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VOL. VII. No.10 TORONTO, DECEMBER 15th, 1926 Price 10 Cents
GOD IS WORKING HIS PURPOSE OUT
God is working His purpose out, as year succeeds to year; God is working His purpose out, and the time is drawing near - Nearer and nearer draws the time, the time that shall surely be, When the earth shall be filled with the glory of God, as the waters cover the sea.
From utmost East to utmost West, where'er man's foot hath trod,
By the mouth of many messengers goes forth the voice of God; Give ear to Me, ye continents - ye isles, give ear to Me,
That the earth may be filled with the strength of God, as the waters cover the sea.
What can we do to work God's work, to prosper and increase The brotherhood of all mankind - the reign of the Prince of Peace?
What can we do to hasten the time - the time that shall surely be,
When the earth shall be filled with the beauty of God as the waters cover the sea.
March we forth in the strength of God with the banner of Love unfurled,
That the Light of the glorious gospel of Truth may shine throughout the world;
Fight we the fight with sorrow and sin, to set their captives free, That the earth may be filled with the wisdom of God as the waters cover the sea.
All we can do is nothing worth, unless Gad blesses the deed; Vainly we hope for the harvest, till God gives life to the seed; Yet nearer and nearer draws the time - the time that shall surely be,
When the earth shall be filled with the Love of God as the waters cover the sea.
- A. C. Ainger (slightly altered).
THE THREE PLANES
(JAGRATA, SWAPNA, SUSHUPTI:) (WAKING, DREAMING, DREAMLESS SLEEP)
I speak of ordinary men. The Adept, the Master, the Yogi, the Mahatma, the Buddha, each lives in more than three states while incarnated upon the world, and they are fully conscious of them all, while the ordinary man is only conscious of the first - the waking-life, as the word conscious is now understood.
Every Theosophist who is in earnest ought to know the importance of these three states, and especially how essential it is that one should not lose in Swapna the memory of experiences in Sushupti, nor in Jagrata those of Swapna, and vice versa.
Jagrata, our waking state, is the one in which we must be regenerated; where we must come to a full consciousness of the Self within, for in no other is salvation possible.
When a man dies he goes either to the Supreme Condition from which no return against his will is possible, or to other states - heaven, hell, avitchi, devachan, what not - from which return to incarnation is inevitable. But he cannot go to the Supreme State unless he has perfected and regenerated himself; unless the wonderful and shining heights on which the Masters stand have been reached while he is in a body. This consummation, so devoutly desired, cannot be secured unless at some period in his evolution the being takes the steps that lead to the final attainment. These steps can and must be taken. In the very first is contained the possibility of the last, for causes once put in motion eternally produce their natural results.
Among those steps are an acquaintance with and understanding of the three states spoken of.
Jagrata acts on Swapna, producing dreams and suggestions, and either disturbs the instructions that come down from the higher state or aids the person through waking calmness and concentration which tend to lessen the distortions of the mental experiences of dream life. Swapna again in its turn acts on the waking state (Jagrata) by the good or bad suggestions made to him in dreams. All experience and all religions are full of proofs of this. In the fabled Garden of Eden the wily serpent whispered in the ear of the sleeping mortal to the end that when awake he should violate the command. In Job it is said that God instructeth man in sleep, in dreams, and in visions of the night. And the common introspective and dream life of the most ordinary people needs no proof. Many cases are within my knowledge where the man way led to commit acts against which his better nature rebelled, the suggestion for the act coming to him in dream. It was because the unholy state of his waking thoughts infected his dreams, and laid him open to evil influences. By natural action and reaction he poisoned both jagrata and Swapna.
It is therefore our duty to purify and keep clear these two planes.
The third state common to all is Sushupti, which has been translated "dreamless sleep." The translation is inadequate, for, while it is dreamless, it is also a state in which even criminals commune through the higher nature with spiritual being and enter into the spiritual plane. It is the great spiritual reservoir by means of which the tremendous momentum toward evil living is held in check. And because it is involuntary with them, it is constantly salutary in its effect.
In order to understand the subject better, it is well to consider a little in detail what happens when one falls asleep, has dreams, and then enters Sushupti. As his outer senses are dulled the brain begins to throw up images, the reproductions of waking acts and thoughts, and soon he is asleep. He has then entered a pane of experience which is as real as that just quitted, only that it is of a different sort. We may roughly divide this from the waking life by an imaginary partition on the one side, and from Sushupti by another partition on the other. In this region he wanders until he begins to rise beyond it into the higher. There no dis-
turbances come from the brain action, and the being is a partaker to the extent his nature permits of the "banquet of the gods." But he has to return to waking state, and he can get back by no other road than the one he came upon, for, as Sushupti extends in every direction and Swapna under it also in every direction, there is no possibility of emerging at once from Sushupti into Jagrata. And this is true even though on returning no memory of any dream is retained.
Now the ordinary non-concentrated man, by reason of the want of focus due to multitudinous and confused thought, has put his Swapna field or state into confusion, and in passing through it the useful and elevating experiences of Sushupti become mixed up and distorted, not resulting in the benefit to him as a waking person which is his right as well as his duty to have. Here again is seen the lasting effect, either prejudicial or the opposite, of the conduct and thoughts when awake.
So it appears, then, that what he should try to accomplish is such a clearing up and vivification of Swapna state as shall result in removing the confusion and distortion existing there, in order that upon emerging into waking life he may retain a wider and brighter memory of what occurred in Sushupti. This is done by an increase of concentration upon high thoughts, upon noble purposes, upon all that is best and most spiritual in him while awake. The best result cannot be accomplished in a week or a year, perhaps not in a life, but, once begun, it will lead to the perfection of spiritual cultivation in some incarnation hereafter.
By this course a centre of attraction is set up in him while awake, and to that all his energies flow, so that it may be figured to ourselves as a focus in the waking man. To this focal point - looking at it from that plane - converge the rays from the whole waking man towards Swapna, carrying him into dream-state with greater clearness. By reaction this creates another focus in Swapna, through which he can emerge into Sushupti in a collected condition. Returning he goes by means of these points through Swapna, and there, the confusion being lessened, he enters into his usual waking state the possessor, to some extent at least, of the benefits and knowledge of Sushupti. The difference between the man who is not concentrated and the one who is, consists in this, that the first passes from one state to the other through the imaginary partitions postulated above, just as sand does through a sieve, while the concentrated man passes from one to the other similarly to water through a pipe or the rays of the sun through a lens. In the first case each stream of sand is a different experience, a different set of confused and irregular thoughts, whereas the collected man goes and returns the owner of regular and clear experiences.
These thoughts are not intended to be exhaustive, but so far as they go it is believed they are correct. The subject is one of enormous extent as well as great importance, and theosophists are urged to purify, elevate, and concentrate the thoughts and acts of their waking hours so that they shall not continually and aimlessly night after night and day succeeding day, go into and return from these natural and wisely appointed states, no wiser, no better able to help their fellow men. For by this way, as by the spider's small thread, we may gain the free space of spiritual life.
-Eusebio Urban (William Q. Judge). In "The Path," Aug., 1888.
THE THREE TRUTHS
There are three truths which are absolute, and which cannot be lost, but yet may remain silent for lack of speech
The Soul of man is immortal, and its future is the future of a thing whose growth and splendour has no limit.
