VOL. XXXIV, No. 6 Toronto, August 15th, 1953 Price 20 Cents
The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document
GREETING TO NEW MEMBERS
I welcome you to the Theosophical Society, which is a Brotherhood spread all over the globe, composed of men and women of many races, nationalities and faiths. The Brotherhood which binds the Society is really a consciousness of a truth which embraces all mankind, nay, all lives. The members of the Society do not profess to create this Brotherhood, but only recognize it as a fact in Nature. The Society aims at being a nucleus which has the vital function of awakening in mankind a consciousness of its unity. Such an awakening ought to change all life and all life's relationships, as between individuals as well as racial and national communities.
In practising this Brotherhood, the Theosophist has the duty of beginning with himself and his own life. There is the bedrock on which he must build the edifice of his life, the superstructure of his realized knowledge. Theosophy is not an airy castle removed from the ground of truth, not a vain speculation. It is as practical as any other knowledge, such as mathematics, which though abstract is based upon daily practical experience.
To live Theosophy one must share one's knowledge with others, not thrust it upon them, but present it for what it is worth to the person to whom it is offered. To be a Theosophist is to help at least with active sympathy, if not more positively, every noble endeavor, every humanitarian effort, according to one's opportunities and capacity. Every member of the Theosophical Society inevitably represents Theosophy within his own circle by the life he lives, including the thoughts he thinks, his words and the motives of his actions. If he is helpful, calm, sympathetic and understanding, the world will know that such is the nature of the Wisdom to which he gives his allegiance. If his ways be otherwise, Theosophy suffers accordingly in the estimation of those who may benefit by it greatly, were they attracted to it by the life of its exponents.
Let me quote to you here some helpful advice of my predecessor, Brother C. Jinarajadasa: "Our life is composed of reactions to others every minute of the day. Whenever you have to react to some one who has troubled you, before your reaction starts, say to yourself, `He is my brother.' As you sit in a bus or a tram, think of the one by your side as your brother. A Theosophist is as a Theosophist acts."
A Theosophist must respect the beliefs of others, as much as he would expect them to respect his own. Theosophy even as we know it, although we
know it but in part, has thrown a splendid illumination on many a religious truth - Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Hebrew, Muslim, and other. It has helped many to find in their religion the inspiration it seemed to lack, and find it in an ennobled form. It has helped them to see that all religions are but forms of one Wisdom-Religion, forms inevitably distorted by the tendencies of men to superstition, fancied self-superiority and wishful thinking. The motto of the Society being: "There is no religion higher than 'Truth", the Theosophist is bound by no creed other than the Truth he himself has found, by no ideas except such as may commend themselves to him in complete freedom.
The Society is organized into National Sections and Lodges, sometimes called Branches, each autonomous within the limits of the International Constitution. You will belong naturally to a Lodge in or near your place of residence, unless you are forced to remain an unattached member. Make the Lodge a part of your life. Take an interest in its welfare, and do all that you can, in cooperation with your fellow-members, to make it a centre of light and beneficent influence. Thus will you help the Society to serve the cause for which it exists. In your relations with your fellow-members do not expect perfection; be tolerant of their weaknesses, even as they should be tolerant of yours. Be a channel of understanding between those who are different; for all natural differences are as colors of the one white light which Theosophy represents. Theosophy is concerned with the truth which underlies every difference, as well as with the truth of unity.
Many of us believe that the Theosophical Society was brought into existence by certain great Teachers, Liberated Men, "Just men made perfect," Adepts, Rishis, Beings of whom many religions speak. It is the knowledge which they possess, which in part is embodied in what we understand as Theosophy. One of the great possibilities which this knowledge puts before us is to be even as They are, serene in the midst of every change, victorious over every difficulty, and one with all Nature in Nature's beneficent will and purpose. To be a coworker with Nature is to be a coworker with those Divine Intelligences, which are included in the nature of the supreme Godhead, understand this as you may. To him who lives the life, Wisdom will come easily and naturally.
- N. Sri Ram,
President, The Theosophical Society. Adyar,
April 15, 1953.
You are the tree of Life. Beware of fractioning yourselves. Set not a fruit against a fruit, a leaf against a leaf, a bough against a bough; nor set the stem against the roots; nor set the tree against the mother-soil. That is precisely what you do when you love one part more than the rest, or to the exclusion of the rest.
You are the Tree of Life. Your roots are everywhere. Your boughs and leaves are everywhere. Your fruits are in every mouth. Whatever be the fruits upon that tree; whatever be its boughs and leaves; whatever be its roots, they are your fruits; they are your leaves and boughs; they are your roots. If you would have the tree bear sweet and fragrant fruit, if you would have it ever strong and green, see to the sap wherewith you feed the roots.
Love is the sap of Life.
- The Book of Mirdad.
THE GEOMETRY OF CREATION
By L. Gordon Plummer
With the astonishing changes that we see taking place on every hand, stemming from the feverish rush toward bigger and better exploitation of Nature's limitless sources of power, it is something of a relief to find that there are certain fundamental processes of human and cosmic life that are as abiding and serene as the nightly expanse of the heavens. Study of these lofty themes engenders a tranquility in our minds that is an antidote to the wear and tear of modern life.
