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VOL. VII. No. 5 TORONTO, JULY 15th, 1926 Price 10 Cents
REVELATION OF ART IN CANADA
By Lawren Harris
(Note by Editor: Mr. Harris is leader of the Group of Seven whose work attracted so mach attention at the Wembley Exhibition. The recent Exhibition of the work of the Group in The Grange Art Gallery of Toronto called out much newspaper criticism, but it was admitted practically without exception, that Mr. Harris was the leader in fact as well as in name of these pioneers in art. His views of the underlying principles of the movement which the Group represents are therefore of first importance to those who discern in it a National momentum.)
Any change of outlook, increase of vision and deepening of conviction in a people shows itself first through some form of art, art being both a clarifying and objectifying process. With us in Canada painting is the only art that so far has achieved a clear, native expression and so the forming distinctive attitude, the creative direction of the genius of our people and their higher aspirations are to be detected in it. Indeed a new vision is coming into art in Canada. It is a direct effect of the interplay of capacity and environment and moves into manipulation straight through the muddle of perishable imported notions. Furthermore, this creative activity is forming a home-made vortex that steadily grows and intensifies, broadens and ascends, and is destined to draw into itself the creative and responsive growing power of many of our people. It touches into life all that is inherent, and leaves the acquired in the back-waters, away from its flowing. Its results in art are far removed from mere prettiness, from anything ordinarily pleasing, from any solace to the complacencies, and thus are somewhat perturbing to those of our people brought up on imported painting. But our younger folk who seem to live in a swifter rhythm than older generations, a rhythm too swift for sentimentality, and some of our older folk who are still supple of soul, take to it naturally. They accept it as naturally as they do the charged air, the clarity and spaciousness of our north country. For it has in it a call from the clear, replenishing, virgin north that must resound in the greater freer depths of the soul or there can be no response. Indeed, at its best it participates in a rhythm of light, a swift ecstasy, a blessed severity, that leaves behind the heavy drag of alien possessions and thus attains moments of release from transitory earthly bonds.
We in Canada are in different circumstances than the people in the United States. Our population is sparse, the psychic atmosphere comparatively clean, whereas the States fill up and the masses crowd a heavy psychic blanket over nearly all the land. We are in the fringe
of the great North and its living whiteness, its loneliness and replenishment, its resignations and release, its call and answer - its cleansing rhythms. It seems that the top of the continent is a source of spiritual flow that will ever shed clarity into the growing race of America, and we Canadians being closest to this source seem destined to produce an art somewhat different from our Southern fellows - an art more spacious, of a greater living quiet, perhaps of a more certain conviction of eternal values. We were not placed between the Southern teeming of men and the ample replenishing North for nothing.
Indeed no man can roam or inhabit the Canadian North without it affecting him, and the artist, because of his constant habit of awareness and his discipline in expression, is perhaps more understanding of its moods and spirit than others are. He is thus better equipped to interpret it to others, and then, when he has become one with the spirit, to create living works in their own right, by using forms, color, rhythms and moods, to make a harmonious home for the imaginative and spiritual meanings it has evoked in him. Thus the North will give him a different outlook from men in other lands. It gives him a difference in emphasis from the bodily effect of the very coolness and clarity of its air, the feel of soil and rocks, the rhythms of its hills and the roll of its valleys, from its clear skies, great waters, endless little lakes, streams and forests, from snows and horizons of swift silver. These move into a man's whole nature and evolve a growing, living response that melts his personal barriers, intensifies his awareness, and projects his vision through appearances to the underlying hidden reality. This in time, in and through many men creates a persisting, cumulating mood that pervades a land, colouring the life of its people and increasing with every response of those people. It is called the spirit of a people. Spirit, I suppose, because it is felt but not seen. In reality it is the forming self-created, emotional body of those people.
Now the determining factor in unfolding, for a man at least, is not in adaptation to his environment, or his personality but in the understanding of it and the control and use of it within himself. This is slowly accomplished by creative activity evolved from his environment. Thus, for us to create, to objectify our feelings and intuitions, our aspirations and devotion in art is a necessary, persisting and unescapable part of the unfolding of our life. Firstly, it is essential to the understanding of our environment and its eliciting power in our souls; and secondly, it is essential to the understanding of our life and the life of all peoples and times; and thirdly, it is essential if we are to comprehend, however little, the swift unfolding power of the creative spirit that gives faith and works within faith.
Indeed the occurrence of a living art in every age, with every people, despite the constant down-drag of inertia and the dead weight of the ages, is a tremendous factor in the evolution of the soul. It is a sign that the human can achieve an attitude of child-like wonder, exuberant devotion, a simplicity and directness that goes straight trough all erudite deviousness, all cynicism, all sorting and labeling and telling of heads, all smugness and satisfaction, to the exacting light of spiritual realms.
It is no matter whether the art of one age, one race, is better than another. Indeed, most talk of the respective merits of various centuries, countries and movements is perversive of the real life in art. For art should be life-giving, soul-releasing in every age, and it can only be so when it has its roots in the very soil a people tread upon, as well as in their emotional and imaginative life; and then its bloom may open to spiritual awareness. In one sense our whole ascent to the spirit that informs all forms, is through the particular forms, experience, life of our day, country and people. Our peculiar personality as a people needs full development through its own growth, through its own creative efforts. It must, at least, have commenced its unfolding from within outwards, through the stimulus of its day, through the evolving power of its place on earth, through the forming of its own perishable but essential bodies before it can attain any degree of universal vision.
It is just so that our people may find understanding of eternal values here and now. The long slow transfiguration coiled in the drowse of the ages is thus disclosed and awakened, and our faculties, which are the servants of this transfiguration, are brought to worthy functioning, and we commence to seek beauty and truth, the meaning of life.
The idiom changes, the emphasis shifts. This is the moving surface of life, flowing with the march of time, with ages, races and peoples, guided by the genii of man's evolution. The principles, the laws, the informing spirit, is eternally the same, varying only in the degree of vision, conception and expression of a people. Through the arts, the creative spirit uses and develops the idiom of a day and people, the particular personality, to give them intimations of the play of spontaneous selflessness and a glimpse of the shining power of great faith.
But the personality of a people when it commences to form and grow, as with us now in Canada, seems to run counter to the accepted idioms of the ages. The guided centering of force to a living growth here and now has to meet the insistent, distracting superficial emanations from older growths, from Europe particularly. This should induce us to delve deeper into our souls through the interminable hells of pleasure and pain, and find conviction, find our own song of life. Until we do so more fully the dross of the ages will affect us much more than their gold.
Superficial living on the emanations of other peoples is still much too prevalent with us. Not that we shouldn't view and study the winnowed results of the experience of all peoples, but we must turn to account here and now what we find will help us, convert it into our own living idiom, and not succumb to its far away seeming from fears of inferiority. Indeed fear of inferiority still holds us to old worn grooves. The continual contemplation of the achievements of older peoples, other days, by most of our learned, authoritative individuals, holds us to old notions, waning rhythms, dying institutional modes, dogmas, national creeds, which for us now can have only second hand meaning. Then, too, all the channels of cultural barter flow to us from other countries, other times, and even the glory of the art of the ages gets between us and creative life here and now.
At times, indeed, we seem like a low receptive reservoir into which pours the chaos of ages, the mixed concord and discord of many varied peoples; and until we clean this reservoir by inducing the up-welling of the hidden waters of life through our own positive endeavors, we will remain a confused people.
Of course, most of this flooding from older sources is the continuance of a flow, that was inevitable and necessary to us until comparatively recently. In the early days in Canada all ideas, modes, social and state institutions, religious observances came with the settlers. These formed the mechanism of their life and tided them over the period of homemaking in the new environment. But since taking root in the new land and with the stimulus of freed and revivified faculties a new outlook was bound to grow until today it is forming a distinct individuality. And this individuality now seeks to grow by its own creative efforts, and the clinging to old modes and the partial lust for imported notions can no longer be of benefit to it. Now indeed we must find our own gift for men, and to do this we must cease to make ideas, beauty and truth, or fabrics of finished civilizations seem remote, far off, glamorous by time and distance, but being all worthy things to life here and now.
There have been signs since our very beginnings in Canada of a new up-welling from deep within, and these increase, both despite and because of the muddled flow from abroad. Our life of manners, thought and feeling is a native creation to the extent that pioneering struggles in a virgin country under great skies altered the European outlook. Our atmosphere is more stimulating to the boldness necessary to question established ways, all institutions and attitudes of the past and other peoples. We are somewhat free from the weariness and consequent doubts and melancholy of Europe, and if we seek first the growing
immense zest of this country and continent we will find, our own soul and our own unique gift for men.
To some among us the newer zest of this continent is not entirely friendly. Its results appear crude, raucous, ill-formed because forming, and yet to engage however little in aiding the unfolding of its life and directing its energy to lofty ideals within ourselves, is our task and should be our joy. For zest is ever new and charges all things with new meaning. It clears the eyes of the smudge of old darkness, cleanses the soul and makes of faith a mighty generator.
If such is our faith we will find contact with the creative spirit that is ageless, we will come to understand the golden ages of the world rightly, as a forever present reality, because we will have touched the source of their glory. Then we will seek to communicate "at the summit of the soul," where we have seen, however faintly, an inexpressible, familiar majesty, and here and now, through the arts, create a culture worthy the spirit in man.
LETTERS THAT MAY HELP YOU
Friend . . . . . . .
