Vol. XXXVII, No. 1 Toronto, March-April, 1956 Price 35 Cents
The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document
Extracts from Mr. N. Sri Ram's Address to the 80th International Convention at Adyar, December 26, 1955.
"Opening this 80th Annual Convention of our Society, I bid you all a most hearty welcome to its International Headquarters. Adyar is a real home to every Theosophist, for here more than anywhere else in the world is the true character of the Society represented as approximately as it can be.
"We see displayed in this Hall the names of all the National Societies, which are Sections of the International Society, with the year of its charter marked against each. On such an occasion as this we see also their flags, with the flag of the United Nations occupying the central place amongst them all. All this is but an outward and visible sign of the universality and the inward spiritual unity of the Society. Above the United Nations flag, which may be regarded as the flag of all humanity, runs the motto of the Society: `There is no religion higher than Truth.' The highest Truth attainable by any human being and the widest possible Brotherhood - not only with all humanity, but with all that lives - are the dual mark of the aspirations of every true Theosophist. It is idle to ask how far, as a Society, we have achieved these aims. I am content to say that it is for each of us to realize how far short of them we fall in our individual attitudes and in all that we attempt to do through the Theosophical Society and in other ways.
"Inevitably each one of us tends to think in terms of his national thought, which is natural and good, in so far as that thought expresses the genius of his nation or his national culture, but also in terms of the prejudices of his group and so-called national interests. But he is the true Theosophist who has realized that the welfare and happiness of each and every people on this earth are of equal importance. No one's happiness is less important, from the standpoint of the universal life and evolution, than the happiness of another. Suppose the members of the Society everywhere stood in all possible and practicable ways for this one truth; would not the Society become at once a body distinguished from all other bodies by this very universality, and a potent instrument for achieving that human unity which is the next step of human progress? We would then be forerunning a new humanity made whole and unregimented by any external factors.
`"Every Lodge of the Theosophical Society exists in order to become a beacon-light in its own orient, the centre of a streaming influence carrying the white light which includes all beautiful colors. The truth which we call Theosophy is a truth which underlies, overshadows and synthesizes all presentations, as our great Founder, H.P.B., has so magnificently attempted to prove in her Secret Doctrine. As Theosophists we owe a duty to humanity as well as the nation with which we happen to have a special tie, and while we may delight in and try to share the beauties of any particular religion or presentation with which we happen to be familiar, we must also in some measure be open to the influence of and render homage to the truth which is in others. It is not that everyone should study everything, which is neither possible nor necessary, but it is a matter of inwardly growing those wings of comprehension which will eventually envelop all life and all truth. The famous words, `The world is my country,' have today a living significance which the phrase did not possess, except to the few, in any previous age.
"Studying the reports from the various Sections and Federations, one is struck by the fact that the problem confronting our earnest members varies from Section to Section. Obviously we are in the midst of an unprecedented world crisis which is not only material but also moral, marked by competing ideas in the midst of which we have to discover the way to a happier future.
" 'We are trying to find ourselves and solve the many problems that arise in our minds,' writes the General Secretary for Finland, Miss Signe Rosvall. Our special work, says Mr. Rohit Mehta, the General Secretary for India, is `to bring an ideological clarification to the people, to help them to discover the fundamental values, to be steady in the midst of the tremendous ideological impacts of this time.' Dr. Gasco, the General Secretary for Italy, surveying the forces striving hard to win the allegiance of the people, especially in his country, speaks of the need to counteract the tendencies which cause `the distortion of the intellectual principle,' and have brought the world to a condition in which, devoid of the restraining influences of the old ideals, humanity is being pushed to the edge of a precipice. It is not necessary for me here to multiply such quotations, which indicate how timely was the proclamation of the Wisdom, when the world was still on the eve of the present extraordinary developments, and how important and needed is the guidance which it can give precisely at such a time as this.
"There are of course other areas where, even though the same worldwide issues may be present, conditions are somewhat more settled and call for a different approach on the part of those who seek to spread the influence of the Wisdom. Mr. J.S. Perkins, the National President of the Theosophical Society in America, begins his report with the remark that our approach, even with regard to the most complex questions, has to be simple and practical and expressed in `life-renewing terms'. What is needed in the Lodges is not an `indifferent Theosophy' but an active interest based on `an awareness of the eternal Law'. I may here remark that Dhamma or Law, including both the universal law and the law that works itself out through each individual being, is the other word for Wisdom, according to the Lord Buddha's teachings. It is the law that lays down all that is embodied in the fundamental frame of things, perceivable in the processes of life, death, renewal and the whole course of evolution.
"What a far cry from the truths of
such a fundamental Wisdom are, the ideas of various psychic, spiritualistic and pseudo-occult cults with which in some countries, Theosophy tends to be mixed up in the minds of many people. It is of vital consequence for the future of the Society and its proper work that our approach to things of fundamental importance, should remain unconfused by any element which caters subtly or not so subtly to the weakness that is in human nature for the emphasis of oneself, that self which has eventually to be completely transcended.
"It is gratifying to come across Lodges here and there which stand out by their exemplification of the spirit of Theosophical brotherliness. The report from Mexico sent by the General Secretary, Senor Adolfo de la Pena Gil, happens to mention one of them as `a perfect Lodge,' judged by the mutual love among its members and service to others. It is a great encouragement to know that there are such Lodges. There are Lodges in every Section which pull a greater weight than others, and there are Lodges which can look back upon a long record of work, sustained in spite of inevitable vicissitudes and the difficulties which always beset every forward movement. It is easy to make members by saying to the people whom we approach that Theosophy is at bottom the same as what they already profess. But members who are brought in by any such compromise with Truth do not usually stay long, and even while they stay in the Society are likely to be more a dead weight or hindrance than a help. On the other hand, we should welcome anyone, however simple and unimportant he may seem, if his attraction is the pure Truth as it has been stated or as we may be able to state it.
" `There has been unwonted activity in Lodges in Canada,' writes Colonel E.L. Thomson, the General Secretary, and after referring particularly to the Lodges in Western Canada which he was able to visit last year, he says that the prospects are bright, encouraging the hope that `The Theosophical Society in Canada will eventually bloom and blossom like the proverbial fruit-tree.' The membership in East Africa has gone up during the year from 325 to 624, nearly 95%, a phenomenal increase which must be due partly to the conditions which exist there, the need felt for the sustaining influence of the wisdom, but is also attributed, by the General Secretary, Mr. V.H. Kapadia, to the, work of Mr. Sitaram Upadhyaya from Gujerat in India who toured that Section for several months. Mr. Gretar Fells, the General Secretary for Iceland, a far-away Section, little visited by Theosophical workers from outside, reports that the teaching and ideas of Theosophy are steadily `filtering into the national consciousness as a fructifying stream from high places'. One of the most active Sections, also a little out of the way, to which I would like to refer here, is the Philippines Section, of which the National President and guiding spirit is Dr. Benito F. Reyes. He was the head of the Philosophy department in the University of Manila, but because of his association with Theosophy and the work of the Theosophical Society in so responsible a capacity, he has been made to relinquish the post he had held in the University, surprising as this may seem, and he may now only teach English, and not Philosophy in any of its branches. An event like this makes us realize that there is not as much freedom in these days of boasted advance as perhaps we like to imagine. Dr. Reyes is one of those, of whom there are many all over the world, to whom Theosophy means more than any other influence in life, whose lives have been immeasurably enriched by it. We cannot but specially honor those whose
sacrifice sets an example to their fellow-members of loyalty to Theosophy and the Theosophical Society.
