Vol. XXXV, No. 11 Toronto, January 15th, 1955 Price 20 Cents
The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document
NEW YEARS -- NEW LIVES
At the New Year the world looks forward with hope to better conditions in the future. Nothing actually changes at midnight on New Year's Eve, the seething ocean of causes set in motion in the past has not been stilled, but there is a feeling among men that somehow or another, the past has been retired and that the new cycle which is opening brings the promise of a fresh start. It is an expression of that longing in the human heart for "the Land of Beginning Again,
Where all our mistakes and all our heart aches,
And all our poor selfish grief,
Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door
And never put on again."
This longing is present in our thoughts about reincarnation. Each new birth is in a sense, an entrance into a `land of beginning again' but unfortunately, all our past mistakes are not dropped at the door. The newborn child is not a pure fresh soul; it brings its past with it, and its personality is the embodied memory of previous lives.
However, the hope of a new beginning in each reincarnation is not without substantial foundation. The Karma out of the past must be faced, but the individual has changed. In each succeeding life the compound of the personality is different. The difference may be slight - in some instances one incarnation may be almost a repetition of the previous one, a circle, not a spiral - but if into the compound there has been introduced, say, half a gram more of courage, an ounce of self-discipline, a dash more of initiative, or a touch of deeper wisdom, the correction of past errors could be taken in our stride.
The ability to act promptly and wisely in the succession of Eternal Now's which confront us in life, is an indication of the powers which have been brought into manifestation in the particular incarnation. If at all times the right action is performed without hesitation or delay, and the razor edge that separates right from wrong is trodden with assurance, we would very likely be beyond the necessity for further incarnations, but for most of us the way is not so easy. In each life we must face problems with what abilities we have, secure in the knowledge that if we do the best we can, greater abilities will be ours to use in future lives.
A COMPARATIVE STUDY
A Comparison between the Teachings of H.P. Blavatsky, C.W. Leadbeater, and Rudolf Steiner about Gautama Buddha, Maitreya Buddha, Pratyeka Buddhas, the Bodhisattvas, Jesus Christ and Christian Rosenkreutz.
(A paper read to The Peace Lodge of The Theosophical Society on March 2nd 1950, by T.H. Redfern).
The aim of this paper is to compare teachings which differ, to note where they may be complementary, and where they are in flat contradiction and cannot both be true. There will be no attempt to assert that one or the other is true, unless incontrovertible evidence exists.
The three schools share doctrines common to exponents of occultism - all proclaim the spiritual nature of man, his reincarnation in many physical bodies in a series of lives in three relatediy material worlds, the factuality of psychic powers, karma, the existence of Adept brethren and the ultimate goal for all of us of spiritual fulfilment and liberation from the cycle of rebirth.
H.P. Blavatsky, born 1831, died 1891, leading founder of The Theosophical Society in 1875, declared herself an agent of a planetary Brotherhood of Adepts. She propounded a vast and mind-stretching hypothesis, a world-concept that embraced oriental, occidental and ancient philosophy. She boldly challenged many of the scientific assumptions of her day, upon the authority of her Adept instructors, with pronouncements which she prophesied would in due time be proved true. She accepted the facts of psychism with a fuller and more reasonable explanation than that provided by Spiritualism. She assailed the orthodox Christian theology of her time, and in particular the pretensions and despotism of the Vatican. Her views were so fully those of the Adepts she served that extracts from some of their letters have been quoted in this paper as elucidating her teachings.
C.W. Leadbeater, born 1847, died 1934, was an Anglican clergyman who joined The Theosophical Society in 1883 and was accepted as a chela by one of the two Adepts who sponsored the formation of the Society. He became a Buddhist and developed clairvoyant faculties. Later he took a leading part in the development of the small but widely spread Liberal Catholic Church, of which he became the second Presiding Bishop. Much controversy has revolved around the question of his reliability as a clairvoyant, and, whether in fact he remained in as close association with his Adept guru as he himself believed. The teachings attributed to him in this paper were shared by Dr. Annie Besant, but she cut off her clairvoyant faculties about 1915, in favor of more physical plane work; it is simpler to attribute them to Mr. Leadbeater, or to refer to them as part of Neo-Theosophy, whilst realizing that Dr. Besant claimed to have checked part of his earlier psychic work by her own faculties, and gave his later reports the full endorsement of her confidence in him.
Rudolf Steiner, born 1861, died 1925, was a doctor of philosophy, and a deep student of Goethe; he was clairvoyant and joined The Theosophical Society in 1902, immediately becoming General Secretary of its German Section. He developed a body of distinctive doctrine
that differs both from the original teachings of H.P. Blavatsky and from Neo-Theosophy; this he called Anthroposophy. Tensions developed which led to a severance of the connection between The Theosophical Society and Dr. Steiner and his adherents; who then formed The Anthroposophical Society in 1912.
The story of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, is well known and calls for no elaboration, but the differences we are to consider are related to certain divergences between the two main schools of the Buddhist religion based upon his life and work, the Hinayana (the Lesser Vehicle), and the Mahayana (the Greater Vehicle). On these distinctions some apposite lines have appeared in The Middle Way:
"I'm told good Buddhists should be bent
On Ultimate Enlightenment.
But is the way to blest Nirvana Maha and/or Hinayana?