Following your suggestion, I here give the proofs of my statement: "taking the Roman Catholic and Protestant church teachings . . . . . we find that they both agree on one particular point, which is this: Every new-born child is a newly created soul, and comes fresh from the hands of its Maker-God . . . . . If we examine the Jewish and Christian Scriptures we shall find that they do not teach that every new-born child is a new-made soul! That is an invention of the 'Church.' The Early Church Fathers of the Christian Church taught quite the opposite!"
In a letter to St. Anastasius, Ruffinus says that "this belief (pre-existence) was common among the primitive Fathers." Later, St. Jerome relates that the doctrine of transmigration was taught as an esoteric one, communicated to only a select few. But Nemesius, Bishop of Emissa in Syria, emphatically declares that all the Greeks who believed in immortality believed also in metempsychosis; (i.e. the Greeks belonging to the Christian Church). Delitzsch, the German historian, says, 'It had its advocates as well in the synagogues as in the church."
Arnobius, a Numidian writer in defense of Christianity, wrote, "We die many times, and as often do we rise from the dead" (Adversus Gentes), and adds that St. Clement of Alexandria "wrote wonderful accounts of metempsychosis." St. Jerome affirms that "the doctrine of transmigration has been secretly taught from ancient times to small numbers of people as a traditional truth which was not to be divulged" - (Hieronim "Epistola and Demetri"). A. Frank quotes this passage on page 184 of his "Kabbale." Huet, too, gives it in his "Origeniana" Book 2.
St. Jerome, who it should not be forgotten, helped to prepare the Vulgate (the Latin version of the Scriptures, dating from the close of the 4th century, and the only version which the Roman Catholic Church admits to be authentic), proves himself a believer in pre-existence in his 94th letter to Avitus, where he agrees with Origen on the subject of the interpretation of a passage from St. Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians - i. 4 - "He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world" - and says that this means that "a divine abode and true repose are to be found in heaven," and that "there dwell creatures endowed with reason in a state of bliss, before coming down to our visible world, before they fall into the grosser bodies of earth."
Lactantius, whom St. Jerome called the "Christian Cicero," maintained that the soul was capable of immortality and of bodily survival only on the hypothesis that it existed before the body (Instit: divin: iii. 18).
St. Augustine said, "Did I not live in another body, or somewhere else, before entering my mother's womb?" (Confessions i. 6).
Synesius (known to us more particularly as the Convent Patriarch in Canon Kingsley's novel, "Hypatia") states that
"philosophy assures us that our past lives are a direct preparation for future lives" (Treatise on 'Dreams'), and when invited by the citizens of Ptolemais to become their bishop, he refused, saying that he cherished certain opinions of which they might not approve, as, after mature reflection, they had struck deep rood in his mind. Foremost among these he mentioned the doctrine of pre-existence.
Prudentius (Spanish Roman Catholic poet, 4th cent.) entertained nearly the name idea as that of Origen concerning the soul's descent from higher seats to earth as appears in one of his hymns: -
"O, Saviour, bid my soul, thy trembling spouse
Return at last to thee, believing;
Bind, bind anew those all unearthly vows
She broke on high and wandered, grieving."
Justin Martyr expressly speaks of the soul inhabiting more than once the human body, and denied that on taking a second time the embodied form it can remember previous experiences. Afterwards he says, souls which have become unworthy to see God in human guise, are joined to the bodies of wild beasts. Thus he openly defends the grosser base of metempsychosis. Either that or else the joining of the soul to animal forms in Kama Loca (Purgatory, Hell) after the death of the body.
Dr. H. More (17th Cent.) quotes Synesius as one of the masters who taught the doctrine. He adds, "We might enter into the same list Synesius and Origen, the latter of whom was surely the greatest light and bulwark that ancient Christianity had;" and Beausobre (Hist: de Manichee et du Manicheisme,) reports a typical phrase of his: "Father, grant that my soul may merge into light, and be no more thrust back into the illusion of earth."
St. Gregory of Nyssa, says, "It is absolutely necessary that the soul should be healed and purified, and if this does not take place during its life on earth, it must be accomplished in future lives." (No modern church teaching of "eternal damnation" in this!).
St. Clement of Alexandria says that although man was created after other beings "the human species is more ancient than all these things." (Stromata, vol. iii, page 433: edition des Benedictins). In his "Exhortation to the Pagans," he adds, "We were in being long before the foundation of the world - we have existed from the beginning - not for the first time does He show pity on us in our wanderings: He pitied us from the very beginning." (Compare this with Solomon's reference to it among his Proverbs viii. 22-31) also with "Before Abraham was, I am" - John viii. 58, or with "For thou lovest me before the foundation of the world" - John xvii. 24). Clement also adds: "Philolaus, the Pythagorean, taught that the soul was flung into the body, as a punishment for the misdeeds it had committed, and his opinion was confirmed by the most ancient of prophets."
Chalcidius, quoted by Beausobre in the book just mentioned, says "The souls that are not able to unite with God are destined to return to life until they repent of their misdeeds."
In Pistis Sophia, a Christian treatise on the mysteries of the Divine Hierarchies, we find the doctrine of rebirth frequently mentioned: "If he is a man and shall have come to the end of his cycles of transmigrations without repenting - he is cast into outer darkness."
Origen (De Principiis): "The soul has neither beginning nor end. Rational creatures existed undoubtedly from the very beginning in those ages, which are invisible and eternal. And, if this is so, then there has been a descent from a higher to a lower condition on the part not only of those souls who have deserved the change, by the variety of their movements, but also on that of those who, in order to serve the whole world, were brought down from those higher and invisible spheres to these lower and visible ones, although against their will."
Origen commenting on the verse: "There was a man sent from God" (John i. 6) says that it implies the existence of John the Baptist's soul previous to his terrestrial body, and hints at the universal belief in pre-existence by adding, "And if the Catholic opinion hold good concerning the soul, as not
propagated with the body, but existing previously and for various reasons clothed in flesh and blood, this expression 'sent from God' will no longer seem extraordinary as applied to John."
Again in Contra Celsum: "Is it not rational that souls should be introduced into bodies in accordance with their merits and previous deeds?" (Here we lave the teaching of Karma - 'As ye sow, so shall ye reap'). "The soul, which is immaterial and invisible in its nature, exists in no material plane, without having a body suited to the nature of that plane; accordingly, it at one time puts off one body which was necessary before, but which is no longer adequate in its changed estate, and it exchanges it for a second."
It may interest you to know that some of the advocates of reincarnation in the Roman Catholic Church during the Middle Ages were: - St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) who founded the Franciscan Order; the learned Irish monk, Johannes Scotus Erigena; St. Bonaventura (12211274); Card. Franciscan General - the "Seraphic Doctor;" Thomas Campanella, the Dominican monk, was sent into exile on account of his belief in the successive returns of the soul to earth. M. d'Orient, an orthodox Catholic, writes ( Destines de l'Ame): 'In this doctrine, so evidently based on reason, everything is linked and held together . . . for all that was needed in order to bring to pass these various results was for God to call back into existence certain souls He knew to be naturally suited to His purpose. Consequently, the most sublime mysteries of religion, the most wonderful facts regarding the destiny of the soul find their natural explanation in a clear understanding of metempsychosis."
Tertullian, contemporary with Origen, in his DeAnima considers whether or not the doctrine of re-birth can be regarded as Christian is view of the declaration by Jesus Christ that John the Baptist was Elias (or Elijah) the old Jewish prophet, come again: - "And if ye are willing to receive it (or him), this (John the Baptist) is Elijah, which is to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." (Matt. xi. 14-15).
The prediction is found in Malachi iv. 5: "Behold, I will send you Elias, the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord." In a footnote to this in the Douay version of the Vulgate (A.D. 1609), which is accepted as the version by the Roman Catholic Church today, the commentator says, "Our Saviour testifies that the Elias whom the Jews expected was already come," and gives as references Matt. xi. 14, Matt. xvii. 11 and Luke ix. 8.
In addition to the many Gnostic-Christian sects, the Manichaeans, who comprised more than seventy sects connected with the primitive Church, also promulgated the rebirth doctrine. (Bergier - Manicheisme, in Dict. de Theol., iv. 211-13.) Along with the condemnation of the Gnostics and Manichaeans as heretical, the doctrine of rebirth was likewise condemned by various ecclesiastical bodies and councils. This was the declaration by the Council of Constantinople in 553: - "Whosoever shall support the mythical doctrine of the pre-existence of the Soul, and the consequent wonderful opinion of its return, let him be anathema." And so, after centuries of controversy, the ancient doctrine ceased to be regarded as Christian.
Many unprejudiced scholars are now unwilling to admit the rulings of the Church Councils which determined what was orthodox and what was heretical doctrines among the Gnostic-Christians, because many of their dogmatic decisions were based upon the unscholarly Refutation of Irenaeus and upon other equally unreliable evidence. The data which have accumulated in the hands of scholars about early Christian thought and Gnosticism are now much more complete and trustworthy than similar data were upon which the Council of Constantinople in 553 based its decision with respect to the doctrine of rebirth; and the truth coming to be recognized seems to be that the Gnostics rather than the Church Fathers, who adopted from them what doctrines they liked, condemning those they did not like, should henceforth be regarded as the first Christian theologians and mystics. If this view of the very difficult and complex matter be accepted, then modern Christianity itself ought to he allowed to resume what thus appears to have been
its original position - so long obscured by the well-meaning, but, nevertheless, ill-advised ecclesiastical councils - as the synthesizer of pagan religions and philosophies. Some such view has been accepted by many eminent Christian theologians since Origen: e.g., the Cambridge Platonist, Henry More; and in later times it has been preached from Christian pulpits by such men as Henry Ward Beecher and Phillips Brooks. (Wentz - Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries).
