The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document
Vol. XXXII, No. 4 Toronto, June 15th, 1851 Price 20 Cents
(Excerpt from a verbatim report of an address entitled "The Path Supreme" delivered recently by Mrs. Shelley Newcombe before The Theosophical Society of Montreal.)
The present state in international affairs, critical as it may be, pales into insignificance before the greater event which looms in the background - the renaissance of the East. A great shift in racial prominence in the world is taking place before our eyes, and as a consequence there must come an orientation in our own national consciousness. The issues with Russia may be resolved yet there will remain the greater issue. Is the Muse of History to record her future events upon the level of the East with the West or shall the equation be the East versus the West? This is the true focal point where international relationships meet and the pivot upon which world peace depends.
Our response to this urgent need for a better understanding of Eastern peoples, if it is to be in any measure an intelligent one, spurs us to pursue our efforts for world peace on a larger and more fundamental scale than has ever been attempted before on our planet.
Considering it as a point of sound statesmanship alone, I believe the Federal Government of Canada should finance over a period of many years, through our universities and so forth, an educational program aimed at bringing the best in Eastern culture and thought, to the West and vice versa. This cross-fertilization between Western and Eastern minds is imperative. Young men and women of Canada should be trained in the languages, philosophy and ways-of-life of the peoples of the East. There should be an extension program which should allow them to visit the East for a considerable period of time as a part of their training. The East likewise should be encouraged to send students to Canada for a similar purpose and financial aid (perhaps in the form of scholarships) be extended to them when necessary.
It is of the essence of sound statesmanship for us to begin now to develop every method which would bring knowledge, understanding and cooperation between the two great sections of the peoples. To prepare the bases for healthy contacts is axiomatic.
In very recent years we have seen a closer governmental connection between
India and Canada with an exchange of representatives between the two countries. But this is not enough today. As a matter of immediate government expediency and I consider this the narrowest part of the program - the Department of External Affairs and every other department who may or should be sending representatives to the East, should financially support such an educational scheme, geared to training scores of young Canadians in Eastern languages and culture, especially in respect to India, China and Japan. Some people will say that this indicates a long-distance program and a mighty expensive one. I reply "yes, in terms of hard cash." But weighed against the great need of the world, the tremendous values which would be created and the priceless returns which would accrue, the price is indeed small. The cost of a few bombers which we are now building for destructive purposes would pay for such a program for several generations to come.
And now Madame President, here comes a direct challenge to the Theosophical Society. The unique position and capacity which the Theosophical Societies of Canada have for service along this line, can be viewed no longer merely as a great opportunity, but as a definite responsibility. Situated as we are - so to speak - at the crossroads of the East and the West our Theosophical organizations across Canada could supplement any government effort by a unified and intensified program and course of study of its own designed to put an educated and awakened public opinion behind a national policy of cooperative study and friendly intercourse with the East.
No society of which I have any knowledge is so well devised and especially positioned to aid in bringing this much needed knowledge to the Canadian public. Broad-based as it is upon one inclusive principle - the universal brotherhood of man, it has behind it a strong and lively tradition based upon knowledge and sympathy with the East. Ever since H.P.B. and Colonel Olcott landed in India to undertake their researches and work, the Theosophical Society has had a mental and spiritual kinship with India that has always been real, and has today become even more valuable, for it can now become a channel for a very definite service which will meet the needs of humanity in this turn of history.
We agree that the real and finally coming together of peoples is based upon a common fundamental factor, and here again the Theosophical Society is able to suggest that factor. The primary foundation upon which the East and West can meet in a common experience leading to an enduring brotherhood is the experiential reality of the Higher Self. This realization of man's Divinity depends upon no creeds nor systems, but is a free gift to all mankind without distinction of race, creed or color. Its esoteric teaching concerns itself with the highest concepts which the mind of man can hold about his God, his universe and himself. And this teaching is a gift to us from the Eastern sages, at least three thousand years ago.
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.
BLAVATSKY WAS AN OPTIMIST
(Continued from page 38)
II. Why Do We Exist?
"Them to the rolling Heav'n itself I cried,
Asking, `What Lamp had Destiny to guide
Her little children stumbling in the Dark?'
And - `A blind understanding!' Heav'n replied."
How strange! And yet how true!
Despite the logical Nidanas, which say that the monad has cosmic consciousness; despite Plato, who declared all knowledge to be reminiscence; despite The Secret Doctrine which states the early races of men were fully illuminated, we find ourselves ignorant and deluded. We feel we have the power to see and yet, somehow, are prevented from seeing.
These contraries are aspects of the fatal dualism of existence, a dualism which has resulted in two hostile philosophies: - pessimism which, dwelling on the gloomy side of life regards the world with contempt, and optimism, which seeking the bright side, embraces life eagerly. Each endeavors not to see the other side.
This is as though a man, seeking a cure for myopia; found it in the wearing of one or the other of the blinkers we put on a horse.
Can these opposing philosophies be reconciled?
Descartes, earnestly seeking Light, founded a philosophy on these words: "I think, hence I am."
