Vol. 41, No. 3 Toronto, July-August, 1960 Price 35 Cents
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THE GIFT OF APPRECIATION
By Mollie Griffith
Nature gives up her innermost secrets and imparts true wisdom, only to him who seeks the truth for its own sake and who craves knowledge in order to confer benefits on others, not on his own unimportant personality. - H.P. Blavatsky
Earth's crammed with Heaven, and every common bush afire with God. But only he who sees takes off his shoes.
- Robert Browning
In The Voice of the Turtle a play that ran in New York for some years, and which has since been shown as a movie, the heroine asks the hero, on meeting him for the first time, "What do you do when you are not in the army. Do you paint or do you write?", and after some thought he answers rather deliberately, "No, I have only one gift, the gift of appreciation."
This phrase struck a sympathetic note in me, because it is something I have often thought about, so that when I read in The American Theosophist a few weeks later that Theosophists were the great appreciators, I decided to try and gather together a few ideas on this subject, which is the basis of this article.
Now the third object of this society is "to investigate the unexplained laws in nature and the powers latent in man". Appreciation is, I feel, a power, not altogether latent, but not nearly so fully developed as it could be in all of us, even in the children of the human race. It is essential in all artistic work, for appreciation of line, of color and of harmony lies behind the work of the painters and musicians, and appreciation of nature in all its moods lies behind the exquisite writings of the poets, as appreciation of the daily struggle of individuals lies behind many of our best plays and books.
It takes a certain development to appreciate philosophy or true religion and a different type of appreciation to follow the intricacies of nature, which lead to a knowledge of science. We cannot all appreciate the same things, or express it in the same way, but we can all develop appreciation in ever widening fields.
Now I have asked myself, what do I mean by appreciation and it seems to me that it is a recognition of something or some quality or some truth that we admire and respond to, in our fellow men, in nature, or in that sphere of being which we cannot define but which we sometimes call the kingdom of the spirit. Something flows out of us to someone or something else, but the contact thus made brings something to us in return. We are changed either minutely or even very greatly, sometimes in a matter of seconds. In the latter case appreciation is followed by inspiration. A
concert, for instance, where the artist is the most important person, since he is the instrument through whom beauty and harmony flows, is not complete without the audience. If they are receptive, then the beauty the artist is expressing is absorbed by them and they give back to him their thanks in the form of appreciation. Most artists will rise to great heights with such an audience, and most people will respond far more quickly to a little appreciation than to a large dose of criticism, but there is one point here which I should like to make clear. The appreciation that I am trying to speak of has no relation to flattery. Flattery is a weakening thing; appreciation brings courage and inspiration.
Now let us take our subject from the more lofty heights of art to our ordinary, every day life before trying to understand the particular part appreciation plays, or should play in the life of the Theosophist.
We know two people, one of whom is always criticizing, even though that criticism is silent, felt rather than heard. The other seems to sense the things we are trying to do and drops a word of encouragement - a word of appreciation. We, being ordinary human beings, respond to the first person by returning their criticism in an effort of self justification. The second person sends us on our way with courage renewed.
Two people enter our house. One finds some little thing to admire, even if only some flowers; the eye of the other lights on a patch of dust. We know which of those two is a bringer of harmony.
This point could be illustrated endlessly but that is, unnecessary, since most of us know these things. I only mention it to show what a big part appreciation plays in our lives, and what a much greater part it could play if wisely developed and used. How many people's lives have been wrecked or warped by want of appreciation in childhood and how many people could have been saved from doing quite desperate things had they received more of this healing and harmonious force from those around them. Criticism has its place in our lives, but it seems to me it plays too prominent and deadly a part in our present age. At any rate we need never fear that there will not be enough of it to go around.
Now to be appreciative means also to be receptive. We must look outwards for those things which will arouse and stimulate something similar in ourselves. Courage in others stimulates courage in us. Beauty in nature touches a sense of beauty in us. Some people might express this idea in exactly the opposite way and say that we cannot recognize courage, unless we are brave, or that we cannot recognize beauty unless our sense of the beautiful is developed. It does not matter which way we put it, as long as we understand that there must be an ebb and flow between our inner nature and the outer nature around us, during any period of manifestation. To be appreciative also implies some degree of unselfishness or selflessness because if we are wholly wrapped up in our own small lives we can only appreciate those things which minister to ourselves - a very poor form of appreciation. Those of us here must have got a little beyond that, or why should we be receptive to the ideas of Theosophy, for what are those ideas and what is there within us which responds to them?
The great teaching of Theosophy, as it is the great teaching of all great Teachers, is the Oneness of Life. Now this Truth in its fullness cannot really be expressed in words or even in thought. It can only be experienced. It is expressed as far as it can be expressed in the first stanzas of Madam Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine. It can, however, be stepped down from its own plane, at least in regard to effects. This subject is a little abstruse but we must have some conception of it, however faulty or childish that conception may be if we are going to study Theosophy.
Theosophists often speak of "periods of manifestation" and this must seem to be a
peculiar phrase to those who have never imagined anything else. By a period of manifestation is meant a period when life is separated into various units, all pursuing their own paths of growth or evolution. We have a crystal, or an ant, or a rose tree, or a dog, or a man, or a star, all pursuing their various paths which are different from each other. During such periods we live in a world which is filled with things which seem to oppose each other or are in contrast to each other. It is called the world of opposites. We have black and white, light and darkness, good and evil, you and me, birth and death, and so on indefinitely. Without such contrasts life, as we know it, could not go on. If we have no light we could not know darkness. If we had no evil we could have no conception of good; if there were no you, there could be no I. This is the world of separation.
Theosophy talks about this world, which seems to us our whole and only world, as "illusion", not because it has no meaning, but because it is not lasting. There will come a time when all these separate lives, the crystal, the ant, the rose tree, the dog, the man and the star, will dissolve again into their original state of unity. This is what is called in Eastern Philosophy a "Night of Brahma", as opposed to a period of manifestation which is called a "Day of Brahma". The period of activity, as we know it, will some day be ended and a period of rest, as we could call it, will begin. In that state there will be no black and white, light and darkness, good and evil, you and me, only the one life. That period is one that can only be spoken of in negation. "It is not this; it is not that." Any comprehension of it can only be obtained by the intuition, never by the mind. Sometimes an analogy will help us.
There is a cloud in the sky which presently descends to earth in the form of rain. Some drops may refresh a plant, others may collect to form a puddle, another may rest in the cup of a crocus. Later these separated drops may be drawn from the earth again and form once more a cloud. Now we may ask, "What good is all this striving and growing and living; what is the good of our lives and our friendships, our creative work, our efforts to understand, if at the end of it all, we return to a state where such things will cease to have a meaning?" They only cease for that cycle, and when once more a period of manifestation, or life as we have it today, commences, the various units of life come forth once more with added powers of expression. These added powers are the harvest they garnered after the last period of activity. We are like pupils coming back to school after a vacation; we are like gardeners coming back to our work after a night of rest; The "One" has again become the "Many". In its vastness and in its depth, the teachings of Theosophy are staggering. It has been compared to that ocean of knowledge which spreads from shore to shore, unfathomable in its deepest parts, giving the greatest minds their fullest scope, yet shallow enough at its shores that it will not overwhelm the understanding of a child. So let us leave the lengthy periods of cosmic time and return to something more familiar. Let us paddle nearer the edge of the lake, though always remembering this one thing. Theosophy postulates that of life itself there could be no beginning and no end but that, in the scheme of things there are, as was said, vast periods of activity and vast periods of rest. Within the periods of activity there are shorter cycles of activity and rest, until we reach the life of man where there are two such cycles familiar to all of us. One is birth and death and the other day and night.