If you are interested in this phase of the matter, I shall take it up in a later letter and add what may be some interesting data which are not generally known.
With the best of wishes,
(To be Continued)
HYMN TO THOTH
O Thoth, place me in Hermopolis,
In thy city, where life is pleasant.
Thou suppliest all I need of food and drink,
And thou keepest watch over my mouth when I speak,
Ah, may Thoth succor me tomorrow.
Come to me when I enter the presence of the Lords of Right,
And (so will I) go out justified.
Thou great dom palm, six ells in height.
Thou on whom are fruits.
Stones are in the fruits,
And water is in the stones.
Thou who bringest water to a place afar off,
Come, deliver me, the silent one.
Thoth, the sweet well for one who thirsteth in the wilderness.
It is closed for him who finds words to say.
It is open for the silent.
The silent cometh and findeth the well.
The hot-headed cometh - but thou art choked.
- Cecil Williams
Introspection as a Test of Knowledge
(Concluded from page 73)
On applying our introspective method to the study of the ego the enquirer will note as one of its most important attributes, its persistence as an individual through all changes of consciousness. It matters not whether one is sad or gay, absorbed by sorrow or elated by joy, enduring physical pain or enjoying ease and pleasure - on whatever plane consciousness may be concentrated - whether yielding to the allurements of the senses, or listening to the inner voice of aspirations - it is the same "I" that experiences, remembers, and imagines. All through the wide-awake hours of day, through the quiet moments of reflection and fancy, and even when the imagination runs riot in the grotesque adventures of dreamland, this continuity suffers no lapse. And on looking back to the days of childhood one feels that the same "I" thought and felt as a child as it is feeling and thinking today as a man or woman, in spite of the many profound changes that have taken place in the modes and ways of our thinking and feeling; and one can hardly doubt that those who can remember scenes of their past reincarnations must identify the actor of those times with the same individual who is experiencing the life of today.
Thus the Theosophical teaching that the individual Ego persists permanently through every change of consciousness, condition and environment is corroborated. And indeed this tenet is absolutely necessary to our conception of intellectual spiritual evolution through a series of incarnations. But this conviction, founded on such positive facts of consciousness as to amount to "real knowledge" that it is the same ego that at times is consciously inspired by spiritual ideals and at other times occupied with selfish pleasures, may seem at first sight to be contrary to the statement, often made by Theosophical students, that
there are three Egos in man, namely: The spiritual Ego; the human Ego (Manasic); the personal Ego (Kamic). But this statement should not, I believe, be taken literally; it is figurative, and in my humble opinion, however useful the division may he to students as nomenclature to distinguish different tendencies or aptitudes in the nature of the Ego, it may, if carelessly used, be misleading, and even give rise to serious error - such, for instance as that a creature in the form of a man might be under the control of an animal Ego, and even an intellectual Ego unconnected with any higher principle, so that now walking this earth there are two kinds of men - those with immortal souls and those without - and the withouts in far greater numbers, because so very few people manifest any divine or spiritual quality in their present lives. This has nothing to do with the doctrine concerning what are spoken of as "Lost souls" i.e., disintegrating personalities, selved through intellectual wickedness from their reincarnating ego.
Some such erroneous ideas seem to have arisen in H.P.B.'s time, or she foresaw that they might arise, for she sounds the following warning in a footnote occurring in "Occultism and the Occult Arts": -
"Those who would feel inclined to see three Egos in one man will show themselves unable to perceive the metaphysical meaning. Man is a trinity composed of Body, Soul, and Spirit, but man is nevertheless one, and is surely not his body. It is the latter which is the property, the transitory clothing of the man. The three 'Egos' are MAN in his three aspects on the astral, intellectual or psychic, and the Spiritual planes, or states."
That the Ego acts self-consciously in its astral and intellectual aspects is a matter of everyday experience, but of the consciousness of the ego functioning in its spiritual aspect any real knowledge is very doubtful. I question whether many people can be said to have any real self-consciousness on the plane of that aspect, but I imagine that with many of us, just as rays from the far-off sun may penetrate the dense foliage of a gloomy forest, so gleams, in the form of inspirations, may sometimes penetrate through the dark growths of ignorance, indifference and selfishness to the slowly-awakening spiritual consciousness, which, if fully awake, would imply a realization of unity with, and a knowledge of, the inner life of all beings.
Another attribute of the Ego of which we have "Real Knowledge" is its power of control. We have already seen that the mind and emotions are to a limited extent under the control of an observer and user of will. This user is the Ego and I believe that anyone who has for any length of time been making definite use of this power and especially if he has strenuously endeavored to increase it, must be able to observe some development and so prove to his own satisfaction the truth of the Theosophical teaching that the Ego, the inner real man possesses, as an inherent integral part of his being, the power to control mind, emotion and physical body; but that this power is to a very large extent latent (in average cases) and that the Ego is capable of evolving it by use and effort, and that every such effort meets with its due reward.
The power of control implies the power of choice. It has often been shown with disconcerting finality that as we think, act, move and have our being according to undeviating law, we, therefore, can have no real choice - that our choosing in fact is a delusion. However that may be, that we do make choices is a fact to our self-consciousness, a pragmatic truth that cannot be gainsaid, and one that is of the greatest possible importance to human interests. By introspection we may note that the mind does not choose, but that, as an instrument, the ever-watching Ego uses it to display the pros and cons of every question that arises - the personal desire, desire for rest or desire for amusement may plead one way, sense of duty may plead another. The mind is used by both sides, though it may be more under the control of one than the other - it may have got into the habit of attending to one cause more easily than to another, but, after all, it is the Ego, the man himself, who decides. He is the judge. If he
yields to threats or temptations it is he the Ego, that yields - he cannot be forced against his will - though his body may be killed; if he listens to the voice of his higher nature and acts nobly, it is again the Ego that has chosen, and that uses his inherent power to rule his lower desires and fears. Thus it is the Ego that is responsible and it is the Ego that suffers or enjoys the consequences of the thoughts and acts of the personality that he is using. (See "Key" p. 106).
The Ego is often spoken of as a holy pilgrim bound and enslaved, and its powers stolen and misused by an animal soul. Such expressions are, I believe, (like that of the three Egos) figurative. Indeed if there is only one Ego there can be no tyrant or thief outside itself. The Ego is not a God; if it were it could not be subdued, sat upon, cheated by any elemental being.
The Ego, Manas, the Thinker, was and is pure on the plane from which it came, because that plane is pure, but it could not gain any sense of its own individuality or self-consciousness there. That could be awakened only among the tumultuous experiences of earth life. It needed tremendous shocks of pain and pleasure to distinguish between the I and the not-I. At first it had neither the knowledge, nor strength, nor even the wish to resist the allurements of the senses, and it became bound by them. Thus the Ego's bonds and tribulations are of its own making. Its tyrants of today are the elementals of its own past creation, and its own present desire for sentient life among the objects of sense.
The Ego, then, is the "victim" but of its own ignorance and weakness. Nor is it an infallibly wise angel perched up aloft out of reach of this world's follies and allurements. I should rather put it this way: - that in the inherent nature of the real inner man, the I that chooses, there are latent possibilities which it has to evolve by aspiration and by making right choices. Every right choice it makes and carries out must help to bring out the higher aspects of its nature from latency into actual potency.
Consciousness is with most of us far more centred in the lower aspects of the Ego than in the higher; it is more interested, more absorbed, active and alive in the affairs of the emotional and intellectual planes than in the ideals and aspirations of spiritual life. Hence the picture of the spiritual Ego being bound and kept in subjection by the lower self. And when it is said the we must raise ourselves to the Higher Ego, it means that we must shift our centre of consciousness from the lower aspects of our nature to the higher, must identify the I-am-I with our highest ideals and aspirations, by learning to think and act in accordance with them. It seems to me that this is all in accordance with the real knowledge we have of our own natures, - but of course I can only judge by my own findings.
I have said the Ego or "God within" is not infallibly wise; if it were, there would be no need for it to reincarnate again, but, nevertheless, there are very good reasons for believing that some of its attributes are far more evolved towards perfection than is apparent in the consciousness of its personality. It seems that the manifestation of its faculties is greatly limited by the physical brain and the other organs through which it has to receive impressions, and express them in terms of earth-consciousness. Thus, the memory of the Ego is said to be perfect, but it is veiled and befogged by the dense physical brain, so that the power of the brain consciousness - which is all we possess during our ordinary waking hours - to use that memory and recall events is very imperfect. We can not recall the acts and thoughts of the last-spent hour with any accuracy. And even as the inner memory may he perfect even as regards long past lives, so the Ego may possess many other faculties in far greater perfection than we can know of. Feats of recollection performed in trance, or under hypnotic influence, clairvoyance, flashes of intuition, (though these may sometimes come through telepathy) and the voice of conscience point to this superiority. Most of us can know nothing of what the consciousness of the Ego when independent of the physical brain may be like. Probably there is less sense of I-am-I, but a far greater assurance of immortality and unity. This is borne out by
a statement made by H.P.B. in Vol. ii. S.D. where she says: -
"The Egos, by incarnating in the still witless man of the Third Race, made him consciously immortal."
