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VOL. VII. No. 8 TORONTO, OCTOBER 15th, 1926. Price 10 Cents
That Power The Disciple Shall Covet
In that extraordinarily able book, "The Science of Social Organization," by Bhagavan Das, he enunciates with great clarity the difference between the two classes of men. "They are the product of minds" - he is referring to modern systems of administering human society - "minds which are confined as yet to the Path of Pursuit (the Pravrtti-marge), and know little or nothing of, and care less for, the other half of life, the Path of Renunciation (the Nivrtti-marge); without knowledge of which, the fundamental facts of the universe, the foundations of all existence, remain unknown. As the Bhagavad Gita says (xvi. 7): "The men who are still on the Path of Pursuit, the pursuit of the pleasures of the senses, they know not the difference between that Path and the Path of Renunciation, renunciation of the things of physical sense and striving after the super-physical and spiritual life. And because they know not these two in their contradistinction, the two which make up the whole of life, therefore the whole of the Truth abides not with them, nor real purity from selfish desires, nor the conduct of reason-governed self-sacrifice. Such is all the supposed, and much spoken of, and much exaggerated, difference between ancient and modern, East and West." This quotation is from pages 13-14. Later, on pages 41-42, we read:
"We have to say that the walker on the Path of Renunciation avoids desire and action and pursuit of any object for himself, for his own personal pleasure and profit. When such avoidance has become habitual to his mind, then the Lords of Nature, the Sages, the Administrators of the world, endeavour to enlist such an embodied self in Their service, in the service of Their world, and entrust him with powers which he receives and exercises like all lower powers, for the good of others as public trusts, and not for his own enjoyment as private property. Moreover these become to him as much the natural and normal organs of his consciousness as the physical senses."
The great spectacular religions of the world were all intended to attract the people who were still on the Path of Pursuit, and they serve that purpose well. They give place and power to those who adhere to their discipline and contribute to their revenues. They honour those who honour them, and they have little or no regard for those outside their ranks, while in certain periods they overcome all opposition by crushing all who disagree with them. The sacerdotal caste has always been on the Path of Pursuit whether among the great Egyptian hierarchies of the later eras, the Brahmin hierarchies, or the Roman hierarchy of the present day. Whenever any system reaches out for temporal power and place it differentiates itself from those who have turned to the Path of Renunciation.
The subtlety with which those still on the Path of Pursuit conceal their real aim has always been a stumbling-block to the feeble-minded and early pilgrims seeking for Light. Such brilliant prospects are held out, such sweeping successes are boasted, such divine honours are claimed, that one cannot blame the ignorant who follow these leaders. Al-
ways they are going to establish an earthly kingdom, and the foundation of it is laid in some garden of Eden which is to continue in beauty and power till Doomsday. They forget the vanity of all earthly things. They have never realized that the real Kingdom is not of this world. They are not aware that all promises of earthly happiness are but mockery, whoever makes them. They have not begun to know that Peace, not of this world, which the Master bestows.
All religious reformations have been efforts to bring Light to the world which had been extinguished by the hierarchic faiths. Buddhism is the most notable of these efforts, and though it is itself corrupted with sacerdotalism in great part, it remains as a standard of the purity and simplicity which true religion should furnish. The Protestant Reformation was itself promoted in the first place by the revolt against the hierarchy which some faithful souls felt to be necessary, and reflected to some extent the revolt which Christianity, as recorded in the New Testament, represented against the Jewish hierarchy and the corruptions of Greek and Roman Temple worship.
The overthrow of Temples and synagogues and Churches, the destruction of priesthoods, the recognition that God is Spirit, and that they who would worship God must do so in Spirit and in Truth and not otherwise, is the real aim and message of Christianity, and if Jesus was crucified that was the reason. All who protest against the hierarchic domination and worldly and material ambitions in religion or in the name of religion will be so served.
Many are perplexed among the members of the Theosophical Society and many are repelled among those who recognize the Theosophical Movement as embodying elements necessary to the progress of the world, when they perceive the vast difference between the avowed aims of the Movement and the policies proclaimed and action adopted by its leaders in various segregations. Of course they disavow each other and are emphatic in declaring they have no connection with the opposition shop, but there are at least half a dozen important sections of the Movement all proclaiming allegiance more or less to Madam Blavatsky and the Secret Doctrine, and all subject to the world's judgement.
There are two symptoms or indications of their fidelity to the early aspirations of the Movement which may be used by the outsider, and perhaps by some insiders to estimate the value of the work that is being done and its influence in the world of men.
The first is a personal one. The ideal that is associated with the personalities of both the Buddha and the Christ is of meekness, gentleness, lowlihood. "All whom I hold clear," says this Master, "I reprove and chastize; therefore be in earnest and turn back. I am now standing at the door and knocking. If any one listens to my voice and opens the door, I will go in to be with him and will feast with him, and he shall feast with Me." And this Master washed the feet of his disciples, as Krishna is also recorded having done. Symbolic, it may be said. Yes, but what other Master can wash the feet of the disciple so that not his feet only but his whole being may be clean every whit? It is the Master within who stands at the door and knocks. Until the disciple hears his voice and turns from the Path of Pursuit, which is the true repentance, he is still abroad on the mountains, and far away from the Valley of Light.
Granted that there is a danger in Quietism, which, has been said to be a form of paralysis. But there is little danger to the disciple of falling into Quietism once he understands what his true relation to the Master is. He becomes a creative agent in the world - in the Universe, and his uttermost effort is enlisted to make manifest the devotion that seeks outlet in the duties that arise before his eyes. He early learns the dangers of sacerdotalism and puts away the temptations of power and position and fame which it offers, temptations like the Devil's who carried the Master up to a peak of the Temple and up on a lofty mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world. When one is offered an exalted place or title the Tempter may be suspected even by the least alert. The direction was unmistakable. "Whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant."
There is a middle path which the pil-
grim will discover for himself, and he will not need to quarrel with any man upon it, though he will find that those who are on the Path of Pursuit will have little commerce with him and little interest in the things he regards as of first importance.
The second indication that leads one to doubt the correctness of the message which comes from the new exponents of Theosophy is their pessimism. The appeal to fear is base. We know, it is true, that evil, discord, and hatred have a large place in the world. But there is reason for that, and we can go back to its origin, and there find what must be the remedy. There will be wars and rumors of wars, and earthquakes and famines, plague, pestilence and fire, and all manner of disaster, but these things do not touch the soul.
But even on earth, with all its calamities, there is large room for hope. The Great War is not so great a miracle as the fact that the world has come through it and still carries on its business. There are developments of evil and a recrudescence of mediaeval conceptions of government in some of the backward nations, but these things remedy themselves as time passes. The League of Nations has made extraordinary progress, in spite of the aloofness of those who proposed it and benefit most from it. If it were only an ideal international cooperation it would have been much to have it recognized, but it has become a working actuality, and there is no reason why it should not yet represent the most beneficent agencies of human achievement.
In social matters we have done more than the last two centuries could have believed possible. Little or minor things like the Boy Scouts, the Girl Guides, the Neighbourhood Workers, the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Movements, the Y.M.C.A. and Y.W.C.A, and kindred organizations, the luncheon clubs, Rotary, Kiwanis, Lion, Canadian, Empire, and a host of "get together" associations testify to the growing sense of the value of knowing each other better - not by and by, but now and here. In recent years in the Dickens Fellowship and in the Social Hygiene Association I have had direct opportunity to see what is being done in a quiet way to extend the principles of humanity and brotherhood with a disinterestedness and kind heartedness which in their own spheres spread much light and love. The Churches are not to be forgotten in this respect, for while some of them spend their energies in the intellectual defense of impossible dogmas, relegating all who do not accept their creeds to perdition, the growing intelligence of the age marks these survivals as exceptions which prove the rule.
Democracy has triumphed to an extent which could scarcely have been believed possible a hundred years ago. Science, the greatest exponent of democracy, has begun to dominate the world. With the motto, which science alone is loyal to, "There is no Religion higher than Truth," we may always be sure that one banner of Theosophical effort will be borne forward. Philosophy marches more slowly but Bergson has demonstrated for the learned world that the Secret Doctrine is true, and the learned world has accepted from him what it declined from Madam Blavatsky.
Education is pervaded by new conceptions. Froebel introduced a new era, and the old Moravian Comenius is justified in a thousand ways. Universities have altered their methods, and if not always for the best, yet with an intention which will arrive at good ends in good time.
Few recognize the direct relation between education and invention, but they are one and the same when correctly understood. Education is the drawing out of inward faculty. Invention is the discovery within of that which may be usefully realized outwardly. Science and invention consequently go hand in hand with true democratic equality. They are not dominated by kings or priests, and they embody truth in the highest degree possible on the physical plane. They depend upon myriads of faithful but usually humble and selfless workers who toil for the sake of toiling and for the love of finding truth. Like the coral insets they express themselves in communal labour.
Canada is fortunate in her national recognition of these things. She has foresworn titles and meretricious dignities. These are out of date and belong to an
effete past. The Great Masters of Wisdom take no pleasure in such gewgaws. But always those on the Path of Pursuit desire to possess them, and one may see in such a land as Russia, which laid herself on the altar to be rid of tyranny, the high priests of that altar seizing once more the power they snatched from the throne.