(And again I've heard some say
Zen's the very quickest way).
Yet when Buddha walked with men
He had never heard of them."
The Hinayana doctrines have their difficulties - notably perhaps, that of Anatta, that there is no self and the idea of a continuing entity in us is an illusion; but the presentation is systematized and the thought orderly. When the Westerner comes in contact with Mahayana thought, however, it appears at first as a vast agglomeration of ill coordinated concepts. He learns, for instance, of Celestial Buddhas and is puzzled about the relation between these apparently mythological beings and the human figure of the great Gautama. He notes that both Mahayana and Hinayana look forward to the appearance of Buddha Maitreya, another future Buddha, but whilst Hinayana regards Buddhahood as an office and an extremely rare achievement, Mahayana, agreeing as to its rarity, yet uses the term exclusively as an office and more freely as a status that is achieved by men of exceptionally developed spiritual nature.
This divergence becomes more pronounced when the connotation of the term "Bodhisattva" is considered. If Hinayana regards the Bodhisattva as an office-the Buddha's understudy. There is one Bodhisattva only at any time, and
the present Bodhisattva is the future Buddha Maitreya. The goal of the earnest Hinayana Buddhist is to be an Arhat, one who has crossed to the other shore and reached Nirvana. Mahayana, on the other hand, sets the Bodhisattva ideal before everyone. The Arhat has won his freedom from the wheel of birth and death and has earned Nirvana; but the Bodhisattva is so full of love and compassion for the rest of humanity, enmeshed in the miseries that arise from ignorance - the soil in which the bliss destroying passions flourish that he sacrificially foregoes the Nirvanic bliss he has earned and is in a position to take, in order to help others to gain their freedom too, and enter Nirvana with him; and there can be many Bodhisattvas. They tread a path of 10 stages and become full Buddhas. Hinayanists apparently think it is only necessary for one Arhat to undertake this work, at long intervals of time.
H.P. Blavatsky received her essential training in Tibet from Adepts in the Mahayana tradition, so naturally her works are permeated with this presentation of the Aeonic Wisdom, though she points out that the same fundamental truths have been put forth in many cultures and ages, and she was at much pains to draw attention to parallel conceptions under the terminologies of all the major faiths, myths and mystery systems of the world. All had their adepts under varying names. Mme.
Blavatsky's writings are not clearly systematized and indeed her purpose was not to propound an orderly account of the vast complexities with which she dealt, but to widen the mental and cultural outlook of her readers and put forward profound and intuition-stirring thoughts, suggesting a living interrelatedness in nature that defies compartmentalized categorizing.
This is apparent in her explanations about Celestial or Dhyani Buddhas, which brings these beings into the field of living understanding. Adi-Buddha is the equivalent of Parabrahm or Ain Soph, the Unknowable Source of all manifestation. From Adi-Buddha a ray of light (the Vedantic Daiviprakriti, the Kabbalistic Shekinah) emerges, and Vajradhara, the Supreme Buddha, comes into being (Brahman, the Ancient of Days, the First Logos). He is unmanifest, for duality has not yet happened; yet from his heart, Vajrasattva, the Diamond Heart (or Brahma, Adam Kadmon or the Second Logos), manifestation comes into existence and, using Hindu terms, the primal polarity of Purusha and Prakriti, or spirit and matter, is, born.
From Vajrasattva, the Second Logos, the seven Dhyani Buddhas (the Seven Prajapatis, the seven Spirits before the Throne), are manifested, and the One Life (Purusha) pulsates through the entire universe, in all its myriad forms, differentiated by the characteristics of the penultimate Dhyani Buddhas, who by meditation create "sons", the Dhyani-Bodhisattvas. In every one of us, in our deepest selves, the One Life is directly contactable, but only through the Dhyani Buddha from whom we came forth. The Dhyani Buddhas are called Anupadaka, parentless, without progenitors, but inherently we also are Anupadaka, for each of us is rooted in a Dhyani Buddha. The Buddhic power is latent in all of us, and the degrees of adeptship are stages of bringing Buddhahood to full manifestation in the human body.
The Human or Manushi Buddha becomes Anupadaka when his whole personality, mental, astral and physical, is synthesized in Atma-Buddhi; then he has become a Vajrasattva, "Diamond-Souled", a full Mahatma.
There is a story of Buddha that brings out this paradox that we are all potential Buddhas, but only great strength, wisdom and compassion can produce a human Buddha. He was once asked what is the difference between a Buddha and a monk, and he replied that in a Buddha there are 7 Buddhas, but in a monk there are 1 Buddha and 6 monks!
The work a man has to do to become an Arhat is the disentangling of the psychic knot of personality, the dissolving of the illusory "I" born of emoto-mental reactions, and the restoration of karmic balance in his relationships. He is then free of compulsion to be reincarnated; he is an Arhat, but he is not a Manushi Buddha, a human Buddha, one who has brought the fullness of the Buddha-nature into physical life, and he may never become one. He is free of compulsion to return, he has freedom of choice. Several alternatives lie before him, and among them are these three; he may enter Nirvana as is his right, as a Pratyeka Buddha, a solitary Buddha, one who does not undertake to teach; he may cease to reincarnate but, as a Nirmanakaya, become one who remains in touch with mankind on inner planes as an inspirer, encourager and enlightener, influencing those who are aspiring to nobler living by the power of thought and love; or he may voluntarily return to earth life repeatedly as an Adept, a member of the hierarchy of Elder Brethren who work for human well-being and liberation, living in human bodies
through which they get a direct purchase upon the affairs of this physical world. They are the human Bodhisattvas, who are working at the task of becoming human Buddhas, Manushi Buddhas.
