The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document
VOL. VII. No. 12 TORONTO, FEBRUARY 15th, 1927 Price 10 Cents
THE HEART OF THEOSOPHY
The period of reaction from the lofty ideal familiar to the generation that knew Madam Blavatsky intimately may be prolonged into a real dark age of occultism, or it may be ended by a new generation that will revive those ideals and turn not merely to the study of The Secret Doctrine, but to a serious effort to put them into practice socially and in the family relation.
This must be done, not with pretensions to the possession of superior powers or abnormal endowments and authority, but with a modest realization that the knowledge of the existence of such things gives no right to any kind of presumption on that knowledge, but rather, that possessing it, it follows that in all but the rarest exceptions, students of The Secret Doctrine are no better in their house holding estate than the average citizen who, ignorant of all occult instruction, yet does his simple duty as he sees it.
The Theosophical householder, however, will always possess an advantage, upon which, of course, he must not presume, of knowing that he has an immortality of time for which to plan and wherein to work, so that no programme of life which he may choose to prepare could be too elaborate for eventual fulfilment, nor too noble for his gradually developing capacities.
The experience he will gain, with that already recorded, will prevent him following in the footsteps of those who have been led away by impostors in the art and science of magic and occultism, often self-deceived and self-deceiving people, but none the less misleading on that account.
A truly enormous crop of self-constituted teachers and "masters" have sprung up in the last generation, of very unequal merit and demerit, but all alike evil in so far as they have sought to re-erect new anthropomorphisms and human idols.
The present generation of members of The Theosophical Society has yet to learn that an idol of flesh and blood is just as frail and just as futile as one of wood or stone.
The human idol that yields himself or herself to such perversion of the soul's proper homage to its own divine Monitor grossly violates the rights of man as well as the principles of Theosophy. In the new day of Theosophy we will be rid of Leaders, for the only thing that can truly lead is the Truth.
Understanding this we shall be freed of the distraction of wondering what Leaders want us to do and the trivial interest of their doings, and we shall be preoccupied with the whispers of our own consciences and the importance of right action in our own courses and by our own hands.
The teaching that one's spiritual development depends upon some person or event external to oneself is of a sacerdotal character and not Theosophical. This
is the final test for all the new systems and messengers and their messages that come before the world. Do they point to the Self within? Then they may have some experience, some direction that may assist us in gaining that level of wisdom. All the rest is of no consequence.
It cannot too often be repeated that the Masters who were understood to be behind the founding of the Theosophical Society never allowed themselves to be worshiped. "See thou do it not!" is the injunction invariably given, elsewhere, as well as by Jesus in the Book of Revelation (xxii. 9). Had they desired it they would have come into public view and received all the worship that humanity could have lavished upon them.
And they have told us that we must work out our own salvation, and that neither message nor messenger will be sent by them from the east to the west till 1975. This ought to be final, but weak brethren take advantage of their absence to shine by reflected light and usurp the prestige, Gehazi-like, that should attach to the Prophets alone. And Elijah, be it remembered, declined all reward.
"The best and most important teacher is one's own Seventh Principle centred in the Sixth. The more unselfishly one works for his fellow men and divests himself of the illusionary sense of personal isolation, the more he is free from Maya, and the nearer he approaches Divinity."
This statement by the Master K.H. sounds the keynote of all real Theosophy. How far our Theosophical literature and speakers have diverged from it is within the judgment of all. Personal development is only to be sought for the purpose of helping others, and such service is the best means of development. Occult development is not gained by special courses in extraordinary subjects of study. The tests and trials of occultism come "in the affairs of life and relations with fellow men."
Always it is our fellow men who are to be our instructors and the objects of our service. "Inasmuch as ye have done it to the least of these ye have done it unto Me," is the word of a Master who symbolizes all Masters in the Path of Love and Service. It is "the self-sacrificing pursuit of the best means to lead our neighbour on the right Path, and cause as many of our fellow-creatures as we possibly can to benefit by it, which constitutes the true Theosophist."
Esoteric Science has a double object: to prove Man to be identical in spiritual and physical essence with both the Absolute Principle and with God in Nature; and to demonstrate the presence in him of the same potential powers as exist in the creative forces in Nature.
The fact that a member has concluded that a crisis of some kind or other is at hand, when according to his wise opinion the Master or Masters ought to speak and interfere personally, we were told specifically by H.P.B., is no sound reason for such personal interference.
But it is right "that each member, once he believes in the existence of Masters, should try to understand what Their nature and powers are, to reverence Them in his heart, to draw near to Them as much as in him lies, and to open up for himself conscious communication with the Teacher to whose bidding he has devoted his life. This can only be done by rising to the spiritual plane where the Masters are, and not by attempting to draw Them down to ours."
Lest some may think that the Masters occupy the whole space of man's consciousness above his own level it is well to remember H.P.B.'s words on another vexed question. "Esotericism," she says, "pure and simple, speaks of no personal God; therefore are we considered Atheists. But Occult Philosophy as a whole, is based in reality and absolutely on the ubiquitous presence of God, i.e., the Absolute Deity; and if IT is not speculated upon (because too sacred and incomprehensible as a unit to the finite intellect) the entire philosophy is based upon Its divine powers as sources of all that breathes and lives and has its existence, not merely its being."
It will be seen that the whole encyclopedic mass of writing about details of so-called occult law and phenomena is of small importance in comparison with
what is real Theosophy. This is where Adyar and its leading exponents have led away the Society and its members from that true work which H.P.B. intended it to pursue. These things are well enough in their way, but to the extent that they obscure the greater issues they are evil, and have drawn the Society
from its course.
The winter's day was drear and cold, the mercury was falling fast. Seated beside the fire whose warm glow was all the light I wanted to relieve the rapidly falling dusk, my thoughts wandered to the many children in the slums and poverty stricken homes of the great city in which I lived. As I saw before me, in imagination, the pinched faces, the numb fingers a tear splashed upon my hand. It was all so pitiful, and I, so helpless. Even as the tear dropped that soft Voice that speaks within the heart, and to the ear, murmured, "Before the eyes can see they must be incapable of tears."
"May I not, then, weep tears of pity for others sufferings? I asked with more than a touch of indignation in my heart.
"Why is it," the Voice murmured on "that you Theosophical Students will not try to understand Light on the Path."
"Why we do" I answered out of my irritability.
"Think again" said the Voice.
And I did. Well enough I knew that I, for one, had spent but little real thought on the matter of the marvelous book. I think, perhaps, the words in the Commentary "It is written in an astral cipher," had frightened me. I, who did not understand a physical cipher, how could I ever get at an astral one? There I had let the matter drop.
But now with the Voice murmuring in my heart shirking was no longer possible. "Teach me," I whispered, a knowledge of things undone making me humble. I am setting down for you all that I can remember.
Thus was I taught:
"Before the eyes can see they must be incapable of tears."
An understanding of the three vehicles of consciousness in the three worlds, helps greatly in the elucidation of this rule.
1. Mental Body.
2. Emotional Body.
3. Physical Body.
1. Mental Body is the vehicle for that form of consciousness we call mind. It is the highest, or the most inward of the three, and the largest. It sends its vibrations downward, or outward, through the other two vehicles, and receives vibrations from each of them. Like the physical body it is dual. The lower, or outer sheath being the vehicle for the lower mind, the higher, or the most inward sheath being the vehicle for the higher mental powers.
2. The physical, which is also dual, needs but little description here. It is always the obedient servant of the two inner vehicles. It has, of course, a certain independent life of its own, due to the elementals who are its material. They are much more easily controlled than are the astral elementals. These three bodies fit inside of each other, and when acting at perfection point, function as a unit. Failing perfection, each one goes its own road, more or less, the result being disharmony and confusion.