While a fuller appreciation of the philosophical implications that lie behind the science of mathematics is to be gained by the student of Theosophy because of the unique vantage-point he gains through his studies, the marvelous harmony and symmetry of the seemingly complex geometrical figures known as the Platonic Solids can be grasped by anyone, and one can feel a sense of awe that defies the power of speech as the mysteries of these geometrical figures become clear to him.
It should be stated at the beginning that mathematics, and in this instance geometry, is a tool or instrument intended to be put to use. There are many uses for this versatile tool, for there is the mathematics of engineering, and of chemistry and of atomic energy, and of relativity, also there is the commercial mathematics used in the business world. All of these fields of human endeavor require their own uses of the tool we call mathematics, and obviously the right use of the tool implies some understanding of the science in which it is to be used.
Greater understanding leads to greater efficiency in the use of the tool. Thus it is that in mathematical symbolism, as we call this particular use of mathematics, we find that a full use of this tool can be achieved when we have a deep understanding of the processes of universal and cosmic life as explained in the teachings of Theosophy, for its very purpose is to explain and clarify those teachings from that approach that will appeal to a certain class of student.
It would be well to explain first of all that while there are an infinite number of sizes and shapes of things, there are just six shapes that we shall consider in this article. Five of these are known as the regular Polyhedra, and the last is the Sphere. The word Polyhedra is taken from the Greek and means Many Faces. The faces of these geometrical figures are flat, or as we say, they are plane surfaces, and when these are called regular polyhedra, it means that all of the faces in any one of these solids are the same size and shape, and that all of the lines forming the edges of the faces are equal in length, also that the angles formed by these lines are equal. We say then that in any of the figures, the faces are congruent. In every case, the name of the Polyhedron is the Greek name describing it, and these Polyhedra are as follows:
Tetrahedron, having four faces, all of them equilateral triangles. Hexahedron (cube) having six faces, all of them squares. Octahedron, having eight faces, all of them equilateral triangles. Dodecahedron, having twelve faces, all of them regular pentagons. Icosahedron, having twenty faces, all of them equilateral triangles.
It will be interesting to note a remarkable relationship that exists between these figures if we now arrange the table so that the simplest figure, the Tetrahedron is at the center, and the more complex figures are at either end. We will also enumerate the numbers of edges and vertices (polyhedral angles).
- lcosahedron - 30 lines, 12 vertices, 20 faces (triangles)
- Octahedron - 12 lines, 6 vertices, 8 faces (triangles)
- Tetrahedron - 6 lines, 4 vertices, 4 faces (triangles)
- Hexahedron - 12 lines, 8 vertices, 6 faces (squares)
- Dodecahedron - 30 lines, 20 vertices, 12 faces (pentagons)
The column showing the numbers of lines in the figures reads the same up or down. The columns showing the numbers of vertices and faces are the reverse of one another. Furthermore, it can be seen from this table that the geometrical figures complement one another, as, for instance, the Icosahedron and the Dodecahedron each have 30 lines, but while the Icosahedron has 12 vertices and 20 faces, the Dodecahedron has 20 vertices and 12 faces. The Octahedron and the Cube or Hexahedron have each 12 lines, but while the Octahedron has 6 vertices and 8 faces, the Cube has 8 vertices and 6 faces. The Tetrahedron seems to stand alone, having 6 lines, 4 vertices and 4 faces, but when we construct the figures and combine them, we find that the Tetrahedron pairs with itself. Interlaced, the Tetrahedrons form the solid or three-dimensional counterpart of the familiar interlaced triangles. Here is a nice bit of symbolism that should appeal to the Theosophical student: take a cube and draw both diagonals on every face. You have constructed a pair of interlacing Tetrahedrons. To make it clearer, you might outline one of them in red pencil. Here is a geometrical interpretation of H.P.B.'s translation of the ancient Tibetan texts, wherein she says, "The Three fell into the Four". Looking once more at the Cube with the diagonals, the midpoints of the faces, where the diagonals cross may be joined to form an Octahedron. For good and sufficient reasons, which are too lengthy to be given space in this article, the Octahedron may be taken to represent the Divine Self at the heart of every human being. Being enclosed within the interlacing Tetrahedrons would represent the fact that this Divine Self encloses itself in vestments or sheaths of energy-matter which form the dual aspect of his being, from which the Seven Principles arise. The cube which encloses the interlacing Tetrahedrons which could as well be joining the points of the Tetrahedrons, may be taken to represent fully embodied Man. This is particularly interesting because the sum of all of the plane angles of a Cube is equal to 2,160 degrees, and this coincides with the number of years required for the sun to pass through one sign of the zodiac in that interesting astronomical cycle known as the precession of the equinoxes, a cycle which is intimately related to the processes of human development as the civilizations rise and fall.
Another remarkable fact in the structure of these regular Polyhedra can be seen from this second table. Starting with the centermost figure and enumerating them upward through the table, we have Tetrahedron, Octahedron, Icosahedron. Each of these has triangular faces. The Tetrahedron has three faces grouped around each vertex. Note the increase in the number of faces, 3, 4, and 5, and that the number 3 is constant in respect to the number of sides in each face. Now enumerate from the Tetrahedron, Hexahedron, Dodecahedron. Here the number of faces around each vertex is constant; there are always three. However, the shapes of the faces increase, with the Tetrahedron having triangular faces, the Hexahedron having Squares, and the Dodecahedron having Pentagonal faces. Again the increase is in the ratio 3, 4, and 5. In this interesting fact lies the proof that there can be no more than these five regular Polyhedra in Nature, for were you to group 6 equilateral faces around a common vertex, you would have a plane surface, and were you to group 3 hexagons around a common vertex, you would again have a plane surface, so that
above the word Icosahedron and below the word Dodecahedron in Table II, you could write in Plane surface, if you wish, though I refrained from doing so in an effort to keep the Table as simple as possible.