She is here speaking of the ordinary man of the Third Root Race-men whose mental faculties were very slightly evolved, and yet they were "conscious" of their immortality at that early stage of their evolution. But as these Egos descended more deeply into matter and intellect, the consciousness of their divine origin and immortal nature has become almost smothered, and is no longer a matter of inner knowledge but merely one of conviction or faith.
Even the great Masters and Teachers suffer, it is said, from physical limitations when they are using physical bodies.
One other faculty of the Ego should he mentioned - the power to create. There is no need to dwell on this faculty, but it is interesting to note that the "real knowledge" we have of the manner in which it operates coincides exactly with what we are told of the order of the descending steps from ideation to dense matter, in the creation of a universe. First the need or desire, then the abstract conception, then the concrete form built up by imagination, and then precipitation into material form. And this holds good whether one sharpens a pencil, or builds a house, or paints a picture.
I have now mentioned some of the most important tenets of Theosophy, the truth of which can be verified by introspection. Naturally the range of what I have called "real knowledge" must differ greatly with different people - in fact it must keep pace with the evolution of consciousness. I hope none of my readers will go away with the idea that I have belittled the value and importance of honest convictions that cannot be classed as "real knowledge." That is not my idea at all. What I would suggest however is that such convictions and beliefs should be held to lightly, so that the mind can not become bound by them. Rather we should take the advice of W.Q. Judge to be prepared to discard every belief we now hold. There can be no growth without destruction. I think it may often be worth while to ask ourselves "Why do I believe this or that?" or "Why do I continue this or that habit or custom?" Sometimes one may be surprised to find that one has no satisfactory answer to such questions.
And now I shall bring this paper to a close with the following extract which occurs in an article to be found in the so-called "Third Volume" of "The Secret Doctrine": -
"In 'A Buddhist Catechism' the question is asked: - Are there any dogmas in Buddhism which we are required to accept on faith?
"Ans. No. We are earnestly enjoined to accept nothing whatever on faith, whether it he written in books, handed down from our ancestors, or taught by sages. Our Lord Buddha has said that we must not believe in a thing said merely because it is said; nor traditions because they have been handed down from antiquity; nor rumors, as such; nor writings by sages, because sages wrote them; nor fancies that we may suspect to have been inspired in us by a Deva (that is in presumed spiritual inspiration); nor from inferences drawn from some haphazard assumption we may have made; nor because of what seems an analogical necessity; nor on the mere authority of our teachers and masters. But we are to believe when the writing, doctrine or saying is corroborated by our own reason and consciousness. 'For this' says he in concluding 'I taught you not to believe merely because you have heard, but when you believed of your consciousness, then to act accordingly and abundantly.' "
- W. B. Pease.
IS THERE SOME SPECIAL BOOK YOU WANT?
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
MRS. BESANT'S LECTURE TOUR
The Messenger announces that Mrs. Besant will lecture at the following places, and that it is useless to write to Headquarters, because the booking is in the hands of a New York Lecture Bureau. Mr. Krishnamurti will not accompany Dr. Besant on tour. She has cabled that he will travel with her only as far as the Convention. His intentions after Convention are not yet known. The Convention meets on August 30 in Chicago. Following are the lecture dates: Sept. 2, Chicago; Sept. 13-14, Seattle; Sept. 15, Vancouver; Sept. 17, Spokane; Sept. 20, Tacoma; Sept. 21, Portland; Oct. 15-16, Cincinnati; Oct. 18, Chicago; Oct. 19-20, Cleveland; Oct. 22-23, Pittsburgh; Oct. 25-26, Detroit; Oct. 29, Rochester; Nov. 1-3, Toronto; Nov. 4-5, Buffalo; Nov. 8, New York; Nov. 10, Washington; Nov. 15-16, Boston; Nov. 17, Brooklyn; Nov. 18, New York.
THOUGHTS OF A STUDENT
During the incarnation of an avatar, which in medium cycles occurs about every 2600 years and in major cycles in a much greater period of time, the Great Ones who are guiding the destinies of peoples, nations and planets, as well as suns, try to impress upon receptive minds what is happening. In many ways they try to awaken people to a system of thought and analysis wherein they may understand evolution and read the Good Law in its operation.
I have told you, that we must discriminate between the philosophy of H.P.B. and that of other teachers and also bear in mind that everybody is right. They are all reading some phase of the Good Law or of its dark shadow. Where the LIGHT is, ever comes the shadow.
H.P.B. brought to us the philosophy of the Eastern Path - the Greater Reptiles [[sic]] - the Greater Mysteries - the Law of the major cycles - the Baptism of Fire and perception through the intuition working with higher manas or abstract mind. To know the Good Law, as taught by H.P.B. in the Secret Doctrine, you go into the world of the Masters, and they teach through higher manas - through the Sun Mind. You are not "wet" here so the above does not apply to the teachings of H.P.B.
There is also the path of the lesser reptiles - the Western Path, so called the Baptism of Water and here the emotions, the astral plane and lower manas hold sway with the illusive reflections and broken shadows of the moon. Remember there is the true moon, the Divine Womanhood, as well as the false one, which distorts the Motherhood.
We have Cosmic Shorthand, coming out in geometry and kindred studies. We also have the Cosmic code of words. Remember also, that we are taught on the inner planes in courses of studies, just as a student in college takes certain courses, and according to the grade of the disciple, he also is taught.
You are all "wet" is a code and it is for us to read the Good Law of the number 7 of H.P.B. Then nothing will be withheld. We will no longer see through the waters of the astral plane, but stand on the sunlit heights, on which the Masters call the messages to a waiting world.
So we have those who find their comfort in the number 9 - who delight in emotionalism and ceremonial. Choose according to your vision. Choose according to the Eastern Path of H.P.B. or the western path and the lesser cycles - the lesser vision - the lesser mysteries - the church, the creed - the ceremonial - lower manas and the astral plane.
Parts of the Theosophical Society seem a little damp. Students reach the astral plane and linger there. The White Fire of an Avatar is with us, somewhat obscured by the red fire of the lower triad.
- Mrs. E. C. Abbott.
14 West Elm St., Chicago, Ill.
To see a World in a grain of sand,
And a Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour. - Blake.
Full reading of your nativity for $3.50. Send time of birth, date and year to Mrs. Stella King, "Lastro," Northcourt Ave., Reading, England. (formerly of Canada)
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, 22 West Glen Grove Ave., Toronto 12.
Six bound volumes of The Canadian Theosophist are now available and may he had from the General Secretary's office for $2 each post free. Title and Index for Volume vi. may be had on application with postage.
We would like to hear from those 108 members who have failed to pay their dues this year past and are thus placed on the inactive list. Had they remained we would be well ahead of last year's membership. We are sending a copy of this month's magazine to each of them.
Mr. Christmas Humphry, 47 Castlebar Road, Ealing, London, W. 5, England, wishes to complete his set of The Path, Mr. Judge's magazine. The following are his missing parts: Vol. i., parts 9 10, 11; ii., 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10; iii., 2, 3, 4, 6; v., 4, 6; vi., 1, 11, 12; vii., whole volume; viii., 1, 2, 3, 11, 12.
J. H. Perez, General Secretary of the T.S. in Egypt writes: "I have to inform you that in consequence of trouble which this Section has had to face, the Council found it necessary to reorganize the existing Lodges. This brought the number of active ones to less than seven. The President having been informed of the fact, has recalled the Charter of the Section and appointed me Presidential agent in Egypt for the T.S. I hope that by this measure Theosophy in Egypt will continue to grow enabling us to build a stronger section. Our Headquarters in Cairo and our address remain the same and we shall be glad to be, as heretofore, in touch with you and your Section and to receive your publications in exchange of ours."
The return of membership in the Lodges in the T.S. in Canada for the year ending June 30, 1926 shows a falling off in numbers from the 635 of last year to 562 this year. It is remarkable that the decline is no worse. When emissaries of the Federation Lodges attend all the meetings that they can and canvas visitors and members telling them how much better it would be for them to go elsewhere such influences always have some effect. But the public announcements of what our Adyar friends are trying to do has had still more obstructive effect with both our members and the public. No fewer than 108 members have become inactive. Some of these, no doubt, had economic reason for their lapse, for conditions are still strenuous in Canada. But a large number have expressed themselves as simply disgusted with the inconsistencies of the Adyar administration, which is supposed to carry out a policy of non-sectarian neutrality, but practically insists that we all turn Episcopalians and bow the knee to the mitred arhats. One can understand freedom for all who wish to do this, and tolerance for those who do, but the President should understand, if she does not, that many people do not wish to return to the ecclesiastical system they had transcended. The confusion that reigns in the public mind over the various announcements about a coming Messiah and that it is blasphemous, as Mrs. Besant is reported to have said, to call Mr. Krishnamurti a "World Teacher," has had its effect in cooling the interest that had formerly been felt in an undogmatic
amd impartial Society such as the Theosophical Society had set out to be. Under the circumstances, that fifty new members joined the Society in Canada during the year is very satisfactory. Sixteen were reinstated, and only eight resigned. Fourteen Lodges are reported in good standing.
