Vol. XXXV, No. 6 Toronto, August 15th, 1954 Price 20 Cents
The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document
THE LION'S ROAR
"There are penitents and priests who exalt liberation. They speak in various manners glorifying liberation. But as for that which concerns the most noble and the highest liberation, I know that none equals me, let alone that I may be surpassed."
This statement of the Lord Buddha, as recorded in the Digha-Nikaya, has been called "the Lion's Roar."
Madame Blavatsky settles for her students the moot point as to whether the Lord Buddha taught both an exoteric and an esoteric doctrine. She says in The Secret Doctrine that "the Hindu Reformer limited his public teachings to the purely moral and physiological aspect of the Wisdom-Religion, to Ethics and MAN alone. Things `unseen and incorporeal,' the mystery of Being outside our terrestrial sphere, the great Teacher left entirely untouched in his public lectures, reserving the hidden Truths for a select circle of his Arhats. The latter received their Initiation at the famous Saptaparna cave (the Sattapanni of Mahavansa), near Mount Baibhar (the Webhara of the Pali MSS). This cave was in Rajagriha, the ancient capital of Mogadha, and was, the Cheta cave of Fa-hian, as rightly suspected by some archoeologists."
H.P.B. also explains what happened to the exoteric teachings: "Time and human imagination made short work of the purity and philosophy of these teachings, once that they were transplanted from the secret and sacred circle of the Arhats, during the course of their work of proselytism, into a soil less prepared for metaphysical conceptions than India; i.e., once they were transferred into China, Japan, Siam, and Burmah. How the pristine purity of these grand revelations was dealt with may be seen in studying some of the so-called `esoteric' Buddhist schools of antiquity in their modern garb, not only in China and other Buddhist countries in general, but even in not a few schools in Thibet, left to the care of uninitiated Lamas and Mongolian innovators. Thus the reader is asked to bear in mind the very important difference between orthodox Buddhism, i.e., the public teaching of Gautama the Buddha, and his esoteric Buddhism. His Secret Doctrine, however, differed in no wise from that of the initiated Brahmans of his day. The Buddha was a child of the Aryan soil, a born Hindu, a Kshatrya and a disciple of the `twice born' (the initiated Brahmans) or Dwijas. His teachings, therefore, could not be different from their doctrines, for the whole Buddhist reform
merely consisted in giving out a portion of that which had been kept secret from every man outside of the `enchanted' circle of Temple-Initiates and ascetics. Unable to teach all that had been imparted to him - owing to his pledges - though he taught a philosophy built upon the groundwork of the true esoteric knowledge, the Buddha gave to the world only its outward material body and kept its soul for his Elect."
That "soul" probably included the formula of Dependent Origination which scholars admit is the most abstruse portion of the Buddha's doctrine. It is the teaching that phenomena depends upon the six senses and occurs in obedience to Law, not blind chance; that Law is inflexible - no punishment, no pardon, only the working out of unalterable processes. Above all, this teaching of the chain of causation (the 12 Nidanas) sets forth how the arising of suffering is dependent upon conditions and how, through the removal of those conditions, suffering must disappear. For the Master Koot Hoomi's translation of it, see his Letter X to A.P. Sinnett. From Ignorance spring the attachments, which he enumerates, and by the destruction of Ignorance they end. The relationship of the past to the present and the carryover of results to the future is clearly stated.
It may be that the soul of the doctrine kept for his Elect included the teachings of the Book of the Golden Precepts, chosen fragments of which H.P.B. has given us under the title, The Voice of the Silence. She dedicated them to the Few, lanoos or disciples, for their daily use.
Observing the Brahmans, the teaching caste, the Buddha said they were like a file of blind men in which the first cannot see, the one in the middle cannot see and the last cannot see; that not by caste is one a pariah, not by caste is one a Brahman; by actions is one a pariah, by actions is one a Brahman, and that to unite himself with Brahma, a man must develop in himself qualities similar to Brahma. The Buddha's was a powerful, even devastating challenge to the teachers of his day. Who can say whether his faith in the perfectibility of humanity was too great, whether his compassion for all, including the profane, was unjustified? Only the record of his two other incarnations as Sankaracharya and Tsong-kha-pa approach an answer. In what we today call "picture" language, the Blessed One poured forth his doctrine year upon year. It was a raft to carry one to the other shore, there to be abandoned; it was to be rightly grasped because like kusa grass which cuts the hands when wrongly grasped, so the ascetic life wrongly practised leads to torment. His doctrine was like the ocean becoming gradually deeper and having only one flavor, the flavour of emancipation. It was the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eight-Fold Path. And the Buddha made it plain how one behaved who knew his doctrine: "Whoso has truly understood the Four Excellent Truths, he no longer goes from one teacher to another and searchingly looks into his face to see if this one may really know something, see something. It is as if a brazen column or a post of a gate stood there, deeply founded, well dug into the ground, without tottering or shaking. If now from this or that quarter, wind and weather come mightily storming on, it cannot tremble, shake and totter, and why not? Because of the depth of the foundation, because the column is well dug in." Here, surely, is a hint for theosophical students.