The Principle which gives life dwells in us, and without us, is undying and eternally beneficent, is not heard or seen or smelt, but is perceived by the man who desires perception.
Each man is his own absolute lawgiver, the dispenser of glory or gloom to himself; the decreer of his life, his reward, his punishment.
These truths, which are as great as is life itself, are as simple as the simplest mind of man. Feed the hungry with them. - Idyll of the White Lotus.
LETTERS THAT MAY HELP YOU
Picture to yourself - in your mind's eye - a vast number of bits of LIFE having no more individuality than the (shall we say) general mass of undifferentiated life; as it were, from the Central Source of LIFE; bits of the universal Spirit.
If we take sunlight - as an illustration - the bits of light forming the rays would be a rough analogy.
Let us call them units, or Monadic Essence, or Monads, - to use the term in the 'books.'
Take a sheet of writing paper and, starting from the top, draw a straight line through the middle down to near the bottom. On that line, about one-third from the top, start the left-hand curve of an oval (as if you were drawing an egg) until it meets the straight line near the bottom of the paper, then, taking an upward course, draw the right-hand curve (of the egg) but make it longer than the left-hand curve, and finish the top of the curved line above the spot where you began the first curve.
If your drawing of the curves is not mathematically exact it does not matter. The rough diagram is meant merely to elucidate what follows.
Taking the point where you started your curved line as representing the position at which these bits of LIFE started on their evolutionary journey, we may call that spot "The Spiritual Plane." Now imagine these bits of LIFE coming down that curved line into coarser and yet coarser matter until they reach the bottom of that curved line; then, crossing the bottom of the straight upright line, they commence the ascent of the other and longer curved line, keeping on until they reach the top point of the right-hand line above their starting point.
That, in diagrammatic form, represents the journey those bits of LIFE travel in their evolutionary development from what one might call the "undifferentiated" to self-knowing, self-reliant Gods.
If you draw two horizontal lines across your diagram so as to divide your egg-shaped figure into three spaces, those three spaces can, roughly, represent the worlds, planes, or kinds of matter those bits of Life travel through. Mark them, beginning at the top space: "spiritual," "astral," and the lowest space "physical." Keep this diagram because we shall, later on, further sub-divide those spaces, but for the present those three simple spaces are sufficient.
Now those bits of LIFE started out on their evolutionary journey millennium on millennium ago; how many millennium I cannot say for I do not know. Such knowledge is immaterial at this stage of the exposition. (No pun intended).
Think of this universe as being constantly in motion, a to and fro, an 'outbreathing' and an 'in-breathing;' then it will be apparent to you that "spirit" and "matter" are merely two aspects of the same POWER; two opposite poles, as it were. Spirit is attenuated matter; matter being crystallized spirit. Then comes the next thought: If everything is "motion," then that motion must be of various and different speeds; different rates of vibration. We find that it is so, for the higher we go, the greater the rate of vibrations.
It will be obvious to you that when those bits of Life started on their evolutionary path into coarser matter, that coarser matter must have been in existence at that time, otherwise those bits of Life would be like the chap in the song, - all dressed up and nowhere to go. That there were worlds or planes of coarser matter further shows that there were other evolutions of other bits of Life in existence. Indeed, the teaching says that ALL is LIFE, even the so-called "inorganic" being alive with Life. The bits of Life composing those other evolutions were of a different development from our bits of Life.
Next, think of a stream of those bits of Life going through the evolution represented by our curved line (not once, but many times), gaining at the end of each journey ("rounds" as they are called) a little more knowledge of the other
matter - or kinds of Life - they have contacted, and you will have, in brief, the general idea of the evolutionary process. I may remark here that before anything can evolve, it must first be in-volved. So we have the bits of Life "in-volving" into coarser matter, then "evolving" out of it. Involution and Evolution.
The bits of Life composing the planes of matter through which our bits of Life were to travel in their descent into matter were not so far advanced in development as were our bits; hence the striving against them brought out the inherent energy in "our" bits of Life; and, gradually, through the stress (some persons call it "pain") consequent on that striving, developed consciousness which was the beginning of self-consciousness or individualization.
A common illustration is the infant sucking its thumb or toe. One day it bites instead of sucks that thumb, experiences pain instead of pleasure, and so becomes conscious that particular thumb is a part of itself, and develops just that much self-consciousness.
The very first matter the bits of LIFE contact is that of a part of the spiritual plane which may be called "spirit-matter." When that bit of divine life is clothed with that spirit-matter it is called "The MONAD." This sounds a trifle paradoxical because "monad" means "one," but on reflection it will be seen to be correct, because before it was "undifferentiated" or not separated, whereas now it is a separate bit, - a "one" a "unit."
As this exposition is a very, very brief condensed statement please re-read it until you get the main facts clearly in your mind, for these facts apply not only to an atom, a man, a race, a humanity, but also to worlds, solar systems, universes.
As those bits of Life - monads - we are talking about came down into coarser matter, they clothed themselves with bodies (vehicles would be a better name) made of the matter of the planes they traveled through. They do that so as to get the knowledge of those planes via the bits of Life composing those planes by feeling the impacts of the consciousnesses of those bits of Life. We, for instance, acquire our knowledge of this physical plane or world through and by the physical senses. Those senses - eye, ear, etc., are organs made of groups of cells which are bits of Life at a stage of evolution different from our stage of development.
When our bit of Life - which we will now call the monad - came to the next plane downward (intellectual, divine intellectual remember, not what we call intellectual - human intellectuality) the combination forms the Trinity which is the basis of every known religion, and which, in the debased Christian exoteric teaching, is the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost of the creeds; a gross materialistic and anthropomorphic travesty of a grandiose abstract concept. Please note this, because it is one of the clues or threads which can lead you out of the maze of the exoteric materialistic accretions and misrepresentations into the pure light of the Truth - the esoteric.
Then the MONAD contacts the so-called Astral Plane (more properly the passional, the emotional, the plane of desire) in which the bits of Life belonging to that plane like vivid and sudden changes. Gradually the monads descended still farther (the instinctual), and yet farther (semi-corporeal, or etheric), and finally into the grossest matter - the physical. When they arrived at the bottom of the curve and started on the upcurve, they found that the bits of life composing those planes (and the bodies in which the monads were imprisoned) resisted them; their in-volutionary path was downward, (also in development they were far behind the monads) whereas the monads were striving upwards.
That is one key to the problem of good and evil. St. Paul says: - "For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing . . . . For I delight in the law of God after the inward man;" (the divine man, the Spiritual Ego) "but I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity under the law of sin which is in my members." Romans vii. 18, 22.
That is the constant fight of the monad. He wants to go up, back to his spiritual HOME, but the body he in-
habits - the physical body - has a consciousness of its own - in the mass, and wants experiences that are of what we call the animal or lower nature. Those desires are not in themselves wrong or evil, any more than they are wrong or evil in any animal, but as the spiritual man is supposed to govern the animal-man, the wrong and evil comes in when he allows himself to be governed and influenced and carried away by the animal nature.
For instance, eating food in proper quantities to feed the animal body is the right thing to do, but to sit down to a table to gorge oneself with rich food, to eat more than one needs to keep the body in health, is the wrong thing; to acquire money sufficient for the needs of one's family is right, but to become a usurer - grinding the blood of one's fellow humans into dollars, taking advantage of the other man's necessity, living one's life with the prime object of amassing wealth, is wrong; to marry with love in one's heart and for the purpose of paying one's debt to Nature by bringing healthy children into the world - providing bodies for incoming souls, is right, but to marry and then prevent conception, to marry merely to gratify the lower passions and lusts, that is wrong. In so doing we descend below the animals, for they do not seek mates merely for lustful gratification.
