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Labour and Capital,* by Prof. Goldwin Smith. In the form of a letter addressed “To My Labour Friend” Professor Smith has written a very clear and impartial summary of the issues between Capital and Labour. It does not pretend to be anything more than this. He but touches upon the principal questions which are in the forefront of the political and economic arena, stating the points with his accustomed lucidity; mentioning the arguments of both sides; showing how these may often be reconciled, or how they depart from the facts of experience, and winds up by an appeal for mutual consideration and tolerance and effort at understanding. He points out that the existing system can only be changed by a violence that would do irremediable injury to both sides, or by a slow growth and evolution; and that understanding and patience are absolutely necessary to make the slower process successful. While not profound, the little book is so clearly written and has such a temperate and elevated spirit that we must welcome it as a valuable contribution to this great discussion.
The Beloved Vagabond, † by William J. Locke. This is a novel. It has no avowed aim except to entertain-but occasionally we need entertainment. And in this novel we get ideal entertainment, in so far as that is ideal which exactly serves its purpose. The author has found himself. His earlier works were, for the most part, expressions of moods. This one shows artistic enlightenment. Note what Paragot, the Vagabond, says to his protégé and pupil: “But you, my little Asticot, have the Great Responsibility before you. It is for you to uplift a corner of the veil of Life and show joy to men and women where they would not have sought it.” Again: "Let me, he urges, be able to point to you as one 'who sees God beneath a leper's skin and proclaims Him bravely, who reveals the magical beauty of humanity and compels the fool and the knave and the man with the muck-rake and the harlot to see it, and sends them away with hope in their hearts, and faith in the destiny of the race and charity to one another'—let me see this, my son, and, by heavens! I shall have done more with my life than erect a temple made by hands and I shall have justified my existence.” That is the aim—the purely theosophical aim-which William J. Locke has discovered and which unobtrusively (most requisite merit!) inspires his latest work. We wish that artists everywhere could be imbued with the same spirit. Their achievements might then more often be even as his : beyond praise.
Persia, Past and Present, I by A. V. Williams Jackson. In the preface to this record of an important if hurried trip to the holyland of Zoroastrianism, Professor Jackson says: "I was tempted at first to label some of the chapters with a warning, This chapter is dedicated to the student,' and to prefix to others a prefatory line, 'Dedicated to the general reader.'”. At times, both the general reader and the student will regret that the author did not permit this intention to develop into two distinct books. To merge satisfactorily the discussion of the technical details involved in the identification of relics of a long-departed civilization and a now obscure religion with a graphic description of a country and people of which the Occident of to-day knows little, is a difficult task. That the author has succeeded as well as he has, is evidence both of his skill and his zeal.
*Published by The Macmillan Company, New York. John Lane, London and New York. Price, $1.50. The Macmillan Company, New York, 1906.
To the readers of the THEOSOPHICAL QUARTERLY, as to Professor Jackson himself, the chief interest of the trip lies in the light which it throws on the religion of Zoroaster and the present condition of his disciples. By dint of hard and incessant work the author traveled in something more than two months from Baku on the Caspian Sea through Azarbaijan, the reputed birthplace of Zoroaster, to Shiraz on the south, and thence northward again to Yezd, the stronghold to-day of the few remaining Zoroastrians, to Teheran, and so back to the Caspian. In the course of this vast loop, Professor Jackson examined a number of ruined fire temples, tombs and inscriptions of the Achæmenian and Sasanian dynasties, saw the ruins of Persepolis and Pasargadæ, and at Yezd had an opportunity to study the life and customs of the long-persecuted Zoroastrians.
Despite his enthusiasm for his subject, the picture that Professor Jackson draws of the plateau of Iran is not an attractive one. The birthplace of a great religion, of advanced civilizations and mighty empires, the soil seems to have been exhausted by its labors in the past, and the country, once so pregnant with life and vigor, now lies like a colossal, cold hearth, a vast and empty expanse of mountain and desert. The altars of Zoroaster are deserted; the divine fire has gone from the dreary plateau. Here and there in this desolation Zoroastrianism still lingers, but, except at Yezd, even the eager search of Professor Jackson could discover only a stray straggler or two. In the latter city, however, there is a community of eight thousand. In the author's own words:
"Situated amid a sea of sand which threatens to engulf it, Yezd is a symbolic home for the isolated band of Zoroastrians that still survives the surging waves of Islam that swept over Persia with the Mahommedan conquest twelve hundred years ago. Although exposed to persecution and often in danger from storms of fanaticism, this isolated religious community, encouraged by the buoyant hope characteristic of its faith, has been able to keep the sacred flame of Ormazd alive and to preserve the ancient doctrines and religious rites of its creed.
