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VOL. VII. No.11 TORONTO, JANUARY 15th, 1927 Price 10 Cents
THE LITTLE CYCLE OF THE YEAR
Even though it be a little one, the year is a stage of which we should take note on our journey through the incarnation we have undertaken. There is a certain truth in all conventions, and they are only conventions when we forget the truth and occupy ourselves with the form.
It is not a light thing that we have circled around the Sun in the vast gyration of the year, or that we have accompanied Him in his more stupendous orbit and swung into new abysms of space that we have never known before. Nature does not repeat herself, so we ought to know that we are traversing new ground, and that ever new and strange experiences await us in the new fields of space into which we pass.
Let us be honest and say that we have forgotten, and because the same stars have shone above us, and the same seasons have come and gone we have neglected to think of what lies beyond. There are links within us which bind us to these greater heights and deeper depths but, like the extreme notes on the keyboard of the piano, we rarely touch them, confining ourselves to a familiar octave. And when we range a little beyond these confident notes we arouse discords and hear unwonted sounds. It disturbs us, and we turn to the music we know, and complain that there is none other given among men. It is our unaccustomed or uncultured ears perhaps, which are the difficulty, and if we but knew, there are diviner harmonies thrilling for us at all times, did we not drown them out with our frequent droning.
We complain too, of the discords that others make. It is true that some of us jangle the chords. We might escape that had we but listened more closely to the music that comes not from without, but that true melody of life that sings within. Learning it, we might also learn that the outer music, whether sweet or harsh is but an accompaniment to the real melody.
But let us pass from metaphor to fact. There is much complaint on every hand about leadership and teaching. We are told about the deception of the leaders and the falsity of the teachings, and many raise their voices to heaven in protest against their obliquity.
Is it not we who are deceived who have ourselves to blame? We have been warned not to follow leaders. We have been told that there is only one Master, however many the teachers may be. It has been pointed out to us that whomever we choose to follow it is we who make the choice.
What then, have we to complain about? Our own stupidity? Our eagerness to be patted on the head? Our wish, to have some great one tell us how fine we are? Our insatiable desire to have a pet god to worship? All these things lead to disappointment because they are
mortal and finite things, and the reality within us craves only the real for its ecstasy. When a teacher deceives or lies or would mislead us let us rejoice that we know better, and let us grieve that a fellow being is a slave to the maya from which we have been delivered. That outer world has nothing to offer but maya - glamour-masquerade. Knowing this why should we follow the willo'-the-wisps. And if we follow them why should we complain?
There are scores of teachers all declaring that they - each of them for himself - is the only true teacher. It is at his peril that any man listens and believes. It is well to hear, but we must judge, each for himself. Prove all things. Hold fast to that which is good. If one is mistaken for a time, it is his mistake, not the mistake of the deceiver, who was only the initiator, after all, the Adversary, the Tempter, the Apollyon. Do not blame him for being what he is. He acts according to his nature. The serpent has a sting and the tiger claws.
The Tempters appeal to the lowest in us. Perhaps we resent having its presence revealed to us. But that is what the Tempter is for. What folly to blame the Tempter for the possession of the nature that we have ourselves cultivated!
The Theosophical Society is a great threshing ground, and it has been fed with chaff as other floors have been loaded with grain. But one of these days the Master will come whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His threshing floor. There may be but little wheat left after that whirlwind, but we have been taught how to divide the wheat from the chaff, and if we choose to grade ourselves with the chaff rather than with the wheat we can blame neither the Tempter nor the Master.
These are things that we may well think of at the threshold of the New Year. It is a new time, a new occasion, a new opportunity, a new effort that lies before us. Let us put all the divinity we possess into the revelation it will bring us.
All the nations of the world are living in dread of "The Next War." They all feel powerless to avert it because each one is afraid that one or more of the others will force it to fight in self-defense.
One of the ways in which theosophical students can help to preserve the Western nations from self-destruction, and at the same time render them more suitable for the development of those egos who are too far advanced to profit by our modern savagery is by finding means of allaying this fear of war which is the cause of war. But an appeal to be of much immediate practical value must be made from a materialist platform for very few people can be guided from any other. This article, then, will deal only with material considerations.
It is often said that conflicting trade interests and jealousies are the chief causes of war, and that as long as the policies of the nations are swayed by them it will be futile to hope for permanent peace. But the last war - "the war to end war" - has surely taught the most selfish and stupid of traders that no commercial advantages that might be gained are worth a fraction of the commercial disasters that must certainly overwhelm both the victors and vanquished of a great war in almost equal ruin.
No, it is not tariffs, bad as they are, that are at the bottom of the fear that impels hard-up and over-taxed nations to sanction the expenditure of vast sums of money in keeping armies clothed and fed, and trained to produce nothing but destruction and in building multi-million dollar battleships to protect their shores from an enemy yet to be named.
Nor does the possibility of losing "colonial possessions" trouble many people to any great extent. Why should it? Possession of territory is not essential to either residence thereon or to trading with its inhabitants. As a matter of fact not one person in ten thousand owns a single stick or stone on any of "OUR" foreign possessions or has any rights over a yard of them. In Canada we even put
up tariff-walls against their products. The only people who get anything substantial out of colonies are Excellencies and Governors, their staffs, families and hangers-on; the rest of us are welcome to enjoy all the glory and brag we can get out of them, which is all we shall ever get. Trade is said to follow the Flag, but there is no need for trade to wait for the Flag. Before the war Germans were doing business, and successfully competing against all rivals, in every part of the globe while the military party at home were demanding room for German expansion and shouting for a "Place in the Sun." Ever since Disraeli dubbed Queen Victoria "Empress of India" the party in Britain called "Little Englanders" have been regarded with contempt, but however deficient they may be in "patriotism" they have far more common sense than the impoverished dupes of flag-waving imperialists. What would it matter to the common people of England or Canada if they lost possession of every island in the seven seas tomorrow? They might never know it if the newspapers forgot to mention it!
And now to come to my chief contention: The fear of war arises almost entirely from the fear of invasion by foreign troops. Visions of destruction, burning homes, crowds of women and children, and old men fleeing before the approach of soldiery drunk with the lust of rapine and slaughter, and of all the horrors that overtook Belgium and the west of France a few years ago arise in our thoughts of what might happen to an unprotected country. And yet all this dread is founded upon a mistake. It was not invasion that caused all the suffering but resistance to invasion. Invading armies of today do not slay non-combatants, wantonly destroy property, loot rape or carry off captives. Soldiers, it is true, often commit crimes in disorganized territory, but so do burglars and ruffians when at home. The towns and farms of Belgium and France were destroyed by French guns as much as by those of the Germans.
What would have happened if in July, 1914, France had scrapped her arms and turned all her soldiers into civilians? The Germans might have walked and ridden to Paris - buying food and cigarettes from eager sellers. Perhaps they might have found some excuse for imposing an indemnity, and then . . . they would have walked and ridden Home again. This may sound absurd, but what did Germany do after she had beaten France to a frazzle in 1871? She imposed an indemnity and went home. And no indemnity could ruin France as successful defense has done. It is true that Alsace-Lorraine has always gone to the victor after the Franco-German wars but the loss never destroyed the happiness of French and German families to a hundredth part of the extent which the fighting had done. Those border provinces contain about equal proportions of French and German people, and a thing to bear in mind is that people do not much mind being ruled by foreigners, I am thinking of the happiness of the home lives of the ordinary people, not about the feelings of aristocratic jingos, ambitious statesmen or "patriotic" agitators. Thousands of people live voluntarily under foreign rule. Britishers, Americans, French, Germans and Italians live happily in every country of the world subject to its laws and regulations. I understand that the German population were quite sorry when the British and American military left the occupied territory. The soldiers were as good for business as tourists, and many Frauleins found husbands among them.
