THEOSOPHY, Vol. 14, No. 12, October, 1926
(Pages 529-537; Size: 29K)
(Number 1 of a 13-part series)
THE RISING CYCLE
BEGINNING with next month, and continuing throughout the ensuing Volume of this Magazine, the Editors will publish a series of articles under the above general title, dealing with existing varying conditions in the Theosophical Movement as represented in the many theosophical and occult societies, their publications and tendencies. And, since mere facts have but a commodity value at best, the series will treat of their significance and bearing in the light of Theosophical history and philosophy. The present is shorn of its causal basis when dissociated from the past, the future an unknown quantity when dissociated from the present. Thus Time, the physician, fails in his prescription because the patrimony we inherit and the legacy which we bequeath are not administered in due order and relation, the sequence of which is the Law of Cycles, or Karma.
To afford, then, a given point of departure, a natural or "ultimate moment" in Theosophical Karma, which marks the genesis of the future in the womb of the present, the series will treat of present day Theosophical history in the making, in the light of two statements of Theosophical principles, policy and practice. Both are from the mind and heart of William Q. Judge, and were written following the Boston Convention of April, 1895. At that Convention the American Branches of the Theosophical Society, by an almost unanimous vote, decided henceforth to exercise complete governmental autonomy, adopted a Constitution to correspond, and changed their corporate name from that of "The American Section of the Theosophical Society" to that of "The Theosophical Society in America," with Mr. Judge as their unanimously chosen life-President.
Why was so important departure made at that time?
Accurate examination will disclose that behind every action, good or bad, there are three reasons or factors: a spiritual, an intellectual, and a practical or physical. In inverse order, then, the practical occasion was that the Theosophical Society had become a house divided against itself, its three Sections "discordant, dissevered, belligerent," because of the charges by Mrs. Besant, acting for herself, Colonel Olcott, Mr. Sinnett, and others prominent in the Society, made against Mr. Judge. Their declared purpose was to drive Mr. Judge into exile by expelling him from the Society with his good repute blasted through irrefutable charges that he had given utterance to bogus messages from Masters. These charges had been diligently promulgated, privately and publicly, for more than two years. They had been denied and responsibly met by Mr. Judge with the offer to prove that the messages were genuine -- an offer which was the actual reason for the fiasco at the "Judicial Enquiry" in July, 1894, and for Mrs. Besant's apologetic "Statement" before the "European Convention" at that time. His detractors had either to afford Mr. Judge the opportunity to disprove the charges -- or withdraw them. The latter course was adopted and the matter was then thought by all decent and sincere Theosophists to have been made a closed issue. The "Westminster Gazette" attack on the Society and particularly on Col. Olcott, Mrs. Besant and others as the dupes of H.P.B., Judge and their bogus Mahatmas, had cut to the quick the acute personal sensibilities of Mr. Judge's original assailants. To save themselves from consequent ridicule and disaster to their own reputation as Theosophists and "Occultists," the hue and cry was again raised against Mr. Judge. All the facts and issues being clear before the theosophical world, Mr. Judge left it to the various Sections and to the membership of the Society at large to choose their own course. In the "Eastern School of Theosophy," as H.P.B. had re-named her original "Esoteric Section," Mr. Judge as the responsible "representative of H.P.B.," both under her "general power," as formally certified over her Esoteric signature and seal on December 14, 1888, and under the Resolution unanimously adopted and signed by the "E.S.T. Council" appointed by H.P.B., at their Meeting on May 27, 1891 -- Mr. Judge, as such authorized and authoritative Agent, deposed Mrs. Besant from her headship of the "Eastern Division" of the E.S.T. and her co-headship of the School. This was in the famous "By Master's Direction" notice sent out by Mr. Judge on November 3, 1894, to all members of the E.S.T. Followed Mrs. Besant's secession from the School by her repudiation of Mr. Judge's authorized status; her claim to be the "Successor" of H.P.B.; and her call to all those "Esotericists" who believed in her to follow her flag. This was in her Letter to the members of the E.S.T., dated Colombo, Ceylon, December 19, 1894. At the "Adyar Convention" immediately following, Mrs. Besant and many others voiced publicly the most fiery denunciation of Mr. Judge, who was neither present nor defended, in person or by representative. This assault culminated in a resolution requiring Col. Olcott as President-Founder to demand from Mr. Judge a "reply" to the charges made, and a further resolution of the Indian Section demanding his expulsion if he did not "reply." Mrs. Besant went from India to London to procure the same action by the forthcoming "Convention of the European Convention," scheduled to be held in July, 1895. Immediately she arrived in Britain she issued at her own expense a voluminous pamphlet entitled "The Case Against W. Q. Judge," early in April, 1895. In the interval, broadsides of attack were leveled against Mr. Judge in Mrs. Besant's "Lucifer," in Col. Olcott's "Theosophist," in numerous pamphlets, including in one of them the full text of the cowardly and infamous speeches at the Adyar Convention.
