Divine Wisdom Brotherhood Occult Science
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Vol. XXIX, No. 8 Toronto, October 15th, 1948 Price 20 Cents
THE ACID TEST
This editorial by the late A.E.S. Smythe is reprinted in his memory in the anniversary month of his death, October 2nd, 1947.
"Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?"
This is the astonishing test which Walt Whitman proposes in "The Song of the Open Road" for lovers, husbands and wives, friends, comrades, fellow students, adventurers in life on whatever quest they may be bound. It particularly applies to those who embark on the Quest of the Golden Fleece, that training in occultism which permits no variation or shadow of turning.
John Bunyan knew the principle when he warned his readers not to turn off into the By-path Meadow. It led to Doubting Castle and the abode of Giant Despair. The subject is very fully treated in the twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth of the "Letters That Have Helped Me," that too little consulted book which contains all that the ordinary student of Occultism will ever be able to assimilate.
There are two conditions which are difficult to recognize and by which the student can easily test his own hold upon truth. They are natural conditions and arise out of our own nature. No one applies them to us. We take these applications ourselves in our own conduct. It has become a common idea
in the Theosophical Society that thd Masters are always standing at the telex phone ready to answer any one who calls. Those who desire to meet them must rise to their level.
"As all Their work and aspiration are to the end of helping the race, no one of Their chelas can hope to remain (or become) such, if any selfish desire for personal possessions of spiritual wealth constitutes the motive for trying to be a chela. Such a motive, in the case of one already a chela, acts instantly to throw him out of the ranks, whether he be aware of his loss or not, and in the case of one trying to become a chela it acts as a bar. Nor does a real chela spread the fact that he is such."
"A man is hardly ready to be a chela unless he is able to stand alone and uninfluenced by other men or events, for he must stand alone, and he might as well know this at the beginning as at the end."
This paradox simply means that only those who are able to stand alone are able to stick by each other as long as they live. The waverers, the seekers about for some new thing, those what are always ready to start off on any (Continued on Page 128.)
MAKING SCIENCE SAFE FOR THE WORLD
By Boris de Zirkoff
Scientific research and discovery divorced from a high sense of ethical responsibility are the greatest possible danger to civilization.
The history of the twentieth century is a living testimony to this fact.
For years there has existed among prominent scientists, the world over, the astounding notion that they were by no means responsible for the use made by others of the scientific discoveries achieved in the sanctum of the laboratory. A few scattered voices were raised here and there proclaiming the fallacy of this view. They were hardly ever heeded.
Taught by bitter experience, and the accumulative effect of human suffering, scientists of today are gradually coming to the painful realization that a considerable degree of ethical responsibility does inhere in the very fact of discovery, and that no hard and fast barrier can be erected, even in the mind; between the results of pure research and their application either to the weal or the woe of mankind by other men than the actual scientists themselves.
Maybe Hiroshima and Nagasaki were, after all, a blessing in disguise, when seen from a long-range view of events in the making.
What is imperatively needed these days is a worldwide recognition of the fact that all men are indissolubly knitted together, by bonds which often cannot be defined by mere words, and that this state of essential unity and oneness makes all artificial distinctions between this, that and another set of people a mere figment of our imagination, unrelated to the actual structure of the universe we live in.
Scientific discoveries and research are but an uncovering of certain basic facts in Nature; these facts constitute a portion of Truth; they are intimately corelated with other facts, either discovered or yet to be found; they do not stand alone by themselves, unrelated to anything else; nor do these facts constitute the private property of any scientist or of any military, economic, or political clique, wherever such may be located. Nature is one and universal, and its operations and functions are the very fabric which binds everything that is into one grand whole.
There should exist in this One World we are gradually coming to recognize, a group of earnest, spiritually-minded, highly-ethical men and women, an international body of universally-minded people, who would be the impartial and selfless custodians of the achievements and discoveries originating in the scientific laboratories of the world. These men and women should have no political affiliations whatsoever, no economic entanglements, and no other end in view except the channelling of discoveries and research into avenue where they would be immediately applied for the welfare of all mankind and the further amelioration of the conditions of those who may be less privileged than others.
Needless to say that such a body of men and women should include a rather large number of the most progressive scientists in all lines of research. But this body should by no means be limited to them, as its objectives and purposes necessitate the active participiation of the "common man" as well - people from all walks of life, imbued with humanitarian principles of conduct and
sympathies which are universal and unrestricted.
Such a body of people should become Trustees for the Human Race, empowered by the various Nations to control the application in daily life of the discoveries made by modern science, so as to prevent its knowledge from becoming the property of biased, selfish, sectarian and nationalistic gangs, on any level whatsoever, whose subtle machinations have plunged mankind into two devastating wars within a generation.
Science, as such, should be free and unhampered, free even from the possibility of any threat coming from interested parties attempting to regiment scientific research for purposes of human exploitation and destruction. Better, far better, no Science at all, than a Science manacled to selfish ideologies and the goose-stepping hordes of warlords on the rampage. Homely similes are not out of place in this connection. It has been shown that a concerted, organized effort on the part of everyday housewives to refuse buying goods at inflated prices can result in a dropping of such prices to a more reasonable level.