There are two other points to be considered: One is that civilized nations do not want to govern other nations whose population is decidedly opposed to them (except in special cases for strategic reasons) witness the departure of German officials from France after arrangements had been made for payment of the 1871 indemnity; and the fact that none of the victorious nations showed any inclination to take over the government of Germany, Austria, Turkey or Bulgaria after 1918.
The other point is that weakly protected nations are less in danger of war than strongly protected ones. Weak na-
tions are not feared, strong ones are. If Canada began raising a big army and placing guns along the boundary line, turning it into a hostile frontier, our present feeling of perfect safety from the U.S.A. would at once come to an end. Portugal's army has done nothing but run away for the last hundred years or so and her navy is negligible yet she fears no foe - because no foe fears her.
I have now endeavored to show that:
The fear of war is grounded upon fear of invasion.
It is resistance to invasion that causes destruction and suffering - not invasion imposed upon them.
That even if foreign rule were imposed upon a nation the happiness of the great majority of its people would be far less destroyed by it than it would be by successful war.
The less a country is protected the less it need fear war.
(It may be admitted that in some circumstances a nation might have to keep armed guard against neighboring savage tribes).
Many people would, no doubt, reply that there are other things besides mere happiness to be considered - national honour for instance, and that it would be an unbearable humiliation for a great nation to lie at the mercy of other nations.
All my contentions so far have been supported by observation of actual facts, let us then look about us for an answer to the above question.
Very few of the people of Canada feel humiliated at the thought that their country, from a military point of view, lies at the mercy of their powerful neighbour to the south. The people of little Denmark are not humiliated because their country could be easily conquered by any tine of its armed neighbours.
The country that first has the courage to lay down its arms, and declare that come what may it has done with war forever will achieve greater glory, honour and safety than has ever been won with guns and bayonets.
- W.B. Pease
LETTERS THAT MAY HELP YOU
Friend . . . . .
To continue our theme from my last letter: As we said in the previous installment, the various planes (or worlds - call them what we may) are of matter differing from each other - atomic and molecular, the reason being that the bits of Life (called monadic essence, etc.) do not start out on their evolutions at the self-same time. As the universe is a constant "becoming" - an out-breathing and an in-breathing, so these hosts of monads (monadic essence) come and go, go and come; come down into coarser matter, then return to a higher point, - a constant progression.
It will be obvious to you that those hosts of monads are at different stages of evolution.
In our preceding letter we drew a diagram to show this coming and going, also we divided that oval shape into three spaces, viz: - spiritual, psychic, physical, those being the principal divisions; consequently, "Man" is an entity functioning in bodies made of three (3) separate and distinct hosts of monads. One host in the physical, one in the psychic (passional), the other in the intellectual, and above them all, the God within us - the Inner or Higher Ego; the Higher Self - as it is called in the books.
These three hosts or streams of monads are at vastly different stages of development. Each of these hosts has its own laws, and is ruled and guided by different sets of the higher Intelligences or Logoi. Each is represented in the constitution of "Man," and it is the union of these three streams in him that makes him the complex being he now is. St. Paul apparently knew of this teaching when he divided "man" into "spirit, soul and body."
Again, these three large divisions are sub-divided, which make the "man" yet more complex. Of that more anon. In Theosophical literature these various divisions are named, so as to identify them and to make clear the different
parts (so to speak) of this entity we call "man." We give them here so that you can refer to them from time to time; and, as the Hindus have gone very much deeper into this subject than have our Western races, we use the names given by them in Sanscrit: -
The Higher Self - ATMA, the inseparable ray of the Universal and One SELF. It is the God above, more than within, us. Happy the man who succeeds in saturating his inner Ego with it.
The Spiritual Divine "Ego" is - the Spiritual soul or Buddhi, in close union with Manas, the mind-principle, without which it is no Ego at all, but only the vehicle for Atma.
The Inner, or Higher "Ego" is - MANAS, the "fifth" principle, so-called, independently of Buddhi. The Mind-Principle is only the Spiritual Ego when merged into one with Buddhi, no materialist being supposed to have such an Ego, however great his intellectual capacities. It is the permanent Individuality or the "Reincarnating Ego."
The above gives you the spiritual part of "man" and is symbolized by a triangle. In Freemasonry, the upper triangular part of the apron represents this; the square beneath, the "quaternary" - the physical part of man.
The Lower or Personal Ego is - the physical man in conjunction with his lower self, i.e., animal instincts, passions, desires, etc. It is called the "false personality," and consists of the lower Manas combined with Kama-Rupa (kama - desire, rupa -form or body), and operating through the Physical body, and its "double" (etheric body). The remaining "principle" called
Prana or Vitality is the energy of the Universal Life.
Now try to imagine a Spirit, a celestial Being, divine in essential nature, yet not pure enough to be one with the ALL, and having, in order to achieve this, so to purify its nature as finally to gain that goal. It can do so only by passing individually and personally, (i.e., spiritually and physically) through every experience and feeling that exists in the manifold or differentiated Universe. It has, therefore, after having gained such experience in the lower kingdoms (during the previous evolutions), and having ascended higher and still higher with every rung on the ladder of being, to pass through every experience on the human planes. In its very essence it is THOUGHT, and is, therefore, called in its plurality Manasa-putra, - "the Sons of the (Universal) Mind."
This individualized "Thought" is what Theosophists call the real human Ego, the thinking entity imprisoned in a case of flesh and bones. It is a Spiritual Entity, and such Entities are the incarnating Egos that inform the bundle of animal matter called mankind.
When this Spiritual Entity incarnates, we have a dual result: (a) the essential inherent characteristic, heaven-aspiring mind (Higher Manas - as it is called), and (b) the human quality of thinking, or animal cogitation, rationalized owing to the superiority of the human brain and the stimulus from the Spiritual Entity. This human quality of thinking is called in the books, "Lower Manas."
The first gravitates towards Buddhi, the other, tending downward, to the seat of passions and animal desires. (Another key to the problem of good and evil).
As it is the Spiritual Entity's business to govern and control and raise the animal he informs, you can see why this Ego, this Manasic Entity, is held responsible for all the sins of the lower man, just as a parent is answerable for the transgressions of his child, so long as the latter remains irresponsible.
You can probably see also how the teaching of reincarnation or re-embodiment fits into the general scheme.
Probably you can see how this grandiose conception has been degraded into the exoteric church teachings of a Jesus Christ being killed as a sacrifice to appease the wrath of his Father (God) and saving humanity; for (as H.P. Blavatsky puts it) "starting upon the long journey immaculate, descending deeper and deeper into sinful matter, and having connected with every atom of it in manifested space, the Pilgrim (the Monad) having struggled through and suffered in every form of life and being, is only at the bottom of the valley of matter and half through his cycle, when he has identified himself with collective humanity. This he has made in his own image. In order to progress upwards and homewards, the "God" has now to ascend the weary uphill path of the Golgotha of Life. It is the martyrdom of self-conscious existence. He has to sacrifice Himself to himself (the Son being crucified) in order to redeem all creatures, to resurrect from the many into the One Life. Then he ascends into heaven indeed, whence he will re-descend again at the "next coming," which one portion of humanity expects in its dead-letter sense as the Second Advent, and another as the last (or Kalki) Avatar."
As so many of my readers dislike my remarks on the historicity of the Jesus Christ of the Gospels, wanting to hang on to the exoteric plan of redemption while desiring the esoteric teaching, (like donkeys which are in one field shoving their noses through the fence to nibble at the grass in the neighboring field), I shall try to show in my next letter how the preceding teaching was taught by an esotericist in the New Testament, and may be found to be the fundamental nucleus around which the "historical" Jesus was built by a corrupt Church.
MESSIAHS, WORLD-RELIGIONS AND BROTHERHOOD
Between the years 1505 B.C. and 498 A.D. the Vernal Equinox was passing through the sign Aries, and this period is known as the Arian Age. In the year 498 the Equinox entered the sign Pisces, and the Age we are now living in is the
Piscean. In the year 2481 the Equinox will enter the sign Aquarius, and the Aquarian Age will then commence.
