Vol. 67, No. 6 Toronto, Jan.-Feb., 1987
The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document.
William Q. Judge
The name Psychometry has been given to a faculty which, it is claimed, inheres in about seven out of every ten persons. But it seems to me to be a designation at once, inadequate and inaccurate, because it does not express to the mind all that is intended to be conveyed.
Expressed in many words, the power to psychometrise means: the power to bring up before the mental or spiritual eye, a panoramic view of all that has occurred to the object examined. The use of the word "psychometry" came about because it was laid down by Professors Buchanan and Denton, that by the power one measured the soul of the thing.
If the word "soul" means the innermost spiritual part of the thing measured, it will here be inadequate and incorrect; while, if it be held to mean the mere outside or accidental material part or attribute of the object, then it is perverted from its proper and intended use. The phenomena taken into consideration in the pursuit of psychometry, belong almost entirely to accidental or exterior impressions, which, while they percolate or permeate the whole
mass of the object examined, never partake of its constitution or properties. At the same time, in psychometrising an object, the faculty under consideration takes account of the spirit or soul of the object. So that we see that the designation, soul-measuring is not only inaccurate but also redundant. Some other word ought to be selected to express what we intend when we use the word "psychometry."
The Science of today does not recognise psychometry, because it does not allow that the human soul or mind has the power to produce effects which it admits can be produced by the use of chemicals or electricity. It is admitted that a lasting and reproduceable impression can be made upon a piece of smooth steel by simply placing on it another object, such as a penny, and that the washed-out images on certain plates can be brought to light again by electricity or chemicals. But they will not admit that a man can, by simply holding the same plates in his hand or to his forehead, take off and bring up clearly before his mind's eye the same old and obliterated impressions. What they do admit, however, proves that those impress-
ions are really lasting, and gives us ground for hoping that one day they will admit all the rest.
If one will erect a paper screen, say five feet square, and stand behind it, he will find, of course, that the view in front is obstructed completely. But make a pin-hole at the upper right-hand corner and place the eye thereat. What follows? He sees the objects which were hitherto concealed. Make another pinhole at the opposite corner, five feet away, and the same objects or scene can be observed in their entirety. This can, of course, be repeated at all parts of the screen. If at the time that he is looking at the scene in front through the pin-hole at the upper right-hand corner, a camera-lens is put through a hole in the center of the screen, a photograph of all that he is looking at through the pin-hole will be taken by the camera.
This proves, conclusively, that the image of the object or scene is impressed or thrown against every part of the screen; and that now the minutest point, or rather upon the very smallest piece of the screen, will be found a picture in its entirety of the whole object or scene that is before it, as well as a complete picture thrown over the whole body of the screen.
An ancient familiar illustration will exemplify my meaning. If one hold a drop of quicksilver on a plate, the face is reflected from it. If the drop be scattered into a thousand smaller drops, each one reflects the face again. Or, more easily understood yet: If five men stand a front of one man ten feet away, each pair of eyes of the five sees the one man; proving that there exists on each separate retina a separate and complete image of the one object.
Theosophists and occultists from the earliest times have held that every object in the world receives and keeps all impressions, not only of all objects that stand before it, but also of all that happens before it; that these impressions are indelible and can at any time be taken off by man's nervous system and from that reported to the mind; and, therefore, that if we possess a piece of stone from the Roman Forum, we can reproduce to the mind, as clearly as a picture, all that happened in the Forum.
The use of the screen-illustration and our insistence upon it, was to show that no ridiculous or impossible claim is made when we say that the small fragment from the Forum will give a complete picture and not a fragmental one.
I received from a friend, in the year 1882, a piece of the linen wrapping of an Egyptian ibis found on the breast of a mummy. I handed it, wrapped up in tissue-paper, to a friend who did not know what, if anything, was in the paper. He put it to his forehead and soon began to describe Egyptian scenery; then an ancient city; from that he went on to describe a man in Egyptian clothes sailing on a river; then that this man went ashore into a grove where he killed a bird; then that the bird looked like pictures of an ibis, and ended by describing the man as returning with the bird to the city, the description of which tallied with the picture and description of ancient Egyptian cities.
I leave this coincidence, as science designates it, with those who can appreciate it at its true value.
When science begins to admit the existence in man of what the Christians call spirit, but which some people know to be matter in a finely-divided state, then will psychometry be studied as it should be, and incalculable aid and dazzling light be thrown upon archaeological and ethnological research. But is there any hope for Science?
- The Platonist, Vol. II, No. 1, January, 1884
It is unlikely that many readers will have seen the above article prior to this publica-
tion. We understand that it will be included in the forthcoming third volume of the William Quan Judge Collected Writings, Echoes of the Orient.
A limited facsimile edition of the first two volumes of The Platonist (1881-1885) will be available shortly from the Edmonton Lodge, where enquiries should be directed. - Eds.
INAUGURAL ADDRESS OF THE INCOMING GENERAL SECRETARY AT THE T.S. IN CANADA ANNUAL MEETING, JULY 5, 1986
One of my favourite statements by H.P.B. is the one where she says man "...has to become a mere beneficent force in nature". I like to meditate on that thought. One can get pages of meaning from it by applying and relating it to other teachings in occultism. I commend it to you for meditation.
A year or so ago, when Mr. Ted Davy announced to the Board of Directors that he would leave the office of General Secretary at the end of his current term, someone remarked that they hoped that his successor would continue the long tradition - meaning no noticeable changes, please. As a long time student of psychology and esotericism, I noted the apprehension, a weak term for fear - fear of change. It is a law, recognized by the exoteric and esoteric alike that all change is painful. It is also a law that the only thing that does not change is the fact of constant change. H.P.B. has stressed this in The Secret Doctrine. I suggest that you might review this in chapter five of The Divine Plan by Geoffrey Barborka, wherein S.D. references are quoted and commentary made on change and evolution and the laws thereof.
Now, there are going to be differences in the modus operandi betwixt past and present General Secretaries due to the different expressions of "colour" and quality that express through each individual as one's Soul tries to express its innate and unique quality through the outer vehicle.
I would like to deal with some of the problems in the T.S. at some length some time, but not today - just a few thoughts now. Most of this afternoon's time is for our guest speaker, so I will get to you later, by some medium, with an in-depth look at our problems. All groups always have some problems.
The strength of a movement must be in its members. If a group has a strong, forceful and charismatic leader, then the membership will be a collection of weak fish, and when the leader goes, the movement is gone. The strength and the responsibility for the continuance of the T.S. is therefore your individual responsibility and I want you to take it. I believe in delegating authority to share the workload, while still nudging and guiding. I hereby delegate the responsibility for the viability and continuance of our organization to you, the individual member.
There are problems of maintaining membership numbers in our Canadian Section of the Theosophical Society, and this creates problems as to our viability. An unchanging, "Semper Idem" - always the same - attitude has the inevitable result in crystallization, and crystallization is one of the main ways that both Nature and the Hierarchy uses to bring about the death of an organism or an organization whose form is of no further use, by virtue of being no longer evolvable in its present constitution.
