Vol. XXXV, No. 12 Toronto, February 15th, 1955 Price 20 Cents
The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document
[[Cover photo of a bushy-haired Walt Whitman]]
LEAVES OF GRASS
Leaves of Grass was not only a collection of poems, it was the inception of an epoch in the journey of the human soul "along the grand roads of the universe."
The first edition of the book was printed by Whitman in February 1855 when he was thirty-six - a slender quarto volume of his first twelve poems with a lengthy explanatory preface. Few, if any, copies were sold, but an enthusiastic letter came from Emerson, who wrote, "I find incomparable things said incomparably well . . . .I greet you at the beginning of a great career." Today the few remaining copies of the first edition are collectors' items, and any university in the United States would rejoice if one came into its possession.
This is the one hundredth anniversary of Leaves of Grass and the lovers of Walt Whitman, who include many theosophical students, have arranged exhibits of mementos of his life, lectures and discussions on his philosophy, and the publication of books and brochures on his teachings and their influence on human thought.
Whitman was a universalist and it is difficult to summarize in a few phrases for those uninitiated into his spirit, the peculiar qualities of his mind and heart which have gained him recognition as a seer. The essential's dignity of every man, his inner and diviner self ever seeking more complete expression through the body and personality, man's long journey through repeated incarnations toward the perfect freedom, beauty and goodness of his real nature, sympathy with and understanding of the many mistakes and problems arising from misdirection and failures on that journey, undeviating faith in the power of the human soul to rise triumphant over the partialities of transcience, to become `tenon'd and mortis'd in granite' and to `know the amplitude of time', all these are essential in Whitman. The Bhagavad Gita and other Eastern scriptures were familiar to him - the doctrine of Karma was expressed in several of his poems, for example, "Not a move can a man or woman make, that affects him or her in a day, months, any part of the direct lifetime, or the hour of death, but the same affects him or her afterward through the indirect lifetime."
Whitman's vision encompassed spirit and matter, the perfection of the soul and of the body which is the expression and vehicle of the soul.
"I am the poet of the Body,
And I am the poet of the Soul.
The pleasures of heaven are with me, and the pains of hell are with me;
The first I graft and increase upon myself - the latter I translate into a new tongue."
In A Backward Glance O'er Travell'd Roads Whitman wrote, "One main genesis-motive of the Leaves was my conviction. . .that the crowning growth of the United States is to be spiritual and heroic. To help start and favor that growth - or even to call attention to it - was the beginning, middle and final purpose of the poems."
At this period, when on the Journey of Souls, great spirituality and heroism are demanded, it is significant that the anniversary of the first publication of the poems of America's greatest poet and seer, should be receiving such interest and acclaim in the land of his birth.
It is time to explain myself - Let us stand up.
What is known I strip away;
I launch all men and women forward with me into THE UNKNOWN.
The clock indicates the moment - but what does eternity indicate?
We have thus far exhausted trillions of winters and summers;
There are trillions ahead, and trillions ahead of them.
Births have brought us, richness and variety,
And other births will bring us richness and variety.
I do not call one greater and one smaller;
That which fills its period and place is equal to any.
Were mankind murderous or jealous upon you, my brother, my sister?
I am sorry for you - they are not murderous or jealous upon me;
All has been gentle with me - I keep no account with lamentation;
What have I to do with lamentation?
I am an acme of things accomplish'd, and I an encloser of things to be.
My feet strike an apex of the apices of the stairs;
On every step bunches of ages, and larger bunches, between the steps;
All below duly travel'd, and still I mount and mount.
Rise after rise bow the phantoms behind me;
Afar down I see the huge first Nothing - I know I was even there;
I waited unseen and always, and slept through the lethargic mist,
And took my time, and took no hurt from the fetid carbon.
Long I was hugg'd close - long and long.
Immense have been the preparations for me,
Faithful and friendly the arms that have help'd me.
Cycles ferried my cradle, rowing and rowing like cheerful boatmen;
For room to me stars kept aside in their own rings;
They sent influences to look after what was to hold me.
Before I was born out of my mother, generations guided me;
My embryo has never been torpid - nothing could overlay it.
For it the nebula cohered to an orb,
The long slow strata piled to rest it on,
Vast vegetables gave it sustenance,
Monstrous sauroids transported it in their mouths, and deposited it with care.
All forces have been steadily employ'd to complete and delight me;
Now on this spot I stand with my robust Soul.
- From Song of Myself, Walt Whitman.
ATOM, MAN, STAR
By L. Gordon Plummer
Although words are the carriers of ideas, a tendency toward carelessness in their use hampers us by the application of the very tools we need. Our thinking is largely influenced by inaccuracies in the use of words and their meanings. Ideas once rooted in the mind are not easily changed or expelled; nevertheless, if we are to arrive at any conclusions as to the nature of man and the universe as revealed in the Ancient Wisdom, it will be necessary for us to analyze the impressions that have been built up in our minds by what we see and hear; and if these impressions are found wanting, we must strive for a clearer understanding.