On the other side, numerous pamphlets were issued by various members in defense of Mr. Judge. Not one of these shows bitterness, venom, or any disposition to attack in turn those who were maligning Judge. To the contrary, their tone as well as their contents disclose no other intent than to testify their faith in Judge's character, to submit evidence of fact and philosophy which might restore harmony by restoring Judge's reputation in keeping with his character. The pages of "The Path" in contrast to those of "Lucifer" and "The Theosophist" during the same period of stress show his attitude and conduct during this battle which raged around him. His sole positive step was to bring into the open what he had declared "By Master's Direction" -- that the real war was not against him personally, but against H.P.B. herself and what she represented. He did this by publishing in "The Path" for March, 1895, the statement that Mrs. Besant had several times privately affirmed her belief that H.P.B. herself was a "fraud" and some of her "messages" bogus, and inviting her to declare herself publicly on this subject. Col. Olcott, honest to the core despite his fatal mistake, published his celebrated "Postscript" in "The Theosophist" for April, 1895, pronouncing H.P.B. a "medium" and the "message" of H.P.B.'s in question a "fraud." Mrs. Besant, in "Lucifer" for May, 1895, met the issue with characteristic tergiversation. "I do not regard the letter ('message') as genuine," she wrote, "but I have never attributed it to H.P.B." As the original "message" itself was in H.P.B.'s own handwriting, the evasion and effrontery of Mrs. Besant are indisputably evident.
With all these matters before them, as well as the signed notice on the back of Mrs. Besant's pamphlet "Case Against W. Q. Judge" that she proposed to move his expulsion at the coming "European Convention," what were those who believed in H.P.B. and Judge to do? Were they to remain supine in the face of this determined effort to rend the Society in fragments as the School had been rent in twain? Were they to continue to cry "peace, peace," to those bent on the destruction of all that H.P.B. had held dear? In the ruin of the repute of H.P.B. and her sole Trustee, what would become of the Theosophical Movement and her Message of Theosophy? Or were they to take to heart H.P.B.'s statement in the Preface to "Isis Unveiled," and themselves "call for a restitution of borrowed robes, and the vindication of calumniated but glorious reputations"? Were they to leave the real Teachers undefended, the real Teachings to spoliation, or was now the time to heed and apply her injunction of 1890, when Elliott Coues and Mabel Collins were making the same charges against H.P.B. and Judge that Mrs. Besant and Olcott were making now? -- that injunction in the ringing words of the "Second Preliminary Memorandum" to the members of the E.S.T.: "I now call upon all those who will remain true to their pledges to do their duty by William Q. Judge, when the time comes."
The formation of "The Theosophical Society in America" by the Boston convention of April, 1895, was, then, the practical result of the facts and situation as outlined above, and more fully treated in The Theosophical Movement, published last year.
