Vol. 41, No. 5 Toronto, Nov.-Dec., 1960 Price 35 Cents
The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document
THE DARK SEASON
"If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?" Yes - Spring will come, no matter what we do, for Nature moves with the Great Law and fulfills her destiny.
What of Man? He can, if he will, or - he may choose to do the opposite! He can use the great force and uplift of Nature and the Law to reach a further Terrace of Enlightenment, or - he can "sit and wait" for Spring, to enjoy its gifts without lifting a finger in the unfolding and growing! But . . .?
Man is a Proud Race! Man, the Mind-Being, the "Lord of all he surveys" is so proud of his independence, his self-sufficiency and his "will"-power, that he fears to lose these, by even so much as admitting there is a Law. Yet, he forgets that he is part of, One with, that Law which is truly Himself!
We look for and are so concerned with "outside" powers and forces, rules and laws, that we lose sight of Teachings, throughout the ages, which have ever pointed out to us that we have to seek those Powers, Forces, Rules and Laws Within! These encasements of ours, called bodies, are but the vehicles, the tools we work with and through; which we need in this world of manifestation, the world of Matter. The tools become dull and need resharpening; the vehicles often need repair, and, if used without care or consideration can become well nigh useless.
The "qualities", so incessantly pointed out by Krishna the Eternal One, are but devices for the training and unfolding of our skill in using our tools and vehicles well. For what purpose? For the purpose of letting the Light of our True Being shine through to illumine the darkness that surrounds us. We mistake the deceptive light of matter to be the Light of Spirit and Life, and call the Light darkness because we do not understand.
We tug at our chains and barriers, our bonds and limits, thinking that they are imposed from "outside". It is always others who restrain us, others who place obstacles in our way, others who hinder us from reaching our high aims and ideals, we think! When we reflect, surely, we perceive that we set our own limits, for nothing and no one could hold us back if we knew our goal, and willed to walk straight to it. But we do not know; we surmise, we hope; we are not sure of ourselves, because, too long we have allowed our vehicles and tools to run and use us.
The affairs of the material world are so "clear" before these "eyes of matter" that we allow ourselves to be guided by the "seeming" and close our eyes to the Light that throws the shadows we are "following".
We wish for Spring, eternal, joyful, colorful Spring! Without Summer, Autumn, - Winter, our much-desired Spring could
never be. From days long ago, we like to think that the New Year, the New Cycle, begins with Spring, the time of growth and flowering. Yet the flowering is a visible effect of invisible Life and Labor. The Dark Season with its blustering wind, its storms and freezings, its darkness and "waiting", is but a preparation. Hidden from the view of man: "powerful", independent" so "wise" man, a great mystery takes place.
The Mystery of Life. It is a prenatal state of Mother Nature. Her children, protected from the cold and inclement weather find the necessary "environment" to get ready for the great day of coming forth. The kingdoms of plant and animal, "in tune" with the Great Laws of Nature, sense when "it is time".
Man needs an almanac or calendar for else he is not sure. Yet, in our Heart of hearts is stirring a whisper, which too often we shake our head about and say: "I had the strangest feeling . . . but it is only an illusion." Not so, Children of Life, the whole of Nature feels it, but the man of mind has for too long used "head-learning, without soul-wisdom to guide it", and needs to bestir himself to learn again what he once Knew . . . the Great Law of Life, the Great Cycles of Nature.
It is in the Dark Season that all Nature is still and reverent Within; the storms, the rain, the wind and hail, are merely the outward blustering - perchance to protect the silent, secret work of the Great Mystery?
We too, may join this Work! If we enter the stream of Life and Death we may, when Spring comes, also open our petals to the Sun's Light and Resurrection may become more than an allegory of which we have, long since, forgotten the meaning. When the outer dies, the inner awakens, and continues its silent work. And, all too often, when the outer awakens the inner goes into hibernation or death. It need not be, when we know who and what we are! If we do not mistake this outer garment to be ourSELVES, we shall feel the touch of Life, we shall come within the Cycle of the Sun, feel its power and glory and become One with the great Life Force, that will carry us through the germinating, flowering, fruit-producing and the Harvest; then to quietly withdraw again, not in uselessness, not in time-wasting idleness or forgetfulness, but in the most active, wondrous, strengthening labor of Life.
Not in Spring, really, is the New Beginning, but right after the Harvest. Not the Day of Birth, truly, is the beginning of our day on earth, but all that went before, to make this day possible. As Wordsworth knew:
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting
And cometh from afar;
Not in entire forgetfulness
And not in utter nakedness
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home
GOD, LIFE, the NAMELESS "ONE", what matter the name we give the Great Light whence we came!
If in childhood we were helped not to "forget", perchance the "vision splendid" may not "fade into the light of common day". Happy the child who is taught! And happy the parent who "remembers"!
The making of "resolutions" for the New Year, is a dim memory of that great time of "preparation"; not a time of light promises, but a time of deep, silent and powerful resolution to "be about our Father's business"! And remember, I and my Father are ONE!
The Time of the Dark Season is the Time to turn the Light Inward, to seek out the Inner strength, the Inner power, the Inner Life, that at the time of coming forth it may proceed with strength into the time of building and growing and following the LIGHT.
So long, so very long, for so many ages, we have sought something to lean on,
something to guide us, something to tell us why, and when, and how! Seeking outside of ourselves for the LIGHT.
How does that measure up with our great sense of "individuality" and "in-de-pendence"? It is the eternal fight between the ever-fleeting arid the ever-lasting. To recognize that we are interdependent is not to forsake our individuality; it is not to become a slave to any force outside ourselves. Only when we know the Laws of Life, can we be truly independent, for then we shall be as The Gods. What more independent than the Sun, the all-powerful SUN, with the power over Life and Death in its strong "hand"! Yet, without the Solar "system" would there be need of the Sun?
Man, powerful MAN: what would be his place if he were sole survivor, sans plant, sans animal, sans all that keeps his body in "working order"? To learn the lessons in the School of Life, we need an "instrument" to record and store up the knowledge we gain, for future, "reference" in further days of School and higher "grades" and "degrees".
The "teacher" is free and independent! The dedicated teacher is not compelled by anyone outside himself; he dedicated himself, he bound himself; his great desire to bring others to the Light he found, is what "binds" him! Is it THAT which stirs our Heart in the Silence of the Dark Season? Is it THAT which will open the Gate to Wisdom?
How may we "Help Nature and work on with her"? Join Nature in her Silent Meditation, and perchance the Peace which is Power may shine through our Hearts and touch the Hearts of those who walk in the continuing darkness of the Dark Season, because they have identified themselves with the outside darkness and failed to see the Inner LIGHT!
To find the LIGHT; to become aware of the LIGHT, makes us a link in a Mighty Chain of greater and lesser Lights, in essence the ONE GREAT LIGHT that illumines the Dark Season.
Thus: A HAPPY "DARK" SEASON TO ALL AND EVERY ONE!
- Henmar Wildema
INTERPLANETARY TRAVEL AND THE SECRET DOCTRINE
By Elouise R. Harrison, L.L.B.
Interplanetary travel is getting closer and closer every day. It is only a matter of a few years before man will be launched on a journey as momentous as the one undertaken by Christopher Columbus, only far more out of this world. Space ships will take off for the moon and then when more technically advanced, will find safe landing on the other planets of this Solar system.
This new venture of the human race will open up new and undreamt of vistas of discovery. Links will be forged with our brother planets who are like contingent continents in the ocean of atmosphere around us.
But have the other planets of this Solar system always been "dark continents"? Have they exerted no influence on the planet Earth; have they left no mark here?
In no uncertain terms, Madam Blavatsky states in The Secret Doctrine, I, p. 575 et ,seq.:
"Saturn, Jupiter, Mercury and Venus the four exoteric planets, and the three others, which must remain unnamed, were the heavenly bodies in direct astral and psychic communication with the Earth,
its Guides, and Watchers - morally and physically; the visible orbs furnishing our Humanity with its outward and inward characteristics, and their `Regents' or Rectors with our Monads and spiritual faculties."
This statement of H.P.B.'s is pregnant with meaning. It hints that we have obtained a very great deal from these other space "continents". In fact, we may have even been peopled from some of these different planets, as she suggests further on in her great work. Just as the evolving Canadian or American race gets its source from a polyglot of peoples coming from the continents of Asia, Europe and the British Isles, so the monads of racial types on this earth have come from the different planet continents.
