The Theosophical Society Is riot responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document
Vol. XXXIII, No. 2 Toronto, April 15th, 1952 Price 20 Cents
THE CASE FOR AN OBSCURE IDENTITY
For sixty years, more or less - ever since the death of H.P. Blavatsky in 1891 - there has been a certain amount of theosophical controversy about an Irish-East Indian-American whose most recent incarnation began on April 13, 1851, in Dublin. As the years go by, various groups of theosophists have solidified themselves into conflicting positions with respect to William Quan Judge, alias William Brehan, Bryan Kinnavan, Eusebio Urban, Rodriguez Undiano, Hadji Erinn, Rameses, Ramatirtha, Marttanda, An Ex-Asiatic, etc. On the matter of Mr. Judge's theosophic identity, if we may coin a phrase, there is radical disagreement, peculiarly complicated by the theory of the "borrowed body." Integrating the path of the reincarnating ego with the path of a temporary personality is a common human problem, but perhaps, in the case of Mr. Judge, his identity was deliberately obscured, so that the "Judge Ego" could do its work without the onus of a prominent personality. How well can a theosophist work, while he is acclaimed a Great Leader?
Until just a few years before H.P.B.'s passing, Mr. Judge's work was minor and was distant from the outward center of the T.S. W.Q.J. appears not to have had Olcott's commanding pressence, nor H.P.B.'s fiery genius. He was neither a polished writer like Sinnett, nor a public figure like Annie Besant. His translations of Indian scriptures were, to all appearances, received calmly, if not coldly, by the rank and file of T.S. members and their leading figures. The Ocean of Theosophy, the Epitome of Theosophy, and Echoes From the Orient may have served American newspaper readers well, when they were first published, but their official reception in the Society was decidedly of minor proportions. In the Path magazine, Mr. Judge's contributions, being introduced under a spate of pen-names, reflected no particular glory on their author, particularly since the articles themselves were somewhat modest in style, size and spirit, and not at all calculated to attract either admiration or amazement.
Discovering William Q. Judge, in fact, is something like charting the course of an underground river; even if you know where the water flows, you can hardly sit on the bank and stare dreamily at the stream. Nor can you send admirers to go and take a look. So, perhaps, you decide to let Mr. Judge rest in his strange obscurity. The real W.Q.J., you say to yourself, is not described by labels, by "Who's Who"
material, by fervent testimony for or against. Certain indestructible evidences of Judge's theosophic effort remain the world around, and these are acknowledged, appreciated, or ignored, according to the perceptions and inclinations of the individual student. Much as can be said, in one sense, about the life and work of Wm. Q. Judge, there is another sense in which very little should be said. It is somehow more fitting that W.Q.J. be a personal discovery, almost a private inspiration, for then the discoverer has the joy of catching the trail himself, and himself adopting, or being adopted by, an extremely discreet fellow-disciple, and, curious as it may sound, a warm friend.
But, as before suggested, the central mystification in the matter of Judge's identity stems from his "occult novel," which would be enough in itself to cause the sober-sided theosophist to throw up his hands in despair. Let us bypass the question of what is meant by the "borrowed body." Judge himself left it to mean whatever it might to the individual reader who chose to take the hint. May we not, instead, look upon the cryptic idea as an exercise in consciousness, possibly part of the training of Adepts? H.P.B., we remember, wrote to Judge:
". . . I consented to live - which in my case means to suffer physically during twelve hours of the day - mentally twelve hours of night, when I get rid of the physical shell . . .
"Yes, there are `two persons' in me. But what of that? So there are two in you; only mine is conscious and responsible - and yours is not. So you are happier than I am."
What can this mean? Each of us will find out for himself, when he is ready. Meanwhile, we will do well to think as best we are able of the Being behind books, words, and "borrowed bodies." Might it not be prudent to avoid assigning any Great Soul to a particular body, even for a single lifetime? Who are we to say where the karma of the personality leaves off and the destiny of a Theosophical Mover begins?
To ponder over William Q. Judge, aside from the cases for and against, is to ask oneself some new questions about the meaning of incarnation and reincarnation. The remarkable individuality of his multiple pen-personalities is a riddle whose solving may help us better understand our own mixed natures - reincarnation offers a much more dignified explanation than the catch-all "schizophrenia"! The "Rajah" (as W.Q.J. was sometimes called), the "Irish boy," and the Spaniard or ancient American all of these may have been clues provided for resolute students of the mystery of birth. The Weird Tale suggests the work of a witness on the scene among the magic relics in Peru and Venezuela, while The Serpent's Blood tells of a "knowing one" left on the Isle of Destiny, with its mysterious Diamond-Mountain and its Druid-Atlantean towers. What was Mr. Judge's real function in America, after H.P.B. and Olcott departed for India? Are present-day theosophists meant to find here a hint as to the true significance of "each member a centre"?
For our time particularly, there would seem to be special merit in the suggestion found in Judge's Convention Message to the European Theosophists, 1895:
"Let us press forward together in the great work of the real Theosophical Movement which is aided by working organizations, but is above them all. Together we can devise more and better ways for spreading the light of truth through all the earth. Mutually assisting and encouraging one another we may learn how to put Theosophy into practice so as to be able to teach and (Continued on Page 25)
By Roy Mitchell
The practice of devotion - we will understand it better if we call it devoting, because all these -ion words have a theological taint that makes us react unconsciously to old misconceptions - has many values for us as theosophical students, the most important of which is that it lets us into an understanding of the right and left hand paths of magic.
