this would lead one to believe, that there were esoteric or secret instructions for the disciples only and that it was communicated by word of mouth only. When any information is imprinted upon paper, it is no longer secret, and according to the biographers of Ammonius Saccus, pledged disciples only were instructed in the higher doctrines. They were under an oath of secrecy, not to divulge any of them, excepting to other chelas who had also received preliminary training; this practice prevailed among the early Gnostics, the Pythagoreans, and also among the early Christians.
A word or group of words, uttered by one person may have all the sweep and force of a tidal wave, but coming from mouth of another, although just as correctly pronounced, will sound weak and ineffective. Some words seem to fit the mouths of certain people, but are out of place in the mouths of others. The temperament and character of the speaker give the life and momentum to the words. Could the occult reason for this be, that the thought forms that accompany the words are distinct and colorful in the one case, but vague and nebulous in the other? The truth is, that words uttered by some speakers have a necromantic effect upon an audience; the thinking capacity of millions of people were literally paralyzed by such demagogues as Mirabeau, Mussolini and Hitler. The contestants in a school oratorical contest, rant and rave, and offer solutions to problems that have perplexed and puzzled the wits of our greatest thinkers; but people of reflection know that after all it is but a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal.
Many of us ignore the fact that the spoken word reveals degrees of attention, moods, conviction, and attitudes
of mind that cannot be recorded on paper. There are modulations and tones of the voice, incidentals and phrasing that simply cannot be symbolized on a printed page or written manuscript. There can be only an oral interpretation of any great literature, and the interpreter must recreate all this in accordance with his understanding. In the Secret Doctrine it says (I-325) that "The spoken word has a potency not only unknown to, but even unsuspected and naturally disbelieved in, by our modern `sages'. Because sound and rhythm are closely related to the four elements of the ancients; and because such or another vibration in the air is sure to awaken the corresponding Powers, union with which produces good or bad results, as the case may be. No student was ever allowed to recite, historical, religious, or real events of any kind, in so many unmistakable words, lest the Powers connected with the event should be once more attracted. Such events were narrated only during initiation, and every student had to record them in corresponding symbols, drawn out of his own mind and examined later by his Master, before they were finally accepted."
Deaf mutes can impart information and opinions by means of gestures, and in the case of Helen Keller, who is blind as well, this is accomplished by means of the sense of touch only. To the inquiring mind then the question might naturally arise: - when the physical body with its brain, nervous system and sense organs is discarded at death can there be no further communion of souls? The materialists will of course be very definite in their reply to this question; but it might be wise for them to bear in mind the statement made by Voltaire in one of his essays; i.e. that only quacks and charlatans are too positive about anything; and furthermore to my knowledge none of them have ever successfully proved that mind is physical. Commenting upon the dictum of the great savant Max Muller the Secret Doctrine has this to say (II-209): "Thought impressed upon the astral tablets exist in eternity whether expressed or not. Logos is both reason and speech, but language proceeding in cycles is not always adequate to express spiritual thoughts."
In my opinion the materialist psychologist is logical in assuming that the faculty of imagination has creative functions, but that it is restricted in its activities by the material that it acquires by means of the senses; he is willing to admit that the forms produced are new, but not the material. Furthermore according to him, reason which is based upon comparison, like imagination is also dependent upon the physical brain memory; without the ability to retain, recall and recognize mental contents, what would the reasoning mind have to use as a basis of comparison? Very few of them, however, are willing to concede the possibility of the existence of states of consciousness that transcend what theosophical students would call lower mind or manas; yet there is considerable evidence to support the belief that mind is nonphysical. Several universities have now departments especially for the purpose of conducting research in parapsychology or extrasensory perception, and Dr. J.B. Rhine of Duke University is a pioneer in this field. He has spent a good part of his life investigating the twin sister phenomena, telepathy and clairvoyance. Many of his confreres who are still burning incense at the feet of the materialistic deity, would like to invent some kind of scientific holy water that would protect them from this abominable heresy, and in their consternation some have resorted to name calling.
If there are other means of imparting information than those of either the (Continued on Page 57)
THE COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THEOSOPHY
When Professor E. Wood was in Toronto last January, he suggested, half-seriously, that the second object of the Theosophical Society be amended to include the word, "Theosophy", so that it would then read, `To encourage the study of comparative religion, philosophy, science and theosophy'. This suggestion arose in a discussion relative to the different `brands' of Theosophy. Of course, there is only one THEOSOPHY, timeless, ageless and raceless and it cannot be studied comparatively, as one cannot compare an absolute. All books about IT are but partial revelations of its inexpressible grandeur and universality.
While Theosophy is one and indivisible, man's concepts of it are many and varied. Within the Theosophical Movement which was initiated for the purpose of reintroducing Theosophy to the world and establishing a nucleus of universal Brotherhood, widely differing schools of thought have arisen. This has resulted in the fragmentation of the Movement and the complete absence of united action among Theosophists in carrying out the primal object of the Movement.
