Vol. XXXIII, No. 9 Toronto, November 15th, 1952 Price 20 Cents
The Theosophical society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made In an official document
On October 28th I received a cable from Headquarters notifying me that there would be two candidates only to be voted upon in the coming Presidential election, Mr. N. Sri Ram and Shrimati Rukmini Devi. As Rule 10 calls for three candidates, I immediately cabled Adyar for an explanation and pointed out that Mr. Ernest Wood had been nominated by at least three National Societies. A cabled reply stated that Mr. Sidney Cook had stood second among the three candidates receiving the highest number of nominations, and that he had exercised his right to withdraw.
This seems a most extraordinary procedure. If Mr. Cook did not intend being a candidate for the office, I should have thought that in fairness to the members he would have withdrawn earlier, thus permitting the National Societies to nominate an alternative candidate. However, Mr. Cook's explanation of his withdrawal which has just reached me by airmail, is as follows:
"No one can ever definitely foresee what the nominations may bring forth, and a willingness to bear the burdens of office may very well be modified by the availability, the willingness and the strongly expressed preference for some other nominee or nominees."
"Not until the nominations were complete could my choice be made; not until another was very substantially nominated could his decision be made; not until I had his assurance that he would not withdraw have I felt free to do so."
"To serve the Society I was willing to be its President if elected, but I serve the Society still better by withdrawing now that it is clear and certain to me that Mr. N. Sri Ram, whom I myself nominated, is available and willing to serve."
Mr. Cook appears to be within his rights, and the nominations cannot now be re-opened because of his withdrawal. Under the present rules it is too late to nominate another candidate in his place; the rules do not provide that the candidate receiving the next highest number of nominations should replace the candidate who withdraws. This incident is direct evidence that the present Rule 10 should be withdrawn and replaced by the former Rule, under which the nominee of any National Society would be voted upon by the members.
As the situation now stands, Mr. Ernest Wood's name will not go before the electors, and the Society will not have the opportunity of learning how many members are in favor of a return to the original basis upon which the Society was founded.
With respect to the two candidates upon whom the members are permitted to vote, I can only say that I am sure
that both Shrimati Rukmini Devi and her brother, Mr. N. Sri Ram, are sincere in their desire to serve the cause of Theosophy in the high administrative office of President. H.P.B. wrote in The Key to Theosophy that the future of the Society would depend almost entirely upon the degree of selflessness, earnestness, devotion, and last, but not least, on the amount of knowledge and wisdom possessed by those members on whom it will fall to carry on the work and to direct the Society.
Both candidates are idealistic persons who have given years of service to the Society. At the same time, we are of the opinion that both these candidates should place before the members, statements of their policies, etc., and for this reason we are cabling both and hope to have their replies in our next issue.
We are printing below Mrs. Arundale's letter of acceptance of nomination which was published in a special Supplement issued by Ancient Wisdom, St. Louis, in support of her candidacy. The Supplement also contains biographical material and statements from prominent members in the United States and India who favor her election.
Letter of Acceptance
California, Sept. 18, 1952
I have written to you giving a formal consent to being nominated as a candidate for the high office of President of The Theosophical Society. But I cannot rest content until I tell you how deeply I value the honor you have done me by even thinking of me as worthy of an office so gloriously held by such a one as Annie Besant and others.
Only after deep thought and meditation have I accepted your nomination, as I am aware of the tremendous responsibility. Yet I am conscious of the great opportunity for service.
Though unsought by me, I feel I must accept this opportunity given so kindly by your Section. And I know full well that I lack many of the qualities which are necessary for the perfect fulfillment of that great office.
The final decision of course rests with the members, and if I am not chosen I shall continue to work along the lines now open to me. But, wherever I am, I am a Theosophist first.
At present I do not know who the other candidates may be, but I want to assure you that I have no feeling of rivalry to anyone. If my brother Sri Ram stands, as seems likely, our friendship and affection for each other is such that it would not matter to either of us what the result is, as long as it is best for The Theosophical Society.
I have agreed to be a candidate only because I feel that my first duty is to The Theosophical Society and through it to the world at large. And if I am to undertake this heavy burden I prefer to do so when I am comparatively young so that I can give the best years of my life to it.
It is true that I am burdened with heavy responsibilities in the Educational Institutions of the Besant Cultural Centre at Adyar, including the Besant Theosophical School (founded by Dr. Arundale at Dr. Besant's request), the Arundale Training Centre, and Kalakshetra Art Centre. Also I am in the midst of plans for the transfer of this Centre to its own grounds.
Besides these, my own work and influence has spread into the public life of India, carrying with it many contacts and activities, such as the Unesco, Animal Welfare, Educational and other movements. And now I am a member of the Council of States in the Indian Parliament.
The question may well be asked, how shall I find time to work as the President of The Theosophical Society? I
have thought this over and remembered that other Presidents had exactly the same problem.