Occultists teach that all the ills that man is heir to come from such breaking of the Law, and that all the seeking of cures and germs by medical men availeth not in the ultimate analysis. If we break the law of our spiritual nature, we pay for it sooner or later in some form or other of disease. As Huxley said Nature does not forgive sins. Fortunately, the suffering brought on by those ills tend, finally, to make the sufferer awake to what are the causes, and, incarnation after incarnation, he slowly learns his lessons.
To get back to the thread: If you think of the monad as a seed in the ground (matter), that seed sprouting forces its way up through the heavy clods of earth towards the source of its (higher) life - the sun - and grows into a tree. If it does not, it will rot and die.
The would-be athlete develops his muscles by exercising with heavy weights; the spiritual aspirant develops his (spiritual) muscles by struggling with the inertia, the desires, the passions, of the animal nature of the physical body he lives in.
Now, possibly, you will see the force of the Theosophical statement: that "man" must contact the various bits of life in order to acquire the knowledge that that contact alone gives - for all knowledge comes from experience; that he must force his way up through those planes of coarser matter to attain to the planes above, and to the knowledge those upper planes contain ("the kingdom of heaven is taken by force"); that he - helped by Great Beings who are looking after him and aiding him in his growing, his development - he must do his own growing himself. By the very nature of the case no other, whether that other be a Christ, a Buddha, or any other entity, can do his growing for him.
Paderewski, to become a piano virtuoso, had to do his practicing himself, his masters couldn't do it for him. His masters told him how, showed him how to do it, but they didn't do the studying, the practicing, and then tell him to go to the concert-room and create a furore, Hardly. Yet that is just what the exoteric churches tell their congregations! They tell the people that if they will only believe that Jesus Christ died on a cross to save them from the results of their misdoing, they will go to a heaven for eternity, for ever and ever, Amen! A man can go through life breaking all the laws that were ever made, but if he repents - even at the eleventh hour - and accepts Christ as his Redeemer and Saviour, that vile scallawag will enter into a heaven of bliss. If that isn't putting a premium on sinning I'd like to know.
So with this monad which is developing into a MAN (he is now about half-way, though you might not credit the statement to look at some of the specimens), and which will eventually develop into a full-fledged God full of wisdom,
knowledge and power. This "man" has been shown the way by his Masters - the Christs, Buddhas, and other Beings evolved ahead of us - but they cannot do his living, his growing, his developing for him, he has to do that himself.
Possibly you can see now what part the story of Jesus Christ plays in this teaching. The story, which is an outline of what "man" must go through during the last stage to full "Manhood," shows us how to attain; Jesus (or more correctly, Jehoshua the initiate - the type from whom the "historical" Jesus was copied) being the "first fruits," the fruits of our Humanity to so attain.
With the best of good wishes,
"COMING WORLD CHANGES"
The Curtiss Philosophic Book Co. have issued at One Dollar a useful compendium on this subject written from the point of view of students of the Secret Doctrine with notes on contemporary views on conditions and some elaborations of the possibilities of the situation. A resume of the prophecies touching past catastrophes and the immediate one which has been sensed by many recent writers, including a letter from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on the cataclysm which he expects within the next three years, is given. The Secret Doctrine and other authoritative works are quoted, and it is comforting to know that humanity in general and civilized races in particular have a reprieve of about 16,000 years. "All those who refuse to get a higher spiritual standard and vibration for their thoughts," we read, "their lives and their conduct, together with those whose Karma is such that it would not be just or kind of the Great Law to expect them to make so great an advance in so short a time, will naturally be removed so that the more spiritually advanced ones who are left will be in sufficient majority to dictate the principles and ideals under which the surviving mankind shall exist and he governed, unhampered by the ridicule and opposition of those who cannot comprehend such ideals, instead of allowing the decisions to be made by those ignorant of fundamental spiritual principles or those who refuse to follow them because their minds are inflamed with selfishness, greed, hatred, and revenge." The book recognizes the possibility of a fifth great Asiatic invasion, but there is no need to be alarmed by those to whom "the Great Law has been their guide throughout succeeding ages and which has sustained them in their effort to redeem their Karma, will still guide and sustain them wherever it is best for them to be." We hear in this book also of the King of the World, and some other characters who are not usually heard of outside the later revelations of Adyar. And we have the comforting assurance that "America is the greatest nation on earth" when we remember that He "puts down the mighty from their seat and exalts the humble and meek." A chapter of much good sense is that on The Battle of Armageddon, a name which has had so many theological associations attached to it that it is probably hopeless to get back to the meaning which James M. Pryse expounds. There is, of course, a parallel on each plane, but if there is to be any worse Armageddon than the four years of the Great War civilization has a poor chance. The question asked by the Curtisses goes to the root of the matter. "Has their so-called advance in civilization brought their people into a greater realization of the spiritual basis of all manifestation? Has it led them to strive for a more conscious communion with the realms of spiritual consciousness as a daily and personal experience?" On page 87 it is asserted that "when the physical conflict is over a terrible mental revolt against all forms of restraint, both in government and religion, will burst forth. It will be a period of extremes, extremes of individualism; a period when the opposition to all systematized or organized spiritual teachings, which is even now manifesting under various doctrines of religious and so-called 'soul freedom,' will find extreme expression." . . . "At the same time there will be a strong feeling upon the part of those who cling to the old conceptions that it is their duty to humanity to enforce the old re-
ligious ideals. This will be a great test as to whether religious intolerance has been outgrown."
Surely we have already reached this stage and are experiencing all the reactions that the military Armageddon has
brought about. The personal experience for each one must bring him face to face with his own spiritual conflict. "Conditions," it is truly said in the last chapter, "never right themselves, they are righted only through the definite constructive action of certain persons or groups of persons who understand and unite to work wisely toward definite ends." Exactly; and if these persons or groups of persons will only cooperate, so much more effective will their work become. "There cannot be too much teaching of Brotherhood," said Mrs. Besant in Toronto recently, speaking of another new movement, and the work done by Dr. and Mrs. Curtiss as set forth in this little book deserves recognition from all fellow-workers.
AT THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS
The Theosophical Movement has had its greatest public triumph in the League of Nations. Here are two paragraphs which embody the best spirit of present humanity's ideals.
Speaking in German ("for a people's own language is the sanctuary of its soul"), at the admission of Germany to a seat at the Council, Dr. Stresemann, reviewed, in a grave but conciliatory tone the events of recent years, and moved on, says The British Weekly, to a noble and memorable passage: "The Divine Architect of the world has not created mankind as one homogeneous people. He has made nations of different races, and has given them countries with different characteristics as their homes. But it cannot be the purpose of the Divine world-order that men should direct their supreme national energies against one another, and thus ever thrust back the general progress of civilization."
"I am very happy to meet Germany here," said M. Briand, who rose after Dr. Stresemann had spoken. "This day will go down in history as the one on which something concrete has been done for the peace of the world and the peoples of the world. They have every right, not only to be glad at what has happened, but to cherish great hopes for the future of peace and brotherhood in the world."
