A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume III
No. 5 (17) - January-February 1947

[Cover Photo: In The Yosemite Valley, California.]


Published every Two Months. Sponsored by an International Group of Theosophists (Theosophical Society, Int'l Hdqrts., Covina, California).
Objectives: To disseminate the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom. To uphold and promote the Original Principles of the modern Theosophical Movement. To challenge bigotry and superstition in every form.
EDITOR: Boris de Zirkoff.
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Irene Ponsonby, Dr. Sven Eek, J. Emory Clapp, Maj. Hubert S. Turner.
ADVISORY BOARD: Hon. Frank G. Finlayson, Jan H. Venema, Hendrik Oosterink, Richard H. Cutting, T. Marriott.
Subscription: $1.00 a year (six issues): singe copy 20 cents. Send all subscriptions, renewals and correspondence to: Room 240 Western Bldg., 553 South Western Avenue, Los Angeles 5, California. Make checks payable to "Theosophia." The Theosophical Society as such, is not responsible for any ideas expressed in this magazine, unless contained in an official document. The Editors are responsible for unsigned articles only.



"FACT is the only tribunal we submit to and recognize it without appeal. And before that tribunal a Tyndall and an ignoramus stand on a perfect par. Alive to the truism that every path may eventually lead to the highway as every river to the ocean, we never reject a contribution simply because we do not believe in the subject it treats upon, or disagree with its conclusions. Contrast alone can enable us to appreciate things at their right value; and unless a judge compares notes and hears both sides he can hardly come to a correct decision. Dum vitant stulti vitia in contraria - is our motto; and we seek to prudently walk between the many ditches without rushing into either. For one man to demand from another that he shall believe like himself, whether in a question of religion or science is supremely unjust and despotic. Besides, it is absurd. For it amounts to exacting that the brains of the convert, his organs of perception, his whole organization, in short, be reconstructed precisely on the model of that of his teacher, and, that he shall have the same temperament and mental faculties as the other has. And why not his nose and eyes, in such a case? Mental slavery is the worst of all slaveries. It is a state which, as brutal force has no real power, always denotes either an abject cowardice or a great intellectual weakness." - H.P. Blavatsky, The Theosophist (Madras), Vol. ii, July, 1881, p. 218. [3]


A Remarkable Prophecy Fulfilled
Boris de Zirkoff


The initial point and the general trend of twentieth century Science were prophetically foreshadowed in the pages of The Secret Doctrine, that stupendous production from the pen of H.P. Blavatsky. In this work, published in 1888, there occurs the following passage: [2]

"The exact extent, depth, breadth, and length of the mysteries of Nature are to be found only in Eastern esoteric sciences. So vast and so profound are these that hardly a few, a very few of the highest initiates - those whose very existence is known but to a small number of Adepts - are capable of assimilating the knowledge. That it is all there, and one by one facts and processes in Nature's workshops are permitted to find their way into the exact Sciences, while mysterious help is given to rare individuals in unraveling its arcana. It is at the close of great Cycles, in connection with racial development, that such events generally take place. We are at the very close of the cycle of 5,000 year, of the present Aryan Kali-yuga; and between this time and 1897 there will be a large rent made in the Veil of Nature, and materialistic science will receive a death-blow."

The grasp the full import of these words, and their seeming incredibility to the reader of the time, one should bear in mind the psychological outlook of Science in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

Foremost exponents of contemporaneous physics viewed it as a static science. All the fundamental principles appeared to have been already discovered. The triumph of the laws of mechanics was assured. Newtonian dynamics were flawless. Huygens wave theory of light had been completely confirmed. Young, Fresnal and others had outlined with seeming completeness the conception of the all-pervading ether of space. The principle of the conservation of energy had been fully recognized. Conservation of matter was not in doubt. The Second law of Thermodynamics, of the dissipation of energy (entropy), was regarded as beyond attack. The phenomena of electricity and light had been unified by Maxwell in his electromagnetic theory of light. Experimental verifications were amply supplied by Hertz. The indivisible and non-elastic atom remained unchallenged.

"A tidy world this was, and well might the recipients of so priceless a heritage view it with pride. Their only task was to keep the estate intact, tend the vineyard and enjoy the well-earned fruit of previous centuries of labor. No new varieties were expected to blossom forth on the tree of physical knowledge. Future progress would consist only in a little more intensive application of well-known methods and principles." [3]

Most of the nineteenth century men of science

"... assumed that they themselves were dealing in realities, and that the main lines of possible scientific enquiry had been laid down once for all. It seemed that all that remained for the physicist to do was to make measurements to an increasing order of accuracy, and invent an intelligible mechanism which would explain the nature of the luminiferous aether." [4]

Then, with a startling and bewildering sudden-ness, in rushed a veritable flood-tide of unexpected phenomena and of new conceptions. [4]


To be sure, for some years past, the ground had been carefully prepared by a few ingenious researchers whose outstanding intuition, while acknowledged by modern Science, has never yet been satisfactorily explained.