The intellectual factor at stake and in operation was simply that war of ideas which has gone on interminably since "man is man" -- that is to say ever since the days of Atlantis, the Fourth Race(1) -- the war between "the Eye Doctrine" and the "Heart Doctrine"; that war which has produced the long series of Messengers and Messages from the Masters of the Wisdom-Religion on the one arc, and the interminable succession of religions and religious sects on the other, into which every such Message has been degenerated by generations of recreant and faithless Disciples and their loyal and faithful, but ignorant followers. How else do religions replace the Message, and Priests and priestcraft replace the Chêlas(2) and true Disciples of the Lodge of Masters before the "searchers for Truth" -- the sincere but unversed Mystics of all times and peoples?
The Spiritual increment in the great struggle of the ages must of necessity proceed, in the first instance, from the Masters -- whether of the Right hand Path or of the Left. This motivating factor consciously or unconsciously impels the Disciples left by the Teacher when the Message has been delivered, the lines laid, the impulse given for the ensuing cycle. On the one side stood H.P.B., the Messenger of the nineteenth century, and Judge her Disciple. Behind the other ranks, stretching away into the shadows, stood the psychic practices of Chakravarti and Leadbeater, of Old and many others, and their "messages from the Masters." In the one case, open and avowed adherence to H.P.B., her knowledge and her bona fides -- an adherence continuous and consistent, in profession and in conduct. On the other pole, departure from the "Three Objects" of the Society; the violation of the "Pledges" solemnly undertaken in the E.S.T.; professions of Brotherhood coupled with calumny; public litanies of respect for H.P.B., private mockery and aspersions of her occult nature and character; protestations of love and devotion in the midst of bigotry and persecution. Nothing is more notable in the history of mankind than the vagaries of religious mania -- unless it be the blindness of the sectaries to the fact that it is mania, and the vast failure of the sincere and devoted followers of those sectarians to read the lesson of these recurrent convulsions which accompany every revival of the spiritual impulse of the race.
To know the facts, physical, metaphysical, or spiritual is but "head learning"; to learn their lesson is Soul-Wisdom. One need but reflect that the facts of life, in Nature and in Man, are common to all, are one and the same, while the perception of them, the conduct based on them, vary infinitely, and continually lead and mislead men into good and evil paths.
Judge, in the perilous because precipitant years following the departure of H.P.B., strove to uphold the purity of the Teacher and the Teaching, to keep the facts and the lessons of the past before the students of the then present. In the twilight of his dying days he, like H.P.B. before him, wrote his Testamentary dispositions. Loyal to his Colleagues, generous toward those who would have none of him, prescient of the future needs of the unborn heirs to the Wisdom-Religion, he drew up the two documents to which we have referred. They are as pregnant in principle, as potent of application now as then. They were the life-long inspiration of Robert Crosbie and his guiding light in the formation of the United Lodge of Theosophists. They are the Source of the policy, as they are the foundation of the work of this Magazine. They are the sure clue for the Rising Cycle in the re-emergence of the Theosophical Movement which must come about at the hands of the faithful few of the old generation, the inquiring many of the new.
The Letter "To the European Theosophists," and "The Theosophical Movement," herewith reprinted from "The Path" of July and August, 1895, are, then, submitted for the thoughtful consideration of our fellow students and fellow Theosophists without distinction of race, creed, caste, color or party.
From the Theosophical Society in America to the European Theosophists, in Convention Assembled as, "The European Section of the Theosophical Society."
BROTHERS AND SISTERS: -- We send you our fraternal greeting, and fullest sympathy in all works sincerely sought to be performed for the good of Humanity. Separated though we are from you by very great distance we are none the less certain that you and we, as well as all other congregations of people who love Brotherhood, are parts of that great whole denominated The Theosophical Movement, which began far back in the night of Time and has since been moving through many and various peoples, places and environments. That grand work does not depend upon forms, ceremonies, particular persons or set organizations, -- "Its unity throughout the world does not consist in the existence and action of any single Organization, but depends upon the similarity of work and aspiration of those in the world who are working for it." Hence organizations of theosophists must vary and change in accordance with place, time, exigency and people. To hold that in and by a sole organization for the whole world is the only way to work would be boyish in conception and not in accord with experience or nature's laws.