Dr. Besant was busily occupied in the Central Hindu College as well as in many other Educational, Religious, Social, Economic and Political movements. Yet, when the call came, she undertook the arduous task of President of The Theosophical Society, passing on to others what she could, and continuing such of her former activities as she felt were important.
The work that she did for the world and for India, even while being President, brought her the love and respect of all people. At the same time, it brought to The Theosophical Society a strength and influence as never before.
When Dr. Arundale became President he had a similar problem, for he was then President of the Indian National League, Editor of the journal New India, Chairman of the Directors of the Broadcasting Station in Australia, as well as head of many Educational arid Youth movements.
Col. Olcott was the founder of numerous Buddhist schools in Ceylon, and of the Panchama Schools in India. His service to Buddhism is remembered even until this day. When writing of the future of the Society he said that it was his problem to find a person to succeed him as President who would, amongst other things, push on the educational work, now so prosperous in Ceylon and Southern India. He found Annie Besant.
In fact it is my regret that I am not great enough to follow in their footsteps. But I have had the privilege of the blessing, the guidance and the love of Dr. Besant and Dr. Arundale. And I pray that this inspiration may aid me in my endeavor to help the Society.
I am blest with a band of devoted helpers, young and old, outstanding in talent and capacity, who will carry on such of my present activities as I may assign to them. Thus I will be more free for the added work that will come if I am elected President.
My purpose shall ever be to work with my fellow-members in friendship and affection, and to attain the highest ideal of human progression and perfection.
Let me conclude by saying that my only wish is that I may serve the Elder Brethren in any form or any place, however great or small. I wish for nothing better than that They shall continue to have as President a person of Their choice to inspire and guide the Society.
(Signed) Rukimini Arundale
Mr. N. Sri Ram
(The following biographical material was received from Miss Ann Kerr of the Theosophical Society at Wheaton.)
Mr. Sri Ram was born in Tanjore, South India, in 1890 of Brahmin parents. He was graduated from the Madras University in 1909, and had previously become a member of the Theosophical Society in 1908. He is married.
He has taught in various Theosophical Schools and for two years was Assistant Editor of The Leader, Allahabad, then the most influential newspaper in North India. He assisted Dr. Annie Besant, the late President of the Theosophical Society, in editing her political newspaper, New India, (1923-32) and was also Assistant Editor of the weekly journal The Commonweal, edited by her. Later Mr. Sri Ram was Co-Editor of Conscience, a weekly journal conducted by Dr. G.S. Arundale.
Mr. Sri Ram was Dr. Besant's private secretary during the years 1929-33. He was Treasurer of the Society from 1937 to 1939, its Recording Secretary from 1939 to 1942, and its Vice-President from 1942 to 1946, acting as deputy for
the President at various times.
He also served as Chairman of the New India League, which succeeded Dr. Besant's Home Rule for India League, and as Chairman of the Besant Theosohpical School at Adyar from its start in 1934 until 1938.
Since 1946, Mr. Sri Ram has been travelling and lecturing in the Society's behalf in India, Australia, New Zealand, the United States of America, England and in other European countries, also in Cuba, Mexico and South Africa.
He is the author of numerous articles published by The Theosophist and other theosophical journals, and of five books, Thoughts for Aspirants, A Theosophist Looks at the World, The Human Interest and An Approach to Reality. For his literary work he received the Subba Row Medal in 1951.
For a number of years, Mr. Sri Ram has been a member of the General Council of the Society; during the past three years he has been Rector of The School of the Wisdom at Adyar and Chairman of discussions in its study classes.
WHAT ARE THE MAHATMAS DOING?
By Cecil Williams
II. WILL THE EAST CONQUER THE WEST?
Perhaps in part due to a bad conscience, modern Europe has always been apprehensive of the East. To Kipling, Russia was the bear that walked like a man (The Truce of the Bear), and the symbolic suggestion of menacing brute force has been repeated by millions.
The last emperor of Germany commissioned a painting to show the Arch-angel Michael warning the west against the yellow peril blazing on the horizon (The Book of History, II, 604). On the margin the imperial hand wrote, "Nations of Europe, defend your holiest possessions."
That was before the first world war. After it, the one-eyed radio newscaster, Floyd Gibbons, wrote a prophetic novel (published in 1929) in which he depicted an Asiatic horde swarming in blood, rape and rapine up the banks of the St. Lawrence. He titled his story, The Red Napoleon. The European fear had crossed the Atlantic.
Between the wars there arose a prophet of doom named Oswald Spengler. His study of historical cycles convinced him that the final stage of the winter of our culture began at the turn of the century (The Decline of the West, I, table 2). Just before his death he warned that the colored races might become the rulers of the earth. (Oswald Spengler, by H. Stuart Hughes, p. 136) .
Today, as Hughes points out (p. 165) the west is pessimistically inclined to accept its downfall, and the consequent rise of the east as inevitable. In the east, many are convinced of this destiny.
