Vol. 3 - No. 18 September 1, 1924 Price Ninepence
In conformity with its usual custom of discussing openly matters of import to the Theosophical Society, which are usually left untouched by the present Administration, or at best discussed in secret tribunals, Dawn desires to draw attention to the fact that the outstanding issue at the present time is the successorship to the Presidency. Moving amongst earnest members of the Society, one detects a subtle note of wonderment and dissatisfaction. It is not easy for members to express themselves; such expressions are liable to be mysteriously transmitted to High Quarters, with the result that swift and summary punishment follows, either in the form of a demand for resignation if the speaker is an official, or expulsion from the Esoteric Section where membership in that august body exists. Sometimes the punishment takes the form of the unexpected loss of old friendships, which suffer mysterious eclipse. It is not easy, therefore, to find out exactly the heart of the T.S. on the matter, but hints and echoes are not wanting.
The future leadership and policy of the Society require much careful consideration. The general dissatisfaction seems to centre itself round the fact that no intelligent anticipation is being given to the matter. Mrs. Besant is far past the allotted span of the Psalmist, as is her chief colleague, "Bishop" Leadbeater, and both are in indifferent health. One does not view the decease of any person with pleased anticipation: a wise psychological provision in our make-up makes any thought of death distasteful. Nevertheless, in the case of individuals holding high public positions, the possibility of their decease must be reckoned with and wisely provided against.
The "Bishop" holds no official position in the T.S. (although it is very likely true that he is the supreme authority in Australia in every subsidiary activity, such as Co-Masonry, the Esoteric Section, the Order of the Star in the East, and the Liberal Catholic Church, yet his influence is such that he can act the part of a "King-Maker" and so profoundly influence the outcome. Even Mrs. Besant recognizes this, and bows to the inevitable, probably because she knows that to disagree with him Would provoke a charge that she had passed under malign influences, and lead to serious dissension if not an entire cleavage. It is certain that should the "Bishop" outlive the President, the fortunate individual receiving his imprimatur would be immediately elected. How deplorable such a situation would be a little consideration will make clear.
According to the Constitution of the Society, a vacancy in the Presidency must be filled by the
election of a nominee of the General Council, by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast. Meanwhile the Chief Executive position is filled by the Vice-President. The present occupant of this office is Mr. Currumpillage Jinarajadasa, born in Ceylon, and rescued from obscurity by Mr. Leadbeater, to whom he is also indebted for the opportunity of obtaining a University education and degree. Consequently he is grappled to the Leadbeaterian heart with hoops of steel. He is also high in the favor and confidence of Mrs. Besant, being her representative in the Esoteric Section, and, since she gave up Theosophy for the more exciting sphere of Indian politics, the Acting Outer Head of the Esoteric Section, in fact, if not in name. There is no question regarding Mr. Jinarajadasa's ambition to be President. Unfortunately, as Dawn sees the position, there is also no question as to his complete failure if he achieves it.
Mr. Jinarajadasa is a good, but not a brilliant, speaker, a suave chairman, able to preside with case and elegance over a public meeting: but his whole personality suggests breadth rather than depth, and that not without hints of an unpleasing oriental subtlety. His contributions to Theosophic literature are of no outstanding merit - lacking in originality and profundity they are cloying in their attempted sweetness. For the most part they may be classified as being in the nature of footnotes to the works of "Bishop" Leadbeater. Of his spiritual development, Dawn can only speak with great diffidence; in nothing, however, has he displayed that deep familiarity with the Things of the Spirit, the Eternal Verities, that marks the trained Occultist, while his writings on Mysticism make it clear that his knowledge is second-hand - the carefully digested result of reading rather than firsthand experience.
One of the lamentable results of Mrs. Besant's disastrous policy has been the ruthless wiping out of anyone who rose to prominence in the T.S. At the death of the President-Founder in 1907, there were at least a dozen well-known and internationally recognized members qualified to occupy the presidential chair with honor and dignity. There are none such today. Even a very few years ago one heard tentatively of Mr. D.N. Dunlop (London), Mr. A.E.S. Smythe (Toronto), Mr. T.H. Martyn (Sydney). Unfortunately, Mr. Dunlop has resigned, Mr. Martyn been expelled, and Mr. Smythe (we understand) no longer a candidate under any conditions. During his membership, Mr. B.P. Wadia was often regarded as Mrs. Besant's successor.
So the position is that apart from Mr. Jinarajadasa, there is no one of outstanding note. A most unfortunate and regrettable position. It behooves the T.S. generally to survey the position while there is still time. Mrs. Besant, of course, can control the General Council by virtue of the fact that they are all E.S. members, and her dead voice will sway the future. But an even grayer danger is the possibility of the "Bishop" outliving Mrs. Besant and taking an active part in the election of a successor. Amid the incense of the Liberal Catholic Church and surrounded by the adoring thought-forms of his plastic entourage, he waits and waits. What the next manifestation of his evil genius will be none can tell. But with the position fairly before them, members of the Theosophical Society can take such action as may seem wise.
Dawn's reference to Mr. Jinarajadasa's defense of "Bishop" Leadbeater at an E.S. meeting during the Melbourne Convention, has raised again to boiling point the wrath of the E.S. authorities, and another hunt is in progress to find and block the leak. It has been said over and over again that Dawn will not interfere in any way with the legitimate functions of the E.S., but only expose it when it is used for political purposes. Although members have been well chastised for allowing information to escape, we still anticipate being able to deal with any future attempts to use the E.S. for ulterior purposes. And we notice that "Raja" did not accept our challenge to repeat in the open what he told the E.S. members.
Letters from England all go to show that the Special Conventions, convened as the result of the educative work done by Colonel Peacocke and Mr. Loftus Hare, has had a remarkable effect. Actually, the focus of disturbance is now centered in England, and the President will have to find time for the answering of many questions. We hear also that one very well-known member, who has hitherto been a staunch supporter of Mrs. Besant, has decided that she can no longer maintain an attitude of neutrality, and consequently will join the reformers.
The supreme ambition of Dawn has always been to be of service wherever it is possible for such service to be rendered. Recently an unconscious
humorist decided to communicate with a well-known identity in the Theosophical Movement; and addressed his communication "Bishop Leadbeater, c/o The Editor of Dawn, Box 1489, G.P.O., Sydney, N.S.W." True to its ideal of service, Dawn has redirected and duly reposted the communication. We hope that its perusal will afford as much pleasure to the "Bishop" as its reposting did to us.
Celebrating a Buddhist Festival at Mosman
- Mr. Jinarajadasa in a New Role.
Mosman is a popular suburb of Sydney, with a fine waterfront and numerous imposing residences. Of these, the most elaborate and costly is the place once known as "Bakewell's Folly" - a huge mansion that was vacant for many years - and now the official residence of "Bishop" Leadbeater and an adoring flock of devotees. This communal residence was, until recently, presided over by a Mr. Van Gelder, a Dutch gentleman from Java, who has returned to that island for the purpose of recouping his financial losses and for the refilling of the family purse, and "Bishop" Leadbeater is now, we understand, the householder to whom the municipal authorities turn for rates and taxes. The presence of "Bishop" Leadbeater has attracted to Mosman every Co-Mason. Starite, Liberal Catholic, and Neo-Theosophist who can afford to buy or build a house, or find one that can be rented - no easy task these days.
One wealthy member of the Blavatsky Lodge sold the residence wherein he had kept more-or-less open house, for the "Bishop's" friends, and purchased a house sufficiently close to "The Manor," as the Leadbeaterian mansion is now named, to allow him to bathe in the "Bishop's" aura without the necessity of providing board and lodgings for the old gentleman. This house possesses a green expanse of lawn, and it was here that the latest fad of the Neo-Theosophists was given its preliminary "kick-off."
