Vol. 67, No. 5 Toronto, Nov.-Dec., 1986 Price 75 Cents
The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document.
INTERVIEW WITH MADAME BLAVATSKY - PARIS, 1884
With an Introduction and Notes by Michael Gomes
One of the rewards of research is finding a piece that illuminates the nature of some complex character and which will prove interesting to others. The following interview with H.P. Blavatsky in Paris is such an example. It comes from the beginning of 1884, that very eventful year for the Theosophical Movement. The newspaper story is based on the announcement of a grand conversazione in honour of Mme. Blavatsky, to be held at the home of Lady Caithness on May 10.
H.P.B. and Col. Olcott reached Paris on March 28, 1884, stopping in Nice from Marseilles, their port of arrival on March 13 from India. Lady Caithness, their host, had rented an apartment for them at No. 46, Rue Notre Dame des Champs. The rooms, "small ...but comfortable," according to Olcott's diary, were to serve as H.P.B.'s headquarters for the next three months. The Colonel left the French capital on April 5 to attend the London Lodge T.S. election of new officers on the 7th. H.P.B.'s unexpected appearance at that meeting brought it to a sensational close. She returned to Paris a week later. Olcott did not join her until May 31, and then only briefly before going back to England.
"Everywhere the theme of talk was Theosophy: the tide was rising," remembers the Colonel of this period. The mission of the Theosophists to Europe received considerable attention in the major press. On April 1, Victor Hugo's paper, Le Rappel, carried an article of three columns on the spread of Theosophy, and Le Temps followed the next day. Le Matin on April 21 carried a half-column article on the arrival of Theosophists from all parts to meet in Paris. The same day, London's Pall Mall Gazette featured a long story on Col. Olcott's success with mesmeric healing in India as "A Miracle Worker of Today."
Marie, Lady Caithness (1830-1895), whose "sumptuous and luxurious" home in the Faubourg St. Germain served as the setting for the May 10 conversazione (which
the Paris correspondent for the London World acclaimed "the novelty of the season" in his column of the next day) is usually depicted as a faddy person who dabbled in spiritualism and occultism. But her books reveal a mind that genuinely tried to reconcile questions on the nature of man by a synthesis of the European hermetica of her time, church symbolism and spiritualism. Spanish by birth, she married her first husband, the Duc de Pomar, in her teens. Becoming widowed, she wedded the fourteenth Earl of Caithness in England, and after his death in 1881, settled in Paris. She founded the Societe Theosophique d'Orient et d'Occident on June 28, 1883, and became its President. Associated with her as Secretary of the Branch was Mme. Marie de Morsier, a philanthropist who was a great supporter of women's rights.
The following extract from the English Morning News of Paris is one of the more accurate reflections of Mme. Blavatsky's views, reported in away that captures something of the vividness of her character.
MORNING NEWS, Paris, April 21, 1884
- A New Creed. The Coming Sensation of Philosophical Paris. Theosophy or Brahminical Mystery Adapted for Wider Circulation - The Cult and Its Followers.
About the beginning of next month there is to be a great gathering in Paris of Theosophists, a mysterious body of men and women moving down from America and from Asia upon Europe. Col. Olcott, of the United States, will soon be here; Mme. Blavatsky, who started the society in council with a mystic circle of the wise somewhere up in the Himalayas, is actually with us, and a great Hindoo, the most learned man of the East„ is expected from day to day. This new "Salvation Army" of philosophers have already effected a lodgement on the other side of the Channel, and France is their next objective point.
The organ of the Society in Europe is a monthly publication, the Theosophist, issued by Trubner, of which Mme. Blavatsky is editor. There are more of what the vulgar call miracles in one number of the Theosophist than in all of the Four Gospels. The adepts play a great part in the work of the Society, and they form one of the orders or grades. They have watched over all things almost from the beginning of the world; and they had a good deal to do with the independence of the United States by their direct inspiration of the writings of Tom Paine.
All this is to be brought into Parisian drawing-rooms, and one may safely predict for it that it will make at least the sensation of a season. The society is particularly well equipped for work in these latitudes in having so many women among its members. The Parisian secretary is Mme. de Morsier, of 71, Rue Claude Bernard; and the Parisian president for life - Lady Caithness, Duchess de Pomar, mother of the
eccentric novelist, who often lends her luxurious apartment in the Rue de Grammont for the meetings. Finally, Mme. Blavatsky has the Russian readiness in the tongues: she speaks English almost without accent; French like a Parisian and when she likes like an American - of her Hindoostani it is not within our competence to speak.
It is a long way in every sense from Madras and its palace to the one or two poor rooms at No. 46 rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs, of which Mme. Blavatsky is now in temporary occupation, and where she receives on Thursday and Sunday evenings and on Sunday afternoons. Here through the kindness of Mme. de Morsier, she was found by a representative of THE MORNING NEWS, in company with Mr. Judge, an American who is shortly going out to India to resume the study of the higher mysteries.
"We are quite willing to have people write about us," said Mme. Blavatsky, "only we wish they would write the truth, and not superficial nonsense, as Mr. Moncure Conway did the other day after a visit to Madras. (2) It is worse than idle to say that all the 'manifestations' ceased as soon as he appeared - they had been ordered to cease long before he came by an authority which I will assure you took very little account of his modest individuality. It was just as foolish to think that one of our 'Chelas' refused to shake hands with him on caste principles. The refusal had nothing to do with caste; it is only to preserve his mystic, or if you like, mesmeric influence, which would have been expended to no purpose in the contact of this useless salutation."
"Then what we take for caste pride or prejudice of the East has often a deeper significance?"
"Of course: there is a great mystery in Oriental exclusiveness in the unwillingness to touch. The Oriental sense is finer than ours, much more sensitive to emanations of every kind, spiritual and material, and it holds that the best way of purification is to keep from defilement."
"And," said Mr. Judge, "Mr. Conway was annoyed because the Chelas prostrate themselves before a picture of one of the Masters! It is altogether the act of a Chela or Hindoo, who does the same thing to his father and mother every day of his life, and who regards the Master in the light of a father."
"This curious susceptibility to contact," resumed Mme. Blavatsky, "runs through everything. See in making this cigarette for you - you smoke, I hope; I do - I twist a small holder around the middle of it, so that the cigarette does not actually pass from me to you. A holy man in India taught me that, who was bound by his vows not to touch anything that had touched a woman."
"Yet with this prejudice against women in the East, how have you been able to do so much?"
"Because there is far less prejudice than you think, and you altogether mistake the nature of it and the reasons. When I have sought the higher teachings I have found no obstacle on account of my sex."
"But tell me about this higher truth. Why do the Brahmins and the Buddhists make it so eminently select? The Theosophists talk all through of an esoteric mystery, of a truth revealed only to an inner circle. What is the use of a truth bottled up in this way? If a truth at all, it concerns humanity at large - why not proclaim it to all whom it concerns?"
"Because it might be misused. Take certain truths in ordinary science, about poisons for instance: they are practically communicated only to a few under all sorts of restrictions, because of the abuse that might result if it were made a matter of common knowledge. How much more is that true of the occult truths to which some of us have found access in India - tremendous secrets of Nature and of human life that in the keeping of the vicious or unprincipled would be as the thunderbolt in the hands of a child."
"You have merged individuality and nationality too in your new creed?"
"No, I am an American by adoption - I respect American religious freedom - but I am still a good Russian at heart. Only, there is too little freedom at home; that is why I do not go back. I have not been in Russia for many years; I would not care to give my friends and relations a chance of shutting me up in a convent for life on the plea that I was a victim of illusions. I like the Emperor personally, if only because of the long relations of my family with the Imperial house. We have always been loyal supporters of the throne. I see very little Russian society even at Nice, where I might see everybody. It is so unpleasant to find them wondering why you do not go to Church, and to the Greek Church."
