Vol. XXXV, No. 1 Toronto, March 15th, 1954 Price 20 Cents.
The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document
THE PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS
Extracts from Mr. Sri Ram's Address at the 78th International Convention
Mr. Sri Ram welcomed the delegates to Adyar which "is not only the Administrative Headquarters of our worldwide Society, but also its spiritual heart and centre".
Each Convention is to very many of those who attend it a landmark in their lives, and it is certainly also a landmark in the history of the Society. It is an occasion to "look before and after", not to "pine for what is not," but rather to discover what may be the meaning and significance of those things which are, with which we are immediately and practically concerned: Life in all its aspects, the problem of our humanity, Truth, Happiness and whatever else we may consider to be involved in the operations of Nature and our free will.
Our purpose at these Conventions is not purely formal, although there is a form for everything that is and everything that is brought into being, which has to have its due attention. If our aim as Theosophists - a word which should have no mere verbal connotation - is to set a standard in everything, that aim must be reflected in the way we meet to confer, as much as in anything else. We have to learn to come together in such a way that heart speaks to heart and not only lips to ears. We may make plans, we may study statistics; all that seems to me to be but incidental to the living process of a discovery, which is Theosophy, which because living is to be discovered only in ourselves. We have to learn not only to speak, which is to express ourselves in all ways, but also to listen to the pure note of Truth, which listening is with an inward hearing that is silent and quiet. Then that note will be translated in a way that will carry it far and touch the hearts of all who are capable of an answering resonance; then there will be evoked out of them the riches of its multitudinous tones and overtones.
Our purpose when we are together for a number of days is as much to retreat within ourselves as to advance boldly without, as much concerned with the way to the discovery of Truth or Theosophy - for Theosophy is Truth in its essence - as with the means of conveying such truth as we may have come to. I feel that as Theosophists we need to be ever humble, open, seeking to learn, seeking to understand. Where should this pure attitude obtain more than at our
Conferences and Conventions where there is the possibiltiy of a union of hearts, side by side with the meeting of free open minds, and an atmosphere conducive to a receptivity which we do not normally enjoy.
The President then referred fittingly to the death of Mr. C. Jinarajadasa, and to our duty to fill the gap left by each leader who passes on. Outwardly, this can be done by occupying the vacant offices and by lecturing, and engaging in methods to gather more public attention, but these things are "but the outer aspects of the real work which determines actuality of progress, namely, to bring into manifestation something of the Theosophy that is eternal in the heavens. . . this is a task which should engage not only our hands and minds but the capacity of our entire being.
Each of our great leaders, from our revered Founder H.P.B. onwards, has given something of his or her vision and understanding, and imparted to the Society some elements of his or her own distinctiveness, so that today the best thought of the Society and the way it influences us is a rich and comprehensive heritage. Yet this heritage should not be for us a mere accumulation, a treasure to be carefully preserved in bound volumes on special shelves. What is most precious in the message of each one of them is a living Wisdom which in so far as it has filtered into the hearts of any of us should be living and growing in our lives. To each one of us who aspires to be a true Theosophist, Theosophy should mean a change based on his own understanding, which should begin in his heart and envelop his entire being. The future of the Society depends upon its being, which means our being, a channel for those forces which must eventually transform us wholly and completely, make new men and women out of the old humanity.
Other members passed on during the year, and the President mentioned especially Mr. L.W. Rogers of the United States, and Miss Corrie Dijkgraaf, Holland, Mr. Thomas Pond of Baltimore, Mr. E.W. Post, who joined the Society in 1883; also Mr. D.P. Kotwall of Karachi, who joined in 1888, and Mr. C.V. Shah, for many years worker at Headquarters..
On the matter of `leadership' the President said "but surely we do not want anyone ultimately to follow any path other than the path that is within himself. The sole loyalty that we should preach in our Society is loyalty to Truth, the Truth that is realized in oneself. He is the true leader who can be alone, unbiassed, not leaning on others, who can lead himself. In this view, which I believe is a true view, each one of us has both light and leading to give in his or her own sphere, and it would be a wonderful Society if from the thousands of its members there can be radiated this bright influence."
The President reported that final arrangements had been made respecting a satisfactory settlement of the occupation by the Besant Centenary Trust of certain lands and buildings at Headquarters.
The President reported on the proposed development at Adyar of The Garden of Meditation, and spoke of the need for money for this and various other purposes, including the Adyar Library. A new fund named The Raja Commemorative Fund is to be started to assist lecturers in theosophic work.
The number of Lodges throughout the world is now 1,319; and the total number of members over 32,220. This includes in some cases last year's figures.
The President mentioned the Session of the Council of the European Federation of Theosophical Lodges, which was held last July, and spoke of the steady progress which was being made theosophically in Europe. A new National
Society came into being during the year, Venezuela, and in Northern Ireland there was the formation of a Northern Ireland Federation, in place of the previous presidential agency.
