[The Theosophist, Vol. V. No. 5 (53), February, 1884., pp. 123-125]
[The following Editorial comments are appended to a Review of two works by Baron Karl du Prel, Die Weltstellung des Menschen (The Cosmic Position of Man), and Das Janus-Gesicht des Menschen (The Janus-facedness of Man).
The reviewer writes: “Suppose our senses could be made to undergo some change, while the universe remained all along the same, it is evident quite a new world would arise before us, though objectively and materially the world would be exactly the same as it was before.” To this a footnote is appended:]
And this is precisely the change claimed by the initiated adepts of Occultism; and that alone is sufficient to account for their great opposition to many a scientific action of modern science and the greater trustworthiness of the teachings of the former. Once that we admit the possibility of such a “change,” and as a result therefrom, the greater acuteness and perfection of all their senses—granting even that the 6th and 7th senses do not exist for any one outside those who claim either of them or both, and thus cannot be proved scientifically—we have to admit at any rate that they see, hear, taste, feel, and smell more acutely than the rest of humanity, untrained and uninitiated, how can we then avoid trusting more in their than in our senses? And yet the same traveller who will unhesitatingly trust to the acuteness of the eye or ear of his
red-Indian guide in preference to his own––will deny the existence and even the possibility of a series of such faculties being developed in an Asiatic adept!––Ed.
[The reviewer states, apparently giving the thought of Karl du Prel himself: “Hallucination is the magic word in the mouth of every Materialist whenever one man professes to have perceived a phenomenon which he, the materialist, in consequence of some modified organization, cannot perceive. He will not understand that one and the same objective world, may and must appear subjectively different to different organizations. ” This elicited the following footnote:]
Apart and quite distinct from the variety in the subjective perceptions of the one and same object––by mankind in general,––stands the unvarying perception of the trained Occultist. Perceiving the actuality, for him the modes of the presentation of an object cannot vary; for the initiated adept perceives and discerns the ultimate and actual state of things in nature by means of his spiritual perception, trammelled by none of his physical senses, and only when the former have been called forth from their latent into their active state and developed sufficiently to stand the final tests of initiation. Therefore, this abnormal (in our present race only) faculty has nought to do with the common perceptions and their various modes, and if the materialist is sceptical as to the latter, how can he be made to believe in the existence of the former––a faculty of which he knows less than of the man in the moon!––Ed.
[The following closing note appears at the end of the review:]
ED. NOTE.––These extracts from the two German pamphlets have been kindly made for us, by our brother Dr. L. Saltzer of the Calcutta Theosophical Society. They are profoundly suggestive per se and go far to prove the theory of the simultaneous evolution and growth of the same ideas on various and widely separated points of the globe. In our next we hope to give the summary of an article, Die Planetenbewohner, by the same author, the latter having kindly sent us his valuable publications for review. As remarked by our Brother, Mr. Gustave Zorn, of Odessa,
after reading these works, one is tempted to ask himself in wonder: “Is Baron du Prel, a disciple—a European chela of our Himalayan sages that his thoughts should seem, so to say, photographed from their (and our) doctrines!” Truly the author of the work reviewed is a born Theosophist,—or shall we say OCCULTIST? At any rate, here we have one more profound and unprejudiced thinker. May our present race evolute many more such philosophers for the greater glory of TRUTH!
[The Theosophist, Vol. V, No. 5(53), February, 1884, pp. 125-129]
[The following editorial footnotes are appended to a Review of Arthur Lillie’s Buddha and Early Buddhism, written by Dharani Dhar Kauthumi, F. T. S., a chela of Master K. H., as his surname indicates. In a Letter received by A. P. Sinnett, Feb. 2, 1883, Master K. H. writes of this work- “I will have it slightly reviewed by Subba Row or H. P. B. furnishing them with notes myself . . .” (Mahatma Letters, p. 201). This may be the review in question.—Comp.]
[To Lillie’s words: “The feminine principle, matter, the earth, the universal mother. She is the Sophia of Gnostics, Cabalists, etc., and was represented as feminine in the Catacombs by the early Christians. In Buddhism (?) she is called Prajñâ, an exact verbal equivalent for Sophia.”:]
Sophia of the Gnostics—“matter, the earth”!! What Gnostic, or Kabalist would ever concur in this wild notion? This is materialism with a vengeance. Prajña or wisdom is certainly the Sophia of the Greeks, but both are the sum total of universal spiritual wisdom.—Ed.
[The reviewer points out that “Aditi is represented in the Rig-Veda as dividing into Nara and Nari, the male and the female principle, and that unluckily for Mr. Lillie the word ‘Nara’ also means a ‘Man’” :]
For clearer comprehension we offer for comparison the counterpart of this mythos, in the Jewish Bible and the Kabala. See Chapter I of Genesis “male and female created he them,” and ponder over what is given of Adam Kadmon, the ancient of days, etc.—Ed.
[“Quite true, Buddha prayed to (more correctly meditated upon) Parabrahma, not Brahmâ the Creator . . .”:]
If the original word is derived from the root sad with the prefix upa, it is quite wrong to translate it “pray”; as even Max Müller now maintains. See his translation of Chhandogya Upanishad (The Sacred Books of the East, Vol. I).
[To Lillie’s words: “the fatherly procreative principle is also called kshetra”:]
Mr. Lillie is evidently ignorant of the meaning of the term “Kshetra.” Exoterically it means simply—“field,” while esoterically it represents “the great abyss” of the Kabalists, the chaos and the plane (cteis or yoni), in which the Creative energy implants the germ of the manifested universe. In other words they are the Purusha and Prakriti of Kapila, the blind and the cripple producing motion by their union, Purusha supplying the head and Prakriti the limbs.—Ed.