Divine Wisdom Brotherhood Occult Science
The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document
Vol. XXXI, No. 4 Toronto, June 15th, 1950 Price 20 Cents
THE DISCOVERY OF TRUTH THROUGH SERVICE
A Message to the Annual Convention of The Theosophical Society in British East Africa, at Nairobi, Dec. 1949
By C. Jinarajadasa
When a member of the Society advances from being a mere sympathizer with Theosophical ideas and becomes a true Theosophist and accepts the main principles of the Theosophical philosophy, a great change comes over his life little by little.
The first change is that, while he may still remain a devout member of his own faith, he passes beyond that faith into a recognition that all faiths have the message of God. Then, he begins to build into himself, little by little, the reality underlying the phrase, "Universal Brotherhood". In addition, he will by study discover the main facts concerning the life that shall be his after death, and so have the sense of continuity of his consciousness from this present earth-life to another life after he casts aside his physical body. He may, in addition, come to the realization of the existence of the Elder Brethren of humanity whom we call the Masters.
All these truths which I have mentioned are in reality fundamental truths which are in his own soul-nature since he is himself a manifestation of the Supreme Atman. But these truths are dormant or asleep within him, somewhat in the manner that in the tiny seed of a banyan tree the large banyan tree is asleep, awaiting to be called into wakening life and growth. These truths of the spiritual life must become changed from truths which we believe in as taught us by Teachers, into truths which we know from our own inner consciousness, even though we may not be able to formulate them clearly to the lower mind.
There is only one way in which truths dormant in our nature become realities to the waking consciousness, and that is by applying them to the service of others. Meditating on truths is only the preliminary process, very much like learning the letters of the alphabet. Just as the next stage is to put the letters together in the form of words and sentences, so similarly the next stage after meditation is to make more real to the waking consciousness the power which meditation has revealed to exist in the truth. This happens only when we undertake the service of our fellowmen.
In each human being the Divine Nature is latent and is waiting to be awakened into activity. This awakening process only comes about when a more advanced human being begins to serve him.
Service, therefore, is not only the mode of helping another, but is supremely a mode of helping ourselves. Each Theosophical student must never forget that the welfare of his fellowmen, among whom his Karma has placed him, is more important than his own personal salvation. The danger to his salvation arises from his selfishness and self-centredness. It is to make this fact clear to religious and aspiring men of the modern world that the Theosophical philosophy, the ancient Divine Wisdom; has been reproclaimed in new words.
If each member of a National Society will keep in mind that he is a member in order to call out the Hidden Light in all his fellowmen, he will not only strengthen his Society, but also find that there is born within him greater strength to bear the difficulties of his own Karma, as also fuller Light to see the way towards the unfoldment of the Godhead within him.
FUNDAMENTALS OF NUMEROLOGY
The perusal of an article on "Esoteric Numerology" in the December issue of The Canadian Theosophist raised certain questions in the present writer's mind. Since the word "Esoteric" is often used to apply to that which has previously been hidden or kept secret but is now freely known as "exoteric", and as the word is also now frequently used in connection with published theosophical teachings, it occurred to him that a presentation of the latter would offer an interesting basis for comparison. H.P. Blavatsky's The Secret Doctrine brings out a great many facts relative to the importance of numbers and mathematics which are of vital interest to the seeker after truth but they are scattered through some fourteen or fifteen hundred large pages so they are difficult to locate by any one not a student of the Ancient and Ageless Wisdom. A presentation of the simplest and most basic teachings will be attempted, as they apply to the subject under consideration, combined with a few other self-evident facts essential to a proper exposition of the subject as understood by one who considers himself a student only.
First, as a starting point, let us briefly analyze the word consciousness as applied to the human mind. There are several functions implicit in the word consciousness, including perception, intelligence, understanding, will and others which need not be mentioned since they are not required for our purpose. The most important is the one first mentioned "perception" as the others all stem from that. It applies to the use of all of man's senses and is most readily considered from the standpoint of sight but of course includes all types of sensation. To utilize the sense of sight, note carefully, there must first be the observer, next something which may be observed, an object, let us say; but a third thing is essential, the act of seeing which completes the triad. In human speech, grammatically we call them subject, predicate and object, although the object is not always expressed but must be understood to bring completion to a sentence or idea. Thus, from one, three is derived, and in any
binary there is a hidden third, so to speak, for even though unexpressed there is always the act of perception. This is illustrated in polarity, the pairs of opposites or the law of contrast - it is the connecting rod.
Before proceeding further, attention is called to the fact that the great Greek philosopher, Pythagoras, taught as the central idea of his philosophy that number is the essence of all things and the principle of the rational order in the universe while he regarded the number two as valueless except as a component
of the number three.