Ever since 1853, when A. Masson, of Paris, had sent the discharge from a powerful induction coil through the so-called Torricellian vacuum above the mercury in a barometer tube, and even prior to this date, scientists conducted experiments on the discharge of electricity through rarified gases in hermetically sealed tubes, notably Faraday, von Helmholtz, Hertz, Goldstein, Plucker, Geissler, Hittorf, Lenard, and others.

The principle of these tubes is very simple. Sealed into each end of the tube is a metal electrode usually made of platinum. The positive terminal is called the anode, and the negative, the cathode. If the two terminals of any source of high potential electricity are separated by a gas, such as air, at common atmospheric pressure (760 millimeters of mercury), and the voltage is gradually increased, at a certain difference of electrical pressure, the air is ultimately unable to bear the strain and a current passes momentarily, producing a spark. Now if the gas contained in the tube is partially evacuated, the difference of potential in the two terminals required to cause a discharge becomes less, and as the pressure of the gas is diminished the character and appearance of the discharge changes. Straight, well-defined sparks are no longer produced. The spark broadens into a quiet streamer discharge.

At a pressure of about 1 mm. of mercury most of the tube is filled with a bluish-purple glow that extends from the anode; this so-called positive glow ends not far from the cathode, a dark space (Faraday dark space) intervening; this dark space extends close up to the cathode which itself is covered by a thin negative glow. On further reducing the pressure, the negative glow is seen to separate itself from and away from the cathode, and a second dark apace (Crookes dark space) appears between the negative glow and the cathode proper.

When the pressure falls to about 0.1 mm., the glowing positive column splits up into alternate dark and light bands called striations, which become longer and fewer as the pressure is still further reduced. Upon further reduction of the pressure, the "Crookes dark apace" spreads out until it fills the whole tube and it becomes practically impossible to pass any current at all through the tube.

At this point, although there in no glow in the rarified gas within the tube, the cathode is giving off a stream or beam known as cathode rays, which striking the opposite glass walls of the tube excite it into greenish fluorescence.

All of these facts and phenomena did not become known at once. They were the result of years of experimentation by men who constantly improved upon the researches of their predecessors or contemporaries.

As Raymond F. Yates has pointed outs "It often happens in science that the curious fellow just puttering about does as much by accidental discovery as the systematic researcher does with his measured, cautious steps." This is very applicable to research conducted with the vacuum-tube. No one really knows who was the first man to send an electric current through a partially evacuated glass tube. The main thing is that somebody did so, whether on impulse, as a result of a happy "guess," or at the insistence of a recurring "idea." A large number of scientific "discoveries" are directly attributable to such "happy guesses" or "hunches." [5]

Late in the 18th century, William Watson, the English scientific physician had passed the static charge of his improved Leyden jar through a glass tube about three feet long, partly exhausted of its air, and noticed brilliant coruscations the whole length of the tube.

Plucker, a German physicist at the University of Bonn, seems to be the first whom we find sending electric current, the high voltages of an induction coil, into a vacuum-tube. He was among the earliest men to make historic observations of the cathode rays. In 1869, Plucker engaged the instrument maker, Heinrich Geissler (1824-1679), of Bonn, to make "tubes" for him. Geissler became extremely skillful in his work, and his name is associated with many tubes of intricate form.

At the time of Geissler's experiments it was impossible to obtain a high vacuum. It was Hittorf (1824-1914) who carried the exhaustion of the vacuum-tube far enough for systematic study of the cathode-rays. He showed also that obstacles, placed between the negative electrode and the glass, throw a shadow thereon.

Goldstein (1850-1930), who introduced in 1876 the name Kathoden-strahlon (cathode-rays) for this emanation, regarded them as ethereal waves as the same nature as light. Varley, on the other hand, in 1872, gave evidence, such as the deflection of the rays in a magnetic field, to show that they were electrified particles shot out from the cathode and producing fluorescence by bombardment.

Heinrich Hertz (1857-1894), the great German physicist, came to the conclusion, around 1892, that cathode-rays would not pass through glass, mica, or other transparent substances to any extent, but would pass somewhat freely through thin metal foil, placed inside the tube.

