Vol. XXXVII, No. 6 Toronto, Jan.-Dec., 1957 Price 35 Cents
The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document
KARMA AND ITS SOLVENT
Theosophy brought to the attention of the western world three fundamental factors in nature and in human evolution, namely: Reincarnation, the law of Karma and the fact of human brotherhood.
To these three there should be added a fourth which is implicit in them, and that is, the existence of a way by which an individual, through direct experience within himself, may know the processes of life, may become aware of the Law, and may realize the basic solidarity of the human race. An intellectual knowledge of these factors will guide a man to a good life; direct experience may lead him to masterhood.
The capacity to experience these things directly is innate in man's nature; it is a quality of his being, as his inner self is inextricably linked to the very Being of the Universe. In The Idyll of the White Lotus, this thought is expressed with the beauty of comprehensive simplicity:
"The soul of man is immortal, and its future is the future of a thing whose growth and splendour have no limits.
"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 imself; the decreer of his life, his reward, his punishment."
Man is a `lawgiver' because the law of Karma is part of his being; it is not a system of control established by a power extraneous to him. The great teachers agree in asserting that under this universal law of cause and effect, all things come into being. All living entities in the universe are subject to this Law - it is the mode of being. The lesser lives are controlled by the Law without any apprehension on their part of its nature, but Man, who at this point of evolution is a thinker, whose reason is, or should be, responsive to intimations from his higher intellectual and intuitive faculties, has an awareness of the law, the comprehension of it varying to the degree that an individual is sensitive to the influences of his higher self.
As individuals we may be enmeshed in a far-reaching web of causes and effects created by the actions of groups with whom we are linked, families, communities, nations, races. Often we may be adverse to actions taken by the group, and the effects of those actions, insofar as they affect us personally, may seem to be the results of the operation of a
law outside our control. However, in many ways that we may have forgotten or not thought about, by actions of our own, the individual is connected with the group; he shares in its common life; the security and privileges which come to him as a member of the group, and which he may take for granted, are, in the subtle operations of the law of being, ties which link him to the whole group, its administrators, educators, cultural leaders, as well as to its unthinking masses. The great law operates throughout and causes and effects are equal and opposite.
The individual is also enmeshed in a web of his own direct making, a web which was produced and is being added to daily by his own actions on every plane of his being. An action, karmically considered, is much more than a physical act which is often the culmination of various nrior actions in mind and emotions. The psychological impulses produce karmic progeny of their own, and as ordinary men and women cannot live without thinking, feeling and acting, the karmic web of cause and effect in the mental, emotional and physical realms, is ever changing, but never lessening.
We speak of Karma as `cause and effect', which might imply two separate things: it would he more correct to say `cause-effect'. The effect does not follow after the cause - it is inherent in it just as the oak is inherent in the acorn. Many effects do not become manifest immediately: days, months, years, even lives, may intervene, but the cause-produced-effect is not separate from the effect-producing-cause. They are one.
When a man is born, the unresolved karma of past lives awaits him on the threshold of his new life. The race and the period of history into which he incarnates, the surroundings of his early life, the character and capacities of his parents, his own innate possibilities, the opportunities which come to him in life, all these are part of his karmic web. As he lives to manhood and old age, he works out some of the karma brought forward out of past lives, and at the same time engenders new karma, some of which may be resolved in his present life, but some of its effects may not come to fruition until future lives. A man may, over one or more lives, encounter what the Buddhists term `chronic karma', that is, set in motion constantly a chain of similar cause-effects resulting from his tendency to act and react, in the same manner to the circumstances which he encounters. It is as though he could not break through a barrier, could not learn the one lesson needed to enable him to surmount some particular fault. As with a marred gramaphone record, his needle of tendency slips back into an old groove and there is no forward going. The desire which motivates him has become so ingrained that it seems to be part of himself; in other aspects of his nature he may learn the karmic lessons readily enough but his `chronic karma' continues to be a stumbling-block.
Each individual, then, is involved in myriad cause-effects which he has originated, karmas now being created, karmas of the past now coming to fruition, karmas of the past which are still latent, karma of physical action, mental action, desire action. Man must act and in acting he creates causes. The Bhagavad Gita says. "No man ever resteth a moment inactive. Every man is involuntarily urged to act by the qualities which spring from Nature." Each action produces its own effect and the individual who initiated the action is bound by the chains of cause-effects issuing therefrom.
Considered from the aspect of its impersonal mechanics, karma is bondage,
"A mighty whirling wheel of strife and stress
Which none can stay or stem.
Who mounts may fall, who falls will mount; the spokes
Go round unceasingly!"
How then can one be freed from this bondage? This is a subject upon which much has been said and written. Some say, `A man cannot give up acting and in so doing, creating karma. But he may abstain from certain kinds of action and carefully select other kinds. He may, through observation, realize that actions on his part performed without regard for the rights of others, ultimately produce effects which are unpleasant for him to bear. Without attempting to be in any wise `spiritual' he may, through his study of the dynamics of karma, learn to live in such a manner that he does not offend against others, and may actually be of service to others, doing all this for the one self-centred aim of having a pleasant life, or perhaps lives, if he accepts the theory of reincarnation.'
That and other theories which relate to the substitution of one kind of karma for another for the sake of the effects upon the individual concerned, does not answer the question of how to attain freedom. Pleasant karma, through its psychologically satisfying nature, may bind one more firmly than unpleasant karma - that at least should send us questing for something different. H.P.B. states that "in becoming Karma-less, good karma as well as bad, has to be gotten rid of . . . Nidanas (chain of cause-effects) started towards the acquisition of good karma, are as binding as those induced in the other direction."
The many karmas in each of our lives, arising from selfish thoughts and deeds, bind us closely and deny freedom. To contemplate the sum total of all these, and to consider ways and means of making equitable adustments which will restore the unbalanced equilibrium, brings despair. If, for example, in some previous life, we slew another man, how would we find solvency from that debt? That we should die by violent means at about the same age as our victim, would be fair, but what about all others who suffered through our original act, the victim's wife and children, the community deprived of his council, the nation bereft of his services? The spreading circles of any violent action, tossed like a stone into the waters of a pond, do not cease until the surface of the whole body has been affected. How can such a chain of cause-effects be dissolved.
The mind may despair of finding an answer, but fortunately the mind is not the final authority within man's being; the intellectual faculty, unlit by the rays of buddhi, the spiritual soul, is, as H.P.B. says, `but a direct progeny of the terrestrial, lower principle.' `Mind', said Patanjali, `is not self luminous.' The answer would appear to lie in man's more inner nature, not in mind with its logic, its reasons, its pros and cons, its balancing of one factor against another.
In several places in her writings, H.P.B. speaks of the efficacy of a closer association between man's lower and higher natures in counterbalancing the results of past actions and in attaining a greater measure of freedom in following the intimations of the higher self. For example, "It is a law of Occult dynamics that `a given amount of energy expended on the spiritual or astral plane is productive of far greater results than the same amount expended on the physical objective plane of existence'." "The suppression of one single bad cause will suppress not one, but many bad effects." "And know further, that if Karma relentlessly records in the Esotericist's
account, bad deeds that in the ignorant would be overlooked, yet, equally true is it that each of his good deeds is, by reason of his association with the Higher Self, a hundredfold intensified as a potentiality for good."
Perhaps here is the clue to the problem of finding the solvent for the mass of unadjusted karma which confronts us. Nature's great law of equilibrium is not harmonized merely by `an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth'. When a man by virtue of his link with the one life of the universe, is stirred to remembrance of his divine estate and moves from that which is personal and self-seeking, to that which is universal and ever self-giving, his potency of action is immeasurably increased and the body of karmas arising from past actions on the personal planes can be counter-balanced, if not with ease, at least with the competency of a greater wisdom. He does not cease from action, but he acts with an increasing awareness that the Law of Karma is the mode of Life, that it is an impersonal force seeking nothing for itself, but regulating and adjusting impartially the effects which flow from the multitudinous activities of all the collective lives within the great body of Being. Krishna said, "For Me, nothing remains that should be done throughout the three worlds, nor aught to gain that I have not gained; yet I engage in works. For if I should not engage in works unceasingly, even for a moment, these worlds would sink away."