This serious problem is always present in the minds of those who are sincerely trying to work for the Movement and it has been brought prominently to our attention during the past month because of the receipt of four letters for publication relative to Dr. W.E. Wilk's letter that appeared in the December 1947 issue of the magazine
One of the letters, from Mr. David B. Thomas of Montreal, was commendatory; the other three from Mr. C. Weaver, Mrs. Sandra Chase and Mr Geoffrey Hodson of New Zealand, were condemnatory. Mrs. Chase and Mr Hodson had evidently not seen Mr. Weaver's previous letter in the February 1948 issue. These letters are not being published for several reasons, - they would take up about five pages of the magazine and lack of space is one of the lesser reasons - the most important reason being that the correspondence is not revealing the essential points of difference of view between the majority of the Canadian members and what is apparently the majority of the Theosophical Society (Adyar).
There is no intention to suppress freedom of expression in the magazine; freedom to criticize, object to and discuss anything which appears here must be maintained - but this correspondence deals mainly with the personalities of Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater and it is quite apparent that the differences of opinion on this point cannot be reconciled. Both persons evidently had the power of arousing respect, admiration and devotion among their devotees and many of these sincerely believe that both were `on the threshold of divinity' and could do little or no wrong. Nor is that admiration and respect confined to devotees only; Professor Wood, whose sane, balanced outlook and whose scholarship, gentleness and life-long devotion to Theosophy elicits our deep respect, knew Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater intimately through his years of work with them. He said recently in St. Louis that if the Buddha had walked the earth again during the lifetime of these two persons, and if they had been numbered among his disciples, they would have been in the foremost ranks ...... `but they were not free from error'.
Professor Wood did not enlarge upon that last phrase as he might have done for during his twenty-five years at headquarters, the nature of some of those `errors' and the disastrous effect they had in the Society, became apparent. His own observation in visiting the various Lodges in different parts of the world, would doubtless confirm the view that the heavy Karma of those
very errors is still hanging over the Society.
On the other hand there are many, not only in Canada but in other parts of the world, who are outspoken in their criticism of these two personalities because of those very 'errors'; instead of regarding them as `almost divine', these students see in the lives of the two former leaders, grave faults and weaknesses which led the Adyar Theosophical Society into very strange by-ways. These by-ways were entered and followed because of the substitution of a divergent set of teachings for the original teachings of the Theosophical Movement. These students believe that an impartial study of the history of the Movement and a comparison of the Secret Doctrine teachings with the later innovations, leads to one conclusion only and that is that the primary cause of this substitution lay with these two persons.
The living, personal influence of Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater was removed from the Society with her death in 1933 and his in the following year. Their teachings will sooner or later find their proper level in the world of occult and mystical thought as new generations of Theosophical students appear, but it is essential that the new generations should not be encouraged to regard these two personalities or their teachings, as being beyond criticism. Personalities in the Movement are never sacred and all teachings should pass before the bar of our reason and judgment. To accept teachings without making use of comparison, analysis and judgment is an act of serious disservice to the person uttering the teachings. Mrs. Besant was fully aware of this and she mentioned it after the crisis of 1906; she wrote, "The Theosophical Society must be protected from all teachings that would sully or degrade it . . . If the day of my fall should come, I ask those who love me not to shrink from condemning my fault, not to extenuate it nor to say that black is white, but rather let them lighten my heavy karma, as I am trying to lighten the karma of my friend and brother, by proclaiming the unshaken purity of the ideal . . ." That is a clean, courageous attitude and reveals the quality of soul that found expression through Mrs. Besant at that time.
The Theosophical Society is an organization with one definite job to do, namely to establish a nucleus of Universal Brotherhood based upon the philosophy of the Ageless Wisdom. All other activities are subordinate to that. H.P.B. wrote in Lucifer "It is pure nonsense to say that H.P.B. . . . is loyal to the Theosophical Society and to Adyar (?). H.P.B. is loyal to death to the Theosophical cause and those great Teachers whose philosophy alone can bind the whole world of humanity into one Brotherhood." `Whose philosophy alone' mark well, not something else, not diverging systems of thought that may be put forward from time to time.
In order to encourage the study of the teachings of the Secret Doctrine, the magazine will present from time to time, articles which will have a similar purpose to that of the valuable series of articles which appeared here some years ago entitled `Theosophy and Neo-The-osophy'. Students may examine these, judge for themselves and make their own decisions on the comparative worth of both teachings. K.H. once wrote ". . . we do not `require a passive mind' but on the contrary are seeking for those most active, which can put two and two together once that they are on the right scent . . . ." "A comparative study of the Secret Doctrine with other teachings should assist students to put `two and two' together for themselves and to decide their own direction."
