Vol. 71 No. 1 Toronto, Mar.-Apr., 1990
Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine unless made in an official document.
[[Photo of bust: WILLIAM QUAN JUDGE
April 13, 1851 - March 21, 1896]]
STUDIES IN EARLY AMERICAN THEOSOPHICAL HISTORY
- Michael Gomes
IV. COLONEL OLCOTT AND THE AMERICAN PRESS: 1875
(Continued from p. 129)
The Colonel's narrative of his sitting with Mrs. Mary Baker Thayer in Boston marks a high point in his reporting spiritualistic phenomena. It commanded three and a half columns in the August 18 New York Sun as "Ghosts That Are Ghosts," and was reprinted as far away as the Melbourne, Australia, Harbinger of Light (See The Dawning of the Theosophical Movement, p. 82, for extracts).
Replying to criticisms in a review of his book in the N.Y. Tribune, he admitted in a letter to the editor that Spiritualism had no philosophy to account for its phenomena. Only the "Lost Arts" of the ancients, "'lost' to all but a select few in the Oriental fraternities," could supply this ("The Immortal Life," N.Y. Tribune, Aug. 30, p. 6, c.1). Clarifying his novel proposition he sent another letter to the Tribune a week later crediting the majority of phenomena attributed to disembodied spirits to the elementary spirits, "who do not partake of our future existence, who have intelligence and craft, but yet lack that immortal breath of God which we call soul, and the Occultists, the Augoeides."
"After making allowance for all that these elementary spirits do," he felt that there remained what "appears to be large residuum of real apparitions." These could be classified as caused by: 1. "The depraved, criminal, or grossly materialistic spirits, whose attractions are all for the earth, its coarse atmosphere, its turmoil, riches, pleasures, hatreds, strife, ambitions;" 2. "Less frequently, the pure and good, who are drawn to those they left behind by the irresistible magnet of love;" 3. "Rarest of all, the statesman and other grand souls, who may be sent or attracted to operate, through subordinate agencies, for the good of society and the amelioration of the race."
Asking whether the "Occult philosophers do not present us the only satisfying explanation of this spiritualistic problem," this letter was printed in the Sept. 17 Tribune, p. 3, as "Spiritualism Rampant." It was reprinted in the Banner of Light, Oct. 9, p. 8: and in the Religio-Philosophical Journal, Nov. 6, p. 266. When it appeared in the Banner, it was joined with a long reply from the veteran Spiritualist, S. Brittan, (sometimes confused with Emma Hardinge's husband, Dr. William Britten), titled "Colonel Olcott and Spiritualism."
copyright 1990 by Michael Gomes
Col. Olcott was lampooned for his statements by the insurance journal The Chronicle, N.Y., Sept. 30, 1875. The illustration from page 215 of that issue is reproduced in The Dawning of the Theosophical Movement, facing p. 95. Captioned "Materialized Conventions of Insurance Commissioners," it shows the Colonel on the podium, one hand pointing down to jars labeled "Embryonic Commissioners," the other raised to the heavens. It carries a sentence attributed to him that "some of the influences which come through mediums are due to the spirits of the departed human beings; some, to embryonic men, foetuses waiting in the womb of our common mother to be born upon this sphere."
The Tribune letters brought forth an indignant response from Spiritualists, ranging from letters to their papers, like that of J.M. Roberts of Burlington, New Jersey, in the Oct. 16, 1875 Banner, asking the question "What Next?" to lectures sounding a warning note, such as Mary Fenn Davis's address published as the pamphlet Danger Signals. As J. Edwards of Washington, D.C. noted in the Nov. 20 Religio-Philosophical Journal, "Col. Olcott's recent departure," had "produced quite a sensation in the spiritual camp."
(H.P.B in her Scrapbook 1 has further indicated the extent of Olcott's output in the American press at this time. On p. 50 she has identified two unsigned articles in the Spiritual Scientist, Sept. 2, "The Frauds of the Scientists" and "Free Love and Moral Degradation" as "Two editorials by H.S. Olcott for the Spi. Scientist." There is also reason to believe that the notice in the Sept. 4 Scientific American, pp. 51-52, may have been from his pen.)
The New York World, of Sept. 28, commenting on a recent lecture of Olcott's on "Spirit Materializations," mentioned "Mr. Olcott's Society," that was in the process of formation, and the Colonel took the opportunity to provide more information. "It is not a Spiritualistic schism, but simply a club to promote the study of authors too long misunderstood and neglected, and a philosophy too long forgotten. Some of its promoters intend to wade this stream of religious speculation, made foul and noxious by the emptyings of the theological dye-works of twenty centuries, to its source, in the hope and expectation of finding its waters pure and limpid in the high plateaux of Chaldea and Hindostan. We hope to afford to science and religion a neutral ground where the materialistic demands of one may be satisfied and the faith of the other be refreshed by proof palpable of the immortality of man."
Giving the genesis of events that led to his accepting the occult position, he remarked that although "spiritual manifestations satisfied me of immortality over twenty years ago," he soon grew
tired "of the vapid utterances of the invisible beings and their visible and not always lovable oracles." He left the movement in "1854 or 1855," and when he returned to observe it in 1874, "I found that not one step of progress had been made" ("Mr. Olcott on Spiritualism," Letter to the editor, N.Y. World, Oct. 3, 1875, p. 6).
In the Spiritual Scientist for Oct. 7, he responded to an editorial in the Banner of Light, "A New Departure," asking for evidence of Olcott's claims for occultism. "I have had letters to myself in answer to letters written by me, made to come into closed envelopes" ("Col. Olcott Answers the Banner." (p. 55).
"If the bare announcement of the formation of the Theosophical Society has raised such a breeze throughout the country, what may we not expect when that now inchoate organization applies itself to the work contemplated by its founders!" Olcott queried in an article on "Occultism and Its Critics" in the Scientist of Oct. 14, p. 63. It was only a month ago that his letters in the Tribune called attention to the works of the occultists as holding the key to spiritualistic phenomena, "and yet the subject is already under discussion in many parts of the country." (The next issue of the Scientist carried a letter of his correcting part of this article. See "An Important Letter," Oct. 21, p. 74)
A "Letter from Col. H.S. Olcott" in the Oct. 23 Banner of Light, names the authors whom he says will corroborate his views on the causes of phenomena. "Read Des Mousseaux's series of volumes in the French language; read Huc and Schlagintweit...the memoirs of Simon Magus, of Apollonius; read Pier Manor's treatise against sorcerers; Henri de Coulogne's 'De Lamoeis,' the Vie des Peres du Desert; read the stories of magic and sorcery brought back from Mexico and Central America by M. Brasseur de Bourbourg; read about the occultism of the ancient Peruvians in Prescott and Tsuddi. If you wish evidence of ancient occultist practices, read Pausanias, Plato, Cicero, lamblichus, Tacitus, Herodotus, Manetho, Sanchoniathon, the Sohar and the Egyptian and Jewish Kabbalists" (rept. in the Scientist, Oct. 28, p. 89, as "Col. Olcott Explains").