Krishna is the personification of the One Life pervading all forms; he is the Self of the Universe, the Higher Self of all men, the one universal Self in which all lesser selves are part. As a man moves toward the innermost core of his being, he realizes the affinity of all beings. Compassion is born; "The more thou dost become at one with it, thy being melted in its Being, the more thy Soul unites with that which Is, the more thou wilt become Compassion Absolute."
Karma, the impersonal law, is part of that Self whose nature is Compassion Absolute. In its mechanical operation of adjusting effects to causes set in motion by human beings, it acts without regard to the feelings and desires of the personalities, but as the universal mode of Life, the means by which the divine activity of the universe is sustained, it is `a power divine which moves to righteousness.' It is both justice and compassion.
One cannot become free of this universal law, but a man can attain freedom within the Law through realization that it is the law of his own innermost being, that he is actually the lawgiver and the lawmaker. To the degree that he attains realization and engages in works which conform to the nature of the universal Self, to that degree his embracing benevolence and altruism in noble actions and in inspiring deeds, will dissolve the chains of many past karmas engendered by the personality.
He acts detached from desire for the fruits of action; seeking nothing for himself, he works for the well-being of all humanity. Through his compassion he becomes at one with his fellow human beings, not by sinking into the mass as a nonentity, but by becoming a great souled one, capable of embracing all beings within himself - and of understanding, communing with and loving all men while retaining the freedom and integrity of his own self. The polarity of this love is outward going; asking for nothing in return, it seeks all good for others and strives with patient yearning for the goal of universal enlightenment and freedom.
Eric Fromm, in The Sane Society, states that "The fact that utter failure to relate oneself to the world is insanity,
points to the other fact, that some form of relatedness is the condition for any kind of sane living" and that love is the only productive form of relatedness. He further states that love in this sense is not restricted to one person. "Love is the experience of human solidarity with our fellow creatures . . . if I can say, `I love you', I say, `I love in you all of humanity, all that is alive; . . .' ". This is a modern psychologist's way of saying what was written thousands of years ago in ancient India, "Not for the sake of the husband is the husband dear, but for the sake of the Self is the husband dear."
"Now bend thy head and listen well, O Bodhisattva - Compassion speaks and saith; `Can there be bliss when all that lives must suffer? Shalt thou be saved and hear the whole world cry?' "
Compassion moves the Enlightened Ones to actions for the benefit of humanity, the unawakened, but nevertheless, undetached sparks of the one Flame. These works for others, not for one's own sake, do not set in motion nidanas of cause-effects, they do not invoke the dreaded Karma-Nemesis of the personality; they are works of the nature of the Self, performed under the Law in wisdom and in perfect freedom.
In selfless love for all beings chains of karma are dissolved. This love is great of heart, and kind of deed. It is never a rival. It is never its own centre. It does not magnify itself. It never oversteps the seemly order of things. It does not seek its own. It is not prone to anger. It does not keep counting the evil. It endures all things . . . and never ceases to be." In this love there is `the fulfilling of the law'.
- D. W. B.
THE SEVENFOLD NATURE OF MAN
- Mrs. R.H. Griffith
"Man know thyself" is such a familiar saying that it falls on the ears of many of us without arousing any deep response.
Some might say, "What is there to know"; others that they "Know themselves too well already".
Suppose, however, that someone did consider this saying of the Delphic Oracle as of practical value to himself, where would he turn for information, which would help him in the quest of self knowledge?
If we put the question "What is Man" to various types of people, what would their answers be? One might say "Man is a being born into the world in a certain period of history, inheriting his various characteristics from his forbears, and living his life either helped or hindered by what he inherits. He may be born into any kind of circumstances varying from that of great riches to great poverty, whether those riches or poverty apply simply to material things or to the wisdom or lack of it of those who guide him in early life. He will eventually die and either cease to be, or continue his existence in other realms of being."
Suppose this question were asked of a person of the Christian Faith, he or she might answer "Man is a child of God, created by Him at birth and destined after he dies to live forever in some sublime region, provided he fulfills certain conditions during his life. He is born in sin, but has been given the chance of salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and through his own efforts to live up to the ethics taught by Him."
The answer, of course, might be much
longer, but we are all familiar with this teaching and it need not be enlarged upon here.
Suppose you were to ask a Theosophist "What is Man" he would not answer you quickly, because he would feel as I do, that however much he had studied this vast subject, he knew very little indeed and even that little would not be easy to explain.
He would tell you that through the ages, the constitution of man, his place in evolution, where he came from and whither he goes, were taught in the mystery schools to earnest-minded pupils, whose lives were dedicated solely to the object of gaining this sacred knowledge. He would tell you that for the first time in recorded history, this knowledge has been given out publicly to the world through the teachings of Madame H.P Blavatsky.
According to Theosophy man is a composite being, which means that man is not one sole and unmixed entity. He is the result of three strains of life, the highest being that stream of life represented in man by his own individual Inner God, the Spiritual Soul, reflecting Divinity, called in Christianity the Christos and in Buddhism "the Buddha within".
The second stream of life is represented in man by the intellectual thinking principle, that which makes man, Man, a self conscious being. It is the human soul in its highest reaches, often referred to as the Reincarnating Ego. In its lower reaches it is the animal-human soul, that part of man's constitution which has passed more lately through the lower kingdoms of nature.
The third stream of life is represented by the physical body with the two principles most closely connected with it, and these might be said to house the other principles during earth life. The spirit, soul, and body of Christianity correspond to these three streams of life.
Our own individual inner God, in long ages past, incarnated as a member of the human race, incarnated many times, until He had won His liberation from that particular school of life and entered a greater and a grander one. We, as human beings, are going through the same sort of struggle from which He emerged triumphant, and the lower animal part of our nature, the third member of our individual world or hierarchy, will in time, through the processes of growth, take the place that we now occupy. All beings pass through the various kingdoms of nature, as children pass through the different grades of school.
It is not the bodies, of course, that pass into the different grades but the life that ensouls them called in Theosophy, "Monads".
This sometimes seems rather complicated to those unacquainted with the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom, but it becomes far less complicated when we learn to recognize within ourselves the voices of these three main actors in the drama of man's evolution.
The Voice of Voices is the voice of Man's Inner God, seldom directly heard at our stage of evolution.
The second is the voice of our higher human nature, urging us upwards towards the spiritual flame, and the third voice is that of our lower nature, the voice that we know so well, the voice that is so clever at persuading us that what we want is what we should have.
Sometimes they are all three heard in less than a minute of our time.
A scientist wakes up in the morning. His lower self says "Stay in bed, it is comfortable and warm here." "No" says the higher man, "I have got to get up and get on with my work." He starts to dress, and suddenly, there flashes into his mind an illuminating piece of know-
ledge, a ray of light from the highest part of his being, the God within. In the outer world he is proclaimed a genius, and truly the term is not undeserved, for it is only to those who have searched and sacrificed or to the very pure that such light can come.
A boy grows from youth to manhood, holding in his mind a high ideal. He wants to help his fellow man and later for that purpose enters public life. He gains power and receives much subtle flattery. His ideal fades and his interest shifts from the work he set out to do, to the benefits he himself receives from doing this work. This man who started life looking towards his Inner God, now turns his back on him and follows the dictates of his lower nature. As a child of heaven and of earth he has for the moment made the wrong choice.
For many years, after I became interested in Theosophy, a sort of helpless feeling came over me when anyone mentioned the septenary constitution of man. I do not know whether it was the Sanskrit words often used to describe them, but the fact remains that the Seven Principles were a bogey with me for a very long time.