A concerted, organized, well integrated, and international effort on the part of scientists, refusing to engage in any further research or investigation, unless and until international safeguards have been organized to prevent effectually any exploitation or misuse of their research, could go a long way towards securing the objective in view.
It is all a matter of organization, goodwill, teamwork, and a unity of purpose.
The time to do it is NOW. And the way to accomplish it is by sowing seeds of thought into fertile soil where they will inevitably grow.
"FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH"
Mrs. Hildegard Henderson of the H.P.B. Library in Victoria, B.C., died in her eighty-sixth year on September 18th and her body was cremated on the 21st. Mrs. Henderson had suffered from a heart ailment for some twenty years and there were periods when her illness made it extremely difficult for her to carry on with the work to which she had devoted her life, namely, the promulgation of the original teachings of Theosophy. Her ardent spirit had heretofore prevailed over the bodily weakness and the work went on despite her illness. The last attack came suddenly.
Mrs. Henderson was loyal unto death to H.P.B., the messenger of the Masters and to the sacred cause of the Theosophical Movement. Her loyalty was not incidental to her life, it was part of her very being and she was a valiant and whole-hearted defender of H.P.B. against all attacks. In Mrs. Henderson the qualities of heart and mind were developed and balanced and her writings indicated a keen and comprehensive intellect as well as an open and generous heart. The work of the H.P.B. Library brought her in touch with many students and she was always ready to give of her rich store of spiritual treasure to all who were entering upon or travelling the old, old Path.
Mrs. Henderson was not a member of the Theosophical Society, but among the uncounted thousands who are linked intimately with the Theosophical Movement, although not officially connected with any Society, Mrs. Henderson was an outstanding exponent of the teachings of H.P.B. and the Masters. Her death further reduces the ranks of the few remaining of the little band of workers who came into the Movement before or shortly after the death of H.P.B. One by one these older workers are departing for a well-earned rest from the strife and stress of this cycle,
leaving gaps which cannot be filled. The cause of Universal Brotherhood has suffered a great loss.
Our sincere sympathy goes out to her co-workers and to her many friends.
- D. W. B.
THE EARTH'S EVOLUTION AND REVOLUTION
By A. C. Fellows
(Continued from Page 109)
We might here refer to a passage in the S.D. which says: "We are taught that the transformations through which man passed on the descending arc - which is centrifugal for Spirit and centripedal for Matter - and those he is preparing to go through on his ascending Path, which will reverse the direction of the two forces - viz, Matter will become centrifugal and Spirit centripetal." (S.D. vol. ii-23).
So we see from this quotation that, on the descending arc, Man is divorced from Spirit by the action of the centrifugal force and drawn into Matter by the centripetal one; on the ascending arc the reverse happens, Man is attracted to Spirit by the Centripetal force working through it and forced away from Matter by centrifugal action.
The Turning Point
In the Fourth Round the turning point was reached, the Globe now travelling back towards the Sun and so coming into contact with Matter of a finer nature. We are told that in the Fifth Round, which is one the return journey, that Ether will be the fifth Element, and permeability will be a characteristic of Matter, so that the densest forms then, will offer no more obstruction than a thick fog does to use today. (S.D. i. 278). The Sixth ands Seventh Rounds will bring about a still more ethereal state of existence.
An Occult maxium says: Spirit is Light above and Life below; it is therefore within everything in manifestation, in all forms from the highest to the lowest, and in our Solar system it is the Sun that dispenses both these to all parts of its domain, and so is truly the Source, not only symbolically but actually.
Spirit in its descent, gradually loses its aspect of Light, which can exist in the spiritual sense only on the higher planes. On the lower it manifests as Life, the Light aspect being latent and inactive, thus when it has differentiated to the furthest and grossest element - Earth, Light is not manifesting but only the Life giving energy. Thus Man, in his lowest state is deprived of the Real Light, and this can only be obtained by his ascent to a higher state of existence. Man therefore when arriving by descent into gross Matter, cannot be blamed for being material, since the Light of the Spirit is not manifesting on that plane and so cannot be contacted.
Many millions of years were occupied by Man in his descent into Matter, therefore the Laws of Involution into Matter, which we have termed here Centrifugal force, became second nature to him, and to these he learned to respond readily. When however the turning point was reached, and he has to start to evolve out of Matter, he has to learn to obey a Force which is the exact opposite to the one he had been for so long accustomed to, and so he could hardly be expected at once to respond to the force of Evolution or Centripetal force, which is the exact reverse to the one he had taken millions of years to acquire. In the return journey of ascent, Evil, it seems to me, is obedience to the Laws of Involution which took Man down into Matter and tends to keep him there, being the opposite of the Laws of Evolution which he should now be fol-lowing. But since Man has spent a far vaster period under the Laws of Involution than those of Evolution, having only recently so to speak started on the
upward arc, it is well nigh impossible to expect him to completely eradicate from his nature in a comparatively short time, that which for millions of years has been ingrained in him; if such were possible, then Evolution out of Matter would occupy but a very brief period, in comparison with his descent into it, but we know that it will take Humanity three and a half Rounds to get rid of all the defects generated during its descent.