All magic, as I have suggested, begins with austerity. There are lesser psychic functions sometimes called magical but they are potentially so. Nothing is really magic until the ego, the maker and magician, takes hold of the operation and creates forms in mind. So long as the ego remains subject to the animal soul, and makes his forms at the behest of, and at the demands of, the animal, he has not assumed his magical power in his own right. He is answering drowsily to the demands of another. When once he has asserted his individuality as distinct from that of the animal he may, in any given thought, go either of two ways. Or, to put it differently, he may give either of two answers to the central problem of life.
Remember, the ego is a fallen angel. This is the cornerstone of all occultism as it would be of all religion if religions had not been tampered with. He is not of this earth evolution at all. He is one who has, in cycles past, gone far beyond this human stage, and is now back where he is, charged with the work of redeeming a broken and defiled race, the greater part of whose defilement is due to his unwillingness to do his work here. He is Lucifer, the Light-Bearer. He is Prometheus, the Fire-Bringer, bound for a cycle on the rock of earth. He is a redeemer of whom all Redeemers are the type and exemplar. They do not come to lift us. They come to demonstrate a work of lifting and restoring an erring humanity to its God.
The ego, then - each of us - may do either of two things. Once knowing himself as an ego, he may determine to retrieve that first error of unwillingness and to retrace his steps to his high estate of unity, which is his to recover as soon as he wills it. This is the right-hand path.
Or he may compound his first rebellion and, standing firm in that first decision, to refuse to create, he may defy the Law and choose separateness as he has done before. This is the left-hand path, the Path of the Shadow, the path of the Lords of the Dark Face.
It does not come as a terrifying moment at some time in the far future. It comes, decision by decision, through many lives until the scale tips one way or another with the load of unitive or separative impulses that have been made. This is why mind is called the Great Battlefield, the scene of a struggle that goes on for many lives.
We have wondered, all of us, perhaps, why any man should choose deliberately to tread the path of the Shadow. He does not. He takes to the Shadow because of the force of a great chain of little choices to do the selfish and separative thing. He has in the realm of mind, in this very thread I have spoken of, his account of the Light and his account of the Shadow, and every thought is a force entered in one or the other. He has probably never thought of them thus as Light and Shadow. His thoughts take their places by Law and those that are tinged with the light go to the light; those darkened by the shadow of self go to the Shadow. He is incarnate Will. He can will to give or will to take. Of
this he can be sure; every act of giving or taking propels him. It lifts him to the Light or it drives him to the Shadow.
I am not trying to frighten my reader into being kind or good or brotherly. I am endeavoring only to show how all choices lie in this instant and how each is a dynamic element in ordaining a man's path. I am endeavoring to show that unless austerity - the gaining of power for the sake of power - finds its way into devoting, it must be destructive of all that the ego has gained in
ages gone, and, most of all, of those powers, far beyond mind, he has acquired and, must regain.
The proud Lucifer who rebelled and persists in that rebellion is not a symbol in the skies. He is a reality in the heart. He awakes from the spell of passion that the beast has woven around him. He is vaguely conscious of a power far transcending his present one. He augments the power he has. But that will not free him. He must share his power, because in the act of sharing, which is an act of love he enters into the Buddhic or spiritual realm whose power is direct cognition of past, present and future as one. It is that other dimension
in space I spoke of. He refuses to share; he shuts himself out of the knowledge of the fourth way in space. He cuts off his past and blinds himself to the future. The God does not punish him. He punishes himself as a man does who puts his own eyes out. He rejects a far greater power than mind because it requires of him the same sharing he refused so long ago to do. Do you see now why tracing the past launches us into the future? Our future is the past we must recover.
Devoting is sharing. It is giving for the use of the rest of mankind the fruit of the kriyashaktic power of mind. It is losing the world to find it. It is an offering of the forms of the air world to the fire of spirit - an offering to the Light. "He maketh the air his messengers; flaming fire his servants," says Sepher Yetzirah and the Avesta of the Persians has a further assurance: "It is a fire that gives knowledge of the future, science and amiable speech."
That was the Greek idea too. The name, Prometheus, means "foresight" or vision of the future and it is essentially the power of the fire-drawer who devotes his wisdom. And as Prometheus was a Lord of Flame, so are we Lords of Flame if we will practise the drawing of fire to the service of men. You see, these myths would mean nothing if they did not mean something now. The key to all occultism is in the words of Sallustius regarding the Greek fables: "These things never were. They always are."
The entrance into the realm of Buddhi is not something to be patiently awaited until at long last we enter in one great burst of some kind of ceremonial initiation. We have listened to our theosophical hierarchies talking of it that way for some years now, steadily pushing occultism further and further out of reach and offering us instead their unserviceable promises of something gratifying to our vanity that will happen ages hence or promises of the favor of this or that Great One.
All occultism is true as of now and the student's business is to study it so. All that has been told us as being true of aeons can be caught up and known as true in the instant because instants are only little aeons. All that is false in what has been uttered can be known as false now. If the student, bent upon his work demands insight he has only to devote his idea, and the insight will come. What he writes and says will be white magic, an unselfish making. If he elect to share nothing, but go on by powers of mind, weaving mind-forms for himself alone, his work will be black
magic, selfish making.
