Vol. XXXIII, No. 12 Toronto, February 15th, 1953 Price 20 Cents
The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document
THE LIBERATORS OF MAN
Those who are accustomed to thinking and speaking in the terms of the Theosophical approach, and whose conversations concerning religious and philosophical matters are with persons who are like-minded, find it a bit of a shock to meet minds which resent the suggestion that the message of any other Teacher but Jesus has any validity. Persons who believe thus - and there are many of them - are suffering from fear and a sense of uncertainty and insecurity, deeply hidden perhaps but nevertheless a compelling motive in the religious life of those individuals. They have `accepted Jesus' to placate that fear, but it still crouches like a hungry wolf at the threshold of their minds, and its threat is ever present. With such persons one cannot discuss religion; their `belief' is an armor against the dreadful unknown and they hold to it tenaciously. Until they are prepared to face life with trust and faith, any direct attempt to widen their beliefs is futile. Their attitude is in direct contrast with those others of the Christian faith, who, having accepted the Christian ideology, endeavor to express in their daily lives, the tolerance, wisdom and serenity of the Master of Galilee. His simple requirements were, `to love the Lord thy God . . . and thy brother as thyself.'
In all sincerity it can be said that the attitude of the average Theosophist towards Jesus and his teachings is more reverential that that of the persons first mentioned above. It is a true respect based upon an understanding and appreciation of at least some of the elements involved. To attain to the stature of the `just ones made perfect' is to achieve success in a long arduous task. Life after life must be dedicated to the Path; disciplines must be undertaken; reserves of power must be built up; the personal must be transmuted into the divine; failure, ridicule, persecution, bigotry must be faced with fortitude, compassion and understanding; the desire for fame, possessions and earthly power must be laid aside, including the subtle inner forms of such desires, so very self-deceptive as they are; the latent capacities of the soul must be mastered and brought to full fruition. The individual who is successful in this task is worthy of our fullest honor and respect - The Voice of the Silence says "All nature thrills in joyous awe and feels subdued." Such men are the Liberators or "Saviours" of mankind.
They `save' by the example of their achievements. Not only do they point out the Way; they become the Way, the Truth and the Light. In whatever nation, age or place they appear, they are the great exemplars for mankind. They are men, but men who have completed their course, who have achieved the goal and are united with their own divinity
which is at one with the Divine life of the Universe. The compassion, wisdom and power of the Divine is made manifest in them. This is the supreme goal of mortal man and is possible of achievement because as the Book of the Dead teaches, man can become "one with the gods through an interflow of a common life in the common blood of the two."
In The Esoteric Character of the Gospels, H.P. Blavatsky wrote ". . .`the coming of the Christ' means the presence of Christos in a regenerated world, and not at all the actual coming in body of `Christ' Jesus; (b) This Christ is to be sought neither in the wilderness nor `in the inner chamber' nor in the sanctuary of any temple or church built by man; for Christ - the true esoteric Saviour - is no man, but the Divine Principle in every human being. He who strives to resurrect the Spirit crucified in him by his own terrestrial passions, and buried deep in the `sepulchre' of his sinful flesh; he who has the strength to roll back the stone of matter from the door of his own inner sanctuary, he has the risen Christ in him. The `Son of Man' is no child of the bond-woman - flesh, but verily of the free-woman - Spirit, the child of man's own deeds and the fruit of his own spiritual labor."
This is the essence of the Christian faith, that the light that lighteneth every man that cometh into the world, will shine with a clear and undistorted flame through the individuality of every man who aspires to follow the path and who lives the life. To have this belief is to have 'faith," faith in the innate powers of the divine spark hidden within the human body of flesh. This faith is simple, direct and comprehensive. It is basic in all religions. It leads out beyond the narrow bounds of creeds and dogmas, beyond sects and divisions and schisms. It unites all true disciples of all ages. Men and women of Asia, Africa, Europe, America, who hold this faith, are united in one brotherhood and commune in one language, the universal language of the soul.
Out of this faith the Saviours are born. The messages which They bring to mankind are spoken in the words and terms of the age and circumstances in which They appear. The symbols and examples differ from age to age, but the message remains the same; that Man is Divine and he himself must manifest his own divinity; he who does this becomes a saviour of the race.
The Theosophical message of all ages brings one vital assurance to mankind, namely, that there is a way which if followed, will eventually and inevitably lead man to a realization of his divinity. But as The Voice of the Silence points out, "The path is one for all, the means to reach the goal must vary with the pil-grims." Or as we find in Light on the Path, "Seek it not by any one road. To each temperament there is one road which seems the most desirable. But the way is not found by devotion alone, by religious contemplation alone, by ardent progress, by self-sacrificing labor, by studious observation of life. None alone can take the disciple more than one step forward. All steps are necessary to make up the ladder."
And there are these noble, inspiring words from H.P. Blavatsky, "There is a road, steep and thorny, beset with perils of every kind - but yet a road; and it leads to the Heart of the Universe. I can tell you how to find Those who will show you the secret gateway that leads inward only, and closes fast behind the neophyte for evermore. There is no danger that dauntless courage cannot conquer. There is no trial that spotless purity cannot pass through. There is no difficulty that strong intellect cannot surmount. For those who win onwards, there is reward past all telling; the power to bless and save humanity. For those who fail, there are other lives in which success may come."