The first four rules of Light on the Path are written in an attempt to help the aspirant to get hold of the loose end of the string of that which will enable him to come to an understanding of the problems connected with the three vehicles, especially the emotional, and how to bring them into alignment, so that they can function as a unit, and thus give free and perfect expression to the Thinker. The bodies, themselves, are not the source of any vibration, apart from that connected with their form. They vibrate, as a whole, in response to impulses from the Thinker, and unless He knows the component parts, and the make-up of the machine He is using, He makes but a sorry operator. Hence the necessity for knowledge of the vehicles.
What are physical tears? The outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible disharmony. A disharmony that may arise from
Greed; et al.
Perhaps of all the emotions that lead to physical tears there is none equal to self-pity. To be intensely sorry for one's self is to turn one's emotional body into water. It is to undermine, and finally to bring toppling down every support on which the emotional man rests, to reduce him to a fluid condition, the outward result of which is, floods of physical tears, with a loosening of all that holds and binds the emotional body together. Water is the symbol of the emotional plane. It is the plane of reflection, negative, when functioning normally, but positive when usurping powers that do not belong to it. It should mirror in its depths that which is above it, and reflect it to that which is below, it should be passive and still. When it has been reduced to such a condition the storms of emotion will no longer disturb it, the angry sea of human life and passion will have subsided into a limpid pool of reflecting power, and "There shall be no more sea." In self-pity, the mind acting in response to the emotions presents a flood of thoughts, ideas, mental images and suggestions which help to intensify the already unbalanced condition of the emotional body. The final result of the interaction of all three is a jaundiced, morbid outlook upon life, with a total inability to form either a correct or just estimate of one's environment or associates. It is easily conceivable that one who "goes the limit" in this particular vice can become permanently mentally and emotionally unbalanced.
Self-Love. One is tempted to ask "Can there be such a thing as 'love' of self?" It would seem so; and that it is the first appearance of what will later on become love of the Self. Once admit into the mind the mental concept of a Divine Self, from which the lower self claims descent, and there will inevitably grow up a love for the Self, which will always lead to a choice of the Highways of Life. In the earlier stages of evolution when the Divine Self is not known even intellectually, this love may grow up, but will be directed towards the self, and will manifest as an outward seeking for the material things of life; to grab; to get; to hold; to hug them for the sake of the self. Such love is strong, active, energetic, and leads to many and devious ways. But once let the change of direction be made, and the same strength, the same activity, the same energy will flow upwards instead of downwards, inwards instead of outwards. As that comes about the eyes become incapable of tears of thwarted greed, outraged pride, fear of want, loss of worldly position, anger or humiliation. When love is directed towards the Self these things cease to count, and the causes leading to tears disappear. The eyes, the windows of the soul, are no longer blinded with moisture, dimmed with unsteady vibrations, or clouded with the confused mingling of colours. The lens is polished and becomes the steady, clear, unblemished focusing point for the Seer who sits within, and His gaze is uninterrupted whichever way He turns it, either inward or outward.
One could go through all the emotional vices and show how they lead either to tears or an inner deafness.
"Before the ears can hear they must have lost their sensitiveness."
Does this mean physical deafness? God forbid. There is within each individual a spot of peace, his own centre, the place on which he stands, at the very central point of his being. The spot Krishna told Arjuna to find and stand upon, for it was his own. Science teaches that at the centre of every sphere there is a point of perfect rest, and calls it the zero point. Occultists call it the laya centre. Man is a sphere, contained within the periphery of the Auric Egg. It follows, therefore, as a scientific necessity that there must be this place of peace, this laya centre, that zero point within him. When the time comes for the neo-
phyte to commence the journey inwards - the retreat inwards is a better description of the experience - he can only do so as he is able to still the oscillations of the emotions that keep the astral body in a constant state of "wobbling." When a harsh judgment, a false accusation, an unjust criticism of himself falls upon his ear, it must not reach the inner ear, the vibration must not penetrate beyond the physical. It must come to a full stop right there. How? As step by step the neophyte becomes incapable of tears - in the occult meaning of the word - vibrations can be kept from reaching the astral body, via the physical. It is done when vibrations of a kindred nature in the emotional nature have keen stilled, transmuted into a higher. For example - a crude one - should a suggestion come along that the neophyte take part in a dastardly murder that was being planned, what would the re-action be? An instantaneous refusal to have anything to do with the matter. The vibration could not reach the astral body for the simple reason that all desire for murder had been transmuted into a love for the preservation of all Life within all forms. In ordinary language we say "The matter fell on deaf ears, or dead ears." Meaning thereby that it made no entrance into consciousness. So it is with all the lower desires, one by one they are transmuted, the neophyte retreating within himself as he does it. As he goes the outer ring of vibrations cease to attract him, he fails to energize them, as he turns his attention inwards they become quieted, stilled. There is no response to outward stimulation. The tears no longer flow, the ears no longer hear, for he is too much occupied with searching for his own laya centre. Gradually as he searches he finds a place of temporary safety and quiet within himself on the way to his own centre. In his hour of need when faced by some decision, great or small, it is to this spot of peace within himself that he retreats, to the spot where he will not be blinded by tears, or deafened by the roaring voice of the outer world. There, as near to the centre of his own Being as he can come he fights it out - alone - for we make our decisions be they big or little, alone. It cannot be done in any other way. Not even a Master can make a decision for his chela. If He did decide a certain point for His pupil, the pupil will make the decision to accept or reject the Master's decision. Thus he makes his decision alone, there is no help for him from any person or place, save one direction only, the direction that leads within to the finding of his own Inner God or Ruler. From Him alone can help be had, and it is not until the eyes are freed from tears, and the ears are deaf to the outer sounds of life that the "Still Small Voice" of his Inner God can reach him. As the retreat inwards is accomplished the neophyte becomes more and more aware of the stream of Light and Illumination and Spiritual Sound that pour forth from the Inner God, and in that Light and by the aid of that Sound the decision is made. Then suddenly a wonderful thing is discovered. The Gates of Gold are seen, the Gates that guard the entrance to the Soul, the neophyte's true dwelling place in Eternity. The bar that holds closed the wondrous Gates becomes visible and he sees that it is composed of all these unstable emotions, "These powers that stand in contradistinction to the highest spiritual vision," and he understands that as the emotions are rendered stable the bar grows lighter until some day it will be worn so thin that it will utterly vanish, the Gates will swing open to admit the Pilgrim of the Way, that he may enter and be at home.
"Before the Voice can stand in the presence of the Masters it must have lost the power to wound."
There is a very much deeper meaning to the word voice than we ordinarily ascribe to it. We use it as referring only to the outward and audible sound produced by the action of the vocal cords in response to stimulation from the Thinker. We limit the word too much.
