Vol. XXXIV, No. 1 Toronto, March 15th, 1953 Price 20 Cents
The Theosophical Society Is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made In an official document
THE SLEEPING SPHERES
Through the efforts of Mr. Willem B. Roos of Mexico City, Mexico, we are able to present a long lost article on the post mortem states of the human Ego, written by `Jasper Niemand', a close friend of and an active coworker with Mr. William Q. Judge. There will also be published Mr. Roos's commentaries on the text and a biographical note on `Jasper Niemand' which were included in a pamphlet prepared by Mr. Roos.
In the Preface Mr. Roos states:
"In The Path for July 1893 appeared under the signature of Jasper Niemand Part I of The Sleeping Spheres. At the end of that article is printed `(To be continued)' indicating that the author intended to publish a second part under the same title. From the contents of the last paragraph of Part I it is also clear that this second part would deal with a subjective devachanic experience of its author. But in the magazine The Path there was never published the continuation of The Sleeping Spheres. The final number of The Path is dated March 1896, after which the name was changed into Theosophy. This coincided with the death of its editor and founder, William Q. Judge. Up till now I have not been able to find out when and where the second part was published, yet it must have been published inasmuch as many years ago I obtained from Germany a German translation of The Sleeping Spheres in pamphlet form, containing both Part I and II. This pamphlet is entitled `Schlafende Spharen oder Das Leben der Seele nach dem Tode, von Jasper Niemand.' The publisher is given as Paul Raatz, Theosoph. Verlag, Friedrichstrasse 16. No city is indicated, nor is the name of the translator given. What is worse, all reference to the source is omitted, and it is not even stated that the article is a translation from the English . . . ."
Mr. Roos, goes on to state that having finally given up all hope of finding the original English text of Part II, he decided to retranslate the German version. He had loaned his copy of the German text to a Dutch lady from whom he later obtained a photographic copy. "Only the importance of this article in the study of Theosophy, on the subject of which there does not exist anything comparable to it, could induce me to undertake this task, a task wholly foreign to my usual activities."
Mr. Roos's retranslation of Part II, together with the original English version of Part I and commentaries on both Parts, were published by Mr. Roos in a pamphlet which was presented by him at the 22nd Anniversary of the Cosmopolitan Group of Students of Theosophy in Mexico City on February 15, 1951.
Mr. Roos was in Toronto later in 1951 and told us the interesting story of his search for the missing Part II and of
his translation of the German text. A copy of his pamphlet was left with us to be published later in the Magazine.
And now comes a curious sequel - a bound volume of the magazine in which the original of Part II was published, came to the Editor in 1952. This magazine was The English Theosophist, Vol. III, 1899-1900. This volume was among the books of the late Mrs. J.K. Bailey who for many years was Treasurer and Travelling Librarian for the Toronto Lodge. After her death in February, 1952, her books were given to the Toronto Lodge. This bound volume was given to the Editor as it seemed to be of historical interest and was not required for the Circulating Library. Glancing over the index we found The Sleeping Spheres, including the long lost Part II. A typed copy was sent to Mr. Roos and later the bound volume itself was sent on from which Mr. Roos had photostatic copies made.
In making his retranslation Mr. Roos did not attempt a literal translation from the German text, but endeavored to reproduce the style and spirit of the original article, in which task he was aided by having the original English text of Part I. That he was eminently successful in doing this is indicated by a comparison between the original of Part II and his retranslation.
We have often thought of the manner in which many threads of action came together in this little incident. If Mr. Roos had not visited Toronto in 1951 and aroused our interest in the article; if Mrs. Bailey had disposed of her books before her death or had given this particular volume to an interested friend, if her collection of books had not come to Toronto Lodge; if the volume of The English Theosophist had been put among the five thousand other books in the Lodge Library, the missing Part II might not have come to light for many years. Possibly if we could view such an incident from the inner realms we would see that such things do not occur by chance and that there is a pattern binding all together. Editor.
I. ON THE AUTHOR, JN.
Jasper Niemand is the nom-de-plume of Mrs. Archibald Keightley, also known in the ranks of the Theosophical Society in America under the name of Mrs. Julia Campbell VerPlanck. From "Faces of Friends," and article in The Path, Vol. IX, of April 1894, I quote the following:
"Her maiden name in full was Julia Wharton Lewis Campbell, daughter of the Hon. James H. Campbell, a prominent Pennsylvania lawyer . . . Her mother was Juliet Lewis, daughter of Chief Justice Ellis Lewis of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, a writer of verse possesing great poetical charm and value."
"Miss Julia . . . married in 1871 Mr. Philip W. VerPlanck of New York; and six years later, in the course of a single year, she lost her husband and both sons suddenly by a most dramatic series of reverses. . . "
One day she heard Mr. Arthur Gebhard speak on Theosophy and the impression made "was so deep that she joined the T.S. within two weeks, and thenceforward began her unceasing work for Theosophy."
"Living with her parents at a distance from New York she wrote for The Path under the names of "Julius," "August Waldensee," "J," and later on as "Jasper Niemand," as well as unsigned articles, and also corresponded with T.S. enquirers."
