Vol. 67, No. 1 Toronto, March-April 1986 Price 75 Cents
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[[Cover Photo: William Quan Judge, April 13, 1851 - March 21, 1896
William Quan Judge
- Albert E.S. Smythe
In 1884 I first began to understand the brevity of physical existence. This was in the month of May. Death up to that time, although I had been brought close to it in family bereavements, had meant little or nothing to me. It became a personal problem when it touched my own conception of life. I found there was no foundation in physical existence for a philosophy or a religion. I suppose we are all materialists up to the point when this need for an explanation appears.
At all events I found that poetry, philosophy, history, science, religious teaching as I had known it had nothing to offer which would unravel the mystery. I had a great deal to learn. Ignorance was all about me and hemmed me in. My mind was dark. For several months I pondered and wondered. I read and consulted my spiritual superiors. They were dumb and unhelpful. I secluded myself, but it led to nothing except that I began to see clearly that there was nothing to be learned from any one in my immediate circle. Belfast judges all things by a money or business standard. How much are you worth? How well do you get on? This was a good excuse to get away from such a centre of materialism. I decided to go to America, where I had an acquaintance in the State of Illinois.
In November I sailed. It was a trying day on which I left. On that day I had my first and only headache. I thought my head would burst when I got on board the steamer. It was the old Guion liner Wisconsin. When I met the other ten cabin passengers, the one who impressed me most was William Q. Judge. There was a Mr. and Mrs. Treadgold, she being a daughter of Rev. Dr. Geikie, author of The Life of Christ. There was a Parisian dentist, two girls, Pennsylvania Dutch, and the others do not remain in my memory.
Judge was regarded as peculiar. He stayed in his cabin pretty closely, but when he came out he was sought after, but kept us at a distance, not as it were intentionally, but simply with the reserve which hedges a weighty personality. He played cards with us in the smoking room, and there I first learned to play euchre and casino. There was no gambling, and Judge would not play on Sunday when it was proposed one day. He wore an old blue Tam O'Shanter, and his merry smile and good-natured conversation were most ingratiating.
But there was no word of Theosophy and no one knew that he was just returning from India at one of the most critical periods of the Society's history. He and I talked confidentially about many things, of life and death, but then as afterwards he always threw me back on myself. He asked questions which one could answer oneself and which supplied the clue one desired. There never was a teacher that set up less as an authority.
As we drew near New York he set himself to prepare an address to the Captain, and he ornamented it with drawings and beautiful penmanship, so that it was a little work of art. We all signed it, and one wonders if the Captain preserved it among the memorials of his adventurous life. When we landed Judge disappeared. He lived in Brooklyn and left no address. He was without a penny, one had to learn long afterwards, and he had to set himself to the gigantic work which seventeen months
later began to take shape in The Path, the magazine which is not surpassed by Lucifer itself.
I went to Chicago, and in course of events was employed in the firm of Jansen, McClurg and Co., afterwards A.C. McClurg & Co. The city collector there was Dr. Andrew P. Phelon, president of one of the two Theosophical Societies in Chicago at that time. And he never mentioned Theosophy to me, although we were fairly intimate. He was the author of the book, The Three Sevens, and Mrs. Phelon took a strong interest in the work from a somewhat psychic angle.
I left Chicago in 1887 and went to Edinburgh, where I met several Theosophists and studied all the Theosophical literature I could get hold of for two years, including H.P.B.'s chief Book, The Secret Doctrine, then just published, over which I spent six serious months. The Light of Asia, The Occult World, Esoteric Buddhism and Isis Unveiled were about the only authentic Theosophical books available at that time, but Lucifer began its career when I was in Edinburgh.
I returned across the Atlantic but was directed to Canada, and there wrote Mr. Judge and started propaganda. He said he remembered me very well, and had often wondered what I had been doing, and so the Toronto work began. He was an indefatigable worker and did ever so much that will never be accounted for on this plane. His literary work has never been as highly estimated as it ought to be, not for merely literary quality, though in that respect it often ranks high, but for its innate wisdom and experience.
The Letters That Have Helped Me is one of the finest books of occult study that ever was produced, and it is a sorry comment on the brains of the present generation of Theosophists, not to speak of their hearts, that edition after edition of puerile texts are scattered over the world, and Letters That Have Helped Me is allowed to go out of print and never included in an official Adyar catalogue. Had Judge never written anything else than these letters he would remain a great figure in the Theosophical Movement as long as it continues.
Echoes from the Orient and The Ocean of Theosophy were written as newspaper articles and have all the faults of such a genesis, but they are thoroughly reliable, they do not ask for credence but for verification, and they open up vistas of thought which are sufficient for the ordinary man's lifetime. Unfortunately a great many people are not satisfied with as much as they are able to understand, but must be fitted out with all the knowledge which is beyond them, and there are always certain types of teachers ready to supply that demand.
Judge never went beyond what was reasonable and fitting for his audience. He appeals and will always appeal to the man on the street with his common sense and everyday sanity. He is a safe guide in this respect. Nor can we forget that H.P.B. described him as the antaskarana or link "between the two Manases, the American thought and the Indian, or rather the trans-Himalayan esoteric knowledge." That is a profound statement, taken in connection with the fact, which she also vouched for, that at the time she was writing in 1889 he was a chela of fourteen years' standing. Since 1874 he had been with H.P.B.
Judge was one of the founders of the Theosophical Society. On September 7, 1875, a few people were assembled in H.P.B.'s rooms to hear a paper on Egyptian architecture by Mr. Felt. Miss Katherine Hillard, the Dante authority, writes: "Then and there Mr. Judge was asked by H.P.B. to 'found a society' for the study of occultism. Mr. Judge called the few friends present to order, nominated Col. Olcott as permanent chairman, and was himself appointed secretary." The minutes of this meeting exist signed by the three founders.
What is most to be noted in Mr. Judge's teaching is the stress laid on moral and ethical conduct and the development of character. Many people, even in the Theosophical Societies, appear to think that Theosophical advance means the gaining of powers, and the learning about mysteries. These things are merely incidental and do not interest the real man. Powers gained by the body perish with the body. It is the subjection of the physical body to the needs of the spiritual man in his incarnation or epiphany or manifestation on earth that is of importance, and unless this is accomplished no progress is made. All learning, all wealth, all accomplishments; are of no avail; endless unselfishness and love and sacrifice for others have become the law and the constant practice of life. It is on these things that Judge lays stress, and for this reason many do not care for his writings.
- Toronto Theosophical News, November, 1925.
Editors' Note: Echoes from the Orient was a slim book in which were collected twenty-one short articles written by William Q. Judge for the paper, Kate Feld's Washington. It should not be confused with Echoes of the Orient, the title of Judge's Collected Writings, of which two volumes have already been published. Today, two editions of Letters That Have Helped Me are in print: by The Theosophy Company, and the Theosophical University Press.
"TRUE, FAITHFUL AND TRUSTWORTHY"
This year marks the ninetieth anniversary of the death of William Quan Judge. He was only in his forty-fifth year when he died, worn out with his unrelenting efforts on behalf of the then young Theosophical Society.