The Section Reports do not all speak in the same accents. One or two of them speak of a "downward" trend in membership, but others have had an increase of membership and think that the future is promising, and there is among the members in them a feeling of happiness in Theosophy. The phrase "new era" has been suggested here and there.
It seems to me that it does not really matter whether the numerical strength of the Society, of any Section or Lodge, goes a little up or down. It is not numbers which matter; nor popularity; nor the estimation of people who are considered important from the standpoint of the world's current interests nor the aims determined by those interests. We need surely to understand the problems of our time and the world's needs in every direction. But let us bear in mind the truth that the world is ourselves - We are of the world worldly for the most part, even though we may have other aspirations - and what the world plans, wants, and what we may be inclined to join in as the solution of present problems, may not be what is really needed to bring about order, freedom, peace, happiness, in the world or in ourselves. We need a fundamental change, more truly a renewal of life, such as takes place when the seasons change, or when the individual life sheds its form and expresses itself in a new one. Such a renovation depends upon depth of understanding, discrimination in one's actual life, an earnestness to discover not just with the instrument of intellect, but with the totality of one's being and awareness, what is beyond the mind, beyond its fleeting shadows. The purpose of the Society may be variously stated; it belongs to many different levels. It is practical, philanthropic, creative, indealistic, spiritual. Let us, in all these ways, prepare ourselves into channels for its pure expression. The quality of each and every one of us will determine the quality of the whole. As surely as day follows night, the dawn will break in each one's heart, when he has ceased to cling to the shadows that constitute the night, the falsehoods, superstitions and glamor, whether of our religious, political, social or personal lives.
STUDIES IN THE SECRET DOCTRINE
4. The Lineage
There are three basic lineages or successions, (1) the Secret, (2) the Inner; (3) the Outer.
(3) The Outer is the physical lineage of parenthood. By reason of past actions (karma), a reincarnating entity is drawn to an appropriate target in space and time. He is initiated into a particular kind of body and social circumstance. He is trained in worldly thought going with that family, district, country, and times. The various friends and acquaintances who serve to broaden his understanding and mastery of convention and worldly undertaking also belong to this lineage.
(2) The Inner is the lineage of moral sensitivity and philosophic depth. It is passed on by preceptors, called in the East gurus. The one who is handed the lineage is called the disciple. Here is the continuation of universal truths which are only partially assimilated to a particular environment.
(1) The Secret is the lineage of occult power. The words used for this naturally vary in the different systems. In the Buddhist terminology, a Buddha hands over the lineage, a Bodhisattva receives it. Before this happens, the latter is called a candidate. In the West, the individuals carrying the lineage are called adepts.
To make the above clearer, some alternate explanations may be useful:
(3) The Outer answers the question, "What?"
(2) The Inner answers the question, "Why?"
(1) The Secret answers the question, "How?"
Again, consider a plant. Strictly speaking, the outer lineage is only seed to seed. But this is not possible without subsidiary conditions of soil, water, and sun. The external plant from seed to seed, through the intermediate stages of shoot, leaves, and flower, is the total Outer lineage. Its plant sensitivity, or species consciousness, from latency to full expression is the Inner lineage. The power of life force which enables this species-consciousness to manifest by means of a primary cause (the seed), and secondary causes (soil, etc.) is the Secret lineage.
In human terms, the being which is begotten, which passes through the interuterine stages, and the external stages from child to old man, is the receiver of Outer lineage. The conscious principle which passes through the 12-fold dependent origination (the 12 Nidanas) is the receiver of Inner lineage. The superior principle, the monad, is the receiver of Secret lineage.
5. Who Provided the String
"But to the public in general and the readers of the `Secret Doctrine' I may repeat what I have stated all along, and which I now clothe in the words of Montaigne: Gentlemen, `I have here made only a nosegay of culled flowers, and have brought nothing of my own but the string that ties them'." (S.D. I, xlvi.)
The word "string" means Inner or Secret lineage. In this way, the author,. H.P. Blavatsky, sets forth her authority for dealing with any of the facts presented. She continues, "Pull the `string' to pieces and cut it up in shreds, if you will. As for the nosegay of FACTS - you will never be able to make away with these. You can only ignore them, and no more."
The author, although having the authority ("string"), subordinates this, sets it forth as a lesser value than the facts themselves, because the White Lodge, of which she was a representative, extols self-reliance and individual striving, and cannot dominate the will of any being. No one is asked to believe or become an adherent on the grounds that the teacher is an Initiate. If the teacher cannot convince by the spiritual force of Truth, what use is there in proclaiming the authority of accomplished clairvoyance and mystic affinities?
By the nuance of the passages quoted, H.P.B. makes the sign of great attainment. As said in The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett (p. 203), "After nearly a century of fruitless search, our chiefs had to avail themselves of the only opportunity to send out a European body upon European soil to serve as a connecting link between that country and our own."
This body was the Outer lineage called H.P. Blavatsky, who brought the Inner and Secret lineages called "string." H.P.B. was the chosen European, who, after exacting occult training, was "sent out alone into the world to gradually prepare the way for others." Her chief work is The Secret Doctrine, the subject of these studies.