"Mrs. VerPlanck continued to live with her parents in Pennsylvania until the autumn of 1891, when she married Dr. Archibald Keightly of Old Hall, Westmoreland." (England).
Her first contribution to The Path, called "The Singing Silences," appeared
in August 1886, and is signed "Julius." She was then an F.T.S. for only a few months, as she first knew about Theosophy through the S.P.R. report and the latter was published on December 31st, 1885. For more details see Luc. VIII-382, though there is a printer's error in the first line, as the year must have been 1886 instead of 1885. In this Lucifer article she writes about H.P.B.: "I never met her. . . " This statement and that referring to the S.P.R. pamphlet induces me to identify Jasper Niemand with R.S., the author of a letter to Countess Wachtmeister and which was reproduced on page 121 of "Reminiscences of H.P. Blavatsky and `The Secret Doctrine', " by the Countess Constance Wachtmeister. R.S. also writes:
"Living some thousand of miles from England, I never met Madame Blavatsky in person. It is now seven years since first I heard her name and the word "'Theosophy" . . . by coming across the S.P.R. pamphlet . . . " (p. 121) And again: " . . . Thus I was enabled to prove that I really hear her (H.P.B.'s) wish overseas. . . " (p. 124) showing that R.S. lived in the U.S.A. Other internal evidences are supplied by R.S.'s letter, leaving no doubt of the latter's identity with Jasper Niemand. From this letter it appears that she was taught astrally by H.P.B., visiting the latter during sleep in her home in England, and that she soon learned to use her astral senses at will. "After a short time, I was able to see and to hear at will, without training or effort, as simply and as easily as one breathes. I could see a distant place or person or hear a reply to a question at will . . . .. But . . . I never did any of these things for idle curiosity, but only for the work of Theosophy . . . '' (p. 125)
About her articles Mrs. Keightley writes: "When I began to write articles along these lines, H.P.B. sent me a pen which I always used. The articles were and are always written in full objective consciousness, but at these times there is a feeling of inspiration, of greater mental freedom. The Letters that have helped me were received at my Pennsylvania home. They were written for me and for Dr. Keightley - and for the use of others later on - by Mr. W.Q. Judge, at the express wish of H.P. Blavatsky . . . " (The Path, IX -15/16). The above mentioned letters to JN started in 1886, as stated by her and her husband in a letter to the Editor of The Irish Theosophist dated Jan. 13th, 1895 (Letters that have Helped Me, 1946 edition, p. 271) The above will suffice to give the reader of "The Sleeping Spheres" some idea of its author. - Willem B. Roos.
THE SLEEPING SPHERES
One came to me, calling me out of the form in which I dwell, and showed me the sleeping spheres.
Now the object of this Messenger who had come to me was to make clear to me some of the hidden things: things hidden, I mean, from the eye of flesh, yet not lying so remote from our ken if we only make some mental effort toward seeing. And the further idea appeared to be that if I were to see them, as it were, objectively, though with the astral organ of sight, I might be able to make this, the Devachanic State, clearer to the thought of some of my fellows. For the sleeping Spheres are Devachanic entities. In Devachan we are not yet united with the UNKNOWN SOURCE. Hence the need, on the part of the Ego, of form - or container - of some kind. I have chosen here, arbitrarily perhaps, the name of "Sphere" for this Devachanic form.
These Spheres, than which there are none more beautiful, do not lie in any given place; they are self-contained; they have condition, but no place. When
I asked my companion how this could really be so, he pointed out to me that they interpenetrated many other states of matter, cohering by means of their own vibration, just as do all other forms, of whatever kind and however ethereal, throughout the whole of nature.
I had passed from my body into the air and the airy form, and from thence into the ether. All about me lay the sleeping Spheres, delicate milky films on the golden ocean of light. Ever and anon a thrill of faintest color trembled across their deeps, and I trembled too, for it was given to me to know that these color-motions were, in reality, Thoughts of profound delight. Yes, these palpitating Spheres had pure joy in their own opalescent motions; joy as they throbbed in the living ether, and a joy which had great meaning. This was plain to even my understanding, which at the moment was that of the airy body only. (I presuppose my readers to know even better than myself, that the consciousness of one body differs greatly from that of another. This is true whether the different bodies are all contained together in their own outer shell, or are at the time separate from that temporary covering.)
Imagine, then, that I saw these radiant shapes, now silvery, with a bluish frost upon them, now blooming into tints so translucent that the eye of the soul alone could perceive them, and that every tint was a Thought, an experience. These fair Thoughts were the dreams of the souls disengaged from earth. Dreaming thus, the Spheres slept. How blissful the dreams! For those colors were both living Light and Intelligence; each color was Thought; Thought of the most exalted order known to the human Mind. Thought quivered through the Spheres, changing their Consciousness; fusing them anew; quickening their higher Life; illumining their purer Light, in a world-plane whereon Light, Life, and Thought are one magnificent act of Being, and not the trivial things known to most men in this everyday world. Each Sphere thus became more and more incandescent with this threefold LIFE, and I saw them blooming and growing, through this sweet iris-hued ebb and flow, as a flower unfolds towards greater perfection by means of assimilated sunlight. The unfoldment was divine, the peace profound. Silence, like a brooding mother, covered them over; it was only enhanced by an occasional soft semitone, the harmonious breathing of the sleeping Spheres.