For the benefit of those who are not familiar with the changes wrought by the Neo-Theosophists, we may explain that in the Esoteric Section it has long been the custom to celebrate the two chief Buddhist Festivals, in most cases with great secrecy, and with the delicious feeling that one had a sort of card of private entree to a vice-regal function. The first feast is that of Vaisak, celebrated on the full moon of May in each year. Under amazing pledges of utter secrecy, Mrs. Besant circulated through the innermost circles of the E.S. a long and fanciful account of what happens. It reads like the scenario of a motion picture, and Dawn will probably astonish the Buddhists by publishing it, so that they may learn what happens. The other and less important feast is Asala, and is celebrated in July. Both of these are usually the times chosen by the "Bishop" to announce that another batch of his immediate followers have passed the portals of Initiation. We have the strongest reason to suppose that a visitor from America - the "Regionary Bishop" for the U.S.A. - was the latest to take advantage. Now, as a prior preparation, and so that they might be fully-fledged Buddhists in participating in the ceremony, which is celebrated on a plateau in Thibet, and to which they must float off astrally. Mr. Jinarajadasa solemnly admitted a number of Neo-Theosophists into the Buddhist faith.
Quite a number of the members were repelled by the magnificence of the ritual of the L.C.C., and felt that too much prominence was being given to it. Looming large amongst them was the redheaded and popular Secretary of the Melbourne Lodge, who has never hesitated to express his feelings in the matter. We understand he made the journey from Melbourne specially to participate. Another was the wife of an L.C.C. "Bishop," who acts as "Bishop" Leadbeater's officer in Sydney. Still another was the lady whose hymns, specially composed for the L.C.C. Hymn Book, gave a new terror to poetry and flooded the church with false rhymes.
Some time ago Mr. Jinarajadasa announced that some Ceylonese Buddhist dignitary - the Venerable Sumangala, we think, but haven't time to look it up - had conferred upon him the ecclesiastical power of admitting non-Buddhists into the Buddhist fold. This is the ceremony of taking Pansil. And this is the ceremony that took place in Mosman on the Sunday preceding the full moon in May. By virtue of the power conferred upon him, Mr. Jinarajadasa has started a Buddhist organization in Australia. Exactly what it is expected to do we are unable to say: if Mr. Jinarajadasa will explain, Dawn will be glad to give the necessary publicity.
We hazard the suggestion that it is an offset to the menacing activities of the L.C.C., which threatens to overwhelm the Theosophical activity. Now the "Bishop" can triumphantly gesticulate to the fact that the T.S. caters for Australians who sigh for an opportunity of taking refuge in the Buddha, the Sanga, and the Dharma, and who are yet accepted to the Communion of the L.C.C., which shuts out none, Christian or non-Christian, from contributing to its collections.
Two Conceptions of Brotherhood
By J.M. Prentice
"To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity . . . FIRST OBJECT."
So runs, in part, the First Object of the Theosophical Society, the only object held to be binding on all who enter into its membership. Sometimes it is belief in Universal Brotherhood that is impressed on members newly joining; sometimes its practice. Mrs. Besant frequently points out, with much stress, that the T.S. does not claim to constitute the Universal Brotherhood; this, she points out in glowing periods, is a fact in Nature that only requires recognition. The wording of this first object has undergone frequent revision. Before the present form was adopted - upon the representation of Mrs. Besant be it said - the distinguishing adjectives were reversed, so that it read: "To form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity . . ." and I am by no means sure that, subject to a certain amount of interpretation, this form was not better, or at least stronger. For it seems to me that the obvious meaning was: to form the nucleus of a (body of persons - an organization - recognizing the existence of the) Universal Brotherhood. As it now stands, I doubt its accuracy - at any rate, from a biological standpoint. A nucleus is a centre from which growth proceeds, not something that comes into existence after an organism has fully developed.
All this, however, is by way of introduction to one of the deeper problems growing out of the recognition of this first object. Quite recently, as the outcome of a series of widely distributed crises, the Society in Australia has been torn in two. The main reason for this rending has been that it was necessary so that the principle of Brotherhood might be safeguarded. The real basis of the matter, turning as it did on the personality of one of the leaders in the T.S. and - to a lesser degree - on that of a satellite of his, raised the question of brotherhood in its most aggravated form. Many discussions have taken place since as to what might be called the quality of rightness underlying Mrs. Besant's action, and of the principle involved. This present article, written by one who assisted to precipitate the crisis, and who was relentlessly crucified by the President for doing so, represents the personal view of the writer, and is published in the hope that it may prove a basis for open-minded and courteous discussion.
Let me state the attitude of many who are supporting Mrs. Besant, as I understand it, first. These hold that, as the Theosophical Society is tied fast to the principle of Universal Brotherhood, no crime should be sufficient to exclude or debar anyone from membership. They point out triumphantly what Mrs. Besant stated with so much emphasis in the 1906-08 crisis: that the T.S. has no moral code. By thus, of course, is meant that there is no written code, either doctrinal or ethical, laid down by the Constitution, which carries expulsion (or any other punishment) for its infringement. It has been rightly pointed out that many national and international difficulties would arise if such a code were devised, because, as Bro. Kipling has expressed it:
The wildest dreams of Kew are the facts of Khatmandhu,
And the crimes of Clapham chaste in Martaban.
Certainly there is no written code, and never could be; but there is an underlying obligation, which I shall presently state, from which there is no escape.
It is a good argument, seemingly, when a leader in the T.S. is attacked on the grounds of moral or other delinquency to rally round him, and say that in the name of Universal Brotherhood his wrongdoing must he overlooked. His moral character or his private sins must not weigh against the crime of expelling him, and the subsequent injury to the great principle of brotherhood. The pity of it is, that it seems to apply only to Messrs. Leadbeater and Wedgwood. Certainly it did not apply to Wil-
liam Q. Judge in 1895, when Mrs. Besant relentlessly undertook to hound him out of the Society; it did not apply to Dr. Rudolph Steiner and his German supporters in 1912; it did not apply to twelve of the fifteen who raised their voices against a vote of confidence in "Bishop" Leadbeater at the Australian Convention of 1922. (Twelve only, because the remaining three could not be positively identified!). These twelve were ruthlessly expelled, and in their cases the principle of Universal Brotherhood did not seem to be even bruised or dented. They were presented as a sacrifice and a burnt offering to the U.B. principle, as it was understood chiefly in the Liberal Catholic Church, which doesn't even pretend to believe in it.
There is another conception of brotherhood, as understood by The Independent Theosophical Society, although perhaps not talked about. As against Mrs. Besant's famous slogan that the T.S. has no moral code, the new organization sets the declaration of H.P. Blavatsky, that Theosophy is the highest morality. The code of Theosophy rightly understood and lived should be morality plus. That is, that the individual Theosophist should endeavor to not only conform to the accepted moral and ethical standards of his country, but should be a little better. He should endeavor to surpass, be it by however small a margin, the standards by which he and his contemporaries are judged.
Thus there is a foundation. The nucleus must be kept free from impurity and disease. Every member of the T.S. should be morally and ethically above reproach. In a family, if one member break the law of the land and go to gaol, it does not alter the blood relationship; but on his reappearance the family are not called upon to force or foist him on to society. Rather is it his duty to show, by subsequent action that he is worthy of a position of trust. So in the T.S. - if a member holds views or performs actions that bring him within the purview of the Law, or of the accepted canons of society, the well-being of the Society is the first thing to be considered. The principle of Universal Brotherhood demands that the rights of the majority shall be safeguarded as well as the minority. If it were not so, there is nothing to prevent the Society being used by criminals as a stepping stone to respectability, without the slightest desire or intention to change their mode of living.
