Vol. 1 - No. 3 March 1, 1922 Price Ninepence
- A Magazine Devoted to the Promotion of Universal Brotherhood
- Special Features of this Issue
Editorial Notes - Mrs. Besant on Neutrality
The New Psychology
Tears - By T.H. Martyn
Our Common Work - By B.P. Wadia
Meditation (No. 3) - By Jocelyn Underhill
What One Hears
"Now in the heart the Self Abides."
Correspondent takes Dawn to task for advocating T.S. Neutrality, and makes what at first sight looks rather a strong case by quoting against neutrality no less an authority than the Society's President, Mrs. Besant. In an article entitled "The Wider Outlook," which appeared in The Theosophist of November, 1916, Mrs. Besant, it seems, wrote:
"Few people who talk hastily about the objects of the Society and about its 'neutrality' - a neutrality which exists nowhere in its memorandum of Association - realize that Object I, with subclause (d), secured to the Society, as such, the right to do collectively all things incidental or conducive to the formation of a 'nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color.'
"According to the view held by Colonel Olcott, of the Society's 'neutrality,' I, in common with the rest of us, had taken this 'neutrality' for granted, and had not observed this providential insertion of 'the doing of all such things as are.... conducive to any of the Objects. They did not exist in our Constitution until 1905, and I had only thought of them as regarding the Library. But the logic of events has forced their meaning on me, has put an end to the supposed 'neutrality,' against which I had often chafed and had openly rebelled, so far as I was concerned, though admitting it for the Society. We have accepted it from Colonel Olcott as an axiom, whereas it is merely an ipse dixit of his, not binding upon anybody. "
Certainly this extract, taken by itself, would make it appear both that Mrs. Besant at all times attached little importance to neutrality in the Theosophical Society, and that its Constitution did not enforce it.
With regard to this last point, however, the President's reading of the sub-clause (d) may be, and we think is, a mistaken one. No action that is not neutral can be "conducive to" the formation of a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity for the simple reason that universality demands
neutrality, and without neutrality there cannot possibly be universalism. Mrs. Besant just for the moment seems to have been thinking of brotherliness, possibly of a T.S. brotherhood, certainly not of Universal Brotherhood, as were the President-Founder Col. Olcott, and those who with him added sub-clause (d) to the Memorandum of Association.
Mrs. Besant, in practice, has always stood for T.S. neutrality; she advocated it - to her honor be it said - even when one can easily believe she would have more than welcomed the support of the Society - as a society - for outside political work, in which she was engaged, and which she believed she was doing in the interests of humanity; doing, indeed, in the interests of Universal Brotherhood.
Only a few months before the article above quoted appeared we find Mrs. Besant in The Watch Tower of The Theosophist for March, 1916, saying:
"The question is again raised as to the 'neutrality' of the Society in politics, and I am asked for a ruling.... For the 'ruling' for what it may be worth - seeing that no member of the Society need accept it - I think that the T.S. as a body has no right to declare itself on one side or another in any political, social, educational, or doctrinal question; that it must not collectively declare itself monarchical, republican, autocratic, anarchic, absolutist or democratic, nor carry on any propaganda on behalf of any of these views. That it must not declare itself Individualist, Socialist or Communist, in favor of or against child-marriage, in favor or against perpetual widowhood, woman suffrage, vivisection or antivivisection, vaccination or anti-vaccination, and so on. That, educationally, it must not declare itself for or against religious and moral education, for or against free and compulsory education. That, religiously, it must not declare itself Hindu, Parsi, Buddhist, Christian, Mohammedan, nor must it even make the doctrines it exists to proclaim - such as the possibility of the knowledge of God, reincarnation, karma, etc., binding on its members. Its collective attitude is that of study, not of belief, and believers and unbelievers of every kind
are admitted, without challenge, on an equal footing. Even a unanimous vote could not make belief in reincarnation a condition of admission. As a Society, in its collective capacity, it is bound by its Memorandum of Association, laying down its objects, and by that memorandum only, with the bye-laws as passed in 1905 and amended since from time to time."
Perhaps there is some significance in the fact that the last named extract was written before, and the "Wider Outlook" article after the introduction to her notice of the Old Catholic Church by Mr. Leadbeater. The "Wider Outlook" article though it appeared in the November, 1916, Theosophist, is mentioned in the preceding number - that for October, 1916 - when the Old Catholic Church was formally introduced to the Theosophical Society by the President. If speculation is permissible it might be hazarded that Mrs. Besant had an intuition that this new departure was not compatible with T.S. neutrality, and that the abandonment of such neutrality provided the way out. This theory, however, is difficult to maintain in view of the fact that at a more recent date (October, 1919), Mrs. Besant addressed the London Federation T.S. on "Neutrality in the Theosophical Society," and championed a very whole hearted form of that commodity. This address appears in The Theosophist for May, 1921, to which we refer our readers, urging a careful review of all that is said therein. Meanwhile the following extracts show conclusively what Mrs. Besant's views were as late as this.
". . . . That is why I wish the Society to be neutral. Also for its own sake it is important, for every barrier you put in the way of a person coming into the Society may mean the loss of some one who world be of the greatest value to it, if he is allowed to grow into it instead of being pushed into it. Every doctrine made into a dogma may prove an obstacle preventing some one from joining us, and we want within the Society as many thinkers as we can possibly have. Now, a thinker has difficulties, but not so the person who echoes other people's thoughts. There is no particular value to the Society in a large number of people coming into it who are merely echoes. Those people are not much help to us. We want people who bring to bear upon truth their own power of thought, and who do not act merely as sounding-boards. We have too few thinkers amongst us, and the thinkers outside will be repelled if truth is not properly laid before them, until by its own inherent force it has convinced them of its reality. We shut out the most valued of recruits if we insist upon certain doctrines on authority.
"One ventures to think that this was in the mind of the Lord Buddha, when He told His hearers not to accept a thing on authority, not even "if I have taught it," and you cannot go higher in authority than to Him. If a person was not to accept a truth because the Lord Buddha taught it, I cannot conceive of another authority who would suffice. He who was Wisdom did not desire that His own disciples should accept a thing because He said it. And that always remains in one's mind as the sign of a Great Teacher. The greater the Teacher, the more He desires not to force the student, because He knows the evolution of the intellect cannot come by force....
Now, how far does this neutrality go? Clearly it does not mean that individual members of the Society are to be neutral. Every individual must be left free to press any point that he believes to be of value, and to express any truth that he thinks to be erroneous. You cannot limit the freedom of individual Theosophists intellectually, or in the field of action. You must leave them to find out their own way and to work out their own thought........
All subjects of education, of religion, and of social or political reform, are clearly subjects on which we must remain neutral as a Society. We cannot commit ourselves to certain religions, educational reforms, or lines of social reform, or political thought - all these are clearly subjects on which we must remain neutral as a Society. A man may be against many lines of social reform, and yet be a good student and a helpful member of the Society. Nor could we commit ourselves to any political views, or schools of thought, because we are international, and the views of each Nation will be different. But there is nothing in any one of these schools of thought which should disqualify a person for membership in the Theosophical Society. These seem to me to be the broad lines that all should accept, and that is what I mean by the Neutrality of the Theosophical Society....
"I do not deny that you might get some accessions through dogmas. A dogma does make for accession to your ranks; but if the Society is what some of us think it is, one which is to endure throughout the generations to come, which will appeal in the future to wider, deeper and greater minds, then, just in order that the Society may live on in the future, and remain that Wisdom-Religion which is the root of every religion, which embraces all and repels none - for the sake of that, I think, we should be in favor of the Neutrality of the Theosophical Society.....
"I may add, as a corollary, that no member should leave the Society because of the views or actions of any other member or members, with
whom he does not agree. It is his special duty to stay in, and put forward his own views, thus preventing the Society from becoming a sect. He is just the man the Society needs."
If anything more is needed to convince our correspondent that T.S. neutrality has the support of Mrs. Besant, there is the record of her English tour in 1919, when she sternly declined to permit the T.S. to be associated with other movements, such as that of the Star in the East, Co-Masonry and the Liberal Catholic Church, and refused to make use of T.S. Lodge rooms, which were used by the latter organization. In this connection reference may be made to the letter published in November Dawn, in which Mrs. Besant, replying to an enquiry from in old Australian member of the T.S., says:
"The T.S. Lodge room should not be used at all for the services of any one special religion, and special directions to this effect have been given by Bishop Leadbeater to his own clergy."