This letter is quite long and deals with a number of important issues, but I have focused on his reading list as it helps us understand the Colonel's occultism. Some of the authors he names will be similarly appealed to as authorities in Isis Unveiled. When the Adyar Library opened in 1886, Gougenot des Mousseaux's volumes La Magie au XIXme siecle, (Paris, 1864), Les Hauts Phonomenes de la Magie (1860, 1864) and Moeurs et practiques des demons, (1854, 1865), were on its shelves. Abbe Huc's Recollections of a Journey through Tartary and Tibet, translated from the French in 1852, was published
by Appleton's in New York. Emil Schlagintweit's Buddhism in Tibet was brought out in 1863 by Trubner's in London.
Other works that can be identified are William Hickling Prescott's History of the Conquest of Peru (London, 1847), reissued in 1874 by J.B. Lippincott of Philadelphia. Johann von Tschudi's Travels in Peru had New York editions as soon as it was translated from the German in 1847. Brasseur de Bourbourg's translation into French of the Popul Vuh is the work usually cited by Theosophists. M.A. Marin's Les Vies des Peres des deserts d'orient, leur doctrine spirituelle et leur discipline monastique, dealing with the experiences of the early church fathers, was issued in Avignon, 1761-64, and Paris, 1864 and 1869.
These titles indicate the background material that helped convince Olcott that there was a basis for an organization like the TS. His list shows how far he had managed to familiarize himself with the bibliography printed at the end of People from the Other World. Prepared with the help of the Librarian at the Watkinson Library of Reference, Hartford, Conn., it started with Plato in 475 B.C. and went to 1875. It must have served as his introduction to the literature of the subject, for elsewhere he says while preparing his book for the press, he "took time to consult the ancient volumes in one of the best of our public libraries, in the hope that what I vainly sought in modern spiritualistic literature, I might find in those masters of occultism who had lighted their torches at the sacred fires on Hindoo, Chaldean, and Egyptian altars. Imagine my surprise and joy to discover all I desired, and more than I dared expect. I found not only every modern phenomenon of our circles described, but its rationale also" (Olcott in The Medium and Daybreak, Sept. 3, 1875, quoted in Light, Mar. 4, 1893,107-08).
All this reading finds its synthesis in the two pamphlets that formally announce the founding of the Theosophical Society. The Preamble and By-Laws of the Theosophical Society (20 pages), gives the objects of the Society: "to collect and diffuse a knowledge of the laws which govern the universe," the functions of the officers, provisions for meetings, and instructions for the maintenance of a library. Olcott says the rules of the American Geographical and
Statistical Society, and the American Institute, served as their model (ODL I, 133).
The cover of the pamphlet has October 30, 1875, the date the By-Laws for the organization received their final form, but the Preamble itself was not completed until November. One wonders if this pamphlet was intended for distribution at the inaugural meeting of November 17th. If not, it must have been ready soon after, to be sent out with the Inaugural Address of the President of the Theosophical Society, Delivered at Mott Memorial Hall in the City of New York, at the First Regular Meeting of the Society, November 17th, 1875 (24 pages).
The purpose of the Theosophical Society narrated in the Inaugural Address - "If I rightly apprehend our work, it is to aid in freeing the public mind of theological superstition and a tame subservience to the arrogance of science" - is echoed in Isis Unveiled when H.P.B. says, "It is not alone for the esoteric philosophy that we fight; nor for any modern system of moral philosophy, but for the inalienable right of private judgement, and especially for the ennobling idea of a future life of activity and accountability" (II, 120).
Olcott's last two contributions in the American press for 1875 return to the subject of spiritualism but are delivered in his role of advocate for a scientific investigation for the subject. His letter in the Nov. 30, 1875, New York Sun, published as "The Alleged Eddy exposures," comments on that paper's Nov. 26 "Exposure of the Eddys." He reiterated the methods he used in testing the mediums, feeling that the explanation given by the Sun's correspondent could not cover all the phenomena observed. At the same time he was quite willing to admit that the mediums' attitude did not encourage sympathy, for "a more churlish and backbiting set of people than this same family I never encountered" (rept. in the Banner of Light, Dec. 11, 1875).
Under the title of "Science and Spiritualism," the Sun of Dec. 19 printed his letter on the progress of the St. Petersburg University Committee (rept. in the Scientist, Dec. 23, p. 190, and in the Banner, Jan. 1, 1876, p. 3). The letter is a very positive one, but the Russian committee did not live up to Olcott's and Blavatsky's expectations - see her "Russian Investigation," Scientist, Apr. 27, 1876; "Psychophobia in Russia," Banner, Apr. 29; and "The Russian Scientists," Banner, June 24 (rept. B:CW I, 204-20).
To this period belongs Olcott's lectures, "Eastern Magic and Western Spiritualism," and "Human Spirits and Elementaries," delivered over the winter of 1875-76, first in the New York area and then
in New England. When the Banner of Light announced his forthcoming afternoon and evening lectures at Boston's Paine Hall, Jan. 30, 1876, it quoted his intention "to show the New England Spiritualists that there is much more in their faith than they have perhaps dreamed, and that they have a great deal of studying to do before they will have mastered the whole subject. For nearly thirty years we have been regarding it as pleasant amusement for winter evenings. I begin now to realize that it is the occupation of a life-time to fit ourselves to partake of its mysteries" (Col. Henry S. Olcott," Jan. 29, 1876, p. 4).
The Banner, reviewing his Boston lecture, reported that in closing Olcott had "declared it to be his intentions to study the matter thoroughly and to follow what appeared to be the truth, regardless of the ridicule or the opposition of others, who failed to believe in common with him" (Banner, Feb. 5, 1876, p. 8; the lectures were not published at the time - "Human Spirits" appeared in The Theosophist, July and August, 1907; "Eastern magic," Oct. and Nov. 1907, and in Adyar Pamphlet 169, T.P.H. January, 1933).
The Religio-Philosophical Journal a month later carried a reader's response to Olcott's sponsorship of these new ideas which seems to sum up the conflict experienced by most Spiritualists. Mrs. M.J. Wilcoxson of New Haven, Conn., felt that "probably there never was a time in which such intensity of feeling prevailed as of late ... Yesterday we were highly entertained by Col. Olcott, who is terribly in earnest, and impresses his hearers with his sincerity and sympathy for mediums." But she thought his occult theories might be "too large a mouthful for those who have never witnessed anything of the sort ... Col. Olcott declares the time has come for something more practical. He wants organization. Perhaps he can lead the way" (R-P.J. Mar. 25, 1876, p. 10).
The instalment of "Studies in Early American Theosophical History" in the Jul-Aug 1989 issue contains an error for which the Editors apologize. Restoring an omission from Michael Gomes' mss, Line 23, page 54 should read:
Theosophist, Mar. 1927, and in "The Founding of the Theosophical Society" Theosophist, Nov. 1932, "became one of the founders" in this way.
