The Theosophical Forum – March 1937

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS: 323 & 324

QUESTION 323:

In The Ocean of Theosophy I came across this statement in chapter xiv, p. 124: "The Chinese always were a nation of astronomers, and have recorded observations reaching far back of the Christian era, but as they belong to an old race which is doomed to extinction — strange as the assertion may appear — their conclusions will not be correct for the Aryan races."  _____ is of the opinion that G. de P. has said somewhere that China was on the upward trend of the present cycle. We have searched for the reference but have not been able to find it. Would you mind asking the Leader, at some time convenient for him, the truth of this matter? Mr. Judge may have written in a wider sense than the Leader who may have had in mind a small, specific cycle — that is if he mentioned China at all in this respect.

G. de P. — The questioner's understanding of my meaning is quite correct. Here we have a case where brief statements, each one correct, refer to different things; and readers who are too quick in perusal and not thoughtful enough, immediately say: Oh, a contradiction. There is none! The facts are as follows:

The Chinese, that is the pure Chinese or those nearly pure in race, are the degenerate descendants even today of the Seventh Sub-Race of the Atlantean Root-Race. Consequently, when we take in the immense periods of geologic time, they have nearly reached their end; and speaking in immense time-periods are soon "doomed to extinction"; but, speaking in terms of smaller time-periods such as we humans easily can grasp, that is to say of several thousands of years, which are small geologically, the Chinese still have a brilliant future before them, and are now on the upward rise. There will be Chinese for thousands of years yet, although steadily mixing and showing a tendency to die out as pure Chinese.

Thus Judge is right because he was referring to long geologic periods so to speak. I was right because when I spoke, I was referring to the shorter time-periods of some thousands of years, or a good many hundreds of years. Actually the Chinese today are striving to come to the fore again as a national unit, and they will do so, and very soon, perhaps within a hundred years, and have a relatively brief period of power and glory, and then they will go down again; perhaps later rise to another still shorter period, and then go down again; and keep doing this until finally they vanish as a racial unit. Thus we can say with Judge that they are "doomed to extinction," for the reasons above given; and we can say with equal truth that they are rising on an ascending small cycle. What happens with the Chinese happens, or will happen, with all other racial units. Each has its turn; each has its beginning, its growth, its culmination in power and splendor, its senescence and decay, and its vanishing.

QUESTION 324:

Please say how these two quotations can be harmonized: ". . . the wave of spiritualistic phenomena . . . has been aided by the Nirmanakayas." (Last para., chap, xi, Echoes from the Orient) and ". . . the most insane and fatal of superstitions — Spiritualism." (The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, p. 284.)

G. de P. — This certainly does look like a contradiction, but it is instead a paradox, and can be easily reconciled. I speak from recollection, as I have not the book at the moment before me, but as I recall the passage in Mr. Judge's Echoes from the Orient, when the entire context is taken into careful consideration, he himself reconciles the paradox. This reconciliation lies in remembering two things, first that Spiritualism as it is commonly understood is a "superstition" and a very "fatal" one, that is as it is understood by spiritists generally, who look upon human beings after death as being merely a prolongation or continuation of the ordinary human earth-men in a purely mythical Summerland, where they appear to be living in a kind of inane and idiotic atmosphere of self-satisfaction. In fact, it is nothing but a dream-situation, and takes no account of the septenary constitution of man, nor the different parts of this constitution, and the destinies which these various parts respectively undergo after death.

It is the old folly of the everlasting personal, unchanging ego, which the Christians have adopted in another form; and the spiritists do not realize the truth. Hence, spiritism as understood is actually a truly "fatal superstition."

On the other hand, in a world which was typically materialistic when H. P. B. came to do her work in the West, which generally, excepting good Church people, had no belief whatsoever in the survival of anything in man, which looked upon man as being little more than a body, and his mind and emotions and ethical sense a kind of ethereal effluvium of the purely material forces working in the human brain — to such a world, I say, the teachings of the spiritists, which taught that there was something more in man than a mere physical body, even if it was only a kind of prolongation of the ego in a dreamland, was an idea which represented something higher than the grossly materialistic views of the scientists, and the equally materialistic views of the church people.

It was this touch of not exactly spirituality, but of looking to something higher than the material body, which was the part of spiritualism fostered by the Nirmanakayas as instilling in the mind of the materialistic West that man was something more than the physical body, which as this West then thought as represented by its science, was the be-all and end-all of man.

Now the spiritistic phenomena which were utterly unexplainable by the materialistic science of the day, did instil thoughts of something more being in man than merely his body, unknown forces of a psychic and mental kind, which were, however, falsely called "spiritual"; and the foregoing is just the reason also why H. P. B., when she first began her public work, began to work among the spiritists, because they were trying to free themselves, however erroneously, from the dominant materialistic thought, teaching, tendencies, and soul-destroying hopelessness of the time. It was in this minor manner that the Nirmanakayas did, as it were, aid and support the spiritistic phenomena in so far as these latter were genuine and not faked.

Thus you see, the two quotations are not contradictions, but together form a paradox, and are easily explained in the above manner.

To summarize: Spiritism itself in the light of true knowledge is a "fatal superstition"; but yet the spiritistic phenomena when genuine and not faked are true, and taught and even yet do teach the materialists that man has forces in him and faculties and attributes which the materialists cannot explain by referring everything to man's physical vehicle. Hence these genuine phenomena were supported and even aided at that time, although now no longer aided, by the Nirmanakayas.


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