There are seven stages of Nirvana and, according to Mahayana teaching, the fullness of the Buddha nature manifests not alone in Prajna, the intuitive insight of illumined intelligence, but in Prajna coupled with Karuna, the great compassion which blames no one for the ignorance of self-caused suffering, yet must of its own nature help those in such distress to become aware of the causes in themselves of their self-inflicted torment.
So the perfection of a Bodhisattva includes not only the fullness of Prajna, wisdom based upon the knowledge of the underlying Oneness of all life, but also Karuna, bringing about the full development of Upaya, the skilful use of devices to meet the special needs of each one of multitudinous individuals, exactly at his own level of understanding, and to select just the means that will enable each one contacted to take his own next step most quickly.
"He who becomes Pratyeka-Buddha makes his obeisance but to his Self". "Pratyeka Buddhas are those Bodhisattvas (the word is differently used here as a synonym for Arhat) who strive after and often reach the Dharmakaya robe after a series of lives. Caring nothing for the woes of mankind or to help it, but only for their own bliss, they enter Nirvana and - disappear from the sight and hearts of men. In Northern Buddhism a `Pratyeka Buddha' is a synonym for spiritual Selfishness". "The Pratyeka Buddha is a degree which belongs exclusively to the Yogacharya School. . . one of high intellectual development with no true spirituality . . . It is one of the three paths to Nirvana and, the lowest, in which a Yogi - `without teacher and without saving others' - by the mere force of will and technical observances, attains, to a kind of nominal Buddaship individually, doing no good to anyone, but working selfishly for his own salvation and himself alone . . . A Pratyeka is generally compared to a `Khadga' or solitary rhinoceros . . . He is far below a true `Buddha of Compassion'."
Mme. Blavatsky wrote of a Hierarchy of Adeptship, of Sages, of living Wise Men, and quoted with approval Subba Rao's statement, "that, as 7 distinct Rays radiate from the `Central Spiritual Sun', all Adepts and Dhyan Chohans are divisible into 7 classes, each of which is guided, controlled and overshadowed by one of the 7 forms of manifestations of the divine Wisdom". The whole 7 and 12 degrees of this Hierarchy, says H.P. Blavatsky, are based upon the 3 chief degrees of Pratyeka Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Perfect Buddhas; and the 7 initiations bring the 7 powers of the 7 Dhyani Buddhas to fulfilment, in the Adept - or, in other words, there are 7 Buddhas manifest in him, in his completion. The progress to Buddhahood is one of coming into closer and fuller direct rapport with the Dhyani Buddha from which the Bodhisattva was emanated. As everyone of us is fundamentally part of a Dhyani Buddha, so we are latently Bodhisattvas, for the celestial Bodhisattvas are our higher selves. "The star under which a human entity is born . . . will remain for ever its star, throughout the whole cycle of its incarnations in one Manvantara (i.e., a scheme of manifestation). But this is not the astrological star. The latter is concerned and connected with the personality; the former with the individuality. The `Angel' of that Star, or the Dhyani-Buddha connected with it, will be either the guiding or simply the pre-
siding `Angel', so to say, in every new rebirth of the Monad", or real Self. Whether our Dhyani Buddha "presides" over our life, and we go our own sweet way as the personality fancies, (but which so often turns out to be bitter or sour), or whether our life is guided by our Dhyani Buddha, depends wholly on ourselves. The spiritual life consists in turning, for guidance, to the god within, the Heavenly Father, the Dhyani Buddha from which we came forth, and initiations are but progressive realizations of that guidance and its increasing presence in our lives. "The Adepts", says H.P.B., "have each their Dhyani Buddha, their elder `Twin-Soul', and they know it, calling it `Father-Soul' and `Father-Fire'. It is only at the last and supreme Initiation, however, when placed face to face with the bright "Image' that they learn to recognize it".
Gautama Buddha, according to Mme. Blavatsky, was a direct manifestation of a Dhyani Buddha, Amitabha; that is to say, not only had personality been dissolved, but Karana Sharira, the reincarnating ego or causal body, had been replaced by a celestial Bodhisattva, or, in other words, his whole nature was merged in Atma-Buddh.' When Gautama Buddha took the Dharmakaya vesture he passed beyond possibility of rebirth, but his Bodhisattvic "remains", his subtler body, "is still present among the Initiates", and was used to form the middle principles of Sri Sankaracharya, who was not a reincarnation of Buddha, for the Atmic monad was different and the body was new, but the middle principles were the highly developed and preserved vehicles of Gautama. These have been used for several Avataras and great saints.