There is no doubt that the new church, the L.C.C., has had little regard for T.S. neutrality. In Australia it has unwillingly betaken itself from our T.S. Lodge rooms under the pressure of plain speaking and a clear-sighted General Secretary, as it has in America; but in spite of what Mrs. Besant says in her letter, which, by the way, is dated as late as July 7th, 1927, it still fastens itself on almost every T.S. Lodge and Lodge room in New Zealand, which may now be regarded as entirely under ecclesiastical control.
In another column we publish a letter from New Zealand, which shows to what extent the T.S. has lost its identity and become merged into the Liberal Catholic Church. Moreover, a prominent Australian member of tile T.S. just returned from a tour of New Zealand, and who visited the T.S. Lodges in all the main centers of the Dominion, is responsible for the statement that the L.C.C. celebrates mass in the T.S. Lodge rooms there everywhere, and that these services now constitute the chief activities of the Theosophical Society. Our informant declares that nowhere in the Dominion, so far as he could ascertain, does the L.C.C. hold its services, except in T.S. Lodge rooms.
This is a terrible indictment against T.S. neutrality, and we should hesitate to give publicity to the statement were there not every reason to believe it to be entirely true.
On every side to-day we hear expressed the desire for harmony in the T.S. There can be no harmony for us where neutrality is not honored. Neutrality is the life-breath of our being in the Theosophical Society. Is it too much to ask those of our members who support the L.C.C. to be loyal to the President's expressed wishes in this connection, and to join with us in seeing that they are carried out.
That is the first step towards harmony, we mean T.S. harmony, which, of course, is not to be confused with uniformity.
In conclusion, Dawn hopes that there is no foundation in the rumor which is current, that in South Africa the T.S. General Secretary has recently been made an L.C.C. "Bishop" and selected to act as head of that church there.
The death of the Bahai leader, Abdul Baha Abbas, at his home in Palestine last November, reminds us of a very remarkable movement which has spread during the last fifty years all over the world. The Movement, for that is the best word to describe it, was started in 1811 by a young Persian who took the title of the "Bab," a word which, being translated, means Gate. The Bab heralded a new era of civilization and peace. He preached to the Persians purity of thought and life, and he begged them to abandon the corruption and superstition which beset them.
The Bab was martyred by the Mohammedans around 1863, but his work was continued by Baha'u'llah, another young Persian, who addressed all the prominent reigning sovereigns of his time in the interests of universal brotherhood, peace, and an untrammeled search for truth.
He made a great point of the essential unity of all religious, and in this, as in other directions, pointed the way for the Theosophical Society, which was formed at a later period.
Baha'u'llah advocated a common script which should be taught in all schools, universal and compulsory education, equal privileges for both sexes, and that all should work. This latter, a necessary preliminary to the abolition of extremes in wealth and poverty, and to the care and protection of the needy and weak.
Dying in 1892, this second Baha was succeeded by Abdul Baha Abbas, who has continued the work of his forerunners, and steadily and effectively penetrated the consciousness of the world with the Bab's sweet message of reasonableness, and today Bahais are found in every continent; from Japan in the East, to California in the West, among Eskimos in the North, and Australians in the South. Theosophists find much of their work already done by the noble Bahai founder and his followers.
The New Psychology
The New Psychology and its Relation to Life," by A.G. Tausley, has been selected as a textbook for Dr. Fraser's Sydney Psychology class.
That as a textbook it is well chosen, a few passages from a review of it, that appears in the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis will show:
"This book, which has rabidly won a deserved popularity, is an attempt to present to the public the conclusions of recent trends in psychology, especially from the point of view of the practical bearings of them on life.... Leaving individual passages, we can say that the book, as a whole, is very valuable and interesting presentation of the most modern trends in psychology. It would be difficult to rival it as an introduction to either psychology in general or clinical psychology in particular. Though written for the educated public at large, it could be read with much profit by any medical man, sociologist, or anyone who desires to be informed as to what is vital in present-day psychology."
Doubtless some of the readers of Dawn noticed an article in the Sydney Morning Herald a few weeks ago on the subject of "Color Music," by Mr. A.B. Hector.
A recent Psycho-Analytic review has an article on "Color Symbolism," by A.B. Evarts, and The Journal of Neurology and Psychopathology, May, 1920, has a condensation of it by C.S. Read. It is so interesting that we give it in full:
"This study in the emotional values of colors was undertaken through a patient of the author's who exhibited well-marked color symbolism in weaving some lace in which she illustrated the story of her mental conflicts. She explained her various choice of colors, and in her symbolism there was much that was determined by her experience, and much that she had absorbed from the current symbolism about us all. The presence of color is universal, and has crept much into our language. We lead a dull, gray life; sit in a brown study; see red when angry; tell white lies, etc. Colors have become symbols of well-nigh every emotion and aspiration. The various colors are then considered separately, and dealt with both historically and geographically. There are so many roots to the symbolism for color that it appears that any color might symbolize anything, and yet if carefully studied it will be seen that fairly well-marked lines are taken by the symbolism. Briefly, white is the color of the God-head, of purity, of unity of immortality; black is the color of sin; red, that of passion and the creative force; blue, of coldness, passivity, truth; green, of activity, or active reproduction; yellow, of religious aspiration and beneficence; purple, of controlled passion.
"Attention is drawn to the constant crossing of the lines of color symbolism with symbolism of other things, and the language of gems, metals, and flowers is referred to. The red rose is the flower of love; white flowers indicate purity and chastity; violets are modest, and 'pansies for thought.' The symbolism of numbers is also connected with color symbolism. Much of the symbolism of color from the ancient religions was assimilated by the early Christian Church, and has become more or less fixed. There seems a deep connection between color and music. The author has been told that the key of E is generally considered among musicians to represent purity, and is often spoken of as the white key, while the harsh key of F is brown. The keys of A flat and D flat are crimson and purple, because they are so full, deep, and rich, and the key of G is mild and not so very decided, and is thought of as blue. In conclusion, the national flags are dealt with, and it is pointed out that red, white, and blue have been chosen by the greater portion of the earth as the fitting representatives of the national spirit; white, the color of the great God in all His attributes; red, the color of the great life-giving force; and blue, the color of the great passive force. It has been proved that in color the early worship of the human race found symbolic expression, the symbolism of which has lived through the centuries. "
The searchlight of the New Psychology is being turned upon every subject of any interest to man. Religion is receiving its full share of attention. A book entitled "Religion and the New Psychology - a psychoanalytic study of religion - by W.S. Swisher, B.D., has recently been published. By the way, it can he procured at the T.S. Book Depot.
"It is a kindly talk," says the International Psycho-Analytical Gazette, on such matters as the problem of evil, religious conversion, human motives, etc., as illuminated by psychoanalysis. Perhaps (and every member of the T.S. should read this twice and ponder over it), perhaps the most interesting and valuable part of the book is the indication it affords of the way in which religion, as previously known, will gradually become replaced by other forms of human activity; and, as the author points out, has in the past twenty years already been so
replaced on an extensive scale in America. As with all great changes in human thought, this comes about not, as one might logically expect, through the detailed refutation of preceding beliefs; but through a gradual loss of interest in them. One thinks of the various scholastic problems of the middle ages, the witchcraft epidemic, and so on. To the author, as to many outer religious people, it is rapidly becoming a matter of indifference what actual beliefs are held on the great religious topics of salvation, of the next life, of the nature of God or Christ, and the like. Bibliolatry, for instance, he positively inveigles against. Such things belong to the past, not to the future. Care about individual security, salvation, and consolation is being replaced by interest in the relation of an individual to his group - essentially to his fellow-man; the supernatural aspects are falling more and more into the background. On this phase of the evolution of religion there can be no doubt that psychoanalysis must have a far-reaching effect. This the author sees clearly enough, and he is in the vanguard of progress in laying before his fellows such considerations in this very stimulating, challenging, and at the same time helpful work.