It is not a new belief by any means. The cruel czar, Peter the Great, turned his thoughts and armies aggressively westward. (article, "Peter the Great," Nelson's Encyclopaedia) For early continental revolutionaries, the defeat of Napoleon established Russia's claim to determine European history (Four Prophets of Our Destiny, by William Hubben, p. 66). Dostoyevsky was certain that his country had a spiritual mission for the world (op. cit. p. 63). Spengler was anticipated by a Russian
positivist, Nikolai Danilevsky, whose study of historical cycles proved to him also the decline of the west. (Hughes' Oswald Spengler, p. 48) .
The rise of Japan to world power, many observers believe, will be parallelled by a similar growth in China. From Arabia to the Malay States, the fomenting east thrusts up leaders whose strange names seem to bode terror and whose exotic brows appear to scowl from magazine and film with threats of looming power over the white races.
Yet, while the resentment of the colored peoples against exploitation is understandable and recent humiliations of the whites suggest swift karmic retribution for domineering pride, the idea of domination of the west by the east runs counter to all early Theosophical teachings.
The western subrace, said the Mahatma K.H. (Mahatma Letters, p. 149), is running on to its apex. Europeans, Blavatsky claimed, are emerging from the very bottom of a new cycle (Article, "A Land of Mystery," Theosophist, I. 170).
As for the Americans, they have become a "primary race" the carriers of the germs of the sixth sub-race, which is destined in a few hundred years to succeed the present fifth. (Secret Doctrine, I I, 444-5) .
The psychological characteristics of new races puzzle their predecessors. The French accounted for the apparent inconsistencies of Albion by calling her perfidious. Today, Britain regards the United States as unpredictable and reckless. "American habits and behavior are shot through and through with crazy contradictions and annoying paradoxes," complains the subhead of an article by Tibor Koeves, a Hungarian, in The United Nations World, ("How to Misunderstand the U.S.A.," July 1952, p. 31) .
The older races cannot comprehend that with every cyclic advance man's understanding tends to deepen and expand. A wider logic appears which seems irrational to those whose mental habits are restricted and this seeming irrationality is naturally associated with decadence.
Even in America, the idea of deterioration troubles doubters and pessimists. Edgar Ansel Mowrer, discussing United States' character (Article, "The Third Man," in The Saturday Review, July 5, 1952, p. 39) misgivingly recalls "the growing cynicism, self-indulgence, indifference, irresolution, pacificism and finally sheer cowardice," which led to the downfall of Rome. Philip Wylie pierces American complacency with an epithet that stings - Momism.
Again, to the older races the status of woman in North America seems unnatural. With the astonishing swiftness of events which characterizes our century, woman the world over has broken or is breaking her shackles, but in America she receives unwonted consideration. Not men merely but whole new industries have become her slaves. Excluded from religious office, her power in the temples of Mammon grows amazingly. To the European and the Asiatic, the attitude of the American male to the female savors of weakness.
What is not recognized is that we are witnessing in these and other phenomena the return of the archaic matriarchial principle which in happier days governed humanity. Matriarchy, according to some anthropologists, is fundamental to universal brotherhood and the so-called democratic principles of liberty, equality and fraternity (The Forgotten Language by E. Fromm, pp. 208-10) According to the ancient myth, now re-emerging, when the father is secondary, all children are sib, the offspring of the Great Mother.
Woman is frail only in modern tradition. In war, she has been found to
be more ferocious than the male. Physically she is the stronger sex (The Physiology of Sex, by Kenneth Walker, p. 23) as she has to be, to bear children. In Ancient matriarchial Egypt, woman was looked up to as being more spiritual than man (Secret Doctrine, III, 449, 1918 edition).
It is stamina, rather than softness that we should anticipate in the newer races, although matriarchy, like all else in this dual universe, has its bad side. In the article above cited, Mowrer hopes the American character will become neither tyrannical nor weak, but follow the example of Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita: be compassionate yet courageous. American idealization of an Arjuna of the west - Abraham Lincoln - helps to ensure this more firmly than Mowrer appears to think.
Lincoln preserved the integrity of a nation which ever since his time has displayed a practical sympathy for other peoples unexampled in recorded history. Recently, both Churchill and Attlee paid tribute to this spirit of good will and Asiatics have acclaimed American disinterestedness.
This readiness to help other peoples is not only evidence of an advance in human evolution. It is a protecting karmic shield. This aspect of karma was demonstrated in the case of Nanking, which during a moral revival was avoided by war and depression but as soon as ethical idealism was abandoned became the prey of bandits. (article, "A Sage's Prediction," Canadian Theosophist, XVI, 291) What is true for a city is true also for a nation.
Exploitation of the east there has been, jealousy of the west exists and frustration at inability to absorb democratic ideas, as in Burma, or to operate at technological levels, as in Iran, but the basic cause of eastern discontent is none of these, Eric Hoffer points out with acute discernment (The True Believer, p. 37). It is the result of the crumbling of ancient solidarity. The turmoil of the east is evidence of its disintegration. Not until the coming of the sixth race will a new cycle open for some of these eastern races (Mahatma Letters, p. 150).