Thus the new recognition of Universal Brotherhood is that in doing its world work the T.S. cannot allow itself to be hampered by those who fail to conform to laws recognized as expressions of the Eternal Verities, which make for the betterment of Humanity. There is no denial of brotherhood in
this - the sinful and the erring is still inside the brotherhood: but both he and it are best served by his non-participation in the work immediately ahead. To expel a unit from the nucleus does not mean his expulsion from the organism as a whole. A single cell so expelled may do useful service elsewhere.
There is in this no self-righteousness. There is, on the contrary, a profound recognition of the tremendous importance of the work to be done in the world. Now, as never before, is Theosophy required for the healing of the nations. Universal Brotherhood throughout the world, based on the spiritual recognition of the Self indwelling in every human heart, is the sole hope of the world. There is no other salvation. It will not be gained by building amphitheatres, nor will it be found in the ascending smoke of much incense, the singing of useless Te Dums, and the celebration of pseudo-sacraments. These are the very acme of spiritual selfishness - a world is asking for bread and is offered - a wafer!!! And there are some foolish enough, misguided and mislead enough, to believe it to be Theosophy.
Why Mrs. Besant would like to suppress the Sydney Lodge.
Printed matter bearing directly on the present crisis in the T.S. will be forwarded to any reader on request. In each case a small donation should be sent to cover cost of postage. The following among other documents is available:
- The Martyn letter to Mrs. Besant.
- Farrar's Confession.
- Statement by Mr. Rupert Gauntlett (late of the L.C.C.).
- To "All Fellow Theosophists" (a statement by Mr. B.P. Wadia).
- "To Members of the Council, Australian Section, T.S." (a letter by Mr. T.H. Martyn).
- The Validity of Orders in the Liberal Catholic Church.
Address: Editor, Dawn, Box 1489, G.P.O., Sydney, Australia
In the Street
"Kipples walked briskly down one of the main streets of his overgrown city. An electric car whirled past him as he essayed to cross the iron track, and round a corner dashed an automobile exceeding the speed limit and brushing the lapels of his coat. He stumbled over the broken pavement "up" for repairs, and just dodged a pair of bricks being passed from trolley hand to the working representation of a new skyscraper. To escape the many dangers which lurked at every corner of his noble city was, however, a matter of habit with Kipples, become automatic, indeed, by custom; and without perturbation, he paused to gaze at the offerings of a shop window displaying a multitude of books. Some of these had their pages open, and a line in leaded type caught his eye.
"WITHIN YOURSELF DELIVERANCE MUST BE SOUGHT!"
"Great idea that," he thought to himself; "hard to realize, though harder still to put into practice." "Why, it's Mr. Kipples. After a book, or is it a picture?" enquired Miss Gusher, as she stopped to bid him good-day.
"Didn't you think the E.S. meeting was glorious last night?" she rippled. "You know, the dear Bishop told Odo that the Maha Chohan was there himself, and oh! one could feel the vibrations, they were so overpowering."
"Hallo! What's this meeting about?" queried Mr. Loyola, strolling up. "I didn't see either of you at the L.C.C. on Sunday morning. You lost something. Bishop I.C. himself told me the altar was flashing with angels, great towering forms, with their heads right up outside tire roof. High-placed angels too; heads of their rays! We all felt something special was on, and the expansion of our auras was commented on by the Bishop."
"Now, you conspirators - what is it all about?" broke in Mrs. Theoda, the irrepressible, blowing in, as it were; "quite a little meeting of the clans, isn't it? D'you know I've just come from the lunch hour Star meeting? So beautiful! Dear Rajacharabundi really more than hinted that the dear Lord will be here in less than two years. I am sure the Bishop has taken him into his confidence, he seemed so sure."
"Well met indeed," chipped in the Lodge Secretary, who now came along. "Five birds with one stone. I give you all short notice that we're holding a special meeting of T.S. members tonight.
You know its Master Galahad's birthday, so the Bishop says, and we ought to commemorate it." "What will you do?" asked Kipples. "Oh! just a little devotional meeting suitable for the occasion, you know. We might put up some holy pictures and meditate on them for a while. It would, as the Bishop tells us, provide a channel - just for half an hour or so - that can be used to help the poor old world. This city needs some blessing badly enough, goodness knows." But by this time the sentence in leaded type had in a way seared itself on Kipple's brain.
"Within yourself deliverance must be sought!" and with a force and eloquence he had never known himself capable of, he addressed the little gathering around him. "Why do we - who all should know better - spend our time in waiting for angels, and world teachers, and saints, and maha-chohans, and bishops, and all the mummy stuff we let these asses put over us to divert us from the real truth? We all know this is true. Within ourselves we must seek and find deliverance - deliverance for the city, the world; for our own little selves. Within ourselves. Digging down to the God that dwells in the heart - all-powerful - all-effective - all-accomplishing. What do we want of the silly old worn-out tricks and paraphernalia of priests, of pretending prophets, and pretending seers? It's only leading us back into the cul-de-sac of the middle ages, causing us, like any other weaklings, to wait for the help of any old idols imposed on us, rather than find ourselves and trust ourselves and grow ourselves." Kipples' audience showed signs of being shocked. The reference to the bishops as asses, especially, clearly affected each of his listeners deeply. He felt that their attitude was changing to one of unfriendliness, even of menace; in fact, Mrs. Theoda's umbrella was already elevated at an angle of forty-five degrees, and fire flashed from the usually dove-like eyes of Miss Gusher; but Mr. Loyola only grinned.
Kipples began to wonder - why he had been guilty of this outburst? Why, if only in deference to his great leaders, had he not suppressed himself? A cold tremor passed through his limbs as he thought of the disgrace that would fall upon him - of the period in coventry that he would have to face - of the loss of all the "spiritually-minded" friends of his little world! Beads of perspiration stood out upon his brow at the horror of what he had done in these few moments of clear thought and candid speech.
Happily, at this stage, he awoke. A dream! Only a dream! He thanked the blessed angels; fingered the little gold cross around his neck to draw its protecting magnetism, turned his eyes upward with a thought of veneration to the bishop, murmured a mantram to purify the atmosphere, and then proceeded to dress himself. But with his coat and trousers he put on a new mental garment, and Neo-Theosophy was never more to be quite the same thing to Kipples. Visitors to his bachelor apartment noticed that the picture frame which once encompassed the portly figure of the bishop, clad in gorgeous canonicals, now contained a neatly engrossed extract from The Light of Asia, with one line heavily scored, it read:
Pray not! the darkness will not brighten! Ask
Nought from the silence, for it cannot speak!
Vex not your mournful minds with pious pains!
Ah! brothers, sisters! seek
Nought from the helpless gods by gift and hymn,
Nor bribe with blood, nor feed with fruits and cakes;
Within yourselves deliverance must be sought.
Each man his prison makes.
The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett
(Reprinted from The Canadian Theosophist)
Anything like a conventional review of this extraordinary book is out of the question. Those who read it will find themselves subjected to a test of their keenest intuitions, and thrown entirely on their own resources for standards of authority and judgment. This is not satisfactory for those who desire to be spoon fed, or led around under the guidance of respectable and well-accredited teachers. The Masters take no pains to accredit themselves, and not seldom indicate their contempt for what passes for respectability. They make no appeal for support, but rely wholly on the impulsions of the reader towards truth.
"As for human nature in general, it is the same now as it was a million years ago: Prejudice based upon selfishness, a general unwillingness to give up an established order of things for new modes of life and thought - and occult study requires all that and much more - ; pride and stubborn resistance to Truth if it but upsets their previous notions of things - such are the characteristics of your age, and especially of the middle and lower classes." "And we know, that so long as science has anything to learn, and a shadow of religious dogmatism lingers in the hearts of the multitudes, the world's prejudices have to be conquered step by step, not at a rush."