This is an abbreviation of the syllogism:
All thinking beings exist.
Hence. I exist.
His cardinal tenet, therefore, depends upon the existence of other beings beside himself. In truth, it depends upon the existence of a Universal Mind, with which, calling it God, he proceeds to compare himself.
He thus displays some understanding of the grand occult method of analogy, but he did not realize that man's mind is itself the measure of the universe. Learn the Laws of Thought, observe the processes of the mind and you have a light that lights up every subject, every problem, great or small, profound or simple, in the cosmos.
Applying analogy, we have only to look at the way the mind works to learn, indirectly, why it is that our understanding is blind.
Take a man who aspires to become an architect. He has to learn a variety of subjects; something of engineering for stresses and strains; something of chemistry for the properties of materials; something of hydraulics for water supply; geometry, draftsmanship, design and so on.
In order to master one of these subjects he has to concentrate upon it, to forget, while doing so, all the others. To learn drawing he has to assume a state of mind where knowledge irrelevant to skill with pen and rule is excluded. In other words, he has to enter a state of Avidya.
In this condition he is temporarily ignorant of his larger purpose. All he is concerned with is how to hold a pen or that he shall draw a line from this point to that.
Analogically, and remembering that analogy implies difference as well as likeness, on a cosmic scale the monad enters Avidya because limitation is the means of gaining power.
If we walk in darkness, are ignorant of other planes and past lives, it is be-
cause we are specialists, like the student architect absorbed in one subject. Our concern with one plane and one life is a manner of concentrating in space and time.
Through this concentration we may attain a loftier state; may, at last, become the architect of a world!
We must all stoop to rise, grow roots to blossom, separate to unite more closely, die to live.
Paul, who insisted that the sown had to die before it could be made alive, is elsewhere made to say something that is patently false. An interpolator declares that we bring nothing into the cosmos and take nothing out.
Yet every morning, every birth, every return to Manvantara we bring into the new existence past experience. Every night, every dying, every return to Pralaya we take with us added experience. In The Key to Theosophy Blavatsky describes what we disentangle from the lower planes at physical death.
Avidya, therefore, is not aimless. Neither is it an end. It is the means to an end. Realizing this, we may rise above the antinomies of optimism and pessimism by taking the larger view, recognizing that pain, as well as joy, has its value.
We do not learn endurance through happiness, patience when charmed, wonder in boredom, love when fearful. The essential qualities of character, the golden keys to the Seven Portals of The Voice of the Silence, the keys to Nirvana, each has to be molded in a different form, patterned by pain and joy.
Avidya gives us the opportunity to enter a higher state of Nirvana than ever before (I say nothing of the contrary).
Liebnitz intuitively saw something which, being unversed in the occult teaching, he could not explain clearly. This truth the empirical Voltaire scoffed at in Candide, causing men's
hearts to sink in pessimism. But today we can echo Leibnitz more rationally.
For our ultimate purpose, this is the best of all possible worlds.
That we do not make the utmost use of it is due to our free will and to that mystery hidden in the myth of Prometheus. There is a veil between our higher and lower consciousness that does not exist in the case of the student architect. He can, at any moment, look up from his drawing and contemplate his ultimate aim. We can only with difficulty come to remember that there is a life beyond life.
The instructing of men in this larger optimism, the removal of the veil between the higher and lower consciousness, should be the chief intents of education and particularly of Theosophical education.
For while the plant cannot flower without roots, while the lower reaches of Avidya are essential for our development, there is no reason why we should not grow upwards as speedily as possible.
Inability to glimpse our ultimate aim prevents us from discriminating between two kinds of enjoyment in the cosmos. There is the contracting enjoyment, which is taking, and the expanding enjoyment, which is giving.
The higher enjoyment, consisting in the forgetfulness of self, is less affected by the pains of life. A mother working for her child's welfare, lightly regards or does not feel fatigue.
This higher enjoyment is a broken light of Nirvana, whose bliss we can intellectually but not actually discern by reflecting that if we could put together all the poasible loves in the universe, unite all joys of lover, of parent, of patriot, of philanthropist, of teacher, of all past and future ages, and feel them all in ourselves, our present, poor, feeble consciousness would be utterly shattered.
Occult philosophy, showing us how we may face and minimize the pains of life and holding up to us the vision of a goal whose bliss is utterly ineffable, is thus a philosophy of superb optimism.
But, realistically, it accepts limitation, Avidya, as a necessary condition for the attainment of a deeper bliss in the coming Nirvana and as essential to the development of greater potentialities for the monad in the next Manifestation. Hence Avidya, having a purpose, it is not surprising to find Blavatsky gave the devil, Manas, its due, and dwelt upon the beneficence of Siva, the destroyer. Hers was the larger optimism.
Out of the white light of Nirvana we came and through the seven colors which are the seven golden keys we acquire once more the power of return. These colors reunite in Pralaya in a more dazzling whiteness which is broken again in another Manvantara in hues of a more glowing splendour.