So always the pursuers usurp that which belongs to the people as a whole. The world conquerors, Alexanders, Caesars, Napoleons, Mussolinis that would be, are ambitious to be Kings of the World.
To be King of the World is incompatible with the ideals of Theosophy and all true Wisdom. It is incongruous with St. Paul's conception of the consummation to which we tend when God shall be All in All. We turn from it to that luminous sentence: "The power which the disciple shall covet is that which shall make him appear as nothing in the eyes of men."
LETTERS THAT MAY HELP YOU
Friend . . . . .
Now that I have given you some data regarding the doctrine of reincarnation, let us take up the main thread, and show how this teaching of re-embodiment fits in the general scheme.
H.P. Blavatsky said in effect (I haven't the exact quotation handy): Imagine a ray of LIGHT (Atma, Spirit, OverSoul) striking on a mirror (Manas, Man, Ego, Human Soul), and being reflected from that mirror on to a lump of clay (physical man). That is a rough illustration of what we call "man," "humanity."
Let us try another: Fault was found with Henry Irving (the great English actor) for not losing his identity in the various parts he portrayed; his individuality was so marked, so powerful that instead of Louis XI, Hamlet, Wolsey, etc, being on the stage, it was Irving acting the part. This may make it plain to you what we mean by the "Individuality" - the "Ego."
The Ego (the "I am I" feeling in every one of us) is the MAN who reincarnates life after life. He is the actor who (like Irving playing Hamlet yesterday, Louis xi. today, Wolsey tomorrow) in his previous life (his life's yesterday) lived and acted the character, say, of an aristocrat in France of the 18th century, today is in the character, say, of a literary or other professional man, tomorrow may be in the character of another type. He, the real inner MAN (called in the Ancient Wisdom terminology "Manasa-Putra" - Sons of Mind) is the individual who is the thinker, the reasoner, the intellectual man.
The physical animal-man in which this Individual reincarnates is the "personality."
In books on occultism you will find mention of seven (7) "principles" in connection with "Man," and as some of the names for these "principles" given by the various writers are not the same, the student is likely to be confused. I have found the following the simplest way of presenting the subject; it may help you.
Think of the "Ego" (Human Soul, Thinker, Manas are names given it) as being the point of interest. Above is pure Spirit (Atma, a ray of the Absolute) clothed in a body - for want of a better name - or vehicle called Spiritual Soul (Buddhi); below the Ego being a living physical animal to which the Ego is attached for the period of an earth-life or incarnation.
This physical animal, or animal-man, is formed on a body (astral body) which is invisible to us, left by a previous humanity whose scene of evolution was the Moon (in those far away times very much larger than it is now); hence the name of that Moon-humanity, - Lunar Pitris (Moon Fathers). The consciousness (Animal soul) of this animal-man is merely that of "desire" and "passion." (I may be wrong, but my study of Christian Science leads me to believe that this "animal-man" is identical with the "mortal man" of the Christian Scientist. Anyhow, the animal-man is the mortal man of the Ancient Wisdom).
This physical animal-man had no intellect, no mind, no reasoning power until the entity we call the "Ego" (which is a God) connected with it. The result
of this Spiritual Entity-the Ego-incarnating in this 'bundle of animal matter called mankind' - animal-men - has been to develop a bunch of nerve matter into a brain, an organ with which to think, with the further result that the animal-man through long ages of such re-incarnations - or re-embodiments - is what we, today, see in our streets, stores and houses; bartering and selling, profiteering and being profiteered, consumed with ambitions to be presidents, senators, millionaires, - to be "successful;" each trying to outdo his fellows by hook or by crook (mostly crook), cunning, scheming, fighting, envious, back-biting - with some notable exceptions to prove the rule; in short, human beings.
After all the millenniums spent in the Ego's endeavors to raise this animalman, - for that is, partly, his job, the world today shows the net result. Not very promising, is it?
The effect of the Ego's connection and, as far as it has been able, its efforts to endow this animal-man with thinking powers is: the animal-man has developed a kind of low-grade intellect along with a price and a conceit in that low-grade intellect and its achievements; a still further consequence being that this animal-man (which is the man of today, don't forget) thinks he is the pinnacle, the efflorescence of evolution! Most of his thoughts and energies go to getting money with which to clothe himself in better and richer raiment than his fellows, to feed his already over-full stomach with more costly and richer food; to get to a position in life where he will be able to look down on others and be a source of envy to the other fatheads who have the same aspirations.
This is the "Personality," the "personal man," the John Smith, Wilhelm Hohenzollern, Charles Murphy, the ordinary man in the street. It is mortal; it dies! At what we call "death" the gross physical body is discarded; the man has then the astral body as his external envelope, which, later on, also dies. What remains is the Ego - the individuality - with whatever it has gathered in the form of knowledge and experience during its connection with this particular animal-man and its relations with other animal-men and animal-women. As the astral is a part of the physical (a more immaterial extension of the physical), and as the personality knows precious little more when he is functioning only on the astral - after death - than he did when in his full physical equipment, you can probably see that "messages" from the dead have practically no value as information as to heaven conditions, or the real spiritual world.
This episode of the Gods (the Egos, the Thinkers, the Individuals that reincarnate in these animal-men) is what is known as "The Fall." This is the episode that in more childlike form is given in Genesis as the Fall of Adam and Eve story.
In a very real sense this episode is the real crucifixion story; and this Ego, this God is the "man-god" of Plato, who crucifies himself in Space (or the duration of the life-cycle) for the redemption of Matter.
So, briefly reviewing the foregoing: Atma, the ray of pure spirit is the Father in Heaven, the Ego is the Son of God, and - in a very real sense - the Christ who is crucified in Matter (animal-man) to save (animal) mankind.
These entities, these Gods (Egos), divine in their essential nature, yet not pure enough to be one with the ALL, have, in order to achieve this, so to purify their natures as finally to gain that goal. They can do so only by passing individually and personally, i.e., spiritually and physically, through every experience and feeling that exists in the manifold or differentiated Universe. They have, therefore, after having gained such experience in the lower kingdoms, and having ascended higher and still higher with every rung on the ladder of being, to pass through every experience on the human plane.' (H.P. Blavatsky). According to this teacher, you can see how far (?) a mere belief in a Jesus crucified on a cross will take you, and how far (?) that belief will go on changing the animal-man of today into a spiritual God.
Probably, too, you will see the reason for the statement, "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you," and also "Know ye not that ye are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"
St. Paul (who is supposed to have written the last quotation) was an Initiate of the Ancient Wisdom, a "Master-Builder" - as he called himself. If you read I. Corinthians from the point of view of the teaching regarding the "Ego" and "animal-man," you may discover many ideas that will probably enlarge your mental vision.
With all good wishes,
ACHIEVEMENT BEGETS POWER
"Knowledge is not power. That was a half-truth enunciated by a Greek philosopher centuries ago and it has blighted education down the ages."
Dr. James L. Hughes, for many years chief inspector of public schools in Toronto, and one of the great educationists of the world so deduced in addressing a meeting of the York Pioneers Association at the Gage institute on September 14. Dr. Hughes is author of the standard text books on Froebel and a widely known volume on "Dickens as an Educator."
"Education, as we see it today, is all knowledge. All year they cram a child full of knowledge for the purpose of pumping it out again in examinations," he continued. "They are not taught to acquire knowledge for themselves or how to make use of the knowledge they have acquired."
His whole address was a plea for something more constructive and creative both in teaching and in training. The object of education should be to give a child physical, intellectual and spiritual power; they should be always taught to achieve things, because only through achievement could power be obtained.
He would rather see his own son doing evil than doing nothing, because a purely negative character was utterly useless.
"Education must kindle the fire, not merely lay it; it must kindle the great central fire of the soul and instil in the child the desire to achieve."
The negative idea had been very prevalent and still was, in religious training. God became a God of fear. "Once," he said, "the mother of a small boy always used to correct him by saying, /God would not like that,' or 'God will be angry if you do that.' One day the boy replied, 'Well, He's always getting mad about something.'
"Irreverent? Yes; but she had made him irreverent through her training of him.
"A child's great enemy is self-consciousness," he added. "It is a weakness, and all that wretched humbug about being 'seen and not heard,' and 'speaking only when spoken to' is responsible for this weakness.
"It instils a mock humility, the humility of Christians who call themselves 'worms'. They don't mean it.
"And I never did like wormy Christians."
Professor Keys in speaking to a vote of thanks paid a high tribute to Dr. Hughes' work in the schools of Toronto, and said that the principles he had enunciated were largely used in higher education at the University of Toronto.
THE CITY OF GOD
Great cities we build and have builded,
And new ones forever we plan
All vast and magnificent, gilded
With gold for the glory of man.
Fair cities to outlast the Ages,
Defying the leagues of Time;
And deemed in the wisdom of sages,
Or sung in a poet's rhyme.
Where now are the cities we builded?
Where Babylon, Nineveh, Tyre?
They fell when the enemy willed it;
Their palaces crashed as the fire
Licked hungrily tower and roof;
Now sands of the desert are blown
All over their walls and the hoof
Is trampling on arch and keystone.
