THEOSOPHY, Vol. 30, No. 1, November, 1941
(Pages 23-29; Size: 74K)
(Number 92 of a 103-part series)
SCIENCE AND THE SECRET DOCTRINE
"THE STARS INCLINE ...."
THE twentieth century is now launched into its fourth decade -- a decade which may well see the onset of the least pleasant of H. P. Blavatsky's many prophecies concerning the course of Western civilization in this cycle. Agreeably to numerous other such prophecies, the signs of an impending precipitation of equal moral obfuscation in the "occult" and "psychic" realms are thickening daily. Mental telepathy, made "respectable" through adoption by orthodox science, its dubious past concealed under the new name of "extra-sensory perception"; gullible politicians in high places in our once more practical if less emotional national Capital, lending their ear to the dubious oracles personified by the modern fortune-teller; "love-charms" advertised in the interiors of taxis in that same Capital; a noted writer of the "great outdoors" now delving into the "great beyond" ...: these are portents enough of the wave of psychic crazes due to rise in this decade, in full correspondence with the cycle of last century which began with the Fox sisters.
Of late one of the "occult" branches on the flourishing tree of psychism has come in for attention, expressed in no uncertain terms, from the less ethereal-minded of our modern scientists. While Astrology, certainly, is no new thing, its present vogue has reached a new proportion. Revival of the new-old "faith in the stars" brings ample cause for trepidation among those trying to educate the world in the solid ways of a dependable materialism, for indeed there is astrology in places high and low. Besides being a pseudo-intellectual pursuit for coteries of decadent culture, the rising tide of astrology has suffused the interstices between Superman, Sordid Adventures, the Reader's Digest, and the Cosmopolitan, on the newsstands, and has attracted the alarmed gaze of our scientific mentors. Two researchers recently contributed a survey of modern interest in astrology to the Scientific Monthly (March, 1941):Prominent among the strictly astrological magazines are: American Astrology, Horoscope, Astrology Guide, Wynn's Astrology, World Astrology and Astro-Digest. American Astrology is said to have a circulation in excess of 100,000. The average newsstand carries at least four or five different astrological magazines. The dime stores have succumbed to the astrological craze. Modern automatic scales produce tickets with the weight of the victim on one side and astrological advice on the back.These writers also mention the numerous newspaper columns and other public agencies which cater to the same taste. In general, a rather thorough study of the superficial history and practice of astrology has been made by them, and the Scientific Monthly article shows considerable internal evidence of an attempt to be fair. A most astonishing statement is made to the effect that there is hardly an astronomer of note who has not been asked to cast horoscopes! If this is true, Science may despair of popular education, and "occultists" harbor a left-handed hope that a public open to the wrong kind of occultism may at last open its eyes to the right kind -- in preference to the abysmal materialism fashionable during the latest generations!
Astrology has made considerable inroads in advertising. The Better Business Bureaus have exposed many of the schemes used by astrologers, but in spite of their effectiveness they have not succeeded in eliminating astrology as an aid to salesmanship.
The Executive Counsel of the Society for Psychological Study of Social Issues has issued a statement which merits full reproduction from the Scientific Monthly:Psychologists find no evidence that astrology is of any value whatsoever as an indicator of past, present, or future trends in one's personal life or in one's destiny. Nor is there the slightest ground for believing that social events can be foretold by divinations of the stars. The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues therefore deplores the faith of a considerable section of the American public in a magical practice that has no shred of justification in scientific fact.This statement is by no means impeccable as to either fact or logic, but if one must choose between the attitude it represents and the practice of astrology as revealed in its current literature, the former is in many ways a more attractive view. And this as to honest astrologers. For the misdeeds of the openly fraudulent, reference may be had to "What Do You Think of Astrology?" in Good Housekeeping, November, 1940.
The principal reason why people turn to astrology and to kindred superstitions is that they lack in their own lives the resources necessary to solve serious personal problems confronting them. Feeling blocked and bewildered they yield to the pleasant suggestion that a golden key is at hand -- a simple solution -- an ever present help in time of trouble. This belief is more readily accepted in times of disruption and crisis when the individual's normal safeguards against gullibility are broken down. When moral habits are weakened by depression or war, bewilderment increases, self-reliance is lessened, and belief in the occult increases.
Faith in astrology or in any other occult practice is harmful in so far as it encourages an unwholesome flight from the persistent problems of real life. Although it is human enough to try to escape from the effort involved in hard thinking and to evade taking responsibility for one's own acts, it does no good to turn to magic and mystery in order to escape misery. Other solutions must be found by people who suffer from the frustrations of poverty, from grief at the death of a loved one, or from fear of economic or personal insecurity.
By offering the public the horoscope as a substitute for honest and sustained thinking, astrologers have been guilty of playing upon the human tendency to take easy rather than difficult paths. Astrologers have done this in spite of the fact that science has denied their claims and in spite of laws in some states forbidding the prophecies of astrology as fraudulent. It is against public interests for astrologers to spread their counsels of flight from reality.
It is unfortunate that in the minds of many people astrology is confused with true science. The result of this confusion is to prevent these people from developing truly scientific habits of thought that would help them understand the natural, social, and psychological factors that are actually influencing their destinies. It is, of course, true that science itself is a long way from a final solution to the social and psychological problems that perplex mankind; but its accomplishments to date clearly indicate that men's destinies are shaped by their own actions in this world. The heavenly bodies may safely be left out of account. Our fates rest not in our stars but in ourselves.
It may be added that the practice of having horoscopes cast for pet animals, lately prevalent among people with much too much money, certainly signalizes a new low in something or other. And to our observation, no practice on earth -- with the possible exception of Hatha Yoga -- will serve so well to entangle the feet of the victim in an inextricable net of phobias, as popular astrology....
Surely, by now, however, every studious Theosophist knows that no cult so deeply seated in the race, so ineradicable, can be without some kind of foundation in fact. It is so with astrology. But to place the problem in orderly form, let us classify the different kinds of "astrology" which are discernible, using in some cases terms of our own for convenience.
1. THE ASTROLOGY OF INFLUENCES
In this system the stars and planets are supposed to shed mysterious influences, which incline the fortunes of men in one direction or another. This is untrue as to the stars, though the rays from certain stars can be employed by "those who know" in ways to produce effects that would be called "magical" by the ignorant. As to the planets, the basic astrological contention is largely true. The sun and the planets form the heart and limbs of a vast circulatory organism, whose pulse transmits solar forces of vital import to animal and human life, only now beginning to be suspected by orthodox science. Space is full of these great currents, and the different planets are related to one another and the sun through them in highly individual ways. One day, we suspect, some of the phases of this mysterious network of the solar system may be made physically observable, in which case orthodox science will perceive the meaning of the "knots of Fohat" as applying to the genesis of the planets as well as of matter itself. Nor are these influences insignificant, for the life on any given planet depends on them for its existence and distinctive character.
