A Magazine Devoted to the Promotion of Universal Brotherhood
Vol. 1 - No. 4 May 1, 1922 Price Ninepence
Special Features of this Issue
- Editorial Notes
- An Answer to Mrs. Besant - by T.H. Martyn
- H.P.B.: An Appreciation - by Jocelyn Underhill
- A Perplexed President - by L. Ingamells
- The Australian Convention - by Onlooker
- Is it Good-bye?
- The New Psychology - by John Ploughman
- What One Hears
"Now in the heart the Self abides."
"The true Philosopher, the Student of Esoteric Wisdom, entirely loses sight of personalities, dogmatic beliefs and special religions. " - H.P. BLAVATSKY
THE eighth day of May is the anniversary of the passing of Madam Blavatsky from her physical mask in 1891. The photograph from which our block was made is one that seems to have hitherto escaped notice, and represents her in the earlier years of her work. No student of H.P.B.'s writings can think of her even casually as "dead." Somewhere in space, and somehow in consciousness, she still expresses the vibrant life that sparkles through her work while she was amongst us in the flesh.
Naturally tradition has tended to grow up around the departed Co-Founder of the Theosophical Society, and the "clairvoyants" amongst us have from time to time joined the prophets.
According to one story, H.P.B. left her worn-out body to occupy that of an Indian youth, and was to take up her work once more in the T.S., rejuvenated as regards her physical vehicle. So far, however, the columns are silent, and her place knows her no more, and as she laid out the work of her Society until the last quarter of the twentieth century dawns, it seems more reasonable to expect her to return to continue her work later on than at the present time.
If H.P.B. were to appear in the midst of the Theosophical Society now, or had she done so any time during the last dozen years, she would have found much food for reflection, and possibly have been prompted to express herself with the same freedom and force which the cant, hypocrisy, and pretence of her own day often called forth.
Thanks to the efforts of Col. Olcott, her fellowworker for so many years, and first President of the T.S., H.P.B. has escaped deification at the hands of posterity. It might have been otherwise had it not been for the candor of the author of "Old Diary Leaves." He writes in the Foreword of Vol. l: "The controlling impulse to prepare these papers was a desire to combat a growing tendency within the Society to deify Mme. Blavatsky, and to give her commonest literary productions a quasi-inspirational character. . . . It was but too evident that unless I spoke out what I alone knew, the true history of our movement could never be written, nor the actual merit of my wonderful colleague become known." In another place (Vol. IV., p. 425), Col. Olcott writes soon after H.P.B.'s death:
"It will have been seen from what is written in previous chapters how much my mind was exercised about the evident probability of a new sect springing up around the memory of H.P.B. and her literature. From week to week things seemed to be going from bad to
worse; some of my most fanciful colleagues would go about with an air of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit; as who should say, I am Sir Oracle, and when I ope my lips, let no dog bark! One would have thought that H.P.B. had laid upon their shoulders the burden of the whole Himalayan Mysteries."
Today we seem to need another Col. Olcott. One who will write a new chapter of truth. There is no evidence that H.P.B. ever desired to be deified; in fact, she seems to have been very chary about making any claims at all on her own account. Rather a different spirit came with some of those who followed her, however, and after Col. Olcott himself died in 1907, the Society had not long to wait before it was informed - tentatively at first, and with more confidence later that some of H.P.B.'s pupils were actually on the threshold of divinity. Common politeness, if nothing else, allows such claims to pass without contradiction, with the result that in time members of a certain temperament accept them as part of the Theosophical regimen. The T.S. today has progressed even beyond this stage, and non-believers in the infallibility of its deified elect are made as uncomfortable as possible, in the hope that they will "drop out." To look back over the short period of time which has ensued since the hatching of the new gods, is to see the erratic course of the Theosophical Society strewn with the cast-off relics of men and women whose names would have adorned our membership today. Of Meads, Edgers, Wachtmeisters, Keightleys, "Dreamers," Steiners, and many others. Unfortunately, we do not replace the giants of earlier days, and the fingers of one hand will almost outnumber those who make up the coterie of prominent people that constitute the self-appointed "leaders" of the T.S. today.
Sydney promises for a while to be the hub of all Theosophical activities. The Vice-President of the Society is already here, while Mrs. Besant will arrive before the middle of May. As the visit is declared to be a private and not a public one, speculation has been rife as to its true inwardness. One story is, that the President hopes to clear up some matters that are causing trouble in her theosophic kingdom. Another, that she wishes to do some research work with Mr. Leadbeater; a third, and this perhaps is nearer the mark, is to the effect that Mr. Leadbeater has declared the time to be ripe for himself and the President to assume a still higher place in the Occult Hierarchy than hitherto they have claimed, and that an important announcement will be made after the full moon of May. This particular full moon is the chief holy-day of the Buddhists, and Mr. Leadbeater has worked it in to the theosophic consciousness so far as possible. When Col. Olcott first visited Ceylon, way back in the eighties of last century, he found that one of the chief sources of discontent among the native population there arose from the British having cut out Wesak day from the regular holidays. The Colonel went to London, saw the Cabinet Minister responsible, and succeeded in getting the holiday restored.
Well, Wesak day, from Mr. Leadbeater's association with Buddhism, has now many traditions in certain circles, and the coming one will, if rumor is true, bring joy to many faithful hearts looking forward to some sort of reward from the one they regard as the earthly agent of the Hierarchy.
The Annual Convention of the Australian Section of the Theosophical Society has come and gone, and there remains in the minds of nearly all the delegates a feeling that the general conditions of the Society have not been improved as might have been hoped. The absence of the expected President was a distinct blow, as it was anticipated that her undoubted influence and authority might have been invoked with good effect in the matter of setting right the causes of the unrest that is general in Australia and so very marked in the Sydney Lodge. There is no need to review these at length; they are the outcome of the activities of the Liberal Catholic Church and other allied interests that have been more or less foisted on to the Theosophical Society. The presence of Mrs. Besant was badly needed; one is tempted to wonder if, in an undoubted crisis in the T.S., the troubled waters of Indian politics might not have been soothed by other hands. However, Mrs. Besant was not present, and her absence was sorely felt. Mr. Jinarajadasa was an exceedingly efficient chairman, especially in refusing full freedom on discussion when contentious matters were introduced. We have no hesitation in saying that we have never seen the gag so firmly or so relentlessly applied. There can be no question of Mr. Jinarajadasa's profound belief that he was doing what he believed best for the Society and for his friends, but when a fitting opportunity had been made to discuss matters that have become like a festering growth on the body of the T.S., it would have been much wiser to have acted like a surgeon and allowed the putrescent matter to escape. The main point of interest in the Convention turned on this. After much business had been transacted, with a friendly freedom of discussion probably never before experienced in a T.S. Convention, a resolution was moved by Senator Reid, and somewhat hesitatingly seconded by the President of the Sydney Lodge, expressive of confidence
in Mrs. Besant as a Theosophical leader, and Mr. Leadbeater as a Theosophical teacher. The long resolution was almost fulsome in the extravagance of its praise.
Early in the debate it was made clear that no objection whatever would be advanced to a motion of confidence in Mrs. Besant; but that, as Mr. Leadbeater had no official position in the T.S., and moreover, was still under the deep shadow of his association with the founders of the Liberal Catholic Church, this part of the resolution would be strenuously opposed. It was suggested that, in view of the harmonious nature of the Convention up to this stage, and the absence of Mrs. Besant, that the motion be withdrawn, as its only value was in a unanimous support.
While having no wish to revive what has become known as The Leadbeater Case, it is necessary to repudiate a brief statement made by Mr. Leadbeater at the close of the debate on the vote of confidence at Sydney Convention on Easter Monday. That gentleman stated that the evidence against himself was finally disposed of at an official enquiry held in 1908. Of such an official enquiry we can find no record. Presumably, Mr. Leadbeater referred to some enquiry arranged for whitewashing purposes, of a hole-and-corner variety. The little value of such enquiry, and its decision, can be best realized from the fact that as late as 1913 Mr. Justice Bakewell, in the Madras High Court, after an exhaustive hearing, held "that Mr. Leadbeater was a man holding immoral opinions, highly unfit to associate with boys." There is much more that might be quoted in the judgment delivered later at the Appeal Court, Madras; but we refrain from saying more . The point we emphasize is that no judgments such as those of 1913 could have been possible had the case against Mr. Leadbeater broken down in 1908, as he would have had those present at Convention believe. Had the speakers against the vote of confidence on Easter Monday not been gagged, and tricked out of their right to give reasons why they could not support any vote of confidence in Mr. Leadbeater, many of these points would have been made clear to members present.