FROM THE PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS
To the 114th Annual Convention of the Theosophical Society
- Radha BURNIER, President
The Theosophical Society as it is today is largely the creation of Col. H.S. Olcott who from the beginning conceived of a federal structure for the organization. The national Societies or Sections within the larger international body are autonomous. They carry on the work more or less independently, subject to certain provisions in the rules of the international Society. Within the national Societies, the lodges in their turn have freedom to work as they wish, provided they maintain the general character of the Society and fulfil its objectives. Our Society accords to every member complete freedom to think and act as he deems fit, as long as he respects the principle of Universal Brotherhood and does not deliberately act in violation of it. Members are at liberty to believe what they want or not to believe, pursue their own avenues of interest, and search for truth in their own way. They can affiliate themselves to any other body and take up whatever activity they choose outside our Society. Organizationally the Theosophical Society is loosely knit. The international headquarters and the international officers do not oversee the details of work in the Sections or exercise a direct authority over them.
Colonel Olcott may have been influenced by his American background when he envisaged such a decentralized structure that has happily linked the various units of the Society and at the same time allowed them a large measure of freedom and initiative. The model which he framed has been largely successful, for the Society has held remarkably well together during more than a hundred years. It has proved that unity of aim makes for greater strength than tightness of structure. Centralized, authoritarian organizations break up and lose their initial momentum and strength, especially after the passing of the original leaders or founders. HPB indicates in The Key To Theosophy that organizations such as the Theosophical Society do not continue to be living bodies for more than a hundred years. "Every such attempt as the Theosophical Society has hitherto ended in failure," she said and pointed out that danger lies in the tendency to establish hard and fast dogmas. History has shown that not only rigidity of mind, but rigidity of structure results in disintegration.
The strength of our Society lies in the fact that while it is decentralized structurally, it is inwardly integrated, it is a living fraternity because of the shared approach to life of its members. The members come to the Society of their own free will and have a common perception of values and a shared acceptance of certain fundamental principles.
These principles have never been promulgated as dogmas to be swallowed without question. They are subjects for discussion, enquiry and realization. The non-dogmatic approach is an essential aspect of the Society's appeal for those who have independent minds and are concerned more with more truth than with ideas. The motto, "There is no Religion Higher than Truth" states succinctly the nature of the ground on which open-minded persons can proceed together towards truth without any embarrassment or barriers.
When each one knows for himself how
true and valuable the theosophical principles and fundamentals are he naturally tries to act according to them, and grow into being a real Theosophist, which means living a life of understanding and even wisdom, and not just paying the dues entitling one to be a member. Though there may be failure from time to time in the practice of brotherhood and the other truths of Theosophy, because a sufficient number of members do endeavour to overcome their prejudices and shortcomings life continues to flow through the Society. In the long run only living ideals and shared objectives can hold such a farflung organization and community of people together and this is precisely the strength the TS has shown till now.
Members must never lose sight of the fact that every form of freedom involves a corresponding responsibility. History presents pictures of the progress, "decline and fall" of different kinds of societies - some open, others authoritarian, some allowing "many flowers to bloom", others demanding rigid conformity. Where authority - whether of State, church or dictator - is strong, people have merely to obey; they are not allowed to make use of, or develop, intelligence and initiative. The authority assigns to itself the responsibility of deciding all important matters, intellectual, ethical and spiritual - what people may need, whether they may have children, and whom they shall believe. In a free regime people are called upon to exercise their intelligence and participate with a sense of responsibility for the whole community; if they do not, progress towards higher levels of culture and knowledge is retarded.
Today we are witnessing the breakdown of several authoritarian societies, since the seeds of disintegration lie within any system of regimentation. But, stagnation and decay are also inherent in a society where there is a combination of freedom with selfishness. Freedom demands that people should learn to be intelligent in relationship - with other people, other forms of life, with ideas, with everything. It means realizing that the interests of the individual are not different from that of the whole. A strong feeling of responsibility for the well-being of others and for the destiny of the whole must go hand in hand with the privilege of freedom and then only the stability and progress of any society are ensured.
As the Theosophical Society exists for the regeneration of mankind as a whole, each member has a very definite responsibility for working towards the welfare of humanity. His study, thinking and endeavour must proceed
in this direction and then only the Society will be truly an instrument for moral progress and the spiritual perfection of mankind. Because the aims of the TS are all-embracing, far-reaching and fundamental, there is more need here than in any other society for intelligence, wisdom and a deep sense of responsibility on the part of those who participate in the work.
We need also to realize that the Society cannot be held together merely by by intellectual ideas, for by its very nature the mind fragments what it contacts and deals with. Every religion has broken into sects; many organizations end up in segments. Disputation over non-fundamentals, splintering into factions, schisms of various sorts are inevitable when a group, large or small, has only a set of mental concepts as the common ground. To the extent that Theosophy becomes merely a matter of intellectual comprehension, gaps will develop in the Society and separate or conflicting groups will exist, each believing that it alone possesses right understanding and not the others.
In a Society where the search for truth is more important than dogmas, where "free and fearless investigation" is encouraged, where minds are not controlled by authority and conditioned into belief, one must endeavour to proceed beyond the level of ideas to a different type of knowledge, the deep knowledge of the heart. Mind and heart must be open and therefore all tendency towards cultism and dogmatism must end. All psychological barriers must be broken down. Then a deeper level of contact and communication comes into being with mutual respect for each other's search. One begins to hear what Nature herself wants to say, silently from the heart of all beings.
The continued usefulness and integrity of the TS will depend on the ability of the members to communicate at a level where we perceive to some extent each other's essential nature and respect the unique way in which that deeper nature blossoms forth. Truth appears in as many forms as there are perceivers, hence the ancient saying of the Upanishads: the sages speak in manifold ways of the one truth. Though truth is ever the same, every enlightened person presents it in a new light. It is like a marvelous diamond with an infinite number of colours in its bosom, any combination of which may shine forth at a particular time.
Freedom to search also implies equality of relationship - an equality whose validity is derived from knowing that everyone follows his own unique path of unfoldment. There is no scale to measure the seeker and classify him as high or low; no question of status, social, economic, academic, or spiritual is relevant here. Therefore, our Society's structure puts all members on an even footing, but it is the responsibility of members to see that an atmosphere of equality is created by their mutual understanding. Equality does not of course mean that everyone can do all things or that each group will do whatever it likes. As we have already said, a body such as the TS - especially because it is a spiritual body - will disintegrate if the majority of members do not possess an intelligent awareness of the Society's aims and direction and act with responsibility in maintaining its character.
The Adyar Library has suffered a loss by the serious illness of Mrs. Seetha Neelakantan who was Librarian for several decades. Mrs. Parvati Gopalaratnam has replaced her, but there is need for more assistance as the work enlarges.
The library has attracted as usual a number of scholars and visitors from many parts of the world. The endowment fund started during 1986 is now making it possible for the library to add to its collection and undertake important work.
The two rooms in our headquarters building where the Archives were housed have been air-conditioned, for this is the best means of conserving documents in a climate such as we have at Adyar. Major renovation work had to be done to the headquarters building which is about 200 years old. Cracks had developed and the building as it was unsafe. After repairs were completed, more of the ground-floor rooms have been put at the disposal of the Museum and Archives Department. This will provide space for preservation work and display, and also a working area for researchers.