Would that I need say no more!
Yet even while I watched their gracious Being, it became plain that, like flowers, they must fade. Although they were composed of atoms of living Light, Light that was itself a grand Consciousness, yet I soon observed a marked change to take place and to become prevalent in all of them. This change was at first exceedingly beautiful, and consisted of a slight rhythmic motion in the atoms of a Sphere. The atoms danced; living opals shot through with tenderest Light. Seeing this, I could but ask myself, "What new Thoughts are in the dreams of the Spheres?" This motion was soon imparted to the Spheres themselves. They trembled into corruscations of Light and grandly awoke. From them, thus swaying, issued glories that no tongue may name, nor do words contain them. Each Sphere thus joining the choral dance emitted a choral song; music whose ordained instrument is the naked soul; music that is visible flames of sweetest, intensest desire. All my being awoke into delicious longings in which reverence had no place. I said to my Companion: "What is the burden of this bewitching song?" Very gravely he re-
plied: "It sings of the Life of the world." I wondered to hear him speak so solemnly of what gave me so great delight, but when I turned again to the Spheres I felt a new perplexity. The accelerated motion had produced colors more vivid, more of the gross and solid nature of earthy pigment; the music now shrilled across the etheric spaces; there was in it the strident note of crass emerald, the bugle blare of blazing crimson. The Spheres would sleep no more. Yet I saddened now at their brilliant awakening; in my inner heart a deep voice said: "This is the end of all desire."
The music augmented in volume; the aerial dance became a mad whirl to madder - yet harmonic - sound. This sound marshalled the turbulent atoms at the spheric centers, where they set up, tentative efforts towards crystallization - form. These efforts impeded the spheric motion. Labored, troubled movements, indicative of troubled Consciousness, set in. The fair Thought of the Spheres was disturbed. Streams of red fire, strange contractive motions, throes whose every convulsion made the Spheres less ethereal, sound whose every note made the atoms more gross, until suddenly the formative nucleus at the centre shuddered forth into form - a form which caught only a dim reflection of the original Light, a form which could not exist at all on the original plane of the Spheres. Must the awakened Spheres hereafter bear that grotesque burden? Suspended there, fringed only with the gracious spheric hues, gross cause of the dispersal of beauteous Being, still I recognized it, still I wept as I said: "Comes the earth-child thus forth? Surely this is Death that I have witnessed, and not Life."
My Companion answered: "That is in truth what thou hast witnessed. A death to Devachanic existence, a birth into the material Life which thou and thy blinded fellows call `the world'. The form whose birth thou hast seen is but the model of the earthly one which it informs. It is thy lot to know more of this matter of so-called Life and Death. Another time I will again meet thee; thou shalt then undergo some experience of Devachanic Life." He disappeared, leaving me in my ethereal body adrift upon the night.
(To Be Continued)
THE QUAKERS ARE DOING IT
During the past twenty years, and more particularly during the last three years of his life, a number of Quakers were closely associated with Gandhi. The Quaker belief in spiritual freedom led the Society of Friends in England to support India's struggle, but it was not the political freedom of India as such that concerned the Quakers, but the spiritual wrong done when the painful responsibility attaching to self-government is denied. Latterly, through the Friends Ambulance Unit, the Friends Service Unit and in other ways, Western Quakers brought some relief to India's suffering millions, especially in the Bengal famine of 1942-43 and the Punjab trouble in 1947. They also identified themselves through personal friendship with India's new life of freedom and aspiration.
As Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Parsees and Christians worked with the Quakers in the common enterprises for the relief of suffering, so they joined together in acts of worship and out of deep friendship grew a desire, sometimes expressed as a definite request,
that some organic fellowship might be formed, open alike to all without any test or qualification of membership beyond a serious desire to associate themselves in discovering the essential unity of all religions and religious experience.
It was Horace Alexander, an English Quaker still in India, who in 1947 asked Gandhi whether he thought the Society of Friends might attempt to form "a union of hearts", a fellowship in which persons of each faith - Hindu, Buddhist, Parsi, Jew, Muslim, Christian - might find themselves at one because together they were seeking to practice Truth. Mr. Alexander writes:
"Gandhiji did not answer without giving some time for thought. `Of the societies that I know,' Gandhi said, `I think the Friends are the best. But only on one condition: Are they prepared to recognize that it is as natural for a Hindu to grow into a Friend as it is for a Christian to grow into one?"
