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overbearing and treacherous Bossuet. Mme. Guyon was too sincere and pure-minded to suspect any want of honor in her examiner, and not only placed in his hands all her most private papers, including her autobiography, which even Fénélon had not seen, but persuaded Fénélon to be equally confiding. The trust of both was shamefully abused and their most sacred disclosures used as weapons against them. After all, the Quietism of Fénélon was of a more moderate type than that of Mme. Guyon, who was altogether a broader and a loftier soul. Their chief technical difference seems to have lain in the possibility of attaining perfect disinterestedness, that is, were they willing to be damned for the glory of God? Mme. Guyon professed to conduct devout minds by a certain method to this point, Fénélon only maintained the possibility of realising such a love, but as Vaughan (Hours with the Mystics, II. 259), very shrewdly remarks, in any case it is a supposition which involves a very gross and external conception of Hell, and one might add, a very inadequate and low conception of God.

Mme. Guyon now began to hope for a retired life among her friends in Paris, but Bossuet, finding that she trusted him no longer, chose to call this removal a flight, and had her arrested with her maid, and confined in the castle of Vincennes. This was in December, 1695, and finally, in 1698, she was transferred to the Bastille, and placed in solitary confinement. Here her faithful maid died.

After four years spent in this terrible prison, she was released in 1702, and was allowed to visit her daughter for a time, after which she was banished to Blois for the remainder of her life, happily an uneventful remainder. She taught by correspondence and conversation as far as she was able, and revealed true religion to many of those who sought her out. At last, on July 9, 1717, she passed away, at the age of sixty-nine, both Bossuet and Fénélon having preceded her.

We cannot but recognize in her one of the "great souls" of the epoch, the greatest probably of her time and nation. Many legends grew up about her miraculous powers, such as grow up about all saints, whose followers think they honor them by ascribing to them supernatural gifts, when the greatest of all gifts was the love of God in which she most truly lived and moved and had her being. At least in 1668 and 1680 she experienced that union with God of which all mystics speak. She was a woman so beautiful, so graceful, so clever, and so keen of perception, that it was no wonder that vanity was her besetting sin, and the last to be cast out of her soul as it struggled upwards to perfection. In her Short Method of Prayer she begins by declaring that all are capable of prayer, which is nothing but the application to God, and the internal exercise of love. There is nothing said about petitions, prayer is a condition, not an asking for something. The first degree of prayer is meditation, and the first thing to learn is that the Kingdom of God is within us. We should withdraw from the outward and concentrate upon the inward; then repeat the Lord's prayer, pondering in silence over each sentence. If we feel inclined to keep up the silence, let us not continue the prayer until that desire subsides.

The second degree of prayer is simplicity. After a time the soul finds that it is enabled to approach God with ease, and prayer becomes sweet and delightful, and the soul needs not to think of any subject. We must begin to give up our whole existence to God, losing our own will in his.

A more exalted degree of prayer is that of active contemplation. In this condition the soul enjoys a continual sense of God's presence. Silence now constitutes its whole prayer, and selfish activity becomes merged in divine activity, as the stars disappear when the sun rises. Souls in this State pray without effort, as a healthy person breathes.

The soul next passes into what may be termed infused prayer. Gently and without effort it glides into this condition (which is difficult to distinguish from the preceding one), and a state of inward silence ensues. The soul suffers itself to be, as it were, annihilated, and thereby ascends to the Highest. “We can pay due honor to God only in our own annihilation, which is no sooner accomplished than He, who never suffers a void in nature, instantly fills us with Himself.”

In her book called Spiritual Torrents she uses the figure of the mountain torrents that seek to reach the sea in divers ways. “Some advance gently towards perfection, never arriving at the sea, or reaching it very late, being satisfied to lose themselves in some stronger and more rapid river, which hurries them along with itself to the sea."

And speaking afterwards of the capacity of the soul, in a passage very like one in Dante, she says that all holy souls are in a state of fullness, but not in an equal amount of fullness. “A small vessel when full, is as much filled as a large one, but it does not hold as much. These souls all have the fullness of God, but according to their capacity for receiving, and there are those whose capacity God enlarges daily. * * * It is a capacity of ever growing and extending more and more in God, being able to be transformed into Him, in an ever-increasing degree, just as water joined to its source, blends with it ever more and more."

It will be readily seen in how many ways the Quietism of Mme. Guyon resembles the doctrines of theosophy, more particularly in the teaching of continuous meditation, and what Patanjali calls “meditation without a seed."



HAT was H. P. Blavatsky's most remarkable achievement ? I believe that the historian of several hundred years from now will reply that it was her revival of the science of right

thinking It is true that if one were to judge the result of her work by the number of people who now call themselves Theosophists, one would be inclined to doubt whether the historians of the future will take her into account at all. But I am supposing that these Actons of the twentyfifth century will be enlightened; that they will realize how widespread was the effect of the movement which she inaugurated, and how deeply it affected the literature of the age in which she lived. In that case they will search our records

our magazines and transactions for the concentrated expression of that which the world received in a diluted form. Poor historians! They will find us terribly representative. May they know better days!

