MAIN INDEX

 

“FORUM”

ANSWERS

BY

WILLIAM Q. JUDGE

 

scanned and edited from:
Reprinted from

The Theosophical Forum

(1889-1896)

THE THEOSOPHY CO.
Los Angeles
1982

“FORUM” ANSWERS

     The Theosophical Forum, a small, pamphlet-like periodical, was launched in April, 1889, and issued monthly thereafter to the members of the Theosophical Society in America. It presented answers to Theosophical questions, written by various persons. The questions came from the membership. The Forum was sent without charge to branches and members. In June, 1895, Mr. Judge, who as President of the T.S. in A. was responsible for the contents of the Forum, announced a change in policy. A topical arrangement of answers would be provided, covering some major subject, with replies by W.Q.J. and Claude Falls Wright, and others. Mr. Judge also said that there would be a “more definite and rigorous application of theosophical theories to the questions in hand rather than the mechanical and narrow view formerly obtaining.” Finally, he requested that questioners basing their inquiries on their idea of some doctrine include “the citation of author, article, volume, and page.” Only the replies by Mr. Judge (those which can be clearly identified) are included in this book, arranged in the sequence in which they originally appeared in the Forum, from May, 1889, through February, 1896, with a minimum of editing.

What are the 3 books referred to in Forum No. I as dictated or inspired by Higher powers?

     W.Q.J.—These books should be judged upon their intrinsic merits regardless of the authorship or inspiration. As to Light on the Path, the author, Mabel Collins, has just lately asserted in print that she knowingly perpetrated a fraud in saying that any adept inspired that work, and that she alone is the author. For those who know her and the limit of her ability, this assertion will go for nothing, inasmuch as neither by nature nor by study is she capable of writing the book, which contains statements of basic principles in occultism that were wholly unknown to her when she wrote. The too plain inference from the statement that she committed a fraud at the request of a prominent theosophist need not be drawn here. The fact, as I believe it to be, is that a learned Adept inspired and dictated the work from beginning to end, just as Mabel Collins first said, and the sole effect of her present declaration ought to be to wholly disentangle her name and personality from a book which is a gem in itself and can stand by its own strength.


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     If every one starts from and returns into “that” (spirit) what is the object of existence in matter? Is this the only way to fulfill the soul’s desire?

     W.Q.J.—The questioner should enquire a little further as to the meaning of “matter,” for if thereby mere mortal material life is meant, the truth about matter has not been grasped. The worlds of heaven, of the “devas” or “angels,” are worlds of matter, and yet such worlds are sought after by those who ask the question under consideration.

     Furthermore the occultists hold that spirit has not as yet incarnated fully in the existing race, but will do so in future ages; then men can say that they have a spirit. At present the men who are incarnated spirits are Adepts or Mahatmas. Toward the moment of this grand incarnation we are hastening, and the experience now being undergone is to settle the question whether we will become fit for such a tremendous event or whether we will fail. Assuredly all are called to this grand work, but just as certainly some will not be chosen.

     How is the Johnstown disaster to be interpreted from the point of view of Karma?

     W.Q.J.—An imperfect view of Karma is held by many Theosophists. Karma is thought to relate only to human beings, and when it is spoken of as “the law of ethical causation,” application of it is made solely to man. This not only leaves us without any law to account for the numerous operations and effects in the natural world, but raises grave difficulties in the presence of such a calamity as the Johnstown flood.

     Another wrong view frequently taken is the looking upon Karma as punishment only, whereas Karma works alike in reward and punishment. A pleasant life is due to Karma as much as one that is full of woe.

     The word “Karma” means “action,” and, in its larger sense, the action of the great unmanifested, whether that be called God or the Absolute. The moment the unmanifested begins to make itself manifest in creation or evolution, then its action and Karma begin. Hence, every circumstance great or small, every manifestation of life, every created thing and all of the facts and circumstances of man’s life are under the law of Karma.

     The three sorts of Karma are: —

 

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     That which we are experiencing; that which we are making for the next life; and that which we have made, but which is held over unfelt until some other life or lives.

     This division applies throughout nature.

     By what means does Karma have its operation? By means of the apparatus fit to carry it out into view and exhaust it; when this is furnished, the appropriate Karma is felt or seen.

    Having all this in view we see that the Karma of the material world (so called), as it now exists, is its Karma left over from a previous manvantara or period of manifestation, working out in the fit apparatus which we call the world. And it may be that there is some “World-Karma” left over to be felt or seen in the next cycle or manvantara.

     Under these laws it is possible that many individuals may congregate at just such a place as Johnstown, who possess such physical, mental, and psychical apparatus as tends to bring out at some one period many accumulated weights of Karma; and in such a case they will feel the effects as seen in the flood sweeping them away.

     But to say that such a catastrophe is to be called evil Karma in every case cannot be right. Some were killed, and for them we may not say it was not a benefit; others doubtless will suffer through their lives; and still more may be benefited through the circumstances which brought about a complete change in life.

     We must also remember that during any one hour of the day as many as 10,000 people die in various spots of the earth. Hence we have accumulated and felt at any hour the Karma which brings death about for that number of people.

     How can a “Black Magician” be known? How should he be treated,—as a part of the Universal Brotherhood?

     W.Q.J.—This question comes from America. It is premature, and very much in the nature of “crossing a bridge before you reach it.” It also seems to indicate either a loose use of the term “black magician” or a total ignorance of what such a being is, as well as forgetfulness of what has often been stated,—that a black magician is the efflorescence of an age.

     Such a being as this is one who has acquired knowledge of recondite laws of nature such as those known to the White Adepts, and who uses that knowledge for purely selfish purposes. He is


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the triumph of selfishness, not in that degree which we so easily recognize about us every day in the lives of men of strong will used for selfish ends, but in a degree and to an extent that raise the black adept to a pinnacle of knowledge and power far above the pigmies of this century. He can perform marvels, read thoughts, and do all the wonderful feats usually attributed alone to White Magicians.

     How many of such, then, are there to be found now, either among those who study occultism, or in the ranks of the money- loving or fame-pursuing multitude? I have never heard of one. Why, then, need to enquire how one should treat a black magician? If the questioner shall ever be so unfortunate as to meet one of those as yet fabled monsters, he will quite likely have opportunity to reflect that the magician knew more than he did.

     It is wiser to turn aside from the aspect of the matter brought up by the question, to the reflection that we all have within us potential black magicians lying in the lower and stronger part of our nature, and that it is important to see that we shall not furnish the opportunity for that potentiality to manifest itself in future lives through the giving way now to selfishness in any of its forms. The black magician, therefore, we are really concerned with is in our selves. This talk of meeting or dealing with black magicians in the flesh, with powers developed, is purest nonsense.

     But it will probably be said, “If there are White Adepts now working in the world, why are there not black ones as well?” The answer is easy. It is this. Although the full-fledged White and Black Adepts are both the efflorescence of an age, there is a great difference between them. There is as great disparity between them as between day and night, for those who follow the White Law represent spirit, unity, love, while the others represent nothing but self and disruption. Hence, although the Black Magician—in those days when they shall be abroad on the earth—may prolong his life for an enormous period, he is surely silently attacked by nature herself, and at last, when the great day of dissolution, the end of a period of manifestation, arrives, all those black ones left will be swallowed up and annihilated. But at that day all the White Adepts, those called by the Hindus “Jivanmukhta,” although absorbed into Brahma are still in possession of consciousness, and will come out at the new day just as powerful as when the night came on. Hence, as the day of Brahma is divided into the four ages—of which Kali

 

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Yuga is the last, the White Adepts alone are known or in existence in the ages preceding Kali Yuga, and in that age the Karma fitted to bring forth Black Adepts begins to act, and the seeds sown long ago sprout up more and more as the years of Kali Yuga roll on. Now as that dark age has 432,000 years, and only 5,000 of those have passed by, there has not yet been time to evolve the real black magician. But this civilization pre-eminently shows the seeds as sprouting, and nowhere with greater power than in America. Here the national characteristic is individualism, and that existing as a tendency of the nature will differentiate some day into individual ism concentrated into some few men. Imagine this concentration as occurring in a future century when wonderful advances will have been made in knowledge of great forces of nature, and you can easily see without any need of prescience the future of the black magician.

     In 1888 in Lucifer a contributor used “F.T.S.2°” in signing an article. Can we have any information relative to the degrees in the Theosophical Society, if there are any?

     W.Q.J.—The article printed in Lucifer was not a contribution to that journal, but was a reprint of an article published in a Chicago journal, and hence the signature had to be copied. As yet there is no F.T.S. 2° who will thus sign, for the reason that that degree has not been given. The writer of the article referred to was no doubt deluded by one who, knowing that there had always been three lower degrees in the T.S., had pretended he could confer it. These three degrees were spoken of in the early years of the Society, and can be found mentioned in the earlier diplomas as having an existence. The higher degrees are held only by adepts and certain of their disciples. The whole Society in general is in the first (or rather 3rd) or lowest degree, and it was very early found that as yet but few were competent to enter the next higher one, for that must be won and cannot be secured by either boasting, money, or favor. And some of the few who have entered the second are not aware of that fact, since they are made to pass through a time of probation which is long or short according to their own efforts and merits. And the efforts and merits of some years of probation may be reduced to a beginning de novo by a month of folly or of doubt. Were the real leaders of the T.S. in want of mere followers by number instead of quality, They might long ago have taken in hundreds of anxious members. But They


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are not; and They can wait.

     Does the cyclic law bring about its intended result without the conscious intervention of races and individuals? Or is it part of the working of that law that races and individuals shall consciously interfere in behalf of their own progress or retrogression? If either or both, will not things be what they will be and should be in spite of any or all of our efforts?

     W.Q.J.—The cyclic law has no “intended result,” since it is blind force. The cyclic law ruled in the days of the early races just as it now does, and before there were any races at all who could act consciously or unconsciously. The power of choice for the human race as a whole does not come until the turning point in evolution is reached—when four is turned into five—and, of course, until that time comes, “conscious intervention” by a race is impossible.

     Individuals—meaning individual monads—may and do help on the progress of a race or a nation or oppose a contrary effect, but even that is under the cyclic law. In The Occult World by Mr. Sinnett, we have the words of a Master on this point, as follows, speaking of the Adepts:

     “There never was a time within or before the so-called historical period when our predecessors were not moulding events and ‘making history,’ the facts of which were subsequently and in variably distorted by historians to suit contemporary prejudices.

     We never pretended to be able to draw nations in the mass to this or that crisis in spite of the general drift of the world’s cosmic relations. The cycles must run their rounds. . . . The major and minor yugas must be accomplished according to the established order of things. And we, borne along on the mighty tide, can only modify and direct some of its minor currents. .

     “Sometimes it has happened that no human power, not even the fury and force of the loftiest patriotism, has been able to bend an iron destiny aside from its fixed course, and nations have gone out like torches dropped into the water, in the engulfing blackness of ruin.”

     But this does not lead to negation or apathy. “Things will not be what they will be or should be, in spite of our efforts,” but rather—”things will be as they should be, in spite of the apathy of those who see no use in action that is for the good of Humanity.” Those who believe that the final good will in any case be accom-

 

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pushed are those who, sunk in the dark pit of selfish indifference, are forever an obstruction in the road of the aspiring souls who work for man’s welfare.

     In considering the subject we should not lose sight of the fact that other souls are reincarnating every day, bringing back with them the experience and Karma of distant past ages. That must show itself in them as they mature in this life, and they will furnish new impulses, new ideas, new inventions, new pieces of knowledge to the general sum, thus affecting the progress of the races, but all under cyclic law. And if we, by supinely sitting down, do not create for them, as they may have in the other days done for us, the right material, the right vehicle of civilization, the end of the cycle may be reached with their task unfinished—through our fault. The Karma of that will then be ours, and inexorable justice will bring us upon the scene in other cycles which eternally proceed out of the womb of time, to finish with heavy hearts the task we shirked. No theosophist, therefore, should ever begin to think that he need not offer any help because all will come right anyhow.

     In our small way we should imitate the Great Brotherhood in its constant efforts to help Humanity. They know the cycles, and, using that knowledge, can see when the impulse of a new cycle is beginning. Taking advantage of this prescience, new ideas are projected among men and all good reforms are fostered. Why should we, merely because we are ignorant of the cycles, do nothing to help these great benefactors of the races? They offer to all men the truths of the Wisdom-Religion, making no selections but leaving results to the law. Is it for us to assume in our theosophical work that we, poor, weak, ignorant tyros, are able to select from the mass of our fellows the one or the many who may be fit to receive theosophy? Such a position of judge is vain, ridiculous, and untheosophic. Our plain duty is to present the truths of theosophy to all men, leaving it to them to accept or reject.

     Is it possible by a strong desire before sleep to receive from the Higher Self in dream an answer to questions respecting right thought and conduct?

     W.Q.J.—This question is one of deep importance to those who are in earnest. My answer to it would be “yes.” Bulwer Lytton says, in the Strange Story, that man’s first initiation comes in dreams. In The Book of Job it is written (c. iv, 12.13); “Now a

 

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thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof. In thought from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men.” And (c. xxxiii, 14): “For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed.” The state spoken of in Job is the same as that called Sushupti by the Hindus. Man has three principal states or conditions—waking, dreaming, and dreamless or deep slumber. In the last it is held that communion is enjoyed with the Spirit, and that the inner man, returning or changing from that condition, goes into a dream, short or long, from which he changes into the waking state. The influences of Sushupti are highly spiritual. They are common to all men. The greatest villain on the earth, as well as the most virtuous man, goes into Sushupti and receives benefit from it. If it were not so, wickedness would triumph in the earth through the overpowering influence of the body and its constant downward tendency. Now, if this is believed and the reality of the Higher Self admitted, it follows from what is called the mysterious power of meditation that a sincerely devoted man who earnestly calls upon the Higher Self for aid in right conduct will receive in the dream state that succeeds the condition of Sushupti the aid asked for, in other words, one can make the dream impressions received out of the highest—or Sushupti—state more clear and valuable than is usual with those who think nothing about it. But the questions asked and impressions desired must be high and altruistic, because the Higher Self has no concern with material things nor with any temporal affairs. This power will of course vary with each man according to his nature and the various combinations between his physical, astral, and psychical planes.

     Do the Masters know one’s earnest desires and thoughts? I desire to become a chela in my next incarnation. What effect will it have upon my condition and environment in that life? is my desire forgotten or lost, or is there record made of it?

     W.Q.J.—The effect of a desire to become a chela in the next incarnation will be to place one where the desire may be probably realized. Its effect on the next condition and environment depends on so many things that no definite reply could be given. If the desire be held determinedly and unceasingly, the goal is brought nearer, but that also brings up all the karma of the past, thus precipitating an immense conflict on the individual: a conflict

 

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which when once begun has only two ways of ending, one, total defeat, the other, success; there is no half-way. As Dante wrote, “Who enters here leaves hope behind.” Therefore, in general, the next life, or rather the life of a chela, while full of noble possibilities, is a constant battle from beginning to end. As to times and periods, it is said in the East that when the probationary chela steps on the path he will reach a goal in seven births thereafter.

      In the Path it is stated that “a dream is the going out of a part of our principles into the Astral Light.” This raises a desire for information relative to the inspiration—so called—of poets, artists, inventors, and others.

     W.Q.J.—The definition of a dream referred to is not to my mind adequate, for there are many sorts of dreams all due to different causes. Believing, as I do, that in the Astral Light are the pictures of all that man has ever done or made, and that at this stage of evolution it is not possible to bring forth anything really new, the so-called inspirations may often be due to the fact that the organism of those “inspired” more easily permits the influx of the pictures in the Astral Light, and then their production in verse, paintings, inventions, or what not. In an article entitled “Genius” by H. P. Blavatsky in Lucifer for November, 1889, the idea is advanced that the great geniuses, of whatever kind, are examples of the Ego, which is all-knowing, shining through and informing the physical body inhabited. It is not necessary to dream in order to be inspired, for the sudden inrush of poetical ideas and of new inventions may be due wholly to the previous state of the organism, while we often hear of such ideas arising in dream, yet from what is known of the poets, painters, and others, we are forced to the conclusion that the greater number of inspirations are during the waking state, and this supports the view put forward by H. P. Blavatsky in the article upon “Genius.”

     In what manner does entrance on the path of occultism cause the special evil latent in the individual to express itself in his life and acts? Is it because early steps in occult knowledge destroy the force of the conventional ideas of morality and abrogate the laws which society and formal religion have adopted for their security; and that, therefore, for a time, until the principles of ALTRUISM assume definite sway over his mind and motives, the individual is without practical and efficient restraints upon his LOWER SELF?


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     Or is it, on the other hand, the operation of a
KARMIC LAW upon the character of the individual, making use of his PERSONAL VANITY as a fulcrum for forcing the special weakness of his LOWER SELF into a reckless expression of itself?

     W.Q.J.—While the questioner answers his question himself, it only gives half of the subject. The real study—on the path—of occultism not only brings out latent evil but also latent good. The right way to express it is, “the study of true occultism, or the walking on its path, brings up the entire latent character of the person.” Hence while some in this case suddenly seem to grow worse and worse, others suddenly grow better, deeper, broader, and finer. It is customary to look at the shadow in these matters. While it is true that the majority of men are inherently bad, there are examples of the opposite. The study of occultism does not destroy rules of right and wrong, but the student, having opened up the fires below the surface, may be easily carried away in the sudden heat engendered. The dweller of the threshold in Zanoni is no fiction. It is ever with each student, for it is the baser part of humanity that he begins in real earnest as never before to fight. At the same time, the brightly shining Adonai is also there to help and save if we will let that be done. Karma that might not operate except after years or lives is called upon and falls, as H.P.B. has so clearly stated, in one mass upon the head of him who has called upon immutable law. “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread,” and, rushing in before they have the slightest idea of their own character, even on its surface, they are often destroyed. But the practice of altruism is not by itself occultism, and it saves from danger and prepares one for another incarnation in some body and age when everything will favor us. We have yet left some few hundred thousand of mortal years, and ought not to be too precipitous.

     Does the termination of the 19th century of the Christian era coincide with any of the great cycles referred to in The Secret Doctrine? And if so, does not that fact strongly corroborate the actual existence and the divine mission of the man Christ Jesus?

     W.Q.J.—The first part of this question could not be answered to the satisfaction of the questioner, for the reason that the true cycles, their commencement and termination, are not given out by the Adepts, as that is a sacred matter pertaining to high initiations. But I should like to ask the questioner how he can, by any fair

 

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logic or argument, take the views of the writer of The Secret Doctrine in regard to the subject of cycles—about which she is fully informed and he knows nothing—and then base upon them an argument for the “actual existence and divine mission of the man Christ Jesus.” And, as she says that there was no Christ Jesus as a man with a divine mission, no such conclusion as is drawn by the questioner could result from an affirmative answer to the first question.

     But suppose we admit that the termination of the 19th century A.D. coincides with some of the great cycles referred to in The Secret Doctrine, nothing would be proved respecting the “actual existence and divine mission of the man Christ Jesus,” for the reason that there are many other eras, in other nations and religions, running at the present time, and doubtless it would be found that the termination of the century of some of them would more nearly coincide with some of the great eras than the Christian 19th century. In such a case, the founders of those religions or eras would have proof in the coincidence of the cycles—in case that constitutes any proof at all. There are the Christian era, the Mohammedan era, the Hindu era, the Buddhist era, the Jain era, the Persian era, the Chinese era, and others. Now as some of the centuries in these various eras must coincide with some of the great cycles, it should follow from the questioner’s position that there is corroboration for the “actual existence and divine mission” of the various great personages alleged by the various peoples and followers of the several faiths to be appearances of God upon earth, and the ones from whose births their respective eras may be reckoned. However, in my opinion, all these coincidences prove nothing for any great religion, or any Saviour, in any time or nation.

     A teacher of Theosophy says that not more than one in ten thousand is immortal. Is the statement correct? if so, what is the use of reincarnation, and for what are Theosophists working?

     W.Q.J.—The second of the questions would not have been asked if more attention had been paid to the acquirement of an accurate understanding of the Theosophical philosophy. It has never been a secret doctrine that “but few among mortals strive for perfection and out of those only one in ten thousand reaches the end desired.” These words are to be found in the Bhagavad-Gita, which was


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printed first in English 100 years ago. But even if we did not have the direct statement in the Bhagavad-Gita, the fundamental Theosophical doctrines compel us to the conclusion that many will fail to reach immortality. Since, however, the same doctrines teach us to analyze and determine as to what “many” or “us” means, we find that the theory under discussion applies solely to the lower or strictly human ego and not to Spirit. The object, therefore, of reincarnation is that all the possible egos may have the chance to become immortal by uniting themselves with Spirit. If they do not, they lose. But further yet, it is laid down that the periods of evolution succeed each other in endless succession, and all who are “left over” unsaved at the end of any one of such periods are taken up again, in the succeeding evolution, for the purpose of working up to perfection. Thus in every Manvantara numbers of egos reach perfection, for that period is very long as mortals count years. I say “numbers” because in fact the number is very large, although, if compared to the entire whole, they may not seem to be many. This is what Theosophists are working for— not only to reach perfection themselves but to help all other men to do so likewise. And they should remember that whether they like it or not, the laws of life will bring them upon earth again and again until they believe in the doctrine, and acquire aspiration, and turn both into action.

     But who is the “teacher of Theosophy” spoken of by the questioner?

     The “Guardians of the Gods” opposite to the entrances to the temples in India are represented as having one foot on the head of a cobra; is this typical of the triumph of the Hindu religion over the worship of the serpent—or not?

     W.Q.J.—I should say it is not. The serpent has many meanings, and to stand with the foot on its head might mean that you have obtained complete mastery over the lower nature, for the snake then stands for nature and its powers. And as the Hindu religion has a good deal in it about the serpent, the figures spoken of can not mean the triumph of that religion over serpent worship.

     Was the “fall into generation” on the physical plane a normal feature of human evolution, as stated in some Theosophical books; or was it abnormal and not intended by nature, as said in other Theosophical books?

 

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     W.Q.J
.—It would be well if every one were to quote when they say, “as said in some Theosophical books,” giving names of writer and of book, for it is very unfair to the FORUM and any writer in it to be compelled to answer to the purport merely of a statement in some volume. The context of such statement might put the whole matter in a different light, or we might find that there was a misquotation.

     It cannot be said by a well informed Theosophist that nature has any “intentions,” nor should any man have the temerity to claim an acquaintance with those if they existed. If in the writings of some Theosophist a reference can be found to “nature’s intentions,” the context will certainly show that the words were used figuratively in describing apparently settled natural laws.

     It seems to me that the “fall into generation,” when explained Theosophically, is not abnormal. Since things are as they are under Karmic Law, according to law and not by chance, there can be no step in it that is abnormal. Besides this, the word “abnormal” is one that is used by us to designate that which appears to be out of the usual course solely because we do not know all the facts and factors. As in the case of the eccentric movements of certain planets, which led to the discovery of another one which had caused the eccentricity. Before the last one was found the movements of the others were certainly abnormal, but ceased to be so considered when the discovery was made. Hence “abnormal” is a word that describes a thing only relatively and not absolutely.

     But H. P. Blavatsky, who is, we suppose, a good Theosophical authority, speaks clearly enough upon our question. In Vol. 2, The Secret Doctrine, p. 62, she says: “Moreover, there are two ‘Falls’ in Theology: the rebellion of the Archangels and their ‘Fall,’ and the ‘Fall’ of Adam and Eve. Thus the lower as well as the higher Hierarchies are charged with a supposed crime. The word ‘sup posed’ is the true and correct term, for in both cases it is founded on misconception. Both are considered in Occultism as Karmic effects, and both belong to the law of Evolution: intellectual and spiritual on the one hand, physical and psychical on the other. The ‘Fall’ is a universal allegory.” And on p. 228 of the same book she gives a more detailed view of the fall of certain of the Dhyanis “whose turn it was to incarnate as the Egos of the immortal, but on this plane senseless, monads,” stating in the second paragraph on the same page: “the ‘fall of man’ was no fall, for he was irresponsible.”


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     Then, as if to furnish forth the answer for the question as to the “intentions” of nature, the same author heads her explanation of Stanza II (in the 2d Vol., p. 52) “Nature unaided fails,” and on p. 56, second paragraph, she says: “Thus physical nature, when left to herself in the creation of animal and man, is shown to have failed.” If the second volume of The Secret Doctrine proves any thing about “intentions” in the matter of evolution, it is that nature had none whatever, and, if she had, failure would follow attempt at realization. This subject is interesting and, studied with the help of Madame Blavatsky’s book, will be of benefit to the student.

     In an answer to a question in the FORUM in regard to “Meditation,” the writer several times refers to the control of the “vital electric currents or agents of unconscious mind.”

     By the latter term, I understand, is implied the inner consciousness or the Will force distinguished from mental effort, and also that the writer is able not only to recognize the physical expression of this force but also to control it.

     We are conscious of mental effort, but usually the impulse of the Will produces no physical sensation of itself.

     Many of us now groping in a boundless void could at least feel our way in the darkness, could we thus ascertain that our inner consciousness was indeed impressed and working in the direction of our convictions.

     Let us have some elementary elucidation on this subject.

     Can such consciousness be cultivated, and, if so, what are the initial steps?

     W.Q.J.—The answer referred to was made by a student who had discovered that, as far as he was concerned, the vital currents could be centered upon desired parts of the body, and that in his case, if they were centered in the head, he would be engaged more in mental works than bodily, and vice versa. Proceeding with this, he found that some ailments could be thus driven away by centering his vital force upon the place where they existed. It is a form of will power, which to be used requires a well cultivated and balanced imagination. Much abused word as “imagination” is, it is the only one that will express the necessities of the case. If your imagination cannot make a picture of the spot and of the force, you can never—except by accident—cause the forces to flow

 

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there. Hence the initial step is to cultivate the interior image-making power. Unless this is done, the will in these planes can hardly be directed to its end, for with no image the forces have no place to focus upon; and it is a huge error to suppose that scientists are right in saying that imagination is a useless, although perhaps pleasant, power. As each human being is sui generis, has his own methods interiorly, peculiar to him and to no other, one should not look for hard and fast rules for all, but go to work upon himself, find himself out, of whom he is most ignorant, and proceed upon the lines thereby indicated. All methods should be tried, and one’s own processes of thought and feeling carefully observed. Without such inspection, rules and discussions are use less; by it—if truly pursued—anything can be discovered.

     Five Years of Theosophy states there are 36 Tatwams. As Shiva Sanhita says, “From ether came air; from ether and air, fire; from ether, air, and fire, water; and from ether, air, fire, and water was produced the earth, all of them forming the Universe.” Now, I cannot arrange the combination of these 5 Tatwams so as to make 36. I make 5 primal Tatwams 10 double, 10 triple, 4 quadruple, I quintuple, or 30 in all. Can you supply the deficiency?

     W.Q.J.—It has been generally understood that the study of the Tatwams by beginners, including all men of every sort who are still in the world, is discouraged by the Masters of Occultism, since it may lead to abuses. Furthermore, the subject is so mixed up as far as any treatises on it are concerned, that it is well protected from enquiring minds. And as several Hindu writers will differ as to the number of tatwams, none of the writers at the same time being able to use any of them, or tell how to do so, one may be justified in leaving the matter untouched for the present. For my part I am willing to confess ignorance of any more than 4 of these forces, to wit, those of fire, air, earth, and water, and to assume but slight knowledge of those. Just here it is well to read on page 290 of The Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, “So there are seven forces in Man and in all Nature.”

     Is it right or safe for one who has discovered a lead to a mine by one of his psychic senses to search for the mine, even if for a noble purpose? If he does find it, is he not liable to come to grief?

     W.Q.J.—It is not the province of Theosophy to furnish pointers regarding mines or stocks, but since the question has arisen it does not seem wrong for one to find a mine by means of psychic


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sense. The number of successes in that line are very, very few, as psychics generally grossly overestimate the discovery, and often suppose there is a deposit worth going after, when in fact there is only a mere speck of metal. Nor have I ever heard that trouble is likely to result to one who finds a mine or anything else in that way. But at the same time, the search for treasure by using the psychic senses is an ignoble pursuit. Yet, if accidentally, any sense of that sort revealed to me a mine and I felt sure of it, I might seek it. Disappointment, however, generally is the consequence.

     Is there a wide difference between Karma and destiny?

     W.Q.J.—Destiny is the English word applied to a Karma so strong and overpowering that its action cannot be counteracted by other Karma; but in the sense that all happenings are under Karma, then all things are destined as they occur. Men have always found that some events were so inevitable that, for want of knowledge of the law of Karma, they have said, “These things were destined.” But when we grasp the meaning of Karma, we see that destiny is only the working out in action of causes so powerful that no act of ours and no other sort of Karma could by any possibility either avert or modify the result. This view does not conflict with what some call the “immutable decrees of Karma,” because those decrees are the resultant of numerous Karmic factors, the absence, nullification, or postponement of any one of which would change the supposable result. If, however, we imagine that our life today is only that due to past Karma from a previous incarnation, we make the error leading to a belief in destiny or fate. But as we are experiencing the effects of Karma from this life as well as from many previous ones, it follows that the events in a man’s life are due to the balancing of Karmic causes.

     If while in the present incarnation we are able to arrive at the “free” spiritual condition, the great reality, as designated in the tract “Spirituality,” when during the long interval between reincarnations, while the spirit is not chained to the body, but experiences that unreal state—”sleep, a sleep of dreams”—as stated in Lucifer, what progress is made?

     W.Q.J.—There is much confusion in this question, and hence I infer a similar state in the mind of the questioner as to the matter propounded. Two states or kinds of development are mixed together, one the free or liberated state of a Jivanmukta, and the

 

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other that of a being who is obliged to reincarnate. Only those are free who are Jivanmuktas; having reached that state they are no more confined to mortal birth, but may take up a body or not as they see fit. A Jivanmukta participates in the souls of all creatures and works for the good of the human family. To take a known case, it should be remembered that the Adept who is helping the T.S. is a Jivanmukta, but is all the time engaged in the great work of assisting the great orphan Humanity. And it is thought by some that he is waiting for the time to come when the races have reached a higher state of development, and he can reincarnate as some great personage to carry on the work now begun.

     It could not therefore be possible that, having reached the liberated or free state referred to, there should be any “long interval between reincarnations,” or any interval at all; and thus the question, “What progress is made?” is a non sequitur which needs no other specific reply.

     If by “that unreal state, ‘sleep, a sleep of dreams,’ “ is meant the state of devachan, the answer is that he who is liberated does not experience devachan, since that is a state possible only while one is still subject to delusion.

     But on examining the tract on Spirituality, I do not find the statement made which the questioner quotes. I must infer, then, that some lesser, lower view of “free” and “spiritual” states was in the mind of the person, some idea that one might in this present incarnation reach to the state of Jivanmukta, and that one who is free could still be obliged to reincarnate. From having referred to an intermediate state of sleep and dream, such might be inferred to be the case. But a study of the philosophical basis of all these Theosophical ideas would prevent such confusion as I have attempted to point out and to cure. Indeed, on the third page of the very tract spoken of, on line 19 et seq. I find a direct claim that we are really only aspiring to the state referred to, and that we can begin now that training which shall lead us up to the heights on which the liberated stand. No reference at all is made to “long intermediate periods of reincarnation.”

     If all our sufferings in this life are caused by the misdeeds of a former life, how can any combination of sidereal influences at birth effect our fate?

     W.Q.J.—A thorough acquaintance with the doctrine of Karma and with what is actually claimed for Astrology by those qualified


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to speak, would result in an answer to this question. Astrology is not soothsaying nor card-reading; reading omens is soothsaying; reading cards is a form of divination: Astrology is neither of these. All that is claimed for it is that the whole assemblage of stars indicate, as being a vast machine or clockwork, just exactly what is the state or condition of any one spot in the whole mass. Is this any more absurd than to say that a watchmaker can tell from the movements of a watch just where the hands will be at any particular moment, and likewise from the hands alone where the different cogs and other parts are within? If common minds, and ignorant as well as venal practitioners of Astrology, make a stock of their imitations, wrong conceptions, and base uses of it, that is no reason why the FORUM should sweepingly denounce Astrology. As well denounce real Christianity because of the base coinage labelled with its name. Taking now the oft-made assertion that “Karma governs all worlds up to that of Brahma,” we reply to the question that our Karma and the stars are inextricably linked together, for if we had no Karma there would for us be no stars. It is just because the Karma of any being at birth is fixed from his prior one that the great clockwork of the skies shows unerringly to the sage—but not to the dabbler nor to the modern abusers of Astrology—the Karma or present fate of the being. But if, as so often done by even the best of Theosophists, we separate any part of our universe from any other portion, putting one under the influence of Karma and another not, then of course such questions as this one cannot be answered. The doctrines of the Wisdom-Religion are nought if not all-embracing, are useless and misleading if not applicable to the greatest as well as the very least of circumstances or worlds; and so we answer that not only do sidereal positions indicate our Karma, but even the very clouds, the wind, and the hour of the day or night in which we may be born, do the same.