"With your knowledge of Hindoostani, you might give the world a fine work on the position of the English in India."
"But I have better work to do. The English owe more than they know to the religious bodies in India - to the old faiths. A few men in spiritual authority stopped the Mutiny: it was not stopped by the British army - how could England have held all these millions in check? But wise men saw that the time had not yet come for the English to go, and their expulsion would bring back the old anarchy and the old despotism; so the word was passed round, and the Mutiny stopped. And you have no idea how quickly such an order travels in India. It is what you would call miraculous. Officers have often told me that news of any event reached the common people, from the Himalayas to the sea, long before it reached the Government. There were occult arts before the telegraph, you may be sure of that. The English ought to take warning by what happened in the Mutiny and lower their tone of patronage to men immeasurably their superiors in every kind of knowledge."
"Their contempt as practical men for the dreamy Hindoo is most marked."
"I assure you it is repaid with interest; but time will show. How can
one pretend to despise men like that?" And Mme. Blavatsky produced the photograph of a group in which two Hindoos of rather youthful appearance and extremely intelligent expression are sitting in her company. One of them is dressed in white from head to foot and is barefoot. (3)
"That," said Mme. de Morsier, "is the wisest man in India, and perhaps in all the world."
"You have read Mr. Isaacs?" (4)
"Yes; it was written on an imperfect knowledge of our society and of the great mysteries. Some of the passages will recall to you passages in the Theosophist on the astral body. The book is a mixture of hints of our doctrine, in so far as Mr. Crawford knows anything about it, with the personal description of Mr. Jacobs, a well known diamond merchant in India."
"What are the objects of your society?"
"How can I state them better than by showing you the statutes? You see, we want to form the nucleus of a 'Universal Brotherhood of Humanity', without distinction of race, creed, or colour; to promote the study of Aryan and other Eastern literature, religions and sciences, and to vindicate their importance; to investigate the hidden mysteries of nature and the psychical powers latent in man."
In running over the list of members was found - along with Rawal Shree Hurreesinghjee Roosinghjee, of Kathiawar; Diwan Bahadur R. Ragoonath Row, of Madras; Babu Sourendro Nath Mukerji, of Punjab - the honoured and familiar name of Sam Ward, from the United States. (5)
(The Morning News article then moves to other subjects - Ed.)
1. Olcott, Old Diary Leaves, III (Adyar, T.P.H. 1972), p. 102.
2. Moncure Conway's description of his visit to Madras and the Theosophical Headquarters appeared in the Glasgow Herald of April 11, 1884. He expressed his disappointment that phenomena had been forbidden at the time of his arrival at Adyar on Jan. 10, but The Theosophist of June, 1884, states that the prohibition came as early as Dec. 31, 1883 (H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings VI, p. 231). Conway was also offended when on entering the Headquarters building he held out his hand to a young Indian and was told, "I cannot shake hands with you." Rev. Conway retold the story again after H.P.B.'s death as "Madame Blavatsky at Adyar" for the Boston Arena of Oct. 1891, adding here what he claimed was her private explanation to him of the phenomena attributed to her: "It is glamour; people think they see what they do not see. That is the whole of it." He further adapted this tale in Chapter X of his 1906 book, My Pilgrimage to the Wise Men of the East (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company).
3. This photograph depicts H.P.B. sitting with Swami T. Subba Row and Krishnaswami
Aiyengar (also known as Babaji and D. Nath), a copy of which can be seen in H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, V, facing p. 224. T. Subba Row (1856-1890), whom Mme. de Morsier felt to be the "wisest man in India," was a South Indian Brahmin member of the T.S. who was widely respected for his lectures and articles explaining Vedantic philosophy. A selection of his articles originally brought out in 1895 is reprinted by T.P.H. Adyar as Esoteric Writings of T. Subba Row.
4. Mr. Isaacs: A Tale of Modern India (London and New York: Macmillan and Co., 1882) was an immensely popular novel of adventure and romance set in the area of the Indian hill-station Simla, and was in part based on author, F. Marion Crawford's visit to India in 1879-1880. The main character, Mr. Isaacs, was supposedly fashioned around stories by and about the famed diamond merchant of Simla, Mr. Jacob; the book also features an "adept," "Ram Lall," and in passing mentions Mme. Blavatsky.
5. Sam Ward (1814-1884) was a prominent American financier, lobbyist, and noted host whom English society was especially fond of. He married Emily Astor in 1837. Because of his genial nature he was characterized as "Uncle Sam," "the uncle of the human race." F. Marion Crawford was his nephew, and it was at Ward's suggestion that he wrote Mr. Isaacs, which launched him on a career of over 45 novels. Writing to his niece of Feb. 9, 1883, after the publication of the book, Sam Ward said, "I have a long letter from Madame Blavatsky about Mr. Isaacs which has astonished her, because Marion went to India a sworn enemy of Theosophy and its adherents. She says the book must have been inspired. She little imagines what an atmosphere of occultism pervaded my rooms (where the book was written) and still surrounds me." He added, "I am tempted to believe that Koot Hoomi helped project it upon paper." - Uncle Sam Ward and His Circle, by Maud Howe Elliott (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1938), p. 648, 642. Ward joined the Theosophical Society through the London Lodge on April 6, 1883, though his interest in Theosophical ideas dated from his New York days in the 1870's.
THE GOLDEN STAIRS
Behold the truth before you: a clean life, an open mind, a pure heart, an eager intellect, an unveiled spiritual perception, a brotherliness for one's co-disciple, a readiness to give and receive advice and instruction, a loyal sense of duty to the Teacher, a willing obedience to the behests of TRUTH, once we have placed our confidence in and believe that Teacher to be in possession of it; a courageous endurance of personal injustice, a brave declaration of principles, a valiant defense of those who are unjustly attacked, and a constant eye to the ideal of human progression and perfection which the Secret Science (Gupta Vidya) depicts - these are the golden stairs up the steps of which the learner may climb to the temple of Divine Wisdom.
- H.P. Blavatsky
If thou wouldst reap sweet peace and rest, Disciple, sow with seeds of merit the fields of future harvests. Accept the woes of birth.
- The Voice of the Silence
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.
7. ARCHETYPES / PROTOTYPES - PART II
Question. In The Secret Doctrine there is a reference to man and his celestial prototype. Can you elucidate the significance of the "celestial prototype". When it is said to be "outside" us, does it really mean that in concrete terms?
Answer. The passage occurs in Volume I pages 638-9; II, 363-4 6-vol. ed.; I, 699-700 3rd ed., and it is preceded by a significant statement:
"Yes; 'our destiny is written in the stars!' Only, the closer the union between the mortal reflection MAN and his celestial PROTOTYPE, the less dangerous the external conditions and subsequent reincarnations."
"Yes, our destiny is written in the stars" because man has set the pattern for that destiny by means of his former living - by a previous life on earth. An aid in following that pattern is created by man himself when he enters the doorway of life (on this earth) through a particular door - there being twelve doors, one for every month of the year - and further by means of a particular day of the month and a significant moment for his birth. The clue to the significance of the "celestial prototype" was provided by H.P.B. in a preceding passage:
"The closer the approach to one's Prototype, 'in Heaven,' the better for the mortal whose personality was chosen, by his own personal deity (seventh principle), as its terrestrial abode." (S.D. I, 638; II, 363 6-vol. ed.; I, 700 3rd ed.)
Man's seventh principle is the Monadic Essence, Atman, which is linked with the celestial prototype. The latter is beautifully expressed in The Voice of the Silence:
"Fix thy Soul's gaze upon the star whose ray thou art, the flaming star that shines within the lightless depths of ever-being, the boundless fields of the Unknown." (p. 31)
"The star under which a human Entity is born, says the Occult teaching, will remain for ever its star, throughout the whole cycle of its incarnations in one Manvantara." (S.D. I, 572; II, 296 6-vol. ed.; I, 626 3rd ed.)
