[Lucifer, Vol. I, No. 4, December, 1887, pp. 311-318]
[J. H. Beatty writes a letter to the Editors in criticism of Dr. Archibald Keightley’s article on “A Law of Life: Karma” (Lucifer, Vol. I, Sept. and Oct., 1887). Several of the points raised in this letter are answered by Dr. Keightley. A number of unsigned footnotes, presumably by H.P.B., are appended to the text.]
[J. H. Beatty writes: “Does a man, by merely denying the existence of a law of Nature or the universe, transgress that law? I think not.”] Mr. Keightley’s meaning (and it is difficult for the words to bear any other interpretation) was that the denial of harmony is evidence that, at some previous time, the man who denies has set himself in opposition to the law, in virtue of those very desires and instincts of his animal personality to which Mr. Beatty alludes later on. In this sense, Mr. Beatty is right in saying that a law of the universe cannot be broken; but its limits may be transgressed, and consequently an attempt made by man to make himself into a small, but rival universe. It is the old story of the china pot and the iron kettle, and the fact that china gets the worst of it is conclusive that the china is struggling against Nature.
[“. . . who is going to contend that the law of gravitation has ever been ‘broken,’ has ever ceased to act. . . .”]
Will Mr. Beatty explain the phenomenon of a comet flirting its tail round the sun in defiance of the “law of gravitation”?
[On the subject of human “senses,” H.P.B. says:]
Mankind is only very gradually developing its fifth sense on the intellectual plane.
[“Truly this Karma is a bewildering subject!”] “This Karma,” as Mr. Beatty expresses it, would not be quite so bewildering a subject if critics would bear in mind the context and not fall foul of a detached expression—not even a sentence. The “interest of the soul’s welfare in heaven” is concentrated by John Smith on John Smith as John Smith in heaven, and in order that the said John Smith may go on enjoying the things he loved on earth. As his earth life has ended, John Smith has changed and is “transient.” If he were not transient a very natural inference would follow, that progress, evolution, &c., on whatever plane of being, does not prevail.
[Dr. Keightley says: “A man may certainly injure himself. . . .”]
No law of Nature can be set aside, but a man transgresses a law of his [mental] being when he deliberately
places himself under the sway of certain “evil” forces. [the word “mental” in square brackets, is H.P.B.’s. —Comp.]
[Dr. Keightley writes: “Harmony is essentially the law of the Universe. The contrasted aspects of Nature . . . . . can have no reality except in the experience of conscious Egos.”] The phenomenal contrast is not denied, but it is representative of no fundamental want of harmony. In the same way the contrast of Subject and Object is essential to our present finite consciousness, although it has no basis of reality beyond the limits of conditional being. Moreover, even in this phenomenal Universe, equilibrium (harmony) is most certainly maintained by the very conflict of the contrasted forces alluded to.
[“The Universe must, at bottom, be a Harmony. Why? . . .”] Mr. Beatty asks how the Universe would come to a stand-still, if the law of Harmony was suspended. Now suppose, for instance, the law of “gravity” was not counterbalanced by the action of other “forces,” what would happen? Science assures us that everything would have long before gravitated to a common centre, and a universal dead-lock have ensued! Vice versa, if “gravity” were to lapse. Verb. Sap.
[Lucifer, Vol. I, No. 4, December, 1887, p. 336]
L'Aurore for October contains an article on the so-called “Star of Bethlehem,” which repeats the assurance that the world is entering on a new and happier life-phase.
Unfortunately, it seems more than probable that before this amelioration takes place, the world must pass through the valley of the shadow of Death, and endure calamities far worse than any it has yet seen. Lady Caithness continues her erudite and interesting article on the lost ten tribes of Israel. Her thesis is put forward in admirable language, and supported by a great wealth of biblical quotations. Unfortunately, the task undertaken is an impossible one. There never were twelve tribes of Israel
—two only—Judah and the Levites, having had a real existence in the flesh. The remainder are but euhemerizations of the signs of the Zodiac, and were introduced because they were necessary to the kabalistic scheme on which the “History” of the Jews was written.
Lady Barrogill relates the well-known story of an English bishop and the ghost of a Catholic priest, who haunted his former residence in order to secure the destruction of some notes he had taken (contrary to the rules of the Church) of an important confession which he had heard.
Besides these articles we find the continuation of the serial romance, “L’Amour Immortel,” and Lucifer has to thank the editor for the appreciative notice contained in this number.