In the further consideration of the number three it is interesting to note that most of the great religions observe the worship of a triad of gods; in the esoteric interpretation these trinities are usually looked upon as aspects of the Divine rather than separate beings. For instance the Christian conception of Father, Son and Holy Ghost is common in all orthodox churches. In the Hindu religion, Brahma, Vishnu and Siva are accepted as Creator, Preserver and Destroyer (or Regenerator). The ancient Egyptians worshipped Osiris, Isis and Horus, respectively Father, Mother and Son; the ancient Scandanavians and Celts had likewise their trinities along with other races now extinct. In innumerable other ways that might be noted the trinity is important. There is, for instance, the triple evolutionary scheme mentioned in the Secret Doctrine (v. I, p. 184): "These are the Monadic, (or spiritual), the intellectual and the Physical evolutions". And we are all familiar with St. Paul's (or the Initiate Paul's) simple classification of man's principles into body, soul and spirit, even if most people fail to differentiate between the two latter terms. Again we may take the Sanskrit terms, Sat, Chit and Ananda, translated as Being, Consciousness and Bliss.
Now let us see how the number seven is derived from the number three and its various combinations, using the algebraic practice of substituting letters for figures. Let the first three numerals be represented by the letters a, b and c. Combined, by addition, they could be represented by ab, ac, bc and abc, omitting plus signs - thus making four in all which added to the original three give a total of seven, no more and no less. As illustrations, the response of human consciousness to sound and color are pertinent. Music is divided into octaves of eight notes each but the first and last note in any octave are common to the last and first notes of the preceding and succeeding octaves leaving only seven rightfully belonging to an octave. In color we have as a basis the solar spectrum of (visible) light, seven separate colors being recognized, three of which are rated as primary colors the other four being considered as secondary, capable of being produced by combinations of the primary colours, i.e., red and yellow produce orange; red and blue produce violet or purple; and blue and yellow produce green. White is stated as "having the color produced by the irregular reflection of all the rays of the solar spectrum, as from a fine powdered surface". And black as "the absence of color" or "having little or no power to reflect light".
We also find interesting geometrical bases for the number seven in the cube and the circle, the latter being the essential element of the sphere. The cube has six sides each being a perfect square; add one for the whole and make seven. A circle has seven definite points starting with the centre, the radius supplying the other points on the circumference, each equally distant from those next to it. Also note that when these points are connected by straight lines they form a hexagon with the same seven definite points. The sur-
face of a sphere is composed of an infinite number of circles with a common center. Also observe that a triangular pyramid has four equal triangular sides with six edges and these six added to the whole make seven.
One aspect of consciousness is sense perception; there are five senses at present functioning and in the two which we use most, sight and hearing, a septenary classification is natural. In seeing, we first use the principle of relativity or relationship with the extremes of contrast. Analysis brings the property of color into consideration with its septenary character as previously shown. In hearing, the same principles are applicable, contrast giving us loud and soft, harsh and harmonious, etc., while music brings the matter of analysis to our attention in the same way, with the seven notes properly belonging to an octave, also previously mentioned. Probably if our sense perceptions in taste, smell and feeling were sufficiently developed or analyzed, they would also allow a septenary classification. One more item that should not be overlooked is the occult teaching mentioned in the Secret Doctrine, that there are seven root or stock races of mankind, five of which have already appeared and that each race develops one of seven senses; therefore with the appearance of the sixth and seventh races, two additional senses will be evolved.
Finally, we find that matter itself when separated into the simple chemical elements and arranged in horizontal lines in the order of their atomic weight, manifest septenary scales of valency (the way in which simple atoms unite to form stable compounds). This fact was first observed by a noted Russian chemist, Mendeleeff, and is noted in the Secret Doctrine (v. I, p. 627) from which we quote: "Thus, if the chemical elements are arranged in groups according to their atomic weights, they will be found to constitute a series of groups of seven; the first, second, etc., members of each group bearing a close resemblance in all their properties to the corresponding members in the next group." Scientists speak of this as the "periodic law".
It will be in order to quote further from the Secret Doctrine as to the importance of the number seven in the occult philosophy. In Vol. I, p. 152 we read: "The one eternal Law unfolds everything in the (to be) manifested Nature on a sevenfold principle; among the rest, the countless circular chains of worlds, composed of seven globes". And in a summing up on what has gone before (p. 158) it is stated, "Everything in the metaphysical as in the physical Universe is septenary". Innumerable other instances might be given but it seems unnecessary.
The Mahatma Letters contain equally positive statements among which the following are examples: "the infinite ramifications of the number seven (which is one of our greatest mysteries) being so closely allied and interdependent with the seven principles of Nature and of man". (p. 76) "Besides which every kingdom (and we have seven . . .) is subdivided into seven degrees or classes. Man (physically) is a compound of all the kingdoms". (p. 75) "...from first to last of the man-bearing planets, as on each one of them, the monad has to pass through seven successive races of men". (p. 119) "....a graduated scale of seven stages of evolution . . . . everything comes under the septenary rule of series". (p. 86).
It is further interesting to observe that numbers greater than seven generally arise from the latter. In the series of cosmic planes, there are four "rupa" planes in which the seven globes of a planetary chain function and beyond these are three "arupa" planes with five arupa globes, producing a total of ten planes and twelve globes. Arupa means formless and being difficult to under-
stand are not usually counted, since they are of such a high spiritual character. In the Brahmin classification of the lokas and tulas, there are seven of each, making fourteen in all. In a final summing up we find that seven is the key number of manifested nature; the addition of the arupa planes and globes making ten and twelve as complete totals including both manifested and unmanifested Nature.