But one thing will rejoice them, I am sure: the fact that we have learned at last to ask for knowledge which can be used in daily life, rather than for instruction in those magic arts which fascinated our predecessors at the end of the eighteenth century. Cagliostro, questioned by Lavater, said that his understanding of magic was contained in verbis, in herbis, in lapidibus. H. P. Blavatsky, similarly questioned, would perhaps have replied that magic is founded upon a thorough comprehension of the nature of man. But she regarded man as the microcosm of the macrocosm, and she undoubtedly would have said that he who understands the nature of man-of man physical, astral, psychic, and spiritual-cannot fail to know also the virtues hidden in words and in herbs and in stones.

What St. Germain's answer to that question would have been, it is impossible to say. Perhaps a few chords on his wonderful violin, chords which would have revealed all or nothing, as the questioner had ears to hear. But if the doctrine of Cagliostro represented that of his superior,-or represented that part of his superior's doctrine which the latter saw fit to reveal-we, in this century, may congratulate ourselves upon having had it made plain to us that a Master of Magic is really a Master of Service, and that he who would serve must learn to control his serviceable faculties.

“Every magical operation,” said Madame Blavatsky, “is dependent upon the right use of the imagination and the will." In other words, before we can really serve, we must master these two among the many other faculties or forces which we now either misuse, or which misuse us.

Doubtless there are many ways of attaining this end. The following is but one view, quite incomplete, of one of these ways:

The first step is to realize that we have to deal, not with many forces, but with one, of which the many are but different manifestations.

The second step is to realize that to control this one force we must ignore it and concentrate our whole attention upon thought.

The third step is to realize that instead of having to banish many different kinds of thought, such as thoughts of vanity, of envy, of sensuality, and so forth, we have to master one thought only, which is the thought of desire.

The fourth step is to realize that the banishment of desire is not merely a negative process, but involves creation also.

It does not require any profound analysis to see that the various passions and emotions which we desire to control are the manifestations of a single force. Consider the nature of anger, of hatred, and of love: evidently they are forces, or in any case are associated with force. We can feel the effect of anger in the body. Hatred may be looked upon as a sublimated form of anger, and although its effects in the body are not so perceptible as those of anger-hatred being a "cold," anger a “hot” force—it is not any the less powerful on that account: quite the reverse. For hatred, being "cold,” carries the will, which is also “cold,” with it; while, so long as anger is uppermost, the will is entirely inoperative.

Now the effect of anger is explosive, disruptive, revolutionary, while the effect of hatred is contractive, withering, paralyzing. Nevertheless, they are activities of the same force, and this same force, manifesting on other planes, is also known to us as one or another form of Love-either as love creative and evolutionary, or, on the other hand, as love involutionary (centripetal) in the direction of reunion with the divine. So the "force of anger," the "force of hatred” and the "force of love" are not separate forces existing in Nature. They are one.

If, however, we were to suppose that this one force, of which all the different passions and emotions are the phenomena, actually changes its character according to the plane on which it manifests, we should be making a serious mistake. For this one force in itself is pure and uncolored. Its "good" or "bad" character is the result of the thought with which it is associated. It is clear, for instance, that in so far as will and imagination are concerned, neither of them can be called good or bad. They can be used for the highest, as well as for selfish and immoral, ends. And, however used, they remain

, , pure in themselves—as force. So with hatred and anger: they are merely wrong directions given by thought to the one colorless force which blindly and implicitly pours itself into the moulds which the mind creates.

It follows, then, that we can omit force from our problem, and concentrate our attention on thought.

Now arises the question, how can we best control wrong thinking -those thoughts which stand in the way of the untrammelled and wise use of will and imagination, and which prevent our becoming Masters of Service?

The four great evils against which we are constantly warned in the Bhagavad Gita, are anxiety, fear, anger, and desire. In the writings of Shankaracharya, if I am not mistaken, but in any case in the Buddhist scriptures, these and all other evil tendencies are reduced to one: the cause of all sorrow, says Buddha, is desire. And to look at the matter in this way simplifies the difficulty because, instead of having to keep on the watch against thought of pride and hypocrisy and sensuality and anger and envy and contempt and ambition and vanity and the thousand other madnesses which possess us, we can turn from these to their root, which is desire, and try to extirpate that. The desire to shine, to convince ourselves as well as others that we are superior; the desire to dominate; the desire for ease; the desire to remain separate; the desire for sensation, intellectual as well as nervous; the desire to preserve what we possess and to acquire what we do not possess—all these desires, even the desire of growth, must be rooted up. But they need not be considered separately, for they are one: they are Desire.

The free Spirit which possesses all things and is all things, desires nothing; and we, in order to realize that we are that Spirit and nothing else, must “forsake every desire which entereth into the heart” the moment it enters, and, if possible, before it has become definite. We shall then attain to the supreme simplicity, and without desiring to do so.

This does not mean, of course, that we should “play the part in life of a desiccated pansy.” It is not that we should kill out sensation, but that we should kill out the desire for sensation. It is not that we should no longer feel pleasure or pain, but that we should no longer hunger for pleasure or dread (that is, desire to avoid) pain.

But let me repeat it: every desire must go—in time. It is a mistake to give desire a free rein in what we choose to call a harmless direction. If, as Thoreau said, we remain sensual in our eating or in our sleeping; if we indulge our desire for intellectual sensations (as for new books), for æsthetic or other cravings,—desire, being one, is always liable to revert to its former and admittedly harmful channels. We must cut it off at its source; not block up one or another of its outlets.

Nor is it selfish desire only that must go, but also that which we

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