Most of those who had met him, like Albert Smythe, were inspired by him. Indeed, much of the vigour of the Theosophical Society on this continent in the 1880s and 1890s was contributed by members who tried to follow his example.
True, he had enemies. One of them was exposed in The Letters of H.P. Blavatsky to Elliott Coues (serialized in recent issues of The Canadian Theosophist). History shows what a tremendously difficult role Judge assumed in America after Madame Blavatsky and Col. Olcott left for India in 1879; and it was made harder by such as Coues, who sought to use the Society for their own selfish and egocentric purposes. Yet perseverance and hard work quickly paid dividends and put the Society on its feet. By 1886, a hundred years ago, he had succeeded in building an organization that was worthy of being recognized as the American Section of the Society. In the same year he also founded The Path. He not only edited, but also wrote a large part of that fine journal.
If there was ever any doubt regarding H.P.B.'s good opinion of Judge, or of her loyalty to him, it was surely dispelled with the publication of William Quan Judge: Theosophical Pioneer, by Sven Eek and
Boris de Zirkoff. The long lost letters produced new supporting evidence. "I know," she wrote to Coues, "that a more devoted man to Theosophy, the Masters & myself, does not exist than Judge - even counting Olcott."
Complementing H.P.B.'s view is that of her Master. In a letter written by the Mahatma M. to Dr. Franz Hartmann, he urged: "Be friendly to W.Q. Judge. He is true, faithful and trustworthy." (Quoted in H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, Vol. VIII, p. 448.)
The general attitude in the Theosophical Society towards Judge has greatly improved since Smythe's day. But old habits die hard, and here and there remain the old prejudices, even to the point of ignoring his rightful position as a founder. Nor are his writings familiar to many members, a great pity considering their quality, as mentioned in Mr. Smythe's 1925 article.
William Q. Judge left the earthly scene ninety years ago, but time has not dimmed, his achievements or his contribution to the Theosophical Movement. He was indeed a "true, faithful and trustworthy" servant, a model for all who would serve the same Cause.
THE MIND AND THE KLESAS
- Gordon Limbrick
The origin of the human mind will remain a mystery until Man is able to journey at will to the mental-causal planes of Existence known only to the Adept. While human consciousness is bound and limited by the irresistible flow of conditioned and fragmented thought-forms, the source of mind cannot be known. Fortunately, Adepts have prescribed ways in which man may extricate himself from the vortex of the lower mind and thereby remove impediments to his evolutionary development.
Theosophy explains that mind emanates from "Dhyani-Chohanic thought reflecting the Ideation of the Universal Mind" (The Secret Doctrine I, 280) and that man is endowed with his Self-conscious mind, or Manas, by Manasaputras who are a specific class of Dhyan-Chohans. (S.D. 11, 233fn.) Esoteric doctrine affirms that the soul, prior to its embodiment, acquired mind from the region of Universal Mind for use on the lower planes. At that stage mind and soul were knotted together in a time-union, and remain in that state until the soul is able to free itself from Samskaric bondage. As a result of this fusion, the vision of the soul is obscured by the "veiling power" of the mind, and Man is born in the state of Avidya (Ignorance):
"From Avidya the Klesas (Afflictions) of Egoism, Desire, Repulsion and the Tenacious Clinging-to-Life spring forth to keep man rooted in a material existence." (Yoga Sutra 11:3*)
The doctrine of the Klesas has been condensed by Patanjali into thirty terse Sutras, but their vital importance has seldom been explained in translation. However, the subject has been dealt with in a systematic and masterly manner by I.K. Taimni in his
* The Yoga Sutras (Y.S.) quoted in this article are selected from various translations.
The Science of Yoga.* He explains the concept as follows:
"Klesa ... means pain, affliction or misery, but it gradually came to acquire the meaning of what causes pain, affliction or misery. The philosophy of Klesas is thus an analysis of the underlying and fundamental cause of human misery and the way in which this cause can be removed effectively." (p.135)
The foremost of the Klesas is Ignorance, since from this state the remaining four afflictions arise as obstacles to enlightenment. Avidya refers to the everyday consciousness of one who regards the material world as reality, while remaining ignorant of the underlying Reality which is its cause and support. Patanjali has referred to this illusion as: "The pain resulting from the false identity of the Knower with the Known," (Y.S. 11; 17) while Advaita Vedanta refers to this state as "mistaking the unreal for the Real due to the ignorance of Brahman." Conventional examples of mistaking a rope for a snake, or a post for a ghost, are used to explain the superimposition of Maya upon the undiscerning human mind. (Vivekachudamani 110-112)
In the state of Avidya, therefore, a person mistakes things for what they are NOT, because vision has been clouded by conditioned thought-forms of the lower mind. As a result, things are seen as they appear to be and not as they are in relation to Reality, nor can it be envisaged that everything in this world is a counterpart of another plane of existence. Having lost memory of his Divine origin, Man mistakes phenomena as the only reality and, as a consequence, wanders through life among countless other lost souls suffering the pain that inevitably results from Ignorance.
* I.K. Taimni, The Science of Yoga. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali in Sanskrit with Transliteration in Roman, Translation and Commentary in English. xv + 448 pp. Adyar: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1974. Also available in Quest paperback.
Patanjali affirms that "To identify Consciousness with that which merely reflects consciousness is Egoism." (Y.S. 11:6) This affliction refers to our deeply rooted sense of separateness. It is the ego-idea that "I am an individual" distinct and apart from a group. This bias is strengthened when additional identities are superimposed, such as, "I am a Christian," "I am a Jew," I am a teacher," and so forth, so that one's true self becomes veiled and forgotten. Furthermore, identity with the body is deep and strong: the individual regards his body as himself and fails to recognize his essential being, the Atman.
This ego-centric tendency is reinforced as soon as the infant emerges from the womb oblivious of its Primal Source, and individualized by a covering of skin. Hence, the infant soon becomes conditioned by a materially oriented society which enforces separateness by fostering a spurious myth of individualism which, in turn, feeds the affliction of Egoism. By the same token, one's sole identity with the physical body exaggerates the importance of its comfort and well-being and makes one insensitive to the happiness and suffering of four and a half billion souls who also inhabit the earth. In the state of Egoism, one fails to recognize the Power within as being greater than the little egocentric self - that Power which manifests in all beings and throughout existence. "All that exists is ONE," declares the Vedantist. "Only when I lose my sense of separateness will my suffering come to an end."
Raga (Desire or Attraction which dwells upon pleasure)
Mind seeks pleasure and flees from pain. However, when the mind dwells upon pleasure - derived from an object or from a person - the senses overwhelm the mind and, in turn, the mind enslaves the soul. Taimni makes an interesting observation about the cause of man's eternal quest for pleasure:
"It is natural for us to get attracted in this manner because the soul in bondage, having lost the direct source of Ananda (Bliss) within, gropes after Ananda in the external world and anything which provides even a shadow of this in the form of ordinary happiness or pleasure becomes dear to it." - pp. 147-8.