- J. Emory Clapp.
THEOSOPHY IN ACTION
By Roy Mitchell
Let us assume two things arising out of the previous articles. The first is that The Theosophical Society holds towards all other occult movements of its time the position of explainer, and in order to do so must maintain a stand central to them. The second is that having accepted such a task the Society must perform it upon the threefold bases of brotherhood, study, and personal test, which alone can make it secure, fertile and honest.
It is evident therefore that because of human shortcomings The Theosophical Society is a precarious structure. It is open to attack from a host of subtle agencies, none of which is more deadly than a misconception of the basic theory of its own existence.
So fragile a growth is a Theosophical Society fulfilling the requirements I have indicated that we have no record of one having persisted, at least since the time of Christ, for more than a few decades. H.P. Blavatsky says that an effort has been made in the last quarter of every century of the Christian era to establish a body which would preserve through a hundred years of life, and that none has succeeded. It is possible for a student of history to discern about the year seventy-five of each hundred years the formation of a body closely akin to our own, and to trace its rise until the turn of the next century. Therefore all such movements have become diffuse, have forsaken theurgy for thaumaturgy, have developed schisms and sects, and have at last disappeared altogether.
I can recommend no better corrective for misapprehension of the basic terms of our work than an examination of these earlier societies, each with a high hope swinging into the new century, and each defeated by its failure to realize the theory of its own existence.
Why defeat? Are the custodians of the Wisdom Tradition not capable of renewing the impulse in each of these Societies whenever it runs low? Can They not take executive control in a crisis? Can They not issue books and manifestos of such power and clarity as to prevail over error each time it arises? Can They not rouse the torpid, curb the unbrotherly, strengthen the weakling, and chide the fool? If telling mankind these truths we hold so precious be the thing which matters, can They not of Their own number put powerful Teachers at the places where They are needed most? If the truth matter so much, why project it through the distortions of a Theosophical Society at all? Can They not light the world of Their own power? Can They who created not recreate every moment if need be?
Seemingly not. They obey cosmic law, and in Their obedience They assume limitations we have not learned to assume. They assume this limitation, that a Theosophical Society in order best to serve mankind must be a native
human growth. They assume that it shall have a seeding time, that the placental period must cease, and that thereafter it must survive of its own force and by virtue of conditions within its own body in being or to be.
This was made clear in our own Theosophical Society at its inception. In the preface to the private instructions which students were required to study for weeks and virtually to memorize, they were expressly warned that such instruction would cease on December 31st, 1899. The actual words are too well-known to need repetition here. They were accepted as a condition of pupilage and were signed by all members of that original school.
What then is to be derived from the repeated failures in the past, and from our own solemn declaration that esoteric instruction must end with the first twenty-five years of the life of the Society? Clearly it is that a Theosophical Society can be nursed by special revelation only during a definite period in its infancy and that for the remaining seventy-five years of its life it must walk unaided as far as direct contacts are concerned.
The whole thing is a magical operation. The work is to project along the face of the earth for a century - itself a significant cycle in the history of man a stream of effort to keep unsullied in the world certain age-old truths, and the prime essential of the magic is that it be done by men themselves, striving alone with no other assurance than that of their Divine Selves, and not by the intervention of Beings who could save us if They cared to.
Such a theory is cold comfort to those who have hoped to find the God somewhere outside of themselves, who think Theosophy is something to be read in a book or heard in a lecture, instead of something to be created in the fastnesses of their own souls.
Colder comfort still for those who by obliquity, or for lack of vision, have professed to prolong the period of received revelation past its due term. I have no special reference to any esoteric school. There are now to my knowledge operating in America, six separate and distinct schools, all arising directly out of the messengership of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, presenting equally valid professions of authenticity, all professing to be successors of H.P.B., all acknowledging her authority, all ignoring her explicit statement about the termination of special revelation, and none speaking of another except to disparage it. The students who form the outer organizations of which these schools purport to be the inner bodies are in complete amity, and tomorrow could be welded into a body of incalculable power for the enlightenment of mankind. The barrier to such a welding is in these levels which claim to be inner and higher. Surely the law of brotherhood is turned upside down.
Why further revelation? We are not using one-thousandth part of what we had when the nineteenth century ended twenty-three years ago. Powerful, dynamic books, not yet outbidden by any in their field, are neglected, out of print, forgotten - forgotten most, perhaps, because they demanded that the student create Theosophy instead of merely that he receive it ready made. How we love to have things given to us!
Is this the flaw? Is it possible that this is what happened to those earlier societies whose wreckage is strewn through the centuries? That when the time came for them to cast off from special contacts, keeping their torch alight by secret prayer until the next cycle when it could be renewed, they rushed hither and thither, seeking some other light than their own, uncertain, broken and divided?