Each Age differs from every other in its ethical-religious system, and in its social-political system to the extent that the latter is influenced by ethical considerations. While it is true that the same ideals have been common to the ethical systems of all Ages, yet each Age emphasizes, and concentrates its energies upon the attainment of certain ideals which thus become peculiar to it in comparison with other Ages.
Five centuries prior to the commencement of each Age there is born an Initiate whose mission is to sow the seed from which will spring the new Dispensation, to sound the keynote of its ethical system, and to enunciate its special ideals in words which will live through the centuries to come. He is called its Messiah, or Messenger. Successive Messiahs are not successive incarnations of the same ego, but are as distinct, one from another, as they would be were they contemporaneous. They have this in common, that all are alike informed, or inspired to the fullest extent, by the same Christ, or Invisible Spiritual Teacher of mankind whose human messengers they are.
Before the seed can be sown, the ground must be made ready by ploughing, and for nearly two centuries before the birth of a Messiah, the way is prepared for him by lesser messengers of the same Christ, who are inspired by Him, but not to the fullest extent, as is the Messiah himself.
Throughout any Age there is but one dominant Religion, however many and diverse may be the creeds, churches, and sects through which it finds expression. During the first third of the Age it is engaged in consolidating its supremacy over the dying Religion it has displaced, during the middle third it passes through a phase of intellectual adjustment, and during the final third it struggles, with slowly decreasing success, against the new Religion to which it in turn is destined to give place. The soul of each Religion is the message of its Messiah,
but no Messiah ever founds a Church or enunciates a formal creed. Creeds and Churches are essential needs of humanity, but they are the work of purely human hands and brains. They undergo vast changes as the centuries roll on, whereas the Religion they seek to express persists, unaltered, throughout its Age, to he reborn, yet more perfect, twenty-four thousand years later, when the equinox again enters its sign.
Despite its allegorical nature, the Christian Bible has preserved many significant dates. One such is the year of Abram's removal from Ur, 1971 B.C., about five centuries before the Arian Age, whose Messiah he was. He is known as the Father of Israel. Israel means warrior: Mars, God of War, is the symbolic ruler of the sign Aries; that Abram was the progenitor, not of the Jewish race, but of the Arian Warrior-Religion should he obvious. It is not seriously disputed that the historic Jews borrowed both their language and their religious beliefs from Babylon, and that the Old Testament presents an ethical-religious system common to nearly all the Rebellion and the Conquest of which epitomizes the rise to ascendancy, of the Arian Religion, over the Taurian, the Apis-Bull Religion of the symbolical Egypt.
Mars is a zealot, glorying in his strength, exulting in conquest and domination over others. What he wants he demands in a loud voice, but what he has he either destroys or gives away. The Old Testament is full of such expressions as "I am the power and the glory," "The Lord is my strength," "The Lord is as a man of war, Almighty is his name." The Lord makes demands upon his people and the people make demands upon him: the people are forever discontented and rebellious, the Lord equally prone to wrath. On the other hand, the Lord gives much and often while the burnt offerings of the people are endless.
Orthodox astrologers to the contrary, the nature of Pisces is identical with that of the planet Venus, and the nature of Venus is both the antithesis and the Complement of that Mars. They represent two poles: war and peace, zeal and piety, strength and gentleness, glory and meekness, demand and prayer, destruction and preservation, fire and water, father and mother.
The Piscean Religion, the New Testament, is therefore in direct contrast with the Arian, the Old Testament. Its Messiah was Jesus of Nazareth, Prince of Peace. Instead of Abram, Father of Israel the Warrior, there is Mary, Mother of Jesus the Saviour. All Messiahs are not Saviors, but only the Piscean Messiah, and it will be twenty-four thousand years before another Saviour shall come. "Gentle Jesus, meek and mild" is as different from the "Lord Almighty," as Holy Water is different from burnt offerings, and as the story of the early Christian martyrs is different from that of the Conquest of Canaan.
Jesus of Nazareth came at his appointed time, five centuries before the Piscean Age began. Little as we know of the lesser messengers who preceded him, the organizations founded by them during the first two centuries B.C., in preparation for his coming, are familiar to all students of Christian origins. Amongst these messengers was another Jesus who preceded him by about a century and who has been confused with him by some of the best-known writers of today.
The Aquarian Messiah will come at his appointed time, five centuries before the Aquarian Age shall begin, or about the end of the present century. Preparations for his coming have long been under way. The activities of the Bahaists, of the Theosophical Society, of the Rosicrucian Fellowship, of the Order of Christian Mystics, of the Order of the Star in the East, are consciously or unconsciously directed towards the same end - the ploughing of the ground ready for the sowing.
At the beginning of the Christian era the world was agog with expectation. But though it knew the time was at hand, it failed to realize that it was a Piscean, and not a second Arian Messiah who was due. A world, steeped for a thousand years in the Arian ideal of
power and glory, failed to recognize the meek and gentle Messenger when he came. They demanded a sign of his power, and not receiving it, they rejected him, just as they had rejected John the Baptist and the others who had been busy with the ploughing.
Today, a world steeped for a thousand years in the Piscean ideal of meekness and piety, looks for another Jesus. The coming Messiah and those who prepare the way for him, will be no more acceptable to a Piscean world than Jesus and John the Baptist were to an Arian. The grounds upon which the claims made for Krishnamurti are denied will be precisely the grounds upon which, in less than another century, the Messiah himself will be rejected. Only those who realize the vast difference between Piscean and Aquarian ideals, and who are capable of understanding, feeling, and living the latter, will follow him, and these will be few.
To the majority, everything about Aquarianism will seem abominable. The nature of Aquarius, esoterically, is a sublimation of the combined natures of Aries and Pisces, but since it is a masculine sign, it has more in common, exoterically, with masculine Aries than with feminine Pisces. Its nature is identical with that of the planet Uranus, whose symbol represents a combination of the symbols of Mars and Venus. Ours is an Age of Law and Order, and doctrines appropriate to Uranus, God of Chaos and Disorder, will seem poisonous to those who have fed on Piscean teachings all their lives.
Where the Arian, with eyes uplifted, demanded of the Lord, and the Piscean, with eyes cast down, and on bended knees, prays to him, the Aquarian tempering self-respect with respect, will seek to grasp the hand his God extends in friendship. Instead of "leaning on the Lord" in time of trouble, or praying to rest "safe in the arms of Jesus," he will dare to walk alone, to rely on his own efforts, saying in effect "Never mind, God, I can handle this job myself."
Arianism, emphasizing the virtues of manliness and virility, encouraged the rearing of huge families by sanctioning polygamy and concubinage with the result that Woman became more or less of a chattel. The Piscean institution of Chivalry elevated Woman to a pedestal, in the abstract at least, enforced monogamy, advocated celibacy, and so magnified the womanly virtues of chastity and modesty that they are now considered synonymous with virtue itself. Aquarianism, placing both sexes on an equal footing, will idealize sex-appeal in lieu of chastity, advocate eugenesis in lieu of celibacy, and substitute for monogamy a modification of promiscuous sexual union reminiscent of the famous, or infamous, Oneida Community.
Let it not be imagined that, in the Aquarian Age, the degradation of the creative function will be tolerated even to the extent that it is tolerated in the male sex today. In his Age children are taught to beware the dangers of sex, but tomorrow they will be taught to tame and harness it to High Purpose, as, in the material world, Electricity has been tamed and harnessed. The Aquarian tomorrow, however, is still five centuries away, and humanity must learn more thoroughly the lesson of today ere it can hope to gain anything but pain and self punishment through experimenting in Free Love.
Every virtue may degenerate into a vice, and every vice be ennobled into a virtue. In seeking moral safety the world has steered clear of the Scylla of licentiousness only to run foul of the Charybdis of shame and suggestiveness. At the risk of going to the other extreme, the Aquarian Religion will encourage the sexes to bare themselves to each other bodily, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. The test will be, not "is this proper," but "is it natural?" 'the word "shameless" will change from a reproach to an expression of approval.