The danger arises when Attraction becomes an obsession. Satisfaction of a desire strengthens its binding power and invites repetition; thus the soul falls under the sway of the mind and the senses. Buddha taught that the cause of suffering is Desire and that the way to end suffering is to overcome Desire. Furthermore, Desire is the cause of birth; and rebirth is the result of unfulfilled Desire.
On the path to Enlightenment, Desire is the foremost obstacle. "Kill thy desires, Lanoo, make thy vices impotent, ere the first step is taken on the solemn journey," declares The Voice of the Silence (p.16.) This should not be misread to imply the killing out of sensation, but rather, killing out desire for sensation, thus freeing the mind from the domination of the senses. For it is evident that sensation is the nature of existence, in that Consciousness itself manifests through the mind and the sensorium in the reception and interpretation of sensory stimuli. When the driving force of Raga is brought under control, the Klesas retreat to their passive state and the mind becomes fit for inner Contemplation.
Patanjali describes man's innate sense of aversion succinctly: "That repulsion which accompanies pain is "Dvesa." (Y.S. 11:8) Most people feel repelled by any person or object associated with pain or anguish, even when the cause of the anguish is imaginary. Such aversion is a form of bondage because we are tied to what we hate or fear. In fact, the more intensely hate or repugnance is felt, the greater becomes the underlying attachment, as, for example, among members engaged in a family vendetta. It is worthy of note that the Klesas of Attraction and Repulsion are two related opposites and that both are equally binding. This is evident in the case of a jilted lover who is pained and repelled by a person formerly loved.
The activity of these two related Klesas blinds one's vision and judgment, and results in suffering in this life and in lives to come. Not until we have succeeded in subduing these opposing afflictions can we achieve the states of Vairaga (Detachment) and Viveka (Discrimination) and thus experience the bliss of a tranquil mind. We will then no longer be drawn towards material attractions; neither will we feel an aversion against them. In the process of arriving at this equilibrium is discovered a hidden harmony between opposite poles in a world of duality.
Abhinivesa (Clinging to Life)
In the words of Patanjali, Abhinivesa is "The tenacious desire to cling to life inherent in both the wise and ignorant throughout all incarnations." (Y.S. 11:9) All sentient beings strive for perpetual existence on the material plane where the instinct of self-preservation is strong. The Sutra affirms that death does not interrupt the intense longing for eternal life. This
longing is apparent in the average man, who clings desperately to life until he leaves the body with the final breath; yet when his re-embodied soul emerges again, the zest for life is undiminished and remains undiminished throughout his human evolutionary cycle.
Atman, manifesting as Prana - the life principle - permeates all forms of life from amoeba to the mental giant; thus, both the ignorant and the wise share the same "tenacious desire to cling to life." Only the veiling power of Ignorance and Egoism blinds man to the Eternal Presence of Atman within himself. Thus from false identity with the physical body arises the fear of death and from the fear of death arises the tenacious clinging to life. Moreover, the instinctive fear of death is - according to Yoga doctrine - imbedded in the Samskaras which hold latent memories of all former deaths and after-death experiences such as the purgative process during the soul's sojourn in Kama Loka.
It is well known in occult circles that as a man advances spiritually his fear of death diminishes, and when he has mastered the art of "dying whilst living," he will welcome physical death as the means of passing from darkness to Light. Abhinivesa is, therefore, the futile worship of a material existence which binds man to Samskara and perpetuates his long and painful evolutionary development. To cling to life is to cling to Maya, the gossamer world which shrouds the Light of Atman.
Overcoming the Klesas
Because the Klesas constitute the primordial impelling tendencies of human existence they will stubbornly resist any attempt to restrain their activity. Hence, the task of subduing them is usually a long and arduous one, during which time man will continue to suffer or enjoy the reaction of his past actions as a result of Ignorance. The degree to which he suffers is - according to Taimni - related to the intensity of the Klesas which exist in four inter-related states. In the advanced individual they are dormant; among those who have made some spiritual progress they are considerably weakened; in the average man they oscillate between medium and intense activity, and in those who know no other mission in life than sensual pursuit they are constantly potent. "Avidya is the source of the Afflictions, whether they be vestigial, attenuated, variable or fully developed. (Y.S. 11:4).
When the Klesas are active, we act in the darkness of Ignorance and incur adverse Karma. Conversely, when they are reduced to a dormant state, we act in the light of greater Knowledge and thus attenuate our Karmic attachments. In the process, the mind becomes one, and at the same time the means of the soul's bondage and the means of its liberation, a principle that Patanjali refers to in Sutra II: 12 - "The reservoir of Karmas which are rooted in the Klesas will bear the fruits of merit and demerit in this life and in lives to come."
Earlier, Patanjali states: "The Afflictions in their active state can be overcome by meditation." (Y. S. 11:11) However, he does not refer to the meditation practiced by the novitiate in gathering the diffused rays of thought to develop "one-pointedness" of mind, for this is basically an exercise in concentration and mind control, although a sine qua non for further growth. Patanjali is speaking of the profound state of Meditation, or Dhyana, reached as the result of mastering seven successive stages of his Eightfold System of Yoga. (Y.S. 11:29) When the meditator has reached this seventh stage, he has achieved mastery over the lower mind and is, therefore, no longer subject to the thraldom of the senses and, as a conse-
quence, the Klesas are reduced to the vestigial state.
But there yet remains the task of finally eradicating the Klesas so that there is no possibility of their revival, for although passive, they lie like coiled serpents ready to emit their venom when provoked. Constant vigilance is necessary, for the aspirant treads a precipitous path above the turbulent flood of thought into which he may fall at any time and be carried away. Patanjali outlines the remedial action: "In their passive state the Klesas can be resolved by bringing the mind back to its origin." (Y. S. 11:10).
This Sutra implies that the soul must free itself from the fetters of the mind in the mental-causal plane of the vast astral world whence it acquired mind prior to its emergence in physical form. This freedom cannot be realized until the seeker has mastered the seventh stage mentioned above. Hence he must perfect the art of "journeying within" by the assiduous practice of "bringing the mind back to its place of origin."
Then follows the eighth and final stage of Patanjali's Astanga Yoga in which the Klesas are finally eradicated by the practice of Dharma-Megha-Samadhi. The term Dharma-Megha is generally understood to mean "cloud of virtue," or the state in which the Yogi has pierced "the veil of ignorance" to become One with the Light of Knowledge. (Y.S. IV:29) This is the culmination of all Yogas, the high estate in which the soul is at last free from Avidya and immune to Samskara. To use Patanjali's words, "Thence comes the removal of the Klesas and freedom from the power of Karma." (Y.S. IV:30)
Man's greatest challenge, therefore, is to overcome the domination of the Klesas, for only by doing so will he become aware of his predicament. He must first recognize the tremendous influence that the Klesas have upon his thoughts and thinking patterns and, therefore, upon the unceasing creation of Karma. For left unobserved, their irresistible energy will keep the habit mind-bound to its own familiar fields of expression. He must also perceive that the quality of thought is determined by the relative intensity of the Klesas, for when they are passive the thoughts are pure and the mind is pure. Conversely, when they are active the mind is agitated and impure. As the thought, so the mind, and as the mind, so man's Karmic destiny.