There is a certain obscurity in H.P. Blavatsky's teaching about the Buddhas and the Rounds and Races. On the one hand she says that "of the `7 Truths' and Revelations, or rather revealed secrets, 4 only have been handed to us, as we are still in the 4th Round, and the world has had only 4 Buddhas, so far". Gautama Buddha was of the 5th Race and Maitreya Buddha, the 5th Buddha will be "the last Messiah". "The last of the Avataras and Buddhas" will come in the 7th Race "at the culmination of the Great Cycle", after whom "the old world will be destroyed"; but alternatively "as every new Root-Race at the head of a Round must have its revelation and revealers", - the next Round will bring the 5th Buddha. Alternatively again, of the 7 Dhyani Buddhas 5 "have hitherto manifested, and 2 are to come in the 6th and 7th Root-Races", and Maitreya Buddha is Buddha of the 6th Race.
The Jesus Christ of the gospel story is not a historical character, according to Mme. Blavatsky. One of her Adept instructors was emphatic about this beyond possibility of compromise. "Jesus" he said, "is a spiritual abstraction and no living man of that epoch. . . the real Christ of every Christian is the Vach, the `mystical Voice'." The events described as taking place about 0 to 33 A.D. did not so happen. The gospels are a blend of astronomical myth, initiation allegory and traditional lore of the teachings of Jeschu ben Pandira, who lived about 100 B.C. The name "Jesus" is an English transcription of the Greek "Iesous", which is a transcription of a common Hebrew name that is translated directly from the Hebrew into English as Joshua, Jehoshua or Jeschu. "Joshua Christ" would therefore be just as correct as "Jesus Christ".
Jeschu ben Pandira was an adept, an initiate of the Egyptian mysteries, a martyr for Truth. "He was a Bodhisattva with a spirit of Buddha Himself in Him" which may mean that he was of "the several Avataras and great (Continued on Page 173)
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
With this issue we shall be well into the New Year and I trust all of us will be endeavoring to live up to the resolutions we made at its inception. I wonder how many resolved to enter the arena of public endeavor and offer their services for the benefit of the Cause in Canada? I am referring to something that has been on my mind for some time now, and that is a change in the list of officers who have been serving you for many years. There is such a thing as growing stale from want of competition, or opposition, if you like. One correspondent wrote me to the effect that "no hardship would be entailed if some of the serving members were to step down and make way for others". There is an unkind thought behind that which is very evident. I can assure the writer that if he, or any others were to come forward and offer their services, the present members would be very glad to step down and let others, take their places. For quite a number of years the lodges have renominated the serving members for another term of office. Sometimes I fear this is either apathy or a "Leave it to George" way of getting out of a difficulty. Surely from all our members a few can be found willing and eager to serve the Society outside their lodges! I would urgently request that all members seriously consider this question, for it will not be long before notices will be sent out requesting nominations. All officers are automatically out of office at the end of June and nominations for a general secretary and seven members of the Executive will be required. So the more the merrier and let us have a real election this year.
The following quotation is taken from The American Theosophist for October last. It speaks for itself and is a terrible indictment of the human race's propensity for devouring the bodies of animals:
"In this season during which occurs World Day for Animals, there is poignant irony in the arrival at the Chicago stockyards on September 8th of the billionth animal to enter those gates. This event was made a gala occasion of 'welcome' when stockyard officials against a background of flags and bunting, made speeches of congratulation and presented rewards to the owner of the steer and the truck driver who arrived with it. The animal was barbered and groomed to appear his best for the ceremony. Meanwhile, the statisticians estimated that enough meat had passed through the Chicago stockyards since its founding in 1865 to feed for one year the entire present population of the world - all, that is, except the vegetarians." That last word shows that some people at least are taking a step in the right direction.
The South African Theosophical Society magazine The Link, has just been received, and I note it is entirely devoted to the Golden Jubilee of the Pretoria Lodge, which was founded in 1904. This is of especial interest to me personally as I arrived in Pretoria with my regiment in July of the same year. We were stationed at Robert's Heights, just outside the city with the Wunderboom Fort in between. Pretoria, as I remember it, was a beautiful city immersed in flowers and I have many happy memories of the place. I knew nothing of Theosophy then and little knew that a lodge was being inaugurated there to which fifty years later I would be sending congratulations on its Golden Jubilee. On behalf of the Society in Canada I send felicitations and best wishes to the Lodge on achieving this milestone in its history, and congratulate the President and its members on the wonderful work they have accom-
plished in spreading the Light - and I will personally add "Alles van die Beste".
The New Year is off to a good start; I will not prognosticate, but I do not think there is another war in the offing. The prospects of such a thing are too horrible to contemplate, for there is no question but that such an eventuality would mean the annihilation of humanity and the possible disintegration of the globe. So, with altruistic ideals in mind let us carry out to the best of our ability the First Object of the Society, which is the only thing that can bring about Peace on Earth and Goodwill to all men. With that thought in mind I wish every one of you a Happy New Year.
- E. L. T.
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
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THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE
A new, photographic reprint of the first edition of The Voice of the Silence has been issued by The Aquarian Press, 30 Denison House, 296 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London S.W.1. This edition is an exact copy of the book as H.P.B. wrote it and is bound in as near an imitation of the original binding as is possible today. Price, 7s. 6d.
FIVE YEARS OF THEOSOPHY
One of our members Mrs. H. M. Gosden, of Gibsons, West Howe Sound, B.C., wishes to purchase a copy of Five Years of Theosophy as a gift to a University Library. Possibly one of our members can assist; we have not seen a second hand copy of this for some years. Mrs. Gosden also wishes to purchase a set of The Theosophist and of Lucifer containing H.P.B.'s articles.
