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A monthly magazine devoted to the promulgation of Theosophy as it was given by those who brought it.
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IS NO RELIGION
The Parent Theosophical Society was formed at New York. U. S. A., in 1875, by H. P. Blavatsky, with whom were associated William Q. Judge, Henry S. Olcott, and others.
The defined Objects of the Society were as follows:
I. To form a nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color. II. The study of ancient and modern religions, philosophies and sciences, and the demonstration of the importance of such study; and
III. The investigation of the unexplained laws of nature and the psychical powers latent in man.
Assent to the First Object only was obligatory on the part of all Fellows, the other Objects being subsidiary and optional.
'AN 23 918
Search for the Paths. But, O Lanoo, be of clean heart before thou startest on thy journey. Before thou takest thy first step learn to discern the real from the false, the ever-fleeting from the everlasting. Learn, above all, to separate Head-learning from Soul-wisdom, the "Eye" from the "Heart" Doctrine.-Voice of the Silence, II.
No Theosophical Society, as such, is responsible for any opinion or declaration in this magazine, by whomsoever expressed, unless contained in an official document.
Where any article, or statement, has the author's name attached, he alone is responsible, and for those which are unsigned, the Editors will be accountable.
ON THE NEW YEAR'S MORROW*
"The veil which covers the face of futurity is woven by the hand of Mercy."
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL! This seems easy enough
to say, and everyone expects some such greeting. Yet, whether the wish, though it may proceed from a sincere heart, is likely to be realized even in the case of the few-is more difficult to decide. According to our theosophical tenets, every man or woman is endowed, more or less, with a magnetic potentiality, which when helped by a sincere, and especially by an intense and indomitable will-is the most effective of magic levers placed by Nature in human hands-for woe as for weal. Let us then, Theosophists, use that will to send a sincere greeting and a wish of good luck for the New Year to every living creature under the sun-enemies and relentless traducers included. Let us try and feel especially kindly and forgiving to our foes and persecutors, honest or dishonest, lest some of us should send unconsciously an "evil eye" greeting instead of a blessing. Such an effect is but too easily produced even without the help of the occult combination of the two numbers, the 8 and the 9, of the late departed, and of the newly-born year. But with these two numbers staring us in the face, an evil wish, just now, would be simply disastrous!
"Hulloo!" we hear some casual readers exclaiming. "Here's a new superstition of the theosophic cranks: let us hear it
You shall, dearly beloved critics, though it is not a new but a very old superstition. It is one shared, once upon a time, and firmly believed in, by all the Cæsars and World-potentates. These dreaded the number 8, because it postulates the equality of all men.
This article was first printed by H. P. Blavatsky in Lucifer for January, 1890.
of eternal unity and the mysterious number seven, out of Heaven and the seven planets and the sphere of the fixed stars, in the philosophy of arithmetic, was born the ogdoad. It was the first cube of the even numbers, and hence held sacred. In Eastern philosophy number eight symbolises equality of units, order and symmetry in heaven, transformed into inequality and confusion on earth, by selfishness, the great rebel against Nature's decrees.
"The figure 8 or ∞ indicates the perpetual and regular motion of the Universe," says Ragon. But if perfect as a cosmic number it is likewise the symbol of the lower Self, the animal nature of man. Thus, we augur ill for the unselfish portion of humanity from the present combination of the year-numbers. For the central figures 89 in the year 1890, are but a repetition of the two figures in the tail-end of 1889. And nine was a digit terribly dreaded by the ancients. With them it was a symbol of great changes, cosmic and social, and of versatility, in general; the sad emblem of the fragility of human things. Figure 9 represents the earth under the influence of an evil principle; the Kabalists holding, moreover, that it also symbolises the act of reproduction and generation. That is to say that the year 1890 is preparing to reproduce all the evils of its parent 1889, and to generate plenty of its own. Three times three is the great symbol of corporisation, or the materialisation of spirit according to Pythagoras-hence of gross matter.* Every material extension, every circular line was represented by number 9, for the ancient philosophers had observed that, which the philosophicules of our age either fail to see, or else attribute to it no importance whatever. Nevertheless, the natural depravity of this digit and number is awful. Being sacred to the spheres it stands as the sign of circumference, since its value in degrees is equal to 9-i. e., to 3+6+0. Hence it is also the symbol of the human head-especially of the modern average head, ever ready to be parading as 9 when it is hardly a 3. Moreover, this blessed 9 is possessed of the curious. power of reproducing itself in its entirety in every multiplication and whether wanted or not; that is to say, when multiplied by itself or any other number this cheeky and pernicious figure will always result in a sum of 9—a vicious trick of material nature, also, which reproduces itself on the slightest provocation. Therefore it becomes. comprehensible why the ancients made of 9 the symbol of Matter, and we, the modern Occultists, make of it that of the materialism of our age-the fatal nine-teenth century, now happily on its decline.