We have frequently been attacked for publishing Dawn, and the wrath that has been provoked in those who insist on crying peace when and where there is no peace has been expressed in terms varying from mild resentment to the strongest objurgation. Amongst those who have placed themselves in the latter class is the President of the T.S. Mrs. Besant has attacked Dawn in bitter terms, and has thereby rendered it a service. Every reader knows that Dawn is not the filthy depraved journal she would have her devoted following believe. The tendency of some of its leaders to associate themselves and the T.S. with individuals of sinister repute, and otherwise devoid of all moral principle, is one of the prime causes for Dawn's existence. Dawn can invite the closest scrutiny of the motives and ideals, as well as of the private lives of those who are associated with it in the work of spreading Theosophy along sound constitutional lines. It must never be forgotten that had Mr. Leadbeater, for instance, been satisfied to remain in the comfortable obscurity to which he was relegated in 1906, the hour that saw the birth of Dawn might have passed without seeing this journal brought to birth. If Mr. Leadbeater had not further departed from the ideals of Theosophy, which he embraced in 1884, or the Buddhism he enthusiastically allied himself with a little later, and proceeded to foist on the T.S. and on the world a church that was already deeply stained with the taint of sexual depravity, this journal need never have existed. It is that the truth shall be made known, the truth which will make us free to devote ourselves to the healing of the nations by spreading the light of Theosophy in the dark places of the world. Now, at this juncture, when the cry of the spiritually hungry is for the true, to attempt to revivify or to reimpose a medieval ritual, is surely a refinement of cruelty. Still more so is the attempt to bind anew the priestly gyves on the limbs of humanity.
The New Psychology
Notes by John Ploughman.
I have been asked by Dawn to take charge of a regular page on the subject of "The New Psychology." With the invitation there has come an instruction that on this occasion
I must be brief. I am promised more room next time. I can therefore but introduce myself to my readers, and express the hope that soon we will all be better acquainted. From time to time I purpose giving simple lessons on our subject for the benefit of country readers. My first lesson will be on the "Instincts," and how they work, and I will take it as a favor if regular and more advanced students will help me by helping others. Buy a Dawn - two or three if you like - and explain the
lesson, or mail it, with your explanations, to some friends in the back-blocks. You will best master the subject by teaching it to others.
I came across a rather quaint idea in "Sleep and Dreams," by Andre Tridon. He advances the thesis that "We sleep in order to dream, and be for a time our simple and unrepressed selves." I do not see eye to eye with Tridon over this. Far from being our simple unrepressed selves, some people put on a tremendous amount of make believe while asleep. They become this, and they become that, and join in a kind of Celestial corroboree, where all manner of honors and orders are handed out to them. One would not mind if they laid aside their dream titles with their blankets, but they don't. The more phantastic their dreams the more preposterous their waking claims: and, worse still, some there be who believe them. On the other hand, many of us are only too glad to awake so as to avoid our dreams. It is a fascinating subject, and the New Psychology will illuminate it. A lesson on dream analysis I promise you in the future.
I do not know whether Theosophists are much given to dancing. They are given to many things that plain John Ploughman does not presume to understand; but they might honestly, on occasion, be all the better for a dance. At least, after reading this notice on "The Psychology of the Dance," some of the students may agree with me:
"Protoplasm has inherent within it the impulse to rhythmic activity. The animal world danced before man either in service to individual or species preservation. In the amoeba, rhythmic movements subserve hunger; in the higher animals the dance stands almost exclusively in the service of sex, its object being to produce a state of tumescence. Human infants show a love of rhythm early. In primitive peoples and in all civilizations rhythmic movements have crystallized into the dance, which is first instinctive, then studied, and later becomes an art. Early in history the dance is first met in religion, and is prescribed for all solemn occasions. Later, folk-dances appeared, and gave an epitome of man's neuromuscular energy as the different trades were told in art form. In civilized western countries dances for generations expressed emotions consistent with modern life. The dance is able to draw us out of everyday life and lead us into a dream world. It is now no more a show, but a social pleasure. The modern dance is but a substitute of the normal gratification of the erotic impulse. It is no longer a sublimation of the sex ardor; but is a mode of attaining contrectation and detumescence. Conflicts relating to sensuality are the subsoil for an entire army of neuroses. The only safety-valve for the repressed emotions is either solitary autoeroticism, promiscuity, or the dance, and the latter is the least harmful of the three, though somewhat auto-erotic in character itself. The young who are not yet afflicted with repressed emotions, and the married, who have no need of repression, should better look for the gratification found in rhythmic motion in the more sedate waltz, which is free from all the tumultuous ecstatic motions as met with in the more modern dance."
What Might Have Been
The Sydney Lodge devoted a Sunday night collection to and made a special appeal for the starving children of Russia last month, and was able to send a very substantial contribution. A representative of the Society of Friends was invited to address the meeting on behalf of the fund, prior to the lecture. He made a very effective appeal when he explained that the Society of Friends had organized relief, and sent representatives to the starving populations who looked after the distribution, and that everything was done without any reference to politics or religion, and no helper was remunerated for his services. All the workers were volunteers, who paid their own expenses.
The Society of Friends seems to enjoy the confidence of all creeds, castes, and colors in this work, and to be trusted as a genuinely neutral body. This is precisely what the T.S. Loyalty League is working for in the T.S. Our Society should, because of its proven and not pretended neutrality, enjoy the confidence of all divisions, not only of one community or one nation, but of all the world, and be able to go and do things of this sort which no sectarian body is sufficiently trusted to perform. After forty-five years of supposed neutrality it is as little trusted as a disinterested body by the world at large, as a convicted burglar would be trusted in a bank. We are not forgetting that Dr. Haden Guest, an erstwhile General Secretary of the T.S. in England, has done splendid service for Europe's starving children; but he did not find the T.S. as such the best channel to work through. The position was reversed and the T.S. worked through Dr. Haden Guest and his organization.
An Answer to Mrs. Besant
By T. H. Martyn
Under date March 4th, 1922, Mrs. Besant wrote a circular letter, addressed to all members of the Theosophical Society. As references are made in places to myself, I take this opportunity, at the invitation of the Editor of Dawn, to partially reply to it. It is to be regretted that the President, at the outset, misrepresents the attitude of many T.S. members in regard to the Liberal Catholic Church; she makes it appear that opposition is prompted by dislike - even hatred - of this Church, whereas, in my experience, the opposition has been to the manner in which the Church has been forced on to the T.S., allied and confused with the T.S., and associated in the public mind with the T.S. It has been quoted against Mrs. Besant that she herself has made reference to it as a "Theosophical Church."
I will pass over the attack on Dr. Stokes, of Washington . He will be quite able to take care of himself. At one time I thought his criticisms in The O.E. Library Critic rather extreme. In view of more knowledge, I can see he has done, and is doing, excellent work in fearlessly placing facts before T.S. members, which they should know, and which the officials of the T.S. seem very anxious to hide from view for reasons I have no sympathy with. I say this in spite of the fact that I regret the publication by Dr. Stokes of my "Private and Confidential" letter to Mrs. Besant, dated May 20th, 1921. My cabled protest, sent as soon as I heard through a private source that the publication of the letter was contemplated, reached Washington after the letter had been printed and distributed. Had Dr. Stokes received it in time, he would, I am sure, have held the letter back, in spite of the fact that he regarded it as of vital importance to the cause he was championing - that of purity in the T.S. and candor.
This brings me to the letter itself and its contents. This letter was written to Mrs. Besant by myself, when I thought she could help me solve what had become a hopeless puzzle. I received an acknowledgment, but no reply, to my difficulty. Let me say here and now that my answer to these perplexities has come as the outcome of subsequent events, and is, to a great extent, due to the publicity given to the letter itself.
My problem is; I think, fairly set out in the letter, and can be summarized thus:
In October, 1919, as I was leaving London to return to Sydney, Mrs. Besant sent for me, and asked me to take a message from her to Mr. Jinarajadasa. She told me that the usual methods of communication were closed to her, and would involve her in the possible consequences of compounding a felony.
The message itself was, that Mr. Jinarajadasa, then in Sydney, was to tell Mr. Wedgwood that he must resign from the T.S. and E.S.T. Incidentally, Mrs. Besant told me:
(1) That she had to take this action because of gross immorality, not suspected merely, but confirmed.