Our purpose is to find out if possible what Nature actually is, rather than to build an hypothesis to our own liking and try to make facts fit into our own theories. After all, the universe is the only way that it could be. If it could have been built otherwise, it would have been something different from what it is now, and the whole framework and structure of its laws would have presented a different picture. So it is in the spirit of explorers and searchers after truth that we shall first analyze the impressions we receive from the title of this talk - "Atom, Man, Star".
The first such impression is that of a tremendous emptiness or gap between atom and man, and between man and star. The second impression might be that the atom and the star must be studied as something quite different from man, on the assumption that he is separate from the mathematical framework in which he exists. Whereas the behavior of the atom and the star may be predicted by means of reasonably well understood laws of Nature. Man is essentially an unpredictable being whose thoughts and actions do not fit into a
rigid, pattern. No one has ever attempted to study an atom from a psyhological standpoint, but how else can you study man? A further impression grows in our minds as we reflect that the general laws of Nature as postulated by Newton apply reasonably well to objects within the field of man's experience, that is to say, with objects having reasonable size, and traveling at reasonable velocities. But once we step beyond the boundaries of man's experience, a different framework of Nature's laws becomes necessary. For example, the general theory of relativity is necessary to explain phenomena on the cosmic scale, whereas the quantum theory is required to describe the behavior of the infinitesimal world of the atom.
One might imagine, therefore, that there is a definite separation between the nature of the atom, the nature of man, and the nature of the universe as a whole; but as soon as we reflect that the stars, no less than humans and other living beings, are made of atoms of all kinds, we discover that the whole system is a closed curve, or, pointing to an ancient symbol, it is the serpent biting its tail. Einstein has said that he is endeavoring to formulate a set of laws that will correlate the theory of relativity with the quantum theory. If this can be done it might be something like discovering the nature of a coin, on which we have the pattern of the head and the tail, but wherein we have as yet no information about the metal of which the coin is made!
It is time to extend our study along further lines, and ask ourselves: why is it that man, the subject of psychological study, lives in a mathematical universe? Are the two as widely separated as at first we thought they were? We shall
find that the two are very closely knit once we observe that certain basic phenomena of Nature impinge upon us all the time, and something deep and mysterious within our consciousness is able to interpret the impressions we receive, and we are thus able to live intelligently (I use the word advisedly).
The most basic of these natural phenomena is light ,and the velocity of light is used as the keystone of the arch on which the theory of relativity and the space-time continuum is built. And think how important light is to all living things! Consider the magic of photosynthesis in plant growth. Consider the magic of seeing. And when we consider the astonishing extent of the radiation spectrum, of which light forms but one octave, it is all the more remarkable that all living things on the earth respond, so far as we can tell, to the one visible light octave in the total spectrum. If some of Nature's creatures can see just a trifle further into the infrared or into the ultraviolet than we can, this increased range of vision is so infinitesimally small as compared with the full spectrum as to be of no importance at all. This should point to an extremely close and important connection between man and the universe. And if we care to extend the meaning of the word `man' so that it will include, for the purposes of our study, all living things, as I believe we have a right to do, we are forced to the conclusion that life itself is one of the basic phenomena of the universe. In fact, it would seem to be in line with logical thinking to assume that wherever conditions permit, life can no more help manifesting than can an electric spark help appearing when we bring two charged wires together.
Returning to our question: Why is it that man, the subject of psychological study, lives in a mathematical universe? Now that the two are seen to be so closely knit together, the answer becomes more obvious. Might it not be that this mathematical universe that we see is but one aspect of the total universe? Considered in this light, our answer transcends the realm of the purely scientific and enters the province that belongs to religion, which has every right to be as unerring a guide as science. Comparing a study of Nature to a study of man, science may be said to concern itself with the body of the universe, and religion with its soul; but just as in the case of man wherein so little is understood about the nature of his `soul', so it is with the universe. So little is known about the nature of its soul that the best we can do is to call it `God', about which there may be as many ideas as there are people who think. Religion itself can give us no clear picture of what God is like, and it is a fortunate thing that for the most part we can look back upon the old idea of a vengeful, punishing God as an evil dream of the past.
If we prefer to approach a religious study of the universe with sanity and with reverence, we shall discover that behind the visible manifestations of all life there is infinite beauty, and that the presence of Divine Intelligence is to be felt at every turn. In this highly complex study the quantum theory and relativity become nothing more nor less than a description of the behavior of the ever-living garment of Divinity, and are therefore useful tools as far as they go, but they can never unravel the ultimate mystery. The only reason that we as humans can feel the presence of that mystery is that it is in ourselves as well as in all that is included in the vastness of space.
As to those great gaps that seem to exist between atom and man, and between man and star, they are apparent only because we are overpowered by the impression of size. It has been calculat-
ed that in respect to physical dimensions man stands just about halfway between the size of the average atom and the size of the average star. But what does physical size actually mean as related to the problem in hand? Does it have any real importance? If we remember the symbol of the serpent biting its tail, representing the closed curve that is the universe, who is to say just where man is located on the curve? Why should he be located on one particular point in preference to all others? As a matter of fact the size of the average man has little bearing on the case, if, as we intend, we shall broaden the meaning of the word to include with him all sentient life that we know.