These two Forces, Centrifugal and Centripetal, are analogous to the Laws of Repulsion and Attraction, to Involution and Evolution, the coming down into Matter and evolving out of it; of the way these two forces act in our Solar system we know little or nothing, and quoting from the S.D. vol. i-647, using the words of a Master, "Therefore do they (The Adepts) say, that the great Men of Science of the West, knowing next to nothing about cometary matter, centrifugal and centripetal forces, the nature of the nebulae, or the physical constitution of the Sun, the Stars or even the Moon, are imprudent to speak so confidently as they do about `the central mass of the sun', whirling out into space, planets, comets and what not".
Views of T. Subba Row
In speaking of the same two forces, T. Subba Row, in his Esoteric writings says, "The views I have herein expressed are often illustrated by our ancient writers, by comparing the course of man's life or existence to the orbital motion of a planet round the sun. Centripetal force is Spiritual attraction, and centrifugal, terrestrial attraction. As the centripetal force increases in power in comparison with the centrifugal force, the planet approaches the sun, the individual reaches a higher plane of existence. If, on the other hand, the centrifugal force becomes greater than the centripetal force, the planet is removed to a greater distance from the sun, and moves in a new orbit at that distance, the individual comes to a lower state of existence . . . We have only to consider the two extreme cases."
"When the planet in its approach to the sun passes over the line, where the centripetal and centrifugal forces completely neutralize each other, and is only acted upon by the centripetal force, it rushes towards the sun wtih a gradually increasing velocity, and is finally mixed up with the mass of the sun's body. This is the case of the complete Adept.
"Again, when the planet in its retreat from the sun reaches a point where the centrifugal force becomes all-powerful, it flies off in a tangential direction from its orbit, and goes into the depths of void space. When it ceases to be under the control of the sun, it gradually gives up its generative heat and creative energy that it originally derived from the sun, and remains a cold mass of material particles wandering through space until the mass is completely decomposed into atoms. This cold mass is compared to the fifth principle under the conditions above noticed, and the heat, light and energy that left it are compared to the sixth and seventh principles. This figurative representation correctly explains the ancient Brahmanical theory on the subject. It is merely a branch of what is called the Great Law of the Universe, by the ancient Mystics." (Esoteric Writings, Sevenfold Principles in Man, T. Subba Row. p. 33)
Development of Humanity
The tentative theory that I have advanced, that the development of any humanity may be judged by the distance its planet is from the sun, and whether approaching to, or retreating from it, appears to be borne out by the above quotation from Subba Row's writings.
If there is anything at all in this, it would appear that the Earth's Evolution and Revolution play a most import- (Continued on Page 123.)
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
Mr. J. Emory Clapp is to be congratulated on the success of the Fraternization Convention which took place in Toronto on the 4th and 5th of September. It was principally due to his energy and determination to bring about such a meeting that it eventually materialized. One might designate it a Token Convention for conditions were far from propitious, but Mr. Clapp and the Holding Committee of which he was chairman felt it was essential to clarify the situation and get the idea, begining in 1933 and only interrupted by the war in 1942, back to reality. Many things militated against the project, many staunch supporters had for various reasons dropped out, Covina and the American Section were not helpful and it was difficult to pick up the threads and get going again. However it turned out a success, and the consensus of those present was that the prospects for the next one, are distinctly good. Elsewhere in this issue is a report by Mr. Clapp on the subject.
Mr. Jinarajadasa writes me that he has planned a visit to this continent next year and from other sources I understand it will culminate at the American Convention to be held in Chicago mid-July. He naturally is anxious to visit all our lodges for, as he states, it is a long time since he was here and there have been many changes. We are equally anxious to meet him and are looking forward to his visit. In conjunction with the American Section I plan collaborating in an itinerary for this tour embracing both the States and Canada and will publish essential details in due course.
It is with sincere regret I report the death of an old member of the Society in the person of Mr. Hugh Gillespie who for many years was a resident in Sydney, N.S.W. He was a member of the Toronto Lodge having been demitted to the Canadian Society in 1920 after spending some years in Adyar where, among other activities he, as a Life Member of the Institute of Sanitary Engineers, London, gave invaluable assistance in carrying out sanitary measures in that place. Whilst in Toronto Mr. and Mrs. Gillespie were regular attendants at the Secret Doctrine Class for it was a class such as this that Mr. Gillespie always regarded as the essential foundation of a good lodge. Upon leaving Canada for Australia both continued their membership in the Toronto Lodge as they felt it more closely approximated their conception of what a lodge should be than any other they had known. For many years Mr. Gillespie contributed articles to The Canadian Theosophist and among other activities he was a Fellow of the London College of Physiology and we can justly say that he led an extremely full and active life. Our deepest sympathy is extended to Mrs. Gillespie in her sad bereavement.