On page 576, Ibid, there appears the following: "Each people and nation, as said already, has its direct Watcher, Guardian and Father in Heaven - a Planetary Spirit. We are willing to leave their own national God, Jehovah, to the descendants of Israel, the worshippers of Sabaoth or Saturn; for, indeed, the monads of the people chosen by him are his own, and the Bible has never made a secret of it." . . .
The Planetary origin of the Monad (Soul) and its faculties was taught by the Gnostics. On its way to the Earth, as on its way back from the Earth, each soul born in, and from, the `Boundless Light', had to pass through the seven planetary regions both ways. The pure Dhyani and Devas of the oldest religion had become, in course of time, with the Zoroastrians, the seven Devs, the ministers of Ahriman, `each chained to his planet' . . . ; with the Brahmins, the Asuras and some of its Rishis - good, bad and indifferent; and among the Egyptian Gnostics it was Thoth or (Hermes) who was the chief of the seven whose names are given by Origen as Adonai, genius of the Sun; Tao, of the Moon; Eloi, of Jupiter; Sabao, of Mars; Orai, of Venus; Astaphai, of Mercury; and Ildabaoth (Jehovah), of Saturn . . . `The Astral Rulers of the Spheres (the planets) create the Monads (the Souls) from their own substance out of the tears of their eyes, and the sweat of their torments,' endowing the monads with a spark of the Divine Light, which is their substance.". . .
She continues: "As usual, that which is and was from its beginning divine, pure, and spiritual in its earliest unity, became, by reason of its differentiation by the distorted prism of man's conceptions, human and impure, as reflecting man's own sinful nature. Thus, in time, the Planet Saturn became reviled by the worshippers of other `gods'. The nations born under Saturn - the Jewish, for instance - with whom he had become Jehovah, after having been held as a son of Saturn, or Ilda-Baoth, by the Ophites, and in the book of Jasher - were eternally fighting with those born under Jupiter, Mercury, or any other planet, except Saturn-Jehovah; genealogies and prophecies not withstanding, Jesus the initiate (or Jehoshua) - the type from whom the `historical' Jesus was copied - was not of pure Jewish blood, and thus recognized no Jehovah; nor did he worship any planetary god beside his own `Father', whom he knew, and with whom he communed as every high initiate does, `Spirit to Spirit and Soul to Soul.' " . . .
" `I know ye are Abraham's seed . . . I speak the things which I have seen with my Father; and ye do the things which ye heard from your father . . ."
"That `Father' of the Pharisees was Jehovah, because identical with Cain, Saturn, Vulcan, etc. - the planet under which they were born, and the God whom they worshipped , . . And evidently, again, the planets are not merely spheres, twinkling in Space, and made to shine for no purpose; but the domains
of various beings with whom the profane are so far unacquainted; nevertheless, having a mysterious, unbroken and powerful connection with men and globes. Every heavenly body is the temple of a god, and these gods themselves are the temples of God, the Unknown `Not Spirit.' There is nothing profane in the Universe. All Nature is a consecrated place, as Young says:
`Each of these Stars is a religious house' . . ." .
In other words we owe more than we imagine to the other planets of this Solar system; each different race having been born under a certain planet and hence receiving from that planet help, instruction and certain characteristics.
Of the seven planets; H.P.B. states that it is the planet Venus which has had the most influence upon the earth. Venus adopted the earth as its younger brother and contributed much to its welfare. The Roman poet Vergil when speaking of the founding of the Roman race constantly referred to the great influence that goddess had over the new people to be born from Aeneas and who would then settle in Italy and become the rulers of the Western world. There is reason to suppose that he was using veiled language and that he was really drawing attention to the fact of the influence exerted on his countrymen by the planet Venus.
Madam Blavatsky further states on page 29 of the S.D. II:
" `Like each of the seven regions of the Earth, each of the seven First-born (the primordial human groups) receives its light and life from its own special Dhyani - spiritually, and from the palace (house, the planet) of that Dhyani physically; so with the seven great Races to be born on it. The first is born under the Sun; the second under Brihaspati (Jupiter); the third under Lohitanga (the `fiery-bodied,' - Venus, or Sukra); the fourth, under Soma (the Moon . . .) and Sani, Saturn, the fifth, under Budha (Mercury)" . . .
Are these islands in space inhabited with races of their own? On page 701 Ibid, H.P.B. answers in the affirmative. She says: "Still the fact remains that most of the planets, as the stars beyond our system, are inhabited, a fact that has been admitted by the men of science themselves. Laplace and Herschell believed it, though they wisely abstained from imprudent speculation; and the same conclusion has been worked out by C. Flammarion, the well-known French astronomer."
That the planets are inhabited is made more explicit in the following reference: "Another quite occult doctrine is the theory of Kant that the matter of which the inhabitants and the animals of other planets are formed is of a lighter and more subtle nature and of more perfect conformation in proportion to their distance from the sun.. . Therefore the men on Mars are more etherial than we are, while those on Venus are more gross, though far more intelligent if less spiritual . . ." However, she goes on to add, "The last doctrine is not quite ours."
If the planets are inhabited, the logical conclusion to be drawn is that they may be sending space ships to earth. In modern science-fiction there is a surfeit of such speculations and clubs have been started around sightings of so-called "flying saucers." Some have even sworn affidavits to the effect that they have seen and examined such ships. Whether these appearances belong to the realm of fancy or are the effect of partaking of the so-called "wonder drugs", is left to those more interested in the phenomena. Nevertheless, there have been found evidences of such ships in the far past; in Charlemagne's time and in the 15th Century to be more exact.
In the fascinating work The Comte de Gabalis by the Abbe de Villars (a book recommended by H.P.B.) there is this curious statement; lending weight to the idea
that flying saucers and such are no new manifestations: the Comte is speaking:
"There has been in your native France a memorable proof of this popular mania. The famous Cabalist Zedechias, in the reign of your Pepin took it into his head to convince the world that the Elements are inhabited by these peoples whose nature I have just described to you. The expedient of which he bethought himself was to advise the Sylphs to show themselves in the air to everyone; they did so sumptuously. These beings were seen in the air in human form, sometimes in battle array marching in good order, halting under arms, or encamped beneath magnificent tents; sometimes on wonderfully constructed aerial ships, whose flying squadrons roved at the will of the zephyrs. What happened? Do you suppose that the ignorant age would so much as reason as to the nature of these marvellous spectacles? The people straightway believed that sorcerers had taken possession of the air for the purpose of raising tempests and bringing hail upon their crops. The learned theologians and jurists were soon of the same opinion as the masses. The Emperor believed it as well; and this ridiculous chimera went so far that the wise Charlemagne, and after him Louis le Debonnaire, imposed grievous penalties upon all these supposed tyrants of the Air. You may see an account of this in the first chapter of the Capitularies of these two Emperors."
"The Sylphs seeing the populace, the pedants and even the crowned heads thus alarmed against them, determined to dissipate the bad opinion people had of their innocent fleet by carrying off men from every locality and showing them their beautiful women, their Republic and their manner of government, and then setting them down again on earth in divers parts of the world. They carried out their plan. The people who saw these men as they were descending came running from every direction, convinced beforehand that they were sorcerers who had separated from their companions in order to come and scatter poisons on the fruit and in the springs. Transported by the frenzy with which the fancies inspired them, they hurried these innocents off to the torture. The great number of them who were put to death by fire and water throughout the kingdom is incredible."
"One day among other instances it chanced at Lyons that three men and a woman were seen descending from these aerial ships. The entire city gathered about them, crying out that they were magicians and were sent by Grimaldus, Duke of Beneventum, Charlemagne's enemy, to destroy the French harvests. In vain the four innocents sought to vindicate themselves by saying that they were their own country-men, and had been carried away a short time since by miraculous men who had shown them unheard of marvels."
Then a book of that period by Agobard entitled Liber de Grandine et Tonitruis, Chapt. II, refers likewise to travellers from outer space by saying in part:
"Out of the number of those whose blind folly was deep enough to allow them to believe these things possible, I saw several exhibiting, in a certain concourse of people four persons in bonds - three men and a woman who they said had fallen from these same ships; after keeping them for some days in captivity, they had brought them before the assembled multitude, as we have said, in our presence to be stoned."
Whether these were voyagers from outer space or not, there is thus conclusive proof that in much earlier centuries, Unidentified Flying Objects were about to confuse the public and those in authority. There is every hope that when interplanetary travel becomes a reality, much more light will be thrown on UFO, on the influence of the planets, and on many other problems of this nature.