"He who would lift up high the banner of mysticism and proclaim its reign near at hand, must give the example to others. He must be the first to change his modes of life; and, regarding the study of the occult mysteries as the upper step in the ladder of knowledge must loudly proclaim it such, despite exact science and the opposition of society. `The Kingdom of Heaven is obtained by force,' say the Christian mystics. It is but with armed hand, and ready to either conquer or perish, that the modern mystic can hope to achieve his object."
The tremendous difference between the standards of the Masters and those current in the world, and even in the Theosophical Society, may be estimated by the following: "Perhaps you will better appreciate our meaning when told that in our view the highest aspirations for the welfare of humanity become tainted with selfishness if, in the mind of the philanthropist, there lurks the shadow of desire for self-benefit or a tendency to do injustice, even when these exist unconsciously to himself." Who then can be saved?
"It is true that the married man cannot become an adept, yet without striving to become `a Raja Yogi' he can acquire certain powers and do as much good for mankind, and often more, by remaining within the precincts of this world of his."
"There is a distinct group in our fraternity who attend to our casual and very rare accessions of another race and blood, and who brought across the threshold Captain Remington and two other Englishmen during this century" (the nineteenth).
"The Chiefs want a `Brotherhood of Humanity,' a real Universal Fraternity started; an institution which would make itself known throughout the world, and arrest the attention of the highest minds. "
"The thrill of life will again reunite the atom, and it will stir again in the inert planet when the time comes."
Those who have not been studying The Secret Doctrine will be astonished to find how far they have been diverted from the original teaching of the Masters. On this point there may be dispute, but the matter is plain for all to see for them-
selves. Nor is it to be considered that there is any dogmatism in this. Those who wish to know the teaching of the Masters have a right to get it as it was presented. If they do not like it they are not compelled to accept it. But they trust not be deluded into accepting something else as the real teaching. They have a perfect right to prefer the substitute, if it pleases them; but then again, they should know it and present it as a substitute.
"Study the laws and the doctrines of the Nepaulese Swabhavikas, the principal Buddhist philosophical school in India, and you will find them the most learned as the most scientifically logical wranglers in the world. Their plastic, invisible, eternal, omnipresent, unconscious Swabbhavat is Force or Motion ever generating its electricity which is life. Yes; there is a force as limitless as thought, as potent as boundless will, as subtle as the essence of life, so inconceivably awful in its rending force as to convulse the universe to its centre would it but be used as a lever, but this force is not God, since there are men who have learned the secret of subjecting it to their will when necessary."
"And now to your extraordinary hypothesis that evil, with its attendant train of sin and suffering, is not the result of matter; but may be perchance the wise scheme of the moral Governor of the Universe. Conceivable as the idea may seem to you trained in the pernicious fallacy of the Christian - 'the ways of the Lord are inscrutable' - it is utterly inconceivable for me. Must I repeat again that the best Adepts have searched the Universe during millenniums and found nowhere the slightest trace of such a Machiavellian schemer - but throughout, the same immutable, inexorable law."
"By dear Brother, either we know something or we do not know anything. In the first case, what is the use of your learning, since you think you know better? In the second case, why should you lose your time?"
"I tell you plainly, you are unfit to learn, for your mind is too full, and there is not a corner vacant from whence a previous occupant would not rise, to struggle with and drive away the newcomer. "
These passages will serve to indicate the difficulty all who have not open minds on the subject must meet in taking up this study. Either prejudice, or preconception, or previous bias, makes it impossible to approach it with the humility of the scholar, or without the doubt of being misled, which the adherents of organized faiths entertain, and which prevents them relying on their own reason and intelligence.
The science of the book is still a long way ahead of the British Association, but there is nothing to indicate that the Academicians may not eventually adopt the views here promulgated. Life as the universal agent; the intimate connection of the planets, our earth and the sun, with space, and the meteoric results in heat and cold, and the glacial periods due to the expansion of our atmosphere; the part played by electricity in all phenomena and the true secret of gravitation; strange news of intra-Mercurial planets, with the prophecy that "Science will hear sounds from certain planets before she sees them"; the problems of Lemuria and Atlantis; the genesis of Mankind; and the revelations of eschatology; these and scores of other topics provide material for years of thought.
"An adept - the highest as the lowest - is one only during the exercise of his occult powers." That is a sentence to be well weighed. And if the Masters speak with assurance, a very different thing from dogmatic assertion - we may be sure that what is said comes as the result of experience infinitely corroborated.
There, are analyses of the characters of several of the correspondents and others associated with the T.S. in the early days, which surpass anything that the psychoanalysts have achieved. But all is said in the most impersonal vein, as we might talk of children in a friend's nursery. We are all so much alike that it is possible to see oneself in the mirror thus held up for the few who stand as general types. But the difference between the eastern and the western methods is distinct.
"They, the Jesuits, sacrifice the inner principle, the Spiritual brain of the Ego, to feed and develop the better the physical brain of the personal evanescent man, sacrificing the whole humanity to offer it as a holocaust to their Society - the insatiable monster feeding on the brain and marrow of humanity - and developing an incurable cancer on every spot of healthy flesh it touches. We - the criticized and misunderstood Brothers - we seek to bring them to sacrifice their personality - a passing flash - for the welfare of the whole community, hence for their own immortal Egos, a part of the latter, as humanity is a fraction of the integral whole, that it will one day become. They are trained to deceive; we to undeceive." A frequent complaint is that "in the ideas of the West, everything is brought down to appearances even in religion." A hint is given. "Once separated from the common influences of Society, nothing draws us to any outsider save his evolving spirituality." A sincere and unselfish hunger for the Truth is the only claim to Their recognition.
"It is a true manhood when one bodily accepts one's share of the collective Karma of the group one works with, and does not permit oneself to be
embittered, and to see others in blacker colors than reality, or to throw all blame upon some one `black sheep,' a victim specially selected. Such a true man as that we will ever protect, and, despite his shortcomings, assist to develop the good he has in him. Such a one is sublimely unselfish; he sinks his personality in his cause, and takes no heed of discomforts or personal obloquy unjustly fastened upon him."
Like St. Paul, the Masters have a silent protest for "the vain rituals and empty ceremonials, which have in too many cases been productive of the greatest calamities."
"What better cause for reward, what better discipline, than the daily and hourly performance of duty? Believe me, my `pupil,' the man or woman who is placed by Karma in the midst of small, plain duties and sacrifices and loving-kindnesses, will through these faithfully fulfilled rise to the larger measure of Duty, Sacrifice, and Charity to all Humanity - what better paths towards the enlightenment you are striving after than the daily conquest of Self, the perseverance in spite of want of visible psychic progress, the bearing of ill-fortune with that serene fortitude which turns it to spiritual advantage - since good and evil are not to be measured by events on the lower or physical plane. Be not discouraged that your practice falls below your aspirations, yet be not content with admitting this, since you clearly recognize that your tendency is too often towards mental and moral indolence, rather inclining to drift with the currents of life, than to steer a direct course of your own."
These extracts will serve to give a general idea of the main tendencies of the book without touching the infinity of fascinating detail which is to be met on every page. Already we have heard that the mockers and the scoffers are at work to discredit it, but it is an enduring testimony to the highest human ideals, and as such it will commend itself to those discriminating readers who perceive no advance in the philosophies and the religions of the last two thousand years. The book must be accepted as a whole, the result of an effort to reach the stubborn heart of humanity once more. It is idle to suppose that they who seek a Person will accept a Book. In either case the response must come from the heart of him who seeks. If the Book can work that magic there is no need for a human idol. And the Masters have taken care not to leave themselves open to worship. Their religion is to follow the Law.