Of cities that man ever builded
But one is there aye that abides -
Adorned not with brass neither gilded;
Which subject is not to the tides
And assaults of the enemy Time -
Forever enduring apart,
Inviolate, mystic, sublime,
The city of God in the heart.
- G. P. Williamson.
CULTISTS AND OCCULTISTS
"Silence is golden," said the sage. It might, indeed, appear that many within the Theosophical Society have profited by the proverb in ways not always apparent to the simple-minded and unwary. How many times have we seen the inquirer who sought for information met by an air of secrecy, a far-away look from veiled eyes, a compression of the lips, a lowering of the voice and a manner which implied the existence of an arcane region - accessible but exclusive - wherein the earnest one might receive "powers," "the development of latent faculties," "an extension of consciousness," or the satisfaction of all desires which longed to pierce the clouds before some hidden shrine of esoteric wisdom? So that, by pandering to the ever-present egotism in every individual that wishes to he everything in the universe but itself, "occultists" (God save the mark!) find easy pickings in the average T.S. lodge.
Priests, by pretending to possess an authoritative revelation, have always found followers. Similarly, these "occultists" - conscious or unconscious charlatans - continue to find sheep ready to enter their folds. Cults arise about these self-appointed leaders and, like planets about a microcosmic sun, the inner circle of neophytes swings upon a beaten path about these fixed stars in the Theosophical firmament. Quite persuaded, in their own minds, that they are advancing, the members of such lodges or "cults" experience the eternal recurrence of ideas given out to them as "occult" truths by their chosen guides. It is a painless spiritual death for the seekers after wisdom but, nevertheless, certain.
It is the prevalence of such clap-trap in our Society that has caused many intelligent people, with awakening spiritual perception, to avoid the organization or, having joined it, to resign speedily in order to preserve their self-respect. And yet, the fact remains that the T.S. has for its foundation the most splendid spiritual philosophy which has ever been presented to mankind. It has more to offer the searcher after life's meaning than any of the religions or than any of the systems of thought evolved by academicians.
Would it not be desirable, setting aside the abracadabra and the jargon of the professional "occultist," to endeavour, in plain English, to present the truths of the spirit embodied in the writings of Madam Blavatsky? These fundamentals appeal alike to the reason and to the aspirations of man's higher nature and are, withal, so simple and sane that only a modicum of intelligence is needed for their understanding.
In order to clear the way for such a presentation of Theosophy, it will be necessary to unmask the "occultists" who have been responsible for much of the teaching that has obscured the message of the Founders of the Society. Here it may be well to state that I do not propose to deal with those "leaders" who are at present exposing the T.S. to the ridicule of the world through a revival of the "Messiah craze." Their pretensions have been adequately and thoroughly disposed of by the efforts of others. I shall confine my remarks specifically to those found in almost every T.S. lodge and Section who, as "older students" arrogate to themselves the place of teachers and instructors of other members.
Silence, innuendoes, bombastic talk, dogmatic assertions, will have little harmful effect if the simple injunction, "By their fruits shall ye know them," is followed. No training of psychic perception is required. Merely the application of common sense and intelligence is sufficient in examining the claims of the "teacher."
We are told by the Founders of our Society that, in the normal course of human evolution, there comes a time when illumination or initiation bestows upon the individual a spiritual perception which has been hitherto inactive or latent within his being: The man, so endowed by the God within him, may have had only a fragmentary glimpse of the splendour that is Truth and Beauty, but he has, however, attained momentarily to a consciousness that transcends
the self-consciousness of the millions of his brother men as well as the instinctive consciousness of the primitive races and the animal kingdom.
Psychologists, viewing such an individual without knowledge of Theosophical terminology, will pronounce him a "genius." Saint or seer, prophet or teacher, poet or painter he may be in accordance with his temperament, but the work of his hands and the product of the creative fire within him will bear the mark of the divine energy that he has awakened within his own soul.
Such a one, speaking to those who possess intuition, will not need to wear a label or to hint mysteriously at hidden sources of authority - occult hierarchs with whom he is in personal contact. He will be a centre of living, dynamic farce that will express itself in tangible form upon THIS plane, at THIS time, and in ways that will be evident to any intelligent person.
It may be that, like George Russell (A.E.) of the Dublin lodge, he will be the energizing force behind a literary and artistic renaissance; it may be that, after the manner of Gandhi, he will be the political saviour of a people; it may be that, as in the case of Whitman, he will be the prophet of a New Order; or, like Nietzsche, he may be the destructive force demolishing the ideology of a passing age.
But, at all events, he will be a "force" in communal and national life moving towards a spiritual ideal. His personality, like that of Blavatsky, may be erratic and unconventional, but his work will remain an impulse to stimulate thought, heighten emotion, increase sensibility and awaken intuitive perception of the divinity in man.
By no stretch of imagination could the activities of such an individual be confined to a Theosophical lodge-room. If by any chance it so happened, then there would result an intensification of life in the members of that lodge which would mean that the creative fire, in some of its manifold phases, would be awakened in those near him. Such a phenomenon we have already noted in our reference to the Dublin Lodge where A. E., Yeats, Johnston and others founded a movement that has vitally influenced the history of English literature. The Luciferian energy overflowed the confines of the lodge-room and went out to fire the hearts of the new Irish nation with its divine beauty and strength.
The acid test of reaction to life may be applied to all leaders of cults within the Society and to all who permit, even by their silence, others to regard them as occultists. It will help mightily if members of the various lodges refuse to confine their activities to the Society's work and, going out into other circles, will keep in touch with the currents of thought and action in our rapidly changing world. They may thus gain a perspective which will enable them to estimate the "size" of their leaders. Having stripped these guides of borrowed trappings, the members may be ready for a sane presentation of Theosophy.
- A. M. Stephen.
Madam Blavatsky says in her "Secret Doctrine:" "Modern science may divide its hypothetically conceived Ether as it chooses, the real Aether of Space will remain as it is. It has its seven principles like the rest of Nature, and without Ether there would be no sound, as it is the vibrating sounding-board in nature in all its seven differentiations. This is the first mystery the Initiates of old learned . . . . . . . The law of vertical movement in primordial matter is one of the oldest conceptions in Greek philosophy, whose first historical Sages were nearly all Initiates of the Mysteries. The Greeks had it from the Egyptians, and the latter from the Chaldeans, who had been the pupils of the Brahmins of the Esoteric School. Leucippus, and Democritus of Abdera - the pupil of the Magi - taught that this gyratory movement of the atoms and spheres existed from eternity."
According to the teachings of Hermetic and also of Yogi Philosophy, all forms of what we know as "matter" are but different forms of manifestation of the principle called Akasha, or as scientists call it "Ether." They teach that this Ether or Akasha is the finest, thinnest
and most tenuous form of Matter, in fact that it is Matter in its ultimate or fundamental form, the different forms of what we call Matter being but manifestations of this Akasha or Ether, the apparent difference resulting from different rate of vibration, etc.
Furthermore, that which we see and know as the Sun is but the central vortex of the real Sun, this real Sun comprising the whole of what we know as the Solar System. This inner or central vortex is the focal point of inconceivable heat; the outer rim or periphery is one of inconceivable or absolute cold. Planets, comets etc., are smaller vortices within the body of the real Sun. Matter leaves the central vortex in its finest and most tenuous form, as it nears the outer rim and becomes subject to the lower degrees of temperature it forms into particles of what we call matter, the spiral or evolutionary movement to which it is subject eventually causing its return to the Sun to be reconsumed and thrown out afresh. "Our God is a consuming Fire" is literally true. All motion starts from one motion, all vibration starts from one vibration, differentiating into the various modes of vibration which we recognize as Electricity, heat, light, sound etc. All vibrations, of whatever nature, originate in our Central Sun, and affect in some form or other all that is contained within the Solar System or real Sun. Planets are smaller vortices, which, receiving primary vibrations from the central vortex, transform them or differentiate them into lower vibrations. We are only able to cognize a comparatively small number of the primary vibrations from our Sun, the reason for this being that they are of too high a rate for us. Just as in an Electric Power House the high voltage current is lowered down until it can he used for lighting and domestic purposes, by means of transformers, so these planets transform or lower these primary vibrations from our Sun so that they can be of service to Man. This is one of the basic principles of the Esoteric Science of Astrology.
The ancient Seers said: "the entire Universe is either Sun or that which having emanated from the Sun, was originally part of the Sun."
Prof. Tyndall, in a lecture on "Heat," says of the mighty central reservoir of energy, "All terrestrial power is drawn from the Sun . . . . . Every mechanical action on the earth's surface, every manifestation of power, organic or inorganic, vital and physical, is produced by the Sun. He lifts the rivers and glaciers up to the mountains . . . . . Thunder and lightening are his transmuted strength . . . . . . The Sun comes to us as heat; he quits us as heat; and between his entrance and departure the multiform powers of our globe appear." They are all special forms of Solar power.
All vibration throughout our Solar System is an expression of the One Vibration emanating from our Central Vortex or Sun, and is originated, controlled and sent out by the Great Spirit dwelling within this Sun, whose body is what we call the Solar System, and whom we speak of as God.