THE IRISH THEOSOPHIST
The Society in Canada recently received from one of the subscribers to the magazine, twenty copies of The Irish Theosophist published in 1894-6. These are very interseting issues and much valuable material is contained therein. If we had complete sets for those years, they would be bound and placed in our permanent records. Missing are No. 1, Vol. III, October 1894; No. 10, Vol. III, July 1895, Nos. 11 and 12, Vol IV, August and September 1895. If anyone can supply the missing numbers, please write to the Editor.
Those verily who, renouncing all actions in Me and intent on Me, worship meditating on Me, with whole-hearted yoga, these I speedily lift up from the ocean of death and existence, O Partha, their minds being fixed on Me. - Bhagavad-Gita.
San Diego 4, California
2621 University Avenue
Editor, Canadian Theosophist.
Dear Sir: - In the August, 1954, issue of The Canadian Theosophist, you published a letter received from Alex Wayman. In this letter Mr. Wayman wrote, in comment upon Point No. 7 of the Alternative Policy proposed by Mr. Redfern, that we "will be startled to learn that the Adyar Library has already published works of great merit and which are vastly superior to the publications of `Neo-Theosophy'." These books are, it is said, "so fantastically, unbelievably superior, that any devout adherent of Leadbeater furnished with such superior works would be shocked from all adherence to Leadbeater and march with his books then and there to the trash can." Such books, then, certainly possess a very high theosophic potential, indeed. But how does one acquire them?
According to correspondence received from the Theosophical Press, Wheaton, "the books of the library do not circulate outside India." (Assuming that Mr. Wayman is not over-optimistic in his appraisal of the material of the Adyar Library, then the Hindu Theosophists must not be at all Leadbeaterarian.) The Press also went on to say that they carried "everything published there (The Theosophical Publishing House, Madras, India) with few exceptions, these being the all-Sanskrit works that are not popular in this country." Perhaps these works might have a similar effect, when translated, as those of the Adyar Library were predicted to have. However, both groups of books are useless to the average student if they remain inaccessable - and that is how it appears they will be. Is there a remedy?
Jack L. Rickman.
A partial remedy might lie in subscribing to The Adyar Library Bulletin. A copy of Vol. XVIII, part 1-2 and being 1.1 New Series was recently received by the Editor. It is a very attractive and interesting volume of some 170 pages and is published quarterly. This issue contains an editorial on the Adyar Library and Research Centre; an article in French by Louis Renou, with English translation, on Sanskrit poetics; articles on a Commentary on the latter half of the 10th Skandha of the Bhagavata Purana, Old Persian Inscriptions, and Some Abhidharma Problems. The section devoted to Texts and Studies contains a translation of the Tripura Upanishad, by A. G. Drisha Warrier, and three contributions by Alain Danielou, Editor of the Bulletin and the Director of the Adyar Library.
Our sincere congratulations are sent to Mr. Danielou on this publication which should assist greatly in spreading a knowledge of and awakening interest in the important work which is being done by the Adyar Library.
The subscription rate is $3.00 per annum in the United States, 12 shillings in Commonwealth countries, 8 rupees in India and Ceylon, and 9 rupees in other countries. Communications should be addressed to The Director, Adyar Library, Adyar, Madras 20, India.
519 Jarvis St., Toronto 5, Ont.
Editor, Canadian Theosophist.
Dear Sir: -
T.H. Redfern has been good enough to reply to a number of us, and, with some length. I did notice that two of the persons mentioned, viz., I.L. Harris and Alex Wayman, are not members of our Society. Also that of the three Canadian replies, only one - myself - gave the name. The reply of Orpheus Lodge in Vancouver, B.C., might well have
been a personal letter as the actual membership of that Lodge is small.
Wayman's references to the works of Leadbeater as being "trash" should not excite too much resentment amongst Neo-Theosophists like myself. These works have wide circulation and can only progress on their merit. It might be better not to use such crude expressions. They carry no power of conviction about anything. As for Annie Besant, in Letter XXXIII, the Master K.H. wrote to Sinnett, . . . "Meanwhile use every effort to develop such relations with A. Besant that your work may run on parallel lines and in full sympathy; an easier request than some of mine with which you have ever loyally complied. You may, if you see fit - show this note to her, only. In travelling your own thorny path I say again courage and hope. This is not an answer to your letter. . . "
As the Mahatma Letters were not published for general information until Dec. 1923, some three and a half decades after they were delivered to Sinnett, it is a fair suggestion that the barbs projected by the acid wit of Smythe in Canada, who - as a young man met Judge during that unfortunate period which followed the death of H.P.B., might not have been cast. Instead we might have proceeded in a more tranquil path of mutual toleration. And that reminds me, Wayman, and for that matter the Orpheus Lodge, seem to have been able to find out what is Truth and what is Error. We are told that when they are brought "face to face" the result leads to splits "such as the one that exists between the Canadian National Society and the Canadian Federation". This is but the reflection of innocent minds. And pray since both Mr. Wayman, and the Orpheus Lodge have found the truth do they not feel an urge to give more and more of it to mankind? The answer is they have not found the truth at all. They have made a dogma out of Theosophy. And, are trying to convince us not "to read, to mark, and to inwardly digest". Only to believe.