The phrase "the closer the union between the mortal reflection Man and his celestial
Prototype" may be clarified in this way: the object of man's goal, on this earth, is to attain Union (or Yoga). In brief, it is uniting his personality with his divine originating source. The personality is here expressed as the "mortal reflection, man" since it dies with the death of the physical body; it does not return to earth-life. But it is man's immortal part, technically, the Reincarnating Ego, which does reincarnate, and becomes one of the rays from man's originating source - the Monadic Essence, the Celestial Prototype.
Now considering the question regarding the statement that the celestial prototype is outside of us. The reference to this occurs in this passage:
"Those who believe in Karma have to believe in destiny, which, from birth to death, every man is weaving thread by thread around himself, as a spider does his cobweb; and this destiny is guided either by the heavenly voice of the invisible prototype outside of us, or by our more intimate astral, or inner man, who is but too often the evil genius of the embodied entity called man. Both these lead on the outward man, but one of them must prevail." (S.D. I; 639; II, 364 6-vol. ed.; I, 700 3rd ed.)
The "more intimate astral, or inner man" here signifies the Lower Manas, or Kama-Manas - the mind principle in conjunction with the desire principle - which in connection with the outward physical man represents the personality. When the desires of the lower mind predominate, then indeed this becomes the evil genius. On the other hand there is the celestial prototype which has been here defined as the monadic essence. It, together with its upadhi, Buddhi, and the Reincarnating Ego are regarded as being "outside of us" because of not actually incarnating in the physical body. This is best explained by referring to The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett. After describing the significance of the Skandhas, the Mahatma added a footnote (on page 111):
"See the Abhidharma Kosha Vyakhya, the Sutta Pitaka, any Northern Buddhist book, all of which show Gautama Buddha saying that none of these Skandhas is the soul; since the body is constantly changing, and that neither man, animal, nor plant is ever the same for two consecutive days or even minutes. 'Mendicants! remember that there is within man no abiding principle whatever, and that only the learned disciple who acquires wisdom, in saying I am - knows what he is saying.'"
Evidently Mr. Sinnett was skeptical about the statement that there was no abiding principle within man, for we find the Mahatma commenting upon this very subject (in Letter No. 127, p. 455):
"One of your letters begins with a quotation from one of my own ... 'Remember that there is within man no abiding principle' - which sentence I find followed by a remark of yours 'How about the sixth and seventh principles?' To this I answer, neither Atma nor Buddhi ever were within man, - a little metaphysical axiom that you can study with advantage in Plutarch and Anaxagoras. The latter made his nous autokrates the spirit self-potent, the nous that alone recognised noumena while the former taught on the authority of Plato and Pythagoras that the semomnius or this nous always remained without the body; that it floated and overshadowed so to say the extreme part of the man's head, it is only the vulgar who think it is within them."
- Vol. 51, No. 6
Question. (a). What is the meaning of the term "Heavenly Man"? (b) Does this have any relation to the "Celestial Prototypes"?
Answer. (a) As used in The Secret Doctrine the term "Heavenly Man" is often equated with Adam Kadmon. But care must be taken with Kabbalistic terms, this one especially, to note whether H.P.B. is referring to the usage made by Western Kabbalists, or the manner it is employed in what she calls the Oriental Kabbala - signifying the Chaldean Kabbala, from which the later Kabbala was developed or was an outgrowth therefrom. In illustration of the point at issue. Western Kabbalists regard the "ten limbs" of the Heavenly Man as the ten Sephiroth. In the Oriental Kabbala it is the Unmanifested Logos (or First Logos), Propator, whose ray uses Adam Kadmon (the Manifested Logos, or Third Logos), as a chariot through which to manifest. "The later Kabbalists however, especially the Christian mystics, have played sad havoc with this magnificent symbol," i.e. Microprosopus, the Heavenly Man. "For the 'ten limbs' of the Heavenly Man are the ten Sephiroth; but the first Heavenly Man is the unmanifested Spirit of the Universe, and ought never to be degraded into Microprosopus - the lesser Face or Countenance, the prototype of man on the terrestrial plane." (S.D. I, 215)
(b) Since the word "prototype" signifies a first form (Greek protos, first; typos. type, form) or archetype, and Adam Kadmon is often rendered "Archetypal Man", there is a relationship here. However, the term "prototypes" as generally used in The Secret Doctrine signify the spiritual archetypes of all things which "exist in the immaterial world before those things become materialized on Earth." (S.D. I. 58). "Therefore our human forms have existed in the Eternity as astral or ethereal prototypes." (S.D. I, 282). Nevertheless, H.P.B. would often use a term in a "specialized sense," and Celestial Prototype is a case in point.
- Vol. 45, No. 4
THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY IN CANADA ANNUAL REPORT 1985 - 86
"Of making many books there is no end..." So wrote the preacher Solomon, and although not in the sense he probably intended, his words seem remarkably applicable to the modern Theosophical Movement. The several publishers that concentrate almost exclusively on Theosophical books, between them list hundreds of titles. Their ongoing publishing of new works to say nothing of reprints, is a service for which all students of Theosophy are greatly indebted.
Publishing was an early and important activity of the early Theosophical Society. Indeed, 1986 marks the centenary of the first such venture on this continent, initiated by William Q. Judge. Since then, countless titles have been published - varying considerably in quality, of course. Today, however, it can be said with some satisfaction that, as far as the earlier Theosophical literature is concerned, nearly everything of importance is currently readily available in one form or another. And that is something which could not have been said even twenty or thirty years ago. This is not to imply there is nothing left to be published: to the contrary, many worthwhile titles are no longer in print; and a number of early journals deserve to be resurrected.
Although the written word has such an important place in the Theosophical Movement, there is fortunately little likelihood of it being reduced to a literary club. However, the output of publications in this organization is quite surprising when considered on a per capita basis. As well as books, this can be seen in the number of journals that are published around the world in more than a dozen languages; and it seems almost every year, two or three new Theosophical magazines appear on the scene.
This preamble is by way of introducing a
report which deals largely with Theosophical literature. Much of our activity during the past year has focused on books.
Twenty-one years ago, The Theosophical Society in Canada began a major program to donate the works of H.P. Blavatsky to Canadian university libraries. The program is periodically reactivated, usually when a new numbered volume in the H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings series is published. In the beginning, only a few university libraries participated; today, over thirty have accepted our offer.
During the year under review, two important new titles were released, and both were added to our offer. One of these is the fourteenth volume of the Collected Writings, which further lengthens the already impressive bookshelf of Madame Blavatsky's written works. The other is The Inner Group Teachings of H.P. Blavatsky, a scholarly reconstruction of teachings she imparted in the last months of her life. To these were added a third title: The Real H.P. Blavatsky, by William Kingsland. This latter was thanks to a new edition of this long out-of-print title becoming available this year. It is arguably one of the best biographies of this enigmatic subject ever written.
This year, for the first time, the Collected Writings of William Q. Judge were included in our program. The first two volumes, published under the title Echoes of the Orient, were offered to all, and accepted by 20 university libraries.
In a special extension of this program, The Real H.P. Blavatsky was also donated to 18 public libraries in the larger cities.
Although this report does not normally include branch activities, it is fitting that this year it should mention commendable initiatives by two of our Lodges.
One is the launching of a new quarterly journal, Pathways, by the members of Victoria Lodge. From its very first number it has established a high standard for the quality of its contents, and it is reasonable to assume that if this standard is maintained, it will soon enjoy an enthusiastic readership far beyond the city of its origin.