This item is a general question and I invite comments. Are our member concerned about the stability of the Canadian Society? By stability I mean the cohesion of its component parts as a working organization. Personally I am much perturbed at the seeming indisposition of anyone to view the situation in the light of modern conditions. It is unfortunate that one has to be so sordid as to force the question of filthy lucre on our altruistic ideals but there it is, willy nilly we are of the earth earthy and have to consider such mundane matters, particularly am I referring to the Society's financial condition. Every-
body is crying to high heaven about the rise in the cost of living and the increase of prices is regard to everything, and I mean everything. Very well then, if the Society means anything to us then why is there no suggestion even of doing something to raise our financial condition to a state of parity? Years ago when the world was more or less tranquil and there was little of this present-day urgency, we carried on with difficulty, now in times of stress exceeding anything we have ever known, what must be the condition of affairs? The dues never did meet the case (and what are they? the equivalent of 5c a week!) nor does the price of the subscription to the magazine. It is useless for me to reiterate this by calling attention to it periodically as I have done, the response except from the very few has been negligible. But the time has come when something definite should be done. Our Society in spite of its smallness is an important one, and our magazine is equally important. Shall we face the issue and see that both are not only kept on an even keel but that we can be put in a position to forge ahead for the greater purpose that we subscribe to? I earnestly request those interested to ponder these things and perhaps write me with their suggestions.
We have been fortunate this year in having a number of outstanding speakers motivating and invigorating our lodges with their ideas and personalities. Among these I may mention Professor Ernest Wood, Dr. Rishi Ram, Dr. Chakravarty, Dr. Alvin Kuhn in the immediate past and now to come Mr. Sri Ram. It is essential that there be outside stimuli of this kind to the normal activities of a lodge for no matter how energetic it may be intrinsically it eventually slows down for want of fresh contacts, and to get a "shot in the arm" occasionally both fires the ambition and whets the enthusiasm for another surge of vitality and spell of activity.
The long expected book on Practical Yoga by Professor Ernest Wood is at last off the press and I was agreeably delighted to receive a copy as a gift from the author. There is an introduction by Paul Brunton which among many terse and pointed statements says "There are very few books on the subject of Yoga written by Westerners which are really reliable. This is one of them." Based on Patanjali's Aphorisms this book written in modern topical parlance brings Yoga into everyday life and what is more, convincingly makes it a part of it, something rather astounding in view of Yoga's former phraseology and mystical atmosphere which was always looked upon by the layman at least as something very much outside modern conditions of existence. An intensely readable book alike for the subject matter and the technical side that students will study with avidity, and Professor Wood is to be congratulated on an achievement unique in character not only as a literary product but as a contribution to the world at large. (Published by E. P. Dutton, 300 Fourth Avenue, New York. Price 3.00, in Canada 3.50).
Mr. Van Eden the Secretary of the Theosophical International Correspondence League writes me that he has ten "contacts" in France who are anxious to correspond with members in Canada, and in the French language. Those interested should get in touch with him at 232 Pacific Avenue, Toronto 9.
- E. L. T.
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
Dudley W. Barr, 52 Isabella St., Toronto, Ont.
N.W.J. Haydon, 564 Pape Ave., Toronto, Ont.
Miss M. Hindsley, 745 Bloor St. W., Toronto, Ont.
George I. Kinman, 46 Rawlinson Avenue, Toronto, Ont.
Peter Sinclair, 4941 Wellington St., Verdun, Quebec
Washington E. Wilks, 925 Georgia St. W., Vancouver, B.C.
Emory P. Wood, 12207 Stony Plain Road, Edmonton, Alta.
Lt.-Col E.L. Thomson, D.S.O., 54 Isabella St., Toronto, Ont.
To whom all payments should be made, and all official communications addressed
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.
The new edition of Through the Gates of Gold by Mabel Collins which was announced in our May issue, should be available in Canada in the latter part of October. Mr. E.B. Dustan, Book Steward of the Toronto Lodge, has ordered a supply and it is expected that the price will be One Dollar, plus postage.
The internationalism of Theosophy was indicated at the lectures held on the weekend of September 26th in Toronto Lodge. Among the visitors from foreign lands were Professor and Mrs. Wilhelm Roos of Mexico City. Professor Roos has carried on Theosophical study classes and a class in Sanscrit for the past twenty years. Another visitor was Miss Boulbois from South Africa who will be staying in Canada for a few months. Dr. A. Chakravarty from India lectured on the 27th and his lecture was attended by the Indian Trade Commissioner, Mr. Ahuja with his wife and daughters, as well as by several Indian students from the University. The United States visitors included Mrs. Schraeder from Illinois and Mrs. Milton from Kansas.
Canada's population has increased by 301,000 during the past twelve months and the total population is now 12,883,000. This reflects the general increase in the world's population which Is now estimated at 2,300,000,000 which is being added to at the rate of two millions per month. Some eminent scientists are concerned as to whether the earth is capable of producing sufficient food to feed these incoming millions and warn us that widespread starvation is a possibility. Theosophical students may ponder the reasons for this great rush to incarnate at the present time. Is it an indication of the close of a cycle?
The unbound sheets of Ancient and Modern Physics by Thomas E. Willson were destroyed in the flooding of a basement and the remaining copies of the book are now sold out. Several students are anxious to obtain copies and if any of our readers would like to sell their copies, please get in touch with us.
FRATERNIZATION CONVENTION 1948
The most notable feature manifested at this Convention as it impressed the writer was the spirit of brotherliness evidenced by the willingness of those participating to collaborate harmoniously, particularly in committee meetings and discussions on the policy which should guide those interested in its Future. Everyone seemed to be more concerned with the purpose of promoting Theosophical harmony and a unified effort to attain the ends desired by the august founders of the Theosophical Movement, than in pushing their personal conceptions of methods and minor objectives.