The esoteric teaching is that the Buddha reincarnated next after his existence as Gautama Buddha in the person of Sri Sankaracharya, whom H.P.B. speaks of as a Sixth Rounder, the great-
est of the historical Brahman sages; the greatest of the esoteric masters of India. He appeared sixty years after Gautama Buddha's death but no attention was paid to his birth which apparently took place on the Malabar Coast. The teaching is that Sankaracharya simply was Buddha in all respects in a new body. H.P.B. speaks of him as Buddha's grand successor whose philosophy if carefully analyzed and compared is one with Buddha's.
A.P. Sinnett (Esoteric Buddhism) says Sankaracharya recognized that as Buddha he had opened the doors of the occult sanctuary too widely, even though he had given out only a portion of the teaching formerly secret. However that may be, the record is that he began the purification of the Brahman caste from within. What changes he made can, of course, be known only with certainty to the Brahmans themselves.
Charles Johnston, in his translation of The Crest Jewel of Wisdom and Other Writings of Sankaracharya, says: "This much we know, that Sankaracharya did all his overpowering genius could accomplish to turn the Brahmans from too exclusive following after ceremonial; to lead them back to the spiritual wisdom, the recognition of the inner light of the soul, which was India's greatest heritage; and that, taking India's most precious records, the great Upanishads, he rendered them into the thought and language of his own day, and did all that a marvelous insight and a literary style of wonderful lucidity could do to make the spirit and the genius of the Upanishads live once more in the hearts of the Brahmans of his time. He set himself, above all, to cleanse the inner lining of the casket where India's treasures lay concealed; to remove every speck from the precious metal whose perfect purity alone could guarantee the costly contents against rust and moth. The reforms inaugurated by Sankaracharya continue to bear fruit today; the new light he shed on the old records, the new insight he gave to the old symbols, are the treasured inheritance of the Smartava Brahmans, whose spiritual heads, in unbroken succession, have ruled at Sringari Math, in the mountains of Northern India."
Sankaracharya travelled all over India establishing various mathams or schools of philosophy in several important centres. One was at Sringari in the Western Ghauts of Mysore, mentioned above, the most important; one was at Juggernath in Orissa; one was at Dwaraka in Kathiawar and one at Gungatri on the slopes of the Himalayas in the north.
Tsong-kha-pa was the third incarnation of the Buddha. This great Tibetan reformer of the fourteenth century concerned himself exclusively with the affairs of the adept fraternity which was by that time collecting chiefly in Tibet.
In his Esoteric Buddhism, Mr. Sinnett records that from "time immemorial there had been a certain secret region in Tibet, which to this day is quite unknown to and unapproachable by any but initiated persons, and inaccessible to the ordinary people of the country as to any others, in which adepts have always congregated. But the country generally was not in Buddha's time, as it has since become, the chosen habitation of the great Brotherhood. Much more than they are at present were the Mahatmas in former times distributed about the world. The progress of civilization engendering the magnetism they find so trying, had, however by the date with which we are now dealing - the fourteenth century - already given rise to a very general movement towards Tibet on the part of the previously dissociated occultists. Far more widely than was held to be
consistent with the safety of mankind was occult knowledge and power then found to be disseminated. To the task of putting it under the control of a rigid system of rule and law did Tsong-kha-pa address himself.
"Without re-establishing the system on the previous unreasonable basis of caste exclusiveness, he elaborated a code of rules for the guidance of the adepts, the effect of which was to weed out of the occult body all but those who sought occult knowledge in a spirit of the most sublime devotion to the higher moral principles."
According to H.P.B., being unable to witness any longer the desecration of Buddhist philosophy by the false priests who made of it a marketable commodity, Tsong-kha-pa put a forcible stop to their machinations, by a timely revolution and the exile of 40,000 sham monks and lamas from the country.
In the Peking reprint of The Voice of the Silence, Alice L. Cleather records that during many years of study and initiation in Tibet, Madame Blavatsky spent a considerable time at Tashi-lhum-po monastery and that, according to the records of the monastery "Sangye (Buddha) seeing the degradation of his secret doctrines, left the Western Paradise (a real locality, the abode of the Arhats and their disciples) and incarnated in the fourteenth century as Tsong-kha-pa. He founded the Yellow or Reformed Order (Gelugpa) and the Hierarchy of Tashi Lamas, in whom that incarnation continues. . . Within the Gelugpa Order, Tsong-kha-pa founded the Mystic Brotherhood connected with its Chiefs, and wrote a treatise of practical instructions called Lam-rim (The Graded Path) in two portions, one for ecclesiastical and exoteric purposes, the other for disciples (Lanoos) of the secret school near Shigatse, attached to the private retreat of the Tashi-Lama."