49 East 7th St., Hamilton, Ont.
"THE PASSAGE OF MATTER THROUGH MATTER"
As Seen Among Various Moslem Sects
The passage of Matter through Matter, is a fascinating subject, but the laws regulating materialisation and dematerialisation seem as yet little known and I doubt if Spirit Controls will ever be able to give much light on the subject from a scientific point of view.
In an article in the Occult Review, light in the room is said to have nearly caused the death of the medium. I have seen many cases of "apport" in this country and all have been produced in the light, but none took place at a seance. I am not a spiritualist, but as a student of occultism realise they are able to produce phenomena. In October 1920 I was busy writing some sketches of Arab life in this country and had been putting on paper various occult happenings told me by apparently trustworthy witnesses. Very many wonders had been done by calling on the name of the great Moslem Marabout (saint) Sidi Abdulkader who lived in Syria some centuries ago, but is venerated by the entire Moslem world and regarded by many as the head of their Occult Hierarchy. He is said to have declared that should any [be] in danger of death, [to] call on him three times [and] he would either appear himself or send help and, should he fail to keep his word they might require it of him on the Day of Judgement. Be that as it may, his name is a household word, he is constantly invoked, even in the small things of life, except by the fishermen who will call on any other saint except Sidi Abdulkader, in throwing their nets, for `He always helps the weakest' it is said, consequently if his name be pronounced in throwing the net, it breaks, for the fishes are the weakest!
Many tales are told of extraordinary help in times of danger. Writing of these things I was thinking a good deal about Sidi Abdulkader and much wishing I had some firsthand experience of the white side of occultism in this country.
In Tunis I happened to meet an Arab gentleman of my acquaintance, whom I will call Mr. D., who asked me if I was going to a great Arab fete to be given at La Marsa in honor of the Bey. He told me there was to be a great demonstration of the Assaouia in front of the palace, a sect, which though considered
heretical by orthodox Moslems, do extraordinary things after reaching a state of ecstacy by chanting and rhythmic movements, they not only stick swords into themselves; but eat glass and prickly pear and even roll on a bed of prickly pear, and apparently enjoy it. A fantasia was also to be held in which a larger number of the best Arab horsemen were to take part. Mr. D. suggested that my friend and I should lunch at his house and then go on to the fete, an invitation we accepted with pleasure. We were just finishing luncheon when an Arab, who looked about thirty or thirty-five, wearing the usual white burnous, came into the room; he had a kindly face, just said how do you do, smiled at us and went out, declining our host's invitation to join us at lunch. As the door closed my host turned to me saying, "That is my friend Si S., who is staying with us, he is a Marabout."
"But surely he is very young to be a marabout?" I said.
Mr. D. acquiesced and said, "but he is a marabout and has many extraordinary powers."
I asked why he did not take lunch with us and he said, "Oh, he likes to be free. Sometimes he joins the family at meals and eats heartily with the rest of us and then for days he eats nothing, he spends hours and often days in his room in prayer and meditation."
I asked if he meant that Si S. had occult powers of some kind and he said, "Yes, he can get anything he needs! Generally he plays on a musical instrument, the Bandir, then holds it up against the wall and receives into it whatever he happens to need." Then Mr. D. told me laughingly that a few days before he found he had no cigarettes, it was late in the evening and the house is a good way from the shops so he asked his friend jokingly if he could not get him a cigarette? Si S. said he would try, held up his bandir and two packets dropped into it apparently from nowhere! Mr. D. added he was absolutely sure there were none in the house. I said I should like to see something of that kind.
He said, "Well, shall I bring him to see you? Perhaps he will do something."
I said I should be delighted, but added sceptically that I thought it highly improbable that he would come.
I enquired how Si S. did the phenomena and he told me that Si S's own explanation was that he was helped by his wife and three children. He was married to a jinia. I asked if he had ever seen the family, he said no, but he had seen his friend walking across his room exactly as if he were walking with someone else and to whom he was talking, and added that one of his own children, a baby of three, evidently did see the children and PLAYED WITH THEM. He would say: "there he is, don't you see him?" and talk and act as if playing with another child whereas his twin brother apparently did not see these spirit children.
It all sounded very extraordinary. I had heard tales before in this country of mortals married to one of the jinoon, but to meet in flesh and blood a man who said his wife belonged to this order of nature spirits was rather startling.
The following day Mr. D. sent a message expressing regret he had not been able to persuade his friend to come. I was not in the least surprised for I had not expected him.
The following afternoon as we were having tea Mr. D. himself called and to my astonishment said, "My friend would like to come and see you, may I bring him tomorrow to call?"
"But you sent a message to say he did not wish to come?"
"Yes, but now he has changed his mind."
Naturally I said I should be pleased to see them, but I was very puzzled as to what could have possibly made the marabout change his mind on the point. I thought that they would probably come about four, have a cup of tea with us, say a few polite things and depart. But we had only just returned to the drawing-room after lunch when the two men were announced.