Philip Lenard, Hertz' assistant, had a bright idea. He made a special cathode-ray tube with a tiny aluminum window at the end opposite the negative electrode. He intended to study in this way the properties of these strange rays outside the tube, in free air if possible. Sure enough, when the current was turned on, a greenish-blue glow appeared just outside the aluminum window. He observed that the rays made the air electrically conductive, that they were easily absorbed in a few centimeters of free air, and produced luminescent effects upon certain fluorescent salts. He made shadows of bits of metal on a fluorescent screen and fixed these shadows on photographic plates. Hittorf confirmed these observations, but neither of them went any further, and missed thereby some fundamental discoveries. Time was not yet ripe!


Among the early researchers stands prominently the most gifted pioneer of them all - Sir William Crookes. [5] [6] For years he had been conducting a similar line of research. Ever since 1876, he had brought the electrical effects in a high vacuum to a matter of strict scientific precision, and developed a more perfected tube known by his name.

He was able to reduce the pressure therein to less than one ten-millionth of an atmosphere. He was the first one to show in a really clear manner the magnetic deflection of the cathode-rays, though this fact had been foreshadowed by Plucker as early as 1858. He demonstrated that the rays when concentrated, heated a metal target placed in their path.

Were these rays a new type of ether waves, or were they in the nature of corpuscles? Crookes speculated that if they were corpuscular, their impact should produce motion. He, therefore, built between the poles of his tube a little track, and placed upon it a small paddle-wheel of very light metal, with its axle resting freely on the rails. Under the discharge, the wheel began to turn, moving along the track. This result strengthened the corpuscular theory considerably.

Crookes had already for some time suspected the existence of a totally different state of matter. [6] In a footnote to one of his papers, he drew attention to the properties of highly attenuated gas, and expressed the view that the phenomena indicate the existence of a fourth state of matter as far removed from the condition of gas as gas is from liquid.

In his paper sent November 30, 1878, [7] to the Royal Society, Crookes winds up his exposition of varied phenomena in high-vacua by stating that:

"The phenomena in these exhausted tubes reveal to physical science a new world - a world where matter exists in a fourth state, where the corpuscular theory of light holds good, and where light does not always move in a straight line; but where we can never enter, and in which we must be content to observe and experiment from the outside."

Speaking with greater conviction and more definite knowledge, on April 4, 1879, before the Royal Institution, on the subject of "Molecular Physics in High Vacua" [8] Crookes states with prophetic insight:

"In studying this Fourth State of Matter we seem at length to have within our grasp and obedient to our control the little indivisible particles which with good warrant are supposed to constitute the physical basis of the universe. We have seen that in some of its properties Radiant Matter is as material as this table, whilst in other properties it almost assumes the character of Radiant Energy. We have actually touched the borderland where Matter and Force seem to merge into one another, the shadowy realm between Known and Unknown, which for me has always had peculiar temptations. I venture to think that the greatest scientific problems of the future will find their solution in the Border land, and even beyond; here, it seems to me, lie Ultimate Realities, subtle, far-reaching, wonderful."

This lecture was accompanied by convincing experimental demonstrations of the remarkable properties of cathode rays by means of an ingenious apparatus built for Crookes by his collaborator, C.H. Oimingham.

Through his classical research on high-vacua, and perhaps even more so through his extremely advanced views on the nature of the elements (which we intend to outline in a future issue of this magazine). Sir William Crookes became "the forerunner of some of the most important researchers in the closing years of the last century." [9]

Sir WilliAm A. Tilden (1812-1926), the distinguished British chemist ably voices the opinion of a great many outstanding scientists regarding [7] Crookes' place in the world of Science, when he says: [10]

"The late Sir William Crookes must be regarded as the chief pioneer in the investigation of phenomena shown in gases under greatly reduced pressure, and his researches must be viewed as the starting-point for the discoveries by Sir J.J. Thomson and his school, which have thrown a new light on the constitution of matter ... Whatever position in the hierarchy of science is ultimately assigned to Crookes, there can be no doubt that his work on the electric discharge in gases will determine the question ... And so the judgment of the contemporary generation of chemists must certainly place him in the front rank of scientific pioneers."

The famous French Astronomer Camille Flammarion, greatly enthused over Crookes' lecture at the Paris Observatory, which was attended by the President of the Republic, Gambetta, wrote an account of Crookes' views for the French Journal, Le Voltaire. [11] He closes with a prophetic speculation:

"... I hope the learned experimenter will here permit me to make a reflection inspired by his own experiments. That which he calls radiant matter, may it not be simply a mode of electricity? The radiations observed, the luminous and calorific and magnetic currents, do they not suggest directly to the mind the existence of actions of the electric order?"

