Vol. 69 No. 1 Toronto, Mar.-Apr. 1988
The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document.
[[Photo: WILLIAM QUAN JUDGE April 13, 1851 - March 21, 1896]]
- Dudley W. Barr
Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress has long since ceased to be a popular book. The world is little interested in the type of pilgrimage envisaged by Bunyan, and while life on this earth may be an arduous journey towards a great but distant goal, the mythos of any new conception of it has not yet been established. Even students of occultism seem to be divided in opinion as to whether earth is fundamentally a place of misery from which we should escape at all costs and as soon as possible, or whether the task before us is to "spiritualize" the materials of the earth, including the human vehicles of consciousness, and create a new earth and a new heaven.
However, despite a lack of popularity, pilgrimages are still being engaged upon, and individuals do enter and pursue the path of return. Like Bunyan's "Christian", they see the distant goal from the Delectable Mountains; they go down into the Valley of Humiliation and through the Slough of Despond. They are imprisoned at Doubting Castle and battle with Giant Despair, but if they follow on faithfully and live the life, they will eventually, so we are assured, come to the River and cross to the Celestial City. On their journeys they will meet Mr. Faithful, Mr. Standfast, Mr. Pliable, Mr. Ready-to-halt and many others. If they have earned the privilege, they may even have the company of a wise and courageous guide from the Interpreter's House, Mr. Greatheart.
The Theosophical Cause is a pilgrimage upon whose pathway we encounter in modern form all the trials and tribulations that beset Christian and Christiana. William Q. Judge, guide, philosopher and friend to many students, could indeed very well be considered the Mr. Greatheart of this pilgrimage.
During his years of service at the Interpreter's House he gave freely of his wisdom, inspired by his courage, and aided by his very presence many of those of this age who were traveling the ancient Way. One of his sayings which is perhaps best remembered is, "Cast no one out of your heart." He wrote "Theosophy should be, above all, a thing of the heart and life, not of the mind."
Mr. Judge was great in heart; he was great also in the breadth and depth and quality of his mind. His clear perception of the esoteric requirements of the Path, together with his understanding of the practical details of organizational work, made of him one of the truly great leaders in the timeless Cause. Like Mr. Greatheart of old, he removed obstacles from the road of the pilgrims and traveled with them to the banks of the River. However, the eternal peace of the Celestial City was not for him; he was vowed to service at the House of the Interpreter, and in that service he will go forth life after life, "until the last man of the human race shall have passed through the portals of his own divinity."
- Theosophia, March-April, 1951.
Yes; the gods are asleep for a while. But noble hearts still walk here, fighting over again the ancient fight. They seek each other, so as to be of mutual help. We will not fail them. To fail would be nothing, but to stop working for Humanity and Brotherhood would be awful. - William Q. Judge
FROM THE PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS
To the 112th Annual Convention of the Theosophical Society
- Radha Burnier, President
As the years pass and new members fill our ranks, care must be taken to see that these members are not forgetful or ignorant of the noble origin of the Society and the seriousness of its task.
The advice given by an Elder Brother in 1884 to Francesca Arundale is applicable to all the older workers in the Society:
"Candidates should be taught, and old members always recollect, that this is a serious affair the Society is engaged in; and that they should begin the work as seriously by making their own lives theosophical."
Ordinary members and much more so those who hold office at any level were advised to learn that they may teach, acquire spiritual knowledge and strength that the work may lean upon them, and the sorrowing victims of ignorance learn from them the cause and remedy of their misery. The same responsibility devolves on the members today.
In several other letters received in the early days from the Teachers who inspired the Society's founding, there is also ample indication that the word "Brotherhood" was given a special meaning in relation to the Society's aims. It referred to action which is in harmony with the inner essence of being, and relationships which reflect the understanding that there is a common substratum which links all individual lives. Therefore, the Theosophical Society must not be exclusive in any sense, catering to the high or the low, to people of any particular religion, nation, race or sect. The scope of its work is universal and its task is to help people to purify their minds and realize the harmony and love which are the perennial endowments of our inner nature.
The coming year will mark the centenary of the publication of The Secret Doctrine. H.P.B.'s magnum opus which gave a vital impetus to the turning of world thought in a new direction. She wrote:
"The Esoteric philosophy is alone calculated to withstand, in this age of crass and illogical materialism, the repeated attacks on all and everything man holds most dear and sacred in his inner spiritual life."
Even today, very few in the world realize to what absurd illogicality human life is driven by materialistic thinking. As Mr. J. Krishnamurti often pointed out, the feverish search for material security and success is making the earth most insecure. To quote H.P.B. again,
"It has now become a vast arena - a true valley of discord and of eternal strife - a necropolis, wherein lie buried the highest and the most holy aspirations of our Spirit-Soul."
This being the condition of the world, there is an urgency for acquiring and making known the true philosophy of life - a philosophy which will reduce competition, selfishness and cruelty and prepare the mind to receive truth.
As the hundredth anniversary of what was at one time the British Section coincides with the centenary of The Secret Doctrine, the main celebration of the year 1988 will be in
England, and it is expected that there will be an international gathering there in July. Awareness of the history and origin of the Society, apart from renewed interest in the deeper aspects of Theosophy, may be stimulated by the event. As I mentioned in my address delivered in July, while beginning my second term as President, the past has much to teach us, yet we cannot afford to cling to the past. The mind must be awake to the issues in the present and bring to bear on them a synthesis of past experience which takes the form of a fresh vitality and mature perceptions.
A study of theosophical history does not have too much importance in fulfilling the aims of the Society if it consists of digging out new details, comparing characters or declaring who was a failure. On the other hand, it is history which can show what sacrifice, courageous thought and energy led to the building of the world-wide organization which has served to inspire the hearts and minds of millions. Sacrifice and selfless energy characterized the work, not only of our remarkable President-Founder Colonel Olcott and that unique seer H.P. Blavatsky, but also their great successors like Annie Besant. To be fired by a passion for serving humanity such as theirs is more important than learning details about various incidents and passing judgement on them. The Society could not in fact have been built except on sacrifice. Generations of worthy members have given unstintingly of themselves for this work, not caring for reputation, comfort, recognition or gratitude. Such sacrifice was natural because it arose out of a knowledge of the direction in which humanity has to progress and a realization of the unitary nature of life.