(Continued on Page 58)
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
I was very distressed to learn that last month I made a very sad faux pas in stating in my obituary notices that Miss Madelaine Morrison of the Edmonton Lodge had passed away - I now learn that she is still very much in the land of the living and am certainly delighted to acknowledge the fact. I feel that my sincerest apologies are due not only to her but to those near and dear who must have been pained to read such an unwarranted announcement. I may say in extenuation that my action was prompted by receiving a Post Office notice when the magazine was returned with the notification thereon "Deceased". Presumably I should have waited verification from the lodge but often that is not forthcoming and I took it for granted that the notice I received was correct. I now offer my sincerest apologies and regrets to Miss Morrison and trust that she has still many happy years ahead in store for her.
Mr. Sydney Cook, Vice-President of the Theosophical Society is now in Europe on his way to America. Mr. Cook was formerly the National President of The Theosophical Society in America, but for several years past he has resided at Adyar. Mr. Cook accompanied by Mrs. Cook will visit many of the Lodges in United States and will also visit Toronto and Montreal Lodges in Canada. Mr. and Mrs. Cook will be in Toronto on August 12th.
I regret to announce that Toronto Lodge has lost another old member in the person of Mr. Oscar S. James who passed away on May 9th. Mr. James joined the Society in 1921 and was a keen theosophist who rarely missed a meeting and was a well known figure in all the activities of the lodge.
I also regret the passing of Mrs. Florence M. Greene who died on May 10th, another member of the Toronto Lodge who joined in November 1941. Mrs. Greene was an ardent theosophist also and her two daughters Mrs. F.C. Poole and Mrs. F. Murray Young are both members of the same lodge. Our sympathy and condolences are extended to them in their sad bereavement.
- E. L. T.
Nominations for the office of General Secretary and members of the General Executive have now been received from the Lodges and as there is no change involved there will be no necessity for an election; therefore the present General Secretary and the present Members of the General Executive will continue in office for the ensuing year. On behalf of all concerned I take this opportunity of thanking the Membership for this expression of their continued confidence in our work.
- E. L. T.
THE THREE TRUTHS
The soul of man is immortal, and its future is the future of a thing whose growth and splendour have no limit.
The principle which gives life dwells in us, and without us, is undying and eternally beneficent, is not heard or seen, or smelt, but is perceived by the man who desires perception.
Each man is his own absolute law-giver, the dispenser of glory or gloom to himself; the decreer of his life, his reward, his punishment.
These truths, which are as great as is life itself, are as simple as the simplest mind of man. Feed the hungry with them. - Idyll of the White Lotus.
THE 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.
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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.
A reprint of The Secret Doctrine, a facsimile of the Adyar 1938 Edition in six volumes is being published by The Theosophical Publishing House, London, Ltd., price L4 14s. 6d., plus 2s 8d. for postage. Mr. E.B. Dustan, Book Steward of Toronto Lodge is ordering a supply. The Canadian price will be announced later.
We notice in the exchange Theosophical magazines frequent references to `God's plan for man' and to the assistance being rendered by `God's angels'; the personal pronouns `He' and `His' are used in connection with `God'. This is a far cry from the spirit of the original Message of Theosophy. We have no objection to the use of the word `God' by those who prefer it but to speak of `Him' as a personage and to refer to `His' plan and `His' angels is to accept the anthropomorphic heresy - to say nothing of falling into the deadly sin of presumption. There are hundreds of religious sects which are preaching `God's Plan'; unfortunately either God has a lot of plans or 99% of the sects are working on unrevised blueprints. The earlier Message of the Masters was "There is hope for man only in man" and these inspiring words of self reliance and self dependence should be posted up in every Lodge room. The Theosophical Society has its own unique work to do and its own unique message to give to the world. It is not a church and any attempt to `churchify' it should be quashed.
The magazine Manas has been recommended several times in this column and we were glad to see a note of commendation in The Bombay Theosophical Bulletin for January 1950. The circulation of Manas in India is second only to its circulation in the United States.
And speaking of circulation, the Editor has been almost `out of circulation' for about two months so far as his Theosophical work was concerned. Circumstances took control, but we are coming to the end of the cycle and hope shortly
to catch up with arrears of correspondence.
The Path, official organ of the Independent Theosophical Society of Australia has been forced to cease publication for the time being on account of financial reasons. This magazine of independent theosophical thought will be missed and we sincerely hope that it will soon be able to resume publication.
A Guide to Glastonbury's Temple of the Stars has been revised and reprinted in a more handy edition. It is illustrated by 15 maps including a star chart which shows that in the designing and laying out of the Glastonbury Zodiac, the star constellations dictated the position of the effigies. This new edition of The Guide can be obtained from Mrs. K.E. Maltwood, The Thatch, Royal Oak, Vancouver Island, B.C. Price $2.
We received the first eight pages of the text of a speech by J.R. Jayawardene, Minister of Finance for Ceylon on the subject "Buddhism and Marxism" a subject in which many students would be interested. Unfortunately the remainder of the article is missing and there is nothing to indicate the source from which it was mailed. If this note catches the eye of the sender, will he or she kindly forward the remainder of the article?