Now these numbers 3, 4, and 5, are exceedingly important as factors in calculating the key numbers on which the whole system of occult cosmology is built. 3 plus 4 plus 5 equals 12; 3 times 4 times 5 equals 60. 12 plus 60 equals 72, 12 times 60 equals 720. 3 times 720 equals 2,160, the number we found to be the sum of all of the plane angles in the cube. This again could be stated, using the factors 3, 4, and 5: (3 plus 4 plus 5) (3 times 4 times 5) equals 2,160. Multiply this by (3 plus 4 plus 5) and you have 25,920, the number of years required for the sun to pass through the complete precessional cycle. This is enough of a lead to show the remarkable correlation between geometrical forms and astronomical cycles. Any student with even a rudimentary knowledge of the law of cycles will at once see the great importance of this correlation.
Going back to the Cube with the diagonals forming the interlacing Tetrahedrons, and the Octahedron enclosed within the figure, it should be mentioned that in mathematical symbolism we see these three figures as representing Man. The Icosahedron and the Dodecahedron represent the cosmic life, or the macrocosm as related to the microcosm. An Icosahedron is an exceedingly beautiful form, with its 20 equilateral triangles, and if the 12 points are joined internally, we find that it encloses a Dodecahedron. When it is seen how the other figures fit into the Dodecahedron, it will not be difficult to understand why the Icosahedron may be taken to represent the Cosmos as a whole, and the Dodecahedron the solar system in particular. The Dodecahedron with its 12 faces generates a cube by drawing the correct diagonal across each one of the faces. As a matter of fact, if we draw all five diagonals, or more correctly, if we join the alternate angles in all 12 pentagons, we find that we have made the highly complex figure of the five interlacing Cnbes, within which are five pairs of Tetrahedrons all interlaced in a figure of marvelous beauty, within which are five interlaced Octahedra. Unless one has actually constructed this figure, it cannot be visualized in the mind, as it is far too complex a thing, but there is one point that is most important that could be mentioned here. Imagine just one cube with the Tetrahedron and the Octahedron at the center. When this cube is made by drawing one diagonal only across each face of the Dodecahedron, the Octahedron is so beautifully poised at the center, just by the laws of its own structure that if each edge or line of the Octahedron were extended in either direction, one end of the line would just touch a point of the Icosahedron, and the other end would just touch a point of the Dodecahedron. See the symbolism there. The divine self within man is commensurate with the vastness of the universe about us, and while for a moment we seemed to consider the macrocosm as being separate from the microcosm, we can now go a step further and recognize that it is all one great design of Life, so vast that it overpowers the imagination.
If all that has gone before has seemed to be very complicated, we can now embark on a little geometrical proposition (not to be found in the textbooks, but nevertheless demonstrated by classical methods of proof), which will show that all of this is really so simple that a child can do it.
Take a circle with center at O (Fig. 1) and with the radius OA. Move the circle as shown by the arrow so that it has
[[Figure 1 here]]
moved a distance equal to its own diameter. It then occupies a position represented by point O. This new position is tangent (just touches) its former position. Join AO, and extend the line to V, at the circumference of the circle. The line AV cuts the circle at the point K. Now the length of the line AK bears a most interesting relationship to the line KV, known as the Golden Section, about which there is no space to elaborate here other than to say that this proportion figures in many ways in natural design such as in flowers, and leaves, and also that these geometrical figures which we have been studying are built upon this beautiful proportion.
Well, if the distance from A to K bears that magical relationship to the distance from K to V, then half of AK, or KS will bear the same relationship to half of KV, or OK. So let us consider the relationship between the radius of the circle O and the distance KS. If we mark off KT equal to KS, and join OT we have a segment of the circle which is equal to just one tenth of the whole circle. In other words, KT could be marked off exactly ten times around the circle, dividing it into a regular decagon or 10-sided figure. Quite apart from the fact that the side of a regular decagon bears a relationship to the radius of the circle that is represented in this Golden Section, the most marvelous thing is that if you take a regular decagon as shown in Fig. 2, and join each point with all the other points, you have automatically made a true and correct projection drawing of an Icosahedron enclosing a Dodecahedron. In this figure, I have not changed any of the lines, but I have emphasized some portions of them in order to make the figures stand out, and to give a semblance of depth to the drawing. So we see how simple these seemingly complex studies become. Just take a circle, and divide it by equally spacing 10 points around the circumference. Then join each point with all of the other points and that is all there is to it.
Then to take a moment to interpret the proposition in the light of our teachings. The circle can represent Nature asleep; the area within the circle represents Nature as we know it, and the cir- (Continued on Page 90)
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
It is with sincere regret I announce the passing of Mr. Robert J. Codeling, who died on May 22nd. He was an old member of the Toronto Lodge and had been very active up to about a year ago. Our deepest sympathy is extended to Mrs. Codeling.