THE OCCULT PHENOMENA OF BORLEY RECTORY
If the distinguished scientist and psychical investigator, Sir William Crookes had been conducting experiments with mediums today, instead of the nineteenth century, he might have escaped ridicule and the verbal brick-bats hurled against him by aggressive doubters. The Psychical Research Society founded in 1882 for the purpose of studying physical and mental phenomena, inexplicable by known laws, has at last achieved recognition in academic circles. This is true in spite of Dr. J.B. Rhine's contention in his book, The Reach of Mind, that many scientists are afraid to associate their names with psychic matters lest they jeopardize their professional standing.
Certainly the steady advancement in psychic science ought to be a source of satisfaction to the student of occultism; for continued examination, under test conditions, of so-called spiritistic phenomena will lead the unbiassed experimentor eventually to the discovery that man, the microcosm, is the repository of extraordinary powers.
Madame Blavatsky, who was in magnetic rapport with certain Eastern adepts, was able to produce phenomena not distinguishable from that attributed to the agency of disembodied beings. But her marvels, or many of them at least, were accomplished with the occult cooperation of living men who had unfolded their extrasensory faculties and for whose free and unhampered spirits space constituted no barrier. And it is unfortunate for the development of Western psychic science that the Blavatsky occult revelations, as well as the physical phenomena of spiritism she duplicated, were not given a more sympathetic reception by researchers of the calibre of F.W.H. Meyer whose classic work, Human Personality and Its Survival, is a monument both to his skill as an investigator and inventor of plausible hypotheses.
Harry Price of Borley fame, may lack the interpretative abilities of Meyers. But he is one of the keenest observers of psychic phenomena in England today. He has done much to awaken public interest in parasychology, as psychism has been rechristened by the bigwigs of learning. He enjoys the distinction of being the first to contribute articles on magic and occult phenomena to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Spook-infested houses are his specialty. At one time, he and the well-known English philosopher, C.E.M. Joad, shared a `haunted bed' in Chiswick.
When English editors get wind of poltergeist (1) activity it is to Harry Price they turn to exercise the rattling and banging pests. It was in response to such a call that Price travelled down to Essex some years ago, armed with appropriate equipment, to study first hand the paranormal happenings at Borley rectory. For a period of about sixteen years psychic entities produced intermittently aural and visual phenomena on a scale never before exhibited. Lights appeared mysteriously at the windows of the rectory. A pallid sad-faced nun would appear at intervals beside the garden gate or on the path in front of the summer house, of so corporeal an aspect as to invite solicitous enquiries from passers-by not familiar 'with the nun legend. Within the house there was the usual poltergeist play - bell-ringing, stamping, and breaking of crockery.
Over two hundred people heard or saw some phase of the Borley occurrences. These witnesses were intelligent educated people (Price is careful (Continued on Page 59.)
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
During the month of May I was fortunate in being able to visit several of our Eastern Lodges. In Hamilton I spoke on the subject of the United Nations Organization and have, I believe, aroused sufficient interest not only there but in Toronto and Montreal for them to set a day aside for the special purpose of furthering all that that body stands for. On White Lotus Day I took the Chair at a meeting of the Toronto Lodge for members only, and with the President, Miss Hindsley as the principal speaker had a most interesting commemorative meeting. Whilst visiting my younger daughter in Pointe Claire I had the opportunity of speaking to the Montreal Lodge and was glad to meet so many of the members including several who had recently joined. It was an added pleasure to join in the felicitations by Miss Helena Burke to their president Mr. D.B. Thomas who after thirteen years as president decided not to stand for office this year, as his interests in Florida will take him there for considerable periods of time. Mr. Thomas, as I pointed out had given great service to the Society in Canada as a member of the General Executive, and although domiciled in Montreal, made it his duty to journey to Toronto for the quarterly meetings where he was of great help in discussions regarding weighty problems. And I know he gave the same scrupulous attention to his duties as president of his lodge and was indefatigable in his efforts to make it a vital force in the community, and that he succeeded is evinced by the fact that it is in a thoroughly sound condition, and upholding the best traditions of the T.S. in Canada. I am happy to pay this tribute to one who is so earnest and conscientious in his efforts to make theosophy a living force in the land. In the same week through the kind hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. D.H. Chambers, I spoke to what we designate "The Ottawa Group" in that city where I met a gathering of earnest students of Theosophy who, whilst they do not see their way clear to forming a lodge are nevertheless the nucleus of a potential one which may bloom into flower later on. I spoke on "Practical Theosophy" and far into the night endeavored to answer the many interesting questions put to me by this highly intelligent audience.
There was no election for the position of General Secretary this year as all the lodges without exception nominated me for the post. I take this opportunity of thanking them for this token of their appreciation of my work in that capacity during the past three years. It has not been an easy one but strengthened by this proof of their confidence I will continue to do all I can to further the interests of the National Society and the Cause itself.
