Vol. XXXVII, No. 4 Toronto, Sept.-Oct., 1956 Price 35 Cents
The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document
ON THE THREE OBJECTS
The three Objects of the Theosophical Society might be thought of as (1) the ideal, (2) the preparation, (3) the process. All three are necessary and while a Theosophical student or a Theosophical group may indulge in a good deal of useful and interesting activity based upon one object only - or one object to the subordination of the other two - without the balance of others, the activity is partial and incomplete.
The third Object, the investigation of powers latent in man, and of the unexplained laws of Nature, is a requirement for actual practise in this field, although no one is compelled to undertake this as one of the conditions of joining the Society. Quite correctly, it is often announced from our platform that an acceptance of the ideal of human brotherhood is the sole requirement for admission. Many persons join the Society filled with a strong desire to unite with a group that accepts Brotherhood as its first principle. Their enthusiasm may lead them to throw their energies into all manner of humanitarian works - all good in themselves - but an intense interest in these works may, of itself, build between them and the ideal, a wall over which they cannot see. The formation of `a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity,' is a majestic and intricate work which demands more than an initial enthusiasm to carry to a satisfactory end. It is not enough to dream of a noble building, and then instead of undertaking the arduous task of construction - drawing plans, gathering materials, excavating the soil, installing strong foundations, and finally, after long preparation, erecting the superstructure in which a multitude might dwell in harmony - go about busily patching up existing shelters in the hope that some day those shelters will be metamorphosed into a lofty building. All honor to those who give freely of themselves in trying to relieve the outer causes of human misery - but if Theosophical students concentrate upon these exclusively, the main purpose of the Movement is passed over.
The powers latent in man are often assumed to be the extrasensory faculties such as clairvoyance, clairaudience, thought transfer, psycho-kinesis, which are but secondary latencies of man's immense potentialities. They are extensions of the personal consciousness and maybe developed and used without any awakening to the fact that the Self of man is not the personality. The primary latencies are those of that inner Self, the omniscience and the omnipotence of the one Life of which the inner Self is an undetached spark. To
endeavor to draw near to that source of our being, to so discipline and clarify the vehicle of personal consciousness that it becomes a more efficient reflector of the powers of that Self, is to engage in most practical endeavor in the field of the third Object. Work in many activities to help mankind will await the graduate of this science.
The study of comparative religion is a subject on the curriculum of universities and many students take this course without anything happening inside them to fire them with a desire to go further. It is looked upon as something necessary to obtain a degree; certain information has to be absorbed so that it may be repeated correctly at examination time. No one ever told the students that they stood in the position of postulants in the Mysteries, that this was an opportunity to pose questions, to demand answers. If an insatiable `Why' had arisen in their minds, they would not have been satisfied with the bare bones of Buddhism, Hinduism and other religious faiths.
Every student of Theosophy is a postulant and asks questions of the mysteries of life and its manifestations. Comparative religion, philosophy and science are his fields of enquiry. Here he can develop his powers of comparison, of selection and of independent thought; here he can put his two's and two's together - sometimes, perhaps arriving at fives or sixes - but often discovering the not obvious four. His acquaintanceship with the basic ideas of the unity of life, the periodicity of manifestation under the law, the obligatory pilgrimage of all souls, gives him a unique background of approach. Religions, philosophies and sciences are means, not ends - tools, not accomplishments. They are important, not for their own sakes, but for their uses.
Behind every religious symbol there is a universal truth, even, though the symbol may be romanticized, distorted or perverted by those who revere its outer form. Behind every scientific fact there is a relationship of a part to a whole; a particular science is a coordinated body of classified and systematized knowledge concerning relationships. Each philosophical concept is an attempt to express relationships in terms of ultimate causes.
Before these three, the student of Theosophy stands as an asker of questions, a postulant who seeks to penetrate behind the appearances and to find more inclusive relationships. To him the symbols of religions, the facts of science, the concepts of philosophy, are not enough in themselves alone. What stands behind this facade? What is the ultimate relationship of all parts to the one whole? What is the ultimate Truth?
The first Object is to form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood. This is the ideal; we are not required to create a brotherhood, but to establish a centre or centres in which the existence of the essential brotherhood of men is admitted to be a fact of Nature, and in which that brotherhood will be practised to the fulness of our understanding. Signing a membership application form does not magically admit us to that nucleus; it signifies only that the applicant is willing to try. Now he must commence his disciplinary and initiatory labours and then, to use Whitman's words,
". . . only at least, after many years - after chastity, friendships, procreation, prudence, and nakedness; . . .
after absorbing eras, temperaments, races, after knowledge, freedom, crimes . . . after complete faith - after clarifyings, elevations, and removing obstructions . . . " he may at last be able to stand as an initiate in the brotherhood, of men.
The field outside him, the religions, philosophies and sciences, afford him the means to exercise his reason and intuition; his interior powers, raised from their latencies, will give him the capacity to perceive the more inclusive relationships and will awaken within him a growing awareness of the unity of all life. All living things will be viewed as parts of one stupendous whole of which he is a fragment - and all will become holy. He will know that he has a communal responsibility for all that emanates from him, his thoughts, deeds and emotions, for all these affect the race consciousness. He will learn to revere life, and compassion for all beings will be born.
The three Objects do not stand separate from each other; they constitute a trinity, a triangle of equal sides.
Following Mr. Barr's lucid article on the Essene Scrolls, published in a recent issue of this magazine, it seems an appropriate time to resurrect some earlier scrolls for consideration.
It has been predicted that complete translation of the Essene Scrolls may take as long as thirty years to accomplish, but enough has already been revealed to set theologians and historians at variance with one another again over "this vexed question of Christian origins".
The information gathered so far suggests that either Christ was born one or two hundred years earlier than at present believed, or that another man of similar virtues existed 100 or 200 B.C. If either is correct, it could well upset some cherished beliefs, and arguments may go on for the next thirty years or more - or the Scrolls may slip into obscurity, or into some cosy archaeological archives where they may rest in religious comfort and peace beside Egyptology.
Fifty years ago Egyptologists had already been struggling for twenty-five years to unravel the religion and mythology of ancient Egyptian cultures. Having at hand the actual scrolls or papyri, and thanks to the Rosetta Stone and Champollion, they were able to read for the first time directly from the originals, no longer dependent upon secondhand, incomplete and often incorrect Greek versions of Egyptian lore.
Among these Egyptian originals were papyri customarily buried with the dead which were collected and compiled, and became known to modern archeologists as "The Book of the Dead", although, as they admit themselves, this title does not describe accurately the content of this mass of religious texts, hymns and litanies covering thousands of years of repetition and record. Neither is the origin of these ideas yet known. Suffice to say that the record covers thousand of years B.C.
The translation of these records reveals that in the ancient Egyptian religion, chief among the multitude of gods were Horus and Osiris, names which were sometimes used individually and sometimes synonymously. In these records we read that Horus the Man God, born as the son of Osiris, the Sun God, was conceived by Isis, the virgin, and nursed by Nepthys. He was the earthly son of Seb who was his earthly father, and had five brothers, one of which was Sat the betrayer. He was
with his, mother, the virgin, until, twelve years of age when he was transformed into the beloved son of God as the only begotten of Father in Heaven. At thirty years of age, Horus became adult in baptism by Anup. From twelve to thirty years of his age there is no record of the life of Horus.