ASHMOLEAN HERMETISM AND MODERN SCIENCE
By Grahame W. Barratt
Blavatsky Lodge, London, Eng.
The Historical Ashmole
The county of Hertfordshire in southern England is full of historic memories, and also fortunate in its associations with Elias Ashmole, the renowned Theosophist and Alchemist, 1617-1692.
A secondary modern school, in honor of the great man of alchemy has been named "Ashmole School" and this is in the East Barnet district, near to where Asbmole lived in 1635.
[[ Drawing here: Crest of the Ashmole School ]]
This tribute to his memory also includes the adoption of an artistic adaptation of heraldic crest blended with the Caduceus. Ashmole has a recurrent habit of becoming topical, therefore, armed with ample details of the historic Ashmole kindly furnished by the Headmaster, J.A. Strugnell, Esq., B.Sc., the writer is enabled to add local certitude to this short biographical introduction.
This precedes the more serious task of contrasting some theories of modern science, with those of Ashmole, and others, whose teachings are representative of the ancient Egyptian Hermetic tradition. Local history records that "one William Greene converted two tenements into one capital messuage, which was occupied in 1635 by Elias Ashmole who duly recorded the fact in his diary." Born in Lichfield in 1617, the son of a saddler of good family, he was educated at Lichfield Grammar School. Later in life he met his friend Sir George Wharton, who not only procured him a position in the ordnance garrison of Oxford, but also quickened in him his love of alchemy and astrology. He appreciated astrology as a purely metaphysical science, and not based on mathematics as is the commercial quackery of the present day. It was these sciences, and not his more reputed tendencies to antiquarianism which opened the more significant features of his intellectual character.
Entering Brazenose College, he applied himself to natural philosophy, anatomy, botany, and astrology, which later drew to him some of the most distinguished men in England. He met Moore, Lilly, and Booker, the famous astrologers, and was one of the earliest of English Freemasons. Unfortunately - at least for the modern votaries of the craft - he failed in his attempt to establish Indian and Egyptian aspects of Masonry which had molded his own esotericism.
His recondite knowledge was as vast as it was unaccountable, coupled with a personality of striking power, and versatility, he rose to responsible positions during his long life.
Like the much abused Cagliostro, Ashmole tried to engraft western Masonry with Eastern Philosophy, but failed for the reason that it was far ahead of the times. H.P. Blavatsky wrote "without such a union western Masonry is a corpse without a soul" and one may observe its leaning to ad captandum vulgus.
Biographers mention his singular merit as the greatest virtuoso and
curioso ever known or read of before his time. Initiated in 1646 he was prominent in the first formal Masonic meetings held in this country. Four years later he published his Theatrum Chemicum which was really a series of metrical treatises on alchemy. Selden's opinion of him conferred the pleasant compliment of being "affected to the furtherance of all good learning".
Hermetiism and Modern Science
One could indefinitely elaborate the gifts of this extraordinary "Fire" philosopher for whom this "Fire" is the substratum of all the physical plane elements. The Hindus call this Akasha. It is difficult for the non-Theosophical to grasp that air, and water are only modifications of "fire", but this is not our earthly fire.
Earthly fire is the lowest rung of the ladder of the real noumenal "Fire" - its lowest sevenfold correlation so to speak. The Caduceus of Ashmole presents us with the potent symbolism of this Cosmic element, which produces the four levels we term Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. On every plane of nature the Caduceus has a different meaning, therefore at the physical level it is meant to symbolize the restoration of equilibrium between LIFE as a unit, and life working as currents in the bodily functions.
Alchemy, like Occult philosophy teaches that we die, not because we have no life remaining in us, but because we have too much! It is this pressing torrent of life which wears out the body and ultimately kills it altogether. The Caduceus, in this instance, symbolizes the harmony necessary to keep the organisms in that measure of natural balance we term health. Sleep does not fill us with vitality per se, but relaxes the body to enable it to handle the inflowing life. This is a magnetic harmony between the nerves and the vital aura. The spine is a magnetic Caduceus.
The twined serpents portray the centrifugal and centripetal forces in nature and man, winding their cyclic path like a sine wave over and under the central zero point - the rod in the centre. The original symbol of Thot-Hermes in Egypt had an additional snake's head, situated where the knob faces the other two serpents in the Ashmolean or Greek version. The Caduceus also symbolizes the Manvantaras, the "Days and Nights of Brahma", the cyclic periods of the Upanishads and the Vedanta. Examination will show that the serpents are a flat view of a lemniscate.
The chemical elements were first placed on such a lemniscate by the late Sir William Crookes, forming a natural order, where lithium, berylium, boron, carbon, led finally on to sulphur and chlorine. On the opposite or return serpentine track, we do not return to the original lithium, but its lineal descendant potassium. Therefore each coil of this lemniscate crosses this same vertical line at lower and lower points. There is a systole and diastole action in this pendulum of forces represented in the Caducean rod, and so, constituting one remove from it are the monatomic elements, east and west of the rod. The diatomic are two removes from it, and so on, and the same law holds good in each successive coil. Here is our modern science vindicating Ashmole and the alchemists in some small degree, so we may leave them in scientific hands to be fully vindicated perhaps in the present century.
