Vol. 71 No. 3 Toronto, July-Aug., 1990
The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document.
THE INSPIRATION OF THE CLASSICAL AGE
There has been much written recently of the large scale renovations now underway at the Parthenon, the temple of the goddess Athena at Athens. Magnificent photographs taken from every angle portray this most perfect architectural structure, and show how well it has stood the ravages of time, wars and earthquakes since it was completed in 432 B.C. For the next 12 years workers skilled in marble will repair areas of deterioration, raise the walls to their original height, and lavish needed care on this symbol of the Golden Age of Greece.
When we look at the Acropolis dominating the heights above the city of Athens, we cannot but admit to being moved by its beauty and symmetry. When our eyes fall on its central pearl, the Parthenon, we are wont to wonder within ourselves about that perfection of the Periclean age. There arises also a sense of the immense debt we owe to that period, and to the men and women who established it in that far off time between the Persian War of 480 B.C. and the Peloponesian War of 431 B.C. We still lean in the shadow of the achievement of those years. Deeper down, there is always the other thought, of how such an age as this came into being in the first place; what elements allowed its bright shining down the ages since then; and what wise formula gave ordinary people such an audacious confidence in themselves that they were able to create in all the arts and sciences such a memorial to their seeming immortality.
The question needles the intellect and demands that we respond to its prodding. The answer that will fully satisfy has to be as perfect in its own way as the placement of the marble blocks that make up the walls of the Parthenon, where the joints fit so flawlessly that they defy detection even when subjected to examination by magnifying glass. It should also make us wonder what a sculptor might achieve today if he were to attempt to compete with the magic forms which Phideas carved in marble, and which seemed to have a life of their own.
If we go back to the beginning of the Periclean age, there is little about which we need to speculate. All is tragically apparent: the city of Athens laid waste by the Persian armies; its buildings and temples burned; its people scattered, and devastation every-
where. Yet, from that darkened mass of ruins would arise a new city crowned with a new Acropolis. But with what difference from all that has been before! The new constructions would breathe a life of their own, the stiff formality of earlier prototypes no longer seen; the buildings and temples conceived and executed with so great an outburst of intellectual fervour.
Now, the beauty of measure and proportion dominates in all directions. A new configuration of sculpture and painting appears, and magnificent men and women are captured in marble and bronze and in colour. They appear as if they have just stepped out from some special world and look through eternal eyes with pride upon their beloved city. To the eyes of the beholder, there is something of spirit in them.
A new confidence is everywhere. But what brought this magic efflorescence of spirit, beauty and intellect into that present? How from dark devastation rose this highest achievement of Western civilization? That is really the question that requires an answer.
In search for that answer it should be recounted how success came against the Persian invasions. At Marathon, Thermopolae and Salamis were won victories over massive odds; and Plataea sealed the end of Persian domination of the Aegean. These names indeed constitute high moments in the Greek spirit and tell us something of the character of the warriors who returned to their homes full of confidence and gallantry. With patriots such as defended these places, all things are possible. The great perils they had overcome had made them staunch, given them vitality. They had become true brothers, and returned from the wars as such. They were free men, and their bond of trust in each other and in their union was their mainstay. Those who returned to Athens with their general, Pericles, would form the work force for the reconstruction. But what ideas, and what insights were required to turn the ordinary into the sublime; the marble and bronze into the Acropolis, with its almost living witnesses to artistic harmony.
Let us try to bring together some of the available evidence and see if from it we can find a way towards the answer to our question.
When Pericles returned to Athens and was elevated to First Citizen, his court became the mecca for illustrious men and women who were to be involved in the great undertaking of designing and executing the construction of the new Athens. Among them were such as Anaxagoras, Damonides, Archelaus, Phideas, Ictinus, Euripides, and the young Socrates to name but a few. Strong links were made between those who attended. There were also such visitors as Zeno and Parmenides. What vibrant gatherings must have taken place there!
In this line it is also to be noted that when Pericles and his wife dissolved their marriage, Aspasia became his mistress and confidant. By Athenian law she could not be his wife as she was a Milesian by birth, so she acted as companion, lady of the court, and consort. Her ideas were similar to those of Anaxagoras. She was a witness to the debates and conversations that abounded in the early stages of the changing face of Athenian culture and the new growth of the city.
We have a witness to the quality of intellect and the organizational abilities of Aspasia. When much later Plato wrote his dialogue Menexenus, he penned Socrates' view of her: "That I should be able to make a speech is no great wonder, Menexenus, considering that I have been instructed by an
excellent mistress in the art of rhetoric, she who has made so many good speakers, one in particular who was the best amongst all the Greeks - Pericles." Menexenus then says, "I suppose you mean Aspasia." And Socrates answers, "Yes, I do."
Let us now look at the ideas which Anaxagoras advocated, compare them with the then prevailing ideas and try and see if they do constitute any movement towards the new outlook which transformed the age.
From today's vantage point a scientific historian would be of the opinion that Anaxagoras was the forerunner of the Aristotelian method. He observed, experimented and used reason to equate his findings. His quest was to find a thorough explanation of the nature of matter, the laws governing its fundamental properties and the cohesive force bonding it. His researches evolved what is now known as the molecular concept of the Cosmos.
Anaxagoras postulated that Nous, or Mind, was the active principle in the Universe and the source of all motion; that the Cosmos is rational and its laws verifiable. He taught the mechanical theory of the Universe. His findings were set down in a book which has not come through to our time, although some fragments have survived in the writings of others.
It is of interest that we can call again on Plato in this matter, as he referred to the book in his Dialogue The Phaedo. In it, he has Socrates say: "I once heard someone reading from a book by Anaxagoras, asserting that it is Mind that produces order, and is the cause of everything." After reasoning about these things and their implications, Socrates went on: "These reflections made me suppose, to my delight, that in Anaxagoras I had found an authority who was after my own heart."
Socrates hoped that Anaxagoras could explain to him the workings of the Mind, since he had advocated it as First Principle. But that was not to be. In the same Dialogue, Socrates laments, "As I read on, I discovered that the fellow made no use of Mind." This was the essential thing in Socrates' view. He was the most practical person, and ever talked of human beings and their ways. In his own dialectic he found that the soul was an expression of mind, of awareness, and that it was immortal and survives the body. This is his basic premise throughout and he holds closely to it at all times and in all circumstances. Socrates postulated the Reality of the Soul as the essential idea and Plato likewise made it the centre of his writings. But let us not forget that it was Anaxagoras who had brought attention to the freedom of Mind when he taught Pericles and Aspasia, and who had held centre stage in the early days of the new city.
Again, before passing along, we should note that Anaxagoras' book comes up again in The Apology and is used in Socrates' defence at his trial. He advises his judges: "The unconventional views he is accused of holding are really those of Anaxagoras, whose book could be bought by anyone for a drachma."