One of the great doctrines from the East is that of the Sunyata, which could be briefly stated as the voidness of the seeming full, the fullness of the seeming void - mere word-spinning to the mind unaccustomed to inner reflections, but full of meaning once we begin to open our eyes. Science has done much to assure us that so-called empty space is the playground of innumerable energies of widely different frequencies. The word "empty" loses its significance, and in the final analysis could mean only nonexistence, which is, of course, completely impossible in a manifested universe.
I would like to try now to show how it is that our use of words has hindered us and fixed certain inaccurate ideas so firmly in our minds that we are reluctant to give them up. Let us first consider sound. The audible range for the human ear is from about sixteen vibrations per second to about 20,000. Beyond this, we speak of supersonic vibrations. When we say inaudible, we do not mean that the vibrations do not exist; we merely mean that we cannot hear them. Nonetheless we are making use of them.
The case is similar to that of light. There is but one octave of vibrations we call visible light, and it is up in the trillions of vibrations per second. Beyond either end of the visible light spectrum we speak of the infrared and the ultraviolet. When we speak of these frequencies as being invisible we do not imply that they do not exist. We merely state that we cannot see them. There are frequencies both above and below the visible range that are very useful to us, and we utilize them by means of devices of our own making. The "waves" that carry our radio and television programs are of vastly slower frequency than those of visible light, and the x-rays and the cosmic rays are much faster.
Now there is another spectrum that is of the greatest importance, and it is closely related to the spectrum of which light is a portion. This is the heat or temperature spectrum. Heat is the energy of the motion of atoms and molecules, and the scales on which we measure temperature are purely artificial, and have far less basic connection with the phenomena of nature than have the spectra of light and sound, which are actual measurements of wavelengths and of frequencies. Were we to establish a true scale of temperatures, zero temperature would have to mark that state of matter in which there is no molecular motion at all. Since such a state of matter cannot actually exist, this becomes a vanishing point, so to speak, and temperatures have been reached within a very small fraction of a degree of absolute cold.
However that may be, we must hold to the scale with which we are the most familiar, to wit, the Fahrenheit scale, and point out another serious inaccuracy which has done much to blur our vision. It is conceded that the conditions under which life as we know it can flourish are (Continued on Page 186)
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
A munificent donation of fifteen hundred dollars has just been received by the Canadian Section from a wellwisher who desires to remain anonymous. This more than welcome gift is a wonderful incentive and augurs well for the new year when we will, at long last, be able to do some of the things that have been withheld for lack of funds. The General Executive has been handicapped in the past, and has been criticized for (apparently) doing nothing, but too few of our members realize that funds are requisite for any expansion of our work; donations from those who do realize this could be counted on the fingers of two hands. Most of our income is expended in keeping The Canadian Theosophist alive, and the annual balance has been negligible.
An important decision has been arrived at by the General Executive, regarding changes in the publication of our magazine. Mr. Burr's report printed elsewhere in this issue explains the matter in detail. After much deliberation it has been decided that the magazine be issued bi-monthly, beginning next month; that it be enlarged to twenty-four pages; that the price be 35c per copy, but the annual subscription remain the same. Under these conditions Mr. Barr will carry on as editor and I feel we are singularly fortunate in the fact, and proffer our most grateful thanks for what he has done in the past, and our best wishes for his endeavors in the future.
The last six volumes of The Canadian Theosophist should now be bound and we are anxious to get this done but are help up because several issues are out of print. We require 20 copies of No. 8, October, 1953; 3 copies of No. 9, November 1953 and 3 copies of No. 11, January 1954. If anyone having such copies to spare would either bring or send same to us at 52 Isabella St., we would be very thankful.
I regret to announce the decease of Mrs. Mae E. Doig, a member of the Toronto Lodge who passed away in December last, and also of Mr. I. Orenstein, another member of the same lodge who joined in 1938. Our sympathies are extended to the relatives of both these lately departed.
It is with pleasure I welcome the following members into the Society: - Mrs. Madaline I. King, Toronto Lodge; Mrs. Janie Cross, Hamilton Lodge; Miss Beverley E. Siegerman, Toronto Lodge; Mrs. Annabella Sirett, Edmonton Lodge; Mrs. C. Beatrice Stevens, St. Thomas Lodge; Mrs. Gertrude D. Tolson, Montreal Lodge; Mr. Ralph A. Webb, Toronto Lodge; Mr. Victor Rodrique, Toronto Lodge; Mr. Gilbert Mensseilin, Toronto Lodge.
THE ANNUAL ELECTIONS
Nominations for the office of General Secretary and seven members of the General Executive should be made within the next month and should be sent in before the first of April. Will the officers of each Lodge kindly see that this matter is brought before their Lodge, and then arrange to have the nominations sent at once to the General Secretary. According to the constitution, nominations must be made by the Lodges and consent of the parties nominated should be obtained.
Nominations should be sent in a separate letter to the General Secretary, 52 Isabella St., Toronto 5, Ont.
- E. L. Thomson, General Secretary.
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
- The Organ of the Theosophical Society in Canada
- Published on the 15th of every month.