Re No-Election again this year! It appears that a member wrote in regretting this apathy (as he termed it) on the part of the electorate and voiced the opinion that things are seemingly not well with the Section. This is a clear case of a member being vocal on the sidelines and not participating in the real work of the Society; for it appears he did not attend the Annual Meeting of his lodge where he could have made nominations which if approved would have brought about an election. Many of us on the General Executive would be glad if fresh workers would come on to the field and help with the work.
The President, Mr. Sri Ram, has written me re cooperation in his work of editing The Theosophist. That magazine, as he says, is the physical link between the president of the Society and all whom it reaches. He wishes me to contact members, or even others, who are capable of contributing articles (preferably not over 2500 words) containing matter worthy of serious consideration, such articles would be very welcome. Not only theosophical ideas, he adds, but articles containing the pure essence of theosophy; trends of modern thought; that stimulate and express profound truths in simple beautiful language and so on. He would also welcome reviews of other books worth reviewing from the theosophical standpoint, and last but not least he would like information (newspaper and magazine cuttings) indicating important movements in our Section which might be worth while to comment in the Watch Tower Notes. This is all very commendable and I would be very happy to give any further information on the subject to those who would like to help in this laudable enterprise.
I would like to pay tribute here to Miss Helen Zahara who is retiring from the post of Recording Secretary at Adyar to take up theosophical work in the American Section. During my term of office I have had much correspondence with Miss Zahara and have always felt the greatest admiration and esteem for the admirable way in which she has upheld that office during the years. Adyar's loss will be America's gain, and I wish her every success in her new venture.
I trust the members will seriously review the Financial Statement which is published in this issue, and in view of the excessive cast of everything today will especially note the item "Donations to General Fund". Many of you donate to your lodges but seldom consider the claims of the headquarters of the Society in Canada. There are many things we could do for the great work had we the funds, but we are sadly handicapped having but the annual dues to work with viz. $2.50 per member less the percentage we send to Adyar. So it can be realized that we rely entirely on the generosity of our members.
I would draw the attention of the lodges to the fact that we have had especially printed for their use an article entitled The Theosophical Movement which appeared in our March issue. It is now in pamphlet form and is a concise epitome of the main ideas of the Secret Doctrine, and the general nature of the trend of the Movement as laid down by H.P.B. It is strongly
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
recommended for all members as well as for propaganda purposes. The cost is but 12 cents per copy and may be
obtained from the General Secretary by writing to him at 52 Isabella Street, Toronto.
- E. L. T.
THE ANNUAL MEETING
The annual meeting of the General Executive, Theosophical Society in Canada was held at 52 Isabella St., Toronto, on Sunday, July 12, with the following members in attendance: Miss M. Hindsley, Messrs. Dudley Barr, Charles Hale, George Kinman and the General Secretary. Colonel Thomson confirmed the statement that appeared in last month's Canadian Theosophist to the effect that there was no need for an election of officers in view of the fact that the lodges approved of the present setup, and therefore the officers would continue in office for another year. The meeting expressed its regrets and sympathy on the death of Mr. C. Jinarajadasa, and its concurrence on the action of the General Secretary in sending telegrams etc., expressing sympathy on its behalf. A noteworthy item of business was the Financial Report (printed in this issue) which showed a regrettable decline on last year as did also the Standing of the Lodges, a total of 379 members as against 381 of last year. The case of Autonomy of Lodges came up again as two letters had been received on the subject. In view of the seeming misunderstanding that has arisen in connection with the decision made by the Executive at its last meeting and published in May, it was decided that a further elucidation on the subject be prepared by Mr. Barr, and that it be submitted to the General Secretary and members of the Executive for approval or comment before publication. A letter from Adyar regarding the leasing of certain permanent structures and adjoining areas in Damodar Gardens to the Besant Centenary Trust for a period of fifteen years was discussed and approved. Other routine business followed, finally the next meeting was arranged for October 4.
- General Secretary.
MONTREAL LODGE ACTIVITIES
From January through May, in addition to the Tuesday members' meetings and the monthly social teas, six special talks were delivered by guest speakers, one demonstration on the Art of Mobile Color was given and five lectures were held by our regular speaker Mr. W.S. Harley as well as one Question and Answer Evening. We list below a few of these events
"Demonstration on the Art of Mobile Colour" (with music) - Mr. Albert Routledge.
"Health and Theosophy" - Mrs. D. Downes.
"Cloud Language" - Mr. J. Falconer.
"United Nations and The Declaration of Human Rights" - Mr. S.G. Cooper, Pres. Mtl. Branch, U.N.A.
"The Resurrection" and "The Proof of Our Survival" - Rev. Dr. R. G. Katsunoff.
Two new members were greeted into the fellowship of the Lodge, Mrs. H.L. Parker and Miss M. Goodman.
On May 10, the writer had the privilege of fraternizing with fellow-members of the Florida Federation attending their 18th Annual Convention at Miami Beach, and hearing Mr. Geoffrey Hodson of New Zealand, well known lecturer, writer and occultist (incidentally, when is the next Canadian convention to be held?). Past President Mr. David B. Thomas, whose home is in Dade City ("Brynteg", R. 1) the writer also visited, sends his best greetings to alb T.S. friends, old and new. - A cheerful letter from the Lorimers now residing in Vancouver warmed the hearts of their many grateful friends here.