Before passing to consider modern science, it may be mentioned that the critical states in our modern chemistry are symbolized in the Caduceus by the crossing points of the serpents. It is a chemical fact that oxygen and hydrogen can be explosively changed into water. Against all the laws of logic, a substance
can be itself and something else at the same time! Since the process can be reversed, and the gasses recombined, these must have been present all the time. How does science explain this? We have here a transmutation of material elements into each other. Surely it is not so silly, when we realize that nowadays electrical means have shown that even the alkalis have a metallic base.
Transmutation with Ashmole was merely a blind, as it was with all the Hermetists, and had secret reference to a psychological alchemy; to certain "principles" in man which make him a paradigm. Many striking discoveries were the work of the alchemists, including nitrogen, which was discovered by the much maligned Paracelsus. He called it Azote; in fact modern chemistry owes its best fundamental discoveries to alchemy. With science, evolution is a progressive continuity, but in alchemy, occultism, and Hermetism it is a cyclic affair which is necessarily dual. There is a downward `involution', and an upward `evolution'. One is centrifugal, and the other centripetal. If one is to unwrap anything - evolve it - that thing must be first wrapped up or involved. This is why science is constantly toying with shifting hypotheses regarding man and evolution, because she has only half the picture to work with.
What does science really know of enzymes, osmosis, or catalysis? It fails to give us the slightest hint why sunlight, combining with carbon dioxide and water, produces chlorophyll in the green leaf! This is the greatest single question in our world, and science falls down on the job! For chlorophyll is the productive source of all human and animal nourishment! Other anomalies arise by clinging to the Darwin-Huxley chimera of an anthropoid ancestor.
The missing link is as elusive as ever, and Natural Selection is capable of some of the weirdest calisthenics among the Huxley intellectuals. The more they are probed with questions, the larger the scientific panic-area becomes. The recent find of a living coelacanth has caused a confident flutter in the scien-tific world. In its present drive to vindicate the half-truth `Natural Selection', this would seem to be one of the several missing links required. But is this really so? Certainly it is some kind of evidence of a continuity, but why the sudden evolutionary switch-off?
The Hermetist would agree that there is a selective process in nature but he would not ascribe it, or even the survival of the fittest, to blind unintelligent forces. This coelacanth has been marking time for thirty million years! Since the first fossilescence it might be three hundred million years, but why are there no intermediate missing links of this "breathtaking" nature. The Foraminifera are another instance of this kind. They are found even in Eocene strata, yet present day living specimens are inferior to fossils!
Again, what could be the evolutionary destiny of a stomach worm? Did it appear in complete readiness for action by "spontaneous" generation (a theory once rejected by science), or did the worm "evolve" at lightning speed for a pre-evolved stomach? Dr. Julian Huxley answered some of these questions in a B.B.C. Broadcast giving his ideas on evolution. We are soberly assured that these creatures find a place in evolution as LIVING FOSSILS.
The most ancient skeletons of man differ very little, and the older ones sometimes show a larger cerebral brain capacity. Most of the animal forms have changed enormously, some almost beyond recognition, but MAN remains recognizably the same.
Science would have us descend from this shifting panorama of animal instability. Is man a `living fossil'(?)' -
he has not changed yet! If science feels secure in accepting fossil evidence, why are animal shapes, in perfect detail, embedded in IGNEOUS rocks? Even if the original bone has been replaced, molecule for molecule, by silicon dioxide, how did the original impression arise?
A bone cast into an ordinary fire would frizzle unrecognizably in a few seconds, so how would it fare in molten rock? Science is silent on these issues. Ashmole triumphantly finds the answers to these enigmas in his Alchemical Neo-Platonism, and its spiritual illumination called "Daimonion Photisma".
Everyone admires the great comforts and benefits brought about by practical science, but outside this happy sphere, all is conjectural enigma. Can science claim to have any clue or certainty about the link between our emotional states, and the physical man? Does this vaunted panacea of `Natural Selection" include the slightest clue to the dawn of morality? - reminding one of the blind rat, guided to safety by a straw, tugged by another rat having the other end in his teeth. Can it explain even one jot of the process of 'adaptation'? If not, why dignify this utter ignorance with the term Science, and why should Alchemy be derisively hailed as medieval ignorance?
It may fairly be asked if this probe of the 17th century illuminati is likely to benefit our modern scientific men? Such men could never obtain this knowledge unless they submitted to the moral disciplines, and frightful ordeals, ordaining them by right to such knowledge. Academic learning is valid in the everyday world, but its disciplines are quite another approach, and quite different energies are implemented in Hermetic science.
The intellect can be a great snare, an impassable lumber attic. Bertrand Russell recently remarked, when discussing intellect, "Philosophy seems to be the art of pursuing truth on the one hand, and of telling plausible lies on the other".
The real finding of the `Lapis Philosophorum' concerns the transmutation of the alchemist himself, from the lower worlds of birth, and form, into the real birth of liberated adeptship. And this is not on some other planet, but right here in the physical world, for as Carl du Prel remarked, "The spiritual world is the material world regarded strangely". The alchemist sees light, magnetism, heat, and electricity as the differentiated aspects of universal motion, and that `Light' is not to be explained by a `quantum and corpuscular shuttle-cock'.