Recognizing the foregoing, we, who were once the body called The American Section of the T. S., resolved to make our organization, or merely outer form for government and administration, entirely free and independent of all others; but retained our theosophical ideals, aspirations, aims and objects, continuing to be a part of the theosophical movement. This change was an inevitable one, and perhaps will ere long be made also by you as well as by others. It has been and will be forced, as it were, by nature itself under the sway of the irresistible law of human development and progress.
But while the change would have been made before many years by us as an inevitable and logical development, we have to admit that it was hastened by reason of what we considered to be strife, bitterness and anger existing in other Sections of the theosophical world which were preventing us from doing our best work in the field assigned to us by Karma. In order to more quickly free ourself from these obstructions we made the change in this, instead of in some later, year. It is, then, a mere matter of government and has nothing to do with theosophical propaganda or ethics, except that it will enable us to do more and better work.
Therefore we come to you as fellow-students and workers in the field of theosophical effort, and holding out the hand of fellowship we again declare the complete unity of all theosophical workers in every part of the world. This you surely cannot and will not reject from heated, rashly-conceived counsels, or from personalities indulged in by anyone, or from any cause whatever. To reject the proffer would mean that you reject and nullify the principle of Universal Brotherhood upon which alone all true theosophical work is based. And we could not indulge in those reflections nor put forward that reason but for the knowledge that certain persons of weight and prominence in your ranks have given utterance hastily to expressions of pleasure that our change of government above referred to has freed them from nearly every one of the thousands of earnest, studious and enthusiastic workers in our American group of Theosophical Societies. This injudicious and untheosophical attitude we cannot attribute to the whole or to any majority of your workers.
Let us then press forward together in the great work of the real Theosophical Movement which is aided by working organizations, but is above them all. Together we can devise more and better ways for spreading the light of truth through all the earth. Mutually assisting and encouraging one another we may learn how to put Theosophy into practice so as to be able to teach and enforce it by example before others. We will then each and all be members of that Universal Lodge of Free and Independent Theosophists which embraces every friend of the human race. And to all this we beg your corporate official answer for our more definite and certain information, and to the end that this and your favorable reply may remain as evidence and monuments between us.
Fraternally yours,(Signed) William Q. Judge,
(Signed) ELLIOTT B. PAGE,
A. P. BUCHMAN,
C. A. GRISCOM, JR.,
H. T. PATTERSON,
JEROME A. ANDERSON,
FRANK I. BLODGETT,
Members of the Executive Committee.
THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT
There is a very great difference between the Theosophical Movement and any Theosophical Society. The Movement is moral, ethical, spiritual, universal, invisible save in effect, and continuous. A Society formed for theosophical work is a visible organization, an effect, a machine for conserving energy and putting it to use; it is not nor can it be universal, nor is it continuous. Organized Theosophical bodies are made by men for their better coöperation, but, being mere outer shells, they must change from time to time as human defects come out, as the times change, and as the great underlying spiritual movement compels such alterations.
The Theosophical Movement being continuous, it is to be found in all times and in all nations. Wherever thought has struggled to be free, wherever spiritual ideas, as opposed to forms and dogmatism, have been promulgated, there the great movement is to be discerned. Jacob Boehme's work was a part of it, and so also was the Theosophical Society of over one hundred years ago; Luther's reformation must be reckoned as a portion of it; and the great struggle between Science and Religion, clearly portrayed by Draper, was every bit as much a motion of the Theosophical Movement as is the present Society of that name -- indeed that struggle, and the freedom thereby gained for Science, were really as important in the advance of the world, as are our different organizations. And among political examples of the movement is to be counted the Independence of the American colonies, ending in the formation of a great nation, theoretically based on Brotherhood. One can therefore see that to worship an organization, even though it be the beloved theosophical one, is to fall down before Form, and to become the slave once more of that dogmatism which our portion of the Theosophical Movement, the T.S., was meant to overthrow.
