Vol. 68 No. 4 Toronto, Sept.-Oct., 1987
The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document.
BEATRICE HASTINGS AND THE "DEFENCE OF MADAME BLAVATSKY"
- Michael Gomes
(This article was especially written by Theosophical historian Michael Gomes as an introduction to a new edition of Solovyoff's Fraud - Beatrice Hastings' detailed critique of V. Solovyoff's A Modern Priestess of Isis. - Eds.)
In 1937 the publication in England of two slim volumes as part of an intended series on the Defence of Madame Blavatsky introduced a new writer to the field of Theosophical history. Because she felt that she would be unknown to Theosophists, Mrs. Beatrice Hastings prefaced her account with some background about herself by selecting three quotes from the London press. Critic Victor Neuburg, in the 1934 Sunday Referee is representative: "Mrs. Hastings, the famous critic, star turn of the New Age when that paper was by far the best-written in London." This was probably as much as most Theosophists who took an interest in her campaign "to procure the public withdrawal of the Report of the Society for Psychical Research, 1885, that condemned Madame Blavatsky as an imposter," (1) ever knew about this unusual and talented woman.
Privately she elaborated a little more. In a letter to A.E.S. Smythe, General Secretary of The Theosophical Society in Canada, Mrs. Hastings says of herself: "The undersigned joined the Blavatsky Lodge, London, in 1904, soon drifted out; was literary editor of the New Age, 1908-14, weekly contributor, 1908-16; found the Mahatma Letters in Switzerland, 1927, studied them ever since; in 1935, came across the S.P.R. Report, was startled by the gaps in it, began documentation and found that the facts on record favor H.P.B." (2)
Beatrice Hastings was born Emily Alice Haigh on January 26, 1879, in South Hackney, London. Her mother had come there on a maternity visit from South Africa. In a chronology in Mrs. Hastings' handwriting on the inside cover of her copy of The Letters of H.P. Blavatsky to A.P. Sinnett, she notes that her family returned to Port Elizabeth in
"June or July" 1879. There she lived until 1883 when she came back to England with her mother. She stayed in English boarding schools until 1893, when at the age of fourteen she travelled back to the Cape, only to surface in London at the Blavatsky Lodge, T.S., in the early 1900s as a rather pretty young woman with short, waved hair, and a new name.
It must have been at one of those Blavatsky Lodge meetings that she met 33-year old Alfred Richard Orage in 1906. After he became editor the next year of the socialist-oriented New Age, advertised as a "Weekly Review of Politics, Literature, and Art," Mrs. Hastings' first piece appeared as a review of one of Orage's own books in the Nov. 30, 1907, issue. Her last piece, signed as "Alice Morning," was in March, 1920. In the period in between she contributed over 200 articles, stories, reviews, poems, criticism, and letters to the editor, under a series of pseudonyms such as "Beatrice Tina," "Alice Morning," "Robert a' Field," and others.
Philip Mairet, in a study on Orage and his journal's contribution to English literature, writes of Beatrice Hastings: "She was the one woman who held her place for years among the regular writers of the paper and she did it by sheer force of character and volume of production .... She became much more than a contributor. For a long period she was a strong - perhaps often a determining - influence in conducting the literary side of the paper; for she worked in the closest collaboration with the editor." (3) Mrs. Hastings claimed to have introduced writers like Ezra Pound to the public, and his name figures with other well-known New Age contributors - G.B. Shaw, G.K. Chesterton, Arnold Bennett and Katherine Mansfield.
Because of a deteriorating personal relationship with Orage, Mrs. Hastings left for Paris in April, 1914, to begin a series of letters on life in the French capital. The series ran at first weekly and then intermittently for the next four years. She was 35 when she arrived in Paris, and she began a new career as "l'heroine de plusieurs romans," with her name associated with the painters Modigliani and Picasso, and the 18-year old writer Raymond Radiguet, who left her for Jean Cocteau. Pierre Sichel, Modigliani's most exhaustive biographer, believes that Hastings, who soon became popular among the artists of Montparnasse as "la poetesse anglaise," met Modigliani during the summer of 1914, some four months after her arrival. (4) A number of portraits exist of Mrs. Hastings as a model for the artist from 1915. One of these is owned by the Art Gallery of Ontario.
The 1920s marked her growing ill-health which stimulated an interest in psychical research. She was operated for a tumor in 1921, and in 1924 was in the Clinique Petit at Dieppe, suffering from appendicitis. A photograph by Man Ray from Paris, 1921, shows her still vivacious and defiant, but another from Dieppe taken three years later, and marked by her "very ill," pictures a wan face partially covered by a dark hat. Apparently her interest in psychical research dates from the time of this illness when she discovered in 1924 that she had developed the faculty for automatic writing. In 1925 she travelled to London to have her case tested by Harry Price, Director of the National Laboratory of Psychical Research. A long account of her experiences is preserved in a 124-page typescript titled "The Picnic of the Babes in the Wood," in the Harry Price Library at the University of London.
After she returned from the continent in 1931, she settled first in London and later in Worthing, Sussex. Soon involved in a series
of new projects, she published a journal for two years, and wrote a booklet of reminiscences on The Old "New Age," Orage, and Others. Early in July 1936, she received a letter from A. Trevor Barker, the editor of The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, which was to lead her to a new field of research.
The London publishers, Williams and Norgate, had just issued a book by two brothers, Harold and William Loftus Hare, raising the question of Who Wrote the Mahatma Letters? Trevor Barker informed her, "It is some 300 pages, purporting to be a detailed, scholarly and critical survey of the whole of the Mahatma Letters, and their conclusion of course, is that H.P.B. alone wrote those letters." (5) He suggested that she write a reply. Her immediate response after receiving the copy he sent her was that "this book amounts to a fraud on the public. At least a third of it is taken without acknowledgment from former writers." She set off to tabulate the "errors, plagiarisms, misquotes, misjuxtapositions," found therein. By August 10 she had put together a ten-page "first list" of 221 items that needed correction, almost each page of the Hare book yielding some error.
Who Wrote the Mahatma Letters? is an odd book made up of summations of the views held by the two Indian Mahatmas connected with the founding of the Theosophical Movement, their styles of writing, and personality of these men whom the Hare brothers claimed to be imaginary. It is a relic from an age when one could boast how little one had read on a subject as a criterion for observation. In his preface, H.E. Hare tells the reader that aside from the Mahatma Letters, he had perused A. P. Sinnett's two books based on the letters, The Occult World and Esoteric Buddhism, and the edition of The Early Teachings of the Masters. For background, he had also taken note of a series on the "Early History of the Theosophical Society" that The Theosophist began publishing in monthly instalments in 1925.