The corpuscle or electron of Modern Science is an actual Astral Atom, i.e. a whorl or vortex of "Interstellar Ether." A current of electricity is a stream of electrons, or in other words, a stream of Interstellar Ether which again is identified with the Astral Light or Matter, and Primordial Substance, in so far as our Planetary System is concerned.
Matter in motion is matter vibrating at varying degrees of intensity. These vibrations are received and felt by man throughout the whole of his system. We interpret them as feelings, emotions and thoughts, and all come within the field of what we term mental activity. A thought may therefore be described as "any mental state, or mental activity, including those of intellect, feelings, emotions, will, desire, imagination or memory.
Feelings have a degree of "thingness" more marked than the purely intellectual states of activity. They are creative in their nature. Intellectual states tend in the direction of weighing, measuring, comparing, deciding upon, choosing or determining upon the images, ideas or concepts created by the previously named set of mental activities.
All these things, however, are the re-
sult of the vibrations, received, registered and interpreted by the cells of the brain. Just as the whole of the matter contained within a Solar System is subject to a Septenary division, corresponding esoterically to the Seven Planets and esoterically to the seven inner planes or worlds of our own Earth, so each individual cell has its septenary constitution, and is capable of receiving impressions or vibrations from the coarsest to the finest of the mass of vibrations eternally pulsating throughout our Solar System.
"Thought, therefore, is Matter in motion, and as the impulse governing that motion starts from the Central Vortex of Consciousness or God, we must recognize the fact that God is in all things, no matter how expressed."
These vibrations are received and interpreted by our brain cells as sounds, colours and forms, according to their different degrees of intensity. Whether we become conscious of it or not, everything in manifestation carries with it those three fundamentals, viz., Sound, Colour, and Form. We cannot conceive of anything which has not FORM.
These vibrations are interpreted in the first instance, singly, then from the single, the ONE, to the complex or many. We take first of all one color, then many colors and we have our color scheme; we take one sound, then many sounds and we have Music, and harmony and discord according to the blending; we take one form, then many forms, from the mud but to the stately Palace or Cathedral, from the Star to the consideration of a Universe, from the single cell to the conception of Man as a whole, from the man to Humanity, from humanity to God, and we arrive at the grand conception of there being but one single God, one single Soul, one Single World, and Unity in all things.
All these forms, sounds and colours affect our daily lives by the interpretations we place upon them, or in other words, by the thoughts which they give rise to. Color is color to us because that is the only way we can interpret that particular rate of vibration, and we find that Red is very exciting to the emotions, Green is soothing, and Black is depressing. Red therefore, is a particular rate of vibration within the Ether, it is the particular rate of vibration we receive from the planet Mars, and therefore this planet is said to be Red in colour, and so on with all the seven planets, they all have the particular colour corresponding to the particular vibration which they send out.
Color and thought then, being identified as matter vibrating at a particular rate, we find that we are only able to respond to the coarser and cruder forms of color, with the result that the general thought of the race is coarse or materialistic corresponding to a slow rate of vibration. The higher the rate of vibration, the more spiritual does the thought become and the more delicate is the color reflected by that thought. A low vibration not only signifies that we have a low grade of thought, but that we think comparatively slowly.
We speak of the rapidity of thought, but that is not, strictly speaking, correct. The rate of a nerve wave or impulse is about 100 feet per second. We can only count 10 or in exceptional cases 11 per second. Light and free electricity travel 8 times around the earth whilst we count "1." If we could think with the rapidity of light, life would appear to us about 1800 times as long as it does
All the vibrations pulsating throughout the Universe are capable of producing definite thoughts in the physical brain. The vibration is in the first instance received by the astral and then the etheric parts of the brain cells; then the physical cell responds and vibrates accordingly, and immediately throws out what we term a picture or image corresponding to that particular vibration. These cells are called the symbolic cells, and from them the impulse travels to the articulating cells, which seize as it were upon the image produced and translate it into the language of our thoughts. But until that action has been fully brought about we are unconscious of, or at best in a sort of "dream consciousness" of the thought.
Two things are necessary then, to enable us to become conscious of certain thoughts. First, the susceptibility of the
symbolic cells to respond to the outside vibrations in the ether, and secondly, the ability to set up corresponding vibrations or excitation of the Articulating cells.
When we begin to read along certain definite lines and allow our thoughts to move along similar lines, we are, as it were, tuning up our brain - as the wireless operator tunes up his instrument - and the moment that the vibrations correspond, so do we become conscious of the thoughts, the ideas for which we have been striving. We may read the outward expression of the thought given in so many words, or we may hear the spoken thought, but until harmonious action is brought about between the vibration behind the thought or idea, and the two sets of cells mentioned, we cannot possibly recognize that thought as having any meaning, any significance.
The physical brain not only receives these thoughts, but it also transmits them to others. The abstract thought having become a concrete thought or materialized, it can be assimilated by other people having a similar or corresponding vibration. It is, as it were, sent out in a more understandable form. The original vibration is slowed down so that it may be presented to others in a modified form and comprehended by them. Thus their particular rate of vibration is raised or lowered according to the quality of the thought.
Prof. Percy Gardner speaking on the alleged borrowing by Christianity from the Pagan Mysteries says, "Ideas are propagated from school to school and teacher to teacher less often by the direct borrowing which comes of admiration than by the parallel working of similar forces in various minds. When ideas are in the air, as the saying goes, men catch them by a sort of infection and often without any notion of whence they came."
If you bear in mind that words are merely the symbols of thought, and that symbols are of no value whatever to one who does not understand the thought intended to be conveyed, we shall see that words, to be effectual, must constantly stimulate the imagination to create living pictures. If these living pictures are not produced, the words really exercise no influence whatever.
In conclusion, when outside vibrations come into contact with our own vibrations, they may bring into action either of two forces, viz., Attraction and Repulsion, or they may be met by Indifference.
If we are attracted by them, or they by us, we assimilate them, they become a part of us and manifest through us by our actions. If we repulse them, they pass on in search of corresponding vibrations, but with this difference, that the force we expended in repelling them has been absorbed by them and given them an increased vitality. If we treat them with indifference, they wither away from lack of vitality. Therefore it is better to treat low vibrations or what we call evil thoughts, with total indifference, thus actually causing their destruction, instead of repelling them and allowing them to pass along to others. Evil exists only in so far as you give it recognition. Evil forces can only maintain their integrity so long as you admit their existence. "Resist not evil, but overcome evil with good." Do not resist or fight evil thoughts, they only return to the attack with increased strength, but think a "good" thought and finally the evil will wither away.
- F. W. Hall.
The person who is endowed with this faculty of thinking about even the most trifling things from the higher plane of thought has, by virtue of that gift which he possesses, a plastic power of formation, so to say, in his very imagination. Whatever such a person may think about, his thought will be so far more intense than the thought of an ordinary person that by this very intensity it obtains the power of creation. Science has established the fact that thought is energy. This energy in its action disturbs the atoms of the astral atmosphere around us. I already told you; the rays of thought have the same potentiality for producing forms in the astral atmosphere as the sunrays have with regard to a lens. Every thought so evolved with energy from the brain, creates, nolens volens a shape.
- H.P.B. in Astral Bodies, Lucifer
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
THE ORGAN OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
Published on the 15th of every month.
[[ seal here - "There is no Religion Higher than Truth" ]]
- Editor - Albert E. S. Smythe.
- Entered at Toronto General Post-office as second-class matter.
- Subscription, One Dollar a Year.
OFFICERS OF THE T. S. IN CANADA.
- Felix A. Belcher, 250 North Lisgar St., Toronto.
- George I. Kinman, 87 Ravina Crescent, Toronto
- Edwin H. Lloyd Knechtel, 510 Rosedale Crescent, Calgary, Alta.
- George C. McIntyre, 20 Shannon Street, Toronto
- Kartar Singh, 9 Toronto Street, Toronto
- Reginal D. Taylor, 9456 143rd St., Edmonton, Alta.
- Albert E. S. Smythe, 26 West Glen Grove Ave., Toronto 12.
The subscription to The Canadian Theosophist is One Dollar a year. Subscriptions may begin any time.
Corespondents please note the change in the street number of the General Secretary's address. It should be 26 West Glen Grove Avenue, Toronto 12, Ontario, Canada.
The Hymn on the last page of this issue was written for Armistice Day, and may be adopted in any Peace-loving nation. The substitution of "Fatherland" for "Canada" or some other suitable word may make it acceptable outside the Dominion.
The Lodge in Athens, Greece, is translating Theosophical literature into Greek. Books on hand are "The A.B.C. of Theosophy," "Theosophy in a Few Chapters," and "The Ancient Wisdom." The Address is Theosophical Society, Rue Lecca, No. 1, Athens, Greece.
Members who desire to attend the Members' meeting on Tuesday evening, November 2, when Mrs. Besant is to address the Members at 52 Isabella Street, Toronto, should be careful to procure their Member's Card for the current Season, 1926-7, as they will not be admitted without it.
Members who have not paid their annual dues, or at least the amount of the annual subscription for the Magazine, or who have not notified the General Secretary that they intend to pay, must not expect to receive the Magazine after this number. There should be no longer delay in sending in the annual dues, or notifying this office.
