Vol. 71 No. 4 Toronto, Sept.-Oct., 1990
The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document.
KARMA: JUSTICE AND FREEWILL
- Joan Sutcliffe
We are all aware that suffering comes to good people. We see honest and upright citizens perhaps lose a beloved child. Kind friends who are immersed in charitable work are perhaps suddenly stricken with some terrible and long drawn out sickness. Morally conscious people ask: "Why do such things happen? Why do wars occur? Where is the justice in the world?"
These questions are very difficult to answer either simply or quickly. Yet Theosophy does provide explanations. Theosophy teaches: firstly, there is a law - a perfect law - called Karma, which means that as we think and act so shall we receive back accordingly in our own lives. This law involves perfect justice. Secondly, the working of this law necessitates the fact of reincarnation: that is, that after death the soul is reborn into a new body, and that the soul of man lives many, many times on earth. Thirdly, man is living on more than one plane of consciousness. Besides the physical awareness of the body and brain, there is the inner thinking man whose field of influence is the mental and psychic planes, and then there is the real immortal Ego which is in touch with the more spiritual realms. Karma acts on all these levels.
First and foremost, Karma is an occult law, and therefore operates from an occult standpoint. It takes into consideration the hidden element, the mental force behind the act, the motive; which of the actor's inner principles are most dominantly involved. Is he being guided by Higher Manas (higher mind)? For example, we might take the hypothetical case of a little boy who fails to clean his room, but was motivated by compassion for his animal comrade and felt the time would be more kindly spent taking his dog for a long walk. Karma will reward him for his considerate thought. By way of contrast, we may see the charming rescuer helping the old lady across a busy road, but secretly savouring his meritorious deed. He is motivated by Kama Manas (intellect ruled by desire) and scheming for his own self interest. Karma will likewise adjust the balance according to his inner pride.
Karma most importantly takes account of the Inner Man who is the reincarnating Ego
journeying through many earth lives. With our ordinary everyday vision we cannot always recognize what it needs. This pilgrim soul must pass through every kind of experience, learn every lesson, develop every quality in order to reach its full potential. Real growth is slow and there will be many mistakes to be rectified. Karma is not a cruel punishing Nemesis, as our unbalanced ideas of the Greek goddess would lead us to believe. Karma is an impersonal law, restoring equilibrium to the Cosmos, restoring the harmony in man's evolving growth. The example is often given that if one drops a stone into a pond the equilibrium of the water is disturbed, creating ripples, and undulating waves spread out from the stone until they reach the opposite shore, whence they return to the point of disturbance. Thus works Karma.
Instead of seeing the whole, we tend to look at life from the standpoint of an isolated ripple, and then become angry with the water for rocking our boat. When we judge others all we see is one little part of their present life at the outermost physical point. We do not see the inner causes. The Master K.H. said that we should not make judgements on the lives of others, for we do not know their past Karma.
One of the reasons why we do not recognize the working of Karma in our lives is because of the illusion of time which separates the cause from the effect. The occult teachings tell us that time is a phenomenon only of our physical world. On the astral and inner planes time does not exist. In reality all is taking place eternally in the "Eternal Now": and the past, the present, the future are all one. Therefore both the cause and the effect are inherent in the action itself. Each thought we think impresses itself on the akashic records and in that impression is also contained the reaction. Therefore the reaction is already in existence, and it is Karma which manifests it into our life when the right conditions are available.
In Nordic mythology Karma is represented by three inseparable goddesses, each concerned respectively with the past, present and future; who work together ceaselessly weaving mysterious threads passing them from one to the other, pulling and tearing to adjust the pattern. The threads have no beginning, as Karma is beginningless, for each cause is directly the effect of an earlier cause, as each effect in turn becomes a new cause. In mythology the gods and goddesses are macrocosmically the personifications of the metaphysical powers of nature; and microcosmically in man they represent man's own spiritual principles. So these goddesses in one sense symbolize our own Higher Ego (Atma-Buddhi-Manas), which weaves the threads of our actions into the tapestry of life, to be manifested in the present or stored for the future. Theosophy teaches that we are our own god. It is our Higher Ego that ideally guides the direction of our life, which chooses our future parents and life situations. As W.Q. Judge points out in several of his writings: Karma is not an outside force nor an outside god.
After death, we are told, the Higher Ego is the impersonal witness of a view of the life just lived. The Ego sees all the scenes and happenings and also the causes behind those circumstances, and the causes set in other lives which led to them. It sees without emotion or regrets where wrong decisions were made, what should have been done but was not, where the wrong track was followed. Then at the next birth it guides the new personality into situations where it is most likely to learn the lessons it failed to learn last time.
The Karmic effects come into our lives at the most suitable time. Though time is an illusion, non-existent on higher planes, it is a dimension of measurement for our physical consciousness. As we live we develop more experience and understanding than we had when committing our earlier actions, and so after this period of learning and growth we can better appreciate and benefit from the reaction. Living has given wisdom.
There is a very interesting story by H.P.B. called "Karmic Visions". It is written from the point of view of the Soul-Ego, the real "I" behind the personal man, looking out and watching the mistakes and sufferings undertaken by its personality. The story begins with its incarnation as Clovis, the barbaric Merovingian conqueror of the Germanic tribes. The Lower Manas is ruled by the cruel excitement of the desire nature: lustfully exhilarated by the spoils of war, Clovis kills a holy prophetess of the captured people by piercing her throat with his spear. A cycle passes and the same Soul-Ego reincarnates in the German race (the race he formerly ravaged) as Frederick, heir to the throne. The mind is now the guiding intelligence of a gentle and very sensitive nature. In his role of future Emperor he has all the promise of being a wise and compassionate ruler. Then suddenly he is stricken with cancer of the throat, and has to take to his sickbed and suffer a long drawn-out illness. We now witness the agonizing suffering of the Soul-Ego as it looks out through the pain-racked body and has to watch the developing circumstances that will inevitably lead to the Great War and know that it is helpless to avert the catastrophe. The Soul-Ego in desperation cries out "Why?" and is given a vision of its past lives showing the causes that led up to the present situation, until finally the lesson is learned and stamped on the akashic records for ever.
Regarding this story, from the outside exoteric view, it would seem that an intelligent and beneficent ruler, who could have wisely guided his people and saved his country from disaster, was stricken cruelly by a hard and senseless fate. From the inner esoteric view, we see the Soul-Ego learning a very valuable lesson, learning for all time the devastating waste and suffering of war and the sacredness of preserving life. The Inner Man could only learn this lesson while inhabiting a kind and sensitive personality. It could never have learned this lesson in the savage personality of Clovis.