Glancing over the contents of some of the New Psychology magazines, one notes such subjects as "Mysticism and Occultism," "The Psychology of Dreams," "Children's Dreams," "Psychology and Folk-Lore," etc., etc., all subjects that might well find a place in the pages of Theosophical magazines. The handling of these subjects by the psychologists at once stamps them as eminently scientific. The T.S. can no longer afford to ignore the light of growing knowledge that is everywhere breaking on the world in the New Psychology, and it is the intention of Dawn to begin to lead its readers step by step into a working knowledge of the new terminology. But what do you think of this from the pages of "The Psychology of Everyday Life," by James Drever, Lecturer in Psychology in the University of Edinburgh:
"The analysis and interpretation of dreams has become an exceedingly important part of modern psychology. Surely no more interesting example can be found of the way in which the content of popular superstition in one generation may become the content of science in another. The new dream-book is the textbook of Psychology. This is not the least significant of the results of the work of Freud. Attempts to analyze and interpret dreams in a scientific way were made long before Freud, but it was left to Freud to suggest and to employ a new method of analysis and interpretation, and this new method has revolutionized the whole psychological theory of dreams."
Dream analysis is said to be of value not only to the medical practitioner, but also to the clergyman, teacher, and parent.
Our Open Column
While desirous of opening the columns of Dawn to the expression of all shades of opinion, the Editorial Staff does not hold itself responsible for any expression of opinion, whether in the form of articles or correspondence appearing over the names of contributors.
A Voice from New Zealand
Dear Editor, - Most of your readers are doubtless well acquainted with the life-history of the New Zealand Rata, that vine which, from a tiny seed blown into a crevice of a harmless forest tree, becomes a gigantic creeper, living as a parasite upon the life of its host. With the stranglehold of its great arms, it finally crushes the life out of that host, and rears aloft its cap of scarlet flowers.
Some years ago a little rata seed was carried into the branches of the Theosophical Society, and finding congenial soil, took root. It is known as the O.S.E. Today its proud boast is that it numbers over 2,000 members in the Dominion. The parent body has a little over 1,000 members.
Later on two other little seeds followed, and also found suitable soil. One of these, known as the Co-masonic movement, has succeeded in antagonizing the body of Freemasons, formerly friendly and helpful to the T.S.
The third - the Liberal Catholic Church - has made phenomenal growth, and is even now displaying its gorgeous blossoms. In fact, so far has its host been enveloped that the woodman's axe is sorely needed to check the interloper.
Before me lies the programme of a visit to Wellington (N.Z.) Lodge of the T.S., paid by one styling himself "Right Rev. Bishop Wedgwood, Ph.D." This visit occupied thirteen days. Two public lectures were given in a hired hall, while four Liberal Catholic Church services, two private meetings, one T.S. and O.S.E. Social, and one T.S. Members' Meeting were held in the Lodgeroom. Of the remaining
four days nothing is said. So we have thirteen days during which not one public Theosophical meeting was held in the home of Theosophy, while other organizations frequently met there, for the most part with closed doors.
Yet on the other side of this same leaflet we read that the first object of the T.S. is "to form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity." Truly the T.S. still appears in name at the top of the programme, just as the forest tree preserves - for a time a few living branches, after its trunk has been gripped by the great vine.
But perhaps these seedlings are not like the Rata after all! Perhaps they contribute sustenance to their host rather than draw from it. Let us investigate. We have here the balance sheet of the same Lodge for 1919-1920 (twelve months). From it we deduce that apart from expenses incidental to the visit of Mr. Jinarajadasa, the principal items of expenditure were: - Interest on (building) loan, L100 15s; cleaning, L12; lighting and heating, L21 18s 2d, a total of L134 13s 2d. I select these items because each group using the room may reasonably be supposed to have a share of responsibility in connection with them. All these subsidiary activities use the Lodgeroom for all their regular meetings; the CoMasons have usually a fortnightly evening meeting, the O.S.E. meets monthly in the afternoon, while the L.C.C. holds a service when a priest is available - and these functionaries seem on the increase.
With the help of all these groups we may suppose that the finances of the T.S. will be materially strengthened, and we turn hopefully to the opposite column, to unearth the following: - "Donations towards current expenses: Co-Masonic L9 15s: Liberal Catholic Church, L2 4s; Star-in-the-East, 16s. Total, L12 15s.
Comment on this discovery seems superfluous, since the figures speak eloquently for themselves.
There is yet another way in which these rata vines contrive to sap the life of their Theosophical host, and it is even more important than the financial aspect of the trouble.
H.P.B. and others gave their lives to the work of spreading the message of Theosophy, and formed the T.S. for the furtherance of its three well-known objects. They gave the light of Theosophy to us - surely it is the most sacred duty of those in the T.S. to let that light shine before men that others also may benefit. But nowadays that light is hidden under a bushel - nay, many bushels - of vestments, rituals, ceremonials and other accretions of the form side, obscuring the life within.
Day after day and night after night the public which is eager for Theosophy is locked out of the Lodgeroom, while little groups hold private meetings. The T.S. has never sought proselytism, but propaganda is a very effective method of enlarging that nucleus of Universal Brotherhood before-mentioned.
Much more might be said, but if this little taper is not to be snuffed out in the Editor's wastepaper basket, it must refrain from shedding further light until another opportunity may occur. - "Rehua."
The Wellington Lodge programme above referred to. - Ed.
Visit of the Rt. Rev. J.I. WEDGWOOD, Ph.D., July 26th to August 7th, 1922.
Programme of Theosophical and Other Meetings.
Date Subject Hall
- Sunday, 31st July, 7 p.m......." Modern Psychism: Its Value and Its Danger" .. .. Town Hall (Concert Chamber).
- Sunday, 7th August, 7 p.m....... "The Making of a Man" .... As advertised.
The Public are cordially invited.
Date Subject Hall
- Tuesday, 26th July, 7.30 p.m...........Private Meeting................ Theosophical Hall
- Wednesday, 27th July, 7.50 p.m. .....T.S. and Star Members' Social ...... Theosophical Hall.
- Thursday, 28th July, 7.30 p.m. .... Confirmation and Benediction ...... Theosophical Hall
- Friday, 29th July................
- Saturday, 30th July...............
- Sunday, 31st July, 11 a.m. ............ L.C. Church Service ........... Theosophical hall
- Monday, 1st August, 7.30 p.m...........Private Meeting...........Theosophical Hall.
- Tuesday, 2nd August ...............
- Wednesday, 3rd August, 7.30 p.m. ... Sermon and Benediction ....Theosophical Hall.
- Thursday, 4th August, 7.30 p.m. .. T.S. Members' Meeting ...........Theosophical Hall.
- Friday 5th August ................
- Saturday, 6th August, 11 a.m. ..........L.C. Church Service ............ Theosophical Hall
By T.H. Martyn
When the Prince of Wales was at Mysore recently a big keddah or elephant drive was organized. Twenty-eight wild elephants were rounded up from the jungle; for a month previously an army of beaters had been ringing them into an ever narrowing space. In the final stages of the drive the jungle elephants are led into a stockade by decoys trained for the purpose, and once there they cannot escape. Finding themselves trapped they generally struggle after entering the stockade until they drop with exhaustion and fright, emitting piteous cries, with great tears rolling from their eyes.
This was the grand finale that the Prince was brought to witness; but according to the newspaper correspondents, he, with his thoroughly British ideas of sport, did not linger at the keddah longer than courtesy demanded.
So runs a true story. We all think the more of our future Sovereign for his compassion, and the incident augurs well for the future, for there are hundreds of thousands of human beings in the British Isles who are as effectively stockaded by man's inhumanity to man as were the Mysore elephants "emitting piteous cries, and with great tears rolling from their eyes." Human beings, however, do not always express the suffering they feel in tears. Observers have pointed out that with men (and women) the higher the pitch of refinement the less the fall of tears. Children cry freely, but the schoolboy will hardly shed tears when he is flogged. A young man is ashamed to weep because of a hurt, and many adults have completely triumphed over the tendency to weep. One of the mysteries of tears - it has been remarked - is that though as the ministers of emotion they start to assuage sorrow, yet when a mighty grief overwhelms us they withhold their relief. Friends and relatives can weep over a pallid face while the wife or mother looks on her dead with wild unmoistened eyes, petrified to her inmost soul.