Scores of scientists repeated Crookes's experiments. Before long, it became definitely ascertained that, no matter of what material the cathode terminal of the Crookes tube was made, the same identical "something" emanated from it. Science was on the track of some common constituent of all matter. However, a great deal more research was needed to prove this fact, and upset the well-entrenched complacency of the then scientific world. The electric structure of matter had been more than suspected for some time past. Maxwell's electro-magnetic theory of light implied the very probable existence of vibrating electric systems within the atom. Lorentz and Zeeman successfully developed this idea. The theory of ionic dissociation (electrolysis), chiefly developed by Kohlrausch and Arrhenius, implied also an electric structure of matter., Yet, these researchers notwithstanding, the indivisible atom still held its sway.


Just as some of the learned physicists were congratulating themselves upon the fact that most of the basic discoveries had already been made. Wilhelm Conrad Rontgan (1845-1923), Director of the Physical Institute of the University of Wurzburg, discovered a new type of radiation, which he called the X-ray. Like so many other epoch-making discoveries in Science, it came about in the form of an "accident."

This discovery could have conceivably been made much earlier. Study of discharges in vacua had been going on for over twenty years. Still no one had apparently thought of throwing a black covering of opaque material over a Hittorf-Crookes tube (an all-glass tube without any thin aluminum window) and set it into operation as Rontgen did.

Having darkened the room, to test the opacity of the black cardboard cover, he satisfied himself that no light penetrated through it. His intention was to test the ability of the cathode rays to produce fluorescence on a screen covered with barium-platinocyanide placed just outside the tube. Previously, this had been demonstrated as possible only when the screen was very close to the thin aluminum window of a Lenard tube. He was just preparing to interrupt the current of the discharge that was going on, in order to set up the screen, when suddenly, about a yard from the tube, he saw a weak light that glimmered on a bench nearby. A yard was too far a distance [8] for any phenomena of fluorescence produced by ordinary cathode rays. He satisfied himself that the glimmering light went off and on in unison with the fluctuating discharges of the coil. He lit a match and discovered that the source of the mysterious light was the screen of barium-platinocyanide lying on the bench. Only one explanation was possible. Contrary to established rules, a radiation was obviously being produced capable of passing through matter which had been considered completely opaque to light rays. As became evident from further research, X-rays originated from the point of impact of the cathode rays upon the walls of the tube. The discovery was made on the evening of November 8, 1895, [12] "at a late hour when assistants were no longer to be found in the laboratory."

The news spread rapidly all over the world. Rontgen was acclaimed in every continent. The jubilant enthusiasm over the discovery contrasted strikingly with the modest retiring character of the discoverer himself. In the light of almost immediate practical application of X-rays in the sphere of medicine, it is curious to note the acid remark of the traditionally skeptical Scientific American which observed that it was yet "too soon to indulge in the wild possibilities that have been suggested for the process. When the details reach us, the process will probably prove to be of scientific rather than practical interest."

Several investigators had come very close to discovering the same rays. Some of them have claimed priority of discovery. Certain it is, they had observed many of the X-ray phenomena, but without interpreting them aright. It is interesting to note that Crookes, as early as 1879, used a cathode-ray tube with a concave cathode and platinum anode, a construction typical for later Rontgen-ray tubes, and often noticed that photographic plates stored near his cathode tubes were fogged; once he complained to the manufacturers of the plates and received their apologies. At the time of Rontgon's discovery the Cosmic Clock had advanced to 1895, two years short of the date mentioned by H.P. Blavatsky in her prophecy!


Spurred by the discovery of X-rays, Antoine-Henry Becquerel (1852-1908), of the University of Paris, began in 1896 an extensive investigation of the light-giving properties of phosphorescent substances in general. It still remains obscure just why he chose uranium salts, as one of the first substances. It may have been another one of those peculiar "accidents" which so often beset the footsteps of scientists.

Using the double sulphate of uranium and potassium of which he had crystals in the form of a thin transparent crust, he made the following experiment: [13]

"I wrapped a Lumiere photographic plate with bromized emulsion on it in two sheets of thick black paper, so thick that the plates did not become clouded by exposure to the sun for a whole day. I placed on the paper a plate of the phosphorescent substance and exposed the whole thing to the sun for several hours. [9]

When I developed the photographic plate I saw the silhouette of the phosphorescent substance in black on the negative. If I placed between the phosphorescent substance and the paper a coin or a metallic screen pierced with an open-work design, the image of these objects appeared on the negative."