For the novice and practitioner alike, sitting in formal meditation is a direct and effective method of lessening the intensity of the Klesas, but it is obvious that the goal cannot be reached solely by such means. The aspirant must also practice an informal ''balanced meditation" which demands an underlying attentiveness inseparable from every waking hour. Only by constant awareness can the Klesas be prevented from gaining the upper hand. Dedication to the path must be total. "Thou canst not travel on the Path before thou hast become that Path itself," affirms H.P.B. in The Voice of the Silence. (p. 12)
Moreover, without self-discipline, success on the Path is impossible. Hence the necessity of developing Vairaga, or restraint in withdrawing the mind from the attraction of sense-objects and the cultivation of detachment towards Maya's worldly show. The practice of detachment is conducive to the development of Viveka, or the perfect discriminative Knowledge which differentiates the Real from the Unreal. This involves a continuous searching inquiry into the conduct of thought and into the nature of existence. More than this, the practice of Viveka implies that the seeker will select only that course of action in conformity with the Path and that he will reject every other inferior force
belonging to the lower nature. (Yoga Sutra IV:29 refers.) Needless to say, the practice of Karma-Yoga - which infers "action without regard to the fruits of action" (Bhagavad-Gita III) - is fundamental to the Path as an antidote for Egoism, Desire and Repulsion.
The fundamental cause of human misery is man himself. Desire is the cause of his birth. Ignorance drives him to prolong his existence in Prakriti and blinds him to Purusha (Spirit), his only source of deliverance. Man's essential folly is ignorance, in consequence of which he repeats the same futile mistakes and suffers the effects in life after life. Taimni points to the reason for this blindness. It is:
"Because the lessons of (life's) miseries fail to make a permanent impression on our mind. So the aspirant ... must have the capacity to learn from all experiences quickly and finally, not needing to go through the same experiences over and over again owing to the failure to remember the lessons of these experiences."
He then makes the intuitive observation that, "If we could but retain such lessons in our memory permanently our evolution would be extraordinarily rapid. The capacity to retain such lessons in our consciousness gives a finality to every stage which we cross in our onward journey and prevents our sliding back again and again." (p.49)
The choice is ours. We can use discrimination and thus move in harmony with the Law, or we can ignore the inner voice and suffer the consequences of a long and painful evolutionary development. Obviously, it is more intelligent to learn from observation than to learn from the pain of bitter experience. One path leads to the light of Knowledge, the other keeps the soul imprisoned in the darkness of Avidya. But those who possess an indomitable will to reach the goal and achieve life's only purpose, cease to be helpless wanderers on a vast evolutionary journey at the mercy of Cyclic and Karmic Law, and are guided by the Power Within, greater than the ego-centric self. The sage Patanjali has pointed a way that has rightly been described as a Science of Man's Evolutionary Development, the basis of which is the means of understanding and controlling the human mind.
Freedom from Rebirth
"He who lacketh discrimination, whose mind is unsteady and heart is impure, never reacheth the goal, but is born again and again. But he who hath discrimination, whose mind is steady and whose heart is pure, reacheth the goal and is born no more." - Katha Upanishad Ill: 7,8
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 splendor has no limit.
The principle which gives life dwells in us, and without us, is undying and eternally beneficent, is not heard or seen or smelt, but is perceived by the man who desires perception.
Each man is his own absolute 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
Until his death in Victoria on January 6, Allan Wyllie was our oldest living member. He was in his 102nd year. Although burdened in recent years with the usual infirmities of old age, and having to spend his last months in hospital, Mr. Wyllie kept up a wide range of interests. That his mind remained active was evident in his letters, which he wrote in a firm hand - or even typed if he felt like it. His wife, Grace, also a member, predeceased him by more than two years.
Fatima Khoja died in Edmonton on December 29, 1985. Mrs. Khoja joined the Society as a member-at-large in 1980.
Our loving thoughts go out to the relatives and friends of these departed members.
The death of Jiddu Krishnamurti on February 17 removed the last remaining major figure who had participated in the Theosophical Society's most turbulent years in this century. His own voluntary withdrawal in 1929 from the grandiose divine role for which he had been selected and prepared by others, was the culmination of a period that could well have destroyed the modern Theosophical Movement.
It will be interesting to see how history assesses Krishnamurti. Of the "Alcyone" period, a number of questions will probably forever remain unanswered; anyway, the spotlight is more likely to focus on his later years, during which Krishnamurti the philosopher emerged and developed.
It is a great pleasure to report the inauguration of the Beaconsfield Theosophical Study Centre on January 13, 1986. Its members propose "to study the works of H.P. Blavatsky and any Theosophically related authors who help to increase understanding of Life and Spirit." I know that all our readers will want to join me in sending best wishes to the Secretary, Mrs. Suzanne Hassanein, and her colleagues. May the new Study Centre flourish, and long keep the light of Theosophy shining in Beaconsfield, a suburb of Montreal.
Beaconsfield is the third official Study Centre to be approved since this organizational category was adopted by the T.S. in Canada a little over three years ago.
The 1986 Annual Meeting of The Theosophical Society in Canada will be held in Vancouver on Saturday, July 5. The reason for the exceptionally early date this year is to facilitate the administrative turnover to the new General Secretary and Directors, who will be elected in the Spring.
Members will receive full details in due course, and I hope as many as possible will endeavour to be present. Some will no doubt wish to take in "Expo '86" which is a major Vancouver attraction this year. The Presidents of the Vancouver Lodges have already met on two or three occasions to discuss arrangements for the meeting, and are looking forward to welcoming visiting members from out-of-town.
Heartiest congratulations to the members of Victoria Lodge on the successful launching of their new journal, Pathways. It is to be published quarterly.
The first issue, Winter 1986, contains much of interest to students of Theosophy. A thoughtful editorial is followed with well-written articles on a variety of subjects. There is an excellent description of the Theosophical film "Beyond Conflict", itself a major and successful earlier Victoria Lodge undertaking on behalf of the T.S. in Canada; a report on the highlights of a
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BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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- Emory P. Wood (Honorary Director), 9360 - 86 St., Edmonton, Alberta T6C 3E7
EDITORIAL BOARD, CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
All letters to the Editors, articles and reports for publication should be addressed to the Editors, 2307 Sovereign Crescent S.W., Calgary, Alta. T3C 2M3.
- Editors: Mr. and Mrs. T.G. Davy
Letters intended for publication should be restricted to not more than five hundred words.
The editors reserve the right to shorten any letter unless the writer states that it must be published in full or not at all.
Rannie Publications Limited, Beamsville, Ontario
Lodge discussion series on "Mind"; and a feature on "Pathfinders", in which the Canadian artist-Theosophist Lawren Harris is profiled. There is also a book review section.
Pathways is anonymous from cover to cover, which gives emphasis to the group effort that goes into it. So, let us send our congratulations to all the members in Victoria for their initiative and achievement.
Judith Myrtle, whose death was announced in the last issue, was loved by all. Children, especially, responded to her warm friendliness.
A retired teacher, since 1967 she voluntarily went weekly to an elementary school near her home, and talked to the children on a variety of subjects. Nature, and stories of peoples of other lands and cultures, were her specialty. The pupils loved it.