A MOST SERIOUS BUSINESS
By Fred Morgan
A new-comer to Theosophy may often wonder what he can best do to pass on to others some knowledge of this Ancient Wisdom. It is such a revelation to him and opens up such wide vistas that he feels almost like passing on the good news to strangers on the street. At least he must learn to write or speak, get out the typewriter or step upon the platform - or both.
Passing on the good news from the slender resources of fragmentary knowledge may do more harm than good - a soldier goes into the battlefield prepared. First, let the neophyte prepare himself with thorough knowledge of the elementary teachings of Theosophy and the rest will follow. The foundations must be laid and the walls go up.
Of course, one cannot generalize about beginners. Some rapidly grasp the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom and as readily discover their ability to give expression to their "newly" acquired knowledge. With others the process of learning is less rapid and self expression frustratingly inadequate.
The latter, at least, should begin by studying the planes of nature, and man a spark of the divine, a projection of divinity with his various bodies, as conscious on these planes at different times. Into this picture the continuity of consciousness finds its essential place with reincarnation, while capping it all will come the universal law of Karma, or cause and effect. There we have it, the basic pattern within which man evolves from savagery to godhood. We can elaborate greatly upon any of these fundamental points but first we must see broadly the picture as a whole - it is the framework upon which the rest is built. Avoid the deeper study of one or another of these aspects of Theosophical knowledge until the broad outline and its functionings are clear in the mind. All basic considerations of this evolutionary pattern are so intimately related that they should be gathered together on the stage when the curtain rises for contemplation.
Before a mechanic ventured upon his trade he knew the first principles upon which cars perform: The motor with its valves and cylinders, its spark plugs and timing mechanism; the drive shaft and transmission. They were roughly familiar to him, and to be expert he had to know them thoroughly and gradually. The painter, too, outlines his subject with charcoal before proceeding with his colors. So, the new-comer to Theosophy should know roughly the outline of the cosmic scheme rather than at first attempting to become "expert" along one line. The purely abstract and the mechanistic must be somewhat blended to be understood.
Actually, on the surface, these basic principles of evolving life and form are very simple. There is nothing complex about the river running to the sea, rising in vapor to the sky and falling later upon the land to repeat the cyclic process. That is a simple analogy in nature to cosmic forces deeper and more profound. Nor is there anything very difficult to understand about man's movements through the various planes of nature. He is at home on all of them at different periods in his cyclic journey, as is the butterfly, whether winged or previously crawling. And on each plane his vehicles of consciousness are just as real as the physical body upon the lowest. Nor is there any lasting or significant cessation of consciousness - death being only a process of change.
The law of Karma and its workings are the most contusing and mysterious. It is not easy to understand how man's thoughts or feelings, disturbing the matter of their various planes, retain the identity of their source so that the adjustment or balance may sooner or later be restored with justice. And it is still more difficult to understand when such forces are projected in one life and their effects felt in a future life. But it helps to consider again analogies on this physical plane as we did with the analogy of the river, sea and rain. When we wind a clock the energy is totally potential if the clock is not made to run. And the clock of our cosmic considerations may be idle over long or shorter periods of time, and then, at the appropriate hour, the energy released by the agents of those Mighty Beings, known as the Lords of Karma.
In this article there can be no attempt to elaborate further and there are those better qualified who have written books about each subject which are available in Theosophical libraries. In this writer's earlier days (and later days) Annie Besant and L.W. Rogers were his favorites - they were lucid, thorough and inspiring in their writings. But the newcomer should also study contemporary thought in the Society's magazines for later creative interpretation. And, not content with this, but to see how much he really understands, he should set down on paper what he has studied. In this way he is not taking the risk of confusing another if he finds in his writing that he knows less than at first he thought. This habit of writing down one's thoughts to test one's knowledge may also produce Theosophical writers' of the near or distant future. Not only this, it also organizes the mental processes and gives one a better vehicle with which to study and express ideas.
It is important that the newcomer to Theosophy steps off with the right foot. He should know why the Theosophical Society was founded and by whom. He should be thoroughly acquainted with what its Three Objects imply - and understand what a profound effect this modern appearance of the Ancient Wisdom will have, sooner or later, upon the individual and so upon mankind as a whole.
The alert seeker after truth will soon discover that the human race is not left entirely to its own devices. It seems as if it is, but it is guided where cosmic law permits by Those who have graduated from the strictly human phase of evolution, those who have trodden and understand the paths that we now tread. And one does not have to be very alert to see that the teachings of Theosophy are being given to the world to remedy an alarming materialistic trend that sustains in the minds of men a false and shallow interpretation of life.
What a challenge this is to those who wish to help mankind, not in superficial ways, but in giving a knowledge of life that inspires men to help themselves. And men can help themselves best if they know the purpose in life - the why of it all. He is a sorry traveler who has no knowledge of his destination or the paths that he should follow. And sorrier still is he whose maps and plans are based on superstition sustained by institutions from which the life has fled. The former at least may be persuaded to investigate, but the latter blindly follows those who are themselves the victims of dead creeds, redundant patterns and illogical concepts.
The promulgation of the teachings of Theosophy is a most serious business, far more important than any other worldly activity. And it can be undertaken effectively only by those who are able and willing to properly direct their minds and energy. May those who see the truth of its teachings for the first time (in this life) see that they understand thoroughly the basic issues and so become more vital channels for the use of the Masters.
Without a fair understanding it is somewhat frustrating to feel like passing on the
good news to strangers on the street, supposing that were wise or possible. A stranger may ask questions that are not so easily answered, especially if he happens to have an alert and penetrating mind that has previously done some independent thinking. Well, if such a mind puts you on the spot, confess your ignorance rather than try to defend an untenable position. A stranger to humility is no true Theosophist if we may look upon Theosophists as true or false. And the more he really learns the more humble he will or should become.
The happy chance, though, of encountering an alert and penetrating mind is unhappily rather remote. Such a mind must be a free mind, and our western economy and educational system is inclined to the production of the specialist. The specialist is a prisoner within his own field - with some exceptions. His mind may be alert and penetrating within that field but its solid conditioning tends to prevent creative thought. He is usually a conformist, a supporter of the status quo. Specialization and success go hand in hand and those who refuse to fit into the conventional pattern fail to make their mark in the world. Some individuals are big enough to escape the pattern and still make their mark (for what it is worth) but, generally speaking, the pattern is more important than the individual.
So, since specialists are in demand, be a specialist in Theosophy. In this there is less danger of being a prisoner within your field, for Theosophy is as broad and deep as the Universe. In fact, it is the story of the Universe, the greatest story ever told, the most inspiring and sublime. Within it are worlds within worlds, a mighty complexity, intricate and intriguing but solidly anchored in beauty, justice and simplicity. It is the story, too, of man. The longest story ever told, the most dramatic and inspiring, the most tragic and sordid, the bloodiest and most heroic, mingled with love and devotion, hate and greed. It is a story where beauty and ugliness go hand in hand, where the demon and the angel rise in conflict within the breast of man, where his better parts gradually prevail. The tempests of nature are storms in tea-cups compared to man's tempestuous passage along his evolutionary path. He has slaughtered his own kind by the million, imprisoned and tortured them in fiendish fashion, yet given his life to save another and spread his altruistic missions throughout the world.
His long enduring and greatest civilization was drowned in "a day and a night" when Atlantis sank beneath the waters in an agony of fire and flood ten thousand years before the Christian era. The mightiest works of man lay buried layer upon layer in sandy wastes of desert, his cities and his cultures the victims of cosmic pressures that destroy the forms that have outlived their usefulness. The life behind the form endures, the spirit of man endures the constant change from old to new. He returns again and again to play his obscure or important part, the important becoming obscure and the obscure important. In Theosophical thought there is no great or small in the deeper sense, only the one life through its many forms moving forward in cyclic progression through rock and plant, through animal to human and thence to godhood and the source from whence it came.
- From "Federation Quarterly" Sept. 1959
"Let us all draw closer together in mind and heart, soul and act, and by thus to make the true brotherhood through which alone our universal and particular progress can come . . . All the work that any of us do anywhere rebounds to the interest and benefit of the whole T.S. and for that reason we know that we are united."
- Wm. Q. Judge from Letters That Have Helped Me.
"AS A DAY CAN BE COLORED"
Thoreau pointed out that there are artists in life, persons who can change the color of a day and make it beautiful to those with whom they come in contact. We claim that there are adepts, masters in life who make it divine, as in all other arts. Is it not the greatest art of all, this which affects the very atmosphere in which we live? That it is the most important is seen at once, when we remember that every person who draws the breath of life affects the mental and moral atmosphere of the world, - and helps to color the day for those about him. Those who do not help to elevate the thoughts and lives of others must of necessity either paralyse them by indifference, or actively drag them down. When this point is reached, then the art of life is converted into the science of death; we see the black magician at work. And no one can be quite inactive.