The Theosophical Publishing House has done well during the year. Apart from the usual reprints, a revised edition of the Reader's Guide to the Mahatma Letters was pub-
(Continued on page 15)
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
I am pleased to welcome into the fellowship of the Theosophical Society in Canada the following new members:
Mr. Peter Young, Edmonton Lodge; and as members-at-large, Mr. Gary Green and Mr. Daren Hill, both of Kingston, Ontario, and Mrs. Jennifer Toll of Gloucester, Ontario.
Back in the fold of Toronto Lodge, on a demit, is Mr. Andrew Fitzherbert, after several years' stay in the deep south - Australia.
I regret to announce the deaths of two members of Toronto Lodge, Mr. John Griffiths, of Fonthill, Ontario, in September of 1989 (news travels slowly to the General Secretary); and Mr. Fleetwood Berry, of Toronto, Ontario, on January 27, 1990. Mrs. Halcyon Carson of Victoria Lodge died on January 2, 1990. To the friends and families of these members I extend condolences on behalf of the Society.
Mr. John Griffiths will be remembered by older Toronto Lodge members for his very long association with that Lodge, even though he lived quite far away. On a number of occasions, the Toronto Lodge annual picnic was held on Mr. Griffiths' Fonthill property. He had been a member for so long that the records did not stand up to time as well as he did. The file card for him shows number C58, and a date of 1945, so it must have been the second card as that number would put his membership before 1920. He had a generous habit, much appreciated by the Toronto Lodge officers, including myself, 'way back when, of sending a package of ten postage stamps every month for at least twenty
years that I know of. These were very handy for the letters and payments the staff needed to send, more often than not from their own postage supplies.
Mr. Fleetwood Berry (Fleet) was the President of Toronto Lodge for about eleven years. He had dropped membership a few years ago, and was in questionable health for the last ten years due to a heart attack and a mild stroke. He became President just as Toronto Lodge purchased a large (for them) former church building with office building behind. He was a very practical man, as two examples to come will show. This was a great advantage to the Lodge, as he and a couple of other recently retired members would go there almost every day and potter away at the repairs and alterations that were needed to adapt the new quarters to the Lodge's uses. This saved a great deal of money, which money in the early 'seventies was not in ample supply. Then a couple of years after purchasing the church building, the Lodge suffered a disastrous fire, causing much disruption, mostly to the offices and library. As Fleet lived only ten minutes away from the Lodge, he and his handyman friends were back at the job supervising the repairs and refinishing desks and furniture that had been water damaged.
In his work as leader of Toronto Lodge, he was the right man in the right place at the right time, which was a comment made some years ago by another member assessing his Presidency in the 70s.
There are two things that come to mind I would like to relate, to indicate the character of the man, and be my eulogy. About 1970, I wanted to take a trip, a few days holiday, so I mentioned it to a client who suggested that I go to Kahshe Lake, where said client had a cottage, and knew
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the local hotel keeper. By coincidence, while canoeing, I found that Fleet owned an island, of about three and a half acres in size, on that lake, with a cottage thereon. So I visited him there on several occasions as I continued my canoe trips. In the late '20s there had been a forest fire on his island, which had wiped out all trees. Only the boat house remained, which was then made into the cottage. The island was then replanted by Fleet.
When I visited, the trees were full size and dense, and one would never know unless told of the forest fire. As I walked about on his island, which like all that area is just granite outcroppings, I noticed that in all the many little ravines and folds in the rocks that ran down to the lake, each was blocked at its end with stones or a small bit of log, thus draining rainfall. This caused forest debris to collect there as rain washed it down. By so collecting, a bit of soil was created on what would otherwise forever be bare rock. In all the little soil deposits there were some plants growing - growing on their own, not deliberately planted - or a small tree had started to grow. This damming had been deliberate, done by Fleet to give nature a little easier job in creating soil for a little more growth of vegetation. My thought when I saw this was that the Devas must have loved having Fleet on that island.
The other incident indicating Fleet's practicality was an incident he related to me, to amuse me. Years before, a doctor owned a cottage on the point of another island about 150 feet from Fleet's island, across a channel of water. The good doctor was very careless about the upkeep of his outboard motor, not a practical thing considering that one could get back to the mainland docks only by boat. So early one
Sunday evening, the doctor and a boatload of guests started off to the mainland to go home and to work in the morning. Fleet being a school teacher off for the summer, did not have to go home, and could stay seated at the shore, enjoying the evening breezes, and watch the frustration of the doctor when his motor would not start.
The prevailing wind caused the doctor's boat, loaded with guests, and the puffing doctor, also puffing on a cigar, to drift by Fleet as he sat, bemused, on a little point of granite, by the lake in front of his cottage. The entertainment went by Fleet about 12 feet offshore, then beyond the point, farther away. Suddenly, the inevitable happened. The outboard motor was leaking gasoline, a regular feature of its unmaintenance, when gas fumes met the doctor's cigar. The motor burst into flames. There was yelling, screeching and panic in the boat. So Fleet rushed to his boat, and got out to them in short order. All this time, the boat on fire was drifting farther from land. Coming alongside, everyone in the stricken boat made a mad dash into Fleet's boat, threatening to capsize it, rocking it from side to side as they tried to steady it, as well as to get more people in.
Fleet saw that his boat was in imminent danger of being swamped and sinking, and that the doctors empty boat with motor still blazing was the safest place to be, so he scampered into that boat. He took off his shirt, dipped it into the lake, swatted the wet garment against the motor, and soon had the fire out.
The two boats were paddled back to Fleet's island, where Fleet tightened a gas line on the doctor's motor. The motor started with no difficulty. Then, no more doctor's cigar, no more fire, away they went to the mainland.
So much for Fleet's Sunday evening entertainment. Fleet could be practical, rather than panic in an adverse situation.
I would now begin my annual reminder to Canadian members that the annual dues are now coming due, and due consideration should be made to paying these before June 30, 1990. Members not attached to a Lodge are to send the dues to me: The Theosophical Society in Canada, R.R. #3, Burk's Falls, Ontario, POA 1CO.
The amount is still $14.00, with an extra $5.00 for each member in the same household where only one magazine is to be sent. (For more than one magazine, the full charge remains $14.00 per person.) Please make cheques payable to "The Theosophical Society in Canada."
Members attached to a Lodge should send their dues to that Lodge, and there may be an extra fee charged by the Lodge.
The honour for the first member to pay for the year (i.e. 1990-1991) has already been awarded (in January yet). Who will be second? Ever since I have been General Secretary, a certain Lodge has always been first to pay all their dues, in April or May. The last paying Lodge has varied. There are hints here.
Please note that the Annual Members' Meeting of the T.S. in Canada will beheld on Saturday, September 22,1990, at 2:00 p.m., on the premises of the Unitarian Church, 49th and Oak Streets, Vancouver, British Columbia. Full details will be given in the legal notice to be sent to all members in August.