The price he will pay with each refusal to share will be to make the Light harder and harder to enter, the Shadow harder and harder to avoid. It is not a shadow of wrong-doing. It is a shadow of dim seeing and the end of it is the darkness of being walled up in insensate forms, of having to rely on the sight of others, of vampirizing on innocence, of drawing the blood from the veins of the credulous and foolish.
Do not think there is anything sentimental about this kind of sharing. The fire that it brings is as real as electricity or any other manifestation of force in Nature, and as available to the person skilled in drawing it. If you want to bring static electricity into dynamic manifestation spin a loop of wire in its field. If you want to elicit this energy of the spiritual world, you spin a cycle of thought-forms in it and it will dynamize as light.
Giving up self to not-self is not annihilation. It is devoting our magical product to other selves, caught like us in the illusion of separateness. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these little sharers of the Light, ye have done it unto the Light.
MODERN SORCERY ASSAILED
By Cecil Williams
It is nearly sixty-five years since H.P. Blavatsky predicted the passing of psychic phenomena (article "Signs of the Times," Lucifer, October, 1887), and the world's entrance upon that new cycle of sorcery euphemized as hypnotism. Her warnings against hypnotism were echoed by a few others but were little heeded. Alone, the Roman Catholic Church's protest against public exhibitions appears to have been generally effective. (What About Hypnotism? Catholic Truth Society). For scientists softened us with protestations of hypnotism's harmlessness, until the "great psychological crime," as it was once denominated became an adjunct of business and politics. Yet today it has a challenger and Blavatsky's admonitions are demonstrated to have been more than justified.
Had Conan Doyle known enough of Theosophy he would have realized that his courageous, costly and exhausting campaign for Spiritualism was but the breasting of an ebbing tide. Some mediumistic phenomena there still is but the excitement of the days of the Fox sisters is gone. With the continuing change in the psychological cycle other, perhaps more amazing, events, are upon us, but at the moment hypnotism is the reigning occult power. It makes less noise in the world than Spiritualism did, for references to it in the channels of public communication are brief and infrequent. Only the unusual makes news: -
A dentist, by hypnotism's aid, extracts a tooth without the usual flow of blood - (New York). A witness testifies in trance to demonstrate her innocence (Berlin). A woman, beaten by bandits, has her memory restored (Montreal). Another victim of a brutal attack fails to come out of her amnesia (London, Ont.). A man who walked into a cigar store, hypnotized the owner and stole 10,000 lira is jailed for six months (Perugia, Italy). A young married man is cured of an infatuation (Atlanta,, Ga.) A hypnotist helps women to lose weight (Chicago). A man is made blind in one eye (Birmingham, Ala.) A hypnotist ends the hiccoughs of a United States senator, convalescing from an operation on the larynx, thereby saving his life (New York). A girl is hypnotized over the telephone (Chi-
cago). Experiments axe made to hypnotize people via the cinema screen. (New York). And so on. Other cases will occur to the reader. But most experiments are unreported.
Hypnotists mostly operate in secret. If a man studies and puts into practice the knowledge of how to use hypnotism in daily life, offered in a recent book by a New York psychologist, he does not shout about it. If, as this author says he can, the student uses his knowledge in selling and advertising, he does not tell the customer he is hypnotizing him. Nor, if he has taken the correspondence course in hypnotism offered by a certain individual in London, England, does he tell his subject or victim which of the sixteen methods of hypnotism he is using. Not if he can avoid it.
Hence; because only instructors and the occasional entertainer publicize themselves we are hardly aware that practitioners of the black art exist. In fact, we have known a hypnotist to be advertised for in the personal column of a Toronto newspaper. But the effects of "commercials" are known to every money-lender.
"Commercial" today suggests sport, which, in turn, reminds of the efforts of a well-known baseball team to win games by the aid of hypnotism. The author of the above-mentioned book has a chapter on this very subject.
Now while advertising and salesmanship have the power to make suggestible people act against their better judgment it has long been claimed that a person completely in the power of a hypnotist, that is, under trance, could not be compelled to commit a crime. But this is not what H.P.B. said. Anticipating the growth of sorcery she wrote: "Many will be the unconscious crimes committed and many will be the victims who will innocently suffer death by hanging and decapitation at the hands of the righteous judges and the too innocent Jurymen, both alike, ignorant of the fiendish power of `suggestion'." (article cited)
In 1932 a distinguished French savant stood before the International Congress for Psychic Research, then meeting in Paris, and told the members that there was no more hypnotism because hypnotic subjects could not be found. Yet, in less than a year, in the same city, the assassin of President Paul Doumer told an examining magistrate: "I had no reason whatever to murder M. Doumer. I was in a kind of hypnotic sleep." Whether he was or not, I personally observed in 1933 a surprising number of good hypnotic subjects in a Hamilton audience. In 1935, in Vienna, a Roumanian was arrested on suspicion of having murdered two women by hypnotism.
Reports of this nature are doubtless passed over by newspaper readers as sensational improbabilities, soothed as they are by the assurances of practitioners of the black art that hypnotism is scientific, hence harmless; or that it has been, as the Paris doctor quoted above, declared replaced by suggestion, the l crime thereby, I suppose, being exculpaited by the changing of its name.
But a modern investigator into hypnotism, L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Dianetics, reveals the hollowness of the protestations of our modern sorcerers, and marshalls the first informed attack on hypnotism in this century.