He realizes light as the ghost or the shadow of "matter" in motion, - however prettily tourmaline may polarize its seeming substance. The true "matter" of this planet has never yet been seen. The world of nerve-ends and surfaces, which seems to be reality for us, is a shadow show, spun by the complex gyrations of this prima materia. Present day physicists, with their latest toy, atomic-fission, would be bewildered indeed could they but glimpse the terrible secrets, brought silently through long ages by these Magi the Hermetists. They once took "gold" to a little child, amid circumstances of great obscurity and humility. Ashmole is the natural heir to the line of such elder brethren, who have warmed their hearts in the cerulean-glow of Agathodaemon. His symbol the Caduceus, is found in the hands of the Greek Aesculapius, assuming a different form to the wand of Mercurius or Hermes. It is the symbol always of the spiritual intelligence in man and the Cosmos. Then implementing the `ideas' of Plato, Number, and the Caduceus as a guide, we may yet arrive at the "mathematics of TRUTH".
The Quarterly Meeting of the Theosophical Society in Canada took place at 52 Isabella St., Toronto, on Sunday, January 11, with the following members in attendance: - Miss M. Hindsley, Dudley W.Barr, Charles M. Hale, George I. Kinman and the General Secretary. Minutes of the last meeting were read and approved. The Financial Statement read and moved by Col. Thomson was carried. The Editor of the magazine Mr. Barr reported progress. The General Secretary outlined the situation of the Presidential Election. Arrangements were made for two scrutineers to be in attendance at Headquarters on Sunday, January 25, to count the ballots. Rule 10 was then discussed as had been intimated in the magazine. The general feeling was that in view of the elimination of our candidate Professor Ernest Wood from the ballot, as well as other factors, the Rule be amended in order to bring it into line with the democratic conditions existing today. After lengthy discussion it was moved that the General Secretary as a member of the General Council present a Motion to that body providing for the deletion of Paragraph 2 of the present Rule 10, and also providing that the first sentence of Paragraph 3 be changed to read as follows, "The Recording Secretary shall communicate the list of all nominees to the General Secretaries, and to Lodges and Fellows-at-large attached to the Headquarters at Adyar." This was duly seconded and carried. The method of voting was then discussed and eventually it was decided that the General Secretary forward the following motion to the General Council that "The method of voting be by means of a single transferable vote; that the voters number all candidates in the order of their choice commencing from number one upwards to the end of the list, and that the candidates be eliminated one by one from those receiving the least number of first choices and adding their second and subsequent choices to the remainder until such time as one candidate receives a definite majority." This was duly seconded and carried with one member abstaining from voting. Finally the General Secretary was requested to write a letter of appreciation to Prof. Ernest Wood thanking him for his willingness to stand for election whilst realizing that his chances of election were somewhat remote; also that his candidature has at least focussed the attention of the members to the unsatisfactory nature of the voting system. The next meeting was arranged for the second Sunday in April viz. the 12th. The meeting then adjourned.
THE VOTING IN CANADA
The ballots cast by Canadian members in the election for the new President, were counted on Sunday, January 25. Miss O. Olive and Mr. Arthur Hessian of Toronto Lodge acted as scrutineers. The ballots were opened and counted in the presence of the General Secretary. The results were:
for Mr. Sri Ram 104
for Mrs. Arundale 65
invalid ballots 16
410 members were eligible to vote but 185 ballots only were sent in. The invalid ballots included those on which the
members wrote `no' opposite the name of each candidate, those on which voters had written the name of Mr. Ernest
Wood and voted for him, and those which carried a note to the effect that the member was not voting as, he was not satisfied with the election procedure.
Many members who did not exercise their prerogative of voting, expressed their disapproval of not having the opportunity of voting for Mr. Wood. The ballots returned represented about 45% of those sent out.
- E. L. Thomson, General Secretary.
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
- The Organ of the Theosophical Society in Canada
- Published on the 15th of every month.
- Authorized as second class mail, Post Office Department, Ottawa.
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OFFICERS OF THE T.S. IN CANADA
Dudley W. Barr, 52 Isabella St., Toronto, Ont.
Charles M. Hale, Box 158, New Liskeard, Ont.
Miss M. Hindsley, 745 Bloor St. W., Toronto, Ont.
George I. Kinman, 46 Rawlinson Avenue, Toronto, Ont.
Peter Sinclair, 4941 Wellington St., Verdun, Quebec
Washington E. Wilks, 925 Georgia St. W., Vancouver, B.C.
Emory P. Wood, 12207 Stony Plain Road, Edmonton, Alta.
Lt.-Col E.L. Thomson, D.S.O., 54 Isabella St., Toronto, Ont.
To whom all payments should be made, and all official communications addressed
EDITORIAL BOARD, CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
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The Blavatsky Institute, 52 Isabella St., Toronto 5, announces that Theosophic Study, by Roy Mitchell, is now available in book form. This valuable series of articles is of especial interest to students who are desirous of systematizing their study work. The new book is in the same format as the three other books by Mr. Mitchell which were previously published by, the Institute, The Exile of the Soul, Theosophy in Action and Through Temple Doors, Studies in Occult Masonry. Price $1.00 paper bound, $1.50, cloth bound.