I understand them a little better today and I do not think that an elementary understanding of them is difficult at all. Someone might quite well remark "Why should we try to understand them, what does it really matter?" and the answer is that without some understanding of them you cannot go far in the study of Theosophy which deals so comprehensively with the study of man. Further than that, some understanding of them is essential to any clear picture of what happens to us after we leave the physical plane at death.
Let us then consider the seven principles of man and relate some of them at least to our own lives, for that is the best way to understand anything.
First of all what is a principle?
It could be called part of man's constitution for we are told that "Man is a sheaf or bundle of Forces or Energy. Forces and matter, or spirit and matter, or spirit and substance being fundamentally one, hence man is a sheaf or bundle of matters of various differing grades of ethereality or of substantiality, and so are all other entities and things everywhere."
An easy way, I find, to understand a principle is to think of it as a mode of expression.
When you think, you are using one principle; when you desire, you are using another; when you act, another, and so on. They are all, of course, closely interwoven one with another. We separate them only in order to understand them.
Counting from below upwards, our first principle is the physical body. No one needs to tell us what a physical body is, because we know it is our means of activity and contact with the physical plane, without which we could not function here at all. Destroy our body and we have to make an immediate exit from the material plane, and this exit is commonly called Death. There is, however, much which takes place in the physical body that most of us know little about. The occultists tell us that in the light of the teachings of Theosophy, these processes would reveal to us and illustrate faithfully, the processes of the invisible worlds.
To quote from Madame Blavatsky, "Analogy is the guiding law in nature, the only true Ariadne's thread, that can lead us through the inextricable paths of her domain towards her primal and final mysteries."
The second principle in man is known by many names, the simplest of which is the pattern body. It is composed of very fine matter, invisible to our ordinary sight and is the model or mold on
which the physical body is built. Unlike the physical body, which some scientists tell us is renewed within a period of seven years, the model body changes very little during a lifetime.
It is the bridge between man's higher principles and his physical body, his lowest principle, for it steps down the higher vibrations, making their contact with the physical body possible.
At death, the pattern body disintegrates at about the same time or shortly after the disintegration of the physical body. It is this fine ethereal body that is used by mediums at seances and it serves as a pattern for the physical body before birth, at which time, some say, it can be affected by the thought of the mother.
Next we come to the third principle or element in man which is named "prana". It is the life force or vitality which permeates the physical and model body and keeps us alive and growing. When our physical bodies finally become old, they cannot withstand the strain of pranic energy and death ensues, for we are told, that both death and sleep come not from the failure of life, but from its excess.
So much for the lower triad composing, first, the physical body; second, the model body, upon which the physical body is built and third, the prana or the life force.
This, as said before, is the vehicular part of man's constitution, or the house in which he lives during earth life.
Next we come to the intermediate duad, the fourth and fifth principles. These are the centre of man's normal consciousness today. The fourth principle is called Kama or desire. In itself it is neither good nor bad, its goodness or badness depends on the use we make of it.
The objects of our own desires are many and varied, but we are using this fourth principle, this most important principle, the driving force in nature, when we desire or aspire to have, or to do, or to be anything.
Intimately connected with desire is our fifth principle, Manas or mind or thinking principle, which, when first awakened, gave to us the feeling of, I am I, a separate being, apart from all others.
Obviously volumes could be written on the principle of mind, on account of its tremendous importance to us as men, but for the purpose of this paper, it is only necessary to draw attention to a few facts.
The most important of these is, that mind can be used to raise us to the heights or carry us, to the depths, for as we know, the reason that an animal cannot sink as low as man is because he cannot stimulate his desires by the use of his mind or imagination.
Neither, without that mind or imagination, can he rise to the heights.
Desire and mind then are the fourth and fifth principles in man, the seat of our ordinary consciousness, and this leads us to the sixth and seventh principles.
The sixth principle is called Buddhi and the seventh Atma. Buddhi is the principle in man that gives him spiritual consciousness and is the source of his greatest inspiration. It is the Christ Spirit and it is rare indeed that we can raise our consciousness to this level. When we are capable of doing so at will, we shall be adepts or masters.
Buddhi is the veil of our highest principle Atma. Atma is pure consciousness and gives to man or any other creature his consciousness of selfhood, or his sense of "I am".
The sense of "I Am" draws us together, while the sense of "I am I" draws us apart.
These two higher principles may be hard for us to understand, because they
are beyond our normal consciousness, but we must remember that although we cannot as yet rise to their level, we are constantly bathed in their influence. They are like the sun forever shining, waiting for us to open our doors and windows to let them in.
They are also the source of our highest inspirations and aspirations, of our intuitions and our rare flashes of genius. We must therefore listen for their voice, the voice that is sometimes called the voice of the silence.
To reiterate then, we see that the seven principles or modes of consciousness of man, can be divided roughly into three parts, the lowest a triad, consisting of the physical body, with its finer counterpart the model body, both permeated by the life force. Secondly, the intermediate duad, the desire and mental bodies, the seat of our ordinary everyday consciousness, and lastly an upper duad, the expression of our Inner God, or the Christos or Christ-Spirit.
All these have to be taken into consideration before we can understand the story of man which has been told endlessly in symbol, legend and myth throughout the ages. It is even the basis of our fairy stories. It permeates everything, for there is no other story. It is the story of life itself.
To most people of the western world a man's story starts when he is born and is wrapped in mystery when he dies. To the Theosophist the story is beginningless and endless, but since it repeats itself over and over again, though for ever on higher levels, something of it can be known. It is the eternal story of the prodigal son.
I have sometimes pictured in my mind how a certain part of the story could be symbolized in a dance or ballet. From the back of the stage a light would shine, and this light would represent that radiant light which streams forth from the immortal core of our inmost being. When the curtain rises, one figure alone would occupy the stage. This figure would represent man, and his dancing would be slow and clumsy and have an earthlike character.
Gradually there would appear on the stage other figures, this time female figures, dressed in a variety of colors from the murkiest and dullest to the most vivid and beautiful representing the many forms of desire by which man is swayed.
At this point in the dance, our central figure - man - growing more alive, would seem to be entirely at the mercy of the least beautiful of these will-o'-the-wisps. The tempo of the dance would increase, for although man would tire of one "Desire", another would immediately take her place.
Then gradually his movements grow slower and man looks towards the light and at once the light condenses and becomes a figure of light.
The quality of the dance changes again becoming more delicate, more graceful, and man pursues the more beautiful forms of Desire in spite of the efforts of the others to recapture his fancy.
For brief moments they are successful, but once more he looks toward the light and this time, seeming to sense its relationship to himself, he makes an act of obesiance, an act of dedication to It.
Turning once more to the figures of desire he refuses any longer to follow their lead. This maddens them, and the dance becomes fast and furious.
When, however, he will not follow them they fade away, all except the most beautiful of them, who makes the same act of obesiance to man, as he had previously made to his Inner God. Just before the curtain goes down, the figure of light becomes a figure of reality. He
(Continued on Page 138)
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
Election time is in the offing and I wish to remind the electorate that this is a democratic organization whose privileges should be enjoyed to the full. All officers are automatically out of office at the expiration of the financial year on 30th June. It is your prerogative then to state who is to take over. Secretaries and other officials of Lodges are requested to study the note about the General Election, and to call special meetings of their lodges, if necessary, to prepare nominations for the office of General Secretary, and for seven members of the General Executive. There should be no delay about this, and members are requested to interest themselves in this matter. Dues must be paid to entitle members to vote.