Through his novel investigations into psychology, Hubbard has discovered that there are in man, two minds, the analytical mind (analogous to our Buddhi-Manaa) and the reactive mind (analogous, to Kama-Manas). The latter is completely irrational and it is through this that the hypnotist works.
Hubbard says nothing about the protection of conscience. Instead, he discusses what we may call the moral level of the subject. He says: "An individual in hypnotic trance will rarely perform an immoral act even though com-
manded by the hypnotist unless that individual would normally perform such acts." (Science of Survival, MS edition, page 478)
What is meant by "normal"? According to the Hubbard Chart of Human Evaluation, it is the level at which a man usually thinks, feels and acts. In other words, a man restrained from murder by fear of the consequences, but nursing murderous thoughts, could be made by a hypnotist into an actual killer.
The irrational mind is very often in control of the man and what the hypnotist does is to plant in this mind an "active living germ" as Blavatsky called it (article, "Black Magic in Science", Lucifer, June, 1890); a "demon circuit" in Hubbard's terminology, "that has an action on the mind which approximates another entity than self" (Dianetics, page 86), which causes the man to act irrationally, to commit some crime or folly.
But the deed need not be committed immediately. A century would not have passed away before we would have "undeniable proofs that the idea of a crime suggested for experiment's sake is not removed by a reversed current of the will as easily it is inspired," Blavatsky predicted in her last cited article, "It may lie dormant there for years sometime to be suddenly awakened by some unforeseen circumstances into realization." Change the word "circumstances" into "restimulation" and Hubbard himself might have written the warning. For he has furnished, through his Dianetic technique, undeniable proofs of H.P.B.'s assertion. (Cf. Science of Survival, page 475)
Moreover, "what better means" than hypnotism, asked Blavatsky, "could be offered to the fiends of lust and revenge, to those dark Powers called human passions - ever on the lookout to break the universal commandment 'Thou shalt not steal, nor murder, nor lust after thy neighbor's wife'." And Hubbard reports: `Civilized cultures of today are unaware of the widespread use of hypnotism. It is the favorite tool of the pervert and the sexually deranged." (Science of Survival, page 196).
But does not hypnotism have Its beneficent side? In an article, "Hypnotism" in Lucifer, December, 1890, Blavatsky said that diseases removed by hypnotism if (italics in the original) Karmic would only be postponed and would return in some other form, if not of disease, of "some punitive evil of another sort." Hubbard has found that what he calls the "degraded practice" of hypnotism, "may suppress certain physical and mental disorders but that these may very well manifest themselves as something entirely different" but sill malevolent. (Science of Survival, page 238)
Blavatsky allowed that it was "an act of charity and kindness" to hypnotize a patient out of the habit of drinking or lying," (article, "Hypnotism"), but Hubbard will not permit even this. "The interjection of unseen controls below the level of consciousness cannot benefit but can only pervert the mind....
Whatever the attempted beneficence may be, the individual who would permit himself to be hypnotized is frankly a fool." (Science of Survival, page 375).
Not only have Dianetic auditors (as those who practice this new "science of the mind" are called) found that hypnotism is more widespread than is believed; they have uncovered a form of hypnotism that has hitherto been "a carefully guarded secret of certain military and intelligence organizations." A man's tone is lowered by the pain of a beating. He is drugged and hypnotized, and afterwards remembers nothing of all this. But he acts in accord with Instructions given him.
(Continued on Page 25).
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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EDITORIAL BOARD, CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
All Letters to the Editor, Articles and Reports for Publication should be sent to The Editor: Dudley W. Barr, 52 Isabella St., Toronto 5, Ont.
Printed by the Griffin & Richmond Printing Co., Ltd., 29 Rebecca Street, Hamilton, Ontario
That the founder of The Saturday Evening Post, believed in reincarnation is evident from the epitaph which he wrote for himself:
The Body of
Like the cover of an old book,
Its contents worn out,
And stripped of its lettering and gilding,
Lies here, food for worms.
But the work shall not be lost,
For it will, as he believed, appear once more,
In a new and more elegant edition,
Revised and corrected by
Adyar, Madras 20, India.
25 March, 1952.
The Editor, The Canadian Theosophist.
I quote below a paragraph from the January 15th issue of your journal:
"Mr. Jinarajadasa is a Buddhist and it would be of interest to learn how he reconciles his active support of ceremonies and rituals with the Buddhist teachings as presented in The Buddhist Catechsim prepared by the President-Founder, Colonel H.S. Olcott."
Certainly I was born in Buddhism and appreciate that privilege. But I am a Theosophist first, and accept the Truth in all religions, including certain of their ceremonies. Everybody in Ceylon knows that I am a fairly unorthodox Buddhist, from their standpoint, and do not subscribe to many things accepted by them as Buddhism today.
It will perhaps interest you to know that a lady, an M.A., who for the first time saw the Ritual of the Mystic Star, was impressed by the fact that no particular religion was imposed as a matter of belief, but that the spirit of Religion in its highest form pervaded the whole Ritual.
THE BEST TEACHER
The best and most important teacher is one's own Seventh Principle centered in the Sixth. The more unselfishly one works for his fellowmen and divests himself of the illusionary sense of personal isolation, the more he is free from Maya and the nearer he approaches Divinity.
- K. H.