The other project worth noting also pertains to Theosophical literature. This is being undertaken by members in Edmonton, Alberta. With financial assistance from the Lizzie Arthur Russell Theosophical Memorial Trust, early Theosophical journals and rare books are being copied and bound. Where necessary, indexes are prepared to enhance the usefulness of these works for future students. This project is feasible only because the members are voluntarily contributing thousands of hours of painstaking preparatory work.
Needless to say, the publishing of The Canadian Theosophist, now in its 67th volume, remains one of the principal activities of the Theosophical Society in Canada. During the year, our Section magazine concluded the publication of "The Letters of H.P. Blavatsky to Elliott Coues", an interesting series that was well received, and is one which adds to our knowledge of the history of the early years of the Society in America.
Another ongoing activity is the provision of a Home Study Course. This is co-ordinated by Mrs. Dorothy Armstrong, to whom our gratitude is expressed for providing this service.
In June, 1986 it was our pleasure to welcome International President Radha Burnier to Canada. This was her first visit to this country since 1981. She spoke to members, and in some instances gave public talks, in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal.
Finally, it is gratifying to report the formation of a new Official Study Centre in Beaconsfield, a suburb of Montreal, Quebec.
- Ted G. Davy
(outgoing) General Secretary
Vancouver, British Columbia
July 5, 1986.
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
I regret to have to announce the death of Mr. Robert Hedley, of Orpheus Lodge, Vancouver. He joined the Society May 6/33 and passed away on July 9/86, age 86. On behalf of all members of the Society I extend our condolences to his relatives and friends.
I have pleasure in welcoming into the Society the following new members: Mr. Frank Dawid, Vancouver; Mr. Gregory Webber-Cameron, Halifax; and Mrs. Diane Mottus, Glendon, Alberta, as members-at-large.
Into Toronto Lodge, Mr. Rudolph Jozkow of Timmins, Ontario; and into Edmonton Lodge, Mr. Laurier G. Auger and Mrs. Gay L. Gering.
I also welcome back into the fold: Mrs. Audrey Scarlett, Willowdale, Ontario, member-at-large; and Mr. Rob Zuk, Toronto, to Toronto Lodge.
These notes are written about the time of World Animal Day, so a few words on behalf of the Animal Kingdom are apt here, even if printed later, as animal suffering by the hand of Man goes on around the year.
Animals are our younger brothers and are to be treated as such. In Gandhi's words the sign of the advancing man is when he does something for another life that he is not legally obliged to do. Therefore he will not have animals killed for his food, nor wear furs or fur-trimmed garments, not support research using animals nor support any institution or corporation using animals for research or testing.
Humans, the 4th Kingdom in Nature, are animals - mammals while on the physical plane. "Humans are animals - plus Deity" - H.P.B. The difference between so-called animals and humans is on the spiritual side, certainly more latent before taking a major Initiation. The difference is not understood, or poorly so, by the theologian and somewhat more by Theosophists and other occultists.
Often we hear of some human's behaviour being described as "animal", or "animal-like", or "beastly". Yet only the human animal is capable of or ever does such rotten behaviour as is so categorized. On this physical plane, only the human animal can and does sin, a capacity unique to the 4th or Human Kingdom.
Man's reputation from the use of laboratory animals is a horrible one. Besides the bad karma being generated by the individual experimenter, the human race is earning a general or racial karma for tolerating this vivisection by being indifferent to it, or from not actively participating in stopping the practice. The researcher says this experimenting is needed "to help the children..." - an appeal to the emotions to help funding. Many fall for this, but psychologically, the real fear is for themselves, that they might get a disease with no cure. "The Law of Karma is inexorable." (H.P.B.) If we are slated karmically for a health problem we will get it, and if it is stalled or put off by a "cure", then it will come again in some lifetime until the debt is repaid. Since death to the physical is inevitable, all of us will always go out from some medical cause that no doctor or researcher will ever be able to deal with.
The psychologist-experimenter has the worst reputation. They devise and repeat all kinds of oddball experiments that serve no useful purpose, and too many are based on cruelty for the sake of cruelty. No purpose is served except the indulgence of a true sex perversion on the part of the experimenter. The gentle art of "head shrinking" is to be performed on humans, where the need and the money is, so these experiments are pointless except for the indulgence of the
- The Organ of the Theosophical Society
The Canadian Theosophist
- In Canada
- Published Bi-Monthly
- Second Class Mail Registration Number 0784
- Return Postage Guaranteed
- Subscription: $4.50 A YEAR
OFFICERS OF THE T.S. IN CANADA
- General Secretary - Stan L. Treloar, 57 Eleanor Crescent, Georgestown, Ont. L7G 2T7
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- Ted G. Davy, 2307 Sovereign Crescent S.W., Calgary, Alta T3C 2M3
- Lillian K. Hooper, 15153 - 98th Avenue, Apt. 120, Surrey, B.C. V3R 1W4
- Peter Lakin, 621 Euclid Avenue, Toronto, Ont. M6G 2T6
- Viola P. Law, 204 - 2455 Beach Drive, Victoria, B.C. V8R 6K2
- Simon G. Postma, 3322 - 112 C Street, Edmonton, Alter. T6J 3W8
- Sharon L. Taylor, 1350 Limeridge Rd. E., Unit 36, Hamilton, Ont. L8W 1L6
- Sharon L. Taylor, 1350 Limeridge Rd. E., Unit 36, Hamilton, Ont. LBW 1L6
- Mollie Yorke, 1959 Beach Drive, Victoria, B.C. V8R 6J4
- 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
aforementioned cruelty-perversion. Even a fool can deduce what happens when an animal is deliberately starved, or blinded; or dogs forced to breathe in flames. That one was repeated several times at various places - it must have been particularly good for kicks.
The human animal is unusually anthropocentric or speciocentric. The inner reasons can be found in the fact of individualization in the 4th or Human Kingdom. The 3rd Kingdom, the non-human animals, is herd-conscious and the 5th Kingdom, plus man's Soul already, is group conscious. Individualism in the imperfect - most of us - gives rise to selfishness and thus the inability to see or acknowledge the need to allow other life forms, including human, a treatment one wants for one's self. The larger person can treat all life as himself.
The cure for the nonhuman animal's problems is in education. The best educator is societal pressure. But social patterns are in need of changing today. The fastest method for change is economic - get them in the money. Boycott the offenders, give no funds to researchers (make them use computer models, tissue cultures from human biopsies, human volunteers), avoid companies still in the fur trade. A head of a Humane Society recently said on TV something I have been advocating for years: "The only way to get certain members of our society who are still clinging to a stone-age culture of hunting and gathering (trapping) forward into this century is economic. Don't buy furs and they will have to change their customs and get into the 20th century."
I once asked an audience during a T.S. lecture on World Animal Day, "How many of you have pets?" As predicted, only myself and two others held up their hands. The other two were my wife and daughter. We all have a moral duty to help our younger brothers, if only for the selfish reason of improving ourselves. Take in a pet. A pet is not
a thing, it is a life and should be kept for life and be given proper care, and medical care if needed. Too often a family tires of a pet - it grew up - so off to the pound it goes. (Psychologically, one can usually find that this act is a substitute for getting rid of a child, which itself is illegal and socially unacceptable, and it is even socially unacceptable to present this explanation.) The pet, having become used to somewhat kind treatment, finds itself in a pound, then in a lab, where some brute, whom I am ashamed to say is the same species as mine, breaks the cat's back, so that he can find a drug to ameliorate the spinal damage of some person who, while over-alcoholed and underbrained, one summer day dives into the shallow end of a swimming pool and breaks his neck.
The excuse given for no pet, including by fellow members, is, "It's inconvenient to have a pet. I want to go away at times and I don't want to be obliged to look after it." A real student of occultism knows that this earth is not the plane of pleasantness but of work: pleasure is for the devachanic world.