But all this has little to do with the highly detailed and individualized fortunes of a particular man as set forth in a horoscope, much as it has to do with major trends both physical and psychological. As to the latter -- in this Magazine for April, 1939 (XXVII, 254), is set forth the effect of the psycho-physical excitation that follows or accompanies periods of major solar activity. [Note: The article referred to just above is the one in this series that I have numbered (81), entitled "Swing of the Solar Scythe". --Compiler.]
The scientific writers above quoted, in this respect make one of the most surprising "bulls" that we have seen in any scientific publication:An interpretation of the rules laid down by astrologers demands the existence of an unimaginable mechanism of action. Astrologers have not provided us with as much as a sound hypothesis that might serve as a basis for their speculations. Astrologers attempt to offset this lack of a sound working hypothesis by the introduction of terms and concepts that are unknown to physicists and astronomers. No one, with a high school training in physics, should be fooled into accepting an explanation of the laws of astrology in which the term "cosmic vibration" figures prominently.Assenting that "cosmic vibration" is merely a term to cover ignorance, we may point out that according to the same reasoning, the law of gravitation has no scientific status!
2. CHRONOLOGICAL ASTROLOGY
This system considers the positions of stars and planets as merely markers pointing the times of events which have been determined by cyclic forces of sundry kinds of another nature than planetary influences. The truth that lies behind astrology is largely to be sought in this direction, though the real "influences" heretofore mentioned contribute substantially to those cyclic trends.
3. BIOLOGICAL ASTROLOGY
A new development for which modern science can take most of the credit; it deals with the influence of solar changes on animal and human life, and has begun to extend itself farther -- into the stock market, for instance. So far it has recognized just one major influence -- that of changes in solar radiation accompanying the sun-spot cycle. But there are other solar changes of equal or as great importance, which will one day be recognized if this line is followed. Likewise one day the moon must be drawn in, and it will be found that the fragmentary popular "superstitions" about the moon have in most cases a sound basis in fact.
4. HINDU ASTROLOGY
A system which in many ways resembles the Occidental, but takes into account many of the points found objectionable in the latter by western science. Its demands as to accuracy of time and geographical position are meticulous; its mathematics elaborate, and its scope enormous. Every Hindu child of caste has his horoscope at birth. And if his life follows it often enough to perpetuate the system down the centuries, who is to say whether it is because the system is real, or because the individual himself, and all his family and his priestly influences strive unconsciously to make sure that he does follow it? Which is precisely where lie the danger and disaster in any system of popular astrology, false or true.
5. THE ASTROLOGY OF THE SECRET SCIENCES
The mother-system of which all others extant are reflections from broken shards. A system which can be used only by Adepts, and which is not, never has been, and never will be known to the general public or to those who sell the "occult" to it.
Unable to describe it, we can name two Adepts of widely differing degree who have used it: Nostradamus, and H. P. Blavatsky.
Those who think they can unravel the cryptic prophecies of Nostradamus before the event, are welcome to try; H.P.B.'s prophecies are more "in the open":... Ancient Wisdom added to the cold shell of astronomy the vivifying elements of its soul and spirit -- ASTROLOGY. And, as the sidereal motions do regulate and determine other events on Earth -- besides potatoes and the periodical disease of that useful vegetable -- (a statement which, not being amenable to scientific explanation, is merely derided, while accepted) -- those events have to be allowed to find themselves predetermined by even simple astronomical computations. Believers in astrology will understand our meaning, sceptics will laugh at the belief and mock the idea. Thus they shut their eyes, ostrich-like to their own fate.... (Secret Doctrine, 1888, I, 645.)What fate?Yet in the prognostication of such future events, at any rate, all foretold on the authority of cyclic recurrences, there is no psychic phenomenon involved. It is neither prevision, nor prophecy; no more than is the signalling of a comet or star, several years before its appearance. It is simply knowledge and mathematically correct computations which enable the WISE MEN OF THE EAST to foretell, for instance, that England is on the eve of such or another catastrophe; France, nearing such a point of her cycle, and Europe in general threatened with, or rather, on the eve of, a cataclysm, which her own cycle of racial Karma has led her to. (I, 646.)Late in 1939, these three planets were in close proximity, and in February, 1940, all five of the "naked-eye" planets appeared at dusk, forming a descending line vertical to the western horizon. Later in 1940, Saturn and Jupiter were in conjunction. In connection with the "great results" referred to by H.P.B., it may be noted that in 1345, three years before the outbreak of the Black Plague in European countries (it began in the orient), a grand conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars took place in the sign of Aquarius. Dr. J. C. F. Hecker, a German physician of the early nineteenth century, relates that a learned writer of the period regarded this conjunction as "the chief general cause of the Black Plague," commenting: "Of the astral influence which was considered to have originated the 'Great Mortality,' physicians and learned men were as completely convinced as of the fact of its reality." All were agreed "that conjunctions of the planets infallibly prognosticated great events; great revolutions of kingdoms, new prophets, destructive plagues, and other occurrences which bring distress and horror on mankind."(1)
Thus what Kepler said, as a great astronomer, becomes comprehensible. He recognised the grand and universal importance of all such planetary conjunctions, "each of which" -- as he has well said, -- "is a climacteric year of Humanity." The rare conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars has its significance and importance on account of its certain great results --in India and China as much as it has in Europe for the respective mystics of all those countries.... The reader has to bear in mind that the phrase "climacteric year" has more than the usual significance, when used by Occultists and Mystics. It is not only a critical period, during which some great change is periodically expected, whether in human or cosmic constitution, but it likewise pertains to spiritual universal changes. (I, 656.)
A further prophetic Secret Doctrine passage -- or rather, statement of fact -- occurs in "Cyclic Evolution and Karma":The Western Aryans had, every nation and tribe, like their Eastern brethren of the Fifth Race, their Golden and their Iron ages, their period of comparative irresponsibility, or the Satya age of purity, while now, several of them have reached their Iron Age, the Kali Yuga, an age BLACK WITH HORRORS..... (I, 644-5.)At the end of this quotation is an excision; indicating that much more might be said -- probably was said in the original draft. But -- "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." (For further discussion of which, see "Direful Prophecies" by Mr. Judge, reprinted in THEOSOPHY for August, 1940.) [Note: I have included a copy of this article. It follows the one that you are now reading, which is near the end. --Compiler.]
Some perplexing ethical issues are raised by certain attitudes of the scientific associations regarding astrology. One important association of scientific workers has advocated that not only astrology, but "all forms of occultism," should be forbidden.