In a way, the Moslem creed was easy of acceptance for Persia, since Mohammed' himself had adopted elements from Zoroastrianism to unite with Jewish and Christian tenets in making up his own religion."
Those who refused to take advantage of this easy escape from persecution took refuge in India, where they became the ancestors of the Bombay Parsis, the real defenders to-day of the faith of Zoroaster, or found a remote and none too safe home in Yezd. But even in this citadel of the religion persecution has done its work, and though the ritual prescribed in the Avesta nearly three thousand years ago is still in the main observed, circumstances have compelled certain modifications. In particular, the authority of the priesthood is much diminished, since the unruly have always the option of conforming to the regulations of the Moslems around them. The temptation is considerable, for, although active persecution ceased some years ago, the Gabars, as they are generally called, are still subject to various restrictions and occasionally endangered by outbreaks of Moslem fanaticism.
Nevertheless, Professor Jackson sees a bright future for the Gabars of Yezd. As his reputation had preceded him, he was welcomed with open arms. On one occasion he was escorted to the temple of Atash Bahram, and though he made no attempt to see the flame itself, was permitted to hear from the adjoining room the chants of the priest. “My ear caught at once,” he says, "the voices of the white-robed priests who were chanting in the presence of the sacred element a hymn of praise sung by Zoroaster of old. It was a glorification of Verethragna, the Angel of Victory, in the Bahram Yasht, and I felt a thrill as I heard the Avestan verses-verethraghnem churadhatem yazamaide, 'we worship the Angel of Victory, created by Ahura'ring out from behind the walled recess where the fire was hidden.” A survival of the ancient custom of animal sacrifice to be found in the "Sacrifice to Mithra,” is, the author was informed, dying out and the Zoroastrians, both in Persia and in India, believe that the true sacrifice is bloodless, an offering of “good thoughts, good words, good deeds,” accompanied by praise and thanksgiving.
Space does not permit of any discussion of Professor Jackson's inspection of the tombs, inscriptions and sculptures of ancient Persia. Yet it is impossible not to make some comment, however brief, upon the remarkable zeal with which he pursued his researches at the cost of great personal fatigue and not a little danger. Thoroughly prepared for his trip by years of work, he was enabled to meet the relics of antiquity as old friends, and his book must be of value to all who are interested in the civilization of ancient Persia and the religion of Zoroaster. The little attention that these subjects receive from American scholars will make the results of his second trip this spring the more valuable.
E. B. M.
The Psychology of Religious Belief,* by James Bissett Pratt. Professor Pratt has written a most interesting and readable book, to which we unhesitatingly commend our readers. His work is of value, because it brings science and religion one appreciable step nearer together, and because he shows that true religion is distinctly mystical in character.
Approaching the subject of religious belief from a psychological standpoint, he divides it into three main categories: belief based upon authority; belief based upon reason; and belief based upon feeling. He shows that the belief of all children and of humanity, when in its primitive condition is based upon authority, and in his development of his theme he traces the religious concept through and out of this stage until we have religion of reason or of the understanding. But this type of religious belief has also proved unsatisfactory. There is not a single system of thought invented by the mind of man which does not break down upon analysis. Although a professor of philosophy himself, he says that the world has never been satisfied and never will be satisfied with any mind-made system of philosophy. “If you tell me that a man has been converted to Christianity, I know in a general way what you mean. If you should tell me he had been converted to Philosophy, would you be saying anything at all?"
In an eloquent paragraph he points out the fading away of religions based upon both authority and reason, and being himself an essentially religious man, he fears for the welfare of the race, unless religion of the Feeling can be made to take the place of the two other dying forms. Of this he thinks there is distinct hope. He believes he sees, what so many other writers also see at the present time, numerous signs of a religious revival; of a quickening of the spiritual life; of increased interest in the Inner Life, of the things of Spirit. But this new interest in religion is purely individualistic in character. It springs from the heart of man, and has little or nothing to do with Ecclesiasticism or Theology. In a word, it is mystical in character. We believe that Professor Pratt's thesis is sound, and while some of his historical work is open to minor criticism, and while he does not seem to understand the deeper sides of mysticism, he has written a most interesting book that advances the scientific investigation of religious phenomena a distinct step forward in the right direction.