Si S. greeted my friend Miss R. and myself quite cordially, evidently he looked on us already as friends, we were no longer casual acquaintances. I ordered tea for the visitors. Mr. D. sat down and his friend divested himself of his burnous which, I noticed was very thin and threadbare and much mended, though spotlessly clean, and began to walk up and down the room. The gandoura he wore was a pretty shade of green silk and I thought he looked very much like a figure out of the Arabian Nights as he passed muttering to himself just smiling at me when he came near, meantime we conversed with Mr. D. in French.
Having walked the length of the room several times, Si S. stopped walking, waved his hand comprehensibly round the room and said, "It is very good," then he continued his walk a few times and stopping in front of me said, "Madame, you are going a long journey, you are going very far, you are going much farther than you think and there will be dangers, but it is good, it is very good. Sidi Abdulkader says it is good, no harm will come to you for you are under his protection."
This was very startling for though my friend and I had planned a journey to Ceylon we had not spoken of it to anyone. I was so astonished that I simply ejaculated, "Sidi Abdulkader says so?"
Mr. D. explained in French, "that is the name of his patron saint from whom he gets the power to do his wonders."
This was news indeed, it seemed like a direct answer to my desire for a firsthand experience.
My servant brought in the tea, Arab tea made from green tea, very strong with quantities of sugar put in the pot, and a large jug of hot water and little Arab cakes (how he produced such presentable Arab refreshments in so short a time was to me a mystery). After a few moments Si S. resumed his walk
and Mr. D. explained that he wanted to call his children as he said he could always work better if they helped him, but he did not know if they would come to this house. Si S. said that the children might come, for the house was good, very good.
I may mention that I am living in an old Arab house on the top of a hill with a fine view over the sea. The drawing-room in which we were sitting is a long, lofty room with a large window overlooking the sea, directly opposite the entrance door from the patio, which was open, there is also a large window on either side of the door and at either end of the room, in the corner near these windows are doors leading to other rooms.
Si S. took his burnous and threw it over his shoulders walking up and down again, chanting softly to himself and stood a moment between the window and the door on the left hand side as you enter, then he made a funny motion with the burnous, as if catching something, and folding it over, turned round with a pleased smile began talking in quite a different way, holding the burnous as if to shelter a child sitting on his arm. Bending over he talked to it and a quaint little voice replied. He walked the length of the room to the door in the right hand corner which leads into my study, this he opened and made a movement as if he were putting a child down. He returned looking very pleased and said one of his children had (Continued on Page 60.)
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
- The Organ of the Theosophical Society in Canada
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OFFICERS OF THE T.S. IN CANADA
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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.
Perhaps it was due to the economies recently introduced by the Postal Department that migazines which were
mailed in Toronto one Friday were not delivered until the following Friday. `One delivery a day' means that we must ask contributors to please send in articles and letters earlier than the end of the month if these are to appear in the following month's issue.
The article The Passage of Matter Through Matter is from the pen of Esther Windust, the author of Personal Reminiscences of H.P.B. which appeared last month. Mrs. Windust died a few years ago but up to the time of her death she was an independent student of things occult and had her own sources of inspiration. Mrs. Windust stayed for a time at Adyar but was not in accord with the trend of thought there.
Reincarnation became headline news when Herbert Hoover hailed General MacArthur as a reincarnation of St. Paul. A Toronto columnist, J.V. McAree of The Globe & Mail commenting on this suggested that `the general la only one more promotion to look forward to' - a comment which brought upon his ladened but capable shouldlers, a charge of blasphemy from a clerical reader.
We were glad to receive the resume of Mrs. Newcombe's talk to the Montreal Lodge. Mr. and Mrs. Necombe formerly lived in Toronto and took an active interest in Theosophy while here. Both are keen and capable students; Mr. Newcombe, as editor of a science magazine, is particularly interested in the links between modern science and the Secret Doctrine. Mrs. Newcombe has lectured in Canada and the United States.
Psychoanalysis and Religion by Erich Fromm, published by the Yale University Press, is an important book and one which may have a far reaching influence in the field of psychology and in the approach to religion.
