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Vol. XXXII, No. 7 Toronto, September 15th, 1951 Price 20 Cents
"THE HUMBLE SEED"
The title of this article was suggested from a portion of The Key to Theosophy, "And we add that our Theosophical Society is the humble seed which, if watered and left to live, will finally produce the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil which is grafted on the Tree of Life Eternal."
`Our Theosophical Society' is no longer one, but each of the Theosophical Societies has substantially they same objects and each acknowledges the spiritually revolutionary ideas of the Founder and Teacher, H.P. Blavatsky. To work in a Theosophical Society, Adyar, The United Lodge, Pasadena, or in one of the independent societies, is a great privilege; it is also an initiation. To help keep alive the Theosophic ideal, to water and tend `the humble seed' - we assume that H.P.B. meant the spirit, rather than the physical body of the Society - demands among other things, the constant maintenance of certain attitudes. One of these is holding to the ideal as we understand it, while at the same time acknowledging and protecting the right of each member to hold different views. This it seems to us is fundamental. Freedom of belief, nonrecognition of any creed of `accepted' Theosophical teachings, diversity of opinion within the broad scope of the Theosophical approach, are of the essence of the nature of the work. The work will go forward if the student attitude is preserved; it will die if comparative study is neglected and if the original program of broad tolerance is curtailed. "The Society has no wisdom of its own to support and teach. It is simply the storehouse of all the truths uttered by the great seers, initiates, and prophets of historic and even prehistoric ages;" Key to Theosophy.
Our attention was directed to this point recently, first because of a letter from a correspondent, and secondly, because of a comment in our esteemed contemporary, Theosophical Notes. The Editors devoted several pages of the July number to quotations from and comments on recent issues of the Canadian Theosophist and of Devenir, an excellent Spanish language magazine, published by the Ariel Branch of the T.S. in Uruguay. One comment read, "The outstanding note in both the above publications, to our mind, is the firm emplacement of Judge; and unmistakeable breakaway from the official T.S. viewpoint, and truly nonsectarian,
since neither of these publications makes obeisance to any of the "Judge Line" Theosophical groups as such.". . Judge like his own Teacher, is and always will be greater than any one group or organization, good, bad, or indifferent, and the fact manifests itself in the lengthening light cast by him down the years. The Movement as a whole, constitutes an incessant process of sorting and sieving. It only takes a few paragraphs of Judge in any publication for those who "belong to him" to recognize their Lineage - and for others to pass him indifferently by; together with what of most importance is concealed in H.P.B.'s own work."
In commenting on that portion of Mr. Jinarajadasa's Presidential Address, which dealt with the formation of the several Societies, the Editors are outspoken and point out that most of the split-offs "have been due to attempts to get away from some personality or another who had seized control, and back to something like fundamentals - like the current split, not de jure but certainly de facto between Adyar and the Canadian Section."
The words - `current split' gave us concern for frankly we had never thought of the situation in these terms. The Theosophical Society in Canada is a section of the Theosophical Society with headquarters at Adyar, and has no intention of breaking away from that Society. Certainly there is a difference of attitude and a wide divergence of opinion as to what is and what is not important in the vast literature called Theosophical which has grown up since 1875. There are two streams of doctrines current in the Adyar Society; one flows from the writings of H.P.B. and the Masters, the other and later stream had its principal source in the writings of C.W. Leadbeater. Many Adyar officials and members have accepted the latter teachings, and the current literature of the Society reflects the Leadbeaterian influence rather than H.P.B.'s. Many members are apparently unaware that the two are incompatible.
Leadbeater was a psychic. Psychism has its place and, there is no objection to it per se. When it comes as one of the fair flowers of an integrated individuality, it is doubtless beneficial and brings an actual awareness of inner planes of being which were theretofore known only intellectually. But in occult literature one comes upon hundreds of books written by psychics, and each one of the majority of them is convinced that his psychic vision is eternal truth - and that all other psychics are misled. H.P.B. warned of the dangers of lower psychism, and it was not her habit of mind to issue unnecessary warnings. The danger is real; disintegration of mental powers and the appearance of psychological abnormalities are not uncommon. With all his capabilities, Mr. Leadbeater was not exempt from this disintegrative influence. He was caught up in the swirl of astralism and while like other psychics he was convinced that he was its master, his books indicate the contrary.
To those students who have read widely in occult literature and who through their comparative study readily recognize the signs and tokens, Mr. Leadbeater is `just another psychic'. By his devoted followers he is regarded as one of the great messengers, a high servant of the Lodge, perhaps even a Master, `standing on the threshold of Divinity'. His style of writing is lucid and easy and it carries his readers gently and quietly along a smoothly flowing stream of ideas. There is no doubt that Mr. Leadbeater's very colorful accounts of his psychic experiences and the authority with which he speaks, have attracted many persons. For some, these books have provided the in-
centive to enter upon the serious study of Theosophy after their readers realized that the smoothly flowing stream was not going anywhere, and that the lucidity of style was not a comprehensive simplicity in the presentation of highly abstract and difficult concepts. Not even his dearest enemies would accuse Mr. Leadbeater of being an intellectual, but the glamor surrounding his writings, conceals for a time his intellectual and ethical limitations. Some students become zealous followers of the H.P.B. tradition after the Leadbeaterian approach fails them; they sometimes become the most bitter critics of Mr. Leadbeater. Others never recover from the disillusionment and lose interest in Theosophy for this incarnation at any rate. However, all over the world there are earnest, sincere, good people to whom the Leadbeaterian stream is the River of Life. Many of them are either undesirous or incapable of understanding the difference between the two approaches and there is nothing to be done about it. The teachings satisfy them and any change in attitude must come from within themselves. Their freedom to believe must not be curtailed, but neither must their freedom to disbelieve be thwarted.