William Loftus Hare had published compilations on religion and mysticism of the east and west, and had been a member of the Theosophical Society in England for twenty years, a member of the National Council of the Society in England, and Vice-President of the London Federation. Described by Annie Besant as a "well-known stirrer-upper of petty quarrels," he had circulated criticisms against the English General Secretary, Major Graham Pole. In the 1923 English Section election, he offered himself instead. When he received only one vote, he published an exposure of C.W. Leadbeater's clairvoyant techniques in the 1923 London Occult Review.
As early as April, 1924, a short review by W.L. Hare of the Mahatma Letters had appeared in the Occult Review, where he remained non-committal about their status, only stating that "the system of the Letters does not correspond to any doctrine of Indian philosophy known to me. In reading the Letters I cannot tell whether the authors are Vedantists, Sankhyans, Hinayana or Mahayana Buddhists." (6)
By the next year, he claimed to be involved in a "critical and scholarly" study of the letters, and had prevailed upon A.P. Sinnett's executrix, Miss Maud Hoffman, to allow him an examination of the correspondence. In the early autumn of 1925, one evening was devoted to this. In the space of five hours, from 7 p.m. to almost midnight, the 140 were rapidly gone over, and the size and quality of the paper, and the colour of ink used on them, was noted as part of the Hares' handwriting evidence.
The 32-year old editor of the Letters, A.
Trevor Barker, who was present, and who handed each letter to Mr. Hare, described the experience as "one of the most unpleasant recollections of my life," for he found Hare's attitude of playing the detective offensive. "You can imagine the feelings of Mr. Sinnett's Executrix and myself," says Barker, when a few weeks later the London Morning Post began a four-part series on the Theosophical Society's 50th anniversary as "A Shocking Jubilee." The Oct. 31, 1925 issue, concluding "The Frauds of Theosophy," asked and proceeded to answer the question of "Who Wrote the Mahatma Letters?" ending with a somewhat out of place call to "all well-concerned citizens of the British Empire" to resist what the writer saw to be the "incalcuable...social and political evil" inherent in Theosophy.
Far more interesting than anything contained in the Hares' 1936 "first thorough examination of the communications alleged to have been received by the late A.P. Sinnett from the Tibetan Mahatmas," was the Theosophical response to their book. The Canadian Theosophist carried an extended reply in August by Miss M.A. Thomas, a ULT member in London; and another in October, by Harold Cox, which was reprinted as a 63-page pamphlet by the H.P.B. Lending Library of Victoria, B.C. The Point Loma Theosophical Forum carried C.J. Ryan's review with corrections in the October, 1936 issue; and even Dr. de Purucker, the Leader of the Society, got involved, answering a query about the book in the magazine's "Question and Answer" section. Prof. Ernest Wood panned the book in the September Theosophist, saying that "the Sanskrit criticisms of the authors are practically all and entirely wrong." while C. Jinarajadasa published the text and facsimile of a letter in K.H. script which was received by Annie Besant in 1900.
Perhaps the most noteworthy reply was the extended series published in the Washington, D.C., O.E. Library Critic, from June-July, 1936 to August, 1937. In the space of 12 issues the editor, Dr. H.N. Stokes, demolished point by point the Hares "scholarly" facade and "arsenal of duds." In the May-June, 1937 issue, nearing the end of his exhaustive analysis, he summed up their book as a "perfect Noah's Ark of misstatements and quibblings and false deductions from false premises." And the series ended with the news of the appearance of the first volume of Mrs. Hastings' Defence of Madame Blavatsky.
It was A. Trevor Barker who encouraged Mrs. Hastings to write the book. He had sent her a postcard on August 4, 1936, saying, "my suggestion is that you consider producing a comprehensive small pamphlet or brochure which would answer effectively and authoritatively the attacks of the Hares and the different reviews of their book." By early September she sent him the first section of the intended pamphlet which dealt with the background of the Mahatma Letters and a note on one of the most difficult issues connected with the Letters, the so-called Kiddle incident. To complete the material, she told Barker, "I give a short section to the Hares, mainly a list of their errors for the benefit of students. Then I examine a couple or so of the 'frauds' for the same benefit and returning to the Letters conclude ...I think the first necessity is to show Theosophists that the case only looks hopeless because they themselves neglect the records. Also, I am trying to rope in the simple literary folk by drawing attention to the fine writing they are overlooking." (8)
Barker passed Mrs. Hastings' manuscript to his friend Iona Davey, who had helped him
re-edit the second edition of the Mahatma Letters, and with the manual work involved with its companion volume, The Letters of H.P. Blavatsky to A.P. Sinnett. Trevor Barker was happy to report that "she is enthusiastic and thinks it will exactly meet the necessities of the case." (9) Mrs. Davey held the position of Hon. Secretary of the Blavatsky Association, a group started in 1923 out of the interest generated by Mrs. Alice Cleather's books and the Back to Blavatsky movement. The Association had done some good work publishing a Blavatsky Bibliography in 1933, and was responsible for the insertion of a fairer appraisal of Mme. Blavatsky in the 1929 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Mrs. Hastings' manuscript was sent to Rider and Company of London, the publishers of the Mahatma Letters, on Barker's enthusiastic recommendation, but the first reader had given it an unfavourable report, and the company had asked for a guarantee. She decided the book could be printed privately and asked Barker to collect ten pounds sterling toward this, when he replied "that he would not help with any money unless he had the supervision." This proved the final insult "to cap a long series of pinpricks" that led to the first of many rows between them, so she went on alone and issued it from The Hastings Press in Worthing late in April, 1937.
Her 60-page Volume I of the Defence of Madame Blavatsky, dealing with the pros and cons of the Mahatma Letters was well received by the Theosophical press. Stokes, in the July, 1937 O.E. Library Critic, found Mrs. Hastings' presentation "concise, pungent, and at times sarcastic." "I thought I had sucked all the juice out of the Hare lemon, but I deceived myself ... In the space of 19 pages (pp. 37-55) Mrs. Hastings picks the Hares to bits; she pulls off the feathers, flays them, peels off the flesh, removes the viscera and finally pulverizes the skeleton. One regrets that she could not devote the entire volume to her irate fireworks."