Noted the following in an animal rights magazine (Action Volunteers for Animals): "In the Ape House at the New York Zoo there is a mirror, When the visitor looks
through the bars into it, he sees his own face and the legend 'You are looking at the most dangerous animal in the world. It alone of all the animals that ever lived can exterminate (and has) entire species'." To which I would add, and not being too original either, it (the human animal) is in immediate danger of exterminating itself, if the profit hungry and the (paid) politicians do not soon clean up their act - and this orb - and cool the war tendencies.
The above reminds me that I have just received (at the time of writing this) a few copies of the Theosophical Order of Service's annual report for 1989 of its activities around the globe for those countries where there are some T.O.S. operations. If any reader would like a copy of this report, just drop me a line and request it. - S.T.
BEACONSFIELD STUDY CENTRE
The Beaconsfield Study Centre is going along as usual, although we have had to postpone some meetings because of the inclement weather since January.
Our study program is divided: one hour of the meeting is devoted to The Secret Doctrine on symbology; and the other hour to Sri Krishna Prem's The Yoga of the Bhagavat Gita, with emphasis on a study of the gunas .
Suzanne Hassanein, Secretary
The final meeting of 1989 was our Winter Solstice celebration on December 13. Members and friends contributed readings of their own choosing, and these were interspersed with Christmas music and carols. Afterwards we all enjoyed a variety of seasonal "goodies" and as it also happened to be the birthday of our member Hank van Hees, a special cake.
Lodge meetings recommenced on January 3, 1990, with our regular Secret Doctrine study, which continues on all but the last Wednesdays in each month. Unfortunately, our end-of-month meeting for January had to be cancelled when the temperature fell to the minus thirties Celsius. It was rescheduled for the end of February, on which occasion Ted read a paper on "Unexplained Laws and Latent Powers."
Doris Davy, Secretary
LETTERS TO THE EDITORS
This has reference to the letter of N.C. Ramanujachary, of Adyar, on the above subject, printed in the C.T., July-Aug. 1989 issue, page 58.
He has mentioned a number of distinguished names [of early Theosophists whose biographies are not in circulation]. As he suggests, it may not be practical to have full scale biographies of these individuals, but it would certainly be practical to have one volume covering all of them. It would fill a gap in our Theosophical literature. Without the contributions of these eminent Indians (who influenced Annie Besant), the history is not complete.
A notable omission is the name of G. N. Chakravarty, the "guru" of Annie Besant. (The Theosophical Movement history labeled him "the evil genius" behind Besant.) He influenced her in the right direction.
Another notable omission is the name of R. Jagannathiah, of whom the C.T, Mar-April 1984 had this to say on page 22:
"The reminiscences of R. Jagannathiah, 'H.P.B. As I Saw Her,' drew much favourable comment from readers after the reprint in The Canadian Theosophist, May-June, 1983. There is a biographical sketch of this remarkable Indian thinker in The Path, 1894, pp. 278-280. (Emphasis mine.)
- Dinshaw J. Buxey
It was exceptionally good to read in the Jan.-Feb. issue of The Canadian Theosophist that the General Secretary stands firm as to any changes in the Three Objects of the Theosophical Movement. With him, it is agreed that the First Object is not outdated or in any way compromised. It is the most magnificent concept in all of the philosophy, its touchstone and its essential core.
It is truly wonderful to realize that Universal Brotherhood is a fact in Nature, and there is a universal meaning to all of human history. Yet, if it were not so, the idea of Universal Brotherhood would be irrelevant. It suggests that all of humanity is perfectible, and this in the sense of becoming more and more perfectible in awareness and understanding. Each one can shape a destiny for himself under a Universe of Law which rules on every plane and department of being.
The Masters, who are at the head of our enterprise, advise that their reward in all of this is the knowledge that they are doing their duty to humanity. Is not this the single greatest idea in all of Theosophy? It will still be the concepts of our hearts in the Seventh Round and in the Manvantaras that stretch endlessly ahead.
- S. Elder
FROM THE PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS (Continued from page 10)
-lished with a generous donation. In commemoration of his birth centenary a new book of Sri Ram consisting of talks on the three little theosophical classics and the Bhagavad Gita entitled The Way of Wisdom is being brought out. The Book Gift Fund of the TPH has been used to distribute theosophical literature to universities and public libraries in India and donations of books have been given to some areas abroad where they are needed.
The equipment in the Vasanta Press is being updated. Desktop publishing equipment has been installed, and during the coming year a laser printer will be acquired so that the volume of work can be handled without delay.
There was concern all over the world when the central trunk of the great banyan tree at Adyar was uprooted by a storm in June. The chairman of the Port Trust of Madras, horticulturists and citizens took great interest in seeing that the trunk was replanted. All steps are being taken to ensure that the tree remains in a state of good health. We are grateful to have technical advice from experts in the Botanical Survey of India. According to them, it is natural for a very old banyan tree to lose its central trunk at some time or other. The banyan perpetuates itself by spreading out and replanting
itself by sending down its aerial roots which grow into thick trunks.
A generous donation from Madame Lou Muri of Geneva will go a long way in maintaining the banyan tree in addition to fulfilling her instructions about the Centenary Avenue.
There is great need for additions to the staff here. Competent and responsible members are needed for work in the library, garden, Leadbeater Chambers, Bhojanasala, Bookshop, Vasanta Press and other departments. Some of our most devoted workers are doing double or even triple duty. Mr. R. Gopalaratnam has been good enough to take on the heavy additional duty of General Manager while still in charge of the TPH. Mr. R.M. Tolani has given many extra hours for work in Leadbeater Chambers in addition to his taxing duties as Maintenance Superintendent. Mrs. Norma Sastry works without the respite she deserves, having like the others extra responsibilities. To these and several other colleagues I offer most grateful thanks on behalf of the Society.
SECRET DOCTRINE QUESTION AND ANSWER SECTION
From 1964 to 1980, Geoffrey Barborka's "Secret Doctrine Question and Answer Section" was a regular and popular feature of this magazine, and there was widespread disappointment among the readers when he was no longer able to conduct it. There have been several suggestions that the series be published in book form, and many more requests than could be filled for back issues containing early instalments. To partially respond to this interest, we shall be reprinting selections from the "Q and A Section". To make the re-issue even more useful, the material has been compiled under subject headings. The originals are identified by Volume and number at the end of each answer. - Eds.
13. ESOTERIC PHYSIOLOGY
Question: Is the heart merely a pump, or has it an inner significance?
Answer: Even though the human heart is described as a four chambered double pump that receives blood into its two upper chambers and pumps the blood out from its two lower chambers, there is indeed an esoteric significance concerning the heart which is explained in The Secret Doctrine.