Deliberately, every effort will be made to destroy the home and its family relationships, in the interest of a wider Brotherhood. National patriotism will be regarded as a criminal instinct. Each will seek to associate, not with those of like race, nationality, creed, and social position, but with those from whose un-
likeness to himself he can gain new experience and still more new experience.
Class distinctions will be eliminated as far as possible. Yet the Aquarian will be a true Aristocrat, and the Distinguished Gentleman or Gentlewoman will be his ideal. Class is not actually a matter of distinction but of uniformity. Its essence lies in the exclusion of all who do not conform to a certain standard. The passion for originality will inspire the Aquarian with a desire to be The Perfect Man or Woman, not by comparison with others, but each in his own peculiar way. The Aristocrat cares little for the opinion of others but seeks to live up to his own ideals, daring to rely on his own independent judgment of what is right and desirable.
If those who prate so prettily of Brotherhood would but drink of the Hidden Wisdom, they would learn that it is synonymous with Independence and Anarchy. Its spirit lies in agreeing to disagree. It is the very soul of the Aquarian Religion, wherefore, inevitably, this Piscean world will have none of it. As preached by Piscean idealists of today it is but an alias for Universal Conformity. To the Christian it means Universal Christianity, to the political prophet, a United States of the World, to people in general it means almost anything but what it is - another name for the sublime doctrine of Anarchism. That Anarchism can he sublime, or even that it can lead to anything save bloodshed and misery, the world is not yet ready to believe. The lesson of Compulsory Cooperation is but half learned. To live and let live is an ideal impossible of attainment for the mass of humanity until Armageddon shall have been fought and won.
In the realm of action Aquarius represents Revolution, the New eternally rising, Phoenix-like, from the ashes of the Old. Those who, having assisted at the launching of a revolution, seek to anchor it ere it can turn again, are but reactionaries in disguise. Their goal is Attainment, and, for them, to go onward is to recede from the goal. They are the barnacles which test the power of every new movement to make headway. Born in an environment of doctrinal authority, they escape from old creeds only to become enmeshed in new ones. They do not ask "Is it true,?" but only "Who says so?" Meet for them are the immortal words of Hamlet
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
- R. A. Uttley.
QUARTERLY LETTER FROM THE VICE-PRESIDENT
Mr. Jinarajadasa's letter reads in part as follows:
You will have received, as General Secretary, The Golden Book of the Theosophical Society, which was published by the General Council this year. The Council hoped that each Lodge would have a copy, as the book contains most valuable historical material, in addition to pictures of past workers. I hope each Lodge of your Section knows of this official work, published chiefly for the information of members, and will place a copy in its library.
I have been away several months from Adyar, and during two months of it lectured in several cities of Bengal and Burma. Since my absence, the Buddhist Shrine is completed, and a striking Zoroastrian Temple has been begun, on which the workmen are now busy. Though the Christian Church is only a thatched hut, services are held in it regularly every day. Funds are slowly being collected for the Synagogue and the Mosque. I am much interested in Community Singing, as a means of bringing members closer together in the realization of Brotherhood. Community Singing has been begun at Adyar, and I enclose the words of our first two sets of songs used for the singing. We hope our Western members here will learn Indian songs, and that our Eastern members will learn European songs. We at Adyar labour under difficulties, however, not only because both East and West have to learn to sing a type of music which is unfamiliar each to the other, but also because we have no piano!
November 17th, 1926. - C. Jinarajadhsa.
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
THE ORGAN OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
Published on the 15th of every month.
[[ seal here - "There is no Religion Higher than Truth" ]]
- Editor - Albert E. S. Smythe.
- Entered at Toronto General Post-office as second-class matter.
- Subscription, One Dollar a Year.
OFFICERS OF THE T. S. IN CANADA.
- Felix A. Belcher, 250 North Lisgar St., Toronto.
- George I. Kinman, 87 Ravina Crescent, Toronto
- Edwin H. Lloyd Knechtel, 510 Rosedale Crescent, Calgary, Alta.
- George C. McIntyre, 20 Shannon Street, Toronto
- Kartar Singh, 9 Toronto Street, Toronto
- Reginal D. Taylor, 9456 143rd St., Edmonton, Alta.
- Albert E. S. Smythe, 26 West Glen Grove Ave., Toronto 12.
The General Secretary would like to acknowledge the many kind greetings and personal messages and cards sent to him at Christmas and often throughout the year. These are too intimate to deal with in the pages of a public print, and too numerous to acknowledge privately and I trust this will be taken as a compromise with a reciprocation of all the kind wishes and hearty inspirations that have come his way.
The effort made by the Adyar administration to seize the property of the Sydney Independent Theosophical Society has ended in the withdrawal of the suit from the courts, both parties agreeing to pay their law costs. It appears that the reluctance to allow Mr. Leadbeater to be put into the witness box, a proceeding which the Sydney lawyers were insistent upon, was so great on the part of the Adyar authorities or those acting for them, that the case was ended as stated. The Independent Society also agree to pay #3000 on account of their share of responsibility in the ill-omened educational scheme which was abandoned some time ago. Mrs. Besant has cabled
"Consent compromise. Authorize Mackay receive payment and act for me. Besant."
Mr. G.R. Heywood has been elected General Secretary of the T.S. in South Africa.
It is interesting to see the reactions that different minds have from the same circumstances. We have received a large number of letters, some doubtful, some deprecating, some openly reproachful, all tinged with the fear that the Toronto Theosophical Society, and by inference, The T.S. in Canada has been, or is about to be betrayed into the hands of tile Philistines. All this because Mrs. Besant came to Toronto, assured us that we had a perfect right to protest against our inclusion in the World Religion, which she declared then and there did not exist, changing the name of it and stating that assertions about it and its sole representative on earth should not have been made, and then wrote a letter pointing out wherein she agreed with us. We may wonder if Mrs. Besant has been receiving letters deploring her adhesion to the Toronto programme!
From The Hague there comes a prospectus of "The Order of Service for the Defense of Theosophy and the Theosophical Society." It raises the difficulty which all such movements do that it creates an Imperium in Imperio which is exactly what is being protested against. The Theosophical Society should be its own best protection. If the members will only drop their ludicrous worship of frail specimens of humanity and learn that the Master is only to be found within, and that while from time to time human heroes and heroines may fail us, ideals never fail, then the Society would flourish as it was intended to. It is extraordinary that leading members of the Society should encourage and even cultivate the weakening and disintegrating tendency of worship for themselves, and it is still more astonishing that members of the
society should not at once detect in this an element of weakness which should warn them of a grave danger. The really great never want worship. They do not permit it. They are good comrades and brethren, but they refuse to be slobbered over. And of course the self-respecting Theosophist will not slobber. The Hague organization we have no doubt appreciates all this, but we fear that to create a new organization is not the way to dispose of the evil. Let us all fully and freely recognize those who wish to live up to the unchanging Theosophical ideals, without anything more than our common Fellowship in the Society. Let us place ourselves on record as standing for that and for no more than that, and it will soon be perceived that those who hold these views are the real heart of the Movement. Nor are they confined to the Society. Let us hail them as comrades wherever we find them.
AMONG THE LODGES
The members of the Toronto Lodge have been extending their sympathy to Mrs. A.M. Wright on the unexpected death of her clever and amiable son, Ivan L. Wright.
Rabbi Isserman of Holy Blossom Synagogue addressed the Toronto Theosophical Society on Sunday evening, January 9, on "Judaism and Christianity."
FELLOWS AND FRIENDS
John M. Watkins has issued a limited edition of 500 copies of Thomas Taylor's translation of Iamblichus' Life of Pythagoras, or Pythagoric Life, for fifteen shillings. This handsome volume, reprinted from the edition of 1818, will be a treasure for all devotees of the ancient Wisdom. While a more adequate review is being prepared may we hope that this is the beginning of a full reprint of Taylor's notable translations of the Greek masterpieces of which he made such felicitous renderings.