"I am glad to advert here to the annual report from France, because it strikes a note of serene hope, following the dissensions which have agitated the members of that Section during the last six years: Another Section where there have been differences of a disturbing nature, but which is now able to report a state of unity, is Chile in South America. Thanks to the tact and wisdom of Senor L.T. Alargon, till recently the General Secretary, and his coworkers, the differences which existed there have been happily smoothed out and there is today in that Section `an atmosphere of fraternal peace, union and collaboration'. I personally have the trust that in a Society which stands for so beautiful a teaching as Theosophy and has had the inestimable blessing of having been started under the inspiration of the Masters of the Wisdom, all dissensions and differences due to our human frailties and ignorance must disappear sooner or later like mist before the sunshine. Even though I sometimes receive from one Section or another reports which put me in a perplexing position and are calculated to cause disheartenment, if not despair, I am able, because of this faith, to remain on the whole unperturbed and serene. At any rate, if there are clouds in one or two quarters, there is sunshine in others. In England, which has always been an important Section from the standpoint of its strength as well as influence, Mr. C.R. Groves, the General Secretary, speaks of `the steady work that has gone on in Federations, Lodges and Centres,' week by week, the effect of which, as he says, must be truly `incalculable towards Theosophizing the world'.
"A notable event of the year was the celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of the Australian Section, which took place at the Section Convention held during Easter in Sydney. Miss Emma Hunt, the Society's Recording Secretary, was requested by Mr. J.L. Davidge, General Secretary, and his Council to preside on the occasion, and after the Jubilee, she undertook a tour through the main Theosophical centres in Australia and New Zealand, which gave a welcome impetus to the work in these Sections. An event of a similar nature, to which Mr. Rohit Mehta refers in his report, is the completion of sixty years of Theosophical work at Banaras. Banaras was made the headquarters of the Indian Section in 1895, and the first Convention of the Indian Section was held there in October 1896.
"Following the Diamond Jubilee Convention in Sydney, a summer school was held by the Australian Section at a nearby seaside resort. Such summer schools have proved very popular in many places, in Europe, for instance, where they are held at different places to suit the linguistic needs of the members. Besides the two regional summer schools, one for the German-speaking Sections at Pichl, Austria, and the other for the French-speaking Sections at Louette St. Pierre in Belgium, there were summer schools this year in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany all of which I had the good fortune to be able to attend. In New Zealand they had a summer school during Easter at Orewa, and at `Olcott' in the United States of America, following the practice of previous years a summer school was held after the annual Convention, attended by some 300 members from all parts of the Section. There were similar gatherings in India, at Adyar and Baroda, respectively, but styled regional camps. Besides these camps, in India as well as England, there have been
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THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS
When a Bedouin boy, Muhammed the Wolf, tossed a stone into a cave near Khirbet-Qumran on the western shore of the Dead Sea in the spring of 1947, his careless gesture started a series of events which were destined to have a profound effect upon our knowledge of the Bible - perhaps, even, upon the question of Christian origins. The karmic stone shattered a pottery jar and the noise of its breaking led to the exploration of the cave, and the discovery of other jars, each containing a leather scroll. These were removed and sold by the boy and his companion, eventually coming into the hands of scholars who appreciated their great significance. The Dead Sea Scrolls had become part of the world's inheritance from the past.
When the importance of the discovery was realized, careful searches were organized of the entire Qumran area. Over two hundred and sixty-seven caves were explored and between 1949 and 1952 many other scrolls, together with some papyri dating from the early centuries of Islam, were resurrected from their long internment in forty of the caves. One cave, discovered in 1952, contained parts of at least sixty, and perhaps one hundred, manuscripts. All this material is now being examined with the greatest of care, but this is a task of decades as many fragments, perhaps tens of thousands of pieces varying in size from about that of the hand to small particles, must be arranged, classified and translated.
Fortunately some of the scrolls are almost intact and translations have already been made of these. Six distinct compositions are represented by the eleven scrolls which were first discovered in 1947. These are,
(1) The Old Testament Book of Isaiah in its entirety. This is the longest of the scrolls and is of tanned sheepskin, one foot wide and about twenty-four feet in length. It is in a remarkably good state of preservation. There are certain differences in wording from the accepted King James version, but apparently these are not of serious consequence.
(2) A commentary on the book of Habakkuk, one of the minor prophets of the Old Testament. This is a smaller scroll, five and a half inches wide and about five feet in length. The text is clearly and beautifully written, the work of some ancient scribe whose heart was in his labors. The Old Testament book of Habakkuk contains three chapters, but scholars have often been doubtful as to the authenticity of Chapter 3. This chapter does not appear in the scroll. The contents consist of the Habakkuk texts with extensive commentaries on each verse; for example, Chapter 1 Verse 13 reads, "Why do ye look on faithless men, but thou art silent at the swallowing by the wicked man of one more righteous than he?" The commentary says, "This means the house of Absolom and the men of their party, who kept silent at the chastisement of the Teacher of Righteousness and did not keep him against the man of the lie, who rejected the law in the midst of their whole congregation." No doubt the commentary was perfectly clear to the original scribe and his contemporaries, but for readers of 2000 years later it raises more problems than the original verse. What was `the house of Absolom' and `the men of the party'; who was `the Teacher of Righteousness' and the `man of the lie' and what was the incident referred to? Possibly re
search in other ancient manuscripts will throw some light on these questions.
(3) The Manual of Discipline, which is about six feet long. This is apparently a text book of the sect (considered by some to be Essenes) which hid the scrolls in the cave at a time of crisis.
(4) The Lamech scroll; this is in very bad condition and the contents may never be fully known. The ancient leather has solidified into almost a glue and the problem of unrolling is very difficult. (1)
(5) War of the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness; this is about six inches wide by about nine feet in length and is apparently one of the scripts of the sect.
(6) Four fragments of Psalms resembling in character the Psalms of the Old Testament.
One very interesting discovery was that of two bronze or copper rolls about one foot wide and five feet long on which the text is inscribed so deeply that it stands out on the other side. These are both so brittle that great difficulty has been encountered in unrolling them, as the ancient metal breaks into small fragments.
Within two years of the original discovery a controversy arose concerning the date of the manuscripts; this became known as "the battle of the scrolls". Some scholars, A Dupont-Sommer of the Sorbonne for example, put the date at about 200 B.C.; others considered that they were much later, some even suggesting the Middle Ages as the date of writing. This controversy has now been settled, and archeologists and Biblical scholars are agreed that the scrolls are undoubtedly of very ancient origin, the earliest Biblical manuscripts that have yet been discovered. The age has been determined by, (1) a radiocarbon test of a portion of the linen wrapping around one of the original Qumran finds; this was not decisive, but gave the age as 1917 years with a possible margin of two hundred years, plus or minus. The radiocarbon test is made on the ash of a burned portion of the material to be examined and of course with such rare manuscripts, the destruction of even a small portion for the test is undesirable.
(2) by identification of persons and incidents named in the texts;
(3) by historical allusions in other documents;
(4) by the internal evidence, such as comparison of ideas, vocabularies and literary relationships.