To raise support for the other volumes of the Defence series, Mrs. Hastings started a small review, New Universe, the first issue of which appeared in July, 1937. Ranging from 16 to 26 pages, the six numbers she edited till January, 1939, dealt with some of the knotty points raised by critics. In response, Miss Marjorie Debenham, of St. John's Wood, sent 25 pounds towards the printing of Volume II. Mrs. Alice Cleather, an old pupil of H.P.B.'s, sent 5 pounds from Darjeeling, India. Mrs. H. Henderson sent 10 pounds and ordered 50 copies for the H.P.B. Lending Library of Victoria, British Columbia.
The second volume of the Defence was sent to the printer in August, but did not come out until October. Dealing with Emma Coulomb's 1885 pamphlet confessing confederacy with H.P.B., this booklet is perhaps Mrs. Hastings most coherent and cohesive work. She handles changes which are at the very crux of the question of the legitimacy of H.P.B.'s phenomena. By placing twelve of the supposed letters attributed to H.P.B. against what is actually known of the outcome of the situations described, she shows that Madame Coulomb's account does not stand up to the facts. A third volume dealing with the so-called Shrine, the cabinet where phenomena occurred at Adyar, and a fourth on V.S. Solovyov's account, A Modern Priestess of Isis, were announced.
In January, 1938, a public society, "The Friends of Madame Blavatsky," was formed to agitate for the defence of H.P.B. By March, there were members in 15 countries. The July, 1938, issue of New Universe contained the first list of over two hundred members, including some of the most prominent names connected with the case for Mme. Blavatsky. Among the F.M.B. members were: John Watkins, London; R.A.V. Morris, Hove, Sussex; B.P. Wadia, Bombay; Abbott Clark, H.T. Edge, Boris de Zirkoff, of Point Loma, California; Mrs. Alice Cleather and Basil Crump, in Darjeeling; Albert Smythe, and his son Connie, of Toronto; Christmas Humphreys and his wife; Dr. H.N. Stokes; and of course, Trevor Barker, Mrs. Iona Davey and her friend Miss Marjorie Debenham.
The function of the Friends of Madame Blavatsky was outlined in a two-page leaflet, some twenty thousand of which were printed and rapidly circulated: "Everyone who believes an injustice has been done to Madame Blavatsky by the Report of the Society for Psychical Research is welcome among the Friends. No other belief but that is required of anyone, neither are we connected in any way with any other Society under the sun. The aim of the Friends of Madame Blavatsky is to bring pressure on the Society for Psychical Research to withdraw their Report that denounced her as an imposter."
A London headquarters, two rooms at 94 Ladbroke Grove, was opened in June, 1938, staffed by Mrs. Hastings herself on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. On September 22, a successful evening lecture by Prince Melikoff on "Tiflis and the Caucasus in the time of Madame Blavatsky" was organized. But, as Mrs. Hastings notes, "all this was much too successful, and the devil had to get busy." (11)
One female member, whom Mrs. Hastings describes as "free, stout, about 40 or 45 years of age," quarreled with her, and then circulated letters to prominent Theosophists complaining of her management of the group. Another, who performed occasional secretarial work, wanted her to take more rooms at 94 Ladbroke Grove where he could live; when she declined, he pitched into her.
Her confrontation with Mrs. Davey, Miss Debenham and Barker, on the running of the F.M.B. developed into a wrangle which smashed the effort. On Tuesday, July 26, 1938, Miss Debenham, who had guaranteed the rent on the F.M.B. rooms at 94 Ladbroke Grove, made a special visit there. Mrs. Hastings notes of their meeting, "Came. She and Mrs. Davey had meetings over the phone and decided to tell me what to do - give up 94 and hand over funds to a Treasurer (someone more fitted than myself to spend the money!!!) Not said but what other conclusion?" (12) The matter was not pursued, but when the 59-year old Mrs. Hastings took an interest in British politics later that year, speaking at Trafalgar Square on the recent Munich crisis, and publishing a four-page journal, The Democrat, from the 94 Ladbroke Grove address, this encouraged Mrs. Davey and her friends to have the F.M.B. audited.
Another visit from Miss Debenham precipitated a long letter from Mrs. Hastings presenting her position. "The situation resolves itself into something like this: 1. None of you apparently can comprehend or believe that a person can do anything for nothing: that is, nothing of the vulgar sort, a reward in money or notoriety, or both. 2. You were all at first unwarily enchanted to find someone capable of lifting the stigma from you as followers of Theosophy. 3. You became subconsciously or even consciously
annoyed at its being done by an outsider.
4. Nos. 1 and 3 linked. And No. 1 grew and dominated and gave you vulgar ground for attacks on me, but yet, you wanted me to go on and finish. This, fortified by your own superficial interpretation of reincarnation and karma in which I have stated I do not concur; for, seeing that I have not even that as a hope or a fear - what can be my motives in undertaking this defence of Madame Blavatsky? Nothing is left for you to think but that I must be aiming at money and notoriety or both. To the latter, reply is needless for me. I have almost always written anonymously and I have nothing to gain but something to risk by being identified, however erroneously, with the T.S.
"So - 5: You get together and decide to 'put me on the stand.' I am not going to retail what I have done. The public part of it is there for everyone to see. The private part you may reflect on if you choose by rereading my letters to you all - right from the beginning with my reply to Barker's letter to me about the Hare book which started me along the path where I have had shock after shock at the extraordinary, incredible selfishness, greed and cruelty of Theosophists." (13)
The audited accounts of the Friends of Madame Blavatsky, as published in the May 15, 1939 issue of The Canadian Theosophist, showed that the group actually owed Mrs. Hastings some 20 pounds that she had put out of pocket. After this debacle her correspondence with the London Theosophists ends. But she was not given up on entirely. H.N. Stokes, editor of the Critic, wrote her on Oct. 17: "It is a long time since I have heard anything from you and as I do not know what your intentions are, it has been impossible for me to make any reference to your work in recent issues of the Critic. Perhaps you have given it up entirely to go into war activities for which I would not in the least blame you. At the same time I should like very much to know just how matters stand as I want to give you what support I can and do not want to be considered forgetful when I do not give information which I do not possess." A.E.S. Smythe, Editor of The Canadian Theosophist, wrote her similarly on Oct. 21: "I am rather alarmed about not hearing from you, if you have not the energy or interest of a postcard to give us something to keep your name and cause before our readers."
She replied to Stokes on November 9: "I am doing nothing. There is nothing to do. With hundreds of the first two vols. on my hands, a third is not a business proposition anyway. It would cost at least a hundred pounds to print (more; since the war, paper has gone up 50%, labour too gone up). Further, I shall never again work for nothing. People don't appreciate it and of course that's the old newspaper truth. I only carried on because I was wildly enthusiastic. Shock after shock has cured me of that." A longer letter in a toned-down vein was sent to the Editor of The Canadian Theosophist two days later and was printed on the front page of the Dec. 15, 1939 issue. "At present, I am doing nothing but hold on and wait ... The first work for the F.M.B. is to get the books I have written distributed so that people can read them, then we can talk about more."