The following letter was sent to the Presidents of Lodges and is printed here in order that all may know what has been done recently to help the lodges in their work: "As per a Resolution made at the last meeting of the General Executive I now enclose a copy of Boris de Zirkoff's pamphlet - "Hypnotism and Reincarnation" for the use of your lodge. We trust you will find it useful for discussion especially in regard to the recent interest displayed by the public in the Bridey Murphy case. I also enclose our latest list of Recorded Lectures made at the Toronto Lodge. If you are desirous of having the use of any of these for Meeting purposes, please let me know. The only charge would be the return postage on same. Also enclosed is a copy of "Discovery", a folder that can be used for purposes of distribution to members and friends; the blank page at back can be used for notices of lodge activities, etc. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that books for study, etc., which you may not have in your library are available by means of the Toronto Travelling Library. A list and conditions may be had from the Secretary, 52 Isabella St., Toronto. If there is anything Headquarters can do for you in your efforts to disseminate Theosophy please let us know. Also enclosed are four of our new pamphlets. Kindly let us know how many you would like."
Congratulations to Mrs. R.H. Griffith on her article "The Special Aims of the Theosophical Society" which appeared in the last issue of the magazine. The Editor and myself have received several letters of appreciation for this article. That is very encouraging. Evidently it is something very much to the point and the kind of article our members hunger for in that it gives them something of our philosophy that they can think about. After all Theosophy is a way of life and we need help now and then for as we progress along the road we are apt to wander astray. So when we come to a sign post, such as this article, we accept it gratefully and step out with greater confidence and more eager steps.
Apropos of the above we are also gratified in that not only do we have writers but lecturers in our ranks. I have received congratulatory reports about the recent visit of Miss M. Hindsley to Montreal where she lectured to the Lodge and evidently had a very appreciative audience. Among the eulogies expressed were her "vivid personality", "learned address", etc. All this is very encouraging and apparently the Canadian Section is not doing so badly; it seems that the motto "Multum in parvo" may be applied to ourselves.
My correspondence has been somewhat heavier than usual. It seems that our readers are taking more interest in the magazine than heretofore. In my report on the last meeting of the General Executive I made but a terse mention of Mrs. Harley's letter to me (brought before the meeting) on the subject of unity between the Theosophical Societies in Canada and prospects of a convention. One reason why I did not enlarge on the subject was that Mrs. Harley, a member of the General Executive was not present to go into details, and another that the subject was to be brought up again. But since my correspondents have written me, being curious about the matter, and others may be of the same frame of mind, I will expound it a little. Re a convention: It would be a grand thing if we had a large membership, then we could, like our brethren south of the Line organize conventions and other national meetings. But being as we are and having a far-flung line of lodges separated by thousands of miles, how many of our members would or could come to say, Toronto for a few days to attend a convention? or if the convention were held in Vancouver, how many would go there from the East? So let's be practical. Regarding the question of unity which Mrs. Harley vaguely suggests, we can ask ourselves a question "Why did the Federation break away from us far back?" I do not wish to dig up old bones, but have we come any closer through the years? Certainly we are more friendly but the cleavage remains. Our friendly relations were amplified during my trip across Canada two years ago when members of both groups attended my lectures and I was warmly received. I also at that time had thought much as Mrs. Harley suggests and wondered whether a reunion could be effected between the two groups. But after much thought I decided to leave things alone and let time take care of them. There are some things the Canadian Section has held to through the years, the principal one being Theosophy as taught by H.P.B. and the Masters. Scanning the horizon I see distinct signs of a return to that original basis and I am content to wait on the sidelines for the coming (not that I will be there,) of the next dispensation when all our divergent groups shall stand four-square for that great event.
It is with great pleasure I welcome the following members into the Society: Miss Rosamond Kelly; Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Anderson; Mrs. Frances C. Kennedy; Mr. John R. Robins all of the Toronto Lodge. Mr. John R. Colombo, Kitchener Lodge; Mr. Frank Spencer, Hamilton Lodge; Mrs. Ann E. Boggis, Miss Eva Swift, Mrs. Lilian E. Thomas, of the Canyon Lodge; Mrs. Louise Duguay and Mr. George H. Duguay of the Montreal Lodge; and Mr. Ralph G. Chatwin of the Vancouver Lodge.
This item is in the nature of a postscript before going to press. Christmas is now behind us and the New Year looms ahead. So I take the opportunity of thanking the many, many kind friends who have sent me such lovely thoughts and good wishes at this season of the year. From all parts of the world they have come and one has a feeling of exaltation in realizing how far afield our friends and our philosophy extends, and yet how closely to us they lie! May the coming year be one of peace and blessing to us all and may there be a greater understanding between the nations of the earth.
- 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
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 ANNUAL ELECTIONS
Nominations for the office of General Secretary and seven members of the General Executive should be made by the Lodges during the month of March so that returns may all be in by the 1st day of April. Experience has shown that it is impossible otherwise to issue voting papers, carry on the elections, get returns made, and scrutinize the ballots in time for a declaration in the June Magazine. Secretaries of the Lodges will see that the matter is brought before their respective Lodges, and when nominations are made, have them sent AT ONCE to the General Secretary. Nominations must be made through a Lodge, and consent of persons nominated must have been previously obtained. Nominations must reach the General Secretary by April 1st, when the nominations close. They should be mailed at least a week before. This will enable ballots to be sent out, should an election be necessary, on or before May 1, and voting to close June 1st. Nominations must be sent in a separate letter addressed to the General Secretary, 52 Isabella St., Toronto, Ontario.
For sometime now it has been known that Mr. Sri Ram has been far from well. Recently I had a letter from his private secretary in answer to one of mine to him in which she stated that he had been unable personally to write to anyone owing to being confined to bed with bronchitis and being prescribed total rest by his medical adviser. We all know that Mr. Sri Ram is not of a strong constitutional nature and it is therefore not surprising that after his recent tour of four and a half months in Central and South America of constant lecturing, travelling and accommodation in badly heated hotel rooms, a throat condition and debility was brought about that necessitates a thorough rest. I feel sure I voice the heartfelt wishes of the Canadian Section when I send our best wishes for his speedy recovery and the hope that he will soon be out and about and able to carry on the good work which he has so much at heart.
- E. L. T.
MRS. THOMAS GLOVER
We regret to report the sudden death of Mrs. Lilian Glover, Secretary of Calgary Lodge, on Sunday December 23. Mrs. Glover joined the Theosophcial Society before the Canadian Section was established and was Secretary of the Lodge for many years.
Word of her sudden passing came from Mr. S.S. Elliott, a member of the Calgary Lodge, who stated that "I had the privilege and pleasure of her friendship in the lodge for over fifteen years. During that time I have never heard her say an unkind word about anyone. She had a warm, friendly personality, together with a keen and retentive mind. During the depression years she said that she was resolved not to turn anyone away as long as she had anything in the house at all. There was no doubt in her mind about spiritual values. In this respect she was an inspiration and a guiding light to others not having such a strong sense of direction."
A tireless worker for the Theosophi-cal cause and one who embodied its principles in her life, has passed to a well earned rest.
To Mr. Glover and to the other members of her family we extend our sincere sympathy.
The Editor, Dear Sir:
In the September-October Canadian Theosophist under Correspondence, you publish a letter signed by `R. Woods' dealing with a letter the writer sent you - which was published in the previous Canadian Theosophist - with reference to the new Phoenix Lodge in Hamilton.
Mr. Wood's letter has all the earmarks of having been written by a gentleman, so I am sure he will not mind if I say a few closing words to this matter, in rebuttal. His first paragraph is correct; I wrote on the local Lodge's letterhead and the opinions expressed were my own. He is 100% correct as regards his second paragraph. In his third paragraph he states that I suggest 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," and states that such a suggestion "should be rejected immediately". I only know one Creed as regards Theosophy, and that is the Three Objects of the Society. However, I do feel that the Third Object might perhaps be dealt with in private study classes and not from the public platform. H.P.B. left the T.S. to carry on the Third Object exclusively in the Esoteric Section. My original letter was written after a letter written by the Secretary of the new Phoenix Lodge had appeared in the C.T. and it was based on what was said therein and what I personally know of the situation in Hamilton.