H.P.B. wrote of the dangers of being sta-
tic, unchanging, dogmatic, and this was quoted in an essay by Dudley Barr in the Toronto T.S. News in the 1930's, which essay is now in a collection entitled Theosophy, An Attitude Toward Life. This essay I reprinted in the News in the early 1980's when I was President of the Toronto Lodge. I would like to see this essay and its H.P.B. quotations given exposure to the membership again, soon, in The Canadian Theosophist (hint to ye Editors) or by some other means.
We in the T.S. give great weight and authority to the writings and thoughts of H.P.B., so why not pay attention to her warnings on how and why "Every such attempt as the Theosophical Society has heretofore ended in failure..." I am concerned that we keep going, as I see a need for the theosophical message in our world, not that we are the only group that can give it, but our organization is established and its loss would take up valuable time before a replacement would come. A group such as ours will not keep going automatically just because the need is there. We must keep up the effort. Ever hear of entropy? (To save some of you a trip to the dictionary, I will give a definition with a somewhat esoteric bend: Entropy, the tendency of everything in the Universe to return to chaos in the absence of intelligently applied energy.)
We cannot just sit at home, or in a Lodge hall, and stuff our minds with occult intellectualism, much as that is needed. There must be an outreach, for service and more membership which would follow from outreach, and which membership increase is needed to keep the organism going, and maybe even growing. I have found, in my active business days (retired now) and especially in the later half of those 34 years, that one can talk the simple basics of occultism such as reincarnation, karma, Soul and the planes, etc., with very many of the general public. They are aware, have a crude knowledge of the esoteric which they would improve, they are hungry for more of this and know not where to turn to get answers. They are curious, and what is more important, they are receptive. But they must not be scared off by too strong a dose or too abstract a dose at the outset.
I want you to reach out and touch someone or hug somebody every day. Not necessarily literally, as per Dr. Leo Buscaglia, as he and his audience do at the end of his lectures - but that type of touch or hug is all right too. You should touch someone mentally everyday in a figurative hug of expressed goodwill by your good example and helping influence and thus make this a better world. These "hugged" people will be shown and know your philosophy - Theosophy - by your actions. Interact well with the estimated two hundred and fifty people you will contact in normal events each month, or week, if you are active - and if someone likes the product, you as a Theosophist in action, they will tell someone else; they may even follow your example. And of those thus contacted who are intellectually inclined, some will inquire for studies in depth, and the T.S. will benefit by additional membership.
H.P.B. says man "...has to become a mere beneficent force in Nature." Be that beneficent force.
- S. Treloar
Yes, the Editors can take a hint, especially when they like it! The article in question follows.
THE FUTURE OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
Dudley W. Barr
In The Key to Theosophy the future of the Theosophical Society is discussed and H.P.B. says:
"Every such attempt as the Theosophical Society has heretofore ended in failure, because sooner or later, it has degenerated into a sect, set up hard-and-fast dogmas of its own, and so lost by imperceptible degrees that vitality which living truth alone can impart." (p.305)
Note particularly her words, "every such attempt has heretofore ended in failure". What, if anything, will make this attempt more successful than its forerunners? We are not justified in assuming that the members of the present Society are one step above the persons who worked in those previous attempts, or that they are wiser and more capable of continuing with the work. Perhaps some of them are - some may have been active in the earlier efforts and in this, their next incarnation, may be able to use the wisdom gained from a previous failure. On the other hand, some of the present members may have brought back with them tendencies of mind and approach which if not altered will cause a re-occurence of the previous disasters - and not even a fanatical devotion to what they think is Theosophy will save them from their blunders.
The Theosophical Society will degenerate into a sect when it ceases to be a student organization. The student attitude is unassailable; it is always forward-moving, it is creative, it is an opener of doors. The student is a seeker, he is never satisfied, he is ready to discard old forms and move forward into more comprehensive ones. When a person ceases to seek for a deeper penetration and for a purer clarity of thought, then the forward flowing movement has stopped and he rests upon his dogmas, i.e., his opinions to date. When an organization of students does that, the collective inertia is very difficult to overcome. The members will feel that they have reached a state of stable knowledge which is a "good" and anything which might stir them out of their unprogressive ways will be seen as an "evil". They will require other persons to accept their dogmas; the Theosophical spirit will die and the organization will, sooner or later, follow its departed spirit.
H.P.B. has pointed out that while a technical knowledge of the esoteric philosophy is important, the future leaders of the Society must have more than mere knowledge. The Society will not continue to run by virtue of the initial impulse from the Masters and the founders. The future members must take up the responsibility and must furnish the vitality which flows from living truth.
"Its future will depend almost entirely upon the degree of selflessness, earnestness, devotion, and last, but not least, on the amount of knowledge and wisdom possessed by those members, on whom it will fall to carry on the work." (p.304)
The present world situation is a challenge
to Theosophists. It is the end of a cycle and is therefore the beginning of a new cycle. How will Theosophy meet the call of the New Age? New problems in national and international affairs, in economics and in all forms of group integration will arise - and new phases of the oldest problem in the world, the integration of man as an individual. The Secret Doctrine (not the book but its message) must be rewritten in terms of the New Age; the esoteric tradition must be interpreted in terms of the new science, the new art, the new religion.
If H.P.B. were alive today she would be using the whole wealth of the modern scientific research to demonstrate the ancient wisdom of the race. She is not here, but we are. We are the persons she was writing about in 1890, the persons whose devotion, selflessness, earnestness and wisdom are necessary to carry on the work. We too will pass when our little cycle comes to an end, but in the meantime the responsibility is ours to preserve and vitalize the forward-flowing movement. Those personal qualities are required for two aspects of our work, first for the body of the Society, the organization; second, for its soul, the inner creative work which is communicated through the body. How many of our members are ready to help?
- Theosophy, An Attitude Toward Life
KARMA AND REBIRTH
A Review Article
Ted G. Davy
Karma and Rebirth: Post Classical Developments was the title of a scholarly conference held at the University of Calgary September 20-23, 1982. The Proceedings, which are now available,* are not merely a record of the papers presented on that occasion, but a useful survey of various concepts of karma and reincarnation in modern thought.
The somewhat off-putting sub-title is natural in that this conference reflects the influence of earlier conferences which focused on the classical treatments of karma and rebirth in Hinduism and Buddhism.
Nearly all of the authors of the papers included in this book are Professors of Religion in Canadian and American universities. As might be expected, their specialities are mostly in the fields of Eastern studies. The stature and variety of their qualifications is impressive. I felt at the time that it was a privilege to attend this conference, and on reading the presentations have a similar feeling in retrospect.
If those who were present in September, 1982, are like me, the printed papers do not repeat the experience exactly - it is not like re-reading a book after several years. If memory is to be trusted, these studies seem superior on paper than when spoken. Many, no doubt, were "polished" for publication, but that is not the whole reason. Few scholars these days pay much heed to oral presentation, the more's the pity; and to read their work usually gives more satisfaction than to listen to it.