To accomplish the task of speaking with the inner voice there must come about a building into the vehicles of matter of a clear definite colour. "Colour is sound, sound is colour." Therefore, when the colour is correct, the sound must be
the same, and vice versa. As the neophyte advances towards his own centre there is a steady elimination of undesirable matter from the vehicles, the emotions become purer, therefore, the colour does the same. Colour is the veil of manifestation for quality, and colour is sound. In the physical, fear produces a grey tint, shock a pallor, morbidness shows finally in a sallow hue, while happy joyous childhood gives us roses and white. If such changes can come about in the dull physical, in response to emotions, we would naturally expect to find it more marked in the emotional and mental bodies. We are told that every passing emotion shows itself in changing colours. If colour is sound, then there must be a change of tone also. As the lower qualities are shoved out, and the higher ones built in both color - and tone will change. As the changes are "rung" in all three worlds during an incarnation the sounds will pass through varied sub-tones until at the close there will be the physical sub-tone, the emotional sub-tone, the mental subtone, and happy indeed is the one when they all yield a fullness of sound that can be gathered up into one whole tone, clear, definite, resonant. Life after life slips by and the aspirant builds more and more perfect vehicles, color purer, tone clearer, and more definite, until at last his life of ceaseless service brings him to the point where his note is sounding musically. He has learned to live so that he injures no embodied thing. Of all three planes his life is one of service, so perfectly rendered that all thought of self has gone, he has forgotten that there is a self to remember, and only the presence of the Self is held in thought, then is his voice sounding forth the note that can he heard in the presence of the Masters. His virtues are colouring his vehicles with all the glorious shading of the inner planes, the colours are sounding forth each its own sub-tone or tone, and all are blended into one note. Then is he speaking in the presence of the Masters. He has become a servant of his brother men.
"Before the Soul can stand in the presence of the Masters its feet must be washed in the blood of the heart."
Before the emotional nature can be controlled, before the giant weed of self can be pulled out by the roots and utterly exterminated, the heart will be "Broken" more than once. First it will bleed for its own sorrows, later for the sorrows of others. When we see others in sorrow, loss and bereavement do we not often say, "My heart bleeds for such and such a one?" It is a figure of speech, of course, designed to express the depth of emotion the heart is suffering. Suffering is the great purifier, and the first thing that is necessary for the neophyte is purity; the emotional nature must be washed clean, for it is the ground on which the Soul stands, so its feet are bathed in "blood." Blood is largely water. Water is the symbol of the emotional plane, and the feet of the Soul are cleansed on that plane as a prelude to the cleansing fire of the very Soul itself. The stabilizing of the emotional nature is the "Beginning of Miracles"' the changing of the water of the emotions into the Wine of Life. When it is completed, then, the "Marriage in Cana of Galilee" has been consummated. The simple human nature has been transmuted and become the "Bride adorned for her husband" as an interlude before the washing of the garments of the Soul in the "blood of the Lamb" in preparation for a higher and more exalted marriage feast.
The murmuring Voice ceased, and I whispered low, "Tell me some more."
"To be able to stand is to have confidence."
In what? One's own Inner God, and the Laws of the Universe in which we live. There must come to each one, at some time, the experience of seeing the evil in his own nature, of recognizing that it is there, and that it must be overcome. The sight is a staggering one, and does not come until some very definite effort has been made along the Path of Attainment. Not until the neophyte has to some extent accomplished the task of stilling the emotional nature and bringing it under control can this sight be seen. It is wonderfully depicted in "The Idyll of The White Lotus." When it does come, the only hope is in the fact
that the neophyte has some knowledge of the Inner God, otherwise he will be swamped. The magnitude of the task is so great that his ordinary powers will desert him, and he will turn from it as something that cannot possibly be accomplished. It cannot, indeed, with the powers that are known to the personality only. They are totally unequal to the task, and if there is no knowledge of anything else, not even an intellectual grasp of the matter, then he will turn away, and rightly so, for it is beyond his powers as he knows them. It is to be doubted if this ever happens, for we learn but contrast, and not until purity and goodness have been sensed, can evil be comprehended. So, if he be one of those who has learned, even intellectually, that there is strength to be had from an Inner Source, he will with confidence face the issue, realize the task to be undertaken, and determine to go at it. When by experience he learns that he has all the powers of the Inner God at his command, that they will never fail him, that "As the day, so shall the strength be" is a real fact, not just a high sounding phrase, then he will have confidence to carry on. His confidence will be further augmented when he learns that the Laws of Nature, as we call them, are in reality great streams of force and energy, every one of which he can use by putting himself in line with it, and that the way to do this can only be learned from the God within, that this Ruler knows all the Laws and how to manipulate them, and is only too ready and willing to teach his child the "how" of it, right here and now on this plane of illusion. Little by little he becomes aware of the forces by which he is surrounded, and little by little he realizes that he is not those forces, but that he can control and use them, that he is the self, they are the Not-Self. Then comes the inner awareness of the fact that "I and my Father are One." His confidence is complete, he can stand amidst it all, knowing, hearing, seeing, undismayed, because he has learned in the school of experience that there is no limit to the trust and confidence that he can place in the Inner God, that there is no limit
to the powers that are at his disposal for the battle royal, if he will but ask for them in the right way.
"Self-Knowledge, Self-Reverence, Self-Control, these three lead man to Sovereign Power."
- Mary N. Roebuck.
LETTERS THAT MAY HELP YOU
Friend . . . . . .
As you are well aware, this great mass of souls we call "Humanity" is made up of consciousness varying in degree of intelligence, and at different stages of evolution.
In intelligence these souls range from that of the Bushman and Damaras - who can count only up to two (this and that) to the intellect displayed in a Beethoven, Mozart, Newton, Shakspere, Angelo, Dante, Raphael, Da Vinci; hence it must be obvious that teachings of any kind must be so expressed as to be understandable by these various types of intellect. It would be sheer waste of time to attempt to teach Euclid or Algebra to a Bushman who can count only two digits; it would be a useless expenditure of energy to use the terminology of esotericism to the type of person that is satisfied with the "Come to Jesus" formula of the Salvation Army, or the literal reading of the New Testament Gospels; therefore, the occultist does not waste his time in such vain endeavors.
At the same time it should be understood that the occultist does not look down with disdain on those young and undeveloped souls because they cannot assimilate the more abstract conceptions; he recognizes that they are in the primary or kindergarten classes - the lower grades in the School of Life - and realizes that the teaching must be adapted to their understanding.
What he does find fault with is: the men - the priests, parsons, and ministers - who set themselves up as teachers are blind men leading the blind, for the simple reason that to know anything a man must have had the experience; and a man
who has not had the experience - and consequently the knowledge pertaining to that experience - is in no position to teach others.
When a man advertises himself as a teacher of mathematics, music, art, chemistry, or other specific subjects, he is supposed to be able to produce credentials and prove his ability to teach his particular subject. If, when being called upon to produce such credentials, he should admit that he had no knowledge other than a certain text-book, that he had no practical experience in the subject he claimed to be able to teach, that man's claim would be laughed to scorn, and the number of his pupils would be more likely to be minus rather than plus.
Strange to say, the credentials of the priest, parson and minister are never asked for, never demanded by the persons who are their pupils. The teacher of religion learns the arguments of the particular creed he is (generally) born and bred in, learns the particular forms and ceremonies used in his particular creed and - proceeds to look for a "living," a parish, a church with as good a salary as possible, and, takes up the work of telling his congregation a lot of things he himself has been told in the seminary or college where he was trained, but of which he has absolutely no practical knowledge. This state of affairs has been going on for centuries, and is the condition which obtains today.
In my materialistic days I was fond of amusing myself by attending church and listening to the local parson preaching on such subjects as "The Beauty of the Holy Ghost," "The Grandeur of Heaven," etc.; I would then, later, buttonhole him to ask him what he really knew about the Holy Ghost, about Heaven, and such-like. I told him that as I had studied my particular profession I was supposed to know what I was talking about, so I felt justified to suppose that as he was so glib in his statements in his sermons, he ought to be in a position to tell me something worth knowing, some exact data. All that I could get out of him was an admission that he knew nothing other than what he had been taught, and what he found in the New Testament. The only satisfaction he could offer me (if it may be termed satisfaction) was: the ways of God were inscrutable, and that we must have faith!