Despite much outcry against the "totalitarian" governments by scientific societies whose particular oxen have been gored, there has never been the slightest sign of moderation or restraint among scientific men when presented with an opportunity to enforce upon the public dictatorial regulations in the fields of which they consider themselves masters. As witness the matter of compulsory immunization. The average scientific man has absolutely no conception of an abstract right to freedom; to him, freedom of opinion in a matter having to do with physical welfare is permissible only where uncertainty still exists. Once science has spoken, the recalcitrant is merely an anti-social or atavistic unit who must be compelled for his own good as well as that of his fellows. Anti-vaccination and anti-vivisection literature would be suppressed tomorrow if the scientific societies had a free hand. Therefore such anti-"occult" pronouncements could well be reason for grave disquiet, were it not that scientific influence now seems on the wane rather than otherwise, and the peril is now rather from some back-wash of religious fanaticism which may follow World War II.
Currently, one of the worst forms of "occultism," hypnotism, is practiced in science itself.
From the point of view of the immediate public good, we could not well object to proscription of all teachings pretending to confer occult power and privileges for a fee. Unfortunately, however, abrogation of the right of the gullible to learn by being gulled -- the only manner in which they will learn -- carries with it grave dangers to the liberties of those "who look into the principles of things," as well.
"What, then, will restraint effect?"
Compiler's note: Before going on to the next article in this series, four additional articles are found below. The first one is the one that is referred to in the above article, entitled: "DIREFUL PROPHECIES", by William Q. Judge. It begins with Introductory comments by the Editors of THEOSOPHY magazine, along with their pointing the reader to three more related articles, entitled:
* "THE SIGNS OF THIS CYCLE" -- by William Q. Judge
* "ON THE FUTURE: A FEW REFLECTIONS" -- by William Q. Judge
* "STARS AND NUMBERS" -- by H. P. Blavatsky
Please note that there are a total of six footnotes found in three of the four additional articles. So that there is no confusion, I simply disregarded their numbers as used in the originals, and have here changed them so as to smoothly continue after the one footnote that is in the above article; they are numbered (2) through (7).
THEOSOPHY, Vol. 28, No. 10, August, 1940
DIREFUL PROPHECIES["Direful Prophecies," an article printed by Mr. Judge over his own signature in the Path for March, 1894, is here reprinted for the first time. The occasion for its original publication was obviously a series of predictions made by the astrologers of that day. Theosophists, while placing little value on the calculations of modern astrology, nevertheless recognize that "planetary influences" are real, and that they have a profound effect upon the psychical as well as the physical aspect of life on earth. Something of the true nature of planetary influence may be realized from a careful study of this article. In this connection, students would do well to read two other articles by Mr. Judge: "The Signs of This Cycle" and "On the Future: A Few Reflections," both reprinted in THEOSOPHY, in Vol. I, page 483, and Vol. IV, page 401, respectively. Also bearing directly on this question of planetary movements and their relation to earthly affairs is an article by H.P.B., "Stars and Numbers," which was reprinted in THEOSOPHY, Vol. V, page 391. This article provides a detailed discussion of planetary influences, with special reference to the association of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars just before the beginning of the Christian era. These three were again in close proximity in the heavens late in December, 1939, and in February, 1940, they were joined by Venus and Mercury to form a somewhat broken line of five planets descending one after the other on the western horizon of the evening sky. Still other elements of timeliness will be discovered by students who consider the full implication of these several articles in application to the present scene. --Editors, THEOSOPHY.]THE whole mystic fraternity of Astrologers is now engaged in showing how the heavens portend great changes on this our earth. They agree with H.P.B., who said that her Eastern friends told her of coming cyclic changes now very near at hand. Beyond doubt there is some truth in all these sayings, although here and there the astrologers definitely prognosticating are not supported by fact. Sepharial, for instance, staked his reputation on the death of the Prince of Wales, which did not come off, and now where is the reputation? Just as good as ever, for astrologers know that either the judgment of the astrologer may be at fault from sundry causes, or that the birth-hour may be wrong, or that some saving aspect of the stars has been overlooked. Great earthquakes like that of Zante or the one in Kuchan come up, and the astrologers, while they regularly in those years foresaw earthquakes, did not seem able to locate them for any spot. They were afraid to say Persia for fear it might be in London. But earthquakes were foretold. A steady prognostication of disturbance has been indulged in, and this general outlook would seem right. The disturbances were expected in the realm of mind, morals, and religion by those true astrologers who seldom speak, and the increase of crime like that of bomb-throwing justifies each month the general prediction. Seismic disturbance is the physical sign of disturbance in the moral, psychic, and mental fields. This is an old axiom in the East. In the record of the earthquake said to have taken place when Jesus died we have the Christian reflection of the same idea.
That earthquakes, floods, and great social changes would go on increasing has been known to Theosophists since the day Tom Paine saw psychically "a new order of things for the human race opening in the affairs of America," before the revolution. And ever since the increment of disaster has been great. The motto adopted by the makers of the Union -- "A new order of ages" -- was an echo from the realm of soul to the ears of men on earth. It marked a point in the cycle. The record of the disasters during the years since then would be found appalling. It takes in Asia and Europe, and would show millions of sudden deaths by violent earth-convulsions. And now in 1894 even Herbert Spencer, looking at the mental and social fields of human life, says in a magazine article:A nation of which the legislators vote as they were bid and of which the workers surrender their rights of selling their labor where they please has neither the ideas nor the sentiments needed for the maintenance of liberty.... We are on the way back to the rule of the strong hand in the shape of the bureaucratic despotism of a socialistic organization and then of the military despotism which must follow it; if, indeed, some social crash does not bring the latter upon us more quickly.Evidently this deeply philosophical and statistical writer feels the pressure in the atmosphere of social and material life. There is much unconscious prophecy in what he says. Earthquakes and deaths from them are dreadful, but they can be avoided when their probable place is known. But social earthquakes, moral pestilence, mental change belong to man, go with him where he goes, and cannot be averted by any alteration of place.
In the Illustrated American a writer on astrology gives definite prophecy of disaster. He erects a figure of the heavens for noon of November 12, 1894, showing a conjunction of Sun, Uranus, Venus, and Mercury in Scorpio, with Saturn only fifteen degrees away. Astrologically this is very bad. With the moon at the full in Taurus -- the bull -- it is ominous of floods and earthquakes. But we may add that in the psychic Zodiac it shows floods and heaving in the moral and social structure of the poor orphan man. Uranus and Saturn are bad planets anyway; they are erratic and heavy, subtle, dark, and menacing. This writer predicts ominously, but remains indefinite as to place. We will add that dying nations like those of Persia and China will feel most whatever physical effects shall be due; and in Europe, while there will be physical disturbance, the greater trouble will be in the social and governmental structures.