I am sure that Mr. Woods would not approve of AMORC lecturers speaking from the T.S. Lodge platforms whilst calling themselves Theosophists, neither would he approve of the doctrines of the Liberal Catholic Church being paraded from our platforms as Theosophy. By this I do not infer that such is the case with the Phoenix Lodge. I do however stand for Blavatskian simon pure Theosophy, and have always understood that the Canadian Section did likewise.
The writer has been deeply interested in the esoteric side of Theosophy for many years and while he is the present President of the local Lodge, he has always kept Esotericism separate from the Lodge and has conducted a class in his own home along esoteric lines, but has never called it a Theosophical study group or any other class inferring as much. The Kitchener Lodge Chartered
in 1935 has carried on continuously since that time. During that time there has been a period of Pralaya and a balancing Manvantara. If on the surface the Lodge has not been active and numerically strong, that does not suggest that Theosophy has not been active in the district. Some Lodges can be numerically strong and Theosophically weak. Ofttimes an insidious and iconoclastic worm will be found boring at the heart of the most perfect apple.
As I have said earlier, I wish nothing but the best for the new Phoenix Lodge and its Members, many of whom I count my very good friends, but their success will be measured in my humble opinion by the quality of the Theosophy they present from their platform.
It is unfortunate that the name of our late General Secretary has been smeared in this correspondence, and this I sincerely regret as I shall ever cherish a fond remembrance of him and an admiration for his stand in matters Theosophical, as I am sure will many others. Sometimes one wonders how such correspondence passes the Editor.
I have spoken my last word in this matter and I do not feel that the columns of the C.T. should be used for vending personalities.
A letter was received from Mrs. Alice L. Berry, General Secretary of the Theosophical Society in England, relative to the article "On the Three Objects" which appeared in the Sept.-Oct. issue of the magazine, and particularly to a sentence appearing therein reading, "Quite correctly, it is often announced from our platform that an acceptance of the ideal of human brotherhood is the sole requirement for admission (to the Society)." Mrs. Berry pointed out that an acceptance of all three objects is required of would-be members. This is correct and on the application form the applicant states that he applies for membership as a Fellow, `being in sympathy with the objects of the Theosophical Society'.
The intent of the sentence referred to was that the first object is regarded as being of primary importance. No one is obliged to study comparative religion, philosophy and science, nor to investigate the unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in man. However, the ideal of human brotherhood without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or color is obligatory; that first object strikes the keynote of Theosophical endeavor and the pursuit of the other objects should be undertaken as contributory to that ideal.
Phoenix Lodge has had an interesting and stimulating program of lectures during the past 4 months, commencing with Mr. Dudley Barr's lecture on "The Dead Sea Scrolls" on September 16th, which was well attended and enthusiastically received. October 14th we received a visit from Mr. Harry Marquis who handled the subject - "The Carefree Life" - with his usual common sense and practicality. On November 11th Dr. Arnold A. Moxom dealt very appropriately with the subject "There is No Death" which evoked much interest and many questions. Our President, Mr. Cecil Williams, lectured on the book "The Pulse Test", on December 9th, to a very interested audience. Following this lecture our Librarian disposed of 10 copies of this informative and helpful book.
A most enjoyable Social Evening was held at the home of Mrs. Alice Stewart in Burlington on December 15th, under the able convenorship of Mrs. Williams,
with Mr. Harry Marquis acting as M.C. and arranging an excellent program of events.
It was decided in the fall that the Sunday evening discussion meetings would be held at the Wentworth Arms Hotel, and this arrangement has proved to be very satisfactory. An interesting exchange of ideas has provided new food for thought, and thrown additional light on some of the early teachings.
Last, but by no means least, must be mentioned the phenomenal success of the booksales department, which has resulted in a total of 128 books being sold, to a retail value of $146.55. This is all due to the untiring enthusiasm and hard work of our Librarian, Mr. Henry Kramkowski, who has diligently promoted the sale of Theosophical literature.
We have a stimulating program arranged for January, with a lecture by Mrs. E. Adams on "Your Aura", and the discussion meetings will deal with the subject of the Creation Story.
Phoenix Lodge is looking forward with confidence to continuing the good work of actively promulgating Theosophy in Hamilton and district in 1957.
- Stella Ballard, Secretary.
Hypnotism-Mesmerism and Reincarnation, compiled by Boris de Zirkoff, published 1956 by Blavatsky Writings Publication Fund, Los Angeles, California, paperbound, 123 pp., price $1.00
The wide interest in reincarnation aroused through the hypnotic experiments recounted in The Search for Bridey Murphy, prompted Mr. de Zirkoff to compile this booklet which `presents the Theosophical viewpoint in the words of some of the leading thinkers of the modern Theosophical Movement'. It contains two articles by, and excerpts from the writings of each of the following: H.P. Blavatsky, Wm. Q. Judge, and Dr. G. de Purucker, together with excerpts from The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, one article by Colonel H.S. Olcott and one on Karma by Mrs. A. Besant. A lengthy and well written article by the compiler himself is a fitting ending to the collection; this is entitled "From Death to Birth, Teachings of the Esoteric Philosophy concerning the Nature of Death and the Process of Reincarnation."
The distinction between hypnotism and mesmerism is made clear in these articles and warnings are given against the inducing of hypnotic trances. In an extract attributed to H.P.B. it is written, "In hypnotism the nerve-ends of a sense-organ are first fatigued, and then by continuance of the fatigue are temporarily paralyzed; and the paralysis spreads inwards to the sense-center in the brain and a state of trance results. A frequent repetition of this fatigue predisposes the patient to fall readily into a state of trance, and permanently weakens the sense-organs and the brain. When the Ego has left his dwelling, and the brain is thus rendered passive, it is easy for another person to impress ideas of action upon it, and the ideas will then be carried out by the patient, after coming out of trance, as though they were his own. In all such cases he is the mere passive agent of the hypnotizer."
"The method of true mesmerism is entirely different. The mesmerizer throws out his own Auric Fluid . . . . through the etheric double, on his patient; he may thus, in the case of sickness, regularize the irregular vibrations of the sufferer, or share with him his own life-force, thereby increasing his vitality. For nerve-atrophy there is no agent so curative as this, and the shrivelling cell may clairvoyantly be seen to swell up under the flow of the life-current . . . ."
Mr. de Zirkoff's deep interest in Theosophy and his very extensive knowledge of Theosophical literature has enabled him to contribute a valuable collection of the important writings on this subject, one which will be useful to students as well as newcomers whose interest has been recently awakened and who are seeking more light on hypnotism, mesmerism and reincarnation.
What are the minimal qualifications to become a student of Theosophy? There must be some particular qualities or faculties, which are essential to the advantageous study of Theosophy. How can we discover them and study them? This is not easy. There are many qualities which are valuable, but we want to narrow it down to that human quality which is utterly basic, that quality which you cannot get behind; that quality which is absolutely essential to this endeavor. To help in trying to discover it, let us imagine a group of men and women of different and opposing beliefs such as we have about us in every city; a Catholic, a Socialist, a Jew, a Protestant, a Tory, and so on, individuals with widely different approaches to life, who have one thing in common, - goodwill. They are gathered together, let us suppose, to find out how they jointly can really do something for human well-being. Their first problem is to discover what, with their widely different outlooks on life, they can agree upon which will be satisfactory to every one of them as truly contributing to human well-being.