Now the Truths of reincarnation and Karma are very familiar to most people here, but in our Theosophical papers we generally make some reference to them, in case there should be someone among us to whom they are not so familiar. Reincarnation implies that we return to physical life over and over again as a child returns to school, day by day and year by year,
until he finally graduates. When we come back to birth after a long period of rest we take up our work again where we left it when we last died to physical existence. This analogy of a school is a very good one, and if anyone will compare a day in school to a life on earth and follow out the idea, he will have a conception of the theory of reincarnation, for just as the older pupils at school know more than the younger pupils, so also the older souls on earth know more than the younger souls. They have been here oftener and have had more experience and just as a child at school gets on quicker and gets into less trouble if he cooperates with his teachers, so we on earth get into less trouble if we listen to our teachers, the great spiritual teachers of humanity. Theosophy, as do all great religions and philosophies, postulates perfect justice, showing that our life today is the result of how we lived in former lives and that our future earthly lives depend upon what we do today. It also teaches us to shoulder our own burdens - not even to consider trying to put them on someone else. So only do we learn, so only do we grow.
Here is another point stressed by our teachers, and one that is very important to an understanding of Theosophy. We cannot get rid of anything in the nature of what we call evil. Instead, we have to make ourselves incapable of producing the causes of evil. We cannot get rid of a problem by running away from it. Like old fashioned parents who made us finish what we had left at one meal, at the next, our problems are served up to us again and again, life after life, until we have solved them, for everything eventually must return to a state of harmony. We do not get rid of a murderer when we hang him. We do not get rid of a race by trying to blot it out, and if the bulk of humanity were wiped out tomorrow by the atomic bomb, humanity would not have been got rid of. What is done is to remove the murderer, the race or humanity from the physical plane by destroying the vehicle which enables them to function here, but only for the time being. They will return in due course if their work here is not finished, for life's purpose will not be defeated by any part of itself. The murderer, the race, and humanity are parts of the One life, and must obey the way of life, which is growth or evolution and when they return to the physical plane they will be much as they were when they left it, plus the effects of their experiences at the time of their death. The murderer, for instance, will not be free from his violent instincts, though the fear that was engendered in him by his previous fate might prevent him from repeating such an act again. The purpose of life, however, is not to fill him with fear, except in so far as it teaches him not to make others fearful, but to make him aware of his own higher nature, so that he will refuse to allow such destructive forces to master him.
Viewing things from the ordinary standpoint of one life on earth, it would seem as if cause and effect had no relation to each other, for many selfish people seem to suffer no ill effects, as a result of their selfishness, while unselfish people are often plunged in trouble, not of their own making. According to this view, we live one short life, we die and either pay for our faults, in purgatory, or else they are forgiven us and we live forever in peace and bliss.
Now the law of life is harmony, but we cannot enjoy that harmony until we ourselves are harmonious, and which of us, as we are today, could live long in a state of absolute peace? Suppose that even in this world some Utopia was devised, where the climate was perfect and where there was everything that man could desire, and suppose a hundred ordinary people were invited to live there, how long would it be before there was trouble?
The teachers of Theosophy, as all great teachers, are trying to help us to live in harmony with life, but we find, as Paul said, a war within our members so that
often in making a choice, one part of our nature suffers. We, like the world, are in a state of transition; the state of the world in fact is an effect of this state of transition within ourselves. We, like the prodigal son, have wandered far from home and are now wondering how to get back, but we have lost the key that would open the door of our understanding, and too few of us bother to look for it.
There is in Theosophy, as mentioned before, a teaching concerning what is known as the law of cycles. Certain things repeat themselves over and over again. In the physical world this law is exemplified by such cycles as Winter and Summer, or day and night. In a far larger sphere there are cycles when spirit buries itself more and more deeply in matter, as a seed might be buried in the ground, and periods when spirit emerges from its voluntary encasement, feebly at first, as a shoot might appear above the ground. In the former case we have what we call a material age, such as the world was, and still is to a great extent going through. When the densest point of such a cycle is reached, the urge is again towards spirituality, although at first the urge is only slightly felt. I should say here that highly spiritual beings exist in any period of a cycle. These have risen above the average and cannot be affected by it. They are our helpers. We, at this point in the history of our earth chain, have just passed through a very material period where spirit had become more and more deeply veiled in matter and we are now on the first rung of the cycle upwards, where spirit once more asserts its power to rise, although at present it is the merest shoot, appearing above the ground. This is a very difficult period indeed to go through. The forces of matter are strong, they have been in sway for a long time, and they fight to maintain their powerful position. In time, as always happens, harmony will be restored, and spirit and matter will once more become a unity, which in reality they are, but the time is not yet.
People who have heard something about Theosophy sometimes say: "You state that we are spiritual beings and that our real home is on the spiritual planes. You say that on these planes we live in harmony with life, and know no conflict. Why then should we descend to these lower planes? Why should we become less than we really are?" This fact, in the history of man, has been touched on in many religions under various symbols. All of us, for instance, have heard of the "fallen angels."
It is true that on our own planes we, as spiritual beings, are in perfect harmony with life, but so the teaching goes, we are unconsciously harmonious just as a flower is unconsciously beautiful. We must remember too that when we speak of ourselves as spiritual beings, we are identifying ourselves with the highest that is in us, never with the personality, with its material desires and thoughts. We are speaking of that which urges us, now speaking of ourselves as the personality to use and throw off the bonds of the lower world. This dual nature of man is perhaps a little confusing, but we are all familiar with it in action. We know the battles that go on within ourselves.
Now, why is it necessary for us to leave our own plane - and here again I am speaking of our higher selves - and identify ourselves with all the lower planes of nature? It is necessary for two reasons. The first is that we have to learn to understand the lower forces of nature and we have to rise above them. By so doing we discover what we are and what we are not, and finally through much striving we rise triumphant once more to our spiritual world, but this time conscious of our part in the vast scheme of life. We can still come back if we will but we should only do so as selfless helpers of humanity. The second reason that we, as spiritual beings, journey through the lower planes is to arouse matter and the lower forms of life to a sense of their latent spirituality, for all units of life are drawn upwards by those on higher
rungs of the ladder while at the same time drawing up those on the lower rungs. Thus there is a connecting link between the highest about which all speculation is impossible and the lowest which is a part of that life, but the part furthest removed from its source.
We fight against other nations, and other people, and although that may sometimes be necessary, it is not the real fight. The real fight for all of us now is against our own selfish desires, part of the material forces which we sometimes call the dark forces. We are all in this fight together and should be cooperating with one another, and at least giving some attention to those who have waged the fight before us.
Theosophy teaches no negative, or what we used to call as children, a goody goody attitude towards life. This is a real and deadly fight in which we shall need all the weapons we possess, for the enemy is within our gate, is, in fact, our lower self. It is very subtle and constantly makes us think that its desires are our desires so that we have to use great discrimination to know the difference between the two voices within us, our higher and our lower self. Personally I find a little humor is a good thing with which to defeat the lower self, when it tries so cleverly and often so successfully to persuade us that we want what it wants.
This is where I should like to return to the subject of this paper, the gift of appreciation, for I feel that this gift, which is not really a gift, but the development in its highest sense of a spiritual quality, could do much to help us during such a time. We who have a little knowledge of Theosophy, which is really the teachings of the "wise ones" of all ages, should have a broader vision of life than those who have not sought, or who have not wished to search for the answer to the riddle of life. We know that life is One and that no part of it can rise or fall without affecting the whole. We know that wisdom lies behind
the happenings of life and that therefore the things that happen to us must have purposes. We know that every unit of life, great or small, contains within itself the power to rise and that all these things which we find so difficult in life are the means by which we rise. We see the beauty of nature and know it is a symbol, speaking of greater beauty.
We have whispers of a type of consciousness higher than that which is normally ours, urging us to rise above the world of the personality, with its incessant concentration on ourselves and the things that do not matter, to a plane where true brotherhood is. One of our teachers has expressed it like this: "When man realizes that he is one with all that lives, inwards and outwards, high and low; that he is one with them, not merely as members of a community are one, not merely as individuals of an army are one, but like the molecules of our own flesh, like the electrons of the atom, composing one Unity - not a mere union but a spiritual unity, then he sees Truth."
Now if we really know these things, and we do know them in an inner sense, then we should try to foster and encourage everything in the world that speaks of Unity. We should make ourselves receptive to the life of nature and keep in close touch with the life of man, for I feel that by appreciating all the beauty, all the courage, all the endurance and all the other fine things of life, we shall minister to their growth.