Carrying on the theosophical tradition and spirit, we too should be ready to give freely of our talents and energy and also to sense the needs and reactions of our own generation and age even as our predecessors did in their time. The activities of the Society from the earliest years were such as to encourage change in contemporary thought and situations. An amusing example of this is described in detail in the recently published book The Dawning of the Theosophical Movement by Michael Gomes. No one would now connect a programme of cremation with theosophical activity, but the Founders did, and undertook in the year 1876 the cremation at New York of the Baron de Palm, about whom H.P.B. commented in her scrapbook, he was "principally known as a corpse". Though the incident was hilarious, one cannot ignore the fact that at a time when the Christian world suffered more than it does now from gross misconceptions about the process of life and death, by organizing this cremation - an unthought of and unheard of thing in Christian lands in those days - wide publicity was given to important truths concerning the existence of the reincarnating principle and the value of death as a gateway to a new life and a step onwards in the evolutionary pilgrimage. Olcott and H.P.B. did not fear to incur the wrath of the orthodox nor to become the target of mocking comments in the newspapers. Many such far-away incidents sharply illustrate the qualities needed to promote new ideas and outlook.
Various questions are before us now. What does humanity urgently need? What wrong ideas are at the base of the world's ills? In what way should they be counteracted? Are we ready to act with self-sacrifice and courage, ready to initiate the necessary programmes to make our philosophy relevant to contemporary situations?
The recent accord signed by the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. to eliminate intermediate-range
nuclear missiles has been acclaimed as historic. This act of statesmanship brings new hope for the world, as it is a break from the old rigid postures of confrontation. Still a considerable number of nations and people are afraid of disarmament and there are strong vested interests in favour of war. The balance of terror is a fragile and frightening balance indeed, for each side is anxious to maintain its edge. So, the world has been perched for decades on the brink of disaster not only through the unleashing of nuclear war but also through the use of chemical and biological weapons. In this situation, should not the members of the Theosophical Society be in the forefront of thought to bring about total disarmament, including the abolition of all chemical and biological weapons, and the attitude of competition among the nations and peoples of the world, which is the cause of war? There is great need to promote the recognition that war cannot solve problems, nor should the armament industry be the basis for economic growth. The crux of happy relationship at the global and every other level is the building of mutual trust and the firm conviction that human well-being and progress depend on peace. The Theosophical Society is uniquely structured to build the edifice of world peace, with justice and a reasonable freedom for all. It must strongly inspire all people, irrespective of their racial or other superficial differences, to develop feelings of mutual trust and interest in each other's well-being.
When years ago, our late President Mr. C. Jinarajadasa urged all T.S. Lodges to support the United Nations and to celebrate U.N. Day, he had in mind that theosophists should be in the vanguard of thought in favour of peace, and that theosophical Lodges should be active centres for promoting peaceful international relationship, and understanding of each other's culture. Whether the United Nations has risen to the expectations which prevailed after the end of the last World War or not, Theosophical Lodges all over the world should be active centres working for world harmony and peace.
The reduction of disparities among peoples is another question which should be a matter of deep concern for Lodges and members. The last few decades have seen some countries grow in affluence and a sharp division has separated the so-called North and South. Within each nation too, disparities have increased. The rich are becoming richer in some of the most affluent countries of the world, while poverty is still a feature in their own backyard. The reduction of disparities can come about only through a major change of attitude. Those who are economically well off must feel the need to share and help. The less fortunate must transcend the envy and animus which seem to them justified by their present miserable standard of living, but which can never serve to alleviate suffering. Modern life sets before the peoples of the world a false goal of economic prosperity and ostentatious living. A simple and decent life for all, instead of the continual race to rise ahead of others, was the ideal behind the communist movement at its best. Theosophical leaders have remarked that they believed in the communism of love and not the communism of hatred, thereby pointing to the reduction of disparity through right means as an objective which Theosophists should have at heart.
Increasing affluence leads people to believe that wealth and pleasure alone are of importance in the world. In many parts of the world, such virtues as kindness, simple living and honesty are regarded by the young, and even middle aged, as old-fashioned and obsolete. Because wealth and pleasure are set up as important aims in life, unimaginable perversities and crimes have become daily events and those who commit them enjoy an aura of glamour. Ruthless trafficking in drugs, destroying the lives of millions, corruption in high places, malpractices in commerce and so forth are part of the current lifestyle in all countries of the world. Pleasure-seeking results in the promotion of vulgarity. One of the major problems of the present day is to save children from exploitation by those who make the peddling of obscenity their profession. Obviously there is a crying need to make people aware of the true human goals. Theosophical knowledge offers the perspective which makes one understand the transitoriness of material life and the futility of the goals pursued by the vast majority of people. The theosophical perspective needs to be put forward vigorously in rational and relevant terms to bring about a change in the orientation of the human mind.
One more question to which members of the Society should address themselves is that of exploitation. The weak are the victims everywhere of those who have greater power. In vast areas of the Third World and even elsewhere, women spend their entire lives practically as beasts of burden and childbearing machines. The abuse and exploitation of children is a world-wide problem. Books like The City of Joy by Dominic Lapierre describe graphically the helplessness of the economically downtrodden. In countries where a particular race or group is dominant, the defenceless minorities have been decimated in the most ruthless manner, or deliberately trodden down as in apartheid-ridden South Africa. Millions of helpless animals suffer from the heartless cruelties inflicted on them in laboratories and factory-farms. The exploitation of the weak is so ubiquitous that there is a danger of too many minds becoming used to it and therefore losing the will to resist it and protect its victims. Courage is needed to challenge and fight against injustice; it is only too easy for obscurantists to justify the suppression of people, the confining of women and other immoral acts in the name of religion or tradition.
These are all areas of work which lie before members of the Theosophical Society. They all involve a change of attitude and thought, and the application of the well-known principles of Theosophy to provide new perspectives and values. Religious fundamentalism too has to be opposed. The narrowing down of the meaning of religion is what fundamentalism is really about, which is a travesty of all that true religion stands for. Members of the Society must be known to champion radical changes in belief and behaviour.
In July this year my first term of office ended and in accordance with the Society's Rules and Regulations an election was conducted by the Secretary, Mr. Conrad Jamieson, and an Election Committee appointed by the Executive Committee of the Society. Though there was no other qualified candidate, as prescribed by the Rules, the election took place. A few people seemed to regard the process as an unnecessary exercise and expense. But careful consideration of the whole matter will show that even if there is only one candidate an election is desirable for otherwise a few
General Council members, some of them representing a very small membership in their particular area, would be choosing the international President. An election on the "yes" or "no" basis provides the opportunity to the entire membership of the Society to reject a candidate if necessary and in any case to give an expression of confidence or otherwise in the eligible candidate. The person elected is also strengthened by knowing that the membership of the Society supports his general direction and theosophical perspective.