The philosophical historian would point out that Anaxagoras' ideas were based on Nous being equated with the unknown god and being the source of all motion and the cause of law and order in the Universe. It could also be said that he extended and complemented the ideas and principles of Parmenides. We are indebted to H.P. Blavatsky for the best synopsis of his views. The following selections from her books are excellent indicators:
"Anaxagoras firmly believed that the spiritual prototypes of all things,
as well as their elements, were to be found in the boundless aether, where they were generated, whence they evolved, and whither they returned from earth." - Isis Unveiled I, 158.
"That which he (Anaxagoras) called Mundane Intelligence, the nous, the principle that according to his views is absolutely separated and free from matter and acts on design, was called Motion, the ONE LIFE, or Jivatma." - The Secret Doctrine I, 50.
"The theory of the Elementary Vortices was known to Anaxagoras, and maintained by him 500 years B.C., or nearly 2,000 before it was taken up by Galileo, Descartes, Swedenborg, and finally, with slight modifications, by Sir W. Thomson." - ibid., I, 117.
"The 'world stuff', now Nebulae, was known from the highest antiquity. Anaxagoras taught that, having differentiated, the subsequent commixture of heterogeneous substances remained motionless and unorganized, until finally "the Mind" - the collective body of Dhyan Chohans, we say - began to work upon and communicated to it motion and order." - ibid., I, 595.
"The Egyptians revered the "One-Only-One" as Nout; and it is from this word that Anaxagoras got his denomination Nous or as he calls it ... 'The Mind or Spirit Self-potent,' the leading motor or primum mobile of all. With him the Nous was God, and the logos was man, his emanation." - The Key to Theosophy, 93.
To say the least, with one such as Anaxagoras at the court of Pericles the quality of ideas and discussion would be of the highest creative order. Could it not also be said that the ideas of Universal Mind gave a further freedom to those who entertained them, and broke forever the yoke of old concepts of responsibility being outside the man? This kinship with the divine within themselves takes all the stops out of the aspirations of human beings. Was there in fact an opening up in the minds of those involved of the divine Eros within and the subsequent bonding of love between their consciousness and its source and origin? Such wondrous ideas must have been present to equate such a beauty of the actual constructions and the almost spirit-like quality of their makeup.
Needless to say, the gatherings at the court had to remain in private domain since what was said would raise questions and conflict with the state religion and the general outlook of Athenians. The record is also very clear that after being 30 years in Athens, Anaxagoras was in the end charged with impiety, and subscribing to ideas not in keeping with the state religion. The penalty for the offence was death without mercy. Pericles managed to get him out of prison after he was found guilty of the offence, and arranged his escape to Persia.
Pericles also had to plead for the life of Aspasia. She too was charged with impiety. Had it not been for the achievements and service he had given to Athens, Aspasia might also have been condemned to death by the judges. Euripides, Damonides, Phideas and others had to flee from Athens and seek safe haven away from their beloved home. According to the historian Thucydides, Pericles was also charged with impiety, was fined but not deported. It can be seen without much study that the real charge
against those indicted was that they had taken part in the discussions in the court of Pericles and the ideas expressed there were indeed alien to the religion of the state.
It must be borne in mind that the Greeks identified with the whole pantheon of their gods of Olympus, and that these gods were of the physical universe, with nature and the laws implicit in nature. Each city as well had its own guardian deity. Athens honoured the goddess Athena, and with her were special links to other of the gods and demi-gods. There were also noted shrines for special gods, such as that of Apollo at Delphi and at Delos. There was no professional priestcraft or church system but pilgrimages were made to the shrines during various festivals. Temples at Athens and elsewhere were not for the purpose of worshiping the gods, but were really community monuments.
Then there were the great centres for the Mysteries, such as Eleusis, which was near the city and was open to all Athenians who met the moral requirements and the very strict rules of conduct. Before being admitted to Eleusis, candidates had to have passed the requirements of the initial lesser Mysteries which were held at Agrae. The seriousness of this undertaking can be seen in that anyone revealing any part of the Mysteries suffered death without any possibility of mercy. To the central interior mysteries at Eleusis which were in the higher degree of the Greater Mysteries, very few ever obtained entrance, and this after long trials. In those higher stages, the principles governing life were explained.
The average Athenian was also very involved in the ideas that were current and stemmed from Homer and the mimic poets. They identified with their Gods and Heroes as described by these poets and their character was founded on these ideas which were portrayed by the word pictures and the heritage behind them. Most Greeks by the age of maturity could recite almost all of Homer. They identified with the characters and knew their joy and grief and anger and their likes and dislikes. They followed the examples almost as if by rote. This was what Socrates and Plato found wrong. They wanted the Greeks to think things out for themselves on the basis of principle and not just mimic heroic poetry. The life work of Socrates was really in this area. He ever suggested that Athenians had to distinguish between what was good and what was evil on fundamental grounds. He set himself a hard task as we know, for the Greeks really loved their heroes and wanted to act as near like them as they possibly could.
Yet the new ideas were moving in on the Greek consciousness despite the reactions that opposed them and these were considerable. But it was sufficient that the men and women at the court of Pericles were awakened to Universal Mind and its implications and possibilities, and that their imagination soared and produced a new dimension of creative construction. Perhaps, as well, those with some grounding in the Mysteries could appreciate the movement in consciousness that was taking place, and held back from condemnation, allowing the change to unfold. Yet, in general, the overall feeling inspired by the poets took time to find its equilibrium and through-
out is found in the midst of the new city this turbulent current and undercurrent.
In this moving scene has also to be considered other tides of thought that would have been studied at the court gatherings. For instance, the ideas of Pythagoras and his School must have found their way there in their exoteric form. Especially so, as mathematics was in much demand for the study of architecture. Ictinus and Callicrates who were responsible for the design and construction of the Parthenon, would have looked at all the available principles in this regard. In the Parthenon there are no absolutely straight lines, nor are the spaces all equal. There is a very special architectural rhythm about it, a harmony. The Pythagorean numbers also conceived of harmony.
Again, if we examine the work of the great playwrights we are confronted with the fact that they made exceptional effort to examine the human psyche from every angle and look with penetrating eye at the traditional myths and beliefs. Long after the audiences left the performances they would ponder the implication of all that was said and done in the plays.
Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles all aimed at putting the world on a correct course. They offered a quality that was highly religious and at the same time practical. We cannot forget that, as example, Euripides brought into focus many of the ideas of the court of Pericles, yet he also tried, like Socrates, to have his hearers think about what was good to do in principle and to discriminate as if they were truly soul. He acted as a cleanser for those wrapped up in sense attachments to Homeric memories. There was a strong link between himself and Socrates for the latter was never absent from a play put on by Euripides. The playwright offered insights into the philosophers' quality of reason; into the responsibilities of the individual to society and to his own conscience. In all, this period of the highest aspirations of Athenians brings one to the conclusion that if Universal ideas are considered they act as sparks that ignite and open up singular beauty in the minds of those involved. They strike a note with origin and destiny. What an imprint they made in that Periclean Age! When viewing this picture the one dominating theme current in it is that all the names of such greatness as Pericles, Ictinus, Phideas, Callicrates, Euripides, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Socrates, Aspasia, Anaxagoras, Damonides and others, must have returned at that cyclic time having in prior births attained the excellence of profession, craft and moral outlook. Coming then together, and joining in such a unity of effort, they established the classical tradition which would be the high point of our Western civilization.