Eirenicon, published by the Peace Lodge of The Theosophical Society (Adyar) is an important magazine of independent theosophical thought and should be more widely known among the memberships of the various Theosophical Societies. A recent issue states that Eirenicon was started in 1941 as a means of retaining the links between Lodge members and friends whilst the Lodge activities were suspended during the war. "It came to serve a deeper purpose than had been originally foreseen, and has continued on a quarterly basis since the war ended." . . . . "One of its services has been to point out the existence of narrow, partisan sectarianism in Adyar and other Theosophical Societies, and official circles, and although our contribution to the trend of theosophical knowledge and events has been widely recognized among the rank and file members of the Adyar Society, and in non-Adyar circles, it has been deliberately ignored by Adyar officialdom. When one or two Adyar national sectional magazines began to quote us, it was noticeable that this was quickly stopped. Canada of course was an exception - it is well known that the Canadian National Executive is theosophically self-reliant, and it is not much use Adyar sending directives or `guidance' there and expecting them to be automaticaly accepted!" Eirenicon reports that Peace Lodge has completed the reading of The Secret Doctrine in its entirety. The reading and discussion, `sometimes sentence by sentence' was carried on in regular Lodge meetings and was started in 1925. Peace Lodge would like to exchange salutations with other Lodges in the Adyar, Covina or Independent Societies which have read through the Doctrine in lodge meetings. The Toronto Lodge has a Secret Doctrine Class which has carried on every Sunday morning without a break since about 1893 and the first two volumes have been read through several times; recently the study of the Third Volume was taken up for the first time and the class is now engaged on this.
Toronto Theosophical Society held its Annual Meeting on Wednesday evening, May 17th, at 8 p.m., at the Theosophical Hall, 52 Isabella St., Toronto, 5, Ont. At that time the following Officers and Members of the Board of Directors were elected: President, Mr. G. I. Kinman. First Vice-President, Mr. E.B. Dustan. Second Vice-President, Mr. C. Weaver. Recording Secretary, Miss Laura Gaunt. Corr. Secretary, Mrs. G.I. Kinman. Treasurer, Major L. Anderton. Directors, Mrs. E. Cunningham, Mrs. E.B. Dustan, Mrs. N.C. Fergusson, Mrs.
J.W. Gaunt, Mrs. W.G. Hyland, Miss K. Lazier, Mr. G. Conover, Mr. H. Marquis, Mr. I. Orenstein.
- Mrs. G. I. Kinman,
THEOSOPHY IN ACTION
By Roy Mitchell (Continued from Page 54.)
The Theosophical Society is ours now, for better or worse, to carry on to its goal and provide a great and enduring culture for the next seeding in 1975, or to lose in a morass of our own self-seeking, our quarrelling over personalities, and our infidelity to the powers of the Indwelling God. We have to walk alone in order that the magic of a Theosophical Society native among men be brought to pass upon earth. If this be not so none of the earlier Societies need have failed. Adepts could have carried them down the ages in unbroken line, gathering power as they came, until in our day Theosophy would have been carried by a populous triumphant host, instead of the sparse band of strugglers who now represent it.
Have the Masters failed? I rather suspect that those who were to have walked alone failed. And unless we can so walk, we shall fail.
(Next month, "Lacunae.")
GRACE BEFORE MEAT
We are thankful for these and all the good things of life;
We recognize that they are a part of our common heritage and come to us through the efforts of our brothers and sisters the world over;
What we desire for ourselves, we wish for all;
To this end, may we take our share in the world's work and the world's struggles.
- J. S. Woodsworth.
BLAVATSKY INSTITUTE PUBLICATIONS
- ESOTERIC CHARACTER OF THE GOSPEL 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 has been republished by The American Philosopher Society and may be purchased through the Institute at the price of $1.00.
- THE EXILE OF THE SOUL by Professor Roy Mitchell has been published in book form. Attractively bound in yellow cover stock. This sells at the price of $1.00.