To the student of Theosophy, the emotion that spontaneously expresses itself in tears, for the most part belongs to the animal stage of evolution. The baby and the child - as well as their grown-up counterparts - weep for themselves. Almost mindless, and lacking control, the physical body expresses the emotion of dissatisfaction in this way and "tears," to quote Voltaire, "are the silent language of grief." They seem in such cases due to bodily rather than mental misery, and most of our tears, like those of the entrapped elephants, are shed for ourselves, and the shedding of them is a relief, for grief is to some extent satisfied and reduced by tears.
Of course the emotion of brief is very contagious. This is more noticeable in a theatre, perhaps, than anywhere else. The tears that overcome us as the clever actor or actress portrays the suffering of some character in the drama are tears of sympathy, but the spontaneous grief of others is always apt to draw the tears of friends. Shakespeare gathers this idea in the lines:
"Thy heart is big; get thee apart and weep; passion, I see, is catching; for mine eyes seeing those beads of sorrow stand in thine, begin to water."
Here we seem to arrive at a half-way house between the tears of animals and children, and those that are at odd times shed as the result of entirely unselfish sympathy, which on such occasions is stronger than the power of control that under normal circumstances would check the tears.
In tears of sympathy for others we get the expression of a far higher type of emotion than in those of self-pity, but there are degrees even in these, and writers like Darwin detect indications of the divine attributes that pertain to the human soul in the tears that flow entirely for the suffering of others:
"No radiant pearl, which crested fortune wears,
No gem, that twinkling hangs from beauty's ears;
Not the bright stars, which night's blue arch adorn;
Nor rising sun that gilds the vernal morn;
Shine with such lustre as the tear, that flows
Down virtue's manly cheek for others' woes."
The highest conceptions of goodness and perfection are associated with this intense human sympathy, this true and spontaneous compassion. To the Christian of our day the grandest conception of God is probably that which depicts Him as the One who "shall Wipe away all tears from their eyes," and nothing in our Theosophical ethics has a truer ring than those verses which interpret the Voice that springs from the silence of the heart, as it instructs the candidate for human perfection how he should build character as he treads the path of common humanity:
"Let thy Soul lend its ear to every cry of pain like as the lotus bares its heart to drink the morning sun.
"Let not the fierce sun dry one tear of pain before thyself hast wiped it from the sufferer's eye.
"But let each burning human tear drop on thy heart and there remain; nor ever brush it off until the pain that caused it is removed.
"These tears, O thou of heart most merciful, these are the streams that irrigate the fields of charity immortal. 'Tis on such soil that grows the midnight blossom of Adeptship, more difficult to find, more rare
to view, than is the flower of the Yogay tree." ("The Voice of the Silence." - H.P. Blavatsky.)
From all points of view it would seem that the noblest cause that anyone can serve is that which aims to save the shedding of tears by others, to reduce all those disabilities which are the cause of suffering and pain in others; that the "way" itself is found by laying open the inner recesses of the heart from whence flows this stream of divine compassion, which seeks only the good of others.
Our Common Work.
By B. P. Wadia.
A letter written to the Norway Section of the T.S.
At the request of your capable General Secretary, I wish to send to you, my brethren of Norway, a few words on the subject of the common work we all have at heart. First, let me thank you for the opportunity given me by your Section in accepting my poor services in the month of October.
Now, in writing about our theosophical work, I am not saying something especially for the Norwegian members; our members everywhere are more or less, alike, for human nature is more or less alike everywhere.
The other day I was perusing in a journal an article entitled "A Plea for Consistency." Some sentences when made applicable to members of the T.S. make clear one of the difficulties under which we are laboring. Let me quote them:
"James Clerk Maxwell once said that most men keep watertight compartments in their minds. It is a remark that strikes us as obviously true directly we hear it; it is, indeed, common matter for comment that the acute and successful business man may be deceived by an elementary swindle, that the great Minister for Foreign Affairs may be delighted by Opal Whitley's diary, that the devout Christian may be a landlord of brothels, and that scientific men may be High Tories. The human mind is so constituted that it can accommodate mutually contradictory ideas without discomfort, and it is only the very exceptional man who truly desires to be consistent. Most of the opinions we call rational are rationalized desires, and, provided they serve their purpose of releasing energy in an agreeable way, we are not much concerned that they should logically agree with one another." - ('The Nation and The Athenaeum,' October 15, 1931, p. 133.)
Do not most of our members also live in watertight compartments of home duties and Theosophical service, business obligations and Lodge work, etc., etc.? It is not difficult to spot the cause of this: with most of our members Theosophy is not the very bread of Life. With some it is a hobby, with others it is a religion; with some it is a form of recreation, with others it is a means to improve minds and morals; with a few only is Theosophy a matter of life.
Our Theosophical studies remain with most of our members the provider of comfort and happiness, the explainer of the many complexities of existence. It is typical of the generality of our members that they are more anxious about life after death than for life before death. When the latter phase obtains some prominence, it takes the turn of what is called philanthropic service of the world. Certain catch-phrases like "God's plan for Men," "We are the Band of Servers," "Little time ere the Lord comes," "Prepare, prepare for His coming," expressing the unconscious self-satisfaction of the "chosen pioneers," often hypnotize the minds of our fellows who try "to fit in the plan," "serve," "clear away obstacles from the way of the Lord." A little discrimination and sense of humor could show us how naive we must appear to others and not altogether falsely. All this has produced a tendency to rush about doing something, which entails much of the rush and little of the doing.
Someone might well ask: "But then what will you have us do?"
I do not think I could better, in beauty and conciseness, a good answer to that query, Browning's lines in "Ferishtah's Fancies":
"Ask thy lone soul what laws are plain to thee -
Thee and no other: stand and fall by them,
That is the part for thee."
The same fine truth he voices and expands a little in the masterly "Paracelsus":
"Truth is within ourselves: it takes no rise
From outward things, whate'er you may believe.
There is an inmost centre in us all,
Where truth abides in fullness; and around,
Wall upon wall, the gross flesh hems it in."
Our members' first duty is to make themselves Theosophists. To speak Theosophy, to write Theosophy, to work for Theosophy is a good and noble effort; but to live Theosophy is a better and a nobler endeavor. For that purpose it is necessary that
we seek the Self within the prison-house of flesh. Our members seem to be in mortal terror of disbelieving something which "our leaders" say; this has gone to such extremes that few stop to consider a teaching or a proposition on its own inherent merit. Nothing could be more untheosophical than that. Emerson, the great American sage, has written a wonderful and inspiring passage on the theme, and I present it to our members with an appeal to think over its contents and apply it to our work and life in the Theosophical Society. He says:
"He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness. Nothing is at last sacred, but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world. I remember an answer which, when quite young, I was prompted to make to a valued adviser, who was wont to importune me with the dear old doctrines of the Church. On my saying. 'What have I to do with the sacredness of traditions, if I live wholly from within?' my friend suggested. 'But these impulses may be from below, not from above.' I replied. 'They do not seem to me to be such, but if I am the Devil's child, I will live then for the Devil.' No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature. Good and bad are but names transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it. A man is to carry himself in the presence of all opposition as if everything were titular and ephemeral but he. I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions. Every decent and well-spoken individual affects and sways me more than is right. I ought to go upright and vital, and speak the rude truth in all ways."
We must carry out the spirit of these teachings of Browning and Emerson. We must seriously endeavor to teach our members how to live and not only how to talk, how to make propaganda by life and not only by work. We must transform ourselves from "selfish devotees" to real ones; we must learn to discharge obligations by fulfilling Karma, to perform "congenital" duties. To discharge these obligations, to perform these duties, by a new way - the Theosophical way, by a new method - the spiritual method, in place of the way of the senses and by the method of materialism, is taught to us by the Ancient Wisdom. Says H.P.B.: "If . . . man proceeding on his life-journey looked - not heavenward, which is but a figure of speech - but within himself, and centered his point of observation on the inner man, he would soon escape from the coils of the great serpent of illusion."
