Vol. XXXVIL, No. 2 Toronto, May-June, 1956 Price 35 Cents
The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document
H. P. BLAVATSKY
Born August 11, 1831 - Died May 8, 1891
H.P.B. had a lion heart and on the work traced out for her, she had a lion's grasp.
Let us, her friends and disciples, sustain ourselves in carrying out the designs laid down on the trestle board by the memory of her devotion and the consciousness that behind her task there stood and still remains, those Elder Brothers who, above the clatter and the din of our battle, ever see the end and
direct the forces distributed in array for the salvation of that great orphan - Humanity.
- Wm. Q. Judge.
The first and earliest impression I received from Madame Blavatsky was the feeling of the power and largeness of her individuality; as though I were in the presence of one of the primal forces of Nature.
Madame Blavatsky's nature was like a mountain torrent having its source in some deep, clear lake above the clouds, and impetuously carrying down to the valley the riches of the mountains, to spread them over the hungry and thirsty plains below; to give them new life and fertility, and the promise of a richer harvest in due season; and among the commoner gifts of the mountains, bringing now and then grains of gold and precious gems, and scattering them like Pactolus over the sands of the valley; and ever and anon the dwellers in the valley, finding these rarer treasures, see in them the promise of the deeper wealth of the mountains, and vow to themselves never to give up the search for the great treasure until they die.
Such was Madame Blavatsky in her life; and now that she is dead her death seems to have taken away from us half the savor of life; and her absence to have withdrawn one of the great incentives to living.
But to hallow the loneliness of her death, she has left us the great lesson of her life, a life true to itself, true to its spirit, true to its God.
And so has gone from amongst us a soul of singular power, of singular light, of singular sweetness. Her life has given a new nobility to life; and Death has become more kindly by her death.
- Charles Johnston.
SYMBOLOGY OF THE LOTUS
LOTUS is a name given too various flowers including several beautiful specimens of water lilies, especially the blue water lily and the Egyptian water lily which grows in the South of Asia and North Africa. The Egyptian water lily grows in the Nile and adjacent rivulets and has a large white flower. The root is eaten by the people who live near the lake Manjaleh. It was called the rose of ancient Egypt, the favorite flower of the country and was often made into wreaths and garlands.
The Lotus flower is a sacred symbol of nearly all Eastern philosophies. It is a flower sacred to nature and her Gods and represents the abstract and the concrete Universes, standing as the emblem of the productive powers of both the spiritual and physical nature. It has an important and significant meaning attached to its formation and growth. The lotus blossom was the first flower to bloom in Lemuria, the home of the first man. In that ancient continent, lost for thousands of years, the lotus was used as a symbol. The new bud was a symbol of power and prosperity - the full bloom floating on the water with the petals turned in apt the edges was the symbol of the dying power of that continent.
Chinese gods and oriental Buddhas are formed sitting on the blossom of the lotus and some Hindu gods are seen wearing strange hats made to represent the lotus flower upsides down - in fact, all oriental gods are so depicted. The symbology these formations indicate is the opening within themselves of spiritual consciousness and the unfolding of that spiritual consciousness within. With the Hindus the lotus is the emblem of the productive power of nature through the agency of fire and water, which represents spirit and matter. In India, the lotus is also a symbol of the fruitful earth.
In ancient Egypt, the lotus was believed to have produced its own kind and the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was based on this belief; but later years, the discovery was made of the lotus being of dual sex.
The lotus blossom is of various colors produced by the environment of its growth - the paler shades being the female and the darker hues, the male plant.
The blue lotus is very beautiful and blooms at night. It is called the night lotus and its fragrance is more accentuated than the fragrance of the rose.
"As I carefully guided my horse between the tree trunks, I was welcomed by the splendid odour of the blossoms of the night lotus, which rose to greet me from the ancient Krishna pond."
- from The Pilgrim Karmanita - by Karl Gjellerup.
Another symbol of the lotus is called the Paradise Bud. For all who have the courage to despise the earthly and to fix their thoughts upon that place of bliss called The Paradise of Infinite Light, there waits a pure birth from the blossom of a lotus flower.
The first craving for that Paradise causes a bud to appear in the holy waters of the crystal seas. Every pure thought, every good deed, causes it to grow and develop; while all evil committed in thought, word or deed grows like a worm within it and brings it near to withering away.
The fact that the lotus plant grows up through the water having its roots in the mud and spreading its flower in the air, typifies the life of man and also that
of the Kosmos for we are taught that the elements of both are the same and both are developing in the same direction.
The root of the lotus sunk in mud represents material life; the stalks passing up through the waster typifies existence in the Astral world and the flower floating on the water and opening to the sky is emblematical of Spiritual Being.
When the lotus blossom has reached maturity it drops its seeds and from the seed new plants are produced. Similarly, within the spiritual consciousness when the plant is finished and its work is done, it is released to work and produce other things.
In the Western World the lotus has been changed to the Rose. The Roses of the Rosicrucian, the Roses of the Masonic degrees and also those of the Order of the Garter in England all stand for the same thing - the awakening of the Spiritual Consciousness and the unfolding into full bloom of the Soul qualities of man. When man awakens and opens this bud within himself, he finds, like the golden pollen in the flower, this wonderful Spiritual Consciousness which frees him from the wheel of bondage and limitations.
"As a drop of water moves on the leaf of the lotus, thus, or more slippery is human life. The company of the virtuous endures here but a moment, that is the vehicle to bear thee over land and ocean." . . . Vedas
- Winifred Tiplin.
THOUGHTS ON THE BRIDEY MURPHY CASE
By Ernest Wood
Evidence for reincarnation of the kind found in the Bridey Murphy case is most valuable, if it can be found that the information received could not have been received from any other reasonable source. Some of the unusual things mentioned by Bridey Murphy were afterwards verified - such as the names of grocers, etc. Could all these have come from something which the existing young woman, had heard at some time from her Irish grandmother? Or could it have come from they minds of persons present, even in the field of their forgotten memories? The verified incidents could not have been mere fiction, nor could they have been arrived at by speculation or guesswork.
Even though there may have been some statements of error - such as, according to some, would be the mention of an iron bedstead and a wooden house - such errors could be attributed to defective memory or too careless perception, and anyhow the presence of errors would not detract from the evidential value of the items proved correct.
Another question is to what extent was there the ability to go into the past, live it again and speak of it as actually occurring, and to what extent was it all memory pure and simple? In the latter case there is the reproduction of past experience in the field of the present, and therefore room for plenty of error, as all men well know in the recounting of memories of events which have occurred even in the present life.
Memory itself must be studied. We have to turn the searchlight of our attentiveness upon it. Is it the recognition of something previously seen, as is the case when one, on being confronted with something previously forgotten, says, "Now I remember," meaning really "Now I recognize" (recognize)? Is it
the spontaneous recognition of an old state of mind, with a union of it with the thought; "That which was past now reappears in the present?" Was it a pure reading of the "akashic record," the assumption being that what has gone still exists in its own state or kind of being, and is sometimes accessible to pure perception, having the nature of the perception with which one directly perceives what is present? Incidentally, I have noticed that when certain persons well known to me were looking at a scene in the past and seeing present friends there in some of the characters in the scene (a reverse form of recognition) saying, "So and so is here in the past life at which I am looking," they often, saw their own past lives in the same objective or perceptive manner, with the same feeling of self which they would have if looking at a picture of themselves with others painted years before, in which case there was re-seeing and not memory. We must also ask ourselves what feeling of self was present when Bridey Murphy was talking of her past, for in all thoughts of things there is an accompanying feeling of some sort of liking or disliking (which is emotional or affective pleasure or pain), and there is also the sense of "I" (which is really "mine") with reference to the pictured person which the looker calls himself as different in nature from those whom he calls "other persons". Feeling and thought and self are three functions operating together in this case.