Due to Mahatma-inspired invention the world is smaller. Its shrinking has brought the races together as never before. In the fastnesses of Tibet natives listen to a cowboy song on the radio. From a plane at a British airport a black man from Africa steps out. Never has the race problem been so acute.
It is what the Mahatmas planned!
According to no less an authority than the Maha Chohan, they determined upon "a greater, wiser and specially a more benevolent intermingling of the high and low, of the Alpha and Omega of society."
It is not national society alone that is here meant, that object having been achieved through increased democratic sentiment, but world society, as well. This is made clear in the words following, "The white race must be the first to call the poor despised `nigger' brother." (Letters From The Masters of The Wisdom, I, 5) .
And so it has! Great Britain, largely at the behest of Britishers, has freed its slave nations. White races today join in efforts to ameliorate and improve the condition of the colored. Some, as the Boers in Africa, have withheld the hand of friendship, but even there the blacks are not without white comrades.
The world is in labor, but can any doubt that if the Masters' plans prevail, if brotherhood becomes less of a dream and more of a reality, that the nations of the east will not benefit. Has the Asiatic so forgotten those eternal verities which are anciently his - reincarnation and karma - to reject their implica- (Continued on Page 138)
NOTES BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
I regret to report the death of one of our members, Mrs. Agnes Daly, of Toronto Lodge who passed away on August 2nd. Mrs. Daly joined the Society in 1938 and was an earnest student of Theosophy until her death.
This paragraph is intended for our cousins south of the border and is in connection with payment of subscriptions to The Canadian Theosophist. Many of our United States subscribers do not seem to know that there is a difference in the value of the American and the Canadian dollar! - but there is, and it is a serious matter to those who are endeavoring to run a magazine on a cost basis. For instance, I receive an American cheque for $2.00; before I can enter it up in my books, I have to take it to the bank where the following deduc-tions are made - 18c for bank charges, 8c or more for the difference in exchange; then I acknowledge receipt of cheque, using a 4c stamp, making a total of 30c, a big loss on a $2.00 subscription. However, I feel that this gentle reminder will obviate any further necessity to remark on the matter.
It is with much pleasure that I welcome the following new members into the Society - Mrs. Flora A. Warden and Mrs. F. Fletcher, both of Vancouver Lodge; Mrs. Barbara Treloar and Mrs. Winifred Branting of Toronto Lodge; Miss I.M. Hartman of the Montreal Lodge. - E. L. T.
The Quarterly meeting of the General Executive of the Theosophical Society in Canada took place on Sunday, October 5 at 52 Isabella Street, Toronto with the following members in attendance - Miss M. Hindsley, Mr. Dudley W. Barr, Mr. Charles M. Hale, Mr. George I. Kinman and Colonel E.L. Thomson, the General Secretary. Dr. Alvin B. Kuhn, who was in the city as guest lecturer at Toronto Lodge, was invited to be present. The usual routine business was transacted. The latest information in regard to the Presidential Election was laid before the meeting and discussed. Arrangements for the printing and balloting were detailed. Dr. Kuhn outlined a new idea for his intended tour and changes in the dates, itinerary, etc. When definite arrangements are made a public announcement will be made. The Meeting then proceeded to vote on the various Amendments to Rules, etc., as submitted by Adyar. These included Rule 2 (b); 35; 43; and 44; and to these were added the election of Additional Members of the General Council. The meeting approved of all these changes and voted in the affirmative. In view of the pending election the date of the next meeting was left to the discretion of the General Secretary.
- E. L. T.
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.
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
- The Organ of the Theosophical Society in Canada
- Published on the 15th of every month.
- Entered at Hamilton General Post Office as Second-class matter.
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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
All Letters to the Editor, Articles and Reports for Publication should be sent to The Editor: Dudley W. Barr, 52 Isabella St., Toronto 5, Ont.
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Reading his article "What Do We Mean by Religion?" in the New Outlook for September, one wonders whether Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick, beside observing the modern world, has been studying Letter X of The Mahatma Letters. The Minister Emeritus of Riverside Church, New York City, says: "Religion, as it actually exists, is hindering the development of an all-inclusive spiritual culture which mankind desperately needs. It ought to be the paramount force on earth for unity, harmony, mutual understanding and brotherhood, but it is far from that. . . religion is everywhere blocking man's search for unity and mutual understanding. The world's religions add sanctity to our cultural divisions until some students, feeling the crying need for an all-embracing world culture, say it cannot come until religion has been so far reduced as to be impotent."
Common ground between mankind's faiths, where mutual understanding is possible, do exist and is of momentous importance, according to Dr. Fosdick, who illustrates this by quotations from many religions.