In your Christiania the gorgeous and beautiful hills speak a strange language which true Theosophists can understand. They are ideas in themselves. They are like lofty Souls with their heads illuminated by the rare atmosphere of spirituality. From their heights the villages dotted about, full of misery and pleasure, of sorrow and joy, of darkness and light, are one ever-extending low-land. The mountains are above the differences which constitute the illusion of life. We must become like them - rising high above the struggling masses of humanity, in the villages and towns of the world, provide for them joy, beauty, inspiration. The mountain retreats of Great Souls is more than a symbolic expression. Lofty Souls find their natural habitat in lofty regions of the earth. They are isolated and yet of the world. This dual aspect of isolation and association has to be attained before the Bliss of the Spirit is known or can be taught.
Let us therefore be Theosophically consistent: let us live by the laws which we feel to be good or understand to be right. But to live we must know and not only believe - we must realize by the power of the Will and not only recognize by the power of Intelligence.
If you approve of the aims of this magazine, will you contribute to its upkeep by making a donation to the T.S. Loyalty League, which it represents? There are no paid officers, and all money subscribed is devoted to working for T.S. neutrality.
Overseas subscribers please note that postal notes should not be sent, as they can only be negotiated at a loss in Australia. Payment should be made by money order or bank draft negotiable in Sydney.
OUR NEXT NUMBER
The May issue of "Dawn" will give prominence to the life and work of H.P. Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society. The death of H.P.B., who passed over on May 8, 1891, is now widely commemorated in the Theosophical Movement throughout the world, and is known as "White Lotus" Day.
With the Clairvoyants
Our next interview is with a lady who is widely known as a healer of no inconsiderable powers. It should be mentioned, perhaps, that the motto of this lady and of many who are associated with her in efforts to help those around them is, "without money and without price." Their work is always a work of love.
Question: I understand you are a very successful healer and are aided by clairvoyant powers: can you tell the readers of Dawn something about your work?
Answer: I do not know, I am sure, whether you would call me clairvoyant in the ordinary acceptance of the term, my perceptive powers having been expressed principally along medical lines.
Q.: How did you discover you had the gift of healing?
A.: Through hearing a lecture by Mr. Macbeth Bain and afterwards reading his book, "The Brotherhood of Healers." While I was reading that remarkable book a relative happened to be taken seriously ill, and finding her almost helpless I made up my mind on the spur of the moment to test the value of the statements made by the author.
Q.: What happened?
A.: I immediately found that I was impressed to act in a certain way - for instance, I had to make magnetic passes over particular nerve centers of the patient; working several inches away from the body. As soon as this was done I myself sensed the symptoms of the patient, and could actually follow the effects of the treatment in my own feelings as it proceeded.
Q.: Did you effect a cure?
A.: Yes. That one treatment sufficed, and though the illness was serious my patient was practically well again in a couple of days.
Q.: That meant that you were frequently called on to help the sick, I suppose
A.: No. For a time I endeavored to experiment with this power. However, a few months later, when I was assured of its efficacy, I received an appeal for help in a difficult case, that of a sick child, and since then work has proceeded, and it is impossible to enumerate the many cases brought to my hands.
Q.: Do you find your success confined to cases of nervous trouble?
A.: Not at all; all forms of ill-health seem susceptible to this impression treatment which I have described, but each case requires its own method of treatment. There is endless variety, and in every instance I depend upon the impression received for the method of attacking the trouble. Sometimes I will know that the simplest procedure will have the best results, but the first desideratum always is to set up some sort of sympathetic vibrations between my patient and myself.
Q. : Is that very difficult?
A.: No; not if one follows the directions of the intuition or impression; but many devices come into use. For instance, where there is nervous tension the help of music is most useful for this preliminary, and I sometimes intersperse a treatment by playing on the piano.
Q.: What follows when you feel the conditions are right?
A.: The carrying out of whatever method is communicated to me through this subjective consciousness. The applications are many. Sometimes passes over the body which I regard as magnetic; at others the laying on of hands on certain parts of the body; at others again a word of power uttered orally or in silence.
Q.: Do you use any particular mantram in such cases?
A.: No. The word will be different for different cases. The word required, like the other forms of treatment, is indicated through the intuition.
Q.: That seems very remarkable. Is there never any hesitation or doubt as to whether the particular word or treatment indicated is the right one to use?
A.: Much experience shows that there is no need to doubt.
Q.: Is it necessary for a patient to describe his symptoms or explain him or herself?
A.: No. Not at all. The impulse to treat in a particular way is what one looks for and follows. Sometimes I am entirely conscious of all the details of the case just as if a complete diagnosis had been made, at others not. Of course you understand I am speaking only of my own particular methods and experiences.
Q.: Exactly. You realize presumably that they may be entirely different to those of other healers, or of any particular healer even if the same formula is adopted.
A.: Yes; but I have often thought from what one reads of the ancient Essenes and other therapeutic orders of the pre-Christian era that their experience was very similar. The law of compassion expressing itself as sympathy is an undoubted factor.
Q.: What about faith?
A.: Well, I certainly think that faith on the part
of a patient facilitates a cure, but at times people almost defiantly skeptical are brought to me and are cured by this means. I maintain that the root of faith is in the soul - one gets to distinguish between real soul faith and credulity.
Q.: What would you describe as amongst the more striking forms of treatment?
A.: Perhaps those cases which I can only describe as surgical.
Q.: What do you mean by that?
A.: It is at times necessary to cut diseased tissue just as if one were using an invisible knife. This has been scientifically tested and found to be a manipulation of the X-ray, plus an unknown quantity.
Q.: For such treatment is the laying on of hands necessary?
A.: Oh, no! This particular treatment is better effected without contact; in fact a distance of about 14 inches from the patient is often prescribed by the intuition.
Q.: Do I understand that the only telepathic faculties you use are those of receiving these subjective directions and carrying them out?
A.: No. I often see as well as feel the auric effect on the patient. Then, too, there are vivid experiences in sleep brought over on waking. These often have to do with cases under treatment. But that is a big subject by itself, is it not?
Q.: What are the auric effects?
A.: They vary considerably, according to the nature of the trouble: therefore one illustration must suffice.
I was treating a patient suffering mentally and physically: the aura was impregnated with a heavy gray etheric matter, giving it the appearance of a dark net material, covering the form: this again was interpenetrated with, what appeared to be, islands of grosser vibration which were the result of congested localities.
Q.: What is essential, in order to become a healer?
A.: Clean hands, a pure heart, a selfless love.
Q.: I take it that what is termed a strong psychic would make a good healer?
A.: Not necessarily so. A strong psychic need no more be a pure soul than a spiritist need be a spiritual man. There are psychics who are more in the earthly than the heavenly mind, more in the carnal than the spiritual degree of the human. The psychical should be taken for what it is and used accordingly, and it will serve the good uses it alone can serve. But it must be the servant of the Spirit, whose human manifestation is selfless love. When it is so all is well; for through its members, the army of life-giving and healing energies are brought to the service of the needy. But let it usurp the right to rule, and forthwith a pandemonium of strong jealousies, hates and envyings, of bitterness and foulness of thought, of insane whims, violent likes and dislikings may be more truly expected than the peaceable fruit of the Spirit. For there are psychic hells as truly as there are spiritual heavens, even as there are higher and lower psychics. If psyche serve spirit, and does not rule, their work will be one of true power, their union strength. Thus only do we enter into the joyous life of the medium of the Holy Spirit. Along this line any truth-living minister in the healing service knows, that even as of old, the pentecostal fire is a living reality.
Q. Thank you. Another time we should like to follow up those experiences that come while the body sleeps; the readers of Dawn are sure to be interested in that.
A Beardless Christ.
The question "Did Christ wear a beard" is raised in a volume just issued in Paris by M. Demely, an archaeologist and art writer, which gives the results of a profound study of early Christian art and in which he maintains some of the most famous of the world's paintings are absurd.
According to M. Demely, all figures of Christ during the first three centuries of the Christian era showed him without a beard, whereas since that time he has always been depicted as wearing a beard.
This great change in the artists' representation of Christ, M. Demely asserts, was due to the Emperor Constantine, the first Christian ruler of Rome, who insisted that a bearded Christ had appeared to him in a dream.
At night Constantine frequently dreamed of things which had impressed him during the day, history says, and this dream, which M. Demely is convinced changed all Christian art, came to him in Paneas, where he saw a statue representing that city at the feet of a bearded Caesar. That night Coustantine dreamed that a bearded Christ healing the sick had appeared to him, and from that time a bearded Christ appeared in all carvings in ivory and in stone all over the Roman Empire.