Another `battle of the scrolls' arose in 1955 concerning the implications of the texts contained in the manuscripts, and it is with this that Theosophical students will doubtless be more interested. This controversy concerns the ultimate effect of the texts upon Christian thought; as one scholar put it `the uniqueness of Jesus is at stake'. The experts are now divided into two schools holding opposite views on this matter, first, those who with Dr. Millar Burrows of Yale, hold to the view that the scrolls will have no effect whatever on our present `basic teachings' of Christianity, nor on Christian origins; second, those, who consider that the texts throw considerable light on the vexed problem of Christian origins, and that the prototype of Jesus, or whoever was the real founder of what later became called Christianity, is the personage, who is not named in the text, but who is referred to in the Manual of Discipline as `the Teacher of Righteousness.' If the basis of Christian teachings can be found in the scrolls, then the whole story of the virgin birth of Jesus as the only Son of God, may have to be dismissed as an historical event and be reclassified as a myth designed and propagated to support the alleged `uniqueness' of his life and his teachings. Chris-
tianity might even return to the mystical approach, namely, that the virgin birth is not a biological event which occurred in Bethlehem two thousand years ago; this is merely an outer symbol of an inner transformation within the aspiring disciple. The inner Christ is born of the pure soul, the 'Mary'; its `father in heaven' is the spirit, it is `begotten of the One'. That mystical birth or transformation does not belong to any particular time or nation; it occurs whenever or wherever a member of the human race awakens from the dream of separateness and realizes his or her own innate divinity. It must be noted that nothing suggesting this mystical teaching has appeared in the scrolls translated up to the present; these are lacking in any mystical or occult ideas unless they have been expressed in a symbolism not obvious to the uninitiated reader.
However, religious differences of opinion are seldom if ever settled by evidence, reason and logic, and the controversy is fated to continue for generations. Independence of thought in religious matters is circumscribed by psychological barriers such as fear, prejudice and pride which must be surmounted before the Christian church will permit any change in accepted beliefs. There will always remain the 'hard core' of the orthodox who will never allow their faith to be disturbed by even considering the slightest broadening of their conception of what Christianity is. The second `battle of the scrolls' is only begun. Many manuscripts are not yet translated and years of research must be done before an accurate picture emerges for the impartial scholar. Whatever evidence becomes available from time to time should be considered, carefully, and reason and intuition should be used in reaching a sound conclusion, despite the rationalization and propaganda of both sides.
It seems to be fairly well established, although it is questioned by some, that those who buried the scrolls were members of a Jewish sect, the Essenes. This is supported by the evidence disclosed in the examination of the ruins of an old monastery in the vicinity oaf the caves but closer to the Dead Sea. The discovery of the scrolls turned the attention of archeologists to these old ruins and it was found to have been the centre of a well-organized and long-continuing community of sect members. The main building, 98 feet by 120 feet, contained a large chamber which was apparently an assembly hall with a raised stone platform at one end. There was a kitchen and refectory with about one thousand bowls and jars neatly stacked. Another large room was evidently a scriptorium where scrolls were copied; it had contained tables and benches made of brick and hard plaster. Three ink wells were found, one with dried ink still in it. There is a pottery and a mill for grinding grain. The jars and lamps found in the ruins were similar to the jars and lamps found in the scroll caves. Around the outside of the monastery were small caves and overhangings of rock which had evidently been used as shelters for those persons who did not live within the monastery buildings. On one side is a cemetery containing over one thousand graves, indicating a fairly long period of occupancy.
Archeologists have been able to reconstruct something of the history of the building. Apparently it was built in the 2nd century B.C. and was occupied from the end of that century until 68 A.D. Roman coins, Roman arrowheads and other evidences of temporary Roman occupancy were found in the ruins, and the inference is that during the first Jewish revolt against the Romans, 67-68 A.D. a legion came upon the isolated community and either killed
its inhabitants or caused them to flee. The reasonable conclusion is that the library of the monastery was at that time placed in the clay jars and securely hidden in the nearby caves to preserve them from the invaders.
The archeological evidence, together with the evidence of two of the Scrolls. The Manual of Discipline and the War of the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness, indicates that those who lived in the monastery were Essenes, one of the three Jewish sects of the Sadducees, the Pharisees and the Essenes. J.B. Lightfoot, noted Biblical grammarian and exegetist, in his commentary on St. Paul and Philemon, draws attention to the fact that while Jesus condemned the first two, there is no condemnation of the Essenes. The word does not appear in the New Testament, although the Essenes were one of the principal sects of the day. There is a tradition that the unknown years of Jesus from the age of twelve to the time of his ministry, were spent in an Essene community where he underwent the strict mode of life and stern disciplines of the order.
The Essenes are the great enigma of Jewish history. Our knowledge of them is derived from three writers of the first century A.D., Pliny, Josephus and Philo, but nothing is known of the origin of the order or of the circumstances of its complete disappearance in the first century A.D. Pliny, by the way, definitely located an Essene community in the exact area where the monastery and buried library were found, `on the western shore of the Dead Sea above Engadda and north of `Masada, a fortress on a rock'. The word `Essene' has been variously derived from roots meaning `the holy ones', `the silent ones', `the healers'. It was an ascetic order, very strict in its ways of life and limited in its interpretation of the scriptures. Josephus said that they read much of the writings of the ancients, but Philo adds that they did not pursue the logic of philosophy, did not expend, `any superfluous care in examining Greek terms', but were concerned only with the moral side. More is known of their ways of life than of their teachings; this is understandable as strict oaths of secrecy were imposed on all who entered the order. Apparently they drew upon Pythagorean and Zoroastrian sources, as well as Jewish teachings. Although the order was an ascetic one with strict rules of conduct and of speech, it was a practical working brotherhood, and the ancient writers speak of the affection which prevailed among the members and of the respect with which they were received in the outer world. All properties, even to the clothes of the members, were held in common, and all work was for the common benefit. Farming and artisanship were the main means of support; they also studied the medicinal properties of herbs and were noted as healers.
The similarities between the Essenes and the early Christian community have been noted by many scholars recently. M. Dupont-Sommer, author of the first book on the scrolls (1950), translated under the title The Deed Sea Scrolls; a Preliminary Survey, is one who is certain that the scrolls contain Essene teachings and that these bear such striking similarities to the early Christian, that the link between the two must be acknowledged. This is disputed by others who question M. Dupont-Sommer's interpretation of several of the texts. Edmund Wilson, author of The Scrolls from the Dead Sea, 1955, Oxford University Press, points out that Dupont- Sommer's intuitive understanding of other disputed texts has later proved to be correct, even though the first interpretation was apparently based upon insufficient evidence. It is upon the question of the possible Essene
origin of Christianity that the present controversy of the scrolls has arisen.
M. Dupont-Sommer writes: "Everything in the Jewish New Covenant heralds and prepares the way for the Christian New Covenant. The Galilean Master, as He is presented to us in the writings of the New Testament, appears in many respects as an astonishing reincarnation of the Teacher of Righteousness. Like the latter, He preached penitence, poverty, humility, love of one's neighbor, chastity. Like him, He prescribed the observance of the Law of Moses, the whole Law, but the Law finished and perfected, thanks to His own revelations. Like him, He was the Elect and the Messiah of God, the Messiah redeemer of the world. Like him, he was the object of the hostility of the priests, the party of the Sadducees. Like him, He was condemned and put to death. . . In the Christian Church, just as in the Essene Church, the essential rite is the sacred meal, whose ministers are the priests. Here and there, at the head of each community, there is the overseer, `the bishop'. And the ideal of both Churches is essentially that of unity, communion in love even going so far as the sharing of common property."
These and many other similarities raised the question of priority in M. Dupont-Sommer's mind, and led to his conclusion that as the Christian sect was later in time, the borrowing had been on its part. However, the teachings ascribed to Jesus have a different quality to those set out in the more ancient scrolls, and it may have been - but this is merely a speculation on my part - that Jesus was a reformer of the Essene sect and that the Essenes disappeared as a sect because they became known as Christians.
None of the translated scrolls throws conclusive light on the problem, nor is there any historical evidence that the founder of Christianity was an Essene. In view of the interest which has been aroused in this question through the discovery of the scrolls, Theosophical students may wish to reread G.R.S. Mead's Did Jesus Live 100 B.C.? Mead was an outstanding student of early and pre-Christian literature; it was at the suggestion of C.W. .Leadbeater that he endeavored to find some historical character around 100 B.C. who might have been the Jesus of the scriptures; there is no historical evidence of Jesus at the time of his alleged appearance.