Mr. Leadbeater never understood this atittude of complete freedom - this humble but all important seed safe-guarded within the Society. His books reveal his totalitarian mind, and implicitly and explicitly he demands obedience. Take for example this passage written by him about Mrs. Besant and published by her: "What can I say to you of your President that you do not know already? Her colossal intellect, her unfailing wisdom, her unrivalled eloquence, her splendid forgetfulness of self, her untiring devotion to work for others - all these are familiar to you. Yet these qualities, these powers, are but a small part of her greatness; they are on the surface, they may be seen by all, they leap to the eyes. But there are other qualities, other powers, of which you cannot know, because they pertain to the secrets of Initiation. She is a pupil of our Masters; from the fount of Their archaic wisdom she derives her own; the plans which she is carrying out are Their plans for the welfare of the world. Think, therefore, how great an honor it is for you that you should be permitted to work under her, for in doing so you are virtually working under Them. Think how watchful you should be to miss no hint which falls from her lips, to carry out exactly whatever instructions she may give you. Remember that because of her position as an Initiate she knows far more than you do; and precisely because her knowledge is occult, given under the seal of Initiation, she cannot share it with you. Therefore her actions must certainly be governed by considerations of which you have no conception. There will be times when you cannot understand her motives, for she is taking into account many things which you cannot see and of which she must not tell you. But whether you understand or not, you will be wise to follow her implicitly, just because she knows. This is no supposition on my part, no mere flight of the Imagination; I have stood beside your President in the presence of the Supreme Director of Evolution on this globe, and I know whereof I speak. Let the wise hear my words, and act accordingly."
It will be perceived that Mr. Leadbeater while guaranteeing the infallibility of Mrs. Besant, was also claiming infallibility for himself; he himself "stood beside your President in the presence of the Supreme Director of Evolution" - he many even have introduced Mrs. Besant to this administrative personage, who strangely enough
thereafter disappears from the Leadbeaterian hierarchy. Mr. Leadbeater, it will be seen, demands the suppression of thought, the quelling of all doubts, a blind submission to his and Mrs. Besant's orders. The forces of obscurantism and suppression of the spirit of freedom are rampant in that utterance.
It is unnecessary to point out how utterly this differs from the whole spirit of H.P.B.'s work, but in contrast, here is a short quotation from the sayings of the Buddha; "Believe not what you have heard said; believe not in traditions merely because they have been transmitted through many generations; believe not merely because a thing is repeated by many persons; believe not solely because someone has shown you the work of a very ancient sage; believe not conjectures; believe not in that to which you are attached merely by habit; believe not solely upon the authority of your Masters and elders; when upon observation and analysis a principle conforms to reason and leads to the benefit and welfare of all, accept it and hold to it. . . Take unto yourselves no outside refuge."
The current attitude in the Adyar Society is Leadbeaterian. It is claimed that "The world has moved on since the days of H.P.B., new teachings, new revelations are required for the new age." That is true in one sense only, the spiritual problems of humanity are the same in every age; the Message does not alter, only the method of presentation. The psychic revelations of Mr. Leadbeater or any other psychic do not invalidate the eternal truths of the Secret Doctrine.
The fact that there is a wide divergence of opinion between the common attitude of the Adyar members and that of the majority of the members in the Canadian Society is not evidence of a `split' either de jure or de facto. The Theosophical Society was not intended to be an organization in which all members would think alike; it was to be a common gathering place for students of all shades and varieties of opinion. It is true that within the Movement the members do formulate their own philosophies, their own approaches to the divine Theosophia. Those who belong to the inner group (not the E.S.), the real `esotericists' are united in their attitude, they are truly `disciples of one Teacher, the sons of one sweet Mother.' But other groups of members find that they have much in common, they `speak the same language', they require no detailed explanations of terms among themselves, they intuitively accept or reject certain ideas. That these groups should differ from each other is inevitable; some are Vedantists, some are esoteric Christians, some are astrologists, some are ritualists, some are interested only in the practical application of Theosophical ideas to current social problems, some are intellectualists, some are mentally and psychologically immature. But all have these things in common, an acceptance of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or color, and a recognition of the fact that even the wisest among us are but paddling in the shallows and that the Divine Wisdom in its essence is far beyond any one of us. No one of us can claim to be a Theosophist; our utmost claim is to be students seeking the Divine Theosophia.