That, in its essence, would appear to be the answer that confirms with certainty to our minds the reason for the remarkable events of that time so long past. Today, looking back to that magnificent effort we take new hope, and our hearts are strengthened.
The mission of the planetary Spirit is but to strike the KEY NOTE of TRUTH. Once he has directed the vibration of the latter to run its course uninterruptedly along the catenation of that race and to the end of the cycle - the denizen of the highest inhabited sphere disappears from the surface of our planet - till the following "resurrection of flesh." The vibrations of the Primitive Truth are what your philosophers name "innate ideas."
THE "H-FACTOR": AN EXPERIMENT IN ALLEGORY
- Reg. M. Stevens
At the conclusion of William Laudahn's delightful article (C.T. Mar-Apr 1990, pp. 19-22) dealing with the adventures and subsequent happenings of Abram, Sarai, Isaac and Jacob, are quoted three passages from the new Testament which suggest that part, or even all, of the story, is but allegory.
So what is the allegory?
Webster's Encyclopedia tells us first that an allegory is the description of one thing in the image of another; the veiled presentation, etc., not expressly stated. So, assuming that the story of Abram and Sarai is allegorical, what then is the real meaning?
Since in Mr. Laudahn's article there was no mention or promise of a follow-up to explain the allegorical rendering, allow me, please, to put forward a few ideas which have been prompted by the works of H.P. Blavatsky and others.
When we first meet Abram and Sarai, their names are spelled just that way, without the "h". Sarai is commiserating that she is getting on in years and too old to bear a child "worthy of her." So she suggests that Abram cohabit with, or "go in unto" her maid-servant Hagar (spelled more properly in the New Testament as Agar) and the result is a boy, Ishmael. Ishmael grows up, and is described as being wild (read primitive). When he is about fourteen and Sarai ninety, Abram receives a visitor who tells him that Sarai is still capable of child bearing, and will indeed have a son.
Colloquially, this is where Abram laughs his head off, but his celestial visitor assures him that despite his doubts he will again be a father. Furthermore, that Abram and Sarai should add an "h" to their names so that they will now be Abraham and Sarah.
The child is born, a boy, who is named Isaac, and he too grows to manhood, when he is endowed with wealth and worldly goods by his father. Now it is Ishmael's turn to complain, due to his thinking that because of being the first-born son, he should be the one to inherit.
So where is the allegory? What is the allegory?
Three things stand out in the above story:
1) The early child, Ishmael, the wild or primitive one, does not inherit;
2) The child arriving later, Isaac, does inherit.
With a little imagination, let us put more significance into the name change of Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, and call the change the "H-factor". Now for
3) Let us assume that what Isaac really inherits from his mother and father is the newly assigned "H-factor". Since Ishmael is described as wild or primitive, then Isaac could be called "H" man, or Hu-man.
The Bible tells this story many times, even in the New Testament. Different names, of course, and slightly different details, but somewhat the same ingredients. For another example, let us look at the story of Isaac and his two sons, Esau and Jacob.
In this tale, Esau, the first born, is described as being wild, also hairy and red. (Genesis xxv:25ff.) Again, even though Esau is the firstborn, he does not inherit. It is Jacob, the second arrival, who years later and at the critical moment, receives his father's blessing, but only after putting on a
coat of skin. These last few words may remind us of Adam and Eve, who put on coats of skin and inherit or acquire the gift of knowing the difference between good and evil, that is, the gift of wisdom. One might now be tempted to think that the "H-factor" has something to do with a faculty such as mind.
In allegory, myth, fable or fairy tale, the mention of an individual may also mean a tribe, a nation, a race, even the whole of mankind.
The Ishmael/ Esau story could therefore concern a group of people who are wild; who do not inherit; who do not have the "H-factor".
Such a group is the tribe of Ephraimites who are wild (in the sense of being angry) because of not being invited to share or inherit some of the honours of the Ammonitish War. The Ephraimites certainly do not have the "H-factor" because they cannot properly pronounce the word Shibboleth when it is used as a password, but express it as Sibboleth, a lighter sibilant, i.e., without an "H". (Judges xii, 6).
Many years ago I heard someone trying to explain the story of the Ephraimites, saying that the number slain, forty and two thousand, should really have been expressed as forty plus two thousand - a mere two thousand and forty. After all, they were only a small tribe, and surely the elimination of two thousand and forty was enough to prove the point. But if we accept the original number as printed, treat it as allegory, and eliminate the zeroes, we are left with the number forty-two. Looking for that figure in Cruden's Concordance, we find references to cities, children, men, time in years and two occasions of time in months. If we convert those forty and two months instances to years, we arrive at the figure of three and one half, which, incidentally, is also the smallest number one can arrive at when reading the passage in the Book of Revelations, "a time, and times and half a time" (xii:14).
This number may strike a note to a student of Theosophy who understands even a small amount of the writings of H.P. Blavatsky which relate to Rounds and Races, with mention of sevens here and sevens there ... even to the seven cycles dealing with the development of the higher nature of mankind. With three and one half coming midway between zero and seven, there is the intimation of something relative to that halfway mark. But that is another, more serious story that I have no hesitation leaving to someone more erudite than myself to assign a time as to when all this happened.
As noted above, the name of the Bondwoman Hagar is surely mis-spelled in the Old Testament because if Abram and Sarai have to wait until the advent of Isaac before receiving the "H-Factor", then both Hagar and Ishmael should not be shown as having it. But perhaps this is to disguise the tale a little more so that the real meaning is harder to discover.
The negative "A" placed before the Hebrew term for God (EI) - the a-el in Ishmael's name denotes that he is not god-like, does not have the god potential that is eventually inherited by or bestowed upon Isaac and Jacob. Similarly, A-b-el, the godless one, is slain or superseded by his later brother Cain, or Tu-b-el Cain (the god Cain).
In Galatians, iv:22ff, where the allegoric nature of the Agar and Ishmael episode is revealed, the next few verses confirm the nature of the quotation, even to the first verse of Chapter v:
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ (the "H-Factor") has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."
It is interesting to note that in the Book of Tokens, where each letter of the Hebrew alphabet is shown as having certain factors of information, one of these factors is an aspect of intelligence. To the letter "S", Sawmek, is assigned the "Intelligence of Probation or Trial," whereas to the letter with the "H", Shin, is ascribed the meaning of "Perpetual Intelligence."
This latter meaning may be seen as showing - perhaps also confirming - the difference between, as well as the connection with, the earlier mankind and his later brother. In other words, the "H-factor."
THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE OCCULT BROTHERHOOD
- Nicholas Weeks
The fundamental motivation of the teachings and presence of this Occult Brotherhood was clearly expressed in 1882 by a Master writing under the name Koot Hoomi.
"The word "God" was invented to designate the unknown cause of those effects which man has either admired or dreaded without understanding them, and since we claim, and that we are able to prove what we claim - i.e., the knowledge of that cause and causes - we are in a position to maintain there is no God or Gods behind them...
"The God of the Theologians is simply an imaginary power... Our chief aim is to deliver humanity of this nightmare, to teach man virtue for its own sake, and to walk in life relying on himself instead of leaning on a theological crutch, that for countless ages was the direct cause of nearly all human misery." (1)
Therefore, the purpose of the Brotherhood is to reduce human misery by replacing the ancient, false, God-idea with the timeless Truth at the heart of the Secret Doctrine.
"The fundamental Law in that system, the central point from which all emerged, around and towards which all gravitates, and upon which is hung the philosophy of the rest, is the One homogeneous divine SUBSTANCE-PRINCIPLE, the one radical cause...
"It is called "Substance-Principle," for it becomes "substance" on the plane of the manifested Universe, an illusion, while it remains a "principle" in the beginningless and endless abstract, visible and invisible SPACE. It is the omnipresent Reality: impersonal, because it contains all and everything. Its impersonality is the fundamental conception of the System. It is latent in every atom in the Universe, and is the Universe itself ." (2)
Since most of humanity identifies with and is only familiar with our "manifested Universe" and manifested personality, we naturally are deluded by this limited illusion that we appear to be. However, rather than take
the arduous route of questioning our most cherished and apparently obvious persona, we take instead the "broad and easy" way of assuming that something of a personal nature is the source of our self and our world. The Ageless Wisdom teaches just the opposite. "The Secret Doctrine points out... that Mankind, collectively and individually, is, with all manifested nature, the vehicle of the breath of One Universal Principle, in its primal differentiation." (3)
The original fount of our higher and lower selves is not a God or Logos, the God or Logos, the Logoi, or any combination thereof. While we are connected with these higher Lives, they are not the Source, but at best more radiant links in the living network which is the Universe. As H.P. Blavatsky put it: "Everything, from spirit to the tiniest particle, is part of the whole, at best a link." (4)
That which lives and thinks in man and survives bodily death, "is the 'Eternal Pilgrim,' the Protean differentiation in space and time of the One Absolute 'unknowable.'" (5) Thus, the very Root of our personal being and personal world is that "unknowable", the "One divine Substance-Principle." Since "impersonality is the fundamental conception" of the only Reality, perhaps we should reconsider the "reality" we invest in our self and our God; whether a He or She, a Planetary Logos, Solar Logos, or beyond.
But does the question of personal God or impersonal Principle really matter? The Master Koot Hoomi answered a similar query as follows: "I say, it matters everything..." (6) One of the highest members of the Brotherhood, the Chohan, also told why "it matters."
"The world in general, and Christendom especially, left for two thousand years to the regime of a personal God, as well as its political and social systems based on that idea, has now proved a failure." (7)
We have only replaced that old, prosaic, God and His angels, with such revamped "theological crutches" as the Goddess, Her Solar Logos, and His Planetary Logoi, the Christ and His Masters, not to mention the channeled "guides" that chatter so continually. This constant seeking to contact, channel, invoke, or be guided by a divine entity, rather than our own "celestial ray from the One," is dangerous folly. As H.P.B. wrote:
Though they are "gods", still they are not to be worshiped... With the Pralaya... Brahma and all the other Devas, and the gods are merged into the Absolute. Therefore, occultists do not worship or offer prayers to them... The worshiper... would do better far to remember that every man has a god within, a direct ray from the Absolute, the celestial ray from the One; that he has his "god" within, not outside of, himself." (8)
"No theosophist, no Occultist in the true sense of the word has ever worshiped Devas, Nats, Angels or even planetary spirits. Recognition of the actual existence of such Beings - which, however exalted, are still gradually evolved creatures and finite - and even reverence for some of them is not worship... An Occultist's reverence for certain high Spirits may be very great in some cases ... But it stops there. For the Theosophists these planetary "angels" occupy no higher place than that which Virgil assigns them: "They boast ethereal vigour and are
(Continued on page 62)
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
I am pleased to welcome into the fellowship of the Theosophical Society in Canada Mr. John Carter, returning to the fold after an absence of a few years, as a member at large from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia; and Mrs. Audrey Fenner and Mr. John Fenner of Ottawa, also as members at large.
The Annual Members' Meeting of the Theosophical Society in Canada will be held in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, September 22, 1990, at 2:30 p.m., in the meeting hall of the Unitarian Church, at 49th Avenue and Oak Streets. There will be a social gathering afterwards, to see old friends from across Canada, and a vegetarian dinner in the evening. Only members of the Canadian Section T.S. in good standing may attend, and "good standing" means dues for the term July 1/90 to June 30/91. The General Secretary will be delighted to receive your dues, issue a receipt and new membership card in advance of the Annual Meeting. (I will be too busy on the day of the meeting to do any of this.) If you have not already sent in your dues, you are now overdue.
I have been indulging in my seasonal hobby of feeding blackflies and mosquitos. To swat or not to swat, to mangle Shakespeare, is hardly the question. I recall reading in these hallowed pages some years ago (when I then also owned a few country acres) a short paragraph by someone to the effect that we should not swat mosquitos because in doing so we might interfere with their evolution. (I hasten to add that this was before the editorship of the current editors.) I had occasion to do much work then in the fresh air of the open countryside, and there by was also indulging at that time in the hobby of feeding those bugs. I then read those words about "not interfering with the mosquitos' evolution." Part of my reaction the current editors would delete, so I save them the trouble by leaving those words to your imagination.
My other thoughts, after calming a bit, were: what of the interference with the human evolution caused by malaria, yellow fever, encephalitis, anaphylaxis allergic reactions, brought about by bites from these little pests, to name only a few diseases?
Another prominent Theosophist has recently wondered out loud to me that if we swat, perhaps we then earn the karma of being bitten, so therefore hold back the swatting hand. But this suggests "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" Karma is a two-way street, and karma "... is inexorable" (H.P.B.) If, after causing countless cases of misery and death to humans over how many thousands or even millions of years, have not these insects earned the karma of being at least swatted? It is written (a cute phrase) that karma earned on the physical must be worked out on the physical. Progress to another and better stage cannot commence until the karma of a particular stage and plane are worked out. I, for one, would never want to be accused of, nor earn the bad karma for, holding back the evolution of the mosquito and blackfly group soul(s) by failing to give their physical incarnating forms what they deserve. I also refuse to think that such pesky beasties would have anything so exalted as individual souls. The same would apply to that disease carrier, the common house fly.