The Dead Sea Scrolls have been found, but their real significance is yet to be unfolded. They may merely add to our knowledge of pre-Christian religious and ascetic orders in Palestine, and help to fill in the gap in intertestamentary literature. On the other hand, they may help to clarify our understanding of the beginnings of Christianity and to show that the central figure was not the immaculate Son of God, born of a virgin in the year 1 A.D., but a man like ourselves, differing from ordinary humanity in that he had accomplished the task of realizing his divine Self, and thus became for his age and generation `the first born of many brethren'. Further translations of the scrolls will be awaited with keen interest.
In the introduction to The Secret Doctrine H.P.B. deals at considerable length with the disappearance of ancient occult manuscripts. In one section she wrote, "The collective researches of Orientalists, and especially of late years the labors of students of Comparative Philology and the Science of Religion, have enabled them to ascertain that an incalculable number of MSS., and even of printed works known to have existed, are no more to be found. They have dis-
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NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
A word to members who are in arrears. There are but four months now to the close of our financial year in June. Sad to relate ten per cent of the members have not yet sent in their annual dues! I wonder if this is apathy, lack of interest or just pure forgetfulness? If Theosophy means anything at all to you, and I am sure it does, I would suggest you put yourselves in good-standing by sending in the small amount of two-and a-half dollars to your lodge as soon as possible. According to our rules six months in arrears means the cessation of the magazine, and twelve months, the relegation of members to the unpaid list.
Miss Helen Zahara, an International Lecturer of the Society, paid a surprise visit on personal grounds to Toronto in January, and was asked to speak at the lodge there, which she graciously did and at the same time conveyed greetings and best wishes from the many Sections that she had so far visited on her present tour. These comprised Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico. Such a list gives one some idea of the extent of our worldwide organization. I take this opportunity of thanking the Theosophists in each of those countries for their good wishes and reciprocate these with much pleasure. Everybody was delighted with Miss Zahara's lecture and a bouquet of flowers was sent to her from the lodge. I also had the pleasure of taking Miss Zahara to lunch when we discussed many things in common, acquaintances and theosophy in general. Visits of this kind tend to bind the organization together and help in the great work that we are mutually engaged upon.
Recently the General Executive has been making special efforts to help the lodges in their work to popularize Theosophy. Having a certain financial amount marked for that purpose, it is most anxious to get a move on, but beyond financing certain lecturers to visit the lodges, little has been done. The blame, if blame there be, is owing largely to the apathy of the lodges themselves, in that none so far has intimated how they might be helped. It is difficult for Headquarters to know just what the lodges would like and in what endeavor they are especially interested. It is not the purpose of headquarters to act as a nurse in the interior economy of the lodges; but to augment and activate the exterior efforts that they may be making to bring the teachings before the public. It would be a wonderful thing if each lodge were to get together and formulate a program of action showing how far they can progress under their own steam and how their efforts could be augmented by help from headquarters. Several of the lodges have representatives on the Executive Committee, but none so far has come forward with any constructive ideas on this line. Is this the fault of the Executive members themselves or is it a lack of initiative on behalf of the lodges? Up to date the only delving into the fund I have spoken about is, as I said before, the financing of lecturers; and incidentally the preparing and distribution of pamphlets for the use of the lodges. What else can we do? The lodges themselves can help solve the problem.
It is very gratifying to be able to announce another list of new members who have joined recently. To each and all I extend hearty greetings on joining the Society: Mr. John H. Jefferson, Mrs.
Dora M. Jefferson, Mr. Ronald R. Smith, Mrs. Mary E. Smith, Mrs. Mary A. Mairs, Mrs. Sylvia Hill, Mr. Hugh G. Harrison, Mr. John Cassen, Mrs. Nancy Creeth, Mrs. Rosemary Beaton, all of the new Canyon Lodge, and Mrs. Annie L. Chatwin, of the Vancouver Lodge.
A New Lodge
It is with the greatest pleasure I announce the formation of a new lodge. Ten new members have signed a petition for a lodges in North Vancouver, the name of which will be The Canyon Lodge, with Mr. Charles R. Carter as President, and Mrs. A.R. Creeth, Secretary. A charter will be made out accordingly. I proffer to the Canyon Lodge my congratulations and sincerest best wishes to all concerned in this new venture, and I trust it will grow and prosper and become another beacon light in our far flung Sectional area.
We are running pretty close to the wind these days in regard to the number of copies of the magazines that we have printed. However this is being increased owing to the increase in membership and to the many requests we get for extra copies of certain issues, testifying to the interest that is taken in the articles published. But we are practically out of the July-August 1955 issue; would some kind friend favor us with copies if they can spare them? Many thanks.
For some time now it has become apparent that something should be done to explain to the membership the difference between the General Secretary and his membership in the Toronto Lodge. It seems that in the minds of most members the two are indissolubly bound together. This was brought vividly to the front when I attended a recent meeting of one of our lodges. Although I was received as the General Secretary, it was generally felt that I was there as a member of the Toronto Lodge, holding office of General Secretary but nevertheless a representative of that Lodge. This is erroneous. When I visit lodges, I do so as the General Secretary of the Theosophical Society in Canada and in such capacity to give advice and help in their problems and so on, and not as a member of my personal lodge. It seems to me that the stumbling block is caused by the fact that the headquarters of the T.S. in Canada happens to be in the same building as the Toronto Lodge; this leads to misconceptions which I would like to see eliminated. Perhaps this short explanation will clear up the situation.
This month's Notes contain much of importance, I hope it is read carefully by all concerned and that they will respond by helping along the good work as far as they are able. This is an exceptional year for us and everybody should put his shoulder to the wheel. Theosophy is permeating every strata of society as it never has before and the harvest promises to be a bumper one. The results of long laborious years of seeming fruitless endeavor are about to be realized, so let us be ready.
- E. L. T.
Jan. 11, 1956.
To the Officers of The Theosophical Society in Canada:
I hereby certify that I have today examined the records of the above Society and that in my opinion these are well and accurately maintained.
H. Marquis, Public Accountant.
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
- The Organ of the Theosophical Society in Canada
- Published bi-monthly
- 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 E. Bunting, 75 Rosedale Ave., Hamilton, Ont.
Charles M. Hale, 26 Albion Ave., Toronto,Ont.
Miss M. Hindsley, 52 Isabella St., Toronto, Ont.
George I. Kinman, 262 Sheldrake Blvd., Toronto 12, Ont.
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
All Letters to the Editor, Articles and Reports for Publication should be sent to The Editor: Dudley W. Barr, 52 Isabella St., Toronto 5, Ont.
Letters intended for publication should be restricted to not more than five hundred words.
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AMONG THE LODGES
Following is a report of the activities of the Hamilton Lodge
The Hamilton Theosophical Society continues to make progress. The Fireside Meditation meetings, given a trial at the beginning of the season, will be maintained to the end of the fiscal year, as they have proved very successful in kindling enthusiasm and good-fellowship among members and friends. Although meetings were held in locations not as readily accessible as a downtown room, the attendance held up very well and has now commenced to increase above the comparable period of least year when we met in the Y.M.C.A. A great increase in the amount of collections has gladdened the heart of Mrs. Gladys Miller, our treasurer.
New inquirers are now coming forward, largely as the result of a lecture given by Mr. Cecil Williams, vice-president, in the Royal Connaught Hotel, on "The Secret Science Behind Oral Roberts' Miracles". This was so well attended that extra seats, which crowded the room, had to be brought in.