6. Oral and Written Continuity
In terms of communication, the Secret
Lineage is Silence; the Inner Lineage is oral and written continuity; and the Outer Lineage accounts for the bulk of the words that we utter and hear, read and write.
By "oral and written continuity", we mean the exoteric doctrine, whether now illumined more from above (the secret man), or more from the surface (the vulgar man).
Who can express the inner continuity? Anyone, because all men live in the three worlds in some degree of participation. But the vast majority have in earthly life yet to "awaken the three `seats' to life and activity" (S.D. I, 199) - the triple seat of the Secret lineage. And the inner man, the intelligent principle, is, in our degenerate age, usually guided by the outer man. Therefore, although everyone has the potentiality, in actual practice, it is only a few who continue the oral and written continuity.
It is those few who, having the power and authority, have decided in each era what is to be oral, and what written down. Some maintain that the adepts do not write books. It is clear that they would not look upon H.P. Blavatsky as an adept, for she certainly wrote books. In the position of this series, H.P.B. is looked upon as an occultist, not as a philologist, nor as a simple amanuensis. As a trained occultist, she must be regarded as in one or other stage of adeptship. Of course, women as well as men can be adepts, but only the extraordinary man or extraordinary woman will attain.
We do not mean that H.P.B. was at all times an adept. As said in the Mahatma Letters (p. 180), "An adept - the highest as the lowest - is one only during the exercise of his occult powers." Therefore (p. 181) H.P.B. was not free from mistakes made during the times of non-adeptship.
Since our position is that adepts write books, the question naturally arises just what has been written down, in contrast to what is handed down orally? The answer can only be given in generalities. Almost everything of importance has been written. But what pertains to spiritual matters naturally assumes a special preliminary training of the disciple.
Life is the Scala Sancta;
We must climb
Not barren steps of cold
But hours and days and months
And years in time.
And, as we tell our well-worn
Our rosary through which
We would atone,
We offer up our daily
Thoughts and deeds.
Slowly we mount through happiness
Bewilderment and longing,
Hopes and fears -
The summit hard and arduous
But, when with strife we can
No more contend,
And we are blinded with
The Master's voice is heard; -
"Have courage friend!
For I am waiting for you, At the end."
- Hesper Le Gallienne Hutchinson.
He who casting off the body, goeth forth thinking upon Me only at the time of the end, he entereth into My being: there is no doubt of that.
- Bhagavad-Gita, 8th Disc.
ON THE ANCIENT MYSTERIES
By W.F. Sutherland
Mead, goes on to say that alongside the State-controlled Mysteries there were others of a private character whose numbers increased so rapidly and mainly by infiltration from abroad that eventually nearly every variety of Oriental cult was represented; many of these rites left much to be desired in Mead's mind but among them were others of a different character, communities of rigid ascetics, men and women, who gave themselves entirely to holy living. Those who did so were generally known as Orphics and it was in their communities that the Pythagorean schools, were to be found. According to Mead, Pythagoras did not so much establish something new when he founded his own and famous school at Crotona; he merely developed something already in existence. When his school was broken up and its members dispersed, they sought refuge among the Orphics.
Mead believes that Orphism was neither a comparatively recent importation nor even a development out of the civilization founded by the fair-haired Aryans we now know as the classical Greeks; it was, on the contrary, but a revival of the much more ancient religion of the Pelasgi who previously had inhabited Thrace and Pelopennesus proper. Others suppose that both the Orphic and the Bacchic rites to have been of Egyptian origin as well as the Eleusinia. Herodotus states that the latter were introduced in the year we now know as 1429 B.C.
At any rate, so Mead believes, an effort was made to recover the old tradition. This would be at a time just prior to that when Greece cast back the hosts Xerxes from the shores of Europe. "The effort seems to have been to revive in Greece the memory of its past by recovering the channel of its ancient inspiration, and at the same time, to let her feel the strength of her peculiar genius in thinking out the old oracular wisdom in terms of her fresh intellect . . . . "It is at this period that Mead dates the rise of philosophy and the revival of the Orphic tradition.
The cult of Dionysus, Iao or Bacchus would appear to have belonged either to this earlier culture cycle or to have been brought from Thrace by the Aryans. The cult, at any rate was linked with the Orphic tradition and appears to have had its roots in an "archaic semitism" according to him.
As so often happens with the indigenous gods of a subject race, Dionysus became peculiarly the God of the common people.
It is in the Orphic communities and the Pythagorean tradition that Mead finds the ancient wisdom religion and the mystical element perpetuated rather than in the quasi-political Eleusinia or the more disreputable of the oriental cults. In this he is in substantial agreement with Yarker.
In conformity with what has already been said, he also believes Pythagoras to have been initiated into the Egyptian, Chaldean, Orphic and Eleusinian mysteries while at the same time being the founder of the Greek philosophy. "His philosophy, however, was not a thing in itself, but was the result of the application of his intellect - especially of his mathematical genius - to the best in the Mystery traditions. He saw that it was necessary to attempt to lead the rapidly evolving intellectuality of Greece along its own lines to the contemplation of the inner nature of things; otherwise in the joy of its freedom, it would get entirely out of hand and reject the truths of the ancient wisdom."