Correspondents are busy with Mr. James M. Pryse's communication upon the revision of The Secret Doctrine. There is nothing like the publication of news or what purports to be news for bringing out fact. Fact is the basis of all reasonable opinions, and anyone who has any facts to contribute to this, or any other discussion is welcome as a correspondent.
By request we give the text of the amendment to Mr. Loftus Hare's motion at the meeting of the Theosophical Society in England last June when he moved to dissociate the declaration about the coming of a World Teacher from the work of the Theosophical Society as such. The amendment by judge H. L. Bristowe of South Africa reads: "That in view of the world-wide endeavors to re-interpret the fundamental basis of religion, this Convention welcomes all new expressions of religious truth from whatsoever source and urges upon Fellows of the Theosophical Society an open mind and a receptive attitude towards every declaration of such truth with a view to the fuller realization of Universal Brotherhood." If those who supported this resolution are honest and logical they will surely seek to remedy some of the exclusions that have been put into effect in recent years.
[[photo of Annie Besant]]
Born October 1, 1847
"I wonder whether all of you know, as I know, now that my body is old, that there is no joy like the sacrifice for a great Cause, that there is no sorrow in it, but the bliss which comes from the privilege of working for that which is greater than one's self . . . . For the God who unfolds within us pushes us onwards even when our eyes are blinded to His Glory, and it is He who is the only Worker, He who is the only Sacrifice, He who is living in our hearts is the only Inspiration in Service . . . . And I would say to every one of you that that power dwells within you, and that strength is the strength of the Divine Spirit and the body is only the temple of the living God; and then you will realize that it is not you who work; but it is He, it is not you who plan, but He who plans, and that all you have to do is to make yourselves a channel for that mighty Life in which the Universe is living."
MRS. BESANT'S VISIT
The following letter has been received by the General Secretary.
Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco,
September 27, 1926
Dear Mr. Smythe,
Your letter of August 23rd only reached me here. I must, however late the answer may be, thank you for it. Differences of opinion in no way affect my attitude towards the workers in the Theosophical Society. To me Theosophy has been an ever-living and growing guide, and personally I do not think that growth can be escaped in any unfolding life. The fact that Brotherhood was not part of the original objects of the Theosophical Society, but was added at a later stage, does not prevent my regarding it as being the primary object of the Society, as developed.
I have received and answered letters from the joint Committee which you mention in your letter. I shall hope to meet all the members of the Society together in one of our meetings, but I am perfectly willing also to have a separate meeting with those who disagree with my opinions and my policy, for it may be that they would like to have a friendly conversation, and to ask questions which they would like me to answer. A personal meeting is always an opportunity for mutual understanding; our common membership of the Theosophical Society should enable us to meet usefully and pleasantly. Sincerely yours,
(Signed) Annie Besant
At the time of going to press the arrangements for Mrs. Besant's visit for the dates of November 1, 2, and 3 are for a lecture in Massey Hall, Toronto, on the Monday evening, on "India, Past and Present: Has She a Future?" On Tuesday evening at 52 Isabella Street, the Theosophical Hall, a private Meeting for members of The Theosophical Society only. Those in good standing will present their membership cards at the door. On Wednesday evening in Massey Hall Mrs. Besant's lecture will he on "Theosophy and Life's Riddles." The prices for tickets, which are to be
on sale at Massey Hall on October 28 are $2, $1.50, $1, and 50 cents.
Other meetings to be held during the day have not yet been arranged but due notice will be given to members of the several bodies concerned of the arrangements made.
Members who may be coming from a distance to Toronto are invited to send in their names, and to notify the General Secretary or the Committee of any assistance they may desire in finding accommodation or otherwise.
AMONG THE LODGES
Winnipeg Lodge held its annual meeting on September 21 at 114 Chandos Avenue, Norwood. The election of a new president was left over; Miss Violet Wood was elected secretary-treasurer, and Percy Stokes, librarian. The secretary's report showed a balance on hand of $12.77. The loss of Mr. L.H.D. Roberts as president has been keenly felt.
A member who has resigned, wishes to know wherein he has violated the principle of Brotherhood in resigning, and if the Theosophical Society has sole possession of the principle of Brotherhood. Resignation merely signifies failure on the part of the member to live up to his resolution. He is supposed on joining the Society to realize that it is the only Society in the world which makes Brotherhood the only condition of membership. When he leaves it for any reason he has failed to carry out his resolution. This member states that he "cannot approve of the general policy and general trend of the teachings." The teachings have nothing to do with it. There are no teachings of the Society, for we may ignore the futile World Religion stunt. He leaves because he cannot approve. His idea of Brotherhood is not universal, but limited by teachings he cannot approve. He balks with lower Manas.
FELLOWS AND FRIENDS
Waldemar Meier who has been living in Penticton, B.C. is returning to Russia and has obtained a copy of The Secret Doctrine which he hopes to take home with him if permission can be obtained from Moscow. He would like to take the great message of Madam Blavatsky to her own people.
The death of Arthur Burgess was announced, it seems, as having occurred on July 22, but it has only reached us through The Messenger, Chicago. Mr. Burgess was so incapacitated by bodily ills that without heroic devotion he never would have attempted any kind of work. He struggled on however against extraordinary difficulties and accomplished wonders as editor of "Service" and in other ways. He was deeply interested in the young. England will feel his loss.
The deaths are recorded by Theosophy in India of Miss James of Delhi, and of Mrs. Musaeus Higgins of Colombo. Mrs. Higgins, who died on July 10, arrived nearly forty years ago in Ceylon with Col. Olcott and Madam Blavatsky. She dedicated her life to the single purpose of educating Buddhist girls, and the Musaeus Girls College and the training department for teachers stand as a lasting monument of her work for the last 37 years. She was generally loved by her students. She wrote some charming stories in English dealing with Jatakas and the history of Ceylon for her pupils.
We regret to hear of the death of Babu Govinda Das, brother of Bhagavan Das, at Benares. He was a well-known worker of the T.S., an eminent Sanscrit scholar acquainted with both Eastern and Western thought, says Theosophy in India, a keen and brilliant critic of the political, social and religious conditions of his age and country. "Latterly, owing to differences of opinion and also to failing health, he led a retired life - but even in the midst of continued ill-health, he gave thought and study to the questions of the day and contributed a very thoughtful criticism of the draft scheme of the Commonwealth of India Bill."
Mrs. Billings of the Toronto T.S. passed away on Tuesday, October 5, after a prolonged illness, the result of a stroke, which she bore with great patience. A second stroke was the immedi-
ate cause of her death. She leaves her husband and two young daughters. A comparatively young woman, her resignation was fortified with earnest contemplation of Theosophical truths. She was thoughtful for the Society's work and it was her idea when her two daughters held a sale of work and bought a handsome copper tray and cut glass set for the Theosophical Hall. Mrs. Billings was only 43. She was a native of Buckinghamshire, England.
The Australian Theosophist has put on a new dress with a cover design copied from the first number of The Theosophist. A report is given of a debate which took place in the Blavatsky Lodge, Sydney, on the motion "That the Theosophical Society would benefit by the abolition of annual subscriptions." The motion was carried after an animated debate. The General Secretary summed up in nine points among which are: Some will join and give a little who otherwise would not have joined and therefore would have given nothing; we shall gain what we ought to gain and lose what we ought to lose; because our membership will increase, our finances will improve, because we shall all be on our honor to do our utmost, more will be done." The Toronto T.S. has been on a voluntary basis from the first only requiring the annual dues for the National Society.
Mr. James Morgan Pryse, writing apropos to his recent letter on the Secret Doctrine revision, says: "I have been urged by others to write out my experiences in the T. S.; but I have two reasons for not doing so. One is that by recalling the mistakes and failings of old comrades I would seem to be attacking them, and it would certainly hurt their feelings. No good would come of that. The other reason is that I could not explain important events and doings without bringing in many 'esoteric' and 'occult' things which the general public are not entitled to know, and which they could not properly understand. So I am content to let it all go as ancient history. It is the future that is important: we cannot unmake the past, but we can make the future. By strife and contention we cannot make a good future. We must exercise common sense, good nature, toleration, and sound discrimination."
The death of Dr. Augustus S. Vogt removes one of the great musicians of the world. No one who had not heard the Mendelssohn Choir at its height for the seven years or so preceding 1914 when it had been arranged to tour Europe, could imagine that human faculty could achieve such perfection. The outbreak of the War upset the elaborate plans laid for the tour, but fortunately enough European musicians had heard the great choir sing to preserve its reputation. There has been nothing like it before and it would take another Vogt for another twenty years to create its equal. Following within a year or so the death of Sir Adam Beck, the genius of publicly owned and distributed Hydro-Electric Power in Ontario, one is drawn to note the fact that they were born in the same district of Elmira, Ontario, and as a third "coincidence," one of the most original and talented artists in America, Carl Ahrens, was also born in that neighbourhood. These men represent the contribution of Canada to a new world, and each of them has a vein of originality in method which is significant and should be noted by those who think there is nothing new under the sun. The principle of municipal cooperation in the public ownership of electric power is one of the most practical applications of Brotherhood that the world has yet seen. Nearly 300 municipalities share in the responsibility and get their power at actual cost and at the cheapest rate on the continent.