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 Editor, Canadian Theosophist: - A reprint from the magazine, Theosophy, (Vol. xii, pp. 490-403, Sept. 1924) entitled Sectarianism Among Theosophists appears in The Theosophical Movement for March, 1950, which should be read with most earnest consideration. Its urgent importance can be best shown by quotations. After the writer has dealt with the fact that every religion of the past has degenerated from the original teaching of its founder, and has broken up into sects which "are kept alive by two great forces: (a) A priesthood which claims authority through some species of `successorship' or 'mediatorship'; (b) A devoted laity which believes in the `Church', which lives and thinks subject to the claims made on behalf of the `Church' and the priesthood . . . ." , he continues: "Theosophists of every persuasion and degree know well all these truths as an abstract statement of the cycles of degeneration and decay . . . But Theosophists are prone to forget that their own human nature is no different from that of the race to which they belong, and that consequently the same weaknesses, the same tendencies, the same dangers have to be faced and conquered by us if we would not have the great message of Theosophy meet the same fate as its predecessor Messages and Messengers." . . . "In the half century since H.P.B.'s message of Theosophy was delivered to the world. . . there have come about numerous contradictory teachings, all of which claim to be Theosophy or Theosophical, and are so accepted by numbers of worthy and sincere persons who know no better. Thus the unity of teaching has already disappeared for the public and the followers of the various opposed teachings. In all these bodies, as well as outside them, are students who know the Truth, both of the philosophy and of history. They are aware of, and for themselves accept and study the Message of H.P.B. But what are they doing in regard to the corruptions daily presented as Theosophy? What are they doing with respect to the extravagant claims daily being heralded by exponents whom these students know to be false to the philosophy, false to their pledges, false to the truths of Theosophical history? The answer is, Nothing. Are not all such, however sincere, in fact unfaithful stewards? Is it true Brotherhood to permit to be taught as Theosophy that which one knows to be spurious, and keep silent? . . . "Every Theosophist who believes it is enough for himself to know the true, for himself to eschew the false . . . - without doing his utmost to expose the counterfeit and the fraud, is particeps criminis, is accessory to the blackest of crimes - the perversion of the pure teachings of the White Lodge into an instrument of Black Magic. It has been done before in the case of every great Message. It is in process before our eyes in the present state of the Theosophical Movement of our times... More and more are teachings being given currency as Theosophy which are the antithesis of what she and her Masters gave out. More and more sectarianism, with all its evil brood, is being spread and practised as The Path.". . . "Can anyone soever imagine H.P.B. compromising with the spurious teachings and spurious growths rampant on every hand in the name of Theosophy? Spiritualism, necromancy, hatha yoga, popery, priesthood, sectarianism, and psychism, practised or promulgated under their own colors by those who believe in them and prefer them, are one thing. But when these things are taught and presented as Theosophy and as under the sanctions
of H.P.B. and her Masters, every Theosophist who knows the facts is in honour bound to fight the fraud to the utmost extent of his powers. It is to be remembered that no religion has ever been corrupted from without. The poison has always proceeded from within. Under cover of the True, the False is disseminated until the substitution is complete. All the external foes of Theosophy and the Theosophical Movement are powerless to destroy or pervert. As of old, the real enemies are within the household of the faith. Sectarianism and corruption go hand in hand and their work is already well under way. They must be opposed instantly and constantly by all well-disposed and loyal students of the great message of H.P.B."
This was written 26 years ago. Can it be said that the name of Theosophy is any less abused today than it was in 1924? Theosophy has lost many of its most alert and active defenders in recent years making the need greater than ever for fearless champions who are not afraid of being thought intolerant. That word is a very useful weapon for those who do not want the differences that exist between their teachings or that of their leaders and the teachings of H.P.B. and her Masters pointed out and shown to have no right whatever to be called Theosophical. One can be perfectly friendly with people whose beliefs are not the same as one's own, while at the same time protecting the latter from confusion with the former - Theosophy from NOT Theosophy.
- W.B. Pease.
2840 Cadboro Bay Road, Victoria, B.C.
11 May, 1950.
"Theosophy teaches self-abnegation, but does not teach rash and useless self-sacrifice, nor does it justify fanaticism." - - Key to Theosophy
A MASTER AND WALT WHITMAN
"The term, `Universal Brotherhood' is no idle phrase. Humanity in the mass has a paramount claim upon us... It is the only secure foundation for universal morality. If it be a dream, it is at least a noble one for mankind; and it is the aspiration of the true adept."
- K.H., Letter iv, Oct. 29, 1880.
"Give me O God to sing that thought,
Give me, give him or her I love this quenchless faith,
In Thy ensemble, whatever else withheld, withhold not from us,
Belief in plan of Thee enclosed in Time and Space,
Health, peace, salvation universal.
Is it a dream? Nay, but the lack of it the dream,
And failing it, life's lore and wealth a dream,
And all the world a dream."
- Whitman, Song of the Universal, 1874
SOUL AND INTELLECT
"A high development of the intellectual faculties does not imply spiritual and true life. The presence in one of a highly developed human intellectual soul . . . . is quite compatible with the absence of Buddhi, or the spiritual soul. Unless the former evolves from and develops under the beneficient and vivifying rays of the latter, it will remain for ever but a direct progeny of the terrestrial lower principles, sterile in spiritual perceptions; a magnificent, luxurious sepulchre, full of the dry bones of decaying matter within." - Lucifer, Oct. 1893.
SOME OBSERVATIONS ON KARMA
There are probably as many views and ideas of Karma as there are students of the subject. The writer appreciates having the ideas of Dr. Kuhn as put forward in the "Canadian Theosophist" issues of October and November, 1949. However, he cannot accept them in toto. The article is a good, controversial one of a type to be encouraged in our magazine. An answer along more or less orthodox Theosophical lines was to be expected; as none has appeared to date the writer has decided to point out a few things that may with advantage be controverted, i.e., opposed with reason. The first thing we have to decide is whether we are Gods who have come down and incarnated in animal bodies, which is the proposition of Christianity put forward by Jesus in his story of he Prodigal Son and by Madame Blavatsky in the "Secret Doctrine", or on the other hand the position taken by the materialistic evolutionist that we have evolved or developed mind up from the mud into the animal bodies we now use. This decision is very important as our views will vary as greatly as those of a man putting the small or large end of the telescope to his eye.