This gentleman was fond of preaching from such texts as "Blessed be ye poor," and after giving out the text would put his thumbs in the armholes of his waistcoat, his coat thrown well back to give greater prominence to the rotundity of his abdomen, and, possibly, to give greater point to his text. I may be thought unkind and uncharitable if I stressed the fact that the reverend hypocrite had to be threatened with court proceedings in order to make him pay for the tombstone on the grave of his child, and that the grocery-man always had difficulty in getting his bills paid, because it may be said that that particular man was an exception to the rule; but in my sojourn on this mud-ball, I have found the great mass of the men who button their collars at the back instead of the front of their necks are all tarred with the same brush.
In the matter of finding out how much practical knowledge they possess of what they are paid to teach, that can easily be demonstrated to your own satisfaction by asking any of them the straight question, and noting the evasive answers you receive.
You may wonder what the foregoing has to do with the esoteric teachings. It has this: - This state of affairs dates back to the time of the early Christians; back to the time when (according to Church history) Peter and Paul were spreading the teachings according to their own conceptions of that teaching.
Peter is the one who represents the Church of today; the teacher of the man, Jesus Christ; the literalist.
On the other hand, Paul (who was an Initiate of the Ancient Wisdom) did not preach the person so much as the spiritual Christ.
According to the story generally accepted by esoteric students, a man named Jehoshua Ben-Pandira (the illegitimate son of a Roman soldier - Pandira - and a
Jewish woman) was born about 120 years before the (alleged) Christian era. (An account of him may be found in the Talmud). Having attracted the attention of Rabbi Perachia, a former president of the Sanhedrin, he became his pupil. When this Rabbi visited Egypt for the purpose of prosecuting certain researches in the sciences called occult, Jehoshua accompanied him.
During the years he spent there, he studied and worked to such effect that he was initiated into the mysteries of the Ancient Wisdom; those initiations being not merely a lot of hocus-pocus such as are common in the various secret societies of today, but practical initiations into the knowledge of his own being, the mysteries of the Elemental, Astral and Spiritual worlds; such initiations being terrible ordeals the nature of which is hinted at by various writers such as Iamblichus, Plutarch, Origen, Tertullian, and others.
When Jehoshua had attained to some of the lower degrees of Adeptship, he was advised by his superiors to return to Palestine for the purpose of teaching the truth to his countrymen, and to lift them from their state of degradation and superstition; for practical occultism does not consist of merely leading a life of contemplation and virtue and attending to one's own spiritual culture; it is equally necessary to work for the benefit - of others, to help to drive back the powers of darkness and ignorance, to assist in the work of ennobling mankind, and to raise it up to a higher level in the scale of evolution.
Jehoshua returned to Palestine. His object was to try to convince his countrymen that God will only help those who help themselves, and that all external circumstances are the results of interior conditions. That if they desired to extricate themselves from their deplorable condition they would have to call to their aid the divine power existing within themselves (the kingdom of heaven is within you) instead of remaining indolent and expecting external help from a God such as they had created within their own imagination.
For some time Jehoshua remained with the prophet called John the Baptist and his disciples. He taught them some of the truths he had learned in Egypt from the books of Hermes Trismegistus, called in Egypt, Meti, and his companions wrote down some of the fragments he taught, and these fragments were afterwards transmitted to their successors; those fragments came down to us in a garbled form as "The Gospel according to St. Matthew." After the imprisonment of John the Baptist, Jehoshua retired for a while into the wilderness, to devote himself to meditation and self-examination.
When he again came out into the world of men, he had attained to a high degree of illumination, and it was no more the man Jehoshua who spoke divinely inspired words, but Divine Wisdom herself that spoke through his lips. His whole being appeared on such occasions to be permeated by the Light of the Logos. This may explain why, like the Avatars of old, he spoke of himself as being the Christ, the TRUTH, and the Way.
This Spirit of Wisdom, that in ancient times had spoken through the mouth of Krishna, saying: "I am the way, the supporter, lord, witness, abode, and friend" (Bhagavad Gita ix., 13) "I am the beginning, the middle, and the end of all existing things" (B.G. x. 20) repeated these words through the lips of Jehoshua, saying: "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (John xiv., 6) "I am the Alpha and the Omega; the beginning and the end." (Rev. i. 8), and this divine spirit still continues to speak in the same manner in the heart of every one who is able to rise above the sphere of self, and to become for the time being one with his own God - his Higher Self.
Jean Henri Fabre, the great French entomologist, struggled with poverty for many years, longing for the day when he would be able to spend all his time with his beloved insects. He never complained but stayed hopeful and unspoiled. At the age of sixty he bought four acres of land near Scrignan, where his long-held dream was to materialize. He built a little six-room cottage and laid out a garden. There he wrote his dozen immortal books.
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.
A subscriber to The Canadian Theosophist residing in North Bay, Ontario, would like to hear from any one interested in Theosophy in that locality.
Dr. Manuel de Brioude writes to say that he has been elected General Secretary of the T.S. in Spain, his address being Factor 7, pral D, Madrid. "All the members of the Spanish Section," he says, "join me in sending fraternal greetings to you and the members of your Section." These greetings we most cordially reciprocate, cherishing the hope that Spain, nearest to the ancient Atlantis, and bearing in her breast many hidden treasures of that far past time, may do much to awaken in the world again a knowledge of those old glories of Wisdom which alone can save the world from the perils that threaten. Our dearest dreams are chateaux d'Espagne and we look to our Spanish brethren to realize them for us in some measure by the discovery of that "hidden Wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory."
With this issue the seventh volume of The Canadian Theosophist comes to a close. Should the present editor be spared for another year he hopes to present a number of interesting articles to the readers of the magazine. Mr. James M. Pryse has promised two more articles of The Secret Doctrine, dealing with the revision and also on the study of the work. The Letters That May Help You will be continued and comments and correspondence arising out of them presented. A series of articles by Mr. E. H. Lloyd Knechtel has been promised on the ductless glands. Articles on Patanjali are promised by Mrs. Edith Wielding. Articles on Theosophy and Economics by Mr. C. V. Craik, president of the Ottawa Lodge are promised. Plans for reprinting Dr. Jerome A. Anderson's last book, "The Evidences of Immortality," are being considered, and also a reproduction of Claude Falls Wright's practically unpublished volume, "Modern Theosophy," is intended. This may sound ambitious for our little magazine, but the student knows that he cannot do more than digest each month what the magazine brings to him. To make it his own by selection and rejection is to achieve a considerable advance in the course of a year. It is not intended to supplant other studies but merely to cater to those who have little other means of reading. It preserves the H.P.B. tradition without losing touch with present day developments and it maintains the useful attitude of facing facts, probably the reason that a large number of people do not care to have anything to do with it. But the number of those who do care is constantly growing, and with good humour and good will we trust that we may serve the cause of truth and brotherhood for another twelve months.
It is with regret that the General Secretary appeals once more to the officers and members of the Society to try to realize that we are again well into the second half of the year, and that a very large proportion of the members have not paid the dues that should have been remitted last July. Unless a serious effort is made
to keep the membership in good standing it will be impossible to continue the work of the Section. Last year at this time we were just keeping abreast of the previous year's membership. This year we have fallen much behind. There have been distractions and many have gone after other lures. A large number of people are passing through the country constantly offering occult development on payment of various amounts up to $500. It would scarcely seem possible that anyone who had studied Theosophy would be taken in by these tempters, but the fact is that many have taken the bait. Practically all that is worth hearing in these mercenary teachings is to be had for nothing in the T.S. Unfortunately there is a great deal more to be had in it also. But our platform of wide open investigation is one that encourages investigation of every kind. There is no better training for the intuition than the study of all kinds of traditions and phases of thought and the speculations of thinkers. But the sort of thing that is compiled for commercial purposes to catch the curious but too simple enquirer after what he supposes to be knowledge is of no value to anyone except as a test of his common sense. Too generally he has none to test. The Theosophical literature of the early days upon which we have laid stress in Canada affords a standard by which to judge these bogus systems of so-called occult instruction. The members of the Society are doing themselves a service, as well as the world in maintaining such standards.