This is why Karma can only be understood against the background of reincarnation. One lifetime is too short for all the causes to be adjusted. It is often necessary for the Soul to inhabit a different type of personality, for other Skandhas to predominate, in order to really learn the lesson Karma has to teach. The real Ego behind Clovis had to identify with a gentle and intelligent personality in order to recognize the other side of war. As Clovis, he could only feel the exhilaration and glory of battle, but housed in the sensitive nature of Frederick he could experience the opposite pole, the waste of life and the pain and desolation.
In another vein and in another article, H.P.B. points out the occult law working intelligently on the inner plane. In response to social workers who work to ameliorate only the physical conditions of the poor people, she explains the Karmic law which takes into consideration the moral and spiritual natures of those people. Because at this stage the Kama Manasic principle predominates, and the higher ones are not yet developed, this very poverty holds them down and prevents them from giving full rein to their lower de-
sires, and actually in this situation they live simple and fairly good lives, thus giving chance for spiritual qualities to develop. Circumstances are different, perhaps, now from then, but this shows the deeper wisdom of this just law.
One of the big items of controversy today is the subject of abortion. It seems to me that abortion is trying to escape the effects of causes consciously set in motion, and thus even from the exoteric point of view it is breaking the moral code. However, from the esoteric aspect there is an occult and deeper implication. In The Light of Asia there is a verse which reads:
Kill not - for Pity's sake and lest ye slay
The meanest thing upon its upward way.
We cannot see another's Karma. We cannot see what that soul coming into incarnation as an unwanted child really needs for its inner growth. Perhaps this is just the situation it needs to fulfil its Karmic lessons. We do not know what the akashic picture for the whole of that incarnation is. That might be just the one life when that soul will become an Adept, and hence a future guardian and helper for the whole of humanity. As the Soul-Ego of Clovis had to learn through suffering the preciousness of life, so those who nonchalantly welcome abortion may have to suffer in a future life the loss of a very dear child. To really learn the lesson it would have to occur when the parents are sensitive enough to appreciate the loss. Looking from the outer physical view all we see is the suffering. We do not see the inner causes and the inner growth, regulated by the wise and unimpassioned Higher Ego.
We have evolved through many and varied civilizations, through uncivilized races and savage tribes, and through the degenerate Atlantean period. We have built up a tremendous backlog of Karma which would overwhelm us were we to face it equally yet. It is an occult rule that we shall be presented with no more Karma than we have the inner development to bear and work out. As a soul becomes inwardly stronger and the higher principles more dominant, it is able to deal with more Karma and grow through it. For often suffering is necessary for drawing out the inner strengths and spiritual virtues. So we see good people suffer!
One of the mysteries of life is the tremendous hardship that comes to spiritually advanced souls. The wise and compassionate social reformer, Gandhi, taught spiritual and moral values to humanity, yet all his life he suffered attacks of violence from his opponents, but he always had the strength to react with gentleness and forgiveness. This is perhaps a case of great Karmic debts being expended by one who had insight enough to use the unhappy situations to demonstrate the principles of non-violence and power through quiet endurance. There was also the very pure and saintly Hindu spiritual leader of the last century, Sri Ramakrishna, who had the most enlightening influence on many young mystical seekers of that time, and who yet had to spend the last years of his life suffering from a long and painful illness. However, he met it with fortitude, and it was during this period that he left the greatest impression on his disciple, Vivekananda, who was to bring the sacred philosophy of Vedanta to the west. Such souls are strong and wise enough to bear a great concentration of their past Karma.
(To be continued)
STUDIES IN EARLY AMERICAN THEOSOPHICAL HISTORY
- Michael Gomes
VII. H.P.B.'s AMERICAN CORRESPONDENCE
At the October 30, 1875 formative meeting of the Theosophical Society, Mme. Blavatsky was elected to the only office she was to hold in the Society (with the exception of being named President of the European Section for less than a year during 1890-91), that of Corresponding Secretary. She kept this position for ten years until sickness caused her to resign (see "Retirement of Madame Blavatsky," The Theosophist, May 1885, p. 195; rept. B:CW VI, 337-38). Very little has been written on her function in this role, and Grace Frances Knoche's article, "The Corresponding Secretary," Theosophical Forum (Covina, CA), Nov. 1947, remains the sole examination.
We are left to turn to the 1875 By-Laws of the Society for further information. Ch. XI, Sec. 1 defines the office as, "it shall be the duty of the corresponding secretary to conduct the general correspondence of the society with individuals and associate bodies." Sec. 2 adds, "The corresponding secretary shall keep, in suitable books provided for that purpose, at the society's rooms, true copies of all letters written on behalf of the society, and shall preserve, on proper files, at the said rooms, all letters received on the same account, and at each stated meeting of the society or the council shall report the correspondence, or such parts thereof as may be required."
Mme. Blavatsky would have been a likely choice for she carried on an active campaign of letter writing since her first missives appeared in the New York papers in October and November, 1874. She wrote to the Spiritualist press, and had been in correspondence with the editor of Psychische Studien (published in Leipzig but emanating from Russia), Alexander Aksakov, since 1874. Collections of her letters to prominent Spiritualists in 1875, like Hiram Corson of Cornell, and General Francis Lippitt of Boston, have since been published. Throughout this period she also carried out an extensive correspondence with her relatives in Russia (translated in The Path, Dec. 1894 - Dec. 1895).
But when we come to official correspondence relating to the Theosophical Society, very little is locatable from her. A great deal of the enquiries to New York in the 1870s has survived in the Archives of the Theosophical Society at Adyar, but the interpretation of the By-Law
Copyright 1990 by Michael Gomes
about the Corresponding Secretary preserving "copies of all letters written on behalf of the Society" appears to have been lax. Yet enough correspondence from Blavatsky for this American period has survived to indicate how she functioned. All these letters have previously appeared in print - but almost never reprinted - in sources so obscure as to make it new material. They are presented here in order to save this material from oblivion, and to allow H.P.B.'s correspondence to be made more widely available for future researchers.
"Corrections by Mad. Blavatsky."