As mentioned in my address given on reassuming the office of President on 17 July, this world organization with members in about sixty countries enjoys a certain wholeness, which results not so much from structural factors, but because of a shared concern for human welfare and the spiritual awakening which is necessary for humanity to fulfil its destiny. A correct understanding of Theosophy not merely in conceptual terms but at a deeper level, and a constant endeavour to make daily life mirror one's understanding of Divine Wisdom is essential to keep the Society alive with a sense of purpose and effective in carrying out its task. During the past seven years, a constant effort has been made to create a renewed sense of awareness with regard to the nature of the wisdom, and also to bring to the fore the fact that Theosophy, if rightly understood, has a bearing upon all situations, activities and problems. I hope that during the coming seven years, a consciousness of the deeper aspects of life will grow and the members will make their programmes and work have a more direct impact on the atmosphere and circumstances around them.
Generally speaking, it seems that in the areas where most of the members assemble and work well together in Lodges and Centres, the membership is strong and the work goes on well. It must be remembered that the Society was meant to bring people together and aid them to work together and obtain knowledge more quickly through mutual sympathy and aspiration. The encouragement of unattached membership may not be of advantage to the work in general nor be of use in establishing universal brotherhood. Independent study by individuals who are unattached members because they do not want to work with others may be a kind of negation of one of the main purposes of the Theosophical Society.
The main event at Adyar last year was the celebration of the Centenary of the Adyar Library and Research Centre. The event received wide publicity in newspapers, magazines and other media of communication. An Endowment Fund was started which needs to be built up during the coming years in order to put this outstanding institution, founded by Colonel Olcott, on a sound financial basis. Mr. R. Venkataraman, then Vice-President of India and now its President, presided over the Centenary meeting on 28 December 1986. In his address he remarked:
"The Theosophical Society has, over the last century, contributed greatly towards keeping the torch of the spirit ablaze. And within the Theosophical Society it was the Adyar Library that supplied a continuing stream of intellectual energy ... It has during the last one hundred years served to nourish free and liberal thinking and has thereby influenced modern philosophical (Continued on page 14)
A Review Article
- Doris Davy
In the first line of the Preface to Reincarnation Explored,* John Algeo remarks: "Reincarnation is not a subject about which one can be dogmatic." How true! Anyone who has delved into this subject knows the many books available from a variety of sources, proffering a thousand and one theories.
This book is divided into twelve Chapters covering the subject from many angles: "What Is Reincarnation?", "What Are The Objections?", "What Reincarnates?", "Why Do We Reincarnate?" and so on.
Although reincarnation has been usually associated with Eastern religions and philosophies, the author premises that it could not have been unknown to the very early Christians. Origen and the Albigensians or Cathars were among those persecuted for their beliefs in reincarnation. A lengthy list of well-known writers, artists and philosophers who believed in reincarnation is also given.
In more recent years reincarnation has also been brought to the forefront in popular forms of entertainment such as the theatre and films and also in novels and autobiographies. Unfortunately, some of these presentations tend to distort the real reasons for a belief in reincarnation, in order to increase the entertainment value of a book or play. However, perhaps these should not be condemned if they help bring the concept of reincarnation to a wider public.
John Algeo suggests that "a belief in reincarnation is likely to become increasingly frequent and increasingly influential. It is the wave of the future." His basis for this last statement lies in the fact that Gallup surveys in the U.S. show the highest proportion of those who accept the idea of rebirth are among the young.
In the Chapter, "Can Reincarnation Explain Life's Puzzles?", Predispositions, Cyclicity, Justice and Meaning of Life are some of the subjects covered. In the following Chapter "What Are The Objections?", the points quite often raised by those who question reincarnation are dealt with. These include Lack of Memory, Population Explosion and other objections.
The following Chapters turn to the evidence. The first deals with mediums and covers investigations made by the British Society for Psychical Research and also by Dr. Ian Stevenson who is probably best known for his book Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation.
Next, it is asked "Can We Remember Subliminally and Clairvoyantly?" The author answers this question by postulating three kinds of knowledge and memory and gives a diagram to explain his suggestion. This leads to the conclusion that we may remember our past lives in one way or another. Not perhaps as facts, or through previous acquaintances, but how to do certain things learned in past lifetimes. This, I suppose,
* Reincarnation Explored, by John Algeo. A Quest Original. Wheaton, IL., The Theosophical Publishing House, 1987. xv + 151 pp. Price $6.95 U.S.
might answer the question of a Beethoven or an Einstein; or a pre-teen mathematical genius ready to enter University; or a musician capable of performing on the concert stage at a very young age.
Edgar Cayce's life readings are touched on but they are not seen as providing convincing scientific evidence of reincarnation. However, Dr. Algeo does offer an explanation for what Cayce and others have been able to do, namely, "read the Akashic records." Theosophists will be familiar with this term but, for those who are not, it is given an understandable meaning in the space available.
"Can We Remember Hypnotically?" Here the case of Bridey Murphy and the Bloxham Tapes are discussed. In an evaluation of hypnotic regression, Dr. Algeo restates the Theosophical tradition which discourages casual use of any technique such as hypnotism, drug-taking or mediumship, "...in which the conscious mind is artificially by-passed and the subconscious is made into a passive receiver of influences from whatever source. We do not improve our grasp of reality by anesthetizing the mind".
In the Chapter "Can We Remember Spontaneously?" cases studied by Dr. Ian Stevenson are quoted as well as Stevenson's possible explanations for "Memories."
The following Chapters, "What Reincarnates?", "What Happens When We Die?", "What Happens When We Are Reborn?" and "Why Do We Reincarnate?" are based on the Theosophical teachings which date, in modern times, says the author, from the foundation of the Theosophical Society in 1875 by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Col. Henry Steel Olcott and William Quan Judge.
To answer the question "What Reincarnates?", body and soul and the individuality and personality are discussed as well as the Seven Principles. Dr. Algeo in dealing with the Seven Principles has given a very good explanation in everyday language. Students of Theosophy know how difficult it is to study any one of these principles and struggle with the many Sanskrit terms. The five planes are then outlined and diagrams provided of "The Human Constitution" and the "Constituents of the Human Constitution."