Theosophical Notes is republishing Theosophy versus Neo-Theosophy, compiled by Margaret Thomas, in which
there are set out in parallel columns, extracts from The Secret Doctrine, The Mahatma Letters, Isis Unveiled, Lucifer, The Key to Theosophy and other original source books of Theosophy, in contrast with other extracts from the writings of Mr. Leadbeater, Mrs. Besant and Mr. Jinarajadasa. This lengthy study was published anonymously in The Canadian Theosophist many years ago. While the method employed may not be the most effective way of presenting this material, nevertheless the study is most useful. Those who ask from time to time "What is the difference between the teachings of the Masters and H.P.B., and those of Neo-Theosophy?" will find many examples in this series. It is by no means exhaustive and some day it may be used as a basis for a more lengthy examination of the two contrasting systems - unless the need for such a work disappears when the cult of Neo-Theosophy (or as we have termed it `Leadbeaterianism', as it all seems to stem from Mr. Leadbeater) vanishes like mist before the sun of Truth. Theosophical Notes may be reached at Box 65, Berkeley, California.
We dislike bringing up the matter of money but at the Executive meeting held on January 11, the financial statement revealed that the balance on hand was $238.00 less than at the same time last year. Some of this deficit will doubtless be made up before the end of the fiscal year from ordinary receipts, dues, magazine subscriptions, etc. The cost of printing the election slips, the special envelopes, and the mailing of these came to about $75.00. If the proposed visits of Dr. Kuhn and Professor Wood to the western lodges are undertaken, considerable extra expense will be incurred by the National Society. Donations to the general fund or the magazine fund will be gratefully received. Cheques should
be made payable to the Theosophical Society in Canada.
We have much pleasure in drawing attention to a Corresponding Fellows Lodge which has been formed in England. The Lodge is the outcome of a correspondence course in Theosophy which was started during the war. The idea of a Corresponding Lodge arose when it was realized that many students were isolated from other students and study-groups. The Lodge issues a monthly Bulletin in which members take part by discussion, questions and answers, etc. "The only prerequisite for joining the Lodge - aside from a recognition of the principle of Universal Brotherhood - is that one is a sincere seeker for Truth wherever it may be found . . . .The key notes of the work of the Lodge could be summed up thus:
(1) recognizing and encouraging the full right of every member to his own independent thinking and opinions, no one member taking precedence over any other; (2) putting the ethics of Theosophy into practice in our lives, or at least endeavoring so to do; (3) adherence to the teachings of Theosophy as brought forth by H.P. Blavatsky, without being dogmatic about it. Financial support is entirely voluntary. Ten shillings per annum cover the cost of materials for the Bulletin and postage, the work of duplicating being done by the members themselves."
Students anywhere in the world are welcomed as members. Enquiries should be addressed to Mrs. Elsie Benjamin, Secretary-Treasurer, 24 Upper Brighton Road, Worthington, Sussex, England.
We have not acknowledged for some time the receipt of magazines and bulletins from the other National Societies in the Theosophical Society (Adyar), from the United Lodge of Theosophists, from the Theosophical Society (Altadena, Calif.), and from independent groups of students not associated with any one of the three major Societies. These are received regularly; we are grateful for them and look forward to their coming.
Word has just been received of the death of Mr. J. Emory Clapp, formerly of Boston, and later of Cos Cob, Massachusetts. Mr. Clapp was in his eightythird year. He died on January 16, after several weeks of illness. The end was peaceful and without pain.
Mr. Clapp who was for many years a member of what was then the Theosophical Society, Point Loma, was well known to Canadian members in Eastern Canada through his interest in the International Fraternization Conventions which were held at Rochester, Boston, Niagara Falls, Toronto, Buffalo and Detroit. He was a kindly, helpful person and was a deep student of the Theosophy of the Secret Doctrine.
One by one links with the past are broken, but those who are part of the Movement, as Mr. Clapp was, are linked together by subtle ties which will bring them together in future lives for further work in the undying Cause.
John Morgan Pryse of Los Angeles, California, died on Sept. 5, 1952, four days before his eighty-ninth birthday.
Mr. Pryse and his brother James Morgan Pryse, who died several years ago, worked together the greater part of their lives. They purchased and operated newspapers and printing plants in Nebraska, Montana and Wisconsin, finally moving to Los Angeles in 1886. They both joined the Theosophical Society in its first decade.
On the return journey to Los Angeles after a trip to Peru, they called on Mr. Judge in New York, and to assist him
with the printing of the E.S. Instructions of H.P. Blavatsky, they stayed in New York and formed the Aryan Press which printed the Instructions and published other Theosophical works. In 1889 James Pryse went to London at the request of H.P.B. and became closely associated with the work there. Later he wrote The Restored New Testament, The Apocalypse Unsealed, Prometheus Bound and Adorers of Dionysus. Brother John became the publisher and distributor of these books.
Mr. John M. Pryse was the producer of Spiritual Light, a book of spiritual truths gathered from many sources. He dropped out of the Theosophical Society years ago and founded the Gnostic Society, the headquarters of which were at his home in Los Angeles. Mr. Pryse was one who contributed long years of service in the cause of Theosophy.