Many people in the world have an inferiority complex, even some who appear to be the most self assured. They feel that they are not very good at anything, that their life is rather useless, and unsuccessful, and the consequence is somewhat disastrous, for in their efforts to cover up this feeling and make some impression on life, they do stupid things, or try to copy some other person whom, perhaps, they envy. Nature teaches us better than that. The rose is a favorite flower with many people,
but who would want a garden where, if it were possible, every flower wanted and tried to be a rose. How we should miss the daffodil, the hyacinth, the violet or even the small daisy on the lawn. No two people in the world have had just the same experience, and so while we are separated beings, let us give to the One Life our own special contributions, and if we can't find any special contribution in this life, then let us wait until another life, or another life still. We shall, as we go on, gradually realize that although Governments and laws may check the effects of evil, it is only we who can root it up at its source, for it arises in a world of opposites through the clash of wills of evolving beings, and at certain stages of evolution has its uses, but finally it has to be conquered by each one of us on the long journey home, but what I would like to stress, because it is the point of this paper, is that this journey can be made a little easier if we recognize all men as fellow travellers, and help each other as fellow travellers should.
I have always thought that one symbol of Theosophy should be a key, for it shows us how to interpret so many things that otherwise would remain a mystery to us. It opposes few things, though towards these it knows no compromise. The greatest of these is "the sin of separateness", another name for selfishness, perversions of Truth, and cruelty or coercion in any form, and it opposes this within its present society, as well as outside the society. On the other hand it looks for Truth, Beauty, and Wisdom, in all religions and philosophies, in science, in the arts and in nature itself, in fact in all human and non-human activities and it tries to show that these things should not be opposed to each other since all are different facets of the one great whole. It goes further still and looks for these things in the hearts of all men.
If in this way we can live up to what we believe, then Theosophists could be called "The Great Appreciators". Looking for beauty we shall develop a sense of the beautiful; looking for wisdom we shall some day become wise, and searching for Truth, we shall perhaps, in the future, draw near enough to her to hear the flutter of her wings.
MAN AND GOD
By F.S. Tew
To appreciate the significance of anything, one must understand it. It has to have meaning. Answering the question, "What does it mean?" establishes a sense of values. Meaning makes sense, however, only due to relationships.
Therefore, in order for man to understand himself or God, both must bear some relation to each other.
Normal mans' faculty by which he so-called knows anything, is a result of stimuli on his five senses. But man also has an intuitive sense by which he knows. This sense is above or external to his bodily senses. It is through all these avenues that he is aware. He is aware of himself only by sensing what he is not. He lives in a world of opposites - expressed by love and hate, supply and lack of supply, poverty and riches, good and bad, ups and downs, true and false - in a world where everything seems (?) incomplete.
Most men think they are a body and have a soul. This postulate has been greatly intensified by orthodox religions; teaching the doctrine that one must strive to "save his soul".
Now we will reverse this concept and start with the proposition that man is a soul possessing a body. This idea is foreign
to most normal thinking and somewhat difficult to focus into understanding. This concept gives man an "identity" as an individual, we might say, independent of the body - an individual soul (Spirit) having a body through which he is constantly endeavoring to express himself. This individual soul (you) is vibrating at a high rate as compared to the coarser vibrations of material things; including the body. The coarser vibrations of the body hide or blanket off this high vibration so the soul experiences difficulty in expressing itself. Man and his body may be likened to a hand (himself) in a very heavy mitten without fingers (his body), limiting the operation of the hand. The only manner in which the soul can truly express itself is for it to become aware of itself through an intuitive "feeling" of its identity. This feeling is not transmitted through the body senses - it is "above" them - thus its intuitive action. It is a condition which has to be felt, and not described in terms of sense-awareness. Two little girls expressed it when discussing God: "I don't see how you can believe in God - you can't see Him", said one.
"God ain't a see, he's a feel", answered the other.
In his attempt at relationships man creates concepts of God and himself. These concepts pertain to each other in many ways. In one way he considers himself as a son and calls the God, Father; in another he visions God as an all-powerful Being (much like himself only vastly better) perhaps sitting on a throne in heaven where he judges mortals according to their worth. This is the God, who like a man, loves and hates, who forgives and binds. In still another, he imagines God as a vague abstract Being thought of as superior to Nature and humans; something to worship and to fear. God has been designated among men as Father in Heaven, Allah, Great Spirit, Ra, Ormuzd, Ahriman, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, Odin, Zeus, Osiris, Taaroa, Bel, etc., etc. All such concepts are associated with personality to give them meaning.
But God, actually, is the name given to a Universal Force, Law or Principle. In a meagre attempt to understand this, God may be likened to the force known as gravity. And it can only be understood by giving it meaning - that is by association with something man thinks he knows. It would be impossible for a person to imagine anything without some previous experience upon which to construct this imagination - some knowledge or psuedo-knowledge. He must create in his imagination an observer, otherwise what he imagines would have no meaning.
The supposition is this Force has always been and always will be - is Eternal, and everywhere, without beginning or end. The Force or Law which directs universal order - the flights of the stars and planets, the expression of everything, from the growth of a blade of grass up to and including all that mind can imagine. Some claim it has intelligence - some not. It is seen as Life - everything manifests this Force - everything is complete in this Force. Luther Burbank recognized this when he said, "Everytime I look at a rose, I see God". Plato's archtype. Divine Plan is exactly as it should be regardless of human reactions.
Because this Force, in its vibration, is above the awareness of man's senses (yet he is in it like a fish is in water) it is called Spiritual. This means it is above the body's cognizance. But man has a Spiritual Part - in fact he is a Spiritual Part - about which he knows little. He offers lip service and ritual to a concept of God, of which he knows in general, nothing - that is like he knows fire burns. He is strongly bound to his material body and world, and actuated by his five senses and desires.
With a little effort, however, he can become aware of his Spiritual Part (the real "`I") . But not unless he thinks of this spiritual part. Inclosed in ("In Him we live and move and have our being") this
Force and an outward expression of it, he can by a type of meditation become en-rapport with it. To the degree that he attains this in-tune-ment or at-one-ment, he becomes aware of his REAL SELF. He becomes "identified" and KNOWS (not by mortal senses) by an intuitive consciousness what the real self is. Everyone who has "felt" this identification knows what he is; others just surmise or imagine what they are.
The analogy of man being in this Force, like a fish is in water, is exactly the condition, barring this difference - the medium of water is around but does not penetrate the fish, whereas the energy in which man is submerged is constantly surging through and penetrating him. Normally, he is not aware of this as its vibrations are of such a high rate his bodily senses do not record it. But he can become aware of it, intuitively. He is then "tuned in" on it, somewhat like a radio. He then knows what and who he is.
This is attained by what is called prayer. Knowing that this Force is purely a condition of energy-expression, and not a personality, how shall he "pray" for this awareness? Prayer is desire! He does not beseech some vague Being to give him something he thinks he wants - but keeps in mind a constant desire to attain union with an awareness of this Force. This desire should be a latent passive urge inherent in him at all times. A type of passive self-contemplation. No striving effort! Relax! The Zen Buddhists name it the "effortless effort" - the Taoists name it the "gateless gate". He begins to conceive his Real Self. With this conception he unconsciously injects the desire for at-one-ment. And if this desire is conscientious and pure in the quiet of his contemplation he becomes aware of himself (Soul Consciousness).
This result is not because God has rewarded him with something for being so-called, good; but because he has "tuned" himself with the God Force. It is because he has become "refined", for the want of a better word, and has raised his vibrations to the degree that he is aware of the spirituality of everything, behind the material manifestation. Saying it another way, would be to say that mortal vibrations are coarse and know nothing of spiritual vibrations, and spiritual vibrations are refined and know nothing of mortal vibrations. He is only aware in the medium in which he is attuned. Thus Spirit can know nothing of so-called sin; and sin could never express itself in Spirit. Sin is ignorance - lack of knowing.
The vibrations caused by the "calls of the flesh" are coarse - appetites, pride, vanity, envy, lust, selfishness, etc., and so long as they are the prime actuating motives of his thinking, man can never know his spirituality.