This is followed by "What Happens When We Die?" Here is mentioned in some length the "Near-Death Experiences" which have been receiving more media coverage in recent years than ever before. The investigations carried out by such as Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Raymond A. Moody, Kenneth Ring and Michael B. Sabom, to name but a few, have done much to make this a topic which is now openly discussed in many circles, including the scientific and medical communities. This has also encouraged those who have gone through these experiences to come forward and report them without being thought somewhat odd.
The author then goes on to discuss the "After-Death States" as given in the Theosophical teachings and this is done in a very clear, concise manner, so that anyone being exposed to such a concept for the first time would not be confused by unfamiliar words or drown in a sea of complicated explanations. This Chapter is also enhanced by a diagram.
The concluding Chapters "What Happens When We Are Reborn?" "Why Do We Reincarnate?" discuss the process of rebirth and the karma connected with it, as well as conception and moral issues. The purpose of reincarnation is seen as being to further evolution. The three streams of evolution as given by H.P. Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine, (1) Physical evolution, (2) Intellectual
evolution and (3) Monadic or spiritual evolution are dealt with at some length and a helpful diagram of the "Spiral of Evolution" is included.
So, what is the scope of reincarnation? The words of the author sum it up very well. "Through reincarnation we come to rejoice in the world. Through reincarnation we learn all that is to be learned. Through reincarnation we develop into complete beings.
"From the frustration of these lives, joy will sprout. From the impermanence of these lives, awareness will grow. From the no-selfness of these lives, truly unselfish Being will flower. That is the purpose of reincarnation. That is its end".
An Appendix is added to this book giving terms for Reincarnation and Allied Concepts as well as a Bibliography and an Index.
Some years ago were published three books by Joseph Head and S. L. Cranston: Reincarnation: An East-West Anthology, Reincarnation in World Thought and Reincarnation: The Phoenix Fire Mystery. A fourth book by Sylvia Cranston and Carey Williams: Reincarnation: A New Horizon in Science, Religion and Society followed. These books brought together writings and quotations from well-known persons and works and showed a world-wide belief in reincarnation.
Reincarnation Explored does not compete, but rather complements these fine books. It is ideal for an intelligent public wanting to know more about Reincarnation and the many reasons for its being a logical explanation - in combination with the concept of karma - for the joys and sorrows of everyday existence.
To my way of thinking Reincarnation Explored is the best book of its kind in many years. To a reader exploring the idea of Reincarnation for the first time it will give them an excellent overall view set forth in simple terms.
Although it contains little that is new for the student of Theosophy, it is none the less welcome as an excellent reference book. It should prove helpful in dealing with enquiries on Reincarnation, the Seven Principles and the After-Death States without becoming too involved in technical terms.
As the author has pointed out his book gives no new evidence for or against reincarnation, but rather presents a theosophical view. The view, he says, is "a" rather than "the" because Theosophy presents no dogmas about reincarnation, or for that matter, about any other subject.
THE DISSEMINATION OF THEOSOPHY
The collection of papers presented at the Dissemination of Theosophy Conference, held in New York City, August 8-9, 1987, is now available. Nineteen papers and letters are included. Format is letter-size, 66 pages, photocopied and bound. This publication is being made available for the cost of photocopying and postage. Cost per copy, U.S. and Canada, $7.00 (U.S.). Please include payment with order, and make cheques payable to Michael Revere. Order from: Michael Revere, 324 E. 91 Street No. 30, New York, NY 10128 U.S.A.
The Editors apologize for a mistake in the Index to Volume 68 (Jan-Feb issue, p. 143). Following is the correct entry. Playle, Ruth Eve (not Eva).
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
I am pleased to welcome into the fellowship of the Society the following new members. As members-at-large: Mr. David Carter, of Halifax, N.S. Mrs. Amy Loewan, Mrs. Monique McConnell and Mr. Trevor Young, all of Edmonton, Alberta.
As Lodge or Study Centre members: Mr. Miklos Fisi and Mrs. Judit Fisi, Victoria Lodge. Mrs. Margaret Johnson of Roxboro, P.Q., Beaconsfield Study Centre. Mr. Harold Pym and Mrs. Margery Pym of Vancouver, Hermes Lodge.
Also welcomed back into the fold by reinstatement are: Mr Eugene Kaellis and Mrs. Rhoda Kaellis, of Victoria, B.C. Miss Jessie McLean, Toronto Lodge.
The Theosophical Society in England invites you to a European Congress to mark the centenary of the publication of The Secret Doctrine, the centenary of the founding of the British Section, and the Annual Convention of the English Section, to be held July 29 - August 5, 1988, at Newland Park, Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks, England.
The guest of honour and principal speaker will be the International President, Mrs. Radha Burnier.
Those who wish to attend are advised to book early. The Booking Officer is: Mrs. Alys Bayly, 2 St. Alban, Tekels Park, Camberley, Surrey, England GU15 2LE.
I have one of their brochure-application forms which I would copy and send to any Canadian member upon request.
I have received a general notice from Mr. Conrad Jamieson, Secretary of the T.S., Adyar, and sent to all General Secretaries, concerning a problem. I quote extracts from his letter herewith which will explain the problem and the required solution:
"Subject: Accommodation at Adyar.
"Too often we find members and others arriving at Adyar with the intention of staying here, but without prior permission ... Much inconvenience is caused by such arrivals, which are not infrequently (at) odd hours, during holidays, etc.
"...before we make a decision about providing accommodation we wish to know whether the person concerned is a member in good standing (i.e., all dues paid to date - S.T.) and active in the T.S. and what is the purpose of the stay.
"Kindly make it known through your journals ...(and in the local language) that accommodation will not be given even to members if they do not write in advance and obtain prior permission.
"A recommendation from the General Secretary or a senior and well-known member should also be normally provided.
"If members follow such commonsense arrangements it prevents their being placed in the awkward situation of having to find a hotel and rearrange their itinerary."
As to the letter of recommendation mentioned in the second to last paragraph above, I should imagine that your Lodge President would qualify as a "senior and well-known member." I will be glad to provide the required letter upon request to any Canadian Section would-be visitors to Adyar. Indeed, I have written such a letter just an hour before typing these notes, for a member who believes in preparing well in advance.
- The Organ of the Theosophical Society
The Canadian Theosophist
- In Canada
- Published Bi-Monthly
- Second Class Mail Registration Number 0784
- Return Postage Guaranteed
- Subscription: $9.00 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
Mark it on your calendar: the Annual Meeting of The Theosophical Society in Canada will be held on Saturday, September 17, 1988, in Victoria, B.C. Time is not set yet, except that it will be in the afternoon, with an earlier meeting of the Board of Directors. We shall be guests of the Victoria Lodge. I do not know the exact place but shall advise all members in due course. This early notice is given so that you may make your plans and bookings well in advance. After the meeting there will be a program of music and poetry readings.