Still another review which space compels us to hold over is that of Mr. F.B. Housser's "A Canadian Art Movement." This most readable volume gives an account of the Group of Seven and their struggle to find an art expression of the spirit of Canadian nationality through an interpretation of Canadian scenery as it is in its natural condition without the suggestions and reminiscences of other phases of natural landscape and unmarked by the modifications of human handiwork. It is a species of disembodied art which does not appeal to every one, but has implications which the student of the deeper life cannot afford to miss. Mr. Housser interests the reader in the artists and thus insensibly begets a welcome for their art.
Two volumes which must appeal to Theosophical students, which we hope to review more fully are Wilson MacDonald's new book of poems, "Out of the Wilderness," and Lionel Stevenson's "Appraisals of Canadian Literature." The latter is almost a text book of Theosophical literary suggestion. Mr. MacDonald is a good deal of a mystic and would be more if he were a little more detached from the phren and its phrenetic reactions. He thus loses touch with the Theosophy towards which his poetry leads, while confusing it with systems of thought with which it has no identity. Had he been a student of The Secret Doctrine he would have given the world the greatest Theosophic poetry of the century. As it is we must be grateful for the measure he has given us.
The Kabbalah Publishing Company of 25 Mount Hope Place, New York, N.Y., has just issued a revised and enlarged English translation of Adolph Franck's "The Kabbalah." This classic work, originally published in French, treats fully of all the aspects of the Theosophic teachings of the Jews known as Kabbalah.
The Theosophical Quarterly for January begins a translation of the Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad by Mr. Charles Johnston, whose masterly translation of other Upanishads now constitute almost a library of these most spiritual and in-
spiring writings. Mr. Johnston is one of the very few English writers who have entered into the inner tradition of the Upanishads and it is a privilege to have these translations accessible. It is here we have the great Sama chant: "Cause me to go from the Unreal to the Real! Cause me to go from Darkness to Light! Cause me to go from Death to the Immortal!" This magazine is one of the greatest exponents of Blavatsky Theosophy have, but it is difficult to harmonize the yellow slip placed in front of it this month with the declaration on the back cover which "does hereby proclaim fraternal goodwill and kindly feeling toward all students of Theosophy and members of Theosophical Societies wherever and however situated." It even "invites their correspondence and co-operation." But it also declines to sell the books it publishes to any such Society.
THE HOLLOW EARTH
It was originally supposed the central part of the earth was molten rock, the remnant of the primeval fire in which the earth was born. It was then discovered that the tides created by the moon on this liquid interior would be so strong as to break the earth's crust instantly. Also, the study of the shock waves from earthquakes showed that these waves passed through the earth as though it were a rigid body, making the idea of a liquid interior impossible. Dr. Jeffreys now points out, however, that recent earthquake work on these waves indicates that they do not pass through the exact centre of the earth, but only through an outer shell extending to abort 1800 miles below the surface. This shell is undoubtedly solid and rigid, but nothing can be deduced from earthquake waves about the remaining 2,300 miles or so of material down to the earth's centre. Many scientists now believe that this central core is still liquid, the earth being, on this idea, a central ball of molten iron surrounded by a solid crust some 1,800 miles thick."
So writes Mr. E. E. Free in "Week's Science."
REVISION OF THE SECRET DOCTRINE
The following article by Mr. James Pryse appeared in "Theosophy" for September, 1897, and it is reprinted here as being the original source of the various charges made in connection with changes made in the text of the Third Edition of The Secret Doctrine.
MR. PRYSE'S ARTICLE OF 1897
"On the Watch-tower" in LUCIFER is frequently lightened by delicious touches of unconscious humour, but all previous achievements in that line have been easily surpassed by Mr. Mead in the July number, in his apology for Vol. iii. of the Secret Doctrine. The latter has at last made its appearance, horribly printed and worse edited. With admirable adroitness Mr. Mead shifts all responsibility for it, and especially for the impossible Greek and doubtful Hebrew and Sanscrit, upon the shoulders of Mrs. Besant. The only marvel is that two such prodigious pundits should have wasted their valuable time correcting the works of so "ignorant" a writer as H.P.B. Says Mrs. Besant concerning the Sections on "The Mystery of Buddha:" "Together with some most suggestive thought, they contain very numerous errors of fact, and many statements based on exoteric writings, not on Esoteric Knowledge . . . . . . I do not feel justified in coming between the author and the public, either by altering the statements to make them consistent with fact, or by suppressing the Sections." What a wealth of esoteric lore we have missed through Mrs. Besant's literary delicacy! She has published these erroneous statements of H.P.B. when she might with her own pen have given us the inside facts about the mystery of Buddha. According to Mr. Mead. Vol. iii. is composed mainly of fragments "excluded from Volumes i. and ii., because of their inferiority to the rest of the work," but he takes comfort in the small price of the book which is but 15s. net. It is perfectly true that the book is the least valuable of H.P.B.'s works. If it had been printed as H.P.B. wrote it, then
Theosophists generally would have prized it, but Mrs. Besant and others having edited it, they will regard it with a just suspicion. Those who have compared the first editions of Vols. i. and ii. with the "third and revised edition" know the deadly results of Mr. Mead's and Mrs. Besant's "editing." It is deeply to be regretted that H.P.B. left no directions concerning her posthumous works, and that, dying intestate, her heirs should have permitted her valuable MSS. to fall into the hands of individuals who have not scrupled to mutilate her literary work under the bald pretense of correcting "errors of form" and have sought to decry her in insulting prefaces and notes. Errors she undoubtedly committed, but for every needed correction her editors have made a score of unwarrantable changes, often perverting the sense and obscuring the text, while many of the "improvements" they have made in her English are more than questionable. Fortunately, Vols. i. and ii. may hereafter be reprinted from the first and unrevised edition; but it is to be feared that Vol. iii. is practically lost to the world, hopelessly mutilated as it now is.
About a third of the work forms no real part of the third volume, being merely a reprint of certain private instructions, partly written by H.P.B. and partly pieced out from notes of her oral teachings. These have been included simply to pad out the work. They are of no interest to the general public, and are perfectly useless even to students who are not working under a practical teacher: for they are only preliminary instructions given to those who are preparing for practical Occultism and the latter is possible only for students personally trained by a living teacher. No one need delude himself with the hope that Mrs. Besant has betrayed any occult secrets by publishing these private instructions. True, they were given to her under a solemn pledge of secrecy, which she has violated; but the foresight of H.P.B. enabled her to guard against such a contingency, and without certain verbal clues it is impossible for anyone to make practical use of these instructions. In fact, esoteric secrets are never entrusted to paper even in the occult schools save when written in a cipher that would baffle the cleverest cryptographer.
How little Mr. Mead understood H.P.B. and her work is shown by the concluding passage of his apology for Vol. iii. He says: "No doubt she was thoroughly in earnest, but in that she acted as the karmic builder of the embryonic body of the Theosophical Society, into which she had to collect as many elements as that Karma demanded, Kabalists, Rosicrucians, Alchemists. Astrologers, Vedantins, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Hellenists, Stoics, Gnostics, Ceremonialists, Devotees, Sceptics, Hermetists, Phenomenalists, Charlatans, Tricksters, Adventurers, all and divers. Such being the elements, the 'tanhic elements' of the Society, how will the Ego of our movement purify them? The future alone mill show: meanwhile it is open for each one of us to work consciously with that Ego or to be absorbed in the unconscious host of 'tanhic "elements' . . . . . It is now for two years that the Theosophical Society has felt the benefit of its recent purification, and every student in it knows that it is healthier and stronger and more conscious than it has ever been before."