A further letter of hers was published in the Oct. 15, 1940 issue, correcting some statements of P.G. Bowen on the work of the F.M.B. In 1943 the rough manuscript of her proposed volume III of the Defence series was sent to Smythe to print serially. "My only stipulation," she told him, "is that nothing must be altered, omitted or added in the text of my book." (14) Mrs. Hastings' "critical analysis of the book A Modern Priestess of Isis"
ran through eight monthly instalments in The Canadian Theosophist, from July 15, 1943 to Feb. 15, 1944, filling some 64 pages as "Solovyoff's Fraud."
(To be continued)
1. Prospectus for The Friends of Madame Blavatsky, London, 1938.
2. Hastings to Smythe, Dec. 5, 1936, Worthing, England. Archives of The Theosophical Society in Canada.
3. P. Mairet, A.R. Orage (London: J.M. Dent and Sons, 1936), p. 47.
4. P. Sichel, Modigliani (New York: E.P. Dutton and Company, 1967), p. 264.
5. Barker to Hastings, 6 July 1936, London. Hastings Collection, H.P.B. Lending Library, Vernon, British Columbia.
6. W.L. Hare, Occult Review, London (April, 1924), p. 424.
7. Barker to A.E.S. Smythe, June 22,1937, published partially in The Canadian Theosophist (August 15, 1937), pp. 172-3.
8. Hastings to Barker, Sept. 6, 1936, Worthing. Hastings Collection.
9. Barker to Hastings, Sept. 29, 1936, London. Hastings Collection.
10. Hastings to Iona Davey, Dec. 14, 1936, Worthing. Hastings Collection.
11. Hastings, in The Canadian Theosophist (May 15, 1939), p. 87. "The Same Old Story."
12. Note by Mrs. Hastings on the back of M. Debenham's postal card of July 25, 1938, announcing her visit the next day. Hastings Collection.
13. Hastings to Marjorie Debenham, Jan. 6, 1939, Worthing. Hastings Collection.
14. Hastings to A.E.S. Smythe, April 29, 1943, Worthing. Archives of The Theosophical Society in Canada.
The Sufis were (are?) great, but are they that great? During H.P.B.'s "veiled years" she did meet "remarkable men" of whom some were probably Sufis.
But, what do they have that Trans-Himalayan theosophy, Advaita Vedanta, Pythagoras, Plato, Plotinus, the Gnostics, and the Kaballah don't have? Parched by desert air, Sufi theosophy quenched its great thirst from those Founts.
In his The Esoteric Tradition (Vol. II, 1033) G. de Purucker said (paraphrased) that "Sufis are Moslem theosophists representing a revolt against the rigid narrowness ...of orthodox Islam and a return to the essential teachings of the archaic Wisdom Religion..."
Madame Blavatsky made much of her Indian Connection. She often referred to the great philosophers Plato, Plotinus, Shankara, Spinoza, Hegel and Schopenhauer. I would say that, having those thinkers on one's side, who really needs the Sufis? One must admit, though, that as far as charming, mystical, and insightful poetry is concerned, the Sufis win, hands down.
- Bill Laudahn
It has been pointed out to me that, contrary to my statement in "Sufi Connection?" (C.T. July-Aug. '87, p.53), the term Theosophy does appear in Idries Shah's The Sufis. My apologies.
If I read him correctly, Shah employs the word in a "small t" or broad context. This does support the idea of a "connection" but not in the sense of there being a Sufi relationship with the modern Theosophical Movement, which was the thesis of Paul Johnson's interesting paper.
- Dudly W. Barr
Throughout The Secret Doctrine, H.P.B. emphasizes the importance of analogy as a key to the understanding of occult teachings. Analogy relates to likenesses existing between things, or certain aspects or effects of things, which are otherwise entirely different. Analogy differs from similarity inasmuch as the latter word denotes a general likeness while the former indicates a general difference with a likeness or sameness in one or more relationships. There is an analogy between death and sleep; there is a similarity between ordinary sleep and a coma.
"From Gods to men, from Worlds to atoms, from a star to a rush-light, from the Sun to the vital heat of the meanest organic being - the world of Form and Existence is an immense chain, whose links are all connected. The Law of Analogy is the first key to the worldproblem...."
- The Secret Doctrine, I, 604.
On page 173 of the first volume, H.P.B. draws attention to the correspondences between processes in the cosmos and in individual man:
"It thus becomes apparent how perfect is the analogy between the processes of Nature in the Kosmos and in the individual man. The latter lives through his life-cycle, and dies. His 'higher principles,' corresponding in the development of a planetary chain to the cycling Monads, pass into Devachan, which corresponds to the 'Nirvana' and states of rest intervening between two chains. The Man's lower 'principles' are disintegrated in time, and are used by Nature again for the formation of new human principles, and the same process takes place in the disintegration and formation of Worlds. Analogy is thus the surest guide to the comprehension of the Occult teachings." - ibid., 173.
On pages 188-9 of the same volume there are interesting and valuable parallels between human evolution of the First, Second and Third Rounds and the evolution of the Root Races in the present (the Fourth) Round. On pages 259 and 260, the evolution of our Globe is considered from Round One, when the Globe, having been formed by the primitive fire-lives,
"....had no solidity, nor qualifications, save a cold brightness, nor form, nor colour; it is only towards the end of the First Round that it developed one Element, which from its inorganic, so to say, or simple Essence, became now in our Round, the fire we know throughout the system." - ibid., 259.
"The Second Round brings into manifestation the second element - AIR,....The Third Round developed the third Principle - WATER; while the Fourth transformed the gaseous fluids and plastic forms of our Globe into the hard, crusted, grossly material sphere
we are living on..... To this it may be objected that the law of analogy, so much insisted upon, is broken. Not at all. Earth will reach her true ultimate form - (inversely in this to man) -her body shell - only toward the end of the manvantara, after the Seventh Round. Eugenius Philalethes was right when he assured his readers on his word of honour that no one had yet seen the Earth (i.e., MATTER in its essential form). Our Globe is, so far, in its Kamarupic state, the astral body of desires, of Ahamkara, dark Egotism, the progeny of Mahat, on the lower plane...." - ibid., 260.