Neither happiness nor prosperity are always the best of bedfellows for such undeveloped mortals as most of us are; they seldom bring with them peace, which is the only permanent joy. The idea of peace is usually connected with the close of life and a religious state of mind. That kind of peace will however generally be found to contain the element of expectation. The pleasures of this world have been surrendered, and the soul waits contentedly in expectation of the pleasures of the next. The peace of the philosophic mind is very different from this and can be attained too early in life when pleasure has scarcely been tasted, as well as when it has been fully drunk of.
The American Transcendentalists discovered that life could be made a sublime thing without any assistance from circumstances or outside sources of pleasure and prosperity. Of course this had been discovered many times before, and Emerson only took up again the cry raised by Epictetus. But every man has to discover this fact freshly for himself, and when once he has realized it he knows that he would be a wretch if he did not endeavor to make the possibility a reality in his own life. The stoic became sublime because he recognized his own absolute responsibility and did not try to evade it; the Transcendentalists was even more, because he had faith in the unknown and untried possibilities which lay within himself. The occultist fully recognizes the responsibility and claims his title by having both tried and acquired knowledge of his own possibilities. The Theosophist who is at all in earnest, sees his responsibility and endeavors to find knowledge, living, in the meantime, up to the highest standard of which he is aware.
The earth passes through its definite phases and man with it; and as a day can be colored so can a year. The astral life of the earth is young and strong between Christmas and Easter. Those who form their wishes now will have added strength to fulfill them consistently.
- H.P. Blavatsky, Lucifer, January, 1888.
THE THREE TRUTHS
There are three truths which are absolute, and which cannot be lost, yet remain silent for lack of speech.
The soul of man is immortal, and its future is the future of a thing whose growth and splendour have no limit.
The principle which gives life dwells in us, and without us, is undying and eternally beneficient, is not heard or seen or smelt, but is perceived by the man who desires perception.
Each man is his own absolute lawgiver, the dispenser of glory or gloom to himself, the decreer of his life, his reward, his punishment.
These truths, which are as great as is life itself, are as simple as the simplest mind of man. Feed the hungry with them.
- Idyll of the White Lotus
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
It is with deep regret I announce the death of Mr. Percy H. Stokes, a member of the Winnipeg Lodge. Mr. Stokes joined the Society in 1924 and was a diligent student of the Secret Doctrine throughout his life and was mainly responsible for keeping Theosophy alive in Winnipeg. "His untimely death was caused by severe strain in the disastrous floods of the Red River in the spring of last year from which he never recovered." His passing is deeply regretted and our sympathy is extended to his widow, Mrs. Stokes, in her sad bereavement.
The bound volumes of The Canadian Theosophist continue to sell well - during the past year over forty volumes have been disposed of which speaks well for the interest displayed in our magazine. I have often intimated in these columns that these books are packed from cover to cover with interesting matter, and make a splendid gift at any time of the year. Some of the earlier volumes are out of print but from Vol. XI on we can still supply at $2.50 each.
Toronto Lodge has had its customary annual visit from Dr. Alvin Kuhn and it is interesting to note that he has been coming for the past thirty-one years, quite a record. As usual he stayed from Sunday to Sunday, speaking on both nights and giving four weeknight lectures, as well as speaking to the Hamilton Lodge.
It seems that I misconstrued Dr. Smith's remarks to me in my last "Notes and Comments" when I reported that he had informed me that the new title of The Theosophical Society in America had been changed to United States of America. Apparently the matter is to be brought up when the By-Laws are to be revised. I am sorry I made a premature announcement.
Animal Day has come and gone again and little enough has been done to alleviate the cruelty and suffering of our dumb friends. Our Teachings are explicit in that it is compulsory for those living the life to give a helping hand to the lower kingdoms in their efforts to reach the same goal as ourselves. I would commend to all animal lovers away to do a good deed by remote control by following the suggestion made in this extract from Theosophy in Ireland Jan. 1960: "In shop windows one often sees tortoisehell frames and trays, writing sets, boxes, card cases. Do the people who use these costly things know with what sickening cruelty they are obtained? Do they know that the shell is cut away from the live tortoise, and that burning charcoal is placed on the shell to cause it to curl upwards so that it can be forced off with the knife? Sometimes the tortoise dies from the torture but the fishers prevent this if they can, for the shells grow again as nails grow, and those who survive the operation of shelling are returned to the sea to struggle painfully back to wholeness only for a repetition of the same hellish treatment. In one year more than 76,000 pounds weight of tortoiseshell was sold in London alone. It is worth thinking over". As our President Mr. Sri Ram says in a note following the above, "The law of life on the upward path is the law of sacrifice, which is not privation but the purest joy for the mind and heart irradiated by a Divine impulse ... . It is only when we are giving rather than taking, that we are able to purify all the channels of our nature and enable the forces of love to well up and overflow in every direction."
Apropos of the above I would ask what do the Vegetarians, not to speak of others, think of the following extract from The Globe & Mail, Oct. 4, 1960? "The Give Meat for Christmas idea has really taken hold this year, according to the National Livestock and Meat Board. The increased
number of requests for information and promotional materials indicates that the annual Give Meat for Christmas campaign will move ahead in high gear in 1960 due to broader participation in the project by all branches of the livestock and meat industry, as well as press, radio, television, advertising agencies and other related groups". The glad-hand evidently will not be in evidence for the aforementioned lower realms. "With such powers of evil must we contend".
It is with much pleasure I welcome the following new members into the Society: Miss Edna Nye, Toronto Lodge; Mrs. Loura C. Leigh, Member at Large; Mr. Oscar M. Armstrong, Toronto Lodge.
As I write Christmas and the New Year are in the offing and will be memories by the time our next issue is in print; so I take this opportunity of extenalng the glad hand of brotherliness to one and all, with the wish that the festive season will bring happiness and contentment and that the New Year will dawn suffused with light presaging Unity and Peace for the nations of the world.
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.
The Quarterly Meeting of the General Executive was held at 52 Isabella St., Toronto on Sunday, Oct. 2.
Members present: Miss M. Hindsley, Messrs. C. E. Bunting, C. M. Hale, G. I. Kinman and the General Secretary, Mr. D. W. Barr, ex officio.
The minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved.
The General Secretary gave an account of his visit to the Convention at Olcott and of his trip to California. He suggested that Dr. Henry A. Smith, the General Secretary of the Theosophical Society in America, be invited to speak in Toronto.
The Financial Statement was read and approved. The General Secretary deplored a further decrease in the membership of the Canadian Section, but hoped that a number of those in arrears will put themselves in good standing shortly. At the request of Hamilton Lodge, the Executive agreed that the rent of a room for the Lodge Library be paid by the Section for three months - the matter will be considered further at the next meeting.
Mr. Barr reported progress for the Magazine and brought up the question of pub-
lishing the correspondence which had been received relative to reunification of the two Theosophical groups in Canada. Mr. Kinman moved that the correspondence be published, preceded by the Society's motto and by extracts from the Toronto Theosophical News, and by such other introductory matter as the Editor might think proper.
The General Secretary reported that messages of goodwill had been sent to the Dublin Convention and also to the Swiss Section on the occasion of its Jubilee.
Colonel Thomson informed the meeting of the latest developments in the settlement of the Dewey Estate. Mr. Hale suggested that when the matter is closed, a meeting be held of all members of the General Executive (for the first time in its history) and that the expenses of the members be arranged, if necessary. The General Secretary suggested that such a meeting be a special one, and not a regular quarterly meeting; this was agreed to.
The next meeting was arranged for Jan. 8, 1961; there being no further business the meeting was adjourned.
REUNION OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETIES
The Canadian Executive, as its meeting on Oct. 2, decided to publish in the Magazine the correspondence which had been received relative to the suggestion that the two Theosophical bodies in Canada be reunited. These letters follow and we are also publishing an article from The Theosophical Movement of July 1960 which relates to the whole problem of the reunification of all Theosophical Societies.