Which of these kinds of "memory" were Bridey Murphy's, and moreover did she change her kind of "memory" from time to time in face of different varieties of things seen in her "memory", or re-living in mind? Did she sometimes say "I was" and sometimes "I am" when speaking of that past?
The kind of memory used at a given moment might easily affect our appraisal of the evidential value of her statement, for if she was saying, "I was using an iron bedstead," the error of iron (if it was not iron) could arise from her familiarity with iron bedsteads known in the present life, the slats of the old bedstead being perhaps easily associated, by what the old Hindu psychologists called adhyma, with slats of an iron bedstead of the present life. In this case the error would not mar the evidential value of the statement. But if she says, "I am using an iron bedstead" when recounting the previous life, there would be a serious rupture of evidential value, as there would be no room for the error of prior association of ideas, or the ascription called adhyasa. So the evidence must be carefully appraised in the light of the kind of memory being used at the moment of the statement which is being adjudicated.
Care has also to be taken, not to fly to conclusions with reference to what are called Americanisms of speech used by Bridey Murphy. Such Americanisms are quite often old English. For example, while reading a few days ago a volume of the poems of Robert Burns, written over a hundred years ago, I came across the expression "Wow," used several times in different poems in exactly the same way as it is used in popular speech in America today.
The use of hypnotism to induce memories must also be considered carefully. Was there any mental suggestion at all coming from the hypnotist, or was it simply that the hypnotist was able to assist the young woman to calm her mind to enable memory to work more perfectly. It is well known that flustered persons lose control of their memories. Many persons in shipwrecks, for example, lose their wits and pick up the most incongruous articles to take with them when running to the boats. In ordinary life we are all flustered to some
extent all the time, and this often becomes worse when there is anxiety or strong desire. We often have a name "on the tip of the tongue;" someone says: "I can't remember it, but it begins with a K". A little afterwards he says, "I have suddenly remembered that name; it has come back to me!; it was Pinkerton." But while he was thinking it began with K he could not remember it, for the association-line was blocked by the thought of the letter K.
If the hypnotist was not "assisting" Bridey Murphy's memory by any suggestions of his own at all (such as occurs in parlor and stage hypnotism and sometimes in hypnotic healing or in the hypnotic correction or removal of bad habits), but was merely aiding the subject to obtain that quiet condition of mind free from current disturbances which is needed for perfect memory or for the awakening of the psychic faculty of perception of "akashic records," there would be the less likelihood of intrusion of wrong ideas.
This method of assistance is not unfamiliar in the training of pupils in psychism. H.P. Blavatsky, I heard long ago, put her hand on the head of Walter Gorn Old to assist him in this way - something quite different from the case in which she put her hand on the artist Schmiechen in order to impress upon him the picture of the features of the face of the Master he was painting, not to enable him to attain the state in which he could see those features for himself.
It is well known that teachers of psychic powers often recommend their students to try to stay in a half-sleeping, half-waking condition to remember their dreams of a morning, not in order to think about them, but to acquire the condition, the mood and the feeling of a state of mind in which psychic powers can be operated at will.
Some Hindu yogis have been known to induce this condition in their students with the aid of their own mind powers, when there is the practice of meditating together, in which the master's condition of mind, greatly influences the pupil's condition of mind, and this process is sometimes considerably accelerated by touch when the hand of the guru is placed on the head of the shishya, or when there is a touch on some other part of the body.
It seems necessary to distinguish very clearly between these two kinds of hypnotism. We, should ask ourselves whether in the case of the Bridey Murphy experiments the hypnotizer was merely aiding the mind of his subject to obtain a calmness in which the regression of her memory could itself reach back even into a previous life.
We have, as all theosophists know, been amply warned by H.P.B. against the dangers of hypnotism, or at any rate the dangers of surrendering to another ego or person the use of our own brains, so that the thoughts of another can determine the movements of that brain and subsequently of its body. Once this happens, it has been pointed out, the brain is permanently susceptible to the influence of that other person, and furthermore - and worse - it becomes, susceptible to other mental and emotional influences, and even to obsession by dreadful shells of deceased persons - the cast off unworthiness of their lives - which are abundantly present in the unseen psychic atmosphere.
A striking illustration of the nature of such influences is seen in the classical account of the Odyssey of Homer, when Ulysses enters into Hades and finds it full of screaming entities in a state of emotional torment. Ulysses, it is stated, met there, among other beings, the shade of the great Herakles, which was in a state of indignation and anger at the way in which he had been ill-treat-
ed and put upon by many persons during the earth life. But, says Homer, this was, of course, not the real Herakles - the real Herakles was up in heaven enjoying himself along with his beloved wife Hebe and other excellent beings.
What could be more disagreeable than to be in constant association with the leavings of such marvellous persons as those described, even of Herakles? We may be sure that H.P.B. has not fulminated against this danger too violently or with insufficient reason. Typical statements of hers on this subject are the following, taken from The Secret Doctrine:-
After saying that the Auric Egg of the human being is very important, and that no one should interfere with it she adds: "This envelope is the receptacle of all Karmic causes. Of a child it is very small, and consists of almost pure Akasha plus the Tanhas, which remain latent until the 7th year. That of an idiot is not tinged with manas."
"The reason why the confession of the R.C. and Greek Churches is so great a sin is because the confessor interferes with the Auric Egg of the penitent by means of will power, engrafting artificially emanations from his own Auric Egg and casting seeds for germination. The above remarks apply equally to Hypnotism, although the latter is a psycho-physical force, and it is this which constitutes one of its many serious dangers. At the same time `a good thing may pass through dirty channels,' as in the case of breaking by suggestion of the alcohol or opium habit. Mesmerism may be used by the Occultist to remove evil habits, if the intention be perfectly pure; as on the higher plane intention is everything, and good intention must work for good." S.D. III, 538.
In the yogi in trance the Auric Egg has become the vehicle of Buddhi-Manas. "On the other hand, in a subject in an artificially produced hypnotic or mesmeric trance, an effort of unconscious when not of conscious Black Magic, unless produced by a high Adept, the whole set of principles will be present, with the Higher Manas paralyzed, Buddhi severed from it through that paralysis, and the . . . Astral Body entirely subjected to the Lower Manas and Kama Rupa. . ." S.D. III, 480.
"Now a person in whom, say, the Mercury principle is predominant will by acting upon the Mercury principle in another person born under a different Planet (or different Ray, E.W.), be able to get him entirely under his control. For the stronger Mercury principle in him will overpower the weaker Mercurial element in the other. But he will have little power over persons born under the same planet as himself. This is the key to the Occult Sciences of Magnetism and Hypnotism." S.D. III, 482.
"There have been in all ages use and abuse of Magic, as there are uses and abuse of Mesmerism or Hypnotism in our own." S.D. III, 40.
In view of the distinction between the two kinds of hypnotism, and the remarks of H.P.B. cited above on the use of it as a help to the removal of habits of alcohol and opium, it would not seem wise for us to pronounce a general anathema or set up a complete taboo against it. Anyhow, there is no reason why those of us who already believe in reincarnation on theoretical or other grounds should not derive great satisfaction from the material evidence for reincarnation obtained by its use.
In the light of these considerations let us review the case of Bridey Murphy. Is there in it any proof of reincarnation? The position is that the young woman gave a partial account of her previous life in Ireland and mentioned incidentally a number of physical facts. Were these facts, or some of them, or any of
them, subsequently found to be true by actual enquiries in Ireland?