(Continued on Page 11)
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
Rather belatedly I have received notices of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Sri Besant Lodge, Tangore, India. The Souvenir is beautifully arranged, has interesting illustrations and a history of the organization since its inception. Accompanying it is a facsimile of the Address of Welcome presented to His Excellency the Governor of Madras who presided on the occasion. The whole setup conveys the impression of outstanding vitality, devotion and earnestness on the part of all concerned. I take this opportunity of conveying to the President and Members of the Lodge the hearty congratulations and greetings of the Canadian Society on attaining this milestone in their history, and our sincere wishes for a yet more glorious future.
The first issue has been received of Clarte, a theosophical magazine in French, edited under the auspices of the European Federation with the collaboration of the Swiss and Belgian Sections. It is published in the interests of those speaking the French language. Besides being well written it contains articles of general interest and thought-provoking subjects. I especially recommend it to members and others living in Quebec province. The subscription is 75 francs (Belges) and the Editor is Serge Brisy, 37 Rue J. B. Muenier, Uccles-Bruxelles, Belgium.
"Brother spare a dime" - We have not come to that yet, but those of you who read the magazine are not unaware of the fact that we find it difficult to make ends meet. Now we are faced with an increase in the cost of printing. We, like everybody else have to move with the times or become stagnant and fade out. During my tenure of office I have pointed out several times in this column that in spite of the increased cost of everything, our dues and subscriptions have not changed. How long can that last? Most of you donate and help your lodges in some form or other, but how many think of the General Executive which has to carry on the work of the Canadian Society as a whole, and that includes our magazine! This is just a "flash" to keep you informed of the general situation.
I hope that the members will particularly note that the election of Officers for the General Executive will shortly be to the fore again. Official notices appeared in the magazine last month and this is but a reminder that every member has the democratic right to bring forward names of persons whom he thinks could do a better job if given the opportunity, than those already in office. The method is simple, you have to be present at a meeting of your lodge when the subject is under discussion, then you may nominate the persons you have in mind, and the matter will be put to the vote. For some years now there has been no election, because the lodges have been satisfied with the status quo, but that does not mean that it has to go on from year to year until there is a casualty in the setup. A little bird has whispered occasionally that things might be better, or that this or that should be done, that it is time there was a change and so on. In principal I agree, but who will come forward and relieve those who, in some cases have been on the executive for years and who would not be loathe to make way for others, who may perhaps be "more up and coming". So please put on your thinking caps and let us have action.
I regret to report the death on Feb-ruary 16 of Mrs. Eva J. Knechtel, wife of Mr. E.H. Lloyd Knechtel who is pre-
sident of Calgary Lodge. The death occurred at the home of her sister in Parker, Penn., and the funeral service was held in Calgary on the 23rd. Mrs. Knechtel, who was born in Toronto, joined the Society in 1913 and was very active in the lodge work until illness forced discontinuance. To Mr. Knechtel and to all members of the family, I extend sincere sympathy.
- E. L. T.
A note was received from the Editors of Theosophical Notes respecting a correction in their letter which appeared in last month's issue; the 175,000,000 magnification referred to therein was not obtained by the electron microscope, but by a complex method of using X-rays, recently developed by W. L. Bragg.
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
- The Organ of the Theosophical Society in Canada
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OFFICERS OF THE T.S. IN CANADA
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Charles M. Hale, Box 158, New Liskeard, Ont.
Miss M. Hindsley, 745 Bloor St. W., Toronto, Ont.
George I. Kinman, 46 Rawlinson Avenue, Toronto, Ont.
Peter Sinclair, 4941 Wellington St., Verdun, Quebec
Washington E. Wilks, 925 Georgia St. W., Vancouver, B.C.
Emory P. Wood, 12207 Stony Plain Road, Edmonton, Alta.
Lt.-Col E.L. Thomson, D.S.O., 54 Isabella St., Toronto, Ont.
To whom all payments should be made, and all official communications addressed
EDITORIAL BOARD, CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
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T. S. WORK AT MONTREAL LODGE
Last Fall, interest in our wonderful philosophy was further stimulated through the following public lectures: Mrs. H. Sora - "Symbolism of Color." Mr. Hubert Jamin - "Prodigious Adventure of the Human Mental" and "Krishnamurti."
Mr. W.S. Harley - "Cosmic Creation and Atomic Energy;" and a few lectures on "Ancient Wisdom."
Miss Jean Low - "Karma."
Mr. J.W. Robinson - "Spiritual Aspects."
Mr. Emeric Sala - "On Being Human," and "The World and the West."
Dr. Witold Brzozowski - "Extra-Sensory Perception."
Mrs. Shelley Newcombe - "Plotinus."