Cole's Book Arcade
346 George Street, is the Sydney Depot for " DAWN "
Single Copies, Price Ninepence
- No. 3
In commenting on the verse of the Prashnopanishad, "Now in the heart the Self abides," in our November issue, we mentioned some remarkable experiments made by Dr. Alex Carrel, of the Rockefeller Institute. Quite a lot of interesting matter has come to hand relating to these experiments, of which the following is a summary: -
Nine years ago Dr. Alexis Carrel, of the Rockefeller Institute, placed a small piece of chicken heart in a solution of chicken plasma and other media, and confided the specimen to an incubator at 39 degrees Centigrade. To the inexperienced layman there was nothing remarkable in this experiment, but to the scientist this chicken tissue soon assumed the utmost importance. For, contrary to the rule then regarded as an immutable one, the specimen lost neither life nor function. This piece of a chicken heart, removed from the living body and confined in a test tube, continued to behave as naturally as though existing in its accustomed habitat.
Moreover, the passing of time apparently had no influence upon its vitality. It manifested no signs of growing old. Dr. Carrel discovered that two simple precautions would keep it in the bloom of perpetual youth. At stated periods it was given a bath in an antiseptic solution; at the same time it was provided with certain food which supplied all its physiological needs. So long as these simple precautions were observed, this minute section of a chicken heart not only kept living and proliferating - more startling still, it also showed not the slightest sign of growing old.
Far back in 1912, when this daring experiment was begun, Doctor Carrel was asked how long his specimen would live. His answer was that so long as these precautions were observed, he saw no reason why it should not live for ever. If it were frequently sterilized, thus eliminating all possibility of infection, and if it were judiciously and periodically fed, he could see no necessity of death.
For two years the experimenter gave his precious tissue his personal attention - and it continued to keep young and vigorous. Then the world war took Doctor Carrel to France, where he remained four years.
During his absence an assistant religiously tended this new kind of vestal flame; so that, when the distinguished Frenchman returned to his duties he found his little piece of chicken heart still alive and proliferating - as active and vigorous as when he left.
Nine Years have now passed and the first sign of decay has not yet appeared. All chickens, contemporary with that from which this specimen was obtained, have long since gone the way of all flesh; but this section lives on, apparently immortal. Time has no effect upon it. It is just as young today as on the day when it was removed from its parent. The usual graduations of human experience - infancy, youth, maturity, senescence, death - are not for it. At last science seems to have found the fountain of eternal youth.
These facts have naturally given rise to much speculation in scientific circles. Speculations which remind readers of some of the articles which appeared in our Theosophical magazines in the early days of the Society. The "Elixir of Life," republished in Five Years of Theosophy, for instance. Indeed, the question is seriously asked, "Is it possible to defeat physical death?" And, given certain conditions, can the physical body be maintained in a state of perpetual youth?"
Let us hope - as seems probable - that neither of these disasters is awaiting us in the future. We do not want to be kept at this hard physical plane training without an occasional holiday and respite, whether we think of that pleasant change as heaven or devachan. But what does remain true in Dr. Carrel's discovery is probably indicated by this ancient saying that "In the heart the Self abides."
The Self is that spark of divinity which makes man man. The link with the Monad, which is the separated off fragment of God. The finding of God is possible to man because of this link, but the actual finding comes at a late stage in the journey of experience. When it does come it will be because the man is able, as directed in Light on the Path, to "Inquire of the Inmost, the One of its final secret, which it holds for you through the ages." The method of this inquiry is suggested by the closing verses of the same ethic. Verses which without this key would be entirely meaningless:
"Hold fast to that which has neither substance nor existence.
"Listen only to the voice which is soundless.
"Look only on that which is invisible alike to the inner and outer sense."
Naturally it is only in the silence of the chamber, and when the "door is closed" to the outer senses, that we can thus pray to our "Father which is in secret."
All this shows the Self in the heart to be the seat and source of spiritual life. Dr. Carrel's re-
searches show that "as above so below"; that there is in the very tissue of the heart the source of physical vitality.
This physical vitality can, it seems, be maintained indefinitely, given the right physical conditions. It has always been claimed by the world's great Seers that spiritual virility also can be attained by meditation on the Self, and that this Self within us, is the seed which, as it germinates, blossoms into joy and gladness, cheerfulness and confidence, courage and tenacity, unswerving love of truth, of virtue, and of fellow-man.
The Voice of the God Within
By Annie Besant
Note.-The following is the closing passage of Mrs. Besant's excellent little book, "The Basis of Morality," the five chapters of which are entitled Revelation, Intuition, Utility, Evolution, and Mysticism. It was published in 1915, but the vessel carrying the edition was torpedoed in the Mediterranean, at the bottom of which it lay till recently, when the cargo was salvaged and the copies were dried out and made available for sale, we are indebted to the "Canadian Theosophist" for the information.
The true Mystic, realizing God, has no need of any Scriptures, for he has touched the source whence all Scriptures flow. An "enlightened" Brahmana, says Shri Krishna, has no more need of the Vedas than a man needs a tank in a place which is overflowing with water. The value of cisterns, of reservoirs, is past, when a man is seated beside an overflowing spring. As Dean Inge has pointed out, Mysticism is the most scientific form of religion, for it bases itself, as does all science, on experience and experiment - experiment being only a specialized form of experience, devised either to discover or to verify.
We have seen the Mystic who realizes God outside himself and seeks Union with Him. There remains the most interesting, the most effective form of Mysticism, the realization by a man of God within himself. Here meditation is also a necessity, and the man who is born with a high capacity for concentration is merely a man who has practiced it in previous lives. A life or lives of study and seclusion often precedes a life of tremendous and sustained activity in the physical world. The realization is preceded by control of the body, control of the emotions and control of the mind, for the power to hold these in complete stillness is necessary, if a man is to penetrate into those depths of his own nature in which alone is to be found the shrine of the inner God. The subtle music of that sphere is drowned by the clatter of the lower bodies as the most exquisite notes of the Vina are lost in the crude, harsh sound of the harmonium. The Voice of the Silence can only be heard in the silence, and all the desires of the heart must be paralyzed ere can arise in the tranquility of the senses and mind the glorious majesty of the Self. Only in the desert of loneliness is that Sun in all His glory for all objects that might cloud His drowning must vanish; only "when half-gods go," does God arise. Even the outer God must hide, ere the Inner God can manifest; the cry of agony of the Crucified must be wrung from the tortured lips, "My God, my God, why Mast Thou forsaken me?" precedes the realization of the God within.
Through this all Mystics pass who are needed for great service in the world, those whom Mr. Bagshot so acutely calls "materialized Mystics." The Mystics who find God outside themselves are the "unmaterialized" Mystics, and they serve the world in the ways above mentioned; but the others, as Mr. Bagshot points out, transmute their "mystic thought" into "practical energy," and these become the most formidable powers known in the physical world. All that is based on injustice, fraud and wrong may well tremble when one of these arises, for the Hidden God has become manifest, and who may bar His way?
Such Mystics wear none of the outer signs of the "religious" - their renunciation is within, not without, there is no parade of outer holiness, no outer separation from the world. Janaka the King, Krishna the Warrior-Statesman, are of these; clothed in cotton cloth or cloth of gold, it matters not; poor or rich, it boots not; failing or succeeding, it is naught, for each apparent failure is the road to further success, and both are their servants, not their masters; victory ever attends them, today or a century hence is equal, for they live in Eternity, and with them it is ever Today. Possessing nothing, all is theirs; holding everything, nothing belongs to them. Misconception, misrepresentation, they meet with a smile, half-amused, all-forgiving; the frowns, the taunts, the slanders of the men they live to serve are only the proofs of how much these foolish ones need their help, and how should these foolish ones hurt those on whom the Peace of the Eternal abides?
These Mystics are a law unto themselves, for the inner law has replaced the external compulsion. More rigid, for it is the law of their own nature;
more, compelling, for it is the Voice of the Divine Will; more exacting, for no pity, no pardon, is known to it; more all-embracing, for it sees the part only in the whole.