"Thoughtful Hindus, Buddhists and Moslems are busy unscrambling the universals of their faiths from their special localisms, preparing to face the world saying: 'This is essential Hinduism, or Buddhism, or Mohammedanism, the profound gist of the matter, with the superficial accretions put in their secondary place.' We are not saying that, when this is done, the essentials of these various religions will agree. They certainly will not. But this endeavor to get at the universal essence of the great religions is one of the most significant movements of thought in our time . . . We are living in one world - one world, not only for the nations, but for religion too. To have religion go on as one of the most divisive and alienating forces on earth, as it now is, so that religious prejudice and racial prejudice are commonly ,and correctly paired as major curses of mankind, will never do."
In Sunrise, September, 1952, there is a short article, "A Call to Action", written by the late A. Trevor Barker who transcribed, compiled, and wrote the Introduction to The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett. Space permits quoting the closing paragraphs: " . . . .one man dedicated, cleansed, purified, filled with the power of the spirit, can
work what seem to the ordinary man and woman miracles. He can change the lives of people and help them to a recognition of their own divine nature. I have seen it work. . . Those who have dedicated themselves strongly enough will become centers of that holy and spiritual power which will enable them to take the message of good news, glad tidings, hope and spiritual beneficence everywhere they go. Just imagine if all the humanitarian and religious communities throughout the world were filled with regenerated, vital, spiritual, purposeful men and women. Is there any limit to the possibilities? None. There would be no universal chaos under those conditions. Once we have taken the first step, of working a spiritual revolution in ourselves, on the small, ancient and narrow way, we shall have done enough, even in that short time, to have made a profound impression upon the collective state of the world's consciousness."
We acknowledge with thanks receipt of a clipping from the New York Herald Tribune October 27, 1952, relative to the dedication of Anabel Taylor Hall, an interfaith centre and a world war memorial, at Cornell University. The stately building in English Gothic style, built at a cost of two million dollars, was donated by Myron C. Taylor, the representative from 1939 to 1950 of the President of the United States at the Vatican. The building contains a large auditorium, meeting rooms, offices and a chapel which seats 150 and which has a turntable on which are two altars and an ark of the Covenant for Jewish services. When one side of the triangle faces the seats, the other sides are hidden. At the dedication service the donor expressed his belief that religion was the only force which could save the world from chaos. Let us hope that the chapel will serve the purpose that Dr. Fosdick has in mind, and that there will be presented there, "a kind of religion which will make for unity, mutual understanding and brotherhood."
Editor, Canadian Theosophist,
Concerning Mr. de Zirkoff's correction on p. 121 of your October 15th issue:
We regret having carelessly misled Mr. de Zirkoff and probably others by an incomplete title. What we were referring to was not the after-death state of "Bardo," but the book under question, by its Tibetan title, "Bardo Thodol." We referred to it as we habitually think of it, overlooking the fact that our reference would be misleading. In other words, we were pointing out that the book, titled in English (improperly in our opinion) "The Tibetan Book of the Dead," was never mentioned by H.P. Blavatsky or the Masters, and for the reason, as we hold, that its teachings are dangerously misleading. We reaffirm this and Mr. de Zirkoff's correction does not touch the issue.
Editors, Theosophical Notes.
The whole essence of truth cannot be transmitted from mouth to ear. . . (nor) can any pen describe it, not even that of the recording Angel, unless man finds the answer in the sanctuary of his own heart, in the innermost depths of his divine intuitions.
- The Secret Doctrine, Vol. II, 516.
WHAT ARE THE MAHATMAS DOING? (Continued from Page 134)
tions for the insane fantasies of dialectical materialism?
Indeed, knowing these truths, why should the underprivileged envy the gifted? Are not souls in colored bodies destined one day to clothe themselves in white? Are there not in nature gifts enough waiting for all who exercise their manhood rather than their animalhood?
It is more of his white than his black brother that the white should beware. When white battles white they are more apt to find themselves pitted against equal strength. Think of what white nations have done to other whites!
Among the white races we must include the Russians.
For the Slavs of Russia, as a subrace of the Aryan race, are successors in time of the Asiatics. But their sympathies are eastern.
It was in vain that Peter the Great, Danilevsky and Dostoyevsky tried to turn Russian eyes westward. After Waterloo Russia could have dominated Europe. (The March of the Barbarians by Harold Lamb, p. 354) But instead colonists moved toward Siberia.
They mingled with the Mongols and if this admixture has not sufficed to change appreciably racial characteristics (A History of Russia by George Vernadsky, p. 3), they became Asiatic in spirit. The Soviets slavishly follow the old, unnatural Mongolian order, in which the individual gave unquestioning submission to the clan and then through the clan to the state (op. cit. 56).
The Russians are evidently a declining race and the cyclic law forbids one race `to encroach upon the knowledge and powers in store for its successor" (Mahatma Letters, p. 157). Copiers though they are of the west, as Japan was, the dead hand of the past lays its checking fingers on Soviet science.