Setting aside this foolish braggadocio about Mrs. Besant and her public followers being the "Theosophical Society," which was "purified" by violating the cardinal principle of brotherhood and so severing itself from the real Theosophical movement, and ignoring the insult to the great body of workers throughout the world, whom Mr. Mead stigmatizes as 'tanhic elements' notice how H.P.B.'s work is described. She was, in Mr. Mead's opinion, simply the karmic builder of the embryonic body of the "Theosophical Society," while the people she tried to help regardless of their beliefs, pitiful for their sins and failings, were only "tanhic elements" for the building of that Society.
She, great loving soul, worked for the good of all humanity, and not simply to build a Society; accepting all men, rejecting none, she could say, as the "good, grey poet" said to the tramp "Not till
the Sun excludes you will I exclude you." H.P.B., who can blame your enemies for traducing you when those professing to be your friends and pupils can thus decry your writings and belittle your works! Truly, have you said in your third volume: "From Prometheus to Jesus, and from Him to the highest Adept as to the lowest disciple, every revealer of mysteries has had to become a Chrestos, a 'man of sorrows' and a martyr."
HON. MRS. DAVEY'S PROTEST
Editor Canadian Theosophist: - In Mr. James Pryse's article entitled "The Secret Doctrine" which appeared in the Canadian Theosophist, and was reprinted in the November number of the Theosophical Review, he claims that the charges made that the Editors of the third edition of The Secret Doctrine "made unwarranted changes in the revised (third) edition of the S.D., tampered with the manuscript of the third volume, and suppressed the fourth volume, are wholly false, with no foundation whatever in fact." (Italics mine).
As one of those who helped in the work of comparing Mrs. Besant's Edition of The Secret Doctrine with the original, I can testify to the accuracy of the statement made by Dr. Stokes in the O.E. Critic of Oct. 21, 1921. He had received a letter from one who was doing this work, who wrote as follows: - "We have been checking Mrs. Besant's Third Edition of the Secret Doctrine against the original text. It is a big task and takes time. So far the comparison has been made of about four hundred pages of Vol. i, and that comparison shows more than eight thousand actual variations from the text of the original edition . . . . . . " Dr. Stokes continues: - "This would make a total of thirty-two thousand changes in Volumes i. and ii. alone! The extent of the tampering will be still more clear if we express it somewhat differently. 8,000 changes in 400 pages make 20 changes to the page, and the pages average 40 lines in each. That means an average of no less than one change in every two lines!" It is true many of these changes are trivial, though there are some important omissions to which I will refer later. But in view of what Master K.H. wrote Himself concerning the writing of The Secret Doctrine was any alteration of the original MS. justifiable, by those who professed to believe in Masters and their devoted servant H.P.B.? These are the Master's words: "Every mistake or erroneous notion corrected and explained by her from the works of other Thesophists was corrected by me or under my instructions."
Further on in Mr. Pryse's article he states "No changes were made by Mr. Mead or by Mrs. Besant except such as should have been made in the original manuscript before printing." Even a casual examination of the thousands of alterations made will not bear this out. How does this statement of Mr. Pryse's compare with the fact that any references by H.P.B. to Vols. iii. and iv. as being practically completed have been omitted by Mrs. Besant in the Third Edition? Here are the passages in parallel columns: -
Preface; Original Edition Vol. I
Should the present volumes meet with a favorable reception, no effort will be spared to carry out the scheme of the work in its entirety. The third volume is entirely ready; the fourth almost so . . . . .
London, October, 1888. (Italics mine, I. D.).
Original preface according to Mrs. Besant
third edition; Vol. 1.
Should the present volumes meet with a favorable reception, no effort will be spared to carry out the scheme of the work in its entirety.
London, October 1888.
Original Edition; Vol. Il. Page 437
In Volume iii. of this work (the said volume and the ivth being almost ready) a brief history of all the great adepts known to the ancients and the moderns in their chronological order will be given, as also a bird's eye view of the Mysteries, their birth, growth, decay, and final death - in Europe. This could not find room in the present work. Volume iv. will be almost entirely devoted to Occult teachings.
Besant edition; Vol. II., page 456
(This paragraph is entirely omitted).
Original Edition; Vol. II, pages 797-8
These two volumes only constitute the work of a pioneer who has forced his way into the well-nigh impenetrable jungle of the virgin forests of the Land of the Occult. A commencement has been made to fell and uproot the deadly upas trees of superstition, prejudice, and conceited ignorance, so that these two volumes should form for the student a fitting prelude for Volumes iii. and iv.
Until the rubbish of the ages is cleared away from the minds of the Theosophists to whom these volumes are dedicated, it is impossible that the more practical teaching contained in the Third Volume should be understood. Consequently, it entirely depends upon the reception which Volumes i. and ii. will meet at the hands of Theosophists and Mystics, whether these last two volumes will ever be published, though they are almost completed.
Besant Edition; Vol. II, page 842
These two volumes only constitute the work of a pioneer who has forced his way into the well-nigh impenetrable jungle of the virgin forests of the Land of the Occult. A commencement has been made to fell and uproot the deadly upas trees of superstition, prejudice, and conceited ignorance, so that these two volumes form for the student a fitting prelude for other works.
Until the rubbish of the ages is cleared away from the minds of the Theosophists to whom these pages are dedicated, it is impossible that the more practical teaching contained in the Third Volume should be understood. Consequently, it entirely depends upon the reception which Volumes i. and ii. shall meet at the hands of Theosophists and Mystics, whether the last volume will ever be published. (Omitted).
Does Mr. Pryse infer that H.P.B. should not in her original MSS. have made any mention of the remainder of her work? Obviously Mrs. Besant for reasons of her own treated these allusions to the 3rd and 4th Volumes as unimportant details; for in her Preface to her Edition she states: - "In preparing this edition for the press, we have striven to correct minor points of detail in literary form, without touching at all on more important details." (Italics mine).
As there are those to whom Mme. Blavatsky's written word is no pledge of good faith, I will give the testimony of Dr. Archibald Keightley concerning the 3rd volume of The Secret Doctrine, as quoted by Mrs. A.L. Cleather on p. 75 of "H.P. Blavatsky A Great Betrayal." These words are written by one of whom Mrs. Cleather writes: - "whose word I know to be unimpeachable, and who lived and worked with H.P.B., at that time." She writes: "Dr. Keightley wrote an account of H.P.B.'s manifold literary activities at this time, which appeared in the Theosophist for July, 1889, in which he states that 'the Third Volume of The Secret Doctrine is in MS. ready to be given to the printers. (Italics mine, A. L. C.). It will consist mainly of a series of sketches of the great Occultists of all ages and is a most wonderful and fascinating work.' It is obvious that the 3rd
Volume of The Secret Doctrine as given to the public by Mrs. Besant is not the one alluded to by Dr. Keightley - Where is the original?
To return to the alterations in the later Edition. I have these altered and corrected volumes in my possession, and should be very glad to show them to any one who would care to call at my house to look at them. The disfigured pages reveal how terribly the original MS. has been tampered with, and would shock any unbiased person even if it concerned the posthumous work of an ordinary writer, how much more shocking is such an act of vandalism in connection with The Secret Doctrine which was so largely inspired and corrected by the Master Himself?
22 Craven Hill,
London, W. 2.
"IN DEFENSE OF THOSE WHO ARE UNJUSTLY ACCUSED" - DR. STOKES' CASE
Editor Canadian Theosophist: - In your December issue (page 222) you publish a letter from "a valued correspondent in England," who, you say, is "undesirous of entering into controversy" over the question of the Besant-Mead revision of "The Secret Doctrine," but who wishes "to make an impersonal protest" against what Dr. Stokes says in your issue of October (page 177) in criticism of that revision and of Mr. Pryse. Your correspondent, however, has made his - or her - protest decidedly personal by attempting to place Dr. Stokes by name in the position of one who makes rash and reckless statements which he is unable to substantiate, and further issues a challenge to Dr. Stokes to justify two of his "assertions." As you have published these charges against Dr. Stokes perhaps you will allow me a few lines in defense of his position as well as in justification of H.P.B.