Banner of Light (Boston), February 17, 1877, p. 5
To the Editor of the Banner of Light:
SIR: Please allow me to state:
1. That I was not born in 1834.
2. That Ekaterinoslaw cannot claim the illustrious honor of being my birth-place.
3. That M. Blavatsky was not seventy-three when he capped the climax of my terrestrial felicity by placing his valetudinarian hand in mine. He might have been older, he might have been younger; some men are.
4. My father's name was not Hahn-Hahn.
5. He was not Governor of Ekaterinoslaw.
6. I achieved no eminence (since such a thing was impossible) by plucking the electrical Beard of the plumes of his conceit.
7. As my grandfather died some twelve years before my father, I did not live with him two years after his decease.
8. My book, "The Veil of Isis," is not being published by J.W. Benton, but by the well-known house of J.W. Bouton.
And yet, with the reporters' permission, I do sign myself,
302 West 47th street, New York
New York, Nov. 16, 1877
Dear Mr. Evans,
It will give me much pleasure to see Mr. Pusey and yourself upon the evening you name. If you want to enjoy a good laugh read the article in this morning's New York World upon "Theosophs at the Circus." The writer is a wag of a fellow who never loses an opportunity to poke fun at us in a good-natured way. His present story is based upon the slender foundation that Col. Olcott and I did go to the circus with him, did feed
the elephants, and did have an interview with the putative "Egyptian Jugglers" - a couple of French humbugs who are no magicians at all but only passable as prestidigitators.
Thanks to Brahma and all the holy family of gods dwelling in the Moksha, the second edition of Isis is selling as rapidly as the first. This one has "a table of contents in it" - a great improvement. The London publisher Quaritch has sent for a fourth supply, and tomorrow's steamer takes the first shipment to the corresponding Fellows of the Theosophical Society in India.
With remembrance and my kindest regards to Mrs. Evans, Mrs. Amer and other friends.
M.D. Evans, Esq.
[Blavatsky to W.H. Burr, Nov. 19, 1877]
Let us settle, once for all if you please, as to the word "Spiritualist." I am not one - not at least in the modern and American sense of the word. I am a Shwabhavika, a Buddhist Pantheist, if anything at all. I do not believe in a personal God, in a direct Creator, or a "Supreme" (Being); neither do I confess to a First cause, which implies the possibility of a Last one - and if so, then what comes next? I believe in but one eternal, indestructible substance, the Shwabhavat, or invisible, all pervading matter, whether you call it God, or many Gods in partnership. But this is not the First cause, but only the eternal emanation of the universal, incomprehensible something, which is neither first nor last, but had neither beginning, neither will it have an end. The epithet "Atheist" in my book [Isis Unveiled] does not apply to those who disbelieve in a personal God, but to them who equally reject the God of the Christians and the "Anima mundi" of the ancients; who attribute the whole of the visible and invisible world to blind chance - which is a word void of sense in relation to the economy of nature as a whole and can, at best, be applied to individuals, the results of the everlasting work of this whole. If you did not know of any Atheist who had nightmares I
did. And my own brother to begin with, one of the brightest intellects of the Moscow University. Unable to solve the problem, What is God? (the God of the Christians), whence he proceeded and who created him, the young fellow had brain fever and went mad. He was cured with great difficulty in a lunatic asylum in Germany, where he remained from 24 to 31 years of age. Then again Schleiermacher, the German Professor of Theology and several others.
You are right in saying that you see no inconsistency in being an Atheist and at the same time a Spiritualist. I am an Atheist in the Christian sense of the word and yet I believe in the survival of the real inner man after the dissolution of his physical body or his outer terrestrial garment, and I believe in the immortal or third principle in man. But I do not believe in the following:
1. I deny that immortality is achieved by every man, woman or child. Immortality must be won, or as John says, "The kingdom of heaven must be taken by violence." But a very small percentage of the human race becomes immortal, i.e. very few individuals become gods. "Know ye not ye are gods?" The rest are sooner or later annihilated, and their bodies and souls are disintegrated, and while the atoms of one return to the elements of physical nature, the more sublimated atoms of the other, when no longer cemented by the presence of their individual "spirits" - which are alone immortal, as everything real becomes subjective - are violently torn loose from each other and return to the more sublimated elements of spiritual nature.
2. I emphatically deny that the spirits of the dead can show or manifest themselves objectively in any way or manner. But I do believe and know that these spirits have the power (if their finer astral entity survives) to impress mortals on earth, to inspire and teach them, etc.
3. I do not believe in the so-called materializations of our dead ones. But I believe that the astral souls (erroneously called spirits) within a living body have the same powers or faculties as those who have forced themselves from their earthly presence. Therefore I believe in some of the manifestations produced by mediums, but hold that pretty nearly all such phenomena are the result of the freaks of the spirits of the mediums themselves, unconscious to themselves, and are often helped by the "elementary," or those disembodied men and women who, having parted forever from their immortal spirits, vegetate within the atmosphere of the earth, which alone attracts them, and use the organs of weak mediums to lead through them a fictitious life, and cheat annihilation for a short time yet. If the inner man of a sleepwalker, who is ignorant sometimes even of reading and writing in his normal state, can write very often beautiful poetry, play the violin and do that which his body would never do when awake, why not believe that their spirits
or inner selves, when disembodied, can do the same? Why wonder and attribute the phenomena to the agency of disembodied spirits when they are simply due to the invisible and real self of the medium?
Thus, as I do not believe what your Spiritualists teach, I am not a Spiritualist. But as I believe in the survival of the astral soul, and the immortality of the "spirit," I am not a nihilist either. I confess that the term "Atheist" is improperly used; but this is the fault of the English language, not mine. What other term would you use? Even the modern Hindostanee - let alone the mother tongue of all, the Sanskrit - has expressions which are utterably untranslatable into your European poor tongues. I am not an Atheist - quite the reverse; and yet I completely reject the idea of a Creator or a Supreme God, who is in the least concerned in the government of this world. How would you call me, then? Neither am I a Pantheist, pure and simple, for beyond visible nature, and within its immutable, eternal laws, I place a spiritual, purely subjective intellect, the unconscious Deus ex Machina of all, though neither its guide nor Ruler. Buddhist philosophy and metaphysics, even in their exoteric literature, are beyond the comprehension of the average civilized Christian; as to the esoteric Eastern teachings they are simply inaccessible to the greatest metaphysical European mind - unless he is shown that which he cannot comprehend by simple argumentation, and all his five senses are brought together to testify to his reason that which he is allowed to learn practically as well as theoretically within certain sanctuaries and through initiation.