The astrologer then runs forward to December 30, 1901, when he says six planets will be in one sign and in a line, with a seventh opposite on the same line projected. This, it is said by such an ancient sage as Berosus, will bring a flood when it takes place in the zodiacal sign Capricornus, as is to be the case in 1901.
Many Theosophists believe these prognostications, others deride them. The former ask what shall we do? Nothing. Stay where you are. If you remove, it is more than likely you will run into the jaws of a blacker fate. Do your duty where you find yourself, and if from your goodness you are a favorite of the gods you will escape, while if you are not their favorite it is better for you to die and take another chance at bettering your character. Death will come when it will, and why should we fear, since it is "a necessary end." Theosophists too often occupy themselves with these woful lookings into the future, to the detriment of their present work. They should try to discover the fine line of duty and endeavor, leaving the astrologers of today, who are more at sea than any other mystics, to con over a zodiac that is out of place and calculate with tables which delude with the subtle power that figures have to lie when the basis of calculation is wrong.The Path, March, 1894
--WILLIAM Q. JUDGE.
COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here:
The Esoteric doctrine of the East having thus furnished and struck the key-note -- which is as scientific as it is philosophical and poetical, as may be seen, under its allegorical garb -- every nation has followed its lead. It is from the exoteric religions that we have to dig out the root-idea before we turn to esoteric truths, lest the latter should be rejected.
The Secret Doctrine.
THEOSOPHY, Vol. 1, No. 11, September, 1913
THE SIGNS OF THIS CYCLE(2)
MEN of all nations for many years in all parts of the world have been expecting something they know not what, but of a grave nature, to happen in the affairs of the world. The dogmatic and literal Christians, following the vague prophecies of Daniel, look every few years for their millennium. This has not come, though predicted for almost every even year, and especially for such as 1000, 1500, 1600, 1700, 1800, and now for the year 2000. The red Indians also had their ghost dances not long ago in anticipation of their Messiah's coming.
The Theosophists too, arguing with the ancients and relying somewhat on the words of H. P. Blavatsky, have not been backward in respect to the signs of the times.
But the Theosophical notions about the matter are based on something more definite than a vague Jewish priest's vaticinations. We believe in cycles and in their sway over the affairs of men. The cyclic law, we think, has been enquired into and observations recorded by the ancients during many ages; and arguing from daily experience where cycles are seen to recur over and over again, believing also in Reincarnation as the absolute law of life, we feel somewhat sure of our ground.
This cycle is known as the dark one; in Sanscrit, Kali Yuga, or the black age. It is dark because spirituality is almost obscured by materiality and pure intellectualism. Revolving in the depths of material things and governed chiefly by the mind apart from spirit, its characteristic gain is physical and material progress, its distinguishing loss is in spirituality. In this sense it is the Kali Yuga. For the Theosophist in all ages has regarded loss of spirituality as equivalent to the state of death or darkness; and mere material progress in itself is not a sign of real advancement, but may have in it the elements for its own stoppage and destruction. Preëminently this age has all these characteristics in the Western civilizations. We have very great progress to note in conquests of nature, in mechanical arts, in the ability to pander to love of luxury, in immense advancements with wonderful precision and power in the weapons made for destroying life. But side by side with these we have wretchedness, squalor, discontent, and crime; very great wealth in the hands of the few, and very grinding poverty overcoming the many.
As intellectualism is the ruler over this progress in material things, we must next consider the common people, so called, who have escaped from the chains which bound them so long. They are not exempt from the general law, and hence, having been freed, they feel more keenly the grinding of the chains of circumstance, and therefore the next characteristic of the cycle -- among human beings -- is unrest. This was pointed out in the PATH in Vol. I, p. 58, May, 1886, in these words:The second prophecy is nearer our day and may be interesting; it is based upon cyclic changes. This is a period of such a change, and we refer to the columns of the Sun (of the time when the famous brilliant sunsets were chronicled and discussed not long ago) for the same prognostication.... This glorious country, free as it is, will not long be calm; unrest is the word for this cycle. The people will rise. For what, who can tell? The statesmen who can see for what the uprising will be might take measures to counteract. But all your measures cannot turn back the iron wheel of fate. And even the city of New York will not be able to point its finger at Cincinnati and St. Louis. Let those whose ears can hear the whispers and the noise of the gathering clouds of the future take notice; let them read, if they know how, the physiognomy of the United States whereon the mighty hand of nature has traced the furrows to indicate the character of the moral storms that will pursue their course no matter what the legislation may be.This was not long after the riots in Cincinnati, and New York was warned, as well as other places inferentially, that the disturbances in Ohio were not to be by any means the end. And now in 1892, just six years after our prophecy, three great States of the Union are in uproar, with the poor and the rich arrayed against each other, arms in hand. Pennsylvania at the works of a great factory almost in a civil war; New York calling her militia out to suppress disorder among workmen and to protect the property of corporations who have not taken a course to inspire their workers with love; and Tennessee sending military and volunteers to do battle with some thousands of armed miners who object to convicted lawbreakers being allowed to take the work and the wages away from the citizen. We are not dealing with the rights or the wrongs of either side in these struggles, but only referring to the facts. They are some of the moral signs of our cycle, and they go to prove the prognostications of the Theosophist about the moral, mental, and physical unrest. The earth herself has been showing signs of disturbance, with an island blown up in one place, long inactive volcanoes again erupting, earthquakes in unaccustomed places such as Wales and Cornwall. All these are signs. The cycle is closing, and everywhere unrest will prevail. As lands will disappear or be changed, so in like manner ideas will alter among men. And, as our civilization is based on force and devoid of a true philosophical basis, the newest race -- in America -- will more quickly than any other show the effect of false teachings and corrupted religion.
But out of anger and disturbance will arise a new and better time; yet not without the pain which accompanies every new birth.The Path, October, 1892
--WILLIAM Q. JUDGE
THEOSOPHY, Vol. 4, No. 9, July, 1916
ON THE FUTURE: A FEW REFLECTIONS(3)
ALTHOUGH I am an American citizen, the place of my birth was in Ireland, and in what I am about to say I cannot be accused of Columbiamania, for no matter how long might be my life I could never be an American. For that perhaps it is right, since it is compulsory, to wait for some distant incarnation.
Now, either H.P.B. was right or she was wrong in what she says in the Secret Doctrine about the future of America. If wrong, then all this may be dismissed as idle speculation. But, if right, then all thoughtful Theosophists must take heed, weigh well, mentally appropriate and always remember what are her words as well as the conclusions to which they lead.
In the first pages of the second volume she speaks of five great Continents. First, the Imperishable Sacred Land [this is at the North Pole, W.Q.J.]; second, the Hyperborean, now part of it is in Northern Asia; third, Lemuria, sunk long ago, but leaving some remains, islands, the points of high mountain ranges; fourth, Atlantis, presumably in the Atlantic Ocean, now below the level of the water, but with perhaps Teneriffe and Atlas as reminders; and fifth, "was America."