The following are a few direct translations from the Egyptian hieroglyphs given by Egyptologists which make reference to Horus. He is referred to as:
1. Horus the first born of Ra who is crowned.
2. Glory be to Osiris . . . King of eternity . . . lord of the everlastingness . . . Prince of gods and men. He hath received the crook and the whip and the dignity of His Divine Father.
3. I am the Son of the Lord and ye belong to me through my Divine Father who hath made you.
4. I am the First Born of the Divine Womb. The First Born of the gods.
5. Horus, the first Man God.
6. The Light of the World.
7. In the resurrection.
8. The Child suckling.
9. The Annointed Son of the Father.
10. On the Cross.
11. The Divine Healer.
12. The Master.
13. The Good Shepherd with crook.
14. With four followers on the mount.
15. Horus as the Fisher.
16. Horus as the Lamb.
17. Osiris of twelve years.
18. Child teacher in the temple.
19. Made a man at thirty years in his baptism.
20. I am the Resurrection and the Life.
21. Prince of Peace.
22. The manifesting Son of God.
23. Child of the Virgin.
24. The sower of Good Seed.
25. The Brother of Sat the betrayer.
26. Baptized with water by Anup.
27. The walker on the water.
28. The Raiser of the dead.
29. One with His Father.
30. Transfigured on the mount.
31. The twelve followers of Horus, Son of Man.
These few phrases in reference to Horus and Osiris are completely out-numbered by references to other gods of a more carnate nature, or semi-carnate nature, but the above excerpts refer specifically to their chief gods Horus and Osiris.
Neither do these references occur in a sequence which would indicate any similarity to the Gospel story as a physical history. But, contained within these phrases are enough striking similarities of symbolism to command attention when it is realized that these are written thousands of years B.C. It is impossible to ignore them.
Some thinkers and some romanticists have seized upon these facts and created theories, but they are theories. Nevertheless, they do suggest that, whether or not the physical advent of Christ happened in A.D. 1, or one hundred years earlier, the Christ principle had been conceived and aspired to for several thousands of years before. Archaeology continues to uncover other civilizations which record similarities of this symbolism.
If the Essene Scrolls suggest that the "uniqueness of Christ is at stake" it can be only to those who are married to biological history, for these earlier scrolls seem to suggest that "the Stake of Christ is unquestionably unique".
In recent times there have been, and are still, people who crave the discovery of the body of Shakespeare, preferably with pen in hand, and at least his wooden coffin. Others strive to prove that Shakespeare wasn't Shakespeare
at all but just a piece of Bacon. It is often noticeable that some of these eager researchers have little time to be bothered with his plays, sometimes not even liking them. They are concerned with bodies.
Fortunately for us there exists another "body" of people who let the dead bury the dead and continue to enjoy, be inspired, and live again with him his poetry, wit and wisdom as an inspiration in this way of life.
So too with Christ and Christians who cling to physical signs, and Christians who are inspired by metaphysical signs.
How many Christians today would be disturbed if they could actually see Christ's feet just before they were trashed?
The handling of an actual piece from the cross which Christ carried exalts neither his words, nor the owner of the artifact. Body worship, souvenir worship and date worship is fetishism. Bodies, souvenirs, dates and figurines are as interesting as any flotsam and jetsam might be on a sea of thought.
It is the breath of life which is the most magical phenomena of the physical existence. It is the thoughts which are the most magical phenomena of the physical brain. The body can be beautiful, but if it does not breathe and think it is no longer useful. The corpse is respectfully disposed of in reverence for its existing thought or deed. The birth date and death date are temporarily useful for purposes of disposing of succession duties, hereditical titles and diseases and undertakers, or other takers.
It is the words and works of the deceased which are truly considered by mankind and preserved or discarded according to their worth.
So it is with Christ and the Christ Principle.
This is not to suggest that the exploration of archaeological facts is a waste of time or unimportant. It is these very archeological facts which have revealed these perennial truths, and surely archoeologists engage in their work because they seek truth, and do indeed reveal it.
They might agree with the observation that, while the mummy is of importance, the papyrus is of greater importance because it reveals thoughts and aspirations.
I suggest that dates are like roots. Long after they have rotted in the earth the flower is resurrected through its seeds and is reborn so that we may see the shape and the color, and inhale the perfume of the IDEA.
- Eric Aldwinckle.
THE GOLDEN STAIRS
"Behold the Truth before you: a clean life, an open mind, a pure heart, an eager intellect, an unveiled spiritual perception, a brotherliness for one's codisciple, a readiness to give and receive advice and instruction, a loyal sense of duty to the Teacher, a willing obedience to the behests of TRUTH, once we have placed our confidence in, and believe that Teacher to be in possession of it; a courageous endurance of personal injustice, a brave declaration of principles, a valiant defence of those who are unjustly attacked, and a constant eye to the ideal of human progression and perfection which the Secret Science (Gupta Vidya) depicts - these are the golden stairs up the steps of which the learner may climb to the Temple of Divine Wisdom."
(from the letter of a Master, quoted by H.P.B. in her first preliminary memorandum to E.S. members in 1888).
ETERNAL LIFE AND SELF-DEFINITION AMONG THE AIVILIK ESKIMOS
By Edmund S. Carpenter, Ph.D.
(The article by Dr. Carpenter on reincarnation among the Eskimos, which appeared in the May-June issue, was evidently read with much interest. We are, therefore, publishing another article on the subject by the same author. This article originally appeared in The American Journal of Psychiatry, May, 1954.)
Time has been said to be the great problem for philosophers; nor is it otherwise with the silent believers. How, and with what, does man fill time? How, and how far, does he pass out of time? Apostates are those who have abandoned the problem; saints are those who have solved it. Their solution, the solution to the problem of eternity, is, in effect, theology.
The Aivilik Eskimos have remained faithful to the problem, refusing to give it up. They have sought the meaning of life in the problem of time, and the answer to both in the nature of man and the definition of life.
Their theology does not distinguish between the two systems of metaphysics which in Western thought govern separately illusion and reality. In their daily lives these are bound together by a thousand crossing strands and threads. But they clearly distinguish between "self" and that which is "other-than-self"; it is from this distinction that their unique concepts of subjective and objective derive.
The Aivilik's view of self appears to be as clearly demarcated as ours but is remarkably different, and its precise limits often vary according to different situations. At times it is open at the back, as it were, and overflows into spheres external to the body both in time and space, it embodies in experience events which, remembered and related in the clear light of day, ought actually to have remained hidden in the imagination.
But then, just what do we mean by "actually"? The Aivilik assert that man's ego is not a thing imprisoned in itself, sternly shut up in boundaries of flesh and time. They say many of the elements which make it up belong to a world before it and outside it, while the notion that each person knows but one life and can know no other is contrary, they maintain, to everyday experience. It is significant that, among these people, what belongs to consciousness generally is thought to constitute the self.
The nature of human life is not clearly defined by Aivilik thinkers, except on two or three points. Beliefs are uncodified, hardly precise enough to be called doctrines, and it is difficult to outline what the individual Aivilik considers the history and destiny of his own soul to be, and what relationship his present life has to that long career through eternity. However, the following appear to be the outstanding features.
Tungnik, described as representing something close to our notion of the human soul, is the dominant spiritual element in man. Immortal, it is periodically embodied in the flesh at the baptismal. Thus, an infant does not become an individual until he is named, for though the body, teme, and the mind, ishuma, are present, until the tungnik appears, life is not thought to be complete. Once tungnik has taken posses-
sion of the body, it does not become localized in any particular part of the individual, but "like blood, is everywhere." Tungnik can leave its corporeal home during life, usually at night, and engage in adventures in other estates. All Aivilik agree that at death it permanently separates from the body. Beyond this, opinion differs, for tradition does not specifically state where all ghosts reside during intervals between their earthly lives.