Do You Want a Book ?
But you are not sure of the title, or the author, or even if there is such a book to be had . . .
Just write me - I am in a position to help you.
N. W. J. HAYDON, 564 PAPE AV., TORONTO
HOW A WORLD TEACHER COMES
Mrs. Besant's book under this title is not just the kind of book one might expect from its name. One gathers from the contents that the wish is father to the thought rather than that there is a solid reason for the faith that has risked so much, and staked so daringly on the hazard of an Indian youth. "In all these lectures?" she says, "I have, only put forward the views I came to and the evidence that I need as my own justification, and not as any claim to dictate to anyone of you what you should think ....... There is no one in the Society, from the oldest to the youngest member, who has any right to dictate to any other member of the Theosophical society what he shall believe." Yet Mrs. Besant and Mr. Jinarajadasa a year ago insisted that the whole Society should subscribe to a World Religion, and without even asking their consent, but even asserted that if it was not accepted, they would put us down for it any way. That was not cricket. If anyone else had put a similar proposition over on Mrs. Besant without her knowledge or consent, one can hardly imagine she would have taken it lying down. It wasn't cricket, and that is enough to condemn it. Nor was it cricket to declare that the orders of the Liberal Catholic Church are as good as any other, or that they are any good at all, after the repudiation publicly of these orders by all the other Churches involved. Nor is it cricket to use the authority one has received in a Society to promote an idea that is contrary to the tradition and spirit of the teachings associated with that Society. I am very well aware that the Society has no teaching nor dogma, but all who have followed its course are equally aware that its one principle of Brotherhood could not be promoted by the creation of a religion which by its pretensions has antagonized every other religion. It was not playing the game to bring forward these pretensions as worthy the recognition and support of the Theosophical Society. That was not cricket, and as the Masters have always scrupulously played the game heretofore, one may be pardoned for doubting that they would change their policy in this instance. Mrs. Besant has some sense of this, for she says: "It is perhaps specially my duty to say that you must not think that the Society is in any way responsible for what I say; I am responsible. You can judge it exactly as you please." She then proceeds with her argument. There are higher faculties than the normal, and Bergson has recognized this, in the operation of Intuition. By it we can recognize Truth at sight. Then she introduces the Cerinthian doctrine which Irenaeus identifies with Gnosticism, and of which Madam Blavatsky says in Isis Unveiled, II. 177: "Such an identification with the Unknown God, even of Christos, the anointed - the AEon which over shadowed him - let alone of the man Jesus, never entered the head of the Gnostics nor even of the direct apostles and of Paul, whatever forgeries may have added." One does not quote Madam Blavatsky as an inspired authority, but still her testimony is of some weight, and at least it indicates that we are in good company if we happen to disagree with Mrs. Besant. Mrs. Besant, however, adopts it as the true view, under the guidance of the Sydney prophet. Then she turns to the widespread belief that there is to be a return to earth of a great Teacher. The whole of the Theosophical Society practically at one time looked forward and set itself to prepare for the coming of that Teacher in 1975. A minority still adheres to that view. It may be a mistaken one. But it may be pointed out that a general expectation means but little. Practically the whole world of the West in A. D. 1000 looked for a Second Coming and with greater devotion than could be expected today, and nothing came of it.
In her second and third lectures Mrs. Besant follows the course of modern psychology with occasional references to spiritualistic experiences, and the literature of the Society of Psychic Research as a means of creating a point of view for a modern audience. This may succeed with a modern audience, but can hardly go very far with students of The Secret Doctrine. One does not mean to say that there is not much that is finely ex-
pressed, inspiring and notable in these lectures, but the material is used to support something unworthy of the argument. That is to say, the lectures are intended to convince the audience of something that Mrs. Besant wishes them to believe, not merely to bring them to the state of mind where they can seek truth for its own sake, irrespective of where they arrive. Have we a right to impose our beliefs on any one? "Leave all free," is the command of a great Master of Truth and Freedom. In the third lecture we are familiarized with the teaching of Thomas Aquinas. There is nothing more significant in the Lectures than these passages. Then we get examples of dual and dissociated personality from the Psychic Researchers. These are examples of morbidity, and hardly happy as leading to the suggestion that thus and so will the World Teacher come to earth. The fourth lecture has another significant tribute to the Roman Catholic Church, and by way of offset, perhaps, Dean Inge's Mysticism is mentioned. It concludes on the last page or two with an application of the arguments adduced to the particular idea in the mind of the lecturer, and an appeal which we trust is unnecessary, "not to ridicule the idea, do not scoff, for in scoffing you are scoffing at the Christ Himself - He is the ever loving Saviour, He the Elder Brother of our race, He who should be born in the hearts of every one of you, and growing in you to the measure of the full stature of the Christ." This, if we may be pardoned, is begging the whole question, and confusing Theosophy with another line of thought.
Miss Mary Stuart, Librarian, Toronto T.S., invites members and their friends everywhere to make the fullest use of the Lodge's free traveling library. Particulars on application.
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)
AN INTERVIEW AT OMMEN
Last month a summary of an article by John E. Mitchell was written for The Canadian Theosophist but the greater part of it was omitted by some inadvertence. It is to a large degree official, and the endorsement in "Theosophy in India" for August of an interview given by Krishnaji to a "Paris correspondent" confirms this. The New York World article of August 22 obviously was written after special privileges had been extended.
The description of Ommen, Baron Pallandt's estate in Holland, is identical in its details of ceremony with what some of us were familiar with in the early days of Point Loma under Mrs. Tingley. "The entrance is guarded day and night by stout Hollanders, and no one enters until he has displayed his blue badge bearing the sign of the white star." The object, doubtless, as in Mrs. Tingley's case, is to exclude black magicians. More and more one is convinced as one reads the accounts of these operations that the same astral inspiration is behind the Liberal Catholic Church that was and is behind Mrs. Tingley. They accomplish the same ends by similar and frequently identical means. The same multiplicity of organizations, the same insatiable demand for funds, depriving the real movement of its resources, the same suggestions of suspicion of all who "do not belong,' the same half-hints and indirections as to the wonderful beings who are incarnate among the elect of the movement.
"This is no ragged, illiterate band of pilgrims who have given away their scanty all and come to follow their master," says Mr. Mitchell. "It is in your correspondent's opinion a distinctly upper class movement. Its greatest appeal is to persons of leisure, possibly of too much leisure . . . . . .
"It is when you begin to talk to these people that you realize what an eerie gathering this is. You are asked two invariable questions. The first is: 'Have you knowledge of your past?' and the second, 'Have you seen anything yet?' You find that many have knowledge of past incarnations. Mrs. Besant herself is the reincarnation of the martyr of
modernity, Giordano Bruno. Another Oscar Koellerstroem, who did not attend the camp, once lived as St. Francis of Assisi."
Mr. Mitchell adds: "Besides Mrs. Besant, who perhaps has done as much as any other person to keep alive minority opinion in England, the other leaders of the Order of the Star in the East are nonentities." Which is another parallel with Mrs. Tingley.
Mrs. Besant's explanation of the difference between the old and the new Thosophists will be news to many. "Mrs. Besant," writes Mr. Mitchell, "has been president of the Theosophical Society for nineteen years. When she first became its leader it was a withdrawn, esoteric movement, given over to endless explorations of the occult world. With her Presidency it suddenly came to a sharp focus. She announced the elder brothers of humanity had told her that Shri Krishna was coming within a few years and that Theosophists must leave the pleasant occult world and help get this world ready for his presence. This undoubtedly severely grieved older members of the Society and this group has never followed her into the Order of the Star of the East."
It is a pity that Mr. Mitchell had not read "The Key to Theosophy" and been aware of what a perversion of the real situation he was writing. "It has been a long time in the history of the world," concludes Mr. Mitchell, "since a thing like this Star camp has taken place." It is 27 years since Mrs. Tingley did the same kind of thing at Point Loma, and the Master of Vibrations, who was supposed to be the coming World Teacher then, was regarded with the same awe as Mr. Krishnamurti's "possessor" is at present.
"The right-mindedness of inner knowledge speaks in a different tone. 'Say not in your heart,' it declares, 'Who shall ascend to Heaven?' that is, to bring Christ down; nor 'Who shall go down into the abyss?' - that is, to bring Christ up again from the grave. But what does it say? 'The Message is close to you, in your mouth and in your heart;' that is the Message which we are publishing."
Or, let us take Madam Blavatsky's version of the same thought, from the Voice of the Silence: "Alas, alas, that all men should possess Alaya, be one with the Great Soul, and that, possessing it, Alaya should so little avail them."
FOR STRONG DECIDED MEN
We have come to that time in the world's history, writes "W" in The Watch-Tower in The Theosophist for August, which we may without exaggeration call one of the most wonderful and perhaps the most far-reaching that the world has ever known. Each one of us has to stand still and take his own bearing, test it as to whether it is a true bearing. We have had, as it were, a direction pointed out to us and each one has to decide for himself whether the "magnetic needle" of his being points in the direct, the true line. No man can point it for him, no one can keep the bearing of another to the true point, but each one, having adjusted his true bearing helps another if he can keep steady, one-pointed, without wavering, by the steadiness that he inevitably spreads, by the fact of his own stability. Cowardice and timidity, waveringness, indefiniteness are all very catching and it takes the strong decided man to withstand the doubts and quibbles which are thrown at him day in, day out.