On December 17th "The Dynamics of Fearless Living" was the topic of Professor Ernest Wood's lecture at the beautiful Mills Memorial Library of McMaster University, there was an attendance of 77, this was surprising as the 17th was the Saturday before Christmas. When asked to explain this title, Professor Wood gave a reverse illustration - the opposite he said was the fear of Dynamic living - fear of the future and of our capacity to deal with it, the keynote, he said, was harmony between man and his world. This particular type of lecture seemed to appeal to the newcomers.
Mr. Harry Marquis gave a particularly brilliant lecture in the Mayfair room of the Royal Connaught Hotel on January 8, he handled the subject "Is Life A Bingo Game" with great versatility and common sense.
Mr. Reg. Stevens our social convenor provided a lively and successful party at the home of Mr. and Mrs. C. Williams, the proceeds of which, $35.00, were sent to UNICEF.
Mr. Cecil Williams started a short course entitled "Keys to Occult Science" on January 18. Mr. Williams is including an exposition of esoteric symbolism and the postulates of the Secret Doctrine, and their practical application in daily life. The class consists of 18 eager and enthusiastic students. $81.50 real-ized from this class was turned over to the Lodge.
New projects for 1956 are planned and members look forward to the future with high hopes for the successful promulgation of Theosophy in Hamilton and district.
- Sarah Lakin
Montreal Lodge had an active season with ten new members joining. The 50th Anniversary of the Lodge celebrated in May 1955 and the anniversary meeting was well attended with the General Secretary as the guest speaker. The Lodge has to find new quarters on account of renovations to the building at 1501 St. Catherines St. West, in which it had rooms for many years.
The Annual Meeting of the Lodge was held on January 10, 1956 and Miss Ebba L.J. Tolson, who was elected Secretary, reports that the new executive will be as follows:
President - Mrs. H. Sora.
Vice-President - Mr. John W. Robinson.
Treasurer - Mr. Rod. V. Grimson.
Secretary - Miss Ebba L. J. Tolson.
Librarian - Mr. John Knowles.
Auditor - Mr. W. S. Harley.
The immediate Past President, Mrs. W.S. Harley, has accepted appointment to the post of Program Committee Chairman.
Toronto Lodge has had an interesting and stimulating program of visiting lecturers during the winter and spring season, with more to come! An informal reception on the first Sunday evening of the speaker's visit is now almost a tradition and becomes a delightful hour of friendship. Professor Ernest E. Wood, and Mrs. Wood, were guests of the Lodge for a week in mid-December when Professor Wood gave six talks, the two Sunday ones being "Theosophy as the Science of Fearless Living" and "The Great Expectations of Man". During the four weeknights the subject was Theosophy in relation to modern science, religion, ethics and psychology. Professor Wood's presentation of these subjects and his answering of questions both have a wide appeal and many newcomers were in attendance.
January brought us a happy surprise in the visit of Miss Helen V. Zahara, formerly Recording Secretary at Adyar and recently with the Theosophical Society in America for two years. Miss Zahara was visiting two sisters in Toronto and was able to give us a talk on the Sunday evening during her stay, entitled "The Unfolding Mind". All were intrigued by her clear and logical steps in presenting this subject and her splendid delivery. Our good wishes go with her in her work in the British Isles, back to Adyar, and eventually to Australia for further lecture tours.
Mr. Geoffrey Hodson of New Zealand, wellknown theosophist, author, and lecturer will visit Toronto Lodge during May to give a series of lectures. He has just concluded two years as Director of Studies for The School of the Wisdom at the international headquarters of The Theosophical Society at Adyar, Madras, India. We are all looking forward to Mr. Hodson's first visit here, to meeting him personally, and to hearing him speak on the following subjects: - "Reincarnation, the Hope of the World"; "Through the Gateway of Death"; "The Radiant Soul of Man, Source of Power and Inspiration"; "Scientific and Occult Evidence for the Existence of Atlantis".
Toronto Lodge holds a Sunday evening public lecture meeting each week throughout the year, and in between the visits described above our own members give lectures; local speakers not connected with the Lodge do the same; and members of other Lodges favor us also from time to time. To all, we say "thank you".
- Mrs. G. I. Kinman, (Corresponding Secretary)
Editor, Canadian Theosophist:-
In the November-December Canadian Theosophist, Mr. Wayman protests against my valuing highly a Theosophical magazine because it takes a stand on all matters of prime importance. Yet he concedes that such an attitude . . . . "would be the concern of such a one as H.P.B. who was establishing a Movement and thus was vested with the responsibility and knowledge to make certain issues clear". Mr. Wayman seems to forget that a spiritual movement differs markedly from the various movements established solely at the intellectual and emotional levels. It is not enough to initiate a spiritual movement and launch it on its way; it requires to be supported by human effort, using the same kind of energies as were required to start it, all the time. Spiritual doctrine and spiritual ideals are always subjected to pressure from the personal aspect of man, consciously or unconsciously, acting to water down and degrade spiritual truths in order to make them conform to popular prejudice and irresponsibility. If self-reliant responsibility is the keynote of spiritual ideals, so comfort of mind and the line of least resistance is that of the personal man in all of us. Continuous and strenuous effort, therefore, is the price of enduring life for a spiritual movement. Taking a stand behind one's values means to sweat blood at times, and a constant strain at all times, but without it there is movement to and fro, the good cancelling out the bad, with no permanent gain. And this applies equally to an individual, a journal, or even a nation, as Britain showed when she refused to compromise with evil for the sake of safety, and defied Hitler in the face of almost certain destruction.
Mr. Wayman says, - "It (taking a stand) does not seem to be the policy of such periodicals as The Canadian Theosophist and Theosophy, which have a responsibility to the members, subscribers, etc., and therefore could hardly represent a single viewpoint". In the first place, examination of the files of the C.T. will show that this journal has taken a strong and undeviating stand behind Theosophy on the original lines ever since its inception more than thirty years ago. It has maintained year in and year out its right to criticize the leaders, held sacrosanct in the Adyar T.S., and to point out that in deserting Theosophy for Neo-Theosophy and its vagaries they did not only bring upon Theosophy the ridicule and contempt of the whole world, but also deprived the members of the austere but soul-satisfying teachings and values of Theosophy itself, for the milk and water, vanity satisfying teachings of its spurious imitation.
As for a journal maintaining a stand for certain ideas and values representing a single viewpoint and refusing expression to opposing views, on the contrary, it is just such a journal sure of the stand which it has taken, which welcomes all sincere expressions of opinion, confident that truth can never be harmed by criticism, but will show out all the clearer for the removal of any dross there may be.
Not the attitude of pretending agreement for the sake of harmony, nor the confining of discussion to matters of agreement and such methods of simulating unity, will ever bring about that unity desired in the Theosophical Movement, but only the spreading from individual to individual throughout the Movement of the determination to put forward what we hold and cherish of values and beliefs as a challenge to sincere criticism, preferring the (per-
haps unwelcome) truth to continued security in our own preconceptions and prejudices, - this is the only forseeable roadway to any Theosophical unity worthy of the name.
- W. P. Wilks.
January 23rd, 1956.
The Editor, Canadian Theosophist.
Readers are indebted to Mr. J.W. Lucas for the correction of an unfortunate phrase in my article "Canada's Glorious Future." I was, of course, aware that radium radiations emanate from uranium. What Rutherford did was to use these radiations, then newly discovered, to bombard nitrogen, which was thereby transformed into oxygen, the mass lost being transformed into kinetic energy. This was the first human-induced transformation of an element and it was performed at the turn of the century. In the later transmutation, referred to by Mr. Lucas, the "bullet" was also artificially induced, namely in the cyclotron. It is the above that I should have written instead of the passage in question.
There appears to be a tendency to discount the great contributions of Rutherford, as there is to ignore the initial discovery made by Crookes. Anyone who, through research among the contemporary records of the British Museum and elsewhere, can effectively restore Crookes to his rightful place in scientific history will merit the thanks of posterity.