Excuse my long and not very clear arguments. I would if I could express myself more clearly. But besides being a foreigner, with a very limited knowledge of English, I am placed face to face with a public which, however intelligent and scientifically trained, is yet unable to grasp even theoretically that which is demonstrated practically in certain pagodas, and therefore perfectly plain to me.
P.S. I have read over the present scribble, and I know that your verdict upon reading it will be that I am a d-- fool. So be it, nor do I blame you for sharing the ideas of every respectable and civilized citizen of America in regard to my religio-metaphysical views and unconventional habits.
(1) The Banner had reprinted a long interview with H.P.B. from the New York World of Jan. 23, 1877, "A Coming Buddhist Book," on Feb. 3, 1877. The Feb. 10 issue carried her letter to the World correcting some of its mis-statements, and the Banner added the following biographical note: "She was born 1834 at Ekaterinoslar, a province in Russia, of
which her father, Colonel Hahn-Hahn, was Governor. He was a cousin of the Countess Ida Hahn-Hahn, the authoress. Her father dying, she went to her grandfather, one of the three councillors of the Viceroy Woronzoff, in Tiflis, in Georgia. At sixteen she was married to M. Blavatsky, aged seventy-three, Governor of Erivan. At the end of a year they separated, since which time she has traveled all over the Eastern countries, and, in fact, the entire world." Her letter published Feb. 17 replies to this note.
(2) An extract from this letter first appeared in The Dawning of the Theosophical Movement, p. 142. I now transcribe it in its entirety from the original in the Dreer Collection at the State Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Mordecai D. Evans was admitted to the Society November 8, 1876, sponsored by H.P.B. and Col. Olcott. The article H.P.B. refers to in that Friday's New York World (Nov. 16, 1877, p.8), carried an exaggerated account of an outing to the circus at New York's Gilmore Gardens, studded with bits of conversation between H.P.B., Col Olcott and the reporter. "'It is like India, this circus,' she said. 'There is a beautiful smell of wild beasts.' Inside she was greatly interested in the trained elephants, but not much in the rest of the show until the jugglers appeared."
(3) William Henry Burr, a Washington newspaper reporter, managed to combine the philosophical position of being an atheist and spiritualist. His correspondence with H.P.B. which survives in the Adyar Archives shows that he tried to draw out her beliefs. This long letter, for which he gives the date of Nov. 19, 1877, was printed in a 9-page pamphlet titled Madame Blavatsky, n.p., n.d., but probably c. 1893. I quoted it in The Dawning of the Theosophical Movement, pp. 178-182, but as some typographical errors crept in, I include it with this series. On October 10, 1877, H.P.B. had written Burr, "I do not believe in Spiritualism, but I believe in the phenomena, which as it takes place, must proceed from some natural causes as yet undiscovered by science."
(To be continued)
We know of one Esoteric doctrine - 'the universal secret Wisdom-Religion' of old. The latter embraces every one of the great creeds of the antiquity, while none of these can boast of having it in its entirety. Our mission is to gather all these scattered rays, bring them back to one focus, and thus help those who will come after us to unveil some day the glorious sun of Truth. Only humanity must be prepared for it - lest it should be blinded by the unexpected splendour.
- H. P. Blavatsky
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: Mrs. Gwendolyn Maydan, Victoria Lodge; and as members at large: Jo Ann Baerstein and her husband, John Bristol, Welland, Ontario; Mr. David Davis, Brantford, Ontario; Mr. Achilles Grigorakis, Montreal, P.Q., Mrs. Brenda Johnson, Bridgewater, N.S. Also new to us is Mr. Ronald Ramsay' demitted from the T.S. in America to Victoria Lodge.
I regret to announce the deaths of Mrs. Gaile Campbell, formerly of Vancouver, B.C., on June 24 in Calgary; and Mrs. Phoebe Stone, of Toronto, Ontario, on July 9. They were sisters, daughters of the late Col. E.L. Thompson, one of our past General Secretaries.
Mrs. Stone was a Past President of the late Montreal Lodge. Mrs. Campbell had been an active worker for animal welfare. She also had been Librarian of the Toronto Theosophical Society, where I first met her. I arrived there after work one evening, to paint the building, and she took me into the Library office, saying that I should have some payment for my work. She then pointed to a corner of the room, where there was a great pile of "Secret Doctrines," at least a ton, it seemed to me. She explained that every member who died left their library of T.S. books to the Lodge - and all owned The Secret Doctrine - far in excess of what the Library could ever use. As I had no S.D. at that time, she kindly gave me a set of the three-volume third edition. I always think of her and her kindness on our first meeting when I see my "Secret Doctrine," even now that I have the first edition. We then got better acquainted over many a cup of tea in that Library office, as I rested after the painting chore, and she rested after working on setting up the Library in the (then) new headquarters. I first met Gaile's sister, Phoebe Stone, only last September, at our Annual Meeting.
I also regret to report the death on August 29, 1990, of David Zuk, of Brampton, Ontario. He will be remembered as a Past President of Toronto Lodge. Unfortunately, illness forced him to fade out from that job, and ill health dogged him for several years thereafter.
To their families and friends I extend condolences on behalf of all the members of the Theosophical Society in Canada.
I am pleased to both welcome and announce the election of a new member to our Board of Directors, Miss Catherine O'May, of Toronto. She will replace the late Mollie Yorke, who died last April. The Board members utilized the by-law provisions for replacing a Director. We selected the replacement by voting from the names of the two runners-up in the previous election, or for a third person to be named, if a majority declined to select from the runners-up. Miss O'May gathered the majority of votes from the Board.
Our new member, JoAnn Baerstein, sent me a humourous letter, addressing me as (a) hupersun, after my comments (May-June 1990 issue) on "non-sexist" language. To it I replied, addressing her as a "pheemail". This may avoid the appearance in print of sexist parts in words, but when spoken, it sounds
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the same as "female" and one enunciates the "offensive" male syllables.
What is needed, if this non-sexist business is to continue, is the invention of completely new words that contain neither the sight nor sound of the offending parts, whether male or female. This flies in the face of the real intent where the "man" in "human" or "mankind" derives from "manas", meaning thinker, as explained in my earlier essay. That the "man", short for "manas", is desired to be taken out is probably a sign of the times and a removal of the "thinker" reference probably reflects reality.