But it has, it ought to have, no authority outside the Mystic himself. It may persuade, it may win, it may inspire, but it may not claim obedience as of right. For the voice of the God within only becomes authoritative for another when the God within that other self answers the Mystic's appeal, and he recognizes an ideal that he could not have formulated, unaided for himself. The Mystic may shine as a Light, but a man must see with his own eyes, and there lies the world's safety; the materialized Mystic, strong as he is, cannot, by virtue of the God within him, enslave his fellow-men.
What One Hears.
That Mrs. Besant will visit Australia in time to open Convention at Easter.
That Ghandi, the leader of the revolt in India, is a strict ascetic, and that his reputed indifference to personal comfort hugely strengthens his influence with his countrymen, who speak of him everywhere as "Mahatma Ghandi."
That everything connected with what is known as The New Psychology is immensely popular just now with the public, the booksellers reporting rapid sales of any literature published on the subject.
That Mr. Krishnamurti and his brother are likely to accompany Mrs. Besant on a brief visit to Australia shortly; also Mr. Jinarajadasa.
That the American and Canadian Sections of the T.S. have had visits from quite a number of lecturers from other parts of the world of late, and that Australia could make use of the same sort of visitors.
That our Melbourne brethren are looking forward to the Easter Convention, and hope for a big gathering of delegates from all over the Commonwealth.
That the Morven Garden School opened its new year term with one of the finest teaching staffs it has yet succeeded in securing, and looks forward to a big accession of pupils
That Mr. Fritz Kunz is leaving Adyar on holiday after a close spell of work (eight years). He intends visiting Australia on his way "home" to California. Some of our members will remember Mr. Kunz, who was here as a boy in 1905.
That Miss Oppenheimer (of London), after a tour through the New Zealand T.S. Lodges in the interests of the L.C. Church, is proceeding to South Africa with the intention of doing similar work there.
That under the regime of a popular T.S. General Secretary, who also is "Vicar General" of the L.C. Church in the Dominion, the T.S. has lost all vitality in New Zealand, and soon will be no more.
That Dawn has caused many T.S. members to understand the essential need for T.S. neutrality as they never realized it before.
That there was virility in some of the addresses given by Mr. Krishnamurti during the Benares Convention. In one account the reporter states: "In all his utterances the idea predominated - 'Awake!' And he gave us a series of stabs and spear-thrusts mercifully to hasten the process." Dawn hopes that the aroused sluggards will become wide awake to the necessity of keeping the T.S. neutral.
That in one of his late Convention talks Mr. Krishnamurti told his audience: "Men are no longer crawling children.... Think of the Master as your friend, look him straight in the face, and ask Him, as men should ask a man, to give you strength." This surely is a healthy view and accords with what we read, as a statement of a Master himself, in The Occult World, in one of the letters to the late Mr. Sinnett:
"Think of us as demi-gods and my explanation will not satisfy you; view us as simple men - perhaps a little wiser as the result of special study - and it ought to answer your objection.
That Mr. A.F. Knudsen, writing in the Adyar Bulletin for January, remarks that "Men who for the moment are dictating the policy of the (Theosophical) Society in America, have said most forcefully that `Egos are coming into Theosophy too young,' and that we must provide something for these egos that are not ready for Theosophy." Mr. Knudsen continues: "Except for a few minor officers perhaps, no officer for four years has been allowed to hold any opinion but that of one particular church."
Dawn hopes that these troubles belong to the old regime, and that under Mr. Rogers' direction the Theosophical Society there will recover its neutrality and be shown to the world as belonging alike to all churches, to all religions, and all people.
That the engagement of Dr. Bean, General Secretary of the Australian Section, to Mrs. John, has brought the doctor many felicitations, and to both sincere wishes for a happy wedded life.
That in a New York interview, Mr. Wadia spoke in high praise of his fellow-countryman, Mr. Shastri, whom he described as the man of the hour in India, profoundly intellectual and profoundly practical, a man who not only thinks things, but does them. Mr. Shastri is expected to pay an official visit to Australia shortly.
That the official magazine of the English Section T.S., now named Theosophy, is likely to be changed back to H.P.B.'s old name for its predecessor, i.e., The Vahan. That name was adopted by H.P.B. because it meant "The Vehicle."
That when the head of the Bahai movement passed over on the 28th November last the world probably lost its greatest. peacemaker.
That the Bahais throughout the world now number between two and three million, and have taken great root, both in America the new, and Persia the old, country.
That many Theosophists are thinking over again the names of the eightfold path, which the Buddha declared to constitute true living in its entirety. Right Understandings; Right Resolution; Right Speech; Right Action; Right way of earning a Livelihood; Right Effort; Right Thought; Right state of a peaceful Mind.
That American Theosophists are in some places taking part in educating Chinese children, prompted by a popular effort to Americanise all the foreign elements which have poured into the U.S.A. during the last few years.
That big propaganda work is now done in New York by an Association (a co-operative effort of all the T.S. Lodges there). A series of Sunday morning lectures in the Town Hall having drawn audiences of over 1000.
That Mr. Sinnett, late Vice-President of the T.S., left an autobiography, which is shortly to be published in London.
That the English Section T.S. now numbers about 5,000 members, thirteen new Lodges were chartered in 1921. A lot of attention is now given to propaganda through the agency of traveling lecturers.
That in England the need for attractive lecturers has brought about a high standard of efficiency, and there is considerable demand by outside organizations, in some cases by churches, for lectures on Theosophy by these practiced speakers.
That at London Headquarters, lady volunteers provide afternoon tea for callers between 4 and 5.30 at a charge of sixpence per head. The innovation gives trouble, but is found worth while.
That The Theosophist for February says some hard things about Dawn, but nobody will mind that if the neutrality of the T.S. can be re-established. Reformers expect knocks, and perhaps would be disappointed if they did not get them.
That the newspapers in New York have given a lot of space to Mr. Wadia's Theosophic mission there, owing to his being so well known as a public man.
That Mr. B.P. Wadia has been the guest of The Theosophical Association of Yew York for three months. He has given a course of Sunday morning lectures on Theosophy to crowded audiences. Question and answer meetings were so popular that a hall three times the size of that provided had to be engaged at short notice to hold the enquirers. Even then many were turned away.
Who was Who?
From the "Canadian Theosophist."
Editor, Canadian Theosophist: In connection with the interesting discoveries of the previous incarnations of certain members of the Theosophical Society which have recently been made in Australia, I would be obliged if you would allow me the use of your columns to place a suggestion before the Executive Committee of the Canadian Section. My suggestion is that the Committee, in collaboration with some trained psychic investigator, should prepare a Theosophical "Who was Who" for the guidance of its members and of Theosophists generally. Such a work is rendered very necessary by the friction and even, I am sorry to say, jealousy which has arisen among some of our members over the question of the authenticity of their psychic pedigrees. This would not only constitute an authoritative Index for those members seeking information concerning their past lives, but would also provide a list, as it were, of prior reservations for the guidance of those persons not yet informed of their previous existences. Alternate choices should be allowed to cover any cases of doubtful identity. For example, one of our esteemed local members is satisfied that he is Frederick the Great, whereas I happen to know that he is, as a fact, Baron Munchausen. The error, no doubt, arises from the fact that both these personages were of the same nationality and about the same period. In my own case there is a doubt as to my identity of a somewhat humiliating nature. While I have been assured by a psychic investigator of caliber that I am King Henry V. of England, who was a wise and courageous monarch and a loving husband, there are on the other hand persistent indications that there is a possibility of a slight mistake having been made in the numeral. In short, it is not unlikely that I was Henry VIII. and not King Henry V. It would be wise and kind, I think, to allow cases of this sort the benefit of an "alias," or more properly, perhaps, of an "alibi." The necessity for such a publication as the one discussed is strongly emphasized by a most unfortunate situation in our own little Lodge. We have in our membership no fewer than three Marys, Queens of Scots, the result being most embarrassing, especially when the three-in-one, as one might say, meet. In conclusion, I feel it would not be irrelevant to quote the words of our Assistant Recording Secretary (who, by the sway, was Herodotus), who said to me recently: "Reincarnation, my dear fellow, gives one presumptive title to any figure in history. Therefore when you're picking, pick a winner!" - Pertinax.
The Fear of Living
"Don't get bitten with the modern fear of living," remarks an army officer in a recent novel to a young subaltern with a "temperament." The fear of living! This odd expression is full of suggestiveness, and should claim more than a passing thought from many of our T.S. members today.