A man may be likened to the small vortex you see along a flowing stream. Each vortex (if it could think) could imagine itself as an individual, yet entirely unaware of the stream in which it is expressing itself; but nevertheless you see it being carried on the stream. The vortex does not know it is being carried on the stream, and is spinning because of the stream. So men believe they are individuals under their own will and commands, and are not aware of this all-powerful force in which they are functioning. But when they become aware of their relation to the stream (God) they likewise become aware of themselves. Then the touch of Grace (Identity) tells them of their Reality. Then they know they are not the body (vortex) but a part of, and an expression of this Force (the stream). With this knowledge the material body is seen as illusion - that is as unreality. Unreality, however, only as it relates to the Spiritual Force and not in relation to other bodies. Two men's physical bodies meet and they are real to each other - but both of them are unreal relative to their spiritual parts. They are brothers spiritually but not materially. They are both vortexes in the great stream, God.
The exalted feeling of uplift or ecstasy man gets when listening enraptured to a great symphony, viewing a great picture, or transported by a beautiful sunset - that's a Personal manifestation of the God Force. And when he attains Soul Consciousness, he has that feeling permanently. He then becomes free!
When it is experienced - he will know! what he is and what God is.
REUNION IN CANADA?
(We publish hereunder the Editorial from The Federation Quarterly referred to by our General Secretary in his Notes and Comments in the last issue. Several letters have been received relative to this matter both by the General Secretary and the Editor of this magazine. These have all been carefully noted and are being held for the tune being pending further information regarding the thoughts of the Federation members on the proposal.)
The Editor has just received a copy of an address to the 73rd Annual Convention at Wheaton, July, 1959, given by Mr. F. Pierce Spinks. The address is a plea for all the several Societies bearing the name "Theosophical" to reunite and forget old misunderstandings and antipathies. Mr. Spinks declares, and who can disagree with him, that it is an affront to H.P. Blavatsky, a Theosophical disgrace, a mockery of brotherhood, an insult to our intelligence, and an injustice to the White Lodge for these several societies to exist as separate units.
This is a worldwide problem of the Society but it can and should be tackled by the several Lodges concerned in each country. We in Canada have quite a peculiar problem in that both the Canadian Section and the Canadian Federation give, can I say, allegiance to Adyar. It would seem, surely, that after all the years that have passed since "the break", with now so many new members, that a real attempt to reunite could be made. It would, perhaps, mean the end of the Federation as present constituted and a merging into the Section. This could surely be accomplished by good will and thoughtfulness on both sides.
For those of us in the West, so far from Toronto, where the Section Headquarters is situated, it would still be possible to retain the Federation, say Western Federation, in the same manner as various Lodges in the United States have formed loosely knit Federations according to locale but are still within the Section.
After some thirty-five to forty years, in this period of the 20th Century when Brotherhood among nations is so much to the fore, we in Canada could surely resolve the differences of opinion regarding past T.S. leaders. Each individual Lodge would still be free to study as the majority wish. We all acknowledge, how could it be otherwise, H.P. Blavatsky, and, if certain Lodges feel that the writings of later leaders do not give them the stimulus, the presentation of occultism that suits their particular needs, then there is no rule or obligation that compels them so to study. We are free to think and believe what we will, only the recognition of Brotherhood is our common object. Surely, therefore, we should be united as brothers in one Section to the mutual advantage of all Lodges in Canada and the Society as a whole.
Is it possible to agree on past disagreements, put them aside sincerely and work towards unification? Where do we begin? One suggestion, that all those who have thoughts on the matter write to the Editor of this Quarterly, either privately or for publication. From this correspondence it may be possible to proceed officially to attain a very much needed goal - one united Canadian Section.
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
The convention of the Eastern Lodges of the Canadian Section which I had hoped to arrange this year, had to be abandoned for various reasons, the principal being that Rukmini Devi was not available owing to a misunderstanding or to a lack of cooperation on the part of those responsible for her itinerary in America. We were looking forward with the greatest interest to welcoming her to Toronto and naturally were very disappointed, as we know she is also. However, the Toronto Lodge has arranged a convention of a similar kind and has invited Mr. Geoffery Barborka and Mr. Robert Butler, both outstanding speakers, and everything tends to show that it will be a stimulating show.
By the time this is in print the new executive will be in office and a very busy and exciting year is in prospect. This I may say will be due principally to the very welcome legacy left the Canadian Section by the late Mr. Mark Dewey of Los Angeles who died last year at the great age of 97. His generosity was prompted by his admiration of The Canadian Theosophist under the aegis of my predecessor, Mr. Albert E.S. Smythe. With this gift a new vista opens before us with great possibilities and new fields of endeavor and I have no doubt full advantage will be taken to forge ahead with new ideas and hopes of a rejuvenation in the life of the Section. In this respect I would add that members throughout the Dominion might help by sending in suggestions whereby the prospects of their own lodge might be enhanced and that of the Section generally. Such suggestions would be very welcome and should be sent to me to place before the Executive for due consideration.
It may be of interest to my readers to know that sixty years ago I was fighting with my regiment in South Africa in what was known as the Boer War. Recently at a Reunion Dinner given by the Province and the City of Toronto and the U.S. gathered at the King Edward Hotel, presided over by the Lt. Governor and the Mayor. It was a festive occasion saddened by the inevitability of age, but the old refrains "Old Soldiers Never Die" and "Soldiers of the Queen" were sung with a fervor and a heartiness in keeping with the wonderful appearance of so many veterans of this almost forgotten war. As for myself, I hope that my military experiences have cancelled out my karmic debt, for soldiering was a profession I never wanted; evidently it was ordained I should have to undergo the experience.
I expect to attend the Olcott Convention in July and am looking forward to meeting the new General Secretary of the American Section, Dr. Henry A. Smith, and the many friends in the U.S.A. that I am sure to meet there. If all goes well I intend to go by air to California to visit friends whose invitations have been of long standing.
MISS MAUD E. CRAFTER
I have just learned that Miss Maud E. Crafter passed away recently in England where she had been staying with her brother in St. Leonards-on-Sea since her departure from Canada in 1947. Miss Crafter joined the Society in June 1922 having been interested in Theosophy for many years in London, England of which city she was a native. On coming to Canada she joined the Toronto Lodge and as a member assisted in its activities for many years. At one time she took over the routine work of the General Secretary and carried this out with assiduous exactitude till the death of Mr. Albert E.S. Smythe. She was also a member of the General Executive. A careful student of the Ancient Wisdom she made it her chief interest in life. She
was a picturesque exponent of rhythmic art and practised message and other curative treatments. On her return to England, the Executive, recognising her good work, made her an honorary member for life in the Society. We have lost a good theosophist and one who dedicated the greater portion of her life to our work; our thanks and happy thoughts go with her to the Great Beyond.
It is with, deep regret I announce the passing of Mr. Harold Anderson, long a valued member of the Toronto Lodge, who joined the Society in 1922. Affectionately known to most of us as Andy, he was, until he left the city, an indefatigable worker in the lodge where his genial presence has been sadly missed. His ability as a reader at the Sunday evening meetings will long be remembered and several such readings as I can vouch, made a deeper impression on the audience than the words of the lecturers. Our sincere sympathy is extended to Mrs. Anderson and daughter in their sad loss.
The dread reaper seems to have been working overtime lately for still another death has to be recorded. I regret to announce the passing of Mrs. Fay Fletcher who died on June 19. Mrs. Fletcher was an esteemed member of the Vancouver Lodge to which she was demitted from the Hermes Lodge in 1952. A long illness was patiently and nobly borne, her chief regret being her inability to attend the lodge meetings to study The Secret Doctrine. The Lodge has lost a keen and devoted mem-ber and her loss is deeply regretted.
I have much pleasure in welcoming the following new members into the Society: Mr. Steve K. D. Kohn, Toronto Lodge; Mrs. Phyllis C. Lomas, Hamilton Lodge and Mrs. Eveline P. Parker, Vancouver Lodge.
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 5, Ont.
To whom all payments should be made, and all official communications addressed
Charles E. Bunting, 75 Rosedale Ave., Hamilton, Ont.
Charles Mr. Hale, 26 Albion Ave., Toronto, Ont.
J. Knowles, 1665 Grenet St., Apt. 21, St. Laurent, Que.
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, 52 Isabella St., Toronto 5,
Editor: Dudley W. Barr
Associate Editor: Miss Laura Gaunt, B.A.