There are those who identify tungnik with a person's formal name. Hence, shortly after the birth of a child, an elder may say aloud before all present, "Spirit of [deceased relative or friend] be with us now. Enter the body of this child." Individuals are then addressed by the kinship term assigned to them in their earlier lives, and are expected to live up to reputations formerly enjoyed. One sometimes hears individuals reminiscing about prenatal experiences; others talk of rebirth: "One cannot get you in this life but one will be revenged later."
It sometimes happens that two children born into isolated families about the same time may be named after the same individual. It then becomes a problem to determine which body the known spirit actually entered. To cite an example, both Ooquorluk, born at Povungnetuk, and Evalooaryuk, born a year later at Lyon's Inlet, were named after Kahyukyuk, a deceased hunter whose exploits still figure in the legends of the North. For years now Ooquorluk and Evalooaryuk have engaged in friendly competition - foot races, wrestling - to determine "who is the real Kahyuk."
Aivilik take new names when they are old, sick, or beset by misfortune. When Tomah suffered a series of severe misfortunes, he accepted another name. This was done at a "gift-scramble" held in his honor. His father placed about
two dozen small family possessions in a caribou skin, stepped outside the igloo, and, casting them to the assembled members of the camp, announced Tomah's new name. Tomah tested his new powers the next day by entering, and winning, a specially arranged dog sled race. Thus it is possible for an Aivilik to change, in a sense, his very identity.
Others deny baptismal reincarnation, and hold that the deceased person's spirit merely looks after its namesake, guiding it through life and speaking directly to it should the namesake be an angakok or shaman. A man may have several names, each serving as a spirit helper. The principal one is usually acquired along patrilineal lines, but others may come from either side or from friends. There is a certain mystery in these names. Most Aivilik recall the case of a hunter at sea who noticed that he was being followed by a great bird. He paddled as fast as he could, but the bird kept pace. Then the frightened man called upon his sacred name and soon outdistanced the bird. The majority of Aivilik feel, I think that the tungnik somehow resides in these names, but they never clearly state the case.
Christian theology does not seem to have clarified the problem, for some converts now hold that at death a tungnik has three choices: to roam this world as either a benevolent or malevolent power as long as acquaintances worthy of aid or vengeance remain; to go beneath the sea and there be tormented eternally by the goddess Sumna; or to remain forever in the company of the good and the saved in the nonterrestrial, eternal and heavenly City of God. But the question is essentially irrelevant, for in spite of a gloss of Christian dogma, the natives remain under the thrall of pagan beliefs. They continue to believe that at death the soul merely vacates its temporary home and then waits to re-enter another.
Its fate is of no concern to its owner since continuity of life's journey is guaranteed. Until missionaries came, Aivilik theology contained no theme of soul jeopardy or retributive judgment, and therefore no religious observances for soul salvation. Even today the natives remain uninterested in thoughts of afterlife or ultimate destiny. Cessation of the heart beat remains but part of the cycle of life and death where, sooner or later, the body disappears as an entity, and the soul re-enters the cycle. The why of all this does not concern the Aivilik; they claim no transcendent ability to understand it.
They merely assert that death is not an end, but a beginning - a beginning of a new phase in a never-ending cycle. They meet the problem of death by denying the problem itself. I suspect they fear, in the secret depths of their hearts, the finality of death and that their philosophy is more a denial of a reality emotionally felt than a conviction carrying full relief. Nevertheless, they maintain that they can run all risks, squander their lives and scatter their possessions, because they are immortal. They know that there is life beyond death, beyond the corruption of the body - beyond every evidence of the disappearance of the body scattered amidst nature and the seasons.
For life, they say, is superior to time. It cannot vanish, because death like birth, is an event in time, and life is above time. This vivid belief - even if it remains unformulated, a silent assumption - is the very essence of Aivilik philosophy. It is a conviction so strong and so unshakable as to deny and defy the fact of death. Death is never an inevitability, obedient to natural laws. It is the work of a witch or deity and hence dependent upon individual and fortuitous causes. A concept of death, as something that conforms to unalterable natural laws, the Aivilik never recognize. Nor do they recognize it as an ultimate end, as the final stop in the journey of life. The entire concept of man as mortal, by his nature and essence, is alien to them. Just as deities and animals are not imprisoned in time, so human life knows no temporal walls.
The Aivilik feel that death is not a hard, unbearable fact. It is like sleep; in both cases the body reawakens. When confronting death, they clearly reveal this feeling. If they cannot cast derision upon the supersession of breath, they meet it not with anything that can ordinarily be called fear, certainly not with any kind of hope. They are exasperated. They are, in the full sense of both words, desperately angry. For death, the destruction of life, is not so much a thing to be feared as it is first of all a thing incomprehensible, impossible, an offence, a scandal. Not-to-be is nonsense for the Aivilik. This is so true that though they meet death at every turn, although they see their relatives die, although they attend their burial, still the most difficult thing for them to believe in is the reality of death. They see death; they do not believe in it. They regard it as only an episode, an episode on the road of the immortal life of man.
Nor do they doubt, at least openly, that they have lived before and will live again. At death, for instance, any display of fear is literally unforgivable. I recall one occasion when I was summoned to say goodbye to the dying Kowyeeshak, young Okomiut wife of Natakok and mother of two. With impassive faces, each member of the camp indifferently shook her limp hand. But she suddenly roused herself and cried out against her family, recounting their sins and arguing bitterly that it was they, not she, who should be taken. Her hus-
band was disgusted. He reprimanded her, and then Ohnainewk, headman of the camp, silenced her with a cutting rebuke. As I stepped outside the tent, a relative began to chant a death song which begins, "Say, tell me now, was life so nice on earth?" * [* I follow here a free translation by Father Roger Buliard, O.M.I.] Such an outburst, Ohnainewk volunteered, was a shameful exception, and it certainly differed markedly from other deaths that I witnessed. Here the natives meet the final passage of this life's voyage with calm resignation. Usually the sick person lies shivering in a corner, exhausted and coughing. His family and neighbors enter and leave the tent, from all outward appearances completely indifferent to his suffering. They seem to suppress not only an awareness of death, but the entire sense of tragedy. Unnoticed, his requests ignored, his questions unanswered, the sick man lies in silence, a stoic fatalist resigned to dying, awaiting his end, hoping and fearing nothing. Finally it is over. "The breath has gone. It is over." The entire camp soon assembles in the tent, and a low wailing of Christian hymns begins. After they leave, some to fashion a cross or prepare the grave, but most to go about their labors, a lone relative remains behind to chant the old songs. It is characteristic of these songs that they take a resigned, even light, attitude toward death. I recorded only one which revealed any suggestion of fear or rebellion:
Is it the hound of the dawn approaching?
Or I will harness you to my team.
Such exceptions occur. Generally, however, it is not death that is feared, but the ghosts of the dead who may bring dire calamity on the heads of the living. So the body is quickly buried, usually within a few hours after death. Mittens and boots worn by those who carry it to the grave are discarded, and sundry taboos, their number dependent upon each individual's relation to the deceased (and degree of acculturation), are observed for several days following the funeral. It is especially forbidden, for example, to use any edged instrument, such as a knife or needle, for the spirit still hovers about and might suffer injury. Such taboos are designed not to help the deceased in his spiritual travels, but to protect the living. In the case of Catholic converts who die with the priest beside them, viaticum and extreme unction are administered, but in all other cases no rites exist to ensure the appropriate state of the deceased after death or to give him the final spiritual easing-out of life.