Three new members were welcomed into the fellowship - Miss Thelma Johannes, Messrs. R.V. Grimmon and Hubert Jamin. The study of Volume I of The Secret Doctrine was undertaken at the members' meetings, newspaper advertising was intensified and an attempt is being made to secure tape recordings from Wheaton to be used at public lectures.
At the beginning of the year, elections took place and the officers elected are as follows: President, Miss Mavis W. Wyatt; Vice-President, Mr. Hubert Jamin; Treasurer Mr. John W. Robinson; Assist. Treasurer, Miss Mollie Goodman; Librarian, Miss Mollie Goodman; Auditor, Mr. R.V. Grimmon; Secretary, Miss M. R. Desrochers.
We think it appropriate at this time to quote from our International President, Mr. Sri Ram's "Greetings to New Members", which appeared in the August 1953 isue of this magazine - "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".
- M. R. Desrochers, Secretary.
Mr. J. Krishnamurti will give six talks in New York City on May 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, and 30, upon his return from India and Europe. These are the only talks planned for this year in the United States.
All meetings will be held in the auditorium of the Washington Irving High School, 40 Irving Place at 16th St., at 7 p.m. Those wishing to help defray necessary expenses are asked to do so in advance as there will be no fees and no collection on the evenings of the lectures. Cheques should be made payable to KRISHNAMURTI NEW YORK TALKS, and be mailed to Mr. Frederick Pinter, 200 West 58th St., New York 19, N.Y.
Toronto, Feb. 7, 1954.
The Editor, Canadian Theosophist.
The article "Universal Brotherhood and Admission of Members," which appeared in the Canadian Theosophist of January, was originally published by W.Q.J. in The Path, July 1894, exactly 60 years ago. While some of its content is as valuable today as when it was first written, it also reflects a time in theosophical history, when the Esoteric Section and private members meetings represented a privileged, if not a morally superior, section of humanity. Nonetheless they found it hard to live up to the basis: Equality of members, irrespective of caste, colour, etc., otherwise colored students need not have been segregated. Not all rules in this article are applicable to our modern, completely changed world and suited for our scattered societies and independent groups.
Judge's idea of comparing a branch with the intimacy of a family was in my opinion an unhappy one. It does sound so much like family compact and clannish rule. Furthermore the author puts the officers of a Branch in the position of absolute justice and therefore perfection. The possibility of the "Family" itself being out of order, offensive in manner, quarrelsome, dogmatic and dictatorial, etc., in short untheosophical, did not occur to the writer. Evidently 1894 was still full of promise, the Mahatma Letters not published. Admittedly students had one great advantage then, the booklist of 1894 did contain the fundamentals of Theosophy, perhaps Judge based his admonition upon this premise. It is however interesting to note, that the intimate family setup did not keep the unity in the T.S., and it was not the one or other applicant, colored or radically unsuited, who caused the breaking up, but powerful and prominent leading members of the branches themselves. Since the problem as to "membership rules" in Canada has still not been solved, I suggest that we conduct all our lodges as modern centers for Adult Education without recited pledges and initiations. Two years ago I picked up in a very small lodge in a large Canadian metropolis an official leaflet and read amongst other: "All the splendour of being a centre from which the spiritual energies stream forth belongs to each lodge, however obscure, however small, however humble. All the dignity of this high office all the majesty of this royal priesthood clothes each lodge in garments shining like the sun," etc. and further, "Wherever a Lodge meets a star is shining mid the darkness of the world, and its magnetic influences stream through the atmosphere, carrying blessing wherever they go." etc. These are powerful suggestions and may even un-
balance weaker minds, and cause behavior trouble.
As to who might be a criminal or psychopathic and not suited for membership or special offices, surely the Theosophical Society in Canada can follow the same rules of law as practiced in any real democratic institution. In my opinion Theosophical teaching can only be brought before the public with advertising suitable to modern Adult Education and under headlines of comparative philosophy and psychology, etc. Intelligent younger and mature minds will not look for this type of studies on the Sunday Church Service page. They are not looking for Bible lectures and sermons, and they would not get the esoteric and true spiritual meaning from them.
760 Grizzly Peak Blvd.,
Berkeley 8, Calif., Jan. 29, 1954.
The Editor, The Canadian Theosophist.
Dear Sir: -
It is encouraging to see the appearance in two Theosophical periodicals - Theosophy (Nov. 1953) and the Canadian Theosophist (Jan. 1954) of W.Q. Judge's "Universal Brotherhood and Admission of Members" - truly a thought-provoking article.
We must admire the candid forceful manner in which Mr. Judge treated this controversial issue.
As he well stated, "Every one would say that families had a right to their privacy and to select their associates. . ."
In Light on the Path, it is written, "The `Power to wound' includes much that men value, not only in themselves but in others. The instinct of self-defense and of self-preservation is part of it; the idea that one has any right or rights, either as citizen, or man, or individual; the pleasant consciousness of
self-respect and of virtue."
Just as pointed out by Mr. Judge, families have a right to privacy; while from Light on the Path we learn further that in proceeding on that right, they show they are not moved by disciples.