Well, after many suggestions have been examined and discarded, after much discussion, they determine that human nature itself is at the root of all human problems, and that anything less than altering human nature can be nothing more than palliative, - at best a temporary expedient. The problem,
they all agree, eventually narrows down to the production of a finer race of men and women on this planet. Now the question arises, what are the characteristics of this finer type of man? Many ideas are put forward, widely divergent from one another; for instance, the Catholic maintains that obedience is the supreme quality, the ideal man must, above all, be obedient to God and His representatives. The Socialist, on the other hand, has no use for obedience as a basic human quality. He proclaims reason, the rational faculty, as basic; make all men follow reason and all will be well. But the Jew maintains that humility, self-abatement before the Almighty essential. Without this, what is man? Nothing at all! The Protestant declares for faith, and the Tory for tradition and so on. So they are forced back and back to get behind them all, and gradually as the mental atmosphere clarifies, it becomes apparent that nothing other than sincerity, is the one quality they can all agree upon. Try as they may, this quality is found to be utterly fundamental. They can find nothing back of it, nothing more basic than this. Whatever other qualities this finer type of man may have, he must be sincere.
Just as these hypothetical people, so any group of students using the same method, will inevitably be compelled to the same conclusion, that sincerity is the basic human quality which anyone
at all, no matter what his type or temperment, must possess, cultivate and guard, if he would make Theosophy a power for good in his life. The sincerity, however, which is required by the student, is a far more drastic thing than the sincerity we are all familiar with; it begins where ordinary sincerity leaves off. It is not sufficient for the student to believe that his intentions are good, that his motives are what he believes them to be, he must know what they are; as far as it is possible, he must know. This sincerity which the student demands of himself, is called `desperate sincerity' for it is his sheet anchor; the one thing he relies upon from first to last, right up to Adeptship.
The hidden power of self-deception is unbelievably potent in human life; it is the means by which we, as personalities, gain protection from unwelcome truth. We use it all the time to hide from ourselves the unwisdom of the things we do, and want to do; things which we would be forced to change if we looked them squarely in the face and saw their real nature and their effects. This power of self-deception permits us to "lay that flattering unction to your soul" by which we from day to day, and year to year, think of ourselves as we are not, either crediting ourselves with a strength and nobility we do not possess, or conversely looking upon ourselves as the weakest and meanest of men, - anything rather than face the truth that we are very much like other people, - no better, no worse. Sincerity is the will to pierce through self-deception and face the truth.
We shall undoubtedly encounter layer upon layer of levels of self-deception increasing in subtlety, which are brought to the surface and exploded, as we go forward. The forms of self-deception we can see through now, will with any luck, seem very crude in ten year's time. There is no need to expect the impossible of ourselves; later on, yes, then progress as an occultist, we are given to understand, consists of doing the impossible, but now it is enough if we use our inner honesty, our sense of truth with ourselves, to attempt to know where we stand and what we are doing, and strive to stop fooling ourselves. Every student will deceive himself badly sometime, some life, and get side-tracked and perhaps spend the rest of his life in grandiose delusion; but if his, `desperate sincerity' comes to his aid, if he has trained himself never to turn away from the truth however unwelcome, and to at least face the truth whether he has the courage to follow it or not, then he will not stay deluded for long, but will find his way back to sanity, a wiser and a stronger man.
Theosophy teaches that Man is a Spiritual being. He has, lying asleep at the centre of his being, spiritual powers. These powers have to be called into activity, and the first of them is sincerity, the innate sense of truth within oneself. Spiritual powers first manifest themselves clearly, as a rule, as an illumination of the mind, called spiritual perception. Whenever an individual endeavors to see the truth in any situation, having no slightest wish to bias the conclusion in any direction, having nothing but the will to see and follow the truth whatever it may turn out to be, and wherever it may lead, spiritual perception is invoked and the mind sees as clearly and deeply as it is possible for it at that time and the truth is revealed to him.
This, on the whole, seems to be a pretty reasonable universe we live in. We depend, in the last analysis, entirely upon ourselves. No one is pushing us, we can go our own gait. The goal is reasonably clear, and the means, and we know we get back the exact equivalent of our own efforts. If we like to hang
around doing the same things life after life, that is all right apparently. Nature will go on producing bodies to all eternity. But if we should get an idea that we would like to contribute to the business of life and, to human well-being (for human life is often not funny) why then, the road is open and the first power we shall require is sincerity, and the next is courage. Sincerity without courage is unthinkable; it demands a high order of moral courage to consistently face the truth about oneself. There is still another human quality necessary for this endeavor; it is intelligence. It does not require a high degree of intelligence to perceive the truth about oneself if the will is there, but nevertheless there are many subtleties of motivation even at the level of the student, which intellectual obtuseness will miss, - "No one can have too much intelligence."
Sincerity, courage and intelligence, then, these three human qualities which tie in with one another, no one being really possible without the others, are the basic minimal requirement for a student of theosophy. Whatever other qualities may be added, these three are basic for all students, for all time.
- Orpheus Lodge, Canadian Theosophical Society.
SEVEN PRINCIPLES (Continued from Page 129)
stretches out his hand to man and man stretches out his hand to his own purified lower nature, and the act of atonement or atonement is complete.
Now what does all this mean to us? All of us, I think, have looked toward the light. We may or may not have made our irrevocable dedication to It, but we are striving toward it. We recognize its existence. During our many lives on earth we have built up strong individual personalities. We
have complex physical bodies, strong desires, accustomed modes of thought.
We have used these to obtain what we wanted and up to a point in evolution this is right. In no other way could young humanity have grown.
To have tried to spur it on with impersonal spiritual ideas would have been just as useless as to tell a child that if he behaved, we would (if we could) explain to him the Einstein Theory. Nature is wise and draws us on by slow but sure degrees, always offering us that which is beyond us but can be obtained, not that which is entirely beyond our reach.
Our personalities are built, but much has to be done with them yet. Some day we are going to offer them to our own Inner God, but in their present state, that offer would be a paltry one. That does not mean that we cannot already give our allegiance to that which is highest in us, but the gift itself, the work of creation, if you like, is only in its rough state. It has to be improved, cleansed and polished. It has to be made adaptable, sensitive and beautiful.
This task, we must admit, is the hardest task there is. Whereas before we have used all that we had at our command to help ourselves and those we cared for, now we have to dedicate ourselves to Life's purpose, which is henceforth to recall man to his innate Divinity. The prodigal son must find his way home.
To be negatively good is not enough; to be filled with knowledge is not enough. We have actually and gradually to become the reflection here on earth of the essential nature of our own Inner God, which essential nature is wisdom and compassion.
Most of us, I think, when we were young, except perhaps for short bursts of enthusiasm, found religion very dull.
This seems to show that orthordoxy has lost the spirit of Religion which surely should fill us with happiness and a sense of high adventure.
It is true that those who take the teachings of Theosophy seriously, will realize that they have to give up many cherished weaknesses and conquer their faults, but they have been shown a promised land, a very beautiful land, which cannot be reached without effort and sacrifice, and the effort is felt to be worthwhile.
People go through the most terrible dangers and hardships to advance science or discover a buried city. The monotony of hardship and danger are part of the price they pay. The spirit of the explorer is just as much needed by those whose interest lies in the field of philosophy and religion and the treasures to be sought are beyond price.
Our treasure lies within us, smothered by selfishness, prejudice, indifference, laziness, ambition, love of popularity and many other activities of our lower nature.
Let us then remove these hindrances bit by bit over perhaps many lives, strengthening and purifying at the same time our minds, desires and physical bodies, and gradually we shall make a channel through which the light can flow.
This is the great, adventure, the adventure compared to which all others are a pale reflection, and the beauty of it is that anyone at all, at any time can start on this road ever leading inwards.
The halt, the blind and the lame all have this opportunity and could not most of us be described as such, inwardly at least if not outwardly? But this need not discourage us, for sometimes it is our very limitations that throw us back on ourselves. Neither need the equipment worry us, for we have a perfect set in our seven principles, and the field of operations is near to hand, the ordinary everyday life in the physical world, changed only by our attitude towards it and towards our fellow beings.
That for which we search is within us too, buried as the seeds are, below the ground. These things are not buried in one human heart but in all human hearts, waiting for us to create the conditions in which they can flower, and that brings us to one more thought.