Don't Be a Quitter
If you are a T.S. member, don't allow your dislike of the present conditions in the Society to prompt you to withdraw from membership. Somebody said the other day that if all who had resigned because of objectionable conditions had remained, there would today be a sufficient number to present an effectual resistance to these conditions. It is a mistake to suppose that you can effectually protest by withdrawing. Four protest may seem a very big matter to yourself, but it is known only to your friends; few others hear of it, and such matters are carefully hushed up. You may make all the possible noise, but if you stop, tomorrow it will be forgotten. In fact, nothing could better please those who are at present corrupting Theosophy than to have all dissenters depart and leave the field to them. The only worth while protest is to stay in and fight. If you are not a speaker or a writer, still you have your vote in your lodge and a single vote may turn the tide. Then, too, mere persistence, mere standing up for what you believe, dogged stubbornness in sticking to your convictions, sooner or later has its effect. Sooner or later you will find those who at first thought you the victim of a passing whim,
coming to you to learn why you are willing to face opposition, abuse, and even ostracism.
Evil is not destroyed by running away from it. On the contrary, it flourishes the more luxuriantly. If you believe that Theosophy has a message for the world, it should be your first aim to keep that message unsullied. By isolating yourself you are directly defeating that aim. It is true that the Theosophical Movement is much bigger than the T.S. But the T.S. is the largest and best organized body, and, as such, has an enormous power for real or for false Theosophy. Leave the false tendencies unchecked, and in time they may completely neutralize opposing influences. I have heard people say that they want to study and do not care to he disturbed by controversies. Surely that is a most selfish standpoint. If you have studied to any effect whatever you should have learned that you are not living for yourself alone, and that the evil and shame of the Society are your evil and shame as long as you ignore them. You were not responsible for these before you entered the Society, but once having entered it, the karma of the Society becomes a part of your own karma, and you cannot ignore it with impunity; you cannot escape by quitting. - The O.E. Library Critic.
The Late Miss Arundale
Since the last issue of Dawn we regret to say that information has boon received that Miss Francesca Arundale has passed over. This removes another of the principals who were closely in touch with Mme, Blavatsky and the T.S. in its early struggles. The exact extent and value of her labors have never been realized, owing to her retiring nature and the greed for adulation on the part of others.
Joining the Society very early in its lifetime, Miss Arundale met H.P.B. in 1884, and from that time on took a considerable part in the work of spreading the truths of the Eternal Wisdom. Her whole-hearted enthusiasm was such that she entered into relations with the Masters of the Wisdom, and was the recipient of several letters from the Mahatmas. For many years she pursued her independent line of thought, but in later days she yielded herself more and more to the leadership of Mrs. Besant. Her independence of thought and her courage of opinion were shown in her refusal to associate herself with the readmission of Mr. C.W. Leadbeater into the Society.
Her time and wealth were largely given over to the work of regenerating the national life of India, and with this in view, she devoted herself to educational work there. It is to her self-sacrificing spirit and genius that many institutions were firmly established, although, as stated above, her actions received little publicity. She perpetually exemplified the teaching of "Light on the Path": "And that power which the Disciple shall covet is that which shall make him appear as nothing in the eyes of men."
After her many years of activity in India, Miss Arundale had decided to spend the remainder of her life in the bungalow which she had erected at Adyar. A mission in connection with the Co-Masonic Order, however, was forced upon her, and she reluctantly left India for England. Her attitude showed very clearly that she found the mission repugnant, and there can be no doubt that this was partly responsible for her demise, which followed her return to India.
As her income had been seriously depleted by post-war conditions, it became necessary for her to request that her expenses should be paid on this occasion. Although other officers of the Theosophical Society were traveling on the same boat as first-class passengers, Miss Arundale was only provided with second-class accommodation and much comment was made that this gently-nurtured lady, whose wealth had been so generously used in the work of the Society, was permitted to travel under such conditions. Two notable instances of her generosity are to be found in the fact that she adopted and educated Mr. George S, Arundale, paying for his University course, also defraying the expenses of Mr. Jinarajadasa at Cambridge.
Across the ocean of Death this journal sends to her greeting, and the hope that she will find at the hands of Those she served so unswervingly the appreciation which she never sought here, and which never seems to have been offered voluntarily.
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What One Hears
That the mission of Dr. Mary Rocke to California was not as successful as the lady had hoped. The "Head" was very emphatic that he had no intention of returning to Australia at the present time, nor had he decided if he would attend the Adyar Convention in December. And as for money . . .!
That among the five hundred books by Canadian authors chosen to be sent to the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley to represent Canadian literature, are the following by members of the T.S. in Canada: - Shakespeare for Community Players, by Roy Mitchell; Contrasts, by Lawren S. Harris; The Rosary of Pan, by A.M. Stephen; and The Garden of the Sun, by Albert E.S. Smythe.
That "The Buddhist Chronicle," published in Colombo, is notable for articles of high literary and ethical merit. The "Chronicle" keeps a vigilant eye on The Theosophical Society, which one gathers, it does not entirely trust. Perhaps the Independent T.S. will prove a better friend to the true Buddhist.
That in the July number of the Star in the East magazine Dr. Rocke waxes lyrical over her impressions of ''the Head." "Easily can be traced the likeness of the Crossbearer. . . ." And again: "Once . . . the slight figure seemed to take on the majesty of a youthful Lord Buddha. . . ."
That a T.S. Loyalty Leaguer recently dropped in at the Golden Age Book Shop, Sydney, in search of a book. The attendant explained that the Golden Age movement has adventist proclivities, and is assured that the Kingdom of Heaven is coming in a year or two. Asked if the Kingdom of Heaven is not "within you," as declared in the New Testament, the reply was that the true translation of the verse quoted is, "The Kingdom of Heaven is among you." The attendant mentioned that the Golden Age was the only Association working for the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven. She had never heard of the Order of the Star in the East, nor of Leadbeater, nor of Krishnamurti. Such is fame. Our representative came away with a copy of The Battle of Armageddon, a book based on Bible prophecies.
That Joanna Southcott was as successful a seer as "Bishop" Leadbeater in the matter of obtaining followers. Most people regard Joanna as a fanatic; her followers venerate her as a prophetess. Born in Devonshire in 1750, Joanna was 42 when her spiritual revelations commenced. These persuaded her that she was "the bride of the Lamb." Later on, when 60, she expected to give birth to the Messiah. Her prophecies are contained in some sixty odd small volumes. At her death there were thousands of followers, and the cult still continues to spread Joanna's teachings. There seems little variety in psychic megalomania. Its victims are all united in some way with Deity they all prophesy at a safe distance, and all patronize the returning Christ.
That the Order of the Star in the East is very short of money. In the Australian Division magazine, it is admitted (after four and three-quarter pages of fantastic adulation)
that "we do not know where to turn for another L1,000 for the finishing and furnishing of the Amphitheatre.'' And thereafter follows a heart-rending appeal for all who have promised but have not paid for seats to produce the cash. Seemingly some of the Star members are forgetful when it comes to paying.
That the Brotherhood Lodge, Hollywood, as well as the Krotona, Grand Rapids, and Schenectady T.S. Lodges, have all either dissolved or severed their connection with the T.S. lately. Many other Lodges contemplate sending in their charters. What a pity these Lodges cannot hang on and lend a hand at reform from within the T.S.
That the Universal Brotherhood Campaign which was "organized throughout the world" for the last quarter of last year, to prepare for the Wembley Parliament of Religions, fell rather flat with the Neo-Theosophists. Now it appears they will not even be represented at the Parliament of Religions, which meets this month.
That Mr. Fritz Kunz is devoting most of his time to an endeavor to make a financial success of a newspaper in which a wealthy patron of the Blavatsky Lodge very unwisely invested a lot of his surplus wealth, which now looks likely to be lost.