AMONG THE LODGES
Toronto Lodge was host on March 22nd and 23rd to Mr. James S. Perkins, President of the Theosophical Society in America. Mr. Perkins lectured on both evenings, his titles being "Man's Origin and Destiny" and "Men of the Future". Large audiences, which included many newcomers, listened attentively and were enthusiastic in their response.
Mr. Perkins suggested that nuclear physics and astronomy, the sciences of the infinitely small and of the infinitely great, both lead to the postulate of One Life and to the conception of a universe pervaded by intelligence and order. The world can no longer be interpreted by the five senses alone. Men of the future will accept three ideas as being basic, (1) Unity - one life in all forms, (2 ) Cosmic order, law, a sense of purpose and direction in life, (3) Immortality - a dynamic awareness of the Imperishable Self. The sense of immortality is lacking in modern civilization, but reincarnation satisfies reason and intuition and is being widely accepted. Man has inner faculties which can provide him with objective knowledge of the past. The awakening of such powers will furnish direct proof of the continuity of individuality. Mr. Perkins closed his Sunday evening talk with quotations from the writings of Krishnamurti.
After the Saturday lecture, an informal reception was held in the Lotus Room and members and friends had the opportunity to meet Mr. Perkins personally. We were delighted to have as our guests from Hamilton Lodge, Mrs. H.M. Mathers, Miss Mabel Carr, Mr. and Mrs. C. Bunting, Mrs. I. Bleks, and Mr. F. Amos.
- Mrs. G. I. Kinman, Corresponding Secretary.
MODERN SORCERY ASSAILED (Continued from Page 23)
"It has been discovered that a drugged individual, when beaten and given orders would almost invariably obey those orders regardless of the degree in which they flouted his moral tone or his position or his best interests in life." (Science of Survival, page 479).
This is frightening. It may explain why certain atomic scientists did the things they did. In the light of Hubbard's revelations our intelligence services should be doubly on guard.
But what about the instructors of hypnbtism, those who promiscuously offer courses and books on the subject? Blavatsky ends her article, "Black Magic in Science," with this admonition: "Every hypnotist, every man of science, however well-meaning and honorable, once he has allowed himself to become the unconscious instructor of one who learns but to abuse the sacred science, becomes of course, morally the confederate of every crime committed by this means."
Foolish are they who would allow themselves to be hypnotized. But more foolish the indiscriminate teachers of black magic! And greatly to be feared.
THE CASE FOR AN OBSCURE IDENTITY (Continued from Page 18)
enforce it by example before others. We will then each and all be members of that Universal Lodge of Free and Independent Theosophists which embraces every friend of the human race."
Are these the words of a man to be afraid of, resentful toward, or haughtily avoided, or are they the message of a comrade in whom we might rejoice?
- E. M. Quinn.
Los Angeles, California.
THE AUTHORITY OF REALIZATION
One of the great sayings attributed to the Buddha is "Believe nothing on the faith of traditions, even though they have been held in honor for many generations and in divers places. Do not believe a thing because many persons speak of it. Do not believe on the faith of the sages of the past. Do not believe what you yourself have imagined, persuading yourself that a god has inspired you. Believe nothing on the sole authority of your masters or priests. After examination, believe what you yourself have tested and found to be reasonable, and conform your conduct thereto."
This is, or should be the attitude of Theosophists. Consider for a moment the Secret Doctrine. The Doctrine, like other great occult books, is holy - holy in the sense that it is dedicated to the most noble of all concepts, the One Divine Life that permeates all things. It is consecrated by the compassion
which inspired its writer, by the self-sacrificing devotion to humanity which filled her life. Earnestness and sincerity speak from every pages and each teaching is given with authority of wide knowledge, profound insight and unitive wisdom. It is a confluent of many streams springing from the mountain peaks of spiritual vision. Its purpose is sacred, not secular, and it is a sacred authority for man's guidance in all that concerns his inner nature.
However, it would be a misapprehension of the whole intent of the book - sacred and authoritative as it is - to regard it as sacrosanct. No one is required to `accept' the Secret Doctrine; belief in it will not gain reward in heaven or save one from suffering in hell. It does not bargain and makes no promises save the one that is axiomatic, `he who will live the life, shall know the doctrine.'
The authority of the Doctrine for its readers, derives from that which is implicit in that promise. It is a book to be tested against the experiences of life. If it is silent to some, this is so because they have not found themselves concerned deeply concerned in its subject matter. To such persons it is fantastic, amorphic, unreal - it does not touch upon any points in which they are interested. This does not affect the authority of the Doctrine any more than the authority of a master in music is affected by the non-interest of a young boogie-woogie fan. The authority of the Doctrines remains, awaiting the man or the woman who can use it.
To that man or that woman, the Doctrine becomes an enriching book which does two things; first, it throws a great light on past experience and shows its patterning; second, it pushes aside a portion of the darkness immediately ahead. That pattern grows and extends as the enveloping Past moves forward to enclose, out of the fleeting Present, the Future that was. Hitherto unperceived, subtle relationships are disclosed; effects become related more to their primary, rather than to their immediately apparent causes. As this process goes on, the reader changes psychologically. He becomes less prone to hasty judgments; perceiving the causes of his own suffering, he becomes more tolerant and compassionate towards others; observing the infallible relationship between causes and effects, he seeks to harmonize his own words and acts and to work with the law. He ceases to be impatient for immediate results. His mind begins to act more and more as a watcher - he reaches balance, without perhaps being even aware that he has been following an old, old path, and one travelled by many souls before him. None of this happens because he has accepted the exterior auth-
ority of the Doctrine. It happens because he has tested the Doctrine in his own life experience and has found that it worked. It is upon this kind of realization that the authority of the Doctrine is established for its readers.