The cure for the mistreatment of our non human animal younger brothers will come about when we act. Only if each individual member and non-member reader of this does and says something about the problem will there be any hope of a cure. If one waits for the other to act, to speak out, to contribute to animal welfare groups, then nothing will be accomplished. We have a special duty to cats and dogs as they are leaders of the 3rd Kingdom, and need contact with humans for their development, particularly to develop love and a bit of mentality. "Man must become a more beneficial force in Nature." (H.P.B.) Let us then be white magicians and be beneficial forces in Nature.
The monad of the animal is as immortal as that of man.
- The Secret Doctrine
On July 13, members of Calgary Lodge and friends organized a surprise pot-luck supper at the van Hees'. Ted Davy, as retiring national General Secretary, and Doris were our guests of honour.
Our regular study program restarted on September 3, meeting as usual at the Davys'. As in past years, on the last Wednesday evening of each month a talk by one of the members replaces the regular Secret Doctrine study class.
On September 24, Phyllis Olin presented a paper with the title: "Myth and Symbol in North American Indian Religion."
On October 29, Joe Kyriakakis talked to us about "The Occult in Literature - 1880-1980." - Laetitia van Hees, Secretary
Well settled in its new quarters, Hermes Lodge is now back in business and eager to get going. During the past year we had a limited program with lectures and tapes, but much work was done on the Library, which is now open to the public.
With the help of members, our Librarian Diana Cooper has done a vast amount of work. The entire Library of about 2,000 books has been reindexed, and new books purchased to bring it up to date. So many new books have been added that extra shelving had to be ordered. The collection also includes volumes of old Theosophical magazines, and a good reference section. All in all we now have a library of which we are proud.
We are also working on an audio and video tape library, and hope to be able to exchange these with other Lodges.
The Lodge admitted two new members last year, and three more have just joined. In October, Willamay Pym, President of the Seattle Lodge, was presented in a public
meeting. She spoke on "Our Roles on the Stage of Life." On November 2, Fiona Odgren, President of the Victoria Lodge, presented a slide show on Nicholas Roerich's paintings.
Members' meetings are held twice monthly, on second and third Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. For those who work during the day, we are also open on Wednesday evenings, when there are tapes and discussions. The Secret Doctrine Class continues on Mondays at 1:30 p.m.
All in all things appear to be shaping up for a very interesting and informative season.
- Eva Sharp, Secretary
P.G. BOWEN AND "THE SAYINGS OF THE ANCIENT ONE"
I am one of those who "treasure their copy of The Sayings of the Ancient One. ("A Reader's Notes," C.T., Jul-Aug 1986.) My copy was obtained over fifty years ago from Mr. N.J.W. Haydon, an old member who sold Theosophical books from his home in Toronto. In the back is a copy of (Capt.) P.G. Bowen's article, "Africa's White Race," published in The Theosophical Path, October, 1932.
At one time P.G. Bowen joined the Theosophical Society (Adyar) but severed this connection after only a few months. He was also associated with the Theosophical Society (Point Loma) for about five years.
His father, Robert Bowen, is known for his article, "The Secret Doctrine and Its Study," based on the teachings he had received as a private pupil of H.P.B. This was published by the son in the early 1930s, and copies are still in print.
I was so excited about Capt. Bowen's books, the other of course being The Occult Way, that I wrote to him and we had some correspondence. Upon his death, Mrs. E.A. Ansell, his Executrix, found among his papers a memo with my name and address, with the note, "Keep in touch with her." She wrote me, and from then until her death we kept in close touch. In 1961, when visiting my daughter, who was then working in England, I met Mrs. A. in person for the first time.
We had long talks together, and as she reminisced I took notes. These also ended up in my copy of The Sayings of the Ancient One. Some extracts follow:
"Capt. Bowen went to Africa in 1902 ... in 1904 contacted the 'white community'. He married a Berber girl, who had twins - boy and girl - and was killed before his eyes ... when the children were still infants. The mother's family reared them.
"Mrs. Ansell first met Capt. Bowen when he lectured for an Adyar Lodge of which she was at that time a member. During his association with the Point Loma T.S., he had an independent group in Guildford, Surrey, which Mrs. A. helped to organize. This group disbanded within a short time, when Bowen went to Ireland, where he established the Druid Society.
"It would have been at this time that he met AE (George W. Russell), then President of the Dublin Hermetic Society, and they became fast friends. In 1935, AE's health was fading, and he asked Capt. Bowen, nay begged him, to take over the Hermetic Society at his death - which Bowen did.
"Mrs. Ansell told me details of the struggles of the little groups; the efforts to commence the study of The Secret Doctrine; the personal jealousies and animosities; of Trevor Barker being caught by a bomb while talking with Christmas Humphreys; and of P.G. Bowen's long illness (he was gassed in World War I), and his personal life and death."
Mrs. A. gave me Capt. Bowen's copy of Johnston's Bhagavad-Gita and promised me all of AE's books when she passed on. (She kept her promise.)
- A 91-yr.-old student of Theosophy
ACQUISITIONS AND DEPRIVATIONS: THE MEDITATION OF H.P. BLAVATSKY
- John Algeo
The origins of words can sometimes tell us about the things those words name. Thousands of years ago there was a language we call Indo-European, which was the ancestor of English, Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, and a great many other tongues, both living and dead. This parent language of ours had two root words for us - for our species. One was something like ghomon-, and the other was something like mon-.
From ghomon- (by way of Latin) we derive such words as human and humane, but also humus and humble. (1) Its basic meaning was 'earth, ground.' In using this word for human beings, the Indo-Europeans were emphasizing the earthy part of our nature.
From mon- or men- come our native English words man and mine, some words we have borrowed from Latin and Greek, such as mental and museum, and also the Sanskrit words manas, Manu, and mantra? (2) The Basic meaning of the root word was `to think'; and so, in using it, our linguistic ancestors were emphasizing the nonphysical, intellectual part of our nature.
It is significant that the two main words we still have for our own kind originally focused on contrasting aspects of our being: we are human, that is, of the earth; but we are also man, that is, a thinker. Those two aspects are emphasized also in the theosophical tradition, which looks upon our constitution as sevenfold, but also as dual.
As dual beings, Theosophy says we consist of a "lower" or lesser, personal quaternary of principles and of a "higher" or greater, individual triad. The personal quaternary consists of our physical body (sthula sharira), the model upon which it is constructed (linga sharira), the vital energy that sustains life in us (jiva or prana), and the desiring-thinking function of our brain-mind (kama-manas). All of those principles are intimately connected with the physical world. They are of the earth, earthy. They are what make us human, in the etymological sense of that word. They are our personality, which we usually think of as just "us".
The individual triad, on the other hand, consists of pure intellect (manas), intuitive understanding (buddhi) and the greater Self in us (atma). Just as the principles of the quaternary are focused in their lowest member, the body or the earthy part of us, so the principles of the triad are focused in their lowest member, the intellect or pure mind. They are mental rather than physical realities. They are what make us man, in the etymological sense of that word. They are our individuality, the real "us", which assumes new earthy forms with each incarnation.
Because mind participates in both parts of our nature, it forms a link or bridge between them and is the channel through which the earthly personality can be transformed and incorporated into the mental individual, which is the real "us." Although theosophical tradition varies somewhat in how it names and counts the various seven principles that make up our nature, it consistently groups them into these two divisions: the earthy personality, which is for one lifetime only, and the mental individuality, which endures for
an eternity, that is, a vast period of evolution. So when our Indo-European linguistic ancestors thought of themselves as being both ghomon- and mon-, earthy and mental, they were recognizing our basic twofold nature.