Tsong-kha-pa is credited with having had an extraordinary knowledge of both the Kanjur and the Tanjur which Madame Blavatsky describes as a collection of 333 huge volumes of the teachings of the Buddha, translated from Sanskrit into Tibetan and Mongolian. The Tanjur, she says, is the more voluminous canon, comprising 225 large volumes of four to five pounds each on miscellaneous subjects, while the Kanjur contains only 108 volumes of the commandments or The Word of the Buddha.
The doctrine of the Twelve Nidanas - The Lord Buddha's doctrine of Dependent Origination - is fully dealt with in Tsong-kha-pa's great work, the Lam Rim Chen Mo.* [* Students may be referred to the six issues of The Golden Lotus, November, 1951 to May, 1952, for Alex Wayman's translations entitled Introduction to the Lam Rim Chen Mo of Tsong-Kha-Pa. Students will be grateful for all translations of the ancient texts, but one is reminded anew of the debt we owe H.P.B. who wrote and translated so lucidly into English though her native tongue was Russian. She did not translate the Lam Rim Chen Mo, but we have the essence of the instruction in other translations and writings.]
In these brief gleanings from the records, we observe the Supreme Teacher, a Sixth Rounder, through three incarnations. What, above everything else, did he do?
First, he experimented to find the method of attainment and then having found it, he taught the Way to others. He spread out in amazing detail and with incredible generosity the techinques of mindfulness, of detachment,
the map of the road that leads to the overcoming of suffering, to attainment of the right method by which we rid ourselves of the fetters. He left no doubt that these techniques must be practised with unrelenting perseverance day upon day, life after life, but, given the will to persevere, he assures us the goal is certain.
As Sankaracharya and Tsong-kha-pa, the Supreme Teacher adapted the law to groups of individuals, particularly the occult hierarchy. The Master K.H. (Letter IX to A.P. Sinnett) speaks of "our Great Buddha - the patron of all the adepts, the reformer and the codifier of the occult system. . ." Not only did he put occult laws into systematic order, he enforced them. To thin the ranks, purge them, in fact, by driving out of the country thousands of the self-seeking pretenders was a catharsis of major importance for all time.
Here then we see the quintessence of penetration, of achievement, of power, and with all, compassion that melts the heart to adoration.
Could any but the utterly heedless fail to hear across the centuries the Lion's Roar!
STUDIES IN THE SECRET DOCTRINE
No. 13. Wisdom and Knowledge
In general, the honored texts mention two kinds of knowledge - worldly knowledge and Divine Knowledge.
They are referred to as `knowledge' and `Wisdom' in a quotation (S.D. I, 165) as follows:
" . . . . . . . knowledge dwells
In heads replete with thoughts of other men,
Wisdom in minds attentive to their own . . . . "
They are called `partial knowledge' and `actual knowledge' in Light on the Path:
"If the mind no longer transmits its fluctuations, its partial knowledge, its unreliable information to the soul, then in the inner place of peace, already found when the first rule has been learned - in that inner place there leaps into flame the light of actual knowledge.' (Light on the Path also calls both kinds of knowledge, `science').
In contrast, there is only one kind of Wisdom (as we shall use the expression), but it has many names. In The Voice of the Silence, it has been called `Nature'
`Help Nature and work on with her; and Nature will regard thee as one of her creators and make obeisance.'
`And she will open wide before thee the portals of her secret chambers, lay bare before thy gaze the treasures hidden in the very depths of her pure virgin bosom. Unsullied by the hand of Matter, she shows her treasures only to the eye of Spirit - the eye which never closes, the eye for which there is no veil in all her kingdoms.'
Moreover, knowledge is profoundly associated with `sight'. The word for ignorance in Sanskrit is Avidya, `lacking insight'. Here the root vid corresponds to an Indo-European root signifying `to see'; and we have it in our language, for example, as `vision'. The association is recognized in the verse, "And their eyes were opened and they knew him . . . " Luke 24, 31.
Now we must consider an observation in The Secret Doctrine (II, 88) , `How precise and true is Plato's expression, how profound and philosophical his remark on the (human) soul or EGO, when he defined it as "a compound of the same and the other".'
Should it seem that we now pursue a different course of explanation than was given by H.P.B. at that place, may we submit it as a same, even if it seems an other.
As said in Patanjali's Yogasutras,
`I-am-ness is precisely the unification of two powers (shakti) - seeing (drish) and showing (darshana).'
Here the word drish also means `knowing'. The word darshana also means `exhibiting, teaching'. `Seeing' means knowledge; it is the same. `Showing' - the other - is one of two alternatives: Buddhi (the `Spiritual Soul') or Kama (the `animal soul'). Manas (the `human mind'), according to choice, sees either of those two.
Manas is called the same for the reason given in The Voice of the Silence:
`Mind (Manas) the thinking principle or Ego in man, is referred to "Knowledge" itself, because the human Egos are called Manasaputras, the sons of Universal Mind.'
Kama and Buddhi (whichever be the case) are called the other for the reason given in The Secret Doctrine (I, 15):
`Apart from Cosmic Substance, Cosmic Ideation could not manifest as individual consciousness, since it is only through a vehicle of matter that consciousness wells up as "I am I".'