The Theosophical Society,
Adyar, Madras 20, India,
15 December, 1952.
The Editor, The Canadian Theosophist,
Mr. G. W. Barratt's article on the Platonic Solids has a special interest for me. About 1898 when I was a member of the Theosophical Headquarters of the English Section, at 19 Avenue Road, London, N.W., another resident was Mr. G.R.S. Mead. One day he received from Spain a box containing some twenty cardboard models, among them of course the well-known five Platonic Solids. (1) Tetrahedron, each of four faces a triangle; (2) Cube, each of six faces a square; (3) Octahedron, each of eight faces a triangle; (4) Dodecahedron, each of twelve faces a pentagon; and (5) Eikosahedron, each of twenty faces a triangle. But there were other models which were combinations of some of these. I wonder what has happened to this remarkable collection? They were sent to Mr. Mead by a member in Spain, Senor Arturo Soria y Mata.
It has long been known that four tetrahedra interlaced give two solids, the cube by joining the eight corners of the tetrahedra, and the octahedron (eight sides) by joining the six intersecting points. But Senor Soria discovered something absolutely new, that by interlacing regularly five tetrahedra, the two remaining Platonic Solids are produced, the dodecahedron (twelve pentagons) by joining the twenty corners, and the eikosahedron (twenty triangles) by joining the points of intersection. Thus, the tetrahedron is the father or generator of the four other solids.
There is no record that anybody had discovered this relation before Senor Soria. I showed to a college acquaint-ance, who that year became Senior Wrangler, a drawing on paper of the relations of the five tetrahedra (using five colors for the lines), that showed the pentagonal dodecahedron. He understood at once, but had not heard of the relation before.
I built a model of the five interlaced tetrahedra. There was one point in the base in one triangle of the twenty corner-pieces, where I had to draw a line to the base from the apex, so as to cut the base to make that corner join with four other corners. The problem was at what piont I was to draw the line. By experiment I found a point that would do. But I never could make a perfect joining. I passed on my difficulty to a mathematical friend, a Boston Tech graduate; he could not locate the exact point, but gave me the following ratios for the point in the base: 52:92, 20:32, 39:64.
In 1920 I received from a friend of Senor Soria in Spain a highly technical treatise called "Genesis", published by
the latter in 1913. Only two hundred copies were printed. This work dealt with the five Platonic Solids and their "copulations" among themselves. The work has at the end thirteen large sheets, with clear diagrams marking out how to cut so as to make the models.
In 1947, Mr. A.R. Hemsted, a highly qualified electrical engineer, was acting at Adyar as Honorary Superintendent of our Engineering Department; I spoke to him of my difficulty and showed him the work "Genesis" with its diagrams. Mr. Hemsted soon showed me that Soria had a diagram which marked the point of the base which I had been seeking. Mr. Hemsted made a large model of the five interlaced tetrahedra (as I had done years before), and he then told me what was news to me, that there were two varieties, one revolving to the left and the other to the right. (Soria had shown them in his diagrams). This right and left revolution is well-known in chemistry, and is known as dextro and laevo. Soria called one variety "father form" and the second "mother form". Then he built up a third solid, which he called "son form" by the "copulation" of the father and mother forms. I enclose a reproduction from "Genesis" of this "son form", which will interest your readers.
Soria proceeds further; he "copulates" cube with octohedron; tetrahedron with cube (two varieties); rhombic dodecahedron with cube and octohedron; dodecahedron with eikosahedron; a model of triacontahedron (thirty sides); copulation of triacontahedron with eikosahedron, a most astonishing solid; a polyhedron of sixty sides; and finally, a copulated dodeca-eikosa-tria-contahedron.
Many of, these forms are found in minerals. I have examples of pyrites showing dodecahedron and eikosahedron forms; one mineral that shows octohedron; another the cube; and after
[[ Three drawings here: Top: dextro - "father", Middle: laevo - "mother", Bottom: son - "son"]]
many years' search a friend has found for me what may be the tetrahedral form, but it is hard to recognize, as it is so small.
I could make this letter long enough to fill your whole magazine on the subject of geometrical structure, revealing the Platonic Solids, in the elements of the Periodic Law and in all chemical compounds. Little wonder that the Platonic school had the aphorism, "God
geometrizes". Some day stereo-chemistry will posit these forms as the only way to describe chemical compounds.
Recording Secretary's Office,
Adyar, Madras-20, India,
January 10, 1953.
The Editor, The Canadian Theosophist.
In your issue of November 15 there appears an article by the General Secretary to the effect that Mr. Ernest Wood's name could not come before the electors as a candidate for the Presidential office since there was no provision for the candidate receiving the next highest number of nominations to replace a candidate who withdraws. Actually it should be remembered that Mr. Wood was not the only candidate who received the next highest number of nominations, as both he and Mrs. Josephine Ransom received 5 nominations.
With regard to the suggestion that the present Rule 10 should be withdrawn and replaced by the former rule, the General Secretary, as a member of the General Council, will be quite within his rights to propose any changes he considers advisable after the election, and amendments suggested by him and other members of the Council will, be duly considered and placed before all the members of the General Council for voting. I have already written to you on November 13 stating how the Rule governing the Presidential election evolved to its present form.
(Miss) Helen Zahara, Recording Secretary.
Editor, Canadian Theosophist,
It must be very hard for those students who have a real yen for a personal God and for the practices of organized religion to face those oft quoted words from chapter ten of the Mahatma Letters which show that in their opinion these things (God and religion) far from being the beneficent things they are usually held to be, are in fact the chief source of the evil which has dogged the steps of humanity down the ages. Apart from the obvious course of investigating in the most impartial spirit one can summon, to decide for oneself the truth or otherwise of this admittedly most amazing statement of the Adepts and either coming to the conclusion that the Mahatmas are right, or that they do not know what they are talking about, there is a third way which some have found as the following three instances shows.