     Is the seventh principle, the Atma, ever incarnated, or are our bodies simply projections of that principle and formed by it, as was the statue Galatæa by Pygmalion? From some Theosophical books I gather that the seven principles are all incarnated from the beginning, and that each principle is evolved in turn. From others it would seem that the higher principles are never incarnated.

     W.Q.J.—The fiction of the formation of Galatæa by Pygmalion is such a faint and inadequate symbol or illustration that there is

 

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nothing to be gained by its use, as it will surely mislead. The evolution of the bodily form came about in the same way as that of all other forms; as said in the Bhagavad-Gita, “All is due to the mystic power of self-ideation, the eternal thought in the eternal mind,” and only in the sense that all forms are projections from the eternal can we say that “our bodies are projections of that principle” (Atma). The second sentence of the question shows that here is another case in which the very materialistic view of the sevenfold constitution of man given in Esoteric Buddhism and used by so many thereafter has resulted in inducing the notion that there is a separation between the so-called “principles.” This idea of seven distinct things, entities, or principles in man ought to be abandoned, and is due almost wholly to erroneous nomenclature, as was strongly urged in several papers published in the Path. There can only be one principle, and all the rest are but aspects of it, or vehicles for it to work and manifest through. Therefore but the one principle is involved in generation, when it takes to itself six sheaths or vehicles, or shows itself under six aspects. But as it is Theosophic doctrine that this one principle— call it Atma—is in essence the Supreme, then its involution in matter is but partial. In order to understand nature and to reach self-consciousness, it is necessary that the six vehicles be found to work through, and what is meant in some Theosophical books by the statement that each “principle evolves in turn” is that from the beginning of a Manvantara the six material vehicles have to be evolved one after the other in due order and in correspondence with the rest of nature, none lagging behind and none ahead. For instance, at that period in evolution when we might assume that but one vehicle had been fully evolved, then man (so-called) would not be man as we know him. So we. see in the Secret Doctrine that man, strictly as such, is not spoken of until several races or vehicles had been first fully evolved in due order and proportion.

     From these considerations the old Hindu idea that what we see of man is but the inner (or outer) hard core—the material body—and that he, in fact, in his whole nature reaches even to the moon, would seem to gain some support. And I should incline to the opinion that Atma is never incarnated, but overshadows and shines into the being called man whom it has chosen to connect itself with.


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     Would true Occultists and sincere Theosophists countenance or practice any lawful arts of White Magic for pay?

     W.Q.J.—My reply to this would be that the taking of pay for any act of “White Magic” is untheosophical and injurious to the taker. The example of all great men known to history or Scripture is against the taking of pay in such cases. Jesus would not take it, nor Apollonius, nor Buddha, although, if persons insisted, they were allowed to donate food or for food. Buddha depended upon voluntary contributions of food, and accepted the gift of a garden or park from a rich man for the use of the disciples, but not for himself. A “right means of livelihood” does not permit the practice of powers belonging to another plane than this for pay. If we have to starve unless we take pay for what the querist calls “arts of White Magic,” then, I say, starve, and you will be the better off.

     The accepting of pay at once takes away the character of White Magic from the act and makes it Black, for there is a selfish purpose in receiving the pay which no amount of argument or self-cheating can remove. There are many degrees of “Black Magic,” running all the way from effort to get money for food up to deliberate, conscious work for self alone. If one has the natural gift of healing and then takes pay for its use, he is cheating. This is wide apart from the practise of medicine, which you have to give effort, time, and money to acquire.

     But if a natural healer or a “spiritual healer”—to use a most absurd term now in vogue in America—practises healing, and takes of alms only enough for sustenance, there is no Black Magic. But all such healers can ask themselves if they have made money, saved money, bought property, lived in luxury on the proceeds of their art or practice—or whatever they call it—and, if they have, then certainly they have “robbed the gods,” who gave freely a power and compelled no pay. The “gods” see these things, and have a time and place when and where the stolen property has to be accounted for.

      In what sense is the word “correspond” used in Theosophical writings and the works of Swedenborg? In the sense of “cause and effect,” and that things never “correspond” unless this relation exists between them?

     W.Q.J.—I presume the questioner refers to the use of the words “it corresponds,” “there is a correspondence.” This does not refer

 

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to cause and effect, but rather to similarity or likeness, as: “Good corresponds to light, and evil to darkness”; “Selfishness corresponds to frigidity and iciness, and generosity to heat.” There is no relation of cause and effect between these, for generosity is not the effect of heat nor its cause, nor is the light the effect or cause of goodness. You are therefore essentially wrong in supposing the word “correspondence” is used to express cause and effect. An examination of a good dictionary discloses the meaning to be “fitness, agreement, proportion,” hence “similarity.” The questioner should study this word and obtain a clear understanding of its meaning and use, for if the conception of it remains so confused as the question indicates, many other errors will result. A more or less complete knowledge of correspondences gives the power to gain knowledge gradually from one plane to another.

     What was the effect of our civil war on the astral plane, and reflexively on ourselves?

     W.Q.J.—-To answer this Question aright would require the powers of an Adept who could see into the astral light and measure the exact results. But sudden deaths in war are not the same in effect as the killing of a murderer or a wicked man who has violated the law. The men destroyed in battle are engaged in the moving of troops, the arrangement of batteries, firing of volleys, and using the sword. Their attention is almost wholly thus occupied, and when they are suddenly killed it is with this idea of present attack and defence fixed in their nature. If we suppose them as lingering in the astral plane, then they will there continue the same actions which occupied them at the time of death. But the criminal, who has led a criminal life, who is full of evil passions, and who steps off into the other world with a heart full of passion and revenge, will linger on the other plane full of those unsatisfied desires, and not overmastered, as is the warrior, by a single strong idea.

     The astral warrior confines himself to the repetition of attack and defence, while the criminal seeks to satisfy his revenge and bad instincts in general. These considerations seem to me to point out a difference. I do not pretend to answer the whole question, however, as to the effect of war acting from other planes.

     To be a good Theosophist, is it necessary to believe actively in Occultism? I mean: If a man feels the ennobling influence of the philosophy of Theosophy and endeavors to live by it, is it abso-


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lutely necessary for his profit and development to do more than believe that certain occult facts are facts, while he personally dislikes Occultism and avoids it in any form, finding Theosophic teachings sufficient to him without it?

     W.Q.J.—The questioner has either heard from others or read that a good Theosophist must believe that Occultism is our highest goal as members of the T.S. Such is not the truth. At present “the T.S. is not,” as an Adept once wrote to Mr. Sinnett, “a hail for teaching Occultism,” although that is pursued by some. It is a Society meant for the giving of true views of life and of Nature to a suffering race which otherwise would sink into a spiritual death brought on by the joint efforts of materialists and theologians. Hence, at present, the true Theosophist is the true Altruist who sinks his personal desires for progress in a secret and fascinating art, so that he may give this true view of life, of death, and of immortality to as many of his fellow-men as he can reach. Many members of our Society, dazzled by the wonders of Occultism, have hastily taken up its study without realizing that it is something that demands not only will but wide intellect and unflinching memory; and many have failed as many others will.

     Fellows of the T.S. using tobacco defend the habit as having certain qualities very protective in studying Occultism. Is this true; and if so, why is it incompatible with one of the five precepts taught by the Lord Buddha, viz: “Shun drugs and drinks that work the wit abuse; Clear minds, clean bodies need no soma juice”? And is it not possible to educate the will, the spiritual will, to resist effectually everything which this deleterious weed tends to annul, if it does annul?

     W.Q.J.—I should like very much to know who is that F.T.S. who “defends the use of tobacco as a protective in studying Occultism,” for he or she cannot know what protection means or Occultism either. There are hundreds of Hindu occultists who never have indulged in tobacco; but they have not interdicted it to others. They protect themselves by means that can only be used in the plane where such protection is needful, and that is the plane where neither tobacco nor sentiment on that or any other subject has place. Tobacco may protect the carcass from germs of disease, but that security to safety is needed by all men, whether they are studying Occultism or not. The whole question of tobacco or

 

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no tobacco is purely material. It has been discovered that it does not degrade except by abuse, but at the same time it was found and declared that other narcotics and stimulants, such as hemp, opium, and spirits, do dynamically obstruct and spiritually degrade. Hence these tears—and tobacco.

     Mr. Sinnett says: “It is not the goody-good or devoutly aspiring man that attains to the highest development.” What is the highest development, and how best attained?

     W.Q.J.—I should like to add that Mr. Sinnett had in view the doctrine found in many books old and new that wisdom as well as virtue is needed in him who aspires to the “highest development.” Virtue leads only to heaven, wisdom leads to union with the whole But wisdom must at last have virtue as companion. Virtue pursued and practiced through many lives will lead at last to wisdom, yet wisdom first attained makes the cultivation of virtue easier. The highest development cannot be attained in any single incarnation. The teachers say that we must seek the company of those who are pure and wise, who lead holy lives, and that we must look for knowledge with persistency, humbleness, and faith, and that thus setting our feet upon the path the goal will loom in sight after many weary struggles.

      Has any Theosophical theory been advanced in regard to the atmospheric and electrical disturbances so prevalent in this country during the last few years?

      W.Q.J.—Some theories have been advanced by theosophists respecting the great atmospheric and electrical disturbances, but they are not specially confined to that; they include other great changes, and reach over into the realm of thought and the minor changes in the race. Atmospheric and electrical changes occur at all times, and are intensified at certain periods. The changes of the great cycles—from one to another—make all sorts of upheavals possible. The sun moving slowly in his great orbit carries the small earth’s path out into new fields of space where entirely new cosmic conditions are met with, and the sun also goes through alterations of place and state. These latter must affect our atmosphere and electrical condition, for it is held by some theosophists that the sun is our great source of electricity. Science has lately admitted the possibility of there being an actual connection between spots on the sun and our great electric storms; the old


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Hindu astrologers always asserted this, for they claimed that, as the sun altered, so did the condition of the earth. But it would be premature to definitely state either that the sun causes the changes alone, or that they are due to a different situation of the earth in her great path through space.

     In the Path for Aug. 1889, under the heading [ Worship of the Dead,” Extracts from a Private Letter] “Some of the Evil Consequences of Mediumship,” we are told that the calling back of suicides and those who have met with accidental deaths is “productive of untold evils for the Ego that will be reborn under its nefarious shadow,” and, further on, that “it is now cursing many men who find themselves forever in a mental hell, at war with themselves and with their best thoughts, they know not why.” Are we to understand from the first quotation that some of us are born with this vampire fastened upon us? if so, then in the interest of those of us who seem to be in the condition described in the last quotation, how can we rid ourselves of this old man of the sea?

     W.Q.J.—The septenary scheme of man’s constitution and the conclusions as to how the separation of the so-called principles takes place, as well as their “fate” after death of the body, seem to be against the assumption that it is superstition to suppose that evil results from suicides and those dead by accident being drawn to séance rooms. It is well known that after violent death of the body the principles above the material do not separate as in other cases, do not go to Devachan, do not dissipate. In a case of natural ordinary demise the astral body dissipates, so does Kama-rupa; with the other cases it is not so. The man who kills himself is not really dead. Only his body is dead; he remains a living man in the astral spheres close to us, minus a body. If left alone he comes to his end in due course, but a long way off, generally measured by the length of years he would have lived if he had not raised hand against himself. But if he is drawn into a medium, he is given a new attraction which ties him to earth and makes him drunk, as it were, with the fumes of life. This retards him and causes him to live long, long years in Kama Loka, and curses, too, the one who draws him thus further down. How does “the orderly working of Karma” go against this? It is his Karma that made him a suicide, that put it in the power of mediums to disturb him. It is exactly the case of a man who drinks to excess, and who thus puts himself where he may be harmed by other evil influences. Also in the

 

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case of accidental death. Karma made by the same person decrees that he shall so punish himself and so lay himself open to all the consequences that may follow. That is no reason why we should ignore the law and pay a dollar to gratify our whims and at the same time hurt a fellow-being. Hypnotism is an admitted fact. We know that people may be hypnotised and against their will made to make fools of themselves by ridiculous gestures and antics. Some people pay to see it done. In that case we may see the harm with our eyes. It is all improper. But is it therefore superstition to believe it and to declare what are its evils? I hardly think so. I may add that the “private letter” was by a high chela, and was endorsed by several high occultists as true.

     Is the use of hypnotism for intended good, as in the case of surgical operations, looked upon with disfavor by Theosophists? What relation have the investigation and practice of hypnotism, when only good is intended, to the 3rd. object of the Theosophical Society?

     W.Q.J.—-Replying in part to this question, one can only give a personal opinion, and mine is that hypnotism should be prohibited by law. No one but some very few high-minded and learned physicians should be allowed to practice it. I would as quickly prohibit the general mass of physicians from using it as the general mass of the public, for I regard it as a dangerous and injurious power. The great Charcot who has popularized it says he would have only competent physicians use it. In the present age of black selfishness I would vote for its total seclusion from use for the present.

     Is Kama Loka definitively stated to be a state of suffering merely (therein somewhat analogous to the Roman Catholic Purgatory), characterized solely by dissolution, or a violent wrenching apart of the four higher elements? If this be so, how comes it that after the separation of Kama Rupa and lower Manas from Manas proper the surviving entity carries with it to Devachan the recollections of the earthly personality?

     W.Q.J.— I am unable to decide whether T.E.K. [ questioner] infers that suffering in Kama Loka destroys memory, or that the separation of the “principles” takes it away. But if the question turns on “suffering,” then I should say that that does not deprive of memory. This leaves for discussion the other query: How does the surviving entity carry with it into Devachan the recollections

 

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of the earthly personality? The Key to Theosophy in Chap. IX describes the process in general to which the question refers. There it appears that at death the body, life-force, and astral body are lost, and the middle principle (Kama-rupa), together with Manas, Buddhi, and Atma, is in Kama-Loka, which is a state or condition and not a place. Then the separation between Kama-rupa and the higher triad begins, after the completion of which Manas-Buddhi Atma fall into the Devachanic state. Turning to page 92 of the same book, we find in the column “explanatory” that if the Manas naturally gravitates to Buddhi and away from Kama-rupa, the “Ego goes into Devachanic bliss.” This gives the process. It can not be said to be suffering or painful. The only point left, then, is as to memory. T.E.K. rightly says “recollections.” Chapter VIII of The Key makes this clear. “Memory” is the physical brain- memory; reminiscence is the “memory of the soul.” Each new brain makes a new physical memory used by Manas in each life, but Manas itself is the seat of memory proper, called by H. P. Blavatsky “reminiscence.” It is not meant that Manas takes into Devachan the remembrance of every circumstance in life, but only the efflorescence of its life, the reminiscence of its best hours, leaving the painful and evil portions to the dying brain and to Kama-rupa. If the questioner desires, as a help, an objective illustration of what happens to Manas through the separation from Kama-rupa, this may do: Imagine Manas as attached on its lower side to Kama-rupa just as a photograph may be attached to a glass plate. When dry, the paper can be taken from the plate, leaving on it the film of the picture. Thus when Manas is separated, its lower film may be left attached to Kama-rupa, its higher portion going into Devachan. And it is in Higher Manas that real memory is.

     Is it a fact that we have no right to condemn men, and should only condemn their conduct?

     W.Q.J.—I fail to see that in order to train the moral sense one has to practice condemnation of others. The necessity for condemnation will never pass away if we occupy ourselves in such practice while waiting for the world to grow so good that there will be no one to condemn. It appears to me to be an untheosophical doctrine that our moral sense is to be or can be properly cultivated by engaging in condemnation of others.

     The maxim cited in the Question was never intended by the

 

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writer or writers as one for application in the State, but solely for earnest disciples who endeavor to follow the very highest rules of conduct. We are so prone to condemn others and let our own faults go by that sincere disciples are taught, as a discipline, to cultivate their moral sense by inspecting their own faults, and let others do the same for themselves, but when the occasion demands condemnation, that it shall be of the wrong act. This cannot apply to a judge, or any other proper inquisitor, teacher, or guide. It is meant solely for those who, believing that our span of life is so short that there will be no time left if we busy ourselves with faults of others, prefer to improve their opportunity by purging them selves, by cleaning their own doorway, by taking the beam out of their own eye. For all sages and occult practitioners declare that among the necessary facts to be known is the fact that each time a man indulges in condemnation of another he is himself prevented by his own act from seeing his own faults, and that sooner or later his faults increase. If a sincere student thinks this be true he will hesitate about others and occupy himself with self-examination and self-conquest. This will take all of his time. We are not born as universal reformers of all people’s faults and abuses, and theosophists can not waste their energies in criticizing others. Furthermore I strongly doubt if anyone was ever improved by the fault-finding of his acquaintances. It is natural discipline that makes the improvement, and that only. Indeed, I have observed in much experience with those who constantly criticize others that nothing results in 99 cases out of 100 but a smirking self-satisfaction in the breast of the critic, and anger or contempt in the heart of the victim of the fault-finding. One illustration will do for all, and it is this: One evening I was leaving the elevated railroad car with a friend who hardly misses a chance for pointing out omission or commission by others. As he went out first a roughly-dressed man blocked the way, appearing as if attempting to enter. My friend, being strong, caught him by the shoulders, shoved him back, and said, “The rule is that passengers are let out first.” Result: as he walked off feeling that he had properly corrected a fault, the man cursed him loudly, and audibly asked for an opportunity to kick him. Thus naught resulted but anger and malice in one heart— perhaps in the heart of a man born in adversity—and in the critic a self-satisfaction which is known to be the handmaid of delusion.

     In FORUM 16 it says: “Virtue leads only to heaven. Wisdom leads


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to union with the whole.” What is here meant by virtue?

     W.Q.J.—According to the dictionaries the radical meaning of virtue is strength. Other meanings are bravery, efficacy, valor, moral goodness, the abstaining from vice, or conforming to the moral law. In this last sense the word is used. There is nothing synonymous between virtue and wisdom. In the Christian scheme fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. There is the mere wisdom of erudition, but properly wisdom means having knowledge or to know; or skilled in arts, science, or philosophy, or in magic and divination. (2 Samuel XIV.) In homely language, then, to be virtuous is to be good; to be wise is to possess knowledge. If the kingdom of God is the perfectness of evolution, then knowledge is what leads to it sooner than virtue. Of course these terms are used with the theosophical scheme of man and nature in view, and in that light it appears that in addition to virtue we must have knowledge, for a life of virtue leads to pleasures of devachan, with good karma for next life and thus through many lives; but knowledge added to virtue shows how to use virtue and its results in finding and treading the path leading to the Supreme which is all.

     Is it right to restrain the impulse to benefit another, either by teaching or by furnishing necessities for physical use, for fear of interfering with Karma?

     W.Q.J.—A little more ought to be said upon this question. It has been raised in several places, and is due to a slight misconception of what karma is, and also as to our position as men in the whole natural scheme, whether as judges or as executors. If karma were something about each man which we could plainly see, as, for instance, if each one of us had written upon him what was his karma and what punishments or rewards should or should not be meted out to him, then it would be easy for one to say in any particular case what one should do in the premises. But such a state of things does not prevail. No one of us knows the karma that is coming to another or to himself, and it is only when events have arrived that we know. For each event small and great is karma, and the result of it as well as the maker of new, since this great law is action and the results of action. Hence, even if we knew the coming karma or that which was due and should then decide, “I will help this person although I know it will interfere with karma,” acting accordingly, we could not interfere in the

 

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least, because it would still be karma. This is an absurdity, but it is just the absurdity of those who talk of interfering with karma. We cannot interfere with it, for it is beyond our power, and we are, indeed, the very instruments it uses to carry out the decrees we have ourselves been the means of passing. The idea of possible interference has arisen out of the statement now and then made that Adepts have not done this or that because it would interfere with karma; but this has not been understood. What was really meant by such words was that the Adepts themselves are karma just as we are, only they see what we do not, and, as some of us asked for a reason, they said they would not interfere, or, in other words, the law is strong and no being, god or devil or man, can interfere with it. Any attempt to “interfere” is merely new karma carrying out that seed of karma already sown, no matter how many ages or years ago. But, still further, it seems to me that if we assume to decide what we shall do out of fear that our brother may not be sufficiently punished, we not only lay up wrath against ourselves, but at the same time set the germs in our own character which will sprout in selfishness and pain. We need not fear that karma will not do justice. It often does it by offering to us a chance to help another, and, if we stand aside, it will at another day give us the punishment for our selfishness and arrogance.

     As Karma punishes all sins, is it right or desirable that human laws should punish crime by death or imprisonment?

     W.Q.J.—My individual opinion upon the death penalty is that it is neither right nor desirable that human laws should punish crime by death, but this answer presupposes in the race such a knowledge of proper conduct and a constant practice of the same that every human being is a perfect law unto himself and for all, and that no laws are needed because all know and keep the laws of morality and nature. As, however, men as yet are very imperfect and are struggling to find the right rule of conduct, laws are necessary for evil-doers. Here, then, arises the question whether society is benefitted by law imposing the death penalty, and as to that many able writers speak on one side and many on the other. To my mind it appears that the crime of murder has not diminished because of capital punishment, nor do I think any law will ever stamp out that offense. Indeed, I know that the majority of Theosophists regard capital punishment as a greater evil than that which it is directed against. But as Theosophists we have not much


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to do with such a question, since it lies in the domain of government. Our duty is to teach those ethics and that philosophy which alone will remedy the evil by raising men above the possibility of committing crime or becoming amenable to law. If we waste our energies in attempting reforms on the surface, either in law or in politics, a great opportunity will slip away before we know it. The remaining query is upon the subject of punitive law in general, and on that my view is that the question put flies wild of any point, because even these very laws enacted for the punishment of evil-doers are themselves the product of Karma. The state of the race which evinces crime is due to its Karma, hence the present system, the criminals who fill our jails, the judiciary and the executive departments administering the laws, are all products of Karma. It therefore follows that where, through man-made laws, offenders are fined or imprisoned, such punishments are those of Karma. It thus appears to me that the question is wholly one relating to reform in a mere social or political institution.

     Is it honest for a sincere Theosophist to celebrate in any way, whether by present-giving or by entertainments, the festivals of Christendom, such as Christmas and Easter? What is the practice of Occultists and the leaders of the Theosophical Society in this regard?

     W.Q.J.—Theosophical sincerity is not a strange moral product of a new reform, but is exactly sincerity as always defined by philosophers and moralists in every age. The word sincere is derived from a Latin word which is in its turn supposed to be from sine “without” and cera “wax,” that is, pure honey. The wax is prejudice, and he who harbors that, be he an F.T.S. or not, may consider his practice right in preventing him from viewing broadly all customs of all men, but one who accumulates the pure honey of sincerity may just as well join in Christmas festivities in Christendom as he would in those of Buddha’s birthday in Ceylon.

     As to there being seven earths: to me analogy would suggest that there are not seven earths, rather that our fellow globes are the more ethereal principles of that of which this earth is but its lowest aspect. “As above, so below.”

     W.Q.J.—I do not understand what sort of analogy the questioner uses, but the point raised is evidently in respect to the statement in the Secret Doctrine that as there are seven moons, so there are

 

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seven earths and seven principles or divisions in man. The seven earths referred to are not the seven globes of the earth-chain— the only one of which has been called “earth” is this one,—but are the seven principles of this globe, the most gross of which is that seen by us. No other word could be used for these except “earth,” since as yet we are not well enough acquainted with them to give them distinct names. Were we to name them we should say (1) earth’s physical shell, (2) earth’s jiva principle, (3) earth’s linga sarira or astral body, and so. on through the whole seven. This applies equally to all the globes of the earth-chain, and the other six of those cannot be called “earths” and were never intended to be, because they are composed of matter which is not perceptible to our eyes. So, when the questioner says that “there are not seven earths,” there is a confounding together of two subjects, for the seven earths referred to are this earth and its principles, whereas the “fellow-globes” are the other globes in our chain and not our earth’s higher principles. Each of the globes in the chain is septenary (see Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 167, line 28), and hence if we count these globe principles we have seven times seven, equals forty-nine, instead of only seven for the whole, as would follow from the questioner’s position.

     What is the Theosophical view of “Obsession?” Are the New Testament accounts of “casting out devils” to be regarded as literally true? if so, is it a retribution coming under the law of Karma, as with persons under seven years of age? There are cases where the so-called obsessing power seems so far superior in force of will as to be wholly irresistible by the victim: where is the remedy?

     W.Q.J.—The T.S. has no “view” about obsession. All on such subjects must be the expression of individual opinion. The editor appears to intimate that there are really no cases of obsession, and if that is the intention of the answer, it must result from the fact that he has never met a case. It is true that as superstition abates, instances of obsession do also, but that does not prove the phenomena to be the product wholly of belief in their possibility. Nor do the writings of men like Lecky prove much to my mind on these topics, since he thinks from a standpoint entirely at variance with mine. Since I have, in common with many other members of the Society, known of clear cases of obsession, no amount of argument by one who had never encountered such would be of any

 

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avail; and it is quite likely that those who do not believe in the possibility of these abnormal occurrences will never meet one, because the mind is not directed in that direction. There are ob sessions, then, as we think from observation, but the classes of obsession given in the first answer, two in number only, are not adequate. We have to include in obsession that most mysterious thing— insanity. Physicians do not understand this affliction. They cannot explain how a man suddenly loses his identity and becomes a raving maniac. Or in milder cases, where a man periodically becomes for months at a time some other person with no memory of the former state, and so relapses from one to the other. I know of such a case in which a boy first showed this form of insanity, and has gone on for years with the alternation of personality until now he is of age. His trouble would long ago have brought him to the insane asylum if it were not that he was born in a rich and fortunate family. Karma rules in this as in all else, and it is only when one limits his view of Karma to this one life that he can be confused. Acts in a former life set up such tendencies in the ocean of life that when the ego came back again it was sure to one day become insane, which only means that a disarrangement of astral and physical forces was brought about resulting in a total inability to correlate the soul and body, and this is called insanity. It was free will that laid down the causes, and free will has no power to alter the effects. But, as in the case I cited, there may be meliorations brought about by Karma in the same way. For in that one we see— as is often not the case with others— that the poor insane person is protected by reason of the effect of another kind of Karma, and is in this long insane or obsessed life cared for and made as happy as is possible. Remember, the mind of each is connected with the body in a certain definite manner and not merely in an imaginary way. This definite method is by certain channels and filaments or nerves: among the most difficult to explain are the magnetic and electric ties for the mind. Now our hold upon the body we have been born into may be so weak that we are not able to keep possession of these channels, and stronger forces may even unconsciously go in where we have tried to stay. This is not caprice any more than it is caprice that water will leak from a tank if there be any cracks. So there may come a time that the building called the body, which we hoped to occupy for a long time, becomes so imperfect that our mental tenancy is no longer possible and we drift off altogether, leaving it to the use of

 

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other forces or intelligences good or bad; or, as is often the case, we are now driven out for a time and then again got complete possession for a short term, until in that process the cords of magnetism and the electric channels are clogged up or destroyed so far as we are concerned, when we leave altogether. All this of course may happen by what is called the man’s own will or act, as where one suffers from paresis brought about by gross dissipation, but all the cases are not of this kind, nor are they all due to spiritualistic seances. As to remedies, those suggested by the editor are good, but there are others possible by the use of strong magnetism used by one who knows all these laws in every detail and can intelligently apply the remedy.

     Are there well- authenticated cases on record of clairvoyance in persons born blind, where correct descriptions of things have been given as they appear to the organ of sight?

     W.Q.J.—I have heard of one or two such cases, but as now they cannot be produced they are not of present value. But it is well known that blind people have ideas as to objects and localities which they have never perceived as those do who have perfect sight. In these cases they must have concepts, probably the same as those arising in others from good sight. This, however, is not clairvoyance. It is, however, certain that cases such as the question calls for must be very rare, inasmuch as blind people would not be usually credited with clairvoyance, but would, in telling of places, naturally be thought to describe scenes of the imagination. Further more, it is extremely doubtful if a clairvoyant blind from birth could have possession of terms to use in describing objects so as to be understood by others not blind.

     If it is wrong to cure disease by mesmerism or magnetism,— at least, if thereby the patient is controlled to any extent, how did Col. Olcott heal so many in India by such means?

     W.Q.J.—There seems to be no necessary connection between the premise of this question and the query put. Even if it were “wrong to cure disease by mesmerism or magnetism” it would not therefore follow that one could not heal people thereby. But I have never heard from any source of weight that it is wrong to so cure people of their ailments. To relieve distress must be right in general. There is much dispute as to magnetism, but Col. Olcott seems to be of the opinion that its cures are effected by actual virtue in


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magnetic fluid, and not by “control” of any patient. But in many of his cures there was a lack of permanence, due probably to lack of continuance of treatment, as he was constantly on the move. Questions of this sort ought to refer to some fact or publication in support of the assumption put in the questions, as otherwise it is not possible to answer intelligently or adequately.

     Has another a right to use her will-power in throwing off disease and the painful results of accidents from herself and children? Please draw the line clearly between white and black magic in such work, occult work.

     W.Q.J.—It is not clear from the question whether the querent means to ask about the use of the will pure and simple or about the practice of mind-cure, as it is called, or spiritual healing. In respect to the use of the will considered alone, the editor of FORUM has replied sufficiently, I think, especially pointing out that the use of that power is not well understood; and it would seem that the questioner does not understand it.

     There is a remarkable absence of treatment of the question of the will in such books as the Yoga Aphorisms and the like, the very books where one would expect to see something about it if it is a thing that can be treated of separately. But we may see the reason for this when we remember the old saying of the Kabalists, that “Behind Will Stands Desire.” And by considering men as we see them, this saying appears to be a true one, for in everyday life and in every act we perceive that the prime mover is desire, and that the question of weak will or strong will depends on that in nearly every case. The wicked are of strong will because they have strong desires, and the weak person will be found to act with the most powerful will when the desire is strong. Their appearance of being weak rises from the fact that they are pulled about every moment by contrary wishes, not being concentrated enough to have definite wishes of their own. And it is here that the distinction between White and Black Magic can be easily found, for if the desired object be a selfish one or against the general good, then the act performed will be of the nature of Black Magic. The will is only used as an agent to carry out the desire. So in the case of an actual adept of either school, will is at his disposition no matter what be his object.

     Now if the question put is in view of the practices of the so-

 

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called metaphysical healing schools, then a very different set of questions arises of mixed nature, some including moral aspects and some not, but every one raising a doubt about the claims made of curative power, as also about the way in which any cures that do take place have been accomplished.

     The editor has pointed out that a well balanced and centered mind will conduce to health, as has been held for ages; even savages know this and act accordingly. And if one finds from actual experience that the fact of his or her being of a cheerful, happy, contented, charitable, loving, faithful, sunny disposition will always have the effect of giving health to those about in the family or elsewhere, then there can surely be nothing wrong or inexpedient in such a state. And that, in my opinion, is the right limit for the practice of metaphysical healing. For if one goes beyond that, and, following the rules of these schools, proceeds to send his thoughts out to another with the object of taking hold of that other’s mind, then there is the greatest danger and also Black Magic. For no one has the right to take the mind of another, for any purpose, into his possession. if such be done, then the other ceases to be a free agent. And this is true as much in the case of one’s child as that of any other person. Moral wrong attaches here because one is acting on another. But in the event of acting on oneself there can only be a question of expediency, and that is a very wide and important one, since momentous consequences may flow to us and to others from the tendencies we set up in ourselves.