I note on that junk-supporter called my desk, a June 1987 issue of The Theosophical Research Journal, open at an article entitled, "What Happened Before the Big Bang?" Someone, guess who, had scribbled a footnote: "Some ONE lit the fuse."
In September of 1986, I was cleaning out the office we used to have in the Toronto Lodge's building, prior to their moving out. I was packing and also seeing what could be thrown out rather than go into storage. In a filing cabinet, which too often is just a glorified waste paper basket, I came across an old letter from a member who was resigning, and also ceasing to subscribe to this magazine. She complained that too many articles were but a rehash of old ideas. Perhaps true, but a reiteration of basic philosophical concepts is how we learn, and refresh our memory if already learned. Also, a restatement in another person's words and perception is a good way to expand one's understanding of a concept. I firmly believe in using other persons' minds, for this is the group concept of discovery and learning.
BEACONSFIELD STUDY CENTRE
Greetings from the Beaconsfield T.S. Study group.
Presently, in the first hour of our meeting we study Cosmogenesis. This always stimulates lively discussions.
The second hour is devoted to subjects in philosophy or life that we consider relative to our studies and our understanding of them.
It is our pleasure to extend grateful thanks to Mr. Fred Griffiths, of Montreal, for his generous donation of books for our library. Also, we express our gratitude for the financial assistance given our group through the thoughtful and brotherly assistance of the now defunct Montreal Lodge.
We wish all a fruitful and joyful year in pursuit of the Truth.
- Suzanne Hassanein
Edmonton Lodge is continuing its regular Wednesday evening meetings with the study of The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett.
Correspondence following the visits by guest lecturers in our early Fall lecture programs has attracted individuals interested in the Theosophical Society. Two have been attending the meetings regularly, and have joined as members-at-large.
Once again Emory Wood escaped our Winter, and will be returning in early Spring. On January 20, 1988, we were pleased to have in our midst Doris Davy from Calgary. She presented a very interesting paper entitled "After Death States and Near-Death Experiences." We also took the opportunity to celebrate Mrs. Davy's birthday.
A Library committee has been meeting every weekend, and will have the reorganization of the Library completed in the near future.
Following the sighting of a UFO in Australia in January, the Edmonton radio station CJCA, on which Rex Dutta and Jean Coulsting were interviewed last Fall, contacted Rex at his home in Camberley, England. Shortly after, he was featured on a live trans-Atlantic phone-in program for 45 minutes, discussing the sighting and Flying Saucers in general. The members are pleased that CJCA thus followed up on the in-person visit with our British friends, made possible while they were guests of Edmonton Lodge in October.
- Laurier Auger
Hermes members have continued with their study groups on Wednesday evenings, with a different theme each month. An audio tape, "Gita - A Key to Mystical Consciousness" was followed by tapes of talks by Sri Ram, Ravi Ravindra and Dora Kunz. In October, the study of Taimini's Self Culture was begun, led by Naftaly Ramajkar every other Wednesday, with tapes or videos on intervening Wednesdays.
In October we enjoyed lectures by Rex Dutta on "Deeper Levels of Life" and by Jean Coulsting on "Mind, The Spiritual Path". They gave a combined talk on "Inner Rhythms." Mr. Dutta also spoke on "Flying Saucers".
In November, Phyllis Roberts spoke on "My Theosophy - Big Concepts with a Light Touch" illustrated with original songs.
Hermes re-opened in January for the new season, continuing with the usual programs. An illustrated history of the Theosophical
Society in America was shown at the public meeting in January. It proved fascinating, as it showed pictures of illustrious members of the T.S. in their earlier years.
In February, Dora Kunz spoke on "The Chakras". Her talk drew a large attendance, including many from the nursing field, who have heard of Dora's work with "therapeutic touch."
Members continue to meet on Thursdays of each month when the Mahatma Letters study continues.
We are pleased to report that one of our members, Jean Nichols, was granted a scholarship to attend the Krotona School of Theosophy in Ojai, California, and spent eight weeks studying there.
A new member, Kavita Sharma, joined Hermes in September. In December, three more new members were welcomed: Mr. and Mrs. Harold Pym, and Wayne Nelles.
Gaile Campbell has presented the Lodge with one of her beautiful paintings.
We are expanding our Tape and Video Library, and also adding to the Library of books. The purchase of a much-needed photocopier is planned in the future.
- Eva Sharp, Secretary
FROM THE PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS (Continued from page 7)
thought ... Such a library, combining the best of our past with the most modern outlook, would not have been possible elsewhere than in the Theosophical Society.
The School of the Wisdom session in January-March attracted sixty-six students from eighteen countries. It was conducted by Mr. A.R. Bakshi who dealt extensively with mysticism in the religions and philosophies of the world. Several of the participants took up individual research and presented papers on such subjects as "Mysticism and Art". The October-December session of the School has been under the direction of Mr. Rohit Mehta with "Theosophy - the Unknown but not the Unknowable" as the theme. This session also drew a large number of participants from several countries of the world. A few scholarships are available for students, but we are restricting them to members who are actively working for the Society or those who show promise of becoming useful workers. We particularly wish to help the isolated areas and Sections which experience economic problems.
Much effort was put into improving the work of the Olcott Memorial School and the Social Welfare Centre at Adyar. An Endowment Fund for the educational work was also created which should enable us to get better teaching staff and equipment. Steps have been taken to bring the social welfare work directly under the aegis of the T.S. Consequently the Olcott Welfare Society has resolved to dissolve itself. Members who wish to help these poor children are requested henceforward to channel their aid through the T.S., earmarking the donation for welfare work.
The new building of the Theosophical Publishing House in Besant Gardens, for which the foundation was laid last year, is nearing completion. In 1988, the Publishing House will shift to the new premises which are much more spacious and convenient than the present one. After this change, it is proposed to provide the Archives and Museum with more space as they are at present too cramped and unable to carry on the work or display material properly.
"Since you asked that I send you a secret book which was revealed to me and Peter by the Lord, I could not turn you away or gainsay you ... take care not to rehearse this text to many - this that the Savior did not wish to tell to all of us, his twelve disciples..." (1)
Thus, James the Just, the brother of Jesus. Those early Christians who had importuned him to include them in the distribution of secret teachings were characteristic of a host of aspirants before and after them, in many cultures and traditions.