Although white influence has done little to shake the Aivilik's faith in the immortality of the human soul, in one sense Christian theology has disturbed them. Rather than being reassured, Ohnainewk was puzzled by missionary efforts to present irrefutable proof of something he had no more questioned than the coming of tomorrow or the changing of the seasons. He saw no need to argue the point, for to his mind, the burden of proof had always lain on the opposite side. If anything was in need of proof it was not the fact of immortality, but the fact of death. And his entire belief system would never admit these proofs. It denied the very possibility of death. The dominant theme of his whole mythology was a constant and obstinate negation of the phenomenon of death. In the language of allegory and metaphor it affirmed
life after death, the immortality of the spirit, the possibility of communion between living and dead. It gave sense to life and solved the contradictions and conflicts with the transience of human existence on earth.
But the missionary had unknowingly hinted at the subtle but significant difference separating these two philosophies. Ohnainewk sensed this difference and sought my assurance. I admitted that there were many white men who regarded death as the great darkness and silence from which none returned, and who believed that only by realistically admitting the fact of death could one realize the fullness of life. Exasperated, openly contemptuous of my presence, he turned away. But again and again during the forthcoming months it was he who raised the question, insisting that the dead live. Didn't the white man believe in communication with the spirits of the dead? Had not the white man heard voices not of the living? Seeds of doubt had been scattered and were taking root in his mind.
Missionaries have also taught him that the true home of man's immortal soul is elsewhere and that his life is rightly regarded a preparation and training for the next. This new time perspective, with its external focus for the life pattern, promises him, if he treats the present as a prelude to eternity, an early translation to that eternity at death. The Catholic priest guarantees as well the resurrection of the physical body and depicts its future home in vague but glowing terms. And finally the Oblate father insists that the familiar world of things, including human bodies, moving about in space and changing in time, will some day be transformed. He speaks of the Last Day and the Second Coming of Christ as events marking the termination of the earthly order with the reappearance of the
Crucified One not as Redeemer but Judge.
Thus we see that the doctrine of reincarnation on the one hand and of resurrection on the other is the chief difference between these two religions. To Aivilik adherents of reincarnation, this present life is not the first and last; it is but one of an infinite series, without absolute beginning or end. Opposed to this is the view of the Oblate father who rejects reincarnation and admits two lives only, one here in the natural body and one hereafter in the body of the resurrection. In this latter doctrine, the first or present life determines forever the character of the second or future, and the same body serves in both. No longer is the soul offered a series of new lives like the succession,of seasons. Now it is promised eternity in a heavenly home. No longer are the Aivilik confronted with an endless series of reincarnations - new sufferings ceaselessly assumed, new trials, new pain, - but deliverance from time. Time continues always to be time, but the Aivilik are told that they can pass out of time, escape the cycle and find eternal rest and happiness.
In all this the natives find only confused corroboration of cyclic reincarnation. The more subtle distinctions either escape them or are dismissed. I do not believe that Aivilik converts really understand Christianity's key point the Divine Redeemer - for, not admitting death, they need no culture-hero to conquer it. Nor do they understand how this momentous conquest could be effected by charity and sufferance. But on the important issue of immortality both religions are at one. In August of 1950 I heard the lay catechist, Kidlapik chant the Christian liturgy before the body of the deceased Kowyeeshak: "Life is changed. Life is not taken away."
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
In our last issue I mentioned in the Annual Meeting Report the formation of a Committee for Animal Welfare. I am glad to state that this committee is now in being and is very active. In conjunction with other organizations and especially the S.P.C.A. under Colonel Reed, it is actively engaged in formulating in a legal manner the object of our desires, viz., a Bill of Animal Rights to be eventually presented to Parliament for approval. We hope to be the third nation to have such a Bill incorporated into its statutes. It is fully recognized that we have a hard and heavy road to traverse before this is attained, but, we have made a start, and I trust all lovers of animals will be behind us in the matter. On September 30, in the Toronto Lodge, there will be a meeting in honor of St. Francis of Assisi when the work we have undertaken will be formally inaugurated. Some members may think we are frittering away our efforts and resources in helping in such a work. I feel that it is the duty of all Theosophists to give a helping hand, in the evolution of the Animal Kingdom. `Reverence for life' to use Dr. Schweitzer's phrase, is one of the tenets of theosophy, and by adhering to it not only are we leading the life, but acting as an example to all and sundry of what Theosophy stands for.
The Toronto Lodge has started something very well worthwhile in another way and that is by offering to the Canadian Section a Library of tape-recordings of lectures by outstanding speakers from its platform for our use. In taking advantage of this offer, it will now be possible for all our lodges to apply to me for the use of the tapes, at no expense to themselves beyond obtaining or renting a "playback" apparatus for their own use. In due course I will supply a list of speakers and subjects from which lodges can make their choice. To those lodges who have no local speakers and few or none from outside, this should prove a windfall, for not only will they have the benefit of listening to what these lecturers have to say, but can hold informal discussions on same. Those interested should write me without delay in view of formulating their winter programs.
I was deeply shocked to receive news of the tragic death on September 2 of Mr. J.C. De la Rosa, a member of Toronto Lodge since 1943. Mr. De la Rosa, toward the end of his vacation, walked out on a railway bridge to take photographs of Hydro Glen, Muskoka, and failed to notice an oncoming train until too late. He was killed instantly. Mr. De la Rosa was an engineer with the Toronto Transit Commission and was well known in Toronto. My sincere sympathy goes out to his widow, son and daughter and to other members of the family.
With my daughter Gaile I have spent a happy vacation in visiting Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Garside at their summer cottage near Parry Sound. Mr. Garside is the President of the St. Thomas Lodge and is not only a real theosophist as is his wife Hazel, but lives very close to nature, and his stories of natural lore in connection with animals and trees was a revelation to us both, and our days spent there were most happy and all too short. Such an interim in the daily grind is something to remember.
I regret to note that the Bulletin of the London Lodge (Eng.) U.L.T., has ceased publication due to rising costs. It had served the Lodge for twenty-eight years.
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
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OFFICERS OF THE T.S. IN CANADA
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
Dudley W. Barr, 18 Rowanwood Ave., Toronto, Ont.
Charles E. Bunting, 75 Rosedale Ave., Hamilton, Ont.
Mrs. W.S. Harley, 254 Pine Beach Blvd., Dorval, P.Q.
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.
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.
Printed by the Griffin & Richmond Co., Ltd., 29 Rebecca Street, Hamilton, Ontario
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 with them. - Idyll of the White Lotus.
In January, 1953, Lt. Col. E.L. Thomson, D.S.O., forwarded to the Recording Secretary at Adyar, two resolutions which had been passed at an Executive meeting of the Society in Canada relative to amending Rule 10 of the Society, which relates to the election of the President. Our members will recall that in the election of 1952 the name of the Canadian nominee, Professor E. Wood was not placed before the electors as he had not received a sufficient number of nominations from other Sections. Four persons had been nominated, Srimati Rukmini Devi, Mr. Sri Ram, Mr. Sidney Cook and Professor E. Wood. Mr. E. Wood's name was rejected leaving the three other candidates to be voted upon: Subsequently Mr. Cook withdrew after having accepted nomination.