The School of the Wisdom is holding sessions from October 1 to December 7, at Adyar India. A copy of the syllabus is available by writing to me, for anyone interested in attending. Notice was not received from Adyar in time for earlier publication in this magazine. Those who would attend and wish to stay in the Adyar headquarters must write there first re accommodation, and also get a letter of recommendation from me or a Lodge President.
One hears a lot, even reads of it in a very official Theosophical magazine (not this one) about freedom of thought for our members, autonomy of Lodges, and such democratic virtues. But recently - in the past few years, that is - when it comes down to the nitty gritty, such freedom of thought and beliefs, and autonomy "ain't necessarily so."
Most recent case in point was when the Denmark Section wanted to put their funds in a Trust, away from Adyar's influence, and were in some places studying too much A.A. Bailey to suit the powers in Adyar. So, certain undemocratic sections of the Interna-
tional Rules were applied (which certain sections should have long ago been deleted) and the Danish Section head was ousted, and the Section given a "Presidential Agent" to run the Section, or what is left of it after a split of pro Adyar staying on and the against leaving. As to settlement thereof, this matter is before the Danish courts, the last I heard of this affair.
Now, those power-abusing sections of the International Rules mean that national Sections and/or Lodges are not assumed to be adult enough to run their own affairs if someone, or several, in top management in Adyar would have things run otherwise. Thus, the Section members and/or Lodge members are not able to exert a democratic right to vote for what they want. It is asserted/ imposed from afar. It then appears that Head Office officials cannot see that the majority in a Section or Lodge are running things with majority consent - as it pleases a majority of their members, which is what happens when democratic ways are permitted, and autonomy and freedom of thought allowed.
I have seen instances where Besant and Leadbeater were studied almost exclusively; and others where H.P.B.'s works and the Mahatma Letters were exclusive books studied, and with no complaints from Adyar. One wonders if the mention of "too much single-author study" of A.A.B. was more to cover the strong reaction to the attempt to form a Trust to hold assets free of Adyar's influence, which reaction does have a materialistic ring.
If one analyses the set-up of Adyar headquarters and national Sections, one can see that the members can get to their evolutionary goal whether or not Adyar exists. But those in Adyar who would maintain the setup need the Sections and their members, and the 15% of dues sent to Adyar each year.
When the British Empire became a group of autonomous nations, they still held together (except one) in an organization called the British Commonwealth of Nations. So also should the Theosophical Society be run, for as with the members of the Commonwealth, local groups know their needs best, and are sufficiently adult and developed to handle their affairs. In the Commonwealth, the member nations run their separate affairs, the Queen sits on her throne as the head, and she never meddles in the affairs of the member-nations. Again, there is a hint there.
LETTER TO THE EDITORS
We strongly object to so much space in your splendid magazine being devoted to the writings of the historian, Michael Gomes. This person, in his desire to gain plaudits and prizes from American universities, is rehashing all the absurd old libels directed at HPB and Col. Olcott, found in ancient, decaying newspapers of the 19th century.
The press then as now has forever been engaged in gross yellow journalism, libel, misrepresentation and downright falsehood. One need not name the modern varieties, they are so numerous and in every supermarket. They are about as common as the libel actions against these types of papers.
On the other hand, it was refreshing to read in the May-June number D.D.'s feature article, "You Do Not Know Me." Here is real theosophical writing not yellow journalism. Let's have more of D.D.'s work and less of
Michael Gomes' repetition of ancient newspaper libel about the Theosophical Founders.
- John Spaight
The editors naturally assume full responsibility for the decision to allocate space to the serialization of Michael Gomes' Studies in Early American Theosophical History, and will continue to do so until the series is complete or their editorial appointment is terminated. The writer is entitled to his views, but we object most strongly to his unwarranted attack on Mr. Gomes as a person.
We have known Michael for twenty years. Although on one long ago occasion we did not see eye to eye, never for a single minute in all that time have we doubted his sincerity and integrity - and his scholarship speaks for itself. His contribution to the Theosophical Movement over the years has been substantial, and let it be stressed, without material compensation for his valuable work. To even suggest, therefore, that his motive is for "plaudits and prizes" is ridiculous as well as insulting, and reflects adversely on the writer of this letter. Obviously, "You do not know him," Mr. Spaight.
The above letter will come as a complete surprise to those several readers, representative of most of the main segments of the Movement, who have written from all over the world expressing appreciation for the Studies. Presumably, like us, they are grateful for this source of facts about the early years of the Theosophical Movement and the principal personalities involved therein. It is perhaps not too far-fetched to speculate that had this series been published a dozen years ago, some of the falsehoods and exaggerations regurgitated in the scurrilous Meade biography of Blavatsky would not have been published.
Of course, readers' disagreements with editorial publishing decisions are as old as journalism. Going through some old C.T. volumes recently, the following response to one by Albert E.S. Smythe was noted and endorsed:
"In a newspaper it is the custom to skip what one is not interested in, and leave it to those who are. But some Theosophists are so constituted that they cannot bear to think that there may be other people in the world interested in things which they are not. The whole of The Canadian Theosophist is not given to one subject, and all that is necessary is to read what is agreeable and leave the rest to those who like it." (VIII, 18)
We are, of course, aware that history is not everybody's favourite reading, but few question its importance. So we apologize to those who object to the space taken up by Studies, and hope that, in the course of several numbers of this journal, the variety and quality of other writings is satisfying to them.
The Annual Meeting of Hermes Lodge was held on June 23. Officers for the coming year were elected as follows:
President - Lance Mcraine
Vice-President - Larry Gray
Treasurer - Laara Mcraine
Secretary - Eva Sharp
Librarian - Diana Cooper
The Annual Report indicated a year of progress, in spite of the cancellation of
several events in January and February because of poor weather.
The Secret Doctrine meetings on Mondays were well attended and enjoyed. The meetings on Wednesday evenings have included discussions on The Divine Plan, Karma, Death and the Afterlife States, Human Principles and the Chakras, Reincarnation, Christmas and the Winter Solstice, Esoteric and Exoteric Principles. Video and audio tapes were also used where possible. In addition, three public lectures were given.
Diana Cooper carried on as Librarian, and we now have a Library of which we can be proud. There are over 2,000 books, along with many video-tapes, and audio cassettes.
Eva Sharp, Secretary
H.P. BLAVATSKY CENTENARY MAY 4-5,1991 - LOS ANGELES
To honor H.P. Blavatsky's lifework on the 100th anniversary of her passing, a two-day commemoration open to all theosophists, interested friends and inquirers, has been scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, May 4-5, 1991, in Los Angeles.