- D. W. B.
IS MODERN SCIENCE GOOD OR EVIL?
With the monstrous weapons man already has, humanity is in danger of being trapped in this world by its moral adolescents. Our knowledge of science has clearly outstripped our capacity to control it. We have too many men of science; too few men of God. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. Man is stumbling blindly through a spiritual darkness while toying with the precarious secrets of life and death. The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living. This is our twentieth century's Claims to distinction and to progress.
- General Omar Bradley.
In a talk over the Far Eastern Service of the BBC, reported in their magazine, The Listener, for Feb. 21, 1952, C.A. Coulson, F.R.S., said "I know General Bradley is a distinguished man but I do wonder whether he has got things entirely right this time. I must say that the more I think about it, the less sure I am that I agree with him. Is it really true that the fruits of science have been sour and not sweet?" Mr. Coulson notes the outstanding progress in medicine, and then continues, "One of the keynotes in all this is power. There is no doubt that modern science has put into man's hands almost limitless power. What I am not so clear about is that this power has, on balance, been used badly. When I think of the wonderful way in which we can build great dams, or change the paths of large rivers, and of how, when this is done, as in the Tennessee Valley of America, rich full life can be brought back to derelict areas; when I imagine the great Ehakra and Nangal dams now under construction in the Punjab which will open up to agriculture no less than 1 1/2 million acres of land, at present growing nothing; when I think of the hundred or more distinct radioisotopes that are now being provided by the atomic piles in Britain and America, making possible a much deeper knowledge of the way in which our bodies work and of the manner in which they may be healed, then I refuse to believe that science is one of the devil's trump cards. It is a gift from God, and, on balance, the gift has been well used.
"This brings me to the second - and more interesting - of General Bradley's points. He claims that we can detect no progress in ethical conduct that could match the progress of science. But why should we? Why should we suppose that ethics change in the same manner that our science changes, by newer and newer discoveries? I see no reason at all for supposing that ethical principles should progress in the same way as science progresses. The great religious leaders of the past have laid down principles of behavior which stand for all time. When Lao-tze in China, or the Old Testament prophets in Israel; or any of the other spiritual giants of former days, spoke of the nature of man and his relationship to his fellowmen, they were saying something which, if it changed at all, would change far more slowly than our knowledge of the physical and biological universe. That is one reason why the great ethical principles are so simple: `Love thy neighbor as thyself'; `covet not thy neighbor's house'; `do justly and love mercy'. You cannot progress from these. Whistler once said: "Art, since it begins with the infinite, cannot progress further." The same is true of ethical principles of conduct. Whereas no one can read a scientific textbook that is more than fifty years old without feeling that much of it is unrealistic, yet, whether we are Christain, Mohammedan, or Buddhist,
we can study our sacred scriptures with profit and with a sense that they do apply to the conditions of this twentieth century.
"This does not mean that there should be no changes in human conduct. For the principles in which we believe, and on which we base our behavior, must be expressed in terms appropriate to each new generation. The principle does not change, but the application does . . . The future of our civilization lies not in a neglect or refusal of science, coupled with a more intensive study of the Sermon on the Mount, or any other sacred scripture. It consists in bringing the two together, so that science is used to express the ethical principles in ways appropriate to today. Just before the last war began, Lord Samuel said: `The world needs above everything else a synthesis of philosophy, science and religion; and until philosophy, science and religion reconcile themselves, mankind is not likely to escape from the perils that surround it.' That is as much true today as it was in 1938. Power without purpose, knowledge without responsibility, science without conscience: these never have been, and never will be, a fulfilment for mankind.
"This is why I do not go all the way with General Bradley, who seems to me to want to deny science. Nor, of course, can I agree with those people who say that science is all that we want. Plenty of people do say this. In a recent book written by a distinguished British scientist, the author speaks of the chaos and uncertainty and fear of our generation, and of what he calls the chasm that he has seen open in the mind of man during the space of a single lifetime. Then he concludes: `Can science save us? Let us stop pretending. If science cannot, nothing can.' If you finish there, and do not add religion and philosophy, then what he has said seems to me entirely false.
"But philosophy alone is not enough, either. Bertrand Russell, in his latest book, says that `man now needs for his salvation only one thing - to open his heart to joy and to leave fear.' It may be right to say this. But we know it needs more than philosophy to be able to do it. The good life is not purely philosophical, nor purely scientific, nor purely religious. It is compounded of all three elements. I admit that our twentieth century has emphasized heavily the scientific aspect; but I believe it was necessary that this should be done. If we manage to survive total destruction in the rest of this century, those scientific discoveries, such as the mystery of the atom and the precarious secrets of life and death which have distressed General Bradley, will be seen not as the forerunners of our doom, but as stepping-stones, leading us to a fuller and a finer life."
THE PURPOSE OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
In the February issue Dr. Wilks has once more demonstrated that while he is capable of writing an excellent article, he invariably spoils it by his apparent assumption that his own opinion is that of the Theosophical Society. I suggest a re-reading of the back page of your magazine, which states that the Society as such neither upholds nor denies any creed, dogma, nor opinion, and quotes this statement as official.