As he writes, "Now it is the continued harmony of the constituents which is to determine both its endurance and its activity."
Some may pride themselves on having been first harmonious and later discordant. Others may pride themselves on having been first discordant and later harmonious. Still others may congratulate themselves on having been always harmonious or always discordant. But as H.P.B. wrote, "Let every man prove his own work," and it is well recognized, "A tree is known by its fruit."
In a time of seeming expansion, as in the latter part of Mr. Judge's lifetime, it is understandable that hostile forces might send disruptive elements. In a time of seeming contraction, as in our day, it is understandable that hostile forces might send congenial elements. Thus, in the article under consideration, W.Q.J. wrote fittingly for his day, not necessarily for our day.
". . . nor can there be any ground of complaint if its existing members decline to elect him" - the excluded one. Might it be a spiritual law: the rejecter becomes the rejectee; and his rejector in turn rejected? The existing members have by their action spurned all possible aid from the excluded one. Nor can there be any ground of complaint if they never receive such aid.
Just as said by Mr. Judge, "Brotherhood does not demand that elements wholly dissimilar must be violently mixed." Even so, H.P.B. wrote in "Occultism Versus the Occult Arts," "And yet, he who would profit by the wisdom of the universal mind, has to reach it through the whole of humanity without distinction of race, complexion, religion
or social status." We must whole-heartedly endorse Mr. Judge's emphasis on the freedom of choice of Theosophical groups. Let us hope they did not choose to be influenced by racial prejudice. Indeed, "Brotherhood does not demand" anything. Yet he who is "accepted" must give way before it.
"But in the Society the Branch represents the family, and it has a right to draw a line or make limit, and to say who shall and who shall not belong to that family." This is most proper. Likewise, the biological family itself is necessary to society and the preservation of the species. Yet, in the article we mentioned, H.P.B. wrote, "No one can serve his body and the higher Soul, and do his family duty and his universal duty, without depriving either one or the other of its rights. . ."
Hence, it is plain that W.Q. Judge wrote with vigor and justice. He pointed out a right. Those who took advantage of the right were not disciples, despite their "private meetings." Nevertheless, they may have performed a useful function by teaching the doctrines of karma and reincarnation, donating Theosophical works to libraries, and the like. They may have erected a modest building in which to hold Theosophical classes. And there is still hope:
". . . if thou needest help thyself and fearest to offer help to others - then, thou of timid heart, be warned in time: remain content with the `Eye Doctrine' of the Law. Hope still. For if the `Secret Path' is unobtainable this `day,' it is within thy reach `tomorrow'." - The Voice of the Silence.
- Alex Wayman.
"Where, O Venerable Master, is Nirvana ?"
"Nirvana is wherever the precepts are obeyed," replied the Blessed one.
ON THE ANCIENT MYSTERIES (Continued from Page 6)
"Plato continued this task; though on somewhat different lines; he worked more in the world than Pythagoras, and his main effort was to clear the ground from misconceptions, so that the intellect might be purified and brought into a fit state to contemplate the things that are . . . . "
"It is a mistake to suppose that Plato formulated a distinctly new system of philosophy; his main conceptions are part and parcel of the wisdom handed down by the seers of the Mysteries; and he does not formulate them so much as clear the ground by his dialectical method, so that the mind may be brought into a fit state to perceive them.
"Therefore are the conclusions of his dialogues nearly always negative, and only at the end of a long life, and probably against his better judgment and in response to the importunities of his pupils does he set down a positive document in the Timaeus composed of scraps from the unpublished writings of the Pythagoreans and others."
The Cabiri were the legendary Gods known also as the Technites or Artificers who first instructed mankind in all the ancient arts of architecture and building, smelting and metal-working, magic and music, medicine and all the like. More specifically, the Hippocratic oath was originally a mystery obligation and Hippocrates a priest of Aesculapius.
The Cabiric rites are believed to date back to the Cyclopean form of masonry which spread in prehistoric times from Asia Minor along the Mediterranean to points as remote as Britain, and which was characterized by the use of irregularly-shaped blocks of stone laid in random order but exquisitely fitted together. Later, the Dionysian artificers introduced "level-work" or the squared
and coursed ashlar with which we are now so familiar. This would not be later than about 3,000 B.C., and, having this date in mind, it is not unreasonable to suppose that the Minoan culture may well have been responsible for both types of construction.
Here we pause to note that the Phoenicians appear to have been but a vestigal people who colonized the coast of Asia Minor and who survived the downfall of their mother culture in Crete. The Minoan seafarers were the first to bring the tin of Britain home to the Mediterranean and to have traded with Egypt and other coastal regions.
The Cabiric rites were highly honored and protected in historical times. Many of the illustrious made pilgrimages to Samothrace there to be initiated. Among them was Arsinoe, the second Ptolemaic princess of that name, a woman of undoubted talents and a patron of the arts and sciences, as were most of the early members of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Initiation conferred the right of sanctuary and it is recorded that on one occasion Arsinoe availed herself of that privilege.