To plan this event, an HPB Centenary Committee has recently been organized. It is composed of West Coast theosophists who have helped co-ordinate previous inter-theosophical conferences: Nancy & John Coker, Alan Donant, Brett Forray, April & Jerry Hejka-Ekins, Vera Meyer, Richard Robb and Will Thackara. The Committee is seeking assistance and invites participation.
CALL FOR PARTICIPATION: Original papers, art, music, poetry and expressions of appreciation for HPB's lifework, its relevance for today, and import for the future, are requested for consideration. Papers must be less than 3500 words, typed double-space. Contribution may not exceed 20 minutes in presentation. All contributions for presentation must be received by the Committee no later than January 15, 1991.
VOLUNTEERS are needed on working committees. Please write to the address below.
REGISTRATION: Information about registration, meeting site, accommodations, meals, etc., will be announced in due course.
FUNDING: Although registration will be required, it is hoped that this Centenary commemoration may be attended free of charge. The Committee is therefore appealing for contributions to make this gathering a success. Any surplus will be donated to the Theosophical Book Association for the Blind to assist in its publication of HPB's writings.
Papers, proposals for artistic contributions, and expressions of appreciation for HPB and her work; application for registration, and donations should be sent to: H.P. Blavatsky Centenary, P.O. Box 2157, Los Angeles, CA 90078 U.S.A.
TORONTO THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY 1990-1991 EXECUTIVE
President - Barbara Treloar
Vice-President - Peter Lakin
Secretary - John Huston
Treasurer - Donald Keith
Directors - Carl Emmanuel, Steven Karikas, Catherine O'May
ENDEXOTERIC: RESTORATION OF BALANCE
- Claude Hughes
"The antithesis between 'facts' and 'things of the mind', like every form in which the impulse after true knowledge finds expression, implies a distinction between the seeming and the real, or between that which exists for the consciousness of the individual and that which really exists. Reflection shows that such an antithesis is not really between consciousness and its unknown opposite, but between a less and more complete consciousness, and that it is only possible to a being partly self-conscious ... The whole world of human experience is the self-communication or revelation of an eternal and absolute being."
- Thomas Green, Collected Works I, 70; III, 241
Esoteric, exoteric and endexoteric could be seen as roughly parallel to thesis, antithesis and synthesis. For example, if we were to call Shakespeare the cause of the play, Hamlet, then the play itself would be exoteric. The actual performance of the play would be ENDEXOTERIC, because it would be directly affecting the spectators for their weal or woe, and hence become a cause in its turn.
From this we can see that endexoteric is synthesis, or restoration of balance. In the case of a failure, or involuntary descent, it would be a lower stasis. For example, when the Great Law separates the wheat from the chaff, the chaff does not disappear, but falls to a lower stasis or point of equilibrium, while the harvest of seeds represents a new point of departure. Until the chaff has rotted and fallen back into the earthy realm from which it arose, it cannot properly carry the label "endexoteric." Until it has fallen to its own normal, or achieved point of departure - the earth or mineral realm - it has no rebirth energy by which to rise as the clothing of a new cycle or "seed." The seed dies too, but doesn't fall.
Here arises the question: "Is there any such thing as endexoteric for a Nirmanakaya?" One would think not. By refusing his just reward, he remains a causal agent and cannot become an effect. Like a clean stream rushing to the Ocean of Life, his awakeness is continuous and unfathomable.
From another point of view - say the limits upward or downward of a given cycle - the endexoteric point would occur when the circuit is finished. Remember the mysterious statement in the Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge that there are Manvantaras when the "Tail is in the mouth of the serpent." To us, this indicates that this particular Manvantara represents the seed or harvest point of some huge string of Manvantaras. That particular Manvantara, during its entirety, is at the point on the Theosophical Seal where the Swastika sits with all its fathomless depth of symbology.
The word endexoteric is basic to any study of cycles. If day is exoteric to night, then sunset would be endexoteric.
Endexoteric begins when you have finished your meal; then the body begins the work of assimilation, the separation between the sheep and the goats. That portion which can be used in a more organized and more conscious way stays in the body as transformed matter, while the other part has to be thrown down and out onto a lower plane, where it can find a lower equilibrium and try again at some future point. For a congeries of "little lives" to move from dirt or compost into the tree to form the apple, then to be eaten, survive the second separation inside the human frame and stay longer as an integral part of the human body, is a feat only the tiniest fraction achieves.
In still another view, one might see endexoteric as an effect from the past limiting the present. Our present personality is helped or hindered by the body it now uses, even though that body is the fruition of "choices" made in preceding lives. The body has become a cause in its turn as furnishing the parameter of possibilities for manifesting in the present cycle.
The cracked fiddle, as also the Stradivarius, furnishes a defining channel for the music coming from the Master musician within. As Madame Blavatsky points out in her article on "Genius":
"'... the manifestations of genius' in a person, are only the more or less successful efforts of that EGO to assert itself on the outward plane of its objective form - the man of clay - in the matter-of-fact, daily life of the latter ... No Ego differs from another Ego, in its primordial or original essence and nature. That which makes one mortal a great man and another a vulgar, silly person is, as said, the quality and make-up of the physical shell or casing, and the adequacy or inadequacy of brain and body to transmit and give expression to the light of the real, Inner man; and this aptness or inaptness is, in its turn, the result of Karma. Or, to use another simile, Physical man is the musical instrument, and the Ego, the performing artist. The potentiality of perfect melody of sound is in the former - the instrument - and no skill of the latter can awaken a faultless harmony out of a broken or badly made instrument. This harmony depends on the fidelity of transmission, by word or act, to the objective plane, of the unspoken divine thought in the very depths of man's subjective or inner nature...
"...The presence in man of various creative powers - called genius in their collectivity - is due to no blind chance, to no innate qualities through hereditary tendencies... but to an accumulation of individual antecedent experiences of the Ego in its preceding life, and lives. For, though omniscient in its essence and nature, it still requires experience through its personalities of the things of earth, earthy on the objective plane, in order to apply the fruition of that abstract omniscience to them...
"...great genius puts out the most dazzling rays of human intellectuality, as the sun quenches the flame-light of a fire in an open field." - H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, XII, 12-22.