There are members of many religions and beliefs in our ranks, united by the only condition obligatory on all members - the acceptance of the principle of Universal Brotherhood. By what authority then does Dr. Wilks put forth a statement that to many of our members must border on the blasphemous, concerning ". . . poor old God . . . defunct these many years so far as Theosophists are concerned ... . ?" By
what authority does Dr. Wilks state that the President's opinions "are regarded as being derogatory to the welfare of the T.S. and its members?" And by what authority does he reiterate his opinion that ". . . as a crowning folly and supreme insolence, the Society . . . hatched out a church of its own . . . and elected a bishop of this church president of the Society?"
Stressing freedom of opinion, this Society has many members whose religion, Christian or otherwise, calls for a sincere belief in a Supreme and perhaps personal God; if through their studies in the Society these people come to some other belief, that is their own affair - the Society can neither affirm nor deny these beliefs, and such a statement as Dr. Wilks has made violates his right to liberty of expression "within the limits of courtesy and consideration for others," for one purpose of this Society is to foster an understanding of all religions, not to issue derogatory statements concerning any of them, and certainly not to suggest that anyone must renounce his God before he can become a Theosophist.
As to the President, he was accepted by the members as a whole and his opinions, to which as a member he is entitled, were known beforehand. It would appear that Dr. Wilks has little faith in the wisdom of either the Constitution or of the members, for he plainly considers that his own opinions must be the correct ones with which those of the President must be compared, and in fact he hints that he is himself a man of "courage and strength," one of the very few "pioneers of spiritual thought, men resolute and strong enough to be capable of maintaining Theosophy" in a Society which has "degenerated into religious superstition and bigotry,",and which is composed of a membership that is overrun, and led by, a legion of devils!
The crowned head of a political state must remain free of politics in order to truly represent a group of varying political parties. This is not to say that the King cannot hold private opinions; it is only that they must remain private. Similarly, the head of a Society devoted at least in part to the studying of all religions should keep his personal religion to himself, for it is true that the outside world, which can be very biassed concerning religion, is apt to judge any Society by its elected head. As political restrictions extend to all Royalty, so to some extent at least should religious restrictions apply to all officials of our Society. If the President is wrong in offering public expression of his religious beliefs - a point I have long maintained and one which Dr. Arundale began to uphold towards the end of his life - then so too is any official wrong in publicly upholding some creel of his own. The President maintains he has a right to such expression; Dr. Wilks, in saying that the President has no such right, is himself hypocritical in signing his own dogmatic assertions, as to what a Theosophist must or must not believe, with his official signature as member of the Canadian Executive. If he intends such a signature to lend weight to his opinion he is guilty of the same crime of which he accuses the President; if he does not so intend, his use of the title is pure conceit. In fact his official position can carry no weight at all in the matter of creeds or philosophies, for Dr. Wilks like any other official is elected for the work he can do, not for the opinions he holds. It might be as well here, in fact, to remind readers in other countries that, Canadian Lodges being scat-tered over some three thousand miles, each main district nominates its own representative and the other districts, by tacit consent, do not contest the nomination, so that even by vote no member of the Executive actually represents the entire membership of the Canadian Section.
But even when the President sees no necessity to sacrifice his religious beliefs on the altar of his position, the Society, no matter what the world or certain members may think, is not involved so long as our Constitution remains as it is. Those members of our Society who join the Liberal Catholic Church may or may not be wrong in their views, but the Church is not, was not, and never could have been `hatched out' by the Society, nor is membership in it obligatory on, or confined to, members of the Theosophical Society. This fact is plain in our Constitution and statement of principles, and has been iterated to an extent of which Dr. Wilks is probably well aware.
There is a Liberal Catholic Church in Toronto, yet I find that many of our local members are unaware of the fact, and certainly there is no official connection. Bitter talk has ensued because a lodge in another country rents a hall to a local branch of the L.C.C. Toronto Lodge has performed a similar service for two church groups, one of them having held regular services here for some time, and this fact rightly passes without comment, while no one for a moment assumes that the Lodge in any way upholds or decries the creed of either church. It seems strange indeed that this Society, professing brotherhood and the right to hold any form of belief, should be exposed to bitterness only with regards to that church whose members and leaders are in the main also members of the Theosophical Society. Bitterness to the extent that falsehoods, probably not deliberate but certainly unnecessary - are spread concerning the origin of that Church. The movement Dr. Wilks so strongly decries as a spawn of the folly of this Society and of its submission to C.W. Leadbeater and Dr. Besant was, in fact, in existence many years before H.P.B. and this Society was born. Moreover C.W.L. and A.B. were neither the first members of this Society to join that Church nor the first to take an active part in its leadership. These facts are not secret; they are available to public knowledge and for the information of anyone who wishes to really know what he is talking about.
Incidentally, why write a letter in which it is stressed that creeds and religions are but comforts for weak men, "protection from the overwhelm ins demands of Truth," and end that letter with the statement that Theosophy should be kept "available to form the cornerstone of the future religions of the world?"