Letters intended for publication should be restricted to not more than five hundred words
Printed by the Beamsville Express, Beamsville, Ont.
"Man is certainly no special creation. He is the product of Nature's gradual perfective work, like any other living unit on earth. But this is only with regard to the human tabernacle. That which lives and thinks in man and survives that frame, the masterpiece of evolution - is the `Eternal Pilgrim', the Protean differentiation in Space and Time of the One Absolute `Unknowable' ". - S.D. II, 768.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist
I was perhaps one of the first Theosophists to become cognizant of a truly significant change in Roman Catholic policy in the matter of Scriptural interpretation, a development which I feel every Theosophist should know about, as it registers a very great triumph for the Cause of Theosophy. When a cardinal principle of Theosophy is confirmed by the Roman Catholic hierarchy, that indeed is something to herald over the Theosophical world.
Any reader of The Secret Doctrine will know well how H.P.B. time and again asserts that the true or esoteric meaning of the Scriptures is to be apprehended through an allegorial interpretation. With fine irony she shows up the utter futility and ridiculousness of reading the Bible literally. Roman Catholicism traditionally has fought this contention. Now it suddenly proclaims its legitimacy, announcing it as a discernment of Catholic scholarship, endorsed by the late Pope Pius XII.
The change may be said to have been officially announced in an article entitled New Trends in Scriptural Interpretation, by the Rev. Robert W. Gleason, S.J., head of the Theology Department of Fordham University in the Bronx, New York, appearing in February of this year. The pronouncement is authoritative because it states that the late Pope himself had "put an end to the slumber of Catholic scholars" over several centuries and waked them to the fact that the Scriptures may permissibly be interpreted otherwise than strictly as history. He states that we are to understand that the Bible authors resorted to a wide variety of what he calls "literary forms" or "genres" to convey deep spiritual truth, such as legend, poetry, allegory, historical fiction and romance, epic tradition and other modes of "Spiritual symbolism", so that the Catholic reader need no longer take it all rigidly as divinely inspired history.
Rev. Gleason's reference to the long "slumber" of Catholic scholars is a bit of playful naivete designed for the docile laity of his Church. For when have Catholic scholars been anything but the most alert and vigilant watchdogs in the theological yard in all the world? But the blind reveals obviously that the long ban on Catholic scholarship, binding it to a literal-historical rendering of the Scriptures, has now been lifted. One cannot be too far wrong in assuming that the hierarchy is now convinced that the real trend to an esoteric interpretation of the Bible cannot well be halted, and the decision has been made to swing along with the trend, doubtless with the intent to keep it under official guidance. Great has been the adaptive capabilities and resilience of the Catholic policy when confronted by forces it cannot immediately and directly control. I have been reliably informed by students in Catholic universities that Professors are freely expounding the esoteric nature of Neoplatonic and other theosophical philosophies of the Hellenic world. All this bespeaks the very drastic change we are speaking of. It represents a clear victory for Theosophy.
Alvin B. Kuhn
Editor The Canadian Theosophist
Mr. Hoeller in his letter in The Canadian Theosophist of May-June puts a great emphasis on scholarship as applied to Tantric works. He states: "It is a regrettable fact that many of the followers of the `Back to Blavatsky' movement (with which the present writer is in the deepest agreement) are singularly blind when it comes to recognizing or accepting the results of reputable academic scholarship; witness Mr. Victor Endersby in Second Look at the Third Eye (The Canadian
Theosophist, Vol. XXXIX, Nos. 5 and 6)".
Mere scholarship without wisdom can produce nothing but a heap of chaff. Mr. Endersby's years of training in and devotion to the study of Theosophy have given him the power to discriminate between the chaff of mere scholarship, the dead-letter sense of things, and the true wisdom, often hid therein, more often, not.
Scholarship, such as that exhibited in Evans-Wentz's books is a fine thing but it can so often lead merely to dead-letter interpretation. And the literal reading of such works as the Tantric Sutras could lead to some pretty disastrous results; note what H.P.B. said: "The Tantras read Esoterically are as full of wisdom as the noblest Occult works. Studied without a guide and applied to practice, they may lead to the production of various phenomenal results, on the moral and physiological planes. But let anyone accept their dead-letter rules and practices, let him try with some selfish motive in view to carry out the rites prescribed therein, and he is lost . . . the separation of the Higher from the Lower Principles and the severing of Buddhi-Manas from the Tantrist's personality will speedily follow, the terrible Karmic results to the dabbler in Magic."
E. Harrison, LL.B.
[[The following table cannot be reproduced in its entirety.]]
THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY IN CANADA ANNUAL ELECTIONS 1960
- TOTAL VOTE ....216
- MEMBERS TO BE ELECTED - 7
- QUOTA - 28
Name of Candidate 1st Count
- KNOWLES ................24
- MARKS ....................15
- WILKS .............32
- WOOD .................12
- TOTALS ...............216
The ballots in the election of the General Executive were counted on Sunday, June 19 under the supervision of Colonel Thomson. The scrutineers were Miss E. Maude Angus, Mr. Leslie Dadswell and Mr. Ralph A. Webb. There were 216 votes counted and the quota, under the proportional-representation system, was 28. The No. 1 votes as shown above elected Kinman, Hindsley and Wilks. The Kinman surplus of 42 votes was distributed in the second count, electing Bunting and Hale. The third, fourth and fifth count distributed the other small surpluses with the result announced. The new Executive was declared elected as follows: C. E. Bunting, C. M. Hale, Miss M.. Hindsley, G. L Kinman, J. Knowles, W. E. Wilks, E. P. Wood. The General Secretary, Colonel E. L. Thomson was elected by acclamation.
The Convention arranged by Toronto Lodge was held on July 2nd and 3rd at the Society's Headquarters at 52 Isabella St.
The guest speakers were: Mr. Robert J. Butler of the United Lodge of Theosophists, Reading, Pennsylvania, and of The Indian Institute of World Culture, Bangalore, India; Mr. Geoffrey A. Barborka of Point Loma, California, and latterly the Theosophical Society in America, Wheaton, Illinois. The fraternal aspect of the Convention was enhanced by the presence of many out-of-town visitors: Mrs. Mary L. Rahuba, Vice-president, Buffalo Theosophical Society; Mrs. Nellie M. Etheridge, Secretary, Folkestone Theosophical Society, Kent, England; Rev. Dr. R. G. Katsunoff, Montreal; Mr. Gopalkrishna Rao, member Federation Lodge, Guntur, India; Mr. and Mrs. M. Ciemny, Theosophical Society in America, Portland, Oregon; Mr. and Mrs. Orlo H. Long, U.L.T., London, Ontario.
Highlights were the Secret Doctrine class on Sunday morning, conducted on this occasion by Mr. Barborka, and the discussion of "Communications within and without the Theosophical Society" on Sunday afternoon. Some sixty persons participated in this and the questions from the floor were in large part answered under the very able chairmanship of Mr. Robert J. Butler. The lectures were excellent and the two dinners put on by Hamilton Lodge and the lunch donated by the Women's Social Activity Committee of Toronto Lodge were much appreciated. Special mention must be made of the violin recital by Mr. Barborka on Saturday afternoon, which charmed the audience into silence; the color slides of India, shown by Mr. Butler on Sunday afternoon were of deep interest to everyone.
An innovation was the informality of the proceedings. Mr. Chas. Hale of Toronto Lodge acted as the first chairman on Saturday afternoon and declared the convention in session. There were readings from the Wilkins translation of The Bhagavad Gita, Sir Edwin Arnold's Song Celestial and Ernest Wood's Song of Praise to the Dancing Shiva, as well as Brahms and Chopin selections by Miss Shirley Mank. Lt.-Col. E. L. Thomson, D.S.O., General Secretary of the Theosophical Society in Canada, acted as chairman on Saturday night and Mr. George Kinman, President of Toronto Lodge, filled the chair on Sunday night.
The actual arrangements for the Convention were in the hands of the Convention Committee drawn from Toronto and Hamilton Lodges: Miss L. Gaunt, Toronto, Chairman; Mrs. Sally Lakin, Hamilton, Vice-Chairman; Mrs. Phyllis Lomas, Hamilton, Refreshments Convener; Mrs. Jessie Webb, Toronto, Reception Convener.