1. Many will remember Mr. Loftus Hare, a staunch Theosophist, well-known and prominent in British Theosophical circles twenty-five years ago. He had fought to free the T.S. from the political domination of the E.S., and had exposed, to the satisfaction of many, C.W.L.'s improvisations in faking the Lives of Alcyone and in Man How, Whence and Whither. He had exposed and fought the subjugation of the T.S. lodges to the Liberal Catholic Church, and yet, when the Mahatma Letters were published he lost no time in writing a book which proved (to his own satisfaction) that H.P.B. herself had written the Letters. Mr. Hare had been a sincere Quaker all his years and his fellow students were forced to conclude that rather than see his God dissolve into Infinitude (as the Mahatma Letters insist) he took this way out.
2. When the Mahatma Letters was published it was abundantly clear that
its teaching conflicted flagrantly with the current teaching of A.B. and C.W.L. Still worse, the foisting of a newly purloined church upon the lodges (at the instance of the Masters, according to C.W.L.) conflicted violently with the Mahatmas' statement in the Letters that the chief cause of the evils which pursue mankind is "The sacerdotal caste, the priesthood and the churches". Result: the Mahatma Letters were banned in the lodges and the way was kept open for Pseudo-Theosophy and the Liberal Catholic Church. Some years after the Letters were published Mr. Jinarajadasa informed us that they were not a reliable expression of the Mahatmas teaching; they had been written largely by chelas. This convenient explanation was the way out chosen by the Leaders at Adyar to preserve their church and teaching. Incidently it deprived thousands of students of the unique opportunity of contacting the real Founders of the Theosophical Movement directly through their own writings.
3. And now in your September issue of the C.T. page 106, Mr. Weaver has found still another way out. The Mahatma writings (it seems) are subject to the possibility of faulty interpretation because language problems made it difficult for the Mahatmas to communicate ideas exactly. To anyone who has read one page of the remarkably clear and intensely vital expressions of thought in the Mahatma Letters, comment is unnecessary; and when one remembers that it is said that the Mahatma who wrote the chapter particularly in question, was educated at Oxford there does not seem to be much more which needs saying.
We all feel quite sure that we want the truth and believe that we have the will to follow whither it leads; but when out of the blue comes a challenge to some cherished prejudice, to some illusion clung to since childhood perhaps, or finds oneself in some impasse such as the Leaders at Adyar were in when the Letters were published, then and only then does one discover the power of the forces within oneself which have to be conquered if one is in reality to become that rare thing, a lover of truth.
- W. E. Wilks.
COMMUNIQUE FROM MONTREAL LODGE
Our Fall Session got off to a busy start with the Tuesday members' meeting taking up the study of the Bhagavad Gita with Prem's Commentary. Then, we were privileged with a talk by our editor Mr. Barr on "Reason, Intuition and Vision". A class in public speaking was formed, using Roy Mitchell's Course, and a news bulletin is being issued every two months to members and friends across Canada. Miss M.W. Wyatt and Miss I.M. Hartman were welcomed into the fellowship and we report the loss of two old members, Mr. Stephen Whitaker and Mr. M. St. Alphonse. Mr. and Mrs. Henry Lorimer who had been with our lodge for some twenty years, left for Vancouver at the end of December and at our last social tea, they were presented with a beautiful mantle clock with chimes, as a token of appreciation. Mr. Lorimer's public lecture series on "The Ancient Wisdom" is being resumed twice a month by Mr. W.S. Harley. To the many new friends and fellow members from England and other parts of Europe who are now visiting our lodge, we extend an official welcome.
December brought back into our midst the following lecturers: Mrs. Shelley Newcombe, in "Truth and Poetry" and Dr. R.G. Katsunoff in "The Spiritual Message of Wagner's Tannhauser" (with music).
The following officers were elected at our annual meeting of January 13, 1953:
President, Mrs. H. Sora.
Vice-Pres., Mrs. J. Slessor.
Secretary, Miss M. D. Desrochers.
Asst: Secy., Miss S. Brown.
Treasurer, Mrs. M.D. Roth.
Asst.-Treas., Mrs. R. Ovenden.
Librarian, Miss M.W. Wyatt.
Asst.-Libr., Mrs. C. Matthews.
Auditor, Mrs. E. Goossens.
With constant efforts, may the year ahead bring us all a little closer to the Goal which is the complete self-realization of our Divine Source. Meditating on these words of Annie Besant will help to illuminate the path before us: "LIFE IS PRECIOUS ONLY AS IT IS SPENT IN SERVICE, AND IN MAKING HAPPIER THE WORLD INTO WHICH WE HAVE BEEN BORN".
-M. R. Desrochers, Secretary.
January 21, 1953.
At a meeting of the General Council held at Adyar on December 31, the Vice-President, Mr. Sidney A. Cook, offered the following resolution, which had been drafted by several Council members, and moved its adoption. The motion was seconded by Mr. Rohit Mehta, General Secretary of the Theosophical Society in India, and carried unanimously.