Col. Thomson, who had been most active in the endeavor to revive the Fraternization Convention effort after its long period of inactivity, was unanimously chosen to act as permanent Chairman of the Convention and under his able direction everything moved along smoothly. A tentative program had been prepared with the capable assistance of Mrs. Kathleen Marks, but the time available for working it out was so short that there was considerable uncertainty relative to speakers and subjects. Nevertheless, the final result was most satisfactory. Three speakers from the United States participated and the rest were supplied by the Canadian Section.
The Resolutions Committee which also served as a Ways and Means Committee was nominated and elected from the floor and it met Sunday morning and later on each resolution was adopted separately by the Convention after due discussion.
It would be difficult to find anyone more firmly convinced of the necessity of a spirit of friendliness between the different Theosophical Societies or Groups than Colonel Thomson and the Convention was fortunate in having him as its Chairman. His interest in this desirable consummation was shown by an entirely impersonal attitude and he consented to serve as head of the Holding and Organization Committee during the coming year in spite of the fact that his time is already quite fully taken up or involved in other activities; but his wide acquaintance and the high regard with which the officials of other Theosophical Societies view him will be a valuable asset in promoting close cooperation by all of those who have the real interest of the Theosophical Movement at heart. There can be no question of selfish advantage in true collaboration as selflessness or altruism are the insignia of real Theosophists.
- J. Emory Clapp.
John M. Watkins, 21, Cecil Court,
Charing Cross Road, London, W.C.2.
10th. Sept., 1948.
The Editor, The Canadian Theosophist: - Dear Sir, May I draw attention to an error, which appears in your kindly review of W.L. Wilmshurst's "The Meaning of Masonry" on p. 96 of the August 1948 issue.
Messrs. Rider & Co. are not the publishers of this reprint, which is published by us and the copy for review was, of course, sent by us.
Messrs. Rider & Co. acted as distributing agents for the former editions but the new reprint is published entirely at our own expense by arrangement with Miss Wilmshurst.
The work had been out of print for some time, my father and I, who were close friends of Wilmshurst, felt that we should like to see the work circulating again and made the necessary arrangements. I am only sorry that my
father did not live long enough to see the work actually in finished form.
G. M. Watkins.
Mr. Haydon, who reviewed the book, and the Editor, both regret this error very much indeed. The name of the publisher was correctly given in the earlier announcement of the republication of The Meaning of Masonry which appeared in the March 1948 issue of the magazine.
The General Executive met on Sunday, October 3rd, at 52 Isabella Street, Toronto, with the following members present: Miss M. Hindsley, Messrs. Dudley W. Barr, George I. Kinman, N.W.J. Haydon and the General Secretary. The Financial Statement showed a better bank balance than for some years past, but as Colonel Thomson pointed out there was barely more than three hundred dollars to come in as unpaid dues (there being 113 members in arrears) and that beyond this, nothing more was to be expected - except what Providence might send - till the end of the financial year; thus after allowing for the cost of the magazine for another nine months (at close on $100 per Month) and the usual routine expenses we would again be reduced to a hand to mouth existence. In deploring this fact as a deterrent to any structural work he added he had an item in his `Notes and Comments" for this month in the magazine calling attention to the financial situation. Several changes of Rules in the Constitution of the Theosophical Society had been received from Adyar and these were brought forward for voting purposes. All with the exception of one were dealt with but this one the Meeting felt was of sufficient importance to warrant it being circularized to every member of the Executive for their decision before the General Secretary voted on the subject. The remainder of the business before the meeting was of a routine character and does not call for comment. The next meeting was arranged for the second Sunday in January, 1949.
THE THREE TRUTHS
The soul of man is immortal, and its future is the future of a thing whose growth and splendour have no limit.
The principle which gives life dwells in us, and without us, is undying and eternally beneficent, is not heard or seen, or smelt, but is perceived by the man who desires perception.
Each man is his own absolute law-giver, the dispenser of glory or gloom to himself; the decreer of his life, his reward, his punishment.
These truths, which are as great as is life itself, are as simple as the simplest mind of man. Feed the hungry with them. - Idyll of the White Lotus.
BLAVATSKY INSTITUTE PUBLICATIONS
- ESOTERIC CHARACTER OF THE GOSPELS by H.P. Blavatsky.
- THE EVIDENCE OF IMMORTALITY by Dr. Jerome A. Anderson.
- MODERN THEOSOPHY by Claude Falls Wright.
- THE BHAGAVAD GITA, A Conflation by Albert E.S. Smythe.
Owing to the higher costs of binding it has been necessary to increase the price of the above books to One Dollar ($1.00) each.
- ANCIENT AND MODERN PHYSICS by Thomas E. Willson is now out of print.
Copies of Professor Roy Mitchell's COURSE IN PUBLIC SPEAKING are still available at $3.00 per set. This course was especially written for Theosophical students.