Madame Blavatsky on How to Study Theosophy, the Theosophical Publishing House London Ltd., one shilling and six-pense.
The little booklet contains the notes made by Robert Bowen of oral teachings given by Madam Blavatsky towards the close of her life - the notes are dated April 19, 1891, less than a month before H.P.B. died. These notes were found some years ago by the late Captain P.G. Bowen, son of Robert Bowen and were first printed in the Jan.-March 1932 issue of The Irish Theosophist. Most of the notes refer to the study of The Secret Doctrine, a subject on which Robert Bowen questioned H.P.B. persistently. Many valuable suggestions are given, including H.P.B.'s recommendations as to the portions of The Secret Doctrine which should be studied first, but, H.P.B. warns that "if one imagines that one is going to get a satisfactory picture of the constitution
of the Universe from the S.D. one will get only confusion from its study. It is not meant to give any such final verdict on existence, but to lead towards the Truth."
This is a booklet which every student of The Secret Doctrine will wish to have.
The Mysterious Wisdom, by Prof. Henri de Savoye, formerly French Instructor, University of Alberta, 63 pages.
This little book has been published privately, and the author would like all members of the Theosophical Societies in Canada to receive a copy gratis with his compliments, by application to your Lodge Secretary.
Having passed the four score years, the author has given his subject a great deal of thought, and has gathered many curious facts of Nature to illustrate more fully the many subjects touched upon.
The reader will learn that an intelligent, universal life, force or energy is the fundamental element for the manifestation of all form in the Cosmos, and that our Solar System is but one of the smaller units in the total manifestation. Little by little a panoramic vision of this eternal energy in motion will unfold itself to the reader, and show him how universal life builds more and more subtle instruments of manifestation in an evolutionary process, until finally all forms disintegrate and become again the original element. This final transformation will mark the end of our present manifestation, but throughout its eternal existence universal life will exercise its power of motion, and bring into being new Solar Systems ad infinitum.
Contemplating this theme, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (IV-23) remarks:
"Everything harmonises with me, which is harmonious to thee, O Universe. Nothing for me is too early nor too late, which is in due time for thee. Everything is fruit to me which thy seasons bring, O Nature: from thee are all things, in thee are all things, to thee all things return."
PROF. P. A. SOROKIN AND INTEGRALISM
(This article was submitted by the Reverend R.G. Katsunoff who in an accompanying letter stated that, "The Russian monthly Free Tribune of New York City only recently printed an article by the world famous sociologist and authority on History, Prof. P.A. Sorokin, of Harvard University. The article was written in answer to a criticism of some of Pro. Sorokin's views by Prof. V. V. Timov. It is hoped that the renderings of the main thoughts of this article may prove of interest to your readers.")
"Although both Idealism and Materialism contain a great deal of truth, since they take one-sided view of Reality, they are unable to grasp it fully; the Integralistic Philosophy of life does much better," states Prof. Sorokin.
"Reality-Being" is to be taken as inexpressible, quantitative-qualitative Infinity; it is to be considered as the meeting and balancing of opposites (coincidentia oppositorum), mutually complementary like the recent principle of complementariness in physics, or as the ancient philosophical principle in Taoism, Hinduism and other oriental philosophies.
From the many aspects of this full "Reality-Being", the three most important ones as the following:
(1) The Empirical Aspect, which operates by the use of our senses (in feeling and receptivity) and of the apparatus -
microscopes, telescopes, radars, etc. which only increase the sensitiveness and receptivity of the senses.
(2) The Rational Law-abiding Aspect of Order, Harmony and Consequence (casual and possible) operating in the full "Reality-Being", which we observe through our rational logical, mathematical thinking, and
(3) The Suprasensual and Suprarational Aspect, revealed to us by the suprasensual-suprarational intuition of geniuses, of great scientists, philosophers, founders of great Religions, poets, writers, composers and great leaders and builders in other spheres of culture and social life.
That kind of Intuition is a "sudden flash" of thought or a "gift of Grace". As a means of cognition and of artistic creation, it is radically different from the ordinary perceptivity of thought and from rational logico-mathematical thinking.
According to the witness of the most gifted art-creators this "suprasensual-suprarational" Intuition of geniuses administers the needed impact (thrist) leading to great discoveries and achievements in science, art, philosophy and all other spheres of culture. "In the flash of an eye" it reveals the essence or the kernel idea of the scientific discovery or of the artistic achievement. This "revelation" or this "idea" is later developed by our rational thought, by the mathematical, deductive and inductive logic, and is tested by our observational senses and apparatus.
This type of Intuition is a rare gift and only true geniuses posses it in its fulness. In spite of its rarity, it is in itself a natural phenomenon, without any supernatural elements whatever.
The new and better order of life and of culture, the new society and the new individual can be founded only upon such an integral view of the universe and of the integral philosophy of life. The future does not belong to Materialism nor to Idealism; it belongs to the view of Integralism.
The above views are evidently shared by both Prof. Sorokin and Prof. V. V. Timov.
Following are some views of Prof. Sorokin which differ from the convictions of Prof. Timov. For better understanding of what is to follow, Prof. Sorokin refers us to his books, Social and Cultural Dynamics, The Ways and Powers of Love, Society, Culture and Personality, Crisis of our Age, etc.
Prof. Sorokin states that the creative leadership of Europe has changed - it has expanded. The leadership has ceased from being purely European and now includes the peoples of the Americas, of Asia and Africa and also of the great revived cultures of India, China, Japan, Russia, the peoples of Arabia and of other nations. Europe will, of course, continue its creative role but as one of the stars-actors in the great historic drama and not in the role of the only great "Star", as it has been during the last 500 years. This thesis differs from the theories of N. Danglevsky, Spengler and Toynbee as can be seen in Prof. Sorokin's Social Philosophies of an Age of Crisis, where he discusses the matter at length.
This expansion of the cultural leadership of the world is absolutely certain and imminent. In fact, it is taking place before our eyes daily in the spheres of science, philosophy, religion, art, technology, politics and economics. Europe and the West are to be only a part of the creative force of mankind and not the only leaders in science and philosophy, etc. as they have been during the past 500 years. (In the sphere of religion, of ethics and religious art, the West has hardly contributed anything worthwhile during the same period; in these spheres the West has lived on the capital of Christianity, which came to life in Asia and was developed in Europe up to the 15th century.)
This "sensate" period of Europe, when the senses were considered as the only avenue to knowledge, is definitely declining.
(1) Prof. Sorokin considers as untrue and incorrect the opinion of Prof. Timov, who claims that every moment in history is 100% new and does not contain any repeating of rhythms or cycles. The process of history, holds Prof. Sorokin, is rather a continuous variation upon certain old and unbroken themes. It contains at all times, elements both of the new and the old.
(2) It is untrue and incorrect that the rational scientific view of nature, rational thinking and of science in general appeared first in the 17th century, and that these were foreign to the great ancient cultures of Egypt, Babylon, India, China, Greece, Rome. In the 2nd Volume of Social and Cultural Dynamics, Prof. Sorokin has statistical tables indicating the scientific discoveries and technical achievements from the earliest time until today, as well as statements relating to the rise and decline of the various fundamental currents of thought. These will suffice to prove beyond a doubt that science, scientific explanations of occurences, technical discoveries and fundamental philosophic thoughts were well known and largely cultivated during those great ancient cultures. For this reason it is altogether wrong to assert that the conceptions of these people were "irrational" and that "they were content with their many gods, with their good and evil spirits and satisfied with their irrational thinking" - as Prof. Timov indicates.
(3) Also untrue and incorrect is the opinion that the religion and philosophy of these cultures were "primitive serving in the exploitation of the masses by the governing class and that the common people always suffered greatly and lived in an unutterable poverty" etc. An elementary acquaintenance with the history of these cultures will show the one-sidedness of such assertions.
(4) Incorrect and untrue is the explanation of Nirvana as "a stupid idea, invented for the successful exploitation of the
masses." The brilliant writings of our co-patriot, Shcherbatzky, dealing with the logic of Buddhism, Nirvana and the main philosophical currents in Indian thought (as well as the writings of other authorities in this field) demonstrate the depth and the rational logic of the Indian sages and other Oriental thinkers.