Theosophy versus Neo-Theosophy, compiled by Margaret Thomas and others. Published 1990 by Isis Books, M793 Road 7, Napoleon, Ohio 43545, U.S.A. 140 pp. (Price, incl. postage: $7.00 U.S.)
This is a new edition of a compilation of quotations illustrating the differences between the teachings promulgated by H.P. Blavatsky and her teachers, and those of later writers. First published privately in the mid-1920s (the original title was Theosophy or Neo-Theosophy?), it was serialized in The Canadian Theosophist in 1928. Victor Endersby reprinted it in his Theosophical Notes 1952-53, adding some comments of his own. It is this version, together with additional material by Mark Jaqua, that has been used for the Isis Books edition.
Margaret Thomas's method of using side by side quotations has been taken up by others over the years, most effectively in Ray Morgan's Misleading Mayavic Ideations (1976) subtitled "The Neo-Theosophy of C.W. Leadbeater and Annie Besant." Many of the contradictions revealed by the comparative passages are startling to say the least. Although many believe the contrary, serious differences do exist.
It is relatively simple to determine to what extent the claims are valid that Neo-Theosophy explains, improves, simplifies or even, as some think, expands on the original modern Theosophy. And it is up to the individual student to decide this, based on common sense if no other inner authority. Whether this or that person wrote it is irrelevant. One must be one's own authority or study time is wasted.
Incidentally, at least one (the only one I was able to check) of the quotations in the Neo-Theosophic column is not to be found in
a recent edition of the quoted work. Modern editors evidently consider discretion more important than fidelity to original writings; and by means of expurgation keep Neo-Theosophy palatable to a new generation of readers.
To say that modern Theosophy is a definite doctrine is not to imply that it is thereby a dogma to Theosophists. Either H.P.B. or a Master wrote that ". . . nothing dogmatic can be truly theosophical." (Lucifer I, 134) though not all seem willing to accept this. But serious students are under no delusion that the writings of Blavatsky (for example) are free from error; or invariably crystal clear; or that her teaching was anywhere near complete. But the doctrine she and her Masters taught is consistent, and this quality among others makes them a reliable standard against which to judge later interpreters or teachers.
As a tentative analogy, original Theosophy might be likened to the compass needle which always points in the same direction. No one says we must travel in that direction - the decision is ours and ours alone, but we shouldn't fool ourselves that we are heading north when in reality we are facing sou' sou' west.
The comparative method used by Margaret Thomas is a useful tool for undecided students. Also for those who have made up their minds. In introducing the Theosophy or Neo-Theosophy? series in this magazine, with tongue obviously partly in cheek, C.T. Editor Albert E.S. Smythe wrote: "Those who believe the Masters wrong and Mrs. Besant right will be glad to have this evidence. Those who believe Mrs. Besant wrong and the Masters right will be equally glad of the demonstrated difference. Those who disbelieve in the Masters will point to the contradictions as evidence that no such persons as
the Masters could exist, otherwise they would not so flagrantly contradict themselves within such a short period." (Vol. IX, p. 17)
- Ted G. Davy
The Perennial Wisdom, a video presentation produced by Flapdoodle Productions for the Los Angeles Center for Theosophic Studies. (VHS format 72 minutes.)
"What is Theosophy and what is a Theosophist?" These questions are commonly and easily posed to members of the various Theosophical organizations; however, the forthcoming reply is neither easy nor common. Recently a fellow Theosophist expressed the view that the time has come to abandon the word "Theosophy" because it now means so many different things to so many people. The new video, The Perennial Wisdom, not only answers these fundamental questions admirably well, but also draws its answers from the only stream which can finally clear up the muddied waters of the ocean of Theosophy.
This stream is clearly defined as "Source Theosophy" and it is presented as the fourth assumption of Theosophy that the literature of the founders (The Mahatmas, H.P. Blavatsky, H.S. Olcott and W.Q. Judge) constitutes the source Theosophical writings. The secondary writings arise from the splits and factions which developed in the Theosophical Society both during and after H.P.B.'s death. Each of these separate streams, through its own set of writers, developed its own systems of thought and traditions. The viewer is warned not to assume that all writers labeling themselves as Theosophical are necessarily saying the same things, and the implication is clear that the source writings are their common ground. The argument is put forward that the student of modern Theosophy is like the student of Platonic philosophy who must begin at the source: Plato. When the latter has grasped Plato, he then moves on to the Neo-Platonists and, using discriminative intellect and intuition, makes a reasoned comparison between the two systems of thought. Ultimately the student must decide for himself the genuineness and usefulness of each of these different sets of teachings.
April Hejka-Ekins, the writer and narrator of the script for The Perennial Wisdom, states that the three purposes of the video are: to provide an overall view of the fundamental concepts of Source Theosophy; to acquaint the viewer with the literature available for study; and to suggest the connection between a Theosophical world view and a profoundly significant way of living. If we were to judge this video by how well it achieves those three goals, then surely it deserves four stars. The script is concise and well written. The viewer is led naturally through a logical progression of concepts, starting with the simplest definition and historical perspective of the word Theosophia, and ends with the most sublime concepts of altruism and Divine Compassion. The explanation of the four assumptions, or the belief system upon which the source Theosophical teachings are placed, is a unique and helpful approach. Along the way, important distinctions are made between the Theosophical Movement and a Theosophical organization; and between a member of one of the organizations and a Theosophist. Also, popular misconceptions regarding Karma and Reincarnation are cleared up, and all this is accomplished through frequent readings from the source materials.
A final warning is issued to the prospective
Theosophical student that some editions of the source writings have been abridged and changed without acknowledgment. In the interest of making up his or her own mind the student is urged to seek out those editions labeled "verbatim" or "unabridged." Blavatsky's belief that the intellectual understanding of these teachings could lead to the development of intuition and that our thoughts must finally be consummated through our actions and an altruistic life, are offered as inspiration for the student to study and investigate further.
The 72-minute video is clearly divided into sections, each ending with a blackboard style review of the concepts covered. This approach helps make the material more digestible, and allows the viewer to refocus his attention as new ideas are presented. The set - a library with portraits of the founders, and Theosophical symbols - is visually interesting. Frequent visual breaks are provided through a variety of interesting images which provoke appreciation and better understanding of the teachings. Special mention must be made of the art-work (especially the stunning cover design) and the original sound track: both offer an inspired intuitive interpretation of the Divine Wisdom. There is so little to complain about in this video that it would be nit-picking to mention the few small technical flaws.