Our twofold nature is sometimes symbolized by the sun and the moon. It is said that the ultimate reality is like a boundless light from which spring an uncountable number of sparks or stars or monads, each being of the same nature as the light itself. As the monadic stars descend into matter, they take upon themselves a sense of separateness, of I-ness. Thus each becomes an individual self, a triad of Self-intuition-mind, which is like a sun. The sun generates its own light, from the elemental fires within it, and the moon reflects that light onto the Earth. So also, our individuality or greater self generates the light of consciousness, from the power of the divine fire within it, and our personality, like a moon, reflects that light into our physical brain.
The metaphors of reflected light and of the solar and lunar natures are pervasive in theosophical writings. For example, in The Voice of the Silence we read:
"This earth, O ignorant Disciple, is but the dismal entrance leading to the twilight that precedes the valley of true light - that light which no wind can extinguish, that light which burns without a wick or fuel."
That is, the earthy personality is the dim entrance leading eventually to the deathless light of the greater self. The description of that light in this passage is reminiscent of the legend of the lamp in the tomb of Christian Rosencranz, which burns continually without air or oil. Elsewhere the Voice says:
"Before that path (to Oneness) is entered, thou must destroy thy lunar body, cleanse thy mind-body, and make clean thy heart."
A note explains that the lunar body is the "personal self"; the mind body; the "individuality, or the reincarnating Ego."
And with regard to the reflection metaphor:
"...mind is like a mirror; it gathers dust while it reflects."
As mind is the bridge between the two selves, it serves as the reflector that conveys the light of consciousness from one to the other.
The goal of the transformative process is to "become the light," for then "thou art thy Master and thy God," that is, the personality has become fully identified with the greater self and is a perfect reflection of it.
The metaphor of reflected light is a way of saying that the mental part of us uses the earthly part to gain experience of others and thus to create itself. According to theosophical tradition, when the body dies, the greater self gathers up into it all the experiences of the lifetime from which it can benefit. That is, our weaknesses, faults, failings, and imperfections perish with the body, whereas the strengths, virtues, successes, and perfections of this lifetime are incorporated into our greater self, to become the basis for a new personality in another lifetime.
When a new personality is generated, however, it is a dual thing. For it is vivified and called into existence by the greater self, which is devoid of any evil, though for most of us it is only weakly developed in good. However, waiting on the threshold of life for the personality are also the seeds of all the unresolved weaknesses and faults of our former personalities. We sometimes speak of those with resignation as our karma. The Buddhists call them the skandhas.
Because our personalities are dual, the purpose of incarnation is also twofold. It is to give us an opportunity to weed out our faults of character before they flower and turn to seed that will grow in a future life. It is also to
cultivate the virtues that can be absorbed into the greater self and thus allow it to grow in goodness and beauty and truth.
This twofold task of rooting out faults and cultivating virture is what we mean by transformation. It, or some aspect of it, is called by many names and described under many metaphors. It is the alchemical process of transmuting base metals into gold. It is polishing the mirror of the mind so that it can perfectly reflect the sun of reality. It is sowing good seed and weeding out the tares. It is walking the path narrow as a razor's edge. It is the Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. At the end of Journey to the East, Hermann Hesse describes it as a curious statue, a glass double figure, one side of which empties into the other. The essence of transformation is that the personality ceases to be, for its weaknesses are transcended and its strengths transferred to the permanent "I," the greater self.
Transformation is achieved by refocusing our attention, by ceasing to identify with the lesser, personal self, and coming to realize our identity as the greater, individual self. Such refocusing is achieved through meditation. And necessarily, this process of meditative refocusing is twofold. H.P. Blavatsky described it for her personal pupils, the members of her "Inner Group," who met frequently for instruction and discussion during the last years of her lifetime. Her instruction on the subject is preserved in a set of rough notes called a "diagram of meditation" (dating from 1887-88), which has been reprinted several times. (3) It is reproduced here on an accompanying page.
The meditation recommended by this diagram focuses upon unity - the making of a single coherent whole out of the usually fragmented aspects of our consciousness. It seeks to mold the normal state of consciousness (our brain-mind consciousness) by helping it to acquire a sense of identity with the entire universe in space and time and by depriving it of all unessential attributes. These two approaches, of "acquisitions" and "deprivations," are Blavatsky's dual pathways to transformation. They are also two well-known techniques of meditation.
The second of the two techniques, that of deprivation, is the via negativa, summed up in the Sanskrit expression neti neti "not this, not that" and in one kabbalistic expression for the ultimate reality: ayin "There is nothing." Both of those expressions say that ultimate reality is utterly different from anything we know in our normal consciousness and can only be designated by negatives.
The negative view of underlying reality is echoed in a frequently recommended meditation exercise that has the meditator attempt to realize the truth of the statements "I am not my body. I am not my emotions. I am not my thoughts." Through such a meditation one practices the way of denial, seeking to deprive the meditator of all attributes. Those attributes are the skandhas, the seeds that germinate as the weeds of selfishness. The meditation aims at purifying the personality of its failings and limitations by denying that they are attributes of the true "I," the reincarnating Ego.
Thus half of Blavatsky's meditation technique refuses the reality of those things that divide us from our true self and bind us to our earthy nature; the sensations, the passions, mental judgments mixed with personal concerns, and attachments of any sort. To deprive ourselves of such attributes is to free ourselves totally. The technique recommended is to imagine ourselves without these limitations, to affirm, "I am without..." such general or specific limitations as we find ourselves saddled with in our normal state of consciousness.
The negative path alone, however, is ineffective and may even be counterproductive. When we dwell upon a quality, good or bad, we reinforce it. (4) In teaching composition to college freshmen, I have sometimes had a
class in which few students made a particular error, such as confusing the spellings of their and there, until an occasion arose to discuss the error. Thereafter, the instances of the error increased remarkably in all the students' essays. To think of a thing is to give it power; or as Job (3.25) said:
"For the thing which I fear cometh upon me. And that which I am afraid of cometh unto me."
To be negative only will have negative consequences. And so the way of deprivation needs to be balanced by another technique.
The other technique is a via affirmativa, and is summed up in the Sanskrit expression Tat tvam asi "You are that" and in another kabbalistic expression for ultimate reality: En-Sof "There is no boundary." Both of those expressions imply that the absolute includes all things, both actual and potential, real and imaginable. The Sanskrit phrase is from the Chhandogya Upanishad, in which the young man Svetaketu learns from his father that the One Reality is the essence of all things, including himself. Similarly, the Hebrew phrase means that, if the absolute is without limits, then it must embrace all things.
A meditation practice that echoes the affirmative view has the meditator realize the truth of statements such as these: "I am my body, but I am more than it. I am my emotions, but I am more than they. I am my thoughts, but I am more than they." Its aim is to culminate in Blavatsky's conception, "I am all space and time." Such a meditation practices the way of affirmation, seeking to acquire for the meditator a sense of identity with all other beings in the cosmos. That identity inevitably is accompanied by a realization of the goodness and perfection of the world order and so also of our real selves as a part of the total order.
The other half of Blavatsky's meditation technique concentrates on acquisitions, that is, virtues to be gained. What is usually called evil, it regards instead as a lack of wisdom, a limitation on consciousness. The one who has perfected this technique can criticize, in the sense of seeing limitations clearly, but does so without praising or blaming. Choiceless awareness, in the words of Krishnamurti, is the technique of this part of the meditation.
One need not - perhaps should not - strive for particular virtues; striving is an attribute of which we are to deprive ourselves. Instead, out of a balanced mind and a calm acceptance of what is, arises wisdom. And wisdom is the source of all virtues. That equilibrium and calm are achieved, says Blavatsky, by an act of imagination; we are to hold in our minds, as continually as possible, the thought of all things in space and time connected to one another, an all-embracing Unity stretching to the furthermost reaches of the universe and the most remote moments of time.
By thus changing the focus of our habitual concern from ourselves to the greatest thing we can conceive, we open ourselves to equilibrium, wisdom, and transformation. By such a changed focus, we can cease to be the lesser self, which was born and has grown in this lifetime, and we can begin to be the greater self, which endures through all lives and touches the stars.