A group of Friends in India thereupon undertook the task and a Fellowship of Friends of Truth was born which is alive to the urgent need in the world today of bringing together people of different faiths in a common endeavor to realize the good life for all through the way of truth and love. It attempts to do this on the basis of respect for all religions, implying thereby a frank acceptance of the fact of variety in man's growing apprehension of truth; of silent worship, and of united brotherly action on nonviolent lines. The Fellowship invites people of all faiths to share through this Fellowship the richness of their various religious traditions and experiences in the adventure of the spirit. And those who join the Fellowship are expected to support one another in the struggle for world peace and social justice, identifying themselves as closely as they are able with the oppressed and the disinherited, treating all men as brothers. Members of the Fellowship also unite with other groups and individuals who are working for these ends.
The activities of the Fellowship are being carried on in Allahabad, Bombay, Calcutta, Dacca, Delhi, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Madhya Bharat, Madhya Pradesh, Madras, Punjab, Santiniketan and Travancore-Cochin. Applications for membership may be sent to S.K. George, College of Commerce, Wardha, (M.P.), India. Rs. 5/- is suggested as a minimum annual subscription.
Several Canadians, recently returned from India, report enthusiastically upon the virility of the Fellowship in various centres they visited.
In Europe, correspondence may be addressed to Edmund Privat, Neuchatel, Switzerland, and in Australia, John Fallding, 168 Marion St., Leichhardt, New South Wales, invites correspondence about the Fellowship
Anyone wishing to join the Fellowship in America may write to Emma Cadbury, Wider Quaker Friendship, 20 South 12th Street, Philadelphia, 7, Penna. Subscription $1.00 or more.
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.
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
The election is over and we can settle down to business. As we have already advised our readers, we have two motions before the General Council for its consideration at its next meeting. One is for a change in Rule 10 of the Constitution which we hope will bring it more into line with democratic ideals. The other is for a change in the method of voting which we think gives the voter an opportunity to vote for all candidates in the order of his choice. We hope that the National Societies which have expressed disapproval of the election procedure will support these motions.
Now another matter, we read most of the magazines published by other National Societies and are struck by the similarity of their contents, most of such being reprints of long articles emanating from Adyar. Few strike out for themselves with the inherent virility of their own thinking or question dubious authority.
We have been accused by high authority of looking upon ourselves as the watchdog of the Society. We do not think that is a very tolerant view of our desire to uphold the Teachings as we understand them. There is a big difference between carping criticism and an honest desire to rectify fundamental errors as they may arise. And they unfortunately do arise. Therefore it is only right that someone should be on guard lest such errors gain undue publicity and adherence. We stand for the right to point out errors and we do not think any fair-minded person would gainsay our action, fiat justitia runt coelum.
- E. L. T.
Mr. Sri Ram has now taken over the office of president of the Theosophical Society having been elected by a majority of over seven thousand votes. We proffer him our congratulations and best wishes on assuming a post of great responsibility and feel sure he will acquit himself with that sense of dignity, wisdom and understanding we have come to associate with him. Toleration is one of the virtues we theosophists especially prize and, realizing how difficult it is to please all men, we nevertheless, rest assured that Mr. Sri Ram in his broad and comprehensive outlook will extend to the Theosophical Society in Canada the right to express itself in its understanding of the Teachings it has so steadfastly maintained through the years; recognizing that Unity is Strength we on our part assure the new president of our loyalty and cooperation with the hope that under his leadership all factions of those who designate themselves theosophists may be brought closer together thus making it possible to present an united front for the great event coming at the close of the present cycle.
Brother Raja has now stepped down from his arduous and difficult task as president and we offer him our sincere thanks and appreciation for his efforts during his term of office. He carried out his duties with sincerity and acumen and though we did not see eye to eye in many things we fully recognize that what his did was in his estimation the best under the circumstances. He has earned a well merited rest and we trust he has many years before him in which to carry on the good work on behalf of the Society which we know he has very much at heart.
- E. L. T.
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
- The Organ of the Theosophical Society in Canada
- Published on the 15th of every month.
- Authorized as second class mail, Post Office Department, Ottawa.
- Subscription: Two Dollars a Year
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.
Letters intended for publication should be restricted to not more than five hundred words.
Printed by the Griffin & Richmond Co., Ltd., 29 Rebecca Street, Hamilton, Ontario
Indian Music - a new 235-page record catalogue of classical and traditional Indian music on disks has been released by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Alain Danieiou, a French musicologist who lived for many years in Benares, compiled the work and wrote an introduction on the Indian musical system, scales, modes, styles, musicians and instruments. The catalogue lists more than 1,600 disks issued by Hindustan, Megaphone, Columbia and His Master's Voice Companies. Copies may be obtained from Columbia University Press, International Documents Service, 2960 Broadway, Neiv York City, N.Y. Price is $2.50.
A reader in Santiago, Chile, would like to correspond with fellow Theosophists in other lands. Her name and address is, Senora Lydia Fomicheff, Almirante, Barroso 643, Santiago, Chile. Senora Fomicheff is a White Russian who resided in China for many years following the Russian revolution and who was subsequently in a refugee camp in the Phillipines. Recently she was transferred to Chile where she met some fellow members, but, although Mrs. Fomicheff speaks several languages, including English, she has not yet learned Spanish. One Canadian member is writing already, but possibly there are other members who would like to drop a line to help over the rather lonely period of adjustment to a new land, and a new language.