- Authorized as second class mail, Post Office Department, Ottawa.
- Subscription: Two Dollars a Year
OFFICERS OF THE T.S. IN CANADA
Dudley W. Barr, 18 Rowanwood Ave., Toronto, Ont.
Charles M. Hale, Box 158, New Liskeard, Ont.
Miss M. Hindsley, 52 Isabella St., 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, 9360 86th St., 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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Letters intended for publication should be restricted to not more than five hundred words.
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CHANGE IN THE MAGAZINE
As announced by the General Secretary, the Magazine will become a 24 page bimonthly publication commencing with the March issue which will be the opening number of Volume XXXVI. This will be for an experimental period of one year. We sincerely hope that the change will result in a more carefully planned and a more interesting magazine. While we have appreciated the many kindly comments which have been received respecting the magazine, we have known for some time that the editorial work and the correspondence arising therefrom, were not receiving the time and attention required. More time is not available as our evenings only are free for this work, and there are other demands which have to be met.
May we express our sincere thanks to all, who have helped with the work and also express to the members of The Theosophical Society in Canada and to our subscribers here and in other lands, our thanks to them for the opportunity given by them to us to carry on the work.
MISS NELLIE GATES
Miss Nellie Gates, a former member of Hamilton Lodge died on December 22, 1954. Although she dropped her membership in 1931, Miss Gates was a vital participant in Theosophical activities in Hamilton, beginning with the inception of a study class there in 1910 or 1911. When Sunday morning lectures were started in 1912, Miss Gates was secretary-treasurer of the group; after the Lodge was chartered in 1916, she continued to hold that position until 1931. As such she was the energizing spirit of the Lodge, and she maintained her interest in the work of the Hamilton group after she ceased to be a member.
For the last several years, arthritis confined Miss Gates to her room in the home of her nephew, Mr. Bruce Hogarth, a member of Hamilton Lodge.
On Miss Gates' instructions there was no funeral service, and no newspaper notice of the death until after cremation. Those members of Toronto Lodge who lectured in Hamilton in the early days of the Hamilton Lodge will remember her gracious, kindly presence, her quiet competence in carrying out her duties, and the indominable spirit which sustained her in her work.
"Go, give to the plants and to the waters thy body which belongs to them; but there is an immortal part of thee - transport it to the world of the holy."
The Canadian Theosophist.
Dear Mr. Barr:
Reflection during the intervening months since my comment on the Alternative Policy of Mr. Redfern enables me, I hope, to bring a broader perspective to bear on the problem; and Mr. Redfern's letter in the December issue provides an opportunity for this.
It may well seem that my views, so well summarized in the December issue, p. 152, are a type of caustic, vacant solution, really solving nothing. This is a fair appraisal, since I have nothing to offer the Theosophical Society. My in-terest is restricted to individuals, who are more important than Societies, and in this respect perhaps my views cannot be as easily set aside as Mr. Redfern has thought to do in his letter.
Granted that Mr. Leadbeater's works will continue to be read, and granted also that the Theosophical Society would never collect its stock of his works and consign them to the flames, what is there to stop the individual from discontinuing to read them, from burning up his own copies? Here we see the weakness of the Alternative Policy: it seeks to prepare for some blessed event of twenty odd years hence by working toward harmony and union of the various Theosophical groups; while the real preparation, the secret, powerful preparation, is that which the individual prepares in his own heart.
If an individual feels his life charged by a project for good, how could it be right to suggest to him a close and honest examination of the Neo-Theosophy works? Why should he waste a minute on that which has been so ably done? In this very magazine, the editor at that time, Albert E.S. Smythe, wrote in the issue of March, 1928:
"We begin this month the publication of a series of excerpts compiled by an English student of Theosophy, which exemplifies to some extent the difference between the teaching given by the Masters through Madame Blavatsky in her books and in their own letters to Mr. A.P. Sinnett, and the doctrines promulgated in the last 25 years by Mrs. Besant, Mr. Leadbeater and others of their school. We trust that no hard feelings will be aroused by this procedure. Those who believe the Masters wrong and Mrs. Besant right will be glad to have this evidence. Those who believe Mrs. Besant wrong and the Masters right will be equally glad of the demonstrated difference."
That series was called "Theosophy or Neo-Theosophy" and I submit this as already satisfying Mr. Redfern's paragraph 11, with the exception that the series was probably not freely circulated. There were probably other productions treating these subjects, and it is not necessary to repeat this thoughtful research, going harmoniously ahead as though nothing had been done before.
It must be admitted, however, that such evaluations of Neo-Theosophy by means of comparisons with The Mahatma Letters and works of H.P. Blavatsky suffer from the weakness of the person doing them. The complete evaluation would mean bringing to bear an insight into the true processes of nature which only an advanced Master could possess, and with a multitude of examples and detail that would occupy a space greater than the bulk of The Secret Doctrine. Such an attempt is more appropriate for an authorized Messenger in a critical point of the cycle than it is for us at this time; and it is very probable that such a Messenger would not be authorized to expend effort in attempting to refute all the multitude of distortions and corrupt ideas that are held by men.