From a survey of the book, digging in notes and culling from the text here and there, the conclusion is irresistible that, although the present America is not the actual Continent as it is to be, it is a portion of it; and certainly is now the nursery for the race that will in the future occupy the sixth Continent, which for the sixth Great Root-Race will emerge from the waters. Where? Perhaps when the present America has been split up by tremendous cataclysms, leaving here and there large pieces on its western side, it is in the Pacific Ocean that the great mass of the new one will come up from the long sleep below the sea. Rightly then will the great far western ocean have been named Pacific, for that Race will not be given to contest nor hear of wars or rumours of war, since it will be too near the seventh, whose mission it must be to attain to the consummation, to seize and hold the Holy Grail.
Turn to page 444 and onward of the second volume. Read there that the Americans have become in only three hundred years a primary race pro tem., in short, the germs of the sixth sub-race, to blossom in a few more centuries into the pioneers of that one which must succeed to the present European fifth sub-race in all its characteristics. Then after about 25,000 years, which you will note is meant for a great sidereal cycle of a little over that length of time, this new race will prepare for the seventh sub-race. Cataclysms will then fall upon you; lands and nations will be swept away, first of all being the European, including the British Isles -- if not gone before -- and then parts of both North and South America. And how puny, mongrel, indeed, will be the remains of the scientists of today, great masters of microbes now, but then to be looked upon as strange remains of the Nineteenth Century, when, as the people will tell each other then, so many, with Truth before them, laughed at it and stoned its apostles, dancing a fantastic dance meanwhile around the altar of invisible matter.
It seems as if some power, deliberately planning, had selected North and South America for the place where a new primary root-race should be begun. These two continents were evidently the seats of ancient races and not the habitat of wild undeveloped men. The red man of the Northern one has all the appearance and beliefs of a once great race. He believes in one God, a Devachan of happy hunting after death. Some tribes have diagrams of how the world was formed and peopled, that strangely resemble the Hindû cosmogony, and their folklore bears deep marks of having come down from an older and better time. Following the course of exploration southwards, we find accumulating evidences all the way of a prior civilization now gone with the cyclic wave which brought it up. Central America is crowded with remains in stone and brick; and so on south still we discover similar proofs. In course of time these continents became what might be called arable land, lying waiting, recuperating, until the European streams of men began to pour upon it. The Spanish overflowed South America and settled California and Mexico; the English, French, and Spanish took the North, and later all nations came, so that now in both continents nearly every race is mixed and still mixing. Chinese even have married women of European blood; Hindûs are also here; the ancient Parsî race has its representatives; the Spanish mixed with the aborigines, and the slaveholders with the Africans. I doubt not but that some one from every race known to us has been here and has left, within the last two hundred years, some impression through mixture of blood.
But the last remnants of the fifth Continent, America, will not disappear until the new race has been some time born. Then a new Dwelling, the sixth Continent, will have appeared over the waters to receive the youth who will tower above us as we do above the pigmies of Africa. But no America as we now know it will exist. Yet these men must be the descendants of the race that is now rising here. Otherwise our philosophy is all wrong. So then, in America now is forming the new sub-race, and in this land was founded the present Theosophical Society: two matters of great importance. It was to the United States, observe, that the messenger of the Masters came, although Europe was just as accessible for the enterprise set on foot. Later, this messenger went to India and then to Europe, settling down in the British Isles. All of this is of importance in our reflections. For why in America at first does she begin the movement, and why end her part of it in England? One might be led to ask why was not an effort made at all costs to give the last impulse outwardly in the land of promise where she began the work?
Do not imagine for one moment, O ye English brothers of mine, that London was selected for this because the beauties of your island called her, or for that she had decided at the finish that after all a mistake had been made in not going there first. It was all out of stern necessity, with a wisdom derived from many older heads, having in view the cycles as they sweep resistlessly forward. The point where the great energy is started, the centre of force, is the more important, and not the place at which it is ended. And this remains true, no matter how essential the place of ending may be in the scheme. What, do you suppose India is not as important? and would not that land have offered seemingly a better spot than all for the beginning of the magnum opus? Adepts do not make mistakes like that.
America's discovery is ascribed to Christopher Columbus. Although it is doubted, yet no one doubts that the Spanish people did the most at first in peopling it, meanwhile working off some old and making some new Karma, by killing many of the aborigines. Thus it is that doomed people rush on to their doom, even as the troops of insects, animals and men were seen by Arjuna to rush into Krishna's flaming mouths. But later came the sturdy stock from England, who, in the greatest nation, the most enduring on this continent, have left their impress indelibly in the people, in its laws, in its constitution, its customs, its literature and language. Perhaps England and Ireland are the gateways for the Egos who incarnate here in the silent work of making a new race. Maybe there is some significance in the fact that more lines of steamships conveying human freight come to the United States from England, passing Ireland on the way as the last seen land of the old world, than from anywhere else. The deeds of men, the enterprises of merchants, and the wars of soldiers all follow implicitly a law that is fixed in the stars, and while they copy the past they ever symbolize the future.
Did H.P.B. only joke when she wrote in her book that Ireland is an ancient Atlantean remnant, and England a younger Isle, whose rising from the sea was watched by wise men from Erin's shore? Perhaps the people of that old land may have an important influence in the new race of America. It would appear from comparison that they might have had, and probably will in the future. Perhaps, politically, since many expect social disturbances in America. In such a case any student of character will admit that the Irish, ignorant or not, will stand for law and order -- for her sons are not battling here with an ancient foe. Why, too, by strange freak of fate is the great stone of destiny in Westminster Abbey fixed under the coronation chair on which the Queen was crowned? Let us also be informed if there be any finger-shadow pointing to the future in the fact that England's Queen, crowned over that stone,(4) is Empress of India, from which we claim the Aryans came, and where their glorious long-forgotten knowledge is preserved? Her name is Victory. It is the victory for "the new order of Ages"; and that new order began in America, its advent noted and cut on the as yet unused obverse side of the present seal of the United States Government. [Note: "Now in use, since 1935, notably on the U.S. dollar bill." --Compiler.] A victory in the union of the Egos from East and West; for England stretches one hand over to the home of the new race, which she can never own, with the other governing India, and completes the circuit. It may be a fleeting picture, perhaps to be wiped out for a while in a stream of blood, but such is the way the cycles roll and how we may learn to read the future. For England's destiny is not complete, nor has the time struck. None of us hug foolish delusions too long, and even if Ireland were once a most sacred place, that is no reason why we should want to go there. For in America those whose Karma has led them there will work for the same end and brotherhood as others left in India and Europe. The dominant language and style of thought in America is English, albeit transforming itself every day. It is there that silently the work goes on; there European fathers and mothers have gone, establishing currents of attraction that will inevitably and unceasingly draw into reincarnation Egos similar to themselves. And the great forward and backward rush is completed by the retarded Egos as they die out of other nations, coming meanwhile into flesh again among the older races left behind.