AMONG THE LODGES
Summerland Lodge reports a steady growth of interest. The Secret Doctrine class, it is said, has been intensely interesting and helpful. "We are all struggling to think clearly and constructively and to get to the root of things."
The annual meeting of the Lodge was held at Room 118 Coronation Building, corner St. Catherine Street West and Bishop Street, Montreal, on January 11, when the officers were elected as follows for 1927: President, E.E. Bridgen; vice-president, J.E. Dobbs; treasurer, W. A. Griffiths; Assistant treasurer, Mrs. Ruark; Librarian, Miss Burroughs; Secretary,
Vancouver Lodge held its annual business meeting on January 6 in the hall, 337 Hastings Street West. Officers for 1927 were chosen as follows: president, Mrs. Teeple; vice-president, Rowley Cruit; secretary-treasurer, J. Coops; executive, J. E. Mecredy, L. C. Teeple, Mrs. Buchanan, and Miss Hesson. Total expenditures for the year were $1,368.27, of which rent took $900. There was a deficit for the year of $484.
Toronto Lodge had a return visit from Mr. Roy Mitchell on January 23 when he spoke to a large audience on "The Theatre and the Mysteries." On the following Sunday evening Mr. Charles Lazenby came up from St. Thomas and spoke on "The Theosophy of Job." He also had a large audience, but the largest audience of the month was for Rabbi Isserman of Holy Blossom Synagogue who gave a stirring and incisive address on "Judaism and Christianity." Another most interesting address was a week later on January 16 by Miss Burkarar V. Sydney, of London, England, who spoke on "The Sufi Message." On Sunday evening, January 30 Mr. C.V. Craik, president of the Ottawa Lodge, called on his way back from Winnipeg and attended the Sunday meetings.
THE ANNUAL ELECTIONS
Nominations for the office of General Secretary and seven members of the General Executive should be made by the Lodges during the month of March, so that returns may all be in by the 4th day of April. Experience has shown that it is impossible otherwise to issue voting papers, carry on the elections, make returns and scrutinize the ballots in time for a declaration in the June magazine. Secretaries of Lodges will please see that the matter is brought before their respective Lodges, and when nominations are made have them sent at once to the General Secretary. Nominations must be made through a Lodge and the con-
sent of parties nominated must have been previously obtained. Nominations must reach the General Secretary by April 4, when the nominations will close. They should be posted at least a week before. This will enable ballots to be sent out, if an election be necessary, on or before May 1, and the voting to close on June 1. Nomination returns must be sent in a separate letter.
FELLOWS AND FRIENDS
Miss Ethel A. Munro of the Winnipeg Lodge is now Mrs. Rogers, and she has moved to Chicago.
Mr. Albert E. S. Smythe expects to be in New York and Philadelphia in the first week of April.
Mr. Edward L. Gardner, General Secretary of the T.S. in England is at present in America on a lecturing tour on "The Coming of the Fairies." He is to speak in Toronto in the Theosophical Hall on Thursday, April 28.
In Mr. W.B. Pease's article on "Character - the Agent of Karma," in the November issue, page 200, second column, 22 lines from the bottom, a line has been dropped from the paragraph which should read: - "True happiness depends on true valuations, on magnanimity, generosity, common sense, a well-balanced mind, a sense of humour and all that goes to make a good and strong character, to which may be added ability to appreciate beauty in Nature and in art. We suffer through our weaknesses, vanities, and personal desires."
The death of Michael G. Sherk in the middle of January was quite sudden, although he had been in poor health for some time. He was a dispensing chemist and was found dead over his store at 1201 Broadview Avenue, Toronto. He had been a member of the Toronto T.S. A melancholy interest attaches to the article by him in this issue. It was crowded out of last month's issue and would have pleased him to see it in print. Mr. Sherk was the author of a most interesting volume, well illustrated, entitled "Pen Pictures of Early Pioneer Life in Upper Canada."
Mr. Clarence Ludlow Brownell, a member of the Toronto Theosophical Society, died on February 2 at Jacksonville, Florida, where he was residing with his wife. Mr. Brownell had been in poor health for some years, but under his indisposition maintained a cheerful spirit and endeared himself to many friends in Toronto. In his last days he remarked that some of his happiest days had been spent in Isabella Street. Mr. Brownell was a man of parts and had been engaged in University work in Japan. His interesting book, "The Heart of Japan," was a result of his life there. He spoke amusingly of his experiences and was always ready to help in a good cause. His brother, Professor Brownell, is well known in academic circles.
I saw a brazen thing
With carmined cheek,
( And a mercerized leg
Draped over the arm
Of her easy chair)
Yapping about self expression.
The wild asses of the desert,
And the chittering hyenas,
Have self expression
In full measure,
And they remain
Asses and hyenas,
While man, through self denial,
Has attained some semblance
Of the divine.
- Doane Robinson.
Do You Want a Book?
But you are not sure of the title, or the author, or even if there is such a book to be had . . .
Just write me - I am in a position to help you.
N. W. J. HAYDON, 564 PAPE AV., TORONTO
REVISION OF THE SECRET DOCTRINE
The discussion that has occupied many of our pages in the few months past over the revision of The Secret Doctrine threatens to become a "filioque" contention and to obscure the important result which has been achieved. Some poor souls have been able to see nothing in it all but debate and disharmony, as if the discovery of Truth could ever be put aside. The issue is historic, not personal, and people unable to take a historic perspective are hardly ready for Theosophical instruction. We must learn to face facts and do justice even to our enemies, if we are so unfortunate as to recognize any.
The fear to face facts or the nervousness that some people display when asked to consider them speaks little for their confidence in the Truth, or their ability to discern it. To regard a subject as disputatious merely because it interferes with a previously formed opinion, or because it is likely to upset a pet belief is surely to confess to a weakness that can only he disgraceful for one professing to study Theosophy. An orthodox Church member could do no worse if his creed were impugned.
We all know that The Secret Doctrine was altered in its Third edition. That is a matter of record. Students who prefer to read one edition before the other or to base a theory of life upon one rather than the other are depending upon the dead letter, and not on the living spirit behind the book.
Mr. James Morgan Pryse has done a great service in recalling the facts of thirty years ago. For him it was undoubtedly wiser to make his correction now than to let it run over to a new incarnation. Of course a large number of our members do not actually believe in reincarnation, or at least not sufficiently to let it have any bearing on their lives. Mr. Pryse has taken pains to put himself right with the karmic records and every just person will honour him for having done so.
Whether his first opinion, spoken in his wrath and haste, as he says, was correct, or whether we are to take the changes as having been made in all good faith and according to the best scholarship of the editors is a matter for each student to decide for himself. Both editions are available, and those who do not feel that they wish to use both can make their choice. The Canadian Theosophist has always used the first edition, but has not excluded the third volume from its references. The exclusion habit, like the Roman Catholic Index Expurgatorius idea is not a Theosophical one. But discretion and discernment are always necessary.
Another topic is involved in Mr. Pryse's confession which we do not propose to go into here. That is the merits of The Universal Brotherhood at Point Loma of which Mrs. Tingley is the Leader and Official Head. Those of us who knew Point Loma and left it are aware of what untheosophical potentialities exist there. It took a long time for many who went there to discover its true character. They are not to he blamed altogether, for the atmosphere was subtle to the point of conviction.