Theosophy - if it teaches us anything - makes it clear that "the world is our oyster," and it is for us to open it. Daily life is every soul's opportunity. To the would be occultist it is the practice ground in which he deliberately trains himself, uniting soul and body with SPIRIT. Under no other circumstances can he do this, obviously. Then of what transcendent value to him is this earthly life and the opportunity of living it. Yet it is the would be occultist who more often than not is bitten with the fear of living. Who tries to dodge the commonplace and all that it can teach him. Who dreams dreams, cultivates visions and prattles about the spiritual - all excellent departments of experience in their own place - but squirms at the call of everyday duty and regards the very experiences that probably he most needs to make him efficient and capable as unworthy of his notice and rather beneath his "occult" dignity.
The ancient Seers made no such mistake as this, and the union with God brought about by action and good honest familiarity with mundane affairs, is the way of Shri Krishna in the Gita. "He who seeth Me everywhere, and seeth everything in Me, of him will I never lose hold, and he shall never lose hold of Me," He tells Arjuna. And again, "Nor can I be seen as thou hast seen Me by the Scriptures, nor by austerities, nor by alms, or by offerings. . . . He who doeth action for Me, whose supreme good I am, My devotee freed from attachment, without hatred for any being, he cometh unto Me."
Surely the "art of living" - that is, the making the most of life - is to enter into all its concerns with confidence, without attachment to results, and without fear, either of living or of the contamination of contact with all sorts and conditions of brothers, older or younger, which in our egotism we have imagined may be deleterious to our spiritual development.
The Objects of the Theosophical Society..
The impression seems widespread that the objects of the T.S. have been frequently changed, but actually the only alteration since 1881 is a variation of the wording, which was made in 1905, when the Society was formally registered.
We append the original 188I form as quoted by Mr. A.O. Hume in "The Occult World," and also the wording adopted for registration purposes in 1905, and retained since: - [[Instead of columns, one follows the other here. - dig. ed.]]
The 1881 version - [The present-day version]
1. To form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity.
[To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color]
2. To study Aryan literature, religion and science.
3. To vindicate the importance of this enquiry
[To encourage the study of comparative religion, philosophy and science.]
4. To explain the hidden mysteries of Nature and the latent powers in man.
[To investigate the unexplained law of nature and the powers latent in man.]
Because the chief object of the Theosophical Society is to form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of humanity, it is necessary to adopt a form of neutrality which is adapted to universalism. If this first object were to form a Brotherhood merely, the conditions would be quite different. Many of our officers and members have more or less confused ideas on this subject, and think of our First Object on common Brotherhood lines.
Universal Brotherhood means that its component parts differ in every possible detail in the most extreme manner, and this circumstance makes necessary a form of neutrality which no organization has ever yet attempted to put into practice.
Dawn will try to impress this fact on the consciousness of our members all over the world. It means that our Society must be so neutral that it can provide a meeting ground for the most violently differing types of people. Such contrasts, for instance, as Czarists and Leninites, Sein Feiners and Orangemen, Hindus and Mohammedans, Socialists and Individualists, Christians and Jews, Protestants and Catholics, Republicans and Imperialists, Democrats and Autocrats, Materialists and Spiritualists, the Black, the Yellow, and the White Daces, and all those other "sorts and conditions of men that make up humanity.
The exercise of such a form of neutrality as is required would not lead to stagnation because a great and glorious work has been given to this nucleus to perform. That work is in brief to study the Ancient Aryan Wisdom and to make it known to the world. We must specialize in:
The attitude of neutrals.
The privileges of students.
The duties of publicists.
If the Theosophical Society honestly applies itself to these aims, every country will benefit, all sorts of evils will be minimized, and its members cannot fail to become spiritualized by the practical love for humanity which finds expression in their faith and their work.
[[Below is the inside front cover in all the first two volumes:]]
The T. S. Loyalty League
What It Is and What It Stands For
Foreword - The T.S. Loyalty League had its birth in Sydney, Australia, August, 1921, and between one hundred and two hundred members of the Sydney Lodge attached themselves to it within a few days of the adoption of its platform.
The Theosophical Society appeals to those who join it because of its international ideals; because it aims at making Universal Brotherhood possible; because it seeks to plant itself in every corner of the world and form amongst all sorts and conditions of people centers which represent its objects; because no other existing organization offers any real promise of universality; because supreme and confident faith in the inherent Divinity of man and the Fatherhood of God inspires service to such a cause.
The Founders of the Society realized that to enable it to succeed a new habit of studied neutrality towards all other organizations must be formed in its ranks. They realized clearly that the one rock on which the Society as a Universal movement was most likely to be wrecked was the tendency towards sectarianism inherent in those who joined. Madam Blavatsky left on record her fears on this head in "The Key to Theosophy," and the last chapter in that book on "The Future of the Theosophical Society" is a very telling introduction to the T.S. Loyalty League.
Though intended in the first instance to help the work of the Sydney Lodge, many enquiries have come in from places at a distance, and the League may well become a rallying ground for members of the Theosophical Society in other parts of the world, who still regard its first object as of paramount importance.
If, indeed, wide co-operation at the present time makes possible greater interchange of fraternal interest; if it should provide a bond of sympathy and mutual regard all through the world, it may help the Society to achieve where hitherto it has failed; for we sadly lack a mutual knowledge of one another, and our various sections lose something of the wider spirit by comparative isolation. With a view to meeting this need, the T.S. Loyalty League provides an Hon. Organizer, hoping with his cooperation to keep in touch with sympathizers in other parts of the world.
The League is not a separatist movement, but an expression of the desire of all true Theosophists to preserve individual liberty and to prevent any member from enforcing the acceptance of his or her personal opinions on the Society as a whole.
The League adopts the broadest principles of democracy, believing these to be necessary to Universalism. It has no President, and its policy is guided by a Council elected by its members annually.
There are no fees of any kind, but voluntary donations will, at all times, be gratefully received.
The Headquarters of the League are in Sydney, and members of the T.S. resident elsewhere who desire to form branches are invited to communicate - with the Honorary Organizer or Honorary Secretary.
OBJECTS OF THE LEAGUE :
1. Loyalty to the established Objects of the Theosophical Society.
2. Loyalty to the maintenance of an absolutely non-sectarian platform, and resistance to any action or movement likely to endanger the neutrality of the Society even in appearance.
3. Loyalty to the good name of the Society, and the investigation of the bonafides of individuals or institutions claiming recognition from it.
The League proposes to encourage greater attention to methods for establishing and maintaining a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity; to the study of the early literature of the Society, and of modern science.
It is believed that it is important to encourage in our members faith in their own inherent Divinity so emphasized in the writings of the Founders: and to seek in that the Laws of right thinking, right feeling, and right conduct.
It is believed that the present condition of the Society calls for organization on the part of those of its members who have been attracted to it by its splendid universality, its avoidance of sectarian restrictions, and its encouragement of all shades of thought and opinion.
It is believed that all these great principles have, during late years, become endangered.
Membership of the League is restricted to those F.T.S. who are prepared to subscribe IN WRITING to its Objects, and whose applications are accepted by the council of the League.
Hon. Secretary: Mr. J. E. Greig.
Hon. Organizer: Mr. L. Ingamells
Hon. Treasurer: Mr. E. Eberle
Postal Address: Box 1489, G.P.O., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
[[Back cover - member and subscription forms]]
The T.S. Loyalty League
- APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP.
I have read the Objects of the T.S. Loyalty League, as printed on page 2, and, being in full accord with them, I hereby apply to become a member: -
Name (in full) ---------------- (State whether Mr., Mrs., or Miss)
(Tear Oft Here)
The Editor, "DAWN,"
Box 1439, G.P.O., Sydney, N.S.W.,
or The Hon. Secretary, T.S. Loyalty League
Please enroll me as a subscriber to "DAWN." I enclose ----------- being subscription for one year of six issues, post free, and ---------- as a donation to the League.
Name (in full) ---------------- (State whether Mr., Mrs., or Miss)
"DAWN" is published on alternate months.
Annual subscription, postage paid, Australia, 3/9; outside Australia, 4/3; single copy 9d.