In the Key to Theosophy, H.P.B. wrote, "The Society is a great body of men and women, composed of the most heterogeneous elements. Theosophy, in its abstract meaning, is Divine Wisdom, or the aggregate of the knowledge and wisdom that underlie the Universe - the homogeneity of the eternal good; and in its concrete sense it is the sum total of the same as allotted to man by nature, on this earth, and no more . . . How
then, can the system be judged by the standard of those who would assume the name without any right to it? . . . The Society can be regarded as the embodiment of Theosophy only in its abstract motives; it can never presume to call itself its concrete vehicle so long as human imperfections and weaknesses are all represented in its body . . . Theosophy is the shoreless ocean of universal truth, love and wisdom, reflecting its radiance on the earth, while the Theosophical Society is only a visible bubble on that reflection. Theosophy is divine nature, visible and invisible, and its Society human nature trying to ascend to its divine parent. Theosophy, finally, is the fixed eternal sun, and its Society, the evanescent comet trying to settle in an orbit to become a planet, ever revolving within the attraction of the sun of truth. It was formed to assist in showing to men that such a thing as Theosophy exists, and to help them to ascend towards it by studying and assimilating its eternal verities."
Instead of divergence of opinion being evidence of a `split', it is actually evidence of the solidarity of the Society. The Canadian Society does not withdraw because it differs from the current attitude at Adyar, nor does Headquarters ask for the resignation of the Canadian members. We differ, certainly - here in Canada we would be overjoyed if the Adyar Society would look objectively and comparatively at the Leadbeaterian teachings, and devote earnest study to the true fountains of Theosophy. Such a course would restore the Society to a position of influence and prestige within the Movement. Perhaps some members of the Adyar Society, on the other hand would be happy if the Canadian Society would change its, what they might term, old-fashioned adherence to the Secret Doctrine tradition, and the consequent criticism of ideas now current among Adyar members.
Reconciliation of the two viewpoints is impossible. The Secret Doctrine stands, an immovable lofty crag reaching to the heavens, and all lesser systems break against it. Students will continue to leave Leadbeaterianism and enter upon the rugged path to the Doctrine; once having assimilated the spirit of the Doctrine, they will never turn to any lesser system.
The fact that within the one Society such difference of viewpoint can exist, and that we can differ without undergoing the bitterness of splitting apart, is quite significant. It is practical evidence that within the Society there is still this `humble seed', the seed-idea of freedom of opinion, freedom of belief, freedom of expression. And if we remember that in spite of our differences of opinion, we are all members together in the Theosophical Movement, and that we are in this work not for ourselves alone, but for all others who will come to it now and in the future, the vital importance of the seed-idea will be realized. In the spirit of universal compassion which inspired the founders, we can all continue as members of one body, working with one another, bearing with one another.
The Movement is suffering from the great bitternesses which were engendered in past divisions; too much of that old bitterness remains. H.P.B. spoke pf the great need which the successors in leadership in the Society would have of unbiassed and clear judgment; one of the tests of future leadership in the Movement will be, what will be done about this bitterness, will it be cured or further exploited. The humble seed of complete freedom within the Society, coupled with the exercise of the first three virtues, Dana the key of charity and love immortal, Shila the key of harmony in word and act, Kshanti patience sweet that nought can ruffle,
will dissipate bitterness, and enable us to go on together. We can speak to each other frankly, openly and freely; we can criticize each other's ideas; we can stand as far apart as the poles on certain matters; we can, in the heat of disagreement, say and do things which we may afterwards regret. We can do all these things and more among ourselves so long as we do not deny our oath of Brotherhood by splitting away from each other.
Perhaps in the twenty-four years remaining in the last quarter of the Theosophical century the fact that wide divergences of opinion do exist and are permitted to continue within the Adyar Society, may raise the question in the other Societies as to whether any of the former `splits' were really necessary. What would have been the effect - if in spite of all provocation, all groups had remained in the one Society, each quietly and firmly maintaining its own independent approach, and contributing ideas to the whole body? Many words shave been written in justification of these divisions and lower manas has been exercised to the limit. But not withstanding all rationalizations, the fact remains that we did undertake to form a nucleus of Universal Brotherhood, and that we have now half-dozen Universal Brotherhoods who do not speak to each other. Can we do something about this in the short time remaining?
During the last quarter of every hundred years an attempt is made by those "Masters," of whom I have spoken, to help on the spiritual progress of Humanity in a marked and definite way . . . If the present attempt, in the form of our Society, succeeds better than its predecessors have done, then it will be in existence as an organized, living and healthy body when the time comes for the effort of the XXth century. The general condition of men's minds and hearts will have been improved and purified by the spread of its teachings, and, as I have said, their prejudices and dogmatic illusions will have been, to some extent at least, removed. Not only so, but besides a large and accessible literature ready to men's hands, the next impulse will find a numerous and united body of people ready to welcome the new torch-bearer of Truth. - H.P. Blavatsky in The Key to Theosophy.
The term "Universal Brotherhood" is no idle phrase. Humanity in the mass has a paramount claim upon us . . . The Chiefs want a "Brotherhood of Humanity," a real Universal Fraternity started; an institution which would make itself known throughout the world and arrest the attention of the highest minds. - The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, pp. 17, 24.