I extend my congratulations to the newly elected members of the General Executive and my sincere thanks to those who stood ready to serve, but who were not elected. It is imperative if we are to get anywhere that a strong committee should be in being, not only to help in the work at headquarters but also to generate new ideas, ways and means to sustain and further the ideals which all of us are so anxious to bring to fruition.
And now one final note before we begin our new year of endeavor, and that is to put before our members the thought that our magazine is going ahead and is reckoned by many of its readers to be a worthy and representative organ of the Society in Canada. If it is to be maintained and furthered, please remember that the drain on our (Continued on Page 57)
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
- The Organ of the Theosophical Society in Canada
- Published on the 15th of every month.
- Subscription: Two Dollars a Year
OFFICERS OF THE T.S. IN CANADA
Washington E. Wilks, 925 Georgia St. W., Vancouver, B.C.
Don C. Hatt, Box 97, Adelaide St. P.O., Toronto 1
David B. Thomas, 64 Strathearn Ave., Montreal West, Que.
George I. Kinman, 46 Rawlinson Avenue, Toronto, Ont.
Emory P. Wood, 12207 Stony Plain Road, Edmonton, Alta.
Dudley W. Barr, 52 Isabella St., Toronto, Ont.
Lt.-Col E.L. Thomson, D.S.O., 54 Isabella St., Toronto, Ont.
To whom all payments should be made, and all official communications addressed
EDITORIAL BOARD, CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
All Letters to the Editor, Articles and Reports for Publication should be sent to The Editor: Dudley W. Barr, 52 Isabella St., Toronto 5, Ont.
Printed by the Griffin & Richmond Printing Co., Ltd., 29 Rebecca Street, Hamilton, Ontario
Isolated students and those unable to have access to Theosophical literature should avail themselves of the Travelling Library conducted by the Toronto Theosophical Society. There are no charges except for postage on the volumes loaned. For particulars write to the Travelling Librarian, 52 Isabella Street, Toronto, Ont.
1948 is an important anniversary in the Theosophical Movement; it is just sixty years ago that The Secret Doctrine was first published.
Rider and Company of London has recently published two books by Lewis Spence, one The Fairy Tradition in Britain and the other, The Minor Traditions of British Mythology. These are valuable source books for students of these subjects and the amount of material which has been gathered together is astonishing; the bibliographies are very extensive. A fuller note on each will appear later.
We again commend to our readers the bi-monthly magazine Theosophia which is upholding the H.P.B. tradition. It is published from Room 202, Western Building, 553 South Western Ave., Los Angeles 5; the subscription rate is $1.50 a year. It is the one magazine which gives equal publicity to the three main societies in the Theosophical Movement.
The kindly expressions of encouragement which are received from time to time are much appreciated and we are delighted to have them because this enables us to pass the complimentary remarks on to those who really deserve them, namely those who have written the interesting and instructive articles which appear. These contributors have been most helpful and have reduced the editor's work to a minimum. But while compliments are welcome, it can be said of them as was said of Virtue in Light on the Path, `Yet though they create a fair atmosphere and a happy future, they are useless if they stand alone'. Constructive criticism of our faults and failings is also necessary and suggestions for the improvement of the magazine will also be welcomed.
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
(Continued from Page 55)
resources in these days of mounting costs of all commodities, is very great indeed. Therefore we look to the generosity of all concerned to send in contributions however small to help along the good work. We have not raised the price and trust that we will not have to do that - so please keep this reminder in view when that spare dollar is available. - E.L.T.
THE GENERAL ELECTION
On Saturday afternoon May 29th, Mr. A.S. Winchester and the scrutineers along with the General Secretary, assembled at the Theosophical Hall, 52 Isabella Street, Toronto for the counting of the ballots in the election of a new General Executive for the year ending June 30, 1949. The Tabulated Return will be seen displayed on another page of this issue showing the method of proportional representation, and will be seen how by the various counts the following members were elected:
Mr. Dudley W. Barr, Toronto Lodge.
Mr. N. W. J. Haydon, Toronto Lodge.
Miss M. Hindsley, Toronto Lodge.
Mr. George I. Kinman, Toronto Lodge.
Mr. Peter Sinclair, Montreal Lodge.
Dr. Washington E. Wilks, Orpheus Lodge.
Mr. Emory P. Wood, Edmonton Lodge.
It is regretted that one hundred and twenty members did not think it worth their while to vote. The thanks of the Society are due to Mr. Winchester who has so kindly acted as superintendent of the counting of the votes. Mr. Winchester is a barrister who has always taken a great interest in P.R. and it simplifies the proceedings very much to have an expert looking after the details. Mrs. M. Shone, Mr. Harold Anderson, Major Louis Anderton and Mr. Horace Huxtable were scrutineers, and the proceedings occupied about two hours.
BOOKS ON THEOSOPHICAL SUBJECTS which have passed the tests of time and use Supplied on request. Forty years' experience at your service. Let me know your wishes.