In this high standing enjoyed by the Cabiris rites we find something strangely at variance with the generally accepted notion of the status of the arts and crafts in Greece, where to use Winspear's somewhat redundant phrase, - mere craftsmanship became "banusic and vulgar", and where even those who adorned and made of Athens the ancient city beautiful were for the most part merely tolerated by virtue of the needfulness of their skills.
We note in passing that Socrates seems to have moved and been accepted in the best circles in spite of his lowly origin and means of livelihood. Here we might recognize that a continuity in the affairs of man can only be achieved through the direct transmission of knowledge and skills from one generation to another. For the most part, and in simple matters, this transmission takes place easily and naturally enough, as when the father instructs the son or the master-workman, the apprentice. But it is more difficult to achieve a like continuity in the transmission of the higher skills and this difficulty is increased in manifold degree when literacy is uncommon.
Skills of a high order were required to undertake and oversee such projects as the great earthworks to be found in Somerset, the earthworks around which centered the pagan versions of the Graal legend, with their mythical King Arthur and his equally mythical Knights of the Round Table, all as recorded in The Temple of the Stars. (6) Only the Round Table was real: it is as the "round world, and the round canopy of the planets, and the elements in the firmament, where are to be seen the stars and many other things," - the circle twelve miles in diameter, five thousand years old, through which the pilgrim made his way, traversing in turn each of the signs of the Zodiac, along a path which is now but a motorroad.
It likewise required skills of a high order to erect the circles to be found at Stonehenge and other places, and to orient them to the heavens; to build the pyramids and to work into them or the greatest of them the mathematical and astronomical lore of the times, whatever the purpose may have been. And the same holds true for the building of the Parthenon according to the principles of dynamic symmetry, principles only recently, rediscovered by the Canadian Guy Hambidge. Andrea Cook, in his Curves of Life, Claude Bradgon in his numerous writings and others have since delved into the mathematical relationships involved, and the conclusion is inevitably reached that the ancients as well as some of the medieval geniuses
such as Leonardo and Durer, either were such consummate artists that they unconsciously obeyed the mathematical in their creative work or did so with full knowledge. With the architecture of the Greeks the latter alternative forces itself upon one without choice. Having all this in mind, what more natural than to surmise that it was from institutions such as that of the Cabiri that the Greeks drew their inspiration for the many superb edifices they erected, and for much also that made Athens the show-place of the ancient world? And what more natural than to suppose that those responsible and their organizations were held in a certain grudging respect by the Babbits of the mercantile world of their time?
We have little direct evidence, it is true, as to the practical effect of the art mysteries on the culture of Greece aside from that of the Eleusinia on the poets and dramatists of that time, and it is doubtful if such would be preserved, any more than was the case with the medieval cathedrals which for all that history has recorded, might very well have been erected by a race of genii. We do know, however, that schools of instruction in the arts of sculpture, metalworking, and engineering of a sort existed on the island of Samos as well as in Samothrace. Additional interest is lent to these activities by reason of Socrates having hailed from that Island. And while it is generally agreed that he was never initiated into the Eleusima it is not unreasonable to suppose that he belonged to one or other of the art mysteries. The reference in the Phaedo to the debt he owed to Aesculapius is of some significance. He also said of himself that he was a maker of wooden images and so was a descendant of Dadaelus, the legendary sculptor of Minoan days. The reference, though jestingly made, has certain significances not briefly to be explained.
As with the Mysteries, science and philosophy having breathed the freer air of Greece tended each to go its own way, though all the while retaining values from the past. Likewise the exigencies of trade and commerce would seem to have demanded a greater diffusion of the arts and crafts than had hitherto been required or even been permitted. At the same time the rising tide of slavery, affecting the status of the freeborn worker, caused him to initiate counter-measures for his own protection and later on for that also of his competitor in chains.
Thus the original art mysteries would seem to have become professionalized in some instances and to have approached more nearly in character to the Eleusinia, while those having more to do with the crafts likewise become specialized in their own right. As time went on, certain of the rites, as with the Cabiri, may well have had their attractions to those who made no great pretense to specific skills and who would have scorned to use them if they had. On the other hand, the remainder in which these skills were central formed among themselves a hierarchy having degrees of precedence within the social order.
We remind ourselves at this point that much the same situation developed some two thousand years later in England when the guild system, itself possibly the lineal descendant of the more ancient mysteries, partly by way of Rome, gave way to the wage slavery of the early industrial era. Once again the arts and crafts went each their own ways, while the fraternal and ritualistic aspects of certain of the guilds were for the most part perpetuated in certain only of our modern secret societies. Ancient Freemasonry split into its speculative and operative aspects; and the arts became professionalized, retaining for themselves certain ethical principles of which
vestiges are still to be seen in the ethical codes to which our learned and professional societies still give lip service. The craft guilds, or rather such of them as had managed to survive merged themselves each into an appropriate trade union and carried their trade secrets with them. So far as is known, the last instance of the kind took place in 1871 when, with the passing of the Trade Union Act of that year, the Stonemason's Union in England absorbed the operative masons. But so strong was the tradition that it was not until 1883 that the last stone yard operated on the "antient" system was forced by the trend of the times to close down. Operative lodges, however, still existed as such until a few years ago and may still exist.