This strange mental trend in the agnostic circles, that portion of the Society in Canada which seeks to win us all back to the true Theosophy, to believe in "a second coming" era, almost like the Christians, is a source of endless wonder to me. The fourth quarter of the first century in the history of our Society is presumed to be an important period. What evidence is there of this? I have tried to find out by reading The Secret Doctrine. Perhaps a reader can enlighten us? I find no evidence of the Masters telling us that they would come again. And in The Secret Doctrine, only H.P.B.'s own words that she believed it possible. To those who spend time seeking to bring Theosophy back to its early teachings I commend the need to acquire not only knowledge, a memorized sequence of facts, but wisdom. This is to be found in the letter of the Maha-Chohan of 1881. This also was unknown to the members of Society until recently. It tells us that we have a duty to carry out. It is not to form an occult society at all. Nor to seek only our own progress. Esoteric Buddhism he praises. And the work of Olcott in Ceylon at that time. Something aimed at reviving true Buddhism he lauds. Olcott has been accused by certain leading Theosophists as not teaching straight Theosophy, something we often hear today, but the Great Master told us he was doing good works. And so on. I do not believe in the coming of a Teacher soon. It's strange that the agnostics in our midst swing towards such an idea. If they have any evidence to support their beliefs they should bring same forward at once. We need the information. Rather do we think, as did Leadbeater, that each must
find the Way, the Truth, anal the Only Way. This by trying to overcome that which we ourselves have done in the past. And that this may be reached by many different paths. With one the occult path; another the way of good works, with another leadership and responsibility, with another reverence, and that all we need do is help others. This in our daily lives.
Frederick E. Tyler, F. T. S.
Mr. Tyler states that he has found no evidence of the Masters' telling us that they would come again. Doubtless he has overlooked Letter IX of The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in which it is written "For countless generations hath the adept builded a fane of imperishable rocks, a giant's Tower of Infinite Thought, wherein the Titan dwells, and will yet, if need be, dwell alone, emerging from it but at the end of every cycle, to invite the elect of mankind to cooperate with him and help in his turn to enlighten superstitious man. And we will go on in that periodical work of ours; we will not allow ourselves to be baffled in our philanthropic attempts until that dray when the foundations of a new continent of thought are so firmly built that no amount of opposition and ignorant malice guided by the Brethren of the Shadow will be found to prevail."
H.P.B. did not say merely that she believed the periodical effort to enlighten mankind is possible; she wrote, "But I must tell you that during the last quarter of every hundred years an attempt is made by those Masters of whom I have spoken to help on the spiritual progress of humanity in a marked and definite way. Toward the close of each century you will invariably find that an outpouring or upheaval of spirituality - or call it Mysticism, if you prefer - has taken place. Someone or more persons have appeared in the world as their agents, and a greater or less amount of occult knowledge and teaching has been given out. If you care to do so, you can trace these movements back, century by century, as far as our detailed historical records extend." - Key to Theosophy.
These two statements are unequivocal. Students who have followed H.P.B.'s suggestion, have traced the movement back, century by century, through the histories of Europe and Asia.
KARMA AND REBIRTHS
Questions with regard to Karma and rebirths are constantly offered, and a great confusion seems to exist upon this subject. Those who are born and bred in the Christian faith, and have been trained in the idea that a new soul is created by God for every newly-born infant, are among the most perplexed. They ask whether in such case the number of incarnating Monads on earth is limited; to which they are answered in the affirmative. For, however countless, in our conceptions, the number of the incarnating Monads - even if we take into account the fact that ever since the Second Race, when their respective seven Groups were furnished with bodies; several births and deaths may be allowed for every second of time in the aeons already passed - still there must be a limit. It was stated that Karma-Nemesis, whose bond-maid is Nature; adjusted everything in the most harmonious manner; and that, therefore, the fresh pouring-in, or arrival of new Monads, had ceased as soon as Humanity had reached its full physical development. No fresh Monads have incarnated since the middle-point of the Atlanteans. Hence remembering that, save in the case of young children, and of indi-
victuals whose lives were violently cut off by some accident, no Spiritual Entity can reincarnate before a period of many centuries have elapsed, such gaps alone must show that the number of Monads is necessarily finite - and limited. Moreover, a reasonable time must be given to other animals for their evolutionary progress.
Hence the assertion that many of us are now working off the effects of the evil Karmic causes produced by us in Atlantean bodies. The Law of Karma is inextricably interwoven with that of Reincarnation.
It is only the knowledge of the constant rebirths of one and the same Individuality throughout the Life-cycle; the assurance that the same Monads - among whom are many Dhyan Chohans, or the "Gods" themselves - have to pass through the "Circle of Necessity," rewarded or punished by such rebirth for the suffering endured or crimes committed in the former life; that those very Monads, which entered the empty, senseless Shells, or Astral Figures of the First Race emanated by the Pitris, are the same who are now amongst us - nay, ourselves, perchance; it is only this doctrine, we say, that can explain to us the mysterious problem of Good and Evil, and reconcile man to the terrible and apparent injustice of life. Nothing but such certainty can quiet our revolted sense of justice. For, when one unacquainted with the noble doctrine looks around him, and observes the inequalities of birth and fortune, of intellect and capacities; when one sees honor paid fools and profligates, on whom fortune has heaped her favors by mere privilege of birth, and their nearest neighbor, with all his intellect and noble virtues - far more deserving in every way - perishing of want and for lack of sympathy; when one sees all this and has to turn away, helpless to relieve the undeserved suffering, one's ears ringing and heart aching with the cries of pain around him that blessed knowledge of Karma alone prevents him from cursing life and men, as well as their supposed Creator.