Nor by referring to the series "Theosophy or Neo-Theosophy" do I admit complete assent to the views expressed therein. At the outset, the author wrote: "The Theosophical Society is dead. But there are many Theosophists in it who are yet alive." Of course, the Theosophical Society was not dead, and it is alive today. It may be, as I believe, that starting from a time around the winter solstice in December 1949, the Society entered its old age. In such a case, it might be that like old men, too tired to disagree, the various groups would huddle together in future years, presenting that united front - complete with cheerful song and spiritous toast - unvisited by the young, who, belonging to a different generation, would not appreciate the manners or discussion topics of the oldsters.
The wonderful and mysterious fact about this is the simultaneity of age and youth, or death and birth:
"The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
And God fulfils himself in many ways,
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world."
Thus, while appreciating the spirit with which Mr. Redfern has sought a solution for a grievous problem, I must set forth an alternative solution in terms of individuals, for they "are yet alive." He unwittingly gave a valuable clue when saying, "but they will continue to be read, with negligible diminution because of his disgust with them." What matters it if that diminution be "negligible", so long as there is a diminution? If even a solitary individual gives up adherence to falsehood and deception, and comes devotedly into the presence of the pure teaching, would not H.P.B. have felt her mission successful? And surely it is not just a single individual who has found this freedom. The true measure of progress is not in how many people are yet fooled, but in how many come to see the light. The latter group, however small in number, represents the real union and brotherhood. Why worry about the outer - the named - groups? They have always been united in folly.
ATOM, MAN, STAR (Continued from Page 182)
closely controlled by temperature. The earth seems to be the only planet in the solar system wherein life is possible because the temperatures prevailing on its surface lie approximately within the habitable portion of the temperature spectrum. Man himself lives within a very small margin of safety. His normal bodily temperature is 98.6 degrees, and temperatures of only a very few degrees above or below this norm can prove fatal to him. But he can adapt himself to conditions that vary considerably on either side of his normal bodily temperature. So we say that a world is habitable within a certain temperature range. Other factors which make for habitability, such as the composition of the atmosphere of other planets, are, of course, important, but it would seem that these factors hold second place because to a very large extent they are caused by prevailing temperatures.
The point of all this is that while in the use of the word `inaudible' we mean merely that we cannot hear, there being no implication made that the frequencies do not exist, and whereas in the use of the word `invisible' we mean merely that we cannot see, but do not imply that the frequencies do not exist, nonetheless, when we say `uninhabitable' in respect to temperatures outside of the narrow band conducive to conditions that favor life, we mean exactly that life is impossible. There has been no effort as yet to consider seriously that living beings could exist in ways that may be
vastly different from anything that we can observe, or that they could function and would be completely at home in their own particular media. Yet there is absolutely nothing in Nature that would disprove it, any more than there was anything in Nature that disproved the existence of radio waves before they were discovered and used by man. We have a tendency, however, sometimes to think that a thing has been disproved until it has been proved. And that is what has made it so difficult for the western world to accept the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom in respect to invisible worlds, planes of consciousness, life waves, and so on and on. It is the age-old clamor for proof and more proof.
So a simple statement of the teachings of the esoteric philosophy would be as follows: Life is everywhere, and manifests however and wherever it can. Man is neither very high nor very low in the great scale of intelligent life. He represents but one rung in the evolutionary ladder that stretches endlessly above and below him. And all these manifestations of life operate throughout visible and invisible space, impelled by a great cosmic urge toward growth, progress and ultimate perfection. Perfection itself is only relative, and once a being has become perfect within its own sphere of life, it is ready to move onwards into new fields of experience. At the heart of every living entity, no matter where or what it may be, is a spark of Divinity, and the degree of evolution attained at any one time is but a measure of the degree of awakening that has been achieved. Thus there are limitless possibilities for us humans, and there is unbounded joy in growth. So the final thought would be: There is infinitude without; there is infinitude within. The inmost self of man is a cosmic being whose secret home is the heart of the universe.
A COMPARATIVE STUDY
(Continued from Page 175)
C.W. Leadbeater drew his Buddhistic instruction primarily from the Hinayana tradition in which he made his vows. He has little to say about Dhyani or Celestial Buddhas. He knows of the Mahayana use of the term Bodhisattva in a general sense, but to him, concurring with Hinayana teaching, the Bodhisattva is an office in the Hierarchy, the Buddha-to-be, the Lord Maitreya, whom he equates with the Jagat Guru of Hinduism, World Teacher of angels and men. Adepts are of 7 classes, belonging to 7 rays, according to Mme. Blavatsky. Our higher selves are also each on one of the 7 rays, but whereas Mme. Blavatsky said we remain for ever on one ray, throughout a Manvantaric cycle, Bishop Leadbeater claimed that it is possible to change one's ray. He presented a classified formulation, assigning to the 7 rays most of the Adepts whose names were known in the early activities of the Society in which they took part, and he set them in a putative relationship of authority and fields of responsibility.