Getting a little more serious now, I note that the Master D.K. mentioned that the existence and perhaps increase of the pest portion of the insect world is due to a large
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- Viola P. Law, 204 - 2455 Beach Drive, Victoria, B.C. V8R 6K2
- Ernest E. Pelletier, 14004 - 48 Ave, Edmonton, Alta. T6H 0G2
- Wolfgang C. Schmitt, 50 Quebec Ave., Apt. 502, Toronto, Ont. M6P 4B4
- Sharon L. Taylor, 1350 Limeridge Rd. E., Unit 36, Hamilton, Ont. LBW 1L6
- Mollie Yorke, 1959 Beach Drive, Victoria, B.C. V8R 6J4
- Emory P. Wood (Honorary Director), 9360 - 86 St., Edmonton, Alberta T6C 3E7
EDITORIAL BOARD, CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
All letters to the Editors, articles and reports for publication should be addressed to the Editors, 2307 Sovereign Crescent S.W., Calgary, Alta. T3C 2M3.
- Editors: Mr. and Mrs. T.G. Davy
Letters intended for publication should be restricted to not more than five hundred words. The editors reserve the right to shorten any letter unless the writer states that it must be published in full or not at all.
Rannie Publications Limited, Beamsville, Ontario
extent to the bad, evil, and selfish thoughts and emotions of humans, acting in the appropriate planes as a fertilizer to effect the presence of and an increase of those insects that plague us. I also note that whereas mankind (I refuse to use the non-sexist word "personkind") is all too well able to cause the extinction of vegetable kingdom and animal kingdom species, we have never rendered extinct any insect species. Mankind is also well on the way now to get even ourselves extinct by nuclear bombs and/or pollution, or a little of both. Why not cease this folly and exert the same effort on an insect species extinction, such as the mosquito and the blackfly? PLEASE!
The Lodge Annual Meeting was held on May 30. The following officers were elected for the coming year:
President - Ted G. Davy
Secretary - Doris Davy
Treasurer - Phyllis Olin
Darcy Kuntz was re-appointed as Librarian. He presented to the members an updated catalog of books in the Library.
Reports were presented covering the Lodge activities for the past year, and the President expressed his thanks for the privilege of working with such a homogeneous group as the members of Calgary Lodge.
Members discussed plans for the Fall program which would commence September 5. It was decided to continue with our regular Wednesday evening Secret Doctrine Study class, with the last Wednesday of
each month given over to a member's paper or an audio or video cassette.
The Lodge is now closed for the Summer, and we wish all members a happy and relaxing few weeks until we return refreshed for a new period of activity in the Fall.
Doris Davy, Secretary
On February 17 we were pleased to welcome Ted Davy who spoke on "Unexplained Laws and Latent Powers." As the title implied, this dealt with the third object of the Society. The unity of all and the requisite individual approach to the investigation, but not necessarily the acquirement of these, was detailed. Ted also delineated the difference between dormant and latent powers as well as the responsibility of each of us to warn individuals intent on experimenting with psychic development of the innate dangers and consequences of such actions. The whole idea of psychic investigation being very prevalent in this day and age, Ted's talk was very informative for members and visitors alike.
In May, Sue Politella of Orrville, Ohio, spent a few days in Edmonton. Mrs. Politella is Professor at Wayne College, a branch campus of the University of Akron, and is also a professional speaker. While here she spoke on "Breaking Out of Negative Thinking Patterns" one evening and presented a "Creativity Workshop" on a Sunday afternoon. This session was followed by a pot luck supper at which time discussion naturally continued. Everyone enjoyed meeting and getting acquainted with Sue on both an informal as well as professional basis.
Congratulations are hereby extended to Emory P. Wood who celebrated his 100th birthday on May 12. Mr. Wood was President of Edmonton Lodge and a member of the Board of Directors of T.S. in Canada for many years. His dedication to Theosophy has been well recognized among those who have had the pleasure of knowing him. Although his eyes no longer permit him to read, he still listens to audiotapes of The Mahatma Letters from time to time. Best wishes, Emory, and fond regards from one and all!
The Annual Meeting of Edmonton T.S. was held on June 13 with the following members being elected for the next term of office:
President - Ernest E. Pelletier
Vice-President - Stephania Duffee
Secretary - Rogelle Pelletier
Treasurer - Dolores Brisson
Directors - Laurier Auger, Gay Gering, Maurice Mercier
With this last meeting of the 1989-90 session, the fifth year of our study of The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett came to a close. Once again much additional research has gone into this study, with information being drawn from The Secret Doctrine, Isis Unveiled and other core writings as well as to related articles which appeared in The Theosophist. We will be continuing with The Mahatma Letters when meetings resume in September.
Rogelle Pelletier, Secretary
Unity is a thing of the innermost, and outward harmony is no index at all to its actual existence.
- A.E.S. Smythe.
OCCULT BROTHERHOOD (Continued from page 58)
form'd/From seeds of heavenly birth,' as does also every mortal. Each and all are occult potencies having sway over certain attributes of nature. And, if once attracted to a mortal, they do help him in certain things. Yet, on the whole, the less one has to do with them the better." (9) Around two thousand years ago the great Bodhisattva Nagarjuna wrote:
"If you desire the higher realms and Liberation, meditate upon the Right View. Even good deeds by a person with wrong view, all have dreadful fruition." (10)
Right View consists of confidence in the Law of Karma and the non-selfhood, or lack of inherent existence, or impersonality of everything. The dreadful fruit of such ideas as "God" or "self" would be that one would never be able to spiritually advance beyond this present world, and spiritual stagnation means spiritual death. But could a "God" conception, especially if sincere, really be so disastrous? Not for a few lifetimes, perhaps. But after many lives of sincere but erroneous belief, the magnetism and other invisible results attracted to the person are almost impossible to remove. The Master Morya, when commenting on some Hindu theists who would not, or could not, give up the notion of God, wrote:
"Faith in the Gods and God, and other superstitions attracts millions of foreign influences, living entities and powerful agents around them; ... unprogressed Planetaries who delight in personating gods and sometimes well known characters who have lived on earth ... These are the gods the Hindus and Christians and Mahomedans and all others of bigoted religions and sects worship." (11)
No matter how foolish, bigoted or evil Theism and its followers may be, Karma forbids any direct assault upon their freely chosen beliefs. This is why Koot Hoomi did not write of destroying the God-idea or converting ardent theists, but of "delivering" humanity from its theistic nightmare. Only those whose minds are open enough to consider the truths of the Wisdom Religion should be exposed to these ideas. As K.H. once wrote, "Degrade not truth by forcing it upon unwilling minds." (12) Some theists may learn from their karmic trials and look for a better way, but Karma will do most of the "converting" that may occur, not the Occult Brotherhood or its admirers. One other reason for the little proselytizing by followers of the Occult doctrine is certainly that our "celestial ray" - given one is striving for selflessness - will provide, or help us find, all the inspiration and guidance we need.