In the words of the Vancouver School Board Newspaper a few years back, "Every Thursday, rain or shine, she walks a mile and a half to impart her love of life and learning to the eager children." This voluntary service was appreciated by teachers and pupils alike. "I don't know what the topic will be on Thursday," one little girl told the School Board reporter, "but I know it will be interesting."
More recently I heard a nice story in connection with this labour of love of Judy's. Last year, she was invited to attend prize-giving ceremonies at the school. Part way through the proceedings, her name was mentioned in connection with an award. She was much taken aback, as she had neither donated a prize, nor had anyone spoken to her about one.
Eventually, an explanation was given. The school had decided to inaugurate two awards, one each for the senior and primary levels, for "Outstanding Cooperativeness and Working Helpfully." The children were invited to name this honour. They chose to call it, "Miss Myrtle's Award."
"Outstanding Co-operativeness and Working Helpfully" - there is no question but that Judy exhibited these qualities to the full in her T.S. activities: in Lodge, Study Centre and as a member of the Section Board of Directors. She set a wonderful example to the children - and to all of us.
Judy's passing left a vacancy on the National Board of Directors. I am pleased to report that the Board has co-opted Mrs. Lillian Hooper, President of the Orpheus Lodge, to fill that position.
A student of Theosophy would like to obtain a copy of F.T. Brooks' translation of the Bhagavad-Gita; also other titles by this author. If any reader can help, please reply c/o General Secretary.
It gives me much pleasure to welcome the following new members into the fellowship of the Theosophical Society: Beaconsfield S/C. Nancy Hamilton, Toronto Lodge. Carl Emmanuel, Christopher Holmes, Antoinina Langevin. - T.G.D.
BEACONSFIELD STUDY CENTRE
We are happy to announce the inception of the Beaconsfield Theosophical Study Centre, as of January 13, 1986. At present we have five members who are: Suzanne Hassanein (Secretary), Nancy Hamilton, Carol Houpert, Patricia Lemieux, Corinne Sukosd.
Our meetings take place once a week on Thursday mornings. The first hour is devoted to The Secret Doctrine; the second is a question and answer period based on the Home Study course.
We are all enthusiastic and in earnest to learn.
- Pat Lemieux
Our monthly Lodge talks continue to be of interest. On January 29, Hank van Hees had as his subject "The Secret Doctrine and Modern 'Earthy' Sciences" and on February 26 Doris Davy spoke on "The Seven Sacred Planets".
A lively discussion always follows the presentations.
Tentative plans were made for President Radha Burnier's forthcoming visit in June.
- Laetitia van Hees, Secretary
Further to Adam Warcup's Seminar on September 14 and 15, 1985, Edmonton Lodge is pleased to report that there has been a very good demand for tapes of his lectures, both audio and video. Feedback has been very favourable, which comes as no surprise to those of us who had the pleasure of being present to hear him in person.
Upon reconvening for regular meetings last Fall, the Lodge members decided to take up the study of The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett. We are studying them in chronological order, and employing a variety of study guides to enlarge on the subject. Over the Winter we have been meeting at the home of Mr. and Mrs. B.J. Whitbread.
On February 5, 1986, Ted Davy, General Secretary of the T.S. in Canada honoured Edmonton T.S. members from both Edmonton and Mercury Lodges, together with some interested visitors, with another well-researched, well-presented lecture entitled "Bulwer Lytton and The Dweller of the Threshold." Ted gave a historic account of the life and times of Bulwer Lytton, proceeded to describe some of the more occult matters described in Lytton's novel Zanoni dealing with the "Dweller of the Threshold," and concluded by quoting various explanations of "The Dweller." It was an excellent lecture, as usual from Ted, and it has generated interesting comments and conversation among the members.
The lecture was taped and is available at a cost of $2.50, postage included. Mail requests to: Edmonton Lodge, Box 4804, Edmonton, AB Canada T6E 2A0.
Our annual Christmas party took place on December 15 in the home of Pearle and Alf Mavor. As usual, their warm hospitality made it a real "family" affair.
A reading on the Christmas theme was given by Dorita Gilmour. Later we sang carols, enthusiastically accompanied on the organ by Fiona and Pearle. Delicious food, provided by members, was enjoyed by all.
Shortly after the New Year several members enjoyed a social meeting with Colyn Boyce. Formerly a member of Vancouver Lodge, Colyn is presently living in London, England, where he works as program planner and publicity officer for the Theosophical Society Headquarters.
On January 20, the Victoria Lodge
brought out the first issue of Pathways, a newsletter to be issued quarterly. This excellent piece of work has been accomplished by an enthusiastic committee. Three hundred copies will be distributed locally and circulated across Canada to all Lodges. In Victoria it will be placed in certain bookshops, all branch libraries and at the University. A mailing list will be drawn up when it is ascertained where the greatest interest lies.
- Mollie Yorke, Secretary
KROTONA SPRING PROGRAM
Krotona School of Theosophy opens its Spring Term on Monday, March 24. The whole of the first week is given over to a seminar by Dr. Geddes McGregor, "The Evolution, Transmission and Inner Meanings of the Bible." Other courses include: "Studies in The Secret Doctrine" - Joy Mills; "Experiencing Theosophy Daily" - Shirley MacPherson; "The Fundamentals of Theosophy" - Diana Dunningham Chapotin; "Mantra Meditation in the Yoga Tradition" - David Schonfeld.
There will also be a special evening class on "Alchemy: The Art of Inner Transformation" by Stephan Hoeller.
An intensive workshop training program will be offered to members of the Theosophical Society only, from May 12 through 23. Seminar sessions on The Secret Doctrine will be featured along with training sessions in various aspects of theosophical work.
The Fall 1986 term will open on Saturday, September 20, with Dr. Hugh Gray, General Secretary of The Theosophical Society in England, as guest speaker.
Further information from the Director, Krotona Institute School of Theosophy, 46 Krotona Hill, Ojai, CA 93023, U.S.A.
FROM THE PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS
To the 110th Annual Convention of the Theosophical Society
- Radha Burnier, President
Since the centenary of our Society was commemorated in 1975, another decade - one tenth of another century - has gone by. All those who are at work seriously and steadily, endeavouring to accomplish an important task, find that time flows fast. It is hard to say what really has been accomplished during these last ten years from the point of view of the Society's objectives, because change takes place so slowly within the human mind. And it is with internal change - a revolution in attitudes and relationships - that the Theosophical Society is primarily concerned.
The world is continually beset by pressing, even seemingly intractable, problems. They are intractable only because there is no change within the mind of man from where the trouble arises. Again and again, causes as well as solutions are being sought outside. Centuries ago, the Upanishads declared that mind alone is the cause of both bondage and liberation. The implication of this statement has not been taken to heart - neither by those who make use of it as a quotation, nor by those who have heard it casually. The "normal" way of life of almost every group of human beings includes an obsession with self-preservation and self-promotion and the consequent hatred, suspicion, fear and desire. These find outlets in quarrels, competition and the many problems that afflict individuals and nations. If the idea of self-promotion were eradicated from the mind, yielding place to a sense of friendship, trust and selflessness, there would be hardly a problem on earth. Wars would not take place and pressures would be eased. The purely material problems are easily resolved where there is trust and good will. Humanity has so far missed the chance of bringing about a real reign of peace only because it wants to change everything except its own mental and psychic condition.