Dr. Kuhn's views, judging by his inferences, are those of a student viewing man's development or evolution as coming up from the mud rather than down from the heaven world. If the good Doctor would put this view forward: - that we are gods and not poor miserable sinners - "Know ye not your scriptures? I say ye are gods." - he would find it would have just as great a magical effect and lift all "depression and apprehension off the minds and souls of some millions of people". The Scriptures assure its that we are made in the image of God, and in the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke XV c. 1, 1 v.) we have come down here of our own free will "12 v." [[sic]] "And the younger of them said to his Father, `Father give me the portion of thy substance that falleth to me'." We have voluntarily left our own country to go into business for ourselves, and are now in exile here. We are in business in a small way gathering experience at the retail end of things, while the Father remains at the wholesale end - the difference is one of degree rather than of kind. We are free at any time to return to the Father and become "at-one" with him provided we will forsake all material things and cease to eat the husks with the swine - in other words, retrace our steps, give up the "path of pursuit" of material things with their Karmic ties, and return on the path of Renunciation binding ourselves to spiritual values.
Dr. Kuhn states "The Light of Asia" asserts that the law operates to the last minute detail of exactitude. "Not one jot or tittle of the law shall be abated until all be fulfilled" stands in our Christian Scriptures "As" - and pre-cisely as - "a man soweth that also shall he reap". We all read the same things perhaps but different passages have an appeal and meaning for us. I, too, would like to quote the "Light of Asia," all of it, but space does not permit, so let us be content with these verses:
"Who toiled a slave may come anew a Prince
For gentle worthiness and merit won
Who ruled a King may wander earth in rags
For things done and undone.
Higher than Indra's ye may lift your lot,
And sink it lower than the worm or gnat;
The end of many myriad lives is this,
The end of myriads that.
Only, while turns this wheel invisible,
No pause, no peace, no staying place can be;
Who mounts may fall, who falls will mount; the spokes
Go round unceasingly!"
Apparently, the good Doctor would like us to stop there, but the most important part follows:
"If ye lay bound upon the wheel of change,
And no way were of breaking from the chain,
The Heart of Boundless Being is a curse,
The Soul of Things fell Pain.
Ye are not bound! The Soul of Things is sweet,
The Heart of Being is celestial rest
Stronger than woe is will: that which was Good
Doth pass to Better - Best.
I, Buddh, who wept with all my brothers' tears,
Whose heart was broken by a whole world's woe,
Laugh and am glad, for there is Liberty!
Ho! ye who suffer! Know
Ye suffer from yourselves, None else compels,
None other holds you that ye live and die,
And whirl upon the wheel, and hug and kiss
Its spokes of agony,
Its tire of tears, its nave of nothingness.
Behold, I show you Truth!"
The truth of the matter is that some of us lay far too much stress upon the material things we are called upon to reap and do not pay enough attention to sowing spiritual values. Mde. Blavatsky in her message to the 1890 American Convention advised them as follows: "Learn then, well the doctrines of Karma and Reincarnation". Among the various aspects of Karma we presume she wished them to learn would be those of group and national karma, in its relationship to the individual and the part he has played in generating it and his responsibility within the group and nation. We are all too prone to look for a scapegoat, instead of realizing that many of the world's great despots are nothing more than banners waving in the breeze of human passions, rather than the creators of those passions we would like to make them. Dr. Kuhn asks if Hitler or other despots must return to be murdered for twelve million lives? No, this is a misconception, the Karma of Hitler and other despots may not be as great as popular feeling at the time would have it, possibly it has to be shared with the nation or a group within the nation.
"Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord". There is no person-to-person indebtedness; the action and reaction are pooled. We owe our Karmic debts to humanity and not to individuals. (Matthew XXV, 37.) "Then shall the righteous answer him saying, `Lord, when saw we thee hungry, and fed thee? or athirst, and gave thee drink? (38) And when saw we thee a stranger and took thee in? or naked and clothed thee? (39) And when saw we thee sick or in prison, and came unto thee? (40) And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, even these least ye did it unto me'." When we realize that in one sense Karmic debts and credits are pooled, we get a glimpse of the reason the first object of our Society, is what it is. Again it must be remembered that Hitler can only rise when Hitlerism is in the hearts and minds of the people. "God is not mocked". Also, let us not forget the sacrifices that have been made to oppose
these things. "Are they lost because of death?" The good will last for a thousand generations (incarnations) while the evil will exhaust itself unto the third and fourth; as a correct understanding of the second commandment (Exodus 20 chapter, 4th and 5th verse) will show.