A delusion common to many seekers after truth when they start on their quest is the conviction, or at least a strong hope, that somewhere there exists a book which will reveal all they want to know. (No doubt many copies of The Secret Doctrine have been bought on the strength of its title!) Some expect to be able to advance swiftly along the path if only they can get their hands on writings which contain "exclusive" teachings of spiritual (so-called) matters, and especially the ones which promise "powers". Determined to find short cuts, though looking for them takes longer than the regular uphill climb, even the very intelligent are not immune. The fact that this very attitude retards progress is blithely ignored. But sooner or later must surely come the realization that it is wishful thinking, a waste of precious time and energy.
The law of supply and demand operates. These days, there exists what is practically an industry to satisfy this want, because the same wishful thinkers also delude themselves that spiritual knowledge can be purchased. "Dollarsophia" - Blavatsky's expressive term - is always with us. The delusion persists from generation to generation. Others expect it to be handed to them on a platter. James' followers were evidently in this category. So were two early members of the Theosophical Society, A.P. Sinnett and A.O. Hume. How was it possible that these two intelligent men could be so naive as to believe that the Truth which all have to unveil by their own efforts, would be revealed to them for the asking? Judging from the replies they received from the Mahatmas who corresponded with them, this is precisely what they expected. Yet -
"On close observation, you will find it was never the intention of the Occultists really to conceal what they had been writing from earnest determined students, but rather to lock up their information for safety-sake, in a secure safe-box, the key to which is - intuition." (2)
"It is the common mistake of people that we willingly wrap ourselves and our powers in mystery - that we wish to keep our knowledge to ourselves, and of our own will refuse ...to communicate it. The truth is that till the neophyte attains to the condition necessary for that degree of Illumination to which, and for which, he is entitled and fitted, most if not all of the Secrets are incommunicable." (3)
The Mahatma's statement quoted above implies that esoteric teachings cannot be conveyed in any form to anyone not ready to receive them. A corollary might be that it is not possible for the profane to recognize an esoteric teaching, even when it stares them in the face. Ultimately, there are no really secret writings, even those written cryptically. Any code can be broken. Once published, all
writings are potentially exoteric, regardless of the adjective used to describe them. In theory, that is. An article on any subject written in an unknown foreign language is "esoteric" in one sense, and remains so until we either learn the language or obtain a translation.
The paradox is evident whatever and whosoever "esoteric" teachings are studied. Take H.P.B.'s Instructions, and Inner Group Teachings for example. Certainly there are passages therein that appear to be highly relevant keys to some of the teachings she had already shared in her published works. But how many are intuitive enough to recognize the keys; or are sufficiently knowledgable of the teachings to be able to take advantage of them? For the most part, however, the material in these books is obviously exoteric. On the other side of the coin, some of the voluminous published writings of Blavatsky and Judge may well include certain restricted teachings. But in such instances, security would never be at risk: those who don't know what they are looking for won't find it without help.
So much for philosophizing. The fact remains that books labeled "esoteric" are on the market, and some carry the imprint of Theosophical publishers. This is not surprising. The Theosophical Movement has embraced a number of organizations that call themselves esoteric. From these have come teachings some verbal, some written. Originally published for the sworn-to-secrecy faithful only, some of the writings have eventually been made available to the general public.
Interestingly, some such writings have remained "classified" for only a little while. For instance, within seven years of her death, many of H.P. Blavatsky's Instructions for E.S.T. members were added to the material gathered into the "third volume" of The Secret Doctrine. (Today these are more conveniently available in forms faithful to the originals in H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings Vol. XI I, and The Inner Group Teachings of H.P. Blavatsky.)
Only a year or so ago, it would have been reasonable to ask, will there be others? A strong argument can be made for openness, and the above-mentioned precedents are positive factors. But a year or so ago, the answer would have been "probably not." Happily, events have shown that response to have been not only pessimistic but very wrong.
First, it was learned that the writings of William Q. Judge to his E.S. will be included in the forthcoming third volume of his Collected Writings, Echoes of the Orient.
Even while waiting for that publication, one of the major Theosophical publishing events in recent times has taken place: the release of G. de Purucker's Esoteric Teachings in twelve volumes. (4)
Admittedly, much of this material has been published previously in other books. However, to have it all available in such a series is obviously desirable. Those who think highly of de Purucker's several works will need no persuading to study his Esoteric Teachings.
This new publication again raises the question of just what is esoteric? Certainly, as far as technical Theosophy is concerned, there is little or nothing in these twelve volumes that could not/would not also have been included in other writings by the same author. However, as wisely remarked in a fine introductory article by the compiler, W. Emmett Small, "Every truth has depths beyond what is openly stated," (5) - which is a useful thought to keep always in mind when approaching this sort of study.
Regarding technical Theosophy, G. de Purucker himself took it for granted "that every newly-entered student of the E.S. is more or less acquainted with our standard Theosophical literature, and it is necessary to point out that such acquaintance with Theosophy is almost a sine qua non for a correct understanding of what the Esotericist will be given to study." Beyond this, "...it is impossible to gain a correct philosophical or scientific understanding of the teachings of Esoteric Theosophy without gaining at the same time ... an understanding of the ethical and the mystical." (7) So in addition to the technical aspects, some instructions touch on the rules of conduct in this particular E.S. They are what might be expected, and these days would hardly be considered private, let alone esoteric.
For the most part, these books can only be assessed on the same basis as any other of de Purucker's writings. Personally, I have always found his methods and explanatory style helpful. And to me, he is reliable - I trust him. Rarely if ever does he deviate from the Blavatsky teachings, and then mostly by elaboration. As with any study, we have to decide for ourselves if the elaborations are compatible with the standards we have chosen. The same holds true for de Purucker's Esoteric Teachings.
For an important work as this, though, there should be another way to assess its value that does not stem directly from the teaching itself. Let us remember for whom it was written: what it meant to the original pupils is unquestionably more important than the nature of the impact it has on the reader fifty or sixty years later. Was there more to the teaching, the leadership, than is immediately apparent from the writings?
One criterion that can be applied is summed up in the proverb, "the proof of the pudding is in the eating." In the case of Gotffried de Purucker, we can only look at those whom he taught. Now the following has to be very personal, which is regrettable, but unavoidable. Some of his pupils are still alive; others have been with us until recently. Those I have known have demonstrated exceptional qualities: as students of Theosophy they have been outstanding; by their examples they have demonstrated how the Theosophic life should be lived; and in their various ways they have served the Cause admirably.