Dr. Fromm asserts that "There is no one without a religious need"; his definition of `religion', however, is very broad and includes systems of thought not ordinarily considered to be `religious'. It is "any system of thought and action shared by a group which gives the individual a frame of orientation and an object of devotion." This definition would include all religions, monotheistic and otherwise, systems of philosophy such as the Vedanta and Platonism; it would even include systems of political thought such as contemporary authoritarianism, which do provide `a frame of orientation and an object of devotion.' "The question is not religion or not but which kind of religion, whether it is one furthering man's development, the unfolding of his specifically human powers, or one paralyzing them.". . . . "If a person has not succeeded in integrating his energies in the direction of his higher self, he canalizes them in the direction of lower goals . . .he has only the choice of better or worse, higher or lower, satisfactory or destructive forms of religions and philosophies
Dr. Fromm is a student of Sigmund Freud, and while he suggests that there is an overemphasis on sex in Freud's interpretation of dreams and myths, he considers that Freud's religious views are similar to those of the great `humanitarians', Buddha, Jesus, Socrates, Lao Tze. "Freud holds that the aim of human development is the'achievement of these ideals; knowledge (reason, truth, Logos), brotherly love, reduction of suffering, independence, and responsibility. These constitute the ethical-core of all great religions on which Eastern and Western culture are based . . ." One chapter is devoted to the respective views of Freud and Jung, and while Jung is ordinarily considered to be more eclectic and sympathetic in his approach to religion than was Freud, Dr. Fromm suggests that Jung was not concerned in the value of various religious attitudes, but merely in their psychological roots. Jung achieved eclecticism by detachedly regarding all religious experiences as psychological evidence and was not vitally concerned in the human value of any particular belief. Freud, on the other hand, was concerned in the kind of belief, and thus became the uncompromising foe of authoritarianism, which he considered led to many psychological pitfalls. Theosophical students will see immediately the similarity between this viewpoint and the statement made in the Mahatma Letters to the effect that two-thirds of the world's evils are due to religion. "Ignorance created Gods and cunning took advantage of opportunity". (M.L.58.)
In authoritarian religion. "the main virtue . . . is obedience, its cardinal sin is disobedience . . . In authoritarian religions, God is the symbol of power and force. He is supreme because he has supreme power, and man in juxtatoposition is utterly powerless." The idea of `God' is a projection from man; in the great hanitarian religions, God is an image of man's higher self, a symbol of man's potentialities; in authoritarian religions, the personal God idea places man's power and love outside man himself. God becomes the all-powerful, all-loving one, and to the degree that man projects his own powers upon this symbol, to that degree man weakens his own moral fibre, and becomes obsessed with false ideas of his own powerlessness, sinfulness, guilt and
humiliation. In other words, the personal God idea leads away from true religion, which should encourage independence, reason, love and the manifestation within himself of man's higher powers.
"When man has thus projected his own most valuable powers onto God, what of his relationship to his own powers? They have become separated from him and in this process he has become alienated from himself. Everything he has is now God's and nothing is left in him. His only access to himself is through God. In worshipping God he tries to get in touch with that part of himself which he has lost through projection. After having given God all he has, he begs God to return to him some of what was originally his own. But having lost his own he is completely at God's mercy. He necessarily feels like a `sinner' since he has deprived himself of everything that is good, and it is only through God's mercy that he can regain that which alone makes him human . . . . "
"But this alienation from his own powers not only makes man feel slavishly dependent on God, it makes him bad too. He becomes a man without faith in his fellowmen or in himself, without the experience of his own love, of his own power of reason. As a result the separation between `holy' and `secular' occurs. In his worldly activities man acts without love, in that sector of his life which is reserved to religion he feels himself to be be a sinner (which he actually is, since to live without love is to live in sin) and tries to recover some of his lost humanity by being in touch with God."
The book tempts one to indulge in abundant quotations. It is tightly written with few superfluous words and on each of its 119 pages there are provocative thoughts. For example, "But it is one thing to recognize one's dependence and limitations, and it is something entirely different to indulge this dependence, to worship the force on which one depends. To understand realistically and soberly how limited our power is, is an essential part of wisdom and maturity; - to worship it is masochistic and self-indulgence. The one is humility, the other is self-humiliation."
An excellent book to have in any Theosophical library, and a valuable book to place in the hands of any person who coming into the Theosophical Movement, has not left behind those imost irrational tendencies to weaken themselves by projecting onto a power outside themselves, even when the focus of transfer is called `The Masters'.
- D. W. B.
NEWS FROM MONTREAL LODGE
The past season has been an exceptionally interesting one. The regular Tuesday members' meetings were well attended; the Friday open meetings conducted by our inspired Mr. Henry Lorimer drew many a newcomer to our teachings; the monthly social teas, under the able direction of Mrs. Jessie Lorimer assisted by our president Mrs. Rose Ovenden, Mrs. Elizabeth Griffiths, Mrs. Doris Downes, Mrs. Elizabeth Slessor, Mrs. Grace Leonard, and others, proved to be very popular and were highlighted by readings from Miss Henrietta Mills and Mr. George Matsell to mention only a few; a Cooking Sale was held at the end of November and we are grateful to Mrs. Mollie Sinclair for her kind assistance; six special lectures were delivered as follows: Rev. Dr. R.G. Katsunoff, of Montreal, explained the deeper meaning of Goethe's "Faust". Mr. H.S. Kulkarni of Simla, India, delighted us with excerpts from "The Bhagavad Gita". Mrs. Shelley Newcombe of Montreal (formerly of Toronto), gave us a most colorful discourse on "The Path Su-
preme" from the Upanishads. Mr. G. Rupert Lesch of Erie, Pa., visited us again this year and the titles of his series were: "The Ancient Wisdom", "The Way of Peace" and "Resurrection".
Through this magazine, we would like to express our thanks to those who have helped us in any way, send our best wishes for recovery to members in ill health and extend a cordial welcome to all to visit Montreal Lodge at the next opportunity. We enjoyed hearing from Mr. D.B. Thomas, a past president here, and will always appreciate word from past members and friends.