In short, because the mind (manas) is the same, while there are two possible others, we speak of `lower mind' and `higher mind' (or, worldly knowledge and Divine Knowledge).
Because Kama (worldly attraction) shows everything (while having nothing to show), and Wisdom (or Nature) shows Nothing (while having Everything to show), the disciple has ever been urged to cease his worldly attachments and to desire Nothing, so that he may see Everything. For, Everything is Nothing: `Call it by what name you will, it is a voice that speaks where there is none to speak . . . . .' (Light on the Path).
No. 14. The Stages of Knowledge.
`Plotinus, the pupil of the "God-taught" Ammonius, tells us, that the secret gnosis or the knowledge of Theosophy, has three degrees - opinion, science and illumination. "The means or instrument of the first is sense, or perception; of the second, dialectics; of the third, intuition. To the last, reason is subordinate; it is absolute knowledge, founded on the identification of the mind with the object known".' (H.P. Blavatsky in the article, "What is Theosophy").
In terms of the Doctrine, this means (1) learning the Word, (2) adding to the Word its meaning, (3) the direct realization of the the Word.
For many centuries, the Orient, especially India, has passed down spiritual knowledge in a way not yet appreciated by the West. The basic text, usually in verse to facilitate memorization, was learned word for word by the disciple. Then he was inspired by the teacher in that lineage to ask questions and be instructed accordingly. Guided in this way, he meditated on the words of the text, gradually uniting them to their meanings. It was usually a different teacher who would aid the disciple to attain the next stage - the personal experience of the doctrine represented in the text.
The three stages of knowledge are actually three levels of accumulation. This is a central idea of the whole system of training. The disciple adds to himself something he did not have in the beginning.
In contrast, no one can ever accumulate Wisdom. For example, the same marvellous Wisdom working in every mother produces the offspring, and yet
the mother is not thereby wise, nor has she the knowledge to ever do the same, relying on her own ability. Truly Wisdom is the universal Mother, her sons differing by reason of the father - who is that very son (responsible as he is for his destiny).
It may seem curious that none of the three degrees are characterized by Wisdom, yet it must be so understood. Each degree of knowledge is nevertheless in association with Wisdom, for the creative acts of learning, understanding, and realizing beget on the One Mother those acts themselves, which thus become continuing quantities.
No. 15. Study of the Doctrine.
`But the way is not found by devotion alone, by religious contemplation alone, by ardent progress, by self-sacrificing labor, by studious observation of life. None alone can take the disciple more than one step onward. All steps are necessary to make up the ladder.' (Light on the Path).
The student need not think he must go through the steps as they are literally expressed in one or other ancient book. The `stages of knowledge' have been explained in equivalent, yet totally dissimilar, language during the centuries. For example, it is not necessary to retire to a monastery to learn mental concentration, for this is a training incumbent upon most professions in the modern world, as well as in many non-professional occupations.
Although the first step in India was to learn the Word through hearing, it is not advisable to attempt a memorization of The Secret Doctrine. However, an equivalent, in spirit, to this stage has been tried by many students, and was urged by the late Dr. de Purucker. This consisted in assembling the data on particular subjects of The Secret Doctrine. In this way, the student gathered learning, but did not seize the meaning, even though he absorbed much of the fundamental raw material.
The next traditional step was to unite the words to their meanings. In India, this involved a worldly retirement - at least temporarily, during which time the student both obtained the authoritative explanations of the guru and meditated upon the Word. The practical equivalent to this in the West was for the student to attend regularly some group or association of persons united - as the United Lodge puts it - by `similarity of aim, purposse and teaching.' In the course of time, the student became indoctrinated in that group's interpretation of the meaning. This was valuable, perhaps indispensable, training, but did not necessarily unite to the words their meanings as understood by the author of The Secret Doctrine. We do not aim at any particular group by pointing out that often the explainers themselves did not have the exact understanding; and that often the students did not have the devotion, standard of life, or meditative practice, of disciples. Indeed, in this stage the West has been only partially successful.
An alternative equivalent was possible to a very few. Annie Besant reported that she quickly understood The Secret Doctrine. There is no reason to doubt her claim. The remarkable association which she had with the author of The Secret Doctrine - H.P. Blavatsky - testifies to an occult relation in a former life. Once an individual has gone through special occult study, the knowledge thereby acquired may reappear in the consciousness of another life, provided the proper stimulus is brought to bear. The usual stimulus of such a case is the contact with the living tradition in which one took an active part - perhaps was a vital link - in a (Continued on Page 90)
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The third issue of a small journal, The Western Buddhist, says it has been started as a venture for the Buddha-Dharma. As the official organ of the Western Buddhist Order, it aims to encourage the study of all schools of Buddhist thought, and to promote the acceptance of all Buddhist sects as being differing but complementary aspects of the Teaching of the Blessed One.