The old Hermetic saying "as above so below" indicates that analogy formed part of the approach to the study of occultism in ancient Egypt and Greece. But despite the general uniformity of Nature's processes, her creative possibilities are infinite. That which is "above" or rather "inner" will bear a resemblance to that which is "below" or "outer"; but the two will not be the same. The student does not ask "what is it the same as" because sameness does not exist even between two grains of sand. "The same as" attracts because of its suggestion of certainty, precision and security; but "similarity with difference" stimulates imagination, intuition and creativity.
Perhaps this is why The Secret Doctrine says that
"Analogy is the guiding law in Nature, the only true Ariadne's thread that can lead us, through the inextricable paths of her domain, toward her primal and final mysteries." - ibid., II, 153. - Toronto Theosophical News, April, 1942
"Analogy is..... the surest guide to the comprehension of the Occult teachings," wrote H.P.B. in The Secret Doctrine (I, 173). On page 177, she says,
"Everything in the Universe follows analogy. 'As above, so below;' Man is the microcosm of the Universe. That which takes place on the spiritual plane, repeats itself on the Cosmic plane. Concretion follows the lines of abstraction; corresponding to the highest must be the lowest; the material to the spiritual."
Analogy relates to the likeness between things which are different but which have a sameness or identity in one or more relations. Students of Theosophy have found it a useful practice to prepare their own tables of correspondences and analogies between the symbols of myths, the various religions, the seven human principles, the seven cosmic planes, etc. etc. In comparative study, such tables help to throw light upon the interrelationships of systems of thought which may be widely separated in time and place, as well as differing greatly in their modes of expression. The inner meaning becomes clearer and it will be found that with the synthesizing process which is going on in one's mind, there is an awakening intuition to the fundamental meaning behind the various systems.
The Secret Doctrine furnishes us with much information on such matters, but the Doctrine is a mine to be worked; it cannot be read through once or twice and then be put aside. Every older student has doubtless had the experience after many years of (Continued on page 92)
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
I am pleased to welcome into the fellowship of the Theosophical Society, the following new members: Mrs. Donna Erickson and Mr. Gaston Pozdnikoff, Hermes Lodge, Vancouver; Mrs. Magda Hazai and Mrs. Joan Mann, Victoria Lodge; Mr. Fred Davidoff of Victoria, B.C., Mr. Luis Szklarski of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Mr. Allan Tulip of Petite Riviere Bridge, Nova Scotia, all joined as members-at-large.
I regret to announce the death last May, of Mrs. Elizabeth G. Smith, of Sooke, B.C. She was a member-at-large. On behalf of the Society's members, I extend condolences to her family and friends.
Most often, I find out about the death of members well after the fact, and in a round about way. If anyone who hears of the death of a member would tell me as soon as they hear of it, it would aid in speeding up the process of informing me, even at the risk of duplication, and I would appreciate it.
While on the topic of late information to the General Secretary, who needs to know to keep records accurate, I am often the last to be informed of a change of address of a member, as well as of deaths. So PLEASE, if you move, include the General Secretary amongst those to be told of your new address. I need to know, and I need to tell the Editors of this magazine, so that they can continue to mail it to you.
I would also request, again, that Lodge Presidents and Secretaries send in any address changes they hear about, which I welcome, even if already (but not likely) informed. l know of four members right now, to be dropped: who moved and told us not; and from the Society's point of view, have vanished from the face of the earth.
The above is an unsubtle hint.
World Animal Day occurs around this time of year. I do hope that members and readers will make a positive effort for the benefit and relief of the sufferings of our younger brothers, and to spread the concept of respect for life. I was to write an essay on behalf of our non-human animal brothers, which essay is in note form, needing abbreviating. However, with the pressure of press time, and an unusual work load, I must defer this until next issue, for which I apologize. So it should appear in the Nov.-Dec. issue, all things permitting.
I am preparing to move to Northern Ontario and am immersed in land purchase and house sale and moving work. Perhaps the next issue will see another address change for me in the Masthead.
YES! I will inform the General Secretary of my move! And the Editors.
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 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. 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
1988 EUROPEAN SCHOOL OF THEOSOPHY
Tekels Park, Camberley, England July 23 - 29, 1988
This 1988 European School of Theosophy will be held at Tekels Park during the week immediately preceding the European Congress. Transportation from Camberley to the Congress will be arranged.
Prospective students, including those from abroad, are advised that the two events are quite distinct. The School will offer an intensive 5-day study program, and admission will be by application on the appropriate forms. The Directors will as usual reserve the right of selection among applicants.
Program details, charges, etc., will be available in due course. Meanwhile, application forms and further information may be obtained from the Secretary of the European School of Theosophy, Mrs. Elise Probert, 21 Alfreda Road, Whitchurch, Cardiff CF4 2EH, Wales, U.K.
Emory Wood and his daughters returned from their winter vacation in mid-April, in time for the celebration of Edmonton Lodge's 75th anniversary, held on April 25.
We were honoured to have the General Secretary of the T.S. in Canada, Stan Treloar, as Guest Speaker. In the afternoon, he spoke on "Chartres Cathedral" utilizing slides, diagrams and charts to illustrate his topic. Many fascinating though admittedly complex areas regarding the actual construction of the edifice were highlighted. The visual aids were very helpful, and we appreciated Stan bringing them all the way from Georgetown.
Following dinner, Ted Davy presented an entertaining historical/theatrical rendering (complete with Derby hat) of events as they existed at the time Edmonton Lodge was chartered. Simon Postma followed, with an account of T.S. history. Greetings, as well as flowers, were received from friends of the Lodge across Canada, and acknowledged during dinner. Good wishes from Stan Treloar on behalf of all Canadian members were also extended. A delicious anniversary cake baked by one of our members, Gaye Gering, was served later in the evening.
Members of Edmonton Lodge wish to take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended and helped make this occasion a special one.
In May, the Edmonton Lodge library was moved from the Wood residence to the Pelletier residence. Emory Wood personally amassed the bulk of the Lodge library throughout his many years as a dedicated Theosophist, intent on collecting numerous original writings. A library committee has been established to arrange the books in their new location.
At the Annual Meeting in June, the following members were elected to the positions listed:
President: Ernest E. Pelletier
Vice-President: Stephania Duffee
Secretary: Rogelle Pelletier
Treasurer: Dolores Brisson
Directors: Laurier Auger, Gaye Gering, Maurice Mercier
"B.J." Whitbread and Emory Wood, our long-serving nonagenarian members were also appointed Honorary Directors.