(2) That in a previous talk to an E.S. meeting on the subject of "Black Magic and Sex Perversion," she referred to this particular case.
(3) That Mr. Wedgwood was not an initiate.
The letter goes on to explain the effect of my message on Mr. Jinarajadasa. He did not bother about the immorality, but fastened on the statement that Mr. Wedgwood was not an initiate. He promptly got to work through the cable office, and sent this message to meet Mrs. Besant on her return to India:
"Sydney, December 17, 1919, to Besant, Adyar. Martyn reports you said Wedgwood not initiate. Leadbeater asserts you were present at initiation. Am most anxious members sake there should be no fundamental divergence between you and him on such important occult matter since at same time . . . and ... took second ... and ... first. Do you mean that since you have no recollection you cannot assert Wedgwood initiate, but do not wish to be quoted as saying that he is positively uninitiated."
Mrs. Besant replied on December 22nd, 1919: - "Brother's statement enough, accept fact, cancel message sent."
Mrs. Besant thereafter never asked me what message I had delivered, but forthwith, in letters to Mr. Leadbeater in Sydney, and communications to the E.S.T., commented on what she assumed to be my message. She referred to it as grossly exaggerated, etc. I do not know to this day what Mr. Jinarajadasa represented to her as my message, but I was certainly surprised that anyone in Mrs. Besant's position should make reflections on the messenger, who obliged her in a difficulty, without referring to him for his version of the facts. That, however, by the way.
When Mrs. Besant told me that Mr. Wedgwood was not an initiate, I had no idea that she did not know that Mr. Leadbeater had, in 1917, declared that he was. Had I known that, I think I should have told her so. I was simple enough at that time
to suppose that she was conversant with all such "occult" matters. In one of her letters I have seen a statement by Mrs. Besant, that I asked her if Mr. Wedgwood was an initiate. In this detail the President's memory is at fault. I most certainly did not ask her. Her statement on the subject arose from her expressing regret that Mr. Leadbeater - whom she described as a high initiate - should occupy an inferior position in the Church to Mr. Wedgwood, who was not an initiate.
This little misunderstanding between Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater will no doubt seem unimportant to some of my readers, but to me it was vital. As explained in my letter to Mrs. Besant under review, I could never be satisfied to accept Mr. Leadbeater's unsupported statements on subjects that I could not check. While Mrs. Besant, as an occultist, confirmed them well and good. I was greatly disillusioned to find this "fundamental divergence," as Mr. Jinarajadasa neatly described it, between the two "occultists," and had to conclude - for reasons stated in my letter - that Mrs. Besant was herself depending upon Mr. Leadbeater for her messages from the inner planes, and was satisfied to accept anything he reported without question.
Why I could not myself do this - partly because of an accumulation of disagreeable incidents regarding Mr. Leadbeater, which had come to my knowledge - is set out in the letter.
To return now to Mrs. Besant's circular, she makes the following statement:
"The published letter of Mr. Martyn contains a number of infamous accusations, none of which I believe, against a number of persons whom I know to be incapable of the conduct charged. I do not discuss them; no decent person would mention them except in a court of justice, or in preparation for legal action, or possibly if in need of help, and if the circulators of this filth have any justification for making such accusations, they should at once place their information in the hands of the police."
Mrs. Besant ignores the fact that she herself made the "infamous accusations," as they related to Mr. Wedgwood; but passing over that lapse on her part, I may explain that, in my own letter to Mrs. Besant, I tell her that I called on a certain lady in London a week before she herself sent for me, and that this lady told me the police were threatening proceedings against two L.C.C. bishops (Mr. Wedgwood was one) and some priests. That she had got one of the latter, whose evidence was most feared, out of the country, etc., etc.
I suppose these are the infamous accusations that the President refers to. Of course, I did not make them; I merely informed Mrs. Besant of what the lady in London told me.
It will be noted that Mrs. Besant boldly states that she knows the persons named to be incapable of the conduct charged. Here, unhappily, Mrs. Besant is again in trouble, for on February 28th of this year, just four days before the date on her circular letter, one of the priests named made a written confession, a certified copy of which is now in my possession. In this confession he states:
"The imputation against myself, as well as against Wedgwood, and in Mr. Martyn's letter, is but too true."
As one result of this confession, Mr. Wedgwood has resigned from the L.C.C. and the T.S. So down tumbles this house of cards to the utter confusion of the "occultists," who vouch for a sex-pervert as an initiate, and the chosen agent of the Great Lodge, to act as their channel for passing the Divine Grace of the Apostolic Succession and a new priest system on to the Theosophical Society.
I said above that I now have my answer. I have. It is not necessary for me to have to assume that the Great Lodge requires the help of sensualists of a specially degraded kind to do their work. I can accept what appears to be the President's only alternative, i.e., that Mr. Leadbeater is a deluded seer, if he be a seer at all, and that no attention need be, or should be, given to his statements about the spiritual progress of A or B or C. I have to confess I find it hard to believe that he knows who are, and who are not, initiates in the true sense. He may or may not be clairvoyant: he certainly is untruthful, and he is no real friend to the Theosophical Society, as those who have read his comments in the E.S.T. Bulletin for the current month (May), and know the facts on which he comments, will see.
Another factor in convincing me of the wrongness of things as they are, is the persistent manner in which the "Officials" deny facts, misrepresent and distort truths, and stoop to all sorts of questionable actions to bolster up their self-made claims to spiritual high places.
To me, they seem to constitute themselves as a sort of occult profession, and to make claims which will not bear investigation.
Mrs. Besant concludes by telling members of the E.S.T. that they cannot belong both to the T.S. Loyalty League and the E.S.T. I have been asked by many of my old friends in the E.S.T. what I think they ought to do. For myself, I choose the T.S. Loyalty League. I believe it is doing the Masters' work, and helping to make crooked places straight. The T.S. cannot go on if it is to become a moral cesspit - a hiding place - where the morally unfit and unclean are protected, any more than it can if it is to be invaded by all sorts of fancy sects. The T.S. Loyalty League has already effected a
useful spring cleaning, and posterity should be thankful to it. Certainly it is but a temporary phase, and, its work done, it will pass out, while the E.S.T. appears to be a permanent institution. Actually, however, it has, in the opinion of many, already done its work. No truthful member could now describe it as an Occult School. As such, it is effete. On the other hand, there is more than a suspicion that it is being used for the political purposes of those who control it. Has the time not come when we need to make a fresh start in providing for the needs of those who aim at self-unfoldment. I pray that the Gods may send us a brand new Occult School - one where there is purity, mental freedom, and no need for hiding things, or for camouflage and mystery. If the E.S.T. does not want us, let us start afresh, where we can live in the pure air of truth, and get away from this unhealthy strain of believing in make-believe. After all, there is no religion, no occultism, no "leader" higher than TRUTH, and Truth is never tainted by the exercise of reason and common sense.
In conclusion, I do not forget the impassioned claim with which Mrs. Besant concludes her article in The Theosophist, March, 1922, on "Whom Will Ye Serve?" Her words are thrilling, even if they savor of nervous overstrain:
"To those who know anything of Occultism, I say I stand as the servant of the Hierarchy, obeying Their Will and doing Their work as H.P.B. bade me declare. Either I am Their Agent, or I am a liar and a blasphemer. Take me as you will."
There are two ways of reading these words. One implies that Mrs. Besant is the Agent. If that is so, why pass on the agency to Mr. Leadbeater? The other way of reading it is, that the same is true of not only Mrs. Besant, but of every simple soul seeking to do the work of the Elder Brothers in any department of human service. In that way I, for one, elect to read it.
- T.H. MARTYN
"H.P.B." An Appreciation
By Jocelyn Underhill.
It is over two decades since I first heard of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky; the passing of the inexorable years has carried me to the uttermost parts of the Earth, from a lonely
boyhood to a manhood given wholly to the service of the Great Law, to some honors and to much toil, yet nothing in the spaces intervening has obliterated the magic of those first printed pages. If it so be that I have been unmoved in sorrow and in joy - and I have had my fill of both - if I have played a small part in the worlds fighting and have not wavered, if I have learnt something of the Peace of the Eternal, to her life and her inspiration belongs all the credit. So it is that I strive to plait a few phrases together to lay at her feet on this coming White Lotus Day.