A few closing thoughts: "Spirituality is not something to be, but something to do"; "None Shall Rule but the Humble";
What good I see, humbly I seek to do
And live obedient to the law, in trust
That what will come and must come will come well.
- M. R. Desrochers, Secy. July 9, 1953.
STATEMENT OF FUNDS YEAR ENDING JUNE 30th, 1953
Balance from last year ........... $705.49
Lodge Dues and Fees:
1953 .......... $872.30
1954 ........... 72.50
Magazine Subscriptions ......280.60
Magazine Donations ....... 127.50
General Donations ........ 55.10
Interest ........ 13.67
Premium ............... .50
Total ......... $2144.66
New Members ........ 14
New Subscribers .........19
Member in Arrears ............. 27
Paid-up Membership .......................... 379
Adyar per capita ............. $98.21
Printing ........... $1116.00
Postage .......... 82.00
Zincs ........... 17.30
Postage ......... $16.90
Stationery .......... 41.26
Office ........... 1.07
Stencils ............ 7.24
Extras ............................... 60.58
Election A/c .......... 78.75
Bank Charges ..........3.00
Ex, on Cqs. & loss
on American Exchange .......... 4.95
Cash in Bank ..............617.20
Total .......... $2144.66
As per Pass Book ........... $674.91
Dr. Kuhn ........... $50.00
Petty Cash ..........7.71
Balance ................. 617.20
- E. L. THOMSON, General Secretary.
(Continued from Page 86)
[[figure 2 here]]
cumference is the Ring-Pass-Not. Outside the circle is the Boundless, the Unknown. The radius OA represents the first thrill of consciousness originating in the center, and reaching out as the Universe is about to enter a new cycle of manifestation. The point A is really threefold. It is at once the end of the radius, a point on the circumference, and a point in the Boundless, for the Boundless is everywhere, and there is no place from which it can be excluded. As the circle moves, it represents the awakening or the dawning of consciousness throughout space when the worlds are about to be born anew, and when the circle is tangent to its old position, it occupies for the first time an entirely new position on the paper. This may be taken to represent the moment of full awakening, and the suns are once more glowing in the depths of space. The three portions of the line, which are identified by AS, SK, and the diameter of the circle, KV are seen to be a perfect geometrical representation of the First, the Second and the Third Logos, which might easily be the basis for the concepts of the Trinity found in so many of the religions of the world. Translated into language of our modern day, and stripped for the moment of their profound significance, these can be paraphrased as the three essentials to the accomplishment of anything at all, the need, the plan, the work. The need and the plan are outside the circle of objectivity, and the work is within the circle. Returning now to the occult significance, the First and Second Logos are the unmanifested principles behind all life wherever it may be, and the Third Logos becomes Nature, or Prakriti, of which the worlds are fashioned, and this is represented by the manner in which the Icosahedron and the Dodecahedron are generated within the circle, merely as a result of moving it the distance of its own diameter. Then within the Dodecahedron all the other forms may be constructed in their marvelous complexity. Verily, Plato knew what he taught when he said "God geometrizes".
Middlesex Co., Conn. The Editor,
The Canadian Theosophist:
The indifference of our Society to the welfare of the Theosophical movement as a whole is deplorable. There seems scarcely any realization of the numbers of people that have been deprived of the age-old Wisdom, due to the failure of Theosophists to stand together as a body. We resemble battalions which have lost contact, each striving for its own objective while indifferent to the forward movement of the whole Army in which we are all soldiers.
Mr. G.H. Hall in your April issue denies that there is any authority in the Society. He reminds us, truly of course, that we cannot rightfully establish a
fixed, dogmatic system of belief. That apparently we are all free to read what we choose and arrive at our own conclusions. Here, it seems to many of us, would be common ground upon which all the Societies could meet so as to resolve their differences and thus present a united front to the world. Unfortunately the system at work in the Adyar Society is quite the reverse of that described by Mr. Hall. This authoritarian control is designed to prevent the original teachings of the Adepts and H.P. Blavastky from in any way challenging the later Theosophy of C.W. Leadbeater and others of that school.
As an illustration: Some time ago I presented three books to all Adyar Lodges in New Zealand. Experience had taught me that each of these volumes possessed a general appeal second to none in the entire range of Theosophcial literature. These books were (a) The Gnosis or Ancient Wisdom in the Christian Scriptures by William Kingsland, published by George Allen & Unwin, London. (b) The Hill of Discernment by Trevor Barker, published lay the Covina Theosophical Society, now at Pasadena, California. This volume reflects the original Theosophy. It has won golden opinions. It is a "must" book to all who would share with others the light of the Ancient Wisdom. (c) The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, published by Rider & Co., London, distributed by the Covina Theosophical Society.
Generally speaking, the reception of these books by the Lodges was most gratifying. However, I later received a letter from the General Secretary, New Zealand Section. It was dated Auckland, April 20, 1951. This letter ended with the typewritten inscription, "General Secretary." Above these words a space had been left for the signature. There was no signature; the letter was unsigned. Now this is a very odd procedure, but no more odd than the letter itself. I quote:
"There are many books which you send us which we appreciate and like to have and I feel sure you will understand our point of view about the Covina books not being suitable for our libraries."