I would like to take this opportunity of expressing my gratitude to Miss Stella Ballard of Hamilton Lodge, who typed the article for me under difficult conditions.
HELPING THE SOCIETY
(The following is a resume of an address given by Mr. Geoffrey Hodson at the 47th Annual Convention of the Theosophical Society in Southern Africa, Capetown, April 8-11, 1955. This appeared in The Link (Vol. 44, 3), official organ of the Society. Mr. Hodson will lecture at Toronto Lodge in May, his first visit to that city.)
Mr. Hodson gave his address How Members Can Help The Theosophical Society. The Chair was taken by Mrs. Stakesby Lewis. In his talk Mr. Hodson stated that what he had to say was the result of observation and work over a number of years, and he felt it was an impertinence, to suggest more work to those already overworked, but he had several points he would like to bring to the notice of everyone.
1. Preserve the unique features of the Theosophical Society. The Society offered complete freedom to every member, permitting its members to live their lives in their own way. It granted freedom to each Lodge and freedom to every single member, with no dogmatism and no domination. If the Society as a whole degenerated into despotism, the movement would fail in its work and disintegrate.
2. Deepen your inner life, and so deepen your value to your country. This is achieved by daily meditation to spiritualize the personality, for man's spirit is one with the spirit of the universe. Realized unity demonstrates as brotherhood, and your words carry the conviction of your own inner light.
3. Think of the Inner Heads with ardent aspiration and daily dedication, thus stepping from daily living to eternal verities.
4. Be sane and reasonable. Be more sane and reasonable in your statements of Theosophical teachings. Avoid oddness and eccentricities in manner and dress. Be approachable, friendly, normal and good citizens. The world judges a Society by the behavior of its members, and the test of a member of a high philosophy is that we ought to be much easier to live with. Do not confuse membership of the Society with your own ethical standards. There is no need to be a vegetarian, a non-smoker or a teetotaler to be a member of the Society, and the insistence on these points creates spiritual snobs. People grow out of old habits, and drop meat eating, smoking and drinking naturally.
5. Do not hold on to office. Power and prestige often ruin good members who tend to think themselves V.I.P.'s, so be democratic, avoiding favoritism and domination. Any obligation imposed from without should be avoided. Preserve the freedom of our Lodges and Sections.
6. In dealing with new members, give them tactful attention, shepherd them as if into a family, show warmth and friendship and enter into their social life. Some people have a genius for "shepherding", and so become guides and friends to new members.
7. Keep in touch with the world aNd learn to be topical, and so avoid the danger of egotism and of becoming an introvert.
8. The greatest needs of the Society are lecturers and writers. In both these activities it is necessary to be able to give an efficient exposition of our doctrines to the public. What does this imply? High ideals and study. We need good students. If you are to be a lecturer, go to a good professional for speech training, and learn how to avoid unpleasant mannerisms. To be a good lecturer one should be a good writer, for lecturing demands logic and a clear exposition. "Writing maketh an exact man", said Bacon. Practice your lecture whenever you can, and practise writing for exercise. "I am personally convinced", Mr. Hodson said, "that the work of the Theosophical Society is to teach Theosophy, and to teach the fundamentals undogmatically." You must be convinced of what you teach, and then you can convince others. Be audible, and if you want a place, in any movement, be acceptable. Be factual and use the scientific method of thought and exposition.
9. Lecture subjects to avoid. It has been found dangerous and a great responsibility to express in public ideas on the individualization from the animal kingdom, fairies and subjects dealing with Root Races, races, rounds and chains.
The Society's need today is Theosophical lecturers, Theosophical literature and, above all, Theosophical lives. These needs could only be supplied by those who had a love for the Ancient Wisdom, love for the Society and a deep love for humanity.
Any person of average intellectual capacities, and a leaning towards the metaphysical; of pure, unselfish life, who finds more joy in helping his neighbor than in receiving help himself; one who is ever ready to sacrifice his own pleasures for the sake of other people; and who loves Truth, Goodness and Wisdom for their own sake, not for the benefit they may confer - is a Theosophist.
- H.P. Blavatsky, Practical Occultism.
THE THREE TEACHINGS OF THE THEOSOPHISCAL SOCIETY
By Ernest Wood
Nothing is of value in itself, but only for somebody. This thought applies to our Theosophical Society.
To know its value and its duty, it is necessary to consider the people for whom it is intended.
These people are thinkers, as we are not peddling medicine or magic, but knowledge, especially knowledge of the best way to live - both the how and the why of it. Therefore, we have to appeal to reason. We have nothing for people who will not think.
Present day man is a product of long ages of self-help, and throughout those ages man's troubles and dangers have never been too great for him, else he would not now be here - and they also have never been too little for him, else he would not have attained to what he is. He himself has faced these difficulties with his own mind, and benefited by doing so, externally in his material life and internally by the growth of his faculties and enrichment of his consciousness. The fact that man (as race and as individual) is where he is and what he is because his circumstances have always been in accord with his requirements points to the reasonableness of the belief in two theosophical statements - the evolution of man and the presence of the Good Law.
This idea is not new in the Western world. Jesus said that five sparrows are sold for as little as two farthings, yet "not one of them falls to the ground without my Father," and added, "how much more will he take care of you." Our modern way of putting this sparrow doctrine is to say that the same law is operating always and for all, and always in the same way, namely, for
good both externally (in karma) and internally (in growth).
This is theosophy for the general public, and due to be promulgated by the Theosophical Society. On this idea all theosophists in the modern world are surely in agreement. It is the simple basis of theosophy, being knowledge (sophia) about the presence of God (theos). It says that God, the ever-present law, is dealing directly with every person, and for his good. At every moment he gets what is best for him, his maximum opportunity. In this there is intelligence not of the nature of mind, but beyond mind.
To know this is a great encouragement to those people who feel very helpless in the face of the various impacts of living. It strengthens them. It does not weaken them. It does not sap their self-reliance, but encourages it, however small.
The Theosophical Society has the duty of imparting this knowledge to those who feel poor and helpless in the world. They should know that every smallest effort that they make will lead to the definite improvement of their lives, both external material living, and internal conscious living.
Yet this is only the first of three teachings the Society has to give.
Jesus spoke to three kinds of people: (1) to the poor people already described, (2) to the brave people who said (in modern terms) "The world is my oyster; I will clutch and hold it - and wring something out of it," and rejoiced in their strength, and (3) to the careful and thoughtful who wanted to understand the deeps of life, the few to whom he would say, "To those without I have
to speak in parables, but to you I can speak indirect terms," whereupon he became very mystical, and very puzzling to the persons of the first and second groups who might perchance hear these words.
Jesus gave commandments accordingly; for the top group, to love God; for the second group, to love their neighbor (brotherhood); and for the bottom group - the `poor' man no commandment, but words of comfort or assurance, and the advice to live cleanly and kindly.
In Hinduism today we can see the same three groups, consisting of those who are interested mainly in (1) the Puranas, with all their help of the gods and the promise of future welfare and pleasure in heaven and in future lives, (2) the Bhagavad Gita, with its buddhi-yoga for the welfare of the world, and its sannyasa doctrine as its means to individual uplift, and (3) the non-dual Vedanta, based upon the `Great Sayings' of the Upanishads, paralled to the mystic utterances of Jesus.
In each case, whether in West or East, the middle group can include the beliefs of the lowest group, and the highest group the beliefs of both the others.
Theosophy - which means the union of religion and science, as shown in the theos side and the sophia side of the composition of the word - points straight to the highest group. Those are the Theosophists proper; none others. And the Theosophical Society exists to subserve this object, to keep the banner of Theosophical knowledge flying in the world. It directs the second group to brotherhood, so that their energy and ambition may lead to good, not harm. It carries the message of the ever-present Law to the third group, and tells them that Law is more reliable than any persons, or entities, and is our chief shield, weapon, tool and joy. Law and laws are the same for all. Scientists depend on them. So should ethicists. So should Theosophists.