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky was born in Russia on the 30th of July, 1831. Daughter of a Russian Colonel, grand-daughter of a Princess of the almost Royal House of Dolgoronky, first cousin to Count Whitte - greatest of all Russian Ministers in the old days of the Czar - she was splendidly born in this last incarnation. Talented more than most, yet detesting book learning, a musician of great promise, half-educated at best, but a graduate of the best of all universities - experience - she lived a life of the wildest romance. Russia, Egypt, Mexico, Siberia, Thibet - all these lands and more she searched for that knowledge that made her what she was. Italy and Germany knew her first as a pianist; other lands saw her as a traveler hurrying none knew where, until she discovered her lifework and an everlasting niche in the Pantheon of Fame. Quick-tempered, changeful beyond belief, one day a soldier of fortune fighting in battles for the cause alone of liberty, the next a great lady - la grande dame, par excellence - she was immense, colossal! I have watched, in the mile-long shadow of the Pyramid of Cheops, the changeless Sphinx, in its uncouth beauty, watched till the rising moon smoothed away the ugliness that the devastating hand of Time has wrought as the only evidence of the passing years, watched the caressing moon bring to light a superb grandeur and a unique loveliness; then, and then only, have I had something wherewith to make a comparison. Such, inevitable as it is, is the only comparison I know.
Possessing strange psychic powers, she went her way from land to land; a trail of wonders almost miraculous followed her. Men have doubted, denied; those who have in all humility followed her footprints - in London, in Paris, in Cairo, in New York, as I have done - have found the vestiges, the scraps of evidence that remain, and are satisfied. It will be ever so ... in this skeptical age. Yet this was but one adverse aspect of her many faceted career. It is as nothing to the philosophic work she did in the later years. Isis Unveiled, with its wealth of information hurriedly and carelessly thrown together; The Secret Doctrine, with a cosmogony that
left scientific men dumb, and so amazed the world that even now its value is still almost unknown; The Voice of the Silence, a priceless book of spiritual counsel - these, some only of what she left us, testify to her knowledge. Yet all these are not all: it was the transfused life-blood which she poured unstintingly into the veins of the Society she brought into being, that makes her, though she be dead these thirty years and more, a power still.
Picture her, if you can. A vast face, ugly to such an extent that it became beautiful, unique amid the faces of lesser folk, great blotched, turquoise-blue eyes that looked through all things (and all men), seeing the reality behind the mask and the sham; long, slender, exquisite fingers, that conjured Beethoven from the keys of a piano or charmed with new beauty the fancies of Chopin, which anon placed with precision the "Patience" cards the while her freed consciousness dwelt in other worlds, returning with the spoils that were later transformed into the pages of The Secret Doctrine or provided the plot for one of the Nightmare Tales.
Hear her delicate phrases welcoming the Society lady or the sophisticated lounger from gilded halls, to presently strip away with pitiless word and obvious, cutting knowledge, the sham and the pretence. Again hear her giving comfort to the stricken, new inspiration to the weary. Hear her receive the great ones of the earth, fresh from their triumphs, and then dismiss them fresh-hearted, to added greatness. Oh, she was great; many came to her door, and if they were genuine in their coming, none went away dissatisfied or empty-hearted.
To many she was (and is still) the pathway to the Great Ones, those Masters of Wisdom and Compassion, whose Messenger she was. The Great Beings, whose chief care had been the custody of ancient wells of truth, she knew face to face: to her They were the living realities in a world of shadows; not semi-divine Beings too great to notice us and to help, not so utterly beyond us as to be beyond pity and aid; but living men Who knew where we can only surmise, and Whose hands were always stretetched out to those who cry for aid. This knowledge of the Masters she brought with her from the East, which she penetrated in advance of the disturbing feet of civilization and "progress." It was Their constant care and help that made her what she was: great to withstand shocks that destroy all lesser folk; strong with a yielding strength that was for the serving of many; gifted with that vision that gazed into the abysmal depths of past and future, undismayed.
Enemies she had, in all truth, the little-minded people who lacked her knowledge and who judged her by common standards, for measuring the commonplace and the indifferent. These saw only the flaws. Calumny, slander, and vulgar abuse were poured out on her, darkened her life, yet she toiled on unmoved. Rarely, if ever, did she pause to reply. Her voice and her pen, ever ready in the interests of others, were rarely used in self-defense. The world, therefore, is still divided in its estimate of her; to some she is still the supreme impostor of all history, a charlatan. But for us who have trodden the path she pointed out, she is the one who alone is the unquestioned teacher of many centuries. We know; even though to many of us it was not given to see her in the flesh in this incarnation, we have tested her in the light of her teaching, and we know.
Surely it is her greatest monument that, being dead, she continues to inspire. Men and women still spring up to carry on her work. Of those whom she knew and trained, only a few still remain; of these many have gone off on to fascinating by-paths and have forgotten her work; still there are those who succeed them to carry on the tradition. And it is the supreme secret of some of us that we were deliberately chosen to come later, having worked with her in the past, and being strong enough to carry on without the stimulus of her personal touch, to sustain the movement until she herself will return to bear the burden. For she will return to reveal to the world of the West the Eastern Teaching that is so sorely needed in the world today. There are others still to come who will take up her drooping standard. Men and women, living empty lives, will be caught up by the sweep of the Great Law and be suddenly filled with the wine of the wisdom she revealed, thereafter going forth in her name to serve Mankind.
For the time being she is hidden from our sight. There are those who say that she is again in incarnation: this I believe to be a mistake. In London and in Paris those possessing the open sight have told me that she is near at hand, waiting for the hour to strike wherein the Great Law will require her to return. To return to the work, left all unfinished, when, on May the 8th, 1891, she laid aside a body that she had outworn in the Masters' service. Of myself, I do not know. But of this I am certain: were she now in a body, nothing would prevent her from denouncing the travesty of her work and her message now being given to the world. I had written "betrayal"; perhaps it is too strong a phrase. But she saw even this, and left a message sufficient for those who are eager for the truth, for those who can read with an understanding heart. Go to her writings, to the original editions published while she still lived, and find in them the secret doctrine which she brought back to modern knowledge. It will be sufficient, even in these dark days. For therein is the true teaching, the Divine Wisdom, undiluted by passing through the channels of lesser minds, there - and perhaps there alone - is found THEOSOPHY.
In the March issue of Dawn some space was devoted to showing with what tenacity vitality clings to the physical tissue of the heart. It seems marvelous that this tissue can be kept alive at least for many years, and perhaps, as experiments now being made may demonstrate, indefinitely.
With this astounding fact in mind, we can pass on to a higher stage of life expression, which occultism declares finds its ultimate seat in the heart. The Upanishad we are considering tells us that the Self abides in the heart. In its multiplex nature this "Self" is at the root of physical, emotional, mental, and idealistic faculties, though it would seem that certain of these, such as the emotional (astral) and intellectual (manasic), are specialized through separate centers (solar-plexus and brain), which are linked up with the heart, and sustained by it.
When working together in New York in 1876, H.P.B. was trying to explain to Col. Olcott, her colleague, the normally invisible substances which suffused the physical body and spread around it. Her listener found it difficult to understand; and no wonder, for nothing was then known about man invisible. H.P.B. opened a drawer, took out a piece of white satin, placed her hand over it. and before the Colonel had taken his eyes off she turned over the satin, and behold, on the sheeny side was a picture in water colors. The centre consisted of a portrait of the head of Stainton Moses, whose picture was hanging on the wall of the room. The "silvery nimbus" surrounding it was described by H.P.B. as the aura.
The original painting on satin is still preserved at Adyar. It is the first illustration we know of, of the human aura. Very likely it is the best and truest that has ever been placed before modern students. The book, Man Visible and Invisible, has illustrations of the aura, but they are merely efforts of artists to express what is described to them, and though extremely useful to students, these fail to suggest the surging, pulsating reality which is so wonderfully portrayed in this aura of Stainton Moses. The author of Old Diary Leaves (Vol. 1, p. 366) has done us the service of presenting a black and white photograph of the original picture. This we reproduce here, regretting that we cannot have a colored facsimile of the original. Some of our artist readers may be interested in making a drawing and filling in the colors from Col. Olcott's description. Such an enlargement would be a happy addition to our Lodge Room illustrations. This is the description of the original:
"From the crown of the head shot out spikes of golden flame; at the places of the heart and solar plexus were red and golden fires, as it might be bursting forth from little craters; the head and the place of the thorax were involved in rolling clouds of pure blue aura, bespeckled throughout with flecks of gold; and the lower half of the space, where the body should be, was enwrapped in similarly rolling clouds of pinkish and grayish vapor."