Sometimes you hear people say, especially now, with the world in its present unhappy state, "I shall not be very sorry when my time comes to go".
That is perhaps natural enough, but we must always remember this, when once we have left the physical plane, or the world of causes through the portals of what we call death, we shall find ourselves in the world of effects. Not once, until we come back to the physical plane existence, so truly called the school of life, not once shall we make a choice or use our will power. Our life from that moment will be a flowering of our past-life here. This has been clearly expressed by Madame Blavatsky in these words:
"Nothing can happen to a spirit in the heaven world, the key note of which has not been struck during life. The conditions of a subjective life are such, that the importation of quite external impulses and alien thoughts is impossible. But the seed of thought once sown, the current, of thought once set going, and then its development in Devachan may be infinite, for the sixth sense there and the sixth principle are our instructors, and in such society there can be no isolation as physical humanity understands the term."
If this is so, should we not consider our time on earth as precious, because it is here that we sow the seeds that will grow, not only in future lives here on earth, but also in the planes which we inhabit between lives. If we want
things of beauty to spring up in our path, then we must try to bring beauty to our environment, for we only reap what we sow.
This all seems so very obvious, but unfortunately that tantalizing voice of our lower nature takes advantage of us when we are tired or discouraged, and just at such a time when our opportunity is great we listen to it and let our opportunities slip.
In thinking of all this, we can see how very important it is for us to spread these ancient teachings, whose latest name is "Theosophy" so that all may have the chance of hearing them, remembering always that a train of thought once started will produce a wonderful result in that state of consciousness which is ours between lives.
Then, when we, and they appear once more as new personalities on the stage of life, we shall have a deeper understanding of life's essential verities, and be able to take our places as more useful exponents of the teachings of the Great White Lodge.
THE REAL THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT
The story of the Theosophical Movement reaches back across the centuries, its beginning lost in the darkness which precedes the memory of man. Its representatives, teachers and spokesmen have all said the same thing - that its origin is the evolutionary impulse of great Nature; its purpose the uplift and emancipation from suffering and ignorance of every living thing upon the face of the earth. It teaches the immortality of the soul - of the enduring human ego - that eternal pilgrim who journeys from life to life, passing through civilization after civilization, sometimes gaining, sometimes failing, but ever moving onward according to its self-made destiny. For this soul, there is no darkness without the light which casts the shadow, no agony without a compensating joy or peace. The end of all this struggle is the growth into greater self-knowledge which means that the hunger for love and companionship will at last be satisfied in the realization of the spiritual identity which joins every man with his fellow, which makes us all parts of one another, all brothers and children of one great parent, Life.
This was the dream for which that lion-hearted soul H.P. Blavatsky labored. There were those in her lifetime who felt the touch of her spirit, the magic of her indomitable will, and lived forever after in the warmth of the fire kindled within them. There have been others, since, who have found the same tide of aspiration and have merged their lives with its ever-running current. The real Theosophical Movement is not a matter of "organizations." While it may use organizations, as souls use bodies, the life of an organization in no way defines or limits the life of the Theosophical Movement. H.P. Blavatsky cared little or nothing for the institutional forms of Theosophical organizations. She would, as she wrote to Col. Olcott, quickly drop the Theosophical Society if it ceased to be a useful tool for the spread of the living ideas with which she was solely concerned. But she cared everything for these ideas, and Judge, with her and after her, felt as she did and followed her example. The true history of the Theosophical Movement is of necessity a history of the movement of ideas - the fertilized germs of thought which stir the human intelligence and spur it onward to further heights of comprehension and a wider fraternity of mind. - The Theosophical Movement: 1875-1950, pp. 329-330.
GOTAMA SAKYAMUNI AND THE BARBER
"And a certain poor man, of mean birth and occupation, one Upali, who was a barber, saw the Lord of the World pass by, and ran after Him, and being spoken to became an Arhat there and then."
- Buddhist Legend.
As I plied my trade in the shop one day, the Lord of the World passed by.
So I up and out and after Him, although I knew not why.
(After the Lord - Upali, the barber, - I !)
And He turned and stood and waited for me - the Lord - He waited for me.
"May I have a word with thee, Lord?" said I.
"Say on," said He to me.
(Said the Lord of the World to Upali, the barber - me!)
And I said to Him, "Lord, it is this; is Nibbana for such poor men as I?"
"Have faith, Upali," He answered me, "Nibbana is very nigh."
(Nibbana is for Upali, the barber - ay!)
"When may I follow Thee, Lord?" I asked. "Although you never knew,
You have followed Me long, Upali, and I - 'tis I who have followed you!"
(I followed the Lord - He followed Upali, too!)
"May I be near to Thee, Master?" I asked.
"You are near to Me now" said He.
"For I am with you always, Upali, and you - always with Me."
(The Lord of the World and Upali - I and He!)
"And how shall I see Thee always, Lord?" I asked. And He said
"Who sees Me seeth the Truth, I declare; who seeth the Truth sees Me. We are ONE and the same, Upali - I and He."
"May I touch Thee, O Lord?" I asked, and lowly before Him bowed my knee.
And He smiled and said "Ay! You may touch." So I touched Him, and He touched me.
(I touched the Lord - just a man like you and me!)
ABBHUTAM ! ACCHARIYAM ! A Marvel! The LIGHT burst in!
I was free! Run is the weary round of lives. There is no more Upali to be. Done is my task. There is no more birth for me! - F.L. Woodward.
THE FOUR RADIATIONS
I radiate boundless loving-kindness above, below, in the four directions. In every direction of the universe I radiate boundless loving-kindness, To every living creature in the universe I radiate boundless loving-kindness.
I radiate boundless compassion above, below, in the four directions. In every direction of the universe I radiate boundless compassion remembering the endless suffering of the world.
I radiate boundless joy, above, below, in the four directions. In every direction of the universe I radiate boundless joy so that a spark of it at least will reach every heart.
I radiate boundless equanimity above, below, in the four directions. In every direction of the universe I radiate boundless equanimity, remembering that everything in the universe is the fruit of a just law, the law of causality, the law of cause and effect, the law of karma.
THE FEMALE MIND
Our attention has been drawn to an article bearing the title, "The Labyrinths of Theosophy" and published in Our Hope (Nov. 1955), an evangelical journal. The article is hignly critical of Theosophy which 'refuses to accept vicarious atonement for personal sins' and 'disclaims any allegiance to the blood of the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ . . . '.
The article gives short biographical notes of Madame Blavatsky and Mrs. Besant and speaks of their work for theosophy, followed by this gem of thought;
"The history of Theosophy then, is marked indelibly by the imprint of the female mind dabbling in things that the Word of God has expressly forbidden women not (sic) to delve into. It should be remembered also that the Apostle Paul strictly enjoined the Christian Church in no uncertain terms to forbid women a teaching ministry."
How H.P.B. would have roared at that `imprint of the female mind'!
St. Paul has often been criticized for his alleged disparagement of women and his most frequently quoted words concerning the ministry of women are, "Let your women keep silence in the churches; for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home, for it is a shame for women to speak in a church." (I Cor. 34, 35)
The messages of St. Paul were directed to small groups of students of the mysteries. He wrote as `a master builder', a teacher of the mysteries and his messages contained many symbolic words. In the mystery schools there were various grades of advancement - some teachers, some pupils, some `entered apprentices' and according to one authority, St. Paul's words of warning did not refer to `women' as a sex, but to a certain grade of learners.
An esoteric interpretation of the above verses is given in Letters from Paulos by an erudite writer who uses the pseudonym `Omikron' and who points out that the gender of several words relates to a symbolic usage, rather than to the sex of a person. Anthropos, aner, kore, gyne, nymphe, meter, should not be interpreted literally but symbolically. They refer to degrees of standing in the mysteries, not to sex or alterations in biological status.