THE BLAVATSKY INSTITUTE, 52 ISABELLA ST., TORONTO 5, ONTARIO
THE EARTH'S EVOLUTION AND REVOLUTION (Continaed from Page 117.)
ant part in Humanity's Involution into matter and its evolution out of it on its return journey to its Source, The Sun. Thus what we generally term the Forces of Nature, play a far greater and more important part in the development of Humanity than we are at present inclined to believe or realize.
Since the Earth carries its Humanity with it, we were unable to prevent ourselves in the past, from being carried away from the Sun into dense Matter, nor can we today prevent the Earth carrying its Humanity back again to the Sun. Man may have freewill, but only within certain limits, he is not strong enough to alter the Stars in their courses or overcome the Laws of the Universe. Quoting S.D. vol. i. 703: "As our planet revolves once a year round the sun, and at the same time turns once every twenty-four hours upon its own axis, thus traversing minor cycles within a larger one, so is the work of the smaller cyclic periods accomplished and recommenced within the Great Saros. The revolution of the physical world, according to ancient doctrine, is attended by a like revolution in the world of intellect, the spiritual evolution of the world proceeding in cycles, like the physical one. Thus we see in history a regular alternation of ebb and flow in the tide of human progress. The great kingdoms and empires of the world, after reaching the culmination of their greatness, descend again, in accordance with the same law by which they ascended; till, having reached the lowest point, humanity reasserts itself, and mounts up once more, the height of its attainment being by this law of ascending progression of cycles, somewhat higher than the point from which had before descended . . . .
The Gland Cycle includes the progress of mankind from the appearance of primordial man of ethereal form. It runs through the inner cycles of Man's progressive evolution from the ethereal down to the semi-ethereal and purely physical; down to the redemption of man from his `coat of skin' and matter, after which it continues running its course downwards, and then upwards again to meet the culmination of a Round, when the Manvantaric Serpent `swallows its tail' and the seven minor cycles are passed".
In concluding, a few brief words may be said concerning the Sun, which is generally acknowledged as the Source, not only of our physical but of our Spiritual existence.
"The Sun is the heart of the Solar World (System) and its brain is hidden behind the (visible) Sun. Thence, sensation is radiated into every nerve-centre of the great body, and the waves of the life-essence flows into every artery and vein. The planets are its limbs and pulses". (S.D. vol. i. 590. )
As the Earth returns to the Sun, so also does the individual. "When a person has attained Moksha (Liberation) and the body dies. The Jiva (Soul) goes with Sukshma Sharira (the illusive body with which the inferior Dhyanis are clothed) from the heart of the body to the Brahmarandra in the crown of the head, traversing Sushumna, a nerve connecting the heart with the Brahmarandra. The Jive breaks through the Brahmarandra and goes to the region of the Sun (Surya mandala) through the Solar Rays. Then it goes through a dark spot in the Sun, to Paramapada. The Jiva is directed on its way by the Supreme Wisdom acquired by Yoga". (S.D. vol. i. 157.)
The Sushumna nerve above referred to, is the counter part in the body of Man, to the Sushumna Ray, which is sent by the Sun to the Moon, and by it reflected to the Earth, mankind in its
present state of development being unable to receive it direct from the Sun. In the Seventh Round, the Moon will have disappeared, and Mankind will then be in such an advanced state of development that it will be able to receive the Sushumna Ray direct from the Sun, and no longer by reflection as at resent.
Mankind is under the influence of its environment, and as its environment is in Matter, it must therefore partake of that particular matter in which for the time being it is placed. Both the Body of the Earth and the vehicles that its humanity have to use, are composed of that material which is predominant in any particular strata that the Earth play happen to be in. Thus when in a strata of gross Matter, which in the theory presented here, is 92 million miles from the Sun, both the Earth and its inhabitants have to make the best they can of such coarse material, and must of necessity partake of its Nature. We may say, for instance, that this coarse matter may be of an animal quality or nature, and so must acquire such qualities. But as the Globe spirals ever nearer to the Sun, the various stratas which it will pass through will be composed of matter of finer and still finer degrees, up to the finest which is Spirit, so will Mankind, having vehicles of these finer states of matter, respond to the quality of this finer material, thus gradually becoming more Spiritual as the strata through which it is passing is of a higher degree.
"The Occult Doctrine is, we think, quite logical. It teaches a cyclic, never varying Law in Nature, the latter having no personal `special design', but acting on a uniform plan that prevails through the whole Manvantaric period and deals with the land-worm as it deals with man. Neither the one nor the other have sought to come into being, hence both are under the same Evolutionary Law, and both have to progress according to Karmic Law. Both have started from the same Neutral Centre of Life, and both have to re-emerge into it at the consummation of the Cycle". (S.D. vol. ii. 272-3. )
Mankind at the present time has much to combat with, since the Forces of Nature have, willy-nilly, brought him down into this present strata of gross matter, and thus endowed his vehicles with its corresponding coarse qualities. If one of Nature's Forces has brought Man down to the lowest Depths, it is well to remember, there is another Force which will carry him back to the Greatest Heights, from which he originally came.