If this antediluvian wisdom of the ages fails to penetrate the "circumference" of the cephaloid "spheres" of our modern Scientists.
1 As shown by Ragon, the Mason-Occultist, the gnostic ogdoad had eight stars representing the 8 Cabiri of Samothrace, the 8 principles of the Egyptians and Phoenicians, the 8 gods of Xenocrates, the 8 angles of the cubic stone.
The reason for this is because according to the Pythagoreans each of the three elements that constitute our bodies is a ternary: water, containing earth and fire; earth containing aqueous and igneous particles; and fire being tempered by aqueous globules and terrestrial corpuscles serving it as food. Hence the name given to matter, the "nonagous envelope."
and Mathematicians—then we do not know what will do so. The occult future of 1890 is concealed in the exoteric past of 1889 and its preceding patronymical eight years.
Unhappily or shall we say, happily-man in this dark cycle is denied, as a collective whole, the faculty of foresight. Whether we take into our mystic consideration the average business man, the profligate, the materialist, or the bigot, it is always the same. Compelled to confine his attention to the day's concern, the business man but imitates the provident ant by laying by a provision against the winter of old age; while the elect of fortune and Karmic illusions tries his best to emulate the grasshopper in his perpetual buzz and summer-song. The selfish care of the one and the utter recklessness of the other make both disregard and often remain entirely ignorant of any serious duty towards Human kind. As to the latter two, namely the materialist and the bigot, their duty to their neighbours and charity to all begin and end at home. Most men love but those who share their respective ways of thinking, and care nothing for the future of the races or the world; nor will they give a thought, if they can help it, to post-mortem life. Owing to their respective psychical temperaments each man expects death will usher him either through golden porches into a conventional heaven, or through sulphurous caverns into an asbestos hell, or else to the verge of an abyss of non-existence. And lo, how all of them-save the materialist-do fear death to be sure! May not this fear lie at the bottom of the aversion of certain people to Theosophy and Metaphysics? But no man in this century-itself whirling madly towards its gaping tomb-has the time or desire to give more than a casual thought either to the grim visitor who will not miss one of us, or to Futurity.
They are, perhaps, right as to the latter. The future lies in the present and both include the Past. With a rare occult insight Rohel made quite an esoterically true remark, in saying that "the future does not come from before to meet us, but comes streaming ud from behind over our heads." For the Occultist and average Theosophist the Future and the Past are both included in each moment of their lives, hence in the eternal PRESENT. The Past is a torrent madly rushing by, that we face incessantly, without one second of interval; every wave of it, and every drop in it, being an event, whether great or small. Yet, no sooner have we faced it, and whether it brings joy or sorrow, whether it elevates us or knocks us off our feet, then it is carried away and disappears behind us, to be lost sooner or later in the great Sea of Oblivion. It depends on us to make every such event non-existent to ourselves by obliterating it from our memory; or else to create of our past sorrows Promethean Vultures-those "dark-winged birds, the embodied memories of the Past," which, in Sala's graphic fancy "wheel and shriek over the Lethean lake." In the first case, we are real philosophers; in the second-but timid and even cowardly soldiers of the army called mankind, and commanded in the great battle of Life by "King Karma.'
Happy those of its warriors by whom Death is regarded