Let us hope these thoughts, from the Noble One, the Patron of all true Adepts, Gautama Buddha, will help us all to do our duty, by striving to awake humanity from its nightmare:
"Those who mistake the unreal to be real and the real to be unreal, dwelling in wrong thoughts, never arrive at the real.
"Those who know the real to be real and the unreal to be unreal, dwelling in right thoughts do arrive at the real." (13)
Oneself is one's own refuge; what other refuge can there be? With
oneself fully controlled, one obtains a refuge which is hard to gain.
"By oneself indeed is evil done and by oneself is one defiled. By oneself is evil left undone and by oneself indeed is one purified. Purity and impurity depend on oneself. No one can purify another."
1.The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett (ML) 3rd ed., pp. 52-53.
2. H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine (SD) 1,273.
3. Ibid., II, 492.
4. H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings (B:CW) X, 395
6. ML p. 140.
7. "The Maha Chohan's Letter" in Letters from the Masters of Wisdom First Series, p. 8.
8. B:CW X, 345.
9. B:CW X, 13-14.
10. Nagarjuna's Letter, trans. Geshe Lobsang Tharchin, p. 81.
11. ML pp. 455-56.
12. Letters from the Masters of Wisdom, First Series, p. 38.
13. Dhammapada, vv. 11-12, trans. Venerable Acharya Buddharakkhita Thera.
14. Dhammapada, vv. 160, 165, trans. Walpola Rahula. In What the Buddha Taught, p. 130.
STUDIES IN EARLY AMERICAN THEOSOPHICAL HISTORY
- Michael Gomes
VI. REV. WIGGIN'S REVIEW OF GEORGE HENRY FELT'S 1875 LECTURE ON THE CABALA
Writing in 1892, the Russian novelist V.S. Solovyov described the beginning of the Theosophical movement as follows: "Although the Theosophical Society was founded at a comparatively recent date, in 1875, yet its real origin has hitherto been lost in the darkness of mystery and obscurity. Its founders, Madame Blavatsky and Olcott, as well as its first adherents, did all in their power to raise as much fog as possible, in the thick folds of which it was easy to get stifled, but impossible to find the real cradle of the interesting infant which was the fruit of the spiritual union of the Russian 'wanderer' and the American 'colonel"' (A Modern Priestess of Isis, London 1895, p. 222).
The previous studies in this series on the early history of the movement are enough to show that if anyone were trying to raise a smokescreen it was Mr. Solovyov. As I have pointed out in the "Note on Sources" to the Dawning of the Theosophical Movement, twenty
copyright 1990 by Michael Gomes
volumes of scrapbooks covering every reference to the T.S. had been put together by H.P.B., and existed at Adyar at the time Solovyov was writing. Col. Olcott had also started his monthly installments on the history of the Society in The Theosophist the same year. But people choose to write about Theosophy with fixed notions of their own, refusing to do any research that might disabuse them of their preconceptions, and then proceed to cast aspersions on Theosophists for fantasies that exist solely in their own mind. Hopefully with so much historical material coming into print, this sort of attitude will no longer be tolerated.
Luckily, in direct refutation of Solovyov's claim, we have an eyewitness account of the gathering where the Theosophical Society was first proposed, reported by one of "its first adherents" and published at the time. Rev. James Henry Wiggin's article, titled "The Cabala," was considered newsworthy enough to make the front page of the September 25, 1875 Liberal Christian, "An Independent Journal of Religion, Literature, Science and Art" issued every Saturday in New York. The complete article follows.
[From The Liberal Christian, September 25, 1875]
In each century there have been persons believing that with the Cabala they possess the key that, rightly applied, unlocks the secrets of nature. They have searched for its right application.
In each age, too, it has been believed that a select few have found the key of keys, and so have been masters of matter and spirit, controlling both at will. It was my privilege not long ago to be present at a private meeting where MR. GEO. HENRY FELT, THE CABALIST explained his discoveries. Without belonging to the Occultist or Rosicrucian sect, Mr. Felt has astonished its adepts and initiates with his intimate knowledge of the lore taught in their shekinah. For twenty years he has been pursuing his investigations, and designs presenting them to the world in a large volume of 1,000 pages, with more plates than pages. The gathering which listened to him on the evening referred to, was composed of MEN AND WOMEN OF ALL PROFESSIONS
Among them were Miss Lizzie Doten, the well-known "Inspirational Speaker;" Mrs. E.T. Porter Beach, the poetess; Dr. Pancoast, whose name came prominently before the public in connection with the autopsy of the Siamese twins; Mr. -----, the editor of the New Era; Mesdames Wood and Johnson, of Chicago, desirous of being sent to Russia in the proposed scientific expedition; Dr. Holbrook, of the Herald of Health; Mr. and Mrs. Hardinge-Britten; C. Sotheran, of the Bibliopolist; Col. Henry S. Olcott, and others.
Mr. Felt illustrated his conversation with MANY "KABBALAH" DIAGRAMS of his own preparation, and courteously answered all questions put to him.
First, he explained the diagram which unlocks the Cabala. It consists of a circle with a square within and without, containing a com-
mon triangle, two Egyptian triangles, and a pentagon, forming the STAR OF PERFECTION.
This diagram he applies to the Pictures, Statues, Doors, Hieroglyphics, Pyramids, Plains, Tombs, and Buildings of ancient Egypt, and shows that they agree so perfectly with its proportions that they must have been made by its rule.
The same canon of proportion he then applies to GREEK ART to show how its masterpieces of sculpture were carved without models by this rule, and how imperfect is living nature itself in the comparison of proportions.
In music, the prismatic colors, the configuration of leaves, and the world's circumference, he finds the same law of proportionate harmony. He also develops some geometric-arithmetical processes which competent mathematicians pronounce as novel as they are simple.
This diagram, applied to the Egyptian Cabala, or life-table of hieroglyphics, indicates the parts to be read, and in conjunction with the ancient pictures of death, transmigration and the SOUL'S CRISIS AND PILGRIMAGES, develops a startling correspondence; although we who are unlearned in Egyptian antiquities must, for the time, take many of these assertions on the ipse dixit of their maker.
Mr. Felt asserts that learned Rabbins have followed his investigations similarly made into the
HEBREW CABALA, and found themselves able thereby to solve mysteries before inexplicable.
Entering, then, the realm of Scripture, he shows the correspondence between the Mosaic account of creation with its STORY OF EDEN, and the Egyptian narrative of the creation of man, thus confirming what many scholars believe and teach in regard to the pictorial origin of some Scriptural passages which people commonly understand to be literally historic.
THE BOOK OF JOB engages his attention, and here also are many curious correspondences. The descriptions of heaven agree with the Egyptian, and the crimes whereof Job accuses himself are those recorded in the Egyptian Book of Death; facts which prove the antiquity of the poem of Job, and the familiarity of its unknown but remarkable author with the learning of days earlier than his own.