The best argument I ever heard in favor of the eating of meat came to me in a discussion with the President of the Toronto Vegetarian Society, a man who knew his subject so well that he was prepared in advance to answer most questions. It may surprise Dr. Wilks to learn that my own views on creeds and Church agree almost entirely with his own but I arrived at my opinions by reading the very books that some Lodges have removed from their libraries, books which we are almost officially advised not to read. C.W.L. and A.B. were leaders of this Society at a time when H.P.B. was still in control, and surely they must have had something of value to warrant their position. History as well as logic has proved that they made mistakes - as do we all - but they also had much good to offer and even their mistakes were based on misunderstandings which, if we study them carefully, can add to our own knowledge of the Truth. Surely Dr. Wilks does not claim to be infallible; only by studying everything within our reach, and then, reaching for more, can we hope to learn all. To forbid or deny, to ourselves or others, any source of information is to violate the whole purpose of this Society, and to expect others to accept blindly our own opinions is to nullify that purpose entirely. We must under-
stand that all who hold sincerely to some belief must have reason to back that belief, and to deny the belief without examining the reason - as Dr. Wilks has obviously done or he would at least have been cognizant of the origins of the L.C.C. - is to ignore the fundamental aim of the Society; which is to help each member arrive at an understanding of the Truth in the only way in which it really can be done - within himself. We build the strength of our understanding upon our attempts to complete it, each attempt a stone never to be trodden upon again, but built into the tower upon which we climb. We must each build our own tower; to forbid to another the attempt he is making is to remove a stone and weaken his tower. The purpose of this Society is to help him to realize that no stone completes his task, that always there are further heights. The Egyptians sym' bolized this fact when they left their Pyramid incomplete; the top stone never placed. Official or lay member alike, we should all remember that because of the incompleteness of our understanding we can never say this way is right and that one wrong. We must build our own towers, helping each other and ourselves by trying to reach a mutual understanding of our problems and beliefs. This can only be done by calm discussion, not by violent denial; by an acceptance of the principle of Universal Brotherhood "without distinction of... creed. . .," not by dogmatic assertions that one must believe thus, and not that, or one is not truly a Theosophist; by aiming for the future, not by periodically raking up events that happened twenty-five years ago and of which many members today are unaware, nor by stressing, as unwholesomely universal, conditions at that time of which I myself was unaware, though I joined the Society thirty years ago and have attended several lodges in two countries since then.
If Dr. Wilks with his knowledge of Western Lodges considers it necessary to issue such diatribes, then conditions there must be very different from those prevailing in the three Eastern Lodges that I know. If on the other hand, he writes on the basis of publications in other countries, then I suggest that he is dealing with a situation that he cannot possibly understand in full; the writings of individuals or of groups cannot represent the opinions of a membership whose condition of joining is freedom of opinion. It seems unfortunately true that there are F.T.S. who issue statements which they claim are teachings of the Theosophical Society, and to overcome this fact the rest of us should stress, continually and strongly, that only the First Object of the Society is binding upon the members, that creeds and opinions - and even denials of them - are theosophical for they pertain to Life, but they are neither officially upheld nor guaranteed by the Theosophical Society. If this one official obligation was impressed strongly enough on all members we would each feel free to discuss our beliefs in peace, instead of being afraid to even hint at certain subjects lest we bring scorn upon our heads, and if Dr. Wilks or others care to preach the First Object over their official signature I shall be happy to see it. But so long as any official issues dogmatic and controversial statements over his official signature he implies an authortiy which he cannot possess. If Dr. Wilks chooses to whip a horse that died twenty year ago he may do so in his own name, and I shall treat it as a matter not worthy of argument. But if he continues to imply that he speaks for the entire Canadian Section then I shall as publicly proclaim that he does not speak for me, and neither does he speak for the majority of those members with whom I have discussed the matter.
- Cedric Weaver.
THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT
The Theosophical Society was formed at New York in 1875. It has three objects:
1. To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or color.
2. To encourage the study of Comparative Religion, Philosophy and Science.
3. To investigate the unexplained laws of Nature and the powers latent in man.
The Society affords a meeting place for students who have three aims in common, first, the ideal of Universal Brotherhood; second, the search for Truth, and third, a desire to associate and work with other men and women having similar aims and ideals. The acceptance of the First Object is required of all those who desire to become members; whether or not a member engages actively in the work contemplated in the Second and Third Objects is left to his or her discretion.
The nature and purposes of the Society preclude it from having creeds or dogmas, and freedom of thought and expression among its members is encouraged. An official statement on this point is; " . . . . there is no opinion, by whomsoever taught or held, that is in any way binding on any member of the Society, none of which a member is not free to accept or reject." The statement calls upon the members "to maintain, defend, and act upon this fundamental principle . . . and fearlessly to exercise his own right of liberty of thought and of expression thereof within the limits of courtesy and consideration for others."
Theosophy or `Divine Wisdom' is that body of ancient truths relating to the spiritual nature of man and the universe which has found expression down through the ages in religions, philosophies, sciences, the arts, mysticism, occultism and other systems of thought. Theosophy is not the exclusive possession of any one organization. In the modern Theosophical Movement, these ancient truths have been restated and an extensive literature on the subject has come into being. The teachings are not put forward for blind belief; they are to be accepted only if the truth that is in them finds an echo in the heart. Each student should by `self induced and self-devised' methods establish his own Theosophy, his own philosophy of life. The Movement encourages all students of Theosophy to become self-reliant, independent in thought, mature in mind and emotions and, above all other things to work for the welfare of mankind to the end that humanity as a whole may become aware of its diviner powers and capabilities.