     Bodily ailments may be roughly divided for the purposes of the present into two classes, one being those that are acute or due to the imagination or the reaction of the imagination on the processes in the bodily economy; the other being those due to strong physical Karma showing out in diseases in the mortal envelope, and being entirely beyond the reach of the imagination and not due to reactions from the mind of the sufferer. These last are of the greater number; we see them in small children as well as in adults, and also in savages and the semi-savages of our own civilization who compose what some people call a lower element in the social body. In the first class the physical troubles from reaction will of course disappear so soon as the person trains himself to look at life cheerfully and to grow into a more independent frame of mind. The cures are not due to the causes assumed in the schools we refer to. They come about as a natural result of the new state of


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mind withdrawing from the nerves and fluids of the body the old strain and oppression. When those are removed the actual state of health at the bottom comes to the surface. And the result would be the same in the instance of the most degraded savage who might be induced by accident or by the words of his medicine man to fix his mind in another direction. Obviously there it would not be due to a system of philosophy. And additional proof of this is to be had in the very schools we speak of. In those we see widely different systems; one requires faith in the Bible and in Jesus, and the other does not, and yet each makes equal claim to success. H. P. Blavatsky says: “This is all the secret. Half, if not two-thirds, of all our ailings and diseases are the fruit of our imagination and fears. Destroy the latter and give another bent to the former, and nature will do the rest.” (Lucifer, Vol. 7.)

     In the second class of diseases it is quite true, as has been often said by the metaphysical healer, that the disease comes from thought, but the error is in supposing it to be present thought had in this body. The thoughts are those of a past life, and have passed altogether from the mind plane into the realm of causes for dynamic disturbance, or of the tendency, that are quite beyond the reach of the present imagining power, but sure to result in the course of time in visible difficulty suddenly appearing, or resulting from our going into situations that bring to us the germs of disease. For Karma acts on us not only in inherited troubles but also in accord with the tendencies we have set up in ourselves in a previous life. Those latter impel us to go to places or to mix with such people as that the inevitable result will be to cause effects on our mind or body that otherwise would not be felt. As in the case of one who set up in a previous life a tendency to consort with good and cultured people; this will come out and lead to a similar line of action with very different results from the case of one whose tendencies were in the opposite direction.

     These causes for disease then being in the mind plane from the last life, and having become mechanical causes in this, are now on their way out of the system in the proper channel, and that channel is a physical, mechanical one. They are leaving us by the way of the body, are on the way down, and should not be stopped and sent back to the mind plane again. They should be treated by the ordinary methods of hygiene, of medicine, of surgery, of food.

 

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     Hygiene and food furnish the right conditions for adjustment, and make no new present cause for trouble; medicine helps nature in her mechanical acts of purging and alteration; and surgery replaces dislocations, removes dead tissues, or puts bones that are broken into position for proper joining. No one would be so foolish as to say that thinking will remove from the brain the pressure of a fractured bone that is making the patient mad, or that imagination will set a dislocated shoulder. And if rotting food in the stomach is affecting the head and the whole system, it is certainly wiser to get rid of the offending substance as quickly as possible, supplying the body with good food in its place, than to let the evil stay to be absorbed as evil into the tissues while one busies himself by calling on the higher powers of mind to make him think he is not disturbed while nature is going on with her cure. In many cases this latter is all that happens, for any strong-minded person can resolve to endure great pain during the process of rectification of internal trouble by ordinary change of tissue and fluids. So a disciple of the schools in question may be so full of the notion that mind, or God, or Christ is curing him that he endures until the vis medicatrix natur
æ has done its work.

     Granting that these causes are on their way down and out, the effect of calling with a powerful will on the same plane of power is that the cause may be sent back to the inner mind and disappear from the body. But this is no cure: it is something like one’s cutting off his hair because the flies walk in it, it is planting once more in our deathless body disease that will surely come out again in another life as disease, or as madness in that one or presently in this. And in the life of many a practitioner nowadays this has happened. For wherever one is very sensitive the practices enjoined create abnormal states that have resulted in dementia.

     But a still more pressing danger lies in the half-truth of the practices. They are, divested of all pretension to systematic and right philosophy, partially correct yoga practices.

     As soon as they are begun they set up in the astral currents in the practitioner definite changes that at once begin to react on the humors and fluids in the body and are strong enough to bring about definite alteration in the physical envelope. This has been known for ages and has been treated of by the older Hindus. But they have always been careful to say that they ought not to be gone on with in the absence of a guide who is competent to know


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every symptom, to note every effect, and to give the right corrective.

     These correctives were not purely mental either, for many of them have to be physical, since the rapidity of the changes and the effects of the practices far outrun any application of mental correction in many instances. And this knowledge did not mean a mere following of a definite rule, but included an ability to see the peculiarities of each person as he proceeded. For as such is under a different set of laws peculiar to himself, the strict following of a general rule would lead to the greatest danger.

     But what do the “metaphysical healers” know of this?

     Nothing but the vague rule of the doctors that one must watch the patient and know, if possible, something of his medical record. Outside of that they are at sea with no pilot. They are inviting the explosion of forces they know nothing about, and when the difficulty arises they are powerless. From actual experiment I know the facts to be as stated. The pulse may be lowered or in creased, or the first symptoms of paralysis produced, or fainting brought on, singing in the ears and mist before the eyes made to show themselves; but where is the corrective? Unknown, for the simple reason that when we are dealing with such forces as these we are out of the realm of general rules for correction and must be able to at once see the exact inner state of the person and to select unerringly out of the vast range of possible cures the right one so that it shall work without any mistake.

     What, then, shall the querent do for herself and her children, as she asks? Use her best judgment, follow the best rules for the cure of diseases, train her children to be self-reliant and careful, so that they shall have few accidents, teach them to avoid evil and danger and keep their minds and bodies in right condition, and Karma will take care of the rest. And if they are hurt or really sick, then send for a good physician.

     Is it unwise or wrong to say mentally to a person, “You are well,” or “You are virtuous,” “Your higher nature can control your lower.” is that kind of mental treatment a wrong use of power if the motive is pure and unselfish?

     W.Q.J.—Buddha and Jesus—two great teachers — performed cures. Not by assertion and denial but by scientific use of power. To the wicked whom they cured they said “sin no more.” Both taught

 

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that the cause of sorrow was evil thought leading to evil act, but neither said that that existed not which was plain before one’s eyes. They recognized the existence of fact, of law, of reason. In some cases they could not cure. Why? Because the causes working on the sufferer were too strong for them. Mere optimism which says all is good is of a kind that grows out of sentiment unsupportable by reason. We ought to do all the good we can, but that does not mean we should blind our minds to the relativity which is necessary for cognition.

     Do persons remain in Devachan for a time proportioned to their previous life on earth? For example: does one dying at 100 remain in Devachan ten times as long as one dying at ten?

     W.Q.J.—On this the ancient writers say: “And when the reward is exhausted the being sinks back again into mortal life.”

     In January FORUM H.P.B. is quoted as saying, “This is all the secret. Half, if not two thirds, of all our ailings and diseases are the fruit of our imagination and fears.” in the same number W.Q.J. says, “The greater number are due to strong physical Karma” and “are entirely beyond the reach of imagination.” Will the FORUM point out the reconciliation?

     W.Q.J.—It is quite true that I said that the greater number of diseases are those which are due to physical Karma and beyond the reach of the imagination rather than to the reaction of the imagination upon the body, and that H.P.B. in Lucifer said that “half if not two-thirds of our ailings and diseases are the fruit of our imagination,” but there seems to be no great contradiction since both statements were general, and in the last FORUM mine was declared to be in respect to a rough classification and not to a specific accurate one. H.P.B.’s expression “half if not two thirds” is well known to be an idiom which means much or little. It is one of those constantly used when one is not speaking of exact quantities. Hence it need not be set over against mine. But if any think it important, then let them consider that I did not say what I did as to the proportions. However, there are no statistics obtainable as to the two classes of causes for disease, and it is very evident that H.P.B. had no thought of being mathematically exact, nor was there need for her to be. Her remark was not to point out proportions but to show how strong imagination may be and how, just as I sought to point out that when the direction of the mind is


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altered the strain is taken off from the body and nature makes a further change, instead of our minds bringing about a state of health. A careful glance at the substantial point aimed at in the reply criticised would have revealed nothing of the nature of contradiction between writer and H.P.B.

      In a recent discussion upon Karma a prominent Theosophist contended that at death a regular balance- sheet of good and bad Karma was, as it were, automatically made, and the resultant, always bad Karma, was what guided the next incarnation. That the product was always bad Karma, he stated, was proven by the fact that the particular Ego incarnated at all; incarnation being considered a misfortune and necessarily resulting from evil Karma. The other side of the controversy maintained that there was no such process as could be analogued to a balance sheet; that both good and bad Karma held over; that good Karma as well as bad necessitates reincarnation; and that the future condition of the Ego is the resultant modifications of some or all of both kinds of Karma. The point was unsettled. Will not the FORUM illuminate us?

     W.Q.J.—Sorry to disagree from the EDITOR, but I must on the distinct assertion that “Karma is not the cause of incarnation.” The word Karma means “action.” Each incarnation of a being is action; each manifestation of a system of worlds is action on the part of the entities that manifest. It is our Karma that brings us into whatever sort of body, in no matter what sort of environment, with whatever character, good or bad, high or low, broad or narrow. Karma in respect to things about us produces circumstances of environment, of change, for reward, for punishment, for pleasure or for pain. As to ourselves considered as moral beings, it produces from life to life a tendency for good, virtuous, wise actions and thoughts, or the reverse. Thus we see one man of lofty character environed by circumstances of the most painful nature, while another of a bestial or vicious character is placed where all circumstances appear to be pleasant. Which is good or bad Karma here? And what is the formula to determine whether Karma is good or bad? In the case of the good man surrounded by adversity it may well be good Karma, if so be that it strengthens him and broadens his sympathies; while with the other it may be wholly bad, since he only wallows in the mud of sensuality, thus redeepening his evil tendencies. “Good Karma— or action— is

 

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that which is pleasing, and bad that which is displeasing, to the Higher Self.”

     So too the balance sheet illustration is good, for it is by a balancing of our Karma that we arrive here at such and such a place with such and such a character, to experience differences of environment. That Karma which works on circumstances may be ordinarily unpleasant and thus by some called bad, but our character, acquired by other Karma, may be such as to enable us to triumph over adversity and now glean help and strength from the field badly sown in other lives by error or by mischance. So to me the discussion seems to have proceeded on wrong lines, while each of the disputants was right in his way but made wrong application. Karma is a doctrine too vast and complicated to be disposed of by set rules applied like balance-sheets to commercial enterprises; but one thing is certain—Karma is action viewed from every side and on each occasion.

     What is meant in the Proem of The Secret Doctrine (Vol. 1, page 14), by the term “bare subjectivity” as contrasted with “Unconditioned Consciousness,” for the latter would seem to be “bare subjectivity” itself? It is entirely comprehensible how the Absolute “Be-ness” may be symbolised, on the one hand, by abstract Space, and, on the other, by abstract Motion, but not so readily perceived how Space may be defined as “bare subjectivity” when Motion is contrasted with it as the pure noumenon of Thought.

     W.Q.J.—In the proem cited the author distinctly says under (a) that “speculation is impossible” about the omnipresent Principle, and then to give one way of symbolizing it— which is certainly not definition— proceeds to state that that infinite Principle is the same as the “unconscious” and “unknowable” of European philosophy, in which, indeed, the FORUM editor takes delight. She then says it is symbolized in the Secret Doctrine as absolute abstract space, which one must conceive of as space distinct from all things existing therein; we cannot exclude this, nor at the same time really conceive of it. And in the same way, when we come to regard this omnipresent Principle from the point of view of the root or consciousness, we postulate it as being— in this aspect— absolute abstract motion, because consciousness has the quality of motion in it and not the quality of space, since motion has to have space in which to move. So then, having thus vaguely symbolized space, which is not consciousness, we have to say that, on the other hand,


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considering it as apart from consciousness, it may be said to be “bare subjectivity,” although we have to use our consciousness in order to deal with it at all. The editor’s question, “Can any one conceive of abstract color?” seems peculiar, since it is not foreign to all the schools of Western thought, where many assert— as, indeed, it would appear they must— that apart from any particular motion or color we can conceive of motion and color in the abstract apart from particularization.

     Is it possible that our lower nature is composed of groups of elementary beings (sub-human) which under the higher tutelage can be welded into a force for good, rather than a something evil that has to be cast off? if so, ought not the Higher Ego to be considered a trainer and teacher of the Lower Manas rather than as a foe, even as a parent restrains his children from wrong- doing, and would not this view make the conflict between the animal and spiritual nature easier to most people?

     W.Q.J.—The editor is right in saying the lower nature cannot be cast off, but must be subjugated. We might as well say we can annihilate universal mind as to say we can “cast off” anything that is a part of nature and going to make us what we are. The lower nature must be discovered in all its ramifications and carefully subdued, as thus it is transformed and not cast off. But I cannot agree with him in respect to “sub-human elementals” composing us and which he calls “fanciful.” They are not fanciful, even though the questioner views them in the wrong light and the editor in no light at all. If there is any point strongly made in occultism it is that we are a compound of lives, that every part of us is so made, and hence it follows that our lower nature is made of these lives. There is no vacuum in the universe void of a life. But while this is so, these lives, in so far as they go to make up man, are not to be considered as separate beings from himself whom he can “educate,” as inferred in the question, from a position as man which is apart from them. They exist in him, and as he lives and thinks so he impresses on them his thoughts and acts, and as they are leaving him every moment of time it follows that a stream of these lives of many grades and sorts is continually being projected from him into space and forming his own karma. For they are unintelligent and only act in their own way, just as water acts when it runs down hill. If we regard them as beings that we are educating we will fall into superstition, but if, on the other hand,

 

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we say they do not exist and have no place in us, as the editor infers, we will never come to right knowledge of the universe as it is.

     They are matter, in fact, and a certain quantity of it comes into the charge, so to say, of every man, and every one is therefore responsible for the impressions he gives to the atoms that make him up, and if he does not live aright he will have to suffer the consequences sooner or later. For these very elementals are the means whereby karma operates, for without them— considering atoms as points of sensitiveness— there would be a break and no way for karma to have effect, if they do not exist, then there is no way to make the connection between matter and mind and thought and circumstance.

     The conflict between the higher and the lower can be made easy only by the old rule “to look on all parts of the universe as containing spiritual beings, the same in kind and only differing from each other in degree.”

     Is there any statement in the writings of Madame Blavatsky or of any one else who might be supposed to know, to the effect that the’ Ego incarnates alternately in the different sexes, or at all in the opposite sex?

     W.Q.J.—I do not remember reading anywhere in the writings of H.P.B. a statement to the effect referred to, nor in the written remarks on various subjects by the Adepts who sent her into the world can there be found, as far as my recollection goes, a declara- tion to the effect that the Ego incarnates alternately in male and female bodies. There may be found the doctrine that by this time in our evolution the egos now in human bodies have been through every sort of experience and both sexes, but that does not support the inference that such incarnation as to sex is alternated regularly— nor does it refute. It simply has nothing exactly to do with the question.

     The question, it seems, is interesting to many, but I must confess an entire lack of interest in it. If my next birth shall be in the body-female, it is a matter of indifference. It is of record that an ego did very well in the body called Helena P. Blavatsky; and, contrarywise, another did well in a body-male called Sankarachariah. It is said that one Maji—a woman— in India is a great Yogi also. So, as I am perfectly indifferent, my remarks may be concluded to be uncolored by the partisanship of sex, so clear to


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some and so often productive of clouds over vision.

     Well, then, I do not adhere to the alternating theory. It is too cut-and-dried at the very first impression. Further it appears to violate, with the appearance of a personal director behind it, the natural conclusion to be drawn from human life and character— our only guide in such matters. If we assume an anthropomorphic God, who made it a law that every ego should now have male and next female form for living in, no matter how the laws of tendency of attraction and repulsion work in other directions, there might be some probability of sustaining the position that regular alternation of sex is the rule. But the universe is governed by law, not by caprice. Let us, then, look for a moment at one or two points.

     Karma— from other lives— determines where, how, and when we shall be born. But in the matter under debate, one of the ramifications of the law of Karma which must have most to do with this is tendency. In other words, the tendency set up in a prior life will determine the tendency toward a particular family next birth. And we must look also at the question of male and female character essentially, and not as a mere question of appearance or function. If we discover what is the essential distinguishing characteristic of the female character as opposed for comparison to the male, then we can perhaps arrive at a probable conclusion— though, as I above remarked, a very uninteresting and useless one in any event.

     Now to my limited vision the female character is per se concrete; that is, its tendency in thought, speech, and act is toward the concrete; while the male character seems to me to be per se the opposite. The Kabalists and the ancients of all lands may not stand as authority for my readers, but they support this view. And the existence of exceptions in both sexes does not contradict the opinion, but rather goes to sustain it, forasmuch as we so easily recognize a woman who has a man’s character or a man who has a woman’s. The difference was not invented by tyrannical men, but seems actually to exist in the race. For no matter where you go, or how civilized or barbarous, modern or ancient, your examples are, they ever show the same differences and characteristics.

     And whether you admit or deny the particular description by concreteness and abstractness, it still remains true that the essential female character— whatever be the distinguishing mark— is totally different from the essentially male one.

 

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     Now, then, if Ego (A) has evolved with infinite pain and many lives the female character, is it likely that that tendency will exhaust itself at once? Or if it has been set up by one life, is it likely to exhaust at death so as to permit the next incarnation to be in the opposite sex? I think not. It might be that the Ego could, as man in prior life, incarnate next as woman, but that would mean that he had set up a tendency to whatever is the essential character of the female— in my opinion, concreteness of thought in the depths of his nature— or for other of many reasons. It is not wise to set down such fixed and iron rules. Nature does not thus work. She is always about to break some rule we have foolishly thought to be of eternal duration. So I conclude on this that the Ego will go on as woman or man just so long as its deeper nature is of the same cut, fashion, and tendency as the particular sex in general in which it incarnates. For my poor judgment, the regular alternation theory is wholly without foundation. But, after all, it is a question none of us can decide. The Christian Apostles decided female incarnation to be lower in scale than male when they said women are saved only by marriage, but even some Christian Theosophists may reject the Apostles on this.

      What is Imagination, and what are its limits? Often, I see mental pictures of myself and others, acting, talking, etc. Sometimes these pictures are realized, sometimes not. Where is one to draw the line?

     W.Q.J.—In my opinion imagination is exactly what it imports on its face, that is, the image-making power possessed surely by man, and inferred in brute creation. It was so defined by the ancient occultists and by the hermetic philosophers. But nowadays it is given a low place generally, yet has been raised to slightly greater eminence by the Metaphysical Healers who have stumbled unknowingly on a great law. That which is often called imagination is, in fact, only fancy, or the idle creation of images whose tenure of life is short. But conscious exercise of this power raised to its highest degree is one of the necessities of occult art, for no occult feat can be performed without it. Experiments in mesmerism for a century, and lately those in hypnotism, show that each person has the power to create an image about himself which is perfectly objective to the inner senses of the seer. This creation is done by the use of imagination solely. If the image be indefinite, owing to the imagination not working strongly, the seer or subject will only see indefiniteness, because the subjective picture was badly con-


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structed. But the constructor, poor or good, was the imagination. The Indian fakir makes you see the snake or other object— though you have all your senses— because through centuries of heredity and years of training his imagination has been put into such order that it sees before it the form so vividly that you perceive, as you suppose, an objective reality when none in fact exists. And turning to the letters from Adepts to Mr. Sinnett, we find them saying that in order to precipitate a note they must see (in imagination) each and every letter complete and unwavering before they can precipitate the material elements through that matrix upon the paper. So not only have we the testimony of all the mystics, but also that of those Adepts who in later days have shown those things to some.

    As to drawing the line for the questioner. That can hardly be done. For if he is a clairvoyant partial or wholly, then he sometimes sees the pictures of what we improperly call the future. For there is no future; it is all now. In such seeing he does not use imagination. But where vain day- dreams interpose, then he is either using his fancy, or is bringing forgotten combinations of thought, or is being influenced for the moment by the fleeting thoughts of another. Jno. Geo. Gichtel once saw come out from heaven the hand of a widow who desired to marry him, and then a voice saying, “You must have her.” He knew then that his stray thought and imagination had momentarily thrown a picture before his inner sense. That had but little to do with his imagination.

     The Key to Theosophy, page 306, speaking of the attempt made by Masters during the last quarter of every century to help on the spiritual progress of humanity, says, “Someone or more persons have appeared in the world as their agents, and a greater or less amount of occult knowledge and teaching has been given out. if you care to do so, you can trace these movements back, century by century, so far as our detailed historical records extend.” Have these movements ever been so traced out, century by century, and, if so, can the FORUM give such as have been tabulated?

     W.Q.J.—No one, to my knowledge, has so far taken the trouble to tabulate these movements. One was in Anton Mesmer’s time. He founded a Society of Harmony with objects like ours. In Europe there were Theosophical Societies. In Dr. Buck’s library I have read an old book, of about two hundred years ago, called “Transactions of the Theosophical Society.” Without doubt very careful research would give a complete record all through the

 

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centuries even to the time of Ammonius Saccas. The name adopted however, would not necessarily be “Theosophical” in each case. In Germany there were many attempts, and the Baron Leibetsdorf and Count St. Martin were engaged in one of those. Although the Encyclopædias call Cagliostro an impostor, he was engaged in such an attempt and was no impostor. Count St. Germain is another of the messengers.

     Does the Ego enter the body at or before birth?

     W.Q.J.—The Ego does not enter the body at any time. The body is a grossly material instrument which is overshadowed or informed by ‘the Ego. We are accustomed to saying that our souls are caught in our bodies because the ancients so spoke. But when they used that phrase there was an additional explanation current about body, and it was believed that the latter was more than merely physical, visible carcass. The body and its entanglements extend much further ‘than is visible to our eyes. In fact, what we see of our bodies is only the hard or visible part; each person carries around at the same time the more intangible parts of body, which, however, are very powerful in their action. Visible body is the material nucleus, and the rest is the less material fringe or emanation. So when ‘the ancients spoke of the soul entangled in body, they included in the word “body” the above enlarged meaning. At ‘the time of conception the astral body— or model form— is made and the potentiality of an Ego being enmeshed by the person is created; the connection of the Ego with the body— by means of the principle Manas— is made, in general, at seven years of age, and from then on the Ego is involved or entangled in body. But before such material entanglement it was first caught and involved in the passions and desires— or in the principle kama— which is always the efficient or producing cause for the embodiment of the Ego. This kama is known to form a part of the skandhas or aggregates, of which material body is one.

     I cannot see the force of the objection to reincarnation that it conflicts with the power of the mother to influence the child. It does not, for she gives it the body with all the tendencies thereof, and she gives it milk, ‘thus increasing those tendencies. She certainly cannot directly touch ‘the Ego, and it is fortunate she cannot, because ‘then she might actually thwart its development. It is the karma of the past that brings ‘the child to that mother, and that


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karma may be to have a good or a bad birth, to be influenced for benefit or for injury by the mother.

     If the soul passes into Devachan during sleep, why are’ not all dreams agreeable?

     W.Q.J.—It is not strictly accurate ‘to say the soul passes into Devachan in sleep, because Devachan is a word applied to a state after the death of the body and ‘the abandonment of the latter. The word to designate dreaming is in the Sanscrit Swapna, and that state may be pleasant or unpleasant because the body and Kama still affect the soul, whereas in Devachan all is blissful and pleasant. The Soul does not pass into Devachan during sleep, but sometimes in dreaming or Swapna state dreams are pleasant and often not. This being ‘the fact, it is a sufficient reply to the question as put.

     If the victims of accidental death, like suicides, do not enter Devachan till the time when they would have died naturally, they must remain in the earth- sphere as a whole and with all their faculties. Why, then, should they not be able to communicate with the living, whether through mediums or otherwise? Is not their case an exception to the usual law?

     W.Q.J.—As I understand our philosophy, victims of accidental death and suicides do not remain out of Devachan until the time they would have died naturally shall have come. Kama loka, where these and all others go, has its grades in the same way as human living states. The first statements of these doctrines were naturally general, but elaborations have also appeared in which specific points have been dealt with. Not all suicides are alike. Certainly a thoroughly insane person who kills himself is not like one who, while sane and cowardly, does the deed, nor is this last the same as he who from a foolish philosophy or ‘the want of it cuts off his life. They all differ one from another, and hence their stay in Kama Loka will vary. But in those general cases where the person stays in Kama Loka, the personality, consisting of astral body with the passions and desires, can and does communicate with the living, whether a medium or not. This is exactly the danger of mediumship, of suicide, and of legal murder or execution of criminals. The last is a very great danger— one of the unseen but powerful curses of the times. An executed criminal’s death is the same as ‘that of one who is accidentally killed in ef-

 

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fect, only that it is deliberately done, and in most cases the elements of hate, revenge, and anger in the criminal are added. His fierce and angry personality— compound of astral body and Kama— is thrust suddenly out of life; his higher principles wait in upper Kama Loka in a benumbed or torpid state; but his personal life flits about the abodes of men, attempting to get revenge or to do other wicked things, and every day injects into the sensitive human natures it meets all its mass of vile and unappeasable thoughts. It thus creates picture after picture of murder and hate. Mediums are not the only ones affected by these astral person ages; indeed, they are often too closely associated with other sorts of shells, and the personality of the criminal has definite attractions towards other persons. Is it any wonder, then, that the Theosophist who has worked out our doctrines of man’s nature to their proper conclusions should deplore the custom of executing criminals? He knows that one legal execution may and nearly always does lead to many another sudden murder or suicide. And as the astral personalities of suicides and executed criminals are in closer touch with us than any other sort of spook, it follows that they also are more likely to come first to any Spiritualistic séance. All those who respect the suggestions of H.P.B. will be interested to know that the above was her own view, often given to me, and further certified as reasonable by Adepts who can see the facts behind the scenes.

     In The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1, among the remarks upon sentiency of matter and force, I find this statement— ”This consciousness has no relation to our consciousness.” Now as all knowledge is the result of comparison, and our “consciousness” being at one and the same time the cause and instrument of knowledge, and acts as the process of obtainment and knowledge itself, why does The Secret Doctrine make affirmations, the data on thought or knowledge being absent?

     W.Q.J.—The statement made by H.P.B. as above is a copy of that made by her teachers called “Masters” by her. These are supposed to know the facts they give. Whether the claim be true or not, it is evident that insects have a consciousness which is dif- ferent from ours, as we seem to add the element which makes ours “self-consciousness.” And when H.P.B. spoke of our consciousness it is very plain she meant the ordinary sort and not the extraordi-


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nary. If the questioner will reflect that she has no comprehension of the consciousness of elemental spirits—which yet do actually exist and function in their own sphere—she may see that there may be varieties of consciousness not ours as yet.

     In Forum No. 37 Mr. Judge asserts that “Metaphysical Healers have stumbled unknowingly on a great law.” Now as I have been, and am still, possessed with the idea that each individual is herself alone conscious of her conscious efforts to obtain knowledge of principles and laws, I shall esteem it a favor if Mr. Judge will explain the principle by which he determines the fact that others, knowingly or unknowingly, find truth.

     W.Q.J.—I do not claim that there is some “principle by which I determine that others knowingly or unknowingly find truth.” I merely state the fact that in my opinion the healers spoken of have stumbled on a law. I did not nor do I now state what that law is. If they know what law I mean, then they need no information from me. But I do not agree that the questioner is right in saying that “each individual alone is conscious of her (why her and not his also) conscious efforts,” since I have for many years known that other individuals may also at the same time be fully aware of these “conscious efforts” by others. I know— in a way I am not obliged to detail— that the members of our Great Lodge have full information unknown to those outside the Lodge, of the “conscious efforts to obtain knowledge of principles and laws” on the part of good men and women, and in this search that help is frequently extended but is not seen nor recognized, although it is felt and has results. But I am wholly at a loss to see any sequence whatever between the premise of the question and the question itself. The healers have hit upon a law, but they fail as yet to know it fully, and I for one should be sorry that they knew it at all until they show to my limited understanding that they are philosophically fitted to have complete possession of a very dangerous force. However, if the march of cyclic evolution decrees that people should find edged tools to play with and cut themselves withal, I am too puny to be able to prevent it. But each day more proof is offered that H.P.B. was right when she wrote to the American Section that powers were surely coming forth in this people, and that efforts must be made to provide a new soil for them to grow in instead of our present selfish, greedy, and individualized but uncivilized human nature, from which of course I claim no

 

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exemption.

     Do earthly friends recognize one another during their passage through Kama Loka? If so, who or what is the recognizer?

     W.Q.J.—Kama Loka being a state and not a place, there is no “passage” through it. No doubt in some cases, if two beings are in the Kama Loka state at the same time, and for similar reasons, and with the same magnetic currents, they may recognize each other. But as Kama Loka is the state in which the Soul is freeing itself from the astral body and the passions and desires, it cannot with ease be concerned with any other process than that one; and hence, in the sense of the question as put, there is no recognition, although the being has what it may suppose to be a recognition of friends and enemies. In Kama Loka all its old thoughts take shape, and torment the soul if the life has been evil, or merely temporarily detain it if the opposite has been the case.

     How can a soul be lost?

     W.Q.J.—A great deal depends here upon the emphasis to be put on these words. If upon the word “how,” then the process of loss is desired to be explained; if upon the word “can,” or the rest of the question, then there is an implied doubt as to the possibility of loss of soul. I do not know which question this is intended to be.

     If we consider the matter from the Buddhist side, we may briefly sum it up. The soul is a composite thing (or entity), and therefore not necessarily permanent. Hence it may be destroyed. It is that which has in it the potentiality of immortality. To put it another way: There are body, soul, spirit. Of these three, spirit alone is immortal. Body we know is quickly proved to be impermanent and destructible. Soul is that which lying between body and spirit is the connecting bond. If the course of our many lives be persistently wicked, then at last the soul no longer can remain as such but is resolved into its original elements, becomes a part of unconscious nature, to coin a phrase, and no longer acts as the connecting bond. Now the very question raised implies that it is really spirit which causes it to be asked, for it cannot be body that loses soul nor soul that loses itself. This is approaching a great mystery which I am not capable of dealing with. All one can say is that the Monad—spirit—for its own purposes selects this connecting bond called soul, giving it thereby the chance to


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become consciously joined with spirit. If soul refuses to so join, there occurs what is called “loss of soul.”

     This soul so selected by spirit— I omit the article “the,” since Spirit is one and not multiple— has a so-called immortality, so considered because its term of life as such is said to last through a whole manvantara, which is a period so inconceivably long that for our minds it is eternal. But it has an end in fact, and if by the close of that immense period the soul has not effected union with spirit, then the loss or destruction of soul as such takes place. Meanwhile during the manvantara the soul migrates from body to body and world to world in the eternal struggle to reach reunion with the divine But such union may be attained long ages before the end of the manvantara by dispassion, discipline, and effort unremittingly continued.

     In his reply to the question {What is Imagination?] Mr. Judge affirms the sole requisite for occult feats to be the exercise of imagination raised to high intensity by cultivation, and refers to the Indian fakir who makes one see snakes, etc., because through centuries of heredity and years of training his imagination sees the form so vividly that the bystander supposes himself to see an objective reality, though none exists. Now if occult feats consist in immediate formation in gross matter, and not only the means of these feats but the processes by which these means are obtained are in all instances the same, how is it possible for the fakir to fail in producing objective reality, while the feat of the Adept is a successful materialization? For since the function of a knife is to cut, it will perform that function irrespective of the hand which holds it.

     W.Q.J.—I certainly never intended to say “the sole requisite for occult feats to be the exercise of the imagination raised to high intensity by high cultivation,” and a careful reference to my reply ought to show that. I stated the above to be but one of the requisites. It is one of the absolutely necessary requisites to the performance of those feats I had in mind, and they include the greater number. But while it is an absolute prerequisite, there are other ‘things and requisites to be taken into account ‘if one is to perform certain feats. Any hypnotic experiment or effect needs only this image-making power joined with strong will to concentrate the image. But where more difficult performances are to be accomplished, such as apportation of solid objects, precipitation

 

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upon paper, condensation of image so as to make it actually tangible, or controlling elementals, then there has to be added a knowledge of chemical, electrical, and magnetic substances and laws, together with will and high mathematics. For if the imagining power is weak, there is no possibility of forming the currents to work upon nor a matrix for certain occult chemical work. Having, then, thus declared other “requisites for occult feats,” it seems that the rest of the question must fall to the ground or be considered from other points. A “knife with a cutting function” will not cut unless some hand not only holds but also wields it. Nor do I see how a good, trained, wonder-working fakir should fail to produce an objective reality if he so desired and carried his occult operation far enough for the purpose. And as, indeed, I have seen fakirs do this very thing, I cannot deny what I know has been accomplished.