Mrs. Besant deleted the references to Pratyeka Buddhas from the second edition of The Voice of The Silence and its numerous reprints. (They were restored in the Golden Jubilee edition of 1939). This was her explanation: `The Pratyeka Buddha stands on the level of the Buddha, but His work for the world has nothing to do with its teachings, and His office has always been surrounded with mystery. The preposterous view that He, at such superhuman height of power, wisdom and love could be selfish, is found in the exoteric books, though it is hard to see how it can have arisen. "H.P.B. charged me to correct the mistake, as she had, in a careless moment, copied such a statement elsewhere". Mrs. Besant did not make clear in this statement that the request for
correction came after H.P.B.'s death, and hence is dependent on somebody's psychic reliability. Furthermore, H.P.B. is explicit and definite in two of her books, which is hardly consistent with "a careless moment", and the Master K.H. writing to Mr. Sinnett contrasts Pratyeka Yana which "means literally the `personal vehicle' or personal Ego, a combination of the five lower principles", with Amrita Yana which "is translated: - 'The immortal vehicle', or the Individuality, the Spiritual Soul, or the Immortal monad - a combination of the fifth, sixth and seventh." Bishop Leadbeater gave a status to the Pratyeka Buddhas foreign to anything in Buddhist literature, and far removed from the Mahayanist connotations of H.P.B. and the Masters. He placed them at the 8th initiation, parallel with the Buddha, but on the ruling ray, and he said there were 3 of them only, Sri Sankaracharya being one. Whether or not such high offices exist, it is clear that the Pratyeka Buddhas of H.P.B.'s teaching and the Mahayana are not the Pratyeka Buddhas of Neo-Theosophy.
The most far-reaching of Bishop Leadbeater's teachings in this field that has no warrant in H.P.B.'s writings is the identification of Christ with the Bodhisattva, the future Buddha Maitreya, the 5th Race Buddha according to him, the 5th Round (or 6th or 7th Race) Buddha, according to Mme. Blavatsky. Bishop Leadbeater describes the Lord Maitreya as in incarnation at the present time in a Celtic body, living in the Himalayas. Bishop Leadbeater said that the body of Jesus, was occupied by the Bodhisattva Maitreya, who taught through it using the Bodhisattvic remains of Buddha, as he still does and as in the case of Sri Sankaracharya. This goes further than Mme. Blavatsky who said that Jesus was a Bodhisattva, with the spirit of Buddha Himself in Him. When Bishop Leadbeater applied the name Christ to the Bodhisattva Maitreya, his words had far-reaching potency. It gave a focus for the forces of Christ worship and Christ superiority - assumptions, built in past centuries, to fuse with this thought of a supreme World Teacher. In Bishop Leadbeater's systematizing of the hierarchy, Maitreya-Christ is subordinate to Gautama Buddha, yet as Head of all world Faiths he is given the name associated with Christianity, and this has had powerful later energization from Mrs. Alice A. Bailey. The wisdom of this has been fairly challenged, though on the other hand the act must be noted as an influence conjoining Buddhism and Christianity.
Who was this Jesus whose body Bishop Leadbeater says was occupied by the Bodhisattva Maitreya-Christ? In his earlier clairvoyant reports Bishop Leadbeater confirmed that there was no Jesus-Avatar of about 0-33 A.D., and the tradition relates to Jeschu ben Pandira of c. 100 B.C.; nor were there 12 disciples. "When we examine clairvoyantly the life of the founder of Christianity . . . we can find no trace of the alleged 12 apostles" he wrote; this was part of universal myth incorporated in the Bible story; but the original Jesus had been confused with an obscure fanatic, executed in Jerusalem about 30 A.D. Later he wrote as though he had forgotten this and took the 12 apostles for granted*, [* This statement that C.W.L. was inconsistent with regard to the 12 Apostles has been challenged, when a draft of this paper was issued to friends, and so far I have not been able to justify it, though feeling sure that I did not include it in the paper in 1950 without good evidence. The reader should therefore take it as uncertain, unless some other student can confirm it with a precise reference.] describing Jesus as having
been baptized by John the Baptist, followed by the 3 years' ministry of Maitreya-Christ. The gnostic idea quoted by H.P.B. was of a baptism in Jordan, with no mention of John the Baptist, and it must not be overlooked that Jordan is a mystic symbol, " . . . the river Jordan . . . had the same mythical use with the Hebrews that the Nile had with the Egyptians".
The idea of the body of Jesus being used by the Christ has been described as in accord with the Cerinthian Gnostics, but they regarded the overshadowing Christ as one of the 7 Aeons, and the chief of them. Bishop Leadbeater interposes an intermediate agency, the Lord Maitreya-Christ, whom he regarded as an agent of the Second Logos, Vishnu, or the Universal Christ.