Through financial assistance from the Lizzie Arthur Russell Theosophical Memorial
Trust, Edmonton Lodge is preparing to receive visiting lecturers in late summer and early fall.
A committee has been set up to finalize details regarding the upcoming visit of Joy Mills during the first week of September. Many new members have never had the opportunity to personally meet her and are looking forward to welcoming Joy to Edmonton.
Rex Dutta and Jean Coulsting, of England, will be here September 24 - October 2. The committee members co-ordinating engagements for these visitors are arranging for media exposure and a public lecture as well as T.S. members' meetings.
Rogelle Pelletier, Secretary
At the Annual Meeting of Hermes Lodge, held on June 29,1987, the following Officers were re-elected by acclamation:
President: Larry Gray
Vice-President: Gladys Cooper
Secretary: Eva Sharp
Treasurer: Arthur Cooper
The reports presented at the meeting told of increased activity, and much interest and harmony among members and friends. Four new members were admitted during the year. A 32% growth in Library use was reported and paid library memberships totaled 36. Public meetings featuring lectures or audio and video tapes have attracted fairly good attendances.
Lodge activities will resume in September. Eva Sharp, Secretary
- Sheila M. Weaver
I am soil.
From sea to sea
on every continent and island
with fragile skin
I cover mountain, plain and valley
river bank and stony crevice
in hot places and in cold
and all between
with black, red, brown or yellow earth
soft and crumbly
porous and absorbent
bursting with life
I am formed
from hard and ancient rocks
and soft green weeds
a million trillion dead brown leaves
the wastes and used-up bodies
of animals, birds and insects without number
and trees whose lives as living trees are done
through countless centuries of slow, unceasing work
of sun and wind and water
and the teeming life within my bosom -
earthworms, microbes, myriad other creatures
from tiny, to invisible
I am as ancient as the land
yet ever new-created
ever living, changing, giving
asking little in return
save the fulfilling of my simple needs
of these things from which I come.
From out of me grow plants
and waving grasses
(child-named "the Earth's hair")
and that exquisite green and shady mantle
of infinite variety and grace
strength and endurance
beauty and peace -
All begin in me
without me they could not live.
Yet I am threatened.
I am vanishing.
In many lands
the trees and waving grass
that shelter me and nourish me
over-grazed, cut down, burned off
by humans who have forgotten
who we all are
Where once were cool and verdant forests
holding your steep mountainsides
lush tropic forest lands
ancient, bird-filled, fragile
vast plains of undulating grasses
rich and fruitful croplands -
in many lands these things have gone
And raw and bleeding
I am laid bare
and I cry out in pain!
Can you not see?
Can you not hear?
When you hear the moaning prairie air
turbulent, and sharp with particles of me
the mudslide's rumbling
down shorn mountain slopes
the loud and angry rivers
silt-brown and destructive
or the deathly silence
of parched and sun-cracked plains and river beds
whither the lonely wind comes only to destroy
or feel the stinging bite of blowing desert sands
you hear my voice.
I plead with you!
My need is great
And as I vanish from my beloved home
through restless air
in currents fierce for lack of trees to soften them
and in brown floods that rush destroying
into rivers and the sea
my going turns those once-green lands
to greedy deserts, barren mountainsides
and millions of your kind
are hungry, and without homes
Do you ask,
How can I help?
Look at me!
Smell me, touch me, feel me
walk on me with your bare feet
sing and dance on me
observe me closely
not as some inert and dirty medium
to hold your NPK and water
and to avoid tracking onto your clean floor
as mere object to dissect and classify
but as a living, changing, vital link
in a vast and ancient web
intricate and delicate
of which you too are part
and your children
and your children's children
Nurture me, plant in me
shelter me with trees
rescue me where I am thin and worn
riven with deep gullies
give support to those
who truly care for me
teach your politicians
teach your farmers, loggers, bankers
that rain comes not from clouds
but from green earth
and only there comes softly, and in time
But above all,
teach your children!
to know me
and to value me,
and the tiny creature-lives
and all the plants that spread their living roots
throughout my kingdom
to love and to protect me
because they deeply know
the crucial, sacred part I play
in the life of this most precious jewel
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.
8. THE AFTER-DEATH STATES: - PART II
Question. Would you be so kind as to explain a question arising from the study of the After-Death States as dealt with in The Secret Doctrine and The Divine Plan, Chapter X, with particular reference to a passage quoted in the latter work on page 385, where H.P. Blavatsky says: "In order to live in the world to come a conscious life, one has to believe first of all in that life during the terrestrial existence." (The Key to Theosophy, p. 165). (Comment 1) This seems to lead to the supposition that a rank materialist, denying any life outside the body, would not go through the experiences of Kama-loka and Devachan. (Comment 2) These subtile worlds - or rather states of consciousness - we are taught, involve the consequences of the causes generated during earth-life, and should therefore be consciously experienced by everyone. (Comment 3) The clue to this question lies perhaps in the word "full" in the text of The Divine Plan, p. 385: "...in order to have full consciousness during the after-death states one must attain that knowledge as well as that ability during the life lived on earth." (Comment 4)
Would you please explain the difference of the conditions post-mortem for a student of Theosophy and for a disbeliever? (Comment 5) The members of our study-group who have put the question will be very glad to have your answer.
Answer. Responses will be given by specific reference to the phrases - referred to by numbered Comments (the "Comments" are intended to apply to the preceding rather than the subsequent sentences).
Comment 1. It should be borne in mind that the quotation from The Key to Theosophy has reference to a highly specialized state - representing the acme of attainment - which would result in a specific Devachanic state, whereas the descriptions usually given in connection with Devachan are generalized. For instance:
"Devachan is often compared to the happiest day in a series of many thousands of other 'days' in the life of a person. The intensity of its happiness makes the man entirely forget all others, his past becoming obliterated. This is what we call the Devachanic state, the reward of the personality." (The Secret Doctrine, V. 490-1; H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, XII, 627.)
Comment 2. Here again a specified state is referred to: that of a "rank materialist." For that matter it should be remembered likewise that Devachan is strictly speaking an individualized state of consciousness:
"...there are great varieties in the Devachan states, and ... as many varieties of bliss, as on earth there are shades of perception and of capability to appreciate such reward. It is an ideated paradise, in each case of the Ego's own making." (The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, p. 102/100 3rd ed.)