     The more I think of it, the greater mystery this appears to me. If we are reincarnated either for better development or for punishment for sins committed in a former incarnation, why should there be so many infants who only live a few days or weeks? They go out of the body again without being advanced any, nor do they suffer a great deal.

     W.Q.J.—Mysteries will deepen for the questioner if he lays down definitely that any one statement of a part of a Theosophical doctrine is necessarily the whole doctrine. In the question it is assumed we are incarnated only for better development or for punishment, whereas this is but a partial view of the matter. We are reincarnated as a result of causes set in motion. Thus we may be here for reward, or punishment, or by choice, or merely to work again, or for pleasure, or for punishment of others or their discipline, or for our own discipline, and so on for a thousand purposes. The race evolution compels us to reincarnate, and we do so according to law. The first answer fully explains most of this, but still another view is possible. Looked at from the side of the parents, the birth and early death of the infant are at once a pleasure, a discipline, and a punishment. If the loss is properly accepted, then discipline results; if rebelled against, then only punishment is felt; the pleasure and reward came with the child’s birth, and though soon the cause of that pleasure disappeared, its possible effect on father and mother was not destroyed. Then, again, the Ego that attempted to begin life in that family only to quickly fall out of it


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may have either made a short step toward better environments than it had before, or escaped from a family where nothing save obstacles and evils would have surrounded. By such reflections as these the “mysteries” will be made plain.

     Did Swedenborg’s visions extend to the Devachanic Loka, or were they entirely confined to the astral plane defined as Kama Loka?

     W.Q.J.—Without doubt his visions often touched the Devachanic state of other egos, and also too he went into a Devachanic state almost completely for himself while living. But it is not a proper use of “loka” to apply it to Devachan, as here the latter describes a more metaphysical state, while  Kama loka is still quite physical. Swedenborg had visions in Kama loka, as can be easily seen in his books; but he also saw facts of earth life. His heavens were the different devachanic states— of himself and others— into which he went. Many mediums, seers, and clairvoyants have done the same and are doing it every day. In some cases Swedenborg partook of the Devachanic thoughts of highly developed Egos, but as Devachan is as much a delusion as are Kama loka and Earth life, his visions are not of the highest value.

     Is it the duty of every one to help in repressing criminals, or is the bringing to light of unknown crimes a cause of inducing avoidable Karma on the head of the revealer? In other words, when a man knows of a crime or a criminal, is it his duty to give warning to humanity; or, from the point of view of Karma, is it better to treat the thing with mercy and act on the principle “Qu’il aille se faire prender ailleurs,” trusting to the criminal’s own Karma to warn society?

     W.Q.J.—In a proper social organization the King or Ruler should be the final protection against all troubles from criminals within or assaults from without. But such an organization does not exist with us. The citizen should therefore act up to his duty without thinking of his Karma, because he cannot have a Karma which his fellow citizens do not share with him. So, if he knows of a crime to be committed, he should warn. A crime past he may have some connection with, compelling denunciation, but with others he may not. The man who expends energy to denounce criminals when his particular duty does not require it wastes and scatters nature’s forces and does no good. And general rules do not settle these particular cases. The hunting and catching of criminals is the duty of the final protector, and not that of the single citizen.

 

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     Are misfortune, accident, physical deformity, etc., due to Karmic causes?

     W.Q.J.—And, to add, the indissoluble unity of the race demands that we should consider every man’s troubles as partly due to ourselves, because we have been always units in the race and helped to make the conditions which cause suffering.

     As I understand it, the astral body is first formed, and around it is built the physical body, its vehicle. The astral changes but slight during life. The physical body is constantly changing, and is renewed about once in seven years. Why do we grow old physically?

     W.Q.J.—The premises laid down answer the question exactly. For that which is made up of component parts must come to an end; the combination must wear out; such is experience; that which changes cannot endure. All bodies, in whatever sphere, change and disappear. “Growing old” is only a term which describes the ossification of tissue, the wearing out of the physical cohesive force. For a reality the body does grow old, since it is made of matter up to its last moment, and after death it changes into still live matter, young again and divided into elements. But when the inner forces reach their limit the body can work no longer, and hence men invented the expression “old.”

     Theosophy holds God to be One and eternal— Absoluteness itself. The Bible says that man was made in the image of God. Man we understand to be composed of seven principles—a union of the three higher, the immortal, principles with the four lower, those which disintegrate and go back to the dust. Are not all these principles, or parts, which are found in man, found also in God? I ask because some teach “Nothing is but Spirit.” Matter seems to me to be one aspect of Spirit. It comes from something and goes back to its place, and there is no place outside of God.

     W.Q.J.—I have not the hardihood, as the Editor has, to affirm in one breath that we must not speculate on the Infinite, and in the next to give attributes to the Infinite, such as immanency in all things, separability from us, and the like, and, taking his advice to confine ourselves to common-sense and what we can know, I waive the discussion on the question of the Absolute or an infinite God. It is hopeless. The quotation in the question proceeds in use therein upon the assumption of a God who can be understood and


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described either directly or by analogy or contrast. This is wholly beyond me. But I am quite willing to repeat what the Teachers whom I follow say: that the Absolute exists and cannot be discovered or known; that at the dawning of what is commonly called creation and evolution Spirit and Matter appear in space. This I accept, for it fits in with the logic of the rest of the doctrine. They call this the first differentiation. The assertion— made chiefly by the schools of mind- cure—assumes that spirit only is, but cannot explain nor justify the assumption, which is only, indeed, for the purpose of founding other assertions regarding mere bodily ills of no great consequence except to the weak or those devoted to material enjoyments. It is further taught and seemingly with reason that, in all, seven cosmic differentiations take place, and from these the sevenfold constitution of man is derived. His gross body stands for the whole of gross matter, his astral body for another differentiation, his passions for the energy of the heterogeneous cosmos, his life copies another of the seven, and so on until all are complete. But if you postulate a God, you must put man either in him or outside; and if the latter then your God is not infinite, but has in his universe something that is not himself— for the Infinite must be all. It is much safer to construe these Bible verses in the old Theosophical way, which would in the present instance show that man is made in the image of his God, who is his Higher Self. If the other position is adopted, that of postulating a God and giving him any attributes whatever, then your mind can have no possibility of reaching a conclusion save by the arguments and distinctions made by the schoolmen of Europe and the disputing theologians of India— and that conclusion may temporarily, say for one life, satisfy you, but it will remain false. It belongs to the great number of the illusions of matter which are ever deluding the mind of man.

     Since the time spent in physical life is the time of actual progress and the time spent in Devachan is merely a time of rest, or, at most, digestion, why should the law of evolution require such a vast disproportion of time to be wasted in Devachan— a disproportion of something like eight thousand years of rest to less than one hundred years of work?

     W.Q.J.—The general proportion as I have always known of it between earth life and Devachan is that between 70 years of life

 

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and 1500 years in Devachan. Further it is known that many persons emerge from the Devachanic state very soon after entering it. A reflection on the fact that the years of our life are full of thoughts attached in vast numbers to every single act will show why Devachan is so much longer than earth-life. The disproportion between the act done and the thoughts intimately belonging to it is enormous, and, compared with Devachan as related to earth-life, it is vast. In Devachan these thoughts, which could never find but the very smallest fraction of expression in this life, must exhaust and can be exhausted no where else. This is what is required, not by evolution, but by thought itself. And those who have but little aspiration here, who indulge in act more than thought, lay but little basis for Devachan, and hence emerge from it sooner than others.

     Can an Adept who has never studied music, but who has the wonderful powers (to us, omnipotent) ascribed to him by Theosophical books, go to a piano for the first time and play one of Beethoven’s symphonies? There has been a debate upon this point with unsatisfactory conclusions.

      W.Q.J.—The question discloses in its concluding words that some persons, presumably Theosophists, have wasted valuable time in a debate upon a point wholly trivial just now. What possible use to the Society or to Humanity would this debate upon pianos and Adepts have or even lead to? None that I can see. It is like wasting time and energy in destroying Nature’s works. And I would like to ask if the debaters on this matter have such a knowledge of the doctrines of Karma, Reincarnation, and the Sevenfold Constitution as to be able to impart them to anxious inquirers. If not, then the debate on the pianos and Adepts was time worse than wasted.

     The piano is a false instrument with an entirely false scale, as all musicians know. It is therefore perfectly mechanical. Yet we see that Blind Tom from birth almost can use this mechanical false instrument. Therefore the playing of it by him brings up the question of the power of coordination between an ordinary brain and body and mind. If the querents know something of those questions first and foremost, then they will be qualified to see how an Adept might play a piano although never in this life having learned to do so. This enters deeply into the nature of man’s sev-


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enfold constitution. For if uneducated Blind Tom could do it, why not an Adept? And if this be so, how can an Adept do so? I affirm my thorough belief that an Adept— of the degree evidently in view in the question— can do all and more than the question asks. For by the aid of elemental forces he could play on the piano in this century even if he had never, in any incarnation, seen or heard of one. But having replied in the affirmative, what good does the reply do unless it is in a discussion regularly and intelligently pursued upon those doctrines, the truth of which must be shown before one passes to a discussion of trivialities?

     Is the sinful nature of man located in the reincarnating Ego or in the perishable personality? If in the former, what becomes of the teaching that nothing but what is good enters Devachan? If in the latter, how is it just to punish one perishable personality for the faults which another perished personality committed centuries ago?

     W.Q.J.—The Ego is deluded by ignorance, and hence incarnates and reincarnates in various states; that is, it obtains a vehicle for every state into which ignorance puts it. So it obtains an earthly vehicle (body and personality) which is delusive and binding on the Ego so long as ignorance of the truth continues. It leaves the earthly vehicle and goes to another state— Devachan—where it has a vehicle appropriate to that sphere, and is there deluded and retained by the ignorance which is related wholly to pure, noble, and pleasant thoughts. From that it comes again to the earthly sphere, and so on until the hour when ignorance is destroyed. The so-called “sinful nature” is in the earthly vehicle, but as that is a part of the whole which includes the Ego, the latter is responsible for permitting the lower to rule it, and therefore suffers. For the body and astral body do not suffer nor know nor feel; they are merely blind instruments for the Ego who knows and feels through them, and are also the weights and clogs which keep the Ego down so long as ignorance prevails. Hence the continual revolving from one sphere to another, and in this the reply to the question.

     In the “Seven Principles of Man” by Mrs. Besant, on pages 13 and 14, she says, “Many of the movements of objects that occur at seances and at other times, without visible contact, are due to the action of the Linga Sarira, and the student can learn to pro- duce such phenomena at will. They are trivial enough: the mere

 

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putting out of the astral hand is no more important than the put ting out of the physical counterpart.” Now I want to know how an astral hand can lift a physical book, for instance. Not that I doubt the fact, but I want the philosophical explanation.

     W.Q.J.—By considering weight and gravity to be a fact, the working of negative and positive poles, to be really the result of attraction and repulsion, we may see how an astral hand can move a book. The book has no real weight of its own, for if taken to the top of a very high mountain it will not weigh the same as at the bottom, Alter the polarity of the book, and at once it may become as light as a feather. Alter the relation between the largest or the smallest object and the earth immediately under it, and it may be either greatly increased in weight or deprived of all weight. It is under this law that the lightning often carries heavy bodies great distances— yet that fluid is imponderable. Now in the case in point the book might be depolarized as one way of taking it from its place. If this process were not used, then the astral hand has to be made dense and compact enough to lift it, but always when the astral hand approaches any object that object is immediately depolarized to a great extent because the astral hand has the natural power to effect this result; hence a very great density of the astral member is not required. But when Mrs. Besant called this trivial, she meant that it is not an important matter, although it may not be trivial as an act or occurrence.

     I often read the assertion that we come back to earth with our former friends and companions, and that this is a reason for having only agreeable relations with all we meet, because other wise they might retaliate and harm us. Do all people who are on earth at one time come back together?

     W.Q.J.—In answering this question every department of Occultism as well as all fundamental theosophical doctrines has to be kept in view: how, then, clearly and succinctly reply in these short papers? To the Adepts we must turn, because science and records are dumb, with the question about the number of times the Monads now in human bodies have reincarnated and since when have new Monads ceased arriving into the human state? For if there is a definite number to the Monads, and if Monads in our human stage have ceased coming in or arriving at that stage some ages since, then the question is not so easily disposed of. Quoting the


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Adepts, H.P.B. writes in The Secret Doctrine— just as anyone might expect from the use of reason— that the number of Monads is definite in this system of worlds, and, secondly, that the door to the human kingdom has been closed for many thousands of years, that is, at the middle of the Fourth round. Hence the reincarnating human Egos have all met now over and over again With the certainty with every century of all meeting each other more and still more times. There is no escape. The door being closed and the human Egos having been numbered since the middle of the Fourth round, they meet with increasing frequency because no new acquaintances can come forward from either lower kingdoms or other spheres. This therefore establishes the probability of en- countering at almost every turn Egos whom we have been with before in lives on earth.

     Time has no effect per Se; the Karma will not act until the time comes when the Egos connected with it meet in life; until then it is inactive. For this reason the man you abused 10,000 years ago will react upon you when you and he meet, and this meeting will happen, for action and reaction will draw you into reincarnation together. Nor can I understand why the Editor assumes the likelihood of enmities not being carried over, while he thinks likes and affections are. There seems no difference to me between these two— likes and dislikes— as to the carrying over. It is true he used his words in respect to “coming back together”; but any person whom we meet, intimately or casually, in family or out of it, has “come back” to reincarnation with us. And from my knowledge of human nature the conclusion is forced on me that enmity has the stronger hold on man, and the presumption is enormous when we observe such an enmity as that described—exceptionally strong— that its roots lie in another life.

     There is no safe ground in calculations about Devachan and rebirth based upon the times when people die after or before one another, because each rebirth has power to so immensely alter the forces that A. who died 200 years before B., a friend of two lives back, may emerge into rebirth exactly with B. in time, because of the effects and causes produced and generated by B. in the intervening lives. And so on indefinitely. They may swing off again and be separated for many, many lives. If it were all an iron-bound rule and dependent on man’s free will and mental

 

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action, it would be easy to calculate. But as it depends on his mental action, and as each rebirth throws the Ego into the line of probability of meeting one who will alter his course of thought, no one can safely say when they will meet again any Ego they have ever met before.

     Every inimical and uncharitable though it makes for disunion, and every opposite one for harmony. The skandhas are full of all the impressions we received; those skandhas wait and are ours again when we emerge from Devachan. If we meet those Egos who are related to our good or evil, charitable or uncharitable thoughts, the force acts at once— not before— and unless the man we injured, condemned, or filled with anger meets us in next life or the one after, or whenever, we have to await his return with us (and that does not mean in family, it means wherever he can act on us) before we can tell whether he will repay in kind. If he has not become a saint meanwhile, he will at once be the cause of our hurt for hurt received, or of benefit for benefit. These laws act through us with automatic regularity until we know them and bring up counteractions. And the value of it all is, that we know if we treat all men now with unfailing charity and love we are wiping off old scores clean and making no new sorrows; but if we will condemn, punish, resent, in short, consider ourselves Karmic agents without knowing the meaning of that term, we are sowing dragons’ teeth, we only are planting cause for future sorrow.

     On page 175, Vol. 1, of The Secret Doctrine there are the words from the mineral monad up to the time when that monad blossoms forth by evolution into the divine monad,” while on page 178 it is said that “It would be very misleading to imagine a monad as a separate entity trailing its slow way in a distinct path through the lower kingdoms, and, after an incalculable series of transformations, flowering into a human being.” These passages seem a flat contradiction.

     W.Q.J.—The passages quoted are not a contradiction. In reading this book, just as in reading any serious book, all the passages must be taken together and construed together and not separately. Now H.P.B. definitely explains that in using the terms “mineral monad, vegetable monad, animal monad,” and so on, the same monad is always meant, the qualifying word simply designating the particular kingdom in which the monad is at work. And if you will reflect a moment, the word “monad” precludes any other con-


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struction— since monad means one. The very quotation at page 178 which you give agrees with what I say, because she is there stating that it would be misleading to suppose that a monad is a separate entity which makes its way through the lower kingdoms and then instantly becomes a human being. No such thing as this is a fact, nor is it stated, although if you read these pages hurriedly or carelessly you may think that the statement is made. For when the monad reaches the human stage it is the same monad which was once in the mineral stage, meaning that the monad is necessary to each kingdom, and what we call the human monad is simply the unchangeable monad now functioning in bodies called human which are of a higher capacity for experience and cognition than the bodies of the lower kingdoms. A mineral is as much a body as a human body is. And as Dr. Arch Keightley says today, the second passage you quote explains the first, and in many parts of the Secret Doctrine it is shown that the monad manifested in any department of nature has to be designated by some name which indicates the particular kingdom in which it is manifesting; but this does not alter its character. All men are “men,” but we are in the habit of saying “Englishmen,” “Chinamen,” “Fiji men,” “African men.” Are these all human beings or are they not? The particular qualifying title given to each simply designates the variety of man, and the particular qualifying title given to the monad simply designates the particular department of nature in which the monad is incarnating and at work. I think these will show you the necessity for very careful reading and thinking while you read on subjects such as these, since they are new to our thought.

     What would be the correct name for that “thing” which can be conscious of the physical body, feeling hunger, thirst, the pain of a cut or blow, then go to the state of Kama and feel passion and emotion, or enter into a state of mentality and act on the plane of thought?

     W.Q.J.—Read the chapter of the Bhagavad-Gita which treats of Kshetra and Kshetrajna, or the Knower and the Known, as also those which describe the three qualities, their action and function. Your question deals with consciousness, and no one has yet been able to finish its definition. The Self, who is made up of Manas-Buddhi-Atman, three in one, is the knower and the perceiver. If there were no Self present, all that you have described would be

 

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merely motions in Prana or the movement of the three qualities, for it is the Self who enables us to give names, derived from sensation, to these effects. And any name given to the Self, in any language, will be but the attempt of the man to name that which is nameless. In your own remarks under the question you have skipped from one subject to another, for you began with what relates to the perception of the knower while dwelling in the body, and ended with the essential nature of the monad, an entirely different matter. This confusion of topics will only create confusion in your own mind. There is no benefit from increasing words on the self-perceptive cognition, for all that you can say of it is that you possess the I am I consciousness. Hence all that you have said can be resolved by the statement that the consciousness functions in many different planes of experience, and in each one uses the means or instruments appropriate thereto. And in order to pass from one plane to another, holding intelligence in each, the presence of Manas is necessary as one of the integral parts or powers of the Self, for without Manas we are only of the brute or lower kingdoms. For one moment consider the brutes who, moving and dwelling in the mental plane with man, know nothing of our manasic sensations. It is because Manas is dormant in them; but in you it has begun to awake, thus enabling you as man to note the effects upon yourself of the motions of the qualities of nature.

     On page 29 of “What is Theosophy?” Mr. Old accounts for the existence in arctic regions of the remains of tropical mammalia and vegetation on the theory that the earth’s axis was once in the plane of its orbit. Given this position of the axis, it follows that while for half the year the regions mentioned would be in perpetual sunlight, during the other half they would be turned from the sun. Such terrestrial refrigeration would then take place as would destroy every vestige of animal and vegetable life that had not already been burned up in the fiery heat of a night less tropic. How can the claim of Theosophy that life flourished on the planet under such conditions be supported scientifically?

     W.Q.J.—Nearly the whole of the page of Mr. Old’s book quoted from is devoted to showing that the record of the rocks and the discoveries of the men of science prove the claim advanced by Theosophical students. His remarks do not seem to sustain the implication in the question nor to justly provoke it. The facts stated by him— following many who are older than he— that fossil


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mammalia and tropical vegetation are found in regions now arctic are indisputable. Today you can see in a Russian museum the bones and skin of a gigantic hairy elephant 25 feet high which was cut out of the ice. An imitation of it belongs to the city of San Francisco. He distinctly asks how tropical vegetation and mammalia— such, for instance, as the elephant described by me— could be there in fossilized condition unless the equator at one time was at or near that spot. Theosophy never having made any claim that life in bodies like those of today flourished under impossible conditions, there is really no question left to answer. It is not the province nor duty of the FORUM to go into scientific speculation as to what would happen if the pole of the earth altered so as to be on the equator. Opinions differ, but all agree with theosophical writers that such an alteration would at once bring on great seismic convulsions. On such changes accruing, life would have to proceed in bodies suitable to such a state of affairs; and that is about all Theosophy has to say on the matter. But as to life itself it points to water, air, and earth to show that anyone who asserts that he knows under what conditions living beings may or may not exist is rash in the extreme. Were we condemned to function in perpetual fire, nature no doubt would provide that sort of covering or body which would be in every way convenient for use in the fiery element but not serviceable in water or ice, and so on for every changed condition or environment, be those physical, astral, or otherwise.

     Devachan, I understand, is a state and not a locality; but evidently there must be some sort of locality in which the Devachanic state can take place. Is there any information as to the whereabouts of this particular locality?

     W.Q.J.—Inasmuch as the doctrine of Devachan is postulated and declared only in respect to the inhabitants of our world, it must follow that those of us who go into that state must keep within the attractive limits of the earth’s chain of planets. This would give the “place” in space in which the Ego undergoes Devachanic experience, but as the earth and its “companion globes” are always moving through space, it is evident that this loka is moveable. Imagine a huge hollow ball containing the earth and rolling through space. The hollow ball may stand for the attractive limits of the Ego who belongs for the time to the race, and within those limits—

 

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fixed in themselves but ever moving in space— the being goes into and remains in the Devachanic state. And as there the weight of the physical is not felt nor its density perceived, the Devachanic state may as well be on the earth as anywhere else outside up to the limits of attraction spoken of.

     Do the physical atoms reincarnate? Personally, I think they do, and I think that an article by H.P.B. in “Five Years of Theosophy” entitled “The Transmigration of the Life—atom” furnishes authority for the belief. It would seem that the law of reincarnation acts upon every plane, and that the Ego carries the same atoms through its evolution. But I have found so few to agree with me that I desire the opinion of other Theosophists.

     W.Q.J.—The analysis and explanation by the Editor of the word “reincarnation” are undoubtedly correct. The word is often loosely used, indeed— sometimes quite unavoidably, because the English has as yet no word to express the recombination of the same atoms on the physical plane. And it is quite possible to imagine a certain number of atoms— this word being also loosely used— being combined in one mass, going out of it and recombining once more. For instance, a mass of quicksilver may be volatilized by heat and thrown into the invisible state and being kept in the limits of a receiver may be recombined into quicksilver again. While they are vaporized who can say that they are quicksilver, inasmuch as that is the name for a definite thing? Similarly with a mass of water changed into steam and vapor and back to water and then to ice. So, while the Editor is right as to the proper use of the term “reincarnation,” the real question put is not solved.

     It relates to the greater combinations, permutations, and probabilities of the cosmos, upon which mere argument sheds no light unless it proceeds from the actual facts in respect to atoms or molecules and their method, power, and time of combination. The Adepts know about this, but have only given hints, as we are not yet ready to know. Now first, there must be a definite amount of matter in use in our solar system; and second, it is definitely stated— and is metaphysically necessary— that there is a definite number of Egos using that quantity of matter. To me there seems to be no improbability and no materialism in supposing that a time may come when any one Ego shall recombine into a body in which it incarnates the exact atoms it once before used, which of course


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have also been used by other Egos. But when such a cycle of recombination is, I do not know. The Egyptians made it 3000 and 5000 years. It is an idea not of any great use at present, but very interesting, and I find it illustrating for me the idea of universal brotherhood. For if we have all, as Egos, used over and over again the atoms physical which all other Egos have used, we lose all individual property in the atoms and each is common owner of all. I believe, but am unable to prove, that we use over again the atoms we once used in a body, but how many times the great wheel of the solar system allows this permutation and recombination to happen is beyond me and my generation.

     Do Theosophists know of the previous incarnation of H.P.B. and can they identify her with any historical personage?

     W.Q.J.—Speculation on such personal matters was always very distasteful to H.P.B., and from my own knowledge, backed by that of several men who have advanced far on the path of knowledge, I can say that the soul known to us as H.P.B. was and is so far in front of ‘this race that it is mere idle talk for us to connect her real self with an aunt in her family or with a Hindu or other woman. Furthermore I know from her own lips that she cared not whether she was in male or female body, but took that body (regardless of sex) which would enable her to do the most work; and also she said that, given the power to control a female incarnation and all that that implies, more could now be done in such than in the male form, but such control and ability were impossible for the general run of people, and solely for the latter reason would she— if unable to control— prefer a male incarnation. I know also that she often smiled at the petty personality and feeble notions that lead us weak mortals to desire either male or female bodies for our next rebirth. She had other matters on hand, and was too great inside to be understood by those who have claimed to know her so well, and from this I except no one, not even Col. Olcott who knew her so many years.

     In reading Esoteric Buddhism I was much struck with what was said in the chapter entitled “The Progress of Humanity” about the sort of Rubicon in the middle of the 5th Round, beyond which point no entity can go unless he has previously reached a certain definite degree of spiritual development, all not reaching this degree of evolution becoming unconscious until the next Planetary Man-

 

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vantara. I remember nothing in H.P.B.‘s writings to confirm this statement, yet it is very positive and clear. Is it one of the points, like the “Eighth Sphere,” where Mr. Sinnett drew upon his imagination, making wrong deductions from true but insufficient premises?

     W.Q.J.—This is not one of the points in which Mr. Sinnett erred. All through The Secret Doctrine this is taught, though not perhaps so definitely. The race as yet has not fully evolved Manas— the 5th principle— and will not until next round. For that reason it cannot, as a race, make a fully intelligent choice. But each man’s life now is important, inasmuch as in it he is either sowing seeds of weeds or wheat. If weeds, they may grow so as to choke all the rest; if wheat, then when the time for the great reaping comes he will be able to choose right. Those who deliberately in the 5th round make a choice for evil will be annihilated as far as their souls are concerned; those who drift along and never choose right or wrong, but are whirled off to the indifferent side, will go into that state Mr. Sinnett describes until the next Manvantara, while the consciously wicked who deliberately choose wrong will have no place whatever. In a smaller degree it is the same for each man in every life or series of lives; for we are setting up tendencies in one direction or the other, and thus in the end compel ourselves to make very disagreeable choices for next life. And man’s little life is a copy in miniature of the greater life included under the word Manvantara. If the system in respect to the human Ego is under stood the cosmic system can be grasped, as it is the same, only enlarged.

     The most authoritative books on Theosophy teach that the monad passes up through the lower kingdoms to the animal and then to the human, and yet also teach that man appeared before the animals. If the latter is true, how can the former be?

     W.Q.J.—If after the word “animals” we insert the words “in this round,” then both statements will be correct and there will be no confusion. On this matter we have to accept or to reject the teachings of those Adepts who gave the system out through H. P. Blavatsky, for modern science knows nothing about the matter and believes still less. Now if anything is plainly taught and reiterated over and over again in The Secret Doctrine, it is that the time of the appearing here of the human form alters after the second round of the life-wave in the earth’s chain.


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     The teaching that the monad passes through the lower kingdoms from metals up to man is right as a general statement, for it is alleged to be the fact and is also in accord with reasoning from the other premises of Theosophical doctrine. But on this chain of globes the stream of monads of all stages begins in the first two rounds— the whole number of rounds being seven— by going steadily through the lower orders up to man as the last form and stage for those rounds. In the third round the plan alters, because the first class of monads has obtained in prior rounds enough knowledge to be able to emerge into the form of man ahead of the lower classes who are yet at that time in the lower kingdoms of nature. And in the fourth round, which is the one we are in now, Man as we know him appears before the others just because the monads of that class of progress have the power, and in this round all the lower kingdoms in respect to their outer coating or materiality get all that coating from what man casts off. This is also clearly taught and not an inference of mine.

     The first rounds had in them the potentiality of the rest, and as it was the fate or the law that materiality should prevail in this round, it was prepared for by the most advanced class of monads. All this does not negative the standing and general rule that the monad must (at some point in its career) go through all the kingdoms in regular order from the lowest to the highest, and must follow that line for whatever is the necessary period from the lowest first and not skip any; but when the class of monads which came into this evolution first has obtained the right knowledge and power, it will then alter its rule and come in with the fourth round as first of all. In our own life on earth as individuals we do the same thing, for some of us are able to skip over in some life that which others have to painfully acquire; and this is because reincarnation and previous experience enable us to do it. The same rule holds in the greater scheme, and there by reason of reincarnations and experience in the first two rounds the monads of that class are first as human beings, and not last in the fourth round. Meanwhile the general rule governs other and lower classes of monads, who are even now slowly creeping through lower kingdoms of nature and have been unable to emerge with man in this round ahead of the other forms. But in future rounds and manvantaras they also will come in ahead of the lower orders of nature. Let those of us who accept the statements of the Masters remember that they have certified in writing that The Secret Doctrine is the triple

 

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production of those two great beings and H. P. Blavatsky. Such a certificate they have given of no other book. Their certificate will not be accepted by outsiders nor by that small class of Theosophists who loudly proclaim they will accept nothing that does not accord with their reason; but one is puzzled to know how their reason can work in respect to matters such as these about which the Adepts alone know the truth. As for myself, I find the teachings quite consistent with the whole of the philosophy and explanatory of natural facts; for the rest I am willing to believe the parts I can not yet verify and to wait a little longer.

     In The Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 15, H.P.B. says: “This infinite and Eternal Cause. . . is the rootless root of all that was, is, or ever shall be. It is of course devoid of all attributes, and is essentially without any relation to manifested, finite being.” H.P.B. repeats the statement in other places in her works, and it has been a constant puzzle, for I cannot understand how it can be without relation to manifested being and at the same time be the root, however rootless, of all that was, is, or ever shall be. To my mind the essential idea of “root” is relation, and, as the word is used in the text, the ultimate of all relativity is reached.

     W.Q.J.—You are wrong. Not wrong in being puzzled, for that is evident, just as it is a fact that the quotation you make is not on page 15 of The Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, but is found on p. 14. A little matter you think this error. Yes truly, but in high metaphysics little errors assume immense proportion, and the mistake as to the page will show liability to the other mistake of not looking into the whole subject. Only a few lines above the words quoted, H.P.B., defining a highly abstruse metaphysical position, lays down the proposition that there is “an omnipresent, eternal, boundless, and immutable PRINCIPLE on which all speculation is impossible.” This is the “Rootless Root” spoken of. Its nature cannot be speculated on, although we may say IT IS, for we have to start from that. Necessarily it is out of relation to manifested things, since relativity begins only upon manifestation. You can perhaps say that this Rootless Root is potential in all things, but not that it is related. The “Rootless Root” is only a means of stating in convenient form what is said in the larger sentence I have quoted, and not to permit disputes as to relativity because of the meaning of “root.” That such is H.P.B.’s meaning— in which she agrees with many old philosophers as well as some modern ones— is very clear in-


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deed, for but four lines above the place where you called your quotation she asks you to remember that this Principle “antecedes all manifested conditioned being.” But long and wordy speculations avail nothing, and unless you take the time to saturate your mind with metaphysics and the relative terminology which every philosophy is compelled to use— especially English— in speaking of things and ideas not relative, and become familiar with time and place for seeing a new meaning in words so materialistic as ours, you will always be puzzled. The word “spirit” is used in English in reference to God, to Man’s Soul, to Man’s nervous currents, to elementals, to astral shells, to mere alcohol, and to describe simply a quality of an act, all these running up and down the gamut from the most gross to highest spirit. Is it to be wondered at that you and the Editor found a difficulty in the question? In Sanscrit you would find no such difficulty.

     I have seen (I think in Path) that Buddha orders his disciples not to have anything to do with music nor to live by it, though in many works on Theosophy music is represented as having a civilizing effect. Can you say why Buddha condemned music and those who practised it? Is it because it is time wasted and prevents meditation?