Of all the terrible blasphemies and accusations virtually thrown on their God by the Monotheists, none is greater or more unpardonable than that (almost always) false humility which makes the presumably "pious" Christian assert, in connection with every evil and undeserved blow, that "such is the will of God." . . . Life would become unbearable, if one had to believe in the God created by man's unclean fancy. Luckily he exists only in human dogmas, and in the unhealthy imagination of some poets, who believe they have solved the problem by addressing him as:
"Thou great Mysterious Power, who hast involved
The pride of human wisdom, to confound
The daring scrutiny and prove the faith
Of thy presuming creatures!"
Truly a robust "faith" is required to believe that it is "presumption" to question the justice of one, who creates helpless little man but to "perplex" him and to test a "faith" with which that "Power", moreover, may have forgotten, if not neglected, to endow him, as happens sometimes.
Compare this blind faith with the philosophical belief, based on every reasonable evidence and life-experience, in Karma-Nemesis, or the Law of Retribution. This Law - whether Conscious or Unconscious - predestines nothing, and no one. It exists from and in Eternity, truly, for it is Eternity itself; and as such, since no act can be coequal with Eternity, it cannot be said to act, for it is Action itself. It is not the Wave which drowns a man, but the personal
action of the wretch who goes deliberately and places himself under the impersonal action of the laws that govern the ocean's motion. Karma creates nothing, nor does it design. It is man who plans and creates causes, and Karmic Law adjusts the effects, which adjustment is not an act, but universal harmony, tending ever to resume its original position, like a bough, which, bent down too forcibly, rebounds with corresponding vigor. If it happen to dislocate the arm that tried to bend it out of its natural position, shall we say that it is the bough which broke our arm, or that our own folly has brought us the grief? Karma has never sought to destroy intellectual and individual liberty, like the God invented by the Monotheists. It has not involved its decrees in darkness purposely to perplex man; nor shall it punish him who dares to scrutinize its mysteries. On the contrary, he who unveils through study and meditation its intricate paths, and throws light on those dark ways, in the windings of which so many men perish owing to their ignorance of the labyrinth of life is working for the good of his fellowmen. Karma is an Absolute and Eternal Law in the World of manifestation; and as there can only be one Absolute, as One eternal ever-present Cause, believers in Karma cannot be regarded as Atheists or Materialists - still less as Fatalists, for Karma is one with the Unknowable, of which it is an aspect, in its effects in the phenomenal world.
Intimately, or rather indissolubly, connected with Karma, then, is the Law of Rebirth, or of the reincarnation of the same spiritual Individuality in a long, almost interminable, series of Personalities. The latter are like the various costumes and characters played by the same actor, with each of which that actor identifies himself and is identified by the public, for the space of a few hours. The inner, or real Man, who personates those characters, knows the whole time that he is Hamlet for the brief space of a few acts, which, represent, however, on the plane of human illusion, the whole life of Hamlet. And he knows that he was, the night before, King Lear, the transformation in his turn of the Othello of a still earlier preceding night; but the outer, visible character is supposed to be ignorant of the fact. In actual life that ignorance is, unfortunately, but too real. Nevertheless, the permanent Individuality is fully aware of the fact though, through the atrophy of the "spiritual" Eye in the physical body, that knowledge is unable to impress itself on the consciousness of the false personality.
- The Secret Doctrine, Vol. II, pp. 302-306.
A COMPARATIVE STUDY (Continued From Page 166)
saints" who have been privileged to use the middle principles of Buddha, "one of the several world-reformers, a Saviour for his direct followers, but only a great and glorious Initiate, for all the rest. . . " "The Group of disciples and followers attracted to him belonged to the same Dhyani Buddha, Star, or Father. . . ", for as St. Paul said, one star differs from another in glory. Jesus knew his Father. "I and my Father are one" he said. "My Father is greater than I". "I ascend unto my Father and your Father". "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father". The term Father has degrees of significance. To us the reincarnating ego may well be the Father, to the Initiate progressively his own monadic Atma-Buddhi, the Dhyani Buddha from which as a monad he came forth, or the Dhyani Buddhas, the heavenly parents, collectively and synthetic-ally as the Logos, the Word. When as
Christians we say "our Father which art in Heaven" we ought to be turning to the highest focus of guidance within ourselves that we can contact, and "Glorify your Father which is in Heaven" admonishes us to bring the heavenly glory of the Father down to earth, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven". We are the prodigal sons, returning to our Father with realization of the folly of our wanderings, and the way we have caused our own misery that has also made the burdens of others heavier; it is through us that the glory of the Father has to be made manifest on earth, and I doubt whether any of us would like to claim that we are doing a particularly good job of it yet; theosophical study helps those who are in earnest.