IN EZEKIEL'S PROPHECY also are descriptions which prove that the Egyptian ideas of man's destiny colored the imagery of Hebrew seers, and so attest its genuineness. In tracing the ANALOGIES OF THE NEW TESTAMENT Mr. Felt was less successful. Others may not agree with the opinion, but to me it seemed that the symbolizations of the Loaf and Fish miracles were fanciful, and failed to establish the familiarity of Jesus with Egypt and the Cabala. His teachings about the sword, and the antagonism of family relations, "the mother-in-law against the daughter-in-law," may agree with the numbers of the pillars of a certain Egyptian temple entrance, and the relations of the gods and goddesses they represent; but father, son, daughter, mother-in-law, are the common relations of households, especially in the East, where married sons bring their wives to the paternal household, and the simple use of the names and titles would prove nothing of Jesus' acquaintance with Egypt.
This, to be sure, does not affect the value of the Cabala for other purposes.
Mr. Felt thinks that the DATE OF THE PYRAMIDS is 16,000 years before Christ. He thinks that their astronomical records, whose configuration indicates a northern zone of the heavens, show that the Egyptians emigrated from Finland, as the earth cooled, with a philosophy full fledged, and that this science they at once applied to their new possessions.
The evening was too short for Mr. Felt to complete his elucidation, and he gave way for some business in regard to the formation of a proposed THEOSOPHICAL CLUB, to be composed of people believing in God and spirit, and desirous of throwing light upon the Cabala and kindred subjects. Dr. Pancoast, of Philadelphia, who is reputed a very wise occultist, propounded some questions. He said that the ancient occultists not only had wonderful theories, but could put them into practice. They could ACCOMPLISH FOUR WONDERS:
1. They could summon long departed "spirits from the vasty deep," and compel them to answer questions.
2. They could transmute the baser metals into gold.
3. They could indefinitely prolong human life.
4. They could ward off and neutralize the power of surrounding ill-boding demons.
Could Mr. Felt do this? Did he fully understand the meaning of the alphabet, numerals, and other Cabalistic signs? If so, nature was subject to his will, and he could not be confined by bolts and bars. A crystal was also shown to the Cabalist, whose meaning he could not then and there explain. To the questions there were HIS STRAIGHTFORWARD REPLIES:
He could, with his chemical circle, call into sight hundreds of shadowy forms resembling the human, but he had seen no signs of intelligence in these apparitions. He had found his art useful. By it he had discovered a lacking ingredient, and so perfected the colors of signal rockets that they became very valuable to our armies in the war time, because visible a hundred miles away. He did not wish to be imprisoned, though possibly he might escape therefrom Cabalistically, but he had never tried such experiments. He was not perfect in his science, and would not boast of what he could do. Meanwhile, he did wish to publish his expensive work, which would treat but a portion of a vast range of subjects. This is but an outline of the interview, with this grave, earnest, well-informed and indefatigable gentleman.
Is Cabalism anything more than a CAREFUL STUDY OF THE UNIVERSE'S LAWS and their marvelous harmony, whereby her mysteries can be unlocked, and the veil of Isis lifted? The studies of a score of years cannot be fully or fairly communicated or unfolded in a few hours, and this statement does meagre justice to Mr. Felt and his researches, which are unquestionably of value to many minds, and will lead him and others to something higher. The Cabala is but a chart of material and spiritual truths, and possibly without it pure souls penetrate the celestial arcana.
Of the speaker for that evening's gathering, George Henry Felt, little is known. Henry J. Newton, a New York Spiritualist who was present, says that Henry M. Stevens, of the N.Y. Observer editorial staff, had become acquainted with Felt, "a teacher of mathematics, a student of ancient geometry, and the mysteries connected with it" (N.Y. Herald, Nov. 10, 1895, sec. 6, p. 2). Felt's description of his research into Egyptian mythology and his discoveries in relation to the Kabbalah caused Stevens to introduce him to Mme. Blavatsky, at that time living in Irving Place, and known to be interested in similar subjects. This led to the invitation to address an assembled audience on September 7, 1875, in the parlour of 46 Irving Place.
The text of Felt's lecture has not survived, but Rev. Wiggin gives enough of a summation to convey its subject matter. Supporting his description, I recently discovered in the James Ralston Skinner Collection at the Andover-Harvard Theological Library a flyer for the work Felt was proposing to publish, The Kaballah of the Egyptians, and Canon of Proportions of the Greeks. While a somewhat similar announcement exists for the same work giving J.W. Bouton as publisher, and advertised in Bouton's catalog along with Isis Unveiled in 1877 (was Bouton trying to capitalize on the success of H.P.B.'s book, hoping that Felt's work would "unveil Isis a little more"?), I believe the flyer at Harvard preceded Felt's 1875 talk, which must be viewed as a venue for his soliciting subscribers for his proposed book (to be issued in ten parts, at two dollars a part).
Felt considered the Kaballah of the Egyptians to be "a geometrically and mystically arranged figure, intimately connected with all the works of Nature, both animate and inanimate." But a modern expert on the subject of the Kabbalah, the late Gershom Scholem, claims that the 19th century approach "by various theosophists and mystics lacked any basic knowledge of the sources and very rarely contributed to the field," dismissing the activities of French and English occultists because their knowledge was drawn mainly from Latin translations by Christian kabbalists, such as Knorr von Rosenroth's Kabbala Denudata (Scholem, entry on the Kabbalah in Encyclopedia Judaica, rept. by the New York Times Book Co., 1974, as Kabbalah, p. 203).
Mme. Blavatsky was one of the first, I believe, to differentiate between the Hermetic Kabbalah and its sources. As early as her 1875 "Hiraf" article in the Spiritual Scientist, she says, "The Rosicrucian Cabala is but the epitome of the Jewish and Oriental ones combined;" a position she held throughout her later writings (B:CW I, 106; see also "The Eastern Gupta Vidya and the Kabbalah" in the posthumous third volume of The Secret Doctrine, rept. in B:CW XIV).
Among those attending Felt's talk, Lizzie Doten was a well known
inspirationally speaking medium. Mesdames Wood and Johnson probably wanted to take advantage of the St. Petersburg University committee offer to test an American medium. Only John Storer Cobb (not named) of the New Era, Seth Pancoast, Dr. and Mrs. Britten, Charles Sotheran, Col. Olcott, Mme. Blavatsky (not referred to but obviously present), went on to commit themselves to what would become the Theosophical Society.
It should be noted that Rev. Wiggin's article already applied the designation "Theosophical" to the proposed organization. (As this name was decided at the meeting of September 13, he still could have heard about it in time to include it in his report.) Wiggin (1836-1900), a Unitarian minister, became one of the original councillors of the T.S., but toward the end of 1875 returned to Boston to devote his time to literary work; his most notable task being the editing of the 16th edition of Mary Baker Eddy's Science and Health.