Changing the state of the mind has so far been harder than landing on the moon or circumnavigating the earth. But it may not be actually so hard as we think. Perhaps it is difficult only because we do not really accept that it is the way to peace and to a better world, and even to personal happiness, if there is such a thing as personal happiness. As long as there is a lack of complete conviction, and we keep on looking for a change to come from outside, searching for solutions based on modifications of systems and theories, energy is dissipated. Repeatedly it has been found that when people say that something cannot be done, they are unable to do it. On the other hand, when someone is concerned that a certain thing must be done, he does it. New achievements in various fields (for example, in sports) come from people who are determined to go beyond the limits which were previously considered to be unsurpassable. Our attitude regarding what can be done or cannot be done is important. If we presume that a mental change is impossible, it is impossible. But the real Theosophist knows with full conviction that the mind must change and that there is no other way. He then has the power to bring about that change. He works at it wholeheartedly without depending upon minor or temporary means to smooth the way.
Humanity is like a prisoner who has become attached to his shackles and is afraid of freedom. Grooves in the mind, built up through the ages, keep humanity on a path of suffering. It is only habit which prevents all of us from abandoning old ways and creating a world of co-operation and happiness. How many are ready to give their complete attention and energy to an inward change, to breaking out of grooves? This is an important question facing all the serious members of the Theosophical Society.
The work of the Theosophical Society cannot be successful except to the extent that it breaks down old habits of thought and attitudes. Even though this has been explained again and again, still too many members continue to think that the Society must apply itself particularly to social service and to the relief of physical suffering of various kinds. No person concerned with the well-being of mankind would deny the need to relieve suffering at the outer level. But the basic work of the Society is not to offer temporary consolation; it is to eradicate the very cause of man's woes. We have to recognize that selfishness or selflessness is a matter of choice. A Theosophist cannot agree with the widely accepted premise that self-concern is an inherent part of man's nature, or even a necessary evil. There are those who imagine that progress depends on the urge to promote self-advantage. This error is the result of accepting the present human mentality as an unalterable pre-condition of human life. The importance of understanding man's true nature, the whence and whither of his life, cannot be over-stressed. The study of man's constitution has little value if it is confined only to some technical points. It must be of such a nature that it illumines the purpose of our life in the present by setting it in a true perspective.
It is a hard task to break down mental blocks and rise out of ruts. There is no need to be disheartened if our efforts do not yield immediate results. We must carry on steadily, with confidence in the noble destiny which awaits humanity. Yet we must not decieve ourselves into believing that real progress has been made, when only the forms have changed. A habit of mind, when it takes different courses and assumes different forms, can appear other than it is. Our Society's history began with a battle against dogmatism. Although dogmatism of the kind that existed in the last century is not to be found today, dogmatism itself is far from vanquished. It raises its head in every ideology which propels people into hatred and strife. There are many ideologies that conceal their real nature under a veneer of virtue, and even right causes may find dogmatic champions who lay down with finality what path others should take.
The work of the Theosophical Society is not merely to challenge a particular form of dogmatism in a religion, ideology or worldview, but to shake and uproot the very spirit of dogmatism. The study of Theosophy makes one aware of the depth, vastness and mystery of life. Therefore, the true student of Theosophy is free from the arrogance which says, "I know all about life, I know the truth." The enquiring mind, deeply concerned with the truth, never shuts its doors against life's message that comes to it from everywhere at every moment. Therefore, "the opening of the doors of the mind" is recognized as an important qualification on the Path.
Humanity could have saved itself from untold suffering simply by refusing to let the mind be prey to an assertive, authoritative compulsion. The progress of science has been retarded by the closed mind. It turns religion into a cruel bogey to frighten people. It invents political and
economic theories which cause distress to generations. A continual source of pain and struggle would come to an end if the groove of dogmatism were eradicated from man's nature, giving way to an open, free spirit. An open mind is a part of the "Golden Stairs up the steps of which the learner may climb to the Temple of Divine Wisdom".
For centuries, artifice and artificialities have also been built into the mind's texture. Greek mythology depicts a prototype in Narcissus who was in love with his own image. It is a common human failing to love the image rather than reality. To many people, man-made contrivances and artifacts, like paper flowers, are more appealing than what exists in nature. A painted face seems more charming than a natural one and the world of fashion thrives on what is bizarre. This preoccupation with the physical image has given rise to huge industries. Since to project an image is big business, our appreciation of reality fades into the background.
The Narcissus legend not only points to fascination with the physical image but also to the bewitchment cast by the mental self-image. Man struggles and suffers to safeguard and strengthen his own thought-form of himself - a thought-form which represents the real person much less than the reflection to which Narcissus became attached. We hardly realize how artificial our thinking and activities are because this groove of the mind has been in existence for so long. Millions of people, lost in the urban mechanisms of the world's cities, occupied with entertainment, printed words, and unnatural surroundings, have adopted a way of life which is out of tune with the rhythm of real life.
Simplicity is not a return to primitiveness. It implies liberating the mind from artifice and attachment to the images and illusory activities which make up its artificial world. To be a Theosophist means to use constantly one's discriminative powers in order to free the mind and restore it to a simple, natural and pure state, capable of being in touch with the depths of the clear waters of life.
Many forms of resistance exist in the mind. What we have said is enough to show that the Theosophical Society's work is of a radical nature and we must not be satisfied with superficial activity alone. The centuries' old crystallizations of the mind must be broken up or worn out in order to create a new human society. Repetition is the character of the tamasic or material nature. The Divine Nature is awakened and comes into its own only when there is a break with the mechanical patterns which humanity has accepted for too long. The task of our Society is in this direction.
The work around the world has gone on steadily. Membership has increased in some Sections and decreased in others. Such fluctuations do not alter the total strength of the Society.
The Indian Section continues to have the largest membership, touching nearly ten thousand. The General Secretary, Dr. C.V. Agarwal, has been endeavouring to activate both the Section Headquarters and the Lodges in every possible way. In this Section, as in others, there is a shortage of workers. Only when there is a real dedication are members willing to sacrifice time, energy and money to help the cause. Therefore every Section should work not only to create interest in the public, but to stimulate the members in such a way that they feel committed to Theosophical work.
Dr. Agarwal reports that a large number of members had to be dropped for not paying their dues after the initial enrolment. Other General Secretaries have reported that this was the case in their Sections
also. This raises the question of whether it is desirable to hurry into enrolling members who have little or no idea of the Society's work and character, and who know nothing about its philosophy. Would it not be better for newcomers to participate in Lodge activities for some time before joining?
The American Section will celebrate its centenary in 1986, for which plans are already being made.
An important event which took place at the Wheaton Headquarters was the holding of an Inter-American conference. General Secretaries and Representatives from all the Latin American Sections and the Chairman of the Inter-American Federation were present and they felt greatly benefited and stimulated by the meetings.