     W.Q.J.—It would be well to consult references before stating premises on which questions are put. I do not remember any statement in Path of the kind quoted. Secondly, it is quite important to know what sort of music Buddha referred to when he prohibited it— if he did so. It is more than probable that good organs were not then in use. Can we say that he would have prohibited those? Again, we do not know to what school of music he adverted. Was it sensuous, or sensual, or trifling, or what? All this is important, for supposing the music of that day was of a highly sensuous or sensual style, he would have been perfectly right in ordering his disciples to give it no attention. So first I conclude that there is no way of answering the question properly until we have exact knowledge of the styles and schools of music of Buddha’s time, as well as of the kinds of instruments in use. So far as my recollection extends, Buddha did not condemn those who practised music.

     But having looked at the purely instrumental and objective side of the matter, we come to the real question on which Buddha, like all other great teachers, laid stress. It is found not only in his words but in the older Brahmanical religion. It is the direction to the student— not to the man of the world— to leave off sight and

 

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sound, meaning that unless sensation is overcome the mind will be bound to re-birth. This will include music and all sounds. It covers a large subject relating to how and by what the soul is attached to the miseries of re-birth, but it has really very little to do with the music to which the questioner refers.

     What in Theosophy is regarded as having been the original cause of the “obscuration of the effulgence of the mysterious Being of Tathagata”?

     W.Q.J.—The Being of Tathagata is the Being of Buddha. It is a mystical statement made by orientals of the doctrine that the Divine Man, the Higher-Self of the Universe, has been obscured by its “descent into matter.” For they hold that all Buddhas throughout eternity are the same, and that the Highest nature of Man is the same as the Buddha. Hence this sentence is only a statement that the original effulgence or glory radiated by the Highest Self becomes temporarily obscured by dwelling in matter during evolution; but that effulgence will be restored and shine again at the end of the seventh Round because then matter will have been altered and refined by the indwelling effulgent Buddha. But such quotations as that in question should never be given without the context in which they occur.

     Does an individual when acting as an agent for Karma entail any Karmic consequences upon himself because of the acts thus committed?

     W.Q.J.—While the articles “Topics in Karma” are very well written, they do not by any means dispose of the question raised here. In the first place, the questioner assumes in the first ten words of it he question that a human being sometimes is not an agent of Karma. According to my studies, and as I think inevitable according to the law of Karma, there is no time when a human being is not an agent of Karma, for in every act and thought we are carrying out Karma, making new Karma, suffering old Karma, or producing effects on other people, or all these together. So I take it that the questioner means to ask whether one is justified in attempting, of his own motion, to administer as judge, jury, and executioner, to another the effects of Karma. This is involved in the question, as well as whether any consequences are entailed upon a person so acting. Now the first paragraph of the Editor’s answer stating clearly the law, it must follow that consequences are


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entailed upon some one in this supposed case of a person making himself a direct Karmic agent. Certainly both the actor in the case and the person to whom the punishment or reward is ad ministered must have consequences entailed upon them, because the “Karmic agent” is :the center from which the action flows, and upon whom it must react, and the other person is the person who receives the present consequences. Merely to say to yourself that you are enforcing a right or administering what you conclude is punishment or reward does not absolve you from the consequences, whatever those may be. And those consequences will come to you in two ways. First, through your own attitude, and second, from what you set up in the other person. Involved in the first is a seemingly third possibility, which is, a possible violation by you through ignorance of a law of nature. For instance, if you assume to administer punishment, considering yourself a Karmic agent, it is more than possible that you are simply gratifying some old spite or ill-feeling, under the guise of a judicial enforcement of right or punishment for wrong. We see this possibility every day in those cases where a person declaring himself to be impartial and judicial, administers on the one hand to persons whom he does not particularly like punishment which he considers their just due, and withholds similar punishment from another person for whom he has such a regard that he fails to administer punishment, but exercises instead forgiveness and charity. This being a common human experience, does it not indicate that inasmuch as a person is through old Karmic likes and affinities led to be kind and charitable through what is called partiality, he may on the other hand, through old dislikes and antipathies, be led by a repulsion to administer punishment, when he might as well have exercised forgiveness? Each man, I think, can be left to himself to decide what is his duty in redressing wrong done to another, which redressing involves perhaps the punishment of a third. But in my opinion no one is wise who considers himself a Karmic agent for any purpose. Further, and overlooked by the Editor and apparently by the questioner, the term “Karmic agent” has a technical significance under which only certain persons are so considered; that is, the larger class of men are not Karmic agents, except in the mere sense that they are in the very act of life making or experiencing Karma in the mass. A few persons are what is known as “Karmic agents,” that is, human beings who by a certain course of training and previous life have become concentrated

 

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agents for the bringing about of certain definite effects which are well foreseen by the trained and initiated seer. This is one of the declarations of the Initiates who are supposed to know about these matters, and therefore any person assuming to be a Karmic agent may possibly be assuming too much altogether, and be bringing himself within the range of laws which will operate upon him with ten fold force in future lives. It is therefore more charitable, more wise, more kind, more theosophic to follow the words of Jesus, Buddha, and hosts of other Teachers which direct us to forgive our brother seventy times seven times, which tells us that charity covers a multitude of sins, and which warn us against the self-righteousness that might induce us to presume we have been raised up from the foundation of the world to correct abuses in other men’s actions rather than to attend to our own duty.

     Mr. Mead says on page 26 of September Lucifer: “There are two paths which lead to Nirvana, the selfish and the unselfish, the ‘open’ and the ‘secret’.” A man can attain to the knowledge and bliss of the Nirvanic state by keeping the former for his own selfish advantage, and he can gain the latter bliss at the expense of his fellows. I had previously supposed that a life of altruism was absolutely necessary to the attainment of that state. If it can be gained without laboring and suffering for others, and especially if they occupy a higher place, the “Buddhas of Compassion” being “lower in rank,” then it would seem that the majority would prefer “their own selfish advantage” and act accordingly. We are taught here and now that the more we do for others the more rapidly we advance ourselves. Is this law changed or reversed when one has reached a certain plane of unfoldment?

     W.Q.J.—It seems certainly correct for Mr. Mead to say that there are two methods of attaining Nirvana, one selfish and the other unselfish, but the word selfish here would designate really unselfishness among us. It refers to the refinement of selfishness in that a person is working by unselfish acts to obtain that which, in the end of all analysis, is selfish, because it is for the benefit of the person involved. But it never was taught that a man could obtain Nirvana by working for his own selfish advantage as his motive, and he does not gain it at the expense of anyone; therefore his selfishness in obtaining Nirvana, being at no one’s expense, is of a very different quality from what we ordinarily call selfishness. As a matter of fact it is stated that at a certain point


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of development the highly spiritualized person may in a moment pass into Nirvana through an instantaneous personal desire to gain that state.

     What evidence is there of the existence of any such exalted beings as the Masters or Mahatmas?

     W.Q.J.—Evidence is of several different kinds, and the inquirer should not confine himself to one single department of evidence or testimony. I assume that in using the word “evidence” the questioner means to include testimony as well. There is testimony of very extensive nature to the existence of Masters or Mahatmas in history and tradition, and these two again divide themselves into many sorts. There is profane as well as religious history, tradition depending on recollection solely, and also tradition which has been turned into an historical account of tradition. In religious history and tradition there are many accounts of such beings, reaching from the earliest known religious book down to the very latest date. And in the history of nations, aside from religion, there are numerous accounts of Adepts, magicians, Masters, and others of like character. In almost every country on the globe the traditions of the people are full of statements of the existence and powers and appearances of master minds, magicians, great men, who knew the secrets of nature. United States history of course is very young and need not be called upon for an answer, but the history of Europe as well as its traditions confirms the statements I have made. Going to Asia we have an immense mass of tradition and history telling the same story, while China and all her dependencies relate similar tales of such beings. In the East everywhere there is a universal belief that they exist, have existed, and will appear again. All this cannot be set aside as folly or useless or insufficient, unless one determines to believe nothing but what he himself has seen. If that position be assumed, then no one living today can say that they know or believe that the historical characters of the past, known to every nation, had any existence. Turning now to later testimony, we have that of H.P.B., A. P. Sinnett, H. S. Olcott, Mrs. Besant, hundreds of Hindus, many Europeans, some Americans, all telling the same story that they know that the Adepts, Masters, Mahatmas exist and have communicated with or to them. The fact that the inquirer may not have communicated with the Adepts does not dispose of them, nor does it invalidate the testimony of other

 

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persons.

     Turning from this department of proof we have that which depends upon argument, illustration, deduction. Here everything is as strongly in favor of the existence of the exalted beings spoken of as in the other department; for evolution demands that such beings shall exist. To this conclusion even such a doubter as Prof. Huxley has come, and in his last essays declares for the existence of beings of superior intelligence who are as much beyond us as we are beyond the black beetle, and this is more than any Theosophist has ever yet said for the Adepts. If the questioner proceeds along these lines he will come to the same conclusion as many another inquirer has come to.

     Will not the force which tips tables, causes flowers to be produced, etc., do more astonishing things if properly directed? How do you explain the phenomena?

      W.Q.J.—There is not the slightest doubt that the force referred to in the question will do more astonishing things, and it looks as if the person asking the question had not read of the most extraordinary and astonishing things which have been done by that force, both when it was properly and improperly directed. The limits of the FORUM would not permit of the explanation of the phenomena asked about, but full explanations have been given in the Path, in Lucifer, by Eliphas Levi, in the Key to Theosophy, and elsewhere.

     If Masters really exist, why do they not make themselves known to earnest seekers after truth, and especially to such as are working for the good of mankind? And why do they not effectuate peace on earth and right education of the young?

     W.Q.J.—This question has been very frequently answered, and even by the Masters themselves. As to the last part, they said in the Occult World that if it were possible to alter the state of things and to make a peaceful earth and a right humanity without following the law of evolution, they would willingly do it, but mankind can only be altered step by step. They have also stated that they do not make themselves objectively known to believers in them except in those cases where those believers are ready in all parts of their nature, are definitely pledged to them, with the full under standing of the meaning of the pledge. But they have also stated


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that they help all earnest seekers after truth, and that it is not necessary for those seekers to know from where the help comes so long as it is received. In the Path this subject was discussed in its other bearings. Personally I know that the Masters do help powerfully, though unseen, all those who earnestly work and sincerely trust in their higher nature, while they follow the voice of conscience without doubt or cavil.

     Is sympathy a quality of Kama? If not, of what principle is it a part? Should it be indulged to the extent of having one’s enjoyment of a pleasure almost destroyed because so many who would like to enjoy it cannot from want of money?

     W.Q.J.—Sympathy comes from kama sometimes, and sometimes is derived from other parts of our constitution. It is often a disease with unintelligent persons, or in those who have not disciplined their minds and do not use their judgment or whose judgment is deficient. But sympathy in its highest aspect must flow from the spiritual part of our nature. However, I think that in its ordinary exhibition it is derived from the principle of desire acting with the mind, the memory, and the sensations. Very often it is false; but true sympathy can never be false, and no matter what principle in our nature it arises from, being a noble and healthful thing, it should be exercised, always however with judgment.

     It would certainly be folly to allow our sympathies to carry us so away that we are plunged ourselves into needless sorrow, for in such case we will lose power to judge how to be able to act for the benefit of others. The mere fact that others have no money is not in itself a proper cause for arousing sympathy. The want of money is not the cause of trouble, but the desire for money is. We may sympathize with others who have no money, but not because they are deficient in that means; it should be on account of their failure to see that within themselves is the realization of happiness, and that in fact they should not depend upon anything outside for true enjoyment.

     Does the Devachanic or incarnating Ego possess qualities or propensities which draw it back to incarnation here?

     W.Q.J.—A careful study of the philosophy will show that it is held that the Ego in Devachan, consisting of Atma, Buddhi, and Manas, must contain within it the seeds, qualities, or propensities

 

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which will draw it back to life on earth again. If this is not so, then there would never be any reincarnation whatever. If this be so, as I believe it is, then all the rest of the discussion seems to be merely discussion in a circle about nothing, but that which will lead to mental confusion. The last part of the discussion is settled by reflecting that if the Ego using Manas in Devachan keeps itself in a state or condition which is connected with earth life, it will inevitably return to earth-life because of the attraction which it retains for that state of existence.

     The Secret Doctrine, in its theory of sequential relations between the astral and the gross physical body, adduces spiritualistic phenomena as evidence of the truth or validity of said theory, Vol. I, pages 276 and 297, Vol. II, pages 86-149 and p. 737. in Vol. I, page 258, is found the statement “Like produces like,” which admission, taken in connection with the other statements, amounts to a negation of the usual “shell” explanation of spiritualistic materializations, unless it can be shown that these phenomena are realistic (having an intelligent basis) when they support certain theories, and are seemings upon all other occasions.

     W.Q.J.—It does not appear to me that the statement in The Secret Doctrine, “Like produces like”— which is a very old Hermetic maxim— taken in connection with the other matters brought forward in The Secret Doctrine, is a negation of the Theosophic theory that many, if not all, Spiritualistic materializations are brought about by the agency of astral shells of once-living persons. Nor is the connection at all apparent between this assumed negation and the necessity for showing that those phenomena are “realistic,” the questioner appearing to have some new meaning for the word “realistic,” as she adds after that word the words “have an intelligent basis.” The Theosophical theory about Spiritualistic phenomena has been given over and over again in Isis, in The Secret Doctrine, in Lucifer, in the Path, the Theosophist, and elsewhere. It has always been claimed that materializations had an intelligent actor or actors behind them. That intelligence is the intelligence of the living medium, of the living sitters of the séance, or the automatic or natural intelligence of elemental spirits. H. P. Blavatsky and those who think as she does have always used the phenomena occurring in séance rooms as proof of the theories about the astral world and the astral body, as well as also other established facts such as the facts of hypnotism and


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the like. The sentence “Like produces like” does not mean nor support the idea that because the transitory materialized thing seen at a séance and which exactly resembles a deceased or living person is the same person; in such a case it would mean that the astral form existing on the astral plane enables us to produce its similar on the physical plane, and by the use of that Hermetic sentence in H.P.B.’s book or in any other the astral shell explanation for materialization is not negatived. It is very plain that the questioner does not fully understand H.P.B.’s explanation about materializations and other Spiritualistic phenomena.

     Man having free-will, is it not probable that some individuals suffer or enjoy that to which their individual Karma does not entitle them by reason of the acts of others? If so, is not this temporary surplus suffering or enjoyment balanced by the merit or demerit of succeeding incarnations?

     W.Q.J.—It seems to me impossible that any person suffers or enjoys anything whatever except through Karma; whether we are in families, nations, or races, and thus suffer and enjoy through general causes, it is still because of our own Karma leading us to that place. In succeeding incarnations we are rewarded or punished according to the merit or demerit of preceding lives, and wherever it is stated in Theosophic books by competent writers that people are “rewarded for unmerited suffering” it always refers to the fact that a person does not himself perceive any connection between the suffering or reward and his own act. Consequently, in Devachan he makes for himself what he considers a complete reward for any supposed unmerited suffering, but in his life upon earth he receives only that which he exactly merits, whether it be happiness or the opposite. This is a brief statement of the doctrine, but I think it can be sustained by argument. It seems to me the whole philosophy would fall to the ground if for a moment we admitted that any suffering or reward was not that to which the individual was exactly entitled, for the largeness of the reward which the Ego makes for itself in Devachan is something that he is entitled to, inasmuch as it balances the mental attitude he assumed while living and satisfies his individual needs without disturbing anyone else.

     Are the majority of people, those who are neither very wicked nor very spiritual, conscious in Kama Loka that they are dead;

 

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and are they able to see the Kamic sights with which it is said to be filled? I have read Stanton’s Dreams of the Dead, and although I cannot accept all he says, the information gained from other sources has been too meager to permit of my discriminating accurately between what is true and what is false.

     W.Q.J.—Precisely as physicians know that every human body has its own physical idiosyncracies, which are well known in their effects upon and relations with medicine, so in the state after death the idiosyncracy of the person has an effect upon the state there. There is no positive or definite rule which applies invariably to every being after death. Consequently there are many different kinds of states in “Kama-Loka.” Some people are aware that they left the earth, others are unaware of it; some are able to see those they have left behind, others not; and certainly everybody in Kama-Loka is able to see all that pertains to the particular division of that state in which he may be at the time. Mr. Stanton’s book is excellent in many respects, but cannot be exhaustive. What he describes is beyond doubt what happens to some persons in Kama-Loka, but he by no means describes all the possible cases or facts of that state. But one thing may be asserted as positively so, or else the whole system is at fault, and that is that the being in Kama-Loka sees whatever pertains to the state in which he is, as it is all a question of state.

     If H.P.B. was taught of Masters for years in Tibet as stated, previous to giving out Their teaching to the Western world in 1875, why was the doctrine of Reincarnation disavowed by her in her early writings? The Masters could not have spoken then, any more than later, in an uncertain tone on this great tenet of Theosophy, which is so interwoven with all Their teaching as to be inseparable from it. Yet in Isis Unveiled it is emphatically stated that “Reincarnation is the exception, not the rule, for the race at large.”

     W.Q.J.—First, there is no evidence published that “H.P.B. was taught of Masters for years in Tibet.” I should like to know where such a fact is alleged by any competent witness. Second, the doctrine of reincarnation was not disavowed in her early writings. Third, the quotation from Isis at the end of the question is incorrect. Reincarnation is not denied; but reincarnation of the astral monad is denied as the rule. The words omitted from the quota-


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tion are the hinge on which this question and reply must turn. Inquirers and members should be careful in making references, as well as in getting the real import of what is read.

     Turn to Theosophist pp. 288-9 of August, 1882, and you will find the question answered and the remark in Isis explained. Turn to Path, vol. I, p. 232, Nov., 1886, and you will find the article “Theories About Reincarnation and Spirits” dealing with the same matter and by H.P.B. She wrote that article at my request because of a similar question arising from a like misunderstanding. Furthermore I assert as a witness that from 1875 to 1879 H.P.B. taught and explained Reincarnation, and in my case in respect to a relative of mine who died during that period. But when Isis was written, the full scheme of man’s real constitution had not yet been given out, though hinted at broadly. Attention was then paid to the Kardec school of Reincarnationists with the object of overthrowing their theory, and H.P.B. then, as later, denied personal reincarnation. The reëmbodiment of the personal astral— called “astral monad” in Isis— never was taught and is not taught by the school from which The Secret Doctrine emanates. Hence her denial of it as the rule in 1877 still holds good and is reasserted in the articles I have pointed out. There is therefore no inconsistency, though it must be admitted that her English in 1877— by one who had never written for publication— was not as clear as these abstruse subjects demand. For this we must allow, and we ought not to hold all her words to the strict rule we follow in dealing with an English philosopher, but should construe all together.

     Reincarnation of the “astral monad”— that is, the personal being and the astral body— is not the rule but is the exception; but reincarnation of the Individual or “spiritual monad” is the rule and the doctrine; and it is taught in Isis, to which readers are referred. Wherever H.P.B. seems to deny reincarnation in Isis, she is referring to personal reincarnation, using the word “man” or “person” in that sense. By consulting the various paragraphs it is seen that the doctrine of successive rebirths is taught plainly, and when she speaks of reincarnation— a new word for her then— she refers to the idea of personal reincarnation. Some of her paragraphs go with detail into the causes for rebirths, but then she is referring to the reincarnation of the “thread-soul,” which is not the astral soul. It should also be remembered that terms have been better

 

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defined and more often used since 1875 than they were then when all was new, even though such mediums as Cora Richmond had before that taught now and then reincarnation as a law without defining it. It is of course to be regretted that Col. Olcott tries with labor to show H.P.B. ignorant of the law in 1875, but that only convicts him of not then knowing the doctrine himself and as not having referred to her full explanations of 1882 and 1886. It does not prove anything against her save bad English. Yet with all her unfamiliarity with our tongue, the very sentence around which these discussions arise— and the sole important sentence that can be found— contains in itself in the words “astral monad” the solution of the difficulty. She began by saying “reincarnation of the individual,” the words personality and individuality then and worse than now being doubtful and interchangeable, but immediately qualifies the description by adding “or rather of his astral monad.” If she were to construct the sentence now, the same idea would be there, but expressed in words intelligible to Theosophical students. But even up to this day our words are inadequate, for the terms personality and individuality, soul and spirit, are causes of confusion to different minds.

     There seems to be a glaring inconsistency not only between the two answers to the question in FORUM LI about unmerited suffering and its reward, but between what W.Q.J. says now and what he said when answering a question in relation to the unmerited Karma of some of the people who perished in the Johnstown flood. In his old answer he took for granted the existence of some unmerited suffering, but now he says there is no such thing.

     W.Q.J.—Quite possibly the reply made by me in FORUM LI may not agree with the Editor’s, but that is only because my view and his are not the same, and in the T.S. each man is entitled to his own opinion. But I find no inconsistency between my answer and what I said respecting the Johnstown sufferers; however, as the question does not say where the Johnstown matter is printed, it may be left on one side.

     I do not think any suffering or any enjoyment is unmerited. Whatever we have comes by law and justly. But as this is a world governed by cause and effect, the mental attitude of those who suffer or enjoy it be considered; it has its force and effect; it must be provided for. Men in their ignorance do not always see


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why they suffer, as no connection is visible between the punitive circumstances and the prior cause, which, indeed, had arisen in some long- gone life. Hence, while suffering, the person feels deeply that he does not merit it. This is what is meant by “unmerited suffering.” In the mind is lodged the thought that pain has been suffered which was not merited. Devachan provides for this just as it provides for many another supposed ill or injustice. There the person— due to the thought I have spoken of— finds for himself the reward for “unmerited suffering.” If he were fully enlightened, of course he would see that all that had happened was just, and no unmerited suffering would exist in that case.

     Modern minds are always dwelling on objective modes of thought which constantly ignore the truth that the mind is the source alike of pain and pleasure, of punishment and reward. The Universe is a vast ideation alone, and everywhere we must remember that the mind rules. Until the mind is free, illusion exists on every plane. In Devachan and in Earth-life the illusions are equally great. Inasmuch as the mind is the ruler, the guide, and the standard, it must happen that we will often suppose we have been unjustly treated. Now the mere fact that we were not does not prevent the feeling of unmerited suffering unless the person is fully aware of the fact and accepts it. And as most of us are not fully enlightened, we are constantly subjected to what seems unjust. Criminals often think they have been victims of injustice. This must be taken into account in nature, for their minds and thoughts are as much a part of it as any other mind. Hence a large sum of suffering must exist that is classed as unmerited. This is provided for in Devachan. But in Earth-life exact subjective as well as mental results follow. If this “unmerited suffering” is not to be so classed, we will have to find some other word. At present we would have to use a long sentence to express the idea, thus: “In Devachan the person finds compensation for those sufferings which in Earth-life were supposed by the sufferer to be unmerited, in consequence of prior causes not being known.” But most certainly every circumstance, all pleasure, each reward and every punishment, are the due and exact result of causes set up by the person who is the experiencer. And the richness or the barrenness of Devachan itself is in each case also an exact result of causes set up in the preceding Earth-life, which in turn are the outcome— due to evolved character— of all previous lives.

 

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     How is one to learn the nature of and how to practice the specific course of training, physical, intellectual, and spiritual, spoken of in the Epitome of Theosophy?

     W.Q.J.-The specific course of training spoken of in the tract referred to in the question is found in many Hindu, European, and other writings. It was practised in part by the Christian mystics just as much as by others, but it is specially given and explained in Patanjali’s Yoga Philosophy. If one follows all the directions of that book he will reach the highest result of spiritual cultivation, but the difficulty is that many Theosophists, after reading that book, attempt to practice portions of it without attending to the high moral precept therein, and naturally they create disturbance within themselves without any very beneficial result.

     In FORUM No. 43, Question 216, the doctrine of the Antinomians is denounced. How are we to understand in “Tea Table” of Path for January, 1892, “For desire ceases to attract us when we no longer identify it with ourself.”?

     W.Q.J.—I see no connection whatever between the doctrine of the Antinomians and the passage quoted from the Path. The Antinomians, doubtless arguing upon St. Paul’s statement that certain persons become a law unto themselves, held that they were not subject to any law and could satisfy or work their desires in any direction. The statement in the “Tea Table” is intended to convey the idea that when we have gotten beyond desire it ceases to attract us, which is an entirely different matter from the Antinomian question. The Theosophic philosophy teaches that by overcoming desire, by ceasing to desire, by controlling the appetites, by turning away from the objects which attract the appetites, desire ceases to attract us, all of which seems to me to be almost the statement of a truism.

     What is the process whereby the Kamic elements of man become embodied after death in the entity known as the Kama Rupa? How can intangible subjective desires, passions, and the like become “rupa,” or whence comes the body or rupa?

     W.Q.J.—If the process were given it would not be understood, since it is one for which our language has no words. It is for this reason that descriptions given by clairvoyants of various occult things seem pure twaddle and vague mutterings to those who for


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themselves cannot clairvoyantly see the same thing. How could it be possible to describe the operations of the occult Cosmos in the terms of materialistic science and philosophy? That hidden Cosmos is ideal in its fineness, and the very attempt to fully describe the process enquired of would convey only doubt and certainly result in confusion. But it is no more hidden than is the process by which the body builds itself up every day; nor than that by which a thought will affect the entire nervous system. A simple thought will bring a hot flush or a cold shiver. How? No one knows. Certainly no scientific terms exist to describe the mode and means whereby the thought connects itself with the human physiological machine. And if this be so on this plane, is it likely that an Adept’s description of the coalescence of Kama with an astral body after death would be comprehended save in the most general way? This general way may be gotten at by considering the action of the magnet. It attracts, but no scientific man can look behind that fact, it even can attract an electric flame, but there too the process is occult. In the same way there is an attraction between the mass of desires called Kama and the astral form which causes them to come together just as a similar attractive force brought Ego and body together.

     But desires and passions are not intangible and subjective in the sense given by the question. They are in their sphere— though not in this— quite tangible and objective, and those two words must be altered when we pass beyond the consideration of this plane. If the questioner insists that on every plane desires and passions are intangible and subjective, that will dispose of the question, because in such a case they certainly could never attract anything. But it will first have to be explained how such “in tangible and subjective” things as passion and desire can and do have an objective effect even on this plane. As on their own plane they are full of force and tangibility, they attract to themselves the necessary quantum of astral matter, invisible to us but still there, to form a sheath or covering. Having their center in the thinker, they radiate from that and cause their effects until cut off from their center, when they begin to dissipate unless linked with some other center from which they might get activity. But the whole difficulty grows, it seems to me, out of the prevalent habit of regarding this so-called objective world as real, and forgetting that the mental and spiritual realms are the only real

 

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ones, this being simply the phenomenal expression of those. I therefore disagree from the editor when he says that such and such desires “are not existences apart from the mind and capable of assuming an objective form,” for I think they are just such existences and have the capacity to take on an objective form. He is simply stating modern conceptions, which are wholly erroneous and springing from a system of philosophy which does not know that the mind is an entity, and while his illustrations are all good for the school to which they belong, they are completely negatived by the facts of Occultism. For instance, if a practitioner of magic— and not a very high one either— were to fix in his mind the image of an object, it would soon become objective to our physical senses, just as it was first in fact objective to our inner senses. This could not be possible if the objective and subjective of one plane are forever on every plane subjective and objective. That which we now from this plane call “abstract qualities” change on another plane into “objective things.” So I regard it an error to call the desires and passions abstract qualities, unless we say at the same time that we mean it relatively.

     If the cause of rebirth is an unsatisfied desire to live (Tanha), why should those be reborn who are weary of life and have no desire to continue or repeat it?

     W.Q.J —There is a slight but important inaccuracy in the doctrinal statement of the question, and the question also leaves out of account the desires of life counting from the cradle as well as those desires of other and past lives which were never satisfied.

     The inaccuracy is, that it is not the doctrine that unsatisfied desire leads to rebirth, but that desire is the cause of rebirth, and this makes a great difference in the matter. The want of satisfaction of desire only adds another element leading to rebirth. Desire of any sort, satisfied or not, deludes the Ego, and it is thereby drawn into the magnetic attractions (from which through ignorance it cannot escape) which must and will operate in time to cause rebirth. The desire operates the instant it is entertained, and, sinking into the inner recesses of being, is a cause for rebirth. The mere fact that it is forgotten or that all earthly life in time becomes distasteful does not do away with its force in those parts of our nature which while we are ignorant remain hidden from us. For with each desire— and there are millions of them—there is a thought, and it is these thoughts which make the bonds which


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draw us back to earth. And with each person this goes on for many years, for but few children are wise enough to control desires. This immense mass of desires and thoughts is to be taken into account. The question appears to ignore them altogether. If in mature years one begins to see the futility and uselessness of desire for life or any other desire, it means that experience has been gained, but not by any means that the forces engendered during preceding years have been exhausted.

     Furthermore, there is behind each one the whole sum of other lives with all their desire, much of which must be yet unexhausted. These are each a cause for rebirth.

     And it is not merely the desire to live which causes rebirth. That is a prime cause, and one that being seated in general human nature is more subtle and powerful than any other, for it relates to life itself, no matter where. And I take it that if the person who says life here seems worthless were offered life on some other planet in most harmonious, beautiful, and gratifying circumstances, he would find the deeply seated wish for life suddenly blazing up, causing him to immediately accept the offer.

     My own experience, and the statements of candid and observing men like Mr. Sinnett, convince me that intelligent beings “on the other side” sometimes— perhaps frequently—communicate with mortals through sight and sound, sometimes voluntarily, at other times by solicitation, both by night and in strong light, natural and artificial. I should much like to know what and who these beings are, that is, “with what body do they come” and of what grade of intelligence. I ask because, 1st, I have myself seen, known, and felt such beings at different times through their manipulation of the finer elements of matter about us; 2nd, I am sure Theosophy is able to enlighten me, and, since they have taken the initiation of intercourse, the question seems proper.

     W.Q.J.—Without claiming any authority on this matter, it seems to me that the “intelligent beings” are in most cases elementals, of which there are some of very high grade but all of which are below the human as to soul and conscience. They do not in the end lead to good, but most frequently to the opposite. The door once open to them, others of any sort may just as well come in. But every case of the sort experienced by the questioner is not necessarily the coming of any other intelligence than one of the many interior selves we are made up of; many of them may be

 

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the production of the power of the person’s own astral body which has had some education retained in itself in some other life and now only kept back by Karma and environment. Such is the case with many mediums who do strange things, using their own astral senses and members without at the time knowing that such is the method, just as a man may walk quite well in his sleep. And as it is taught in all good books on this, the elemental world, acting with the inner principles of living men and with the strong shells of gross persons and the astral bodies of those in the astral world who are not wholly dead but live in the passions and astral bodies, is able to “mold matter” in many strange ways and to bring about phenomena of a remarkable character. A simple thought evolved in a definite manner and with a certain intensity will, acting automatically with an elemental, produce a rap of great or small force, and may also bring about sensation, such as sight and feeling and hearing. If, however, a seemingly higher order of intelligence had taken the initiative, one should then exercise the very greatest care, as it is certain such intercourse cannot yet be carried on without a disturbance in the system that is for this age out of the normal. But what exactly each experience is or may be would have to be decided on its own merits and by one who could look behind the veil.

     Are Plane and Principle ever interchangeable terms? Can a Principle he said to be a plane of the working of the next higher Plane, i.e., as Buddhi is the vehicle of Alma, or the ethereal double necessary as the bridge for Prana to cross over to the physical body? May they be said to be analogous to Spirit and Matter, opposite poles of the same thing?

     W.Q.J.—It does not seem to be right to try to interchange these two words, for it will result in mixing up the ideas. A plane is, like a plane surface, quite different from a principle, just as gas is different from the place in which it may exist and be felt. Plane of consciousness is used to designate the stage or metaphysical place the consciousness has reached or may be on or in. But to say that a principle of this plane is a plane for some higher state is very mixed, for it would result that thereby our individuality would he lost and all be reduced to annihilation. Whereas as each individual retains his identity and thus must preserve the identity of his principles, whatever those are, it must follow that his principles are not planes but remain as before principles. However,


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it must be remembered that the word “principle” is used loosely, and sometimes that which is not such is so called. It is easy and definite to retain the actual meaning of “plane” and not try to mix it with some other word. I cannot see any analogy between these two words and “Spirit and Matter,” inasmuch as plane means a place for operation or use and principle is that which uses or operates on a plane.