Jesus, however, was a man who was making a good job of it. He was transcending the state of Chrestos, the tribulations and trials, to become Christos, the anointed Iesous Christos, Jesus or Joshua in whom Christos or the Buddha-nature was manifest. To H.P. Blavatsky, Christos was the Divine Principle within, Buddhi-Manas, - or Atma, or the Logos, or a Dhyani-Buddha reflected in the spirit of man. . . Iesous Christos was therefore the man Jesus glorified by the inner Christos. " `Christos' with the Gnostics meant the Impersonal Principle, the Atman of the Universe, and the Atma within every man's soul", she wrote, and she quoted Cerinthus who taught that. . . "the Supreme permitted one of his glorious Aeons whose name was the `Anointed' (Christ) to incarnate in the man Jesus". "With the Gnostics, Christ. . . was the `Chief of the Aeons' ", and with them the term "Aeons" was used for the 7 primal Powers and all the angelic host derived from them. There is a Gnostic doctrine, quoted by H.P. Blavatsky, that "Christos entered the man Jesus at the moment of his baptism in the Jordan".
"Nowhere throughout the New Testament is Jesus found calling himself God or anything higher than `a Son of God', the son of a `Father' common to all synthetically", H.P.B. points out, and she quotes Dr. Karl von Bergen to show that "In the 1,326 places in the New Testament where the word `God' is mentioned nothing signifies that in God are included more beings than God. On the contrary in 17 places God is called the only God. The places where the Father is so-called amount to 320. In 105 places God is addressed with high-sounding titles. In 90 places all prayers and thanks are addressed to the Father; 350 times in the New Testament is the Son declared to be inferior to the Father; 83 times is Jesus called the `Son of Man'; 70 times is he called a man. In not one single place in the Bible is it said that God holds within him three different Beings or Persons, and yet is One Being or Person".
Mme. Blavatsky did of course hold other trinitarian doctrines. The purport of her mission in relation to Christianity was to demolish the ideas of Jesus as a unique Saviour, the only Son of God, the only Saviour in whom everyone must believe for redemption, and by whose vicarious atonement all believing sinners could be saved; such teachings are pernicious. Yet she said, ". . . the occultist . . . will reverence the memory of the Great Martyr even while refusing to recognize in Him the incarnation on earth of the One Supreme Deity, and the `Very God of Gods in Heaven' . . . " Jesus bore the certain sign of the Initiate. He was a healer - the first and crucial test; no supposed initiate "was one if he could not heal"; and "if Jesus were not an Initiate why should all these allegorical incidents of his life be given?"
She summarizes her position thus, "We beg the reader not to bend an ear to
the charge against Theosophy in general, and the writer in particular - of disrespect towards one of the greatest and noblest characters in the History of Adeptship - nor even of hatred to the Church. The expression of truth and fact can hardly be regarded, with any approximation to justice, as blasphemy or hatred. The whole question hangs upon the solution of that one point: `Was Jesus a "Son of God" and "Saviour" of Mankind, unique in the World's annals? . . . Or was He only the "son of his deeds", a pre-eminently holy man, and a reformer, one of many, who paid with His life for the presumption of endeavoring, in the face of ignorance and despotic power, to enlighten mankind and make its burden lighter by His ethics and Philosophy'."
Christian Rosenkreutz is the putative founder of Rosicrucianism and, according to tradition, was born in 1378. This Mme. Blavatsky refutes. The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross was founded in the middle of the 13th century she says, and its origin "can be ascertained by any earnest, genuine student of Occultism, who happens to travel in Asia Minor, if he chooses to fall in with some of the Brotherhood, and if he is willing to devote himself to the head-tiring work of deciphering a Rosicrucian manuscript . . . for it is carefully preserved in the archives of the very Lodge which was founded by the first Cabalist of that name, but which now goes by another name. The founder of it, a German Reuter (or trooper), of the name of Rosencranz, was a man who, after acquiring a very suspicious reputation through the practice of the Black Art, in his native place, reformed in consequence of a vision. Giving up his evil practices, he made a solemn vow, and went on foot to Palestine, in order to make his amende honourable at the Holy Sepulchre . . . There the Christian God, the meek but well-informed Nazarene - trained as he was in the high school of the Essenes . . . appeared to Rosencranz, a Christian would say, in a vision, but I would suggest, in the shape of a materialized spirit. The purport of this visitation, as well as the subject of their conversation, remained for ever a mystery to many of the Brethren; but immediately after that, the ex-sorcerer and Reuter disappeared, and was heard of no more till the mysterious sect of Rosicrucians was added to the family of Cabalists . . . The Rosicrucians strove to combine together the most various branches of occultism, and they soon became renowned for the extreme purity of their lives, and their extraordinary powers . . . Later . . . they gave birth to the more modern Theosophists, at whose head was Paracelsus . . . "
According to H.P.B., the mark of an Initiate is the power to heal. Paracelsus was a healer, and a characteristic of the Rosicrucians according to the prime published documents concerning them was that they healed the sick without charge.
(To Be Continued)
Man will re-become the free Titan of old, but not before cyclic evolution has re-established the broken harmony between the two natures - the terrestrial and the divine; after which he becomes impermeable to the lower titanic forces, invulnerable in his personality, and immortal in his individuality, which cannot happen before every animal element is eliminated from his nature. When man understands that "Deus non fecit
mortem" [God does not create death] (Sap. I., 13) but that man has created it himself, he will re-become the Prometheus before his Fall.
- The Secret Doctrine, Vol. II, p. 422
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