THE ANNUAL ELECTIONS
Will the Secretaries of the Lodges in Canada kindly note that nominations for the office of the General Secretary and seven members of the General Executive should be made this month and should be sent in as soon as possible. This notice should have appeared last month, and on account of the delay the date for receiving nominations will be extended to April 15; ordinarily they should be in by the first of April. Will all Secretaries please see that this matter is brought before their respective Lodges, and when nominations have been made, send them at once to the General Secretary. Nominations should be made through a Lodge and the consent of the parties nominated should be obtained.
Nominations should be sent in a separate letter to the General Secretary, 52 Isabella St., Toronto 5, Ontario.
- E. L. Thomson,
Boris de Zirkoff
The keynote of the Theosophical Movement is Universality.
From time immemorial, under all climes and civilizations, the same Movement has manifested itself under many and varied forms; and under all conditions and circumstances, its universal character has been the true touchstone of its worth.
Whenever and wherever personal adulation, worship of human exponents, and a rising sense of separateness from other people, have risen above the basic message and the fundamental precepts of the Movement, the clear stream of the Ancient Wisdom has been polluted by the emotional tendencies to sectarianism resulting in ultimate fanaticism and spiritual decay.
For the very nature of the universal Theosophical Movement is its utter impersonality, all-inclusiveness and oneness, like unto the light of the Sun which is essentially one with it.
The appearance and disappearance of personalities, however exalted, within the Movement itself, is like the rise and fall of individual waves upon the endless expanse of the World Ocean. They come and go, perform their appointed task, deliver themselves of their specific message, and vanish temporarily out of our limited sight, only to reappear in due course of time for another cycle of activity. But the Movement as a whole neither depends upon their appearance, nor is it affected by their withdrawal, for its roots are in the Eternal, and its structure is nourished by that mystic sap which flows from the Mother-Source of all Being, as long as the planet itself endures.
Ages come and ages go; civilizations are produced by the genius of man and vanish after a while into the realm of memories; great monuments are erected by noble builders, and are ground to dust by the relentless processes of Nature; waves of culture follow other waves upon the surface of the globe, and periods of moral decay and barrenness are succeeded by periods of brilliant achievement and knowledge. But the Theosophical Movement exists through all of these and adapts itself to the ever-changing forms assumed for the time-being by the constantly shifting stage setting of human life.
It behooves therefore all students of this Ancient Wisdom to rise above attachments to the passing forms, and to outgrow the need of placing their trust in persons, institutions, or organizations, none of which can be anything more than a temporary mold to manifest a fraction of the infinite message, and to house but a ray or two of the ever-shining Sun.
It is possible to doubt the validity of certain figures in the history of the Theosophical Movement. It is possible to become utterly disappointed in individuals in whom the student may previously have had a very great trust. It is even conceivable that the Movement would harbor for a while personalities whose entire objective is deception under the illusory cloak of sanctity. But, once you are convinced, it is impossible to doubt the worth of the teachings, the integrity of the ageless wisdom, or the over-all purpose and aim of that mystic power which has manifested itself from age to age from behind the scenes of the outer life. For by doubting them, you doubt your own being and the deepest necessities and yearnings of your own soul.
The realization of the relative insignificance of personalities within the Movement is not synonymous with ingratitude towards them. This in itself would be a very shallow deduction. Personalities are needed and cannot be avoided by men and women of the present era; no more so than channels and canals are needed to convey water or other fluids and forces. But the river-bed is not the invigorating stream it carries, and the electric wire is not electricity. Let us be grateful to certain persons who, acting as Teachers, Adjusters, and Guides, are showing us throughout the ages the direction where the Path can be found, and point out to us the pitfalls to be encountered on our journey. If they are genuine men and women, and not frauds, they will embody in their behavior, and demeanour both modesty and self effacement, both sympathy and understanding, both universality of outlook and all-inclusiveness. Through them will shine a Light which will be greater than themselves, and we will know that Light because their personal consciousness will be translucent enough to convey the effulgence of that Light without too much blurring. Our gratitude should be to that greater Self within them that is dedicated to the ideal of universal service, not to the personal and necessarily faulty humanhood by means of which they work.
The moment we catch ourselves identifying the Movement with any one personality in it, we fall away from the Ideals of the Movement and drop down onto a lesser level of consciousness. The distinction between the Movement and its personal exponents is a distinction between a Force and the channel that conveys some of it to any given point. They are interrelated but not identical.