The Canadian Section's report emphasizes the present interest in Theosophical history. The Section continues to donate H.P.B.'s books to university libraries.
In Europe, a regular feature of the work is the newly instituted European School of Theosophy which offers short-term courses by leading members.
A special feature in the English Section was the establishment of a Theosophical History Centre. This reflects a growing interest in various aspects of the Society's history which appears to exist on the part of a number of people, including academicians and non-members.
Coming to Adyar, the noteworthy feature of the year is the beginning of the centenary year of the Adyar Library. The Library was established with a formal ceremony on 28 December 1886, and tomorrow we shall participate in the inauguration of the centenary year. During 1986, it is planned to have some important colloquia to which a number of distinguished scholars will be invited. The Library has been offered financial aid for this purpose by the Ford Foundation. A special Jubilee Volume of the Library's learned journal Brahmavidya is being prepared. The journal has been published regularly for half a century. An Endowment Fund for the Library is being set up to mark this memorable year. The Library has always suffered from its inability to pay suitable honorariums for qualified scholars and pandits to work in its research and publication section. It also needs to acquire new publications in sufficient numbers to keep abreast with new advances. Its equipment should also match the Library's status and potentialities. The income from a separate endowment fund would go a long way towards making the Library an even more outstanding institution than it is now. During the past year, as in other years, it has rendered service to scholars and students from all over the world. Some new publications were brought out and others are in course of being printed.
The International Centre of Theosophical Studies has been renamed "School of the Wisdom", since the latter name conveys more clearly what the studies in the school seek to achieve. During the year there were two terms.
The Theosophical Publishing House and the Vasanta Press made a great effort to bring back into print books which had been out of print for a long time. Twenty-four titles were processed and printed in 1985 and the Manager of the Publishing House, Mr. R. Gopalaratnam, expects to clear all arrears by next year. Letters have been received expressing appreciation of the new, bright-looking covers of the T.P.H. books which were designed by Mrs. Manize Sait and Miss Carin Citroen, both of whom are doing this work as a labour of love. The scheme of life-subscriptions for
The Theosophist has evoked a good response and we hope that a time will come when many or most of the members in the English-speaking areas will take a life-subscription. The Adyar Newsletter is meant to be a link between Lodges and members and the International Headquarters and it is hoped it will have a wider circulation in the future.
I have to mention a very unfortunate event about which some reports have already appeared. While preparing to close the accounts for 1984-85, it was found that a clever fraud had been continually practised by one or more of the staff of the Treasury Department for about a decade. The matter was reported to the police and according to them they have recovered a substantial amount of property. Investigations are still going on. We have appointed a reputable firm of auditors to take over the regular audit and also to probe into the whole matter and advise us on measures which will provide better safeguards. The General Council has been apprised of the position.
In spite of the losses, progress has been made in the plans for improving Adyar. Delegates may have noticed that some new cottages have been built in Besant Gardens and the construction of walls to protect the boundaries of our estate is going on. During the coming year there is a plan to waterproof the roofs of a number of buildings which, being old, are in need of repair. Electric wires which interfere with the growth of trees and are unsightly have always been a problem for the Garden Department. It is proposed in a phased programme to put the wires underground. A beginning will be made during the coming year with a generous donation made available by Mrs. Norma Sastry in memory of Mr. Yagnesvara Sastry who loved the garden and tended it with such great care. Others who love the trees and gardens at Adyar may follow suit.
During the Convention, the foundation stone will be laid for a new building for the Theosophical Publishing House in Besant Gardens. The present building is overcrowded because both the Treasury Department and the General Manager's office occupy the entire top floor of the building which was meant for the T.P.H. When the department is able to move to its new building near the Press, there will be much needed space available for the Archives which, naturally, is growing year by year.
The many aspects of the work impose heavy responsibilities on the International Officers. Every year, for a few months, I have necessarily to be out of India. This year I visited Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Tokyo and Pakistan, besides going to important functions within India. My task would be impossible without the great help and strength that is available in the presence of the Vice-President, Mr. Surendra Narayan, at Adyar. I take this opportunity of thanking him and my other colleagues for their warm co-operation and dedication.
ADAM WARCUP SEMINAR TAPES AVAILABLE
- VHS Video Tapes: Set of three tapes each
of two hours length, $80.00 per set; or one six-hour tape for $30.00.
Audio Cassettes. Set of six tapes, $10.00 per set.
From: Edmonton Lodge, T.S. Box 4804 Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6E 2A0
SECRET DOCTRINE QUESTION AND ANSWER SECTION
From 1964 to 1980, Geoffrey Barborka's "Secret Doctrine Question and Answer Section" was a regular and popular feature of this magazine, and there was widespread disappointment among the readers when he was no longer able to conduct it. There have been several suggestions that the series be published in book form, and many more requests than could be filled for back issues containing early instalments. To partially respond to this interest, we shall be reprinting selections from the "Q and A Section". To make the re-issue even more useful, the material has been compiled under subject headings. The originals are identified by Volume and number at the end of each answer. - Eds.
6. THE HUMAN PRINCIPLES - PART III
Question. Is not the Kama principle just as dual as is the Manas principle? And should not both be recognized as equally important evolutionally - as instruments of the soul, so to speak?
Answer. Yes, indeed. The principle of Kama is often regarded in a dual aspect: there is the "higher aspect" of the Kama principle, which gives rise to the feelings of spiritual love, compassion and the yearning to perform noble deeds. Then there is the "loser aspect" which looms so large in human life. Consequently abstention from the desire element is prescribed for disciples in order that the spiritual side of human nature may be stressed. Hence the injunction: "Kill out desire; but if thou killest it, take heed lest from the dead it should again arise." (The Voice of the Silence).
It all depends upon how the principle of Kama is used as to whether the results will be for good or the reverse. The same is true in regard to the Mind principle, Manas. The Sanskrit word Kama is derived from a verbal root kam, meaning to wish, to desire; hence Kama is rendered the Desire Principle. But it is also the energic principle, that which is involved in the wish to achieve, to attain, or to better one-self. H.P. Blavatsky has excellently brought out the dual aspects of Kama:
"As the Eros of Hesiod, degraded into Cupid by exoteric law, and still more degraded by a later popular sense attributed to the term, so is Kama, a most mysterious and metaphysical subject. The earlier Vedic description of Kama alone gives the keynote to what he emblematizes. Kama is the first conscious, all embracing desire for universal good, love, and for all that lives and feels, needs help and kindness, the first feeling of infinite tender compassion and mercy that arose in the consciousness of the creative ONE FORCE, as soon as it came into life and being as a ray from the ABSOLUTE. Says the Rig-Veda, 'Desire first arose in IT, which was the primal germ of mind and which Sages, searching with their intellect, have discovered in their heart to be the bond which connects Entity with non-Entity", or Manas with pure Atma-Buddhi. There is no idea of sexual love in the conception. Kama is pre-eminently the divine desire of creating happiness and love; and it is
only ages later, as mankind began to materialize by anthropomorphization its grandest ideals into cut and dried dogmas, that Kama became the power that gratifies desire on the animal plane. This is shown by what every Veda and some Brahmanas say. In the Atharva-Veda, Kama is represented as the Supreme Deity and Creator. In the Taitariya-Brahmana, he is the child of Dharma, the god of Law and Justice, of Sraddha and faith." (The Theosophical Glossary, pp. 170-1).