That the members of the Hobart Lodge T.S. were recently asked to sign a paper promising unswerving loyalty to one Krishnamurti, the Leadbeater-coming Christ.
That a prominent and disinterested E.S. member resigned from that body because of Mrs. Besant's angry treatment of the Sydney Lodge. In the Disciple, the official magazine of the E.S., it was, however, announced that he had resigned for non-compliance in E.S. duties. There is no religion higher than truth.
That some of the sayings of the Buddha are much like those we find in The Mahatma Letters. Here is an example or two: -
"Each soul is its own cosmos. The only divinity that can illuminate you is a divinity that shall shine within you."
"There are gods, but not upon Olympus; they sit in the sky of your own mind; there are devils, but not in some far-off hell; they lurk in the caverns of your own fear."
"Wise is a man who has learned the length and the breadth, the height and the depth of himself."
"Strong is the man who can fall back upon his self-citadel."
That Mr. Fritz Kunz, whose sympathy with the L.C.C. is somewhat of a minus quantity, decided to preach in the Sydney Church as a pleasant surprise for the "Bishop." And that some of his friends, who appreciate him as a Theosophist, are disappointed thereat.
That spiritualism would make a great advance if it could ensure the identity of the manifesting spirits. A few weeks
ago Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, with a couple of fellow-enquirers, held a seance in a house near Piccadilly, which a medium declared that the spirit of Lenin was haunting. The spirit told the sitters that Russia and Britain should be friends. "Asked if he was haunting the house in remorse for deeds done, the spirit replied, 'Yes.'" The author of Sherlock Holmes is convinced that his party were in touch with a real entity, and with a real message; but was it Lenin, or a figure unconsciously conjured up out of the subconsciousness of the medium, and depicting what it was supposed Lenin should or would be?
That the Sydney Blavatsky Lodge News for July is mainly one long appeal for funds. The "Great Pence Fund" is featured. But there are indications that the free flow of the pence is not reaching the high-water mark.
That the Sociological Review is printing studies preparatory to the Conference on Living Religions within the Empire, to be held at Wembley this month. The articles included are from the pens of Sir E. Denison Ross, Rabindranath Tagore, Sir Francis Younghusband, Mr. Loftus Hare, Mr. Victor Branford, and other well-known authorities. Copies of the Sociological Review will, it is hoped, be obtained by our T.S. Lodge libraries. Communications on the subject might he addressed to the Secretaries, 17 Mecklenburgh Square, London, W.C. 1.
That Mr. and Mrs. H.R. Gillespie are doing splendid work in Hobart, the capital city of Tasmania. Mr. Gillespie has been interviewed by the leading morning and evening dailies, and supplied interesting comments on the world in general to the extent of several columns.
That a conference on Living Religions Within the Empire is to be held at the British Empire Exhibition, Wembley, from September 22nd to October 3rd. This is the important conference which the T.S. administration declined representation on because of the "Kenya decision." However, it seems probable that they will not be missed very much, in view of the many distinguished Orientalists on the Executive Committee. The Hon. Secretaries are, Mr. W. Loftus Hare and Miss M.M. Shanties.
That "the Rt. Revd." Irving Steiger Cooper returned to U.S.A. in July. The official intimation that he has been advanced several steps in Initiation is expected at any time. That another "Rt. Revd" is Mr. John Walker, of South Africa, who was persuaded to make the trip to Australia in order that he might follow up his ordination by "Bishop" Wedgwood by his elevation to the ''Episcopacy" by "Bishop" Leadbeater. Exact information as to the number of such elevations is not at the present time available.
That the impression is gaining ground of the existence of an Index Expurgatorius in Theosophical high places. Efforts have not been wanting in the past to suppress undesirable - from one's own point of view - publications, and the latest book to fall into disfavor seems to be "The Mahatma Letters." Instances have occurred where prominent members of the E.S. placed orders for the volume, and then hastily and suddenly cancelled them. Mrs. Besant's swift action in dismissing Miss Maud Hoffman for permitting the publication of the Letters supports this.
That there is a development inside the L.C.C. in connection with the worship of the Blessed Virgin. This was left completely in the background at the outset, but is now a special feature of church and services. ln the Sydney advertisement recently the following appeared: "Sunday next being within the Octave of the ASSUMPTION OF OUR LADY, High Celebration of the Holy Eucharist, with Sermon by the Rt. Rev. John Walker, entitled: "THE MOTHER OF OUR LORD." Where all this is going to lead to is a matter for conjecture. Capitals as in the advertisement - not ours!
That the Canadian Theosophist says "The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, edited by Mr. A.T. Barker, has sold to the extent of three editions already, and a fourth is in preparation. This will contain a copious index, which is all that has been needed to make the book complete. This index will be sold separately, so that those who have copies of the earlier editions may obtain it. With respect to the errors in spelling in the text and in punctuation, we understand that the editor transcribed the letters from the originals as they were, his idea being that if he started to alter anything, correct the spelling, etc., students might wonder how much had been altered, and might therefore lose confidence in the accuracy and good faith of the transcription. Readers may be sure they have the Letters as they are to be read in the original manuscripts."
That the first picture in the first program of the new Wintergarden Picture Theatre in Brisbane featured the Leadbeaterites' Stadium in Sydney with the announcement that the returning Christ was expected "to arrive through the Heads" (the Stadium is erected opposite the headlands leading into Sydney Harbor), and that "the Sydney Theosophists" were obtaining fabulous prices for seats.
The betting seems to be even as to what will happen first, the completion of the Stadium or the coming of Alcyone. Both events seem to be as far off as ever, the one for want of money, the other for want of faith.
That the Rochester (N.Y., U.S.A.) Lodge, T.S., has left the Theosophical Society, and expects to affiliate with the United Lodge of Theosophists. In this connection the fact should not he overlooked by any other Lodge which may desire to free itself from the incubus of neo-Theosophy that The Independent Theosophical Society is a properly incorporated body, with the power of issuing charters, and that it will be glad to help in this regard. They will then be able to continue using the old title, with the sole addition of the distinguishing word "Independent."
That the notification in a recent Theosophist that three lodges of the Canadian Section, T.S., have been chartered direct to Adyar, is very significant, in view of the fact that their members are mostly in the E.S., and consequently blind supporters of the Besant regime. It will be remembered that not long ago the Canadian Section declared itself free from all connection with the side-shows that have sprouted so abundantly under the Besant-Leadbeater leadership, such as Co-Masonry, the L.C.C., the E.S., the Star, etc., and decided to work only for Theosophy as taught by H.P. Blavatsky. The result of this has precipitated the action of the lodges in question, which is a clumsily disguised attempt to destroy the Canadian Section.
The Garden of the Sun: Albert Ernest Stafford Smythe, pp. 82, The Macmillan Company of Canada Ltd., Toronto.
It is not often that the reviewer receives so much pleasure from the perusal of a volume as is given by reading "The Garden of the Sun," by A.E.S. Smythe, who is so well known as the General Secretary of the Canadian Section of the Theosophical Society. There is nothing in the make-up of the volume to suggest this connection with the Theosophical Movement, but the contents are eloquent regarding the sources of Mr. Smythe's inspiration. These poems are a veritable oasis in the desert of modern verse, because Mr. Smythe, while a master of verse forms, including that most difficult of all - the sonnet - has refused to be led away by modern innovations which masquerade under the name of vers libre, and so forth. Technically and intellectually Mr. Smythe is well equipped, and possesses a poetic vein of high inspiration. Page after page bears witness to his poetic fancy - the opening sonnet entitled "The Seasons of the Gods" is exquisite, and has a line worthy of perpetual remembrance: "Wrapped in a dusk of unremembered years." Hints and echoes of the Eternal Wisdom are not wanting; A.E.S.S. was trained in too good a school. Internal evidence convinces us that he has been in association with, amongst others, Yeats, A.E., and the group who produced an almost forgotten magazine called The Irish Theosophist. Yet there is nothing of the so-called Celtic twilight; here there is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence for things unseen that point to the acceptance in no uncertain measure of the Secret Lore, is Mr. Smythe calls it.