Although The Western Buddhist is being sent to people without a set subscription, naturally, in the present-day world, it must be supported financially if publication is to be continued. Those interested may practise the virtue of selfless giving by sending their gift to Rev. Jack Austin, Editor, BM /DHARMA, London, W. C. 1, England.
The June issue of The Voice of Montreal Lodge gives interesting bits of Lodge news and notes. Mr. and Mrs. E. Norman Pearson visited the Lodge on June 4th and Mr. Pearson's talk on `Man's Bodies - Now and Hereafter' attracted an audience of about one hundred. The Lodge has ceased its main activities for the summer. Four members will attend the convention of The Theosophical Society in America and three members made the trip to New York to hear Mr. J. Krishnamurti's talks. The Voice is supplemented with two additional pages of extracts from these lectures prepared by Miss T. Johannes and the Lodge Secretary, Miss Marie Reine Desrocher.
The receipt of Clarte, a quarterly published under the auspices of the European Federation of the Theosophical Society for the Societies of Belgium and Switzerland, reminds us that we have not acknowledged recently the regular receipt of the official journals of the Societies throughout the world. These have been received with thanks. Some magazines are now published quarterly instead of monthly, doubtless due to increased costs.
MRS. C. BENTON
We were deeply shocked to learn recently of the tragic death last May of Mrs. Elsie Duffield Benton (Mrs. Cyril Benton) whose death occured in a motor car accident at La Prairie, Quebec. Mr. Benton was injured in the same accident and is now recuperating in New York.
Mrs. Benton was the author of several booklets on Theosophical subjects and also wrote for The American Philosopher, which was produced and edited by her husband.
Our sincere sympathy is extended to Mr. Benton in the loss of his partner and coworker.
F. E. TITUS
Mr. Fernando Elwood Titus, a member of the Theosophical Society for over sixty-two years, died in Toronto on July 9, 1954, in his ninety-seventh year. He joined the Toronto Theosophical Society in May 1892, one year after the Lodge was formed. He continued his membership in the Lodge and took an active part in its affairs until demitting to the Harmony Lodge of this city, later the Blavatsky Lodge.
Mr. Titus was born in Oxford County, Ontario on July 10th, 1857 and, during his long lifetime he saw Ontario pass from a pioneering country with settlements hewn out of the dense forests, to a highly populated, industrial province. He was a graduate of Ann Arbor law school and after practicing law for a time in the Sate of Michigan, he moved to Gore Bay, Manitoulin Island. In 1920 he became associated with the Department of Lands and Forests, Ontario, and retired from his position there at the age of eighty-two.
A Theosophical funeral service was held in St. James Crematorium on Saturday afternoon, July 10.
Our sincere sympathy is extended to his widow and to his two sons, Edmund and Olcott.
During his long lifetime Mr. Titus was devoted to the Theosophical cause, it was his `continuing meditation'; the Bhagavad Gita teaches us that a man whose devotion has been broken off by death, is reborn in a family where greater opportunities are afforded to proceed further in the fields of his former endeavors.
STATEMENT OF FUNDS YEAR ENDING JUNE 30th, 1954
Balance from last year ........$ 617.20
Lodge Fees and Dues:
1954 .............. $866.15
1955 ............... 152.50
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General Donations ..........210.50
Vulcan Lodge, Bal. of A/C. .......... 36.88
Pamphlet, Sale of ...........15.00
Sales ............... 26.90
Bank Interest .............13.89
Total ................ $2284.84
New Members ........ 14
New Subscribers ........ 7
Members in Arrears ........38
Paid-up Membership ......... 354
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Total ................ $2284.84
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Petty Cash .............. 5.12
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- E. L. Thomson, General Secretary
STUDIES IN THE SECRET DOCTRINE (Continued from Page 87)
former life. Whatever may be due to the one providing such a stimulus, we may at least assume it would include gratitude.
The third, and last stage was the personal experience or realization of the Word. This has usually involved occult training, and is not our present topic.
It has often been wondered: What is the moral standard for the teacher and the aspirant? There are three main `poisons' of man - lust, hatred, and stupidity. Lust poisons the body; hatred, the mind; and stupidity, the speech. Ages ago, the experts in doctrine observed that their attainment did not involve freedom from lust or hatred. But stupidity had been dealt a severe blow. Thus men have been teachers - not of the highest - while not pure in body or mind. This has ever been a weighty problem. One solution was to overcome stupidity by study of the doctrine; to overcome hatred by self-sacrificing labor for mankind, constantly filling one's mind with thoughts of universal love; and to overcome lust by the consuming fire of Wisdom.
The true teacher - who understands the meaning as it really is - remains unaffected by the three `poisons', but he is as rare as finding the flower of the Udumbara fig tree. One must be a wasp to taste that flower, for it blossoms inside the fig. - Dattavara.