Since they occupy by far the majority of the Covina Society's catalogue, the authors chiefly affected by this proscription are H.P. Blavatsky, William Q. Judge and that profound exponent of The Secret Doctrine, Dr. G. de Purucker. The latter very clearly warns us. In his words: "The Theosophical Movement must be kept pure and inspired by the original unadulterated teachings derived from the flow of inspiration from the Great Lodge. . . The work of safety and purification must be done, and it will be done."
The New Zealand General Secretary continues her objections:
"These books uphold W.Q. Judge and ignore Annie Besant, C.W. Leadbeater and Colonel Olcott, and have passages which belittle them. Such books as The Hill of Discernment and the pamphlets are of this nature. The opinion is that these books tend to confuse new members and subscribers and are better not placed in our libraries. There is much in these books which is useful, and one recognizes that, but I myself agree with the opinion that they are unsuitable for our libraries because of the bias against our own leaders."
In view of the opposition to these books their fate becomes extremley uncertain. To begin with, no "pamphlets" of any kind were sent to these Lodges. Now let us analyse this letter. It states that these volumes "belittle" Mrs. Besant, C.W. Leadbeater and Col. Olcott. In reality this statement has no foundation whatsoever. Even more surprising is the complaint that these books "ignore" these three people. Now
this is purely and simply a statement that for a Theosophical book to be acceptable, the author, in an ingratiating manner, must inject into his text the names of certain individuals in whom he may have no interest whatever. Thus he is made to conform to their Theosophy and sanction their ideas generally. If the writer fails in this respect his book, whatever its merits, is declared "unsuitable" for the members as well as the public. What, one might ask, is there about any of these three "leaders" which makes the mention of their names indispensable to the understanding of a system which in itself is the accumulated Wisdom of the ages? Here in its liveliest colors is the old personality-worship which has wrought such mischief in the past. Here too is the authority which Mr. Hall assures us is nonexistent. Authority, moreover, so completely the reverse of the open platform to which the Society was originally dedicated. Conspicuously absent in these books was any mention of the World Mother, the World Teacher, the Apostles and other unpalatable subjects. But we hear of no complaints on this score.
Since both Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater have long since passed on, the idea of "bias against our own leaders" is meaningless unless to perpetuate and declare absolute the particular Theosophy for which these two people were responsible. Also, we are told, "these books uphold W.Q. Judge." It is highly probable that this matter is causing this New Zealand executive considerable uneasiness. It is having the same effect in many places. We have long preened ourselves before the world in the shining robes of brotherhood, while in our midst the shameful campaign has continued against the fair name of this great servant of humanity. For some sixty years a constant stream of unwary people has allowed this incubus to be fastened upon them, and still they keep coming. Such, again, is the evil of authority over the minds of those who allow others to do their thinking. Read William Q. Judge! Read every word of his that you can find, whoever you be, aye, and you will "wear him in your heart's core" for the remainder of your days! Knowing this man's books, as so many of us do, one can feel only the profoundest pity for those who have been deprived of the sublime wisdom, guidance and inspiration which flow from his writings. But the clouds are rolling by, as Judge himself foretold. Today there are portentious signs on the horizon!
There is one more point in this General Secretary's letter which is the last communication received from her. She says, "these books tend to confuse new members and subscribers." If this is the case, if the teachings contained in these books cause confusion in New Zealand and elsewhere - teachings tested through unnumbered centuries and given to the world by the great Guardians of humanity - then what on earth must be the species of Theosophy to which these people have become inured?
- R. Lloyd Jones.
Atlantis Rising, by Daphne Vigers, The Aquarian Press, 30 Denison House, 296 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, Eng. Price 10/6.
Mythology and legend has ever been intimately related to Atlantis. A continent supposed to have once existed in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
In this book, this author disposes of mythical and legendary theories by stating, (in the introduction) that the knowledge of Atlantis came to her through the use of supernormal powers. Nevertheless, the reader must decide
whether or not he accepts the book as fact or fiction.
From the factual angle, it is common knowledge that all the ancient races of mankind had legends of a vast continent which sank beneath the waves of the Atlantic. There are geologists and historians of our own era who maintain that the existence of this continent may be traced by a string of islands in mid-Atlantic, extending from the northern end of the British Isles to the Island of Tristan d'Cunha, off the southern tip of Africa. These islands are the mountain peaks of this submerged continent.
The author has interwoven philosophy with explanations of the methods and applications of the Arts and Sciences. Among the sciences, psychology played a major role, having been used by the priest initiates for materialistic, rather than spiritualistic gains.
Descriptive detail of a great civilization is somewhat overwhelming, but serves the purpose of accenting the flaws which brought destruction to that civilization.
The germ of Atlantean tradition has been kept alive in the ancient Egyptian records, by Plato in his Timeas, and Criteas, and in the Puranas of the Hindus.
Atlantean tradition claimed that man is a spiritual being, his life is a pilgrimage, not only from the cradle to the grave, but stretching through vast periods of time, that his existence is unbroken. That nations and civilizations rise, grow old, and disappear, but the being lives on through all the innumerable changes of environment.
By the power of his thoughts he creates his environments and civilizations.
The book concludes with a note of warning and a note of hope. A warning that unless scientific discoveries of our present age are used in conjunction with a wise philosophy, Atlantean experiences may be ours.
The hope is that science and religions can combine for the welfare of all humanity.
We would add that Theosophy, embracing both the scientific and the religious, points the way, for it is the study of a scientific religion, and a religious science.