It is a problem which warrants the serious attention of all members of the various Societies. It will be noted from what follows that the point of difference concerns the validity or otherwise of teachings - and herein lies a danger. The Theosophical Movement cannot, without disregarding its initial aim and purpose, officially endorse any teachings, nor become either a "H.P.B. Sect" or a "Leadbeater-Besant Sect" - or even an "Anti-Leadbeater Sect". If in the clash of opinions, the essential principle of the freedom of every member to accept any teaching which appeals to his reason and intuition is overlooked, the Society will be in danger of taking one more step towards a possible end warned of by H.P.B. in The Key to Theo-sophy - "Every such attempt as the Theosophical Society has hitherto ended in failure, because, sooner or later, it has degenerated into a sect, set up hard-and-fast dogmas of its own, and so lost by imperceptible degrees that vitality which the living truth alone can impart." The Appendix to the original Edition of The Key contained this declaration: "No person's religious opinions are asked upon his joining, nor is interference with them permitted, but every one is required, before admission, to promise to show towards his fellow-members the same tolerance in this respect as he claims for himself."
The essential right of freedom of thought and expression was reaffirmed by the General Council of the Theosophical Society in a Resolution passed on Dec. 23, 1924: ". . . it is thought desirable to emphasize the fact that there is no doctrine, no opinion, by whomsoever taught or held, that is in any way binding on any member of the Society, none of which any member is not free to accept or reject . . . No teacher or writer, from H.P. Blavatsky downwards, has any authority to impose his teachings or opinions on members . . . Opinions or beliefs neither bestow privileges nor inflict penalties. The members of the General
Council earnestly request every member of the Theosophical Society to maintain, defend and act upon these fundamental principles of the Society, and also fearlessly to exercise his own liberty of thought and of expression thereof, within the limits of courtesy and consideration for others." To this we would add H.P.B.'s words, "It is above everything else important to keep in mind that no Theosophical book acquires the least additional value from pretended authority." - Introduction to the S.D.
The Canadian Executive also requested that there be published extracts from the monthly program of The Toronto Theosophical News:
"There is no religion higher than Truth."
"No statement made by speakers on the Society's platform bears any authority beyond its own appeal, and the Society, as such, is not responsible for any views expressed.
"The Society has no creed nor dogma and is not intended to combat any religious belief, but to explain and supplement it.
"Every member is expected to show the same tolerance for the opinions of others that he expects for his own."
The first letter is from Dr. W.E. Wilks to Mr. Barnes, Editor of The Federation Quarterly, the official organ of the Canadian Federation of Lodges:
Dear Mr. Barnes:
I am glad to accede to your request to comment upon your Editorial in the March number of your magazine, The Federation Quarterly, because it gives me an opportunity to explain to you and your readers why we find it out of the question to envision the reunion of the Canadian Federation with the Canadian Section.
It is a big subject but I will try to outline the major obstacles as clearly as possible. The `Split' in the Canadian Section occurred because criticism, freedom of thought and its expression, was objected to by a number of members; especially criticism with regard to the `Leaders' and their teaching and activities. These members later withdrew and eventually formed the Canadian Federation. This division and consequent break was really a matter of different values, loyalty to the `Beloved Leaders' as against loyalty to truth and Theosophy.
The activities under criticism were mainly three.
1. The preparation for the Second Coming of Christ as the World Teacher in the person of Krishnamurti. This went on and ended in such a psychic extravaganza as the world has seldom seen, with new Initiations declared almost weekly, with the twelve Apostles actually named amongst those prominent in the T.S.; with Mrs. Besant solemnly speaking in the name of the `King of the World' to large hushed audiences.
(This is all depicted faithfully by Lady Emily Lutyens recent book Candles in the Sun as she was at the centre of these activities; it is also to be found in the magazine of the Star Order, The Herald of the Star of that date, with large photographs). This psychic debauch which made Theosophy a thing of contempt and ridicule throughout the world, ended when Krishnamurti disbanded the Order of the Star of which he was the Head, and refused any longer to go ahead with the `World Teacher' business, and went his way alone. Then it could be plainly seen that all the messages brought through from beyond the veil from Masters, from Lord Maitreya, (Christ) and the King of the World, the whole setup, had been pure moonshine.
2. The second activity under criticism was the sponsoring of a new church by the Leaders of the Theosophical Society, many of whom became Bishops and
priests of this church. This despite the fact that the Inspirers of the Theosophical Movement, the Mahatmas, and their direct agent, H.P.B., had made very clear that one of the Theosophical Movement's chief aims was to oppose sacerdotalism and organised religion in all its forms as being one of the greatest causes of human misery.
3. The third and the most important activity which was under criticism, was the substitution of Pseudo-Theosophy in place of Theosophy in the Theosophical Society. H.P.B.'s books were relegated to back shelves and refused to enquirers, and were rarely mentioned and never studied, for decades. The Esoteric philosophy of the Brothers which They had made in some part available to us as Theosophy, was superceded by the clairvoyant investigations of Mr. Leadbeater, aided and sponsored by Mrs. Besant. This as a teaching and a philosophy, is in direct conflict with Theosophy itself, in teaching, in its attitude to life, and in its values; and this teaching has absorbed the whole attention and proselytizing powers of the T.S. for the last half century, and still does.
Of these three activities of the `Leaders' under criticism, the first is now important only as part of the record, and also because it shows how the psychic powers of C.W. Leadbeater and Bishop Arundale, and others, were completely unreliable. Can it be doubted that most of the time what they saw and sensed was their own thought forms? Self-deception is the first and the last illusion to be overcome.
The second activity, the Liberal Catholic Church, is as active a cause of disagreement between us today as ever it was. If an effort has been made to keep it out of the lodge rooms, it is still a Theosophical activity which, because it engenders dependence and superstition, is the antithesis of Theosophy. An International lecturer for the T.S. will be a lay-theosophist one day and officiate as a Bishop the next.
The third activity under criticism was, and is, by far the most important, for it cannot be denied that the whole membership (with a few notable exceptions) has been fed a travesty of Theosophy which is yet called Theosophy, and which is diametrically opposed to real Theosophy in most important matters of doctrine and in the whole atmosphere and attitude to life which it inculcates.
All these years since Mr. Leadbeater was invited back into the Society, after being allowed to resign to avoid public expulsion, the Theosophical Society has been given over to the self-styled near-infallible clairvoyant investigations of this one man. If there had been any real freedom of thought and expression, if criticism had been allowed in the T.S., C.W.L.'s psychic pronouncements would have been examined and accepted or rejected, like the work of any other psychic, by each member according to his lights; but when Mrs. Besant sponsored in the fullest way these pronouncements and aided in producing them, then with her immense personal influence they became sacrosanct and beyond criticism or doubt in the minds of the unquestioning followers of these two Theosophical Leaders. For fifty years every earnest enquirer seeking truth and attracted to the T.S., has, with rare exceptions, been met with Pseudo-Theosophy. How many of these waded through to the pearl within, and how many finding only psychism and sacerdotalism in the Society, have gone away disgusted? It is impossible to calculate the harm that has been done by this substitution of Pseudo-Theosophy for Theosophy. Throughout th =e T.S., voices raised in protest, in criticism, were refused expression, drowned out, as they still are today, and most of those who realized what was happening, finding themselves helpless to stem the tide, left the Society. In Canada alone, a small National Section because it was fortunate enough in the early
years of its existence to possess a number of strong individuals who, in spite of opposition, were able to hold together in the name of truth and Theosophy, has maintained its stand and has attracted to itself students of like calibre from all over the world. Through its magazine, The Canadian Theosophist, it declares itself for Theosophy, the philosophy given to the original Theosophical Society as a sacred charge by the Brothers; but it will print any sincere expression of opinion for, or against, any philosophy or opinion, for it values freedom of thought and expression above all. No where else in the T.S. is there encouragement of freedom of thought and expression. And yet the Society through its journals each month makes its declaration of "Freedom of Thought". Why is it that whilst all journals dealing with general world subjcets carry a page or two for the comments and criticism by their readers, and yet our theosophists dedicated to the search for truth for the welfare of humanity, do not? Why is criticism and freedom of expression avoided in the T.S.? Why is criticism considered unbrotherly, and yet the search for truth is the essence of Brotherhood?