The conference was in three parts, one each devoted to Hindu, Buddhist and Western contexts. Five scholarly papers were
* Karma and Rebirth: Post-Classical Developments, edited by Ronald W. Neufeldt. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1986. xv + 357 pp.
presented under each of these headings, fifteen in all. Each session was subjected to a critical response, also published in this book.
At the outset, let me express my single negative reaction and have done with it. In my view, the critical responses failed to match the general excellence of the invited papers. The critiques lack that degree of detachment that alone could stimulate fresh and fruitful discussion based on an objective assessment of karma and rebirth in the modern age. A pity, for the critics are fine scholars in their own right.
The range of the material that was presented at this conference is quite staggering. In the course of two or three days we heard many contrasting concepts. For example: based on her own on-the-spot studies, here is Eva Dargyay describing how karma and rebirth bear on the daily lives of contemporary Tibetan villagers in South Ladakh; here are the explanations of Bhagwan Ragneesh, the spectacular (briefly, anyway) 1980's "super guru", summarized by disciple Robert Gussner; here, much more quietly impressive, is a dessertation on "The Chinese Understanding and Assimilation of Karma Doctrine" by Yun-Hua Jan, also the views on karma of Buddhist philosophers in 13th century Japan, by Leslie Kawamura. Is the concept of a personal god incompatible with karma and rebirth? We can read here what Robert Baird has to say about the Krishna Consciousness movement. All fascinating and stimulating material much of which would be difficult to find elsewhere.
Obviously, all this material cannot be covered in a single review article. While each of the papers should be of interest to most students of Theosophy, three which I think are especially pertinent and/or timely will now be mentioned briefly.
First and foremost, and for reasons obvious in its title, the article "In Search of Utopia: Karma and Rebirth in the Theosophical Movement" must be given very serious consideration by Theosophists of whatever tradition. The author, Ronald W. Neufeldt, is also the editor of this collection of papers. His paper is likely to please/annoy/ surprise/stimulate, depending on the point of view of the reader. Who could ask for more?
Lest the title raises some eyebrows - it certainly raised a few that day in September, 1982! - it is necessary first to determine Dr. Neufeldt's application of "utopia". He summarizes his thesis in the following words:
"The utopian character of Blavatsky's teaching on karma and rebirth ... points in two directions. On the one hand, mankind can look forward to and strive for the achievement of ever higher states of existence in which the problems and limitations of the present are left behind. On the other hand, taking seriously the laws of karma and rebirth will result in the improvement of present society, the establishment of goodness, beauty, compassion, and unity, and the elimination of the basic human problem, selfishness." (p.252)
The approach leading to that conclusion is based almost entirely on a reading of H.P. Blavatsky's writings in which karma and reincarnation are discussed. This extensive survey includes quotations from Isis Unveiled, The Secret doctrine, The Key to Theosophy, and several volumes in the Collected Writings series. The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett and one of the Head and Cranston Reincarnation anthologies are also cited. Most readers will agree this is an admirable selection, wisely limited to avoid confusion. Evidently, this limitation was deliberate. The author states:
"Originally the intent had been to look at these teachings throughout the history of the Theosophical Movement. That, however, is an ambitious project and
will have to await further and certainly lengthier study." (p.234)
Even this approach was not without difficulty. Dr. Neufeldt complains of Blavatsky's "...obviously sloppy use of terms or terminology and in the fact that in any given paragraph the discussion proceeds on two or more levels." (ibid.) Whether or not a compliment is implied in the second part of this observation, it is certainly relevant. Karma, after all, operates on more than one level, and intellectually we have to take this into consideration, or fail to understand it properly. Yes, Blavatsky's writings are a challenge in more than one respect, but as she herself warned, "To the mentally lazy or obtuse, Theosophy must remain a riddle" (The Key to Theosophy, p. xi). Nevertheless, most will concede the validity of the first criticism, although in fairness it must be admitted that a hundred years ago, there was no standard terminology for many of the ideas that were being discussed in the West for the first time (in a long time, anyway) in Theosophical writings.
Dr. Neufeldt's method is to describe the teachings of Blavatsky relating, first to karma, then to rebirth; finally to attempt to show their utopian character. No little part of the success of his thesis is that he understands the close relationship of the two, an understanding not always apparent in the papers of other contributors. That karma and reincarnation are a "twin doctrine" has from the very beginning been an underpinning of the Theosophical philosophy, so it is important that any commentator recognizes this fact before drawing conclusions.
Another key recognition by the author of this study is the importance in any study of rebirth, of the makeup of the human constitution. If the human principles, their relationship to each other and to the whole individual are ignored, especially in respect to the "after-death" state, the comprehensiveness, not to say beauty, of the Theosophical concept of reincarnation cannot be absorbed.
In parenthesis, it is interesting to speculate how the various participants in the Karma and Rebirth conference might have answered the question, "What reincarnates?" or even "What does not reincarnate?" My guess is that most responses would have been vague, except that of Prof. Neufeldt, who on the basis of his research into Blavatsky's teachings, alone might have attempted a detailed explanatory answer.
Other important related concepts are those of involution and evolution and, of course, cycles. By referring to these, again the integrity of this thesis is maintained. Indeed, without this conceptual foundation it would be difficult to develop the utopian theme.
"In Search of Utopia..." is a well-researched paper, with an original conclusion. Students of Theosophy, even those who are very familiar with the doctrine, should find it well worth perusing. It is an interesting thesis, and the only reservation I would make is with respect to the first of its conclusions, quoted above. Unless the element of the "Universal Brotherhood of Humanity" in the Theosophical philosophy is taken as axiomatic, the point has been missed. No pilgrim on the Theosophical Path looks forward to a state of existence "where the problems and limitations of the present are left behind" as long as one other remains in the present state. A theoretical Theosophical Utopia would surely be for all or for none. This apart, I have nothing but high praise for Dr. Neufeldt's paper, and recommend it highly to fellow students.
Another very interesting and worthwhile paper in this collection is a study in which the focus is on the Vedantic tradition, and how it has been championed in this century. "In Defense of Karma and Rebirth: Evolutionary Karma" by Robert N. Minor, presents the
views of two modern Indian thinkers, S. Radhakrishnan and Sri Aurobindo.
The "defense" in the title was the reaction to "criticisms of Vedanta or Hinduism which included criticism of the teachings of karma and rebirth and their implications" (p.15). The criticism stemmed from "missionaries, secularists and materialists." Part of the brunt of the attacks by the missionaries in India during the latter part of the last century was borne by the early Theosophists, so we can appreciate the shock Indian intellectuals of that era must have felt when confronted with this gratuitous belligerency.
It is interesting today to study the nature of those attacks on the Vedic philosophy. They are recorded for posterity in dozens of booklets in which the denigration of the Eastern religions took precedence over the presentation of the virtues of Christianity, as did emotion over logic. Incidentally, karma and rebirth were singled out for some of their most bitter diatribes - something which bears thinking about.