Peace and brotherhood, brotherhood and peace, are the new chimes that a modern Tennyson may hear chiming among the misty hills of Europe.
We are frequently asked whether the Christ is a person or an office, and it is sometimes a difficult question to answer, as it is likely to destroy some of the tender feelings hitherto cherished.
H.P.B. says in "Hints on Occultism" that the Christ can never be embodied in one person only. It is a Principle, and is or will be present in the heart of every man.
The Master Jesus was asked by His disciples "Tell us when shall these things be, and what shall be the sign of Thy presence and of the consummation of the age." The reply given was as follows
"Take heed that no man leads you astray, for many shall come in my name saying 'I am the Christ,' and shall lead many astray. If any man shall say unto you, here is the Christ, or there, believe him not . . . . . . . . "
To quote H.P.B.: "Two things become evident to all in these passages, the coming of Christ means the presence of Christos in a regenerated world, and not at all the actual coming in the body of Christ Jesus. This Christ is to be sought neither in the wilderness nor in the inner chambers (except of the heart) nor in the sanctuary, or any temple or church built by man, for Christ the true esoteric Saviour is no man but the Divine Principle in every human being."
"He who strives to resurrect the Spirit crucified in him by his own terrestrial passions and buried deep in the sepulcher of his own sinful flesh, he who has the strength to roll back the stone of matter from the door of the inner
sanctuary, he has the risen Christ in him. The Son of Man is no child of the bondswoman flesh, he is the creation and child of the free woman Spirit, the fruit of man's own spiritual labour."
She goes on to say that the statement is made that the coming of the Christ is near at hand, but Theosophists, or at any rate some of them, who understand the meaning of the universally expected avatars, know this statement means the closing of a great cycle.
The term "Christ" is often misapplied, the word "Chrest" should be used instead, which means "a good man." Christ means glorified, anointed. One must first be Chrestian before he can be Christian - must first be Chrestos before he can be "Christos."
Few, it seems, understand the meaning of the word Christ. It signifies Divine Wisdom, the very soul of the manifested Logos. Why should men use words and names the very meaning of which is a sealed mystery to them, a mere sound? This has been caused by an unscrupulous power seeking establishment, a Church which has ever killed the Spirit of enquiry. But Theosophy has never heeded the cry and has the courage of its own opinions.
It will surprise many to know that Joseph was no man, neither was Mary any woman. This statement shows how the Wisdom teachings have been corrupted. The name Joseph was later on given to a man who was sold to the Egyptians, but it really belonged to Spiritual history of a planetary nature belonging to the Mysteries in relation to the Christos.
Mary, or Marie, represented a condition of the soul, also relating to the Mysteries; Divine Life within the Soul; Sophia or Divine Wisdom; the feminine or negative principle. This shows how impossible it would have been for the Christ to be an individual man.
The above statements are all more or less made by H.P.B. and nothing more definite or plain could be given us.
It would appear as though the pronoun "He" being given to both God, and the Christ instead of "It," has caused misapprehension. This differentiation is clearly made in the Eastern religions, the "He" expressing the male positive principle.
STUDY ON AN ANCIENT DOCTRINE
When all the toilsome works are done
And washed are all the hands;
When all the burning of the sun
Is lost to other lands,
Comes sleep, the type of death.
When all the futile fights are fought,
The battles lost and won;
When all the food and toys are bought
And all the playing done,
Comes sleep, the type of death.
When every joy has wearied us
And all the tears are shed;
When every fear that fettered us
With all the day is dead,
Comes sleep, the type of death.
When all the pain and wonderment
Of loving fades away;
When flame with fiercer flame has blent
Until the ash is grey,
Comes sleep, the type of death.
And, as the sleeper turns again
To dream about the day,
The soul, remembering the worth
And joyance of its clay,
Puts forth a dimpled hand, and then
Comes morn, the type of birth.
- Norman Hainsworth.
Far from the daily self being a worthless, unimportant part of the real man, it constitutes the whole of his stock-in-trade. It is the instrument painfully evolved by the Ego in the distant past, brought over intact, by the most marvelous and delicate system of conservation, from the Skandhas of the last life, and specially adapted to do the work of the present incarnation.
- Charlotte E. Woods.
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
THE ORGAN OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
Published on the 15th of every month.
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OFFICERS OF THE T. S. IN CANADA.
- Felix A. Belcher, 250 North Lisgar St., Toronto.
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- Kartar Singh, 9 Toronto Street, Toronto
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Mrs. Edith Fielding, 206 East 27th Street, North Vancouver, B.C., has been appointed representative of the International Secretary of the International Correspondence League, Miss Esther Nicolau, Claris, 14, Barcelona, Spain. The object of the League "is to form a great chain of friendship around the world; to encourage people in different nations to learn about each others' customs and points of view, so that there may be a better understanding between them all."
Two Broadcasting stations are practically under the control of the Theosophical Movement in Australia. Mr. J.M. Prentice, who is the General Secretary of the Independent Theosophical Society at Sydney, has long been in charge of the original station in Sydney and has been the means of spreading Theosophy in this way. People are delighted to listen to Theosophy under any other name. It is what they are looking for. When Mr. G.S. Arundale was elected General Secretary of the T.S. in Australia, he decided to start a Broadcasting Station too. The opening was a highly impressive official occasion and the Minister of Education and others were present of the public. It is 2GB Sydney, by style.
The expenses of Mrs. Besant and her party in Toronto were defrayed entirely by the local members. It was agreed by the joint Committee of the three lodges, the Toronto, the West End, and the H. P.B. Federation Lodge, that the expenses would be shared per capita of paid up members. T he total came to 60 cents and a fraction each, after deducting the collection taken at the joint Members' Meeting, which came to $72, and the profit from Book Sales of $2.75. The Toronto Lodge with 215 members paid $103.04; the H.P.B. Lodge with 27, paid $16.33;
and the West End with 16 members paid $9.67. The total expense, hotel, printing, etc., was $230.79. The National Society did not therefore contribute to the expense, though undoubtedly some benefit accrued. The report in last month's Magazine, however, was of general interest, and the Executive decided to print 500 extra copies for distribution to each English speaking Lodge and to those who wish to have extra copies at ten cents each.
The visit of Dr. Norwood to the Sunday evening meeting of the Toronto Lodge on November 21 was an event of real importance. He addressed the assembly on the necessity of giving a sane message to the people who are hungering for Theosophy. There was no possibility for the salvation of society unless the message of Theosophy was assimilated by the nation, and that could only come through the realization of the God within. "We may just as well face the fact," he said, "That we have suffered from the freakishness of some of the things associated with Theosophy. It has done great harm in the United States," he declared, and he commended the stand taken by the Canadian National Society. He had a real response to his appeal to the young men of the Society when he reminded them that the world was in need of Theosophy, and that it depended on
them to deliver the message. Dr. Norwood's earnest eloquence moved many hearts and the fact that he was himself in the ranks was an additional inspiration.