By Roy Mitchell
II - PROJECTION
All occult study is based on the fact that when one asks a question he creates in mind a vortex into which ideas swirl. They are his own fragmentary ideas of the past, the unripened fruit of long looking upon the world, and one by one as they pour into the lighted field of his attention he examines them for their capacity, partial or entire, to answer the question he has asked.
I would like my reader to stop now and test this by asking a question aloud and then watching the rush of answers to it. There will present themselves many curious phenomena I have not time to deal with here, for the most part phenomena of animal mind, but there is one that is of the utmost importance to us. Having asked his question and started the stream the student must not interrupt it by rejection of an idea. He must let ideas pass in review before him, regarding them dispassionately because all are germinal of truth, although he may not be able to use more than one or two at the moment. So while he is critical of all, he must be unfriendly to none, else the stream will stop. When an unfriendly reaction to an idea occurs it is because the human elemental is at work, and if the student obey the lower prompting to exclude that idea he will have broken the line of association which is our great intellectrial instrument - an instrument without which all intellection would fail.
This is the trick of compassion, and it is the reason why brotherhood is the first essential to wisdom. It is not because the unbrotherly will displease the god or go to hell or something of the sort. It is because he will cut off the life-giving currents of his being. The man who gives his animal self an antipathy has furnished the adversary with a weapon that will kill creative thought, and, although the unbrotherly man may continue to think he is thinking, he is not thinking at all, but giving up the portal of his mind to a most inefficient and privative guardian who passes the enemy and rejects the friend.
Since questioning then and the orderly review of a stream of ideas is the wisdom process in little, it will be so in large, and the Theosophical student will be at his best when he conforms to the law. He should project his inquiry in question form, not a single question, but a scheme or framework of questions that will at once elicit a flow, provide for its critical survey and guard against interruptions. And because mechanical processes and mastery of medium are of considerable importance at the outset, I would recommend the following method. Get a few quires of old-fashioned folded foolscap, faint close ruled for choice, and good enough to induce a gentle pride. It is not our business to kick the animal nature to death. It is our business to enlist him, set him happily to work, and thus discipline him to a higher use than the satisfaction of his own directionless desires and resentments.
The foolscap will serve better than either a bound notebook or a loose-leaf book. The former is too fixed, the latter not fixed enough. There should be the fewest possible variations from the first plan and the ring book tempts too many. It is a modern delusion of the fickle-minded.
The student should then divide his foolscap into twelve page sheaves and open up his projection. Let us suppose he is going to study the religion of ancient Ireland. The first sheaf he will (Continued on Page 108)
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
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OFFICERS OF THE T.S. IN CANADA
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George I. Kinman, 46 Rawlinson Avenue, Toronto, Ont.
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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.
Shri Rohit Mehta, General Secretary of the Indian Section of the Theosophical Society, accompanied by his wife, made a nine weeks' tour in East Africa, Tanganyika, Uganda, Belgian Congo, Kenya and Zanzibar. Huge audiences heard them at 137 meetings held in 24 communities and 80 new members were admitted to the Society.
That the Theosophical Society in East Africa can play an important role in bringing together the three main ethnic groups there, Europeans, Africans and Asiatics - is apparent. A plan for publishing theosophical literature in Hindi, useful both in India and in East Africa, is being put forward by Shri Mehta who reports that in his opinion the East African Section will need the active help of the Indian Section for some years.
In The Secret Doctrine, Vol. II, (p. 425 in facsimile of the original edition of 1888), Madame Blavatsky says that "nowhere does a more extraordinary variability of types exist, from black to almost white, from gigantic men to dwarfish races; and this only because of their forced isolation. The Africans have never left their continent for several thousands of years. If tomorrow the continent of Europe were to disappear and other lands to re-emerge instead; and if the African tribes were to separate and scatter on the face of the earth, it is they who, in about a hundred thousand years hence, would form the bulk of the civilized nations. And it is the descendants of those of our highly cultured nations, who might have survived on some one island, without any means of crossing the new seas, that would fall back into a state of relative savagery. Thus the reason given for dividing humanity into superior and inferior races falls to the ground and becomes a fallacy."
Two pamphlets of interest to students, published recently, are Cosmic Creation and Atomic Energy, and, Man - Creator of Forms, both by V. Wallace Slater, B.Sc., F.R.I.C., M.I. Chem. E.,
available from the Theosophical Publishing House, 68 Great Russell St., London, W.C.1, England, prices 1s.6d., and 2s. respectively postage 2d. extra.
The first booklet consists of lectures presenting in popular manner the latest theories of atomic structure, atomic energy and the creation of matter in their relation to certain theosophical concepts.
The second pamphlet deals with the work of the Fourth Creative Hierarchy in the physical world which has responsibility for preparing dense physical matter. "Bodies perish, forms dissolve, man the creator returns to his spiritual home, but the spirit of the forms continues - that is the deep mystery of pralaya. Thus can we recognize the value of work on the dense physical, a privilege of our humanity, and its responsibility."
Max Freedom Long's book, The Secret Science Behind Miracles (Kosmon Press, Los Angeles) written in 1947, is fundamentally a study of the philosophy of the (now extinct) kahunas of Hawaii, and the application of their methods to present-day needs of Man in his struggle for health and security.