The "evolution" in the title refers to the great evolutionary scheme in which karma and rebirth play an essential part. Dr. Minor's summary of this relationship (pp. 15-16) is a model of brevity, as indeed his whole paper is commendable for its clarity.
The theme is developed by means of comparisons between the writings of Radhakrishnan and Aurobindo. The former is shown to favour a relative evolutionary karma and rebirth, in contrast to the absolute approach by the latter. All in all, a most thought-stimulating presentation.
Finally, "Karma and Rebirth in Western Psychology" by Harold G. Coward covers ground that, to the best of my knowledge, has been so far largely neglected in both religious and psychological studies. Perhaps this paper can serve as a link between these two fields. From a Theosophical point of view, of course, karma and rebirth must be taken into account if we are ever to properly get to grips with human psychology, so this study should be a welcome addition to the literature - probably a "first".
Here we are invited to consider the importance of karma and rebirth to two schools of psychological thought - those of Carl Jung, and Transpersonal Psychology. It must be admitted that part of Jung's greatness was his willingness (not shared by his peers and some of the later followers) to delve into every religion and mythology to find the building bricks for his theories. Gnosticism, alchemy, mysticism, were all grist to his mill. And so it is not surprising that the Eastern religions prompted many of his insights. As for karma and rebirth, Dr. Coward asserts that this idea "...continued to play a central role in the development of Jung's thinking to the end of his life" (p.258). Acknowledging its debt to Jung, he concludes that thanks to Transpersonal Psychology,
"...karma theory is reaching out through ... ever-widening circles to such diverse areas as neurophysiology, learning theory, perception, motivation, cognition, altered states of consciousness, psychotherapy, parapsychology, and psychology of religion." (p.272)
All of which is encouraging, if not exciting. If this is right, is it too optimistic to hope that by the beginning of the next century the science of psychology will have matured to the point of being of the greatest importance to humanity?
Most of the papers in Karma and Rebirth: Post-Classical Developments are of a high standard. And for students of Theosophy, if not others, the whole of this book is greater than the sum of its parts, if we are able to take something to it. What is tremendously encouraging is that the authors represent a new generation of broad-minded scholars of religions. Most of them, I guess, would be insulted to be labeled "theologians". Their influence in their respective classrooms and
through their publications, can hardly fail to be beneficial to the students of the '80s and 90s, all of whom should be encouraged to read this book.
The Law of KARMA is inextricably interwoven with that of Re-incarnation.
...it is only this doctrine, we say, that can explain to us the mysterious problem of Good and Evil, and, reconcile man to the terrible and apparent injustice of life. Nothing but such certainty can quiet our revolted sense of justice. For, when one unacquainted with the noble doctrine looks around him, and observes the inequalities of birth and fortune, of intellect and capacities; when one sees honour paid fools and profligates, on whom fortune has heaped her favours by mere privilege of birth, and their nearest neighbour, with all his intellect and noble virtues - far more deserving in every way - perishing of want and for lack of sympathy; when one sees all this and has to turn away, helpless to relieve the undeserved suffering, one's ears ringing and heart aching with the cries of pain around him - that blessed knowledge of Karma alone prevents him from cursing life and men, as well as their supposed Creator.
... This Law - whether Conscious or Unconscious - predestines nothing and no one. It exists from and in Eternity, truly, for it is ETERNITY itself; and as such, since no act can be co-equal with eternity, it cannot be said to act, for it is ACTION itself. It is not the Wave which drowns a man, but the personal action of the wretch, who goes deliberately and places himself under the impersonal action of the laws that govern the Ocean's motion. Karma creates nothing, nor does it design. It is man who plans and creates causes, and Karmic law adjusts the effects; which adjustment is not an act, but universal harmony, tending ever to resume its original position, like a bough, which, bent down too forcibly, rebounds with corresponding vigour. If it happens to dislocate the arm that tried to bend it out of its natural position, shall we say that it is the bough which broke our arm, or that our own folly has brought us to grief?
- H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, II, 303-5
Man holds in store a treasure box
Where myriad gems wait to be found,
Through inward search, effort unlocks
Matrix wealth that can be ground
And polished to a brilliant shine.
The lustre comes through focused will,
In constant effort to refine
The hidden jewels - and until
He learns the arts of transmutation
From dross to gold, from dark to bright,
From dull to clear illumination,
The clay will shade eternal light.
Rough opal shows but tiny hints
To view of its internal fires.
Only toil reveals the glints
Of leaping flame the world admires.
Each particle must reach a glow
Such as the stars above us show.
- Laura Baldwin
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
I am pleased to announce the following new members: Mrs. Brigitte Balint, Hermes Lodge, Vancouver. Mrs. Gertrude Ranfft, Victoria Lodge. Mrs. Doreen Rath, Dharma Study Centre, St. Paul, Alberta.
I was happy to be able to register the establishment of a new study centre, the Dharma Study Centre, in St. Paul, Alberta. I would like to see more members start up study centres, particularly members-at-large in areas where there is no Lodge. There is no Lodge in Manitoba nor in Saskatchewan, but there used to be one in Winnipeg. I fail to see why there should not at least be study centres in those provinces.
In a recent CBC phone-in program, all but two people calling in said that they believed in reincarnation. Some could remember past lives. Only two stated disbelief, citing the Bible. Yet it is a matter of history, which was recited again on the program, that reincarnation was deliberately deleted from the Bible. Some people want to use a censored Bible as their authority. I should think that the original would be better. So, members-at-large, give us more study centres.
I regret to announce the death on October 21, 1986, of Mr. Rodney Hope of Edmonton Lodge. He joined the T.S. in July, 1979. If someone dies before what would appear to be his allotted time we tend to be more upset. Yet the Soul is the arbiter of one's time on earth, and when the Soul sees that the life work has been accomplished, the Soul then withdraws its life from its physical expression. On behalf of all members I extend condolences to his family and friends.
The Toronto Lodge sold their building and had to move themselves into storage. Since the Canadian Section had an office in their building, used mostly for storage, that meant Ted Davy and I had to go there and start packing, in late September. We had a lot of choosing to do: What to pack for storage warehouse, and what should go in the garbage can. A forced move is a great chance to get rid of the accreted unnecessary. But looking over old records, pictures and old copies of the magazine was nostalgic: it was a trip down memory lane.
I picked up an old C.T. from the time when Albert Smythe was Editor, as well as General Secretary. Under the masthead, deliberately so placed, was a slightly testy paragraph berating members for bothering him with frequent requests for Directors' names and addresses, which, he was pleased to point out, were always printed monthly in the masthead, if they cared to look. (The C.T. was monthly then.)
