Volume 2 Page 260

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES

[The Theosophist, Vol. I, No. 4, January, 1880, pp. 83, 84, 92]

Most opportunely there comes a communication upon the missionary question, which will be found elsewhere. The writer, one of the most estimable ladies in India, is wife of Lt.-Col. William Gordon, F.T.S., Staff Corps, District Superintendent of Police, Mânbhûm, Bengal. A recent letter of hers to The Pioneer, upon the subject of Spiritualism, occasioned a very active discussion; and since she now expresses the opinion of all Anglo-Indians as regards missionary work in India, it is probable that the public will be favored with a much needed ventilation of a gross abuse of long standing. A false delicacy has hitherto prevented this matter from being gone into as its importance deserves. It is a pity to see so many sacrifices made by good people in the West merely to support a party of inefficients in the profitless because hopeless occupation of trying to persuade the people of India and other Asiatic countries to relinquish their ancestral faith for one which the missionaries are utterly unable to defend when questioned by even tolerably educated “heathen.” The money is sorely needed at home to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and rescue the vicious from their state of lawlessness and degradation. It does no good here—except to the missionary.

 

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An interesting archaeological discovery has just been made in the Government of Poltava (Russia). The Kievlyanin announces that the well-known antiquarian, Mr. Kibaltchitch, has just excavated an enormous settlement of the primitive man, on the shores of the river Trubezh, near the village Selishtoch, in the district of Pereyaslavl. So far there have been found 2 stone implements, used to break bones with; 372 specimen pieces of stone arrows and knives; 2 clay, rudely fashioned “boulinas”; 26 pieces of fossil bones of men and animals; 8 pieces of charred wood; 17 pieces of broken pottery, ornamented with vertical lines and holes; 5 bronze arrow heads (or tips); 2 glass (?) “boulinas”; and an iron link from a chain-mail [sic]. “As far as we know,” says a St. Petersburg paper, “this is the only spot in southern Russia which has given such rich scientific results in relation to the Stone Age of the men who inhabited that place.”

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Paris is undoubtedly one of the best places in the world for the study of that Protean malady, hysteria; two years ago the “Charité” could display a fasting girl who might have held her own against any of the female saints of the Middle Ages, and who thrived on the diet that proved fatal to her Welsh sister. Now Monsieur Dujardin-Beaumetz has discovered a “femme lithographique” in whom the lightest contact gives rise to an urticarious eruption. Upon tracing his name upon her flesh, the letters immediately appear in red relief, and this is accompanied by a local rise of temperature of from 1° to 2°.
There is a complete anaesthesia of the whole body. Those who have studied the occult sciences know that this last symptom used to be a mark of demoniacal possession, and it will be remembered that the mother superior of the bewitched convent of Loudun could produce on her arms the raised names of the devils who infested her body. A few years ago the spiritualists of Toronto used to converse with their departed friends by the same means through the arms

 

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of a servant girl of that city; and a similar phenomenon is observed with “mediums.” It will be well, therefore, to weigh thoroughly the claims of the supernatural before giving a scientific explanation of the phenomenon, and it would perhaps be better to look on the “femme lithographique” as an embryonic St. Catherine, rather than run the risk of being considered an atheist by explaining away stigmatisation by a theory of periodic urticaria.

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[Speaking of sacred places in India, such as Badrînâth, for instance, and of the holy men who are said to inhabit them, a writer says that “none but those who are Dhyânis succeed in having their company.” To this H. P. B. remarks:]

One who has succeeded in obtaining “Dhyâna” is called “Dhyâni.” By the word “Dhyâna” is not here meant any knowledge but the knowledge of the mysterious laws of nature and consequently what is obtained by Yoga training. Until therefore a person reaches a certain degree of the knowledge of Yoga philosophy, he cannot see these Mahâtmas.

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[From H.P.B.’s Scrapbook, Vol. X, Part I, p. 148]

[In connection with an article in The Pioneer of Dec. 30, 1879, concerning the action of Mr. Wall, the Collector of Benares, prohibiting a speech by Swâmi Dayânanda Saraswatî on Vedântic philosophy, H.P.B. quotes the following sentence from a private letter of Babu Shishir Ghose, Editor of the Amrita Bazar Patrika, to Col. Olcott: “The miracle is not in that you converted the Editor of The Pioneer to Theosophy . . . But it would be a miracle indeed, were you to convert The Pioneer itself to speak against an Englishman and in defence of a native.” Below this, with a hand pointing to it, H.P.B. has written in pen and ink:]

Effect of Theosophy, and our answer. The “miracle” accomplished.

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[From H.P.B.’s Scrapbook, Vol. X, Part I, p. 207]

[In connection with an article from The Medium and Daybreak, London, Jan. 2, 1880, entitled “The Philosophy of Spirit,” by William Oxley, in which appears a picture of “Busiris the Ancient, Author of the Mahabarat,” H.P.B. places several exclamation and question marks in blue and red, and writes the following in blue pencil:]

Oh shades of the great Rishis, forgive these credulous idiots—the Spiritualists!

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