It is entirely consistent with the above, and merely a paradox (but not a contradiction), to say that Messenger and Message are essentially one, that Teacher and Teaching are one and the same thing. But it is necessary for us to understand that this identification has to do with the spiritual consciousness of the Teacher and not with the foibles and weaknesses of his or her personal selfhood. We should not forget the fact, often disregarded, that, while any one exponent of the Movement is but a small fraction of the Movement, as far as his or her personality goes, yet both this exponent and we ourselves are in a mystic sense the whole of the Movement, in those inner and unfathomed reaches of our inmost Spiritual Self wherein are hidden the limitless and infinite sources of Being, beyond the mere "person" within us. As a matter of sober truth, it would be utterly impossible for anyone of us ever to convey a living truth to another, or to lift his consciousness, or to vivify within him the indwelling seeds of spiritual life, if the Power of our own Inner Self did not touch for a moment the corresponding Power within that other. And if this is true, it follows that as we learn how to do this more and more efficiently, we become less and less personal in our actions, and more and more universal in our outlook. It is therefore easy to see that in this progressive process of enlargement of our consciousness, we may reach some day a level of knowledge where even our personal selfhood will have become a mighty power for good, as it will be saturated more and more with the universal force streaming from within our own Inner God. Such must be the highly trained and purified personal aspect of the Adepts themselves.
In our work for human enlightenment and service, in our self-conscious activity in the outer world, for the purposes and objectives of the Theosophical Movement, we should develop a high sense of individual responsibility and become largely independent of other
people's authority and directives. We must cease to be leaners, and learn to be leaders. A leader is not a boss, nor is he a dictator. In the true sense of this much-maligned word, a leader is a man who has a keen sense of the spiritual needs of others, of their deepest yearnings and noblest desires, and who "leads" these out of their latent condition into outward expression, and helps the aspirant to express in his or her life the hidden potencies of the Inner Self. Were he, the so-called "leader", to impose upon others the power of his own stronger will, he would succeed in having a thoughtless herd of followers and obedient slaves, but never a band of strong individuals whose interdependent lives are based on spiritual knowledge and the mutual recognition of their indwelling nobility.
The Theosophical Movement is in constant need of men and women whose outlook is universal and whose sympathies include all Life.
- from Theosophia Sept.-Oct., 1952.
THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT
A Statement Compiled from the Writings of H.P. Blavatsky.
The present Theosophical Movement was inaugurated by Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, acting under the direction of a great Brotherhood of Adepts in Theosophy, men of every race who have developed and perfected their physical, mental, psychic and spiritual organizations to the utmost possible degree. This Brotherhood has existed from the time when human life first became manifest upon the earth, its Founders being perfected men from former worlds. Their knowledge constitutes what is sometimes called Theosophy, but more often the Secret Doctrine, or the Doctrine of the Heart.
An important incident in the Movement was the formation in 1875 of the Theosophical Society of New York - the "Parent" Theosophical Society. An earlier attempt to form a Society was made in 1871 at Cairo, but without any lasting success.
The "Parent" 'Theosophical Society, since the Movement has spread and developed, has been replaced by an aggregate body of Theosophical Societies, all autonomous, but united in aim, aspiration, purpose, and ethics, and constituted on lines of fraternity, freedom, and toleration. No member of any Theosophical Society is committed to belief in any of the statements made herein, no one is asked to assent to them, nor does dissent disqualify anyone from membership, and no Theosophical Society can, as a body, officially declare a belief in them. But it is well for all members to know what the founder said on the subject, and that she also said, claiming to speak for the Adepts, that once in every hundred years an attempt, similar in aim to this Movement, is made by them.
That aim is to restore to Soul - as distinguished from Body, Sensation, and Intellect, the servants of Soul - its rightful position in regard to the thoughts and acts of men. The Universe exists for the purposes of Soul, the Christos, and those who, having human shape, but in whose lives the Soul has no place, who are wholly involved in bodily, emotional, and intellectual activities, undertaken for their own sake and not for the sake of Soul, are waste in Nature. To them are addressed the words of the Adept Paul: "Ye are dead,
and your life is hid with Christos in God."
To assist in the work of the Movement, the restoration of the Realm, the Power, and the Radiance of the Soul, the Adepts desire to infuse into modern thought certain ancient truths, forming part of the Secret Doctrine, regarding the physical, psychical, mental, moral, and spiritual forces, powers and laws of nature, and their action and development in man. For the real cause of spiritual stagnation, of misery, strife, and ill-feeling, is ignorance of the real nature of man and the universe, their relations to each other and the purpose of their being. By reminding humanity of the truth regarding these things, and by showing the way in which ignorance (or, to be more accurate, unwisdom) may be removed, the Masters of Compassion, the Guardians of the Race, hope to assist mankind to mitigate, and eventually to overcome, the evils mentioned. Through this Movement they desire to show to men that such a thing as THEOSOPHY exists, and to help them to ascend towards it by studying and assimilating its eternal verities. But these truths are not in the nature of a creed, and no statement (whatever its source) should be accepted on blind faith or authority, nor should it be rejected from blind prejudice. The statements made by the Adepts, while statements of truths known to them, are put forward for the impartial consideration of the thinking portion of mankind as working hypotheses only, but hypotheses which include and harmonize every known fact and exclude none, however much they may disagree with current beliefs and pseudo-scientific theories. Endeavor should be made personally to verify the teachings given, and in this effort great assistance will be gained in the study and comparison of ancient religions, philosophies, and myths, in which these truths are to be found, and by independent investigation of the constitution of nature and man. H.P. Blavatsky, with the assistance of several members of the great Brotherhood, has written several books for the assistance of students, indicating the nature and source of the ideas that will prove most helpful to humanity at the present time and in the immediate future. These books, and others which have been written by less advanced students of Theosophy, the works of learned writers on the religions, philosophies, and mythologies of the world, and the works of original thinkers in various spheres, together with the experience of members, constitute a storehouse from which is drawn the material for study and discussion at Theosophical Societies' meetings. And in the general Theosophical literature a body of knowledge upon the laws of nature and the powers (active and latent) in man, has thus been got together in more or less systematic form.