The purpose of the Theosophical Society is indicated in its name. It cannot put brotherhood first, for it is only the second commandment. If it does so it will lose its soul. It must have a vibrant message, and must offer a specific aim. It is not a chorus of orthodoxies, or an arena of pointless amiability. It must announce and defend its purpose, its aim of knowing the laws, and its consequent support of the `most reasonable belief' at all times on any topic under consideration.
Students of the early literature of the Theosophical Society will recall that there was at first an attempt to establish it in three grades, namely (1) the general membership; (2) those who dedicated themselves to service of the higher Self in themselves and others; and (3) the Masters with their pupils. It may be noticed that these three correspond somewhat to the three grades we have already mentioned, and that we have in the Society today all these three grades, though they are not formally distinguished.
It was not proposed that in any grade voluntary living be superseded by personal dependence or mediatorship. In Christian terms the middle grade is called discipleship; "If any would be my disciple, let him take up his cross daily and follow me." In such case there is, of course, no idea of joining a school which requires any surrender of one's own initiative, any declaration of belief, or any pledge of obedience to other persons, and, above all, mediators.
It will thus be seen that the Society has important messages for all three grades, although its chief aim is to be so competent in the deepest knowledge as to command the attention of the highest minds.
Therefore, in practice, the unity of the Theosophical Society - and hence its continued existence in anything more than name - must depend upon its adherence to reason. Reason instinctively seeks harmony and law in all Nature, and when it finds some it calls it knowledge. First, belief in law is reasonable. Secondly, brotherhood is the most reasonable, practical and useful directive for the use of strength. Thirdly and above all, our aim is the understanding of life deeply and fully.
In respect of every idea put forward or set before us we must be able to say to the world: "This is the most reasonable belief (e.g., the doctrine of reincarnation, with reference to immortality). Challenge it, and show a better way if you can."
It might be objected that love, brotherhood and intuition - and law itself - are above reason. Yes, but they justify themselves at the bar of reason. Law is above reason, obviously, but reason depends on law and is established by law and, would be overthrown by chance or caprice. So reason recognizes and worships law. As to intuition and teaching - they inject new ideas into the mind, which are then tested and subject to reason.
The so-called First Object of the Society provides for a brotherhood of relationship whereby each may profit by the experience of all, not the establishment of a brotherhood of groups and a chorus of beliefs, with the soft pedalling of individual thought lest it hurt the corns of weaker brethren. Truth is the First Object of the Society. The Society must stand for brotherhood and apply it in the pursuit and practice of Truth. Members may privately follow individual Gurus, but in the Society these are of no account, except that their teachings are matters of respectful consideration by all of us. Brotherhood silences nobody, and favors nobody.
PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS (Continued from Page 4)
many study camps and weekends at various times, all well attended. There are a number of permanent camps in the United States, and a camp at Camberley in England, used for activities of different sorts. The activities at all these camps and weekends undoubtedly stimulate the work of the Sections in which they take place.
"It may not be known to very many members that there is a Spanish edition of the Adyar THEOSOPHIST, namely, El Teosofo, being brought out regularly, thanks to the initiative and enthusiasm of Senor Salim Alfredo Wehbe. Although this Spanish edition is produced in Argentina, it has a field of circulation in all the Latin American Sections. I understand from reports which I have received that though several important Theosophical works have been translated into Spanish - the Mexican Section only recently brought out a translation of Mr. Pavri's Theosophy in Questions and Answers - many important Theosophical works are not yet available in Spanish. An attempt is therefore now being made under the lead of Senor C. Rimini of Rosario, Argentina, to coordinate the efforts being made in different Sections and complete the work of translating them. Another country where there is a great need for translations is Indonesia. However, they have made a beginning there with the translation of At the Feet of the Master, and marked the occasion by giving a copy free to each member of the Section. While on the subject of publications, I might mention the interesting fact that in Mexico they distribute 48,000 copies of the review Dharma among 8,000 permanent readers, although the number of members of the Section is less than 600. The Young Theosophists have active groups in
many Sections. In Europe, they bring out a magazine called Enthusiasme in three languages, English, French, and German. There are of course other journals conducted by Young Theosophist groups, in addition to the various Section journals through which there is a steady propagation of Theosophical ideas. Although these journals do important work, almost every Section feels the need for good lectures and the help that can be given through personal contact by a lecturer who is deeply imbued with the Theosophical spirit.
"It is not possible for me to refer to the activities in each and every Section, because our work has spread so widely. The numerical strength of the Society stands at about 33,300 members, registering an increase of about 740 from last year.
"Among those who have made lecturing tours covering a number of Sections, an important tour which, I expect, will be productive of lasting results, is that of Miss Helen Zahara, the former Recording Secretary, through all the Sections of South and Central America, including Puerto Rico and Cuba. She was recently for two years on the staff of the American Section Headquarters. She is able to lecture fluently in Spanish, and the reports which have come to me from the Sections she has visited speak in very high terms of the value of her visit."
Mr. Sri Ram then referred to the work of other Theosophical lecturers, Mr. Geoffrey Hodson, who is now in the United States, Mrs. E.M. Lavender in Australia and New Zealand, Mr. John Coats in Europe and Miss Mary Graham of New Zealand who visited the English Section. No reference was made to the lengthy lecture tour of Mr. E. Wood, accompanied by Mrs. Wood, in the English and Scottish Sections during the past year.
The President visited VietNam least March and later carried out a tour through the Sections in Europe.
It was reported that the work at Adyar has gone on steadily throughout the year, despite some changes in staff. Miss Ann Kerr, Assistant Recording Secretary, acted most capably as Recording Secretary during the absence of Miss Emma Hunt. Mr. Edwin N. Lord, who was formerly Treasurer of the Theosophical Society in America, is now living at Adyar and has been appointed Treasurer of the Society.
"The Adyar Library continues its good good, and although there has been no publication during the year, except the Bulletin, which in its greatly improved form has elicited much appreciation, considerable research has been done, which in due course will result in publications of importance and value. As Kumari A. Sita Devi was needed for other work in the Library, I relieved her of the post of Librarian, and appointed Mrs. Mary Patterson from the United States of America as Librarian in her stead.
"Another addition to the staff of workers at Adyar is Mr. Seymour Ballard, who also hails from the American Section, and he is helping in the editorial work of The Theosophist and other T.P.H. publications.
"With the installation of the monotype machine and the reorganization of the Press, it has been possible considerably to improve the appearance and set-up of The Theosophist. The Theosophical Publishing House was awarded last month a certificate of merit for the publication, Kingdom of the Gods, by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. Among other books which are on the program of publications of the Theosophical Publishing House are the remaining volumes of the H.P.B. Collected Works,
edited by Mr. Boris de Zirkoff in California, U.S.A. Mr. de Zirkoff has been long in correspondence with Brother Jinarajadasa and our Vice-president, Mr. Sidney A. Cook, as well as myself, in connection with these Works, and we have all shared the feeling that the publication of these volumes - in which there is so much of new material collected by Mr. de Zirkoff painstakingly over a long period of years - is work of the greatest interest to Theosophists, which may well claim whatever facilities or help we might find it possible to give."
The President drew attention to the need of funds to maintain and renovate the buildings at Adyar, some of which were old, when the estate was acquired by the Society.
Considerable work of a Theosophical nature is being carried on in many countries under the inspiration or direction of members of the Society. In India there are twenty-eight educational institutions conducted by Theosophists. Mrs. Betsan Coats has been doing valuable work in Europe in connection with the rehabilitation of people in refugee camps. Srimati Rukmini Devi has been occupied with a Bill she has introduced for the protection of animals in India, as well as with other Parliamentary and educational work.