We have first to consider the scientist's position in such matters. If any of the statements were found to be correct, it constitutes proof, provided the woman's knowledge cannot be accounted for in any other known way. Some people have said that there were no wooden houses and no iron bedsteads (things which she mentioned) in Ireland in Bridey Murphy's day. Though we may accept this in a general way we need not take it too seriously, because there may have been odd ones here and there, and it must be noted that Bridey speaks of her family as rather aloof and separate from the generality of people and homes in the locality where she lived. Again, that she used expressions such as"Eighteen-O-six" and, "Uh-uh", which are familiar in America in our modern days but which were not so, we think, in England or in Ireland a hundred or more years ago, would indicate that, whatever the memories, there was still a possibility of some present influence of brain habits in their expression. Or, to put this matter in another way, one must allow for even a large quantity of errors and influence of the present in any memory going far back, as its well known. But the crux of the matter is: Were any of the statements correct? Several, including the names of grocers, etc., were found to be so, and that constitutes proof, unless these items were acquired in some other way.
Was there any Irish influence, through persons or reading, in the present life of the young woman who was being examined? Is it possible that an old grandmother talked to her when she was very young and that many things then mentioned and since forgotten and long sunk into the subconscious mind were now brought to light? We need a detailed account of that grandmother's life. But anyhow, is it likely that the entire fabrication of a lifetime's story (which was not the story of a grandmother's life) could in these circumstances have had built into it so casually these items which have been verified, and have contained also the things which are now assumed to be errors? If the account had been taken from a grandmother's reminiscences, it would more likely have been all of a piece.
Another theoretical alternative is that the story was made up from the minds of the other persons who were looking on. But this appears to be definitely ruled out by those persons. A third alternative is that it was fabricated by the young lady in her trance condition to please the hypnotist, though this would be inconsistent with the discovery that any of the evidential facts (rare statements, such as the name of grocers) mentioned were correct. Not a single one of them would be correct in that case.
I would like at this point to give an account of a number of cases, especially in India, which have come under my own notice, in which the persons, including young children, have given very full accounts of facts and people and incidents in previous lives, which were checked and found to be correct, and others in which descriptions of past lives have been given by people subjected to the strictest tests with respect to other psychic faculties definitely possessed by them, including telepathy, psychometry and clairvoyance. I have personally assumed in these latter cases that those who were correct in the use of those abilities would not probably be incorrect when stating that they had some memories or visions of past lives, although these could not be verified. However, space forbids this indulgence just now, but perhaps the Editor of The Canadian Theosophist will give me an opportunity to recount some of these on a future occasion.
REINCARNATIO AND THE ESKIMOS
Scattered along the rugged coast of the Canadian Arctic live semi-nomadic groups of Eskimos, offshoots of what is termed Theosophically, the 7th sub-race of 4th root race. Those in Canada number less than ten thousand, or roughly one per 150 square miles of the vast territory in which they live. Their difficult existence in a harsh climate is an unceasing struggle for food and shelter. They live well beyond the tree line and until the fur companies began building trading posts in the region, they had no wood except such driftwood that might come ashore in the few months in which the sea was not frozen over. For six months of the year, the sun does not appear above the horizon, ice and snow cover the entire region and travel is by dogsleds. The Eskimos are contemporaries of the modern scientific age, but the overlapping of the cycles has effected little change in their ways of life; these are still largely of the Stone Age. Modern rifles have displaced the ancient bows, arrows and spears, and motor boats are used along with the kayaks, their skin-covered, decked-in canoes. Snow igloos are the common dwelling places in the winter months and heat is supplied by primitive stone lamps, fueled with seal oil.
They are a primitive people, but like other primitives they have brought forward indications of a long past culture, the actual memory of which has vanished, but some of whose customs and beliefs still persist. There is a shadowy belief in a primary spirit who is too remote to bother with humans - and about whom humans need not concern themselves - but the secondary powers, the spirits who inhabit animals, rocks, the sea, and who control or live in storms, ice and sickness, should be recognized and respected. Many Eskimo customs have to do with the propitiation of these spirits.
The persistence of the individual spirit of a man or an animal after the death of the body is a fixed belief of the Eskimos. The soul of the slain animal must not be further offended by disregarding its presence, and the Eskimo makes a token obeisance to it. The soul or spirit of a human being who has died seeks immediately another form in which to live, and while it may temporarily occupy an animal form until a suitable human form is ready, eventually it reincarnates as a human being.
The following article on reincarnation among the Eskimos and the influence of this belief on their attitude towards children, was written by Edmund S. Carpenter, Ph.D., of the Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto, who is leaving shortly to visit an isolated group of Eskimos about whom practically nothing is known. We are grateful to Dr. Carpenter and to The Globe and Mail, Toronto, for permission to reprint this interesting article.
One of the first things we do in our society when a child is born is to examine him to see which of his parents he resembles. To an Eskimo, that would be a preposterous thing to do. How could a child be himself, and yet another living person? What concerns the Eskimos is which deceased relative the child resembles, for they are a people who believe in reincarnation, and they seek to learn which ancestor's spirit has been reborn in the body of the child.
Hence, the infant is taken up and examined for any peculiarities he may have. Perhaps a birthmark or an odd facial expression will identify it as Kowsherak or Mallatook, dead these many years. Then the child is given the names of this ancestor, for surely it is this very ancestor himself returned once more to the land of men. Should there be any doubt as to the identity of this ancestor, the grandfather will simply ask the child outright who he is. "Is it Paliak, Eetook, Netcheak, who?" If the child smiles at one of these names, then all know that he is happy to be recognized once more and to be addressed by his proper name.
This belief that each child is a reincarnated spirit of a known and revered relative has considerable influence on the Eskimos' attitude toward children.
It would be almost unthinkable for an Eskimo to strike his child. After all, it would be a bit awkward to spank your own grandfather or perhaps an elderly aunt, and that's precisely what you would be doing. Yet I can personally testify that their unflogged children are far less naughty than the children of white parents who enjoy the superior advantages of sadism.
This treatment of children as equals is extraordinarily different from that in our own society. We have a very subtle condescension toward the young, the aged and the weak, which the Eskimos happily lack. This difference manifests itself in so many little ways that one quickly realizes how profound a difference it really is.
Take handshaking, for example. Among the Eskimos, you shake hands with every one - old and young, male and female. No child can be overlooked. After a mother has shaken hands with you, she will toss her shoulder slightly, and the tiny hand of a child, hitherto completely invisible, will appear outside
her parka. You take this tiny hand, which probably belongs to a child of less than a year, shake it and then tuck it back into the warm parka.
I noticed another point that may interest you. Have you ever observed that children at play may, through imitation, express either admiration or ridicule of the adult world? When you hear a little girl say: "Now let's pretend that I am Miss Bristol, and I'll scold everybody," you have a pretty good idea of what that child thinks of Miss Bristol. Our children are at times sympathetic, at other times contemptuous of the adult world.
This is not true of Eskimo children. They imitate only through admiration. Parental activities are almost invariably respected. Adult patterns are used as models.
Girls begin by happily helping their mothers soften skins by chewing them, or carrying water, or helping around the igloo. The chances are that a little girl of five or six will already be carrying about on her back a baby brother or sister. Indeed, girls undertake this task at such an early age they are left round-shouldered for life.
Boys are spared this heavy burden. They must become great and fearless hunters. They must learn the art of driving dogs, paddling a kayak, harpooning and shooting.