Dr. Stokes criticizes Mr. Mead for making pedantic and unwarranted changes and cites as an example his substituting the word "posterior" for "hinder" in H.P.B.'s phrase "the hinder part of the cerebral hemispheres" (Secret Doctrine original ed., vol, ii, page 301; revised ed., vol. ii, page 315). Your correspondent says: "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."
That is not in the least difficult. Your correspondent is referred to the ninth edition of Quain's Anatomy, London, 1882, Longmans, Green and Company, which is, or was when H.P.B. wrote The Secret Doctrine, one of the large standard British works on anatomy, and in international use. It purports to be "edited by Allen Thompson, M.D., D.C.L., F.R.S., formerly Professor of Anatomy in the University of Glasgow; Edward Albert Schafer, F.R.S., Assistant Professor of Physiology in University College, London, and George Dancer Thane, Professor of Anatomy in University College, London."
Quain, in describing the cerebellum (vol. ii, page 305) says: "The cerebellum or hinder brain consists of two lateral hemispheres . . . . . . . " etc. In the whole paragraph of ten lines the word "posterior" does not occur at all. Further, "hinder" is used elsewhere in the same chapter instead of "posterior," e.g. page 308. Pardon my quoting the list of editors and their titles. I only want to show that H.P.B. had the very best of authority for saying "hinder," that there was no sound reason for changing it, and that Dr. Stokes was right in calling it a bit of pedantry on the part of Mr. Mead. Another bit of Meadean pedantry occurs where he changes H.P.B.'s "chest and brain" orig. ed., vol. i, page 170) to "thorax and brain" (rev. ed., vol. i, 193). One wonders why he did not substitute "encephalon" for "brain," and one can but regret that the learned editors of Quain's Anatomy did not consult Mr. Mead before going to press - he could have put them wise on correct anatomical terms.
Your "valued correspondent" says: "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."
H.P.B. said, speaking of the white disk as symbolizing the great Pralaya "The first, the student knows to represent Kosmos in Eternity, before the reawakening of still slumbering Energy, the emanation of the Word in later systems."
Now, what did H.P.B. mean by "Word?" Did she know what she meant to write or not? This will be seen by comparing her use of "Word" elsewhere, as in vol. i, original edition, page 373-4, revised edition, page 400. Here, speaking of the great Pralaya, she says; "The cycle of creation of the lives of Kosmos is run down, the energy of the manifested 'Word' having its growth, culmination, and decrease, as have all things temporary, however long their duration."
Now it is just this Mahapralaya of which H.P.B. is speaking in the Proem, where she employs the same term "Word" in the same connection and the same sense. And yet Mr. Mead, a mere suckling in the Ancient Wisdom at that time, thought he knew better, possibly took it for a misprint, and changed it to "World." And Mrs. Besant lends her approval!
Your correspondent makes another shy at Dr. Stokes' defense of H.P.B.'s announcement of the third volume as being "entirely ready" (incidentally misquoting him), and in doing so has to speak of it as "the optimistic exaggeration of that creature of a thousand moods." He neglects to state, however, that Dr. Stokes quotes Dr. Keightley as saying: "The third volume of The Secret Doctrine is in MS. ready to be given to the printers." Was Dr. Keightley, H.P.B.'s constant associate and literary assistant, likewise "a creature of a thousand moods," or just a plain liar? And yet your correspondent in the very same paragraph charges H.P.B. with "the deliberate announcement of an 'amended and enlarged version of Isis Unveiled' at a time when nothing was practically done towards it." But H.P.B. did no such thing. What she said was (Preface to Secret Doctrine): "As originally announced, it was intended that the 'Secret Doctrine' should be an amended and enlarged version of 'Isis Unveiled," - quite a different matter. May not one announce the pending re-writing of a book without being charged with saying that it is already re-written?
But I can take no more of your space with this matter, which largely consists of charges derogatory to Dr. Stokes and not affecting H.P.B. I am not interested in defending Dr. Stokes personally, who, I understand, and verily believe, "neither fears God nor regards man," and may be left to care for himself. I am vitally interested in defending the good sense, intelligence and veracity of H.P.B. against those who would belittle her and glorify Mr. Mead, Mrs. Besant and Mr. Pryse at her expense. Your correspondent seems never to have made a careful comparison of the original Blavatsky texts with the revisions. If he has, and has not laughed at Mr. Mead's pedantry and conceit and sworn at his impertinence, he has more lack of humour and a better temper than I would undertake to credit him with. If he wants to know the facts in the case you might get Dr. Stokes to send him a set of articles which go into the matter at some length, though by no means exhaustively, for that would be an herculean task, and which among other things prove the deliberate suppression of one of the most important and significant portions of "The Voice of the Silence" in order to conform to the personal opinion of Mrs. Besant, who elsewhere said that H.P.B. was mistaken.
I am, Dear Sir, yours sincerely,
Another (I hope) 'Valued Correspondent.'
MR. PRYSE'S STATEMENT
Editor Canadian Theosophist:
In the stormily disputatious days of the Theosophical quarrel over the "Judge affair" there appeared in Lucifer, July, 1897, an editorial by Mr. Mead in which he referred slightingly and hypercritically to H.P.B.'s work and writings, and characterized a large body of Theosophists as "tanhic elements" whose secession from the Society was "its recent purification." In these clays of more
philosophic calm Mr. Mead would, no doubt, agree with me that the editorial was uncalled-for and injudicious. In Theosophy, Sept., 1897, I made a reply, fully as injudicious, in which my indignant pen, dipped in partisan rancor, put down as facts certain assertions that had been whispered about as coming from an "occult" authority. Now that this article has been recalled by your English correspondent and resurrected bodily by Dr. Stokes, for doing which he has my thanks, I am glad of the opportunity to retract unequivocally not only the erroneous statements it contains but also all other articles penned by me which may reflect on any of the old-time Theosophists or uphold the regime of the so-called successor of Mr. Judge. But this retraction must needs be accompanied by a brief recital of the circumstances under which those articles were written.
When charges of forging Mahatma messages were being pressed against Mr. Judge his personal followers seceded from the T.S. and founded a new organization, the T.S. in A., of which they elected him "President for life, with power to nominate (sic) his successor." Even as King Saul of old consulted a witch, so Mr. Judge had resorted to one of the modern variety, a female spirit-medium. Broken in health, his mental faculties greatly impaired, Mr. Judge fell completely under the sway of this spirit medium, even accepting as genuine communications from the Masters which he received from her; and upon his death she promptly became his successor. This spirit-medium, whose claims to mediumship were rejected by the reputable Spiritualists of New York, originated most of the fantastic proceedings, rancorous fabrications and backbitings which made her "successorship" the most deplorable episode in the whole Theosophical movement. The most regrettable part of it was that so many of us, blinded by the faith we had placed in Mr. Judge, actually accepted the claims of his successor, the pseudo-medium, and believed her "inspired" utterances. We really should have known better; but, as Mr. Burcham Harding afterward remarked to me, "Judge got fooled and fooled the rest of us." But the charlatanry of the successor soon became so unmistakable that we were shocked out of our foolishness, and all self-respecting members of the organization withdrew from it. Some of them returned to the original Society, and others founded a new Society under the old name. Still others remained apart, repelled alike by the neo-theosophy which had sprung up under Leadbeaterism and by the eccentricities of the new Society and other off-shoots of the Judge secession, which can trace their descent from the parent Society only through an illegitimate source, the "successorship" of Mr. Judge's pseudo-medium.
I regret having to revert to these disagreeable facts, and I recall them only to explain why I now make, freely and decisively, this blanket retraction of all controversial matter written by me while I and the other participators in the Judge secession were blinded by our loyalty to him and for a season were under the malign influence of Mr. Judge's "successor."