However, in regard to Kama-loka there is this difference: the state of consciousness of an individual experiencing the state of Kama-loka differs from that experienced by the devachani. Therefore, from the standpoint of the teachings of Theosophy in connection with these two states of consciousness, it would not be correct to make the statement "that a rank materialist, denying any life outside the body, would not go through the experiences of Kama-loka and Devachan" without qualifying comments. To illustrate the point: a rank materialist who may have been a drunkard during his life on earth will certainly go through the experiences of desiring drink in Kama-loka and not be able to satisfy his desires. This, of course, is a "specialized kama-lokic experience," but the point is this: Kama-loka is literally the desire-world "the land of intense desires" (ibid., p.109/106). On the other hand, a materialist who did not have strong attachments to drink or to other desireful tendencies or attractions would not experience intense desires in the Kama-loka, but would be in a condition similar to that of a person who is in a dull stupor. The significant factor is this: the after-death experiences of both the states of Kama-loka and Devachan depend upon the life that has been lived on earth. As for the experiences of Devachan: it should be remembered that one who enters the state of Devachan "brings along with him but the Karma of his good deeds, words and thoughts" (ibid., p. 101/98). Surely, even a materialist has his moments of good deeds, words and thoughts. It is these that will "bear fruit" or be experienced in the state of Devachan.
"Every effect must be proportionate to the cause. And, as man's terms of incarnate existence bear but a small proportion to his periods of inter-natal existence in the manvantaric cycle, so the good thoughts, words, and deeds of any one of these 'lives' on a globe are causative of effects, the working out of which requires far more time than the evolution of the causes occupied." (ibid., p. 106/104).
However, a rank materialist who has had no kind thoughts or feelings will not have such an experience. With regard to the materialist who denies immortality in general and the survival of his own individuality, H.P. Blavatsky writes: "he is right without knowing it. One who has no inner perception of, and faith in, the immortality of his soul, in that man the soul can never become Buddhi-taijasi, but will remain simply Manas, and for Manas alone there is no immortality possible." (Key, pp. 164-5). Buddhi-taijasi signifies Manas conjoined with Buddhi: it is this aspect of man's sevenfold constitution "which absorbs the Manasic recollections of all our preceding lives." (Key, 163). This is so "because both immortality and consciousness after death become, for the terrestrial personality of man, simply conditioned attributes, as they depend entirely on conditions and beliefs created by the hu-
man soul itself during the life of its body. Karma acts incessantly: we reap in our afterlife only the fruit of that which we have ourselves sown in this." (Key, 160)
Comment 3. This is very well phrased. We may indeed refer to the "subtile worlds" as the globes on the Ascending Arc - Globes E, F and G - which may well be equated to superior states of consciousness, when viewed from the standpoint of our consciousness on Globe D of the Earth-chain. However, the clue to understanding this aspect of the subject was provided by the questioner in Comment 4 (which follows).
Comment 4. Yes, indeed, in order to attain the FULL consciousness of experiencing the after-death states, an individual "must attain that knowledge as well as that ability during the life lived on earth." This is truly a challenging proposition, yet it is a highly desirable one. A beginning towards its accomplishment may be made by striving to elevate one's thought-life by consistently raising it above the plane of desires and holding it at that superior level.
Comment 5. Of course, students of Theosophy vary as to their qualifications. Naturally, the more a student attains the ability of experiencing higher states of consciousness during life on earth and has built these states or experiences into the fabric of his being - or the "web of life" which he creates from day to day - the more will such experiences be re-lived in the state of Devachan; especially so if he believes that he will re-experience such higher states of consciousness in the post-morten sojourn.
Thus far the significance of the state of Devachan has been stressed; but the study-group's attention should be directed to the status and cycle of the monad in the afterdeath states. This was referred to by the Mahatma in the following passage: "no monad gets ever reincarnated before its appointed cycle." (M.L.176/173) In The Secret Doctrine this aspect was presented by means of the doctrines taught by the Egyptians and the Gnostics in connection with the cyclic journeys of the monad. Also reference was made to the Chaldaean account, in the chapter mentioned in the question. It was this aspect which was pointed to in the quotation from The Key to Theosophy. This is the knowledge which has been made available to students of Theosophy and which may be experienced in the after-death states - if dwelt upon during earth-life.
As for the disbeliever or materialist, H.P. Blavatsky wrote in a positive manner as to his after-death state:
"...according to the after life a man has believed in and expected, such is the life he will have. He who expected no life to come will have an absolute blank, amounting to annihilation, in the interval between the two rebirths. This is just the carrying out of the programme we spoke of, a programme created by the materialists themselves. But there are various kinds of materialists." (Key, p. 170).
As to the "programme" referred to, it should be borne in mind that each individual creates his own programme, and it is described in this manner:
"...death is sleep. After death, before the spiritual eyes of the soul, begins a performance according to a programme learnt and very often unconsciously composed by ourselves: the practical carrying out of correct beliefs or of illusions which have been created by ourselves. The Methodist will be Methodist, the Mussulman a Mussulman, at least for some
time - in a perfect fool's paradise of each man's creation and making. These are the post-mortem fruits of the tree of life. Naturally, our belief or unbelief in the fact of conscious immortality is unable to influence the unconditioned reality of the fact itself, once that it exists; but the belief or unbelief in that immortality as the property of independent or separate entities, cannot fail to give colour to that fact in its application to each of these entities." (Key, p. 165)
- Vol. 49, No. 2
ANALOGY (Continued from page 82)
study, of suddenly coming upon something new in this remarkable book. Of course it was not actually "new"; what happened was that the student suddenly saw in some passage which he had read many times before, a different meaning, a wider implication, than he had ever before noted. Analogies jumped to the foreground of memory and the "new" passage threw more light upon and fitted easily into his tables of comparison.
But even the key analogy has to be "turned seven times". The statement, "as above, so below" is a general proposition, but between and including the "above" and the "below" there are seven planes of being, each having a relationship to its immediate neighbours and also to the whole. H.P.B. points out that
"The Law of Analogy in the plan of structure between the trans-Solar systems and the intra-Solar planets, does not necessarily bear upon the finite conditions to which every visible body is subject, in this our plane of being" - ibid., I, 150. and she suggests that this law must be studied in its minutest details before one comes to understand it.
Such teachings if carried in one's memory and meditated upon, help to break down the intensely separative consciousness of the personality. We are all units in a great universe of Life and it is in one great Life and as part of it, that we humans live and move and have our being.
- Toronto Theosophical News, August, 1947.
(A few repetitive passages have been removed from the second article, and all S.D. references corrected to the Original Edition. -Eds.)
Cyclic Evolution, A Theosophical View, by Adam Warcup. London: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1986. 144 pp. Price 5.75 pounds.