Now this transition from childhood to adulthood is so gradual and easy that Eskimo children never really go through a period of adolescence. There is really no great gap between playing and making a living, merely a steady transition. We know, of course, that adolescence is not so much a period of abrupt biological change as it is a psychological adjustment to adulthood. It's really a time of stress that children undergo in any society that sharply differentiates between childhood and adulthood. Since this is not the case in Eskimo society,
children there happily miss this period of emotional turmoil.
Another point - and this, as a father, I find truly amazing - is that Eskimo children rarely cry. Oh, they do when they're hungry or hurt, but the mothers quickly pacify them by nursing them. Other than this, a crying child is almost unknown.
It would be difficult to imagine a more charming childhood than the one Eskimo parents provide for their children. When the children mature, life becomes far less pleasant. It's a harsh land where life is often cruel and short. But Eskimo parents make certain of one thing: and that is, that their children have as full and satisfying a childhood as any one is ever likely to experience.
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
My thanks to those members who took the hint in last month's NOTES and sent in their delayed dues for the current year. One more effort and we shall have a clean slate to start the new year on July 1.
It is regretted through an oversight the usual notice regarding the above did not appear in the last issue of the magazine. In lieu of this however, I sent a letter to the presidents of the lodges requesting nominations for the post of General Secretary and seven members of the General Executive for 1956-7, and extended the time of receipt of such to May 15, instead of the usual April 30.
Hamilton, the Ambitious City, is acting up to its sobriquet in a theosophical manner in that a new lodge known as The Phoenix Lodge has been opened. You will note in another paragraph of these NOTES that several new members have joined it and these, with a few others of the old Hamilton Lodge who have found "the great Divide between those who live on the Mountain and those who live on the Plains", is too strenuous in a physical way, have decided to divide their forces and carry on the good work in their own respective spheres. The President of the new lodge is Mr. Cecil Williams, and the Secretary, Miss Stella Ballard. Our best wishes accompany all on this new venture, and with two beacons now lighting the city we look forward with added hope and confidence to big things in the future.
I regret to announce the demise of Mr. E.J. Macdonald, a member of they Edmonton Lodge since 1942 who passed away on March 12 after a prolonged illness. A funeral service was conducted by Mr. Emory P. Wood, President of the Lodge, and Member of the General Executive. The body was taken to Calgary for cremation. Our deepest sympathy is extended to Mrs. Macdonald in her bereavement.
I also regret to report the demise of three venerable members of the Society in the persons of Mrs. Anna Curtis, of the Toronto Lodge, Mrs. Eliza Griffiths of the Montreal Lodge, and Miss A. Morris of Hamilton Lodge. Obituary notices appear in another part of this issue.
It is with much pleasure I welcome the following new members into the Society: Mrs. Helen Bragg, Mrs. Mary MeIlroy, Mr. Richard McIlroy, Mr. Henryk L. Kramkowski, Arnold A. Moxom, Ph.D., Mr. James P. Steen; all of the Phoenix Lodge. Mrs. Mary Minto, Edmonton Lodge; Mr. Frank A. McCallum and Mrs. Harriett A. McCallum of the Montreal Lodge; Mr. Jean Deceans; Member
at Large; Mrs. Evelyn Allen and Mrs. Agnes O'Brien of the Toronto Lodge. "To be a Theosophist is to pledge ourselves heart and soul to further the welfare of Mankind".
Now nearing a hundred years of age, a revered member of the Toronto Lodge, Mrs. Elizabeth Belcher, widow of "The Smiling Philosopher", celebrated her 97th birthday on April 28, having been born in 1859. She joined the Society in 1893 and has been a member for 63 years. Our felicitations and congratulations are extended to her on this wonderful record.
It is worthy of remark that Miss M. Hindsley, a member of the Toronto Lodge and of the General Executive has just closed another of her series of weekly talks. The series thus finished was on the Bhagavad Gita, and was very well attended throughout, bringing together quite a number of newcomers to Canada, thus giving them a common and mutually agreeable meeting ground. It is thus that our teachings are popularized, not only among our own members but the public generally, and lodges who have people capable of doing this kind of work are fortunate indeed, and to all such we extend our greetings.
RE-OPENING OF LODGE
That things generally are active in the Canadian Section, to which I have alluded before, is further evinced by the fact that I have received a request from the far west for authority to re-open the dormant Victoria Lodge in British Columbia. When I paid my visit there some two years ago I met quite a group who seemed intent on forming a nucleus under our aegis; since then there have been rumors and now comes the actual request to which I am delighted to accede. Mrs. Dorita Gilmour, of the Orpheus Lodge in Vancouver, but who lives in Victoria, is most active in organizing the resuscitation and is anxious to re-open the lodge on the current White Lotus Day. It will be an auspicious beginning and we will be with them in spirit, and trust that the new start will give a fresh impetus to our work in the far west, and that it will be fortified and sustained.
On behalf of the Canadian Section I sent a cablegram of congratulations and best wishes to the Societe Theosophique de Frances on the occasion of its National Convention held in Paris in April, when our President, Mr. Sri Ram was in attendance.
A most excellent magazine has come to my notice which should be of the greatest interest to all Theosophists. In main "the policy of the journal is to keep the most significant developments in modern thought before its readers. These developments which are primarily out of the impact of modern science, affect every area of life today and have immediate bearing upon the study of comparative religion and philosophy". It is thoroughly recommended to all thoughtful students. Those interested should send $3 (Yearly Sub.) to The Editor, Mr. F. L. Kunz, Main Currents in Modern Thought, 246 E. 46th Sts., New York 17, N.Y.
The date of the American Convention to be held at Olcott, Wheaton, Ill., are as follows:- Convention - July 7 through 11; Summer School, July 13 through 18.
Mr. Geoffrey Hodson will be the guest speaker. Registrations are now being received. Reservations are still available. Apply The Theosophical Society in America, P.O. Box 270, Wheaton, Ill, U.S.A.
- E. L. T.
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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THE THREE TRUTHS
The soul of man is immortal, and its future is the future of a thing whose growth and splendour have no limit.
The principle which gives life dwells in us, and without us, is undying and eternally beneficent, is not heard or seen, or smelt, but is perceived by the man who desires perception.
Each man is his own absolute law-giver, the dispenser of glory or gloom to himself; the decreer of his life, his reward, his punishment.
These truths, which are as great as is life itself, are as simple as the simplest mind of man. Feed the hungry witb them. - Idyll of the White Lotus.
MRS. A. CURTIS
The death occurred on March 9 of Mrs. A. Curtis, a former Toronto Lodge member, at the age of ninety. Mrs. Curtis became a member of the Toronto Lodge in 1911 and moved to the west coast in 1930. During the years she was in Toronto, she attended all meetings of the Society, and while she never held office in the organization, her penetrating mind influenced many members. Mrs. Curtis maintained open house at her rooms at 449 Yonge St., and visitors would drop in at all hours. She was highly skilled in gold embroidery work and presented the Toronto Lodge with a worked design of the Society's seal, and with two gold embroidered cloths for the collection plates. These are still in use and show very little signs of wear for all their years of service.
To many, Mrs. Curtis was `a comrade of the way'; most of her old friends have gone before but those who remain will join in paying their respects to the memory of a strong individual who faced life's problems bravely and who in future lives will again be one of the active workers in the old, old cause.
The funeral service was conducted by Mrs. M.D. Buchanan, President of Vancouver Lodge; cremation took place on March 12.