"THE GOLDEN BOOK"
A copy of "The Golden Book of the T.S." is just to hand and there is no more time than just to glance through it. It is a most creditable production considering the difficulties under which it was produced, including the loaded dice which affects some phases of the history. But it is a record and can be checked off by other records, published and unpublished, for the history of the T.S. in full will not be written for another generation. People are all afraid to tell what they know. From letters received from various quarters it is evident that no one has had the courage, in this Society with its motto "There is no Religion Higher than Truth," to tell exactly what happened at Adyar on December 28 last and about that time. There is, of course, a great deal about the charges brought by Mrs. Besant against Mr. Judge, but there is nothing said about his having been a chela of fourteen years standing on the testimony of Madam Blavatsky, nor of his authority to convey messages when the Master desired him, nor of Mrs. Besant's admission that the messages were genuine messages, but had been conveyed in a manner different from that which she had thought. Nor is there anything about Mrs. Besant's previous charges against Colonel Olcott, and the Colonel's consequent resignation of the Presidency, and of Mr. Judge's succession to the Presidency, nor of his earnest efforts to have the Colonel withdraw his resignation, and his return to the Presidency at Mr. Judge's instigation, though Mr. Judge might have remained President had he wished. This is all part of the loaded dice, and will be understood by the next generation who will appreciate why such omissions are made. But the book with its omissions and commissions is a valuable one, as all evidence is valuable, and no student of the Movement can afford to miss it. It is well worth the five dollars at which it is priced. The 334 illustrations which it contains are not all up to the American standard of engraving but they give a fair conception of the people and places described or mentioned. Why are James Pryse and G.R.S. Mead blacked out in the photograph on page 121? Is this due to the loaded dice also? It would be interesting to know on what evidence it is stated that "some months before his death, Mr. Judge had appointed, as the head of his E.S.T. in America and Europe, a person who was utterly unknown to most of his followers. This was Mrs. Katherine A. Tingley." A great many people would like to see that evidence. Mrs. Tingley would be delighted to publish it herself.
QUARTERLY LETTER FROM THE VICE-PRESIDENT
Since last writing, the President has done a great deal of traveling in India. She has made nearly a complete circuit of India, from Madras to Bombay, Karachi, Lahore, Benares, Calcutta and back. She has gone on separate trips to other towns near by, and once again, before her departure for Europe, to Bombay Presidency as far as Ahmedabad. She has laid the foundation stones of T.S. Lodges and Co-Masonic Temples in several of the places she had visited. In India, where traveling is comfortable, a night's journey does not count very much with us. I have done several such trips to towns near by, and am just about to go north to near Darjeeling for a change, and afterwards for a tour in Bengal.
In Adyar itself, the building of the Buddhist Shrine is completed. It has however a heavy debt on it, which needs to be cleared. This Shrine and the fine Temple of the Bharata Samaj and the temporary building of the Liberal Catholic Church are open for daily worship by the adherents of their faiths and by any others who like to be present. A Muhammadan Mosque has been built, but only to four feet from the ground, and is waiting further donations. The Zoroastrian Temple will be finished as soon the material ordered is ready. The
Hebrew Synagogue will have to wait for its structure till funds come in. Sites have been allocated for a temple each for Jainism and Sikhism, the former the oldest religion of India, and the latter the youngest.
The memorial volume of the T.S., The Golden Book of the Theosophical Society has at last been published, and the mail that brings this should bring you a copy of it. The price of the work is Twelve and a Half Rupees, just a little less than one sovereign. This heavy price is due to the large number of illustrations, of which there are 334. I hope the edition will soon be exhausted. It will not be possible to enlarge the book in later editions to put in the detailed history of individual National Societies. But I hope each National Society will issue a local Golden Book recording its history and the names of its principal workers of the past.
The President goes from Europe (where her Headquarters are at 10 Buckingham Street, Westminster, London, S. W. 1) to the United States in August. She will return in India in December.
- C. Jinarajadasa.
May 26, 1926.
THE LOADED DICE
The Messenger, official organ of the American Theosophical Society does us the service of publishing the resolution adopted by the West End (Toronto) Lodge, as printed in, our May issue, but we find no commendation of our policy of publishing both sides of the debate on the questions at issue. We have failed to note in The Messenger any trace of the protests which are being made in the American Theosophical Society, as for example, in Mr. Tannatt's address which we publish herewith. And it may be noted that Mr. Tannatt is a member of the Federation of North Western Lodges of which Mr. Duckering is President. So long as the facts of the diversion of the T.S. from its proper functions continue, so long will it be necessary to bring out these facts. This may be regarded as unfair and biased criticism by those who are not aware of the facts, or who, for their own ends, do not wish them to be known, but reasonable people are able to judge for themselves. They do not require to be told what they should read and what they should not, what they should believe and what they should not, what leaders they should follow and what books and magazines they should avoid as the plague and burn on sight.
As to revolt in Canada, why is there nothing in the Messenger about revolt in Australia, in Holland, in England, in Czechoslovakia, in Norway, in France, in Germany and elsewhere? We have no quarrel with the Canadian Federation of Lodges, but we shall be glad to give their news when they send it, and publish their statistics as we do our own, and as the American Theosophical Society does not of its own.
The June "Theosophy in Australia" publishes in its report of the annual convention an account of the debate on "The World Religion" introduced by Bishop Arundale and carried on by Mrs. Ransom. Mr. Mackay moved "That the Section be affiliated with the World Religion." Mrs. Chase seconded. Mr. Calnan raised questions. Mr. Ure urged a Committee. Mr. Osburn urged further consideration. Bishop Arundale, Mrs. Chase, Mr. Burt, Dr. van der Leeuw, Mr. (sic) Oscar Kollerstrom, Mr. Mackay, and Senator Reid speak in favour. Mr. Macro opposes. Bishop Arundale likens the World Religion to a League of Religions and Dr. Bean says ditto. Mr. Miller moves, Mr. Calnan seconds, "That consideration be deferred till next convention." Mr. Davidson moves, Mrs. Hynes seconds, that the matter be reconsidered on Monday. Mr. Miller's motion defeated, and Mr. Davidson's amendment carried. On Monday, after the mitred arhats had used their influence, Mr. G.L.D. James moves, Mr. Hynes seconds "That further discussion he postponed till next Convention." Carried. So that a majority of the Australian membership, after the purging of the Sydney Lodge, too, were not in favour of adopting the World Religion right off. We trust this is not unfair and biased criticism.
"Truth cannot he won unless men will, for its sake, relinquish some things they have thought to be true."
AMONG THE LODGES
The Secretary of the Lodge writes with regard to the notice of the proposed Besant College in Summerland that it should be understood that this movement is not sponsored by the Summerland Lodge T.S.
Toronto Theosophical Society which incorporated some time ago, held a special meeting on May 16 for the confirmation of the election of officers, and the election of a directorate, or Executive consisting of seven members of a Finance and Property Committee and eight more completing the body, fifteen in all. Those elected were: Finance and Property, George I. Kinman, George J. McMurtrie, Kartar Singlh, George G. McIntyre, George Hobart, Julian Sale, Harold Anderson; General Executive, Reginald Thornton, Samuel Beckett, Mrs. Meta Thornton, Alfred Cornwell, Herbert Tweedie, Mrs. Emylyne Wright, Robert Marks, Albert E. S. Smythe (ex officio). Albert E. S. Smythe was elected President, George G. McIntyre, vice-president, and George Hobart, Secretary. The Finance Committee will appoint a treasurer from among themselves.
The members of the Edmonton Lodge write: "The members of the Edmonton Lodge wish to place on record their appreciation for the recent visit. From every point of view -through attendance at the lectures, the lodge talks, the renewed interest of old members, not to mention several new members - the three days spent here were all to the good and will reflect in increased interest in Theosophic study in the Lodge for some time to come. For some time to come! That is the rub! Always must one put a period to renewed interest and enthusiasm for the majority. So we ask that some consideration be given at Headquarters to any scheme whereby the west maybe favored by the visit of authoritative speakers more often than hitherto. With poor economic conditions prevailing, making for increased materialism, that is only another reason for extra effort. We plead guilty to harboring in this city some earnest seekers after the development of the solar plexus; otherwise our questions at the lectures were up to the average. Altogether a most interesting and instructive visit."
FELLOWS AND FRIENDS
Sympathy will be felt with Major and Mrs. W.A. Griffiths, members of the Montreal Lodge, and well known in Toronto, on the death of their son, William A., aged 22 years, on June 25. Young. Mr. Griffiths gave promise of sterling worth and a successful career and his early demise was an unexpected blow.
The death occurred on June 30 of George Walter Winckler in his 81st year. He had been in the employment of the British Government in India for 35 years as a civil engineer, and was well known in his profession. In his later years he devoted himself to expounding the theory of the earth being flat, and brought to bear on the problem all his mathematical and engineering skill. His lectures were both instructive and interesting and he advocated his views with much plausibility, and with undoubted sincerity. The illusions of optics and the freakish phenomena of light formed a large part of his material. His solutions of difficulties in connection with gravitation problems were highly ingenious and he declared that his opponents preferred to ignore rather than attempt to answer him.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has written to the Occult Review calling attention to the very general feeling among occultists and their kind of impending ill for the human race. Theosophists have known of this for fifty years, for it was an endeavour to avert this ill that led to the inauguration of the Theosophical Movement. The original teachings of the Society have been altogether forgotten in the inane and somewhat selfish idea of saving personalities belonging to the Society rather than caring for the race as a whole. Sir Arthur says that the trial "will be exceedingly severe during the time that it lasts - which is usually indicated as from three to four years of ever-increasing pressure, ending in some great exhibition of psychic power." He
adds that "all of the messages agree that it is very near us."