We have waited for an article promised by Mr. James Morgan Pryse in reply to his critics and dealing further with the question as to the view to be taken regarding the changes made in The Secret Doctrine in Volumes i. and ii. of that work and the publication of the Third Volume. There have been some pretty hard things said, and an English correspondent has called attention to Mr. Pryse's first contribution on the subject in the magazine "Theosophy" succeeding "The Path," in September, 1897, which was really the first expression of doubt of the bona fides of Mrs. Besant and Mr. Mead in the matter. Of course there is no question about the changes. They are obvious and patent, and most of us look upon them with regret except where they are merely typographical. No one who was not blinded with prejudice would suppose it was meant to question the fact of changes having been made. The more important point is the new attitude on Mr. Pryse's part as to the good faith of the editors in making the changes. There can be no doubt that at the time of Mr. Pryse's letter in 1897 feeling ran very high. We were young and ardent, and we were filled with the idea of black magicians and dark plots and the utter malevolence of those who differed with us. It is the same in certain sections of the Theosophical Society today. Nowhere outside the Theosophical Movement, in fact, can such bitter feeling be generated. We have an instance of it in "Theosophy" for December, the Los Angeles magazine, which is fairly virulent. Thirty years cools many ardors, and Mr. Pryse has seen fit to revise his opinions. He should not be execrated for that by those who are unable to see any but one side of a fact. It is quite possible to deplore the changes that were made in the Secret Doctrine, and yet to believe that they were made in all good faith. Meanwhile we hold over the letter of our English correspondent with several others received later covering similar ground, the original article of 1897, until Mr. Pryse's reply comes to hand. It will be much more helpful to the public and to everybody else if we recognize that the original texts are all available, even the Secret Doctrine itself, thanks to the United Lodge of Los Angeles itself. It does not attract outsiders to see us constantly abusing each other. Explanations and reasonable criticism are in order and should be welcome. There is a most valuable article by Jocelyn Underhill, for example in "The Path" (Sydney) for September-October, which deals with the question of authenticity under the caption "On Theosophical Authority." There is no authority but The Secret Doctrine, and those who are unable to use it as a yard stick to measure other views, without running to the extreme of regarding it as an infallible pyx, will make progress in wisdom.
The Messenger publishes a letter of greeting from the President "To Theosophists in the United States," in which the second paragraph is of paramount interest. She says: "I have been much interested and not a little surprised to find that a lecture on some cardinal teaching of the Wisdom was more largely attended than those on the Coming of the World Teacher, despite the fact that all the publicity in the press was given to the Coming. "Perhaps that is the reason. The west has been trained in the belief that He will come as a thief in the Night. Publicity was a guarantee of falsity. Mrs. Besant makes the startling announcement that she and her party are to remain in California for some months. She speaks of writing to be done and correspondence to be dealt with, but one imagines there is more in this than meets the eye."
AMONG THE LODGES
Montreal Lodge reports five new members and the president writes that though work was suspended during the summer, the Lodge is quite vigorous. The Lodge has secured new quarters in which to meet. These are at 118 Coronation Building, corner of St. Catherine's Street and Bishop Street.
Mr. Lawren Harris, it is announced, will conduct a seven weeks' Class on "Theosophy in its relation to Art." Mr. Harris is the leading exponent of the "Group of Seven" whose work has made such an impression at the Wembly and the Sesqui-centennial Expositions. It is expected that these classes will be largely attended, as he is a most engaging speaker, is thoroughly conversant with both aspects of his subject, and in art perceives one of the highest means of expression of that Wisdom and Beauty and Truth which is Theosophy.
FELLOWS AND FRIENDS
M. Isabel Scott writes from 51 and 52 Lancaster Gate, Hyde Park, London, where the Fellowship Club has been established, to say that if any Theosophists who are coming to England would like to know of somewhere to stay where they can have vegetarian meals and find congenial surroundings, that she is anxious to make this residential Club a definitely Theosophical centre, and to foster the international spirit in it. S.I. Heiman writes on behalf of the Group of Young Theosophists at Southampton, at 32 Canton Crescent there: "Will you kindly make it known to members of your Section that should they contemplate arriving at Southampton when visiting England, the Southampton Group of Young Theosophists will gladly arrange to welcome them and to offer what assistance and guidance that may be required of them. Letters, stating the name of the ship, time of arrival, and requests for any particular service should be sent in advance together with, if possible, a letter of introduction from the General Secretary of their Section."
The fifth issue of "Buddhism in England" has come to hand, a very worthy organ on popular lines, but with much valuable information and a real spirit of truth-seeking. Among other contents is an article by Mrs. Rhys Davids. But one regrets that at the same time comes the news that the Buddhist Lodge has withdrawn from the T.S. "The work we had set ourselves to do was actually being crippled by our association with the Theosophical Society," is the conclusion arrived at by our correspondent. How can the Theosophical Society prosper when every person who gets any good of it retires. And how will the law react upon those who having received a benefit, turn away from the benefactor. For after all, where would any of us be without the T.S. It is in the hands of the members to change its character if they desire that, and they certainly cannot do so from outside. So that the T.S. as it is and as they object to it will remain a reproach and an obstacle to their work elsewhere, for the public class all these things together in spite of resignations and withdrawals. There is not a Section and not a Lodge but can do what we have done in Canada and assert their independence and have their freedom of thought and action recognized and substantiated. It may seem easier to withdraw, but do those who have withdrawn find it so? And even if they did, is the easy way the best?
Lawrence Binyon visited Toronto early in November and spoke among other engagements to the Poetry Society. Professor Pelham Edgar who presided introduced him as one of the four greatest living lyric poets - the others being Bridges, the poet laureate, Delamere and Yeats. In a true sense, said Mr. Binyon, the form is the meaning. What then was the power that made them one and indivisible? One could not dogmatize, he said, but poetry was at once art and inspiration. The greatest artists are the most inspired. The two faculties go together. The impulse to rhythmical movement in speech was innate. Rhythm and image were the great poetic gifts. The power of using images not as obstructions, but to bring home to the mind the thought presented was essential to poetry. He instanced Lovelace's Farewell as illustrating this point. Rhythm was the most fundamental element in poetry. It had a subtle effect like an incantation. Something in the mind was liberated by its influence, and in this respect had the power of magical incantation, bringing a quickened sense. But rhythm failed to give pleasure unless
obeying the laws of control. It puts us into a state of heightened sensibility. Nothing was so pleasant to a poet, he thought, as his rhythm; it seemed to defy analysis. The felicity of sound was also commented upon. Children were enchanted by sonorous syllables before they understood their meaning. It was good for a young writer to be in love with language for its own sake. Even had it no meaning some poetry was beautiful in its language for its own sake. The names of the months were an example of this. The shaping power of the poet was, he believed, as unconscious and instinctive as the inspiring power. He analyzed Poe's "Raven" and Wordsworth's "Solitary Reaper," "The Leach Gatherer," and others from Rydal Mount. Mr. Binyon drew the distinction between interior and exterior form and illustrated it by Whitman's "Song of the Broad Axe." The sustained continuity of rhythmic power was evident as the mark and order of the whole kin, Homer, Dante, Shakspere, Milton and the rest. This is a very brief abstract of Mr. Binyon's remarks.