(5) Incorrect and untrue is the view that the physics of today considers every form of energy as "material" including the so-called "elementary particles". Just the opposite is the fact of the matter. The physics of today look upon every kind of matter as "concentrated energy". This certainly means the "dematerialization of Matter" and the denial of the "primariness of matter" over that of energy.
Prof. Timov is most likely acquainted with the various discussions going on among physicists regarding the materiality and the non-materiality of the "elementary particles" and the higher forms of energy. My characterization of these particles of energy as being "mystical, unexplainable and unreachable" was based upon the writings of one of the greatest physicists of our day. Heisenberg, M. Plank, E. Schroedinger, Dirac de Broghlie, A. Einstein, H. Margeneau, Bridgeman and a lot of other leaders in physics, all agree that with regard to these "particles" and the higher forms of energy, such terms as Materiality, Space, Causality, etc. are not applicable.
In addition to the above, these physicists hold that the appearance of life and of mental activity could not be explained as caused by physical laws, but that they are regulated by quite different factors of "will", of the "spirit" and that they are free and self-governing.
When one takes into consideration the main philosophical currents of today's physical sciences their great shift from the classical materialism and the mechanical view of life to the side of Integralism becomes evident and indisputable. This shift
is apparent even in the Soviet Materialistic philosophy and science. If we were to disregard temporarily the Soviet terminology and their theological quotings from the "holy writings" of Marx and Lenin, we will find that the Soviet materialistic philosophy is increasingly coming under the influence of the ideas of Integralism.
THE ONE IN THE MANY, AND THE MANY IN THE ONE
The Ancient teaching (which Krishna taught Arjuna, and which every Theosophical student must come to understand in his meditations) was, that all forms of every kind, from the great and immense to the infinitesmal, proceeded from One Universal Source; that the life of each is hidden in and sustained by that Source - the One Life. Hence, the power to perceive and expand its range of perception, from within outwards, is possessed by all alike, but in the evolution of the form, and in the growth of the consciousness, it has not been acquired in equal degree by all, consequently the difference in beings, in individual feelings and emotions, in thoughts and ideals, in ethics and morals; and collectively, in customs and conventions, in religions and philosophies, among different peoples.
Motion or change is the eternal order of things in Nature, yet a law of perfect justice and equilibrium would seem to be operating therein; that the relation of cause and effect produces diversity, which is no crime; and that, as the Master K.H. said to Sinnett, discord is the harmony of the Universe. It is apparent if we look at Life unfolding, from the above standpoint.
Bringing these universal propositions down to the particular, we are confronted with the question whether the best interests of humanity can be served by allowing the expansive energy to have full sway in the belief that civilization will not destroy itself, but will come to the realization that the One Life is the only reality, and that objective nature is only thought precipitated. Or, by the exercise of the opposite force of restriction, civilization will be forced through the meshes of conformity to fulfil its destiny under the direction of a theistic state; or under labor organized either by the forces of Socialism or a Dictatorship; or, under the so-called democracy, which is actually ruled by Finance. There is an old saying that two dogs fight for a bone, and a third runs away with it. Which of these three forces, all equally power-hungry, will win out in the world struggle? Or will this old Wisdom-teaching, in the coming Aquarian Age, in its terrific expansiveness, confound the restrictive tendencies of the past, and usher in a new order of things? Certainly life is on the move. Overnight, people became air-minded, now they are becoming space-minded, indicating that new horizons are opening up.
Coming nearer to home, how is it in the Theosophical Society? Individually, have we experienced any expansion of consciousness since becoming members? Or are we trying to make the teaching fit into old forms of restricted thinking? There are those who feel inhibited because the original Society has been split up into different organizations. Some, probably very sincere persons, labor earnestly to reunite them. Once the bowl has been broken, will it stand the increasing pressure of the expanding force within? The original Society could not stand that pressure. What guarantee is there, that the ideologies which
have grown up in the meantime, will fuse into one perfect whole, when united in a single organization? To achieve this sort of union, there has to be a compromise. Who is going to compromise? Thus a chain is no stronger than its weakest link. Unity has been established in the beginning in the only place possible, it is a fact in nature, but its realization depends upon individual effort regardless of organizational affiliations.
- Emory P. Wood
RE THE PROBLEM OF SEX
Dr. Kuhn's article on the above subject (March-April issue) and the correspondence relative thereto (May-June) has evoked two lengthy letters, one from Dr. Kuhn and the other from Mr. Victor Endersby, Editor of Theosophical Notes. While we have no desire to curtail freedom of expression, these letters are too long to publish in their entirety and we are therefor publishing extracts and summaries.
Mr. Endersby opens his letter with the remark that "Anyone who gets into an argument about sex in a Theosophical magazine must have rocks in his head" and he accordingly does not deal at any length with the main point of Dr. Kuhn's article, but with other matters which were raised in the correspondence.
Mr Endersby agrees with Dr. Fehring that Mr. LeGros in his original letter was referring to the abnegation of physical sex by those who are completely dedicated to the supermundane life, and not to those who have not undertaken the disciplines of that life. His main argument with Dr. Kuhn is that Dr. Kuhn finds it necessary to call upon the "plan" or "will" of God for support of the institution of sex.
The main artillery of Mr. Endersby is directed against Stephan A. Hoeller (letter in May-June issue) and against Alan W. Watts who is quoted therein. Radio talks by Watt "advocate what Madame Blavatsky and the Mahatmas denounced - attempts to gain higher states of consciousness through the sex organs, which is tantra yoga. . . The fact is that physical sex is the result of evolutionary development over millions of years . . . and by no possibility can its exercise rise above psycho-physical sensation; there is no overlap between sexual experience and spiritual experience, or mental experience either . . . No doubt the erotic-epileptic frenzies of tantra yoga are very attractive to some people . . . Hoeller says that the ancient Indians carried the relations between man and woman to heights never reached elsewhere. The Romans carried eating to similar heights."
"Diverging from sex for the moment to the indictment he (Mr. Hoeller) levels at me for criticising the `universally respected Bardo', by which I suppose he means the Bardo Thodol, usually called the Tibetan Book of the Dead - it is not universally respected. The Mahatmas don't respect it; H.P.B. didn't respect it, and I don't respect it, and I am also a part of the universe in a sort of way. Neither the Mahatmas nor H.P.B. ever mention the thing. The particular practice that I pointed out as objectionable is the placing of a priest at the head of a dead man to direct him conversationally through the after-death experiences along lines of Tibetan Redcap anthropomorphis. The teaching of the Mahatmas . . . is that the dead must be left strictly undisturbed and in silence while the lifetime deeds of the personality are reviewed in detail in the light of the Ego; and this forms the basis of all progress from incarnation to incarnation. Hence the all-too-evident objective of this practice of the redcaps is to hold the poor devil during his next incarnation in the same anthropomorphic slavery to the Tibetan gods and demons . . ."
Mr. Hoeller had quoted part of a letter from the Adept Serapis; Mr. Endersby adds the portion not quoted by Mr. Hoeller, namely, "On such a union angels may well smile! but they are rare, Brother mine, and can only be created under the wise and loving supervision of the Lodge, in order that the sons and daughters of clay might not be utterly degenerated, and the Divine Love of the Inhabitants of Higher Speres (Angels) towards the daughters of Adam be repeated. But even such must suffer, before they are rewarded." Mr. Endersby says; "Insert this omission where it belongs and the meaning of the message is reversed . . . It has to do with what H.P.B. refers to, the propagation of pure offspring by right use of sex-for reproduction only, and for reproducing bodies in which the Inhabitants of higher spheres - the most advanced souls - can incarnate . . . And even then it says that suffering is involved; no doubt the pangs of such a degree of self-control exist even among the highly spiritual."
Mr. Endersby's next target is the statement of Mr. Hoeller; "With all due respect to occult authority, many times it would do more good to use our intelligence and common sense than to quote H.P.B." of which he says, "In other words it is often, if not usually, against intelligence and common sense to quote H.P.B."