THE INNNER SENSES
By Olive Harcourt
The question is often asked "What is subjective clairvoyance?" It is the power of seeing into another plane of being with closed eyes during deep meditation. There is no doubt but that humanity possesses a second set of senses, able to receive impressions emanating from other states of being. All around us, impinging upon our senses, playing upon our nerves, influencing our brain matter, changing the form and color of our higher bodies, are millions of vibrations of which our outer senses are unaware. For one who has sufficiently trained his inner senses, the veil which hangs between this world and the next has grown a little thin, and can at times even disappear, leaving clear the impressions received.
Subjective sight and hearing - for clairaudience can also be trained to function - can best be developed by the practice of meditation. The mind can see and hear without the help of the corresponding objective senses, and according to the quality of the meditating mind will be the revelation to the inner senses. In one who has the habit of contemplative incursions into the higher realms, the psychic forces flow freely and can, as Schiller says, "carry him to the very portals of the impossible."
Subjective vision has no necessity to do away with matter of the physical plane before it can see Reality, for it can be non-existent. The limits of Time and Space are transcended, for one uses X-rays of the inner sight on a higher plane.
One is not normally aware of the existence of the inner sight because the things of matter have always played such a big part in one's environment, while the things of higher planes are out of sight and, therefore, out of mind. Matter is in effect the coming into
manifestation of the things of Reality, of the real Life hidden in another state of being.
If there is a strong desire on the part of students to expand consciousness on higher planes, let us see by what means it can best be done.
Seek out a quiet nook, either indoors or out, and make arrangements to be undisturbed for at least an hour; or, better, for an indefinite time. Having secured this interval of peace, sit with closed eyes, composed in mind and body, and protect yourself from possible evil influence by prayer or uttering a Divine Name. A powerful formula against any form of evil are the words: "In the Name of Jesus, let that depart which cannot abide." The writer, trained in this method, has never, in all her experience, seen with inner eyes anything but beauty and holiness. Then imagine yourself in beautiful surroundings, either in a lovely landscape or perhaps a church, and build it up in detail just as you would like to see it with your outer eyes. This picture must be kept firmly before the inner eyes and not allowed to slip away to the side, as it is apt to do at first.
Perhaps nothing will happen for some time, and perhaps a long time may elapse before any definite result is attained, but it may very well be that the very first attempt will bring beautiful pictures. In any case there will be a gradual unfoldment of powers and faculties. Carefully retain consciousness of this world, (even if that consciousness be sometimes in the background) for in that case there will be sufficient "I" left to stand on guard. There is no danger in this method, which has been pursued for long ages by adepts and students alike. This building up is called "Creative Imagination." What is imagination? It is not, of course, to be confused with fantasy. It is the power of conceiving images. It is the reflection of the Creative Power of God, the power behind all the great deeds and words which sway the world, behind the inspiration of the Scriptures, the works of the great poets and the teaching of the Founders of religion.
All who meditate in this way learn in time to discriminate between the false and the true, between that which ensues from their own building up and those flashes of intuition which initiate genuine occurrences and the appearance of beings whom we can both see and hear. But it is necessary at first to build up a picture of some place where one can look at whatever is shown and receive the beings which may arrive.
One learns to recognize that which is true by signs peculiar to one's own individualtiy. This can neither be taught nor explained, the miracles of sight and sound thus revealed are for oneself alone. It is by persistent transmitting of that which is revealed that succeeding generations of seers have obtained important and useful occult knowledge.
The work of building without hands is, of course, done in a less dense state of matter than that of our earth plane. The Four Elements of which matter is composed, exist, according to the Ancient Wisdom, upon every plane in Being, becoming more and more spiritual as they ascend the scale. The higher worlds are metaphysical regions where the physical no longer holds sway, regions of consciousness and matter, for every state of consciousness has its own grade of matter.
In visions of inner sight we reach the fifth Element, Akasa, called by the ancient Israelites the Unlimited Light. In Zohar, or Book of Splendid Light, it is said that the Celestial World penetrates the material world and communicates there directly with man by means
of his inner senses. This marvellous truth has been known to Jewry all down the ages.
When in meditation the true akasic Light has been achieved, the seer is never again quite the same. He has "found the Beloved." He is henceforth attuned to higher rates of vibration, and although the experience is not lasting on the physical plane, although the trumpets cease for a time to "sound around the battlements of Eternity," although nothing remains but the memory, still there will be a permanent uplift of the soul.
So far and no further than a man can contact his higher Self is he divine. To do that he must reach up and out to meet it, otherwise it will forever elude him. Beginners who are fearful of what they might see or hear of evil or ugliness, should remember that their motive should be sincere desire for higher knowledge rather than for self-glorification or to satisfy curiosity. Protected by purity of purpose, every aspect of life can be freed from evil.
By concentrating in meditation upon the most spiritual concepts of which our minds are capable, we prepare ourselves for the awakening upon the further shore, for the inconceivably more intense vibrations to which we will be subjected. Thus we shall be in tune with the conditions prevailing in the celestial world and the more easily shake off the last remaining shackles holding us to earth life, and lay up treasures - perhaps the only treasures - we can take over with us, the incorruptible treasures of a purified heart and soul.