"The esoteric Mystagogy speaks of the mysterious relation existing between the hebdomadic essence or substance of this angelic Heart and that of man, whose every physical organ, and psychic, and spiritual function, is a reflection, so to say, a copy of the terrestrial plane of the model or prototype above. Why, it is asked, should there be such a strange repetition of the number seven in the anatomical structure of man? Why should the heart have four lower 'cavities and three higher divisions,' answering so strangely to the septenary division of the human principles, sepa-
rated into two groups, the higher and the lower." (S.D. 11,91-2; III,100 6-vol. ed.; II, 96 3rd ed.)
Then referring to the physical organ itself, there is this statement:
"The heart is the king, the most important organ in the body of man. Even if the head be severed from the body, the heart will continue to beat for thirty minutes. It will beat for some hours if wrapped in cotton wool and put in a warm place. The spot in the heart which is the last of all to die is the seat of life, the centre of all, Brahma, the first spot that lives in the fetus and the last that dies. When a Yogi is buried in a trance it is this spot that lives, though the rest of the body be dead, and as long as this is alive the Yogi can be resurrected. This spot contains potentially mind, life, energy and will. During life it radiates prismatic colors, fiery and opalescent. The heart is the centre of spiritual consciousness, as the brain is the centre of intellectual. But this consciousness cannot be guided by a person, nor its energy directed by him until he is at one with Buddhi-Manas; until then it guides him - if it can. Hence the pangs of remorse, the pricklings of conscience; they come from the heart, not the head. In the heart is the only manifested God, the other two are invisible, and it is this which represents the Triad, Atma-Buddhi-Manas." (S.D.V, 555 6-vol ed). The Inner Group Teachings of H.P. Blavatsky, 97-98; and with slight differences in phraseology, H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings Vol. XII, 694-695.)
Question: What is the organ of the physical body that is especially associated with the Linga-sarira?
Answer: The Linga-sarira (literally the "model vehicle") is usually referred to as the etheric double (or astral body). It is described as "the inert vehicle or form on which the body is moulded; the vehicle of Life (Prana)" (S.D. II, 593; IV 165 6-vol. ed.; II, 627 3rd ed.) which transmits life to the physical body. The particular organ associated with the Linga-sarira is the spleen, about which H.P. Blavatsky remarked:
"Anatomists are beginning to find new ramifications and new modifications in the human body. They are in error on many points, e.g., as to the spleen, which they call the manufactory of white blood corpuscles, but which is really the vehicle of the Linga-sarira." (S.D.V. 518 6-vol. ed.; The Inner Group Teachings of H.P. Blavatsky p. 16; and (slightly different), H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, XII, 700.)
"The white corpuscles are the scavengers, 'devourers'; they are oozed out of the Astral (Body) through the spleen, and are of the same essence as the Astral." (S.D.V., 553 6-vol ed.; The Inner Group Teachings of H.P. Blavatsky, p. 91; and (slightly different), H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings XII, 700.)
There is yet another function of the spleen: "The Liver is the General, the Spleen is the Aide-de-Camp. All that the Liver does not accomplish is taken up and completed by the Spleen." (S.D.V., 544 6-vol. ed.; The Inner Group Teachings of H.P. Blavatsky, p 70; and (slightly different), H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings XII, 692.)
- Vol. 56, No. 1
THE "PISTIS SOPHIA"
Excellent Translation Preserved
The Edmonton Theosophical Society recently bestowed a favour on students of Theosophy by reproducing Philip Malpas' English translation of Pistis Sophia from the Coptic manuscript in the British Museum. It was never formally published, although typewritten copies dated 1927 were probably circulated privately. It is this format that our friends in Edmonton have made available in a clear photocopy, nicely bound.
Except for excerpts by C.W. King in The Gnostics and Their Remains (2nd ed., 1887), the first English translation of Pistis Sophia was by the early Theosophist G.R.S. Mead. His "Englished" version, as he described it, was, however, like King's, from the 1851 Latin translation of M.G. Schwartze. Part of it appeared serially in Lucifer from 1890 to 1891, each instalment being enhanced with valuable commentary by H.P. Blavatsky. Subsequently it was published in book form (1896; 2nd ed., 1921) - without the commentary, unfortunately. To this day, it has continued to be the most readily accessible English translation. (Most modern students without access to Lucifer finally obtained the commentary in H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, XIII, first published in 1982.)
In 1924 G. Horner produced a literal translation, which I have not seen. What will probably long be considered the definitive translation is that of Violet McDermott; this was published, with Coptic text opposite, in 1978.
To the best of my knowledge, this is all that is available in English of the intriguing, often puzzling, Pistis Sophia.
It is most interesting to compare the Malpas and McDermott versions, seeing that both are direct from source. The phraseologies are very similar, remarkably so in some instances, although it can be taken as certain that McDermott never saw Malpas' fine effort.
My choice is, of course, highly subjective, but I lean towards Malpas, who brought to his task a Theosophic perspective as well as an extensive knowledge of early Christianity. Not only that, he was a very good writer, and more often than she managed to avoid the awkward sentence constructions that seem inevitable in translations of Gnostic scriptures. It should be mentioned that Malpas used a different system of chapter division to McDermott's, so a bit of hunting is necessary in order to compare the two.
This is not to downplay the Mead translation, which stands up well in the company of the others. It is quite remarkable that, in spite of the barrier of an extra language in between, little distortion from the original is detectable in Mead's second edition when it is put side by side with the McDermott and Malpas editions.
In addition to the 213-page translation, this edition contains nearly two hundred additional pages of much useful material. Included are not only the Blavatsky commentaries which were appended to Mead's original translation attempt, but also a compilation of the scattered references to Pistis Sophia in The Secret Doctrine.
Malpas' own contributions in this section include a number of first-class essays on such topics as "The Purpose of the Pistis
Sophia," "The Mysteries of Antiquity," and "The Seven Principles of Man." There are also two interesting comparative studies: "The Last Page [of the Pistis Sophia manuscript) and the end of Mark," and "The Gnostic Symbolism of the Pistis Sophia and of the Canonical Gospel Story." There are also items, mostly quotations, from the writings of two early Gnostics, Valentinus and Marcus, and the arch detractor of Gnosticism, Irenaeus.
Philip Malpas (1875-1958) was one of the excellent scholars who were attracted to or nurtured by the Point Loma Theosophical Society in the early years of the century. Boris de Zirkoff's biographical notes on him appear in H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings XIII, 391-92. Therein are named eight books by Malpas, all unpublished. (The list includes the newly rescued from oblivion Pistis Sophia.) "In addition," the notes conclude, "about 20 manuscripts dealing with early Christianity and its esoteric interpretation, and miscellaneous subjects exist, and should be worthy of publication in the future."
All I can say is, if these are of the same quality as the essays in Malpas' Pistis Sophia, the sooner they are published, the better.
As mentioned, this is a clear reproduction of a typescript. This seems to have been used as the author's "working copy" - a few crossings-out (not in the translation portion) suggest self-editing. But these are interesting rather than detracting, and will not deter the serious reader.
Students of Theosophy planning to study (not just read) Pistis Sophia will be well-advised to obtain the Malpas edition. Having the translation, the Blavatsky material and the translator's pertinent essays between two covers make it a really useful study tool.