Bishop Leadbeater was also associated with the prophecy that Bodhisattva Maitreya-Christ was returning to teach in the present century, probably using the body of Krishnamurti. Dr. Besant announced the commencement of His mission in 1925 and that there would be 12 disciples, 7 of whom were named and 6 declared to be Arhats. It is only fair to say that Bishop Leadbeater had nothing to do with this pronouncement. He was in Australia. Dr. Besant was in Europe, and she blundered through accepting, with insufficient critical discrimination, the psychic reports of certain colleagues. Krishnamurti disbanded all organizations related to his supposed office, and he sidestepped all questions asking whether or not he was the World Teacher. He does not make any such claim, but he has pointed out that he has not denied it either. He considers that most members of The Theosophical Society have minds cluttered up with doctrines about things they know next to nothing about in practical experience, with consequent detriment to buoyant and effective living. He asks his hearers to put labels aside and consider what he has to say on its merits. Answering one questioner he said: "Friend, who do you think I am? If I say I am the Christ you will create another authority. If I say I am not, you will also create another authority. Do you think that Truth has anything to do with what you think I am? You are not concerned with the Truth, but you are concerned with the vessel that contains the Truth. You do not want to drink the waters, but you want to find out who fashioned the vessel which contains the waters. Friend, if I say to you that I am, and another says to you that I am not, the Christ - where will you be? Drink the water, if the water is clean. I say to you that I have that clean water. I have that balm that shall purify, that shall heal greatly; and you ask me: Who are you? I am all things, because I am Life".
Christian Rosenkreutz, founder of Rosicrucianism, was born in 1375, according to Bishop Leadbeater's clairvoyance - 3 years before the traditional date and contrasting with the 13th century date of Mme. Blavatsky. (It has been suggested however, with some cogency, that she may well have been using continental numberings, according to which the thirteen hundreds constitute the thirteenth century. This explanation fails to reconcile the difference however, for she says the Brotherhood was formed in the middle of the thirteenth century. If Christian Rosenkreutz was born about 1375-78, he could hardly have formed the Rosicrucians before the fifteenth century. According to Neo-Theosophy this life was one of a series in which this ego also appeared as Roger Bacon, Hunyadi Janos, Robertus the monk, Francis Bacon and Le Comte de St. Germain. There is a difficulty in this - Hunyadi Janos and Christian Rosenkreutz were alive at the same time,
if Bishop Leadbeater's Rosenkreutz date is true. It is curious that he puts the responsibility for the Hunyadi Janos statement on Dr. Besant, saying: "I have not seen anything myself of that life". Mr. Sinnett thought an Adept could run more than one physical body at the same time; there is a passage in The Mahatma Letters that suggests something of the kind, but it belongs to "the highest form of adeptship man can hope for on our planet" and the last who reached it was Tsong-ka-pa, whereas Mr. Sinnett held that the Rosenkreutz ego did not become an Arhat until the Francis Bacon life, and Asekha (the 5th initiation in Bishop Leadbeater's terminology) as St. Germain.
Let us now consider Dr. Steiner's teachings. He holds that Gautama Buddha bestowed a measure of revelation upon humanity and then withdrew to certain spiritual heights to abide there and guide the affairs of humanity. Buddha, he says, was a friend and pupil of Christian Rosenkreutz and participated in a conference at which it was decided that Buddha should take up work on Mars where a certain purification was needed; and Buddha went to Mars in 1604. According to Dr. Steiner there was Jeschu ben Pandira who is the Bodhisattva and will be Maitreya Buddha; he has reincarnated repeatedly and will come again in the 20th century. So H.P.B. says Jesus was a Bodhisattva, Leadbeater says the Bodhisattva taught through the Jesus body, and Steiner says Jesus was the Bodhisattva.
But says Dr. Steiner there was also not only a Jesus at the 0-33 A.D. period as Leadbeater says - there were two then, and they were not obscure fanatics. In this matter he says Mme. Blavatsky was mistaken. She was "the great instigator". The stimulus to occult investigation "had to be given by the Theosophical Society".