From these lodges there have come certain disclosures concerning the "tectonic" art in its traditional sense. The use by the ancients of water-lifts for handling the huge stones they went to such lengths to employ are described, the management of the stone yards, the ranks and duties of entered apprentices, fellow-craftsmen; master masons are set forth as well as those of their overseers; and arch masons are set apart by themselves. The use of the 3-4-5 triangle in laying out buildings according to the five-point system, with a center plumbline and four corner stones is described, and the observation is made that this triangle was so used by the ancients to lay out square buildings and those with sides of ratios two to one and three to one according to the angles at the center. (7)
With the industrial revolution, and partly as the result of this diversification, a curious order of precedence established itself in England. The professions came first and while the lowly clerk himself exploited, held himself a notch or two above the craftsman. The laborer as always found himself at the
bottom of the ladder.
Making due allowances for certain differences in the types of activities pursued, we suspect that attitudes were not greatly different in ancient Greece, where the civil servant, as Ward points out, was public property, neither slave nor yet free, a menial receiving merely a pittance sufficient to keep body and soul together. Though he kept the machinery of state running and in good order, he was never allowed to participate in the processes of government.
At the one pole, then, there would be found those who contributed to the adornment of the State and to the entertainment of its citizens, and at the other, the slave, with the craftsman in between. Alongside all these on one level or another would also be found the old-line aristocracy (the land-owning class) and the merchant caste, with all the mutual jealousies and snobbishness that comes with such distinctions. "Every cock to his own dung-heap" so to speak and every hen to her own place in the "pecking order of the social barnyard." (To Be Concluded)
References to the Mysteries
1. G.R.S. Mead - Fragments of a Faith Forgotten, Watkins, 1931, p. 49 ff.
2. John Yarker - Arcane Schools, Tait, Belfast, 1909.
3. J.O. Ward - The Ancient Lowly Kerr, Chicago.
4. A.W. Winspear - The Genesis of Plato's Thought, Gordon, New York, 1939.
5. Wilson - Clement's Exhortations to the Heathen.
6. Anon. - The Temple of the Stars, Watkins, London, 1935.
7. Clement E. Stretton - The Tectonic Art, a paper read before the Leicester Association of Engineers, 1889, and reprinted by the Melton Mowbray Times.
Twelve European nations* have recently joined to create the European Council for Nuclear Research (called CERN from its initials in French, Conseil Europeen Pour la Recherche Nuleaire), and will have a great new laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland.
Within a single lifetime the atom has changed its aspect completely. When Roentgen, Becquerel and the Curies discovered the X-ray (1895), radioactivity (1896) and radium (1898) no one had considered that the atom could have an interior. Less than sixty years later, scientists delve within the atomic nucleus and discover the maze of fundamental particles of matter and of energy: electrons and positrons, protons and neutrons, mesons and neutrinos. These particles compose the atom as atoms compose the earth and the stars. All this new knowledge has multiplied the majesty and the mystery of the universe. It has had terribly destructive uses as well as enormously beneficial ones, but this is only the beginning. Far more will certainly be revealed in the next fifty years than in the past fifty.
Today the frontiers of atomic science are so far from the everyday world that it takes large, expensive and organized expeditions to reach them. A cyclotron for penetrating the nucleus costs millions of dollars. To operate it at thousands of horsepower costs thousands of dollars per day and requires the combined work of large teams of physicists, chemists, mathematicians, engineers, electricians and also biologists and physicians. The whole undertaking is so expensive that no university anywhere can establish a modern nuclear research laboratory without the financial aid of its government, and there are very few governments that can afford a major program of nuclear research. Therefore the proposal that UNESCO should sponsor a European centre for nuclear research using the combined intellectual and financial resources of several countries was welcomed.
The European Council for Nuclear Research will have no concern with military work and the result of its experimental and theoretical work will be made generally available. It will in fact be the beginning of a new era in science, one of maximum cooperation between scientists across national and linguistic borders and a common peaceful effort to master the secrets of nature in order to increase the resources of humanity.
[* Belgium, Denmark, France, German Federal Republic, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Yugoslavia.]
- Adapted from Unesco Courier, December, 1953.
Now, after half a century, having found most of the common pitfalls that beset a Theosophical Society, our best workers are casting about for a way back again and have decided that The Secret Doctrine is their means to a recovery of something like the first power of the Society. . . The Secret Doctrine has the quality of all great occult books. It does not offer remarks; it offers rejoinders. It is the other person in a colloquy. It will not speak until it is spoken to. It will not give you a thought, but it will, and this is its index of greatness, adjust the thought you bring to it.
- Roy Mitchell in The Use of The Secret Doctrine.
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.