MRS. W. A. GRIFFITHS
The Montreal Lodge has suffered a great loss in ,the passing of our dear member Mrs. W.A. Griffiths. She was active to the last and passed away on Feb. 17, after being in bed only three days. Mrs. Griffiths was a member of the Montreal Lodge for thirty-nine years and held office as Secretary and Treasurer. She was also head of the Esoteric Division. Mrs. Griffiths leaves a son and a grand-daughter and our sympathy goes out to them.
MISS ANNIE MORRIS
Word has just been received of the death of Miss Annie Morris of Hamilton Lodge on April 19. Miss Morris was one of the founding members of !the Lodge when it was established in 1916; prior to that she attended the study class which was conducted by early students in that city. Miss Morris was the sister of Miss Elizabeth Morris, another founding member of Hamilton Lodge, who died in her eighty-ninth year in June 1949. Both were faithful workers in the lodge and their kindly natures endeared them to all.
To Mr. and Mrs. Theo Morris we extend our deep sympathy.
The inaugural meeting of the Lodge was held on March 7th, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Williams, 49 East 7th Street, Hamilton, and was well attended in spite of a severe ice storm. The aims and objects of the Lodge were outlined by Mr. Williams, who occupied the chair, and it was decided to affiliate with the Theosophical Society in Canada, to whom application for a Charter would be made. An excellent letterhead which had been designed by Mr. Henry Kramkowski, prominently displaying the Phoenix and the symbol of the Society, was passed around and greatly admired. The Chairman announced the appointment of officers pro tem.
Regular meetings have been held on Wednesday evenings, consisting of a series of helpful and aspiring meditations, readings from a book entitled Perfect Health Through Buddhist Mental Science, followed by Mr. Williams' discourse on sections of The Key to Theosophy. Mrs. Gladys Miller has been conducting breathing exercises for daily use, together with a method of utilizing the Cosmic Rays; the promotion of general good health being the object in view.
Sunday meetings are also held, at the home of Mrs. Agnes Hambly, where portions of The Secret Doctrine are being studied.
The first social event, consisting of a Spring Tea, was convened by Mrs. Alice Williams, at her home on Saturday, April 21st, for the purpose of raising funds. This was very well attended, and proved to be a most enjoyable evening, the net proceeds amounting to nearly $50. - a most encouraging effort.
A lecture by Arnold A. Moxom, Ph.D., was held on Sunday, April 29th, in the Mayfair Room of the Royal Connaught Hotel, the subject being "Hypnotism and Healing". An enthusiastic audience, which included many newcomers, braved the torrential rain and were well rewarded by a most interesting and brilliant handling of the topic, the highlight being an impressive demonstration of telepathy by the lecturer.
The Phoenix Lodge is looking forward with confidence and enthusiasm to promoting Theosophy in Hamilton and district, and increasing the influence of the Lodge.
- Stella Ballard, Sec'ty.
The quarterly meeting was held on Sunday, April 8, with the following members present: Miss M. Hindsley, Messrs. D.W. Barr, C.E. Bunting, C.M. Hale, G.I. Kinman and the General Secretary. Minutes of the last meeting were read and approved.
Mr. Barr reported that because of the number of new members and subscribers, the number of copies of the magazine now printed is sometimes short of what is required. It was decided that fifty extra copies be ordered of each issue.
Mr. Kinman, Chairman of the Pamphlet Committee, reported progress. Discussion took place in regard to covers
for the pamphlets. It was decided to order 4,000 covers in four colors, red, blue, green and violet, 1,000 of each, and the necessary number of stickers bearing the Theosophical Seal. Authority was also given for the purchase of a stapler.
Two applications to form new lodges were read by the General Secretary. These were Canyon Lodge, North Vancouver, and Phoenix Lodge, Hamilton. Much gratification was expressed and authority was given to issue the necessary charters. It was intimated that signs were apparent that the resurgence of the former Victoria Lodge was in the offing.
Mr. Bunting brought forward a motion from Hamilton Lodge recommending that an advertisement appertaining to Theosophy be inserted in some wellknown periodical for propaganda purposes. It was decided that enquiries be made regarding advertising rates in Maclean's magazine for six months and one year. Mr. Bunting also said that the Hamilton Lodge thought the annual dues should be increased. Col. Thomson stated that this question had often been discussed by the Executive, and at one time the lodges were canvassed, and the proposed increase was turned down. Miss Hindsley suggested that if the members of the Hamilton Lodge felt inclined, they could increase their local dues and give the difference to the Executive as a donation. Apparently this was what the members wanted to do, thinking, quite rightly, that headquarters was in need of funds to carry on its work.
Mr. Barr brought forward the latest information regarding the International Fraternity of Theosophists and added that he would report on it in the next issue of the magazine.
Professor Ernest Wood's letter to the General Secretary regarding a tour of the Western Lodges was read and the consensus was that the General Secretary should write to Professor Wood advising him of the arrangements already made.
The next meeting was arranged for July, or, in view of a possible election, at the call of the General Secretary.
Meeting then adjourned.
- E. L. T.
THE GENERAL ELECTION
Up to the time of going to press, one nomination was received for the office of General Secretary, Lt.-Col. E.L. Thomson, D.S.O.; eight nominations were received for the Executive, namely D.W. Barr, C.E. Bunting, C.M. Hale, Mrs.. W.S. Harley, Miss M. Hindsley, G.I. Kinman, W.E. Wilks and Emory P. Wood. All the nominees except one are known to the members generally and need no introduction. The new nominee, Mrs. W. S. Harley, is an earnest and practical member, who last year was the capable and energetic President of the Montreal Lodge.
It should not be forgotten when voting that the members are not electing persons to represent their lodge, but an Executive Council to represent the whole Dominion.
If any member in good standing does not receive a ballot by May 31, he should at once report the omission to the General Secretary.
The proportional representation ballot will be used as heretofore. Upon receiving their ballots, the members should mark them in the order of their choice of candidates, numbering all the names up to the total number of the candidates. Each ballot should be placed in the envelope provided, on which the member has written his name and lodge, so that it can be checked without violating the secrecy of the ballot. It should then be mailed without delay.
DR. SUZUKI IN TORONTO
Notes on Address delivered by Dr. Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki at Toronto Buddhist Church, 918 Bathurst St., Toronto, Canada, Sunday, April 8, 1956, Wesak Day (Hanamatsuri) celebrating the Birth of the Buddha.
About Dr. Suzuki: Dr. Suzuki was born in Kanazawa, Japan, in 1870. He is known today as one of the leading scholars on Buddhism in the world, especially in his studies of Zen, the Buddhism of Meditation. He holds a Doctor of Literature degree and was recently the winner of the coveted Culture Medal, the highest award for scholarship in Japan. He is a member of the Japan Academy, composed of the most learned scholars in the country. Until his arrival in America, he was a professor at the Peer's School, Tokyo University and Otani Buddhist University. At present he is a Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University in New York.
He has written in English such wellknown books as Manual of Zen Buddhism, Living by Zen, Essence of Buddhism, Series I, II, lll, and other works.
"Every religion has its own symbolism, but the symbols are not realities. We ought not to be deceived to take all kinds of symbols for reality itself. Symbolism is not to be taken for reality and if possible simply try to grasp reality. When reality is grasped, symbols have their meaning but if we do not get any further than symbols, we are sure to be deceived and misunderstand what religion really means.
"This morning for a little while I shall try to present Realities, as I see them. What I am going to say this morning may not coincide, correspond, to the symbols you see around here, on the platform or altar. If my talk sounds like contradicting these symbols, I hope you will see that when we really understand Reality, symbols can be in away contradictory. Nevertheless, looking through those symbols, they will help us; we can be helped very much by these symbols. At the same time, I must repeat that realities are realities, not symbols. As Christians say, `the letter killeth but the spirit giveth life.' I will try to present this spirit that giveth life and not the leltter.