This article reminded me of recollections by my late father, as he fondly recalled early Toronto Lodge days. Dad used to say how A.E.S. Smythe loved a good fight, being an Irishman (a non sequitur, I always thought). Albert Smythe was a newspaper editor and he knew the value of controversy and of getting strongly opposed views in articles and letters to the Editor, to create interest, continuing letters to the Editor, and circulation increase. My father often said how, at Lodge meeting discussion groups, Albert would get two people going who he knew had strong but differing views on a subject. Dad would say that "With 'old Albert' in the Chair, the meetings were never dull, even if, sometimes, not too brotherly."
There was a box in the office containing written notes by Madeline Hindsley. She used to live on the third floor of Toronto Lodge's old 52 Isabella Street location. In these notes were rough notes for some unnamed persons' horrorscopes. Miss Hind-
- The Organ of the Theosophical Society
The Canadian Theosophist
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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
sley was great on astrology. She was often Librarian or assistant by virtue of living on the premises. Many a long talk she and I had in afternoons. I was a T.S. neophyte then, and I would go to the Toronto Lodge Library on my lunch hour and stay too long when I should have been working, gleaning her words of wisdom.
Shortly before Miss Hindsley died, a new stove was purchased for her apartment. But she took ill so shortly afterwards, I wonder if she ever used the stove. I purchased it when the Toronto Lodge's next building had two already-installed stoves. Our Assistant Treasurer still cooks on Miss Hindsley's stove.
Then Ted handed me a book by Roy Mitchell. That too brought back a host of memories. I met his widow sort of roundabout directly. I was living in a rural area north of Oakville. Dudley Barr, a former General Secretary, told me one day that Roy Mitchell's widow had just moved to somewhere near me. I replied that I had already met her: she lived directly across the street from me, but I did not realize her relationship. My neighbour was Mrs. Jocelyn Taylor Mitchell, a noted Canadian artist. I admired the display of her paintings hanging in her house. She works mostly with acrylics, with a painting style that is realism with her own special tone or flavour - not photographic, but realistic none the less. She is still alive and painting. She must be in her 90s now. When our properties were expropriated, she moved south to Oakville, and I went north to Georgetown, and we still are about as far east of Halton County's central road now as we were when we were neighbours.
A pity someone has to die before their paintings accrue to their true worth. In the fall of '86 a Canadian painting received the highest price ever (so far) for Canadian art: $450,000. This was for a work by Lawren
Harris, one of the Group of Seven, and he was also a member of the T.S. There is a hint here, as the Master D.K. often says in his works, for those who would ponder it.
On the last Wednesday in November we listened to a tape by Joy Mills entitled "The Mythos of Eros". This was followed by general discussion and took the place of our usual student's monthly presentation.
On December 17 the Lodge held its Christmas meeting when those present contributed a poem, reading, song or short story of their choice and these were interspersed with Christmas music and carols.
Afterwards, refreshments with Christmas "goodies" were served and we all enjoyed a social get-together.
Our regular meetings resume on January 7 without our President and Secretary, Hank and Laetitia van Hees. They will be visiting the Krotona Institute, School of Theosophy, to participate in the Winter Program.
The end-of-the-month student papers are scheduled to resume with Ted's presentation of "R.M. Bucke and Cosmic Consciousness" on January 28.
- Doris Davy
DHARMA STUDY CENTRE
The Dharma Study Centre, St. Paul, Alberta, was officially recognized in November, 1986. The group is meeting regularly every Tuesday.
Meetings open with a twenty-minute meditation; this is followed by an audio or video tape, or a presentation by one of our group. Each of us takes a turn in researching and presenting a chosen topic. Recently we enjoyed on video tape the outline of Theosophical history given by April Dennis and Jerry Ekins at the 1984 North American Theosophical Students' Conference. The meetings conclude with an open discussion and tea.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Ernest and Rogelle Pelletier of the Edmonton Lodge for all their help, encouragement and advice. We should have been lost without them.
A big thank you also to the Edmonton Lodge for the generous gift of no less than forty-two books - a substantial foundation for our library!
- Diane P. Mottus, Secretary
The search goes on for new premises. Our Program Chairman, too, is searching for the building blocks which will infuse strength and structure to a lecture platform. We must also chart a clearly defined path to the formation of cohesive study groups as soon as we can resume our activities.
Although no programs were scheduled during the interval, regular Board meetings have been held throughout the summer and fall, frequently attended by members as observers. At the November meeting of the Board of Directors the President was given the mandate to purchase new premises.
After the Library books were put into storage, the President and another member undertook the onerous task of preparing our furniture and precious possessions for storage. Severe depletion ensued from physical and emotional overspend; however, healing streams are flowing.
A sparkling Christmas Party focused our efforts in December. The setting was the Rainbow Centre, a new-age educational and entertainment centre which offers a wide
variety of programs. It contains a new bookstore for literature of an esoteric nature, the enterprise of member Dr. Christopher Holmes, and features workshops, lectures and discussions. Our hosts spared no effort to provide a candlelit buffet, rich in aroma, in this most attractive centre. About twenty members and friends attended the joyous occasion.
Board members, special friends and the new General Secretary were delighted to meet for dinner with Ted Davy in September during his visit to Toronto.
We are hopeful that by the time our next report is written, Toronto Lodge will again be in orbit with everything in place.
- Ruth E. Playle, Secretary
SCHOOL OF THEOSOPHY
The 1986 European School of Theosophy was held at Tekels Park in Camberley, Surrey, England from October 11-26. Students from fourteen different countries gathered to study through lectures and discussions, in a classroom atmosphere. Through funding by the Lizzie Arthur Russell Theosophical Memorial Trust, my wife and I were able to attend the School, and videotape the proceedings for the use of North American students of Theosophy.
The guest tutor was Joy Mills, Director of the Krotona School of Theosophy at Ojai, California. Her theme was "The Cosmogonic Processes", based upon the seven Stanzas of Dzyan in Vol. 1 of The Secret Doctrine. Thirteen sessions each of two and a half hours, dealing with the individual slokas of each stanza, were devoted to this theme. All were recorded on video cassette.
Adam Warcup, whom many will remember from the weekend seminar he gave in Edmonton in September, 1985, discussed his new book, Cyclic Evolution in twelve one and a quarter hour sessions. He dealt with the cycles of nature under such headings as "The Seven Kingdoms", "The Planet", "Cycles", "The Elements" and "The Planes & Hierarchies" as well as the cyclic processes themselves. The lectures followed the book sequentially, chapter by chapter, and shed much light on the subjects of cycles and the schemes of evolution. These lectures were all videotaped as well.
Geoffrey Farthing approached the study of The Secret Doctrine through some of the diagrams, charts and tables contained within that work. Copies of the diagrams, etc. were distributed to the students. In addition, Student Papers containing relevant notes, quotations and references from The Key to Theosophy, The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine were provided. These sessions, eight in all, were also videotaped.
Ianthe Hoskins' subject was "Vedanta and the Esoteric Philosophy". During her lectures she expounded on quotations from the Vedas, the highest authority in the religion of the Hindus, and the Upanishads, which she referred to as the "knowledge" part of the Vedas. These formed the basis of five one-hour sessions, all of which were recorded.