As a general rule, it is a good idea to ignore publishers' blurbs, or anything written on the cover or dust jacket of a book. An exception which proves this rule is found on the back cover of Cyclic Evolution:
"The current scientific perspective of the evolution of life on Earth is that of a linear progression from simple to complex. The theosophical perspective is radically different. It postulates a cyclic evolution both for Life itself and for individual genera and species, man in-
cluded. It further postulates a nonphysical component as integral to the whole process. Without this added dimension, evolution appears to be a random process - a perspective wholly denied by Theosophy."
This matter-of-fact statement is no "come-on" yet is an honest advertisement for the book. The contents are nothing less than a successful attempt to express the (not, let it be emphasized, a) Theosophical perspective of evolution in all its ramifications.
The second fundamental proposition of The Secret Doctrine asserts "the absolute universality" of the law of periodicity, or cycles. Without the application of this law, evolution on whatever scale lacks the key which alone can unlock the mystery. True, the law complicates matters; ignoring it is the reason science finds it difficult to uphold its theories, which have been in a state of imbalance because of this for over a hundred years. Hence the importance of the word cyclic in the title of this book.
Adam Warcup sets about his task by first offering a condensed outline of the Theosophical view. This takes up about a third of the book, and is in two parts. (The two parts are titled "Basic Ideas" and "The Story So Far", the latter being a reminder that at any and every level evolution is always an on-going process.) There is hardly need to mention the difficulties of condensing the Theosophical explication of evolution, the only one that takes into account the immense complexity engendered by the "wheels within wheels" concept. It is therefore to the author's credit that he has succeeded in presenting a readable sequence without succumbing to the temptation to simplify.
In Part III, "Behind the Scenes", the outline is illuminated with quotations from The Secret Doctrine and other writings of H.P. Blavatsky, and The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett. An addendum, especially useful in view of the distortions introduced in later writings, gives a clarification of the terms originally used to describe "The Seven-fold Constitution of Man".
How to rate Cyclic Evolution? To describe it as "extremely useful" - which it certainly is - seems to understate its value. It is one of those very rare works, worthy of a place in that selective and necessarily small library of books that can be considered complementary to the main corpus of the original Theosophical writings.
- Ted G. Davy
A READER'S NOTES
Puzzled about NPK in the beautiful poem "Soil" in this issue? I was. Sheila Weaver enlightened me: "N.P.K. - the chemical symbols for Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium. The only three elements that get into commercial fertilizers which ignore all the trace minerals, humus and life-factors that are needed for healthy soil."
For over a hundred years Madame Blavatsky has suffered from a bad press. This state of affairs doesn't change no matter what the form. The latest is a play - of sorts - which was put on in London earlier this year. Title of the one-woman sketch by Matthew Pegg, and portrayed by actress Corinne Gables, is "Torn Veil".
This theatrical presentation is reviewed by Colyn Boyce in the April, 1987 issue of Theosophical History. The review is far from
favourable. The playwright evidently "...decided that facts should not stand in the way of a light-hearted evening of cabaret," according to Mr. Boyce, who also thought Ms. Gables "trivialized Blavatsky."
Many members on the west coast remember Colyn, a Canadian and former member of Vancouver Lodge. He is now Publicity Officer for the T.S. in England at the London headquarters.
Hermes Library, established over 50 years ago in Hermes Lodge of Vancouver, B.C., is a growing, well-developed special library which acquires books, journals, pamphlets and cassettes on Theosophy. The Library is open to the public on Saturday afternoons and before and after public meetings.
To aid research and to support further the Theosophical Society, Hermes Library is extending its service across Canada. Books and cassettes are available for borrowing by mail to members of Hermes Library anywhere in Canada.
Membership in Hermes Library is available free to members of Vancouver T.S. Lodges. Members-at-large, members of the Society who live outside the Vancouver area (anywhere in Canada) and non-members may borrow books by purchasing a Library card for an annual fee of $10.00 ($5.00 for seniors).
Reference service and enquiries to: Hermes Lodge, Theosophical Society 2-2807 West 16th Ave. Vancouver, B.C. V6K 3C5 (Phone: 733-5684)
During her recent visit to Calgary, Joy Mills and I discussed dozens of Theosophical topics. Over the past 25 years or so we have occasionally, perhaps inevitably, found ourselves on opposite sides of the fence on several controversial issues. However, rather than argue ad nauseam/ad infinitum or else retreat in high dudgeon, we friendily acknowledge differences and wait for opportunities to resolve them.
Not surprisingly, she disagrees with several of my opinions regarding her new book, 100 Years of Theosophy (see review, C.T., Jul-Aug. '87). In particular, she thought my assessment of her treatment, and that of Leslie Smith (in 100 Years of Occultism), of William Q. Judge was unwarranted. Fair enough.
Joy made the point, which I concede is valid, that the Judge question will never be properly settled until all archives are opened for objective evaluation. (Re-evaluation in some instances.) If such could be achieved, she suggested an impartial committee could be established to review all the available evidence. As a sceptic of long standing, I doubt if impartiality is possible in this matter, at least initially. But why not a committee representative of all positions on the Judge question? And hopefully including a few fresh minds not yet made up!
On the basis of earlier semi-official intimations, Joy thinks that the Adyar T.S. and E.S. archives would be readily opened provided all other sources would reciprocate. Well, what more could be asked? Will all interested parties now please state unequivocally if they will agree to cooperate?
H.P.B. said: "Make your activities commensurate with your opportunities." Here's a wonderful opportunity - who will be the first to act? - Ted G. Davy
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
Toronto Theosophical Society Traveling Library
The Traveling Library of the Toronto Theosophical Society is operating and offing books on loan by mail to Society members only in Canada. Inquires to: Mrs. B. Treloar, Apt. 288, 2095 Roche Ct., Mississauga, Ontario L5K 2C8
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. Ted G. Davy, Secretary, Mrs. Doris Davy, 2307 Sovereign Cres. S.W. Calgar, Alta. T3C 2M3
DHARMA STUDY CENTRE: Secretary, Mrs. Diane Mottus, Box 145 Glendon, Alta., T0A 1P0
EDMONTON LODGE: President, Mr. Ernest E. Pelletier; Secretary, Mrs. Rogelle Pelletier, South Side Edmonton Post Office Box 4804, Edmonton, Alta. T6E 2A0. (Phone 434-9326).
HAMILTON LODGE: President, Sharon L. Taylor; Secretary, Mr. Richard D. MacPhail, 200 Hunter St. West, Apt. 18 Hamilton, Ont L8P 1R6 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, Mr. Wilf Olin (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.)
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