Among the "Un-enrolled Theosophists" the name of J. M. Dent who died on May 9, aged 76, should stand eminent. His contribution to intelligence in this age and to the culture that follows intelligence in the series of books published by him in Everyman's Library was a remarkable one and will remain so. Twenty million copies have been sold, and those who wish to learn and do not buy one of these books every week and make themselves master of it have only themselves to blame for their lack of understanding. One hears constantly that Theosophy is too highly intellectual, as though stupidity were a saintly virtue. Theosophy is neither of the head nor of the heart as some people insist, but includes all that is comprehended in consciousness. If one wants heart interest there is nothing to exclude it in Theosophy but real heart interest must not be confused with sentimentality.
Another recent death on May 2, in his 81st year, is that of William Canton, two of whose books are included in Everyman's Library. The "Child's Book of Saints" is one of those records which ought to appeal to the heart of those who affect to think that intellectuality is dangerous. It is dangerous, but not more dangerous than the sloppy sentimentality of people who have no humor and are so thin-skinned that they think every breath of either heaven or earth is directed against them. William Canton wrote "W. V.: Her Book," and anyone who can read that little memorial without feeling may perhaps come under the category of heartless. There is nothing more tender nor pathetic in print than the story of "The Invisible Playmate" with its poignant close.
One of our Toronto members who has gone to live in the United States has interested himself in the founding of a colony in North Carolina near Ashville, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. He is associated with Dr. W. Burr Allen and Alwyn J. Baker. Mr. Francis J. Lavender is an earnest Theosophist, and the colony is known as the Blue Ridge Brotherhood. Eighty-three acres along the Swannannoa river provide a beautiful and fertile site for the colony. The community has endeavored to avoid the pitfalls which have beset similar organizations, and those who desire to belong to it should be able to support themselves for the first year without depending upon colony resources. The members are expected to support themselves with agriculture and industry as well as forming a communal centre with rest and instruction for Theosophists. Cost of membership in the colony is $500. This guarantees a homesite of 1/4 to ½ an acre with the privilege of leasing extra land at a nominal rental for use, the rent to be paid out of the produce or profits from the land or enterprise engaged in upon it. Complete freedom and privacy of the member and his family is a feature of the colony. It is desired to attract only those who are diligently striving to live a life of brotherhood and service. Warning is given that the colony is no place for those who are dependent on material luxuries. The pledge of membership is: - "In entering the Blue Ridge Brotherhood, I pledge myself to observe the law of Brotherhood in thought, speech and act. I recognize that each individual has the right to live his life as seems fit and proper; and I pledge myself to preserve that liberty to him and to myself. In all ways I will endeavour scrupulously to mind my own business, to speak no evil of another; I will not by innuendo, gossip, or implication interfere in the life of a brother, or criticize or find fault with his method of living, nor shall I act so as to give the appearance of evil. If misconduct exists, I pledge myself to say nothing of it, except through a written signed statement to the Secretary of the Brotherhood. I pledge myself to look for the good and beautiful in others and to keep my eye single to virtue. I pledge myself to recognize that no man may judge another in this brotherhood, the Master alone may do that." The Secretary may be addressed at Blue Ridge Brotherhood, Ashville, N.C., Route 2.
The Literary Digest devotes nearly
four pages with illustrations to an article on "A New 'Messiah' in Tennis Flannels." Among other things it embodies an interview with Mr. Krishnamurti. When questioned about the heavy burden of being called an incarnation of the Deity, the "Messiah" laughed out loud: "I should say it is rather a burden, but really I wish you would say it's all nonsense, that stuff about me saving the world and all that. I am just an ordinary fellow, and the thing I am most interested in just now is whether Suzanne Lenglen will be able to hold out against Helen Wills. I think your Helen has a bit of pluck, what? The American girl looks determined. You can't tell, of course, but I rather think Suzanne's days are nearly done. You want to know what my message is to the world? Nothing new. I interpret the teachings of Jesus as I see them. I preach rigorous physical purity, vegetarianism, and frequent retreats from the hurly-burly of modern life for the purpose of quiet contemplation and spiritual enrichment. During these retreats one should observe an absolute fast. The abstention from food is immensely conducive to clear thinking, you will find. It also helps to lead a clean life. I preach, above all, charity and love, forgiveness of one's enemies and a union of all religions. I don't really know how they got all these absurd ideas about me, and I am afraid of publicity. It is so easy to misconstrue one's intentions." He added that he was going to America, and to have a small farm in California. "On my way back from England I am going to have a look at the new plays in Paris, and do a round of golf or two. I am eager to be in America by autumn, for I have never yet seen a World Series played, but I am for it this time," he concluded. He wonders how absurd ideas get about concerning him. There is no doubt about where they come from. In the official report, for example, of the Ommen Congress last August, Mrs. Besant is reported on page 308 as saying, "Naturally, our Krishnaji was one, but he is to be the vehicle of our Lord." Mrs. Besant appears to have repeated this statement in various forms from time to time, but if Krishnaji is not to be the vehicle, the public should be informed. "Is this he that is to come, or look we for another?" they may ask as of old. The Manchester Guardian states that at Mrs. Besant's lectures in London, photographs were being sold of "The World Teacher" and they were photographs of Mr. Krishnamurti.
INTERNATIONAL THEOSOPHICAL LEAGUE
The following letter has been received and speaks for itself:
Mr. Albert E. S. Smythe, General Secretary, Theosophical Society in Canada.
Dear Sir and Brother: - It appears that the time is opportune for an attempted rapprochement between the various independent Societies called Theosophical or with other names but having a similar purpose.
May we not take as an example and precedent the International New Thought Alliance? It exists for the advancement of the New Thought movement; is on a broad basis, without a formal creed; does not have authority over nor interfere with the internal affairs of a large number of New Thought Societies, Churches, Clubs, Centres, etc., affiliated with it, but is a connecting link between them. Though loosely-formed, it holds large yearly conventions. Its wide influence is due to the unity of spirit between the numerous groups, - not to officiousness. It seems as though, among all the new religious movements of the past fifty years, New Thought will become the greatest. It has been my conviction that the best, or sincerest, part of the New Thought movement would have been added to the Theosophical Society had the latter proceeded in accordance with its original purposes.
Let the International Theosophical League be formed in a similar way, as an unofficial link, to promote better cooperation and understanding between the various independent Theosophical Societies and organizations with other names but with similar aims. Surely, there would be greater concord and mutual encouragement than if such a League were not in existence.
Not as another Society with member-
ship, but as an unofficial alliance to express the soul of the movement.
With separate organizations, yet with harmony of purpose.
Interchange of ideas to further the object of Brotherhood.
I am quite sure that the Gnostic Society would seek accord with such a League.
It might be asked: What is meant in this connection by "independent?" Independent of "Outer-Headship" and the pretense of teaching, as a school, the pursuit of practical occultism. It could not be expected that any Society having this so-called occult basis would harmonize with the League, nor should the league be affiliated with that which would, in time, seek its destruction. (Sorely, this is not in conflict with the idea that the study of occultism, with the right endeavour by any one to "tread the Path," is highly commendable).
As to practical affair's for such a league I would suggest that there be a General Council of ten members, a corresponding secretary and treasurer. For five of the members of this General Council permit me to nominate Mr. George W. Russell, Mr. Bhagavan Das, Mr. William Kingsland, Mr. F. C. Bernoudy, and Mr. Albert E. S. Smythe.
Funds for the expenses of the League to be contributed voluntarily.
However, let us proceed slowly, to give ample time for the interchange of ideas from distant lands. Next Fall would doubtless be soon enough for the League to be formed.
As students of mystical history we may note how the Theosophical Movement was in part expressed by many Societies, under various names, in all past ages. For the Spirit is ever free; cannot be bound, and finds scope wherever conditions admit of it.
In my opinion, the present time affords a better opportunity than for a quarter of a century for the spread of real Theosophy.
Ignoring past controversies, unconcerned of external forms, let us stress that which is intrinsic, and press forward to a better concord in the future.
- John M. Pryse, Secretary Gnostic Society, 919 S. Bernal Ave., Los. Angeles.
The suggestion made by Mr. Pryse appears to be timely. There are hundreds, probably thousands of Theosophists who wish to carry on the work of the Theosophical Movement as it was originally outlined, omitting the segregations into which the Adyar Society has resolved itself. Mr. Pryse has nominated five persons who might act on the Council of such a body, and he requests me to name other five. Mr. W. Loftus Hare should be one, and Mr. John Pryse himself, representing as he does his brother James. Mr. Hugh R. Gillespie would suitably represent Australia; Mr. Alterskye of Alexandria, Africa; and Mr. Louis Revel, of France, Europe. Mr. Eric Cronvall, of Sweden, might be a substitute for any who would not act, and I would be glad to yield my place to him. We might hear from these friends and from any others who care to express sympathy. It is obvious that people or Societies that profess to be "the one and only" could scarcely feel at home in the organization Mr. Pryse has suggested. It must be democratic and fraternal.
"The idea of Evolution is helping to put before ordinary folk the scheme of life and creation in a somewhat new light. We men are seen as able, and called on, to cooperate in the great divine work. It puts before all men the fact that, by God's spirit in them, men have climbed far, and may yet climb much farther. Its call to us is 'Quit you like men. Be Strong.' 'To believe in Evolution,' it has been happily said, 'is to make a man take off his hat to the past and his coat to the future."'
Our belief cannot alter a scientific truth, but it may alter our feelings for happiness or misery. Disease is the misery of our belief, happiness is the health of our wisdom, so that man's happiness or misery depends upon himself. Now, as our misery comes from our belief, and not from the thing believed, it is necessary to be on the watch, so as not to be deceived by false guides.