Some members have worshipped the so-called "Theosophical Society," thinking it to be all in all, and not properly perceiving its de facto and piecemeal character as an organization nor that it was likely that this devotion to mere form would lead to a nullification of Brotherhood at the first strain. And this latter, indeed, did occur with several members. They even forgot, and still forget, that H. P. Blavatsky herself declared that it were better to do away with the Society rather than to destroy Brotherhood, and that she herself declared the European part of it free and independent. These worshippers think that there must be a continuance of the old form in order for the Society to have an international character.
But the real unity and prevalence, and the real internationalism, do not consist in having a single organization. They are found in the similarity of aim, of aspiration, of purpose, of teaching, of ethics. Freemasonry -- a great and important part of the true Theosophical Movement -- is universally international; and yet its organizations are numerous, autonomous, sovereign, independent. The Grand Lodge of the state of New York, including its different Lodges, is independent of all others in any state, yet every member is a Mason and all are working on a single plan. Freemasons over all the world belong to the great International Masonic Body, yet they have everywhere their free and independent government.
When the Theosophical Society was young and small, it was necessary that it should have but one government for the whole of it. But now that it has grown wide and strong, having spread among nations so different from each other as the American, the English, the Spanish, the Swedish and others in Europe, and the Hindû, it is essential that a change in the outward form be made. This is that it become like the Freemasons -- independent in government wherever the geographical or national conditions indicate that necessity. And that this will be done in time, no matter what certain persons may say to the contrary, there is not the slightest doubt.
The American Group, being by geographical and other conditions outwardly separate, began the change so as to be in government free and independent, but in basis, aspiration, aim and work united with all true Theosophists.
We have not changed the work of H.P.B.; we have enlarged it. We assert that any person who has been admitted to any Theosophical Society should be received everywhere among Theosophists, just as Masons are received among Masons. It is untheosophical to denounce the change made by the American Group; it is not Theosophy nor conducive to its spread to make legal claims to theosophical names, symbols and seals so as to prevent if possible others from using them. Everyone should be invited to use our theosophical property as freely as he wishes. Those who desire to keep up H.P.B.'s war against dogmatism will applaud and encourage the American movement because their liberated minds permit; but those who do not know true Theosophy, nor see the difference between forms and the soul of things, will continue to worship Form and to sacrifice Brotherhood to a shell.
The Rising Cycle
(Part 2 of 13)
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TWO (2) FOOTNOTES LISTED BELOW:
COMPILER'S NOTE: I added these footnotes; they were not in the article. If any of them don't paint an accurate enough picture, or are incorrect, I hope the Editors of THEOSOPHY magazine will spot them and point the inaccuracies out to me, so that I can make the necessary corrections.
(1) "Atlantis, the Fourth Race": Aryan is the name of the present long evolutionary racial period (or cycle) that we are in as a whole humanity, and which is known as the Fifth Race (or the Fifth Root Race). The last long evolutionary racial cycle for humanity was named the Atlantean one, and was the Fourth Race (or the Fourth Root Race). The long evolutionary cycle before that was the Lemurian one, and was the Third Race (or the Third Root Race). A "Root-Race" is contained within a much longer evolutionary period (or cycle) called a Manvantara, which has a beginning and an ending. In the present Manvantara we are in the evolutionary period of humanity known as the Fifth Sub-Race of the Fifth Root-Race. A Manvantara is many millions of years long. Within that immense period there are seven Root-Races, each of which is divided into seven "Sub-Races", which are each divided into seven "Family-Races". It is always cycles within cycles. The shortest of these cycles is about 30,000 years. There is always a long period of overlapping as one racial period of development blends into the next one. But it is we, each eternal soul, individually, and all of us together, who are going through all of these evolutionary periods over and over again, incarnation after incarnation, from age to age, with no final end to this cosmic process.
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(2) A "Chêla" is a disciple, the pupil of an Adept or a group of Adepts.
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