However, of even greater significance is the concept presented in the Esoteric Philosophy in regard to Kama: that it has seven aspects; for that matter, each one of the seven principles forming the human constitution has seven aspects. That is to say, each one of the seven principles may be subdivided into seven, each one of the subdivisions representing an aspect of th seven principles. As stated in The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett:
"Every element having its seven principles and every principle its seven sub-principles." (p.92)
This signifies that there is an atmic aspect of Kama, a buddhic aspect of Kama, a manasic aspect of Kama, a kamic aspect of Kama (when the desire aspect is truly predominant), a pranic aspect, a linga-sarira aspect and a sthula-sarira aspect of Kama. All of the sevenfold aspects of Kama will be brought forth in evolutionary development during the Fourth Round phase of development on the Earth-chain. -Vols 47, No. 5; 52, No. 4
Question. There is a passage in The Secret Doctrine reading: "They filled the Kama." Does this indicate that Kama is the vehicle for Manas?
Answer. The quoted passage has reference to one of the slokas of the Stanzas of Dzyan: Stanza VII, sloka 24, which in symbolic and dramatized manner is representing the great event which is referred to in The Secret Doctrine as the "coming of the Manasaputras." The clue is given in the opening words of the sloka: "The Sons of Wisdom ... came down." Then, later on in this sloka appear the quoted words: "From their own rupa they filled the Kama." H.P.B. has given the significance of the sentence by adding the words that they "intensified the vehicle of desire." (S.D. II, 161) These words are placed as footnotes in the revised editions (III, 168, 6 vol. ed.; II 170 3rd ed.) and are apt to be overlooked. All the same, the statement in the question is correct, because Kama becomes the upadhi for Manas - and upadhi is usually translated as "vehicle." Each principle acts as an upadhi for its proximate superior principle: thus Manas acts as the upadhi for Buddhi. In its turn Prana acts as the upadhi for Kama. Observe the significance of this quotation: "Kama depends on Prana, without which there would be no Kama. Prana wakes the Kamic germs to life; it makes all desires vital and living." (S.S. V. 523; III, 550 3rd ed.)
The phrase, "Kamic germs" may be rendered "desire seed-germs." These become karmic germs when coalescing with thoughts - on the mental plane; when coalescing with actions, they "sprout" on the physical plane. - Vol. 50, No. 1
HOME STUDY COURSE
A Theosophical correspondence course is now available to Canadian readers. It is offered to new students of Theosophy, especially those who are unable to participate in local study groups.
Further information may be obtained by writing HOME STUDY, P.O. Box 1912, Victoria, B.C. V8W 2Y3.
A READER'S NOTES
Another interesting new journal has begun publication. It is the Bulletin of the Eastern School Reference Library. The first number (Fall, 1985) describes the Library which, "...after building a sizeable collection of early Theosophical writings, began collecting original source material of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism." Although not a lending library, this material will be made widely available by means of a photocopy service.
The Bulletin includes descriptions of some of the Library's holdings. In the Theosophical section, for example, is listed the contents of the first three volumes of Theosophical Siftings, a publishing venture started in 1888, which is a rich source of reprinted articles from early journals. There is also a book review section.
Bulletin of the Eastern School Reference Library is published by Eastern School, a non-profit organization. The address: P.O. Box 684, Talent, Oregon, 97540, U.S.A.
Just received: Theosophical Network Newsletter and Directory. The Newsletter portion contains articles and announcements, while the Directory lists Theosophical journals, organizations and individuals. The number of entries is quite surprising - and all the more impressive when it is realized just how much farther such a Directory can be expanded. Great potential here! A few obvious "bugs" have crept in, not uncommon for new publications, but these will no doubt soon be removed.
The annual subscription to Theosophical Network is $5.00 U.S. ($6.00 U.S. foreign). It includes the Newsletter, Directory, and an optional listing in the Directory. From: P.O. Box 261358, San Diego, CA 92126, U.S.A.
A brief note on the following item, which will be of limited interest. (More detail on request.) One of our members spotted a letter in a Vancouver paper from an inquirer in New Mexico, who was looking for the source of a description quoted by Madame Blavatsky to the effect that in the 1870s, Lord Dufferin, an early Governor General of Canada, had seen hieroglyphs on obelisks in a deserted Indian village in British Columbia. (I.U. I, 239; S.D. II, 430.)
The most likely source is a book published in 1877, The Sea of Mountains, by Molyneux St. John. He was a writer who accompanied Dufferin and his vice-regal entourage on a visit to British Columbia in 1876. (However, Isis Unveiled was also published in 1877. One possibility is that St. John's book was a collection of journalistic reports that had appeared earlier in newspapers.)
The word "hieroglyph" in this context is puzzling, though in 19th century usage it may have been marginally acceptable to describe carvings on totem poles.
The Bhagavad Gita with The Uttara Gita. Edited by Raghavan Iyer. Santa Barbara: Concord Grove Press, 1985. 408 pp.
Almost every year brings at least one new version in English of the Hindu scripture Bhagavad-Gita. With scores already published, it is natural to compare each new one with the best of earlier volumes. The question has to be asked: "Does this contribute anything worthwhile and new?"
In the case of Raghavan Iyer's edition,
the answer is a definite and resounding "Yes!" This is a superlative Gita.
No translator's name is given; and a casual comparison with several translations suggests this may be a conflation. Each verse is first presented in a transliteration of the Sanskrit. The translation itself includes key Sanskrit words in parenthesis. (A glossary is appended in which all these words are defined.)
What lifts this Gita to soaring heights is the inclusion, after every single verse, of a complementary quotation. A substantial number of these additions derive from other Eastern scriptures, but others are the words of great thinkers from ancient to modern times and many of whom are in the Western tradition. Among the names may be seen, just to cite a few: Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, Lao Tzu, Guru Nanak, Blavatsky, Gandhi, Judge, Jung, Plato, Browning, Shakespeare, Shelley, Whitman, even - and why not? - Lewis Carroll.
I was constantly amazed at the perfect fit of nearly every quotation. Even the few that approach the Gita verse tangentially are valid thought-provokers. All must have been selected with scholarly care, but there is a quality in every line that goes beyond scholarship: undoubtedly the product of a deep devotion to this great scripture.
This volume is enhanced with its brilliant Introduction. The Bhagavad Gita itself is supplemented with Gita Mahatmyam: The Greatness of the Gita; the Uttara Gita; and several "Texts for Contemplation." In addition to the Glossary, the appendices include a Guide to Pronunciation, a list of names of Krishna and Arjuna, an interesting essay on "The Mystic Number Eighteen" and a Bibliography.
An ultimatum to dispose of one's Gita collection save one book would call for difficult and heart-searching decisions, especially when it came to three or four old favourites. For my part, this Concord Grove Press edition would probably make the shortlist.
- Ted G. Davy
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