That is the end of the Adyar quotation. It is good advice, but the general experience is that the strong decided man is far from welcome at Adyar. What happened to Mr. Martyn? Was he not strong or decided enough. What happened to W. Q. Judge? He had a mind of his own. The true meaning of this advice about steadiness is to encourage all and sundry not to have the slightest intimation of independence in their minds, but to follow absolutely whatever leader may be calling for loyalty for the time being. Better advice is that of the dramatist: "To thine own Self be true, and it must follow as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man." What we have to do according to "W," as he or she naively
confesses, is to stand true to the "knowledge and belief" of somebody else. And so it is that the T.S. is. heading straight for Rome.
THE NECESSITY FOR A LEAGUE OF THEOSOPHISTS
August James Alger, Ph.D., president V.T.R.A, vice-president, A.A.S., and member of many other societies, writes expressing his opinion in reply to Mr John Pryse's request to know what he thought of his proposals.
He writes in part: "Even before Mr. Pryse mentioned his plan of an International Theosophical League I had in mind a somewhat similar plan of my own. Lack of time and opportunity, however, prevented me from going any deeper into the matter than mere recognition. Now that Mr. Pryse has taken the initiative, perhaps my views may be of interest to those who are now already interested.
"In attending the meeting of various independent societies, some with only a few members and others with hundreds, I often thought it strange that these groups so deeply interested in human welfare and progress, should go it alone, with no help or advice or affiliation with each other or anyone else, when in all other lines federation or association has been found helpful and beneficial.
"Take, for example, the industrial field. Workmen in various trades and professions forced independent organizations. These in turn affiliated with one another in the American Federation of Labour. Each union still holds its own individuality, but the value of Federation is well known. In the field of orthodox religion we find the same influence at work in the Federation of Protestant Churches. In this Federation Methodist, Baptist, or Congregational each preserves its own pet dogmas or beliefs and still finds a common ground on which all meet with mutual benefit.
"In the higher callings or professions we find another parallel. Men and women who are interested and perhaps giving the best part of their lives in the cause of the advancement of human knowledge have formed societies where the individual member may bring his special bit of knowledge or wisdom to the attention of his fellows. We have a form of society for every branch of science known to man, and then find them all, or nearly all, affiliated in one association, known as the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
"And yet in the field of human affairs where association of this kind would be of the greatest value we find at nothing that would correspond. Of course, in dealing with occult, esoteric or mystical truth, it is often said that man knows little or nothing. Yet my experience and observation teach me that it is only the individual who knows so little. Mankind as a whole knows much. If every individual could bring to a common depository his own special bit of knowledge or wisdom, and then with the help of master minds systematize and classify this mass it would be found that every problem that ever entered the mind of man would have its answer there.
"And while there are many societies formed for the express purpose of promulgating esoteric truths they seem to lack unity or coordination. That should not be, and a league or association of some kind is a necessity. The plan proposed by Mr. Pryse is a step nearer, and as a whole meets with my approval. It is only on some minor details that my plan differs.
"It is my opinion that the name chosen should be more general than that suggested by Mr. Pryse, as there are quite a number of independent societies who have wilfully left the word "Theosophical" out of their names, and while they may teach Theosophical doctrines, for some reason or other they prefer to abstain from any affiliation with the Theosophical Movement. Such as these would perhaps refuse to ally themselves with the proposed International Theosophical League, solely because of its name.
"It is just as if the Association of which I am a member had chosen to call itself the American Association for the Advancement of Biology, or Chemistry, or Astronomy, instead of the general name Science. Each of these is a branch of Science; but not all of it, and just so with the occult sciences.
"Theosophy is a branch of occult science, but not all of it. There are other
avenues of approach besides the Theosophical one, and a more general name would in my estimation be preferable - such a name as the International Association for the Advancement of Occult Science, the International Truth Seekers' Association, or some such name, which would take in all organizations formed for the study of the higher wisdom and not merely those bearing the Theosophical label.
"My suggestion regarding the plan would be that if it be conducted along the lines of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which deals with the physical or material sciences, all affiliated bodies should be represented by one or more delegates determined by membership, these delegates to choose officers and council members and determine the scope of the Association.
"The entire subject, however, is too large for any one individual to work out in all its details, and should be very carefully considered by all who have the submanent awakening of man at heart, and freely discussed at meetings as well as by means of published letters, so that the wisest plan of all may be inaugurated, as an unwise move would do more harm than good.
"I would like to hear from any who are interested in the formation of same connecting link between the many independent societies, and when a plan is definitely agreed upon I will cooperate and do all I can to help it to achieve its goal. In the Brotherhood of Man I am very sincerely and fraternally yours."
Golden Rule v. Other Rules
Editor Canadian Theosophist: May I be allowed the courtesy of a short space to remove a misconception in the article "The New Adyar Policies" in the June issue? A.E.S.S. says: "The President under the new rule can cancel any charter he or she pleases, and claim the property of whatever body has been disfranchised. How much more satisfactory is Mrs. Tingley's plan of insisting that all property be put in her own name at once." 1. The "new rule" has not been passed. It is sent for comment by the General Secretaries. It has always been the case that the President, as Executive Officer, issued charters and canceled them. There is no novel autocratic demand on Dr. Besant's part. Always charters and diplomas are issued, or canceled, at the bequest of a General Secretary only. I know of no case where the President has acted on his or her own initiative. When I was expelled from the T.S. by Colonel Olcott, it was at the request of the then American Executive of the Section. But an appeal has always lain past the President to the General Council. In my case, Colonel Olcott presented my appeal to the General Council, who reversed his action. 2. Regarding property, the matter was presented to the General Council from the Australian National Society. A special Committee was appointed, consisting of one Judge and one ex-Judge of the High Court of Madras, a leading Calcutta solicitor, and the General Secretaries of France, Ireland, Argentine, Australia and England. (See General Report, T.S. 1925, p. 324, which every T.S. Lodge receives). This Committee reported, and it is their report which is now for discussion; to be adopted or rejected at the next meeting of the Council in December, 1926. 3. May I also reply to July issue, reviewing the Golden Book, "Why are James Pryse and G.R.S. Mead blacked out in the photograph on page 121? Is this due to loaded dice also?" It is due to the simple fact that the illustrations from which the blocks for the book were made were poor. The only picture I could find of Mr. Pryse was a lecture advertisement; that of Mr. Mead a photo taken in 1900. If A.E. S.S. will send better ones, new blocks shall promptly be made and substituted in the second edition. But is it profitable to go about with a chip on one's shoulder?. (Signed) C. Jinarajadasa, Vice-president, T. S.
We shall all he delighted to hear that the new rule is not passed, and we trust that it will not be passed. The Golden Rule is a much better one. Now if the General Council will undo the World Religion bungle of last year we may get the T.S. on a right course again. - A.E.S.S.
Revision of The Secret Doctrine
Editor, Canadian Theosophist: I am much interested in Mr. J.M. Pryse's letter on pages 140-141 of the September "Canadian Theosophist," and perhaps even more in your editorial comment on page 144, which seemingly would indicate your opinion that the matter of the revision of "The Secret Doctrine" and of the alleged third and fourth volumes is finally settled thereby.
Passing over Mr. Pryse's remarks about "malicious accusation" and "mendacious statements" made by "semi-theosophists" and "pseudo-theosophists" as merely personal, let me call your attention to certain points in his letter, either stated or implied.
We are asked to accept Mr. Pryse's recollection of these things thirty-five years after as more dependable than H.P. Blavatsky's own statements at the time. I think that "The Secret Doctrine" itself is sufficient evidence that H.P.B. was of sound mind at the time she published the work, and that there is not the least basis for supposing that she deliberately went into print with a falsehood, not once, but several times, or that she was in a mental condition precluding her knowing what she was saying or doing.
In the Preface to the original edition, dated October, 1888, and therefore written after the whole two volumes were completed, in the first paragraph, she says: "The third volume is entirely ready; the fourth almost so."
Similar statements occur in the body of the work. In Vol. ii, page 437 (original edition), she says: "In volume iii. of this work (the said volume and the iv. being almost ready) . . . . . ."
In vol. ii, page 798 (original edition) she says: "Consequently, it entirely depends upon the reception which Volumes i. and ii. will meet at the hands of Theosophists and Mystics, whether these last two volumes will ever he published, though they are almost completed."
All of these statements were completely suppressed by the revisers, Mrs. Besant and Mr. Mead, who yet had the hardihood to tell us in their preface to the revised edition: "In preparing this edition for the press, we have striven to correct minor points in literary form, without touching at all more important matters!"
Nor is H.P.B. the only witness. Dr. Archibald Keightley, who worked with her in preparing the two volumes for the press, tells us "The Theosophist," July, 1889 that "The third volume of 'The Secret Doctrine' is in MS. ready to be given to the printers."