"Orthodoxy in Theosophy is a thing neither possible nor desirable. It is diversity of opinion, within certain limits, that keeps the Theosophical Society a living and healthy body, its many other ugly features notwithstanding. Were it not, also, for the existence of a large amount of uncertainty in the minds of students of Theosophy, such healthy divergences would be impossible, and the Society would degenerate into a sect, in which a narrow and stereotyped creed would take the place of the living and breathing spirit of truth and an ever-growing knowledge."
- From H.P.B.'s Message to the 1888 Convention.
THE EXILE OF THE SOUL
By Roy Mitchell
(Continued from page 112)
VII. THE MYTHOLOGICAL PROBLEM.
In the preceding article I have offered a brief version of an ancient formula as an approximation to the truth underlying Christian theological distortions of the tradition of the fall and redemption. I have claimed for the formula that it is a key, not only to the understanding of the Christian mythos, but to the interpretation of all other mythological systems. I am now under obligation to demonstrate that it is as I have said.
It should require no great space to prove that Christianity, however bitterly theologians argue for its historicity, is a mythos like all the others. It is true that for many centuries, during which, there was a poverty of comparative data, the theologians had little difficulty in persuading men that the miraculous birth, the escape from slaughter in infancy, the baptism by the fore-runner, the transfiguration on the mount, the temptation, the crucifixion, and ascension of Jesus were unique in religion, and were celebrations on the part of God of His special paternity of the Judean redeemer. Neither was it difficult in those days to argue that the sayings of Jesus embody a truth and ethic previously unattained by any sage or prophet among men.
A better informed generation knows now, from archaeological research and the inflow of Eastern scriptural writings, that every religion has had its virgin mothers, most religions several of them. Virgin birth is now recognized to be much more a spiritual than a physical fact. Better philosophers than ours find something ridiculous in our Christian insistence on a foolish and unnecessary trick by which a God would distinguish this unique Son from the multitudes of other ordinary sons. The slaughter of the innocents by Herod has never been taken as fact except by the credulous. So wholesale a massacre would have been corroborated by a dozen classical historians. Now we know that an identical legend forms part of the symbolic story of every avatar in his infancy. Buddhist Gautama, Hindu Krishna, Egyptian Horus, all had similar escapes from the powers of evil, and in the Egyptian mythos, the jealous ruler was actually called Herrut, the "slayer of the youngling in the egg". Even Herod seems to have been used mythically. All religions have the illustration as a symbol of the passing under the waters, or plunging in the waters of desire. Most religions have a transfiguration on the mount, and of some of these other transfigurations, notably the Buddhist and Egyptian, ours is only an attenuated shadow. Even our cherished cross is a universal glyph of the process by which a superman sacrifices himself for an erring race, and is the symbol of the means by which, having done it, he rejoins the Oversoul. Gautama Buddha is marked with a cross on his forehead; Krishna is transfixed to a tree by an arrow in a cruciform attitude; Horus is crucified on an orb between two trees or "breathers"; Bacab in ancient Yucatan is crucified between two revilers in Tzonpantli, the place of the skull. All redeemers ascend to heaven after their work is done and take their place with the Father. The husband of the Virgin of the world is always an artificer, Vulcan, mate of Venus Urania; Joseph of,
Mary; Seb of Isis; Brihaspati of Soma. The secret teaching is invariably given on mounts of vision; the twelve apostles have their parallels in the twelve labors, the twelve adversaries of Buddha twelve initiations, twelve Zodiacal sign and the twelve powers in the body along the girdle of the beast. The avatars are always fishers of men, or shepherds of men, or both. There is always an adversary who has been cast out in some fabulous war in heaven.
Even the Logia or sayings of Jesus, clung to so desperately by men whose business it is to prove that they are selling an exclusive line of goods, are not original with the Christian scriptures. They all have their earlier parallels, often richer and fuller than the fragments which survived our era of patristic bigotry. The Sermon on the Mount is age-old and was never spoken extemporaneously. It was obviously written. The Lord's Prayer has earlier parallels for every phrase, so also have the parables. The whole story of Jesus, from Gethsemane to the end is not a historical narrative. It is a scenario for the secret mystery drama of the early, Christians, that drama to which St. Paul refers when he says: "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?"
To the kind of man for whom there is more virtue in a story if it be given time and place, and if all the events in it are actual, this passing of the treasured marvels of the historical life of Jesus into spiritual myth is a desecration. To the thinking man such a spiritualization opens a door into wisdom. History, he knows, is shadow; myth is the effort of the creative mind to explain the truth behind shadow. A historical event is over and done with; a myth is ongoing and eternal. Sallustius, the Neo-Platonist said of Greek myths - and of all myths: "These things never were; they always are."
As the Christian fable resumes its place among the cosmic stories of the world, it takes on dignity. The tradition, once frankly allegorical, then reduced for so many centuries to the imbecility of unrelated fact, stands again abreast of the great spiritual dramas of the race, and may be interpreted by means of its parallels.
There are three kinds of modern writers about mythology. The first are the few who see in it a secret tradition passing from generation to generation, kept always in the world for returning and returning souls as they become in time pure and intuitive enough to receive it. They interpret the parallels of religion and myth as meaninig that all systems emanate from the one body of truth available to all sages. These myth-interpreters have their reward in the wisdom that comes of discerning similarities and in the power that comes of teaching.