In the above I have tried to make abundantly clear the position which has to be understood and resolved before reunion is thinkable. In the Canadian Section we value above everything, above friendly pleasant relations, or agreement, or any comfort of mind, two things - the truth and its fearless free expression, and Theosophy, the Esoteric philosophy of the Mahatmas, to maintain which in its original purity is our main and sacred responsibility. Both are necessary, for without the continual discipline of the search for truth Theosophy inevitably degenerates into a series of dogmas, the property of a Sect. And now in conclusion of this matter, may I quote you the words of the National President, Mr. James S. Perkins, upon this subject (Mr. Spinks' paper) taken from his Editorial in the November 1958 The American Theosophist in which we heartily concur, "Today, a debate upon whether or not Theosophists agree upon elements of doctrine, or claims of former leaders, seems pointless compared with making certain that there actually exists freedom of thought for investigating any and all ideas presented by sincere students, as well as freedom from the encircling shadow of a too-dominant leadership. (italics ours) For wherever these freedoms obtain in individuals who voluntarily cooperate in such aims as those of the T.S. there is created a natural basis for unity among all Theosophists". And again later in the same Editorial, "Similarly the T.S. can be a vehicle of Truth only if it provides for the inclusion of views that are sometimes diametrically opposed. What would be fatal to a church, must be attained by a body of Seekers that would reflect many aspected Truth". (italcs ours)
If these ideas of Mr. Perkins ever became the actual policy in action of the T.S., then all our differences would disappear, and we would find a sound basis for establishing Unity, and start creating that nucleus of Universal Brotherhood upon which the success of Theosophy depends.
Both you and Mr. Spinks appear to regard the existence of different Societies or Groups within a National Section to indicate a denial of Brotherhood. What has this proposed union to do with Brotherhood? It has everything to do with unity and so with strength, but because we work for the cause of Theosophy in different ways and consequently in different camps, does this make us unbrotherly? Surely not! Brotherhood is an attitude, the result of an individual awakening to some degree his dormant spiritual nature, through which he realizes to some extent his kinship with all humanity and recognizes the responsibility this perception entails. In this connection may I refer you to an article on Universal
Brotherhood from the Orpheus Lodge, which Mr. Sri Ram published in the December 1959 The Theosophist.
We recognize each other as brothers, not only because of our common humanity, but also there is a somewhat deeper bond in that we each recognize that we are all working for the Cause of Theosophy and so for humanity, as we understand it, and give each other credit for earnestness and ordinary sincerity. But because we believe that you are following a mistaken ideal and teaching, we cannot join with you. Of course where a group of men and women of different types and temperaments, and backgrounds, and religions, and upbringings etc., unite whole-heartedly in some common great cause, and stand up together under the strains and difficulties and even suffering entailed, each knowing he can depend upon the other in this matter to the death even, then a bond of real brotherhood which `cuts ice' as the saying is, arises in each. This is the "brotherliness for ones codisciple" spoken of in the "Golden Stairs", "A clean life, an open mind, etc.," which you will be familiar with. But this brotherhood which they tried on many occasions to form, both on large and small scales, in the early days of the T.S. is the most difficult thing in the world to compass, as unfortunately history shows. It is a prerequisite to success in Occultism, the Mahatma Letters tell us.
Therefore for you to seek to rejoin the Canadian Section, as things are, would be to enact a sham, a pretence of Unity. However valuable Unity may be, it cannot be purchased by sitting together under the same roof, but demands first and foremost unity of aim and purpose, and this, as I have explained is where we are poles apart.
In conclusion, I hope my plain speaking will give no offence to any of your readers. We regret, as I'm sure you do, that the reunion suggested is impossible as things are.
W. E. Wilks
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist,
Re. Theosophical Unity in Canada?
I write as a member of the Canadian Section, but a convinced Neo-Theosophist, to express pleasure in reading the news that discussion was made at a recent meeting of the General Executive with regard to the possibility of unity in Canada between the two groups of Theosophists, vis. the Section and the Federation. I would be extremely astonished if you published my letter. This because your editorial policy has never been one of giving to your readers any lucid explanation as to what the Canadian Federation is. And this brings to the fore the meat of the question.
If amalgamation of the two factions was implemented what would the editorial policy of The Canadian Theosophist be? The Canadian Federation has its basic origin in an objection, which I share, to the consistent policy followed by the Executive of the Canadian Section of seeking to reduce Theosophy to a cult. While admitting it to be free from dogma and creed they have always tried to tell us that the Founders of the Society gave us a teaching to follow. The sad truth is they did not. Next, the publications of the Society, as issued from Adyar, the international headquarters of the Society, have been carefully screened for us by the zealots in Toronto. We have to write to Wheaton, Ill., to get the books we want and so on.
If amalgamation will ever be found to work out in Canada we must be free from cant. And face the facts. As is written in the service of the Anglican Church, "We have done those things we ought not to have done, and left undone those things we ought to have done, and there is no health in us". And the present state of the T.S. in Canada is a true replica of the truth of this old prayer.
Frederick E. Tyler F.T.S.
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist,
In the May-June number you request observations on the idea of the Federation rejoining the Canadian Section.
I am an outsider so far as the T.S. is concerned, but as you know have many friends in the Section and have taken active interest in its operations for a good many years. Also sometimes the observations from an outside point of view are of interest.
The original split between the Federation and the Section was due to the support of the former of Leadbeater's neo-theosophy, which was equivalent to a repudiation of that of H.P. Blavatsky.
Hence it seems to me that the overriding question is, has the Federation changed its position? If it has not, then a union would simply amount to an infiltration that would weaken, dilute, and pervert the stand for which the Section has been noted and admired worldwide for so many years, and which stand is the reason for my own cooperation with it. It is true that there is an ostensible move back to H.P.B. in the T.S. at large, but there are also so many pro-Leadbeater activities going on in it that I am suspicious as to which way it is really going; in any case membership in a body which upholds both kinds of teachings can only result in confusion and the loss of interest of logical people who may get in. A mixup of teachings in behalf of an apparently, but actually not, stronger body would be selling the birthright for a mess of pottage. Of course this is no simple question. Neither the Section nor the Federation can very well, as members of the T.S., espouse a given philosophy officially, hence what either stands for in actual practice is determinable only by what Lodges and individuals are actually doing. This does not seem to be a simple question. A few neo-theosophical angles get into Section proceedings now and then also.
On the whole it seems to me that it would be better to be safe than sorry. In any case no public strength can be gained by adding a group espousing Leadbeater. The public, that is to say the well-informed and well-educated part of it, knows what the value of neo-theosophy is even if a lot of Theosophists don't.
There are all sorts of movements on for unification, and they have a certain appeal for people who feel unable to stand on their own feet. But it is well to examine rather closely what the union is actually with before going for it.
It is not a good idea to let oneself be rushed into anything.
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist,
Supplementary to my previous letter on the question of the Section merging with the Federation:
I find that the American Section is pushing with new vigor the Besant-Leadbeater mythology with allied books on neo-theosophy and neo-neo-theosophy. Hailing Leadbeater as Great Seer, Great Occultist, etc. it has out 29 Leadbeater titles and nine Besant-Leadbeater titles. Occult Chemistry is listed but marked out, evidently edition exhausted. This book in particular is guaranteed to turn my competent modern scientist against Theosophy permanently; it is a constant problem that hits our own work in California, and in addition to being scientifically ridiculous - and getting more so all the time - it flagrantly flouts H.P.B.'s teachings on the nature of matter and the construction of the atom.
It is therefore evident that the propaganda rather slyly circulating around to the effect that the T.S. is moving back toward H.P.B. and Judge, is merely camouflage for renewed efforts to cut off theosophists from the thinking and educated
world, an enterprise well forwarded over many long years of the past.
Since the Federation is distinguished from the Canadian Section by its adherence to Leadbeater, it is to be supposed that it represents the same thing.
I also wish to call attention to the fact that the official commitment of the T.S. to the Leadbeater "solution" of the sex question still stands in the Golden Book - an official publication of 1925; in this this practice is stated to be moral and justifiable.
It is to be assumed also that the Federation is committed to this like the rest of the T.S.
In my previous letter I pointed out the desirability of the Section being cautious as to what it committed itself to if it joined the Federation. Unless it is prepared to throw overboard all the principles that have made it admired and respected among Blavatsky Theosophists, and to identify itself outright with the worst features of neo-theosophy, the least it can do as a condition of any merger is to require from the Federation a written repudiation of the neo-theosophieal teachings in all respects in which they differ from those of H.P.B., and particularly to repudiate the sex teaching that has brought so much discredit on the work among clean-minded people.
Of course as I admitted, not being a member my right to comment may be denied; but I have long been a friend of the Section, only refraining from joining it in the past because my personal work has been along non-sectarian and non-organizational lines.
TO ALL OPEN-MINDED THEOSOPHISTS
I cannot permit our sacred philosophy to be . . . disfigured. He says that people will not accept the whole truth; that unless we humor them with a hope that there may be a "loving Father and creator of all in heaven" our philosophy will be rejected a priori. In such a case the less such idiots hear of our doctrines the better for both. If they do not want the whole truth and nothing but the truth, they are welcome. But never will they find us - (at any rate) - compromising with, and pandering to public prejudices. - Mahatma K.H.