We had the added privilege of meeting a prominent American Theosophist, Dr. John Algeo, Professor at the University of Georgia, currently serving as visiting Professor at the University of London. He kindly took time from his busy schedule to give a lecture at the European School. His topic was "Theosophy: A Road in the Pathless Land". This lecture was videotaped as well.
Flying Saucers has been a subject of much interest for a number of years. While in England, we had the pleasure of meeting Rex Dutta, world renowned expert in this field, as well as a student of Theosophy. Mr. Dutta kindly agreed to be interviewed "on camera" on this subject. He was accompa-
nied by Mrs. Jean Coulsting, a keen student of The Secret Doctrine, and editor of Viewpoint Aquarius. The result is an approach to Flying Saucers from a Theosophical point of view, in which Rex explains their nature, origin and purpose. The spiritual link between Venus and Earth is detailed, as mentioned in The Secret Doctrine, as well as a number of other very interesting related concepts. This one-hour tape, filmed in Mr. Dutta's home in Tekels Park, and highlighted by photographs in his possession is available to anyone interested in either borrowing or purchasing same.
With the cooperation of Marion Caws, past General Secretary of the T.S. in England, and resident of Tekels Park, a guided tour of the Park grounds was filmed on our last day there. We were joined on this occasion by Joy Mills. Using photographs taken over the years since the establishment of Tekels Park as a Theosophical Centre, Marion narrated the history of the Park. Many interesting species of trees were imported and planted on the estate by the original owners, over a hundred years ago. We then proceeded to walk the grounds, Marion and Joy pointing out and detailing highlights along the way while I operated the camera. Anyone interested in obtaining information regarding Tekels Park is encouraged to view this cassette.
Each of the above-mentioned lectures / interview / tour is recorded on an individual VHF cassette. For further information, contact Edmonton Lodge, Box 4804, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6E 2A0.
The day following the close of the European School, my wife and I had occasion to visit the British Museum and see the Mahatma Letters. We also visited the headquarters of the T.S. in England at 50 Gloucester Place in London, and were shown around by the National Librarian, Lilian Storey, who was also one of our fellow students at the 1986 European School of Theosophy.
- E.E. Pelletier
KROTONA WINTER - SPRING PROGRAM
The Krotona Winter-Spring Program commences on January 14,1987, and continues until mid-May. The Courses include:
"Studies in the Secret Doctrine" - Joy Mills; "Once Upon a Time" - Michael Miles; "The Fundamentals of Theosophy: Study Circle" - Diana Dunningham; "Self-Transformation Through Music" - Joanne Crandall; "Ways to Peace" - featuring a number of guest speakers involved in peace movements; "Right Perception - Right Action" - Dr. Joseph D. Gullo; and "Symbols in Painting" - Jean Gullo.
Three special Workshops are also offered in February, March and May with Linda Jo Pym, Dr. Helen Bee and Jeanine Miller of England respectively.
A number of Seminars are also taking place during the Winter-Spring Term. "Atoms, Snowflakes and God" - Dr. John Hitchcock; "Hidden Valleys of Tibetan Myth and Legend" - Dr. Edwin Bernbaum; "The Near-Death Experience and Human Transformation" - Dr. Kenneth Ring; "Your Worldview: How It Shapes Your Values" - Ed and Mary Abdill; "Metaphors of Self-Transformation" - Dr. Ralph Metzner; "The Beginnings: Egyptian and Indian Tales of Cosmogony" - Jeanine Miller.
For further information write to the Director, Krotona Institute, School of Theosophy, 46 Krotona Hill, Ojai, CA 93023 U.S.A.
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 III
Question: According to The Secret Doctrine, is it correct to postulate an innate Divine Intelligence permeating the universes and aggregating the Divine Plan in Divine Ideation? Is it further correct to postulate Archetypal patterns deriving from Divine Ideation?
Answer: The Esoteric Philosophy postulates that what is termed Universal Mind or Divine Primeval Wisdom, or again Divine Thought - which is equivalent to the term Adi-Buddhi - ever IS. For purposes of manifestation its potencies emanate as Divine Ideation, for a universe; and for a planetary system the potencies emanate as Cosmic Ideation. Quoting The Secret Doctrine.
"Occultism teaches that no form can be given to anything, either by nature or by man, whose ideal type does not already exist on the subjective plane. More than this: that no such form or shape can possibly enter man's consciousness, or evolve in his imagination, which does not exist in prototype, at least as an approximation," (I, 282 or. ed; I, 324 6 vol. ed; I, 302, 3rd.ed.)
"Everything that is, was, and will be, eternally IS, even the countless forms, which are finite and perishable only in their objective, not in their ideal Form. They existed as Ideas, in the Eternity, and, when they pass away, will exist as reflections". (Ibid)
The reason that the ideal forms exist in eternity is due to the fact that the prototypes, or ideas of things, exist first on the plane of Divine Eternal Consciousness, the realm of Akasa, and thence become reflected in the Astral Light - which is the lowest aspect of Akasa and surrounds the Earth. Everything exists in the Absolute or Divine Thought, and there has been no time when it did not so exist. But a distinction should be made between Absolute or Divine Thought and Divine Ideation: the former ever IS, while Divine Ideation pertains to the Universal Manvantaras. Cosmic Ideation pertains to a planetary system; therefore Cosmic Ideation would apply to our Earth instead of Divine Ideation.
Thus Cosmic Ideation mirrors the impressions of the Universal Mind throughout the manvantara (that is, the Seven-Round period of manifestation of the Earth planetary system). Then the thought of the Dhyani-Chohanic Hosts mirror the reflection of Cosmic Ideation and acts as the guiding power upon lesser beings. These "Lesser Beings"
are usually referred to as the Laws and Forces of Nature. In turn these Forces manifest as results in the phenomenal world - or the visible world.
Question. Are these archetypal patterns in-built in the countless divine monads which have to undergo the cycle of necessity?
Answer. First explaining the "cycle of necessity". In reference to our Earth the cycle of necessity signifies the pilgrimage which is undergone by the divine monad, pursuing seven stages of evolution on each one of the globes of the Earth-system during the seven-round cycle of the Earth's period of activity (or evolutionary period). During the seven-round period it is the intelligent soul or cosmic consciousness which directs and guides the energy which enables the monads of the various kingdoms to manifest the patterns which were supplied to the kingdoms by means of the "Dhyan-Chohanic thought reflecting the Ideation of the Universal Mind." (S.D. I, 280 or. ed.; I, 322 6 vol. ed.; I, 300 3rd ed.)
It is the "spiritual plasm" which was supplied by the Dhyani-Chohans which dominates the germinal plasm - which latter is transmitted by the parents to their offspring - which enables the entities of the kingdoms to perpetuate their species. That is to say, the Dhyani-Chohans supplied the archetypal patterns or prototypes.