A further reference to this aura shows that the author of Old Diary Leaves interpreted the colors much on the same lines as did the authors of
Man Visible and Invisible at a later date. He writes:
"The blue clouds would represent the pure but not most luminous quality of the human aura - described as shining or radiant; a silvery nimbus. The flecks of gold, however, that are seen floating in the blue, typify sparks of the spirit, while the grayish and pinkish vapors of the inferior portions show the auras of the animalistic, corporeal qualities. This gray becomes darker and darker as a man's animalism preponderates over his intellect, his moral and spiritual qualities, until in the wholly depraved, as the clairvoyants tell us, it is inky black.
"The aura of adeptship is described as a blended tint of silver and gold."
If any reader of these lines will pause and visualize him- (or her) self as this flashing and coruscating mass, and then remember that the heart is situated in the centre of it, and that in this centre is the life-spark; the living germ; the spiritual sun; call it by what name he will; he will sense the primal idea that feeling, thinking, aspiring, intuiting are all different ways by which the divine in him reaches out to the seven worlds. The different kinds of aura are the vehicles he uses to contact them.
At the present stage of evolution of the average man it is not difficult to range the emotional and intellectual worlds; but the higher worlds of the "spirit" are not for him to reach until, by meditation, by aspiration, by unselfish devotion to the One the Supreme, he has built up in his aura this golden radiance that serves as his "chariot of fire," to carry him up to "heaven," when he would pass hence in full consciousness to that home of the spirit.
Is it Good-Bye?
A cablegram received recently announced the resignation of Mr. J.I. Wedgwood from the Liberal Catholic Church, the Theosophical Society, and Co-Masonry. The resignation followed a sensational written confession made by one of the earlier ordained of the L.C.C. priests, which mentioned two L.C.C. bishops and others by name. What the ultimate effect of this development will be, time will show; but we are advised that "official" circles will endeavor to hush the matter up, and there are evidences that the secret service is already busy in that direction.
Mr. Wedgwood was the founder of the Liberal Catholic Church, and at the time of his resignation was known as "The Presiding Bishop." In 1915, Mr. Wedgwood first visited Australia. After consultation with Mr. Leadbeater in Sydney, he returned to England in the same year, with the intention of persuading Bishop Mathew, head of the Old Catholic Church in England, to consecrate him with a view to his succeeding to the headship of that Church. Bishop Mathew, however, had other plans, and declined all overtures. Mr. Wedgwood persevered, and approached certain continental bishops, but they also declined to pass on the coveted "Apostolic Succession." Then, in desperation, the candidate for episcopal honors had recourse to a man named Willoughby, who made claim to be a bishop of the Old Catholic Church, and arrangements having been made with this gentleman, Mr. Wedgwood returned to our shores in the middle of 1916 garbed and titled in the full regalia of the coveted prize. With an informality quite refreshing, he in turn laid his episcopal hands on the person of Mr. Leadbeater, and so the world became the richer, for still another bishop; and there were two. The ceremony accomplished, a message was conveniently received, so it is stated, from the Lord Maitreya, who wished these gentlemen to start what was afterwards described as a "Theosophical Church." The cooperation of Mrs. Besant was secured by representations which were made to her in India, and she wrote up the new "activity" in the "Theosophist" for October and November, 1916.
It was not until early in 1917 that the new Church was officially got going in Australia. Since that time Mr. Leadbeater has devoted himself to its interests in Australasia, and Mr. Wedgwood has traveled about the world and planted the seed of discord throughout the planet by making use of the Theosophical Society as a proselytizing ground for his Church. Mr. Wedgwood has been instrumental in getting things into such a mess that his retirement should afford as much relief to himself as it undoubtedly will to those who believe that no greater injury was ever inflicted upon the Theosophical Society than associating it with a particular sectarian movement. It is already rumored that, in spite of everything, Mr. Wedgwood is being pressed to come back into the fold; no questions asked!
A Leadbeater Lie.
Note - As this issue of "Dawn" was about to appear, a copy of the "E.S.T. Bulletin" for May reached the Editors. "Dawn" offers no apology for making public what follows, as it is now quite clear that the E.S.T. in Australasia is being used as a cloak to cover efforts to undermine the First Object of the Theosophical Society. - Editors "Dawn."
In the "E.S.T. Bulletin" for May, Mr. Leadbeater, as head of that organization in Australia, writes:
"At the recent Convention of the Theosophical Society here in Sydney, the following motion was proposed by Senator Reid, and seconded by Mr. T.W. Macro, President of the Sydney Lodge: -
After reciting the resolution, Mr. Leadbeater continues:
"Delegates only were allowed to vote, and the motion was carried by 86 to 15. It is singular to note that fourteen of the fifteen dissentients were Sydney Lodge members, and that no less than seven of them were Germans or Austrians." (Italics ours. - Eds.)
It would be much safer for Mr. Leadbeater, if he wishes to retain the "confidence'" of the 86, to continue to base his claims to high spirituality; to advanced clairvoyant powers; to the reality of the Apostolic Succession; and to his being an Arhat, or such subjects as we are accustomed to see treated by him in his books.
Dawn makes no attempt to dispute what this "great leader" says about The Moon Chain; past incarnations of friends and enemies; life on the planet Mars; the after death state; and the conditions of Society 700 years hence. Mr. Leadbeater's supposed extended powers of vision can quite safely be applied to these distant fields and periods so far as Dawn is concerned; the statements are harmless enough probably, if they are not true. Physical plane lies, however, demand other treatment, and lend themselves to being exposed.
This particular lie, which we find published in the E.S.T. Bulletin, in rather far-reaching in its effects. Let us deal with it from two points of view, first mentioning the truth that, of the fourteen members of the Sydney Lodge referred to, ten were born either in Australia or Great Britain, as also were their parents before them, and have been entirely brought up in those countries. One was born in Italy, one in Hungary (a country supposed to be honored as that to which one of the Masters belongs.) Both have been naturalized Australians for the best part of their lives. Two were born in Germany. Both of them have lived in Australia many years. One came here over thirty years ago, married an Australian wife, and reared an Australian family. Let us summarize thus: -
10 True and Perfect Britishers.
Mr. Leadbeater says, "No less than seven of them were Germans or Austrians." (Dawn calls them fourteen Australian Theosophists, none the less so, because they know Mr. Leadbeater for what he really is.)
The first effect of this lie is, that it undermines the value of any statements made by its inventor. Further, it is evidence of an anti-foreign prejudice on the part of Mr. Leadbeater.
The second effect of this lie is more far-reaching. The E.S.T. is no longer a helpful organization consisting of T.S. members, eager to promote T.S. aims. It has, by the stroke of a pen, become a political body inside the T.S., holding secret meetings, and in Australia, at any rate, dominated by a man with his own axe to grind, and who does not mind telling lies to serve his purpose. Its local head has indeed forced it into an attitude of opposition to the carrying out of the Theosophical Society's first and chief Object: Universal Brotherhood, without race or other distinctions. If the T.S. in Australia is alive to its interests it will ask the E.S.T. to dissever itself from it, and go elsewhere with its anti-brotherhood lies. That is a feature of the situation which is, as said, far more important than the mere lie itself.
Readers of Dawn, E.S.T. members, and T.S. members everywhere, now have before them evidence that Mr. Leadbeater is untruthful, and if he is untruthful in this case, what are the value of his professions, his claims, and his statements generally?
In its next issue, Dawn will have more to say in reply to this interesting question.
A Perplexed President
By L. Ingamells
A circular letter, dated Adyar, March 2, 1922, has been sent to T.S. members by Mrs. Besant. It is a very long letter, perhaps too long to be effective, certainly too long to be reviewed in full. In it the President deals with so many problems that the attention of the reader is apt to be distracted.
Since this letter has been written, many highly important events have occurred, and a summary of the present situation will perhaps be opportune.
The principal raison d'etre for Mrs. Besant's letter is the unauthorized publication of a letter written to her by Mr. Martyn, and as she deals with it in detail, we may also refer to it.
By way of a preface, I would like to point out that if the writing of Mrs. Besant's circular had been delayed a few more days, she could not then have truthfully written: "The published letter of Mr. Martyn contains a number of infamous accusations, none of which I believe, against a number of persons whom I know to be incapable of the conduct charged." In his letter, Mr. Martyn makes no accusations, infamous or otherwise. He merely reminds the President of accusations she herself made and acted upon, and that other people made to him.