"In view of the fact that this is the last meeting of the General Council over which Bro. C. Jinarajadasa presides as President of the Theosophical Society, the members of the General Council desire to express their profound gratefulness to him for the very able and impersonal manner in which he conducted the affairs of the Society during his term of office. The General Council is of the opinion that not only has he maintained the great traditions of the Society, but has carried the Theosophical Movement throughout the world to greater heights by his unique contributions. The members earnestly pray that he be long spared so that the Theosophical Society may have the benefit of his wisdom and experience for many years to come."
Naturopathy, by P. Govindarajulu. Published by Adyar Printers, Madras, India. 1952. 32 pp. Paper. Price approx. 25c.
Dr. Govindarajulu, said to be an experienced naturopath, presents the theory and practice of Naturopathy which is that all disease is caused by nonelimination of waste materials from the body, and overloading the stomach. Treatment is the same for all ailments, namely, fasting, that is, introducing only water into the body; enema; dietetic restrictions, sun and water cure.
The Seven Human Temperaments, by Geoffrey Hodson. Published by The Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, Madras, India. 1952. 76 pp. Paper. Price approx. $1.00.
The author claims no originality for this work saying it is based on the works of Madame Blavatsky, A. P. Sinnett, Mrs. Besant, C.W. Leadbeater, G.S. Arundale and C. Jinarajadasa.
Theosophical teaching concerning the sevenfold character of the universe and number as the key to understanding it as well as the seven main types of human beings are outlined. Each of the seven rays is given a chapter with two additional ones on the Blended and the Personal Rays. A sixteen-column chart of the Seven Rays is an excellent feature of this interesting booklet.
Alexander the Great and Queen Victoria are named as typical First Ray types of will, power, strength, courage, determination, leadership, independence and dignity, for whom defeat is the greatest suffering.
The Lord Buddha and the Lord Christ in their perfect wisdom, universal love and boundless compassion are the great exemplars of the qualities of the Second Ray.
Madame Montesorri is mentioned as a splendid example of the Second Ray educator.
While it is necessary, according to Mr. Hodson, to ascend in consciousness to the Monad itself to discover either one's own ray or that of another person, ray qualities begin to show themselves fairly clearly in present-day Fifth-Race people. Careful examination of character provides indications. Egoic development - the age of the soul - is indicated in the ability to overcome weaknesses.
This is Life Eternal, by Esme Wynne-Tyson, published by Rider and Co., London, price, 16 shillings.
This is an anthology of quotations from many teachers of humanity, collected by Esme Wynne-Tyson, the close friend and intimate of J.D. Beresford.
The book is an extension of E.D. Walker's Reincarnation, A Study of Forgotten Truth, and Eva Martin's The Ring of Return. It is an anthology of famous sayings concerning the continuity and eternality of life. The burden of these mystical extracts is "Now is the appointed time"; "Now is the operative word", as the Masons would say.
The quotations are gathered from the Upanishads, from Lao Tze, Buddha, Jesus, Zoroaster, through to Shakespeare and Emerson, and on to Ouspensky, Gurdjieff and Aldous Huxley.
A most useful compendium for the Theosophic student.
- M. H.
The Key to Health, by Arthur Bhaduri. Published by The Aquarian Press, 296 Vauxhall Bridge Rd., London, S.W. 1, England, 1952, 80 pp., paper, price 3 shillings.
This booklet is well written and contains much of interest and value. The author divides his consideration of health into three categories: Body, Mind and Spirit, saying that good health is essentially an attitude of mind, sickness as much mental as physical. "The secret of the body is to be found in this life of the cell. There is the seat of the body's intelligence, and the more we can understand this, the more shall we have in our hands the key to health." Concerning the mind, inner calm must be substituted for conflict and tension. Spiritual health, says the author, is the ability calmly and dispassionately to identify one's individual life with the Universal Principle.
With all this the theosophical student can agree, but, regardless of length, any discussion of health that is not to remain superficial must explain the seven-fold nature of man. This the author never touches.
- F. E. G.
THE THREE TRUTHS
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.
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.
These truths, which are as great as is life itself, are as simple as the simplest mind of man. Feed the hungry with them. - Idyll of the White Lotus.
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.
These four books are cloth bound, price $1 each.
- 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.
- THROUGH TEMPLE DOORS - Studies in Occult Masonry, by Roy Mitchell, an occult interpretation of Masonic Symbolism.
- THEOSOPHY IN ACTION, by Roy Mitchell, a re-examination of Theosophical ideas, and their practical application in the work.
- THEOSOPHIC STUDY, by Roy Mitchell, a book of practical guidance in methnods of study.
The above four books are attractively bound; papperbound $1.00, cloth, $1.50.
Professor Roy Mitchell's COURSE IN PUBLIC SPEAKING especially written for Theosophical students, $3.00.
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. Madeline Williams, 10838 108th St., Edmonton, Alta.
- HAMILTON LODGE: President, Mr. G.D. Matzell; Secretary, Miss Edith Wilkinson, 290 Fennel Ave. East, Hamilton, Ont.
- KITCHENER LODGE: President, Alexander Watt; Secretary, John Oberlerchener, Kingsdale P.O. Kitchener
- MONTREAL LODGE: President, Mr. G. T. Matsell; Secretary, Miss M.R. Desrochers, 1655 Lincoln, Apt. 37, Montreal, 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.
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- VULCAN LODGE: President, Guy Denbigh, Vulcan, Alta.
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