Aristotle stated that for every natural body to become objective, three principles are required, namely privation, form, and matter. The Secret Doctrine explains:
"Privation meant in the mind of the great philosopher that which the Occultists call the protytpes impressed in the Astral Light - the lowest plane and world of Anima Mundi. The union of these three principles depends upon a fourth - the LIFE which radiates from the summits of the Unreachable, to become an universally diffused Essence on the manifested planes of Existence". (I, 59 or, ed.; I, 129 6 vol. ed.; I, 89 3rd ed.)
Question. What is the meaning of Anima Mundi?
Answer. Anima Mundi - two Latin words generally translated "Soul of the World." The Secret Doctrine explains:
"Alaya is literally the 'Soul of the World' or Anima Mundi, the 'Over-Soul' of Emerson, and according to esoteric teaching it changes periodically its nature. Alaya, though eternal and changeless in its inner essence on the planes which are unreachable by either men or Cosmic Gods (Dhyani-Buddhas), alters during the active life-period with respect to the lower planes, ours included". (I, 48, or ed.; I, 119, 6 vol. ed.; I, 78 3rd ed.)
The foregoing description is also applicable to Akasa. With regard to its relationship with the Astral Light, this is also explained:
"The Astral Light stands in the same relation to Akasa and Anima Mundi, as Satan stands to the Deity. They are one and the same thing seen from two aspects: the spiritual and the psychic - the super-ethereal or connecting link between matter and pure spirit, and the physical." (S.D. I, 197 or ed.; I, 247 6 vol. ed.; I, 219, 3rd ed.)
Question. Is not the Astral Light also described as the picture-gallery where man's deeds and thoughts are recorded?
Answer. Reference is here made to what may be regarded as the Akasic aspect of the Astral Light and to the Superior Beings called Lipikas, who act as recorders of all events that occur in the cosmos. To quote:
"Mystically, these Divine Beings the Lipikas are connected with Karma, the Law of Retribution, for they are the Recorders or Annalists who impress on the (to us) invisible tablets of the Astral Light, 'the great picture-gallery of eternity' - a faithful record of every
act, and even thought, of man, of all that was, is, or ever will be, in the phenomenal Universe. As said in Isis Unveiled, this divine and unseen canvas is the Book of Life." (S.D. I, 104 or ed.; I, 165 6 vol. ed.; I, 129 3rd ed.)
The Book of Life is actually mentioned in the Bible - in the Book of Revelation:
"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." (ch. xx, v.12)
Continuing the account of the record traced in the Astra Light:
"Connected as the Lipika are with the destiny of every man and the birth of every child, whose life is already traced in the Astral Light - not fatalistically, but only because the future, like the past, is ever alive in the present - they may also be said to exercise an influence on the Science of Horoscopy." (S.D. I, 105 or ed; I, 166, 6 vol. ed; I, 131 3rd ed.)
A READER'S NOTES
Gordon Limbrick, whose 1986 Conference Lecture was printed in the Sep-Oct issue, is slated to be one of the speakers at the Australian Convention, to be held in Brisbane, January, 1987.
Who was "Mary", one of a succession of mediums employed by A.P. Sinnett to try to renew contact with the Mahatmas after his rift with Madame Blavatsky? Her identity, so long a mystery, is at last revealed in the October, 1986 issue of Theosophical History. The discovery, the result of some clever detective work by Daniel H. Caldwell and Michelle B. Graye is reported in an article entitled "Mary Unveiled". That issue of Theosophical History completed its first volume of eight numbers. This journal has more than lived up to its promise, and has already presented a number of "scoops" like the above. Students and libraries wishing to subscribe should contact the Editor, Mr. Leslie Price, 46 Evelyn Gardens, London SW7 3HB, England. An annual overseas subscription is nine pounds sterling.
Dr. Ronald W. Neufeldt, whose paper on karma and rebirth in the Theosophical Movement is mentioned in a review article in this issue, is also the author of another study which should be of considerable interest to students of Theosophy. It is entitled, "A Lesson in Allegory: Theosophical Interpretations of the Bhagavadgita", and is included in a new collection of papers presented at a conference on Modern Indian Interpreters of the Bhagavadgita, edited by Robert N. Minor, and published by the State University of New York Press.
This paper analyses commentaries on the Gita by early Theosophical writers. Included (in order of presentation) are T. Subba Row, Mohini Chatterji, "A Brahmin F.T.S.", "The Dreamer", Pandit Bhavani Shankar, William Q. Judge, Annie Besant and Charles Johnston.
Dr. Neufeldt's paper is a reminder of the large number of Theosophists who have contributed to the literature of the Bhagavadgita. A Canadian student of Theosophy is compiling a bibliography of their translations and commentaries on this inspiring work. It does not include articles, and is far from complete, but the work on hand will be shared with all who are seriously interested. Please contact the Editors.
The publication of yet another new Theosophical journal is announced. The first issue of the quarterly Theosophia Practica is dated Fall, 1986. It contains 24 pages, and authors are identified by initials only.
I have not previously heard of The Himalayan Institute of Theosophy, the publisher of Theosophia Practica. It is stated that it was founded by "a group of theosophists coming from different countries and belonging to different Theosophical societies," but that it is not a separate Theosophical Society or an attempt to set up a new one. "It endeavours to reconcile all students of Theosophy, orient them toward the original principles of the Theosophical movement and initiate them into the ways of Wisdom as set forth by H.P. Blavatsky, her teachers and close disciples.
Two addresses are given for those who wish further information. In Europe it is: ESAD, 11 rue Monge, Meudon 92190, France. In the Pacific Region, write to H.I.T., "Bye-Ways", 38 Thompson Rd., Upway, Victoria, Australia.
In these Notes, July-August, 1986 issue, reference was made to a review of The Sayings of the Ancient One, by "E. R." The date given (1969) was in error. The review actually appeared in the July-August, 1970 issue (Vol. 51, No. 3). Sorry about that.
In a sense, it is a good thing to find the opposite of all we believe stated firmly, because it is only when we know the opposites that free will can be exercised and the soul make its choice.
Autobiography of Alfred Percy Sinnett. London: Theosophical History Centre, 1986. ii + 65 pp. Price $7.00
Thirty years after receiving the "Mahatma Letters", A.P. Sinnett began setting down his reminiscences, which as well as being autobiographical are also important from a historical standpoint. Some of this material was published in the 1920s, notably The Early Days of Theosophy in Europe, but this is the first publication in full of the Autobiography. In typescript form, this has been in the archives of the T.S. in both Adyar and England, and publication was surely overdue.
The bulk of this work is dated 1912, and two postscripts were added in 1916 and 1920. It is far from complete, but does give the reader a good idea of Sinnett's personality and development, starting with memories going back to childhood years.
That these reminiscences are interesting goes without saying. Sinnett was close to the centre of Theosophical activity during most of the 1880s, and was active on the perimeter for the rest of his life. He was also an experienced writer, with a journalistic instinct for what was worth recording.
That Sinnett's vanity frequently got in the way of objectivity, and that his memory can be shown to be sometimes faulty, does not detract from the usefulness of his Autobiography. An editorial introduction observes that "a text such as this cried out for a critical and scholarly edition," and it is to be hoped one will be forthcoming, in view of the growing interest in the history of the Theosophical Movement.