- A. L. C.
The Book of Mirdad, by Mikhail Naimy, published by Sader's Library, Beirut, Lebanon, 1948; 249 pp. Obtainable in the United States from Mr. Arthur H. Naimy, 200 E. Main Street, Walla Walla, Wash., and in Canada, from Toronto Theosophical Society, 52 Isabella St., Toronto 5, Ont., Price $2.75.
Every once in so many decades a Book is born into the world, a Book which by the authority of its inner power, quietly, effortlessly, but inevitably, moves forward through the crowded ranks of bookdom and assumes its place of seniority in the vanguard. Such abook is The Book of Mirdad - and aspirants of this generation and of generations to come will be under a debt of gratitude to the author, Mikhail Naimy.
The spiritual realities with which it is concerned are not new they can be found either in direct statement or by implication in many records of man's attempt to find `the old, old path, stretching far away.' The author presents age-old truths in a new, significant and very powerful manner. The orthodox may find it appalling; those who have awakened to `the Great Nostalgia' - longing engendered by reminiscence of divinity - will find it `a lighthouse and a haven'.
Mikhail Naimy, now living in `active seclusion' on a hilltop in Lebanon after a varied career in many parts of the world, is a leading literary figure of the East. He is the author of plays, poems, critical essays, treatises on philosophical
and mystical themes. Many of his works have been translated into French, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish, English and German. He was born in Biskinta, Lebanon, in 1889, and after attending school there, in the Ukraine and in Palestine, he went to the University of Washington, mastered a difficult six year course in four years and was graduated in 1916. He was the close friend, confidant and counsellor of Kahlil Gibran (Wine From the Tavern, The Prophet). The relationship between them was deep and intimate.
The Book of Mirdad which was intended by the author `to shake mankind out of the stupor of dogmatic lethargy so pregnant with hatred, strife and chaos,' was first submitted to a well-known English publishing house, which, while acknowledging that it was `a most unusual book', declined to publish it because, `this book entails such a change from the normal Christian dogma that one might almost say it will be necessary to found a new Church . . . before there would be a large enough sale to justify its publication'. The publishing house has sadly miscalculated the number of persons in the world who have moved away from the orthodox Christian dogma and who are actively and eagerly seeking, `new approaches to the eternal problems of being.'
The book is cast in imaginative setting of an ancient monastery in which since the time of Noah, nine men - never more and never less - have been custodians of the ancient flame. Two travelled ways led to the monastery, but there appeared to be another way thereto by the route of the steep Flint Slope. Despite warnings by experienced mountain guides, the one who tells the story assayed the difficulties of Flint Slope; he started out on his journey well prepared, rested, clothed, equipped and carrying sufficient food, but arrived at
the lofty top, naked, exhausted and bereft of all possessions. The Book of Mirdad was put in his hands.
Mirdad, the teacher, if we read the symbolism correctly, is the Higher Self within man, "I am the stowaway in every ark breasting the deluge of delusion. I take the helm whenever captains call on me for help. Your hearts, although you know it not, have called aloud to me since long ago." He promises to "steer the world out of the greatest deluge ever known", not a flood to wash out the earth, nor "to efface the trace of Man, but to uncover God in man . . . Yea, ineffaceable is Man. He shall go into the forge a man but shall emerge a god."
Through his abuse of the Creative Word, man has divided his being, separating himself from the primal unity of Being. "Does man in truth divide the Indivisible? God forbid. The Indivisible no power can divide - not even God's. Man's immaturity imagines the division. And Man, the infant, girds himself for battle and wages war upon the infinite All-Self believing it to be the enemy of his being."
"The most unsparing judge of Ignorance is Ignorance itself. Consider Man. Has he not, in ignorance, cloven himself in twain thereby inviting death upon himself and all the things that make up his divided world? I say to you, there is not God and Man. But there is God-Man or Man-God. There is the One. However multiplied, however divided, it is forever One."
Man, the divided, separated entity, accentuates his pains and cares, by his self-righteous condemnation of his fellows, who are already self-condemned.
"Less horrible, indeed, would be two gallows-birds each sentencing the other to the gallows." . . .
"When you know all, you would judge none."
"Each day is Judgment Day. Each
creature's accounts are balanced every twinkling of an eye. Nothing is hid. Nothing is left unweighed. There is no thought, no deed, no wish, but are recorded in the thinker and the doer and the wisher. No thought, no wish, no deed go sterile in the world."
Mirdad's teachings contain many injunctions, the truth of which are readily recognized, mentally; but their practise is not easy, until we too are afflicted with `the Great Nostaliga' and, realizing that we are the creators of our own prison houses, seek "the unutterable Freedom of the Summit which is the true, the boundless, the all-including home of God and the Overcoming Man . . . The Overcomer do I preach - Man unified and master of himself."
"Man is held by everything he holds. Release your grip on things if you would not be in their grip."
"It is the pride of mean and narrow self, begot of blind and lustful ignorance, that can insult and be insulted, and would avenge the insult with an insult and wash away the filth with filth."
"You must deny the self that is a plaything in the hands of Time and thus assert the Self which is immune to juggleries of Time. . . to deny the self is to assert the Self."
"The law of Time is repetition. What once occurred in Time is bound to reoccur again and again; the intervals, in the case of Man, may be long or brief depending on the intensity of each man's desire and will for repetition."