* * * *At least such seemed the view while the clouds lifted -- and then once more there was silence.Lucifer, March, 1892
--WILLIAM Q. JUDGE, F.T.S.
THEOSOPHY, Vol. 5, No. 9, July, 1917
STARS AND NUMBERS(5)
ANCIENT civilization saw nothing absurd in the claims of astrology, no more than many an educated and thoroughly scientific man sees in it today. Judicial astrology, by which the fate and acts of men and nations might be foreknown, [hardly] appeared, nor does it even now appear, any more unphilosophical or unscientific than does natural astrology or astronomy -- by which the events of so-called brute and inanimate nature (changes of weather, etc.), might be predicted. For it was not even prophetic insight that was claimed by the votaries of that abstruse and really grand science, but simply a great proficiency in that method of procedure which allows the astrologer to foresee certain events in the life of a man by the position of the planets at the time of his birth.
Once the probability, or even the simple possibility, of an occult influence exercised by the stars upon the destiny of man admitted -- and why should the fact appear more improbable in the case of stars and man than in that of the sun-spots and potatoes? -- and astrology becomes no less an exact science than astronomy. The earth, Prof. Balfour Stewart, F.R.S., tells us -- "is very seriously affected by what takes place in the sun" ... a connection "is strongly suspected between epidemics and the appearance of the sun's surface."(6)
And if, as that man of science tells us, "a connection of some mysterious kind between the sun and the earth is more than suspected" ... and the problem is a most important one "to solve," how much more important the solution of that other mystery -- the undoubted affinity between man and the stars -- an affinity believed in for countless ages and by the most learned among men! Surely the destiny of man deserves as much consideration as that of a turnip or a potato ... And if a disease of the latter may be scientifically foretold whenever that vegetable crops out during a "sun-spot period," why should not a life of disease, or health, of natural or violent death be as scientifically prognosticated by the position and appearance of the constellation with which man is as directly connected and which bears the same relation to him as the sun bears to the earth?
In its days, astrology was greatly honoured, for when in able hands it was often shown to be as precise and trustworthy in its predictions as astronomical predictions are in our own age. Omens were studied by all imperial Rome, as much, if not more than they are now in India. Tiberius practised the science; and the Saracens in Spain held star-divination in the greatest reverence, astrology passing into Western Europe through these, our first civilizers. Alphonso, the wise king of Castile and Leon, made himself famous in the thirteenth century by his "Astrological Tables" (called Alphonsine); and his code of the Siata Purtidas; and the great astronomer Kepler in the seventeenth, the discoverer of the three great laws of planetary motions (known as Kepler's laws) believed in and proclaimed astrology a true science. Kepler, the Emperor Rudolph's mathematician, he to whom Newton is indebted for all his subsequent discoveries, is the author of the "Principles of Astrology" in which he proves the power of certain harmonious configurations of suitable planets to control human impulses. In his official capacity of Imperial astronomer, he is historically known to have predicted to Wallenstein, from the position of the stars, the issue of the war in which that unfortunate general was then engaged. No less than himself, his friend, protector and instructor, the great astronomer Tycho de Brahe, believed in, and expanded, the astrological system. He was forced, moreover, to admit the influence of the constellations on terrestrial life and actions quite against his will or wish, and merely because of the constant verification of facts.
Closely related to astrology is the Kabala and its system of numerals. The secret wisdom of the ancient Chaldees left by them as an inheritance to the Jews relates primarily to the mythological science of the heavens and contains the doctrines of the hidden or occult wisdom concerning the cycles of time. In the ancient philosophy, the sacredness of numbers began with the great FIRST, the ONE, and ended with the naught or Zero, the symbol of the infinite and boundless circle, which represents the universe. All the intervening figures, in whatever combination, or however multiplied, represent philosophical ideas relating either to a moral or a physical fact in nature. They are the key to the archean views on cosmogony, in its broad sense, including man and beings, and relate to the human race and individuals spiritually as well as physically. "The numerals of Pythagoras," says Porphyry, "were hieroglyphical symbols, by means whereof he explained all ideas concerning the nature of all things" (De Vitâ Pythag.). In the symbolical kabala --the most ancient system left to us by the Chaldeans -- the modes of examining letters, words and sentences for hidden meaning were numerical. The gemantria (one of the three modes) is purely arithmetical and mathematical, and consists in applying to the letters of a word the sense they bear as numbers -- letters being used also for figures in the Hebrew as in Greek. Figurative Gemantria deduces mysterious interpretations from the shapes of letters used in occult manuscripts and the Bible.
Thus, as shown by Cornelius Agrippa, in Numbers (X. 35), the letter Beth means the reversal of enemies. The sacred anagrams known as Zeruph yield their mysterious sense by the second mode named Themura, and consists in displacing the letters and substituting them one for another and then arranging them in rows according to their numerical value. If, of all operations in the occult sciences there is not one that is not rooted in astrology, arithmetic and especially geometry are a part of the first principles of magic. The most recondite mysteries and powers in nature are made to yield to the power of numbers. And let this not be regarded as a fallacy. He who knows the relative and respective numbers or the so-called correspondence between causes and effects will alone be able to obtain of a certainty the desired result. A small mistake, a trifling difference in an astronomical calculation and -- no correct prediction of a heavenly phenomenon becomes possible. As Severinus Boethius puts it, it is by the proportion of certain numbers that all things were formed. "God geometrizes" saith Plato, meaning creative nature. If there are so many occult virtues in natural things, "what marvel if in numbers which are pure and commixed only with ideas, there should be found virtues greater and more occult?" asks Agrippa. Even Time must contain the mystery number; so also does motion, or action, and so, therefore, must all things that move, act, or are subjected to time. But "the mystery is in the abstract power of number, in its rational and formal state, not in the expression of it by the voice, as among people who buy and sell." (De Occulta Phil. cap. iii. p. cii.) The Pythagoreans claimed to discern many things in the numbers of names. And if those who having understanding were invited to "compute the number and name of the beast" by the author of St. John's Revelation it is because that author was a Kabalist.