N. W. J. HAYDON, 564 PAPE AVE., TORONTO
THE SPOKEN WORD (Continued from Page 51)
written or spoken word, then the possibility of its being used to deceive would be greatly diminished; words unfortunately often conceal more than they reveal. There are substantial reasons for believing that there was interchange of thoughts and opinions between souls before we became associated with physical bodies or personalities, and just as good reasons for assuming that we shall be able to do so, much more satisfactorily when we have discarded them and are less subject to the limitations of time and space. In the words of Tennyson,
"Thought leapt out to wed with thought,
Ere thought could itself to speech."
- E.J. Norman.
AMONG THE LODGES
The Annual Meeting of Toronto Lodge, held on Wednesday evening, May 19th, was well attended and the following Officers and Directors elected for the 1948-49 season: President, Miss M. Hindsley; 1st Vice-President, Mr. G.I. Kinman; 2nd Vice-President, Mr. C. Weaver; Recording Secretary, Miss L. Gaunt; Corres. Secretary, Mrs. G.I. Kinman; Treasurer, Miss M. Barton; Directors: Mrs. E. Cunningham, Mrs. E.B. Dustan, Mrs. W.G. Hyland, Mrs. K. Marks, Miss K. Lazier, Mr. E.B. Dustan, Mr. J.W. Gaunt, Mr. N.W.J. Haydon, Mr. H. Marquis. The interest aroused by the visits of travelling lecturers during the past season was particularly commented on; this was shown by the large audiences attending practically all such meetings.
"Virtue and wisdom are sublime things, but if they create pride and a consciousness of separateness from the rest of humanity, they are only the snakes of self reappearing in a finer form." - Practical Occultism 74.
[[The following table can't be reproduced in its entirety - dig. ed.]]
THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY ANNUAL ELECTIONS, 1948
TOTAL VOTE - 234. MEMBERS TO BE ELECTED - 7 QUOTA - 30
Name of Candidate 1st Count
D.W. Barr ..................95
J. Wm. Gaunt ..........1
Don. C. Hatt ..................1
N. W. J. Haydon .........9
Miss M. Hindsley ..........26
G. I. Kinman ..........17
Mrs. K. Marks ...........3
Peter Sinclair ...........19
Alexander Watt ..........2
Mr. W.E. Wilks .........50
Emory P. Wood .........11
The elections results are given in detail above as this is the first time in many years that the number of `counts' went to nine before the full number of candidates was elected. A brief explanation may be of interest to those who are not familiar with the Proportional Representation System.
The `1st count' column shows the number of ballots on which the candidates received first choice votes. Dr. Wilks and Mr. Barr were elected on the lst count. The extra ballots of Mr. Barr's over and above the quota of thirty, were distributed as shown in the `2nd' column. The second choice votes on these sixty-five ballots were credited to the remaining candidates (except any second choice votes for Dr. Wilks who already had more than his quota, in which case the third choice candidate was credited). On this 2nd count' Miss Hindsley and Mr. Kinman were elected, as each received a total of more than the quota of thirty. On the `3rd count', Dr. Wilks' extra ballots were similarly credited to the second choice candidates on those ballots. On this 3rd count, Mr. Wood was elected.
The same procedure was followed in the 4th and 5th counts with the extra ballots of Miss Hindsley and Mr. Kinman. On the 6th, 7th and 8th counts, the ballots of those candidates who had received the lowest number of votes were distributed. The 8th count resulted in Mr. Hayden receiving four votes more than his quota. When these four were distributed, Mr. P. Sinclair of Montreal was elected.
THE OCCULT PHENOMENA OF BORLEY RECTORY (Continued from Page 54)
to point out), not given to fits of hysteria or imaginative visions. They included trained researchers.
Price is inclined to regard the Borley sensation, (2) for these reasons, as an extremely well-authenticated case of psychic manifestations. Since the rectory has now been burned to the ground, in accordance with a seance prediction, Price's most recent book The End of Borley Rectory (London, 1946), sequel to The Most Haunted House In England, rings down the curtain on one of the most spectacular psychic dramas of modern times. Whether the dramatis personae were elementals, earth-bound souls seeking assistance or exalted beings anxious to prove the immaterial nature of the mind, (3) using the psychic magnetism with which Borley was evidently saturated for this purpose, is anybody's guess.
Although no doubt exists as to the genuineness of the phenomena, many and various are the interpretations of their source. Harry Price himself, who is thoroughly objective and scientific in his whole approach, indulges in no loose-reined imaginative speculations. Though he claims in The End of Borley Rectory, quoting Sir Albion Richardson, that the manifestations are "as conclusive as human testimony can ever be . . . to the point of moral certainty" he yet declares his complete ignorance and bewilderment respecting the mechanism of the phenomena. In his opinion the materialist with his hypothesis of the subconscious has not satisfactorily explained the facts. And one might well ask how a subconscious fragment could write legible phrases on a wall, thereby indicating buried proofs of a planchette message, which were later verified when the cellar was excavated? The throwing of bottles, levitation and displacement of pieces of soap in the presence of intelligent observers point, Price believes, to an operating intelligence rather than to an unconscious force.