ADVENTURES OF ABRAHAM AND JEHOVAH
- William R. Laudahn
"Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed..." - Genesis xvii,17.
The amazing story of Abraham and Jehovah in the Book of Genesis is rich in human interest, complete with sex, violence, poverty and plenty. Abraham felt free to call Jehovah's attention to his personal and family problems, for the Lord often intervened. They had many talks together when Jehovah appeared in person or through an angel.
This special pair made a powerful impact on world religion. First the Hebrew, then Christianity, finally Islam. It is believed that Abraham built the Holy Kaaba in Mecca. Among many others, the mathematical genius Blaise Pascal and the heretical theologian Hans Kung have urged that we harken to the "God of Abraham." With "a human face," he is favoured by many over "the cold, abstract God of the Philosophers."
Pascal praised "the real, living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." This deity has a name, Jehovah ("Yahweh"), meaning I AM. Loudly and often the Lord reminded his chosen people that "I am Jehovah, your God." In Christianity the very famous
and potent name of Jesus - "Jesus Christ" - is presented quickly. Jesus prayed to "our Father who art in heaven," later explaining that heaven "is within." Abraham might have raised an eyebrow, assuming that heaven is above."
Jesus is one of the few beyond the range of common humanity, although he was not a philosopher, or theologian, as Kung pointed out. What is the God-idea of another such, known by the initials K.H.? He wrote that
"We know there are planetary and other spiritual lives, and we know there is in our system no such thing as God, either personal or impersonal ...Pantheistic we may be called - agnostic NEVER. If people are willing to accept and to regard as God our ONE LIFE immutable and unconscious in its eternity they may do so and thus keep to one more gigantic misnomer. But then they will have to say with Spinoza that there is not and that we cannot conceive any other substance than God ... Who but a Theologian nursed on mystery and the most absurd supernaturalism can imagine a self existent being of necessity infinite and omnipresent outside the manifested boundless universe ... It is evident that a being independent and omnipresent cannot be limited by anything which is outside of himself... (The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, 52; 52.)
The Adepts know that the Divine is All-in-All. For, "we believe in... the invisible omnipresent omnipotent Proteus with its unceasing motion which is its life." (ibid., 56.)
These subtle and advanced concepts would have been lost on Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It was Jacob who wrestled with Jehovah and was left the worse after the struggle. Jehovah is a personal and jealous god. Fiery is the word. Did he not descend from Mt. Sinai "in the form of fire"?
This being who blows hot and cold, loving and despising, serene and wrathful, is held to be historical and much concerned with human history. The story of Abraham and Jehovah is set in a narrow area of a small planet orbiting an average star in an ordinary galaxy. Jehovah demonstrates his concern in the pages of Jewish-Christian scripture.
As we are to look at the God of Abraham, his story begins in "Ur of the Chaldees." South of Babylon, Ur was the chief town of Chaldea. Merchants from Canaan, the lowlands between Egypt and Lebanon, were established there. One of them, Terah, at age 70, became the father of Abram (later Abraham), Nahor and Haran. Haran, who died before Terah, begat Lot. Sarai (later Sarah) was Abram's wife. Unfortunately, she was barren, a condition not in accord with Jehovah's command to "be fruitful and multiply." (Genesis I, 22.)
A small band it was that departed Ur destined for "the land of Canaan." They were Tarah, Abram, Lot and Sarai. Before they reached Canaan, Terah died at the age of 205. The remaining three tarried at that spot, Haran, for some time.
When Abram was 75, the voice of Jehovah ordered him and his then enlarged following to "Get thee out ... and unto a land that I will show thee." The Lord also promised that "I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee." The Lord spoke to his people in those days, and only to them. Nor did he mince any words.
Upon arriving in Canaan, Abram and his followers erected an altar to Jehovah. Despite this, "there was a famine in the land," and Abram decided to go down into Egypt. Approaching that country, and since men and women in all races are much the same he began to fear for his life. A believer but also a realist, he knew that the Egyptian guards would kill him and take his wife. Because Sarai was "a fair woman to look upon," he advised her to say that she was only his sister. Abram wanted to live, not die for Sarai.
Abram was right. Sarai was taken into the harem of Pharaoh and the King "dealt well with Abram for her sake." He was given sheep and oxen and men-servants, and maid-servants and camels. He was now a rich man. But trouble was brewing.
For the sake of Sarai, Jehovah "plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues." "Why? asked the king of Egypt. The answer was obvious: it was on account of the woman. "Why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?" he demanded of Abram. Pharoah bade them leave. (ibid., xii.)
Loaded with riches, Abram, Sarai, Lot "and all that they had" returned to "where his tent had been," near the altar Abram had made to Jehovah in the wilderness of Canaan. Their former land, however, "was not able to bear them." There was "a strife between the herdsmen of Abram's cattle and the herdsman of Lot's cattle." They came to the parting of the ways. Lot went to the Plain of the Jordan and Abram "dwelt in Canaan." (ibid., xiii.)
All would have been well, except that war devastated the lands of Lot on the west bank of the Jordan. It was Abram to the rescue. "And he brought back all the goods, and... his brother Lot and his goods, and the women also and the people. Abram was welcomed with bread and wine and blessed by Melchizedek, priest of "the most high God," and king of Salem (later Jerusalem). (ibid., xiv.)
Abram's next worry was that he had no heir. Jehovah promised that he would have an heir who "shall come forth out of thine own bowels." He also promised that the descendants of Abram would be as numerous as the stars. Before that, however, Abram was to sacrifice "a heifer, a she-goat, and a ram, each three years old, and a turtle-dove and a young pigeon." But "the birds of prey came down upon the carcasses." Abram simply "drove them away."
Although Jehovah promised an heir, Sarai was barren. Her thoughts turned to her Egyptian handmaid, Hagar. "And Sarai said unto Abram... I pray thee go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her." Abram obeyed.
After Hagar conceived (her son was Ishmael), she came to despise Sarai, who then had a complaint. After requesting Jehovah to judge, Sarai "dealt hardly" with Hagar. The Egyptian girl then fled, but an angel of Jehovah found her in the wilderness and ordered her to "return to thy mistress, and submit thyself unto her hands."
When Abram was 99 years old he again saw Jehovah and listened to what the Lord had to say. Jehovah said "thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but ... Abraham." The renaming symbolized a final break with the old order back in Chaldea and Babylon. Jehovah continued: "I will establish my covenant between me and thee... And I will give unto thee... all the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession." (ibid., xvii, 4-8.)
"And God said ... as for Sarai...Sarah
shall her name be ... And I will give thee a son also of her."
"Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, shall a child be born unto him that is a hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?"
Isaac was the name of Sarah's son, and Jehovah announced he would establish an everlasting covenant with him. He also blessed Ishmael and made him fruitful. At this point, an important subject arose. All the males were to be circumcised, a practice borrowed from Egypt. Abraham was 99 years old "when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin." And Ishmael was 13. "And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger [slaves], were circumcised with him." (ibid., xvii.)