A few years ago Russia could easily have swept through Europe. But the eyes of her people were turned away. The Soviet tide of empire sweeps eastward. But China is not an empty steppe. Who shall finally possess the treasures of Mongolia and Tartary? A Buddhist observer, writing in the Calcutta magazine, The Maha Bodi, (Article, "China Dosa," by Anagarika Y. Sirinana, Vol. 60, p. 118) believes the next major war, sixteen years hence, may well be between Russia and a reorganized Red China.
There is a strange eight-hundred-year cycle in Chinese history. Five hundred years of peace have always been followed by internecine wars, conquest from outside and subsequent unification. The last era of peace ended in 1850 and events since then have followed the cyclic pattern with astonishing fidelity. But conquest by a foreign race and unification have yet to come (My Country and My People by Lin Yutang, pp. 28-32).
Economics and cyclic destiny may confirm Anagarika Y. Sirinana's judgment, if not his date.
Russia, impelled by racial and karmic impulses eastward, appears to have lost the opportunity to conquer Europe and the chance may never be regained. If so, the terreur predicted by Blavatsky has come and gone. Korea may prove to be a futile Crimean war of the twentieth century.
But even if the west is not destroyed by the east, how can we in Kali Yuga, an age black with horrors, dream of a Golden Age?
MISSING H. P. B. MATERIAL
It is well known that approximately in March 1890, and again in January 1891, the Theosophical Publishing Society, 7, Duke Street, Adelphi, London (as well as Wm. Q. Judge, 132 Nassau St., New York), published the Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge of The Theosophical Society, in two separate thin volumes. They contained discussisons on the Stanzas of the First Volume of The Secret Doctrine during certain meetings of the Blavatsky Lodge in London, when H.P.B. answered some rather abstruse questions regarding the teachings of the Esoteric Philosophy.
The First Volume deals with the meetings held on January 10, 17, 24 and 31, 1889, at 17 Lansdowne Road, London, when Stanzas I and II were discussed. An Appendix gives under the title of "Dreams", "the Summary of the teachings during several meetings which preceded the Transactions. . .", namely those of December 20 and 27, 1888.
The Second Volume deals with the meetings held at the same address on February 7, 14, 21 and 28, and on March 7 and 14, 1889. At these gatherings Stanzas II, III and IV were discussed.
A Prefatory Note states that "the answers in all cases are based on the shorthand Reports, and are those of Esoteric Philosophy as given by H.P.B. herself."
A review of the First Volume (in Lucifer, Vol. VI., April 1890, pp. 173-174) states, among other things, that "enough matter remains for five more numbers on the same subject." This statement may have had reference to the material contained in the Second Volume, and which, at the time when the review was written, had not yet been published.
But what is much more difficult to explain is the fact that the Prefatory Note of both volumes states that these transactions are compiled "from shorthand notes taken at the meetings of the Blavatsky Lodge of the Theosophical Society, from January 10th to June 20th 1889. . ." (italics ours).
It appears, therefore, that there were similar meetings held later than March 14th, 1889, which is the date of the last printed discussion. Up to the middle of Summer 1889, H.P.B. was in London; in July, she went to France, writing at Fontainebleau the greater part of The Voice of the Silence. She then went to St. Heliers, Jersey, and did not return to London until the middle of August. It is quite probable, therefore, that meetings of the Blavatsky Lodge continued up to the time of her departure for France, and that such meetings consisted of similar discussions to those embodied in the printed Transactions.
In November, 1889 (Lucifer, Vol. V, p. 178) , George R.S. Mead, in his capacity of Secretary of the Blavatsky Lodge published a "Notice to Those Interested in the "Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge'." It runs as follows:
"The discussions on the first volume of the Secret Doctrine which have been reported by a stenographer were of so difficult a nature that much of the substance, as it stands, is entirely useless. The revision and rewording of these reports, which had to be undertaken by one of the busiest of the 17 Lansdowne Road household, is progressing; but it has to be again revised and prepared for press, and this no one can do but H.P.B.; owing, however, to her multifarious duties the work can progress but slowly. It is to be hoped that the anxiety of our friends will be relieved by the above explanation."
It is of course obvious that a certain portion of the Ms. spoken of by Mead consisted of material taken down during the discussions in the meetings of Janu-
ary, February and early March, 1889, later published as Transactions, Vols. I and II. But as he was writing quite some time after the meetings of late March, April, May and June, 1889, it is most probable that he also had in mind material pertaining to these later gatherings, especially when we bear in mind what is stated in the Prefatory Note to both volumes.
This is strongly supported by the fact that in Lucifer Vol. VII, October 15th, 1890, p. 165, it is stated that the reports of the Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge "consist of twenty-four large longhand folios, four of which have been already printed." If four of these folios went to make Transactions Vol. I (published in March 1890), and if Vol. Il (published in January 1891) was smaller than Vol. I, it is obvious, of course, that a considerable portion of the twenty-four folios have never been used.