- Marie Reine Desrochers, Secretary.
After reading article Theosophy and Religions published in the April issue, I felt I must express my views on the stand Mr. Jinarajadasa has taken.
Why should Mr. Janarajadasa bother himself about Roman Catholic, Liberal Catholic, or Protestant claims to Apostolic Succession, when surely he, as head of the Theosophical Society, must know that the Masters and H.P.B. declared Apostolic Succession `a gross and palpable fraud'?
This came as a great shock to me, for a short time ago I read in our Magazine that Mr. Jinarajadasa had stated that from henceforth Liberal Catholicism, Co-Masonry, etc., were to be disassociated from the Theosophical Society and after reading this a great feeling of thankfulness came over me for I thought that at last Mr. Jinarajadasa had begun to see the light. I began to have hopes that true Theosophy as taughtby H.P.B. and the Masters would once again be taught in every Lodge room and that Theosophists would once again be united into one strong body of workers for the ancient Divine Wisdom teachings, instead of a house divided against itself which must surely fall - but my hopes were dashed to the ground after reading this.
The ancient books of the east and the Jewish books prove that Peter was never in Rome and that Jesus lived a century earlier than the time given for the Christian era. In the Babylonian Gemara, called Sepher Holdos Jeshu we read of Jesus having lived during the reign of the Jewish king Alexander Janneus, and his wife Salome who reigned from the year 106 B.C. to 79 B.C.
We also have proof that the Roman Catholic Church was never fully established until near the close of the 4th Century A.D., yet they claim that Peter founded the Church of Rome in 64 A.D. and it is proven that Peter was home in Babylon writing his first Epistle. He died in his bed in 69 A.D. in Babylon, where he lived at the summit of a tower, `composing hymns and preaching charity'. For a fuller account of this I would advise Theosophists to read Isis Unveiled.
Is it any wonder that later converts to Theosophy have become confused and mixed up with Roman and Liberal Catholicism, for how can they take in true Theosophy mixed up with these religions. Let us all remember that `Theosophy does not combat any religion, but explains and supplements it'.
No wonder that the Roman Catholic hierarchy tell their followers that the Theosophical Society will not last much longer, for they and their agents are doing their best to see that it will not last, but the few who have kept true Theosophy afloat will see to it that it never dies.
My one hope is that Mr. Jinarajadasa from henceforth will propogate true
Theosophy as taught by the Masters and H.P. Blavatsky and that we will once again have a united solid lodge of Theosophists as before, then we can do some good in the world. Meanwhile, my sympathy goes out to Mr. Jones, who had to tolerate Liberal Catholicism under the name of Theosophy.
Yours cordially and fraternally,
Mrs. Emily Brunton.
10836 111th St., Edmonton, Alberta.
To the Editor,
The recent report in the Manchester Guardian shows that millions in the Bihar Province of India are already facing starvation. Little children are roaming over refuse heaps to pick up snails and other such items for food. Surely the time has come for action from the people of Canada. And surely the people of the T.S. have a special interest in that matter because we owe so much to India and the least we can do is to carry out our principle of Universal Brotherhood now. In U.S.A. various organisatious are already at work collecting subscriptions to buy wheat to send to India. We understand the Indian Government will stand the expense of transport and distribution. The various Lodges of the T.S. in Canada could now join together in a public program and get its members and friends to each buy a bushel or so of wheat, it would amount to many tons. Since in Canada no organization has launched a public appeal so far, it seems that this comes now as an opportunity and responsibility of the Theosophical Society in Canada.
- Two Students, Montreal.
[" . . . he who neglects to help his brother man, of whatever race, nation or creed whenever and wherever he meets suffering . . . is no Theosophist." The worthy feelings which prompted the above letter are deserving of respect and individual members may wish to follow up the suggestion therein made. The Minister of External Affairs recently reported to the House that Canadians made two offers to send wheat to India, one under the Colombo plan, the other a free gift. Both offers were rejected and the Canadian Government is now inquiring from the Indian Commissioner at Ottawa as to the kind of foods Canada could supply, such as dried milk products, vitamins and other specialized foods. It was reported that the dark color of Canadian wheat was one reason for the rejection of the offer but the report does not indicate if any other factors entered in. - Ed.]