It happens that one of the people mentioned in Mr. Martyn's letter made a written confession in London on February 28th (four days before the publication of Mrs. Besant's circular from Adyar.) A duly attested copy is before me.
This confession incriminates two L.C.C. "Bishops" and three other persons, and positively confirms the accusations that Mr. Martyn quotes other people as making, and proves what has been suspected by many for a long time (e.g.), that the L.C.C. has been built up on a morally corrupt foundation.
The outline of the whole unhappy story is given in Mr. Martyn's letter, which may be read by any F.T.S. on application to me. I can vouch for the accuracy of some of the London events referred to in that letter, as I myself was in London at the same time that Mr. Martyn was there, and for some time after he left.
I am only sorry that Dawn is not printing this letter in full. Mr. Martyn has been appealed to, but declines to be a party to its publication, and there the matter rests as far as this paper is concerned.
The main point at present is the difficulty many F.T.S. find in accepting Mr. Leadbeater's statement that a certain person is an Initiate of the Great White Lodge.
This, and not the supplementary matter of Mr. Leadbeater's personal record, is the principal reason why I did not support the motion of confidence in him at the recent T.S. Convention in Sydney.
Mr. Martyn (and many others) also took up the same attitude, and he publicly announced to the Convention that he could not give Mr. Leadbeater his entire confidence because of the latter's association with "a homo-sexualist of a depraved and criminal type."
This, then, is the situation as it presents itself to a wondering world of "non-initiates" in a Society which prefaces its aims by the statement that "There is no religion higher than Truth."
Mr. Leadbeater, standing, as is claimed, on the threshold of Divinity, meets a man, and in 1916 they start a new church within the bosom of the T.S., claiming they did so at the wish of the Lord Maitreya.
In 1917, Mr. Leadbeater announces the initiation of his protege.
Shortly afterwards it is discovered that the supposed initiate is a "homo-sexualist of a depraved and criminal type," sadly wanting in the elements of self-control, so essential to those who would tread even the first stages of the Path.
In 1919, Mrs. Besant hears of this person's depravity, and promptly takes action to cleanse the T.S. of its impurity.
Before this action is actually enforced, she is informed by the very astute Mr. Jinarajadasa that Mr. Leadbeater states the implicated party to be an initiate. Consequently his expulsion would mean the denial of Mr. Leadbeater's assertion and the destruction of the latter's reputation as an "eye" of the T.S. Whereupon she promptly retracts and says that if "Brother" (C.W. Leadbeater) states --- is an initiate, he must be one, and therefore it is impossible he could be guilty of the alleged criminal practices.
But in 1921 it is proved beyond all doubt (in Sydney) that the party in question is not 100 percent pure.
In I922, on the publication of Mr. Martyn's letter, Mrs. Besant replies in the circular under review denying, as we have seen, all the charges.
Unfortunately for her view, at the same time, a priest of the L.C.C. also writes the letter already quoted, in which, urged by conscience to spare the
T.S. from further degradation, he announces "The imputation against myself, as well as against "---, --- and ---, in Mr. Martyn's letter, is but too true."
So it seems fairly clear to members who have no axe of their own to grind, no status in the T.S. to maintain, and no pretensions to occult power to protect, that a splendid service in the cause of truth has been done by the "opposition," and in the honor in this connection the T.S. Loyalty League and Dawn may fairly claim a share.
Our labor has not been in vain, for we can see the crumbling away of the unholy accretions which have been permitted to fasten themselves on the edifice erected by H.P.B. and Col. Olcott.
Our honest sympathy goes out to the President for the invidious position in which she finds herself, a position caused by over-reliance in the obiter dicta of another. We hope that her projected arrival in Australia will mean a thorough investigation into the whole subject, and that she will no longer be led away by ex-parte statements into appearing to wish to uphold an untenable position at all costs.
The Australian Convention
Sydney just now is Theosophy's world-centre, and as I arrived once more in the city beautiful after a long absence, to attend the Annual Convention of the Society, it filled me with pleasurable wonder to see how the T.S. has won its way here into the heart of the community. It was indeed with some awe that I gazed at that eight or nine-story building - solid and handsome "set upon a hill," which is Theosophy's headquarters, for we of the other parts live on humbler fare in contacting our Theosophy. Business foresight, devotion, and self-sacrifice, are, I am told, the qualities materialized here into bricks and mortar.
Convention was held in the main hall. This holds about 800 people, and is approached by a long vestibule, with dadoes of Italian or Australian marble and handsome lead-lights. It took me some time to get past this vestibule, for in the centre of it is a great open book wrought in marble. On one page are inscribed the names of members of the T.S. who answered the call and volunteered for the great war. The other page contains the names of sons of members who did the same. There are over 2150 names inscribed, and against many are glittering gold symbols, which being interpreted, mean that the bearer of the name returned no more.
This fine memorial was unveiled at a Convention two or three years ago by Mrs. T.H. Martyn, whose idea it was, and who mothered so many of the fads when they were waiting for the ship, to carry them overseas.
The Convention brought 400 or 500 people together, including about 120 actual delegates, and many visitors from other parts of Australia and from overseas. Many people came in the hope that Mrs. Besant would be present; unfortunately she was delayed a month, but her recently nominated Vice-President, Mr. Jinarajadasa, was present
with his wife, and quite a number of other visitors from Adyar.
These included Mr. Fritz Kunz, Miss Bell, Miss Poutz, and Messrs. Krishnamurti and Nityananda. The General Secretary of the New Zealand Section and many others from the Dominion were present also.
Mr. Leadbeater was in attendance throughout the sessions. He would be a conspicuous figure in any gathering, because of an enormous gold cross which ever reposes on a somewhat ample person. I should think this decoration must be five inches long and proportionately bulky, and it is set with a mass of jewels which, if genuine, would realize enough to alleviate quite a lot of distress among Sydney's returned soldiers.
Mr. Jinarajadasa presided, and showed ability for this sort of work.
Convention opened on Good Friday, at 10 a.m. The business for the day was more or less formal, the principal subject of discussion being Morven Garden School, and discussions for the most part were devoted to sermons on the ideal intercepted with practical proposals for dealing with the business in hand.
Convention offers two types - the dreamer, who is going to "spiritualize" everything, and the practical business man, who wants to know how is it going to be done?
Australia evidently has a few clear-headed practical workers, who serve in spite of adverse criticisms from the "unco guid."
One noticeable incident on the Friday showed how L.C. Church habits work themselves into the Theosophical Society. On the, departure of Mr. Leadbeater, as proceedings were closing for the day, many in the audience rose, and, with inclined heads, received silent benediction as their overlord passed
through the hall with raised hand. I immediately asked myself was this the justification for H.P.B.'s warning in her Key to Theosophy.
I asked many of the seeming devout why they stood. Some did not know; others thought the meeting was over. To me, a stranger, the action was not appropriate, and to many present it was clearly annoying.
When Convention resumed on Easter Monday, at 9 a.m., after an hour's spirited debate on some special committee reports, the school question was finalized, and many substantial donations were forthcoming in response to an appeal for working capital. During the discussion one member, a "priest" of the L.C.C., was asked by the chairman to withdraw certain unparlimentary language.
Up to this stage the spirit of the conference was healthy, vigorous, and constructive, many prominent speakers taking part, and treating all questions on their merits, irrespective of whether these were or were not endorsed by those who are accustomed to having their dictum unquestioned. I saw in this attitude a challenge to that mad credulity that is rampant in so many T.S. Lodges.
One naturally expected Convention to close peacefully, after the usual formal vote of thanks to the chairman. It soon became evident, however, that a resolution, so worded as to constitute a challenge to those whose confidence in Mr. Leadbeater is not too robust, was to be put to the meeting. Subsequently I heard that some of those who could not endorse such a resolution, had, the previous evening, done all in their power to have this resolution modified or withdrawn. Their efforts were, however, without avail.
Knowing this, I must say I felt a certain amount of sympathy with those who had the courage of their convictions. Clearly they had nothing to gain by opposing a vote of confidence, except at the dictates of their sense of right.