As far as I am concerned, that's the proof, and is itself sufficient incentive to study the Esoteric Teachings of G. de Purucker.
"I would therefore urge upon you all, my brothers on the Path ... to enter into the adytum of these studies with a self-forgetful devotion to the common good of all that lives," wrote de Purucker. (8)
"I pray that the beginning may come from you," James exhorted his followers. (9)
So be it.
1. The Apocryphon of James. Translated by Francis E. Williams. In The Nag Hammadi Library, ed. James M. Robinson. p. 30.
2. The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, p. 279. (p. 275 3rd ed.)
3. ibid. p. 283. (p. 278 3rd ed.)
4. G. de Purucker, Esoteric Teachings. In twelve volumes. Point Loma Publications, Inc. 1987.
5. W. Emmett Small, ibid. Compiler's Preface, p. I in each volume.
6. G. de Purucker, ibid. Vol. I, "The Esoteric Path: Its Nature and Its Tests," p. 1.
7. ibid. p. 1.
8. ibid. p. 3.
9. Apocryphon of James, op. cit. p. 36.
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 IV
Question. How long is the interval between the first and the second death? Does it depend upon the type of character or the manner of death?
Answer. Since many people may not be aware of the significance of the first and the second death, that point should first be clarified. It was Plutarch who wrote about the two deaths: the first death takes place in the region of Demeter and the second death in the region of Persephone. This signifies that the first passing occurs when leaving the Earth; the second upon leaving Kama-loka. Kama-loka is described as:
"the semi-material plane, to us subjective and invisible, where the disembodied 'personalities', the astral forms called Kama Rupa, remain until they fade out from it by the complete exhaustion of the effects of the mental impulses that created these eidolons of the lower animal passions and desires. It is the Hades of the ancient Greeks and the Amenti of the Egyptians - the land of Silent Shadows." (The Key to Theosophy, p. 340)
As to the length of time in Kama-loka, this was one of the questions asked of Mahatma K.H. by A.P. Sinnett. The answer is given in
The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett:
"Every just disembodied four-fold entity (i.e. Atman, Buddhi, Manas, Kama) - whether it died a natural or violent death, from suicide or accident, mentally sane or insane, young or old, good, bad, or indifferent loses at the instant of death all recollection, it is mentally - annihilated; it sleeps its akasic sleep in the Kama-loka. This state lasts from a few hours, (rarely less) days, weeks, months - sometimes to several years. All this according to the entity, to its mental states at the moment of death; to the character of its death, etc. That remembrance will return slowly and gradually toward the end of the gestation (to the entity or Ego), still more slowly but far more imperfectly and incompletely to the shell, and fully to the Ego at the moment of its entrance into the Devachan. And now, the latter being a state determined and brought by its past life, the Ego does not fall headlong but sinks into it gradually and by easy stages." (pp. 186-7; p 184 3rd ed.)
The next sentence (of the quoted passage which follows) gives the reason why the pro-
cess which will be described should be termed "the second death". For the first panoramic vision (in which a person's life is reviewed by the Reincarnating Ego) takes place at the moment when death occurs. Therefore the second death has reference to the second panoramic vision, namely when the Reincarnating Ego enters the state of Devachan and leaves Kama-loka. Continuing the quotation:
"With the first dawn of that state appears that life (or rather is once more lived over by the Ego) from its first day of consciousness to its last. From the most important down to the most trifling event, all are marshalled before the spiritual eye of the Ego; only, unlike the events of real life, those of them remain only that are chosen by the new liver (pardon the word) clinging to certain scenes and actors, these remain permanently - while all the others fade away to disappear for ever, or to return to their creator the shell. Now try to understand this highly important, because so highly just and retributive law, in its effects. Out of the resurrected Past nothing remains but what the Ego has felt spiritually - that was evolved by and through, and lived over by his spiritual faculties - they be love or hatred." (ibid p. 187; p 184 3rd ed.) - Vol. 57, No. 5
T.S. IN CANADA TAPE LENDING LIBRARY
Audio and video cassette tapes of lectures, etc., are available on loan from the T.S. in Canada tape lending library. (This service is for residents of Canada only.) Write for list to: Doris Davy, 2307 Sovereign Cres. S.W., Calgary, Alberta. T3C 2M3.
The mind must hold the object of its deliberation as if it were precious beyond measure, and be aware that thieves are everywhere at hand...
As we walked along the park road we saw a youngish couple at the edge of the playing fields. They appeared to be in their early twenties. The man was showing the woman how to swing a golf club effectively. There was a golf ball on the tee at their feet. She was holding the club in the approved fashion, and he was standing close to her and holding her arms to aid in the follow through of the swing. Even from the road one could see that the young man was also intent on the romantic side of the situation, and instead of having his eyes on the golf ball he had them instead on the face of his partner.
Just then, a red setter came out of nowhere on the full run. Without even breaking stride it cut to the front of the young couple, and playfully picked up the golf ball in its mouth. Then it was off, and sped towards the open grass area. The girl did not react in any noticeable fashion, but the man for some reason was very perturbed. Losing his temper, he pulled the golf club out of the girl's hands and threw it after the dog. He also used a few profane words to accompany his action.
The girl, seeing her would-be beau suddenly change from a quiet, happy person to a rather violent one, moved to a distance away from him. She then said in a shocked voice, loud enough for us to hear: "Well! If that's the kind of person you are, good bye!" Then she strode off, without a backward glance.
So, the young man not only lost his golf ball, and his temper, but his friend as well.
In retrospect, the following seemed apt. Sometimes when we are involved in a problem in our mind, we may allow a passing image to enter the scene. We are then startled to see it assuming centre stage, albeit however briefly. A hard effort is necessary to dismiss the intruder. When this is done, we find that we have really lost the thread of our exercise, and have to start all over again. It would have been a lot simpler in the first place to have kept the mind on its problem. - S.E.
The Dawning of the Theosophical Movement, by Michael Gomes. A Quest Original. Wheaton, IL., The Theosophical Publishing House, 1987. x + 248 pp. Price $8.95 U.S.
It is hard to believe that after reading The Dawning of the Theosophical Movement anyone could contend that Theosophical history is a boring subject. It is the sort of book that is only put down reluctantly. Happily, its entertainment value is balanced by its importance as a serious contribution to the history of the Society.