These cycles of ceaseless repetition - karma - can be overcome "by loving the Earth and all her children. When Love is the only residue of all your accounts with the Earth, then will the Earth acquit you of her debt . . . When you love everything, you are attached to nothing."
Of love between men and women, Mirdad has this to say: "Man made a prisoner by the love of woman, and woman made a prisoner by the love of man, are equally unfit for Freedom's precious crown . . . No love is Love that subjugates the Lover."
"Man was not born to be a vassal, not even to his manhood."
His words on prayer, temples and churches may frighten the faint-hearted: `Whoever cannot find a temple in his heart, the same can never find his heart in any temple . . . most men are derelicts as yet . . . and they are lost and awed when made to roam the vastness of their hearts, but soothed and comforted within the walls of temples and in the herds of creatures like themselves . . . Go! Pray as you have been taught to pray. Pray anyway - for anything. Go! Do all the things commanded you to do till you become self-taught and self-commanded, and till you learn to make each word a prayer, each deed a sacrifice."
The above quotations may be enough to give some idea of the quality and power of the book, a power, `terrible in its potency', as one reader remarked. It is a book for all who yearn to overcome', but the author adds, "Let all others beware of it.'
One final quotation must be given:
"This is the way to freedom from care and pain:
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 wish as if you were the wish. And so, in truth, you are.
So live as if your God Himself had need of you His life to live. And so, in truth, He does."
ORIGINAL AND UP-TO-DATE THEOSOPHY
We lend freely by mail all the comprehensive literature of the Movement. Catalogue on request. Also to lend, or for sale at l0c each post free, our ten H.P.B. Pamphlets, including early articles from LUCIFER and Letters from the Initiates.
THE H. P. B. LIBRARY, 750 GRAND BOULEVARD NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.
BLAVATSKY INSTITUTE PUBLICATIONS
- ESOTERIC CHARACTER OF THE GOSPEL by H. P. Blavatsky.
- THE EVIDENCE OF IMMORTALITY by Dr. Jerome A. Anderson.
- MODERN THEOSOPHY by Claude Falls Wright.
- THE BHAGAVAD GITA, A Conflation by Albert E.S. Smythe.
These four books are cloth bound, price $1 each.
- THE EXILE OF THE SOUL by Professor Roy Mitchell has been published in book form. Attractively bound in yellow cover stock. This sells at the price of $1.00.
- THROUGH TEMPLE DOORS - Studies in Occult Masonry, by Roy Mitchell, an occult interpretation of Masonic Symbolism.
- THEOSOPHY IN ACTION, by Roy Mitchell, a re-examination of Theosophical ideas, and their practical application in the work.
- THEOSOPHIC STUDY, by Roy Mitchell, a book of practical guidance in methnods of study.
The above four books are attractively bound; papperbound $1.00, cloth, $1.50.
Professor Roy Mitchell's COURSE IN PUBLIC SPEAKING especially written for Theosophical students, $3.00.
THE BLAVATSKY INSTITUTE, 52 ISABELLA ST., TORONTO 5, ONTARIO
- CALGARY LODGE: President, E.H. Lloyd Knechtel; Secretary, Mrs. Lilian Glover, 418, 10th Ave. N.W., Calgary, Alta. Meetings at 231 Examiner Bldg.
- EDMONTON LODGE: President, Mr. E. Wood, Secretary, Mrs. Madeline Williams, 10838 108th St., Edmonton, Alta.
- HAMILTON LODGE: President, Mrs. E.M. Mathers; Secretary, Miss Edith Wilkinson, 290 Fennel Ave. East, Hamilton, Ont.
- KITCHENER LODGE: President, Alexander Watt; Secretary, John Oberlerchener, Kingsdale P.O. Kitchener
- MONTREAL LODGE: President, Mrs. H. Sora; Secretary, Miss M.R. Desrochers, 1655 Lincoln, Apt. 37, Montreal, P.Q. Lodge Rooms, 1501 St. Catherine Street West, Montreal, Que.
- OTTAWA LODGE: Enquiries respecting Theosophical activities in Ottawa should be addressed to: Mrs. D. H. Chambers, 531 Bay Street, Ottawa, Ont.
- ST. THOMAS LODGE: President Benj. T. Garside, Secretary, Mrs. Hazel B, Garside, General Delivery, St. Thomas, Ont.
- TORONTO LODGE: President, Mr. G.I. Kinman, 46 Rawlinson Ave., Toronto 12 (phone Mohawk 5346). Recording Secretary, Miss Laura Gaunt. Lodge Rooms 52 Isabella Street, Toronto, Ont.
- TORONTO WEST END LODGE: President, Mrs. A. Carmichael; Secretary, Mrs. E.L. Goss, 20 Strathearn Boulevard, Toronto, 12, Ont.
- VANCOUVER LODGE: President, Mrs. Buchanan; Secretary, M.D. Buchanan, 4621 W. 6th Ave., The Lodge rooms are at 151 1/2 Hastings St. West
- VULCAN LODGE: President, Guy Denbigh, Vulcan, Alta.
- ORPHEUS LODGE, VANCOUVER: President, R.H. Hedley; Secretary, L.C. Hanson; Copp Bldg, Vancouver.
- WINNIPEG LODGE: Secretary, P.H. Stokes, Suite 8, 149 Langside Street, Winnipeg, Man.