"H. P. Blavatsky . . . was the instrument for the giving of the stimulus; and she proved herself fully competent for her purpose . . . What Mme. Blavatsky started is of deep incisive importance, but how immeasurable is all that she could not accomplish in that introductory act of hers . . . The necessity of the Christ-experience was completely hidden from Blavatsky . . . Her task was to point out the germs of truth in the religions of the Aryan peoples; the comprehension of the revelations given in the Old and New Testaments was denied her . . . If the stimulus given by her in the Theosophical Movement is to be carried further, we must attain to an understanding of the Christ-Event. The early Theosophical movement failed to grasp the religious and spiritual life of the Old and New Testaments; that is why everything is wide of the mark in this first movement, and the Theosophical Movement has the task of making this good and of adding what was not given at first . . . Originally Theosophy only ranked the historic Jesus with other founders of religion. It never occurred to Blavatsky to deny the historic Jesus; though she certainly placed Him one hundred years earlier. She did not deny His existence, but she did not recognize Christ-Jesus; although she instigated the movement in which He may some day be known, she was not able herself to recognize Him . . . We visualize H.P. Blavatsky as the bringer of a sort of dawn of a new light; but of what good would that light be if it were not to illuminate the most important thing that mankind has ever possessed! A Theosophy which does not provide the means of understanding Christianity is absolutely valueless to our present civilization; but if it should become an instrument for the understanding of Christianity we should then be making the right use of the instrument . . . Every-
thing is in course of development, including the spirit of Blavatsky. Her spirit is now working in the spiritual world to further the progress of the Theosophical movement; but if we sit before her and the book she wrote, saying: We will raise a monument to you consisting of your own works, - who is it that is making her spirit earthbound? Who is condemning her not to progress beyond what she established on earth? We ourselves! We revere and acknowledge her value if even as she herself went beyond her time, we also go further than she did so long as the grace ruling the development of the world continues to vouchsafe spiritual revelations from the spiritual world . . . Let us endeavor to make ourselves capable of preparing a field in the Theosophical movement in which the impulse of Blavatsky shall not be hindered ,and arrested, but shall progress to further development." (To Be Continued)
INDEX to The Canadian Theosophist, Vol. XXXV
Action and Reaction .......... 46
Alternative Policy ...........34
Among the Lodges
Montreal ....... 8, 140
"And God Shall Wipe Away All Tears" ......... 118
"And the Word Became Theology"......... 147
Annual Election ......183
Annual Meeting ........ 71
Atom, Man, Star .......180
Atomic Research ......... 15
Bhagavad Gita Explained, The ..... 127
Buddhist Sixth Council ......... 25
Canadian Theosophist, The -
Change to bi-monthly ........184
Comparative Study, A ........162, 187
Correspondence............9, 73, 93, 107, 152, 169 185
Dark Millenium, The ........97, 113
Doctrine, The ...........45
Executive Meeting ........38
Gandhi's Spiritual Successor ........ 110
General Secretary's Western Trip.......... 133
Ghost of Christmas Past, The ........... 145
"I Heard Great Argument" ........ 45
Inner Senses, The ........... 90
Is the Desire to "Live" Selfish? .........123
Is There A Monopoly On God? .........26
Karma and Rebirths ........ 171
Krishnamurti, J . ........... 9
Lion's Roar, The .......... 81
Leaves of Grass ..........178
Masters of the Way ..........129
New Years-New Lives ........161
Notes and Comments ........ 7, 39, 70, 103, 150, 167, 183
Benton, Mrs. C. ..........88
Daines, Mr. Herbert ......... 71
Doig, Mrs. Mae E. ......... 183
Gates, Miss Nellie ......... 184
Hession, Mr. Arthur T. .........150
Jones, Mrs. Russell Lloyd .........151
Knechtel, Mrs. Eva J. .........7
Orenstein, Mr. L. ........183
Sinclair, Mr. Robest .......39
Stewart, Mr. Martin S. ........ 151
Titus, Mr. F.E. ........89
Webb, Mrs. Edna ......... 71
Office Notes .......... 56, 72, 88
On Christian Origins .......... 49
On The Ancient Mysteries .......... 6, 29
Orpheus Lodge Reaction ............104
Scala Sancta .......... 5
An Avatar Speaks .......... 57
The Free ..........159
Song of Myself .......... 179
Presidential Address ............ 1
Reincarnation ..........46, 65, 171
Reviews and Notes
H. P. Blavatsky, Collected Writings .......... 149
Apollonius of Tyana .......... 139
New World of the Mind ..........156
The Doctrine of Awakening .......... 121
The Field of Occult Chemistry .......... 120
The First and Last Freedom .......... 159
The Most Holy Trinsophia ........ 62
The Occult Art Of Ancient Egypt .........40
This Ordered Universe ......... 92
Walt Whitman ........41
Flying Saucers from Outer Space ..........74
Sowing and Reaping ........ 65
Statement Of Funds ............ 89
Studies in the Secret Doctrine .........3, 21, 42, 85, 115
Sun, The ............. 54
Survey Of Earth? ..... 74
Theosophy and Modern Astronomy ........17
Theosophical Study and Work ............... 126
Theosophical Society - Extract from 1953 Report .......... 158
Toronto Lodge ......... 40
United Lodge of Theosophists ......... 101
White Lotus Day .......... 33
Whitman, Walt, (Portrait) .......... 177
Why The Masters Cannot Help .......... 63
Work of the Theosophical Society.......... 141
Barr, Dudley W. ........25, 33, 41, 121, 130, 145, 156, 162, 178
Blavatsky, H. P. ......... 63, 123, 171
Bowen, P. G. ......... 46
Brod, Olive ..........46
Dattavara .......... 3, 21, 42, 85, 115
Desrocher, M. R. .......... 8
Hall, G. H. .........159
Harcourt, Olive .......... 90
Harley, M. W. .........140
Harris, Iverson L . ........ 65, 107
Hindsley, Madeline .........40, 62
Hutchinson, Hesper Le Gallienne ..........5, 57
Judge, W. Q. ..........126
Kuhn, Alvin B., Ph.D. .......... 139
Parker, Leonora ............. 45, 118
Plummer, L. Gordon .......... 17, 180
Redfern, T. ..........34, 152, 162, 187
Rickman, J. L. ..........169
Ross, Floyd H. .............. 26
Sri Ram, N. ..........1, 141
Sutherland, W. F. ........ 6, 29, 49, 97, 113, 120
Thomson, E. L. ........... 133
Tyler, F. E. .......... 93, 169
Wayman, Alex ...........10, 94, 185