Mr. Long's investigation is intelligent and sincere, and if some of his hypotheses seem to verge on the fantastic, that is only to say they are like any other hypothesis before it becomes an established axiom. Many of his conclusions are theosophically tenable and all are interesting.
The kahunas were agnostic, limiting themselves to acquiring knowledge of the realms immediately above and below the human kingdom. Man has, according to the kahunas, in addition to his physical body, what is analogous to a subconscious mind operating through a subtle body (which is capable of reaching out to things and persons at any distance); a conscious mind with its even more tenuous body; and a super-conscious mind with the most rarified body of the three "shadowy" sheaths. The lowest mind or spirit, contains memory and uses a vital force called "mana;" the conscious mind or spirit, can reason but not remember, and its vital force which is correspondingly stronger, is called "Manamana;" the superconscious mind, which has divine powers of realization, uses a very potent vital power known as "mana loa." These three bodies are interconnected and penetrate the physical body. The superconscious is the highest level that Man is capable of contacting or comprehending, and this the kahunas called "Aumakua" (note the "aum").
The word "mana" was interesting to me. This vital force, says the author, "is electrical in its nature and shows strong magnetic qualities. The invisible substance through which the vital force acts is called `aka' or `shadowy body stuff'."
The bodily electricity or low "mana," says Mr. Long, "has the amazing characteristic which is THAT IT RESPONDS TO THE COMMANDS AND DIRECTIONS OF THE INDIVIDUAL." Mild suggestion is sufficient, but a physical stimulus will facilitate results. (The kahunas use ti leaves in many of their magical performances.) Before we can effectively use our powers, we must recognize that we possess them. Then we may make our demands; they (our powers) will not act without our will.
"Obsession" is discussed at length, but I believe there is little or no danger of obsession unless we ourselves invite, by our attitude, thoughts, or conscious invitation, such obsessing entities. The low vital force, or mana, may be analogous to the theosophical conception of "kundalini" since the prodigies accomp-
lished seem similar.
To me, Mr. Long's book is a psychological treatise and has nothing to do with religion. Its merit lies in its investigation of the "little known powers in Man," and as such is a profitable study. Anything that adds to our knowledge of the working of the minds of human beings in other environments than our own, is worth our time and attention. The longings inherent in mankind are often surprisingly alike, even in the most diverse of cultures and civilizations.
I sometimes had the feeling, when reading certain passages in the book, that Mr. Long strayed from the plausible, but certainly, there is much in the book worth remembering and pondering.
- Olive Oltcher.
187 Belonda St., Pittsburgh, 11, Pa.
AMONG THE LODGES
On Saturday, July 7th, 1951, the Annual Picnic of the Hamilton Lodge vas held in Harvey Park. The total attendance of 52 (ten children) included friends from St. Catharines, Kitchener and Toronto. Mr. Watt of Kitchener entertained the children with games, races and prizes. Miss Wilkinson and Mrs. Lakin provided guessing games for adults and arranged a sing-song with the aid of Mrs. Mather's mandolin.
Another enjoyable event was a garden party held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. C. Williams, on August 11th, when there were 29 adults and 4 children in attendance. Miss Lillie from Toronto and Mrs. Bunting of Hamilton Lodge, read teacups. Mr. Watt entertained with sleight-of-hand tricks and also by auctioning off the remaining items from the well-patronized home-baking table. Water divining was also tried by several people. This party was very successful financially as well as socially.
Hamilton Lodge will resume its regular activities in September in a new Hall as it has to move from its former place. - Mabel Carr, Secretary, Hamilton Lodge.
Edmonton Lodge has been studying the Aphorisms of Patanjali in recent months. Interest in this subject was aroused through one of Roy Mitchell's articles which appeared in the magazine last year. The study work is proceeding slowly but steadily and the Lodge is now about half way through Book 2.
I read with interest the article by Mr. C. Williams which appeared in the May and June magazines. It was encouraging to read it as it was original in approach; conformity, not originality, seems to be the order of the day in the present T.S.
I do not agree entirely with some of Mr. Williams' conclusions, but the article was thought provoking. In it Williams referred twice to certain fundamental `Laws of Thought' which he applied to the problem he was considering. I and I am sure other readers would appreciate receiving more light on these `Laws'. Could Mr. Williams be persuaded to enlarge upon them?
- David Woods.
"REASON FOR EXISTENCE"
To the Editor of the Canadian Theosophist.
In the May, 1851 issue of your magazine on page 38 there is a short article entitled, "Reason For Existence", the last sentence of which is: "Now neither in any one single thing, nor in the whole aggregate and series of things, can there be found the sufficient reason of existence."
I cannot wholly agree with this. In the Rig Veda it is said: "THAT, whence all this great creation comes, whether its will created or was mute, the Most High Son that is the highest heaven, He knows it - or perhaps even He knows not."
Why the word "Perhaps" in this quotation unless it is to suggest that knowing, as we understand and use that word, is not to be assumed of Absolute Unity, THAT? May it not be that this whole Universe, the ever-moving Life manifesting through ever-changing forms, is the process of Life knowing Itself? How else could any conscious Being know Itself except in an illusory world of time and space where the Universal and Simultaneous can become separate and successive?