An esteemed correspondent writing of Mrs. Besant's relation to the Theosophical Movement and the various subsidiary organizations that have been started by various members, writes, in part, as follows:
"I am very glad that Mrs. Besant has included Toronto in her itinerary, for I feel sure that a personal talk with her has solved some of your difficulties. In supporting various new movements she carries out what to her knowledge are the wishes of higher authorities. At the same time nothing is further from her intention than to hamper the freedom of thought and belief in the T.S. She spoke strongly on this point at the T.S. Convention in Chicago, reminding our members that she only asks for tolerance. Many members undoubtedly feel the need of ceremonial and the L.C. Church as well as Co-Masonry supply an element that is lacking to some extent in the T.S. Opinions about these movements are bound to differ and time alone can show to what extent they justify themselves. In the meantime no T.S. member is in the least obliged to believe in, or to join them, or is considered less loyal to our leaders for keeping aloof, as long as he shows tolerance and expresses his personal opinion calmly and impersonally. Such criticism will even be good. Believe me, I quite understand your point of view which is that of source of my best personal friends who went even further than you, disapproving entirely of Mrs. Besant's policy as President of the T.S. . . . . . . . Knowing her not only in her official capacity but also in her ordinary daily life, my trust in her has grown as years went by. Great leaders are at times difficult to understand. Mrs. Besant's whole life justifies her leadership and personally I do feel that in all big issues she acts on higher knowledge and that the T.S. is safe under her guidance. I sincerely hope that her visit to Toronto has helped to clear the situation in Canada."
The italics in the above are not those of the writer of the letter. They are intended to call attention to an admission which cannot be ignored in a general view of the situation. It is explained to some extent by the further reflection that: "great leaders are at times difficult to understand." There have been episodes in recent years which require more than tolerance and good will to pass over. Some of us have done so in accordance with the principle laid down in the Gita. "There is danger in the duty of another; there is safety only in one's own duty."
It appears difficult sometimes to decide what is one's own business and what is not. When a great many people are depending on one's advice or opinion, it may merely be weakness to tell them to mind their own business. More particularly is it so when one has facts in one's possession that do not harmonize with even the most charitable theories.
Mrs. Besant's visit undoubtedly made a difference in the temperature in Toronto. We were not interfered with by the band of propagandists who accompanied her, and we did not feel that we lost anything. We have never been intolerant, and have left everyone free to follow any course he desired. But because we did not follow ourselves, the
very inhibitions that Mrs. Besant condemned and our correspondent as above declared were never intended, were most distinctly exercised upon us.
As a result there came the formation of the Federation and the separation of those who believed in all the new movements from those who did not. The Federationists best know whether they considered those who did not join them as less loyal than themselves.
This is said not in any desire to upbraid, but merely to make it plain to those in Adyar that there was no intolerance beyond the expression of opinion in the Canadian National Society. The trouble probably lies in that aspect of human nature which hates to be reminded that there is any other point of view than the one held. It indicates uncertainty, lack of assurance, doubt. If one can suppress the evidence of other views, one feels more comfortable. This, we take it, is a weakness rather than a strength.
We are not afraid to hear all sides of all questions, nor to meet the most positive evidence of the truth of other views than our own. We must face facts and yield to reason. There is no religion higher than truth, and we are the sole judges of what we can take to our hearts and minds as being true. St. Paul touched the central necessity. "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." The persuasion of other men's minds is of no value.
We feel that the atmosphere is clearer and we trust that it will not be necessary to revert to this aspect of the situation again.
MR. PRYSE AND S. D. REVISION
A valued correspondent in England, who has borne a large share of the burden and heat of Theosophical toil in that country writes undesirous of entering into controversy, but wishing to make an impersonal protest, and apparently feeling that The Canadian Theosophist would be sympathetic. Leave has been given at the close of the letter to quote a part which bears on some present problems under discussion. It reads:
"Of A.B.'s absolute devotion to H.P.B. and of her desire to carry out her wishes and continue her work, there could not be a scintilla of doubt in the mind of anyone who was closely in touch with her at that time, and as regards Mr. Mead, Mr. Pryse has given an absolutely accurate impression of his relations with the 'Old Lady' as she was affectionately called, and of the trust she reposed in his integrity and scholarship while he was acting as her private secretary.
"Dr. Stokes' charges resolve themselves under two heads (a) the improper revision of the S.D. and Voice of the Silence, (b) the suppression of matter supposed to exist in readiness for Volumes iii. and iv. of S.D.
"Under (a) Dr. Stokes, in his letter to you, now seems to realize that Mr. Mead was chiefly responsible for the work of revision, though he is anxious that Mrs. Besant should not escape blame! Opinion may legitimately differ as to the merit of the revision in every case, but Dr. Stokes' sweeping charges of butchery, emasculation, and priggish pedantry are not justified. He chooses two illustrations for your readers and presumably regards these as strong cases, yet any text book on anatomy or physiology will show the use of 'posterior' in relation to brain anatomy, but Dr. Stokes would find it difficult to produce one which speaks of the 'hinder' part in this connection. Why on earth should H.P.B.'s English not be improved in connection with a technical term? As for illustration No. 2 it is a pity that Dr. Stokes has ignored the context (always a dangerous omission) or he would have realized that H.P.B. was comparing the possibilities of 'further disillusions" likely to occur, in connection with 'a transcendental Occult Nature' (that is Astral?) as greater than the 'unpleasant surprises in store for hypotheses of even a purely physical character' (italics mine). In either edition the capitals intimate that H.P.B. was using 'Occult Nature' as a substantive, not as descriptive of 'questions' and, Mr. Mead's version more truly expresses the author's meaning.
"Dr. Stokes further challenges Mr. Mead's substitution of 'World' for 'Word' on line 7 of the first page of the Proem.
I challenge Dr. Stokes to justify his positive assertion as to what H.P.B. meant in view of the qualifying 'in later systems' and the context.
"Under (b) it would be interesting to learn on whose authority Dr. Stokes challenges the accuracy of Mr. Pryse's memory of the manuscripts found after H.P.B.'s departure. There was a good deal of MSS. in addition to the old copy returned from the printers to which Mr. Pryse refers, but on examination a good deal was found to consist of miscellaneous matter of very varying value which all old students know was chiefly used to form a volume published under the title 'A Modern Panarion.' Even of that there did not remain enough to form a second volume although the one issued was called volume I. But no one who was among the inner circle in the early Avenue Road days could possibly conceive of any reason for not publishing everything that was available. Mrs. Besant and the others had everything to gain by issuing all that was publishable, and when a little later the disastrous 'split' arose in regard to Mr. Judge, it should be obvious that the progressive issue of any material left by H.P.B. would have been a strong card in Mrs. Besant's hands.
"Dr. Stokes makes a tremendous point of what was said in the first edition about volumes iii. and iv. being 'almost completed.' Can anybody who has read the recently published 'Letters of Madam Blavatsky,' not to mention 'Old Diary Leaves' and Mr. Sinnett's 'Incidents in the Life of Mme. Blavatsky' and 'The Early Days of Theosophy in Europe,' see anything surprising in the optimistic exaggeration of that creature of a thousand moods? The unbiased critic might also enquire why should the premature reference to a problematical fourth volume be regarded as of greater authority than the deliberate announcement of an 'amended and enlarged version of Isis Unveiled' at a time when nothing was practically done towards it? (See H.P.B.'s own apology on page 1 of preface to first edition).