And so it goes in the extraordinary adventures of Abraham and Jehovah. It might remind television viewers of one of the more fantastic "soap operas." We do see "a human face" but do we want a god to be confined to this condition? It is true that the religious god is more than human, but the philosophic divinity has all of that - and more into infinity. Many are satisfied with conventional religion; fortunately there are those who are not completely convinced thereby.
It is understandable, in view of this, that H.P. Blavatsky dedicated "to the few" her last book, The Voice of the Silence, where she acknowledged the small number of "real mystics in the Theosophical Society..." They are the ones who work and wait for union with the One - a present spiritual truth. There is none other.
"For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
"But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
"Which things are an allegory..."
- Galatians, iv, 22-24.
"...until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament."
- II Corinthians, iii, 14.
THE H.P.B. LIBRARY
c/o M. Freeman, Site No. 19, Comp. No. 2, R.R. 1, Vernon, B.C. V1T 6L4
Comprehensive literature of the Theosophical Movement lent by mail. Catalog on request. The library also publishes the following:
- The Voice of the Silence (Peking Edition)
- Works by Alice Leighton Cleather:
H.P. Blavatsky - A Great Betrayal
H.P. Blavatsky - Her Life and Work for Humanity
H.P. Blavatsky - As I Knew Her
- Works by Alice Leighton Cleather and Basil Crump:
Buddhism - The Science of Life
The Pseudo-Occultism of Mrs. A. Baily.
- Nine "H.P.B. Pamphlets", including early articles from Lucifer.
- Write for price list.
REPRINTS OF OLD THEOSOPHICAL LITERATURE
Edmonton Theosophical Society is pleased to announce some of the titles recently added to its list of reprints of rare Theosophical books and journals.
Dawn: An Independent Australian Theosophical Journal (1921-1924)
The Irish Theosophist: A Monthly Magazine Devoted to Universal Brotherhood, The Study of Eastern Literature and Occult Science. Edited by D.N. Dunlop; published in Dublin, Ireland 1892-1897; five volumes.
Pistis Sophia: A Gnostic Gospel With Portion of the Books of the Saviour; translated from the Coptic Manuscript in the British Museum by Philip A. Malpas. (This is a copy of his typescript. In addition to the translation, it contains nearly 200 pages of valuable notes, including H.P. Blavatsky's commentary on portions of this abstruse work.)
The Platonist: Volumes I and II (18811885).
Solovyoff s Fraud: by Beatrice Hastings. A critical analysis of A Modern Priestess of Isis. Introduction by Michael Gomes.
Theosophical Siftings: Seven volumes of miscellaneous articles by early Theosophical writers. Originally published 1888-1895 in a series of booklets (eighteen per volume) each containing one or two major items.
All the above are in good quality bindings. For complete list, write:
Edmonton Theosophical Society
Edmonton, AB Canada T6E 5G6
Lodges and members-at-large are reminded that membership dues are payable before June 30, 1990. The individual fee is $14.00
If a "family membership" is desired, only an additional $5.00 is required for each other member in the same household where only one magazine is sent.
Please note: Members attached to Lodges should pay through their Lodge. (Lodge fees are also payable in some instances.) Members at large should send their cheques or money orders payable to: The Theosophical Society in Canada, R.R. No.3, Burk's Falls, Ontario, POA 1CO
HOME STUDY COURSE
A Theosophical correspondence course is now available to Canadian readers. It is offered to new students of Theosophy, especially those who are unable to participate in local study groups.
Further information may be obtained by writing The Theosophical Society in Canada, R.R. No. 3, Burk's Falls, Ont. POA 1 CO.
TAPE LENDING LIBRARY
Audio and video cassette tapes of lectures, etc., are available on loan from the T.S. in Canada tape lending library. (This service is for residents of Canada only.) Write for list to: Doris Davy, 2307 Sovereign Cres. S.W., Calgary, Alberta. T3C 2M3.
BEACONSFIELD STUDY CENTRE: Secretary, Mrs. Suzanne Hassanein, 81 Heritage Rd., Beaconsfield, P.Q., H9W 3V2. (Phone 695-2618 or 697-8198).
CALGARY LODGE: President, Mr. Ted G. Davy, Secretary, Mrs. Doris Davy, 2307 Sovereign Cres. S.W. Calgary, Alta. T3C 2M3
DHARMA STUDY CENTRE: Secretary, Mrs. Diane Mottus, Box 145 Glendon, Alta., T0A 1P0
EDMONTON LODGE: President, Mr. Ernest E. Pelletier; Secretary, Mrs. Rogelle Pelletier, South Side Edmonton Post Office Box 4804, Edmonton, Alta. T6E 2A0. (Phone 434-9326).
HAMILTON LODGE: President, Sharon L. Taylor; Secretary, Laura Baldwin, 304 Emerson St., Hamilton, Ont. L8S 2Y7
MONTREAL STUDY CENTRE: Secretary, Mr. Fred Wilkes, 3679 Ste. Famille, No. 22, Montreal, P.Q. H2X 2L5
TORONTO LODGE: President, Mrs. Barbara Treloar, Secretary, Mr. John Huston; Lodge Rooms: 109 Dupont St., Toronto, Ont. M5R 1V4 (Phone 922-5571)
VANCOUVER LODGE: President, Mrs. Marian Thompson; Sec.-Treas. Mrs. Anne Whalen, Lodge Rooms, Room 413, Dominion Building, 207 West Hastings St., Vancouver, V6B 1H7.
HERMES LODGE, VANCOUVER: President, Mr. Larry Gray; Secretary, Mrs. Eva V. Sharp. Lodge Rooms: 2 - 2807 West 16th Ave., Vancouver, B.C. V6K 3C5. (Phone 733-5684 or 266-7340.)
KALEVALA STUDY CENTRE, VANCOUVER: Secretary; Mrs. Hellin Savolainen, 1604 6055 Nelson Ave., B.C. V5H 4L4.
ORPHEUS LODGE, VANCOUVER: President, Mr. Eric Hooper, Sec. Treas. Mrs. Lillian Hooper. (Phone 589-4902 or 731-7491.)
VICTORIA LODGE: President, Mrs. Fiona Odgren; Secretary, Mrs. Dorita Gilmour
ATMA VIDYA LODGE: Secretary, Mrs. H. Tidberry. Enquiries c/o General Secretary.
BLAVATSKY INSTITUTE PUBLICATIONS
2307 Sovereign Crescent S.W., Calgary, Alberta T3C 2M3
- Modern Theosophy, by Claude Falls Wright. Cloth $1.75
- The Exile of the Soul, by Roy Mitchell - a key to the understanding of occult psychology. Cloth $2.75
- Theosophic Study, by Roy Mitchell, a book of practical guidance in methods of study. Paper $1.00
- Course in Public Speaking, by Roy Mitchell. Especially written for Theosophical students. $3.00
- The Use of the Secret Doctrine, by Roy Mitchell. 10c
- Theosophy, An Attitude Toward Life, by Dudley Barr. 50c
- The Wisdom of Confucius, by Iverson L. Harris. 25c
Postage extra on all titles