- George H. Hall.
THE SCHOOL OF THE WISDOM
Mr. Sidney A. Cook, Vice-President of the Society, forwarded to the General Secretary a report on the activities of The School of the Wisdom at Adyar, with a request that the report or the substance of it, be brought to the attention of the members. The second year of the School closed on April 6th of this year. The report, slightly abbreviated, is as follows
"'The School exists to serve the Theosophical Society and this it does as it adds to the knowledge and understanding of its students, that they in turn may more adequately express the wisdom both in their lives and in their working capacity as Lodge members and officers in their respective countries.
"Another element of utmost importance in the School is its uniquely international character. Always there are students from many countries, but in this year of the great Convention there were short-term representatives from a dozen or more countries participating in the School discussions, while half a dozen attended through the major portion of the sessions. The influx of temporary visitors is obviously not conducive to an integrative unity in the student body, that intimate sense of search and discovery through the meeting of minds and hearts which accrues from group effort, but the School proved its quality as an institution and instrument of the Society.
"The pre-Convention sessions were devoted strictly to deepening the knowledge of Theosophy: Cosmogenesis and the Field of Manifestation, Anthropogenesis - Man the Individual, leading into studies of creation, the planes of nature, involution and evolution, man and his life in the three worlds, the cycles, yoga, and the occult path. The President gave a weekly lecture on Plato's philosophy. All of these sessions were under the direction of Mr. C. Richard Groves as Director of Studies and Mr. N. Sri Ram as Chairman of Discussions.
"The subjects prescribed for study after the School reopened in January were Education, Health and Healing, Art, the Religions, Psychology, Government and Social Organization, Economics, and Philosophy. This at first sight seems to be an extremely ambitious program and it is admittedly a formidable one. But student work is an essential in the School and the purpose of the syllabus is not to give a complete detailed course in any sub-
ject but to gain understanding of its principles, as a sound background knowledge to which each subject makes its contribution and over the whole of which Theosophy sheds its light. Students, sought and found light on subjects unfamiliar, in which they were previously neither informed nor experienced. Talent and experience were often found within the student body to prepare opening papers that led into the searching discussion periods. Great interest was found in examining the different approaches of East and West, the correlation of ideas and the discovery that opposing views are often validly contributory to a common understanding, to agreement in difference of emphasis despite unchanging preference for a particular point of view.
"The President being in Australia, Mr. Sri Ram on a lecture tour in the United States and Mr. Groves having returned to England, Mr. and Mrs. Cook supervised and led the work of the School in the post-Convention period and gave the closing addresses.
"Over 40 students attended the School for varying periods and certificates of attendance were given to 19 who were registered throughout the greater part of the two terms.
"The School of the Wisdom has definitely taken its place as a permanent feature in the life of Adyar. In these beginning years valuable experience is being gained that will have its future effect in planning studies and arranging the syllabus. But the School has proven itself and the discussion method.
"The new year of the School will open on October 1, 1951. Registrations are already in from the United States of America, Australia and England with inquiries from other countries.
"It is probable that Senor Jose B. Acuna will come to Adyar from Costa Rica, Central America, to take a leading part in the work of the next School year, 1951-52. Senor Acuna is a long-standing Theosophist, a former General Secretary, a keen student, scholar and speaker in fluent English, who will bring additional prestige to the School.
"Mr. Norman Pearson is on his way from the United States via England, also to take an active part in the School. A former Vice-President of the Society in America, he is an experienced leader of Theosophical classes with a flair for instruction in public work.
"Those who wish to attend should not delay their applications and travel plans; for the details often consume much time."
THEOSOPHIC STUDY (Continued from Page 103)
mark in the upper right-hand corner of the page will be for Preliminary Notes and Journal, in which he will write down the aim of the research and record stages of progress as they develop. This is an important section for reasons I shall discuss in a later article.
Now because it is desirable that he have a clear idea of the original sources of his study material and of the early documents, antiquities and traditions, the student should mark a sheaf for "Sources of Material." Following this comes a section devoted to "Bibliography." This is for available books and articles, and as he progresses he should list every one he can find referred to in what he reads, leaving a line or two of space against the time when he is in a position to make a critical note on it. Next he should devote a section to "Maps and Charts," because in every religion the topography of the country forms an important part of the symbolism.
These will, as the saying is "circum-
scribe the topic" and provide for a general survey from the outside. His attack on the religion itself and its meaning Will best be made through the divinities. Two sections will be needed here and three pages should be allotted to a prefatory note and three to each of the seven days of the week, the planets, the principles, the shaktis, the chakras, and the cosmic powers. He may know nothing about them at first and he is unlikely to know more unless he orders his inquiry. There is no need yet to enter a word beyond the name. He is not engaged in deciding that Bodb-derg is such-and-such. He is only asking, "Who and what is Bodb-derg?"