This led to a re-examination of Rule 10 and it was found that the General Council was within its legal rights in rejecting the name of Professor Wood - but the whole incident brought to the attention of the members the necessity of amending this Rule. The two resolutions submitted by Canada proposed, first, that a system of transferable vote be established under which the electors would vote for all candidates in the order of their choice, (this is the procedure followed in the Canadian elections), second, that Rule 10 be amended to provide that the names of all candidates submitted by the various National Societies be presented to the members on the ballot slips.
Since 1953 the various proposals from Canada and other National Societies have been circulated among the members of the General Council, and finally the whole matter was referred to a committee which was to report to the Council in December 1954. The committee reported that it had been unable to meet
and a year's extension was granted. When the committee did report in December 1955 it merely recommended that `all proposals, comments and recommendations so far received should now be submitted to the members of the General Council.'
The General Secretary as a member of the Council has now received a sixteen page report detailing all these proposals, comments and suggestions, together with a request for comments. This matter was discussed at the last meeting of the Canadian Executive and the printing of the Editor's comments was approved by the General Secretary and the Executive.
The report indicates a singular apathy toward the principles involved. There are many words respecting the interpretation of `members in good standing', obtaining the consent of the candidates and other minor points, but the democratic suggestion that the names of all candidates which had been submitted by the National Societies be presented on the Ballot forms, was supported by five only of the National Societies, England, Scotland, Ireland, Switzerland and Canada. Mr. N.K. Choksy, Legal Adviser to the Society, stated: "The possibility of two candidates (for such a high office as President of the T.S.) acting `in collusion' and `leaving the voters no choice' is such a remote and unworthy probability that it may well be left out of consideration." Mr. Choksy has evidently forgotten that in 1952 one candidate withdrew after accepting nomination and that the electors were not given the opportunity of voting on the nomination of Professor Wood. The same situation could easily arise in the future. The United States National Society voted unanimously against the Canadian resolutions.
From all indications it will be a long time before any final decision is reached. Three and a half years have elapsed and little has been accomplished. The Committee failed to act - but six months passed before the General Secretaries were notified of the failure. Another election may be upon us before this important Rule is suitably revised.
The Editor, The Canadian Theosophist,
Mr. Watt's comments on the formation of Phoenix Lodge very likely express his personal opinions, although his letter in the July-August number is signed 'Kitchener Lodge, Alexander. Watt, President'.
It seems to me that it is entirely the business of the group involved as to whether or not a second lodge should be established in any city. One or more of several reasons, might make such an action desirable.
Mr. Watt's suggestion that the members of a new lodge should be required to support a certain `brand' of Theosophy - in other words to accept a Theosophical creed - should be rejected immediately. Freedom of thought is the keynote of our endeavor and if the Canadian, or any other executive, at any time requires the members to accept a certain code of belief, a new executive should be elected. H.P.B. told us that "Orthodoxy in Theosophy is a thing neither possible nor desirable. It is diversity of opinion, within certain limits, that keeps the Theosophical Society a living and healthy body. Were it no so, also, for the existence of a large amount of uncertainty in the minds of students of Theosophy, such healthy divergencies would be impossible and the Society would degenerate into a sect, in which a narrow and stereotyped
creed would take the place of the living and breathing spirit of truth and an evergrowing knowledge." Too many students of Theosophy lose that `large amount of uncertainty', become doctrinarians, and then wonder why the Society does not attract more members.
Criticism is all very well in its place; H.P.B. pointed out that at times it was required to clear away the green scum that gathers on stagnant waters, but there is no suggestion of stagnation about this new lodge.
And so I say, `welcome, Phoenix Lodge'; maintain your right to seek truth where you will. If criticism comes, examine it for what it is worth, but don't let mere criticism discourage you.
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist,
52 Isabella Street, Toronto.
Re Mr. Watt on Phoenix Lodge, in July-August issue: The new lodge's name is apt. The lodge sprang from one whose parent-body is producing its own annihilation. Phoenix Lodge represents an attempt to face certain facts which the Theosophical (?) Society in general refuses to recognize. These are:
(1) That many need, and seek, precisely what Theosophy has for them and the Society was founded to convey to them; but the Society is neither conveying it or telling them where it can be found.
(2) That each lodge is, willy nilly, an economic entity and that unless it attends to its needs as such it cannot function as a Theosophic lodge. No organization, including the human individual, can function efficiently, today, on what might have been economic plenty in, say, 1916. If examples are desired, I refer to the `C.T.' itself. Another can be found within a very small radius of its office; in fact, two others. Also, if I am informed correctly, there was, once, an active Lodge in Kitchener!
Mr. Watt's fear that `psychism' will be served up by Phoenix Lodge as `Theosophy' has no base but the secretarial report which evoked it. Those who started a new lodge to promote Theosophy can be trusted to protect Theosophy. All commonsense does not reside in those brains which think exactly as does Mr. Watt! Those behind Phoenix Lodge are mature and intelligent enough to keep before their public the clear distinction between what a student might say from its platform and the broader and deeper ideas which form `Theosophy' per se.
Would Mr. Watt eliminate, as one of the Society's objects, investigation of `the unexplained laws of Nature and the powers latent in Man', merely because that necessarily must touch the `psychic' fields? . . . Or is it that what a student might find should be kept secret by him until Mr. Watt, or one of his ilk, decides that the time has come to speak? . . . For the first of those attitudes the word would be: "Cowardice"; for the second: 'Smythe-ism'!
Those who try to promote the Society's `third object' are at least sincere in their duties as theosophic students. They express courage, plus a faith in Theosophy itself; courage and faith not overly common, to say least, in those who, although still in body, evidently `departed this life' at the same time as the late Mr. Smythe!
Mr. Watt mentions the `tolerance' of Mr. Smythe. A so obvious `dictionary-digger' as Mr. Watt should know better. 'Tolerance' is the name of a virtue. Let Mr. Watt survey the current results, in terms of the society's numerical and financial strength and how well known
it is by the general public, which are the results of Mr Smythe's 'tolerance'; then, remembering that `By their fruits ye shall know them', let him ask himself whether what caused those fruits ever could have been even close to `a virtue'.
TOWARDS THEOSOPHICAL UNITY
In accordance with the request of the Editors of Theosophical Notes, we are glad to draw attention to an error in the report on the aims of The International Fraternity of Theosophists which appeared in the July-August issue of the magazine. The report stated that `two attempts are being made at the present time to unite all students of Theosophy', the word objected to is 'all'. The Editors write: "We were hardly as unrealistically ambitious as all that? . . . even the Mahatmas could not keep a once more or less united organization together; for be it from us to try the more difficult task of re-uniting it!"
"The `Manifesto' appeals to those who hold to the original Theosophy, which necessarily reduces the `all' considerably. In the nature of things also, by no means all of the `Blavatsky line', will find the Fraternity the only or best means of communication or work so far as they themselves are concerned, nor have we any criticism of them for that. As you know Notes is one of the sponsors of the Fraternity, but only a minority of its own readers have chosen to join."
The Editors further state that the Fraternity members now number about 250 and that while this is small in comparison with that of any one of the major Theosophical groups, it does have some distinguishing features of an interesting nature - members from hitherto irreconcilable organizations, an astonishing international spread for the numbers involved, and a surprising number of well-wishers and friends who are not actually members.
Balloting on the final name and form is almost completed and a newsletter will be issued shortly giving the results and reporting on various developments.
BOOK REVIEWS AND NOTES
A "Secret Doctrine" Digest, by Ernest Wood, published by The Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, India, 1956, 480 pp. price $4.25.