Senator Reid had the task of proposing the resolution, which, I was told, was drafted by others,
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including the chairman. It announced sublime confidence in the President and Mr. Leadbeater in exaggerated terms. Mr. Barnes (Senior Vice-President of the Sydney Lodge) said he could not support it for two reasons - (1) Because he thought it created a bad precedent to couple the name of Mrs. Besant, the Society's President, with that of a member of no official standing like Mr. Leadbeater, who, though head of another organization, had been but little associated with the T.S. for several years. (2) Because he could not support a vote of confidence in Mr. Leadbeater, as he had no confidence in him, either as an occultist or a moralist. This started an animated and plain-talk discussion, lasting till two o'clock. That it took over four hours to get the resolution through much depreciated its value, and it surely was bad judgment to bring it forward at all.
Mr. Prentice, Vice-President of the Hobart Lodge, a large and voluble person (who, by the way, had such a successful military career as entitles him to prefix "Chevalier" to his name), proceeded to unwind a portfolio of evidence, upon which he was going to base his no-confidence remarks. Pandemonium ensued, and if the looks of some of the delegates could slay, the erstwhile soldier would soon have required the aid of the stretcher-bearers.
Finally, the chairman secured order. It was decided to give him fifteen minutes to speak, subsequent speakers only to be allowed five minutes. But the chairman made it clear that production of evidence would not be allowed, so Mr. Prentice, none the worse for wear, put aside his portfolio of historic papers and dealt with the matter from a more abstract standpoint.
The suppression of evidence in the T.S. is surely a great mistake.
In a body that teaches "There is no religion higher than Truth," this seems an obvious contradiction; nevertheless the chairman's ruling was carried out, and in concluding his remarks, Mr. Prentice invited inspection of his documents by any interested. Apparently in order to squeeze out the rebels and to prevent speeches against the resolution, representatives of each T.S. Lodge (there are twenty in Australia) were invited by the chairman to give their testimony on Mr. Leadbeater's behalf. They did so. Some appeared sincere, others labored with words of approval, and one Lodge President explained that "after careful consideration," he found he could support the motion.
There was more than a suggestion of "tactics" on the chairman's part during the discussion, and he almost succeeded in preventing those who opposed the motion from getting a hearing.
The atmosphere became quite tense with suppressed interest when, near the end of the morning,
Mr. Martyn caught the chairman's eye. Now Mr. Martyn is Supposed to be in the know. Unfortunately for the seekers after truth, when the speaker was getting really interesting, and driving home some well-sharpened points, the lynx-eyed chairman finally succeeded in suppressing him. It was a tough battle while it lasted - between speaker and chairman - because the former is evidently a practiced speaker and debater, and he challenged the chair to rule that he had no right to give reasons why he could not support the resolution under consideration. After all, Mr. Martyn probably said what he really regarded as important. Briefly, it was to the effect that Mr. Leadbeater, held up to the Society as an occultist and teacher, described as one of its great leaders, had associated himself with a homo-sexualist of a depraved and criminal type; had announced his protege to be an initiate of the Great White Lodge, and, in cooperation with him, had riven the Theosophical Society in twain. The speaker declared that Mrs. Besant, as President of the T.S., had not only repudiated the initiate claim, but on evidence presented to her, ordered the removal of the Homo-sexualist in question from the roll of the T.S., and of another organization, and he would have been repudiated had not Mr. Jinarajadasa sent the President a cablegram pointing out the unwisdom of the procedure. It was at this point the chairman succeeded in shouting down the speaker, who resumed his seat. I heard that several other speakers were waiting for a chance to speak in support of Mr. Martyn's views, but they were successfully squeezed out.
I must say I felt rather surprised that a man of such standing and unquestioned devotion to the T.S. as Mr. Martyn should be suppressed in this way, but manners change with the passing years. I regretted, for my own part, too, that I was prevented from hearing more about sex problems, initiates, and Mr. Jinarajadasa's cablegrams.
Mr. Leadbeater rose as the meeting was closing, and made a statement in his own defense. He said that the inquiry of 1906 was reopened in 1908 by a special committee, which included eminent judges and barristers, who acquitted him of all the charges previously made.
It is nice to know that such was the case, but some difficulty is being met with in discovering any record, official or otherwise, of an enquiry in 1908. The matter will no doubt be followed up, as all would like to know the names of these judges, and all the particulars.
The resolution was carried by 86 votes to 15. A clever move from the chair called on the voters to stand to record their votes. I had a good opportunity to study the voters. The 15 in the minority immediately called to mind the phrase, "Fifteen of that superior (Theosophic) degree appointed to preside over the rest," for amongst them were the two Trustees of the Sydney Lodge, a good percentage of men wearing soldiers' badges, and some with whom Mr. Leadbeater had stayed for many years. I could not ignore these facts, especially when it transpired that these fifteen represented fifty percent of the Sydney Lodge delegates present, and Sydney has nearly 900 members. After all, it is those who live with a person who know him best, and visitors from a distance can only gauge the worth of a man by what he writes. The best of our goodness goes into books, and the badness for our immediate neighbors.
The convention has done good work, for it has marked the period of reform. The fifteen represent, in my opinion, the hard-fighting Cromwellian spirit, who desire above all, "to take away this bauble" that has been thrust on the T.S. since the introduction of Ecclesiasticism-cum-Psychism. I say to them, "Keep true to the objects of the Society and the memory of its Founders, for no reform has yet been accomplished without considerable opposition from the younger brothers of humanity."
What One Hears
That everybody agrees with the President that she is a "servant of the Hierarchy, obeying Their will and doing Their work." to the best of her judgment, and that so also is every other striver after perfection in whatever walk of life he may find himself.
That those who love Mrs. Besant wish that she would not use such words as "liar" and "blasphemer," as applied in any possible sense or alternative to herself. However much she might be mistaken, or misled, on any subject, few, even of her enemies, would contemplate such terms as applied to her without a feeling of pain.
That the President is coming to Sydney with a big axe, and there will shortly be a long list of "dropped from the ranks."
That the latest list of officers of the Brisbane CoMasonic Lodge includes an "Acolyte!" That's a good start, and next year the R.W.M. will be announced as "Rt. Rev." if the practice goes on.
That after reading the President's article, Whom Will Ye Serve, many T.S. members will reply, as did Joshua in the original: "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
The Letter Box
The Editor, "Dawn."
Sir, - The T.S. has gained much from the splendid qualities of its President; it also has suffered much from her tendency to act over-hastily and on the impulse of the moment. The same Mrs. Besant who, with a courage that won the admiration of her worst critics, rushed in where angels fear to tread, and published "The Fruits of Philosophy" in her own name, and dared the purists of England to do their worst, gravitated to every extreme over the Leadbeater scandals, first condemning, then condoning; and finally approving what the Madras High Court judge in 1913 described as "immoral opinions."
Today Mrs. Besant is in trouble again because of her big sympathies. She decided in 1919 to clean up some painful matters about the truth of which she had convinced herself. On this occasion she condemned the promoter-in-chief of the Liberal Catholic Church to outer darkness; then, in the twinkling of an eye, she condoned the offender. This was not because of any fresh evidence, but simply because Mr. Leadbeater protested that the gentleman was an initiate. Today we wait breathlessly for the last chapter of this episode. One of the priests of this Church has made a confession, involving several others, and mentioning two "bishops."
The man whose offences Mrs. Besant condoned has resigned from the L.C. Church, the T.S., and Co-Masonry. What will our impulsive President do next? The new "Theosophical Church" she recommended to us seems to have been built up over a moral cesspit. Will she palliate sexual perversion, glorify its professors into martyrs, and invite her friends to choose between her and the Brothers of the Shadow, or - will she just do the right thing and deserve the epitaph that she has written in readiness for a day which all will hope to be still far distant? - Yours, etc.,
The E.S. and T.S.
The Editor, "Dawn."
Sir, - In the interests of the T.S. and Truth, I would like to draw attention to what I deem a grave error of judgment made by our President, Mrs. Annie Besant.
In a letter to a prominent American member, she states: "No member of the E.S. can attack the Liberal Catholic Church and remain in the E.S."; and "Attack in this case means also that you challenge my own direct statement as to the World Teacher in relation to it."
Surely these statements. made in all seriousness to an E.S. student, mean that the T.S. is no more the broad institution that we have thought it is. Mrs. Besant, in dealing with America's E .S. troubles, has stated that the E.S. is the heart of the T.S. By this we see that what affects the heart must likewise affect the whole body, and a dogma in the E.S. becomes the same automatically in the society at large.