"Among those who have passed on this year, I must mention Mr. D.D. Kanga, Mr. Gopali Odhavji, Mr. D.K. Telang, Mrs. Margaret Hemsted and Madame Trudi Kern, all of them devoted Theosophists who have given notable help to the work in one way or another. Mr. D.D. Kanga is the author of the book Where Theosophy and Science Meet, a book which has been widely appreciated by students.
"Before I conclude this address, let us turn our thoughts with fraternal affection and goodwill to Theosophists all over the world. We all belong to one band, and whatever the external differences of temperament, background or the activities in which we might be engaged - we are one in our deepest aspirations and purpose. Let us be one in seeking to know our unity ever more deeply. Those who have come into this work and become genuinely interested in it can never really lose the interest nor even their connection with the work. Let each one of us resolve to be true in life as well as in death to the highest he has known, and do his part all the time, whether in cirmustances of light or shadow, to the best of his ability."
DEAD SEA SCROLLS (Continued from Page 9)
appeared without leaving the slightest trace behind them. Were they works of no importance they might, in the natural course of time, have been left to perish, and their very names would have been obliterated from human memory. But this is not so, for, as now ascertained, most of them contained the true keys to works still extant, and now entirely incomprehensible, for the greater portion of their readers, without these additional volumes of commentaries and explanations." .. (S.D. 1, 8-9). If the Dead Sea Scrolls contain but one key to the inner meaning of the Christian teaching, their discovery will be of deep, perhaps revolutionary, import.
(1) Since the above article was written, this Scroll has been unrolled and has been found to contain a portion of the Book of Genesis; apparently there are some additions to and other wordings of texts in the King James version.
The Buddha and His Path to Self-Enlightenment, by Ronald Fussell. The Buddhist Society, 16 Gordon Square, London, W.C.1, England. 1955, 171 pp. Cloth 7/6.
The life and teachings of the Blessed One are presented with powerful clarity in this excellent first introduction to Buddhism. Though parts of it are stated simply enough to be read to children, the basic principles common to all schools of Buddhism are covered. The reader is introduced to the profundity of the Doctrine and left free to choose from the enormous range of Buddhist literature what seems most useful for further study.
That the Buddhist teaching is not easy to grasp at first is admitted, and emphasis is laid upon self-reliance and the fact that dependence on any other person will inevitably become a barrier to the goal. Instructions are given for concentration and meditation and the whole book becomes an invitation to a journey of self-discovery, a journey whose fascination has no equal on this earth, according to the author.
For those who have had ever so slight an awakening to the Oneness of life, some form of service makes an appeal. "Here," says Mr. Fussell, "a caution is necessary in balancing ultimate arid temporary aims. He should remember that the final goal for all beings is this same union with Reality of which we have spoken. To help people in this life is good, but to help them on to the goal is the greatest good of all. . . the greatest contribution any man can make is to travel the Path to liberation steadfastly. In this way he will be helping his fellowmen more than by any other. Inevitably, as the inner reorientation of character takes effect, he will become a teacher of the way to the same inner peace, bliss and understanding that is slowly dawning in himself. And since it is incumbent on each man to travel the Path himself, he can do no more than this. So the man who begins to struggle upwards towards the heights begins to fulfil the ideal of Mahayana Buddhism, that of the Bodhisattva or World-saviour . . . . "
So said Lao Tzu, "First get Tao for yourself, then get it for others." And so Krishnamurti has been saying for many years.
Health, Healing and You, by Ursula Roberts. Aquarian Press. 296 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, S.W.1, England, 1955. 128 pp. Cloth, 10s 6d.
Recorded on the dedication page are the author's grateful thanks to "the living spirit of Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy who inspired this book." One notes also that a previous work by Mrs. Roberts is entitled Mary Baker Eddy, Her Communications from beyond the Grave, and on pp. 69-70 she quotes what she believes Mrs. Eddy wrote through her hand in this book in 1945 in regard to the results which would follow the fears and agonies of the war. She believes with Mrs. Eddy "that there is a subtle cause for every apparent condition." Of course, that concept was not original with Mrs. Eddy; the first verse of the Dhammapada says that all that we are has been created by thought, is the result of thought.
Modern medical science knows how to safeguard health against many infections; it has at its disposal a whole range of wonderful new drugs, but greater and greater numbers of people fill our hospitals. Why? Mrs. Roberts, herself a healer, has set down on paper her explanations of what she believes to be the subtle causes of disease, greed, anger,
resentment, fear, grief, indifference, suspicion, pride and discontent.
"To be healthy, and to remain healthy, it would seem that man needs to learn a new science - a science of self-control and poise in which body, mind and emotion act in complete harmony at the instigation of the will of the subtle part which we call spirit. . . it is probable that the whole human race is passing through a period of great strain, since it is attempting to live with a body which is only partially adapted to the new order of things."
We have not yet read The Search for Bridey Murphy by Morey Bernstein, published by Doubleday & Company, but have read extensive magazine quotations from it and listened to the three trans-Canada broadcasts of the tape recordings of the hypnotic experiment which are available in L.P. records and which were used by Mr. Max Ferguson in his `Rawhide Show' C.B.L. 170,000 copies of the book have been printed, the movie rights have been purchased and thirty newspapers are running the book serially.
Unquestionably the book has aroused much interest in reincarnation - much more popular interest than years of lectures on the subject. Briefly it relates the story of a hypnotic experiment under which a young woman born in the United States in 1923, brings back memories of a former life in Ireland between 1798 and 1864.
Despite its popular acclaim, Theosophical students will doubtless agree that as positive proof of reincarnation it is unsatisfactory - there are other possible explanations of the results. In The Secret Doctrine and other of her writings H.P.B. discusses the dangers of hypnotism. We hope to have a review of this book in our next issue.
THE THREE GIFTS
"What may I give to my master, because I love him?" I asked the Master of all, and he said "You may give him a tear, and a prayer, and a kiss. The tear is the tear at the heart of all things - it is your tear and his. The prayer is the uprushing of the soul to the light - it is your prayer and his. And the kiss is the kiss on the hand from a pupil to a master, and the kiss on the brow from a master to a pupil. Go then, my child, and take your gifts to your master, for it is permitted."
Then I took my gifts, and with humility and gratitude and love I offered them. And my master took them from me and said "Look", and I looked and saw the endless waves of the sea tossing under the moon, and he said, "There is your tear and my tear". And again he said, "Look, and again I looked and saw a wide expanse of heaven, painted with all the rose and gold of the setting sun, and in the midst a shaft of light and glory indescribable, and he said, "There is your prayer and my prayer". And as I stooped and kissed his hand, and rose again, he touched my forehead with his lips and said, "Look up, my child", and there above me in the dark sky hung a radiant star, and he said, "There is our kiss".
And then I knew that my gifts had been accepted, and I was assuaged and at peace for a space from the longing and the hunger to give.
- Mona Barry.
"One vision of the Eternal does not satisfy; one vision opens up another, and so it goes on through life after life. Evolution does not suddenly begin at a certain moment, nor stop at a given moment, nor after one life; it is an endless round."
- J. Krishnamurti, (The Kingdom of Happiness)
ORIGINAL AND UP-TO-DATE THEOSOPHY
We lend freely by mail all the comprehensive literature of the Movement. Catalogue on request. Also to lend, or for sale at 20c each post free, our eight H.P.B. Pamphlets, including early articles from LUCIFER and Letters from the Initiates.
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These four books are cloth bound, price $1 each.
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The above four books are attractively bound; papperbound $1.00, cloth, $1.50.
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