     Does not the law of Karma set men an example to be retaliative, since the workings of that law are essentially retaliative in retribution, apparently enforcing “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”? Or should we not look upon the law as retaliative or retributive at all, only our shortsighted conception of justice making it appear so?

     W.Q.J.—I do not understand how any one could imagine that the law of Karma, rightly understood, could lead one to retaliation. Certainly a law such as this cannot “set an example,” for that infers the action of a being such as a God, or other being. The law of Karma should not be regarded as a law of retaliation, because retaliation again infers the action of a being and not the working of law. Karma is the working out of effect from cause, as well as the creation of cause from which an effect must follow. Hence Karma is completely merciful, because justice and mercy in their highest aspect are one. The exact result must follow the cause, and from every act will flow many effects, both good and bad. Those who wish to have an excuse for retaliation can of course warp any law to their own ends, and the way to warp the law of Karma so as to support retaliation is to talk of it as setting an example, or doing some other thing which can only be performed by an individual with conscience, intelligence, and responsibility.

     What is the source of Conscience? From what plane does it come? Why does the savage delight in cruelty to his enemy, and the so- called enlightened man in sharp practices which the really en lightened know to be wrong? In other words, is Conscience a matter of education?

     W.Q.J.—Conscience seems to be a faculty which may be stilled or made active. In my opinion its source is in the Higher Self, and as it comes down through plane after plane it loses its force or retains power according to the life and education of the being on earth. The conscience of the savage is limited by his education just as were the consciences of the New Englander and the Euro-

 

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pean religionists who destroyed men for the sake of God and Christ. We cannot assert that the men who indulged in religious persecution were not going according to what they called their conscience. By this I do not mean that conscience is a matter of education, but that the power of its utterances will be limited by our education, and consequently if we have a bigoted religion or a non-philosophical system we are likely to prevent ourselves from hearing from our conscience. And in those cases where men are doing wrong according to what they call their conscience, it must be true that they have so warped their intuition as not to understand the voice of the inward monitor.

     Is it a fact, as sometimes asserted in print, that everything in Nature is dual, and that nothing can exist or even he conceivable without its opposite? I don’t see the necessity for this.

     W.Q.J.—I can think of no proposition so easy of proof, and of which there is so much evidence in the material, mental, and psychic realms, as the one that duality rules universally in Nature. The Sun is the day ruler, the Moon the night ruler; the first giving direct light, and the other reflected beams,— in both cases dual. The day is one side, the night the other; and thus light and dark are a duality. In the earth’s travel it brings two opposites— heat and cold. Man and animals are male and female— dualities in sex. The word “male” would not connote its present meaning unless there were its opposite. The magnet— a mundane universality— has two opposite poles, one attracting, the other repelling: they are opposite in position as well as in effect. Indeed, it would be tedious to prolong a list that could be extended over the whole range of nature from the little to the great. In the argument that “Intelligence would be intelligence just as truly if there were no such thing as” its opposite, and in other like arguments and illustrations, there is pure assumption. The word “intelligence” describes a quality found among men, but “stupidity” is also to be found there, and one is hardly justified in assuming that a time will come when stupidity will be gone from the cosmos, leaving only intelligence, unless it be also assumed that the complete and exclusive prevalence of intelligence is the known object and end to which the universe is tending. Of course optimistic thought may make this assumption, but pessimism is as much entitled to construct an opposite one and say that stupidity and chaos are the final end and aim.


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     We are dealing with Nature wherein there is the duality referred to. To assume the destruction of duality is to reduce into a state of nothingness both as to consciousness and the thing cognized. If we take the illustration of evil disappearing and good prevailing, then there must be assumed for the event a cognizer to perceive the good and to feel its effect, which at once makes the final all-embracing duality of a cognizer and the thing cognized, felt, or perceived. If no cognizer is present, but the Universe is simply goodness and naught else, then we have nothingness once more, since there is no mind or consciousness to note it. But as this is not so, we have to conclude that in the final analysis, whether objects be one or many, there must be a perceiver and that which is perceived.

     Do we begin a new round of embodiments after Pralaya? If the past does not suffice to end the “descent into matter,” can we expect the future to do so?

     W.Q.J —One of the cardinal principles of Theosophy is that evolution by means of manifestation is periodical, one manvantara succeeding the preceding one as its logical and natural successor. Hence the present one is the legitimate successor of that which preceded it, is its resultant in every way, but necessarily higher since there can be no going back, It is postulated in The Secret Doctrine that the descent into matter changes into the reascent to spirit in this present round. Those of the race who shall not succeed before Pralaya comes on in attaining to truth will necessarily have to go through whatever reimbodiment is needed in the succeeding manvantara. This is natural, just, and reasonable. Those who attain in the vast stretch of centuries yet before us to the height of power, wisdom, and perfection will not have to go through re-embodiment unless they wish to do so: it is quite likely that a great many of them will, out of love for the new and struggling ones of that future manvantara, descend into matter for the help and benefit of those below them. Perhaps by that time, so many millions of years hence, the questioner will have developed so much through struggle and effort as to be quite undismayed by the prospect of another fight with matter then. But certainly now it is looking a long way ahead, seeking for a fanciful idea to dwell on this future possibility in a manvantara which is for us inconceivable in time as well as in quality.

 

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     Are those who predict that the United States are to be the theatre of Black Magic in time to come able to foresee what will be the catastrophe? Will our race be left to itself until it shall work out its own destruction by a cataclysm, like the Atlanteans; or will an Avatar appear at the crisis, as Krishna did in the days of Kansa? Is there any record or tradition of an Avatar’s having appeared among the Atlanteans previous to their final extinction?

     W.Q.J. If the Adepts have predicted that the United States will be the scene for a catastrophe of Black Magic, they certainly are able to know what that catastrophe will be. The question does not seem to me profitable, but rather one of those arising more from curiosity, quite natural but still not valuable. It is doubtless true that at important epochs in the World’s history under the law of cycles and Karma great beings appear for the confusion of the wicked and the re-establishment of virtue. We have no information as to the appearance of such beings amongst the Atlanteans, as nearly all we have heard about that race is in The Secret Doctrine, and there it merely says that such beings have appeared periodically; hence they must have come to the Atlanteans.

     What finally becomes of thoughts, both good and bad, sent out by human beings?

     W.Q.J.—It has been said that “thoughts are things,” an assertion with which I am prepared to agree entirely; and I also firmly believe that the time is not far off when their substantiality will be recognized and understood by science more fully than at present.

     A thought implies many things besides pure force exerted. If force is exerted, then there must be that which exercises it. What is this, and what is the effect of the exercise? When we think, it is known that there is a disturbance or disintegration of the grey matter of the brain. But next we must observe that there is at the same time physiological disturbance, change, or alteration in the whole frame. For instance; a thought of shame or disaster or punishment may bring all over the body a hot flush or a cold shiver; the thought of a great danger just escaped has made men dizzy and women faint. Is there nothing in this? Further, each thought makes a picture, save perhaps a purely metaphysical syllogism, but even there it is difficult to escape the formulating by the mind of some concrete illustration as the syllogism proceeds; and even in pure mathematics it will be impossible for the


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thinker to prevent the rising up of a picture of the figures used in the operation, because from youth the numerals were impressed on his memory. Going on with this, we see that clairvoyants report that each thought makes a flash or picture objective to the inner sense, and from all the experiments in hypnotism we find that the old claim of occultism that each thought makes a definite picture must be true. Every clear seer will confirm this from personal experience. Still further; the astral light being a preserver of these pictures like a photographic plate, it follows that every thought has its picture preserved, and by that means what has been done or is being done may be known unerringly. Therefore thoughts, while they may be fugitive so far as concerns the thinker, are not so otherwise, but persist as seeds for good or evil in the whole race.

     But, still more, every thought leaves a seed in the mind or manas of the thinker, no matter how fugitive the thought was. The whole sum of such small seeds will go to make up a larger seed for thought, and thus constitute a man of this, that, or the other general character. Thoughts, then, are highly important, for, as the Buddha said, we are made up of thought and built of thought; as we think, so we act and will act, and as we act and think so will we suffer or rejoice, and the whole world with us.

     Are the statements in the 9th chapter of Esoteric Buddhism regarding the later incarnations of Buddha as Sankaracharya (sixty years after Buddha’s death) and Tsong-ka-pa (born in the 14th century) correct? I do not remember anything by H.P.B. which confirms these very interesting statements.

     W.Q.J.—The statement in Esoteric Buddhism referred to is not the first time that such a view has been given Out, as for many, many years the assertion has been made in India and other Oriental countries that Buddha reincarnated in Sankaracharya for the purpose of making a reform in Hindu philosophy. From reading Mr. Sinnett’s words it would seem that he is using the terms of the letters from the Adepts on which the book is founded, but that cannot be said certainly until he admits it or the letters themselves are published. I do not remember now any passage in which H.P.B. said anything about it, but other students may be able to find such. The same may be said as to Tsong-ka-pa. The doctrine of reincarnations of an Avatar is clearly put in the Bhagavad-Gita in the fourth chapter, thus: “And thus I incarnate from age to age for the preservation of the just, the destruction of the wicked,

 

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and the establishment of virtue”; and so also is it given in many other of the old scriptures. As Buddha came to those who were outside the Vedic law, so it was natural at that time, a little later, he or someone else should come to make a reform in Hindu Vedic philosophy. Whether both were the same souls is not very important, but it is quite evident that the soul of each was in every sense a “maha-atma,” for the influence of Sankara is as much felt to this day in the Vedic philosophical schools as is that of Buddha outside of them. The coming and going of such highly advanced egos is always “by a secret path,” as is the phrase, and generally curiosity is what brings out references on the point of identification, for did we know who any particular person was in another birth nothing much of value would be gained. Supposing it to be certain that Buddha and Sankara were one and the same soul, we gain nothing but some confusion, since much that one said will not harmonize on the surface with that said by the other, inasmuch as we know nothing of their secret reasons, and the systems given by each have many radical differences.

     Why did the Egyptians, whose priests were many of them advanced Adepts, teach the necessity of carefully preserving the bodies of the dead, while the advanced Theosophists of the present day advocate the rapid destruction of the body by means of cremation?

     W.Q.J.—In asking a question why the Egyptians did this or an other thing you expect too much of us. We really cannot know. And no matter why they did what they did with mummies, it would be no reason for or against what now is advanced by Theosophists and others. But cremation is not a thing the Theosophists proposed; it was proposed long before the T.S. was founded, and but little is said of it by Theosophists. But at the same time it is not known what was the real origin of making mummies, as the examples we have belong to very recent periods of the Egyptians, who must have existed many thousands of years before the times we can know of their history. It has been suggested very justly that the practice began with their Adept kings for reasons of their own, and that it came to be imitated after wards. If this is so, then it would be natural for the kings to permit it among the people so as to create a greater security for their own mummies; for if there be mummies for all, no one will bother to look for any particular mummy for some special reason, whereas if only kings were known to be mummied, then later


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people might want to exhume and inspect them, for the early kings were thought by the people to be Adepts, as is evident from the records. But on all this we are as yet but making assumptions.

     How can we discern whether it is the divine conscience animating us and directing us in a certain direction, or the animal soul seeking release from seemingly unfavorable environments?

     W.Q.J.—The divine conscience acts in all struggles for betterment, but clouded more or less in each by reason of education and habit of thought; hence it varies in brightness. It is not possible to make a hard-and-fast fixed rule for finding out what is the animating motive. If we are trying to get into a better state, it is for us to decide if that be simply and wholly selfish. All actions are surrounded by desire as the rust is round the polished metal or the smoke round the fire, but we must try. So if we fix for ourselves the rule that we will try to do the very best we can for others, we will generally be led right. If we rely on the higher self and aspire to be guided by it, we will be led to the right even if the road goes through pain, for sorrow and pain are necessary for purification of the soul. But if we wish to run away from an environment because we do not like it and without trying to live in it while not of it, we are not altering ourselves but simply altering the circumstances, and may not always thereby gain anything.

     What is the real meaning of that phrase so often seen in Theosophical papers, “the great orphan, Humanity”?

     W.Q.J.—This phrase has a deep significance for me. An orphan may also be one who had no parents, as the state of orphanage is that of being without father or mother. If we imagine a child appearing on the earth without a parent, we would have to call it an orphan. Humanity is the “great orphan” because it is without parents in the sense that it has produced itself and hence from itself has to procure the guidance it needs. And as it wanders in the dark valley of the shadow of death, it is more in need of help and counsel than the mere body of a child which is the ordinary orphan. The soul is parentless, existing of itself from all eternity, and, considered as soul, mankind is hence an orphan. Plunged into matter, surrounded on every side by the vast number of intricate illusions and temptations that belong to earthly life, it stands every day and hour in need of protection as well as guidance.

 

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     If the idea of a loving parent be applied to the notion that a definite God has produced mankind, then we find that this supposed parent has at the same time invented the most diversified and ingenious series of bedevilments and torments to beguile, hurt, harass, and finally destroy the child. For if a certain one God is the maker or parent of man, then He also is the one who made nature. Nature is cruel, cold, and implacable. It stops for no man, it never relents, it destroys without mercy. When inhabitants of earth multiply, Nature manages to destroy millions of people in a night or two, as has now and then happened in China; the very elect of the earth are swept off the earth in a moment; slowly and painfully the infant races creep up the ladder of time, leaving as they go vast heaps of slain at the foot. The whole of life presents, indeed, to man more frowns than smiles. It is this fact that has made so many who are told of a loving father and at the same time of an illogical scheme of salvation revolt altogether from the idea of any meaning to life but despair.

     I cannot see how the phrase “great orphan” carries with it the notion of being without guide or helper. The orphan is every where; but among the units composing it are some who have risen through trial to the state where they can help the lower ones. Orphans themselves, they live to benefit mankind of which they are a part. They are the head of the body of which the lower members are the less developed units or atoms. Enthusiasm for the “orphan” is that which will lead to devotion and sacrifice; and that enthusiasm must be developed not only in the Theosophist, but in all the men of earth. Having it they will help all on their own plane, and each stratum of men rising in development will help all below until all belonging to the globe have risen to the perfect height. Then they can proceed to other spots in cosmos where are also wandering vast masses of souls also units in the “orphan,” who require and can then receive the same help that we had extended to us. If this is not the destiny of man during the time when all things are manifesting, then the remark of Spencer to the effect that altruism is useless because when universal there is no one to benefit, must be accepted. However, the phrase in the question is one of those rhetorical ones that must not be read in its strict letter and ordinary meaning.

     In a recent lecture by an F.T.S. the grand possibilities open to a multi-millionaire for the accumulation of an enormous wealth of


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Karma by the altruistic expenditure of riches were dwelt upon so rapturously, while the Karma born of the “Widow’s Mite” was mentioned with such marked decrease of consideration (perhaps not intentionally or even consciously) that the following queries suggested themselves.

     (1) Is it not inconsistent to suppose that good Karma can be accumulated in larger quantities by the altruistic expenditure of a millionaire’s wealth than by that of the “Widow’s Mite,” since a man can only be judged generous by what he has left after the gift?

     (2) Can Karma be acquired, or deposited like money in a bank to be drawn upon for future needs; and is not the contemplation of it as a thing to be stored up illogical, illusory, and a direct incentive to self-seeking?

     (3) Is any Karma good “per se,” or in fact good at all, except in so far as it compensates and atones for past transgression; and is it operative any more after all misdeeds have been expiated, i.e., can a man have Karma to his credit?

     (4) Does not Nirvana follow the full satisfaction of Karmic law, and, if so, how can there be any more place for Karma of any kind?

     W.Q.J.—As to (I) the altruistic expenditure by a millionaire of his wealth in large quantities must accumulate to him more “karmic credit” than if he had but little. Mere expenditure of money is nothing, but the really altruistic, unselfish use of it is much. Every time such a person thus expends for the good of others he thereby excites in all who are benefited a sympathy and a portion, small or large, of love. This cannot be wiped out, any more than an evil act, until it is exhausted by a corresponding action on the part of the person who thus gets benefit. Hence such a millionaire necessarily makes to himself friends who will one day in some life benefit him. If this is not so, then all the doctrines of karma and cause and effect are of no value.

     (2) Karma may not be acquired like money in a bank; it cannot be deposited; but a store of merit may be laid up to the account of any one who acts so as to lay it up. If the law is looked at from the selfish side as something that one may lay up for himself, of course it will tend to self-seeking; but it is hardly possible for one to believe in and act under the law and fail at the same time to

 

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see that if he does so selfishly he limits his store and sometime will nullify all its effects. It is not good karma to act selfishly; hence he makes bad karma by so acting from a self-seeking of benefit under the law.

     (3) Good karma is that act and thought which is pleasing to the Higher Self. Hence sorrow and pain and discipline may be good karma. Bad karma is that act and thought which displeases the Higher Self. Hence all self-seeking acts no matter how high and outwardly virtuous they are, are bad karma, since the Higher Self desires no such acts for its sake.

     (4) Nirvana comes to those who have risen up over all delusions and have realized the supreme unity of all; then it may be taken; but if it is then taken for oneself, leaving others in the mire of life unhelped, it becomes an enormous selfishness which later on must result in the being having to do penance in some other manvantara.

     Somewhere in Theosophy we are told that the Egos now on the planet are largely the reappearance of the Atlanteans. But I notice more resemblance to the Romans and Greeks. Our style of architecture, our ideas of pastime, such as prize-fights, football, wrestling, and rough or unrefined amusements, are all in line with the classic ones. Even the Greek type of feminine beauty is apparent once more, and women affect Greek ideas in dress and fixings. How does this consist with the statement in question?

     W.Q.J.—The questioner seems to have misunderstood the matter. As the Atlanteans preceded the Romans and the Greeks by many millions of years, the Romans and the Greeks themselves may have been and likely were an appearance of the Atlanteans. It was said by H.P.B. that all the present Race are Atlanteans. This must be so if the first parts of her anthropological scheme are correct, for the reason that that old form of race preceded all the later, the latter being simply the various reincarnations of the former. If, then, the sports of the present or any other form of life led by us seem like the Roman or the Greek, that is only because we do not know what were the forms in which the Atlanteans in their time indulged. Similarly, as we have no knowledge of what was the Atlantean type of beauty or of intellectual achievement, there is nothing in what the questioner says which in any way militates against the Atlantean theory. When we shall have dis-


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covered fully all about the Atlantean civilization and the physical form as well as mental calibre of that race, we can then say what subsequent smaller race most resembles it. It must also be remembered that we as souls are quite likely to be the same souls that inhabited the bodies of the Atlantean man, because that race existed so very long ago as to be sui generis.

     In killing out desire, do you not also kill out worldly ambition? When a man has done this, is he fit to fight the battle of life, or to be the head of a family?

     W.Q.J.—In killing out desire we do not kill out right action, though we may kill ambition. It is likely you have a wrong meaning for the word “ambition,” as it is wrongly used by many. It is used out of its way to mean energy and action, whereas it does not mean that. It means the desire to get gain and power and glory and wealth for oneself, and that is selfishness of the worst, and hence ambition may be rightly killed and no true progress is made till it is put under. But by following the rules given, that is, to do your duty, you can not neglect your great and small duties, hence you will care for your family. But if you give the word “ambition” the meaning of the opposite of “apathy” and say that he who kills ambition becomes apathetic, then all would be folly. Fitness to fight the battle of life is not from worldly ambition at all, but from a right and strong sense of duty, from a determination to do it, and from a true sense of your duty to your neighbor.

     What entities, besides Kama-Rupa, communicate with man from the astral plane, and what vehicles for manifestation are used be sides the Rupa and astral body of the medium? Which of the communicating entities are friendly and which hostile, and what are the means of distinguishing between them? Have in mind the evocation of Apollonius of Tyana.

     W.Q.J.—Hundreds of classes of beings communicate from the astral plane with the living through mediums and otherwise. Of this subject the West does not know. Hence you will have to take on faith if you believe at all what I reply. Many degrees of elementals communicate. These are all of no use to us, but harmful. Many of them are used by black magicians who live in the astral world in their kama rupas. They use the elementals, they live thus on the living by absorption, and this is the great danger of all such things. Some of them may be friendly, but unless you have

 

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the means and sight of your own to tell which, no direction would be of any use. Even while friendly they are injurious, for they must use a part of you or some one for the work, and they thus set up the likelihood of another not friendly using you the same way. Apollonius was an adept and cannot be safely imitated by any less person. If you are too strong to be influenced and get another person as the means for it, then you will be wrongly exposing the other to a danger you are yourself exempt from.

     I am not able to see that the law of Karma as expounded by most Theosophists is not retaliative in both its retributive and its beneficent aspect. W. Q. J. says: “The law of Karma should not be regarded as a law of retaliation, because retaliation infers the action of a being and not the working of a law.” But how can a law work without the action of some being or beings; and even if it did so work, a law can have a retaliative character as well as a being. And since a law expresses the will of some being or beings, this will may express retaliation through its laws just as many human laws do. Such a law could emanate only from an anthropomorphic being, and furnishes a selfish motive for right doing or abstention from evil doing. If wrong doing is the cause of suffering, and if right doing is invariably rewarded, we should find these effects always following these causes, but such is not the fact. Right doing is very often the cause of suffering, and wrong doing the cause of pleasure. If there is any such law that rewards us for doing right and punishes for doing wrong, it should be inoperative among beings which had no sense of right and wrong, such as animals; yet we find that animals have suffering and sorrows, pleasures and joy. Is it not nobler and more spiritual to do right because it is our duty and from love of the right and of our fellow-creatures? Such has been the motive of all great souls. The law of Karma is the law of cause and effect, or of evolution, and as such of course includes all causes of suffering or pleasure, but when it is stated that the ethical character of the cause determines what the effect shall be, we state what cannot be substantiated by fact.

     W.Q.J.—This question has been referred to me because, I suppose, my name is mentioned. It seems to deal chiefly with the meaning of words. As I understand good and bad Karma, they mean respectively action which is pleasing and that which is displeasing


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to the Higher Self. Hence seemingly retaliative Karma may be for the good and benefit of the soul experiencing it, while pleasure may be the opposite. The word “retaliation” carries with it in my mind the notion of a person who retaliates, and I would not apply it to a law or to a natural result. As, for instance, burning will follow on placing the hand in the fire, for the reason that it is the law or nature of fire to burn, but how can it be other than vague and confusing to say that the fire retaliates on the hand? If such a use of words were common we would have to make gods and deities of all natural forces and operations. Karma as a cosmic law metes out the exact result for act, but this is cause and effect, and not retaliation. The man, however, who hits back because he is hit retaliates on the hitter. The effect in such a case is that in the mind of each is set a seed or cause which must sooner or later make an effect. If a blind and helpless man accidentally hits another in the eye, causing hurt, it is usual for the hurt person to excuse the act and to feel no resentment, and hence to bear within no seed for future hate; but the same sort of act done on purpose generally rouses hate or resentment. Imagine now the resentful person dying at once. He carries the seed of hate in his mind, and in some other life it will come out when the time is ripe under the law. But the act in both cases was the same, while the ethics and the mental states in both were not the same.

     In the “Ocean of Theosophy,” on page 46, is made the statement that it is desire and passion which caused us to be born, and will bring us to birth again and again in this body or in some other. How could we again inhabit this body? Please explain.

     W.Q.J.—The statement on p. 46 of the Ocean of Theosophy was a slip of the pen. The intent was to say that desire and passion make rebirth in some body, and it should have said “in some body on this earth or another globe.” I do not believe we come back to this body. I also think it is from the context reasonably clear. The Ocean was written in a very few days, and hence some slips have occurred in it; this is one, and will be corrected in another edition.

     In regard to the third object of the T.S., what, if anything, is being done in the way of investigating the “psychic powers latent in man?”

     W.Q.J.—There are two ways to understand the word “investi-

 

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gate.” Either it means an actual physical and experimental investigation, or another sort, the other being investigation of the philosophy and the laws underlying the phenomena. The former has not been done by the T.S. for the reason that the philosophy as given out by writers like H.P.B. indicates a danger to the experimenter; and experience sustains the views promulgated by her and those who follow her lead. It is said that a profitable investigation of the psychic realm is only possible when we have first the instruments and next the character— in the line of purity and virtue— without which no right investigation in a practical way is possible. There are no mechanical tools or instruments that are of use; the realm is full of delusion and darkness; mediums, seers, and psychics are all alike (until we get those who really know) unaware of the source of the phenomena or the meaning of them when they come; they give different explanations for the same thing, and they contradict each other as often as not. Unsensitive experimenters, equally with the seers and psychics, are ignorant of the realm they deal with in almost all cases, and in many they deny obvious explanations known to be true by those who have studied the philosophy. And as far as the T.S. is concerned, it has not from the beginning paid attention to this so- called practical investigation. The phenomena of H.P.B.’s production were her own and not the Society’s, and no one has since been like her. Evidently she had, as she said, a distinct purpose and reason for the doing of her phenomena. It was to draw attention and to leave a record of a different sort from the long and sad one of mediumship. Experience in that has amply sustained her views. We know that the medium’s record is sad and full of instances going to prove the grave dangers incurred by those who attempt to deal before they are inwardly ready with forces belonging to other planes of being. All through the ages the wise have said that the mere wish of the practical man of the day for phenomena and for the production of them is not a good reason for complying with the request. H.P.B., a later teacher, said that the moral and ethical philosophical ground must be fully and precedently prepared for the new growth that is to come in the line of psychic powers, for if they are permitted to develop in such a selfish and sordid soil as is now afforded in our civilization they will come to be a menace and terror in place of being a blessing. This is why I say one would be sorry to see any of the


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T.S. Branches engaged in such practical investigation.

     But of the other sort of investigation we have had and still have a good deal. Our philosophy explains the facts already at hand, and shows distinctly how the virtues and excellences of character must be developed and realized before we are at all ready for practically touching the psychic forces. At the same time, by giving a sufficient analysis of man’s composite nature it tends to prevent and do away with all superstition in respect to the many psychic phenomena that daily have place. This latter method of investigation is the right one in my opinion, and the one to be retained rather than the other.

     What effect, if any, does the cremation of the body have on the remaining material principles?

     W.Q.J.—Cremation has no direct effect on any of the sheaths or vehicles, but it must have the indirect effect of freeing the astral form from the influence of the material body and thus give the astral a chance to more quickly dissipate. It has much less effect on kama and the others above, and none on prana, for the latter is ever present, and in the case of death is simply at work some where else. Material fire can have no effect directly on any sort of matter that is not on its own plane, and hence has no effect at all on manas or those above that. From a sanitary point of view cremation is of high importance, as it does away with injurious matter or matter in such a state as to be injurious to the living.

     Are our human souls born as infants or as adults into the Devachanic state? I am of the opinion that a soul may or may not enter that state as an infant, according to the knowledge acquired by the person while living.

     W.Q.J.—It seems to me to be a mistake to consider questions relating to the soul from the materialistic point of view of “infant” or “adult.” The soul is not born, nor does it die; it cannot be called an infant or an adult; those terms should only be used as more or less metaphorical, to show a difference in character. The soul assumes in the astral or ethereal realms of being that shape or form which most resembles its real character: it may seem to be what we could call infant or adult irrespective of the age of the body it had just quitted, or it might take the form of a beast or maybe a deformed, misshapen human body if its real life could

 

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be but fitly thus represented. This was well known to Swedenborg and many other seers, who saw souls wandering in such shapes which the very law of their being compelled them to assume. And it does not require physical death to bring this about, for in life many a person presents to the clairvoyant the actual picture of the inner character, no matter how horrible that may be. Form, shape, or lineament has then in the life of the soul to do with essential character. It is reported that one of the Adepts writing of Devachan spoke of our growing old there and then dying out of it. But this means, as was also then explained, only the uprush of force, its continuance in activity, and then at last its gradual decline to extinction or birth into another life. Adhering strictly to the words of the question, I do not think infants and those who are mere babes— have any Devachan, but that they pass on at once to another human birth as soon as the body of the baby is dead. They have accumulated no force for Devachan; they have but in them the impulse for birth, and that having been thwarted by death, it is continued by an immediate search for another body, to be continued until a body is found with sufficient vitality in it to allow the soul to go on with its pilgrimage among men. It is true that mediums and clairvoyants often report this, that, or the other infant as present from the so-called “world of spirits,” but I think that all such cases are only occupations by elementals of the images or shapes of infants who have died out of earth-life, and hence prove nothing at all but the infinite power of delusion possessed by the astral world.

     If our Higher Self was primarily an emanation from the Divine, why the necessity for this pilgrimage of successive incarnation? What advantage does the Ego derive from its association with the mass of matter we call our personality? If it is said that it is for the sake of gaining knowledge and experience in relation to every aspect or manifestation of the universe and on every plane of consciousness, why the necessity of such to what was divine from the beginning, and must from its very nature possess a consciousness of all existence and be in itself the source of all knowledge?

     W.Q.J.—It seems to me very difficult if not impossible to answer this question. It is one of those which the great sages and teachers of the world have refused to answer, on the ground that it was profitless to attempt it when we are unable to understand much simpler matters of consciousness, and, were one able to cognize


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spirit, the question would not be brought forward. Hence they were accustomed to make enquirers wait until they got more interior light. It would seem as if all one could do would be to give probable reasons why no full answer can be made.

     If we say that God is not the universe but is an entity apart, then, placing the spirit of man as a third separate entity, it will be seen, I should think, that for it to descend into the material universe would be a great degradation from our point of view. But it does not follow that our view is correct; we know that our knowledge of material nature is so limited that we often think that degraded which in fact is not, as is perceived by other minds more comprehensive. Even in the case supposed the spirit might of itself make up its mind to sacrifice and for its own reasons descend into matter. Similarly in life we know there are instances where pure, good, and happy persons take up with relatively degraded conditions for sacrifice or for charity combined with sacrifice. This would be a sufficient answer to the question under the assumptions made, unless we think that our individual opinion of what is and what is not the best thing to do must govern.

     But I view God and Man and Universe as one whole. As an unmanifested whole I can only name it the Absolute; when it manifests it becomes what is called Spirit and Matter, still of the whole. Without such manifestation there would be nothing: it would abide in itself as what we should have to call “nothing,” because then there would be neither cognizer nor cognized. Since it is evident that it has manifested, it must follow that it has done so for its own purposes, said by us to be for obtaining consciousness and experience. If so, any “descent into matter” will not be a fall nor a degradation at all, since those are relative terms altogether, and since spirit and matter acting together do so for the one purpose. Man’s present state is described by man to be a fallen one, but that is because living in a world of relative things he has to use terms to describe his present state. It does not follow that he will always deal in such words. When evolution shall have carried the whole race to a point of immense progress, knowledge, and wisdom, the mind of man will see more of truth, and doubtless be well satisfied with all the work and discipline gone through, leading up to the new and better state.

     I think questions of this nature arise unconsciously from a sort of dissatisfaction with present environment in the world, and evolu-

 

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tion from a desire of personal satisfaction and betterment according to a standard made up from and in a civilization that is based on a fundamental idea of separateness. For if we think we are separate from God and his universe then alterations of state and condition will be naturally thought of as needful, and the question will arise, “Why did we fall if we were once divine?” I do not admit that “we were once divine and have fallen”; but say that we are divine and always were, and that the falling is but apparent and due to the personal consciousness which calls that soul which is not and that not which is. We are God, and working out in various personalities and environments the great plan in view, and that plan is well known to the dweller in the body who calmly waits for all the material elements to come to realization of their oneness with God.

     I should like light on some contradicting points in the fifteenth chapter in the Ocean of Theosophy.

     (1) Man did not come from any tribe or family of monkey.

     (2) No more Egos from the lower kingdoms will come into the human kingdom until the next Manvantara.

     (3) The Egos in the lower kingdoms could not finish their evolution in the preceding globe-chain before its dissolution, and coming to this they go forward age after age, gradually approaching nearer the man stage. One day they too will become men and act as the advance-guard and guide for other kingdoms of this and other globes.

    To my understanding this is two different teachings.

     W.Q.J.—Beyond question the Ocean of Theosophy must have faults.