-P. P. Quimby
THOMAS E. WILLSON
The Editor of the Theosophical Forum in April, 1901, noted the death of Mr. Thomas E. Willson in the previous month in an article which we reproduce for the reason that we believe many readers who have been following the chapters of "Ancient and Modern Physics" during the last year will like to know something of the author. In these paragraphs is said all that need be said of one of our most devoted and understanding Theosophists.
In March, 1901, The Theosophical Forum lost one of its most willing and unfailing contributors. Mr. T.E. Willson died suddenly, and the news of his death reached me when I actually was in the act of preparing the concluding chapter of his "Ancient and Modern Physics" for the April number.
Like the swan, who sings his one song, when feeling that death is near, Mr. Willson gave his brother co-workers in the Theosophical field all that was best, ripest and most suggestive in his thought in the series of articles the last of which is to come out in the same number with this.
The last time I had a long talk with T.E. Willson, he said
"For twenty years and more I was without a hearing, yet my interest and my faith in what I had to say never flagged, the eagerness of my love for my subject never diminished."
This needs no comment. The quiet and sustained resistance to indifference and lack of appreciation, is truly the steady ballast which has prevented our Theosophical ship from aimless and fatal wanderings, though of inclement weather and adverse winds we had plenty.
For many long years Mr. Willson was the librarian of the New York "World." In the afternoons he was too busy to see outsiders, but, beginning with five o'clock in the afternoon until he went home somewhere in the neighbourhood of midnight, he always was glad to see his friends. He had a tiny little room of his own, very near the top of the tremendous building, his one window looking far above the roofs of the tallest houses in the district. There he sat at his desk, generally in his shirt sleeves, if the weather was at all warm, always busy with some matter already printed, or going to be, a quiet, yet impressive and dignified figure.
The elevated isolation, both figuratively and literally speaking, in which T.E. Willson lived and worked, in the midst of the most crowded thoroughfares of New York, always made me think of Professor Teufelsdrockh on the attic floor of "the highest house in the Wahngasse." The two had more than one point of resemblance. They shared the loftiness of their point of view, their sympathetic understanding of other folks, their loneliness, and, above all, their patient, even humorous resignation to the fact of this loneliness.
Yet in his appearance Mr. Willson was not like the great Weissnichtwo philosopher. In fact, in the cast of his features and in his ways, Mr. Willson never looked to me like a white man. In British India I have known Brahmans of the better type exactly with the same sallow complexion, same quick and observant brown eye, same portly figure and same wide-awakeness and agility of manner.
Last summer I heard, on good authority, that Mr. Willson had thought himself into a most suggestive way of dealing with the problems of matter and spirit, a way which, besides being suggestive, bore a great resemblance to some theories of the same nature, current in ancient India. Consequently Mr. Willson was offered, for the first time in his life, a chance of expressing his views on matter and spirit in as many articles and in as extensive a shape as he chose. The way he received this tardy recognition of the fact that he had something to say was highly instructive. He did not put on airs of unrecognized greatness, though, I own, the occasion was propitious; he did not say, "I told you so;" he simply and frankly was glad, in the most childlike way.
And now that I have used the word, it occurs to me that "childlike" is an adjective the best applied to this man, in spite of his portliness, and his three score and more winters.
Many a pleasant hour I have spent in the small bookroom of the great "World" building. With Mr. Willson talk never flagged. We discussed the past and the future of our planetary chain, we built plans for the true and wholesome relation of sexes, we tried to find out - and needless to say never did - the exact limit where matter stopped being matter and became spirit; we
also read the latest comic poems and also, from tune to time, we took a header into the stormy sea of American literature in order to find out what various wise heads had to say, consciously or unconsciously, in favour of our beloved Theosophical views. And all this, being interrupted every three minutes or so by some weary apparition from some workroom in the "World" with some such question, "Mr. Willson, how am I to find out the present whereabouts of this or that Russian man-of-war? Mr. Willson, what is the melting point of iron? Mr. Willson, when was 'H.M.S. Pinafore' produced for the first time"' etc. etc. And every time, Mr. Willson got up in the leisurely manner peculiar to him, reached for some book from the shelves that lined the room, gave the desired information, and as leisurely returned to the "pranic atom," or to "come and talk man talk, Willy," or to whatever our subject chanced to be at the time.
Mr. Willson's gratitude to the Theosophical Forum for its recognition was disproportionately great. As he wrote to the Editor: "give me any kind of work, writing for you, reviewing, manuscript or proof reading, I shall do anything, I shall undertake any job, even to taking editorial scoldings in all good nature, only give me work." His devotion to Theosophical thought and work in all their ramifications was just as great, as was his freedom from vanity, his perfectly natural and unaffected modesty.
At the news of his death many a heart was sincerely sad, but none so sad as the heart of the editor of the Theosophical Forum. For a friend and co-worker like T. E. Willson, ever ready to give material help and moral encouragement, is not easily replaced.
For a soul so pure of any kind of selfishness the transition from the turmoil of life to the bright dreams of death must have been both easy and enviable.
A REVIEW OF THE CRISIS
Mr. E. Tappan Tannatt has been president of the Tacoma Lodge for several years, and a member of the council of the North West Federation of Lodges. In his address to his Lodge at the annual meeting and election of officers on June 30 he said he felt compelled to set before the members certain facts which had come to his attention, and the conclusions he had reached concerning them, requesting also to he relieved of his duties as an officer.
"For several years," he said, "I have noted in the National and International organizations certain tendencies and teachings, which seemed to me to he much at variance with the original, as given by the Masters of the Wisdom at the time of the founding of the Society, and through their Messenger H.P.B.
"From my studies and investigations I long since recognized, that in practically every religious and philosophical organization that has been born into the world, that following the receiving of the impulse which caused it to come into being, there has been a tendency to more and more revert to old teachings, methods, forms and ceremonies which had been condemned by the actuating spirit of the new movement and against which the members had been cautioned as being among the dangers of the future. Allegorically - in every such organization of the past, there has seemed to gradually manifest the desire to 'return to the flesh-pots of Egypt,' not-withstanding the protests of 'Moses and the prophets.' "
"This tendency has been a part of the history of all of the great world movements, as can be verified by a study of the religions of the past and present, as also the great Mystic schools known to humanity. Invariably this tendency has led to their undoing, and again, allegorically, has 'turned them back from the Promised Land.'
"With the inception of the Theosophical Society, there also came into manifestation that which has been spoken of by H.P.B., and the early leaders of the Society, as 'The Great Christian Conspiracy.' This conspiracy, originating in the western world, had its seat of action in India and England. It had for its apparent purpose the discrediting and misleading of the early leaders of the Society, as also the destruction of that impulse which has been given by the Masters; thereby leading the membership back into the meshes of Christian ignorance, superstition, illusions, dogmas, forms and ceremonies.
"You will have no difficulty in finding very definite information, among the letters of H.P.B. and the early leaders of the Society, as also from the letters of the Masters themselves, concerning this 'conspiracy.'
"You will find how the conspiracy had its servants among the membership of the Society, and learn of the efforts thus put forth to discredit H.P.B. and the Masters, and to lead the Theosophical Movement into the service of the Christian Churches.
"Among the letters of H.P.B. we find the record of the fact, that shortly before her death she was given to see into the future of the Theosophical Society, and was shown that she would be betrayed and the Society led astray by one whom she advised, had studied at her feet and had been considered one of her staunchest friends and associates. The knowledge of this approaching betrayal, which she considered to be the betrayal of the Masters whom she loved and served, undoubtedly had much to do with her early passing.
"Just before you first elected me to the office of President, certain information was given me, which caused me to more carefully weigh information which was being given to the membership, and it has been a matter of intense regret that I have noted, in the Movement, an ever increasing tendency toward the building of temporal power; the effort to lead the members away from the study of the Secret Doctrine and the authentic writings of the founders and H.P.B.; the tendency of the membership toward the worship of personality and the supplanting 'freedom of thought' and 'Judgment of the Higher Consciousness,' as emphasized by the founders of the Society and the Masters: Supplanting the same with the teachings of 'loyalty to organization' and the unquestioned acceptance of statements given out by those who were officers of the Society, or who claimed to possess special 'occult' powers.
"While many of the individual societies have retained, to a greater or less degree, the right of individual thought and action; the condition seems to have been due, more to the demands of the membership, than to the instructions of our so-called 'leaders.'
"In my years of experience on the Hawaiian Islands, where I went while still deeply interested in the Orthodox Christian teachings, and was given an opportunity to study the effect of 'Christianity' upon a people. I observed that the evils that had resulted from the contact of Christianity upon that people, were chargeable more to the children of missionaries than to the 'Missionaries' themselves. The children preaching 'Christianity' and claiming the title of 'missionary,' so conducted their lives and teachings, as to practically annul and bring discredit upon the work and examples of the earlier teachers. I believe that I can discover the working out of a similar force in the 'children' of the Theosophical Movement.
"In every effort, put forth by an individual or organization, there must be at least a sufficient semblance of good and truth in order to mislead the people; otherwise the presence of the 'wolf' would be immediately manifest and the would be 'flock' scattered.