There are sincere Theosophists in all the various organizations calling themselves Theosophical, who necessarily deplore the discords and dissensions in a Movement whose main aim is the furtherance of Brotherhood. The public mind is confused by the multiplicity of societies having the same avowed objects, and the question often comes up as to why the United Lodge of Theosophists, the Adyar Theosophical Society and other bodies which claim to speak for Theosophy do not all unite. The desirability of reunification is in these days being urged, so a recapitulation of the factors that have caused this disunity seems not only appropriate at this hour but necessary if a common basis for lasting unity without sacrifice of principles is ever to be generally accepted.
The Theosophical Society of 1875 exists no more; it has, alas, gone the way of all similar attempts in the past. Its successors are the now numerous Theosophical bodies. Are the Spirit and the Soul of the Movement incarnated in any of these bodies? It is a question calling pressingly for answer on the part of all students of today and it will continue to confront fresh inquirers.
Students of the age-old philosophy which
H. P. Blavatsky reiterated for our era acknowledge the inalienable right of everyone to choose for himself what he should believe, and they have no quarrel with or ill feeling towards anyone promulgating a philosophy of life of his own. But it is incumbent upon them to point out the difference there is between unadulterated Theosophy and that which is offered in the name of Theosophy but is as different from the teachings of H.P.B. as night is from day. The public in general, and even most members of the various Theosophical organizations, do not know that such a difference exists. It is left to each mind to decide for itself whether it will accept the original, virile teachings of H.P.B., the accredited Messenger of the Masters of Wisdom for the 19th-20th century, or the pseudo-theosophical doctrines put forward by others. To call the two the same without adequate study, research and examination is to indulge in fancy if not deliberately in intellectual dishonesty.
The general public, and especially that portion of it which is just beginning to inquire into Theosophy, has been misled, first, by those who have attempted to "correct" and "improve" the Message of the Masters as recorded in the writings of H.P.B. They began on the form side - the construction of sentences, the arrangement of footnotes, paragraphs, etc., - and ended by altering the very soul of her writings. Ideas which sounded to them incorrect because they were not understood, profound metaphysical concepts which puzzled them, being outside their range of perception, have undergone alteratioin.
Not only this, but there has come into existence a great quantity of "Theosophical" literature, giving teachings which have no resemblance whatsoever to Theosophy as restated by H.P.B. Some of the pseudo-theosophical writers claimed superior knowledge; claimed to have reached a greater spiritual elevation than H.P.B. herself. Thousands have proved their lack of discrimination and judgment by a blind acceptance of the numerous books and pamphlets of such writers, without any comparison of their contents with those of Isis Unveiled or The Secret Doctrine or The Key to Theosophy or The Voice of the Silence or H.P.B.'s many and valuable articles.
There were even those who claimed close relationship with Adepts and Mahatmas and to be inspired by them. They affirmed the greatness and profundity of H.P.B.'s writings, but added that since her death the thought of the world had so changed that the Masters were giving out additional information and knowledge. Some have posed as H.P.B.'s successors and have claimed that through them she has given out new and additional teachings.
It stands to reason, therefore, that there can be no unity in the Theosophical world until there is a common agreement as to what the true teachings of Theosophy are. There can be no rapprochement between those who hold that those teachings alone should be presented to the public in the name of Theosophy and that there must be an adherence to the Original Programme of the Masters, and those who try to pass off half-truths and even falsehoods as Theosophy. As the Master makes clear in the words quoted at the beginning of this article, if people "do not want the whole truth and nothing but the truth, they are welcome. But never will they find us - (at any rate) - compromising with, and pandering to public prejudices." Theosophy is Truth and as such can have no alliance with any form of error and remain Truth. Compromise with diluted Theosophy is not tolerance, is not brotherhood.
The vast majority of members of the various Theosophical bodies do not know what Theosophy is. They lack that knowledge of the great truths which would furnish the criterion, the only true standard, by which conflicting statements could be judged. On one without a knowledge of the true, that which looks like the true is but too likely to produce its glamor with
the inevitable results. The motto of the Theosophical Movement is: "There is no Religion higher than Truth"; and the search for it has to be pursued irrespective of likes and dislikes. Most people do not want Truth. They desire only the learning that suits them and appeals to their personalities. They fall into the easy trap of blind belief because they lack the inward determination to seek and to know, no matter what the effort may cost in time and labor and sacrifice.
Can Truth alter with the passage of time, as the leaders in some of the Theosophical societies would have us believe? Is Theosophy an evolving and changing system of thought or is it a body of tested and proven knowledge? The answer to these questions is to be found in H.P.B.'s own words:-
What I do believe in is (1) the unbroken oral teachings revealed by living divine men during the infancy of mankind to the elect among men; (2) that it has reached us unaltered; and (3 ) that the Masters are thoroughly versed in the science based on such uninterrupted teaching.
Theosophy is the accumulated Wisdom of the ages; it is no fancy of one or several individuals. Its uninterrupted record extends over thousands of generations of sages and seers. As a system of thought it stands unbroken and unbreakable. Any teaching that fits in with this Ancient Wisdom is truly Theosophy. A study of comparative religions and philosophies would show H.P.B.'s teachings to be consistent with the earlier restatements of Theosophic thought. The internal evidence of the validity of her Message is overwhelming; its consistency is complete. It is obviously futile, therefore to talk of improving and expanding the philosophy given out by her.
There can be no solidarity without Theosophical education - more and better individual study and application by each sincere Theosophist. Mere sincerity is not enough if discrimination be lacking. Sincerity, without self-study, enthusiasm without enlightenment, dependence on borrowed light without the study and application necessary to distinguish the true from the false, contributed to the decline of the Parent Theosophical Society.
It needs to be recognized that there is a great difference between the Theosophical Movement and any organized Theosophical body. The former is universal and continuous; the latter, a mere outer shell which needs must change in accordance with place, time, exigency and people. To worship an organization is to sacrfiice the soul to the form and to become the slave of that dogmatism which the Theosophical Movement was meant to overthrow. Real unity and brotherhood do not consist in having a single organization. They are to be found in similarity of aim, of purpose, of teaching, of ethics.
What H.P.B. wrote in reply to those who tried to commit her to the Theosophical Society and to Adyar, its headquarters, needs to be remembered: -
It is pure nonsense to say that "H.P.B. . . . is loyal to the Theosophical Society and to Adyar" (!?). H.P.B. is loyal to death to the Theosophical Cause, and those great Teachers whose philosophy can alone bind the whole of Humanity into one Brotherhood. Together with Col. Olcott, she is the chief Founder and Builder of the Society which was and is meant to represent that Cause . . . . Therefore the degree of her sympathies with the "Theosophical Society and Adyar" depends upon the degree of the loyalty of that Society to the Cause. Let it break away from the original lines and show disloyalty in its policy to the Cause and the original programme of the Society, and H.P.B. calling the T.S. disloyal, will shake it off like dust from her feet.
And what does "loyalty to Adyar" mean, in the name of all wonders? What is Adyar, apart from that Cause and the two (not one Founder, if you please) who represent it? Why not loyal to the compound or the bathroom of Adyar?
("A Puzzle from Adyar": reprinted in The Theosophical Movement for October, 1952 from Lucifer for August, 1889)
Members of the various organizations calling themselves Theosophical should raise questions and elicit answers, look for hidden causes, exercise mental honesty and decide for themselves whether they shall remain loyal to Theosophy and its Holy Cause or give blind allegiance to a society which may be outwardly thriving but from which seems to have departed the Soul of the Movement, the Masters, who set the Original Impulse in motion. False notions of devotion and allegiance, blind acceptance of statements, belief in false doctrines and worship of personalities have helped pseudo-theosophy to be taken by many for Theosophy itself. The ethics of Theosophy have been neglected and psychism has been installed. H.P.B.'s warning against "false prophets of Theosophy" and their "monstrous exaggerations and idiotic schemes and shams" has gone unheeded. A hierarchy of "initiates" has been set up and the blind following of personalities has been rampant. How very different is all this from the lines laid down by H.P.B., who wrote: -
Let no man set up a popery instead of Theosophy, as this would be suicidal and has ever ended most fatally. We are all fellow-students, more or less advanced; but no one belonging to the Theosophical Society ought to count himself as more than, at best, a pupil-teacher - one who has no right to dogmatize. (Five Messages, p. 4)
One of the greatest disservices to the Movement was rendered by those who deliberately obscured William Quan Judge's intimate connection with the founding of the Parent Society in 1875, his close ties with H.P.B. up to her death and his valuable contribution of genuine Theosophy. His life and work must be judged by the same standard as H.P.B.'s own - the common sense of his teachings and the inspiration they bring; the internal evidence of the validity of his message and its consistency, and the dovetailing of his teachings with those of H.P.B. herself. Those who deny Judge deny H.P.B. He has to be accepted as a true Theosophist, not only because of his own fine character and his wonderful ethical teachings, but because he held to the lines of the Masters and remained faithful till his death to the Original Programme which They had laid down.