The wiseacres of our generations raise daily the cry that science and metaphysics are irreconcilable; and facts prove as daily that it is but one more fallacy among the many that are uttered. The reign of exact science is proclaimed on every housetop, and Plato who is said to have trusted to his imagination is sneered at, while Aristotle's method built on pure reason is the one accepted by Science. Why? Because "the philosophical method of Plato was the inverse of that of Aristotle." Its starting-point was universals, the very existence of which is, "a matter of faith" says Dr. Draper, and from these it descended to particulars, or details. Aristotle, on the contrary, "rose from particulars to universals, advancing to them by inductions" (Conflict between Religion and Science). We humbly answer to this, that mathematics, the only exact and infallible science in the world of sciences -- proceeds from UNIVERSALS.
It is this year especially, the year 1881, which seems to defy and challenge sober, matter-of-fact science, and by its extraordinary events above, as below, in heaven as upon earth, to invite criticism upon its strange "coincidences." Its freaks in the domains of meteorology and geology were prognosticated by the astronomers, and these every one is bound to respect. There is a certain triangle seen this year on the horizon formed of the most brilliant stars which was predicted by them, but none the less left unexplained. It is a simple geometrical combination of heavenly bodies, they say. As to that triangle, formed of the three large planets -- Venus, Jupiter and Saturn -- having aught to do with the destinies of either men or nations -- why that is pure superstition. "The mantle of the astrologers is burnt and the predictions of some of them, whenever verified, must be attributed to simple and blind chance."
We are not so sure of that; and, if permitted, will further on tell why -- meanwhile, we must remind the reader of the fact that Venus, the most intensely brilliant of the three above-named planets, as was remarked in Europe and for all we know in India also -- suddenly parted company with its two companions and slowly moving onward, stopped above them, whence it goes on dazzling the inhabitants of the earth with an almost preternatural brilliancy.
The conjunction of two planets happens but rarely; that of three is still more rare; while the conjunction of four and five planets becomes an event. The latter phenomenon took place in historical times but once, 2449 years B.C., when it was observed by the Chinese astronomers and has not recurred since then. That extraordinary meeting of five large planets forebode all kinds of evils to the Celestial Empire and its peoples, and the panic then created by the predictions of the Chinese astrologers was not in vain. During the following 500 years, a series of internal broils, revolutions, wars, and changes of dynasty marked the end of the golden age of national felicity in the Empire founded by the great Fu-hi.
Another conjunction is known to have happened just before the beginning of the Christian era. In that year, three large planets had approached so closely together as to be mistaken by many for one single star of an immense size. Biblical scholars were more than once inclined to identify these "three in one" with the Trinity, and at the same [time] with the "star of the wise men of the East." But they saw themselves thwarted in such pious desires by their hereditary enemies -- the irreverent men of science, who proved that the astronomical conjunction took place a year before the period claimed for the alleged birth of Jesus. Whether the phenomenon forebode good or evil is best answered by the subsequent history and development of Christianity, than which, no other religion cost so many human victims, shed such torrents of blood, nor brought the greater portion of humanity to suffer from what is now termed the "blessings of Christianity and civilization."
A third conjunction took place in 1563 A.D. It appeared near the great nebula in the constellation of Cancer. There were three great planets and according to the astronomers of those days -- the most nefarious: Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The constellation of Cancer has always had a bad reputation; that year the mere fact of its having in its neighborhood a triune conjunction of evil stars, caused the astrologers to predict great and speedy disasters. These did come to pass. A terrible plague broke out and raged in all Europe, carrying off thousands upon thousands of victims.
And now, in 1881, we have again a visit of three other "Wanderers." What do they forebode? Nothing good; and it would seem, as if of the great evils they are likely to pour on the devoted heads of hapless humanity, the fatal prelude is already being played. Let us enumerate and see how far we are from the truth. The nearly simultaneous and certainly in some cases unexpected deaths of great and the most remarkable men of our age. In the region of politics, we find the Emperor of Russia, Lord Beaconsfield, and Aga Khan;(7) in that of literature, Carlyle and George Eliot; in the world of art, Rubenstein, the greatest musical genius. In the domain of geology -- earthquakes which have already destroyed the town of Casamiceiola on the Island of Ischia, a village in California and the Island of Chio which was laid entirely waste by the terrible catastrophe -- one, moreover, predicted for that very day by the astrologer Raphael. In the domain of wars, the hitherto invincible Great Britain was worsted at the Cape by a handful of Boers; Ireland is convulsed and threatens; a plague now rages in Mesopotamia; another war is preparing between Turkey and Greece; armies of Socialists and red-handed Nihilists obscure the sun of the political horizon in Europe; and the latter thrown into a violent perturbation is breathlessly awaiting the most unexpected events [in the] future -- defying the perspicacity of the most acute of her political men. In the religious spheres the heavenly triangle pointed its double horn at the monastic congregations and -- a general exodus of monks and nuns -- headed by the children of Loyola, followed in France. There is a revival of infidelity and mental rebellion, and with it a proportionate increase of missionary labourers (not labour), who like the hordes of Attila destroy much and build but little. Shall we add to the list of signs of these nefasti dies, the birth of the New Dispensation at Calcutta? The latter though having but a small and quite a local importance, shows yet a direct bearing upon our subject, i.e., the astrological meaning of the planetary conjunction. Like Christianity with Jesus and his Apostles the New Dispensation can henceforth boast of having had a forerunner in starry heaven -- the present triune conjunction of planets. It proves, moreover, our kabalistic theory of periodical cyclic recurrences of events. As the Roman sceptical world of 1881 years ago, we are startled by a fresh revival of mendicant Ebionites, fasting Essenes and Apostles upon whom descend "cloven tongues like as of fire," and of whom we cannot even say as of the Jerusalem twelve, "that these men are full of new wine," since their inspiration is entirely due to water, we are told.
The year 1881, then, of which we have lived but one-third, promises, as predicted by astrologers and astronomers, a long and gloomy list of disasters on land, as on the seas. We have shown elsewhere (Bombay Gazette, March 30, 1881) how strange in every respect was the grouping of the figures of our present year, adding that another such combination will not happen in the Christian chronology before the year 11811, just 9,930 years hence, when -- there will be no more a "Christian" chronology we are afraid, but something else. We said: "Our year 1881, offers that strange fact, that from whichever of four sides you look at its figures -- from right or left, from top or bottom, from the back, by holding the paper up to the light -- or even upside down, you will always have before you the same mysterious and kabalistic numbers of 1881. It is the correct number of the three figures which have most perplexed mystics for over eighteen centuries. The year 1881, in short, is the number of the great Beast of the Revelation, the number 666 of St. John's Apocalypsis --that Kabalistic Book par excellence. See for yourselves: 1+8+8+1 make eighteen; eighteen divided thrice gives three times six, or placed in a row, 666, "the number of man."