"I must add a word to deal with Dr. Stokes' absurd point about the destruction of the 'stereotype matrices,' correctly so described by Mr. Pryse and by Mr. Mead when he wrote 'the molds are practically useless.' Dr. Stokes as an editor ought to know that matrices, or molds, are made from paper pulp and are very easily damaged and rendered useless by damp and pressure if not carefully handled and stored. From the printer's standpoint, which was that of Mr. Pryse, damaged molds are practically 'destroyed,' i.e. they are useless for the purpose of casting metal plates, or stereos, as they are called. But Dr. Stokes drags in a letter of Dr. Arch. Keightley, a medical man, but no printer, who ignorantly, and innocently, refers to 'plates.' It is much less innocent of Dr. Stokes to make Mr. Mead write of plates in his desire to down Mr. Pryse, for according to his own immediately preceding paragraph Mr. Mead specifically wrote 'molds.'
"I won't take up more of your time but I should like to add my appreciation of Mr. Pryse's manly, honest and - as I think - really Theosophical 'defense of those who are unjustly attacked.' "
THE ARCANE SCHOOL
Readers of the Canadian Theosophist may be interested to learn of an organization that is carrying on the primitive tradition of the Ancient Wisdom in a practical and unpretentious way.
Some time ago the writer was attracted by an interesting little monthly magazine "The Beacon" published in New York under the management of Mr. Foster Bailey. It referred to a number of books of a rather extraordinary nature and also to a certain Arcane School conducted by Mrs. Alice Bailey. Investigation led to the purchase of the books and information concerning the School and finally to an application for membership therein. Being admitted, the course of instruction proved of so high and valuable a nature that a visit to New York followed with a view to getting into closer touch. The result of that closer touch has been to endeavour to pass on the good news to others who may be interested.
The Beacon: - To give some idea of this let us examine the first number that comes to hand; it is for May 1926.
First, there is an article called "Occultism, True and False." This proves to be a reply to a correspondent who had got into psychic trouble and takes the form of a masterly analysis of this difficult subject, as a whole, so that it might be suitable to other types of this nature. This, coupled with a refreshing frankness and couched in forceful English makes it perhaps the most useful effort for this purpose that has appeared.
Next, a reprint of an excellent article on "The Symbolism of the Zodiac" by Edward Carpenter. This is followed by a short article on some of the Cosmic Laws, and appears to be a summary of a subject dealt with at some length in "Cosmic Fire," of which more later. A communication from "The Tibetan Teacher" received by Mrs. Bailey on "Obeying Orders" follows, from which the following sentence is taken. "A disciple always unquestioningly obeys but only because he is in a position to comprehend the necessity for the fulfilling of the order."
Then we have an article on "Gossip" emanating from the Arcane School which includes, amongst much illuminating matter, put in a very orderly way, eight aphorisms to enable the student to check this tendency in himself - not in others - they are number 1-8, numbers 1, 4 and 8 being "Mind your own business." Then after a very beautiful paraphrase of a Navajo benediction we conclude with Lesson No. 9 on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali based on Johnston, Judge, Dvivedi, Woods, Tatya, and Vivekananda.
The books issued in connection with the School are: Initiation, Human and Solar, which contains some amazing statements. Mrs. Bailey expressly disavows personal responsibility for them but urges that they be considered on their merits, in precisely the same way that H.P.B. advised the study of the Secret Doctrine.
The Consciousness of The Atom, consisting of seven lectures given by Mrs. Bailey.
Letters on Meditation, from the Tibetan Teacher. These appear to be safe and sane in their advice and are very instructive both for those who do and for those who do not practice meditation.
A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, in two volumes totaling over 1300 pages. This material also has been received by Mrs. Bailey from the Tibetan Teacher - not by any automatic process but apparently in much the same way as the Secret Doctrine was written. The subject matter is bewildering for any but the earnest student, but so far as the writer of this is competent to form an opinion it proves to be sequential and coherent when closely examined. It is not a fanciful or arbitrary revelation but rather a turning of what H.P.B. called the analogical key in the Secret Doctrine lock. The result is startling, almost as startling as the Secret Doctrine itself. Incidentally it may be noted that the index gives over 130 quotations from it.
The Arcane School. First, what it is not. It is not a new Theosophical Society. It is not a competitor with any existing society, cult or church. Its declared object is to increase effectiveness of the work that its members may be engaged in, no matter what it may be, religious, philosophical or scientific: provided only that the purpose of the study is for service and not for curiosity or selfish ends. The membership, after little more than three years of existence is about 400, most of whom are making good. This is remarkable in view of the really- strenuous course prescribed.
The objectives of the Arcane School are very definite and have been summed up as follows in the School papers:
1. To live the life of the spiritual man in the world of every day.
2. To prepare themselves to pass on to the Path of Discipleship.
3. To train students in group work.
4. To unfold the powers of the soul with safety.
5. To bring about contact with the Inner God, the Master within.
6. To study, so that the world may have people in it who are Knowers.
For anyone with a bent for service and who is willing to study and live the life assurance may be given that they will not be disappointed or harmed. Details concerning the School cannot be given here but application may be made
to "The Arcane School, Room 5013, 452 Lexington Avenue, New York." But don't write unless in earnest, they are very busy people.
Last but by no means least, the subject of Personalities calls for comment. It was the writer's privilege to meet both Mr. and Mrs. Bailey and several members of the School and while all personality is strictly tabu in the School, it must necessarily have someone in charge of it. But this may be said, that the writer has satisfied himself as to their bona files; that no pledge to any personality is required, wanted or permitted, in fact, any marked tendency in this direction would result perhaps in a warning, and if persisted in, a request to withdraw.
The only pledge that must be taken and in all seriousness is to one's own higher Self. It was evident that the members of the School are thoroughly imbued with this attitude, for while respect was manifest it was so linked with a spirit of comradeship rather than any "pedestal stuff" that energy is not wasted in emotional gush, however well meant, but is conserved for real work.
A few characteristics that dominate the School will conclude this sketch. A noticeable absence of criticism of anyone individually but a frank and fearless discussion and analysis of principles. An illuminating article on "Spiritual Leadership" in a number of The Beacon is a fine example of this.
An absence of monetary claims, fees or dues. Supported entirely by voluntary contributions; in some cases nothing is or can be given, but that makes no difference to the attention they receive if it is seen that they are in earnest. In this School as in others of a genuinely altruistic nature it is true that, given enthusiasm, money is never a real difficulty.
Nothing must be taken on authority; no matter how true it may be it is not a truth for one who has not been able to grasp it.
If members of the School feel themselves called upon to express gratitude for services received, and many do, it is expected that they will let it take the form of supporting the School in such ways as they are able rather than adulation and flattery of the teacher.
Lastly, it is not too good to be true. Some of us have found it to be the ideal that we have been seeking and waiting for; but it is a strenuous affair. Much is given, but much is expected.
- Felix A. Belcher.
AN ESOTERIC ORGANIZATION
The request has come from R. Vasadeva Row, B.A., B.L., High Court Vakit, Madras, to assist in removing some misconceptions that have been circulated about the Suddha Dharma Mandalam, of which he is an official. It appears from what is stated in the literature of the Mandalam, which is literally a Society for the Purification of Religion, "that it is one of the most ancient in the world, that it has been an occult body for thousands of years, but that in recent times it has determined to take pupils or students and train them in occultism. About 1915 Dr. Supramania S. Iyer was chosen by the Heads of the Society to become their outer agent and the channel between them and the world for the entrance of pupils to the teaching. It is indeed an occult school, and has been kept secret during all past history until the present. It purports to be a branch of the White Lodge, of which H.P.B. was one of the messengers. The statement that Dr. S. S. Iyer invented the School himself is particularly offensive to those who know what the School is. The pamphlet states "he simply revealed the existence of the ancient Spiritual Hierarchy divinely designated the Suddha Dharma Mandalam under the guidance and direction of Bhagavan Narayana functioning for the world's weal."