We are too apt to view all things sowing and reaping from the physical and material point of view, especially in our early development. The mental and spiritual planes are of more importance. Is not Dr. Kuhn himself deliberately sowing in these latter fields? Judging by his writings and lectures we would say so, even though the seed might not be of our choice. We must agree that all too many students do speak of good or bad Karma, looking at it from the point of view of gaining or losing material possessions, while the spiritual man would regard all losses as a lightening of his burden along the path of renunciation, until eventually he has forsaken all. In the early stages of our development we are no doubt spurred on by the very things we have later on in our unfoldment to renounce. It is not until quite late that we see the distant goal and are attracted to it as by a magnet. It must be recognized that the motives of the animal man are constantly changing. The god within is, however, always on the alert to take advantage of these actions and so gradually bring him to liberation.
We must controvert Dr. Kuhn's assertion that "we do not make or create or generate any of our Karma at all! We do not even make our Karma; what we do is to take it, already made for us and condition it or give it specific character. For all the Karma that anyone on the evolutionary path ever had or will have has been made for him before he set his foot on the first rung of the human ladder!" This quotation from Dr. Kuhn's article would indicate that he has discovered predestination and subscribes to the materialistic conception of evolution, rather than the theosophical one, viz., Man never was less than man; that when the animal forms were ready man incarnated bringing with him "my share of thy substance" and with each and every reincarnation the Skandhas, or tendencies, of the previous ones await him to be dealt with in accordance with the results of his own digested or absorbed experience, also over his many incarnations on earth and assimilation in the Devachanic Heaven world. To say that the skandhas that await the man are not made by him during his former lives, is either to ignore the obvious facts or to go into some sophisticated quibble over the meaning of words and terms that should really be defined from the start.
Speaking of Karma Mde. Blavatsky states, "many of us are now working off evil Karmic causes produced by us in Atlantean bodies". p. 317, V. II Secret Doctrine. The child reaps in its turn the parents it has sown; good or bad as the case may be, and is therefore from its start in any life reaping the things it has sown in previous ones, and in that way it creates its Karma. Dr. Kuhn, we presume, accepts the theory of reincarnation and is not postulating that the child is here for the first time. Dr. Kuhn appears to have great trouble over the relationship betwen God and man and evidently subscribes to the heresy of separateness. My view of the teaching is that God and man are one. Separateness is an illusion of the lower physical nature which, by effort, we can overcome and reach "at-one-ment" again. "They that have seen me hath sen the Father; I and the Father are one", and many other phrases are used in scripture to convey this idea.
Dr. Kuhn uses the words "bad karma" several times; good and bad are relative terms, that which is bad from the animal's point of view may be good
from the point of view of the higher self - we are still eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. From an educational point of view we do not say that the third grade has a bad lesson, that there is a bad lesson in the fourth class, or that the second year is a bad year, difficult the lesson may be to one "who is not properly prepared to be admitted into the Ancient Mysteries", grade or year. "Bad" may be an expression used by a student, but from an educational point of view is not correct. And so, I think, with Karma - which after all is educational. "Certainly in all lives there must come stages at which the individual must have 'worked off' all his past adverse Karma and stand free from the immediate necessity of 'paying off old debts' ". Yes, indeed, this is the very position we are all striving to attain and when attained, "Ho! Liberty!" But as Paul puts it, if in this life only we leave hope of Christ (Liberty) we of all men are most miserable. The Masters are free, except "for their desires to assist humanity, who are themselves". " Am I going to ask Theosophists to consider that the future can reach back into our past and generate our present karma?" asks Dr. Kuhn, and his answer is: - "Indeed I am!" He then mentions that in any common enterprise, " . . . . it is the future that determines all action. A man plans to build a house; a King a city; an army to win a war." He then claims the future objective rather than past things determines every action. Surely the good Doctor can see that it is the present desire in all the things he mentions that has set in motion action and future action. All goals have no magnetic or other pull until the desire arises in the present, or has arisen in the past to attain them, but with every additional man on the path of renunciation it becomes that much easier for others to follow.
In every society we will find three general classes of men. The primitives who are hounded by the law; the contented law-abiding citizens; and the pioneers who have received "the vision splendid" and are making every effort short of compulsion to help their fellowman along the path; they, like Hercules, are willing to take the whole burden of the world upon their shoulders, but having done so they realize their mistake and, like Hercules, finding that there is danger in the duty of another return it to Atlas, whose rightful task it is. "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" (Matt. 6-34) has always been good Christianity and occultism, and "forgetting those things which are behind" is in keeping with this, and so is "be not anxious for the morrow" - brood not over the past or fear for the future.
Dr. Northrop is quoted, "The living organism comes into mature being because it is guided by its final cause, as its aim and pattern". These ideas are quite right as far as mechanical evolution is concerned. The great point is that man is not part of mechanical evolution. He comes into it at a suitable point, yes; and can leave it any time he wishes to do so. "Ye are not bound!" "The Soul of Things is sweet" is the teaching of Buddhism, Christianity and all the great mystery schools. In conclusion, let us distinguish between the Gods we are and the animal bodies in which we dwell, sow and attach ourselves to the things of the spiritual nature and say, "If I be lifted up, then will I draw all men unto me".
- G. I. Kinman.