Does anybody know anything about the whereabouts of this missing material? Has any student ever heard of what became of it?
It is unlikely that any of it was included in the Third Volume of The Secret Doctrine, published by Annie Besant in 1897, because this volume does not contain any material on the Stanzas, and the gatherings of the Blavatsky Lodge continued to discuss these, so far as we know.
If anyone has any ideas on this subject, the writer of the present article will be grateful if he or she will communicate with him.
- Boris de Zirkoff.
650 So. Oxford Ave., Los Angeles 5, Calif., U.S.A.
AN OUTLINE OF THEOSOPHY
By W.B. Pease
(Continued from page 127)
K.H. could hardly have meant by "intense selfishness," that kind of selfishness that grasps at happiness at the expense of others. He meant, no doubt, that the bliss of devachan is founded upon gratified wishes and aspirations formed by and for the personal self.
From this it will follow that the man who has resolutely determined to devote his life and energies to the service of humanity will not regard the prospect of spending long periods amid the evanescent joys of devachan as a consummation to be desired with complacent satisfaction, but he will rather aspire to the attainment of sufficient strength of purpose to enable him to live a life of such altruism and self-abnegation that, having sown no seeds to yield the illusionary blossoms of which these joys are composed, there will be nothing to keep him from quickly rejoining the ranks of those who are fighting on earth for the redemption of mankind. Such attainment is, as yet, quite impossible for most of us and, indeed, the rest of devachan is as necessary for our refreshment as is sleep for our physical body. We can, however, gradually shorten its period by endeavoring to broaden our outlook on life from the personal and narrow to the impersonal and all-embracing.
In answer to the question: "Do we possess more knowledge than we do in earth-life?" Mme. Blavatsky replies:
"In one sense, we can acquire more knowledge that is, we can develop
further any faculty that we loved and strove after during life, provided it is concerned with abstract and ideal things, such as music, painting, poetry, etc., since Devachan is merely an idealized and subjective continuation of earth-life." - The Key to Theosophy.
It is important to note that all these after-death states depend for their length and intensity upon the vital force or impetus that has been generated by the habits of thought and sustained desires of any kind with which the personality of the last earth-life has been occupied. They are the natural consequences of a man's character and the way he has directed his energies, and are not meted out to him by an assessor any more than are the obvious consequences of the simple acts of everyday life.
Communication With the Dead: The teaching with regard to the period between incarnations, precludes any possibility of there being any communication between average people who have died a natural death, and those who are still on this side of the portal, except in some cases for a few hours, or, at most, for a few days, after death. The released ego, after it has entered the happy state above mentioned, is quite beyond the disturbing influences of sorrow or the selfish hankerings and inquisitive importunities of spiritualistic seances. Victims of accidents, however, remain on the astral plane in a state of dreamy happiness commensurate with the purity and goodness of the interrupted life until the hour comes to which they would have lived but for the accident. Suicides also have to wait for their hour, but they remain awake to be tortured by remorse for running away from their responsibilities, and, if they are debased and sensual, by longings for the sensations that can only be obtained through a physical body. These classes can be got at by mediums, and very great harm both to themselves and to all concerned, is certain to result. Not for nothing has every religion worthy of the name decried and warned against necromancy. H.P. Blavatsky in The Key to Theosophy goes into this matter very fully, and so also doers W.Q. Judge in The Ocean of Theosophy.
The phenomena of the seance rooms are not denied, but the question is: What is it that produces them? Occultism answers: The worst class of disembodied suicides, or by other astral entities masquerading as the dear departed, by vampires that suck vitality from the medium and the sitters, by elementals and elementaries. In The Theosophy Glossary, by H.P. Blavatsky under "Incubus," one reads:
"An Incubus is the male Elemental, and Succuba the female, and these are undeniably the spooks of mediaeval demonology, called forth from the invisible regions by human passion and lust. They are now called `Spirit brides' and `Spirit husbands,' among some benighted Spiritists and spiritual mediums. But these poetical names do not prevent them in the least from being that which they are - Ghouls, Vampires and soulless Elementals; formless centres of Life, devoid of sense; in short, subjective protoplasms when left alone, but called into a definite being and form by the creative and diseased imagination of certain mortals. They were known under every clime as in every age, and the Hindus can tell more than one terrible tale of the dramas enacted in the life of young students and mystics by the Pisachas, their name in India."
It is easy for many classes of entities of the astral plane not only to take any form they please, or to animate a form created by the medium's thought, but
also to reflect the thoughts of the medium or sitters.
To the question: "Can we help the dead?" Theosophy not only answers in the negative, but affirms that they do not need our help. Mme. Blavatsky writes:
" . . . . We say that the bliss of the Devachanee consists in its complete conviction that it has never left the earth, and that there is no such thing as death at all; that the post-mortem spiritual consciousness of the mother will represent to her that she lives surrounded by her children and all those whom she loved, that no gap, no link, will be missing to make her disembodied state the most perfect and absolute happiness."