Now as to the facts concerning the publication of the Secret Doctrine. In 1883 H.P.B. started out, as she says (Letters, p. 64) to "rewrite the whole of Isis Unveiled, calling it The Secret Doctrine and making three if not four volumes out of the original two." Instead, she produced a new work based on "the Book of Dzyan and the Secret Book of 'Maitreya Buddha' Champai chhos Nga" (p. 195) In 1887 she went to England. Says Mr. Bertram Keightley (Rem. o f H.P.B. and the S. D.): "H.P.B. placed the whole of the so-far completed MSS. in the hands of Dr. Keightley and myself . . . . . . . as it stood the book was another Isis Unveiled, only far worse, so far as absence of plan and consecutiveness were concerned . . . . Finally we laid before her a plan, suggested by the character of the matter itself, viz., to make the work consist of four volumes, each divided into three parts: (1) the Stanzas and Commentaries thereon; (2) Symbolism; (3) Science. Further, instead of making the first volume to consist, as she had intended, of the history of some great Occultists, we advised her
to follow the natural under of exposition, and begin with the Evolution of Cosmos, to pass from that to the Evolution of Man, then to deal with the historical part in a third volume treating of the lives of some great Occultists; and finally, to speak of Practical Occultism in a fourth volume should she ever be able to write it."
Thus, it will be seen, what is now the third volume was intended by H.P.B. to be the first, while the fourth volume was only a possibility. In one of her letters to Mr. Sinnett (Letters, p. 195) H.P.B. states that she had written the introductory portion, giving an historical sketch of magic, a description of the Mysteries and some rites, etc. All the material she here describes, terming it the "Prologue," is in the third volume, to which it was transferred by the Keightleys.
Mr. Bertram Keightley says (Rem., p. 92) that "the whole of the Commentary on the Stanzas did not amount to more than some twenty pages of the present work," and that H.P.B. was with difficulty persuaded to expand it. Aided by professional typewriters and volunteer helpers they finally got the manuscript ready for the printer. Says Dr. Keightley: "All through that summer Bertram Keightley and I were engaged in reading, re-reading, copying and correcting. The last amounted to casting some of the sentences in English mold, for many of them were 'literal translations from the French..' " Mr. B. Keightley explains that, failing to make satisfactory arrangements with a publisher, "the needful money was offered by a friend of H.P.B.'s." He adds that "H.P.B. read and corrected two sets of galley proofs, then a page proof, and finally a revise in sheet, correcting, adding, and altering up to the very last moment: - result: printer's bill for corrections alone over three hundred pounds."
In the Theosophist, July, 1889 (quoted in Rem., p. 84) Dr. Keightley says: "The third volume of The Secret Doctrine is in MSS. ready to be given to the printers. It will consist mainly of a series of sketches of the great Occultists of all ages, and is a most wonderful and fascinating work. The fourth volume, which is to be largely hints on the subject of practical Occultism, has been outlined but not yet written. It will demonstrate what Occultism really is, and show how the popular conception of it has been outraged and degraded by fraudulent pretenders to its mysteries, who have, for greed or gain or other base purposes, falsely claimed possession of the secret knowledge. This exposure will necessitate its being brought up sharply to date as a historical record, so that the actual work of writing it will not be commenced until we are about ready to bring it forth." The Preface to the Secret Doctrine is dated October, 1888. Nine months afterward, July, 1889, Dr. Keightley states that the fourth volume had been "outlined" only, apparently contradicting H.P.B.'s assertion in the Preface that it was almost ready for printing. However, there is no real contradiction. Having outlined the work, thereby mentally rehearsing its contents and visualizing it as a finished product, but discounting the labour of putting it on paper, H.P.B. naturally felt that it was almost completed, though she could not say that she had actually written any of it. Up to July, 1889, she had not written it, according to Dr. Keightley, who was one of her closest friends, and who had seen the other volumes through the press. As I lived at the London Headquarters from August, 1889, until after her death, I can testify, as can the other members of the household, that she was not engaged during that time in writing a fourth volume.
As for the third volume, it was as nearly "ready for the printers" as any of the MSS. of her books ever were. She sent them to the printers in an unfinished state and made many corrections and amplifications on the proof-sheets, even on the final revises of the page-proofs, regardless of the expense. Col. Olcott told me that the corrections and changes in printing Isis Unveiled cost as much as did the original composition. If she had read the proofs of the third volume she would have made many changes and additions, including, very likely, cross-reference to the preceding volumes.
In printing the first two volumes no
electrotypes were made; the press work was done from the type and stereotype matrices of the pages were made. But when a new edition was required these matrices were found to be so damaged as to be worthless. Even at the best, plates cast from such matrices are much inferior to electrotypes and are not fit for fine book-printing. As Dr. Keightley wrote, "The plates are in many cases found to be faulty, and the expense of casting," etc. By mistake he calls the matrices "plates," yet speaks of "casting," from them. Mr. Mead referred to the matrices as "moulds," saying that "the moulds are practically useless." There never were any plates, never was a fourth volume, and the third volume was to have been the first volume. Hence in the revised edition the references to volumes three and four were stricken out as superfluous and misleading, since the third volume was to be published immediately and the fourth volume was never written.
I have never referred to the "pile of MSS." at the Headquarters without explaining that it was the old MSS. of the Secret Doctrine. The reference to it by the editor of the Canadian Theosophist was made without my knowledge, and the inference drawn from it that I thought it was "unpublished" is unjustifiable. I can assure Dr. Stokes that the brief period of thirty-five years has not appreciably dulled my memory of events at the London Headquarters.
Mrs. Besant and Mr. Mead revised the Esoteric Instructions precisely as they did later the Secret Doctrine, and I did the printing. H.P.B. gave them a free land and did not even look at the proofs. The only thing she was particular about was the cover design.
As to the examples Dr. Stokes gives of Mr. Mead's emendations: Vol. ii., p. 30: "hinder part of the cerebral hemispheres," changed to "posterior." "Anterior" and "posterior" are the terms regularly used by writers on anatomy. "Hinder," though "a good English word," is not an elegant one in this connection, for anatomically it is used only in the colloquial phrase "hinder parts." Vol. i., p. 150: By changing "questions of" to "questions concerning" Mr. Mead removed an ambiguity; since "question" here might be taken to mean either enquiry or the subject of enquiry. Vol. i., p. 1: Here "the re-awakening of the still slumbering energy" is said to be "the emanation of the Word in later systems." Clearly Mr. Mead was right in treating "Word" as a misprint for "World." The Word (Logos) is not an Emanation, but is the First principle from which the World (Kosmos) emanates. In Letters of H.P.B., p. 253, 1. 13, is the same misprint, "words" for "worlds." I find the word "world" in one of the letters I received from H.P.B., and from the way it is written it could easily be mistaken for "word." Vol. i., p. 146: "But behind even this, stand - just as the owner of the carriage directs the driver from within - the higher and noumenal causes, the Intelligences," etc. Mr. Mead placed the verb "stand" after the parenthetical clause, where it properly belongs, and changed it and its subject to the singular, to agree with "owner," to make the simile consistent. The sense of the passage is not altered in the least; for the simile does not lead to the inference that there is only one Intelligence and only one carriage owner.
Now, "the truth and the whole truth about this transaction," asked for by Mr. Williams, is simply this: Without literary training, writing in an acquired language, and not having, as she should have had, an adequate reference library, and clerks and typists to assist in perfecting her manuscripts, H.P.B., a chronic invalid, through her marvelous energy and perseverance produced the three volumes of the Secret Doctrine, which is a treasury of occult teaching. A few devoted pupils and friends, at a sacrifice of time, energy and money, put her manuscripts in the best shape they could and then published them - otherwise her invaluable work might never have seen the light. Therefore I honour all these unselfish helpers, whose friendship I fortunately enjoyed: and I swear to you that not one of them was guilty of any of the heinous literary offences with which some of them have been charged by certain morbid Theosophists.
James Morgan Pryse.