So far as we are aware, this is the first attempt since 1907 when Katherine Hilliard's An Abridgement of The Secret Doctrine was first published, to present in a condensed form the basic teachings of The Secret Doctrine. Katherine Hillard was moved to prepare `a shorter, a simpler and, a less expensive version' of the Doctrine because she felt that `the wealth of material that embarrassed the author of the book . . . gave rise to endless digressions wherein the thread of the subject is often lost for whole chapters, while many quotations, comprehensible only to special students, increase the bulk of the volumes, and add to the difficulty of understanding their contents.' She also mentioned that the length of The Secret Doctrine made it so expensive that com-paratively few students could afford to buy it - this is a point of passing interest in that a complete set of the original Doctrine as published in 1888 can now be purchased for $8.00, while the latest edition of the 1893 set (now bound in six books complete with detailed index) which contains the original two volumes as well as an added third volume, is priced at $13.50, even though the dollar of today is worth perhaps one-twentieth of the dollar of 1907.
Mr. Wood is to be congratulated upon this his latest book. He too has avoided bringing into A "Secret Doctrine"
Digest the many `details of knowledge, and of interpretations of traditions, allegories, philosophies and religions drawn from every part of the ancient world' and instead has presented those `statements which especially pronounce and dilate upon the essential teachings'. It was `his endeavor to present the teachings of the original book without introducing anything of his own except when such intrusion is specifically stated to be such . . .' For the most part, the book follows the pattern of the main lines laid down in Vols. I and II of The Secret Doctrine, but Chapter IX "Symbolism Explained", combines Par. II of Vol. I and Part II of Vol. II. Part II of Vol. I, "Science and the Secret Doctrine" is not commented upon, nor is the Addenda to Vol. II.
Although Mr. Wood modestly states that the book, `is intended for the reader who wishes to survey the field in the minimum of time, not for the student, who may be well advised to turn to the original work' nevertheless, students will find much to ponder over. The material is presented in the simplest terms applicable to so profound a subject - as a matter of fact, it is a bit disconcerting sometimes to find such a simplicity of example used to clarify the presentation of some difficult point, and at times this very simplicity seems to defeat its own ends - but it is not a book which he who runs may read. The Ancient Wisdom concerning the cosmos, and man and the relationship between them, is not a body of science which can be assimilated quickly; an understanding of the basic concepts comes but slowly over the mind, even though the exultant soul may joyfully recognize and eagerly seize upon that which the mind accepts only after reason too has been satisfied.
The many quotations from The Secret Doctrine are taken from the original edition; square brackets are used to indicate insertions made by the author, but until a note to this effect was found on page 233, both the original and the later edition had been checked for an authority for them.
The book is more than a digest, it is also a commentary. In his comments the author has given his own interpretations and, has succeeded admirably in presenting a well-coordinated approach to the Secret Doctrine teachings. This is a more serviceable book than An Abridgement of The Secret Doctrine which, somehow, failed to carry over the magic and fire of The Doctrine. Mr. Wood's book is based upon his years of study of Theosophical teachings - more important, it also reflects nearly sixty years of Theosophical effort and of endeavor to make Theosophy a living and active power in his daily life.
To the student who has given us the rich fruitage of his life in this vabiable work on the great source book of Theosophical teachings, members of the Theosophical Movement will be grateful. A "Secret Doctrine" Digest will be esteemed by students of today and of years to come as a book well worthy of respect and careful study.
Mind in Life and Death, A Refutation of Scientific Materialism, by Geraldine Cummins, published by The Aquarian Press, London England, 263 pp. with index 21/.
The Wisdom of the Soul, by H.C. Randall-Stevens, (El Eros). The Aquarian Press 1956, 124 pp., 12/6.
Miss Cummins is a well-known author in her own right; she is also an experimental psychic, her field being automatic writing, seven of her books being on psychic matters. In the Foreword to Mind in Life and Death, Raynor C. Johnston, M.A., Ph.D., D.Sc., (London), who wrote The Hidden Splendour, the author is described as `a person of wholesome commonsense and complete
integrity', a statement supported by the internal evidence of the book. The material presented in her latest volume was received through automatic writing.
The book is concerned with finding evidence of survival after death, and the many occurrences related therein indicative of this will be of interest to those who are seeking this kind of assurance.
Miss Cummins was the investigator visited by the late W. L. Mackenzie King, former Premier of Canada, during his visit to England in 1947. Mr. King's interest in psychic proof of the survival of the personality was a well-kept secret during his lifetime. At a sitting given for Mr. King, messages were received allegedly from the late F.D. Roosevelt. Another account tells of an earlier forewarning of a serious illness threatening Mr. Roosevelt; this was received from an entity said to be Marguerite Le Hand, Mr. Roosevelt's confidential secretary, whose death occurred two years before that of the President's.
Miss Cummins recounts her experiences, presents the evidence and its corroborations, and then leaves it to the reader to assess the worth of the evidence, and the source of the messages. Of her own control or `daemon', she says, "He might be a secondary personality. He may be a part of what is commonly called my subconscious." The author mentions a theory now held by some parapsychologists to account for the phenomena of messages received through psychic forces, namely, "the existence of a common unconscious (familiarly abbreviated to `comm con'), a collective mind containing all past, present and future facts concerning every human being's life, a library occupying no space, imperceptible to the physical senses."
A very readable and interesting book on this subject.
The Wisdom of the Soul is based upon teachings said to be `inspirationally received' from one named the `Master Oneferu', an Egyptian priest of 1300 B.C. The method of receiving the messages is not mentioned, but a note on an earlier book by the same author, Atlantis to the Latter Days, states that `a voice spoke as if the speaker were in the same room'. The messages were recorded on a tape machine. Five books based on teachings so received have been published.
The teachings include such familiar subjects as reincarnation, karma, the spiritual nature of man, the more subtle forms of matter, the renunciation of selfishness, and the seeking of atonement. The author is an outspoken opponent of Communism which he views as the embodiment of cosmic evil. He is much concerned about the cumulative effect on this planet of the atomic explosions, which according to his theory, have an effect similar to the passing of a magnetized object over a compass. "The explosion acts in the same way as the magnetized object to the compass, and the solar pull, which keeps the earth on its orbit, is loosened, causing the earth to fall away, but reasserting itself as soon as the sun's magnetism is restored." Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, extremes of temperature in the past few years, are partly cyclic, but mainly due to the effects of the atomic explosions. Unless these experiments are halted, the earth is in for a very bad time. The last chapter `World Portents' outlines some prophecies received from the Teacher concerning future planetary disturbances.
These books are but two of the many psychically inspired writings which are being published today; their publication is indicative of the widespread interest in psychic revelations. `The powers latent in man' include the psychic and
today there are many sensitives in incarnation. Unfortunately, few of them seem to be able to corelate their revelations with those of others who have similar capacities, with the result that each lives in his own universe; fewer still are students of the Ancient Wisdom.
All this interest in psychism may presage the return of that earlier stage in human evolution spoken of by H.P.B. "And there was a day when all that which in our modern times is regarded as phenomena . . . such as thought transference, clairvoyance, clairaudience, etc., in short, all that which is now called `wonderful and abnormal' - all that and much more belonged to the senses and faculties common to all humanity." S.D. 1, 536-7.
UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS ANNUAL LETTER
The year now passed since our last U.L.T. Day letter of 1955 again supplies many clear indications that Theosophical ideas are finding a wider radius of contact with the public mind. Parapsychological research, for instance, has finally brushed against the concept of reincarnation, and, if the means for bringing this about have been largely confused, and philosophically inverted, the thought of many possible lives on earth has nonetheless come to the forefront of common speculation. Serious articles providing the lineage of reincarnation theory have appeared in a number of newspapers and periodicals, and the Theosophical student finds himself, as so often in these times, faced with excellent educative opportunity and charged with special responsibility. As in the middle period of the last century, the danger now is not that men will fail to become aware of transcendental, possibilities, but that the common approach turn to phenomenalism rather than to philosophy.