Space, unfortunately, does not permit quotation. But to all who love poetry - real poetry - we commend this volume, which is published at 3/6 net. The poem entitled "A Revival," on page 27, will make the reader new-hearted, while the Irish poems will stir the hearts of every Celt. We have no hesitation in saying that this volume is one of the signs of a new inspiration which Theosophy is steadily bringing to birth - an inspiration already represented by Seriabine in music and Strindberg in fiction. We suggest that the "Hymn for the Peace" is worthy of, and will probably find, a place amongst the national songs - Canada has a lot to be proud of, that she provided a home for a poet of Mr. Smythe's eminence.
From Another Angle of Vision
Reference has already been made in Dawn to the fact that Monsieur Louis Revel, President of the Le Havre Lodge for ten years and member of the T.S. for over twenty, had resigned from office and membership after addressing An Open Letter to the members of the French Section. This letter in an English translation, is now available, having been translated and published by M. Revel. It is a substantial and beautifully printed pamphlet of sixteen pages, and Dawn regrets that space is not available to reprint it in full, because it is a judicial and temperate summing tap of the present position in the T.S., seen from another angle and through the vision of a temperament that is not English. Some salient passages, however, are being given herein, so that those who do not have an opportunity of reading the whole letter may gather the trend of M. Revel's argument.
M. Revel states his connection with the Theosophical Society, and sets out his reason for taking his present action. His experience is strangely like that of Mr. T.H. Martyn,
of Sydney, in that he wrote to Mrs. Besant, only to receive a reply that proved unsatisfactory:
"Feeling very uneasy about the strange rumors that were beginning to filter through, and about the way in which the students of the Sacred Science were, voluntarily or from ignorance, left wholly to themselves, in 1921 I wrote to Mrs. Besant a long letter, in which I expressed my doubts and my fears. I received her answer. I greeted respectfully the conclusions it brought me. A few months later, there was a new crop of events in the T.S., waking up new fears in me, and justifying the apprehensions I had felt before the coming storm. I received further information, compared it to Mrs. Besant's answer, and was obliged to conclude that her answer could not be satisfactory."
How many others have similarly written it would be difficult to conjecture.
M. Revel goes on to show that the material prosperity of the T.S. was very great, but was no evidence of spiritual advancement. He quotes many references to the decay of spirituality that accompanied this progress. He sets out in detail, with the most damning evidence, the spiritual impoverishment of the T.S. Moreover, he shows how today Theosophy is buried under a mound of activities that have completely stifled it.
Turning to the question of Esotericism, he shows how disappointment and delusion invariably followed:
"A high ideal being offered to them, the seekers were fired with a holy enthusiasm, they earnestly began climbing the first slopes of the Holy Mountain. They were told: - Meditate, drink no wine, do not smoke, be vegetarians, and the doors of Initiation will open for you. The advice given was, and is certainly, excellent. But the years passed and the heavy doors remained closed, except for a few favored travelers in Australia! . . . Once more in the dark maze of psychic manifestations, the Unity of Teaching had been forgotten.
"The incense was burning, but. the inner Tabernacle was empty!"
To counteract this failure he explains how fresh activities, all leading to blind alleys, were multiplied, while
"during this time, the deep, logical and serious teaching of the high Occultism bequeathed by H.P.B. to the T.S. was left aside. And to the sincere student who had entered the T.S., because he was hungering for spiritual truths, and attracted by the fiery words of books, was offered the blossom of the so-called Initiation of certain travelers of Australia."
He shows also how utterly "the high principles of Initiation (have) been distorted by a promotion of pretended Initiates....
After traversing various scandals in the T.S., M. Revel makes clear how incidents in the T.S. are used by the present leaders to uphold their position, when others equally eminent placed an entirely different construction on them. He explains also that members entered the T.S. to try and become students of the Sacred Science, to become Servants of men, only to experience the utmost disappointment and that deferred hope which maketh the heart sick. He quotes statements regarding the aims and objects of the T.S. made by Mrs. Besant at intervals of years, which contradict each other so utterly as to read like utterances of different persons. M. Revel goes on to explain the great necessity of reading the writings of H.P. Blavatsky as being indispensable to the
understanding of Theosophy. But he is no worshipper of great names:
"The most important thing is not the words or sentences printed in H.P.B.'s writings. What is essential, is to see, feel, and understand what is beyond the written word, that is: the Eternal Message, given to the world, and confirmed by innumerable generations of Initiate Seers and Prophets, among whom rise like columns of glory Jesus of Nazareth, Buddha, and the great Rishis of the Past, 'whose bright vision,' says H.P.B., 'has penetrated the very heart of matter, and discovered the soul of things.' H.P.B. did not invent the immemorial message. She transmitted it in her turn. It does not belong exclusively to the Theosophical Society, but it belongs rightly to all the Bibles of mankind, and to every man capable of becoming himself a prophet of the Spirit."
He makes another important point that meets a parrot-cry raised by Mrs. Besant's defenders:
"No one wishes, as some members have believed, to make of H.P.B. an idol, and to declare her infallible, or to make a dogma of her book, 'The Secret Doctrine.' Such absurdities are born of the controversy, and have never entered, I am sure, certain minds asking for the 'return to Blavatsky.'"
Meeting an important challenge by Mrs. Besant to "choose ye this day whom ye will serve," M. Revel points out that of far greater importance is the elimination of all personality, of a choice of what, where, and how we shall serve. In this he associates himself with the utterance of Mr. B.P. Wadia, who also resigned after entering a dignified protest at the manner in which the T.S. had been swept from its true course.
The whole letter is couched in terms of great restraint, but M. Revel exposes in the most pitiless way the utter spiritual bankruptcy of the T.S. It is a human document worthy of the closest study, and the very dignity with which M. Revel expresses himself will cause his letter to have a heart-searching effect upon all T.S. members who read it.
The Letter Box
The Blavatsky Association
We are in receipt of a letter front the Hon. Mrs. A.J. Davey, the Honorary Secretary of the Blavatsky Association, dealing at length with criticisms which have been directed against that body. Unfortunately space will not permit its insertion in full. Moreover, there has been no criticism of the nature replied to as far as Dawn is concerned. The point chiefly raised is that the exclusiveness shown by the Blavatsky Association in refusing to accept members of the Theosophical Society as members, is in controversion to the principle of Universal Brotherhood, for which Mme. Blavatsky pleaded so eloquently, and for which she died. The reply of the Blavatsky Association is, that if this is so, then the right of any Society or Association to use discrimination in the election of its members also controverts the principle. It is suggested that to admit some and refuse others would be more invidious than rejecting all, yet such a policy would be necessary, because there are some members of the T.S. who might desire to join, and whose presentation of H.P.B.'s teaching is such as to parody the original.
The Association points out that there is no condemnation in their attitude. The T.S. offers an opportunity for the study of Mme. Blavatsky's writings to its members; the Blavatsky Association is another organization offering similar opportunity to those who feel that they are unable to join the T.S. The B.A. is not intended in any way to supplant the T.S. nor to compete with it. With the organization, policy or work of the T.S., the B.A. has no concern, save in the matter of the corruption of the texts of H.P.B.'s writings. No condemnation of the T.S. is expressed or implied; the Association exists to study the teachings of H.P.B., and to live the life which is the most fitting expression of those teachings in the outer world. When this is clearly understood the criticisms that have been directed against the Association die a natural death. As far as Dawn is concerned, and although we recognize that we are automatically excluded from membership therein, we have no hesitation in wishing the Blavatsky Association the greatest possible measure of success, and of offering our heartiest co-operation as far as our several fields of activity will allow. - Eds.