Mr. Price does not disparage the spiritistic theory, admitting that it covers adequately the facts. Yet he confesses that he is not yet convinced that the psychic factor that survives death is the entity that discourses at seances and levitates objects. He suggests that there may be some unknown physical or spiritual force (as obscure to us as was atomic energy or radar to our ancestors) that can account for a large part of the phenomena. Moreover, he admits his doubt of the authenticity of seance communications concerning existence on the other planes, simply because he has found these descriptions extremely contradictory. But if the post-mortem state is a dream kingdom as Hamlet surmised, and as the ancient Tibetan teachings affirm, then these inconsistent reports are understandable.
According to Mr. Piggot, whose reasoned explanation of Borley events Mr. Price deemed worthy of inclusion in his book, all the peculiar sound and visual effects may be due to etheric repetition. We say that time is irreversible. This may be true for our three-dimensional consciousness. But it would appear from Mr. Piggot's theory that scenes enacted long ago, in the vicinity of the rectory, possessed a strange power of reproduction because of Borley's psychic atmosphere and the emotional intensity that accompanied their first etching on the etheric records. This would explain the sound of galloping horses and cries of anguish sometimes heard. But no automatic revival of bygone events could be related in any way to the hurling of Mrs. Foyster (wife of the Reverend Mr. Foyster who was rector there) out of bed or the felling of strong men to the ground.
In the same year that Mr. Price's
book was published the S.P.R. issued a threepenny pamphlet setting forth its conclusions after forty-six years of research. It had this to say regarding messages from the departed: "Either telepathy takes place, below the level of consciousness, on an altogether uncontemplated scale, while at the same time there exists, likewise below the level of consciousness, something which can create pseudo-personalities with a breath-taking degree of subtlety; or else the dead can communicate, usually directly and partially, with the living." According to Theosophical teaching on the subject intercourse between those functioning in a physical state of consciousness and those in the devachanic realm is impossible, if such communion entails the descent to our plane of the latter. But psychic science may some day prove, what every occultist knows, that the mind is immaterial and that physiological change is the concomitant of mental activity. And if psychic data, which admit of no other hypothesis but the immateriality of the soul, should some day be accepted, what will be some of the philosophical repercussions? Man's most precious faculty will not be confined to a lobe in the brain. The scientist will cease to identify reality exclusively with a world of whirling electrons. Man will then acquire new dignity for his imaginative ideals will no longer be decried as mere phantasms, the illusionary effects produced on a puny brain by the atomic motion of a cosmic machine.
- Alberta Jean Rowell.
319 Forman Avenue, Toronto, Ontario.
1. Poltergeist is literally a racketing spirit.
2. The buildings of Borley were very ancient. Stories of murder, suicide, and scandal clung to the precincts. Thus was provided an ideal atmosphere for the materialization of spirits, for bhutas are easily evoked in the neighborhood of graveyards or places of crime. (See H.P.B.'s article Chinese Spirits).
3. Taking as her authority the Tibetan teachings, H.P.B. categorically asserted that only three types of spirits gravitate to the earth's magnetic atmosphere and many temporarily manifest with the help of a medium's radiations - the irredeemably bad, suicides, and those who have been injected into the next plane by some species of violence. Only the "elect", she declared, were capable of preserving contact with this plane and they did not visit the "promiscuous" seance room.
IS THE `T.S.' OFF ITS TRACK?
The declared aims of the Society are, in their main parts, to "establish a nucleus of universal brotherhood . . . encourage the study of comparative religion . . . and . . . investigate the unexplained laws of nature" . . . .
It seems reasonable that those who wrote that were careful with their words; that they had practical reasons for these objectives; had equally good reasons for placing them in the order they did; wrote just what they meant - and knew why they meant it.
But are their reasons clear to ourselves? . . .
The reason for brotherhood is clear; but a today's quiz on why comparative religion should be studied might fetch startling replies. From the declaration itself the true `why' hardly is obvious. Yet that such aim was set just for good measure is an idea which will not make sense. Without reason and purpose, such study would be as useless as collecting spent matches.
Yet, from the nature of `religions' and the fact that the utmost possible (Continued on Page 63)
THE EXILE OF THEE SOUL
By Roy Mitchell
(Continued from page 48, Vol. XXIX)
V. THE MYSTICAL PROBLEM
We come now upon another phase of the same problem of consciousness - that presented by the phenomena of mystical experience. I use the word mystical in its modern sense as describing an interior revelation that can be had independently of the senses and of the reasoning processes.
Needless to say, this idea that there can be a transcendental knowledge superior to ordinary processes is one of the most ancient in the history of mankind. It is to be found at the origin of all religious systems, and indeed, as we shall see, all religion is to a lesser or greater degree a distortion of it. The possibility of this interior experience has been asserted by the greatest philosophers, by the saints and sages, and is in a sense the one ever-present and enduring thought in religion. It is also the idea around which the fiercest struggles have raged and against which the bitterest persecution has been directed.