U.L.T., we know, involves much more than a doctrinal basis for affiliation; it is notably a communal effort to establish the habits of thought which lead to clarity regarding all doctrines studied. While Theosophy is approached by
broad and bold thinking, it is understood and assimilated only when a desire for philosophical discipline is also aroused. Though all men aspire, at least intermittently, toward a higher level of consciousness, this noble aim can not be realized until pride in one's present degree of understanding is completely erased. Among Theosophists, as throughout the world, moreover, full meaning never yields to first assault, however wondrous the doctrines proffered. If the possession of "proper doctrines" enabled a man to call himself a true Theosophist, there would have been no need for the periodic restatement of basic principles which constitutes that great "Theosophical Movement of Ideas" reaching across the centuries from aeons past.
Both individual and communal "reworking" of philosophical understanding is the backbone of U.L.T. effort. The modulus for public meetings, by way of encouragement of new speakers among those who study long and well, makes possible unique contributions of insight and emphasis. Spectacular intellectual attainments on the platform are not the criterion, and this should make it clear that a great number of nominal Theosophists has never been the U.L.T. objective. Study-discussion
classes, similarly, are designed to encourage widespread participation rather than a mere listening to impressive utterance. The Magazine Theosophy and The Theosophical Movement (Bombay), though without claims to high "literary" attainment, stand as constant reminder of the function of U.L.T. Many of the articles which appear may be in no sense pretentiously "deep" or original - yet each one represents, for the student who labored over it, his individual research and meditation on an important idea. As with the public meetings, someone, in addition to the speaker, or writer, always benefits from the effort, while perhaps another comes to learn that his own efforts toward expanding thought are a thousand times more effective in his development than mere passive acceptance of the formulations of others. In U.L.T. each student is, so far as possible, upon his own resources in making evaluations. The meetings and the Magazine articles are designed to be suggestive rather than authoritative. The discussion encoraged, whether written or oral, of itself provides an earnest that the identification of U.L.T. as an educational endeavor is wholly appropriate.
During the past several years, the U.L.T. Letter has called attention to signs of increased susceptibility to Theosophical ideas on the part of those who represent growing tips of progress in various departments of modern thought. There are, we have seen, innumerable forms taken by what might be termed "applied Theosophy," but in all instances, and in every field of inquiry, the causative agent is the same willingness to rethink which marks the attitude of the sincere student of H.P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge. An encouraging synthesis seems to be developing between the thought and language of many "Theosophists unaware," who play their own indispensable part in furthering the progress of the larger Movement, and the ability of U.L.T. students to recognize, appreciate and utilize such contributions. While no "language of Theosophy" is ever outmoded, language should be a thing of proliferating growth, reflecting both refinement and penetration of manasic capacities. The common English expressions of H.P.B.'s day, for instance, in terms of which the nineteenth-century recording of Theosophy was so difficult, have been considerably supplemented and enriched. Physicists, psychologists, biologists, sociologists and philosophers, have all found it necessary to coin terms for the expression of subtleties unremarked in those earlier days of what historians now term "naive materialism." Arbitrary creeds of all sorts, including the formalisms of theology, are on the wane among contemporary thinkers.
Just as thinking men everywhere have more work to do if they are to extend the advance of modern thought, so does the U.L.T. student find an ever greater challenge as he seeks new channels for theosophic expression. The modulus of U.L.T. continues to provide guiding principles for both preservative and creative endeavor. This connotes a growing and ever-deepening perception of the principles of the Declaration as applying, not alone to theosophic effort, but to men of minds and goodwill wherever they may be, in finding lines of direction.
The spreading influence of study classes continues in such distant locations as Fairbanks, Alaska and Karachi, Pakistan, while a new Lodge has come into being at Leiden, Holland. One more Lodge, at London, Ontario, has acquired its own "Home." The permanency of Lodge headquarters, beginning with Los Angeles in 1927, and flowering especially in the past ten years, with Philadelphia, Reading, New
York, San Francisco and San Leandro in the United States; London, Paris, Bangalore and Bombay in India - would seem to ensure the stability of the U.L.T. foundation, and bear witness to the loyal devotion of those who would further the Theosophical Movement.
Greetings to all Associates, sincerely,
PARENT UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS.
The Hamilton Lodge is pleased to report that the last two lectures before the season closed were given by Dr. W.L. Abt, and Mr. G.I. Kinman.
The annual picnic was held in the gardens of Mr. and Mrs. T. Morris of Burlington - the weather was cool but the enthusiasm and attendance were not. The lunches were taken inside and the highlight of the picnic was the strawberry shortcake. The congenial atmosphere and good conversation held the crowd together well into the evening. The success of this picnic and the social held in May at the home of Mrs. Hilton is due to the effort put forth by our social convenor, Reg. Stevens, who since re-election is carrying on as treasurer for Hamilton Lodge.
On Sept. 8 the Season reopened with a very successful Garden Party. Mrs. Hilton, always the congenial hostess, opened her home for this occasion. Three lovely gifts were donated by members as prizes. The attendance was gratifying, including some very interesting guests from England and the Continent.
Mr. Watt who was to give our first lecture of the season was prevented through illness, and Mr. Dudley Barr very kindly consented to lecture for us. Mr. Barr gave an inspiring lecture on the philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita.
- Sarah Lakin, Secretary.
MASTERS, ADEPTS, TEACHERS AND DISCIPLES
This article is meant for members of the T.S., and chiefly for those who keep H.P.B. much in mind, whether out of respect and love or from fear and envy. Those members who believe that such beings as the Masters may exist must come to one of two conclusions in regard to H.P.B.: either that she invented her Masters, who therefore have no real existence, or that she did not invent them but spoke in the names and by the orders of such beings. If we say she invented the Mahatmas, then, of course, as so often was said by her, all that she has taught and written is the product of her own brain, from which we would be bound to conclude that her position on the roll of great and powerful persons must be higher than people have been willing to place her. But I take it most of us believe in the truth of her statement that she had those teachers whom she called Masters, and that they are more perfect beings than ordinary men.
The case I wish to briefly deal with then is this: H.P.B. and her relations to the Masters and to us; her books and teachings; the general question of disciples or chelas with their grades, and whether a high chela would appear as almost a Master in comparison to us, including every member from the President down to the most recent applicant.
The last point in the inquiry is extremely important, and has been much overlooked by members in my observation, which has extended over the larger part of the T.S. An idea has become quite general that chelas and disciples are all of one grade, and that therefore one chela is the same as another in knowledge and wisdom. The contrary, however, is the case. Chelas and disciples are of many grades, and some of the Adepts are themselves the chelas of higher Adepts. There is therefore the greatest difference between the classes
of chelas, since among them has to be counted the very humblest and most ignorant person who has devoted himself or herself to the service of mankind and the pursuit of the knowledge of the Self. On the other hand, there are those chelas high in grade, actual pupils of the Masters themselves, and these latter have so much knowledge and power as to seem to us to be Adepts. Indeed, they are such when one compares them with oneself as a mere product of the nineteenth century. They have gained through knowledge and discipline those powers over mind, matter, space and time which to us are the glittering prizes of the future. But yet these persons are not the Masters spoken of by H.P.B. So much being laid down, we may next ask how we are to look at H.P.B.