His translation of the verses is as follows;
"Your (Wards) Souls - Newly-wed-to-the-Way must be silent in the Guilds. For no direction is given for them to recount experience, but to be under guidance, and in such manner as our law includes. But if they wish to learn any particular thing, let them ask their own Illuminate Teachers for suitable instruction in a Household of Study. For it is beyond their power, for Souls-Newly-Wed-to-the-Way to recount a competent experience in the Guilds of the Way of Wisdom."
- D. W. B.
TO BE RATHER THAN TO KNOW
Perhaps the most common form of suffering the sincere student experiences is that of the condition described in Letters That Have Helped Me (p. 183) , in which one thinks, "I am not progressing. I know nothing." Mr. Judge then says: "The wish to know is almost solely intellectual and the desire to Be is of the heart."
Could it be that this sort of confused, generalized suffering is one of the "checks" of the soul by Karma, spoken of in the third Fundamental? Why not? Let us consider it such, and make the most of it as a way of understanding our psychic difficulties.
What matters it how lofty and "spiritual" the utterances of our intellectual accumulations? We can reach through lower Manas as higher Manas, only by becoming, by transforming ideas into active and purposeful disciplines; then, only, are we fulfilling the purpose of the Cycle of Necessity - the acquirement of Spiritual Self Control. To refuse to become and to be content only to "know" would be to enclose ourselves in a cocoon of intellectual vanities. Instead of striving to be a Spiritual Sun we should be choosing the role of a Moon, which "knows" many things psychically, yet is a dead planet.
We can be our own karmic agents and "check" ourselves, by forestalling disappointments and worry about our progress. We can also look carefully to see whether part of our desire to "know" is only a subconscious urge to force ourselves ahead of others, perhaps to be "spiritual" leaders. If we seek to transmit the spirit of Theosophic Teachings to others, we must, above all, be natural human beings. To live on the plane of higher Manas is not a groping in the endless sky. We can become both "natural" and "knowing", especially if we do not grudge the time such a joining may take.
In the Gita, called "the study of adepts," the godlike virtues are enumerated as fearlessness, sincerity, assiduity in devotion, generosity, self-restraint, piety, and rectitude; harmlessness, veracity, and freedom from anger, resignation, equanimity and not speaking of the faults of others, universal compassion, modesty, and mildness; patience, power, fortitude, and purity, discretion, dignity, unrevengefulness, and freedom from conceit. Theosophy is in the world that we and all others may eventually become beings of such nature.
- Theosophy, April, 1952.
INDEX to The Canadian Theosophist, Vol. XXXVII
Aldwinckle, Eric ........ 75-7
Barr, Dudley W. ........ 5-9, 21, 23, 54-8, 60, 63-4, 73.5, 87-90, 102-3, 110-11, 121-5
Barry, Mona ........ 23
Bhoodan Movement ........... 68
Blavatsky, H. P., Tribute to ......... 25
Hypnotism ......... 42-7
Bridey Murphy Case, Thoughts on.......... 27-31
Bridey Murphy Found? ..........102-3
Buddhists find a new home ..........119
Carpenter, Edmund S. .......... 32-4, 78-82
Convention, 80th International of
Theosophical Society ........ 1-4, 19-21
Correspondence .........14-15, 85-7, 133-4
Dead Sea Scrolls ......... 5-9, 21, 75-7
Election, Annual, T.S. in Canada .......... 34
Eskimos, Reincarnation and the ..........32-4
Eternal Life and Self-Definition among Aivilik ........ 78-82
Evolution, Self-directed ........... 49-54
Executive Meeting, T.S. in Canada ..........37-8
General Secretary, Notes and Comments by .... 10, 11, 34-5, 59, 83, 107, 130-1
Gifts, The Three .......... 23
Gotama Sakyamuni and the Barber........... 141
Griffiths, Mrs. R.H. .........104-6, 114-19, 125-9, 138-40
Harris, Iverson L. ............ 49-54
Hodson, Geoffrey ............ 15-16
Hypnotism ............ 42-7
Bridey Murphy Found? ......... 102-3
Johnston, Charles, quoted ....... 25
Judge, Wm. Q., quoted ......... 25, 92-3
Karma and Its Solvent ........ 121-5
Lodges, Among the
Hamilton ........ 12, 92
Montreal ......... 13
North Vancouver ......... 11
Phoenix .......... 34, 37, 109-10, 134-5
Lotus, Symbology of ..........26-7
Man, Seven-fold Nature of ............. 125-9, 138-40
Marquis, H. ...........86-7
Masters, Adepts, Teachers and Disciples ....... 92-3
Middle Way, The, Quotation from ............ 71
Mind, the Female ........ 142
Mindfulness, Way of .........112-13
Mitchell, Roy ......... 94-5, 99-101
Murphy, Bridey, Thoughts on Case .......... 27-31
Found? .......... 102-3
Chapman, Miss Annie S. ........... 59
Curtis, Mrs. Anna .......... 37
De la Rosa, Mr. J.C. .......... 83
Glover, Mrs. Thomas .........133
Griffiths, Mrs. Eliza ........... 36
Macdonald, Mr. E.J. .............34
McLean, Mr. Edward G. ........... 107
Morris, Miss Annie ......... 37
Objects, Three, of T.S. ......... 73-5
Occultism, Rebirth of .......... 94-5
What is? .......... 99-101
Orpheus Lodge, Practical Theosophy, Science of Wise Living .......97-9
Minimal Qualifications ......... 136-8
Practical Theosophy ........... 69, 70-1
Practical Theosophy, The Science of Wise Living ......... 97-8
Minimal Qualifications .......... 136-8
Purpose, the Ultimate .........66-7
Radiations, The Four .........141
Ram, Mr. N. Sri,
Presidential Address to 80th International Convention, 1955.... 1-4, 19-21
Illness of ........132
Reincarnation and the Eskimos ......... 32-3, 78-82
Reviews and Notes
Buddha and His Path to Self-Enlightenment ........ 22
Buddhist Students' Manual ........ 67-8
Health, Healing and You ......... 22-3
Hypnotism, Mesmerism and Reincarnation ........ 135
Search for Bridey Murphy .......... 23
A Secret Doctrine Digest ........ 87-8
Theosophy and Buddhism .......... 68
Mind in Life and Death........ 88-9
Wisdom of the Soul, The ......... 88-9
Outsider, The ....... 110-11
Rule 10 of Theosophical Society ....... 84-5
Sangha, The English ........ 113
Scrolls, The Dead Sea ....... 5-9, 21, 75-7
Sevenfold Nature of Man ........125-9, 138-40
Stairs, The Golden .......... 77
Suzuki, Dr. D. T., in Toronto ......... 39-41
Teachings of Theosophical Society.
The Three .......... 17-19
Theosophical Movement, the Real......... 140
Theosophical Society, 80th International Convention ... 1-4, 19-21
Helping the ........ 15-16
Our President ........132
Three Teachings of ........17-19
Three Objects of ......... 73-5
Rule 10 .......... 84-5
Special Aims of ........... 104-6, 114-19
Theosophical Society in Canada
Auditor's Certificate ....... 11
Annual Election .......... 34, 65, 132
Executive Meeting ......... 37-8, 107-8
Financial Statement .......... 61
Annual Report ........... 60, 108-9
Towards .......... 54-8, 60, 87
Theosophy, Practical, The Science of Wise Living ....... 97-9
Minimal Qualifications ........136-8
in Greece ........ 111
Tiplin, Winifred ......... 26-7, 66-7
To be rather than to Know ........ 142
United Lodge of Theosophists
Annual Letter ........90-2
Watt, Alexander ........ 62-3, 133-4
Way, The Only ........... 112-13
Western Trip, D.W. Barr ......... 63-4
Wilks, W.P. .......... 14-15
Williams, Cecil ......... 15
Wood, Ernest .......... 17-19, 27-31
Woods, R. ..........85-6
Woodward, F.L. ........ 141