Those who have read Michael Gomes' articles in The Canadian Theosophist know that as a historian he is both reliable and readable. He writes well, and all his facts and quotations are fully referenced. Years of research have gone into this study. On this subject, the author is indeed an authority.
With his book in hand, it needs but little imagination on the reader's part to be aware of the flickering gaslight, and the noise of horse-drawn carts on the cobbled streets of old New York. Against such a background a fascinating story unfolds.
If knowledge of the early period of the Theosophical Society was limited to the 1880s, few would accurately guess its nature and character from 1875 to 1878. In those earlier years, roughly the period covered in this work, it was almost as if trial and error was the chosen method of finding its true direction. Compared to the problems that plagued the organization later, however, it was a relatively happy time, and the inevitable controversies were hardly crippling.
The launching of the Society was not like that of a rocket, but rather of a ship, which after hitting the water goes immediately into dock for an extended period of time while its construction is being completed. As an organization per se, the Society was far from active at the beginning. At times it seemed to be moribund. It might have collapsed from indifference and disinterest were it not for the impact made by the publication of Isis Unveiled.
Among the admirable features about this history is its balance. Balance not only from the relative weight assigned to the events, but also between events and the personalities involved in them. (The latter are impossible to ignore!) This is a fine achievement, and helps the reader better assess the history of the "dawn" period, essential if one is to understand the more controversial years that followed.
For example, the interaction of the early Theosophists with Spiritualism - then tremendously popular - is given its proper due. In retrospect, it seems likely that Madame Blavatsky still felt that she could accomplish all or part of her mission through this channel, notwithstanding the failure of her earlier experiment in Egypt. It is interesting to speculate how the Society might otherwise have developed, had the Spiritualists been more receptive at this time. None the less, the letters from Blavatsky to various
Spiritualist journals were certainly important in establishing her credentials and in planting the seed of the Theosophical philosophy among her contemporaries.
Though not all may agree on the outcome of that particular effort, at least it was understandable, which is more than can be said for the long-distance alliance with the Arya Samaj in India. This is, in my view, the single incident in the early history of the Society that is most difficult to explain. Why the alliance was initiated may have been an error of judgment. Why it was sustained is incomprehensible. We have learned to be optimistic where archives are concerned (the Blavatsky letters to Elliott Coues, for instance) and perhaps fresh evidence regarding the episode with the Arya Samaj may yet come to light. If so, I hope Michael Gomes is around to put it into perspective.
Another factor singled out is the writing and publishing of Isis Unveiled, and surely there are few who would disagree as to its importance. The readers it attracted were the core from which the later members were drawn.
The original members who were more or less active in the Society, and carried it through its formative years were by and large strong personalities. At least during the New York years their colourful characters were probably more influential in attracting members than was the appeal of the original Objects.
While Col. Olcott's contribution to the organization at this time, and especially later, cannot be denied, its relative importance at the beginning is perhaps often exaggerated. When we talk about the "dawning" of the Theosophical Movement, indisputably and "sun" is H.P. Blavatsky. Around her are a number of satellites, of whom Ocott is one; but the sun is so bright that the stars are seen rarely, and then dimly.
Although as mentioned, Michael Gomes is an undoubted authority on this subject, he lets the facts speak for themselves in his book, and seldom interjects his personal views or judgments. A substantial part of this work is in the form of quotations, yet so skillfully are they strung together that this is hardly noticeable when reading. It adds up to a unique style, roughly between the academic and the popular. His introduction is excellent, and the many notes are extremely helpful.
The Dawning of the Theosophical Movement includes portraits of a number of the personalities that one way or another contributed to the events described therein. A book's illustrations are usually the prerogative of its editor not the author, so probably Gomes is not to blame for the incredible omission of a picture of William Q. Judge. (Yet there are two of the spook "Katie King"!!) This error excepted, it is a fine book, my only other complaint being that it is not five times longer.
- Ted G. Davy
A READER'S NOTES
The advent of a new Theosophical publisher is happy news. Here's welcoming Via Publications of Montreal, specializing in French writings.
A recent title from this source is Comment sont nes l'univers et l'homme, by Phan-Chon-Ton. A Secret Doctrine study, based on the Stanzas of Dzyan, its focus is on Anthropogenesis and Cosmogenesis. It comes in handy pocket size, 96 pp., price $7.00. Available from Via Publications, 15 Claude, Vaudreuil, P.Q. RV 5V5
The set of Esoteric Teachings by G. de Purucker, mentioned elsewhere in this issue, is available from Point Loma Publications, Inc., P.O. Box 6507, San Diego, CA 92106, U.S.A. The price is $7.00 per volume, or $72.00 per set of twelve volumes. (Both prices in U.S. dollars.)
Each volume of Esoteric Teachings comes with its own excellent comprehensive general index, and an index of sources quoted or referred to. Average volume size, not counting the indexes, is 115pp. Soft covers, different colour and design for each volume.
Individual titles are: 1) The Esoteric Path: Its Nature and Its Tests; 2) The Esoteric or Oriental School: Steps in the Initiatory Cycle; 3) Space and the Doctrine of Maya; 4) Galaxies and Solar Systems: Their Genesis, Structure, and Destiny; 5) Hierarchies and the Doctrine of Emanations; 6) Invisible Worlds and Their Inhabitants; 7) The Doctrine of Spheres; 8) Gods, Monads, Life-Atoms; 9) Correlations of Cosmic and Human Constitutions; 10) the Hierarchy of Compassion; 11) and 12) Death and the Circulations of the Cosmos (in two parts).
Viewpoint Aquarius has a new format. Unavailability of the old "foolscap" size paper, familiar to subscribers since its first number in 1971, has forced the change. It now appears in the Metric A4 size (roughly lettersize), and remains 30 pages in length.
The contents, however, are unchanged. As well as mind-challenging lead articles, regular features include The Secret Doctrine and The Key to Theosophy study sections; Flying Saucer news; and a "Yoga, Meditation, Healing" section. Sample copy from Viewpoint Aquarius, P.O. Box 97, Camberley, Surrey GU15 2LH, England.
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)
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
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 STUDY CENTRE: Leader, Mrs. Phoebe Stone; Secretary, Mr. Fred Wilkes, 3679 Ste. Famille, No. 22, Montreal, P.Q. H2X 2L5
TORONTO LODGE: Acting President, Mrs. Barbara Treloar, Apt. 288, 2095 Roche Ct, Mississauga, Ont L5K 2C8 (Phone 822-4352) Secretary, Mr. Wilf Olin
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