There will be a section for the "Heroes," the divine men - perhaps several sections before they are all allotted their spaces in the framework. The section should be marked, "Heroes," and three or four pages labelled for each. Then a section or perhaps more for the "Hallows;" the sacred things - mounts, rivers, trees, crosses, swords, spears, rainbows, cups, clouds, fires, lamps, rings, animals, flowers, bridges, towers, musical instruments - that belong to the symbolism of the body. A section also in Irish lore - for the fairy peoples, Formorians, Tuatha de Danaara, Firbolgs, and so on. Then a section for reference to "Initiation" and two sections for the doctrines of the Lesser Mysteries, Brotherhood, the Immortality of the Soul, Reincarnation, Karma, and the Masters and Cycles. A section also for the "Nature of Man." This last division will be most easily approached through the numerical keys, and two pages each should be given to the threes, fours, fives, sevens, nines and twelves.
There is nothing so far but a framework, an equisse, a set of books opened for an inquiry, a series of questions to be answered. I hope no reader will get the impression that this is over-precise or silly. The same man who will go sedulously to school to learn to keep the accounts of a business may suppose that a high emprise of research obeys different laws; that wisdom will grow freely. The only things I know that will grow freely are weeds.
Now the student is equipped to study and record his study. He has a chambered form which will evoke ideas, give them a place into which they may flow, and an orderly index by which they may be found again. He may now start to read, and he may read anything he can find. It is not necessary that he shall read Theosophical books on the subject. Indeed, if he has assumed the work in the right spirit, it will have been because there are no Theosophical books on the subject. He will not need now to care about the authority of inference in his books so long as they give him facts. A rather stupid book will do him more good than a good one, because it will stir him to a realization of the need of a Theosophical interpretation in his chosen field. Our Irish student might well begin, for instance, on MacCullough, just by way of finding out how wrong a human mind can be without its owner being put under restraint.
It is not at all necessary for a start that the student possess a library on his subject. He will find enough easily available material right at hand. A Theosophist with an Encyclopedia Bri-tannica and the Secret Doctrine can do more than another man with lined bookshelves. The older and smaller encyclopedias are useful, so is the little Dictionary of Non-Classical Mythology in Everyman's Library. Most valuable of all will be a search through the indices of the Doctrine and Isis. Once he has a few names everything will be grist to his mill.
Each item he finds, if he can use it or see any prospect of its use, should go into its place in the framework, and he
will find that if he will keep his questioning mood and resist premature judgments, which are the interrupting and destroying factor, there will come a change in his mental habits. He will put a new value on everything he reads, his attention, now pointed definitely, will be keenly alert for the material necessary to his scheme. I think he will find that he never really studied before until he created the questioning vortices that an enquiry demands.
I have used a religion as a type and I think a religion is best for a start, because every one of the great religions is a complete system of Theosophy of its time, and a mirror of our Theosophy. Even if a student desire to study a single phase of Theosophy, he will do best to make a preliminary examination of that religious or philosophical system in which his phase predominates. From it he can then extend into his chosen field.
It is not that, as the literal minded may suppose from the foregoing, we should create specialists in the various religions, although that would be a fine thing in itself, that we should have more specialists to replace our present amiable smatterers. The real aim is to give point to the study of Theosophy. With the successive phases of the method I shall deal as I go along in this series, but no one can know how magical is the method unless he has tried it for himself or until he does try. These words cannot convince him. The most I hope for them is that they will start him.
(Next - Extension.)
"God has laid upon man the duty of being free, of safeguarding freedom of spirit, no matter how difficult that may be, or how much sacrifice and suffering it may require." - Nicholas Berdyeav.
"A THEOSOPHICAL CHURCH"
An article bearing the above title and written by Sydney Ransom, a priest in the Liberal Catholic Church, appeared in The Theosophist of June, 1951. We read the first few lines - and counted slowly up to ten; we read further - and counted up to one hundred. We thought of `patience sweet which nought can ruffle' and realizing that patience is the complete absence of all impatience, we regretted mildly that we had not attained to that high state.
A short time ago a declaration wag made by the General Council relative to the disassociation of the Theosophical Society from all the extraneous movements which had grown up within its ranks. The Liberal Catholic Church was one of the movements, and was mentioned especially by the President in an article on the Disassociation Policy which appeared in The Canadian Theosophist for May, 1950. This declaration was approved by the majority of the representatives on the General Council and here in Canada it was welcomed as a long-delayed and very important step. The Society was to be freed from all official relationship to the liberal Catholic Church, Co-Masonry, The Order of Service, and other groups. Now we have the strange anomaly of a representative of that Church writing in the journal which is looked upon generally as the official organ of the Society, extolling the Church as a "Theosophical Church" defending the establishment of `creeds and statements of belief, essential as they are', quoting from statements made by various bishops in the church, and ending, "Are we a Theosophical Church? Are we, indeed, intended to be such? It is because I feel there are some who would reply `No' that I have written this article."
In fostering the Disassociation Policy, Mr. Jinarajadasa displayed courageous
leadership; future historians of the Movement may even evalue his action as evidence of wise and far-seeing statesmanship in a crucial cycle. It redirects the energies of the Society back to the primal Objects and removes one obstacle to closer cooperation among all Theoophical Societies.