The present writer was roundly abused by many who remained there after he left it, as a traitor to truth and loyalty. None were more vehement in their denunciations of his course than Robert Crosbie and Dr. Jerome Anderson. Both of these gentlemen lived to see that they were wrong, and they were honorable enough to put themselves on record in letters to him making amends for their former attitude and explaining that they had found that his warnings had not been half strong enough.
It is difficult to believe that William Judge appointed Mrs. Tingley as his successor, but all these gentlemen asserted that he did, at one time or another. The present writer never saw any written evidence to this effect, though he was promised sight of an alleged diary of Judge's, and a minute book. Ernest Temple Hargrove was particularly emphatic in these assertions, but he never produced the diary nor the minute book, though these were asked for, and some excuse was always made for their non-production. One cannot help thinking
that if they had existed they would have been produced to the world by the one most concerned.
After thirty years documents alone can be regarded as evidence. Memories are apt to fail, and it is a human characteristic after such length of time to view things as one would like to have them rather than as they actually were. Col. Olcott's "Old Diary Leaves" is a notable instance of this frailty. Few, also, are willing to admit that they were in error.
Most of those who left Tingley were lacking in the courage to return to the Adyar Society and redeem it from the slough into which it threatened to fall. Now their good offices may be too late. The Adyar Society is certainly at a critical stage. Much depends upon what Mrs. Besant may do. She has the opportunity to revive the old spirit and teaching of the Secret Doctrine as Madam Blavatsky presented it, which has been obscured by the accentuation through all these years by astralism and psychism and all manner of clap-trap. Few have the courage of Mr. Pryse to admit error.
Independently of this, the duty of all who sense the real object of the Movement and who have imbibed the waters of life of the original Message is clear. They must stand by the ideals given us by the Masters, and do their utmost to preserve them for the world for the next fifty years. This can be done, even though only a few remain faithful to the task. A perusal of the Mahatma Letters and the two volumes of Letters from the Masters of Wisdom will be of the greatest assistance to those who may not be quite clear as to what the Theosophical Movement was intended to bring about.
It is said in the Upanishads: "Hear thou even the little child and from his words accept thou the Truth that goeth straight to thy heart. But reject all that does not thus go straight to thy heart - no matter how high the authority - yea, even though the lotus-born Creator Brahma himself, be the speaker."
THE SAPPERS AND MINERS
The Haldimand-Julius Monthly contains two articles of immediate interest to members of The Theosophical Society. Their titles indicate the tone and matter of their contents - "Katherine Tingley, Boob-Baiter of San Diego," and "Messiahs Made to Order."
We are often accused of dealing with "contentious matter" in "The Canadian Theosophist" but our idea is that no other magazine will take up these and similar articles and show the public that they have nothing to do with real Theosophy as Madam Blavatsky taught it and as real Theosophists understand it. A wicked and adulterous generation may not desire to know the truth, but that is no reason why those who have the responsibility of upholding it should not let their voices be heard in its exposition and defense.
The writers of the Haldimand-Julius articles have good reason from appearances to suppose that the Theosophical Society is a fraudulent and misguiding organization, and it does the public a service in warning people of the follies which it commits. But those who know the real truths of Theosophy and the facts of the Movement have also a duty to proclaim the great message of the Masters, to correct the errors that are current about them, and to point out how widely the present "leaders" in the Society have led it away from its original purposes. The only answer to the Haldimand-Julius articles is The Secret Doctrine, and neither the authors of these articles nor the people they attack take any pains to acquaint themselves with The Secret Doctrine as we have received it.
One of the articles deals with Point Loma and Mrs. Tingley. It is a pity that more care were not taken to get all the facts correctly. So many errors are made in talking about Lomaland and its tyrant that people will doubt the truth in face of the amount of error will which it is mixed. After all, the truth is a great deal worse than anything that can be added to it.
The other article is about Mrs. Besant and Krishnamurti - "Messiahs Made
to Order" - it is entitled. It quotes Mrs. Besant's declaration that she "never had any idea of proclaiming Krishnamurti the Messiah," but that her belief was that he was to be the vehicle of a "World-Teacher." This quotation must be revised, or replaced by another from the Los Angeles Times which publishes an A.P. despatch from Ojai dated January 13, in which Mrs. Besant is quoted as describing Krishnamurti as "literally perfect," and concludes, "in him the manhood had been taken up into divinity and we beheld his glory, full of grace and truth. The spirit had descended and abides on him. The world teacher is here." Comment is needless for students of H.P.B.
Still another story has to be told, although but an indication of it can be given here. Brother XII, who has been writing letters about a new Movement to save the world, and has published a little book, "The Three Truths," founded on the famous sentences from "The Idyll of the White Lotus," which is one of the best of these little books which we have read for a long time, and much superior, for instance, to "At the Feet of the Master," has announced his intention of coming to Canada. Literary merit has nothing to do with ethical virtue or we might have taken Lord Byron for an angel and Oscar Wilde for a saint. We fear that Brother XII has his foibles too.
It is not necessary to accuse Brother XII of anything worse than self-delusion, although several warnings have reached us. An official of the Exeter Lodge in England writes: "We note an article by the 'Master's' personal chela. Curious to relate we were interested in the paper which he circulated and tried to get in touch with him, it being stated he lived in Cornwall. We found he had disappeared, having no outward and visible means of support. He is very much wanted. Many letters await him there, in a little out of the way village near Wadebridge."
Another correspondent in California writes: "Brother XII's effort is a little more ambitious and plausible than some of the others; he may - probably will - write an acrimonious or sanctimonious reply but further than that will not start anything which may lead to an investigation of his bona fides."
Mr. Christmas Humphreys writes: "I hope you will not waste too much room in your precious magazine over Brother XII of the Aquarian Foundation. He is a Mr. of Southampton and wished to join the Buddhist Lodge as Brother XII. Then I pointed out that we could not have people joining anonymously, though he could call himself what he liked when he had joined. He replied like a small school-boy in a huff. His writings contain nothing not contained in every textbook of Theosophy worth the name, while his whole method of working and general behaviour mark him, for most who have contacted him over here, as just one more deluded humbug who delights in setting himself up as specially favored by the Masters, and privileged to dole out favours to those who stand in sufficient awe of him."
The judgment of readers and students must always be on the alert, and it should have been easy to recognize the false note in the covert threat, the failure to emphasize karmic justice, the impossibility of evading karmic law, the appeal to the lower elements of human weakness, fear, the love of reward, the appeal to vanity, the suggestion of being preferred before others, all those things that we note as unworthy in others, but which deceive oneself into acquiescence through the weakness of egoism.
It is stated that the Order of Christian Mystics for which Dr. Curtiss is responsible, the Temple, for which Dr. Dower is guardian, The Arcane School, of which Mrs. Bailey is the head, and a number of other organizations have accepted the new mission and are going to ally themselves together. If this be so it is good news and much good may come of it.
But there can be no Unity where there is self-seeking. Says H.P.B.: "Let them know at once and remember always, that true Occultism or Theosophy is the 'Great Renunciation of SELF,' unconditionally and absolutely, in thought as in action. It is ALTRUISM, and it throws him who practices it out of calculation of the ranks of the living altogether. 'Not for himself, but for the world, he lives,' as soon as he has pledged himself to the work."
Miss Mabel Benson writes, a propos to the recent talk on "Ritual" by Mr. F.A. Belcher: "Some people feel they are helped by ritualism while there are people who go to the other extreme and sing hymns to the ugliest tunes and pray in a mournful, hopeless voice. Both are solemn. I don't know why. Does Mr. Belcher know?