C. A. G., JR.
An Abridgement of the Secret Doctrine.f. Miss Hillard's abridgement of the Secret Doctrine was published too late to permit of an adequate review in this issue of the THEOSOPHICAL QUARTERLY, but in order to give some idea of the character of the work, we quote the editor's preface: "The Editor of this Abridgment has long felt the need of a shorter, a simpler and a less expensive version of the Secret Doctrine. The wealth of material that embarrassed the author of the book-or perhaps we should say the transcriber-gave rise to endless digressions wherein the thread of the subject is often lost for whole chapters, while many quotations, comprehensive only to special students, increase the bulk of the volumes, and add to the difficulty of understanding their contents. Many foreign idioms (notably the use of the word actual in the sense of present) and frequent misprints make the meaning of the text more obscure, and the many and complicated parentheses add to the labor of the reader. The enormous length of the book makes it so expensive that comparatively few students can afford to buy it, and the most valuable legacy of theosophic information yet given to the world is unavailable to many of those who most need it.
Fifteen years' study of the Secret Doctrine, together with the help of many other students, has enabled the Editor to trace the thread of the argument far more clearly than at first, and the remorseless cutting out of what is now obsolete science, and of all controversial matter (while carefully retaining all ethical and spiritual teachings), together with occasional transpositions of sentences and paragraphs, have made the whole text very much simpler. All Sanskrit terms have been put into English, and the triune constitution of man (as body, soul and spirit) adopted wherever possible, instead of the more complicated seven-fold division. There has been nothing added to the text, except a few notes and one or two diagrams, all marked "Ed." and it is hoped that what is transposed and what is altogether omitted will render the book-by reducing its difficulty as well as its cost-more available to the general reader, and to the seeker after truth prove a guide and stimulus to the study of the original work.”
*The Macmillan Company, New York. $1.50.
May be ordered froin the Secretary of T. S. A., 159 Warren Street, Brooklyn. $2.00. Postage, 16 cents extra.
MAGAZINE LITERATURE. International Journal of Ethics, Philadelphia. The April issue offers a wide variety of subjects. “The Ethics of the Gospel,” by A. C. Pigon, considers the teachings of Jesus, regarding love in a somewhat unusual way; William M. Satter writes upon the Russian Revolution, and “Women and Democracy” are considered in a paper of interest and value by F. Melian Staevele, of London, and the "Elevation of the College Woman's Ideal,” by Amy E. Tamer, takes an encouraging view of woman's advance in ethical relations. This number also contains articles upon "The State Absorbing the Function of the Church,” and “Student Self-Government in the University of California,” the latter deriving much interest from the fact that it is the result of personal observation. The Book reviews are, as usual, interesting and important.
The Annals of Psychical Science, London, mainains its high standard, giving definite accounts of the many activities now known as psychic per se, and thus bringing constantly before the public the latest opinions in regard to telepathy, animal magnetism and electricity. In the April issue M. Cæsar de Vesme has an exhaustive article upon “Ordeals,” in which he considers Trial by Fire and Water, and the subject of miraculous intervention, so called, in all its bearings. In conclusion, he compares the experience of incombustibility among modern mediums with the results of historic ordeals as apparently of the same general character.
Education. Perhaps the most important article in the March number of this periodical is that upon “The Teachings of English,” by Lucy Hages MacQueen, a subject now much before the public. The namber also contains papers upon “Plant Physiology" in secondary schools, and “Forensic Training in Colleges.” The Open Court, Chicago, Ill. The May number
of the Open Court opens with an interesting contribution to higher criticism, by Philip Stafford Moxom, D.D., entitled “Jesus' View of Himself in the Fourth Gospel," and treats of the apparent difference in style and purpose between the Gospel of St. John and the records of the Synoptics. Dr. Carus adds a few words on the Fourth Gospel and related article upon the Messianic hope of the Samaritans, by Jacob, son of Aaron, High Priest of the Samaritans follows.
The Monist, Chicago, Ill., for April, devotes a large proportion of its space to a consideration of Christian Science in its various aspects. Henry White deals with it as Medievalism Redivious, showing the close analogies of its teachings to those of middle age mysticism; E. T. Brewster writes of the Evolution of Christian Science, and the Editor, of the reason of its strength, altogether a series of timely and enlightening articles upon a subject of much present interest. The Editor also contributes a paper upon Friedrich Nietsche, and the number also contains articles upon “Plant Breeding,” by Hugo de Vries; “Human Choice," by G. Gore; and “A Few Historical Data of the Modern Science of Languages.” The criticisms and discussions are of the usual interest.