Devotion to the Masters, Their Message and Their Messenger on the part of a few, and the vision earned by them, made possible the formation of the United Lodge of Theosophists in 1909. Fifty-one years have witnessed the growth of this voluntary association of students of Theosophy, established to restore the Theosophical Movement to its original lines, to offer the actual facts of Theosophical history, which had been ignored, forgotten or perverted, and to make the original writings of H.P.B. and W.Q. Judge once more accessible to those who would avail themselves of the opportunity to study, apply and promulgate them.
The 15 years which remain before the centenary cycle which H.P.B. started in 1875 comes to an end and another begins, should be devoted by all earnest and open-minded Theosophists of whatever affiliation to making more intensive efforts to study, assimilate and proclaim the great truths of the Wisdom-Religion which the world sorely needs today. Let them remember above all that the Cause of Theosophy, the source of all philosophies and faiths, is mightier than any society or organization and the service of that Cause far more important than that of any society which endeavors or claims to speak on its behalf.
- The Theosophical Movement, July, 1960
And to all the foregoing we would add an extract from an anonymous writer quoted in an article "Separating Thy Being" in The Canadian Theosophist, Nov. 1951:
"Do you remember the passage in The Mahatma Letters (p. 20) where the Master speaks of a Universal Brotherhood as `an association of affinities of strongly magnetic yet dissimilar forces and polarities centred around one dominant idea . . . necessary for successful achievements in occult sciences'? H.P.B. seems to have worked consistently with this in mind, for she brought into the Movement all sorts and conditions of men and women - Christians, Spiritualists, Agnostics, Hindus, etc., as well as convinced Theosophists. The Movement was to derive its success from the union in bonds of brotherhood of these diverse elements. If this were the case, then the first split should have been avoided at almost any cost, for a split does not merely divide into parts, mechanically separated, but actually sets up a process of decomposition by tending to segregate people into groups of similar types. I picture the ideal T.S. as a perfectly balanced, and very complex compound built up, like a chemical compound, of atoms of different and dissimilar elements. Once decompostion sets in and these elements become segregated, the mass loses its original character altogether, and there is left a number of homogeneous groups, which while thus isolated, are quite sterile and unlike the body of which they once formed a part. In the T.S. as originally conceived, the various types of members - devotional, critical, practical, philosophical, and so on, would have tended to keep each other in bounds; but once separated, the devotional people became fanatical and credulous; the critical, skeptical and negative, etc., etc. Their qualities, so valuable in combination, became vices when isolated and unchecked. The moral of all this seems to be that, for Theosophists, brotherhood is even more important than correct opinions; and such brotherhood must start with Theosophists of other groups than one's own. This is the most difficult kind of fraternity to cultivate. It is easy enough to feel kindly about people you never see or contact; but to accept the man who disputes your own pet views about Theosophical matters is much harder - and more important. Our greatest and most urgent need, as it seems to me, is to get the critical and the devotional types into combination once more. Can it be done, do you think, or have we drifted too far?"
The point raised by the writer of the above quotations seems to us to be important as it directs attention to an attitude toward the problem of reunification which has not been mentioned in the foregoing material. It does not demand that members of other groups repudiate teachings which seem to them to be valid, but instead suggests that in the unique organization which the Theosophical Society was intended to be, the presence of those holding diverse views was not only desirable, but essential to its success; without this diversity of views within the organization, the magic of the leaven of Theosophy would not work. H.P.B. used the words `a wonder and a miracle' in speaking of the mission of Theosophy - and miracles are not brought about by reason alone. The "head" has its very important place in the development of Theosophical ideals - but so has the "heart" - and if the "heart" were permitted to use its magic-making power of love in approaching this problem, the answer might be very near indeed. We may smile at the old saying "Love will find a way", but if one approaches any difficult human situation with compassion, ways and means do open up in unexpected manners - but first there must be compassion and a sincere desire to help all those concerned.
ORIGINAL AND UP-TO-DATE THEOSOPHY
We lend freely by mail all the comprehensive literature of the Movement. Catalogue on request. Also to lend, or for sale at 20c each post free, our eight H.P.B. Pamphlets, including early articles from LUCIFER and Letters from the Initiates.
THE H. P. B. LIBRARY, 1385 Tatlow Ave., Norgate Park, North Vancouver, B.C.
BLAVATSKY INSTITUTE PUBLICATIONS
52 Isabella St., Toronto 5, Ontario
- ESOTERIC CHARACTER OF THE GOSPEL by H. P. Blavatsky.
- THE EVIDENCE OF IMMORTALITY by Dr. Jerome A. Anderson.
- MODERN THEOSOPHY by Claude Falls Wright.
- THE BHAGAVAD GITA, A Conflation by Albert E.S. Smythe.
These four books are cloth bound, price $1 each.
- THE EXILE OF THE SOUL by Professor Roy Mitchell has been published in book form. Attractively bound in yellow cover stock. This sells at the price of $1.00.
- THROUGH TEMPLE DOORS - Studies in Occult Masonry, by Roy Mitchell, an occult interpretation of Masonic Symbolism.
- THEOSOPHY IN ACTION, by Roy Mitchell, a re-examination of Theosophical ideas, and their practical application in the work.
- THEOSOPHIC STUDY, by Roy Mitchell, a book of practical guidance in methnods of study.
The above four books are attractively bound; papperbound $1.00, cloth, $1.50.
- COURSE IN PUBLIC SPEAKING, By Roy Mitchell. Especially written for Theosophical students, $3.00.
- THEOSOPHY, AN ATTITUDE TOWARD LIFE, by Dudley Barr. 50c.
- THE WISDOM OF CONFUCIUS by Iverson Harris. 25c
- CALGARY LODGE: Address enquiries to Mr. Stanley Elliott, No. 3, 1735 College Lane, Calgary, Alta.
- EDMONTON LODGE: President, Mr. B.J. Whitbread; Secretary, Mrs. Winifred Tiplin, 11428 123rd St., Edmonton, Alta.
- HAMILTON LODGE: President, Mr. Reg. M. Stevens; Secretary, Mrs. Clare Lakin, Ancaster, Ont.
- PHOENIX LODGE, HAMILTON: President; Mr. H.L. Kramkowski; Secretary, Mrs. Kathleen Marks, 477 Upper Gage Ave., Hamilton, Ont.
- KITCHENER LODGE: President, John Oberlerchener, 19 First Ave., Kitchener, Ont.
- MONTREAL LODGE: President, Mr. Fred T.A. Griffiths, 136 Clandeboye Ave., Westmount, P.Q.; Secretary, Mrs. Frank Goossens
- ST. THOMAS LODGE: President Benj. T. Garside, Secretary, Mrs. Hazel B, Garside, 71 Hincks St., St. Thomas, Ont.
- TORONTO LODGE: President, Mr. G.I. Kinman, 262 Sheldrake Blvd., Toronto 12 (phone HU 3-5346). Corresponding Secretary, Miss Laura Gaunt. Lodge Rooms 52 Isabella Street, Toronto 5, Ont.
- VANCOUVER LODGE: President, Mrs. Buchanan; Secretary, M.D. Buchanan, 4690 W. 8th Ave., The Lodge rooms are at 151 1/2 Hastings St. West
- ORPHEUS LODGE, VANCOUVER: President, R.H. Hedley; Secretary, L.C. Hanson; Room 405, Lumbermen's Bldg., 509 Richards St., Vancouver 3, B.C.
- CANYON LODGE, NORTH VANCOUVER: President, Mr. Charles R. Carter; Secretary, Mr. J.B. Jefferson, 245 St. James St. W., N. Vancouver, B.C.
- VICTORIA LODGE: Apply to Mrs. W. Gilmour, 2540 Cotswold Road, Victoria
- WINNIPEG LODGE: President, Mr. Percy H. Stokes, Secretary, Mr. Henry Gadd, Suite 9 B Maple Leaf Apts, 915 Corydon Ave., Winnepeg 9, Man.