"When Buddha was born 2500 years ago, according to Southern tradition, he is supposed to have been born on the Eighth of April, but according to another tradition he is made to have been born somewhat later. That does not matter; our way of calculating the movement of the heavenly bodies differs. He was born somehow, somewhere, and that is enough. From that point of view, we can say Buddha was not born long ago; Buddha is being born every moment we are living now . . . . . Let this present moment create all the pasts and also create the future that is going to be. Therefore this present moment is the birth of Buddha and what is to come will also be the birth of Buddha. Buddha is being born every minute. So we don't have to go back to history. From this point of view Buddha is born this very moment. . . I hear his declaration:
"I survey the four quarters and I walk seven steps in every direction" - according to this, 10 directions.* [* From the sutra: "When he had in this manner surveyed the four cardinal points and the four intermediate ones, and the zenith and the nadir, in short, all the ten directions in order, and had nowhere discovered his equal, he exclaimed, `This is the best direction,' and strode forward seven paces, followed by Maha Brahma holding over him the white umbrella. Then at the seventh stride, he halted and with a noble voice, he shouted the shout of victory, beginning, "Lord am I of heaven and earth!"]
"I declare in heavens above and the earth below, I alone am the most honored one."
Instead of making this declaration go back, this declaration is coming out of this mouth itself, also this declaration is coming out of your own mouth who seem to be keeping silent.
"Buddha made this declaration, pointing one finger to the heavens above, and one to the earth bellow - "I am the most honored one." These are symbols.
"Nobody has seen God creating the universe. Nobody has heard God declare. Nobody ever heard him say that `It is good.' No newspaper reporters were there when God gave His report, but that does not matter at all. We see that God created the world; we hear God saying `It is good.' These are all sym-bols. We are creating the world and saying it is good.
"A German mystic Eckhardt', out walking one day, said Good Morning to a beggar, and the beggar answered, `What morning is not a good morning?' This made Eckhardt stop and think once more before he would utter again the conventional good morning. This good has no moral significance; this good goes beyond good and bad; it is Absolute Good . . . ."
Dr. Suzuki, looking at a small book - evidently of the sutras - then said "I do not like this word `Lord.' It conveys a sense of power, a sense of autocracy, of a tyrannical ruler. . . `Going back to his first declaration, when he was 19 years old (sometimes they say 29 years old but I like to make it 19). When he was 19 years old he decided to leave the world and to search for Reality and after six years' study of philosophy and practise of certain ascetic deeds, and also spending much time in meditation. . . This word `meditation' has certain Christian meaning which does not go very good with Buddhist way of thinking. He spent some years of contemplation or meditation or philosophical thinking and ascetic practises. He did all these three things - it might have been much longer but couldn't be much shorter. After this he attained Enlightenment and this Enlightenment took place when he gazed at the morning star. Its beams struck his vision eye and penetrated into his consciousness; its beams went through to the very bottom of his being. When his being really came in touch with those beams, there was awakening from a dormant state of consciousness, and he realized and he became aware. He made another declaration which is reported to have been this:
"Strange, wonderful; every being has the Buddha nature; all beings are endowed with the Buddha nature."
"This we have to learn, `all beings' includes all beings, all organic matter also stones and the plants. All these things are endowed with the Buddha nature. This is what characterizes Buddhism as different from other religions. Everything, not only organic but also all inorganic things have the Buddha nature.
"In China some thousands of years ago sutras were introduced from India. Some priests, according to these sutras, understood that the Buddha nature is
not shared by everything, that every being is not so favored. But there was a certain man who said `We are not in possession of the rest of the sutra; in the latter part of this sutra there is the definite statement about every being being endowed with the Buddha nature.' This collided with other Buddhist scholars who said some beings are deficient in the Buddha nature. And they expelled the man with the heretical views. He was excommunicated from the community of Buddhist scholars, but he could not hold to any other view so he lived in a remote part of the country all alone. Once he appeared in the wilderness where there was nothing but rocks, no human beings. And he gave a sermon to those rocks and he was so intent in teaching this doctrine that he saw those rocks nodding their agreement with his views. When he saw these stones, he was all the more convinced that all beings are in possession of the Buddha nature. When this nature comes to maturity, it attains Enlightenment.
"We say these things cannot be proved by sciences. How could a stone listen and understand talk on a very high subject? Every religion has this kind of irrationality which cannot be proved by science, but there is something in religion, including Buddhism, which transcends rationality. And when we are not in the kingdom of contradiction, we see every being, sentient and non-sentient, speaking the truth of Buddhism. That is the reason why when we are born in the Pure Land, according to this sutra, . . . every tree has its leaves wave to the wind, they give the teaching of the Buddha; every bird sings praise to the Buddha; every leaf quivers in the wind (referred to sutra). "When you hear and see reality itself, when it is expressed in symbols, when you actually enter in that world of reality, you can hear and you can see it. That is what is most important in the teaching of all religion, and all religions try to bring you into the world of reality."
Dr. Suzuki spoke of the absurdities that are in religions and said that to denounce all such religious teachings does no good, like spitting at the heavens, the spittle comes back on the person who spat.
"To be able to acquire that power of discrimination must come from our own power, not from others. We are sure to go astray, and therefore we must be on our guard; we must learn to look inwardly. When you look, look inward and you will come, as Buddha came, to Enlightenment. As Confucius said, `Tao is not very far from us but everyone of us is stupid enough to look far away.' Buddha's declaration was - heavens above, earth below - I alone am the honored one, and also his declaration of the Pure Land as we have it in the scripture. Western quarter is everywhere; anywhere there is West, there is Pure Land. West is everywhere, so the Pure Land is not so far away.
"This is Buddha's Birthday and we celebrate with all the appropriate ceremonies, but at the same time all those things reflect what we see in our inner being. First of all we must come to our own inner being. After that, we look back. Certain insight is needed; we call it Wisdom with a big W; Prajna in Sanskrit, something transcending negation and affirmation. Hana in Japanese. When Hana is attained we must strive to awaken Prajna sleeping in our consciousness."
He standeth now like a white pillar to the west, upon whose face the rising Sun of thought eternal poureth forth its first most glorious waves. His mind, like a becalmed, and boundless ocean spreadeth out in shoreless space. He holdeth life and death in his strong hand.
- The Voice of the Silence.
The current interest in The Search for Bridey Murphy has also aroused popular interest in the strange power of hypnotism. What is it; what actually happens under hypnosis; what is the explanation of the extraordinary phenomena of the hypnotic trance; these and other questions are being asked by many. Practicing hypnotists do not know; they use methods which they have found induce trances, but have no explanation of the phenomena.
In the Theosophical Glossary hypnotism is defined thus: "A name given by Dr. Braid to various processes by which one person of strong will-power plunges another of weaker mind into a kind of a trance; once in such a state the latter will do anything suggested to him by the hypnotizer. Unless produced for beneficial purposes, Occultists call it black magic or sorcery. It is the most dangerous of practices, morally and physically, as it interferes with the nerve fluid and the nerves controlling the circulation in the capillary blood-vessels:" (Dr. James Braid was a well-known English physician (1795-1860) who used hypnosis in the treatment of disease. He was a conscientious, high-minded and devoted man; his cures were extraordinary.)
The susceptibility to suggestion is referred to by many writers on the subject (it should be noted that in The Search for Bridey Murphy the suggestion of a previous life was implanted in the consciousness of the subject by the operator); the suggestion need not be given orally, the intent of the operator can be communicated to the subject and will be acted upon, even if not in conformity with his spoken words.