Of strictly Theosophical Periodicals we have to acknowledge:
Theosophisches Leben, Paul Raatz, Berlin, which forwards with its magazine notice of the Theosophical Convention which will take place in May, unfortunately after we go to press, and also a catalogue of forthcoming publications, showing increasing interest in Theosophy and its activities. In the April issue we have articles by Charles Johnston, Jasper Niemand, and one by Paul Raatz upon Karma and The Self. Sandor Weiss writes upon Toleration, and Leo Schoch upon Free Will.
Theosophischer Wegweiser, for March, has as its opening article extracts from Herman Rudolph's lecture upon the "Suffering and Death of Christ,” which gives in bold, plain and simple manner the mystic view of Christ within the heart. Fr. Marius under the form of an allegory sets forth “The Great Secret," and the first instalment of a series of questions and answers, based upon Franz Hartman's "White and Black Magic" adds great interest to this issue.
Neue Metaphysische Rundschau, Berlin, devotes considerable space to a consideration of the so-called Black Obelisk, of which plates have recently been published by Dr. I. Lans Liebenfels, who thinks that in the curious animal forms portrayed in it he has found the "missing link” of Darwin, with proof that far from owning his being to animal descent man is of spiritual origin. This article will doubtless arouse discussion at a time when interest in Hæckel's views is so pro. nounced. The number contains also an interesting Psychological study, by Dr. Franz Hartman, and a critic of Harnach's Theology.
The Herald of the Cross, Paynton, England, calls for our special notice for its high teachings and full interpretation of hidden truths.
QUESTION 73.-What is the best way of really helping others!
This is one of those indefinite questions which would take two volumes to answer. The first to explain the question, the other to cover the details which might readily be exposed by any such attempt. Broadly speaking, however, we may venture to submit that if the "others” in question are starving on the physical plane the help they really need at the moment is that of the common, ordinary kind comprised in food, clothing, warmth, shelter, medical attendance, etc., and I regard as sophistical and far fetched the treatment that would ignore these factors upon the ground that the body and its concomitants are transitory or impermanent. We are here for a purpose; are provided with a physical nature for use on this plane and that physique should be fed, clothed and nurtured with due and appro priate care. If our brother is lacking in means necessary to this end we should endeavor to share our supply with him in a discreet manner.
The same is true as to his lower or psychical nature which should be taught and trained to discriminate between psychical foods and psychical poisons; to feed upon the former and eschew the latter. In this effort to be helpful a modicum of precept and a large amount of example make up best in a prescription.
The real thing, however, is found in the case of one whose higher nature is awakening; wherein the soul is beginning to arouse itself and demand its dominion. This is likely to be a period of great stress and racking trial. Ill health, depression of spirits, conflicting views, incongruous judgments, misdirected effort, disappointing results, are among the various conditions, some or all of which seem to accompany the new birth.
The help herein required is of the most subtile and refined character. Physical supplies obviously have no application to the case. Argument avails little. It is here that we perceive most convincingly the value of the so-called saintly qualities, patience, charity, tolerance, endurance of rebuff or reproach, the watchfulness that is instant of attention, yet wary of offense—in a word, shorn of all its coarseness, Love; as turns the mother tortured in her childpains to the strong yet gentle nurse, so clings the weary heart to him who thus can minister.
ALEXIS. ANSWER.—The first thing we have to look into is: What is the matter? Why should we need help, or need to help?
To understand this, we have to turn back to the time of the early morning when the great evolution of human life was started. The monads who were ready for evolution got an order from the gods “to commence to create."
One part of the monads obey, the other part refuse the order and commence to work in their own way; and it is this part we will try to follow, because it is they who need help.
Time passed on, and the will of the rebels was growing stronger and stronger, the personality of each one was the only ruler he would obey. The will of the gods and the laws of the Universe were more and more forgotten.
Larger and larger were their mistakes against the divine laws, harder and harder came the Karmic effect; and when the personality was no longer able to stand the press of Karma, came despair and fear in their hearts, and a cry for help rose to their lips.
The order of the gods was, given in the early morning of time, and the same order is still given to the same souls, go and fulfill that order and the struggle shall end.
The fight we also have to make is against our personality—the little idle god of our lower world, who likes to rest and dream, and the more of rest we give him