In the first place, every one has the right to place her if he pleases for himself on the highest plane, because he may not be able to formulate the qualities and nature of those who are higher than she was. But taking her own sayings, she was a chela or disciple of the Masters, and therefore stood in relation to them as one who might be chided or corrected or reproved. She called them her Masters, and asseverated a devotion to their behests and a respect and confidence in and for their utterances which the chela has always for one who is high enough to be his Master. But looking at her powers exhibited to the world, and as to which one of her Masters wrote that they had puzzled and astonished the brightest minds of the age, we see that compared with ourselves she was an Adept. In private as in public she spoke of her Masters much in the same way as did Subba Row to the writer when he declared in 1884, "The Mahatmas are in fact some of the great Rishees and Sages of the past, and people have been too much in the habit of lowering them to the petty standard of this age." But with this reverence for her teachers she had for them at the same time a love and friendship not often found on earth. All this indicates her chelaship to Them, but in no way lowers her to us or warrants us in deciding that we are right in a hurried or modern judgment of her.
Now some Theosophists ask if there are other letters extant from her Masters in which she is called to account, is called their chela, and is chided now and then, besides those published. Perhaps yes. And what of it? Let them be published by all means, and let us have the full and complete record of all letters sent during her life; those put forward as dated after her death will count for naught in respect to any judgment passed on her, since the Masters do not indulge in any criticisms on the disciples who have gone from earth. As she has herself published letters and parts of letters from the Masters to her in which she is called a chela and is chided, it certainly cannot matter if we know of others of the same sort. For over against all such we have common sense, and also the declarations of the Masters that she was the sole instrument possible for the work to be done, that They sent her to do it, and that They approved in general all she did. And she was the first direct channel to and from the Lodge, and the only one up to date through which came the objective presence of the Adepts. We cannot ignore the messenger, take the message, and laugh at or give scorn to the one who brought it to us. There is nothing new in the idea that letters are still published wherein the Masters put her below them, and there is no cause for any apprehension. But it certainly is true that not a single such letter has anything in it putting her below us; she must ever remain the greatest of the chelas . . .
- W.Q. Judge
(The Path, June, 1893, reprinted in The Heart Doctrine, pp. 21-24.)
THE REBIRTH OF OCCULTISM
By Roy Mitchell
The wheel has come round again. After a century during which it has been fashionable to doubt the survival of the soul and to be a little skeptical of the very existence of such a thing as soul, we have entered upon a new era. Its chief characteristic is the intense interest thinking men and women are manifesting in the soul and its hidden powers.
Their interest in the occult sciences does not mean that they despise physical science. On the contrary they honor its vast achievements on the plane to which its own rules must confine it. None the less they realize, just as the best scientists do, that physical science works under strict limitations which require it to rule out everything that cannot be seen or touched, weighed, measured or otherwise recorded by its instruments.
What cannot be thus recorded, it happens, makes up the most important part of what we call life. Reason, intuition, imagination, art, religion, aspiration, faith, friendship, love, devotion, must elude the most delicate instrument.
The camp-followers of science have indeed offered theories of these. They have endeavored repeatedly to bring them down to the physical plane and explain them as arising out of functions of the physical body. They say they are secretions of the brain, manifestations of glandular action, illusions arising out of the action of the physical machine. At no time have their theories been greatly persuasive. Too many people recall that European physiologist who announced a few years ago that he had at last, located the soul and had succeeded in dissolving it in glycerine.
Such insisters on the complete materiality of man offered a theory, and still do though less confidently, that man is a mechanism like a clock and that his motion gives rise his vital and spiritual qualities. The theory has lasted long enough to get into a couple of encyclopaedias, but better scientists have reminded the machine-man advocates that a clock not only requires somebody to wind it up from time to time but also a clockmaker to make it. Nobody ever heard of a clock that made itself. Since this was pointed out, the theory has gone off a trifle.
Today outstanding workers in the field of science are turning more and more to the problems of the soul. Curiously enough they are coming out exactly where the old occult philosophers did thousands of years ago. Only a little while ago when Prof. Henri of the Sorbonne declared, after a long and delicate series of experiments, that the life behind forms is not only immortal but that it must incarnate again and again to fulfil the necessities of its being, the terms in which he expressed it looked as if they had been lifted bodily from the Divine Pymander of the Egyptian Hermes, the source book of all alchemy.
Alchemy itself is being exonerated after centuries of derision. The discovery of radium, which as it decays in air is transmuted into helium, in water into neon, and, when there is copper present into argon - three other elements - has compelled science to turn to the recognition of the theory underlying the old Hermetic art.
Telepathic communication so long regarded as a superstition, has come definitely into the field of science and its reality is today attested by thousands
of experiments of psychic researchers whose integrity and scientific qualifications are beyond question. Sir Oliver Lodge has said of the phenomena of telepathy that they must be regarded as established in the judgment of those who have studied them. Sir William Barrett takes the position of the old occult schools that mind can communicate with mind instantaneously across space in some medium peculiar to mind itself, not to be identified with the ether in which radio waves are transmitted.
The old occult philosophers talked of the astral body. It projected they said, beyond the physical body and thus constituted its aura or field of force. Those who dared to believe in such a thing a generation ago were laughed at by physical scientists and were assured that such an idea was good enough for the Hindus, the Greeks and the Egyptians but was not good enough for modern science. Modern science is now seeing a new light. Dr. Kilner's dicyanin screens have made it possible for any observer to see and study the emanation of mist that stands out from three to five inches from the human body. Dr. Baraduc's biograph and Dr. Schofield's sthenometer have both in thousands of cases recorded emanations from the bodies of their patients.
Clairvoyance in its many forms is coming into the field of science. The old theory of the occultists, that in a subtle grade of matter which the Hindu calls akasa and the early European philosophers called the astral light are photographic records of past events, is sponsored now by Dr. Baraduc and Prof. Bray. A great number of attested phenomena are being put together.
The phenomena of communication with the dead and with invisible beings have occupied too much public attention to need more than passing mention here. It is enough to recall that Sir William Crookes, Sir Oliver Lodge, Alfred Russell Wallace, Frederic Myers, Sir William Barrett, Lord Lindsay, Camille Flammarion, and C.F. Varley, all scientists of the first order, were persuaded even if the vaudeville performer Harry Houdini was not. The ancient doctrine of possible contact with an inner world of being has had sufficient demonstration to make it a new and necessary field of scientific enquiry.
The Society for Psychical Research has on the single subject of apparitions at death nearly 20,000 elaborately analyzed cases. The divining-rod for water-finding has come back into respectability and is now the subject of a scientific treatise by Sir William Barrett and Theodore Besterman. Throughout the war water-finders accompanied the troops in Asia Minor and wells were dug according to their directions. Levitation of heavy objects, the alteration of weight in objects, and a great number of other phenomena are on the laboratory tables for examination. Trained men are already assured of their verity.
Mental Therapeutics, so recently ins the realm of superstition has been erected into an accepted branch of healing. The old doctrine of the third eye or pineal gland which was the organ of interior vision has stirred again, after being lost too the world for centuries. A dissection of the gland in the sphenodon lizard shows that it once had a retina.
All these in the lower levels of the occult sciences. They are the ones nearest to the realm in which science works. What shall we say of the higher occultism beyond the reach of science. It has to do with the inner life of the soul.
(The above is one of two short articles which were found recently among some old papers. The second, "What is Occultism," will be published in a future issue.)
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