The Glossary refers to the interference with the nerve fluid and the circulation in the capillaries: This is confirmed by a report of the British Medical Association (1955) which states that various physical and psychological changes occur under hypnosis. "Among the physical phenomena are vascular changes (such as flushing of the face and altered pulse rate), deepening of respiration, increased frequency of deglutition, slight muscular tremors, inability to control suggested movements, altered muscle sense, anastheseia, modified power of muscular contraction, catalepsy, and rigidity, often intense".
As to the rationale of hypnotism, Mr. Roy Mitchell has a thought-provoking section in his, book The Exile of the Soul. The basic idea of this book is that within man as we know him on earth there are two entities, the lower human elemental being which belongs to the animal order, and the thinking mind, the Ego, who for various reasons is associated with the elemental animal being. In the hypnotic state, the Ego is absent and the human elemental is under the control of the hypnotist.
In his Thoughts on the Bridey Murphy Case, Professor Wood has given some quotations from Vol. III of The Secret Doctrine. Other teachings will be found in Vols. I and II, The Mahatma Letters, and in The Key to Theosophy, all of which are readily available to students. H.P.B. wrote a long article on this subject entitled, Hypnotism and its relations to other Modes of Fascination. This appeared in Lucifer, Feb. 1891 and the following is quoted therefrom:
Q. What is Hypnotism: how does it differ from Animal Magnetism or Mesmerism?
Ans. Hypnotism is the new scientific name for the old ignorant `superstition' variously called `fascination' and 'enchantment'. It is an antiquated lie transformed into a modern truth. The
fact is there, but the scientific explanation of it is still wanting. By some it is believed that Hypnotism is the result of an irritation artificially produced on the periphery of the nerves; that this irritation reacting upon, passes into the cells of the brain-substance, causing by exhaustion a condition which is but another mode of sleep (hypnosis, or hupnos); by others that it is simply a self-induced stupor, produced chiefly by imagination, etc., etc. It differs from animal magnetism where the hypnotic condition is produced by the Braid method, which is a purely mechanical one, i.e., the fixing of the eyes on some bright spot, a metal or a crystal. It becomes `animal magnetism' (or mesmerism), when it is achieved by `mesmeric' passes on the patient, and for these reasons. When the first method is used, no electro-psychic, or even electro-physical currents are at work, but simply the mechanical, molecular vibrations of the metal or crystal gazed at by the subject. It is the eye - the most occult organ of all, on the superficies of our body - which, by serving as a medium between that bit of metal or crystal and the brain, attunes the molecular vibrations of the nervous centres of the latter into unison (i.e., equality in the number of their respective oscillations) with the vibrations of the bright object held. And, it is this unison which produces the hypnotic state. But in the second case, the right name for hypnotism would certainly be `animal magnetism' or that so much derided term `mesmerism'. For, in the hypnotization by preliminary passes, it is the human will - whether conscious or otherwise - of the operator himself, that acts upon the nervous system of the patient. And it is again through the vibrations - only atomic, not molecular - produced by that act of energy called WILL in the ether of space (therefore, on quite a different plane) that the super-hypnotic state (i.e., `suggestion,' etc.) is induced. For those which we call `will-vibrations' and their aura, are absolutely distinct from the vibrations produced by the simple mechanical molecular motion, the two acting on two separate degrees of the cosmo-terrestrial planes. Here, of course, a clear realization of that which is meant by will in Occult Sciences, is necessary.
Q. In both (hypnotism and animal magnetism) there is an act of will in the operator, a transit of something from him to his patient, an effect upon the patient. What is the `something' transmitted in both cases?
Ans. That Which is transmitted has no name in European languages, and if we simply describe it as will, it loses all its meaning. The old and very much tabooed words, `enchantment,' `fascination,' `glamor' and `spell,' and especially the verb `to bewitch,' expressed far more suggestively the real action that took place during the process of such a transmission, than the modern and meaningless terms, 'psychologize,' and `biologize.' Occultism calls the force transmitted the `auric fluid,' to distinguish it from the `auric light;' the `fluid,' being a correlation of atoms on a higher plane, and a descent to this lower one, in the shape of impalpable and invisible plastic Substances, generated and directed by the potential Will; the `auric light,' or that which Reichenbach calls Od, a light that surrounds every animate and inanimate object in nature, is, on the other hand, but the astral reflection emanating from objects; its particular color and colors, the combinations and varieties of the latter, denoting the state of the gunas, or qualities and characteristics of each special object and subject - the human being's aura being the strongest of all.
Q. Under what circumstances is hypnotism `black magic'?
Ans. Under those just discussed, but to cover the subject fully, even by giving a few instances, demands more space than we can spare for these answers. Sufficient to say that whenever the motive which actuates the operator is selfish, or detrimental to any living being or beings, all such acts are classed by us as black magic. The healthy vital fluid imparted by the physician who mesmerizes his patient, can and does cure; but Too much of it will kill.
Q. Is there any difference between hypnosis produced by mechanical means, such as revolving mirrors, and that produced by the direct gaze of the operator (fascination)?
Ans. This difference is, we believe, already pointed out in the answer to Question 1. The gaze of the operator is more potent; hence more dangerous, than the simple mechanical passes of the hypnotizer, who, in nine cases out of ten, does not know how, and therefore cannot will. The students of Esoteric Science must be aware by the very laws of the occult correspondences that the former action is performed on the first plane of matter (the lowest), while the latter, which necessitates a well-concentrated will, has to be enacted, if the operator is a profane novice, on the fourth, and if he is anything of an occultist on the fifth plane.
Q. Why should a bit of crystal or a bright button, throw one person into the hypnotic state and affect in no way another person? An answer to this would, we think, solve more than one perplexity.
Ans. Science has offered several varied hypotheses upon the subject, but has not, so far, accepted any one of these as definite. This is because all such speculations revolve in the vicious circle of materio-physical phenomena with their blind forces and mechanical theories. The `auric fluid' is not recognized by the men of science, and therefore, they reject it. But have they not believed for years in the efficacy of metallotherapeuty, the influence of these metals being due to the action of their electric fluids or currents on the nervous system? And this simply because an analogy was found to exist between the activity of this system and electricity. The theory failed because it clashed with the most careful observation and experiments. First of all, it was contradicted by a fundamental fact exhibited in the said metallotherapeuty, whose characteristic peculiarity showed (a) that by no means every metal acted on every nervous disease, one patient being sensitive to some one metal, while all others produced no effect upon him; and (b) that the patients affected by certain metals are few and exceptional. This showed that `electric fluids.' operating on and curing diseases existed only in the imagination of the theorists. Had they had any actual existence, then all metals would affect in a greater or lesser degree, all patients, and every metal, taken separately, would affect every case of nervous disease, the conditions for generating such fluids being, in the given cases, precisely the same. Thus Dr. Charcot having vindicated Dr. Burke, the once discredited discoverer of metallotherapeuty, Shiff and others discredited all those who believed in electric fluids, and these seem now to be given up in favor of `molecular motion,' which now reigns supreme in physiology - for the time being, of course. But now arises a question: "Are the real nature, behavior and conditions of `motion' known any better than the nature, behavior and conditions of the `fluids' ?" It is to be doubted. Anyhow Occultism is audacious enough to
maintain that electric or magnetic fluids (the two being really identical) are due in their essence and origin to that same molecular motion, now transformed into atomic energy,* to which every other phenomenon in nature is also due. Indeed, when the needle of a galvano or electrometer fails to show any oscillations denoting the presence of electric or magnetic fluids, this does not prove in the least that there are none such to record; but simply that having passed on to another and higher plane of action, the electrometer can no longer be affected by the energy displayed on a plane with which it is entirely disconnected. The above had to be explained in order to show that the nature of the Force transmitted from one man or object to another man or object, whether in hypnotism, electricity, metallotherapeuty or `fascination,' is the same in essence, varying only in degree, and modified according to the sub-plane of matter it is acting on; of which sub-planes, as every Occultist knows, there are seven on our terrestrial plane as there are on every other.