Now we are asked, on the basis of Mr. Pryse's memory thirty-five years after, to deny the truth of H.P.B.'s definite and positive statements, and to believe that the manuscript of the third volume was "in an unfinished state, and badly arranged," etc., and that the fourth volume was a fiction. And those who elect to trust H.P.B.'s veracity are called "malicious," "mendacious," "semi-theosophists," "pseudo-theosophists" and more. When Mr. Pryse declares that to his "certain knowledge she was an Adept," he might have explained whether he thinks that one can be an Adept and a teller of falsehoods at the same time, for that is virtually what he charges her with doing.
That the so-called "third volume" published by Mrs. Besant is not the third volume H.P.B. referred to, and that it was written before "The Secret Doctrine" was written or had even received its name, is obvious from internal evidence. Mrs. Besant's "third volume" contains 47 references to "Isis Unveiled," but it has not a single reference to the first two volumes of "The Secret Doctrine," nor, in fact, to any work of that name. The papers which compose it must therefore have antedated the writing of "The Secret Doctrine." The first two volumes have numerous cross-references and reference to a third volume already ready for the press, while Mrs. Besant's so-called "third volume" has numerous references to "Isis Unveiled," but not one to the two "Secret Doctrine" volumes.
Mrs. Besant tells us (preface to vol. iii.) that these papers were placed in her hands by H.P.B. "as part of the Third Volume of "The Secret Doctrine." That is but a matter of recollection, probably of a verbal interview, and how dependable Mrs. Besant's memory is shown by the fact that in 1907 "Chicago Lec-
tures," 1907, page 122) she published a positive statement that she opposed the expulsion of W.Q. Judge, whereas her signed recommendation for his expulsion stands in black and white in her "Case against W. Q. Judge" (page 88), published by her in 1895.
Let me further refer you to your editorial statement in "The Canadian Theosophist" for March, 1926, page 17, where you say: "James Pryse has stated that there was a pile of Mss. several feet high and this was corroborated by Claude Falls Wright, who was present when Madam Blavatsky died. He sealed up the rooms, and when Mrs. Besant returned from America the rooms were opened and there was no manuscript to be found."
Now, suddenly, Mr. Pryse "remembers" that this was not unpublished MSS., at all, but "only the old manuscript of vols. i. and ii, returned by the printers.'
Mr. Pryse says, speaking of the original editions:
"The printing was done from the type, but stereotype matrices were made in case another should be called for. When that time came, however, we found that the matrices had been accidentally destroyed; and I, for one, was decidedly pleased at their loss . . . . . . . "
Let me refer you to a letter of Dr. Archibald Keightley to Mr. Bertram Keightley, dated October 29th, 1891, to be found in "The Messenger," January, 1926, page 166. In this it is said in part:
"There is some talk of entirely reprinting "Secret Doctrine" and of correcting errors when the Third Volume is issued. The plates are in many cases found to be faulty and the expense of casting is so great as to make this worth while. . ."
And a letter of Mr. Mead to Mr. Bertram Keightley dated November 13th, 1891 (same page of "The Messenger" we read
"We find it will be cheaper to reprint it entirely. The moulds are practically useless . . . . ."
And yet these plates of which Dr. Keightley and Mr. Mead speak so positively didn't exist at all, having been "accidentally destroyed," if we are to trust Mr. Pryse's thirty-five year old recollection!
Mr. Pryse's joyful pasting up of pages of the original edition for correction and his having had charge of the printing of the revised edition afford not the least proof that he was familiar with the nature of the changes that were made, at least, not more than superficially. I am, decidedly so, having carefully compared many and many a page of the original with the revision, as well as having for years attended "Secret Doctrine" classes where both editions were used simultaneously and read aloud, and where the foolish changes have caused no little amusement and indignation. I do not question Mr. Mead's sincerity and his desire to better H.P.B.'s English, but I could easily fill a whole issue and more of "The Canadian Theosophist" with examples of corrections which are neither improvements of grammar or expression and which show that at that time, at least, Mr. Mead was a pedantic prig- I use the term advisedly. Your space and my time are valuable; I shall give you but two:
In Vol. ii, page 301 of the original, H.P.B. speaks of the "hinder part of the cerebral hemispheres." "Hinder" is a good English word, quite properly used here, yet Mr. Mead changes it to "posterior." (Rev. ed. Vol. ii, page 315.)
In Vol. i, page 150, note, of the original, H.P.B. says: "questions of a transcendental, Occult Nature." This Mr. Mead alters to "questions concerning a transcendental, Occult Nature." There are literally thousands upon thousands of such foolish pedantic changes, sometimes even changing good English into bad. And not infrequently the sense intended by H.P.B. has been altered. Here are two:
In the Proem, page 1, line 7, of the original, the word "Word" has been altered to "World," quite the reverse of what H.P.B. intended. On page 146, Vol. i, of original, Mr. Mead has changed the word "Intelligences" to "Intelligence" (revised edition, Vol. i, page 170), thus upsetting entirely what H.P.B. is emphasizing - the multiplicity of creative intelligences.
While admitting that H.P.B.'s quotations occasionally required correction and that fuller references were desirable,
as well as elimination of a few printer's errors - and against these I am not protesting - by far the greater number ofthe 30,000 or more alterations are not only no improvement at all, or not worth making at the risk of altering the sense, but they can only be designated as ludicrous, pedantic, and a piece of literary impertinence to be compared only to that of a school boy who should attempt to revise a book written by his teacher.
As you comment: "We want facts, and those who are not willing to listen to frank statements are not loyal to the T.S. motto." But frank statements are not of necessity statements of facts, and when Mr. Pryse says: "No changes were made by Mr. Mead or Mrs. Besant except such as should have been made in the original manuscript before printing," he is stating his opinion, based on I know not what, but certainly not upon fact or a careful study of the changes that were made. There is not one word in his letter which indicates that he knew at firsthand or more than superficially just what these changes were, or that he was not merely taking the statements of the revisers on their own say-so. What may have become of the alleged fourth volume nobody knows, but I think that H.P.B., is just as much entitled to credence when she said it was nearly ready as Keightley and Mead are worthy of belief when they speak of having the electrotype plates, both of which Mr. Pryse denies on the basis of his thirty-five year old recollection.
I don't want to throw too much of the blame on Mr. Mead. Mrs. Besant was not responsible for his pedantry, but she was certainly responsible for setting it loose on "The Secret Doctrine," as well as on "The Key to Theosophy" and "The Voice of the Silence," both of which have not only been emasculated but butchered, as I have shown elsewhere. She claims a share of the responsibility and it belongs to her. How she has "revised" Theosophy itself is pretty well known to some of us; but that is another story.
To conclude with Mr. Pryse's quotation from Aeschylus: "Ever-ageing Time teaches all things." Let us 'hope that finally it will even teach Mr. Pryse.
H. N. Stokes,
Editor, The O. E. Library Critic.
Editor Canadian Theosophist: After careful examination of the statement made by Mr. J.M. Pryse, in the September Canadian Theosophist, I can only see that he has made one thing clear: his part in the alteration of the text of the Secret Doctrine.
Mr. Pryse says, "H.P.B. regularly passed on to Mr. Mead the articles she wrote for her magazine for him to correct and revise the manuscripts before sending them to the printer."
Are we to understand from this that H.P.B. allowed alterations to be made in her MSS. without afterwards examining them and approving or otherwise?
Are we also to understand that this revision on the part of her pupils was somehow omitted before the S.D. was published?
That is what Mr. Pryse's statement would have us believe, for the "old lady" had left the physical realm some time before the alterations to the S.D. were made.
Mr. Pryse says, "Mrs. Besant placed the manuscript of vol. iii. in my hands," and "I am inclined to believe that she (H.P.B.) intended to incorporate these Instructions in vol. iv."
If this was recognized why were the paragraphs referring to the third and fourth volume, struck out of the third (and revised) edition?
The partial light that Mr. Pryse has thrown on this obscure transaction, has only, in my opinion, assisted in making the surrounding darkness more opaque.
All who desire the truth about this matter will echo your commendation of Mr. Pryse's courage in making this statement; and it is to be hoped that he and others will come forward and give us further information.
Let us have the truth and the whole truth about this transaction, so that the confusion that has been created by the changes that have been made in the third edition of the S.D., and the charges arising out of those changes, may be cleared away.
41 East 7th Street, Hamilton, Ont.
HYMN FOR THE PEACE
Words and Tune by E.S. Smythe
[[There is a musical score here.]]
Lord of the Universe,
Brother and Friend,
We are Thy warriors
World without end.
In Thy Name conquerors,
Shod with Thy peace,
Crowned with Thy clemency,
War now shall cease.
Thine was the power -
Bitter the agony,
Dark was the hour;
Brave hearts that trusted Thee
Met Thee in death;
Thee we give praise for them
While we have breath.
Speak to the nations, Lord;
Join us in one;
Grant in our Canada
Thy will be done.
Wisdom and equity
Give us, and love,
Take Thou our offerings -
Olive and dove.
Land of our heritage,
Glory of earth,
Haven of Liberty,
Home of new birth;
God be thy Guide.