This number has been for centuries the puzzle of Christendom and was interpreted in a thousand different ways. Newton himself worked for years over the problem, but, ignorant of the secret Kabala, failed. Before the Reformation it was generally supposed in the Church to have reference to the coming Antichrist. Since then the Protestants began to apply it in that spirit of Christian charity which so characterizes Calvinism to the Latin Popish Church, which they call the "Harlot," the "great Beast" and the "scarlet woman," and forthwith the latter returned the compliment in the same brotherly and friendly spirit. The supposition that it refers to the Roman nation -- the Greek letters of the word Latinus as numerals, amounting to exactly 666 -- is absurd.
There are beliefs and traditions among the people which spring no one knows from whence and pass from one generation to the other, as an oral prophecy, and an unavoidable fact to come. One of such traditions, a correspondent of the Moscow Gazette happened to hear in 1874 from the mountaineers of the Tyrolian Alps, and subsequently from old people in Bohemia. "From the first day of 1876," says that tradition, "a sad, heavy period will begin for the whole world and will last for seven consecutive years. The most unfortunate and fatal year for all will be 1881. He who will survive it, has an iron head."
An interesting new combination, meanwhile, of the year 1881, in reference to the life of the murdered Czar, may be found in the following dates, every one of which marks a more or less important period in his life. It proves at all events what important and mysterious a part, the figures 1 and 8 played in his life. 1 and 8 make 18; and the Emperor was born April 17 (1+7=8) in 1818. He died in 1881 -- the figures of the year of his birth and death being identical, and coinciding, moreover, with the date of his birth 17=1+7=8. The figures of the years of the birth and death being thus the same, as four times 18 can be formed out of them, and the sum-total of each year's numerals is 18. The arrival at Petersburg of the late Empress -- the Czar's bride -- took place on September 8; their marriage April 16 -- (8+8=16); their eldest daughter, the Grand Duchess Alexandra, was born August 18; the late Czarevitch Nicolas Alexandrovitch, on September the 8, 1843; (1+8+4+3=16, i.e., twice 8). The present Czar, Alexander III, was born February 26, (2+6=8); the proclamation of the ascension to the throne of the late Emperor was signed February 18; the public proclamation about the Coronation day took place April 17 (1+7=8). His entrance into Moscow for the coronation was on August 17 (1+7=8); the Coronation itself being performed August 26 (2+6=8); the year of the liberation of the Serfs, 1861, whose numerals sum up 16 -- i.e., twice 8!
To conclude, we may mention here a far more curious discovery made in relation, and as a supplement, to the above calculation, by a Jewish Rabbi in Russia -- a Kabalist, evidently, from the use he makes of the Gemantria reckoning. It was just published in a St. Petersburg paper. The Hebrew letters as stated have all their numerical value or correspondence in arithmetical figures. The number 18 in the Hebrew Alphabet is represented by the letters -- "HETH"=8, and "JOD"=10, i.e., 18. United together Heth and Jod form the word "khaï," or "Haï," which literally translated means the imperative -- live and alive. Every orthodox Jew during his fast and holy days is bound to donate for some pious purpose a sum of money consisting of, and containing the number 18 in it. So, for instance, he will give 18 copecks, or 18 ten copeck bits, 18 rubles or 18 times 18 copecks or rubles -- according to his means and degree of religious fervour. Hence, the year 1818 -- that of the Emperor's birth -- meant, if read in Hebrew -- "khaï, khaï" -- or live, live -- pronounced emphatically twice; while the year 1881 -- that of his death read in the same way, yields the fatal words "Khaï-tze" rendered in English, "thou living one depart"; or in other words, "life is ended."
Of course, those sceptically inclined will remark that it is all due to blind chance and "coincidence." Nor would we much insist upon the contrary, were such an observation to proceed but from uncompromising atheists, and materialists, who, denying the above, remain only logical in their disbelief, and have as much right to their opinion as we have to our own. But we cannot promise the same degree of indulgence whenever attacked by orthodox religionists. For, that class of persons while pooh-poohing speculative metaphysics, and even astrology -- a system based upon strictly mathematical calculations, pertaining as much to exact science as biology or physiology, and to experiment and verification -- will, at the same time, firmly believe that potato disease, cholera, railway accidents, earthquakes and the like are all of Divine origin and, proceeding directly of God, have a meaning and a bearing on human life in its highest aspects. It is to the latter class of theists that we say: prove to us the existence of a personal God either outside or inside physical nature, demonstrate him to us as the external agent, the Ruler of the Universe; show him concerned in human affairs and destiny and exercising on them an influence, at least, as great and reasonably probable as that exercised by the sun-spots upon the destiny of vegetables and then -- laugh at us. Until then, and so long as no one is prepared with such a proof and solution, in the words of Tyndall -- "Let us lower our heads, and acknowledge our ignorance, priest and philosopher, one and all."Theosophist, June, 1881
--H. P. BLAVATSKY
SCIENCE AND THE SECRET DOCTRINE
WANDERING IN THE BOUNDARY
(Part 93 of a 103-part series)
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SEVEN (7) FOOTNOTES LISTED BELOW:
(1) The Epidemics of the Middle Ages, translated by B. G. Babbington, London, 1846.
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Reminder: The following footnotes, numbers (2) to (7), are from the additional articles that had some. I discarded their numbers used in the originals so that there would be no confusion here. I simply changed the numbers so as to smoothly continue on from the one footnote that is in the first article, which is above. --Compiler.
(2) This article ["The Signs of This Cycle"] was first printed by Mr. Judge in The Path for October, 1892.
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(3) NOTE: This article ["On the Future: A Few Reflections", by William Q. Judge] was first published in Lucifer, March, 1892.
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(4) It is an interesting fact that in India there is an important ceremony called "mounting the stone."
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(5) NOTE.--This article ["Stars and Numbers"] was first printed by H. P. Blavatsky in the Theosophist for June, 1881.
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(6) One of the best known vegetable epidemics is that of the potato disease. The years 1846, 1860, and 1872 were bad years for the potato disease, and those years are not very far from the years of maximum sun-spots ... there is a curious connection between these diseases affecting plants and the state of the sun.... A disease that took place about three centuries since, of a periodical and very violent character, called the "sweating sickness" ... took place about the end of the fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth century ... and this is exactly the sun-spot period.... (The Sun and the Earth, Lecture by Prof. Balfour Stewart.)
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(7) H. H. Aga Khan was one of the most remarkable men of the century. Of all the Mussulmen, Shiahs or Soonis, who rejoice in the green turban, the Aga's claims to a direct descent from Mahomet through Ali rested on undeniable proofs. He again represented the historical "Assassins" of the Old Man of the Mountain. He had married a daughter of the late Shah of Persia; but political broils forced him to leave his native land and seek refuge with the British Government in India. In Bombay he had a numerous religious following. He was a high-spirited, generous man and a hero. The most noticeable feature of his life was that he was born in 1800 -- and died in 1881, at the age of 81. In his case too the occult influence of the year 1881 has asserted itself.
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