One day a picture we have thus formed may suddenly assume a new aspect, and something we can recognize as Truth-Reality - will appear in full clarity. Then we can triumphantly say with Francis Thompson:
`"O world invisible, we view thee,
O world intangible, we touch tree,
O world unknowable, we know thee,
Inapprehensable, we clutch thee!"
This Ordered Universe, Edited by Corona Trew, Ph.D. Published by Theosophical Publishing House, 68 Great Russell St., London, W.C.1, England, 1954. Price 3s 6d.
This excellent 62-page booklet of smallish type is a study in universal law with the object of getting behind the facade of scientific law to the idea of Law itself. Members of the Theosophical Research Centre, London, prepared all of the, papers but one which was done by members in Manchester, with Dr. Trew editing the whole as a composite transaction.
The work of these groups ranged through all levels of manifestation and through aeons of time as presented by The Secret Doctrine principally.
In the final chapter on immediate applications of the Law, we find this: "It is not enough to know the Law intellectually, to love it, and to understand it intuitively; finally one must practise it. The two remaining levels of our being must be attuned to the Law - will, and action. When the atmic principle, the will, is allowed to take the reins, one lives the Law. One gains complete unhesitating trust in the Law; one lives by faith - not a mere passive faith, not resignation nor fatalism, but an active faith. . . right action at the physical level follows inescapably, as verdure follows the spring."
This is an A-1 piece of work. We recommend it.
- F. E. G.
June 26th, 1954
Dudley W. Barr, Editor,
The Canadian Theosophist.
52 Isabella St., Toronto 5, Ont.
Re. Alternative Policy for the T.S.?
Dear Sir: -
We read the article of T.H. Redfern, of Hyde, England, which appeared in your May issue, with both interest and pleasure. I could not at once discern just what it was supposed to be an alternative to. With the exception of Redfern's reference to Judge, all that he suggests is the present policy of the Society throughout the world. The only thought I had, was that he had in mind an alternative policy to that at present used by the Canadian Section of the Society. This without any consultation with the general membership for many years.
Most certainly we should have freedom of thought. All literature printed by Adyar, and other lands through the Sections, should automatically be made avaliable and for sale to members in Canada. There should be no barrier created by any lodge of such circulation and it should be left to the member to express freedom of though about the matter.
Instead we read in your June issue your Editor's quaint saying,
`Neo-Theosophy, or Leadbeaterinism or post-Blavatsky Theosophy (or whatever other name is used to distinguish the later accretions and distortions of the original message of Theosophy) is so widely accepted in the Society that many members are not aware of the fact that this popular brand of teaching is in many respects directly contradictory of the original source material and is far inferior in value. . ."
You go on to inform us that in your opinion Occult Chemistry should not have been reprinted. Well, that's your
opinion. We think that Redfern at least has a less biassed attitude. He hits Truth when he tells us that the personal verification of its premises lie in the direction of proper psychic perception plus new knowledge that mankind may have about molecular physics.
This constant harping on the errors of Neo-Theosophists, and the zeal for a return to "the old time religion" in Theosophy, has not left much impression on World-Theosophy. It probably has wrecked for the time being whatever hope there ever was for progress in our cause in Canada.
Since Occult Chemistry was first written there has been much progress by science in the understanding of the atom. Master K.H., in The Mahatma Letters, written so long ago, tilts at the accepted science of nearly a century ago. We can still read from them, and with great gain, the many details discussed about magnetism, and colors in nature. And see Alchemy revealed not as an ancient ignorance but possibly a key to lost knowledge. If Leadbeater did nothing else for us, and we have done nothing better, he did at least bring Theosophy into the heart and mind of many people. Not with wordy dispositions and mental conceits, but with the crisp and bright language easily understood. He knew of the world perceptible by advanced psychic gifts. This because he shared such an experience. We can only make whatever progress we can. There is a little time to harp on Leadbeater.
T.H. Redfern means well. I wonder if our good friends who sit on the National Executive of the Canadian Section, and who carry that onerous task of raising more and more interest among Canadians in Theosophy, realize that he has cast the die from which could be fashioned the return of Theosophy in its fourth quarter in the first century
of the Society to a better day? Tolerance is its keynote. Can we practise it?
Frederick E. Tyler, F.T.S.
519 Jarvis St., Toronto 5, Ont.
June 29th, 1954.
Editor, Canadian Theosophist.
The invitation in the June issue of the Canadian Theosophist prompts me to make a few remarks on Mr. Redfern's proposed Alternate Policy for the Theosophical Society.
How can one criticize such a proposal? The proposal itself is for tolerance. Therein lies the failure of "helpful suggestions." But as tolerance is tolerant of criticism, may I dare, even at the risk of being misunderstood and not tolerated.