Much about Sinnett's life is tragic, as is evident from reading between the lines of this and other of his later writings. Clearly he deserves compassion more than condemnation: after all, students of Theosophy owe a great deal to him. (Incidentally, there is an excellent spirited defence of Sinnett in
Theosophical Notes, April, 1956. It was written by the late Dr. Washington E. Wilks, well-known member of Orpheus Lodge and of the Canadian Executive.)
It goes without saying that this is a "must" for every Theosophical library. The Theosophical History Centre is to be thanked for publishing it.
- Ted G. Davy
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.
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)
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.
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.
INDEX THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST, VOL. 67
Aquisitions and Deprivations:
The Meditation of H.P. Blavatsky...... 111
Algeo, John ........................................... 111
Annual Meeting ................................ 11, 87
Annual Report ....................................... 105
Archetypes/Prototypes ........... 92, 103, 136
Baldwin, Laura ............................... 61, 130
Barborka, Geoffrey.... 20, 32, 56, 92, 103, 136
Barr, Dudley W. ....................................125
Beaconsfield Study Centre .............. 13, 60
Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna (Portrait)..... 25
Blavatsky, H.P. ............26, 44, 65, 97, 115
Blavatsky vs. Hodgson ...........................65
Essays on Shakespeare, A Theosophical Interpretation ........ 46
Madame Blavatsky Unveiled ...............69
Modern Indian Interpreters of the Bhagavadgita ..................... 138
Mr. Isaacs.................................. 102, 102, 117
Sayings of the Ancient One, The 70, 110
Sea of Mountains, The........................ 22
Shakespeare's Mystery Play ...............47
The Regenerators: Social Criticism in late Victorian English
Bowen, P.G. and "The Sayings of the Ancient One ............. 110
Burnier, Radha......... 15, 35, 59, 63, 83, 84
Burrows, Herbert ..................................... 26
Calgary Lodge ...........13, 38, 61, 109, 133
Chatwin, Doreen .....................................37
Danno, Ann F. ........................................39
Davy, Doris .................................... 87, 133
Davy, Ted G. ..................4, 11, 22, 35, 38, 43, 46, 59, 70, 105, 116,
126, 138, 139
Dead or Alive? - The Essential Question .......................39
Dharma of the Heart, The....................... 90
Dharma Study Centre ................. 131, 133
Diagram of Meditation ........................... 115
Doing It Ourselves ..................................28
Edmonton Lodge ......... 13, 36, 84, 95, 143
Elder, S............................................ 218, 88
Election of Officers .................................. 38
European School of Theosophy ............ 47, 71, 134
Future of the Theosophical Society, The ................125
Gill, Vera................................................. 85
Gomes, Michael ...................................... 97
Hamilton Lodge ....................................... 61
Harris, Lawren ........................................49
Harrison, Vernon.............................. 44, 65
Hermes Library .....................................118
Hermes Lodge ............................... 63, 109
Hodgson, Richard ...................................65
Hooper, Lillian.................................. 64, 85
Human Principles, The .............. 20, 32, 56
Inaugural Address of the General Secretary ................... 123
International Convention .........................64
Interview with Madame Blavatsky, Paris 1884 ................. 97
luchian the Poet ...................................... 88
Eastern School Reference Library Bulletin ..................... 22
Journal of the Society for Psychical Research ....................66
Middle Way, The ...............................117
Platonist, The ....................................123
Theosophia Practica.......................... 139
Theosophical History ......................... 138
Theosophical Network Newsletter and Directory .......22
Theosophical Notes ............................. 83
Theosophical Sparks ........................... 46
Viewpoint Aquarius ............................ 117
Judge, William Quan (Portrait).................. 1
Judge, William Quan........................ 2, 121
Karma and Rebirth ................................ 126
Krotona Programs.................... 14, 64, 135
Laudahn, William R.................................79
Lemieux, Pat.................................... 13, 60
Lighted Shadow, The - Personality, Selfhood and Rebirth .............. 79
Limbrick, Gordon ................. 5, 41, 73, 138
Machell, Montague A .............................. 30
Meditation, Diagram of.................. 115, 116
Meditation of H.P. Blavatsky ................. 111
Mercier, Maurice and Angie.................... 36
Mind and the Klesas, The......................... 5
Mind in Meditation, A ..............................73
Mitchell, Roy ...........................................82
"Monday" Secret Doctrine Class ............ 85
Mottus, Diane P....................................133
Myrtle, Judith ..........................................12
Networking Symposium ..........................39
Neufeldt, Ronald W.......................126, 138
Notes and Comments ..............11, 35, 59, 83, 107, 131
Arundale, Rukmini Devi....................... 35
Dersola, Valentine ............................... 35
Ellam, Horace A. .................................35
Hedley, Robert ........................... 85, 107
Hope, Rodney ...................................131
Khoja, Fatima...................................... 11
Krishnamurti, Jiddu.............................. 11
Wyllie, Allan ......................................... 11
Orpheus Lodge ................................ 63, 85
Pelletier, Rogelle..................................... 84
Pelletier, Ernest E.......................... 13, 134
Philosopher's Stone (Poem) .................130
Playle, Ruth E.................... 37, 62, 86, 133
Presidential Address, From the ..............15
Prince George Study Centre ................... 61
Reader's Notes ............... 22, 46, 70, 116, 138
Autobiography of Alfred Percy Sinnett ...................139
Bhagavad Gita, The, with the Uttara Gita .......................... 22
Inner Group Teachings of H.P. Blavatsky, The............... 43
Karma and Rebirth: Post Classical Developments ........... 126
Masks of Odin, The ............................. 42
Why Meditate, A Practical Guide to Meditation ......................41
School of Wisdom ................................... 64
Secret Doctrine Question and Answer Section ....... 20, 32, 56, 92,
Self-Induced and Self-Devised Efforts .... 52
Set to Work to Conquer the Great Books ...........................82
Sharp, Eva............................................ 109
Smythe, Albert E.S. ..................................2
Society for Psychical Research .........44, 65
Theosophical History Conference.. 118, 140
Theosophy - The Science of the Inner Facts of Life .............49
Toronto Lodge .......................37, 62, 86, 133
Treloar, Stan ................. 35, 83, 107, 123, 131
True, Faithful and Trustworthy .................. 4
Use of the Secret Doctrine .....................82
Vancouver Lodge............................. 37, 63
van Hees, Laetitia.................. 13, 38, 61, 109
Victoria Lodge............................ 11, 14, 62
Vulnerable Outsider, The........................ 30
Westgaard, Dag ............................... 42, 61
What She Is To Me................................. 26
Wheeler, Jerome ....................................90
World Animal Day................................. 107
Yorke, Mollie .................................... 14, 62
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
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ATMA VIDYA LODGE: Secretary, Mrs. H. Tidberry. Enquiries c/o General Secretary.
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