A very brief and condensed summary of the main ideas of the Secret Doctrine will show, not only the general nature of the Theosophical Philosophy, but also the trend of the Theosophical Movement.
The Philosophy. The Secret Doctrine is the accumulated Wisdom of the Ages. It is an uninterrupted record made by thousands of generations of Adepts, whose experiences tested and verified the teachings of high and exalted beings, men of former universes, who imparted to the early races of mankind the truths it has now to realize.
Deity. The One Divine Root-Cause is the omnipresent, eternal Reality, impersonal, containing all and everything. It is the absolute essence from which all starts and into which everything returns.
Universal Life. Everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is living and conscious, i.e., endowed
with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception.
Life's Ebb and Flow. The Universe is the periodical manifestation of the Absolute Essence. The eternal activity of the One Life alternately results in periods of Evolution, of Universal Day, and periods of Involution, of Universal Night.
The Plan and the Builders. The progress of the Universe is controlled and guided from within outwards by Hierarchies of sentient Beings, the agents of Cosmic Laws, each having a mission to perform, and each of whom either was or will be a man. Such evolution proceeds on the Ideal Plan in the Universal Mind.
Reincarnation. Man represents a stage in which three great lines of evolution meet, the spiritual, mental and physical; but, being a copy of the Universe in miniature, he may also be viewed from seven aspects, physical, astral, vital, emotional, psychic, mental and spiritual. Each aspect has its own laws, powers, conditions, and consciousness. Man's objective life on earth is continued by a life on subjective planes of being, to be followed by similar alternations of objective and subjective life until the perfection of his nature renders such experience unnecessary. That perfection is only attained by personal effort within the individual himself, throughout a long series of reincarnations.
Karma. There is one ultimate Universal Law which guides all other laws, and wisely, intelligently, and equitably adjusts effect to cause on the physical, mental, and spiritual planes of being, tracing the cause back to its producer. As applied to man, it is the law that guides the environment and the personal scope of each incarnation according to the fruit of all past births. Causes sown each hour bear each its harvest of effects, for rigid Justice rules the World. With Mighty sweep of never erring action, it brings to mortals lives of weal or woe, the Karmic progeny of all our former thoughts and deeds.
The Book of Life. Surrounding our earth and every planet there is a subtle substance in which is impressed an unfading record of all events and of the effects of all causes, thoughts, and acts. This record is the memory of the world and may be read by the trained Adept. In its higher aspect it is the World-Soul, and, receiving the impress of the unselfish thoughts and feelings of men, it radiates them back as Heavenly blessings upon mankind. In its lower aspect it is the Astral Light, and, receiving the vile physical and moral emanations of men, it radiates them back to earth as epidemics and catastrophes, moral, psychic, and physical.
Universal Brotherhood. As Humanity is a stage or aspect of the One Life, the human family, past, present, and future, is in its essential nature a single unit. There is no ultimate difference between men, however seemingly diverse they may be. All are embodiments of One Self. Nothing can affect one nation or one man without affecting all other nations and all other men. This real unity in apparent diversity, this interdependence is Universal Brotherhood, and to this idea every applicant for membership in a Theosophical Society has to subscribe.
The Goal. The end of human effort js the attainment to Compassion, the Compassion that comprehends the whole science of ethics and morality, and to Wisdom, the knowledge of what is good and right to do, as distinct from the vague desire to do good. In Wisdom and Compassion is found the actual realization in the individual of the unity of all beings, the power to feel with all, to live in all.
Such are the main ideas of the Secret Doctrine in their barest possible outline,
but to their application to every phase of life and work there is no end.
It is not, of course, hoped that the Movement will realize its aim and purpose immediately, but if the work inaugurated by the Founders be continued on the lines they indicated, if the sandbanks of Dogmatism, Priesthood, Materialism, and Non-Cosmopolitanism are avoided, Theosophy will gradually leaven and permeate the great mass of thinking and intelligent people with its large-minded and noble ideas of Religion, Duty, and Philanthropy. Slowly but surely it will burst asunder the iron fetters of creeds and dogmas, of social and caste prejudices, it will break down racial and national antipathies and barriers, and will open the way to the practical realization of the Brotherhood of all men.
- The English Theosophist, Vol. III.