Let us consider, what was the spirit that produced this and that work and direction of activity? Certainly it was not tolerance that produced The Secret Doctrine by H.P. Blavatsky. Nor was it tolerance that produced the works of Leadbeater. H.P. Blavatsky wrote The Secret Doctrine because she was appointed to do so. Leadbeater wrote what he did because he could get away with it. Let me explain this last remark, for I believe it is the crux of the whole difficulty of the present Theosophical Movement. The reason there are all the different books and divergent outlooks is that in various times and places people thought it all right to do what they did because they were able to do it. "I am hereby destiny, fulfilling the law. I pay rent, so I decide what goes on in this building. I control what is printed on this press, so I must know what to print on this press. Indeed, if my judgment were not sound, why would destiny place me in this authority?"
It is the master-slave view of the world. The few are destined to decide for the rest. People who dissent in private are looked upon as `harmonious' because their dissent is not known to others and therefore ineffective. People who dissent in public are looked upon as 'troublesome' because their dissent is known to others and therefore effective.
But after the great man has written his book, started his cult in harmony with his own ego and out of joint with the world at large, in the course of time the lofty ideal of tolerance dawns on his soul. He sheds this radiance on his followers.
In this way, a whole conglomeration of intolerances comes to be looked upon with tolerance. Certainly one must be of benign disposition to tolerate the sum total.
And before you can attain knowledge you must have passed through all places, foul and clean alike. (Light on The Path).
This is the real tolerance. We should not condemn the man who yields, but that does not imply we should yield. This points out a mistake that was made in the past with regard to the remarkable productions of Leadbeater. If one looks in the Canadian Theosophist in past years, he will find spirited condemnations of the movement that was based on Leadbeater's work. This was of course all wrong, as can be seen from the remark in Light on The Path. We should not criticize Leadbeater, and perhaps in this respect, I am in full agreement with the Alternative Policy.
What should be done is illustrated by the well-kept city, which out of consideration for the health of the inhabitants does not allow debris and refuse to accumulate in the streets. The city managers do not argue against the debris. They do not criticize it. They merely have it swept away.
But if the city managers do not do their duty, if their minds are untouched
by reason, they still will be touched by pain. For, as the Alternative Policy mentions in point No. 7, one should recognize the Adyar Library. And if he recognizes it, he 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". And if one learns the works in the Adyar Library, he will be even more startled to realize that it has works so superior to the writings of Leadbeater, 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. And this is necessarily painful because it is true.
In short, one should bear in mind the goal, and if Theosophists are serious in hoping for a further impetus in the last quarter of the century, they should learn to appreciate such an impetus. It does not seem to be "in the card's" that any impetus is going to come to the place where it will be "averaged in" with every last "adventures of an astral tramp" and accorded the same respect due to the works which inspired us in the early stages of study. That impetus is proud - not too proud to go to all places, foul and clean alike - but certainly too proud to bend to the man who pays the rent, who owns the printing press; too proud to join the tolerant community that tolerates good and bad alike "for the sake of harmony". For it is said, "When the disciple is ready, the Master appears." And the disciple is never ready if he refuses to discriminate between good and evil.
- Alex Wayman.
Five letters have been received relative to Mr. Redfern's article; the remaining three will appear next month. The two printed above express opposite points of view, and similarly, in the three others differences of approach are indicated. This is to be expected; as Ossian said in The Return of the Hero, "It is often the case that words of the profoundest wisdom from one wise man will sound to another, equally wise, like wind in the eaves of a house. It is unaccountable that this should be so; but only what is unaccountable is significant."
We ourselves could not endorse fully all the proposals of Mr. Redfern, but considered it desirable that his suggestions should be printed and commented on by readers of the magazine in the hope that even if the draft were unacceptable, discussion of it might lead to a clearer understanding.
The Theosophical Movement is but twenty-one years away from its one hundredth anniversary. Whether in that short period of time it can become, "a numerous and united body of people ready to welcome the new torch bearer of truth" (H.P.B.) is questionable. One encouraging sign is that in the past few years there has been a letting down - or a breaking down - of the iron curtains which separate the various Societies.
Regardless of which Society a member may be `born into' or may join because of first contacts - or for other reasons - a bond of comradeship does exist with all others undertaking the same task, beginners and advanced students alike. `Similarity of aim, purpose and teaching' could become the broad basis for united action, but if the `similarity' be limited to certain books and teachings the breadth disappears. Members of each school of thought within the Movement are drawn together by the `similarities' which they accept in common, and which in time may become a creed, despite the creedlessness of the Society. Creeds are vessels of iron - Brotherhood is the universal solvent.
ORIGINAL AND UP-TO-DATE THEOSOPHY
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BLAVATSKY INSTITUTE PUBLICATIONS
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These four books are cloth bound, price $1 each.
- THE EXILE OF THE SOUL by Professor Roy Mitchell has been published in book form. Attractively bound in yellow cover stock. This sells at the price of $1.00.
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The above four books are attractively bound; papperbound $1.00, cloth, $1.50.
Professor Roy Mitchell's COURSE IN PUBLIC SPEAKING especially written for Theosophical students, $3.00.
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