In Blavatsky's diagram of meditation we have a paradox. The two views of ultimate reality as nothing and as everything are contradictions, yet both are true. Reality is nothing we know, yet it is everything that is. The two techniques of meditation, deprivation and acquisition, are opposites, yet lead to the same goal. They deny that we have any attributes, yet affirm that we are all things. Not only are these two apparently contradictory approaches to life really compatible, (to page 116)
[[Diagram here, text reproduced]]
MARCH 15th, 1943
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
DIAGRAM OF MEDITATION
Dictated by H.P. Blavatsky to her Inner Group in London, 1887-8
First conceive of UNITY by Expansion in space and infinite in Time. (Either with or without self-identification). Then meditate logically and consistently on this in reference to states of consciousness. Then the normal state of our consciousness must be moulded by:
- Perpetual Presence in imagination in all Space and Time. - From this originates a substatratum of memory which does not cease in dreaming or waking. Its manifestation is courage. - With memory of universality all dread vanishes during the dangers and trials of life.
Continued attempt at attitude of mind to all existing things, which is neither love, hate nor Indifference. - Different in external activity to each, because in each the capacity alters. Mentally the same to all. - Equilibrinm and constant calm. Greater ease in practising the "virtues," which are really the outcome of wisdom, for benevolence, sympathy, justice, etc., arise from the intuitive identification of the individual with others, although unknown to the personality.
The Perception in all embodied beings of Limitation only. - Criticism with ut praise or blame.
NOTE: Acquisition is completed by the conception "I am all Space and Time." Beyond that . . . (It cannot be said.)
Constant refusal to think of reality of: -
Separations and Meetings. Association with Places, Times and Forms. - Futile longings. Expectations. Sad memories. Broken-heartedness.
The Distinction. Friend and Foe. - Resulting in absence of anger and bias. (Replaced by judgment).
Possessions.-Personality. - Greed. Selfishness. Ambition. - Vanity. Remorse.
Sensation - Gluttony, Lust. etc.
NOTE: These deprivations are produced by the perpetual imagination - without self-delusion* - of "I am without;" the recognition of their being the source of bondage, ignorance and strife. 'Deprivation' is completed by the meditation, "I am without attributes."
* There is no risk of self-delusion if the personality is deliberately forgotten.
GENERAL NOTE. All the passions and virtues interblend with each other. Therefore the diagram gives only general hints.
(from page 114)
they are mutually necessary. That is the paradox. Blavatsky's diagram shows that both approaches are imperative. She says that the normal state of our consciousness "must" be molded by both realizations. Transformation is itself a twofold process. By it we discover both that we are not the imperfections of our personality and that we are the unalloyed good and infinite potential of our greater self. But more than that - we are the earth from which our body is formed, the rich brown earth of this planet, and we are the light of stars so far away in space and time that no telescope can capture them. We are the world, infinite in space and time. To know that is wisdom. To live that is transformation.
1. The root also came directly into Old English as guma, later gome, but that word had become extinct by the sixteenth century, surviving only in the compound bridegome. After the second part had ceased to be meaningful to English speakers, they remodeled the compound as bridegroom, substituting groom meaning "lad" for the earlier gome.
2. There may have been two Indo-European roots, mon- or man- and men-. Many philologists are now reluctant to say that the two were related because the evidence is not sure, but they correspond intriguingly and are here identified.
3. Most recently by Zoltan de Algya-Pap, "From Inner Space to Outer Space: H.P.B.'s Method of Meditation." Theosophist, December 1981, pp. 104-8, and by H.J. Spierenburg, The Inner Group Teachings of H.P. Blavatsky to Her Personal Pupils (1890-91) (San Diego: Point Loma Publications, 1985), p. 130.
4. I am indebted to Edith Karsten for calling this principle to my attention here.
- The American Theosophist, June, 1986
A READER'S NOTES
H.P.B.'s Diagram of Meditation, which is appended to John Algeo's article in this issue, is a facsimile of its publication in the C.T. Vol. XXIV, No. 1, March, 1943. In this column in the May-June, 1986 issue, the question was asked if anyone was aware of a possible earlier publishing of the now well known Diagram.
It is gratifying to report that the answer was not long forthcoming. John Cooper, the Australian authority on Theosophical history, wrote as follows:
"On p. 130 of The Inner Group Teachings of H.P. Blavatsky is the statement that the Diagram of Meditation included in this volume was first printed in The Canadian Theosophist for March 1943. I am given as the source for that information. My reason for making that statement was that I had gone through almost all the Theosophical magazines of that period in English and the printing in the C.T. was the first I had seen. So when I read your query in the May-June C.T. on p. 47, my first reaction was to await developments from your readers. However, on the day after reading the issue I noticed the following in the Draft Catalogue of Volumes and Pamphlets kept at the home of Mr. Christmas Humphreys. This Draft Catalogue is dated 1957 and is typewritten. Under item 344 it says: "Envelope addressed to Christmas Humphreys from E.T. Sturdy with 'A diagram of meditation made under H.P.B.'s direction over 50 years ago.' (This diagram was later published in The Middle Way and offprints taken.) Also letter from Sturdy dated 14.8.42."
On receipt of this information, not having access to copies of The Middle Way, we wrote to Rex Dutta, who succeeded Christ-
mas Humphreys as Chairman of the Mahatma Letters Trust, to ask if he could throw more light on the subject. He could and did. In no time at all a photocopy of Sturdy's original copy of the Diagram was sent us by Tony Maddock, proprietor of Alpha Books, the well-known London antiquarian and secondhand bookseller.
This is theosophical networking on an international scale! Many thanks to all concerned.
Just for the record, could someone please advise exactly which issue of The Middle Way contained the first publication of the Diagram?
As is generally known, Messrs. Dutta and Maddock (mentioned in the above item) are associated with Viewpoint Aquarius. This "maverick" among Theosophical journals persistently deals with issues that are bypassed or ignored in the more orthodox publications.
One subject that the VA has returned to again and again over the years is the danger of nuclear radiation. To its regular readers, the Chernobyl disaster came as no surprise; nor will they be unaware of its real long term implications. The long lead article in the June issue, immediately following the explosion, was a challenge to thinking people who might otherwise follow the crowd in sweeping the disagreeable truth under the rug.
Ten issues of Viewpoint Aquarius are published annually - subscription by donation. (Prime costs run at approx. $1.50 per copy.) Sample and further information from Viewpoint Aquarius, P.O. Box 97, Camberley, Surrey GU15 2LH, England.
The Regenerators: Social Criticism in Late Victorian English Canada is the title of a recent book by the distinguished historian, Ramsay Cook. It presents a fascinating picture of the social and political environment in this country in the declining years of the 19th century.
And what an environment! This was an age of turbulent intellectual activity. Mainstream Christianity was struggling with the implications of Darwinism on the one hand and Spiritualism on the other. Suffragism was a rising force. New ideas, including Theosophy, were challenging the best minds.
Prof. Cook's work will be of particular value to all who are interested in the history of the Theosophical Movement in Canada. The names of a number of early Canadian Theosophists are included in this book because in other capacities they were advocating or attempting to influence social change. Florence MacDonald Denison, (Mrs.) E. Day MacPherson and Phillips Thompson are among those mentioned. In addition, a whole chapter is devoted to Richard Maurice Bucke, who, although not a Theosophist, was pursuing parallel interests both with respect to his famous work, Cosmic Consciousness, and his close connection with Walt Whitman.
The Regenerators is published by the University of Toronto Press.
The 1884 interview with Madame Blavatsky, published in this issue, includes a reference to F. Marion Crawford's novel, Mr. Isaacs. Soon after this book was published, Madame Blavatsky reviewed it in The Theosophist. Those who wish to read her opinion on it will find it in H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, Vol. IV, pp. 339-344.