We can understand and sympathize with Mr. Jinarajadasa in the dilemma in which he is placed. The Liberal Catholic Church has a strong hold on the Society - not officially, of course, but through the influence of members of the Church who are in high positions in the Society. The policy of such control was established years ago by Mr. Leadbeater who let it be known that 'our own people' only should be elected to administrative positions on the sectional and lodge executives. Mr. Jinarajadasa is doubtless being subjected to pressure; he is the president of a Society which has officially disassociated the Liberal Catholic Church from itself, but priests and bishops of the Church are among the prominent members of the Society. However, having taken a stand, Mr. Jinarajadasa should maintain it, and not permit L.C.C. propaganda to appear in the magazine controlled by him.
Mr. Ransom quotes from the Presiding Bishop of the Church: "Our message may be described as Catholic Sacramentalism upon a basis of Theosophical mysticism, or as some would prefer to put it, occultism. It is necessary that we should be very well acquainted with the Theosophical basis and be able to express it in Christian terms, wherever Christian terms are available". If the Presiding Bishop had himself any deep understanding of the real basis of the Theosophical Movement, he would never have been in the Church. However, the priests of the Church are not required to study basic Theosophical books as The Mahatma Letters, The Secret Doctrine, Isis Unveiled, and other writings of the great founder and messenger, H.P.B.; they must carefully study The Science of the Sacraments (Leadbeater), The Christian Creed (Leadbeater), and Esoteric Christianity (Besant). "Until we are granted further revelation, these books are fundamental."
We are not intolerant towards members of the L.C.C., some of whom we are honored to have as friends; if we are intolerant towards the formation of that Church within the Society, then we plead the highest authority. The Master K.H. wrote, "I will point out the greatest, the chief cause of nearly two thirds of the evils that pursue humanity ever since that cause became a power. It is religion under whatever form and in whatever nation. It is the sacerdotal caste, the priesthood and the churches."
What a relief it is to turn from the pathetic mediocrity of `Catholic Sacramentalism', `creeds and statements of belief', `liturgies', `praying and imploring', to one of the greatest statements of the Secret Doctrine; "The ever unknowable and incognizable Karana alone, the Causeless Cause of all causes, should have its shrine and altar on the holy and ever untrodden ground of our heart - invisible, intangible, unmentionedy save through `the still small voice' of our spiritual consciousness. Those who worship before it, ought to do so in silence and the sanctified solitude of their souls, making their spirit the sole mediator between them and the Universal Spirit, their good actions the only priest, and their sinful intentions the only visible and objective sacrificial victims to the Presence."
There is no affiliation between the aims of the Theosophical Society and those of the Liberal Catholic Church. Let the Church go its own way; let us maintain disassociation.
- D. W. B.
ORIGINAL AND UP-TO-DATE THEOSOPHY
We lend freely by mail all the comprehensive literature of the Movement. Catalogue on request. Also to lend, or for sale at l0c each post free, our ten H.P.B. Pamphlets, including
early articles from LUCIFER and Letters from the Initiates.
THE H. P. B. LIBRARY, 750 GRAND BOULEVARD NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.
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
- CALGARY LODGE: President, E.H. Lloyd Knechtel; Secretary, Mrs. Lilian Glover, 418, 10th Ave. N.W., Calgary, Alta. Meetings at 231 Examiner Bldg.
- EDMONTON LODGE: President, Mr. E. Wood, Secretary, Mrs. N. Dalzell, Suite 1, Maclean Block, Edmonton, Alta.
- HAMILTON LODGE: President, Mrs. E.M. Mathers; Secretary, Miss Mablel Carr, 108 Balsam Avenue South, Hamilton, Ont.
- KITCHENER LODGE: President, John Oberlerchener; Secretary, Alexander Watt. P.O. Box 74
- MONTREAL LODGE: President, Mrs. A. Ovenden; Secretary, Miss M.R. Desrochers, 6843 Fabre St., Montreal 35, P.Q. Lodge Rooms, 1501 St. Catherine Street West, Montreal, Que.
- OTTAWA LODGE: Enquiries respecting Theosophical activities in Ottawa should be addressed to: Mrs. D. H. Chambers, 531 Bay Street, Ottawa, Ont.
- ST. THOMAS LODGE: President Benj. T. Garside, Secretary, Mrs. Hazel B, Garside, General Delivery, St. Thomas, Ont.
- TORONTO LODGE: President, Mr. G.I. Kinman, 46 Rawlinson Ave., Toronto 12 (phone Mohawk 5346). Recording Secretary, Miss Laura Gaunt. Lodge Rooms 52 Isabella Street, Toronto, Ont.
- TORONTO WEST END LODGE: President, Mrs. A. Carmichael; Secretary, Mrs. E.L. Goss, 20 Strathearn Boulevard, Toronto, 12, Ont.
- VANCOUVER LODGE: President, Mrs. Buchanan; Secretary, M.D. Buchanan, 4621 W. 6th Ave., The Lodge rooms are at 151 1/2 Hastings St. West
- VULCAN LODGE: President, Guy Denbigh, Vulcan, Alta.
- ORPHEUS LODGE, VANCOUVER: President, R.H. Hedley; Lodge room, Room 12, 163 Hastings Street, Vancouver.
- WINNIPEG LODGE: Secretary, P.H. Stokes, Suite 7, 149 Langside Street, Winnipeg, Man.