Henry Newton, one of the guests though not named, sheds a further sidelight on the September 7 gathering. "The lecture was very disappointing, as it was not at all what was expected, but was a dry dissertation on geometry and ancient mathematics generally, without reference to cabala. The whole thing was flat, and would have fallen and remained so if it had not been for one statement made near the close of the lecture. The lecturer referred to the methods used in Egypt and India in connection with their mysteries, and said 'They produce the phenomena of so-called materialization by a combustion of aromatic gum and herbs, instead of a seance of persons to draw the necessary power from. I have produced these phenomena in that way, and can do it again.'
"Here was something interesting," Newton remembers, "something tangible for the investigator. I was all attention. Nothing had been said about an association. Mme. Blavatsky had not mentioned any mission of hers, or the organization of a Society of modern theosophy. The whole matter would have dropped then and there had it not been for that one statement, which so interested me that I moved a committee be appointed to investigate the phenomena referred to, and made a statement quite at length setting out the importance of the information received, if true, and our duty to determine whether or not it was true" (N.Y. Herald, Nov. 10,1895, 'Theosophy's Origin Exposed"). Here Mr. Newton's memory is faulty, and shows the necessity of checking claims made long after the event. The first recorded entry of the Minute Book of the T.S., under the date of September 8, 1875, names Col. Olcott as proposing the intended Society.
Mr. Felt's subsequent relationship with Theosophy, told in "The Ante and Post Natal History of the T.S." (The Canadian Theosophist, Jul-
Aug, Sep-Oct, 1989), did not live up to its initial promise, although Olcott spoke highly of him in his Inaugural Address, and Mme. Blavatsky mentioned his potential in Isis Unveiled (Vol. I, p. 22).
Jungian Synchronicity: Astrological Signs and Ages, by Alice O. Howell. A Quest Original. Wheaton, Illinois: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1990. ix + 242 pp. Price $9.95 U.S.
Alice Howell is a former faculty member of the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles and Chicago. She is also a professional astrologer and lecturer and is recognized as a pioneer linking psychology with astrology.
Written as "Letters to an Analyst Friend," this book is a companion volume to Jungian Symbology in Astrology. In the introductory part, Howell tells us that "The key that astrology offers is the language life speaks: the symbolic language of archetypal processes" (p.17). "Astrology ... yokes the seemingly disparate worlds of outer and inner into the (one world), so that they become one for an instant and profoundly meaningful ...Astrology's time frame then becomes what Jung termed synchronicity" (p.18).
Howell uses mythological and religious symbolism to indicate the development of human consciousness through the Ages, and finds indisputable evidence of synchronicity in history with the symbolism of an Age.
The first half of the book deals with a general explanation of basic astrological principles. The Elements and the Houses are approached and the healing processes that can take place in the individual psyche are shown to be relevant. Tables are included to assist understanding.
In the second half, Howell builds up to the understanding of the astrological basis for the Age of Aquarius. Starting at c. 8000 B.C. with the Age of Cancer, and allowing generous amounts of time for "overlapping", she conducts us through the Ages of Gemini, Taurus, Aries and Pisces, towards the Age of Aquarius, beginning at approximately 1800 A.D. (An "Age" is a "Platonic Month", or about 2,300 years.)
She observes that "During the transitional centuries (between ages) an enormous tension of opposites builds up. The outgoing age appears to bloom, in defiance of its own demise ... Thereafter it goes slowly to seed as the upshoots of the Age-to-be burst through the fresh new message, so dreaded by the old" (pp. 166-67).
"One of the challenges of our own New Age is to see if we can be members of a collective psyche without losing our conscious individuality," she writes (p. 191). "When ideas begin to affect the entire globe ... we are furthering the Aquarian process" (p. 210). This cyclic process and meaning of the coming age, as described by her, sound familiar to this student of Theosophy. A very readable book for people with an interest in both astrology and Jungian psychology.
- Laetitia van Hees
Cycles are measured by the consciousness of humanity and not by Nature. - H.P. Blavatsky
A transcription error, for which the Editors apologize, rendered Stan Treloar's contribution to the "Endexoteric" challenge unintelligible. Following is the correct version.
ENDEXOTERIC (a. & n.) Of philosophical doctrine, mode of speech, etc., not readily intelligible to outsiders (cf. Exoteric) but intelligible to persons trained or knowledgable along certain lines as to have the easy key to its understanding (cf., endemic, specific to certain classes of people, or life forms, as in endemic diseases) and not so arcane as to qualify for the use of the term esoteric; more readily understandable to some, but not yet to the general public. [f. F. endemique, or mod. L. endemicus f. Gk. endemos: and Exoteric, (a) doctrine intelligible to outsiders, f. LL F. Gk. Exoterikos, (exotero comparative of exo, outside.)]
1990 EUROPEAN SCHOOL OF THEOSOPHY
The 1990 session of the European School of Theosophy will be held at Tekels Park, England, October 13-21. Stephan Hoeller will be guest tutor.
Further information and requests for application forms should be requested from the Secretary: Mrs. Elise Probert, 25 'Clarendon', Cyncoed Avenue, Cyncoed, Cardiff, Wales CF2 1TJ, U.K.
CHANGING YOUR ADDRESS?
If you are a subscriber or a member-at-large and are planning to change your address, please send us a change of address card as soon as possible. If you are a member of a Lodge, please advise your Lodge Secretary so that the information may be passed to us. Second class mail is not re-addressed by the post office. - Eds.
KROTONA FALL PROGRAM
The Krotona Fall program commences September 22 and continues through November 17.
Among the courses offered are: "Evolution: A Theosophical Perspective" - Adam Warcup. "Theosophical Forum" - Yves Marcel, Joy Mills, Adam Warcup. "Living the Life: Experiencing Theosophy" - Yves Marcel. "Practical Guidelines to the Spiritual Journey" - Joy Mills. "The Dynamics of Healing" - Dora Kunz. "Examining the Beliefs that Shape Our Actions" - Joy Mills, Adam Warcup.
In addition, there will be two weekend sessions: "Ecological Consciousness as the Next Stage of Evolution" - Henry Skolimowski. "Spiritual Retreat" with Dora Kunz.
Further information from the Director, Krotona Institute, School of Theosophy, 46 Krotona Hill, Ojai, CA 93023, U.S.A.
TORONTO THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY TRAVELLING LIBRARY
The Travelling Library of the Toronto Theosophical Society is operating and offering books on loan by mail to Society members only in Canada. Inquiries to: Toronto Theosophical Society Travelling Library, 109 Dupont Street, Toronto, Ontario M5R 1V4
S.D.G & A HELD OVER
Lack of space necessitates holding over the Secret Doctrine Question and Answer Section. The series will resume in the next issue. - Eds.
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
MEMBERSHIP DUES 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 1C0
"THE SLEEPING SPHERES"
Now available: "The Sleeping Spheres" by Jasper Niemand, with notes by Willem B. Roos. Price $2.00 including postage. Available from: The Canadian Theosophist, 2307 Sovereign Cres. S.W. Calgary, Alberta, Canada T3C 2M3
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