The second are the mythologists who with a great parade of scholarship and scientific method, but with a definite intention, none the less, to bring in a verdict for the uniqueness of Christianity, plunge into the subject and emerge presently with a book that proves, by disparaging all other faiths, that Christianity is the sole and effulgent light of the world. These get their reward in professorships, curatorships of museums, editorships of safe books and occasionally a bishopric. They produce many books but are not extensively read. Their celebrity arises chiefly from the fact that they quote each other approvingly. It is very doubtful, for instance, if you have ever read a book by J. Estlin Carpenter, or Professor Grant Showerman or Dr. Pfleiderer, but if you have ever read any book in this class, you are sure they are great men.
Third are the mythologists who, having observed the success in our time of the materialistic doctrine of evolution, have endeavored to interpret mythology along lines parallel to it. They decide that myths evolved with man. All religious fables, they say, arose out of primitive misapprehension and superstitution, and all religion is the philosophization of the errors of savage belief. These mythologists try, according to various formula, to probe the benighted mind for the influences hunger, fear, cruelty, and lust - that were the first parents of religious belief. If they are consistent in their theory, of course, they have to find that Christianity is similarly a collection of rationalized outcroppings of savagery, but their art and usually their fame is in the measure of their skill in not saying so in a manner that will give offence. Most of them make a slight, but still discernible, genuflexion as they pass the altar. They have their reward in being acclaimed as very scientific and uncompromising, and are said to be abreast of modern culture. They produce many books and are most widely read of the three classes. None the less they are a puzzled lot.
Their first difficulty arises out of the fact that none of them has ever succeeded in proving that a religion evolves, on even improves as time goes by. Like the Christian apologist whose business requires him to demonstrate the superiority of Christianity, they have carried a partial conclusion into their impartial enquiry.
Every datum of religion indicates that a religious system does not evolve. It always degenerates. It is never born of human ignorance, but of human vision. The normal habit of mankind is not to enrich the lucubrations of the village idiot, but to cheapen and miss the point of the sentences of the village wise man. The best Christian to date has been the inspirer, whoever he was, of the Christian renewal of the wisdom tradition. No Christian would contend for a moment that the founder of Christianity had been surpassed or improved on. The best Buddhist so far, and the wisest, has been Gautama Buddha. The best exponent of Bhagavad Gita has been the teacher who uttered it. There has been no Platonist greater than Plato, no teacher of Yoga greater than Patanjali, no exponent of Veda greater than Veda Vyasa, no Hermetist greater than Hermes, no Zoroastrian greater than Zoroaster, nor any Vedantin greater than Sankara. A stream does not rise higher than its source. What student would be so foolish as to read the five thousand words of Lao-Tsze and then examining modern Taoism with its devils and its shamanism, declare that the present form had evolved? A garment evolves? It evolves tatters and filth.
We have no trouble demonstrating the degeneration of living religions, where we can find something of the personality of the prophetic founder and his apostles. Why then should we suppose that a different law supervenes when the personalities of the founders' are missing? Or should we, having a system, refuse to believe there was a founder? Whatever is true of religions whose whole duration falls within the historical period is true also of those whose start was prehistoric. Why accept a Jesus or a Lao-Tsze or a Buddha and reject an Orpheus or a Hermes? And finding the degraded fragments of an older faith why should we suppose them to have had an origin different from that of the degraded fragments of a younger one?
If the older forms are more corrupt it is not because they have had a different kind of origin, but, obviously, because they are older, and more thousands of misunderstanders of the first ideal have
had a chance to corrupt them. One selfish or stupid man can defile a whole sect; he can disgust the more intelligent members of it with his distortions of truth until, when they go elsewhere, hey can have only the people foolish enough to perpetuate his follies. How great then can be the destructive effect on a religion of the entry into it of thousands of self-seeking and inferior men who make filthy its first intent. With such a destructive process in mind it is not hard to foresee the time, for instance; when the selfishness and bigotry of the followers of Christianity encrusting it with their dogmas of papal infallibility, of sacraments that are pure whether the priest is or not, of plenary absolutions, of indulgences, of extreme unctions, of assumptions of Mary; their fetichisms of sacred hearts, of charms and amulets and scapulars, of magical waters, of reproduced stigmata, and bones and nails and bits of wood, of Veronica's napkins, will make Christianity no longer fit for the use of the higher kind of intelligent humans ands will hasten it down the long road to voodoo and tribal magic.
In the meantime thinking souls will have enlisted under other and newer teachers, no more inspired than the Christian and no less Sons of the God, but with a restored and cleaner magic. If in lives to come one of our present Christians happen on broken shards of the Christian vessel and thinks of them, as born of the mistakes of savage minds, he will be making the same error about the Nazarene that our mythologists make about the forgotten northern sage whose wisdom remains to us in the Elder Edda, or about that Thoth-Hermes whose vision became the hocus-pocus of a thousand Egyptian cemeteries.
(To Be Continued)
THE ACID TEST (Continued from Page 113)
new trail that presents itself, are still under psychic influences and have not discovered the Path within themselves, have not heard "The Voice of the Silence," for the psychic man cannot know the things of the Spirit, as St. Paul reminds us.
"Brothers are never parted when they live for the True alone."
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