Entrance into the organization is not fettered, it is stated, by considerations of nationality, race, caste, creed or sex. "It was for securing the promotion of that Vidya of the Kali age, making the necessary change in the Dharma to be observed so as to bring within the reach of all, without the least distinction of nationality, race, caste, creed or sex, the attainment of this supreme science." Furthermore, it is said, that "it is the only institution to which aspirants in Yoga,
who for one reason or another are unable or unwilling to enter the Esoteric School (of the T.S.) must resort to in order to obtain true teaching."
Another matter of interest in connection with the Mandalam is, that some time before the event there was announced that the birth of an Avatar would occur on January 16, 1919. The event occurred and accordingly on the day appointed there was born the Bhagavan Mitra Deva, a great Teacher, the first of the nine great Teachers who are to come to the world to guide it prior to the great Krishnavatara that will take place 12,000 years hence. He is to teach universal love and utterly unselfish service.
It is pointed out that every day every member of the Organization has several times to invoke the aid and blessing of the Highest Spiritual Power on the globe, Bhagavan Narayana, the Mighty Head of the Spiritual Hierarchy, and the One Initiator. This is the Great Being spoken of in The Secret Doctrine as the Root-Base of the Hierarchy of the Fire-Mist, the Ever-Living Human Banyan, the Tree of Life. He is the King of the World, so called in various writings, and is the Kumara who descended from Venus to bring about the spiritual illumination and "salvation" of the earth.
It is as representative of this Being that on January 16, 1919, was born in a pure body the Bhagavan Mitra Deva. He is now seven years old and has given several discourses. On May 4, 1920 he was taken from the care of his mother and ten great Mahatmas took charge of him. On October 22 of the same year he delivered his first discourse. He next spoke on January 23, 1921. The third discourse was given on October 11 on the Dharma of the Age. On January 13, 1922, he spoke once more, dwelling on future Dharmic changes. The fifth discourse was given on September 30, 1922, on the significance of Yoga Brahma Vidya and the benefits thereof to the world. The Sixth Discourse was on the Avatar's own mission.
The three great truths underlying the Dharma are stated as (1) the immanence of the one life of Brahman: (2) The consequent Universal Fraternity of the human race: (3) The existence of an agency to guide towards its appointed goal the evolving humanity on our globe.
It is stated also that it is intended to institute a branch of the Order on this continent, there being one already in South America. One of the conditions is said to be the ability to pay #40 or about $200 as an entrance fee.
The literature of the Mandalam is of intense interest, being indeed a statement of the inner beliefs of orthodox Brahmanism. For about three dollars a set of three pamphlets giving full information, "An Esoteric Organization in India, a handbook of the Mandalam, "Yoga Deepika," an account of the King of the World; and "Sanatana Dharma Deepika," a book which describes the discipline.
Those desiring further information should address the Pandit K.T. Sreenivasacharya, Vellala Street, Vepery, Madras, India.
NEW BOOKS AND REPRINTS
"Theosophy Interpreted" was the title of the Convention Lectures of 1923. They have been rather overlooked in the bustle of other events, but it is a little book well worth study. It is not for the scholar so much as for the reader who wishes to sum up the results of contemporary thought as it presents itself to a Theosophical thinker. There are but three addresses, Mrs. Besant's lecture in that year not having been reported. Mr. Jinarajadasa had for his subject "The Interpreter of Science as the Basis of Knowledge and Conduct:" Mr. Arundale, as the Interpreter of Psychology; and Mr. Cousins the Interpreter of Beauty and its Expression in Art. The first lecture points out that there is a mental purity as well as a bodily purity, and that impurity of thought surrounds a fact with an illusion which is not there. "To see a fact as it is in purity of thought." Science supremely devotes itself to such purification. To divest one's ideas of truth of every vestige of error is the task of the scientist and should be of the Theosophist. As Mr. Jinarajadasa says: "Just as all the high ethical teachings of
the religious bounders are broken again and again by their followers, so the very high dictates of science are broken by the scientists themselves." We must not accept at second-hand any fact as true, he proceeds. We must equally start with no assumption. "We must have that purity of mind which observes the fact as it reveals its own message, without limiting it by any assumption." We know that matter today is nothing but an electric charge. Such a tremendous generalization takes away the ground of the old materialism with all its assumptions, but we must beware not to endow electricity or its theories with the same infallibility the old science gave to matter or the old theology to its Idol. When we get away from the infallibility idea in either science or theology we are ready for the gentler spirit of brotherhood and tolerance which is very well put by Mr. Jinarajadasa when he says "The fuller comprehension of facts which is Theosophy, and to which modern science will come, is inseparable from tenderness and compassion." Mr. Arundale's lecture is perhaps more academic but none the less useful as a study of modern psychology brought up to date and related to Theosophic positions. He says, "I take it that the basis of the contribution of Theosophy to psychology lies in the theory of the Monad, the ultimate source of our individual lives, a theory which is well-known to the Theosophist, whether or not a member of the T.S." He says the Monad is the ultimate individual consciousness, but is it not rather the vehicle of the ultimate individual consciousness? Or can there be any individualization except through the evolution of vehicles? And both Monad and vehicle are but aspects of the One Life. We only learn of these things in action, and (page 55) "the fact we have to grasp is that we must not continue to use means of growth which we ought at our stage to have learned to do without." Which is St. Paul's putting away of childish things. Mr. Arundale recommends Bergson and Bosanquet and Bhagavan Das's "Science of the Emotions." Mr. Cousins says many illuminating and inspiring things in his interesting lecture on Art. "It is an inescapable Life of which we are a part, and in which we can participate with conscious joy just to the extent that we make accessible to it that fragment of its own consciousness which is imprisoned within each of us. Evolution is God's escape from His own self-imprisonment." And again: "Those who have to even a small extent put themselves, with open vision, in line with the creative power of the Universe know that, while that Yoga of beauty has disciplines of the most exacting kind, its reward is an increasingly ample fulfilment of Hegel's declaration that in the arts we have an efficient means of polarization, or yogic concentration, through which we can contact the Cosmic Life." He declares that he has had this contact. "Most solemnly and sincerely do I declare that, in the pursuit of my art as a poet, I have at times been aware of the working through me of powers from beyond the boundary of my own consciousness." He gives specific instances of this. He speaks of Tennyson "vaguely" glimpsing something of this. Tennyson had a more definite experience than that would imply, and he gives ample evidence of it in many of his poems. These lectures will be very useful to students who wish for an introduction to the Theosophical attitude on these matters.
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N. W. J. HAYDON, 564 PAPE AV., TORONTO
You shun the garish day;
You love to seek the quiet woodland way
When quivering moonlight spills
Its silver magic over dusky hills.
What fairy forest queen
Has given to your wings the tender green
Of leaves in early spring,
And made you a dream-entangled thing?
Have you not wished to wear
Purple and gold? Right royally to bear
Upon your fragile wing
Richness and glow of autumn colouring?
Perhaps you would possess
More than the beauty of pale loveliness;
Perhaps you long to be
More than a symbol of fragility.
- Corinne Farley.
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