THE ODYSSEY OF THE MOLONEYS
The jocund side of H.P.B.'s character was one of her greatest charms. She liked to say witty things herself and to hear others say them . . . her salon was never dull save, of course, to those who had no knowledge of Eastern literature and understood nothing of Eastern philosophy . . . In our playtimes, i.e., after finishing our night work, or when visitors came, or, rarely, when she wanted to have a little rest, she would tell me tales of magic, mystery, and adventure, and in return get me to whistle or sing comic songs, or tell droll stories. One of the latter became by two years' increment added on to the original, a sort of mock Odyssey of the Moloney family, whose innumerable descents into matter, returns to the state of cosmic force, intermarriages, changes of creed, skin, and capabilities, made up an extravaganza of which H.P.B. seemed never to have enough. She would set me going in presence of third parties, much to my disgust sometimes, and enjoy their surprise at this rough and ready improvisation. It was all recited in an Irish brogue, and was a mere fanfarronade of every kind of nonsense; dealing extravagantly with the problems of macrocosmic and microcosmic evolution. The gist of the whole being that the Moloneys were related by marriage to the Molecules, and that the two together generated the supreme potency of Irish force, which controlled the vicissitudes of all worlds, suns and galaxies. It was, as compared with the trifling story from which it developed, like the giant Banyan tree as compared with its tiny seed-germ. She got at last to call me Moloney, both in speaking and writing, and I retaliated by calling her Mulligan. Both nicknames were caught up by our friends, and my old boxes of archives contain many letters to her and myself under those Hibernian pseudonyms.
- From Old Diary Leaves - The True History of The Theosophical Society by Henry Steel Olcott, President Founder of the Society.
Psychic Self-Defence, by Dion Forstune. Published by Aquarian Press, London. Second edition, 1952, 212 pp. Price 15 shillings.
The subtitle of this book "A Study in Occult Pathology and Criminality" gives warning of the abnormalities with which it deals. That there has been sufficient demand to warrant a reprint since the 1930 edition was exhausted is evidence of curiosity on the part of far too many people about the labyrinthine windings of the Left-Hand Path, and the diseases of the mystic life.
While we live in the midst of invisible forces, most of us are unaware of them. The author points out that there are four conditions in which the veil may be
rent and one may meet the unseen: (1) He may find himself in a place where occult forces are concentrated; (2) He may meet people who are handling these forces; (3) He may go out to meet the unseen led by interest in it and get out of his depth before becoming aware of what is happening; and (4) He may fall victim to certain pathological conditoins which rend the veil. She points out that the Threshold of the Unseen is a treacherous coast on which to bathe. There are potholes and currents and quicksands. We could not agree with her more and hasten to add how extremely dangerous such a coast is, even for the strong swimmer. The Voice of the Silence is eloquent on this point.
Through twenty chapters about types of psychic attack, such as witchcraft, vampirism, hauntings, etc., to diagnosis and then to methods of defence, the author revives the superstitions of the Middle Ages and pleads guilty to the charge (page 207) on the ground that these superstitions may repay examination because the beginnings of a witchcult are in our midst. Of the bibliography of 36 books, not one is by H.P. Blavatsky who probably knew more about the subject than all the others put together.
Any serious student who wants to know about psychic self-defence can find information in The Mahatma Letters, and the writings of the greatest Light-Bringer of modern times, Madame Blavatsky, who says "There is no danger that dauntless courage cannot conquer. There is no trial that spotless purity cannot pass through. There is no difficulty that strong intellect cannot surmount." Better to trust these clear and positive statements of H.P.B. than the mumbo-jumbo of ceremonial magic recommended through four chapters by the author of Psychic Self-Defence. Ceremonies were condemned by the Lord Buddha as increasing our spiritual blindness and our clinging to lifeless forms. Turning to the Bhagavad-Gita, we find Shri Krishna expounding the Yoga of the Kingly Secret in these words: "To those men who worship Me alone, thinking of no other, I bring full security," and, in The Voice of the Silence, "Thy soul cannot be hurt but through thy erring body; control and master both, and thou are safe when crossing to the nearing `Gate of Balance'. "
- F. E. G.
Practical Occultism in Daily Life, by Dion Fortune. Published by Aquarian Press, London, 1952, Second edition, 65 pp., paper, price 3 shillings.
People who have had persistent runs of bad luck or ill health which did not yield to the ordinary methods of treatment, or disturbances brought about by unsound methods of psychic development have consulted the author over a period of years. Within these 65 pages she outlines advice given on a variety of subjects. Those chapters on the control of environment and working out karma are the best. Others are Remembering Past Incarnations; the Uses and Limits of Divination; the Use and Abuse of Mind Power, etc. She sees every problem as spiritual, mental, astro-etheric and physical and recognizes that causes of problems often extend backward in time to previous incarnations and must be worked out within the limits of individual and racial karma.
- F. E. G.
Approximately $30.00 was received in donations so far towards the deficit of $238.00 which was reported in last month's magazine. We are grateful for this sum and hope that other members and subscribers will soon make up the difference. Please send donations to the General Secretary.
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.