"THE PASSAGE OF MATTER THROUGH MATTER" (Continued from Page 55.)
come and went again to the far corner, and after the same crooning call apparently captured a second entity. He held the burnous round it as before, it looked exactly as if a child were sitting upright on his arm, and the prattling voice as he slowly crossed the floor interested my friend and myself immensely. It was not like a human voice and utterly different from anything either of us had ever heard. He put the child down in my room with the other and returned smiling, saying that two had come, but the third was not coming. They asked for a plate and sat down to take a cup of strong tea while it was being fetched. My servant brought an ordinary dinner plate, but this would not do. Si S. said it must be metal. Mohammed disappeared and returned almost immediately with a deep brass plate such as is used at Arab meals when water is poured on the hands of the guests after the meal. Mohammed gave this to Si S.
who, again chanting softly to himself, went into the left hand corner between Miss R's door and the window again, and holding the plate above his head with both hands continued to chant softly for a few moments, then we heard thud, thud, thud, thud! He turned and as he lowered the plate we saw that it contained four candles! These, he brought and smilingly placed on the table in front of me, then I looked at my friend, smiled at her, and he went back into the corner and in the same way received four more which he placed in front of her. Then he paused for a moment as if undecided what to do next, perhaps he thought candles were not a suitable present for two stranger ladies, anyway he returned to the same corner and after a few minutes we heard a very different sound, as of several things falling into a plate. I wondered what it could be, he lowered the plate, walked across the room again and placed in front of me - a haudful of English Toffee!! Each piece was wrapped in paper with the maker's name on it, and that toffee was good, I had not tasted such toffee since I was a child.
While he was busy with the candles I hastily sent a message to my secretary to come, she had been very much interested in my last stories, and just as he returned from his fourth visit to the corner bringing the handful of toffee for Miss R., she slipped into the room with a very white face and took a seat at the far end behind me. Seeing a third lady had arrived Si S. went back again and brought a third handful of toffee which he placed in front of my secretary who looked deadly pale and was too frightened even to touch it.
Si S. asked for a pot of fire, this was sent for and I asked Mr. D. if I should send for more incense and he said: "Oh no! He can get it himself if he wants it." So I sat still.
When the fire was brought Si S. again discarded his burnous and coming up to me with a smile, but not saying anything, put his hand on my knee and as if with some difficulty pulled out of it apparently, a large piece of wood, the scented, sacred wood much prized by Moslems as incense and very expensive. He laughed at my face of blank astonishment and again touching my knee produced another, smaller piece, which he threw on the fire and a delicious perfume filled the air. The large piece he placed in front of me beside the candles and toffee. He did several curious things with fire, but that has no connection with this particular subject and finally he sat down again and took more strong tea, and then it was he told us that, as he had devoted his life to the service of Sidi Abdulkader he had at first refused to come to the house of a Roumi (stranger or one not a Mohammedan), but that in the night he had a vision. His Master Sidi Abdulkader had appeared to him and told him he was to go to the house of the Roumi lady to which he had been invited, so early in the morning he had at once gone to find his friend Mr. D. to ask him to arrange for him to come. He stayed and chatted for some time and asked us to go and see him at Mr. D's house three days later, the day of the full moon, as then he would be able to do more, adding there was something Sidi Abdulkader wanted to give me, but he could not get it now, he would be able to work better in his accustomed surroundings.
I should have mentioned that before, partaking of the last brew of strong tea, he took back the children fetching them from my study and carrying them on his arms as before and shaking out his burnous, as if throwing up something into the ar in the corner by the door of Miss R's room. Again the form of a child was clearly outlined under the burnous as if sitting on his arm and the
same quaint little voice chattered as he carried it across the room.
I asked Mr. D. if I should give anything, but he shook his head and said the marabout would be insulted if I offered him money, but added if I liked to take him a present when I went to see him, that he would accept. He said Si S. was a real marabout who had no possessions, but accepted hospitality when offered and journeyed from place to place as he was told, adding that he considered it a great honor that he had accepted a room in his house for a few weeks, but he was leaving now in a few days.
I asked how he travelled without money, Mr. D. said he just went on foot, but if he happened to meet someone who offered him a ticket for part of the way, he accepted it, and this often happened. If he wanted a few sous for something absolutely necessary it would come, as the candles had come for me, into, his bandir which he carried with him when journeying. He had not brought it that afternoon by the way, probably because he had not realized he was going to do more than pay a call. Mr. D. said he never got more than was absolutely necessary for his daily use.
When we reached Mr. D's. house on the evening of the full moon we found him alone with his wife, he explained that the marabout had been sent for by one of the princes and had not yet returned. Heavy rain came on and when about half-an-hour later the marabout arrived he was wet through. He seemed very pleased with the burnous I had taken for him as a present and began at once to divest himself of his dripping garments. Mr. D. and his brother, who had just joined us, held a fouta in front of him as he let the last rag slip to the floor and then helped him fasten it around his waist, they handed him a sort of linen coat or shirt and he was ready, so that really this seance at least, seemed to me to be quite under test conditions, for he would have had no possibility of secreting anything under those few garments which we had seen him don. Then he took his new burnous and wound it round him with evident delight.
We were sitting in Mr. D's drawing room which opened on to a covered patio, both lighted by electricity, the light in the patio was particularly strong. Si S. walked up and down a minute or so in his burnous, chanting, then asked the others to join in the chant to strengthen the vibrations. It was just 'the word `Allah' which they repeated. He moved out into the strong light in the patio with his burnous wrapped around him then jumped at something, as if catching it, having difficulty in disentangling from the folds of the burnous what finally appeared to be a long taper, perhaps twenty-five or twenty-seven inches in length, wound round with frills of colored paper. (Candles decorated in this way are sold in the souk to be burned as an offering before sacred shrines). This, he presented to me.