As a child I went to a High Church day school and spent two hours one Sunday morning at a Quaker meeting house in Scotland and it occurred to me - As I look on this world I see one cruel joke - There's nothing so silly as grown up folk. Is solemnity necessary to life? We don't believe it is. How can a happy, rejoicing heart, willing to serve the Master, find time for, or want to be solemn, and what good would it do? I think if this matter were carefully considered it would change the world for the better instead of continuing greed and sorrow, or tightening and controlling instead of giving freedom and happiness.
If people had been taught to see happiness would ritual comfort them? The cake on the host's table doesn't really feed us. It does flatter us because of our misunderstanding fussiness for love, and we can complain that it costs money to entertain.
Many old customs must go into the discard. No. Gray in his Elegy talks of waste and yet tells us there is no waste.
Say not the opening bud is lovelier than the dropping rose.
Whose petals as they softly fall are gathered up by loving hands.
What is happiness? Not many people in this pleasure seeking age of cheap shows, candy shops and money to get rid of, seem to know. Happy people are often looked upon as without ambition and strength, and they have a large share of both.
Watch the Farmer's boy marching to a merry tune at five o'clock in the morning - the little girl who remarked - When we get a few more days' sunshine daddy's going to sell the apples in the city and buy me some boots for winter.
Teach me to pray O Lord,
Teach me to pray
To greet the busy day with joy and gladness.
Why should I want sadness with Thee to worship and obey. And work that serves Thee best serves me gladly. How can the sorrowing heart truly love Thee. Thoughtfully have I gazed at the skies and found that in my eyes reflect the lines of a bright and happy eventide.
Snobbery. The labour man would have improved his lot by talking less of the sufferings and more of the right of the poor to happiness.
I watched a clog dance by a Lancashire lad in a pair of real clogs. He doesn't look upon them as shackles and compulsion. Happiness dances even in clogs. Would the Master ask to see greater happiness than these two things - a little girl with a clothes pin for a doll - a whistling boy with brown bare feet.
Mr. Belcher talked on remodeling and reform and didn't mention rebirth. Every new happiness creates something new within us. And I will tell you right now that I never met a Theosophist who could talk on reincarnation without sickening me of it. The vocabulary of meaningless words is maddening, and if I may say it - the ritual of speech.
I never heard anyone say that the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh had any meaning. I believe they meant, purity, piety and protection. Only in the shoes of humility can we peacefully tread the path of progress that draws us nearer the kindly light. I have not written this for the crowd."
AN ANCIENT FAITH
The following paragraphs are taken from a sermon by Rabbi Ferdinand M. Isserman, the new Rabbi of Holy Blossom Synagogue, who spoke to the Toronto Theosophical Society on January 20.
"I want Jews to appreciate the beauty of Christianity. I want Jews to know the good causes it supports. I want Jews to know that there are beautiful souls in
Christian pulpits. And how better can that be realized than by having them stand in Jewish pulpits speaking the ideals which are all mankind's?"
"By so doing we will furthermore recognize what liberal Judaism teaches, that revelation was and is limited to no one people; that God did not only reveal Himself to Israel - that God did not speak only to the sacred men of the Jews. That is a narrow notion of God, which makes Him partial to any of His children, which makes Him reveal Himself to one and not to others. That is an old concept. God is not niggardly and miserly. To all peoples does He reveal Himself. In all lands has He made Himself known. To all men has He sent prophets - to the Chinese, Confucius and Laotse; to the Hindus, Buddha and Krishna; to the Persians, Zoraster; to the Mohammedans, Mohammed; to the Jews, Moses; and to the Christian, Jesus."
"God is the property of all mankind. His spirit is found in the Bible - but it is also found in the sacred literatures of other peoples - in the psalms of the Babylonians, in the texts of the Egyptians, in the Vedas of the Hindus, in the Gathas of the Persians, and in the holy book of the Buddhists. All peoples have Bibles - all peoples knew God - to all people revelation came."
"This should be recognized, the beauty in all faiths. We should know that God strives to make Himself articulate among all peoples. We should be ready to welcome to Jewish pulpits, fine Mohammedans, Buddhists and Hindus, as we should fine Christians."
RECENT SCIENTIFIC NOTES
The newspapers have carried an extraordinary amount of news lately of interest to students of the Ancient Wisdom, and confirmatory constantly of Madam Blavatsky's assertions in The Secret Doctrine that corroborations of its predictions would be multiplied in this century. Professor Pupin told the American Association for the Advancement of Science of his belief that the sun and earth are intimately connected electrically and magnetically, and spoke of the tidal flux of electricity and the fading and swelling of radio vibrations "all like the beating heart of our earth mother." All our life depends on the sun, he affirmed. Professor Tchijevsky offered the same Association a new theory of world history, which he denies is guided either by Providence or the human will. We are all slaves of the sun, he believes, and its vast electrical power. "The sun is a gigantic generator of electrical energy, which is emitted by radiation and induction," he says. "The sun is surrounded by an electro-magnetic field which envelopes earth, and reaches out beyond Neptune, most distant planet." The Blavatsky Institute should send him a copy of T.E. Willson's "Ancient and Modern Physics." The inner life of the sun, he goes on, fluctuates periodically. This goes on like the beating of a tremendous incandescent heart in space, and the fluctuations are manifested on the sun's surface by the coming and vanishing of the sun spots in eleven year cycles. The staggering vastness of the universe was dwelt on by other scientific men.
A complex pattern is this thing called Life
Where sorrow, joy and hope always are mixed:
Sometimes the threads of joy are lost by strife,
But hope is there, for it in life is fixed.
No matter how the pattern seems obscure,
Unbalanced, twisted it will always be;
Until the threads of hope, golden and pure
Shine on the surface, that the world may see.
In hope is seen the final grand design,
All other threads must weave within its scheme,
Until the beauty of a God divine
Is fashioned in this pattern like a dream.
Hope is the secret plan, the mystery,
Wherein life's grand fulfillment we can see.
- H. L. Huxtable.
MR. HARE AND H. P. B.
Mr. William Loftus Hare has done much to explain his failure to carry the T.S. in England with him in his effort to represent the "Back to Blavatsky" movement, by a letter to The Occult Review, vol. xiv, p. 122, in which he describes himself as Madam Blavatsky's "unveiled disbeliever." He proceeds: "All doubts were laid aside by me when I read "The Mahatma Letters," and reviewed them lightly for your journal. Since then I have studied them deeply and am convinced that they are not written by the Masters; that there are no such authors in existence, and that the whole edifice of Theosophy by the publication of these faked letters came to the ground with a crash, while New Theosophy follows it with a splash. I have seen the original documents and detect the various artifices which have been employed to deceive the earlier generation. I am convinced that the Letters came from the conscious mind and hand of Madam Blavatsky herself. The hour has struck for the truth to be told thus briefly, and before long I hope it will be proved in minutest detail." This will give great joy to a number of people who like Mr. Hare himself do not appear to understand what either Theosophy or the Masters are. It is also the most magnificent compliment he can pay or could pay to Madam Blavatsky. If she invented all these things and constructed the synthetic philosophy which is expounded in the Secret Doctrine, then she was indeed the most wonderful woman that ever lived. No Avatar has yet equaled her not only in ability but in self-abnegation, for she disclaimed the ability and the honour that Mr. Hare thrusts upon her. But how does Mr. Hare explain the phenomenon which he presents for our acceptance? It has long been recognized that moral character is essential to the promulgation of the highest ethics and their practice. How can H.P.B. be the Avatar and the great Deceiver at one and the same time? In the biography of Madam Blavatsky by G. Baseden Butt, who cannot be accused of being an over friendly critic, speaking of the Mahatma Letters, he says, "On reading these letters one feels more than ever that the theory of fraud is not only inadequate but incredible. No finer vindication of Madam Blavatsky can be imagined than these two volumes of letters." In the tribute which he pays at the close of his volume, which we quoted on page 113 of this volume, he concludes, "What more can be said of the writings of this woman? If it be true that a tree is known by its fruits, that men gather not figs off thistles, neither doth a good tree bring forth evil fruit, then is Madam Blavatsky justified for ever in the works which follow her."