"We are with those whom we have lost in material form and far, far nearer to them now than when they were alive. And it is not only in the fancy of the Devachanee, as some may imagine, but in reality. For pure divine love is not merely the blossom of a human heart, but has its roots in eternity. . . Again we say that love beyond the grave, illusion though you may call it, has a magic and divine potency which reacts on the living. A mother's Ego filled with love for the imaginary children it sees near itself, living a life of happiness, as real to it as when on earth - that love will always be felt by the children in the flesh." - The Key to Theosophy.
Under conditions so described, surely those who have gone before must be far, indeed, beyond the need of any help that those left behind could give them. On the contrary, any interference from sorrowing friends could but spoil their happiness, for as Mme. Blavatsky writes:
"And if the `Spirits of the dead' are enabled to return and see all that is going on on earth, and especially in their homes, what kind of bliss can be in store for them?" - The Key to Theosophy
Karma: Closely interlinked with the doctrine of reincarnation is that of karma; the law which ensures that every man shall reap as he sows. It is a perfectly obvious law in the physical world, being nothing more or less than that every cause must have its effect; it is at once creative, conservative and destructive; it rewards those who act wisely and punishes the ignorant or foolish; it teaches by pleasant and unpleasant experiences, and is the never-failing protector of those who act in accordance with its laws. In the realm of ethics, and of thought, karma acts as constantly as it does on the physical plane. Every thought, desire and motive must have its appropriate effect. It is karma that necessitates our return to this earth in order that we may experience the effects of causes generated in past lives, for where the seed was sown the harvest must be reaped. All ambitions and desires pertaining to the things of earth must reach their fulfilment on earth; therefore, those who dislike the prospect of returning to earth-life should give up wishing for anything that can be found nowhere else. What we seek we shall find - this year, next year, sometime, or in some life - there is, no "never".
It is this immutable law, which neither prayer nor repentance can turn a hair's breadth from its natural course, which makes man his own creator and the creator of his destiny. His character is what he has made it by his thoughts and aspirations; his faculties and capabilities are the results of past efforts in whatever direction; his opportunities are those that he has longed to have, and his limitations often the result of neglecting those opportunities
that he has had. The present is as we have made it; the future is our own. "Destiny today is master; man was master yesterday."
"My brothers! each man's life
The outcome of his former living is;
The bygone wrongs 'bring forth sorrows and woes
The bygone right breeds bliss. . .
This is the doctrine of Karma."
- The Light of Asia.
The Ego Remembers: It has often been objected that, as we do not remember our past lives, and should not be held responsible for the things thought and done in them, therefore it is unjust that we should now have to suffer for them. It might be argued that that is squared by the fact that we enjoy the fruits of the good acts and thoughts of that forgotten time. But the fact is that the ego does remember, and hence comes a quickening of conscience as we evolve, for intuitional ideas and innate antipathies and attractions come from the inner self, while the memory of which we are conscious in daily life, is inherent in the physical brain. These lives on earth are for the benefit of the immortal man, not for that of the passing personality. The tendency of education and religion has been to produce in the men and women of our time an exaggerated idea of their own individual importance; and of the need of making the most, for their own advantage, of this one terrestrial life, whether it be regarded as an opportunity thrust upon every one for gaining for himself an eternity of bliss, or, in cases of failure to conform to the prescribed requirements, an eternity of punishment; or whether as being the only speck of time in which, perhaps, one will live at all at best the only one about which anything but the vaguest theories can be conjectured.
Truly, every one of us is of importance - but only as a part necessary to complete the whole; and every lifetime is of importance - but only as one day at school in a long series of days each one of which is preparatory to those that are to follow, and which is more or less successful according to the strength of the efforts, that have been made towards improvement.
Karma, the law of life, governs, the rise and fall of nations, and it governs also every sort of organized association of individuals, as surely as it does for every being capable of choosing - from the meanest man to the highest arch-angel.
The great thing to realize is that humanity, and humanity alone, is responsible for the state of the world as it is today. Any teaching or creed that tends to lessen man's sense of responsibility or that allows him to think that he can shirk his duty to mankind with impunity, can but retard the evolution of the race and every member it includes.
When humanity, as a whole, shall have at last grasped the fact that its welfare and happiness can be obtained only by the unselfish exercise of its own creative powers, an age of universal contentment may dawn upon the earth - but not before.
(To Be Continued)
So think as if your every thought were to be etched in fire upon the sky for all and everything to see.
For so, in truth, it is.
So speak as if the world entire were but a single ear intent on hearing what you say.
And so, in truth, it is.
So do as if your every deed were to recoil upon your heads.
And so, in truth, it does.
So live as if your God Himself had need of you, His life to live.
And so, in truth, He does.
- The Book of Mirdad, by Mikall Naimy
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