We saw the famous bandir which had been used for getting things, an instrument something like a large, oblong tambourine. He played on it while chanting and later did various things with fire, among other things he crumpled up his clean shirt and held it down on the blazing coals, on which a moment before he had burned incense, then asked me to feel it, it was hardly warm. He laughed and threw more incense on the fire, incense which he got by just tapping one or catching it out of the air.
Another thing he produced was a very large block of incense which he gave to me and told me to use it from time-to-time and that when it was finished he would give me some more. A small object was produced phenomen-
ally and given to me as a talisman, but this was not caught from the air like the other things. After more chanting he went again into the patio, standing just under the strong electric light, held up his hand and I saw clearly forming just above his hand, as it were the sketch of a bunch of dates, he jumped into the air and caught them by the stalks, holding the fully materialized branches of fresh dates in his hand. It was just the beginning of the date harvest, they were not yet on the market. These appeared to have been freshly plucked. There are I believe no date palms anywhere near La Marsa. He told me to keep the dates and eat two a day as long as they lasted. He then returned to get another bunch for Miss R.
This interested me particularly because each time I saw the bunch of dates form in the bright light before he jumped and caught them. He did various other curious things, but not connected with the subject of the Passage of Matter through Matter. Afterwards he invited us into his room where coffee was served. He was a charming host and told us many interesting things, among others the use of the candles. The long candle was to be lighted and left to burn itself out on the eve of our departure from Tunis, the other candles were to be burned when, after staying sometime in one place we left there to continue our journey, we were to be particularly sure to burn a candle before leaving for a sea journey.
Whether it was thanks to these candles or not we had exceptionally good weather all the time.
I may add that everything Si S. told us with regard to the journey came true. It was much longer than we had contemplated, we had several narrow escapes from danger and being unable to get a passage back from India, returned home through the United States and Sicily, thus making a complete tour of the world. We were absent over a year instead of three months as we had intended.
Unexpected help came to us in various ways, during that eventful journey and once, when lying very ill and in great pain in an out-of-the-way part of China on the borders of Tibet with not more than a day or at the most two to live, help came to me in the form of a visitor who appeared suddenly in my
room. He talked with me a while, leaving as mysteriously as he had come and when he left all pain had gone. I had been healed! When my friend came into my room a few moments after, she was astonished at the change.
(To Be Continued)
"As that Intelligent Idea, which, by directing its sole will-power toward a centre of localized forces called objective forms into being, so can man, the microcosm of the great Macrocosm, do the same in proportion with the development of his will-power . . . The plan of the structure to be erected is in the brain of the Architect, and reflects his will; abstract as yet, from the instant of the conception it becomes concrete through these atoms which follow faithfully every line, point and figure traced in the imagination of the Divine Geometer.
"As God creates, so man can create. Given a certain intensity of will, and the shapes created by the mind become subjective. Hallucinations, they are called, although to their creator they are real as any visible object is to any one else. Given a more intense and intelligent concentration of this will, and the form becomes concrete, visible, objective; the man has learned the secret of secrets; he is a Magician."
- Isis Unveiled 1.62.
THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT
The Theosophical Society was formed at New York in 1875. It has three objects:
1. To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or color.
2. To encourage the study of Comparative Religion, Philosophy and Science.
3. To investigate the unexplained laws of Nature and the powers latent in man.
The Society affords a meeting place for students who have three aims in common, first, the ideal of Universal Brotherhood; second, the search for Truth, and third, a desire to associate and work with other men and women having similar aims and ideals. The acceptance of the First Object is required of all those who desire to become members; whether or not a member engages actively in the work contemplated in the Second and Third Objects is left to his or her discretion.
The nature and purposes of the Society preclude it from having creeds or dogmas, and freedom of thought and expression among its members is encouraged. An official statement on this point is; " . . . . there is no opinion, by whomsoever taught or held, that is in any way binding on any member of the Society, none of which a member is not free to accept or reject." The statement calls upon the members "to maintain, defend, and act upon this fundamental principle . . . and fearlessly to exercise his own right of liberty of thought and of expression thereof within the limits of courtesy and consideration for others."
Theosophy or `Divine Wisdom' is that body of ancient truths relating to the spiritual nature of man and the universe which has found expression down through the ages in religions, philosophies, sciences, the arts, mysticism, occultism and other systems of thought. Theosophy is not the exclusive possession of any one organization. In the modern Theosophical Movement, these ancient truths have been restated and an extensive literature on the subject has come into being. The teachings are not put forward for blind belief; they are to be accepted only if the truth that is in them finds an echo in the heart. Each student should by `self induced and self-devised' methods establish his own Theosophy, his own philosophy of life. The Movement encourages all students of Theosophy to become self-reliant, independent in thought, mature in mind and emotions and, above all other things to work for the welfare of mankind to the end that humanity as a whole may become aware of its diviner powers and capabilities.