To all this may be added the fact that Madam Blavatsky herself repeatedly emphasized. Theosophy does not depend upon Madam Blavatsky nor her books, nor on the opinions of Mr. Hare, nor Mr. Butt nor anyone else. It is the initial fallacy of Adyar at the present time as well as other headquarters of Theosophy that its followers make it the nostrum of some
human personality. It is nothing of the sort. If humanity were wiped out of existence Theosophy would emerge again in the consciousness of the new race that would take its place. Madam Blavatsky merely gave us the clue for ourselves to follow out. We say "merely," but it minimizes the debt we owe her not to recognize that the clue is of the vastest importance. We can find it for ourselves in the scriptures of the world's religions and in the traditions of mankind. But it saves us all much wearying research to begin where she indicated and follow the Path as she directed. Until we do that we have no right to dogmatize either for or against Theosophy. One would almost imagine that Mr. Hare, if he ever took up the Quest, had missed the way as he journeyed.
Seest thou two or three imbeciles who hold the world between their two hands, and who in their ignorance believe themselves the wisest of the universe? Be not disturbed that they regard all as heretics who are not simpletons. - Persian.
One of the most popular games in Japan is chess, which is called in Japanese Shogi. It is a modification of the Indian game Caturanga, which means an army corps consisting of four parts. As a matter of fact the original game contains four parts, elephant, chariot, infantry and cavalry, all of which are represented in the Japanese game. To be particular, Hisha (a flying chariot) and two Kyosu (two incense cars) represent the chariot, Kaku (a corner runner) the elephant, Fu (nine pawns) the infantry and Keima (two horses carrying incense) the cavalry. Thus the four component parts of an army corps are represented in Japanese chess. Besides them, it has as the central piece Gyoku or Wo (jade or King), which corresponds to the Queen in European chess. On either side of the King are two pieces, called Kin (gold generals) and next to it Gin (silver generals). This is a feature in which Japanese chess is different from the European game and probably tells of the development of the original Indian game of Caturanga made in Khotan after it entered Central Asia. Khotan was a region well known for producing jades, its two rivers, from the beds of which jades are taken, being known by the names of Kara-kash (Dark jade) and Blun-kash (White jade). It appears then that jade was made to take the place of queen and gold and silver generals being introduced into it, the Indian game was made more complex and interesting in Khotan. European chess seems to have been taken from Persia and it is possible that chess as developed in Khotan was also introduced from Persia. In China the game has evidently gone out of popular favour, but in Japan it continues to be very much played by all classes of people.
European chess is very much similar to Japanese shogi, and the movements of pieces are exactly the same. A Japanese, knowing how to play shogi, can easily learn European chess and become a good player after a few practices. Instances are not rare, in which good Japanese players of shogi, taught how to play European chess by Europeans while on a voyage or on similar occasions; surprised their teachers by showing themselves very adept pupils and by beating them after a few trials. Of course such is due to the knowledge and experience they had of Japanese chess. Thus European chess is generally similar to Japanese shogi, but there is one great difference between them. It is that in Japanese shogi pieces captured from the adversary are used to strengthen one's own game. In this respect the Japanese game is a step ahead of the European, because it makes it more complex and interesting. The Japanese have never employed prisoners of war in actual warfare or in any labours, but in Europe recently prisoners of war were employed and that very often in a cruel manner. The Japanese have been well aware of the advantage of employing prisoners of war, as they do in chess. They have abstained from doing so out of humanitarian motives and in deference to the spirit of Bushido. - J. Takakusu in "The Yound East."
Once I had a vision
When the night was still,
Of all the world's children,
No more sad and ill,
Gathered up in sunlight,
Dancing with a will
Through windy, wide valley
And forest and hill!
Joy upon their faces,
Peace in their eyes -
Singing as they wandered
Under clear skies;
Tumbling and rolling,
With sudden, glad cries, -
All the little children Shouting with surprise!
More happy children
Than stars up above!
Tended by Joy
And the Christ and the Dove -
All the world's children
And nothing but Love!
- Sydney Aileen Beaufort.
MOTTOES OF THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
On the completion of the Seventh Volume of The Canadian Theosophist it may be of interest to readers who have not obtained them to read the mottoes on the title pages of the seven volumes of the magazine. They indicate to some extent the spirit and tone of the matter and circumstances with which each volume has dealt. The mottoes are all chosen from the writings of H.P. Blavatsky.
I. It is above everything important to keep in mind that no Theosophical book acquires the least additional value from pretended authority.
II. The true philosopher, the student of the Esoteric Wisdom, entirely loses sight of personalities, dogmatic beliefs, and special religions.
III. No true Theosophist, from the most ignorant, up to the most learned, ought to claim infallibility for anything he may say upon occult matters.
IV. Are we not bound rather to take as the true aphorism of this century the declaration of Horace Greeley: "I accept unreservedly the views of no man, living or dead?"
V. Our voice is raised for spiritual freedom, and our plea made for enfranchisement from all tyranny, whether of Science or Theology.
VI. There being but one Truth, man requires but one church - the Temple of God within us, walled in by matter but penetrable by anyone who can find the way; the pure in heart see God.
VII. None can feel the difference between himself and his fellow-students, such as "I am the wisest," "I am more holy and pleasing to the teacher, or in my community, than my brother," etc., - and remain an upasaka. His thoughts must be predominantly fixed upon his heart, chasing therefrom every hostile thought to any living being.
A perusal of these quotations will make it clear why the T.S. in Canada differs with other National Societies, and why some Canadians do not care to read the Canadian Theosophist. They indicate the Theosophy that the Society originally stood for, and anyone can decide for himself whether this is what is now being upheld by the more prominent members of the Adyar administration.
THE ATTAINMENT OF FREEDOM
We cannot he truly free until we forget all else and lose ourselves in the thought of freedom. Mental restrictions make men greater slaves than the laws of a despot. We cannot be free until we realize our privilege, embrace the opportunity, and abandon ourselves to the urge that is ever beckoning us on if we are only willing to recognize it. We can understand how to do it if we set out to find out the how.
Let us acquire a knowledge of laws - physical, mental and spiritual - and then consciously forget them. They will come forth from the depths of the subconscious at the call of the will of necessity. Desire becomes a demand when necessity requires it. Extreme hunger knows no law but the law of demand. When we are driven to extremes it is then our privilege to demand.
Let us not be slaves to any idea but our own. It is only by intelligent freedom we can grow properly. Injudicious restriction warps and stunts. But we must feel that we owe society nothing. If we cringe or doubt we are lost. Onward, ever onward! Let our actions he decided by the need of the moment. Let the light of nature lead. True illumination only comes through absolute freedom. It is not we that are acting, but the spirit within us. The spirit has come to its own. It recognizes no physical restrictions. We can trust in it for it is ourselves. We are one with it. Imperfections there are none. We are part of the perfect whole. Heaven is within and around us. All is light. The darkness is dispelled. The great "I am" we see. Knowledge and understanding is ours. Our vision is clear. We behold things as they are. Who is greater than we? We depend on none. Why hesitate? We are the past and the present. The future is unfolded. Peace reigns. Our work is done.
- M. G. Sherk.