There is a lengthy quotation from Eastern Religion and Western Thought by Professor S. Radakrishnan (who does not mention the Bardo Thodol or the tantras) - "Asceticism is associated with all religions and represents a basic need of human nature. It is the outgrowth of the demand that the highest religion requires the surrender of the individual claim and identification with Universal life. Subject to this primary demand, Hinduism recognizes the value of simple human relationships. The noblest love can grow in and through the simple love of a father or a mother. (Or, I would add, through a pure and unselfish love of wife or husband. V.E.) The essential quality of asceticism is the denial of individual desires, which is a part of the religious life. Ascesis is training, and a religious man is in training all his life . . ."
"Mr. Hoeller more or less adroitly mixes up . . . three different themes in such a manner that on whatever point you counter him, he can claim that he meant somethings else - extreme anti-sexual fanaticism, tantra yoga, and the Bardo practice; but two things do come out clearly, anybody who objects to tantra yoga is a narrow minded ignorant fanatic and anybody who does not throw overboard anything H.P.B. says whenever it is disputed by jumped-up parvenue `scholarship' is likewise."
"Then on top of that he says he is heartily in sympathy with the "back to Blavatsky" people! Back to what with Blavatsky? On the only subjects concerning her that we have under discussion he is doing everything he can to derogate her. He will pardon us if we ask whether he is joining the `Back to Blavatsky' movement or infiltrating it."
Dr. Kuhn's letter reiterates many points already made in his article; he reaffirms that sex was instituted by "God" and that "God" would not have imposed upon "his children" a means of physical procreation which was damaging to their souls. Dr. Kuhn's use of the word "God" with its obviously anthropomorphic implications, we, with Mr. Endersby, find difficult to understand; H.P.B. says of this "Philosophy rejects one finite and imperfect God in the universe, the anthropomorphic deity of the Monotheists . . . It repudiates . . . the grotesque idea that Infinite, Absolute Deity should, or rather could, have any direct or indirect relation to finite illusive evolutions of Matter and therefore it cannot imagine a universe outside that Deity, or the absence of that Deity from the smallest speck of animate or inanimate Substance . . . every speck individually and Kosmos collectively is an aspect and a reminder of that Universal One Soul - which Philosophy refuses to call God, thus limiting the eternal and ever-present Root and Essence." As to whether the Being whom Dr. Kuhn
calls "God" imposed sex upon man, there is H.P.B.'s significant statement that "It is the speechless animals that first started sexual connection, having been the first to separate into male and female. Nor was it intended by Nature that man should follow the bestial example." Other means of reproduction were used prior to this separation, and it would seem that Man, not "God" was responsible for the abandoning of these methods and the substitution of sexual union.
Dr. Kuhn states, "In my previous article . . . I made no brief for sex license. What I took a stand against was the predication, as occult philosophy, of the innately evil character and spiritually degrading influence of sex per se."
"I have noted carefully Mr. LeGros' citation from H.P.B. accentuating the soul's need to kill out the last vestiges of the sex affliction. We must never forget that she herself warned us against swallowing everything she wrote without rational critique. At any rate, Mr. Stephan A. Hoeller in his discussion quoted the Master Serapis in pretty direct contradition of H.P.B.'s radical statement on this point. No one can admire her intelligent insight more than I do, but she often tends to an extremely categorical form of statement about spiritual verities and the requirements for treading the occult path, which obviously few humans can meet". (The Voice of the Silence is dedicated to "the Few" and those who attempt to tread the occult path are the "few". - Editor) "And I must go with Mr. Hoeller in his stand for the use of some good human common sense, not to mention up-to-date scientific knowledge, in our attitude toward sex. How overwhelmingly true it is that human exigencies alter our ideal aspirations and conduct! Our discussion has taken no account of the modifications of ideal standards made necessary, or at any rate, unavoidable, by the pressure of social and economic exigency."
"In day-to-day practical life, sex must be viewed, not on the basis of dogmatic principle, as categorically good or evil, as Dr. Fehring himself says, but on that of the relativity to which all ethical-spiritual questions are subject in actual practice. By this I mean that each soul here in body must, and will, learn gradually and through experience when and how drastically it is bound to curb carnal impulses as inner spirit grows wiser in mastering the laws of soul evolution."
The correspondence on this subject has brought up matters not contemplated in Dr. Kuhn'n article, but the problem of physical sex itself seems to reduce to two points; first, undeniably under the present polarities of male and female, physical sex will continue for ages, until there is a return to the androgynous condition of earlier ages, and as Dr. Kuhn says, "both `average' humanity and serious occultists should study its nature and learn its most salutary economy. The sheer potency of sex, and its essential sacredness as well, impose on the human the necessity for the greatest restraint, balance and wisdom in its exercise and control."
Second, the abnegation of physical sex by those who are dedicated to the higher life is one of the requirements of many schools of thought concerned in the spiritual progress of individuals; this is confirmed by H.P.B. and her Teachers. The reasons for this are so obvious that any argument about it is useless. Dr. Kuhn does not say that he disagrees with this - he is thinking more of the problem of sex among the mass of humanity rather than of the individuals, the "few", who have definitely chosen the higher occult path - but he does say "Can we not trust evolutionary law to guide the individual in good time into the proper channel to adjust himself in beneficent relations to the problem of balance between the inner soul and outer vehicle?"
Unfortunately the word "sex" usually has physical implications, but there are many relationships between men and wo-
men into which physical sex does not enter. In all such relationships, the complementary polarities of the two natures make manifest various forms of creative activity which would be impossible for either one alone. These complementary aspects of sex are beautifully presented in the Vishnu Purana and other works of ancient India; "He is Vishnu, she is Shri. She is language, he is thought. She is prudence, he is law. He is reason, she is sense. She is duty, he is right. He is author, she is work. He is patience, she is peace. He is ocean, she is shore. He is lamp, she is light. He is music, she is words. She is beauty, he is strength . . ." - S.D. II, 433
To quote from an earlier issue of The Toronto Theosophical News, "Man is a duality of the higher Self and the lower personality. This is represented symbolically by the horizontal diameter of a circle - the above representing the divine, the god, the below being the world of the lower mind, the passions, the physical body. On the physical plane, Man is also vertically as it were, by the polarity of sex, which divides Man into men and women. On this plane, Man is said to be quartered; there is the upper and lower duality of which he may be but dimly aware, and there is the duality of sex of which he is acutely aware.
"This sex polarity is in some degree analogous to the cosmic polarity of spirit and matter, and to that degree only, comparisons may be made and analogies drawn. We are speaking now of sex polarity in the common sense of the term and as expressed in the relationships between male and female of all species, including man. That polarities of positive and negative continue far beyond this is obvious, but to term all these `sex' is to so extend the purport of the word as to render it meaningless.
"The sex polarity which in the lower orders of life is simple and direct and marked mainly by the distinctive procreative functions of each sex, in man is complex and its range is greatly extended. Man is not an animal; he is a spiritual being using an animal body. In this body he is subject to sex - but a woman is not merely a female animal, nor a man a mere male. Men-women, or Man the race, is caught in the great cycle of sex, but the particular sex of the body used by the individual is not of any tremendous importance in relationship to the primary problem of Man's spiritual nature. When the founders of the Theosophical Society incorporated the words, `without distinction of sex' in the first object of the Society, they doubtless did so for the above reasons. Various societies and groups have attempted on religious and other grounds to exalt one human sex over the other, but this merely accentuates the problem and beclouds the truth that men and women alike are divine and that the sex of their bodies is only incidental -(accidental is the word used in The Mahatma Letters.)"
"It (the Promethean myth) points to the last of the mysteries of cyclic transformations, in the series in which mankind, having passed from the ethereal to the solid physical shape, from spiritual to physiological procreation, is now carried onward to the opposite arc of the cycle, toward that second phase of its primitive state, when woman knew no man, and human progeny was created, not begotten.
"That state will return to it and to the world at large, when the latter shall discover and really appreciate the truths which underlie this vast problem of sex. It will be like `the light that never shone on sea or land' . . . That light will lead on and up in true spiritual intuition. Then, as expressed once in a letter to a Theosophist, `the world will have a race of Buddhas and Christs, for the world will have discovered that individuals have it in their own power to procreate Buddha-like children - or Demons."
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