Nature lays no banquet of obvious truths for us at her table. That which we require to feed us must be dug out by ourself with blistered hands and aching head.
- Paul Brunton
SECOND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THEOSOPHICAL HISTORY CALL FOR PAPERS
An International Conference on Theosophical History will be held July 17-19, 1987, Friday evening to Sunday, at 50 Gloucester Place, London W1 H 3HJ, England, the headquarters of the Theosophical Society in England. It is sponsored by the Theosophical History Centre, whence registration forms and other information can be obtained after January 1, 1987.
Any person may submit a paper for possible presentation at the Conference. Papers may be on any aspect of Theosophical History. Summaries of proposed papers should reach the Program Committee by February 28, 1987. These should be double-spaced, typed in black or blue-black, and should not exceed 200 words. Decisions on summaries accepted will be sent to authors in late March. Full papers will be presented in not more than 30 minutes, with discussion to follow.
Conference participants will be expected to make their own arrangements for accommodation in London and for meals, though light refreshments will be available between sessions.
All correspondence to Theosophical History Centre, 50 Gloucester Place, London W1 H 3HJ, England.
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, 57 Eleanor Crescent, Georgetown, Ont. L7G 2T7.
TORONTO THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY TRAVELING LIBRARY
The Traveling Library of the Toronto Theosophical Society is operating and offering books on loan by mail to Society members only in Canada. Inquiries to:
Mrs. B. Treloar
Apt. 288, 2095 Roche Ct.
Mississauga, Ontario L5K 2C8
Hermes Library is a special library, created to support the objects of the Theosophical Society, the activities of Hermes Lodge, and to aid individual research. The Library acquires books, journals, pamphlets and cassettes on Theosophy, philosophy, religion, metaphysics and related subjects.
A Library card is available at no charge to members of the Hermes and other Vancouver Lodges. Members-at-large and nonmembers may purchase a library card for an annual fee of $10.00 ($5.00 for seniors).
The Library is open to the public on Saturday afternoons and before and after public meetings. Hermes Lodge, Theosophical Society 2-2807 West 16th Ave., Vancouver, B.C. V6K 3C5 (Phone: 733-5684)
REPRINTS OF OLD THEOSOPHICAL LITERATURE
Edmonton Lodge is pleased to announce its program to produce a number of rare Theosophical books and journals in a quality reprint format.
Some of the titles already available are:
An Introduction to the Study of the Kabalah, by William Wynn Wescott (1926).
The Bhagavat Geeta. (1849 Trilingual edition in Sanskrit, English and Canarese. English translation by Charles Wilkins.)
Dawn, An Independent Australian Theosophical Journal (1921-1924).
Psychic Notes, A Record of Spiritual and Occult Research. A Journal published in India January to April, 1882. (Mentioned in The Letters of H.P. Blavatsky to A.P. Sinnett. )
Theosophical Notes. Written and published by Victor Endersby from 1950 to 1978. Ten large volumes.
All the above are in good quality bindings. Write for complete list to: Edmonton Lodge, Theosophical Society P.O. Box 4804
Edmonton, AB Canada T6E 2A0
"THE SLEEPING SPHERES"
Announcing a new printing of "The Sleeping Spheres", by Jasper Niemand, with notes by Willem B. Roos.
Price $1.25 plus 60 cents postage. Available from:
The Theosophical Society in Canada
2307 Sovereign Cres. S.W.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T3C 2M3
T.S. IN CANADA TAPE LENDING LIBRARY
Audio and video cassette tapes of lectures, etc., are available on free loan from the T.S. in Canada tape lending library. (This service is for residents of Canada only.) Borrowers are only required to pay return postage. Write for list to: Doris Davy, 2307 Sovereign Cres. S.W. Calgary, Alberta T3C 2M3
THE H.P.B. LIBRARY
c/o M. Freeman, Site No. 19, Comp. No. 2, R.R. 1, Vernon, B.C. V1T 6L4
Comprehensive literature of the Theosophical Movement lent by mail. Catalog on request. The library also publishes the following:
- The Voice of the Silence (Peking Edition)
- Works by Alice Leighton Cleather:
H.P. Blavatsky - A Great Betrayal
H.P. Blavatsky - Her Life and Work for Humanity
H.P. Blavatsky - As I Knew Her
- Works by Alice Leighton Cleather and Basil Crump:
Buddhism - The Science of Life
The Pseudo-Occultism of Mrs. A. Baily.
- Nine "H.P.B. Pamphlets", including early articles from Lucifer.
- Write for price list.
BEACONSFIELD STUDY CENTRE: Secretary, Mrs. Suzanne Hassanein, 81 Heritage Rd., Beaconsfield, P.Q., H9W 3V2. (Phone 695-2618 or 697-8198).
CALGARY LODGE: President, Mr. Hank van Hees; Secretary, Mrs. Laetitia van Hees, No. 705 - 4935 Dalton Drive N.W., Calgary, Alta. T3A 2E5 (Phone 286-1271).
EDMONTON LODGE: President, Mr. Ernest E. Pelletier; Sec.-Treas., Mr. Simon Postma, South Side Edmonton Post Office Box 4804, Edmonton, Alta. T6E 2A0. (Phone 434-9326).
HAMILTON LODGE: President, Sharon L. Taylor; Secretary, Laura Baldwin, 304 Emerson St., Hamilton, Ont. L8S 2Y7. (Phone 525-8193) MONTREAL LODGE: President, Mrs. Phoebe Stone; Secretary, Mr. Fred Wilkes, 3679 Ste. Famille, No.22, Montreal, P.Q. H2X 2L5
TORONTO LODGE: President, Mr. David Zuk; Secretary, Miss Ruth Playle. (Phone 922-5571)
VANCOUVER LODGE: President, Mrs. Marian Thompson; Sec.-Treas. Mrs. Anne Whalen, Lodge Rooms, Room 413, Dominion Building, 207 West Hastings St., Vancouver, V6B 1H7.
HERMES LODGE, VANCOUVER: President, Mr. Larry Gray; Secretary, Mrs. Eva V. Sharp. Lodge Rooms: 2 - 2807 West 16th Ave., Vancouver, B.C. V6K 3C5. (Phone 733-5684 or 266-7340.)
KALEVALA STUDY CENTRE, VANCOUVER: Secretary; Mrs. Hellin Savolainen, 2282 Gravely St., Vancouver, B.C. V5L 3C2.
ORPHEUS LODGE, VANCOUVER: President, Mrs. Lillian Hooper. (Phone 987-8633 or 731-7491.)
PRINCE GEORGE STUDY CENTRE: Secretary, Mrs. Mary Ann Sills, 211 McIntyre Cres., Prince George, B.C. V2M 4P6
VICTORIA LODGE: President, Mrs. Fiona Odgren; Secretary, Mrs. Mollie Yorke. (Phone 592-9838).
ATMA VIDYA LODGE: Secretary, Mrs. H. Tidberry. Enquiries c/o General Secretary.
BLAVATSKY INSTITUTE PUBLICATIONS
2307 Sovereign Crescent S.W., Calgary, Aberta T3C 2M3
- Modern Theosophy, by Claude Falls Wright Cloth $1.75
- The Exile of the Soul, by Roy Mitchell - a key to the understanding of occult psychology. Cloth $2.75
- Theosophic Study, by Roy Mitchell, a book of practical guidance in methods of study. Paper $1.00
- Course in Public Speaking, by Roy Mitchell. Especially written for Theosophical students. $3.00
- The Use of the Secret Doctrine, by Roy Mitchell. 10c
- Theosophy, An Attitude Toward Life, by Dudley Barr. 50c
- The Wisdom of Confucius, by Iverson L. Harris. 25c
Postage extra on all titles