Dr. Hejka-Ekins' experience as a teacher is an obvious bonus in the narration as she uses both facial expressions and body language to enhance the script content. Her presentation is confident and friendly, yet professional.
Our heartiest thanks and congratulations are in order to everyone involved in this excellent and professional production. The Perennial Wisdom, and the extensive study guide that accompanies this video will provide a much needed and valuable teaching tool both to individuals and lodge or study groups that wish to promote Theosophy to prospective students.
The title itself offers both hope and encouragement to those Theosophists who feel that the original teachings of the founders have been compromised in the hundred years since H.P.B.'s death. If the waters of the ocean of Theosophy have become somewhat muddied over the years, then here is the solution: it lies in this invitation to come back to the source, to follow once again the pure stream of thought that flowed from the pens of the founders, to read, to understand, to re-evaluate, to redefine and finally to recreate our lives through the Divine Wisdom. H.P. Blavatsky's lifework was the reintroduction of the Divine Wisdom to western man, and this was accomplished through a large body of inspired literary works. There is no better way to commemorate H.P.B.'s lifework than by the invitation to study these works, to understand them, to appreciate them, and through them to live a more altruistic life. Every effort in this direction, no matter how small, by Theosophists around the world, increases the grandeur of a living memorial.
- Gay Gering
(The Perennial Wisdom, VHS video is available from the Los Angeles Center for Theosophic Studies, P.O. Box 3727, Los Angeles, CA 90078, U.S.A. Price $24.95 U.S.)
Intimations audio cassette, 1990, Alaya Recordings, P.O. Box 5733, Station "B", Victoria, B.C., V8R 6S8. Price $7.50 U.S., $9.00 Cdn.
After receiving its first production and performance before a large public audience in the Spring of 1987, and later repeated at the
1988 Annual Meeting of members held in Victoria, Intimations has now been produced on audio cassette by members of the Victoria Lodge of the Theosophical Society in Canada.
This cassette, of 45 minutes duration, consists of readings of a number of inspirational poems and prose writings interspersed with solo piano music of Bach, Chopin, Debussy, Kodaly, Mozart and Schumann.
Such poets and writers as Robert Browning, Paul Brunton, Richard M. Bucke, Edward Carpenter, Mabel Collins, Gottfried de Purucker, George William Russell (AE), Walt Whitman, William Wordsworth, Paramahansa Yogananda and several others are quoted.
Following opening music by Mozart and introductory comments on the Eternal Nature existing within man, the program is divided into six sections: Meditation; The Glories of Nature; The Divine in Others; Music and Higher Consciousness; The Light Within; and The Fire of Illumination. Each section is introduced with appropriate comments.
Many of the poets and writers quoted had expressed their feeling of a link with the Infinite through the media of nature, art, music, or, as in the case of Richard M. Bucke, the flash of enlightenment in which he says he "learned more within the few seconds in which the illumination lasted than in previous months or years of study, and even learned much that no study could have taught."
The Victoria Lodge is fortunate in having within its membership performing artistes and speakers of a professional standard, and this is evident in the quality of the readings and music.
The cassette would lend itself to a Lodge setting, where one or more of the selections could be played, followed by discussion of the theme; or it could well serve as an individual meditation aid. It is also a good medium for making Theosophical concepts available to a wider public.
A great deal of time, thought and effort must have been expended by the Victoria Lodge members before this project finally came to fruition, and it is to be hoped that their labours will be rewarded by a strong demand for this cassette, which, incidentally, would make an ideal gift at any time of the year, but particularly at the coming holiday season, for Theosophists and non Theosophists alike.
- Doris Davy
A READER'S NOTES
The June, 1990 issue of The Theosophist announces the award of the Subba Row Medal to Virginia Hanson. The medal is bestowed on writers of eminence in the T.S. Madame Blavatsky was the original recipient. Down the years, others such as Annie Besant and Boris de Zirkoff have been so honoured.
For many years, Mrs. Hanson was editor of The American Theosophist. She is coeditor of The Readers Guide to the Mahatma Letters, now in its second and revised edition. Another valuable work from her pen is Masters and Men, the "human story" behind the Mahatma Letters. Although in the form of a novel it is based on fact, and the fiction content is limited to what is necessary to carry the story.
I know those several readers who remember her contributions to the North American Theosophical Students' Conferences in the early 1970s, and all who are grateful for her contributions to Theosophical literature, will
want to join me in sending heartiest congratulations to Virginia, a worthy recipient of the Subba Row Medal.
Publishers' catalogs received in recent months include those of The Theosophy Company, Los Angeles; Quest Books (T.P.H. Wheaton); Point Loma Publications, San Diego; and Theosophical University Press, Pasadena.
These lists represent an amazing publishing output for such a small movement as ours, and attest to a continuing demand for Theosophical literature. Prices are most reasonable compared with those charged for other modern books of all kinds, thanks, no doubt, to the labours of love that are the backbone of most Theosophical publishers.
THE THREE TRUTHS
There are three truths which are absolute, and which cannot be lost, yet remain silent for lack of speech.
The soul of man is immortal, and its future is the future of a thing whose growth and splendor has no limit.
The principle which gives life dwells in us, and without us, is undying and eternally beneficent, is not heard or seen or smelt, but is perceived by the man who desires perception.
Each man is his own absolute lawgiver, the dispenser of glory or gloom to himself; the decreer of his life, his reward, his punishment.
- Idyll of the White Lotus
A Perfect' Gift'!
Readings of inspired poetry and spiritual revelation, linked by beautiful music.
Listen ... and reflect upon the writings of Whitman, Browning, Geo. Wm. Russell, Wordsworth, Mabel Collins, Richard M. Bucke, Yogananda, Pascal, and others.
Order audio cassette by check or money order from: Alaya Recordings P.O. Box 5733, Station B, Victoria, BC Canada V8R 6S8
$7.50 U.S., $9.00 Can. (shipping included) (604) 592-4256
BC Canada residents add 6% sales tax.
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 1C0.
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
S.D.Q & 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.
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.
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.
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. Lance Mcraine; 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, 923 Foul Bay Road, Victoria, B.C. V8S 4H9; Secretary, Mr. Ron Ramsay
ATMA VIDYA LODGE: Secretary, Mrs. H. Tidberry. Enquiries c/o "Bird Sanctuary," R.R. No. 2, Cobble Hill, B.C. V0R 1L0
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