[* In Occultism the word atom has a special significance, different from the one given to it by science. See editorial, Psychic and Noetic Action, in the two last numbers, Lucifer, Vol. VII, pp. 89-98; and 177-185.]
Q. Is Science entirely wrong in its definition of the hypnotic phenomena?
Ans. It has no definition, so far. Now if there is one thing upon which Occultism agrees (to a certain degree) with the latest discoveries of physical Science, it is that all the bodies endowed with the property of inducing and calling forth metallotherapeutic and other analogous phenomena, have, their great variety notwithstanding, one feature in common. They are all the fountain heads and the generators of rapid molecular oscillations, which, whether through transmitting agents or direct contact, communicate themselves to the nervous system, changing thereby the rhythm of nervous, vibrations - on the sole condition, however, of being what is called, in unison. Now `unison' does not always imply the sameness of nature, or of essence, but simply the sameness of degree, a similarity with regard to gravity and acuteness, and equal potentialities for intensity of sound or motion; a bell may be in unison with a violin, and a flute with an animal or a human organ. Moreover, the rate of the number of vibrations - especially in an organic animal cell or organ, changes in accordance with the state of health, and general condition. Hence the cerebral nervous centres of a hypnotic subject, while in perfect unison, in potential degree and essential original activity, with the object he gazes at, may yet, owing to some organic disturbance, be at the given moment at logger-heads with it, in respect to the number of their respective vibrations. In such cases, no hypnotic condition ensues; or no unison at all may exist between his nervous cells and the cells of the crystal or metal he is made to gaze at, in which case that particular object can never have any affect on him. This amounts to saying that to ensure success, in a hypnotic experiment, two conditions are requisite; (a) as every organic or `inorganic' body in nature is distinguished by its fixed molecular oscillations, it is necessary to find out which are those bodies which will act in unison with one or another human nervous system; and (b) to remember that the molecular oscillations of the former can influence the nervous action of the latter, only when the rhythms of their respective vibrations coincide, i.e., when the number of their oscillations is made identical; which, in the cases of hypnotism
induced by mechanical means, is achieved through the medium of the eye.
Therefore, though the difference between hypnosis produced by mechanical means, and that induced by the direct gaze of the operator, plus his will, depends on the plane on which the same phenomenon is produced, still the `fascinating' or subduing agent is created by the same force at work. In the physical world and its material planes, it is called MOTION; in the world of mentality, and metaphysics it is known as WILL - the many-faced magician throughout all nature. As the rate of vibrations (molecular motion) in metals, woods, crystals, etc., alters under the effect of heat, cold, etc., so do the cerebral molecules change their rate, in the same way: i.e., their rate is raised or lowered. And this is what really takes place in the phenomenon of hypnotism. In the case of gazing, it is the eye - the chief agent of the Will of the active operator, but a slave and traitor when this Will is dormant - that, unconsciously to the patient or subject, attunes the oscillations of his cerebral nervous centres to the rate of the vibrations of the object gazed at by catching the rhythm of the latter and passing it on to the brain. But in the case of direct passes, it is the Will of the operator radiating through his eye that produces the required unison between his will and the will of the person operated upon. For, out of two objects attuned in unison - as two chords, for instance - one will always be weaker than the other, and thus have mastery over the other and even the potentiality of destroying its weaker `correspondent.' So true is this, that we can call upon physical Science to corroborate this fact. Take the `sensitive flame' as a case in hand. Science tells us that if a note be struck in unison with the ratio of the vibrations of the heat molecules, the flames will respond immediately to the sound (or note struck), that it will dance and sing in rhythm with the sounds. But Occult Science adds, that the flame may also be extinguished if the sound is intensified (Vide Isis Unveiled, Vol. II, pp. 606 and 607). Another proof. Take a wineglass or tumbler of very fine and clear glass; produce by striking it gently with a silver spoon, a well-determined note; after which reproduce the same note by rubbing its rim with a damp finger, and, if you are successful, the glass will immediately crack and be shattered. Indifferent to every other sound, the glass will not resist the great intensity of its own fundamental note, for that particular vibration will cause such a commotion in its particles, that the whole fabric will fall in pieces.
Q. What becomes of diseases cured by hypnotism; are they really cured or are they postponed, or do they appear
in another form? Are diseases Karma; and if so, is it right to attempt to cure them?
Ans. Hypnotic suggestion may cure for ever, and it may not. All depends on the degree of magnetic relations between the operator and the patient. If karmic, they will be only postponed, and return in some other form, not necessarily of disease, but as a punitive evil of another sort. It is always "right" to try and alleviate suffering whenever we can, and to do our best for it. Because a man suffers justly imprisonment, and catches cold in his damp cell, is it a reason why the prison doctor should not try to cure him of it?
Q. Is it necessary that the hypnotic `suggestions' of the operator should be spoken? Is it not enough for him to think them, and may not even HE be ignorant or unconscious of the bent he is impressing on his subject?
Ans. Certainly not, if the rapport between the two is once for all firmly established. Thought is more powerful than speech in cases of a real subjugation of the will of the patient to that of his operator. But, on the other hand, unless the `suggestion' made is for the good only of the subject, and entirely free from any selfish motive, a suggestion by thought is an act of black magic still more pregnant with evil consequences than a spoken suggestion. It is always wrong and unlawful to deprive a man of his freewill, unless for his own or Society's good; and even the former has to be done with great discrimination. Occultism regards all such promiscuous attempts as black magic and sorcery, whether conscious or otherwise.
Q. Do the motive and character of the operator affect the result, immediate or remote?
Ans. In so far as the hypnotizing process becomes under his operation either white or black magic, as the last answer shows.
Q. Is it wise to hypnotize a patient not only out of a disease, but out of a habit, such as drinking or lying?
Ans. It is an act of charity and kindness, and this is next to wisdom. For, although the dropping of his vicious habits will add nothing to his good karma (which it would had his efforts to reform been personal, of his own free will, and necessitating a great mental and physical struggle), still a successful `suggestion' prevents him from generating more bad karma, and adding constantly to the previous record of his transgressions.
Q. What is it that a faith-healer, when successful, practises upon himself, what tricks is he playing with his principles and with his karma?
Ans. Imagination is a potent help in every event of our lives. Imagination acts on Faith, and both are the draughtsmen who prepare the sketches for Will to engrave, more or less deeply, on the rocks of obstacles and opposition with which the path of life is strewn. Says Paracelsus: "Faith must confirm the imagination for faith establishes the will. . . Determined will is the beginning of all magical operations. . . It is because men do not perfectly imagine and believe the result, that the arts (of magic) are uncertain, while they might be perfectly certain." This is all the secret. Half, if not two-thirds of our ailings and diseases are the fruit of our imagination and fears. Destroy the latter and give another bent to the former, and nature will do the rest. There is nothing sinful or injurious in the methods per se. They turn to harm only when belief in his power becomes too arrogant and marked in the faith-healer, and when he thinks he can will away such diseases as need, if they are not to be fatal, the immediate help of expert surgeons and physicians.
Vols. 1-4, Complete Works of H.P.B.
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