No body, I claim, should be immune from attack because Mrs. Besant says so, and another body subject to attack because it is her wish - yet we find that this is the case. She makes herself sponsor for the L.C.C., and singles out the Loyalty League for the worst form of attack by stating, "Members must choose between the E.S. and the Loyalty League. They cannot remain in both."
People who attempt to prove that there is no connection between the E.S. and T.S. are only splitting straws.
When it is realized that most of the influential members of the T.S. are pledged to carry out A.B.'s wishes because they have taken an E.S. oath to that effect, one cannot wonder why it is that prominent men and women who instinctively detest any form of sectarianism, are content because of their oath to remain the most passive resisters when confronted with a menace to their Society, when such menace has the approval of the E.S. dictator.
Can you tell me where I can find the "direct statement as to the World Teacher," which Mrs. Besant refers to? Up to the present I have been under the impression that the Order of the Star in the East was the activity best suited as a channel for such expression, but perhaps other arrangements have since been made, of which many of us are in ignorance. - Yours, etc.,
Some Vital Questions
The Editor, "Dawn."
Sir. - Many of us in and out of the E.S.T. are very worried over these terrible London confessions and scandals. The heart of the problem to some of us is this:
1. In order to gain a closer association with any of the Masters, is it necessary to apply to any particular individual on the physical plane, or is the link made between Master and disciple direct?
2. If an agent is necessary, how shall he be known?
3. Must aspirants necessarily accept the statements of those who make such claim without question - in blind faith in fact?
4. If the acceptance of the statements is to be based on intelligent reasoning, and not on blind faith, is enquiry to be discouraged?
5. How can members satisfy themselves that those who claim to be agents of the Great Lodge are really so, in view of the fact that throughout the history of the T.S. a great many people have made such claims?
6. Should the enquirer look for purity, wisdom, and truth in disciples and initiates of the Great Lodge?
7. Have the conditions of discipleship and initiation, as set out in "The Path of Discipleship," been altered since that book was written by Mrs. Besant?
8. Can a man or woman, of only commonplace intelligence and indifferent will, be an initiate of the Great Lodge?
9. Can an initiate of the Great Lodge be at the same time a gross sensualist?
10. Is Mr. Leadbeater the only channel through which candidates can approach the Masters?
- Yours, etc.,
A Useful Chairman
The Editor, "Dawn."
Sir, - Has it occurred to you what a very subtle gentleman Mrs. Besant has appointed to the Vice-Presidency? Certain types of people are, as everyone knows, noted for this peculiarity, and our members got a good illustration of it when Mr. Jinarajadasa presided over the T.S. Convention in Sydney on Easter Monday.
Now, Sir, I am a student of human nature, and know what I am talking about. Do you think it was just a mere chance that led Mr. Jinarajadasa - after finding our Sydney members were too good for him on his gag points of order - to call on the Presidents or other representatives of our twenty Australian Lodges in turn to speak
first to Senator Reid's resolution of confidence in Mr. Leadbeater. That was a really smart thing to do, as it took up nearly all the morning. It was smart also of the same chairman to invite a lot of visitors from other countries to chip in. That took more time. Subtle! Yes, Sir. Read the cablegram which Mr. Jinarajadasa sent to Mrs. Besant when she said Wedgwood was not an initiate because he was another sort of man altogether. "Say you mean something else," says he in his own little way.
Well, Sir, we're watching the new Vice-President, and he may as well know it. - Yours, etc.,
Letters and subscriptions continue to pour in from all parts of the world, and from the information so received we gather that the message of the T.S. Loyalty League is steadily gaining in favor among the thoughtful.
Our reference to New Zealand has borne fruit, as it has attracted the attention of members to the regrettable state of affairs in that section. At first we were faced with a considerable handicap, because L.C.C. supporters openly declared that all Loyalty League literature was "of necessity antagonistic to the Great White Lodge, and would incur the wrath of the Masters."
The fact that this preposterous statement actually induced many T.S. members to destroy their copies unread is a striking commentary on the intellectual (4) status of the individuals concerned.
This phase is now past. Many members read "Dawn," and, the promised "wrath" not falling on their devoted heads, they were encouraged to pass the information along, and sales boomed.
It seems incredible that in the 20th century, and in the T.S. at that, a fantastic superstition of this sort, so reminiscent of pre-historic days, could frighten anyone.
Let me again draw your attention to Mr. Krishnamurti's remarks (published in last issue) about the Masters as men, and then, for goodness sake, forget that insulting statement referring to Their wrath if you think for your selves.
In this direction Sydney Lodge has again led the way by inaugurating a monthly Expression Meeting, where members can ask for information and discuss any problem whatsoever that bears on the T.S.
By the way, we are still receiving postal-notes from overseas members in payment of subscriptions. May I remind our distant friends that overseas postal-notes cannot be cashed, and are therefore useless. Money-orders should be sent instead.
One member was in such a hurry to subscribe to "Dawn" that the subscription was unsigned! If this should meet his or her eye, it will explain why "Dawn" has not been posted. (Of course, we could hand the matter over to our staff of clairvoyant investigators, but we would rather confine our attention to the physical plane method as being safer and more accurate.)
South Africa seems to have developed L.C.C.-itis very early. Following on the consecration of the National President of the T.S. as Vicar-General of the L.C.C., comes a very lively argument.
So far there is no evidence that the late Rand Rebellion has any connection with the L.C.C.!
Are we Shadows?
A few copies of a new book, apparently the first of a series, entitled "The Luciferian Call," have been received from the author, Mr. Z.D. Rudbyar, of California.
The first number is entitled "What are we: Shadows or Creators?" and is the most thoughtful and scholarly presentation of the case against the popular T.S. attitude of "Follow the Leaders" we have yet seen.
To quote from the book, "Very few T.S. members have attained the stage of self-development. The majority of them insists on being led, insists on receiving truth, as young birds receive food, already digested by some personality of recognized spiritual standard and high attainments. Should this personality disavow, they condemn; if told to approve, they worship."
Which states the case very neatly. The importance of mental independence, of mental individuality, cannot be over-estimated. Else, where is the distinction between us and the animals?
Spiritual cooperation is an ideal, impossible to realize unless each would-be cooperator can contribute some individuality to the common fund. The idea that evolution can be forced by the surrender of one's will to other people is worthless, and reduces us to the intellectual level of sheep. The average F.T.S. does not believe in hypnotism because he thinks it involves the surrender of one's will to the command of another; but let that other be known as a "leader," and everything is at once in order! The value of Theosophy is in the development of our individualities, and not in our being reduced to a number of thought-forms, responsive to every impulse of our Creator.
Mr. Rudbyar treats his subject in a very able manner, and we can cordially recommend his book to all Theosophical students who want to stand on their own mental legs.
A limited number of copies are available, and may be obtained from the Hon. Organizer at a price of 2/- each, post free.
Answers to Correspondents
David Raden: Thanks for your note re the New Zealand Rata. Your other contributions are valuable, but unsuitable for "Dawn." Try "Theosophy in Australia." --- Mrs. R. (Wellington): Payment should be by moneyorder. New Zealand postal-notes or stamps are no use in the Commonwealth. --- A.W. (Sydney): "Inner Teachings" far too long for interest value. --- C.C. (Vancouver): Glad you like the magazine. Your practical help in the way of subs still more appreciated. --- D.M.R. (Fremantle, W.A.): We have more poetry than we can use. --- A.P.V. (Seattle, U.S.A.): Sorry cannot supply No. 1 "Dawn," the edition being completely exhausted. Your sub. starts from January. --- S.S.M. (New York, U.S.A.): Your account of Mr. Wadia's meetings will interest our readers. Hope to have space this issue. --- Mrs. P. (Adelaide): The E.S. is the inner section of the Theosophical Society. Two years' membership of the T.S. will qualify you for admission. It is said to be "the heart of the and largely influences the decisions of members of the outer society. --- A.L.G. (Winnipeg, Can.): I have referred your question to the Hon. Organiser. Thanks for your good wishes. --- Miss Y. (Auckland, N.Z.): Typewritten M.S. would be appreciated. Write on one side of the paper only. --- P.A. (Townsville): Our expert in charge of the New Psychology page will be only too pleased to answer your question. These articles are to be regular features of "Dawn." --- J.W.M. (Port Elizabeth, South Africa): The L.C. Church has caused trouble everywhere, and your section is not unique in this respect. H. P. Blavatsky proclaimed the apostolic succession to be "a gross and palpable fraud." --- Rehua (N.Z.): Your article excellent. Sorry no room this issue.
[[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.