     But I cannot see a contradiction between No. 1 and any of the other paragraphs in the question. The statement that “man did not come from monkeys” is one that relates wholly to his physical evolution. It does not relate to the Ego. The inrush of new Egos ceased at a period long passed. What can be drawn from this is that the Egos and Monads now involved in the earth’s evolution are restricted from this on to the end of this Manvantara from coming into the human stage of evolution, with the exception of those confined in the true anthropoid ape family. What this has to do with contradictions I fail to perceive. The statement in No.


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3, if correctly quoted (and no page is given), is general and not specific. The Egos in lower kingdoms will become men— but not in this Manvantara— and then will have to begin the next Manvantara to help those below them. No assertion being made that the Egos thus lower now will be men in this Manvantara, there is no contradiction. In order to make a contradiction one has to import into the sentence that which is not in it nor strictly inferable, and this is not an allowed rule of construction. Especially so when the whole of the book is construed together. There are, therefore, not two different sorts of systems or evolutions present, but at most a slight want of clearness due to great condensation of a good deal into a small book. A better writer than I am would undoubtedly have prevented the slightest confusion in the reader. But in reading a book the best rule of construction is that which harmonizes the whole rather than one which finds errors by isolating sentences.

     If the Ego does not ensoul the body of a child until seven years of age, how is the suffering under that age to be justified? Of what benefit can it be to the Ego?

     W.Q.J.—Certainly no child could suffer unless such was its Karma. And as some children do not suffer, the question may be put, why is it that such a child has only joy? The answer must be that such is its Karma. In the same way as to suffering: that is the Karma of the soul. It must be, too, that the Ego perceives the suffering and knows what it is for. The child may not, but even in one’s life it often is seen in mature years why and for what certain sufferings were undergone. Take the case of a youth who has many hardships and privations from the very earliest moment, and who thereby has developed in him fortitude and other good qualities, but who might if always in easy circumstances in youth have become much less strong and not so good: the suffering here was of value. Again, take the cases of children of savages, who are subjected to what a civilized child would call suffering. In those there is no suffering at all unless we say there is an absolute definition of what suffering is. But while it is said the soul does not gain full possession of the body until seven as a general rule, it is Karma alone that leads the soul to that body, and hence all the suffering or the joy is exactly the property of that soul through the molecules of the body, as we should always remember that the whole man, body and soul, is united as one, and the mass of molecules per se

 

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is as much the Karma of the incoming soul as any other circumstance, environment, or quality. The question is not to be deter mined solely on the ground of “benefit to the Ego,” but from the point of view of cause and effect, of relation and of Karma.

     Does Theosophy teach that this earth is the hell of this planetary system? And, if so, does each solar system have its own hell?

     W.Q.J.—Very many writers affirm it to be their opinion that the real hell is this earth, but it is not clear that such is the view “of Theosophy,” meaning thereby the exact truth. It was taught, apparently, by Buddha that there is a hell after death of the body, and some of the conditions of Kama Loka are a hell most surely; it is also taught in Hinduism that there is a hell apart from earth-life. Some Kabalists seem to lean to the view that earth is hell, and when we consider the troubles of the soul therein it would appear to be so. For what could be more dreadful than to be living on the earth with a full knowledge that your acts will lead to a worse state after death and may finally blot out the soul? But in my opinion the question of hell, like that of heaven, is to be decided on a consideration of man as a thinker who thinks always and who is because he is a thinker. Hence his life at any time or place must be the result of his thoughts, must be founded on his thoughts, and have its color and effect from his thoughts. So if after the death of the body his thoughts before that naturally lead to the weaving of a beautiful, heavenly web, he will reside in those thoughts until they are exhausted, and then coming back to earth again his only hell will be this life. But if, enjoying himself or not here, he indulges in those thoughts that inevitably lead to the bitterness of a black life in Kama Loka, then his hell must be a stage or condition of that state of the very worst description, to which earth-life is heaven in comparison; in his case the return to life here would be heaven and the other life hell. This leads me to the conclusion that the very lowest and worst hell must be a condition of the mind, and that it must have place out of a body and hence be a stage or degree of Kama Loka. This would explain the various statements as to hells, because the awful condition that some souls must be in after the limitations of the body are shaken off would be of just the sort described, and their particular focus should be in the vicinity of the earth, as that is the representative of the grossest form of matter.


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If the law of analogy is to rule, then other worlds must have their own hells of this sort; but the solar system seems to be quite a large enough subject for us to be content with for the present. But it seems to me that all the theories of hell, no matter of what awful variety, are founded on the life of the mind and the soul, and to be drawn from descriptions of that life according to natural results. A dream of oppressive character will give some idea of what a hell may be, for there the mind devoid of body is suffering that which the body afterwards knows to be wholly of thought.

     Is the sixth principle (Buddhi), in union with the fifth principle (Manas) acting as spiritual consciousness, identical with what has been called “the voice of conscience?”

     W.Q.J.—The voice of conscience may be said to be Manas guided by Buddhi, but at the same time the Atman must also be concerned or there would be no real spiritual basis and no true certainty nor justice in the moving influence of conscience. Call the voice of conscience the voice of the Higher Self and you will be nearer right, and certainly safer from falling into a mere intellectual conception of the Soundless Sound that is very difficult to hear.

     Two inferences may be drawn from Theosophical writings with regard to the Ego of man: one, that the Ego is a direct incarnation of a god descended from a higher plane to take up its abode in the human form evolved for its use by Nature; the other, that the Ego is latent until the body is sufficiently evolved, when the Ego gradually awakens to activity. While aware that there is only an apparent contradiction, I should be glad to see the two conceptions reconciled.

     W.Q.J.—Unless the questioner has some special and peculiar meaning for “direct incarnation,” there does not appear to be any actual or apparent contradiction between the two inferences stated. What the special meaning is I do not know. Assume that the Ego is a “god on a higher plane,” and there is no impossibility in supposing that, coming to this plane, it is so surrounded by the clouds of matter as to become latent or hidden until the time when the form suitable for this plane is evolved. This is the only sort of latency which can be alleged of the Ego. This also is what Theosophical writings say to me, and among those writings I place the Bhagavad-Gita. In that, Krishna, the Supreme Being, identifies himself with Ishwara, who is the Ego “seated in the hearts of all

 

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beings.” Patanjali also says the same, naming that Ego, who is the Spectator of all things, by the name Om or Lord of Glory. The Secret Doctrine continues the same view. The Christian view and Theosophy must also agree, since Jesus, in exhorting his disciples to be as perfect as the Father in heaven, must have had in view the doctrine that the Father dwelt in and is Man: otherwise we could not become perfect as he is. I therefore do not see the need for reconciling contradictions which do not exist.

     The Ego— meaning thereby the Self, Ishwara, Krishna, the Supreme— is unborn, changeless, all-knowing. It knows evolving Nature, the instrument, but the latter comes but slowly to a knowledge of the Self. It is therefore latent only in the sense that there are periods when the instrument, the false personality, recognizes it not. Such a period is the present, when although the body has been evolved by Nature— with the aid of the Ego— we do not know the Ego. Why not, then, if the inferences of the question are right, apply them to the present time? If thus applied, then, under the position thus taken, the Ego is still latent and will be until Manas is fully developed in a succeeding round.

     To assume that the Ego is latent until Nature has had time to evolve the suitable form is to give to Nature power and consciousness which we withhold from the Ego. Why, then, not call Nature the Ego and do away altogether with the latter? Or you would have to assume a God beyond and above both Nature and Ego. The universe is either self-existent or it was projected into existence by some being whom we will call God. The Ego either was created by this God or is this God in itself. If the universe was not projected but is self-existent, then it and the Ego are one—God. Hence Nature in “evolving a body” which the Ego chooses to use is only showing forth the action of one of the powers of that Ego. But we can never solve the question of why the Universe or the Ego chooses to have two sides or ends, the negative and positive. All we know is that it must be so. The negative is— Nature, qualities, false personality, matter; the positive is— God, Ego, Spirit, Life.

     In what way and through whom have the special efforts been made by the Masters the last quarter of each century to bring about the results now attempted through the T.S.?

     W.Q.J.—On the belief held by so many that the Masters have acted through the T.S. and have done so before in other centuries,


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many names might be mentioned as possibly those who at other times have been made or induced to act to the same end. Jacob Boehme seems to be one. He was acted on thus and wrote much in the same line, though with a Christian and anthropomorphic tendency and bias. He was followed by many, and to this day has influence through his books. He was very ignorant as the world goes, but showed great interior learning. He was a poor shoemaker. He was once interviewed by a total stranger who told him he was destined to wield such an influence, and never saw the person again. Count St. Martin in France was another, and Count St. Germain, both having, as would appear from their writings, a knowledge of the source of their inspiration absent from Boehme. St. Martin was learned and had much correspondence with other lands on these very matters, but of course not so specific in detail. Cagliostro was another, and from all the records left of him, much of which was used by the novelist Dumas, he was an active agent of similar influences and spoke the same words and dealt in similar matters. He was not a charlatan, but was a man of great power. At the same time was Swedenborg, who was an unconscious instrument, but one who wielded a very great influence in all directions even down to the present day. His theories were in advance of the time.

     As to the manner of setting the work going, it differs with each place and time, and according to the time assumes a different phase. Boehme, for instance, was moved from within, and Swedenborg the same, for if an Adept has the powers credited to him it is easy for him to inject the right thought and aspiration at the right time to bring on the desired effect. In the case of H. P. Blavatsky we have one who evidently was fully aware of the work and who and what was at work. Hence her greater and wider power. This was exactly in accordance with the time she lived in, for now thought and religion are free; and hence, as she said, the time was come to make it more plain and definite. Doubtless at the next messenger’s coming it will be plainer still, as it is not likely the world will go back to barbarism.

     Is it an advantage or otherwise for a child to be psychic? If an adult is mediumistic, is it to be regarded as an evil, or, properly trained, is it a help on the Path? If sometimes a person suddenly feels impelled— the words tumbling out of one’s mouth, as it

 

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were— to foretell future events, which more often than not come true, is that mediumship and to be avoided? There is no seeing or hearing, only an impelling force: is that to be struggled against? These questions have come up in our Branch.

     W.Q.J.—If a child is born as a psychic in a family where the true philosophy of life is understood, so that right training is given to faculties so much misunderstood and abused, then such psychic inheritance might become a boon. When the opposite is the case— as will generally be in these days— then the difficulties and dangers may be many. However, the question seems profitless to me, because birth, like death, is inevitable for all who are born,— it is a fact, and so will the possession of psychic powers be a fact. To be born in a wise family is fortunate; to come into a wicked one may be the reverse.

     Mediumship, in general, is not a blessing, but often the opposite. Preliminary inquiry should be made to see if proper training can be had, if right knowledge of philosophy is possessed by the person. But as mediumship means— as now used— being under the control of some other power or consciousness than one’s own, then it ought to be avoided. Inspiration from or by one’s Higher Ego is not mediumship; it is illumination. It cannot be secured save by discipline, altruism, charity, deep love, and highest aspiration.

     The editor has excellently answered the query referring to prophetic and other utterances. If those come naturally they ought to be allowed. No selfish use should be made of the power, and if the utterer remains pure in motive, thought, and act, sufficient protection will be afforded by the power of those virtues. Lastly, I should think that questions like these are not profitable for Branches. They relate wholly to phenomena which cannot be understood nor explained until one has thoroughly and accurately grasped the philosophy of man’s nature. They are matters more for personal and individual attention and investigation than for the serious consideration of a Branch.

     If we follow out the Law of Analogy, would we not naturally suppose that other worlds, in this or any other chain, would have similar forms if in the same state of development? Would not those inhabiting them, if endowed with reason and Manas, naturally have forms similar to ours? Would not the chemical condi-


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tions be similar to our own? I ask because there seems to be a difference of opinion. The great ocean of nebular matter from which worlds are formed must have been of one and the same matter, operated on by the same force, moved upon by the same Spirit.

     W.Q.J.—I do not think the law of analogy will show that in other worlds, save those that go through the same sort of evolution, the human being will have the same form as ourselves. The law of analogy as to plan and general matters may apply, but form is something that is infinite in variety not only here but probably everywhere. If here we find, as we do, an almost endless difference as to form, then why should we suppose that in other worlds the same form for man obtains? I do not think it does. Nor do I think that the form we now have is the one we will have for our bodies in the distant future, nor that it was the first form man had on this globe. He began, in my opinion, quite differently, and will end for this earth as different as he began. Of course as to this we have definite statements from H.P.B. alone, but hers seem to me to agree with general laws and with the course of evolution.

     Take, for instance, what she says as to the pineal gland, its former use and future possibilities. She shows quite strongly that at one time it was on the outside of the frame and had its use as an eye, and asserts that in the far future it will again be in use with the other two, thus making three. This will be a substantial variation. Similarly as to the spinal column; she says later there will be two, and this would add another variety. And so on, could we go through many other departments. For if, as she says, the Fifth Race will witness the coming out in the air of a new and now unknown element that will correspond to fully- developed Manas, that must also produce greater difference and variety. So if we find now so much difference here as to form and think there may be still more for the future, what ground is there for supposing that on other worlds men will have or do have our form?

     But there is another reason for the negative answer. It is in the septenary necessities of nature. Each of the companion globes has its place, use, and evolution for the race which goes around the whole chain of seven, and on each a different form might be the one appropriate, for there all will be quite different and just as real then as what we have here is real to us. And if similar

 

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great laws prevail elsewhere, as we are bound to think, then the differences as to form must be entirely beyond comprehension now.

     While it is held to be true that one law and one spirit are in and under the whole, it is also held that that great whole has in itself, as we can see from a view of nature, infinite possibilities for change of form, function, power, environment, or anything else. So I am not able to see how a difference of opinion can rightly arise on the point raised, since to hold the contention that the forms must be similar is to say in effect that nature does not and will not change and has not, and did not present to our eyes and perception the most wonderful variety of form. The facts seem to throw the burden upon those who think the form must be the same, for all the facts as far back as we can go are against that view.

     If we admit the truth of theosophical doctrines regarding the inner constitution of man and his fate after death, what would be the     FORUM’S view as to capital punishment?

     W.Q.J.—My view is that capital punishment is both useless and injurious. It is as great an injustice to the world of beings left unexecuted as to the one so violently sent out of life. They used to kill men in England for stealing a ten nail or a loaf of bread, but thieves and thieving did not lessen. Murders have not decreased. In the country districts executions are means for brutalizing the people, who make a hanging an occasion for a gala gathering in order to see a man legally killed. But theosophically it is far worse. The fact that the sudden killing is legal makes no difference with the laws of nature. The man is suddenly cut off from his body, and, just like a suicide, is condemned to be a “spook.” He is dead so far as the body is concerned, but is astrally alive. Worse than a suicide, he is filled with hate and revenge which he must wreak on some one. At first he is not able to do much, but soon he finds that there are sensitive persons on the earth who can be filled with his vicious and raging passions. These poor souls are then influenced to commit crimes; being filled mentally— from the inner planes— with the ideas and passions of the criminal, they are at last moved to do what their mind is filled with. The executed criminal does not have to know what is going on, for his raging passions, untouched by the executioner, excite and influence of themselves whoever is sensitive to them. This is why many a crime is suddenly committed by weak persons who appear to be carried away by an outside force. It seems hardly


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possible that anyone could believe in theosophical and occult doctrines and at the same time commend capital punishment.

     According to Theosophical teaching, intuition is the sixth sense of man. Can it be cultivated, and, if so, how? If it is a sense like hearing, seeing, and smelling, why cannot it be trained as they are?

     W.Q.J.—I do not know that it is “according to theosophical teachings that intuition is the sixth sense.” It would be well to have citation of chapter or article where this statement is made. The question of the sixth sense is speculative as yet, nothing being decided. Like the fourth dimension, it is involved in doubt. Hence it should not be assumed that the assertion in the question is correct. Many persons hold that intuition is not the sixth sense, because it may very well be that a species of very rapid reasoning enters into intuitional acts, making them so rapid in conclusion as to appear devoid of reasoning as a means to find the conclusion arrived at. For myself I do not believe that intuition is the sixth sense nor any sense at all. But whatever intuition is, it can only be cultivated by having the right mental poise, the right philosophy and the right ethics; and by giving the intuition scope, or chance, so that by many mistakes we at last arrive at a knowledge of how to use it.

     What is precisely meant by Soul in Theosophical literature? We say the “Soul of man,” the “Soul of the world,” the “Soul of things.”

     W.Q.J.—Theosophical literature has not as yet come to a precise meaning for “soul,” nor can it until the English language has been so altered as to remove the confusion now existing among such terms as “soul” and “spirit,” and in the uses to which both are put. So long as we have in fact but two terms, soul and spirit, to designate so many beings, kinds of beings and powers as those are used for, just so long will there be confusion.

     If it is true that to ascertain the truth of the doctrines put forward by Theosophy many lives will be required after one has started on the Path, how and where am I to find that Path and to know it when I do?

     W.Q.J.—Do not look at this matter as if you had never been on the path before. It is more than likely in every case where an inquirer asks this question, either mentally or of some other person

 

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that he has trod the path in another life. Some hold that all Theosophists were on this path hitherto. Each life is a step on the path, and even though we may make many and huge mistakes, we can still be on the way. One should not be anxious to know if he is on the path by reason of a constant conformity to some set rules or regulations about a path. That anxiety is mechanical. Nature and the path of true wisdom are not mechanical, but for each soul there is a way and means suitable to it and to none other. By watching these mechanical ways mistakes are made. For instance, one becomes a vegetarian from a secret desire to get nearer the astral world thereby, and not because it is deemed a sin to take life. The rule will not be violated. Great inconvenience is undergone and much watching indulged in so as to keep the rule, and much attention and energy given to it which is taken from some other duty. All this is a mistake, for the kingdom of heaven is not gained by eating meat or by refraining from it. This mistake is due to too much desire to be sure one is on the path.

     But it is not necessary one should know that he is on the path. If he uses his best reason, best intuition, and best effort to find out his duty and do it, then one may be sure the path is there without stopping to look for it. And the path for one person may be the carting of packages, while for another it may lie in deep study or contemplation. On this the Bhagavad-Gita says that the duty of another is full of danger, and it is better to die in the performance of one’s own duty than to perform most wonderfully the duty of another.

     If India is the birthplace of the Theosophical philosophy, and if the Hindus have more natural capacities for occult knowledge than we, should we not accept those of them who come here and offer themselves as our teachers rather than waste time at Branch meetings in discussing questions concerning which we really know but little?

     W.Q.J.—Doubtless India is now the most ancient storehouse of Aryan philosophy which may be called theosophical— but no one is able to say that it is the birthplace. Egypt with its tremendous civilization, its philosophy and magic, is silent, and there is no one to put forward its claim. Beyond question also, the Hindus of today have more metaphysical acumen than we have. But the West is creeping up. And intellectual, metaphysical gifts are not spiritual


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gifts. We have all the intellect we need, active and latent. The Hindu of today is a talker, a hair- splitter, and when he has not been altered by contact with Western culture he is superstitious. Such we do not want as teachers. We will hail them as brothers and co-workers but not as our Magisters. But those Hindus who come here are not teachers. They have come here for some personal purpose and they teach no more nor better than is found in our own theosophical literature: their yoga is but half or quarter yoga, because if they knew it they would not teach a barbarian Westerner. What little yoga they do teach is to be read at large in our books and translations.

     The craze for present-day India is an eminently foolish one. If one will calmly examine the facts he will find the nation as a whole superstitious to the last degree; the few theosophists and Englishized ones being but as a drop in the ocean. It is not a united nation and cannot itself help the West. For centuries it has helped no one outside itself. As a whole— there are grand exceptions— the Brahmans keep up the superstition and proud isolation. We have the words of Master K.H.— an Indian — that India is spirit usually degraded. Fakirs and wonder-workers and hypnotizers do not prove spirituality. It is the destiny of India to hold as a store house good things to come out later; the West, as newest, youngest, and hence least degraded spiritually, has to work and learn so as to help the East.

     And the questioner speaking only of India seems to forget great Tibet and all Buddhist countries. What of those? What of their ignorance and superstition? Is India to be talked of alone, and all these others left out? It is time to call a halt, and for theosophists to broaden their conception of what and where the East is, and to stop talking as if the sun in the morning shone only on India.

What mental obstructions are in the way of meditation and most frequently present?

     W.Q.J.—The greatest foe and that most frequently present is memory, or recollection. This was at one time called phantasy. The moment the mind is restrained in concentration for the purpose of meditation, that moment the images, the impressions, the sensations of the past begin to troop through the brain and tend to instantly and constantly disturb the concentration. Hence the need for less selfishness, less personality, less dwelling on objects

 

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and desiring them,— or sensation. If the mind be full of impressions, there is also a self-reproductive power in it which takes hold of these seeds of thought and enlivens them. Recollection is the collecting together of impressions, and so it constitutes the first and the greatest obstruction to meditation.

     Are theosophical doctrines for the cultured classes? Should we pay most attention, in propaganda, to the cultured and “respectable” or to those in a lower stratum?

     W.Q.J.—If theosophical doctrines are to be of any benefit to the race, then they must be for all classes, poor and rich, cultured and uncultured, young and old. Some people think that these doctrines are really only comprehensible by the educated and cultured; that most attention should be paid to these classes, to learned scientific persons, and to those who possess a worldly and powerful reputation. For, they argue, if we can get hold of such, then we may the more quickly affect the others.

     But what has experience shown? Merely that the cultivated and respectable and scientific have laughed at Theosophy, and never would have paid it any attention if not forced to. A very prominent scientist, Prof. Crookes, early became a member of the London Lodge, but nothing has resulted therefrom to the distinct benefit of the movement. Many attempts have been made in the parlors of the rich, with hardly any result; certainly not enough to justify the outlay of strength and time. The theosophical propaganda has gone forward in the face of considerable opposition and coldness from the so-called better classes. Very true it is that the working, laboring classes have not pushed it, nor do they, as a whole, know a very great deal about it; yet that indefinite section of the working classes sometimes called the “middle class” has been its great propagator and supporter.

     As to understanding the doctrines, it is my opinion that this is as easy for the uneducated as for the educated. Indeed, in some cases, over-education has been a bar, and deep intellectual study of Theosophy has led to a want of comprehension of the principle of Brotherhood and to a violation of it. The purpose and aim of Theosophy in the world is not the advancement of a few in the intellectual plane, but the amelioration of all human affairs through the practice of Brotherhood. The theosophical doctrines show what Brotherhood is and how it is to be practiced, and if we cannot

 

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succeed in the practice of it then we are failures. Brotherhood is more likely to arise in the ranks below than to spring from those above, for it cannot be declared that present conditions— even in governments abroad— are largely due to the better, the upper, the educated classes.

     However— and here lies the duty of those Theosophists who have education— it is necessary to clearly explain the doctrines to the uneducated classes before these can grasp them. But when so explained, it will be found that in practice alone the doctrines are understood. We must not forget, in all this, that in America the proportion of illiteracy is not large, and hence in this land it is easier to propagate Theosophy among the masses. And history, the facts of today, amply prove this.

     Believing in reincarnation as many Theosophists do, and considering the fact that our ten preceding births may have been in ten different nations or races, how can the sentiment of patriotism be defended?

     W.Q.J.—Patriotism is love for the land in which your body was born, and it would seem on reflection that whether ten preceding births were in other nations and races or not has nothing to do with the patriotism felt in this. In each birth the same feeling would be felt for each country. All this has no connection with a defense of patriotism. Inasmuch as the sentiment has been always recognized as noble and good its defense seems unnecessary. Why should Theosophists, I may ask, raise a question of doubt as to such a high sentiment as this? It needs no defense at all. At first the man may love only himself; then he enlarges his love and extends it to his family; then a little more and he takes in his town or county; until at last he still further enlarges his love so as to embrace his country. Patriotism then is a love that is larger than the personal and hence a nearer approach to that feeling which would make all men brothers. A person cannot die for his country unless his love has gone beyond the confines of his family. Patriotism is in fact the best example humanity can furnish of an attempt at the universality of love that belongs to the Self within.

     In what respect does a Master differ from an Adept, an Initiate, or a Mahatma? These terms seem to be used rather loosely and as if

 

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interchangeable, strictly speaking, how would they rank, and what qualifications and powers are the adjunct of one who has earned the name Master?

     W.Q.J.—It is not possible to clear up these difficulties of language. They are all—except Mahatma— interchangeable. That term ofcourse stands alone, but when it is put into English as “Great Soul,” then those two words begin the confusion again, because Soul is not definite. A Master is an Adept and a Adept is a Master, and both are Initiates. For my part I see no way of settling The question, and personally I do not want it settled yet; I want no strict limitations in terms until the English language has become scientific.

    In several writings I have noticed belief in lost souls. If such belief be correct how can that passage of Arnold’s in the Light of Asia, which ends with this, be true: “All will reach the sunlit snow,” and also the thought of Nirvana?

     W.Q.J.—The two statements can be true. The quotation is simply from Mr. Arnold’s words, and he is not a religious authority at all. Again “all will reach” is not defined. All what? Is it all souls, or all atoms, or all monads? And in what way, or as what, will “all reach the thought of Nirvana” did Buddha teach? They could all reach it even were some of them lost to individual consciousness by being absorbed into some of the others. Arnold’s work does not decide such questions; it is popular. If you will read discussions of the priests of Buddha almost immediately after his death you will find many things to contradict present views of what was taught by Buddha. There is one long discussion, a report of which is in the Royal Asiatic Society’s archives, upon Individuality, in which the priests who knew Buddha or his friends decided that there is no Individuality. Hence it is not very important to decide about Mr. Arnold’s verses. The subject of lost souls is treated in theosophical literature slightly and is held by many to be true. But one must then be careful and accurate in the use of terms and be sure to decide what is called soul. The “several writings” referred to should be quoted as has been asked in the FORUM notice.

     In the Theosophical Siftings, Vol. 1., “Epitome of Theosophical Teachings,” page 15, it says: “When the Adept has reached a certain very high point in his evolution he may by a mere wish, become what the Hindus call a Deva—or lesser god. If he does


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this, then, although he will enjoy the bliss and power of that state for a vast length of time, he will not at the next Pralaya partake of the conscious life ‘in the bosom of the Father,’ but has to pass down into matter at the next new ‘creation,’ performing certain functions that could not be now made clear, and has to come up again through the elemental world; but this fate is not like that of the black magician who falls into Avitchi.” Now in what form does he pass into the next new creation and what is the work he has to do?

     W.Q.J.—As I wrote the passage cited, I may properly reply. The very quotation shows that “the work he has to do” cannot be told, for, as I said he would perform “certain functions that could not be made clear.” The whole matter is a reference to a very obscure doctrine, but little known, that if the Adept voluntarily takes the delights, pleasures and powers referred to, he is compelled, after millions of years of enjoyment, to re-enter objective nature at the elemental stage. That is plainly related. So it is quite clear that the quotation as made answers the question put. This the questioner will see himself if he will rewrite, after his question at the foot, the whole of the statement quoted in the beginning.

     Please explain the following passage from Bhagavad-Gita, Chapter II, Judge’s edition, page 14. “A soldier of the Kshatriya tribe has no duty superior to lawful war,” and especially show why the answer to Question 1, New Series [ capital punishment], is not inconsistent with the passage.

     W.Q.J.—It is a phrase meaning that the duty one is born to, or has, is the one to be performed and that no other assumed duty is superior. From the Hindu point of view it refers to caste and that a member of the warrior caste is born for fighting which for him is, according to his religion, a duty. As Arjuna was a Kshatriya, Krishna naturally referred to his caste duty. Had he been a Sudra, or servant, then the verse would read that a “slave of the Sudra tribe has no duty superior to performing service as required.” The Vedic religion, unlike the Buddhist, permits a certain caste to fight and kill, lawfully and in defense of the country. But the Brahman and the merchant are not permitted to thus kill. Hence each in his caste performs the duty of that caste into which he was born. Looking at the verse from an American and non caste standpoint, then it is simply an assertion that present duty,

 

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when known, is superior to any assumed or unknown duty.

     I fail to see what Question 1, has to do with this. That question was upon capital punishment. If one is of the Vedic religion he will allow of lawful war for defense of country, if he is a Buddhist he will be against all killing; and both may be against capital punishment; the answers to Question 1. did not declare anything as to what particular religion was followed. Capital punishment for crime is a very different matter from sudden death in lawful war.

     The effect of alcohol being degrading, why is it that a person under its influence will sometimes give expression to lofty sentiments and high moral teachings? A friend of mine knows a case of this kind. The person when in a drunken fit quotes many fine passages from the Bible and other sources.

     W.Q.J.—The assertion in the question is too sweeping. Some of the effects of alcohol are degrading, and some are not. It has many good uses. The abuse of it is what is degrading. There is no necessary sequence between the degrading effect and the utterance of lofty sentiments in every case, and yet in many cases there is. It is well known that— just as happens in hypnotism— the effect of alcohol may sometimes be to dull the outer brain and release the recollection of the teaching in early life of religious or lofty sentiments. This is like a phonograph which, as a machine, may repeat any good thing; the drunkard has become a maudlin machine. But the inner memory cannot be made drunk, and it is that memory which brings out the expression of lofty sentiments. In the same way morphine, more degrading in effect than alcohol, causes the taker sometimes to utter high sentiment and write magnificent literary matter.

     Was Jesus the only Avatar who asserted that thought and intent was as culpable as actual deed? A friend states that to be the case and therefore holds Jesus to have gone further in ethics than any other reformer.

     W.Q.J.—The friend who states that Jesus was the only teacher who asserted “that thought was as culpable as deed,” should be compelled before being allowed to make a conclusion, to bring forward his or her authority. It would be found that there is no authority for such a statement but that history is directly opposed to it; Buddha always taught that the thoughts were the most im-


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portant and were the actual deeds, the things in themselves, and that the outer deed was but the expression of a thought, and that only by good thoughts could we attain to perfection. In many ways this can be found in the Buddhist and Indian teachings and indeed in the teachings of all great reformers before Jesus. Buddha and his disciples taught that although a man might do a very charitable act, yet if he did not think charitably and if he was doing the act for the sake of gain or glory, it was his thoughts that determined the result for him. Therefore the thought which was not charitable was to be blamed. This shows how important they held the thought to be. Jesus having been educated in the schools of the Essenes, and probably all the other mystics, all of whom dwelt upon the importance of thought, simply gave out what he had been taught.

     On page 10 of May FORUM, in answer to Question 5, appears the following. “Those actions which in the moment are like nectar, are, in the long run like poison;— and those actions which in the moment are like poison, are, in the long run like nectar” (Bhagavad-Gita). This sentence seems to indicate that one should always do that which is disagreeable; that that! would do, I should not do, and that that I would not do, I should do. We are all seeking the truth from a strong desire to know of the truth;—should we curb that desire and seek falsehood? For one I would like to see every man reap the full rewards of his labor;— should I curb that desire and despoil him (or assist) of those rewards? No man, however base, loves to be deceived, and there are some who do not like to practice deception;— shall we curb that desire and practice deception? Shall or should we learn to sip poison from nectar, and then nectar from poison? If so. we must learn to love both; evidently there is something lacking in the sentence quoted.

     W.Q.J.—The confusion produced as shown in this question is due to the fact that the answer cited did not quote the words of the chapter in question, and that the questioner did not consult the Gita for himself. It refers solely to pleasure or benefit or enjoyment and not to actions specifically. It mentions three kinds of pleasures. The first is due to a purified understanding and will appear in the beginning to the man who has lived in the senses to be as poison, that is, objectionable, but the end will be “as the waters of life,” because it arises from satwa or truth. This does not mean we are to seek for poisonous or disagreeable things. The

 

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second sort of pleasure is derived from our senses, seems sweet at first, but in the end will be as poison, being derived from passion or rajas. The third includes all those so-called pleasures which in the beginning and end are bad in themselves. Looked at in this way and having read the chapter the questioner will not ask the question; he ought to read the poem.

     Do monsters of depravity ever seek rebirth through any but mothers of like character?