Although an enormous literature has arisen out of mysticism, only recently - in this era at least - have we had a comparative examination of its phenomena. The first notable one is by the Canadian psychologist Richard Maurice Bucke who in his Cosmic Consciousness assembled and examined a large number of cases of the direct illumination commonly described as mystcial.
It is outside of my purpose in this article to make a complete examination of Dr. Bucke's material and results, but to deal with certain special aspects of it. Drawing largely from biography and autobiography, he cites many remarkable cases of illumination in the lives of Jesus, Buddha, Walt Whitman, Jacob Boehme, Francis Bacon, Plotinos and other historical figures. These he supplements with modern cases of interior experience drawn from among his friends and patients.
The records thus gathered present certain common factors. One is a more or less definite sense of "lighting up" and is frequently accompanied by an objective luminosity, when the subject finds himself bathed in light. Another is the descent upon the subject of an ineffable peace likened to the "peace that passeth all understanding" in the Christian Testament. A third is that of possessing a direct apprehension of fact, a means of knowledge that is best described as the mystics described it, as transcending reasoning processes altogether. A less common, though no less marked, experience, in the cases where it is recorded is the modification or complete elimination of the sense of time, as if time were merged or lost in another way in space. The German Theosophist, Jacob Boehme, says he saw the "signatures of things" and that he saw the grass growing.
More important than any of these is the realization by the subject of a communion between the members of the human race and an actual sense of being in a realm of consciousness where all separation and longing are at an end. It is an entry into a one-consciousness, a seemingly without loss of individuality, and a kind of all inclusiveness in which the person experiencing the new state takes the rest of the race into his being.
Walt Whitman in Song of Myself describes it thus:
"Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and knowledge that pass all argument of the earth,
And I know that the hand of God is
the promise of my own,
And I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own,
And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and the women my sisters and lovers,
And that a kelson of the creation is love,
And limitless are leaves stiff or drooping in the fields,
And brown ants in the little wells beneath them,
And mossy scabs of the worm fence, heap'd stones, elder, mullein and pokeweed."
Dr. Bucke in his analysis of the cases came to several interesting conclusions which, while they will not satisfy all the demands of occult philosophy, represent nevertheless a great advance in the scientific study of mystical experience. He divides consciousness into three great grades or successive divisions. The lowest of these, representing subhuman levels, as of the animal, he calls "Simple Consciousness". The reasoning consciousness of men and women, limited as it is by a sense of separateness, he calls "self consciousness". The illuminated state, in which separateness disappears, he calls cosmic consciousness, a level transcending the mental state as much as mind transcends the instinctual consciousness of the animal. Issue has been taken with him on the use of the word "cosmic" as describing too high a level, but nobody has yet suggested a more satisfactory term.
Since Dr. Bucke's time there have been numerous other inquiries and, although it is not a popular subject with academic psychologists because it makes trouble with theologians with whom they have to live, it has had a considerable share of attention from the more independent writers. The general disposition has been to regard the superior consciousness as one into which the human race will eventually evolve, and to look on those who have had intimations of it as forerunners of the rest of mankind.
When this theory goes hand in hand with the idea of physical evolution or race-evolution, as it sometimes does, and there is no element of the immortality of the individual soul implied in it, it means that succeeding generations of men and women begotten of the present ones will have an increasing number of cosmically conscious persons among them, cosmic consciousness becomes the general and finally the universal condition.
This is a cold idea. It offers the present generation the comfortless theory that all our striving and suffering is for the purpose of transmitting to other entities in a distant future powers and blessings they have not earned. To complete the anomaly, experimental science has now reached a position where it declares that all our striving will not and cannot transmit its fruit anyway. So poorly do the facts of interior illumination consort with the Darwinian theory of evolution that it is little wonder the psychologists are not fond of the subject.
When the theory of cosmic consciousness goes hand in hand with the idea of the survival of the soul of man after death and the passage of the soul into higher realms of consciousness, a heaven-world or whatever, the disposition of writers - mostly theologians - is to treat the experience as a passing intimation of the afterdeath states, a sort of foretaste of heaven vouchsafed by God to saintly persons during their earth life. The exponents of this theory are in grave difficulties. The chief one arises out of the fact that the experience is not confined to saintly persons but sometimes happens to persons whose lives are to say the least heretical and sometimes markedly irreligious in any sense that would please the orthodox God. Conversely many persons of saintly conduct do not achieve any such
foretaste of the hereafter. The ironical commentary on this theory is that the cosmic vision has been frequent among those whom the Church found necessary to burn at the stake. In fact the church has had a definite antipathy to persons who had a foretaste of its own Heaven. It may have feared that some visionary would blurt out the truth.