"With the pronouncement given out by Mrs. Besant at the jubilee Celebration in November 1925, there appeared, in my opinion, a crisis in the history of the Movement - a crisis which I consider to be the most stupendous the membership has ever faced; a crisis which will ultimately accomplish much to purify conditions and bring many back to a realization of the original messages of the Masters as transmitted by H.P.B. That a crisis would some day come, could
have been predicted by almost any deeper student of the movement; for as long as the Spirit of Theosophy should be manifesting among the peoples of the Western World, so long would the Spirit of the Great Conspiracy be ready to do it battle.
"Under date of September 10, 1925, a circular letter was sent out to the General Council of the Theosophical Society, signed by Mrs. Besant and Mr. Jinarajadasa in their official capacities as President and Vice-President of the Theosophical Society. This letter stated that the time had arrived for the coming of the World Teacher and the establishing a new World Religion, and requested that the General Council cause the Theosophical Society to become an integral part of the movement with the Liberal Catholic Church and the Star of the East.
"The Canadian Section promptly rejected the plan, pointing out that there was nothing in the original conception of the Society which would prevent the affiliation of any existing religion, and stating that the establishing of a new religion merely creates a new stumbling block on that road to harmony, which we had set out to make straight and clear.
"Another National Section was sufficiently aroused over the letter to sever its relations with the International Organization and surrendered its charter, while a number of Societies have followed in the same path and have become 'Independent.'
"This establishing of a New Religion with its priests, clergy, forms and ceremonies, I am not able to harmonize with the letters of the Masters wherein they state - 'I will point out the greatest, the chief cause of nearly two-thirds of the evils that pursue humanity ever since that cause became a power. It is religion under whatever form and in whatever nation. It is the sacerdotal caste, the priesthood and the churches. It is in those illusions that man looks upon as sacred, that he has to search out the source of that multitude of evils which is the great curse of humanity, and that almost overwhelms mankind.'
"I consider that the great lesson which we are now called upon to learn and put into practice, is that of forbearance and understanding: of compassion as may be needed for those who have chosen a path which will lead to pain, suffering, humiliation and unreality. There is, as has been well expressed by an older student than I, 'There is nothing harder to bear than the discovery of a deceit, an illusion, the dead-sea fruit; the cherished vanity of a mirage.'
"It must be ours as Theosophists, to realize that with the building of the more glorious temple, there must first be removed from the site those structures that have outlived their usefulness, or which the ravages of time have reduced to decrepit old age and an unsightly monument in the pathway of the Race. Realizing that the old must pass away in order to give place to the new, we must not forget that there are many ties which are dear to the memory, and which bind our brothers to the desire to retain those relics of the past, even if they do realize that they have little existing value. They would seek to cover with a new dress, the body which should be preparing for the grave.
"We must also remember that the Great Architect of the Race; realizing that on the site a greater edifice is to be builded, directs his assistants to tear down that which now is. The hands which thus destroy are just as necessary, just as noble, just as much required as those who will later do the building. We as students of Theosophy must not forget that all things work together for good, and that everything has its cycle.
"Therefore, while some of us may have seen sufficient of the plans to realize a little of the work which is to be done, while we may have chosen to be 'builders'; may we keep in mind, that now that the order has gone forth to commence the demolishing of the old, that we have been thereby given a double responsibility; - not to stand in the way, or delay, the work of those who demolish, or to blame the architect for the orders, or the messenger for transmitting the same; but rather may we remember, that pending the commencement of the later construction, there is time when we may study the plans more
carefully, sharpen our tools for better service, to the end that when the order is received to commence the erection of the more glorious structure, we may not only better know our parts, but be more efficient workers in carrying out the 'plans' of the Great Architect of the Race.
"Therefore, viewing the situation as I now do, I feel that there has come a time when it were not best that I longer serve as an officer of this Society. As an officer, I feel that it is incumbent upon me to subserve my will and actions to the will of the majority, and that I am a servant of the Organization wherein I owe allegiance to one and all, yet must be guided by the will of the majority. As a member only, I feel that I am more free to take my part, free to refuse to bend the knee to personality, or worship at the shrine of individuality.
"I feel at this time, that the Tacoma Society should be left perfectly free to follow any course which the majority may wish. The Society, if it so desires, may join forces with those who would retain one vestige of that which has out to [[sic]] worship in the old temples, because of past associations. I do not wish to retain one vestige of that which has outworn its usefulness. I have long since severed the ties which bound me to the forms, ceremonies, creeds and dogmas that I once cherished and sustained. I would hasten the commencement of the laying of the foundations of the new, and I believe that I can see something of the beauty of the future in the messages which have been given to the world through the messenger H.P.B.
"I feel that those students who at this time, make choice to follow in the path indicated by the pronouncements referred to, are destined to take part in seeing the walls of their temple leveled to the dust, and if that is the will of the Tacoma Society, I cannot follow, even so far as to surrender my consciousness to do the will of the majority.
"I therefore ask to be relieved from further responsibility as an officer of this Society, unless in your unanimous opinion you are in perfect accord with my understanding and with me, wish to give the future to a deeper study of the original teachings of the Masters; the weighing most carefully all pronouncements and information as they may appear, and in the quiet judgment of the Inner Consciousness. Our work to be, to present to the world the Truths as originally given by the Masters themselves.
"Please do not misunderstand my desire to be relieved. I shall be pleased to assist as a member, to serve, if you desire, as one of the Trustees-at-large, thereby taking upon myself no responsibility other than in helping to conduct the business affairs of the Society, and I shall, if you so desire, be pleased to assist, as often as may be possible, in the Sunday evening lectures of the Society.
"As an individual, I shall expect to devote my available time to as wide a course of study as may be possible, seeking to acquaint myself with the teachings and opinions of others who may have been given to see some other aspect of the Plan.
"The duties of your President are such that one has very little time to attend outside lectures, or to carry on any similar work not strictly along the lines of Theosophical understanding, especially is this the case where one is required to give regular hours to a professional life.
"My heart and life are centred in Theosophy, and I recognize that the Theosophical Movement is but the higher bodies of Theosophy, while functioning here on earth, and the Societies the physical body of Theosophy functioning in a community. I realize how eternal is Theosophy, and how transient its bodies.
"It is therefore with deep regret that I feel called upon to advise you as I now have, before proceeding to cast your ballots for the election of officers. Therefore, if there is no objection, we will proceed to the election. According to our custom the election of President is first in order, and you will now proceed to cast your ballots for the Election of a President.
"Under our By-laws no nominations are in order, each member being expected to make use of his or her individual judgment and listen to the promptings of the Voice Within."
THE REAL MAGICIAN
Editor: Canadian Theosophist - To the average student of Theosophy there will occur intervals of reaction, a state of fulness for the time being, a feeling like, caught in the rain until no wetter. One turns away betimes even from the great author when he begins to deny a certain endogenous activity of our own which sometimes takes the hyphen out of Bo-Peep for the sake of other information.
Various degrees of prolixity and iteration in all books whatever suggest a considerable range of appreciation as to the weight, relativity, propriety, of their titles.
Suppose then a point of view from which the Theosophical movement might be likened to that of an island, rising with its fringing and barrier reefs and so beginning to parley with the winds and waves.
Titles such as The Voice of the Silence, or The Secret Doctrine seem to require a mode of perspective which cannot be confined to surface affairs alone, though any picture from this to that may often serve.
Reminder of a power which comes unasked, this coralline principle of life should help preserve its almost non-institutional character to the society, until the slender physique is seen to have the most indissoluble of constitutions.
Thus may surprise become the real magician in the plodding coral heart of the brotherhood and the world.
This time it will seem a strange geographical mood has been cast into the day's dinner time. But even in Canada there is a district which as a standing object lesson should be taken over by the society at once.
Delegates of course should wear high top hats. It is a rock-bound fastness containing a little chain of lakes and rivers fearfully and beautifully named as if on purpose. Island lake has no assignable shape to boast of under the Pleiades, but stands for an elixir compounded of light, sight and circulation, in a perfect blend.
A most notable feature since it cannot be drained outward into what is called Goose Lake at one end, and Beaver Hill Lake at the other, for any foolish or idle reasons.
Industry and much dramatic vigour are the motto for this latter property, but as the situation would otherwise be useless, all ensuing troubles have their value.
But really it is a poser to say why Goose Lake should empty into God's Lake, by way of Goose river.
Perhaps it is a function of the drama, to concentrate our temporary brains down to the consistency of little gems, the rest all shrunken to the figure of a pair of tireless wings.
- A. I. C.
BROTHERLAND OF HUMANITY
Man is trained in "God's Plan which is Evolution" to go from his little self to the great SELF. First, he is taught to know himself as one with his family, and later, after many lives, to identify his interests with that of the tribe and community. Later still, he is guided to give his dedication to that aspect of the Divine Life which is embodied as the Nation. Then man knows how great and glorious a thing it is to live and die for his Nation.
There is one step further on his path to the great SELF. It is to widen out from his Nation to Humanity. It is this last stage which opens before him when he becomes a member of the Theosophical Society. Many are the Fatherlands and Motherlands in which the soul of man lives life after life, to learn the way to the SELF. But there is one Brotherland living in which he comes to his goal; it is the Theosophical Society, or some similar organization, where the one thing that matters is that the World as a whole shall go towards the Light.
Thrice blessed are those who have joined our Theosophical Society, and look to the Brotherland of all Humanity as their one and only goal.
- C. Jinarajadasa
December 16, 1925.
"What do we do with the light given us to take to those in the world who, spiritually, are dying for lack of it? How much of it we let go to waste or fritter away? It is the light of the world, the joy of men's hearts, if they could only see it - the light that comes down from above."