     W.Q.J.—I would like to answer this question so as to satisfy the questioner, but it being a question of statistics it is not possible to be exact from want of data. The question seems to bear the inference that the questioner thinks monsters of depravity seek mothers of like character. But is this so? Do we not know that all through time very bad men and women have been born of virtuous, righteous mothers. It was the mother’s Karma to be so unfortunate. In Indian history there was a monster named Kansa born of a good mother; doubtless the mothers of Nero or other wicked Roman emperors were good women. All this being the case, we are at liberty to assume that sometimes monsters of depravity obtain birth through mothers of opposite character. If we were to insist on the opposite, then we must say, in the case of great sages and Avatars, such as Buddha, that they only seek birth through mothers who are great as they; but this known not to be the case.

     What theosophical reasons are there for preferring cremation to earth burial?

     W.Q.J.—I find in the answer to this question which appeared in September, some statements regarding the Egyptians to which I would like to take exception on the ground that they cannot possibly be proved. It is said that because the Egyptians thought the soul could not gain its freedom until the body disintegrated, they therefore embalmed the body in order to chain the soul to it. I cannot agree to this at all. And all that we read of the aspirations for freedom and desire to be with the Gods which the Egyptians indulged in, would tend to show that if they knew how to allow the soul to gain its freedom they would not try to prevent it by making it stay in a mummy.

     The answer then goes on to say that the soul being thus cut off from physical life and pent up in the body with its desires, it


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there had to fight its own nature, and if it did not succeed it had to fight again; this, the answer said, enabled the soul to have immense power upon its return to earth where it might achieve union (with the highest) without difficulty. It seems therefore from this that for a time at least it would be better to be a mummy than a man. I do not agree with the propositions made, they cannot be proved, and I do not think they can be shown to be anything more than fanciful; at present I do not know of any book or record in which there is any account or hint of this doctrine.

     The fundamental question, “What is the criterion of Theosophy?” calls for an answer. Has Theosophy the power of growth, progress and advancement in line with all new expositions of truth? In the minds of many the writings of H.P.B. are regarded as the infallible oracles of Theosophy. But in time criticism is sure to do its work. Consequently it is necessary soon to give out a definition of it much broader,
simpler, and more unequivocal than any hereto fore offered.

     W.Q.J.—This is in fact a request to formulate and promulgate a dogmatic statement of Theosophy as we understand it. That is, to go completely back on the genius of the Theosophical movement, which is for the destruction of dogmatism. The strength of Theosophy lies in the fact that it is not to be defined. It is the wisdom of the gods, or of nature. This means, that evolution, slowly progressing will bring out new truths and new aspects of old truths, thus absolutely preventing any dogmas or “unequivocal definitions.” Were we to make and declare a definition of Theosophy it would be only the words of those who participated in drawing it up, and not acceptable to all. And were it possible that all would accept, then would be sounded the doom of the movement. Hence the reply to the question, “What is the criterion of Theosophy?” is that it is found in each man’s perception of the Truth; therefore there is no single criterion.

     If any persons regard H.P.B.’s writings as the infallible oracles of Theosophy, they go directly against her own words and the works themselves; they must be people who do not indulge in original thinking and cannot make much impression on the times.

     As for the Theosophical Society, the moment it makes a hard and fast definition of Theosophy it will mark the first hour of its decay.

 

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     Inasmuch as Theosophy is the whole body of truth about man and nature, either known now or hereafter to be discovered, it has the “power of growth, progress and advancement,” since every new truth makes it clearer. But among the truths will not be reckoned at any time the definitions, dogmas, creeds or beliefs laid down by man.

     I should like to have explained what is meant by “all experience” in The Secret Doctrine, where it is stated that it’s necessary to pass through “all experience” in this manvantara before the Divine Spark can be individualized. Does this mean that one must in the human kingdom have experience of each phase of civilization? Must one be a plumber, carpenter, painter, minister, lawyer, physician, etc., before he can reach full consciousness? I am aware that all experience cannot be attained in any way but by repeated rebut the stumbling-block in my mind is what is meant by all experience. Further, is it necessary to go through the whole school of crime in order to develop strength to progress?

     W.Q.J.—First, experience, under evolution, in and through all nature’s kingdoms is a necessity for all egos because they constitute the spirit, spring and impulse of evolution; without them there would be no evolution. Hence all that general experience is necessary because inevitable; and only by that great experience is individuality attainable. That is so because such is the law of our being.

     Now, take any one of such progresses or kingdoms. It was full of variety. Such variations were inevitable and necessary. Curious shapes of animals were evolved in the evolutionary struggle, all necessary in such a struggle to make perfect. But they were only details in the grand whole, like steps on a journey. Does it trouble us, does the question about “all” arise here? If not, why should it arise about mere details of changing human life, not yet perfect, still struggling to attain, to alter, to polish? Plumbers, painters and carpenters are mechanics, as are those in any other more desirable occupations, but all are for mechanical experience due to our, or any, form of civilization. And the ego cannot get intuition of mechanics if it never is put through that sort of experience. “All experience,” being thus found in a statement relative to great out lines and object of evolution must be considered thus and not as a mere detail. All possible experiences can be put under a few


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heads and it is those general types of experience we have to pass through. How would an ego know of motherhood and fatherhood if it never had the experience? Telling about them would not suffice. How would it know of governing if it had never governed, nor of submission if it had never been in bonds? There should be no stumbling-block in the word “all.”

     I understand Devachan to be a state in which the highest ideal of the late personality is attained. H.P.B. says, “He who has placed himself beyond the veil of maya or illusion can have no Devachan.” Is it then to be understood that the farther advanced the Ego in the knowledge of Truth, and the closer it comes into communion with the one Great Truth, the less need it has for that dreamlike state, Devachan?

     W.Q.J.—I never heard that in Devachan the “highest ideal of the late personality is attained.” Were that so the question would answer itself. I have therefore to drop the first statement when considering the question. Attainment of “highest ideals” is only possible when one is above all illusions; certainly Devachan furnishes no such condition. There the soul pursues its highest ideals spiritually, and, seeming to carry those all out to highest perfection, it is benefitted, enlarged and strengthened. Devachan is for rest and recuperation and not for action. Not alone do evil and mediocre people go to Devachan, but pre-eminently those who have high and deep— though unfulfilled— aspirations. These are artists, musicians, dreamers, religious enthusiasts. And they, having impetuous thoughts, stay there longer than others.

     But those who have been through all those experiences here and in Devachan, and who have triumphed over illusion through self-conquest, do not need Devachan because they have grown to their full strength and cannot against their wish be thrust into it by natural force. So they do not become subject to it. But that is the Adept. And he can enter into the devachanic state of another so as to help and benefit the other. We are not such as yet, but may perhaps some day, in the distant future, be able to do such great and altruistic work.

     How far should branches go in permitting the discussions at their meetings to be led into questions concerning topics not directly bearing on the theosophical philosophy or in permitting members or outsiders to detail their views on socialism, spiritualism, single

 

“FORUM” ANSWERS—————————————————————————127


tax, or the like, unless they have a direct bearing on Universal Brotherhood?

     W.Q.J.—While branches have the right to have any sort of discussion they please, it has been found that those which import into the meetings subjects not such as we call theosophical, have a quarrelsome or precarious existence. Special topics, such as Socialism or Single Tax, always lead to friction and away from Theosophy, because they create partisan strife. And again, members should not attempt to make special applications of Theosophy to such topics unless they know both so well as to be able to instruct their hearers. And do members in general know Theosophy, even, so well as to be qualified to apply it to anything but daily life and conduct? I do not think so. If a Socialist or Single Taxer, or rabid Spiritualist is asked to speak on any one of those subjects, he will be found to be a partisan or extremist, and most likely, if well up in his particular topic, he will not be versed in Theosophy.

     Theosophy is so new, and its adherents so few, and all reformatory questions (as specialities) are so changeable and evanescent, it is far wiser for a branch to go on studying Theosophy and propagating it together with the idea of Universal Brotherhood than to offer particular explanations on empirical topics. Were Theosophy understood and practised everything needing reform would be at once reformed.

     I think the time to settle this question is later, because as yet the mass of members in general are not versed in Theosophy. They are unwilling to go to school though they need schooling in Theosophy. When they can thoroughly and at the word explain the doctrines we promulgate they will then be competent to touch other matters.

     It has been said that all sounds are still in existence, and that if we could rise high enough we would be able to hear every sound that has ever been produced. If this be true, would not the intermingling of so many sounds only produce a roar as of thunder?

     W.Q.J.—This is not a profitable query theosophical. The FORUM is not for scientific replies, but for theosophical discussion. This question relates solely to natural physical laws. Science deals with it and says the resultant sound would be a harmonious tone. Questioner should read books on vibrations of air; music; sound-

 

128—————————————————————————“FORUM” ANSWERS


waves; and consult practical scientific men on this question. Suppose the FORUM replied “No,” or “Yes,” to the question, what would be the effect on theosophical doctrines? Nothing at all, and no advance made either way.

     When great teachers like St. Paul, St. John, Socrates and others incarnate do they commence with the degree of development with which they closed the preceding incarnation? if so, why are there so few great souls in the world teaching and living the proper life?

     W.Q.J.—Let us take the last part of your question first, and ask how do you know there are “so few great souls in the world”? It would not be right to judge all other men by yourself nor by a limited number of persons you may have known, hence it is likely you do not so judge, but have merely assumed that there are very few souls in the world like unto those you mention. Such an assumption does not seem to be a correct one. There very probably are among us now many great souls of the past. Nothing in philosophy or the doctrine of reincarnation is against such a view. We being actors on the present stage are not able to judge whether some others of whom we know are great men or not, who may be regarded by posterity as great personages like to St. Paul and your other examples. It is more than likely St. Paul was not highly regarded in his time; now, in the distance, he shines out. Certainly we know that Socrates had such poor regard from his contemporaries as to be poisoned because he was thought not to be a good man; now we, so far off, look at him differently. In the same way will it be respecting our own present times after the lapse of centuries.

     As to where any Ego will begin in any life is determined by karma and the needs of development. The whole front, or mass of our nature is so enormous that one life or one sort of development is only a small part of it: there is no possibility of at once exhibiting it all. So the former life of St. Paul may be now certainly hidden for further use while he is undergoing another necessary development which had formerly been neglected. If we look at his life we find he was a persecutor once. That was not at all atoned for by his subsequent conduct— unless of course you admit vicarious salvation— which I do not. He must atone for all that hurt done to others, and his reincarnation in some obscure place and body for several lives would quite accord with the needs of the case. So you can reason out the whole matter, recollecting that karma goes by

 

“FORUM” ANSWERS—————————————————————————129


cause and effect, and that the whole vast nature of man must be considered, and that you and I do not know the whole nature of those people you refer to. Hence we must conclude that the present age and the karma of past sages do not coincide in such a way as to produce many living before us. And if we ask what is the use, we must conclude that in such a selfish, superficial time as this they would be useless and out of place.

     It is said that at the time of death everyone reviews all the actions of his past life and even knows the object for which he took upon him the now fading personality. Is this knowledge or vision possible at any other time during life?

     W.Q.J.—It is said to be possible for one who knows all the secret laws of nature and of his own being. Certainly it would appear that no other sort of person could possibly do it. And such individuals must be almost as rare as the horns upon a hare.

     What is the opinion of the leaders of the T. S. in regard to vegetarianism?

     W.Q.J.—Physicians and those who have tried vegetarianism are those who should speak on this. The opinions of “leaders,” as such, are of no consequence. I tried it for nine years, and found it injurious. This is because the western man has no heredity of vegetarianism behind him, and also because his dishes as a vegetarian are poor. They should be confined to rice, barley, wheat, oats, some nuts and a little fruit; but westerners don’t like such a meager variety. The stomach does not digest vegetables, it is for meat; the teeth are for tearing and grinding meat. Most of those vegetarians I know eat a whole lot of things injurious to them and are not benefitted. Had we an ancestry going back thousands of years, vegetarians always, the case might be different. I know that most of the experienced physicians we have in the Society— and I know a great many— agree with my view, and some of them insist that vegetarianism is wrong under any conditions. With the latter view I do not agree. There ought to come a time in our evolution when new methods of food production will be known, and when the necessity for killing any highly organized creature will have disappeared.

     The other branch of the subject is that regarding spiritual development and vegetarianism. It has been so often dealt with it is


130—————————————————————————“FORUM” ANSWERS

 

sufficient to say that such development has nothing to do with either meat-eating or the diet of vegetables. He who gives up meat- eating but does not alter his nature and thoughts, thinking to gain in spirituality, may flatter himself and perhaps make a fetish of his denial, but will certainly thereby make no spiritual progress.

     “Lower manas” and “kama manas” are terms in frequent use in Theosophical literature and conversation, and from the fashion in which they are used they seem to mean many things to many minds, while not infrequently they are used as though their meanings were synonymous. Will the FORUM kindly give a clear-cut definition and so clear up this haze?

     W.Q.J.—It is not the FORUM’S place, nor is it possible, to give these definite replies and informations. Lower manas is English and Sanskrit, kama manas is all Sanskrit, and lower may mean kama to many. Each one is entitled to what he likes. Only after lapse of much time can the “haze” be cleared.

     Sometimes a hypnotist makes his subject blind to some of the objects before him while he is able to see others. How is this phenomenon explained?

     W.Q.J.—Doubts have been raised as to whether this was ever done. But taking it for granted, man is a thinker only and sees nothing but ideas. Hence if the idea of any object is inhibited, as in mesmerism, he will not see the idea of the subject and hence is said “not to see it.” His bodily senses and himself being disjointed, the operator imposes his own mind and inhibits ideas.

     Ages of blind, usurious laws have brought the world to ruin. Our struggle for physical existence prevents the full study of Divine Wisdom. Would it not be wise for Theosophists to unitedly advocate improved conditions, say through the Labor Exchange system or some such method? One may ask, why should we strive for that which would place us on the higher planes of thought or feeling when conditions are so unfavorable?

     W.Q.J.—I cannot admit the two first assertions of the question. The world is not yet in ruins; the struggle for existence does not prevent the full study of Divine Wisdom. The study of self, the at tempt to carry out the old direction, “Man, know thyself,” does not depend on human laws, nor upon conditions. The body may be in prison, or engaged in incessant labor, but the soul and mind

 

“FORUM” ANSWERS—————————————————————————131


cannot be bound by environment unless we ourselves allow it. The soldier does not seem to be in a business or conditions favorable to self-development, but even while in his sentry-box he can still think on the matter and thus study it— for study does not mean mere reading of books and writing of compositions. People fail in their efforts to study truth just because they start out by formulating a need for different conditions, or by insisting on having surrounding objects in just such a position and of such a quality before they will begin the work. They are wrong.

     Inasmuch as Divine Wisdom and the nature of the Self are not material, physical things or objects, they are not to be confounded with mere physical surroundings. Hence material environments should not be permitted to confuse or throw back the man who desires to study that Divine Wisdom.

     Again, as all things down to the most gross from the most ethereal are a part of Divine Wisdom, it is a mistake to try and destroy or put away because one does not presently like them, the very conditions in which under Karma one is obliged to study Divine Wisdom.

     The second part of the question contains a proposition for the T.S., or Theosophists as a body, to advocate some one or other of the many proposed reforms. This should never be done. The T.S. is free and independent of all such reforms, while it applauds all good results. But it does not follow that the reformatory measures are the best. Nor has the last word been spoken on those subjects. It is very wise and right to alter if we can the oppressive conditions about the poor or others. But so long as the philosophy, the religion, and the view of life held by the people are wrong, just so long all reforms will be temporary. The people must be altered in thought and heart, and then conditions will right themselves. I therefore strongly oppose any propositions looking toward binding the T.S. down to any system of reform or of legislation. Individual members can do as they please about it so long as they do not involve the Society.

 

INDEX

135—————————————————————————INDEX

A

Absolute
symbolized 41-42
cannot be discovered or known, without attributes 55-56
potential in all things but not related 69-70

Adepts (Masters, Mahatmas)
Black and White, relation to Kali Yuga and preceding ages 3-5
work with cyclic law to benefit Humanity 7
help truth seekers but are known only to pledged 50 75-76
could play piano without learning 57-58
evidence of existence of in history, traditions and logic 74-75
appear at important epochs 91 come and go by a secret path 93
act in world through agents 110
English language cannot clarify different terms for 119
may by wish become a Deva but must re-enter nature at elemental stage 120
have no Devachan 126-27

Altruism
is not by itself occultism 9-10

Alcohol
some effects are degrading and some are not 121

Antinomians
held themselves not subject to any law 83

Arnold, Sir Edwin
not a religious authority 119

Astral
contains pictures of acts which can influence some people 9
difference between soldier and criminal after death 21
Ego potentially involved in at conception 47
how hand can move physical object 59
phenomena in seances used as proof of 78
reincarnation of personal is not the rule 80
elemental communications from plane of 86-87 98-99
cremation frees from physical 102 soul assumes form
resembling real character 102-03

Astrology
and Karma 17-18

Atlanteans
present and past races were 97-98

Atom(s)
same used in numerous bodies by
the same and other Egos 65-66

B

Blavatsky, H.P.
indifferent to male or female incarnation 66
and two Mahatmas produced Secret Doctrine 69
wide power because of great knowledge 110
writings not to be regarded as infallible oracles 124-25

Blind
concepts of objects not clairvoyance in the 33

Body
has meaning beyond visible 47 Ego does not enter 47
meaning of growing “old” 55 does not suffer, know, or feel 58
is provided by nature to suit its environment 64
can include atoms used in former lives 65-66
of man has varied, will vary in future and other worlds 112-1 3

Buddha
teaching regarding music and sensation70-71
highest nature of man same as the Being of 71
said to have reincarnated as Sankara and Tsong-ka-pa 92-93
contradictions between early and present Buddhism 119
taught that thoughts were actual deeds 122

C

Capital Punishment
harmful to both the executed and the living 29-30 49 113-14

Caste
each has by birth a duty to perform 120-21

Chela(ship)

effect of desire to become a 8-9
brings up latent character and
precipitates karma 9-10

Clairvoyance
in relation to blindness 33

Condemnation
of others results in anger and blindness
to own faults 26-27 denunciation of criminal 54-55

136—————————————————————————INDEX

Conscience
source is Higher Self, function limited by education 8 8-89 108
acts for betterment but clouded by education and attitudes 94

Consciousness
imagination and will necessary to direct inner vital force of 14-15
has the quality of motion 4 1-42 varieties of not ours as yet 49-50
obtains a vehicle for every state 58 the Self, functions in different
planes of experience with appropriate instruments 62-63

Correspondence
meaning and usefulness 20-21

Cremation
not originally proposed by Theosophists 93
no effect on sheaths of deceased 102

Cycles
beginning and end of true not given 10
coincidence with eras cannot prove divinity of Saviors 10-11
of sun and atmospheric electricity 23

D

Death
difference between soldier and criminal 21
Karma of suicides and accidents when connected with mediums 24-25
penalty as punishment for crime 29-30 49
states of suicides and victims of accidental 48- 49
vision possible in life only to advanced egos 129

Degrees
within the TS. 5-6

Desire
related to will 34-35 overcoming of 83
and passion objective on their own plane 84
cause of rebirth 85-86 meaning of ambition and killing out 98

Devachan
how memory survives in 25-26 lasts until reward exhausted 39
soul does not experience during sleep 48
 is not delayed for all suicides and accidents until natural death 48
entered into by Swedenborg, some mediums and clairvoyants during life 54
why much longer than Earth life 56-57
man retained in by delusions and ignorance 58
all Egoic experience located within earth’s attractive limits 64-65
manasic experiences to draw Ego back to Earth Life 76-77
balances mental attitude held while living 78-79
offers reward for suffering believed unmerited in life 81- 82
infants have no 102-03 characteristics of 126

Disease
causes are from imagination and physical karma 35-36
treatment of through physical and mental methods 36-38

Dreams
influence of Sushupti, how guidance may come through 7-8
of oppressive character show nature of hell 108

Duality
is universal, examples of 89-90
relative to manifestation but Spirit- Matter are one 104-05

Duty
contrasted with ambition as motive for action 98
and reason and intuition lead to the path 115
that which one is born to is to be per formed 120-21

E

Earth
factors affecting conditions of 23-24 globes and principles 30-31
number of monads is definite in relation to 60
fossils of tropical life in arctic areas 63-64 not hell
per se 107-08

Ego(s)
sex determined by tendency rather than by mechanical alteration 43-45
informs but does not enter body 47
involved with body first through kama then through Manas at seven years 47
influence of mother on body and tendencies are karma of 47-48
deluded permit lower to rule

 

INDEX—————————————————————————137

therefore reincarnates and suffers 58
meet each other many times as friends and enemies 60-61
uses same atoms recombined in body 65-66
no longer entering human stage105-06
karma may bring suffering before age of seven 106-07
is God within which evolves with Nature a universe and a body 108-09
needs experience in all kingdoms forevolution 125-26
in single life exhibits only part of karma 128-29

Electricity
atmospheric and the sun 23

Elementals
means by which Karma operates, connection between mind and matter 42-43
may be used by Adept and others to play piano without learning 57-58
communication with through the astral, most are harmful 86-87 98-99

Environment
and human laws do not prevent study of self and Divine Wisdom 130-31

Evil
if chosen in Fifth Round soul will be annihilated 67
monsters of have rebirth through ordinary mothers 123

Evolution
“Fall” an allegory of two-fold evolution 13 of principles 19
seven differentiations occur within cosmos and man 55-56
Race will fully develop Manas in Fifth Round 67
the monad’s progress through Rounds 67-69
reason for a mystery and not a fall from divinity 104-05
no Egos from lower kingdoms will become men in this manvantara 105-06
proceeds through the Ego and Nature 108-09
form of man has varied and will vary in future 112-13
all experience necessary for 125-26
can be accomplished in any environment 130-31

Execution
capital punishment harmful to criminal and living 29-30 49 113-14

Experience
all necessary for evolution 125-26 Force
operating in phenomena explained in cited publications 75

F

Form
Soul assumes that which is commensurate with its character 102-03
for man is highly variable in this and other worlds 111-13

Future
there is no, all is now 46

G

God
cannot be the Absolute if given at tributes 55-56
fallacy of concept of 95 is the Absolute and ourselves 104-05
is the Ego, Spirit, that evolves with Nature a universe and a body 108-09

Gravity
operation of negative and positive poles 5 8-59

H

Happiness
true not dependent on anything out side 76
Health balanced mind and disposition conducive to 35-36
bodily ailments are derived from imagination and karma 35-37 39-40
the right limit of metaphysical healing 35
disease originates in the mind 36
dangers of metaphysical treatment and yoga practices 36-38

Hell
and heaven before and after death are created by thoughts 107-08

Hindus
modern characterized 116
Humanity door to kingdom closed from middle of Fourth Round 60
meaning of “the great orphan” 94-96

Hypnotism
should be prohibited by law 25
indicates that we see only ideas which operator may inhibit or alter 130

138—————————————————————————INDEX

I
Ideas
universe is only a vast ideation 82
every thought makes a picture in astral, a seed in mind 9 1-92
man sees only, may be inhibited in mesmerism 130

Imagination
necessary to direct the flow of force 14-15
powers of, prerequisite for occult arts 45-46 52-53

Immortality
human ego reaches by uniting with immortal Spirit 12

India
storehouse of Aryan philosophy but modern superstitious
and spiritually degraded 115-16

Insanity
some explanation for 3 1-33

Inspiration
source of for poets, artists, inventors 9

Intuition
how it may be cultivated 114

J

Jivanmukta
the white adept, liberated state, not obliged
to reincarnate or experience devachan 4 16-17

Justice
and mercy are the same 88

K

Kama
before entanglement with body Ego is involved with 47
sometimes the source of sympathy 76
coalescence with astral body after death 83-85

Kama Loka
various grades, personalities of suicides, executed and accidents in 48-49 79
 state of torment or delay, seeming recognition of others in 51
quite physical 54 Swedenborg’s visions in 54
variations in range of awareness 79 some conditions are a hell 107-08

Karma
operation in nature and man, catastrophes 2-3
of races and cyclic law 6-7 precipitated by entering the path 10
and destiny, a balancing of causes 16 and astrology 18
interference with 28-29 crime and criminal law are products of 30
and insanity 32 and diseases 35-36 good and bad relative to balance
of character and circumstances 40-41
elementals are means for operation of 42-43
male-female characteristics in reincarnation and 44-45
brings Ego to mother 47-48 and duty as related to criminals 54-55
racial means every man’s troubles due partly to ourselves 55
between Egos inactive until they meet 60-61 humans as agents of 71-73
meaning of “unmerited suffering” 78 81- 82 is merciful, not retaliative 88 100
altruism, storing merit, good and bad 96-97
of suffering child under seven years of age 106-07
single life exhibits only part of 128-29

Knowledge
shows how to use virtue, leads to the Supreme 28

Law
Mahatmas aid Humanity under cyclic 6-7
occult aspect of gravity and polarity 59
infinite possibilities for form, function, power under one 112-13

L

Light on the Path
should be judged on intrinsic merits, dictated by an Adept p.1

M

Magic(ian)

Black 3-5 20 White cannot take pay 20
distinction between black and white 34
taking hold of an other’s mind is Black 35
can make a mental image visibly objective 85
speculation as to catastrophes not profitable 91

Magnetism
and mesmerism in treatment of disease 33-34

INDEX—————————————————————————139

Man
enmity has the strongest hold on 60
highest nature of is same as Buddha 71
did not come from monkeys 105-06
form of highly variable in this and other worlds 112-13

Manvantara
man’s life is miniature of life of 67
endlessly succeed each other as logical resultants 90

Matter
includes heaven, worlds of devas and angels 2
“descent into” not a fall or degradation 104-05

Meditation
memory is greatest foe of 116-17

Medium(s) effect on suicides and accidental deaths 24-25
affected by astral personage 49
use own astral senses and members without awareness 87
unaware of source or meaning of phenomena 101
not a blessing to be a 111

Memory
how it survives in Devachan 25-26 greatest foe of meditation 116-17
recollection is the collecting together of impressions 117

Mesmerism
and magnetism in treatment of disease 33-34

Metaphysical
practice of healing 34-36 healing can return disease to the mind 36- 38
healers have stumbled upon a great law 50-51
mind-cure assumes that spirit only is 56
denial of facts blinds the mind to reason and cognition 38-39

Mind (Manas)
well balanced and centered is conducive to health 35
no one has right to take another’s 35 cures assume that only Spirit is 56
is necessary for consciousness to pass from one plane to another 63
of race will be fully evolved in Fifth Round, moment of choice 67
rules everywhere, is guide and standard, source of illusion on every plane 82
and spirit are only real realms 85 thoughts and desire make bonds of rebirth 86
thoughts have universal effects 91-92
fully developed will have corresponding element 112
memory greatest foe to concentration 116-17
terms to describe lower are vague 130

Monad(s)
number of is definite in this sys tem 60
an unchangeable unit manifesting through various kingdoms 61-62 67-69

Motion
Infinite Principle is absolute abstract 41-42

Mummification
by Egyptians 93-94 false ideas as to reasons for 123-24

Music
ability of Blind Tom and adepts 57-58
and Buddha’s teaching regarding sensation 70-71

N

Nature
has no intentions 13 man’s lower must be discovered,
subdued and transformed 42-43
experience in kingdoms of necessary for evolution 125

Nirvana
can be gained by selflessness and un selfishness 73-74 97

O

Obsession
insanity and other classes 31-33

Occult Arts
imagination and strong will prerequisite for 45-46 52-53
knowledge of chemical, electrical, magnetic and mathematical laws requisite 53
how a book may be lifted by astral hand 58-59

Occultism
entrance on the path precipitates character and karma 9-10
demands intellect, memory and will, not goal of T.S. 22

140—————————————————————————INDEX

P

Patanjali
Yoga Aphorisms contains direction for physical,
intellectual and spiritual training 83

Path
entrance on brings out latent character and precipitates Karma 10
concern about and mechanical approaches to the 114-15
environment does not preclude work on the 130-31

Perfection
is goal of evolution for individual and to help others 11-12

Personality
vehicle for Ego is delusive and binding 58

Plane(s)
correspondences aid acquirement of knowledge of various 20-21
soldier and criminal on astral after death 21
difference between principle and 87-88

Pleasures
as they relate to the three qualities 122-23

Principle(s)
of man and their evolution 18-19 globes and earth-chain 30-31
difference between plane and 87-88

Psychic
ignoble to use senses for treasure search 15-16
powers of white magic should not be used for pay 20
meaning of and cautions in investigation of powers 101-02
no selfish use of powers, phenomena not profitable for Branch consideration 111

R

Reforms
Branches should study Theosophy rather than 127
must alter nature of man to be permanent 130-31

Reincarnation
immortality is object of 11-12 Jivanmukta not subject to 16-17
sex determined by egoic tendency rather than alternation 43-45
does not conflict with mother’s power to influence child 47-48
purposes of distinct from causes, infant deaths 53-54
Egos meet each other many times as friends and enemies 60-61
taught by HPB, including in Isis 79-80 of personal astral is exception 80-81
desire leads to 85-86 of avatars 92-93
of monsters of depravity through ordinary mothers 123
in one life exhibits only part of karma 128-29

Rounds
Manas of race fully evolved in Fifth 67 and monads in evolution 67-69

S

Sankara
said to be a reincarnation of Buddha 92-93

Secret Doctrine
all passages must be construed together 61
triple production of HPB and two Mahatmas 68-69

Self, The
consciousness, Atma-Buddhi-Manas, Knower and Perceiver 63
Higher is same as the Being of Buddha 71

Selfishness
in working for Nirvana, 73-74 97 in seeking good karma 96-97

Serpent
nature and its powers is one of meanings of 12

Sex
determined by Egoic tendency 43-45
female character of concrete ness, male of abstraction 44-45
HPB’s view of use of male or female body 66

Sense
intuition not the sixth 114

Soul
connecting bond between spirit and body, can be lost 51-52
 is parent less, mankind an orphan 94-95
assumes form commensurate with its character in life and death 102-03
may suffer under karma before age of seven 106-07
no precise mean-

INDEX—————————————————————————141

ing of term 114 loss of treated slightly in Theosophical literature 119
great can be unrecognized 128-29

Sound
combination of all results in a harmonious tone 127-28

Spirit(ual)
not incarnated fully in existing race 2
selects soul as connecting bond which can be lost 5 1-52
has many meanings 70 Patanjali’s Yoga results in cultivation of 83
humanity commencing reascent to in this round 90

Spiritualism
materializations have intelligent actor behind them 77-78
phenomena proof of astral world and body 78

Sun
and atmospheric electricity 23

Swedenborg
entered Devachan during life, had visions in Kama Loca 54

Sympathy
sources of, should be exercised but with judgment 76

T

Tathagata
meaning of Being of 71

Tatwams
elements and forces of nature, in formation on confused 15

Teachers
Theosophical appear last quarter of each century 46-47 109-10
many great probably among us now 128

Theosophical Movement
persons who have acted as messengers 109-10

Theosophical Society
degrees within 5-6 meant to give true views of life and nature 22
meaning of third object 101-02 if it defines Theosophy will mark its decay 124
branches should study Theosophy rather than social topics 127
should never take partisan and reformatory positions 130-31

Theosophist
an altruist 21-22 duty to teach ethics and philosophy not political reform 30
should study, clearly explain and promulgate Theosophy and brotherhood 117-18 127

Theosophy
error in Ocean as to rebirth 100 seeming contradiction in regard to evolution 105-06
mode of presentation varies with conditions and messengers 110
middle class the great propagator and supporter of 117-18
treats subject of lost souls slightly 119 is not to be defined, no single criterion 124-25
should be understood and practiced, re forms will follow 127

Thought(s)
and desires make bonds of rebirth 86 are things with universal effect 91-92
heaven, hell and life made by 107-08 as culpable as deed, taught by all reformers 121-22

Tobacco
use of 22-23

Tsong-ka-pa
said to be reincarnation of Buddha 92

V

Vegetarianism
a mechanical approach to the path 115
pros and cons 129-30
WQJ tried for nine years, found it injurious 129

Virtue
and wisdom 23 28

Vision
knowledge found in death, possible for advanced Ego during life 129

W

Will
and imagination can direct inner vital force 14-15
as related to de sire and magic 34 dangers in use in mental healing 36-38

Wisdom
and virtue, how attained 23 28

Y

Yoga
Patanjali’s philosophy results in spiritual cultivation 83