A much better theory of it is the Hindu one - that the soul is engaged in a pilgrimage of experience which requires a long series of lives on this earth, in the course of which it evolves successive powers. Having passed through an arc of descent from spirit to matter and having turned at the mineral on its way back to a vastly enriched spiritual existence, the soul, they teach, has had successively the consciousness of the mineral, the plant and the animal, and is now passing through the mental state of consciousness as man. Beyond the mental state is a state of direct cognition or awakening into reality, which they call Buddhi. This has been attained by the leaders of mankind and into it all men will in due time enter. Those who have experienced it partially are our vanguard on the long path of the evolution of the soul. This is the opinion commonly offered today as Theosophy. In point of fact it is orthodox Brahminism and is, in its own way, scarcely less a distortion of Theosophy than is orthodox Christianity.
(To Be Continued.)
IS THE `T.S.' OFF ITS TRACK? (Continued from Page 60) constructive result of their study is a knowledge of those bedrock truths which are religion itself and a realization that brotherhood is both the aim and the means of religion - from these facts is it not plain that the real `why' of such study is that through it we could easiest learn those laws on which, by which and for which brotherhood must be established; that the second aim was set for the sake of the first?. . .
As for investigating the unexplained laws of nature: Is there a doubt that in Science, whose purpose is to study and make clear those laws, much which is not understood, never can be understood save through broad, deep knowledge of moral forces? . . . Does the fact that this objective is listed after the study of religions not imply that, having reached moral truth through that study, we would go on to Science, not so much having to ask things of it as being able to tell them? . . .
Is it illogical to claim that the objectives were placed as they were so that, with the first as the primary yet ultimate purpose, we would find, in the second, the truths by which that ultimate is justified and, in those truths' light, clarify and organize Science towards Brotherhood's establishment? . . . Are there not good grounds for thinking this the order of progress intended by the founders: That they meant religion-investigation to produce a science of morality - a science whose nature would compel all other sciences to conform to it - and, in doing so, of necessity lead mankind to the brotherhood required? . . .
If these deductions from the declaration are correct, how far have we travelled on the right track? . . . Are we not more interested in comparing religions than with studying the comparisons to find their basic truths? . . . Do we not still grovel to `science' and try to square our conclusions by its findings rather than affirm that what does not square with moral law cannot be wholly true? . . .
We seem afraid to speak so. We seem to feel we have no authority to do so. We have, that is, no 'doctrine,' no `creed'. But there is a distinction between a creed and a declaration of moral scientific truth. A creed is a truth-fragment spun into a set form. Our only `creed' should be to enunciate
the moral laws. It should be not fixed but expanding as fast as our proven knowledge is increased.
But until we make a definite effort to be scientific in investigating and systematizing these laws; until we prove their nature and operation to a point where we can speak with an authoritative voice; until we are to the sciences what the `specialists' are to their various fields, we will be - if not wholly off the track - at least instead of speeding to that City of Brotherhood, sidetracked; puffing fussily among the rubbish heaps of the Cities of Beautiful Nonsense!
- H. Marquis.
The Editor, Canadian Theosophist: - Dear Sir: Why should the Lodges' attention be drawn to the 100th Anniversary of the Spiritualistic Federation? Our President, on page 25 of the April issue, says: "we Theosophists can cordially approve of the work done to remove human ignorance on the subject of death and after by Spiritualists throughout the world." How can the President of the Theosophical Society that was founded by H.P.B. and the Masters say such a thing from his office? H.P.B. never was in favor of the Theosophical Society forwarding the cause of Spiritualism. Read what she says about it in the Key to Theosophy and in Lucifer, May 1890.
According to Master K.H. Theosophists should disapprove of the work done by the Spiritualists. The harm done is too great to be approved of by anyone, much less Theosophists. Think of what He says on pages 113-114 of the Mahatma Letters, Letter xvi: "Were the mediums and Spiritualists but to know, as I said, that with every new `angel guide' they welcome with rapture, they entice the latter into an Upadana which will be productive of a series of untold evils for the new Ego that will be born under its nefarious shadow, and that with every seance - especially for materialization - they multiply the causes for misery, causes that will make the unfortunate Ego fail in his spiritual birth, or be reborn into a worse existence than ever - they would, perhaps be less lavishing their hospitality.
And, now, you may understand why we oppose so strongly Spiritualism and mediumship." - "It may show her that it is not against true Spiritualism that we set ourselves but only against indiscriminate mediumship and physical manifestations - materializations and transpossessions especially." - "...it is the Occultists and the Theosophists who are true Spiritualists, while the modern sect of that name is composed simply of materialistic phenomenalists."
Let the so-called Spiritualists celebrate their 100 years of "bhuta" worship without our help. Theosophists are too busy minding their own business of which a part is to dispel spiritual ignorance, not encourage it.
Mrs. Ethel Trupp, F.T.S.
10134 - 155 St.,
April 29, 1948.
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.