The Ku Klux Klan
Dr. Maurice H. Dukes, of Los Angeles, Calif., writes: -
The Editor, Dawn, Sydney, Australia.
Sir, - Enclosed please find my remittance for subscription renewal to your splendid magazine. There is room for little but praise of it, barring the regret that it is not a monthly of double its present size.
Is it permissible to criticize your American correspondent in the matter of the Ku Klux Klan? His communication is very misleading, especially as it refers to Masonry. Follow a few extracts from opinions on the Klan given by prominent Masons in America:
Arthur D. Prince, Grand Master of Massachusetts, has said: "Without hesitation I declare the Ku Klux Klan an un-Masonic Organization, utterly without Masonic support or sympathy. Its avowed principles violate Masonic law at every point, and it would be impossible for me to conceive of a Mason who could so far forget his Masonic teachings as to affiliate with an organization which advocates taking the law into its own hands, condemning men and women in secret trials, and imposing the punishment of the whip, the tar bucket, or unlawful banishment. . . . '
Dr. F.W. Hamilton, 33o: "The Klan calls itself an 'invisible Empire.' There is no place for an invisible empire in the United States. The Mask is the refuge of the coward. No Scottish Rite Freemason can consistently be a Klansman. No Klansman should pass the ballot in any Scottish Rite body."
Will. F. Weiler, Grand Master of Wisconsin, has said: "The Klan is . . . un-American, un-Masonic in its methods and practice, obnoxious to society, and a menace to the peace and dignity of the State."
Max Meyerhardt, Editor of The Masonic Herald, has written: "The conflict between the Klan and the Masonic instructions can never be reconciled in one human heart. Thus it is that genuine Masons - Masons who are such in their heart, - cannot be Klansmen, and cannot welcome with true brotherly love Klansmen into their lodges."
It is difficult to understand how your correspondent, if he had been a student of Theosophy at all, could advocate the Klan. The Klan is based on race hatred and intolerance; ignores and goes over the laws of the land; enforces its secretly formed judgments in the dead of night, behind masks, and with the aid of the whip and firearms, on occasion; and has been proven in political intrigue to gain control of the government.
Hearst's International Magazine is now running a series of articles exposing the nefarious practices of this unscrupulous organization, their copy containing photographic extracts from letters, telegrams, and records of the Klan and its members.
Being a Mason of the 32o myself, with only abhorrence for the Klan and its methods. I object to the inferences which might be justified by the statements from your correspondent, and would request you kindly to correct the misstatements referred to.
Thanking you in advance and with all good wishes.
The following are extracts from a memo, issued in 1888 by H.P. Blavatsky in connection with her Esoteric School:
This degree is probationary, and its general purpose is to prepare and fit the student for the study of practical Occultism or Raja Yoga. Therefore, in this degree, the student - save in exceptional cases - will not be taught how to produce physical phenomena, nor will any magical powers be allowed to develop in him; nor, if possessing such powers naturally, will he be permitted to exercise them before he has mastered the knowledge of SELF, of the psycho-physiological processes (taking place on the occult plane) in the human body generally, and until he has in abeyance all his lower passions and his PERSONAL SELF.
The real Head of the Esoteric Section is a Master, of whom H.P. Blavatsky is the mouthpiece for this Section. He is one of those Adepts referred to in Theosophical literature, and concerned in the formation of the Theosophical Society. It is through H.P. Blavatsky that each member is brought more closely than hitherto under his influence and care if found worthy of it. No student, however, need inquire which of the Masters it is. For it does not matter in reality; nor is there any necessity for creating one more chance for indiscretion. Suffice it to say that such is the law in the East.
Each person will receive in the way of enlightenment and assistance just as much as he or she deserves, and no more; and it is to be distinctly understood that in this Section and these relations no such thing is known as favor - all depends upon the person's merits - and no member has the power and knowledge to decide what either he or she is entitled to. This must be left to those who know - alone. The apparent favor shown to some, and their consequent apparent advancement, will be due to the work they do, to the best of their power, in the cause of Universal Brotherhood and the elevation of the Race.
Disappointment is sure to come to those who join this Section for the purpose of learning "magic arts" or acquiring "occult training" for themselves, quite regardless for the good of other people less determined. Abnormal, artificially developed powers - except those which crown the efforts of a Black Magician - are only the culmination of, and reward for, labors bestowed unselfishly upon humanity, upon all men, whether good or bad. Forgetfulness of the personal self and sincere altruism are the first and indispensable requisite in the training of those who are to become "White Adepts," either in this or a future incarnation.
Let every member know, however, that the time is limited; the writer of the present is old, her life is well nigh worn out, and she may be summoned "home" any day and almost any hour. And if her place is even filled perchance by another worthier and more learned than herself, still there remain but a few years to the last hour of the term - namely, till December 31st, 1899. Those who will not have profited by the opportunity (given to the world in every last quarter of a century), those who will not have reached a certain point of psychic and spiritual development, or that point from which begins the cycle of Adeptship, by that day - those will advance no further than the knowledge already acquired. No Master of Wisdom from the East will Himself appear, or send anyone to Europe or America after that period, and the sluggards will have to renounce every chance of advancement in their present incarnation - until the year 1975. Such is the law, for we are in Kali Yuga - the Black Age - and the restrictions in this cycle, the first five thousand years of which will expire in 1897, are great and almost insuperable.
Inasmuch as spiritual life comes from within, members must not expect to receive any other communications than those through H.P.B. The additional help, instruction, and enlightenment will come from the inner planes of being, and will, as said, always be given when deserved.
[Note. - Italics are H.P.B.'s.]
Answers to Correspondents
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The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett
From the Mahatmas M. and K.H.
Transcribed, Compiled, and with an Introduction, by A. Trevor Barker, F.T.S., 492 pages
The O.E. Library Critic says:
"This is not a review; it is merely a preliminary notice, and as time permits, more extended reference will be made to this volume, and abundant use of it will be made, not only in attempting to exemplify what Theosophy really is, but also in showing how far the Theosophy of today, the current Neo-Theosophy, has departed from the original teachings of the Masters. Here it may be briefly stated that it is a collection of the letters received by Mr. Sinnett from the Masters K.H. and M., many of which afforded the basic information upon which Esoteric Buddhism was written.
"The entire series of letters received by Mr. Sinnett is here published without abridgement, verbatim et literatim. A few other letters from these Masters to other Theosophists have been added. "Assuming that these documents were actually received by Mr. Sinnett from the sources indicated, that they are all genuine letters written by those whose initials are signed to them, one can have no hesitation whatever in saying that this is the most authoritative work of a theosophical nature ever made accessible to the public. It is simply transcendent in its importance. In saving this we are not even excepting The Secret Doctrine of Madame Blavatsky. We need not consider here under what conditions The Secret Doctrine was composed, edited, published, and the existing guarantees of the Masters as to its substantial accuracy.
"In The Mahatma Letters we have the direct words of the Masters, copied by the Editor from their original letters, without change of any kind whatever. H.P.B. was the chela, but here the gurus speak for themselves. Whether then one approaches the subject of Theosophy in the reverential or the critical attitude, it is to this book above all others that the sincere student must turn. This is the ultimate authority, the ne plus ultra by which the claims of later writers and leaders must be judged. Where there is conflict, and there is conflict in abundance, one must boldly face the alternative of rejecting the later teachings, or of repudiating the Masters themselves. Between these there lies no middle road."
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