The Theosophical Forum – May 1937

BREVITIES

A WISER VIEW OF EVOLUTION

There is need for a wiser view of evolution. In evolution we see the Divine everywhere expressing itself in multitudinous and ever sublimer forms. No dull mechanism, ruled by ruthless laws of strife and destruction; it is a creative intelligent process, and Love is its basic law. The minds of the animals, of the plants, may be inferior to ours; but at the center of every being is the same Divinity. These creatures — are they not our younger brothers, our children?

The philosophy of topsyturvydom! Look at it! The animals have blind instinct; they show mother-love; therefore mother-love is blind instinct; but man comes from the animals; therefore compassion in man is only a blind instinct! Contrast this fantastic nightmare with the plain wholesome truth — that Divine Love is the universal pattern which all creatures follow in thankful obedience. 'Tis only the man who has not harmony within himself that fails to see it all around him. Let us create harmony within ourselves, so that Nature may reveal to us her grandest mysteries. — H. T. Edge

THE ENIGMATIC LONGING

What is it that urges the naturalist, the explorer, the inventor on their restless activity, the philosopher on his unceasing searching? What is it that induces the scientist in his laboratory, the astronomer in his patient and conscientious work? It is the longing for knowledge. It lives in every man, stronger in the one than in the other, but in every heart lives the same hunger for light. From where comes this longing for knowledge? A knowledge of what? Does not this enigmatic longing for light in its vagueness remind us of the seeking for the purport of a dream we cannot call back? Plato said: "All learning is remembrance," and is not all knowledge obtained a re-knowing? Is not the understanding of a thought the testing of its value to an inner standard? And don't we reject it if we cannot affirm it in our inmost? Wisdom which we understand is not heard outside but inside ourselves.

This enigmatic longing for knowledge brings to us an intuitive realization of a deeper, greater personality in us which we can regard as enlightened as compared with our ordinary 'self.' And every step in this direction is a further unwrapping out of the dream which can last for incarnations, but which will be shorter the less we give attention to the longings and desires supplying the material for that dream. What then is this longing for light? It is the longing to know oneself, the homesickness for one's own fatherland — the Heart of the Universe. — H. G. Lindemans

NATURE AND OURSELVES

If we could stop eternally rushing to keep up with time; if we could pause long enough to "share in the flowing of the inexhaustible years"; we might perhaps know something of the cosmic significance of the seasons as they pass in unhurried and harmonious sequence. Our pulses would beat with the pulse of Nature, and her slightest gesture would be a sign to us of her silent heart-stirrings.

There was a time when we recognised ourselves as Nature's children, and knew of her, and therefore our own, spiritual origins; and all the long centuries of 'civilization' have not been able wholly to eradicate the memory of the obeisance we anciently paid to her. We are reminded of these things from time to time by occasional books published which tell of the folk-lore of this or that people. One such book that has come to our attention recently is entitled Portugal: A Book of Folk-Ways. Christian tradition has overlaid but has not destroyed the ancient seasonal festivals of this people: the celebration of the birth of the year and the burgeoning of the springtime, the mid-summer bonfires, the harvesting. Of course the writer explains the many and unspoiled rituals to be found in Portugal as merely a "fertility-cult expressing itself in the form of sympathetic magic"; but can we not go one step farther in explanation and say that it is but another echo of the time when, as expressed in The Esoteric Tradition "It was the attempt in all the Mystery-Schools of all the ancient nations to bring the seasons on earth into harmony with man's spiritual-intellectual career . . . to establish in the disciple's initiation as a living reality the already existing concordance between the Nature in which we live and move and have our being and the more intimate Nature within us."

To make this concordance with Nature a "living reality" does not belong only to the records of days of ancient splendor. Opportunity has never yet been denied to him who gives the right knock. — S. H. W.

HORRORS IN THE NAME OF ART

A group of reproductions of examples of 'Surrealist' art appeared in the Boston Herald recently. One of these portrays an emaciated human figure with a cow's head, but with eyes of such evil as would never be seen in a poor beast. From the abdomen of this monstrosity crawls a huge scorpion. We can understand how it is that such horrors come to be perpetrated when we read that: "the surrealist re-creates the world in terms of his own imagination. He prefers chaos to order, irrationality to reason . . . many of these artists go to spiritualistic seances in order to allow the mind to be dictated to by the 'unconscious' . . ."

It is quite evident that these artists(?) are laying themselves open to impressions from foolish and evil spooks of the lower astral worlds, and are materializing these impressions on canvas, producing effects that would be repellent to any normal mind.

Part of our duty as Theosophists is to make known the teachings we have been given in regard to the dangers of the lower astral realms, the relative values of man's many selves, and the part that spiritual will and impersonal love have to play in guiding us along those brighter paths where our creative endeavor, whether it be along the lines of art, music, poetry, the drama, the dance, or what not, will call to the spiritual deeps in our fellow-men. Then we shall be proud of our art-galleries, our museums, our theaters, for they will be places where the very gods might meet with us for refreshment, inspiration, and the true laughter of the spirit. — E. B. F.


The Theosophical Forum

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