Uranium salts, therefore, exposed first to sunlight, gave off rays which could penetrate opaque matter and produce chemical changes in silver salts. That much had been expected, at least considered possible. But the following was somewhat disconcerting:

"I particularly insist on the following fact, which appears to me exceedingly important and not in accord with the phenomena which one might expect to observe; the same encrusted crystals placed with respect to the photographic plates in the same conditions and acting through the same screens, but protected from the excitation of incident rays and kept in the dark, still produce the same photo-optic effects. I may relate how I was led to make this observation: among the preceding experiments some had been made ready on Wednesday the 26th and Thursday the 27th of February and as on those days the sun only showed itself intermittently, I kept my arrangements all prepared and put back the holders in the dark in the drawer of the case, and left in place the crusts of uranium salt. Since the sun did not show itself again for several days I developed the photographic plates on the 1st of March, expecting to find the images very feeble. The silhouettes appeared on the contrary with great intensity ..."

The plates had been powerfully affected. Uranium salts were giving off rays by themselves, without being exposed to sunlight. New experiments confirmed it. Experiments conducted with metallic uranium produced greatly intensified results. Natural radioactivity had been discovered. The foundations of nineteenth-century science were dangerously shaken.


Following the path so brilliantly trodden by Crookes, another great light of modern science, Sir Joseph John Thomson, [14] then Cavendish Professor of Experimental Physics at Cambridge, engaged in systematic experiments on the magnetic deflection of cathode-rays. By measuring its curvature, he conclusively proved that they consisted of negatively charged "particles" possessing a mass equal to about 1/1800 of that of a hydrogen atom, up to then considered as the smallest unit of matter. He furthermore showed that these "particles," as he called them, are of the same type from whatever gas or cathode material they are produced. He soon announced them to be universal constituents of all substances. The hard, inelastic, billiard-ball atom, as conceived by 19th century physics, could no longer be maintained. What Crookes had surmised regarding the cathode-rays had been proved. The electrical or "electronic" nature of all matter had been demonstrated.

Sir J.J. Thomson made his first announcement in a discourse before the Royal Institution. The Cosmic Clock pointed to April 29, 1897. [15]

In the same year, the epoch-making researches of Edison, Hertz, Popoff, and others ' on the electromagnetic waves, eventuated in the practical utilization of them by Marconi, and the birth of Radio.

The convenient term electron was introduced by Dr. Johnston Stoney a few years earlier, to denote the unit of electricity carried by the atom of hydrogen in electrolysis. It soon became adopted for Thomson's "particles." [10]

The mounting momentum of the opening cycle ushered in the astounding discoveries of radium (1898), induced radioactivity, the transmutation of elements, the granular structure of energy (1901), and others, punctuated by such names as Pierre and Marie Curie, Rutherford, Ramsey, Soddy, Planck, until Einstein wiped the scientific stage clean of what remained of the "absolutism" of old, and Bohr, Hahn, Fermi and Meitner paved the way for the ultimate liberation of nuclear energy in our time.

"A large rent" indeed was "made in the Veil of Nature," and materialistic science had received "its death-blow"!

Witness the testimony of twentieth-century Sciences:

"'The future of physics is in the fifth decimal place.' Such was the opinion seriously, and a little sadly, held by many distinguished classical physicists just before the turn of the twentieth century. The nineteenth century - the century of progress - they mourned because it had progressed so triumphantly that it had left them with nothing more exciting to do than calculate physical constants to the fifth decimal place.

"Then, abruptly, everything changed. Within ten years the discoveries of Roentgen, Becquerel, Pierre and Marie Curie, Rutherford, Saddy, Max Planck, J.J. Thomson, Albert Einstein, and others had completely revolutionized the older classical physics and opened entirely new worlds to conquer inside the atom and outside the solar system." [16]

"What is now generally known as the electron theory had its inception in the latter part of the 19th century just after the vociferous materialists of that time had supplied the answer to practically everything. Darwin had gone into retirement, Huxley had exhausted himself in adoration of his theory. The chemists were getting along nicely and physics had settled down to do heaven only knows what when startling things began to happen. Theories built on sand slumped away and large question marks began to haunt the waking and sleeping hours of the savants whose occupations had only recently become dull and somewhat uninspiring the old school was in full retreat. Physics was totally at sea. It was momentarily stunned by an avalanche of ponderous questions. The last solid brick had fallen from the edifice of materialism and the neat little system of categories and pigeon-holes it had so laboriously arranged had fallen with a sickening thud." [17]

"Modern nuclear physics may be said to have sprung from the triple scientific discoveries that illumined the years 1895 to 1897 ... There is no more reason now than there was in 1919 when Rutherford first transmuted matter to believe that the contemporary discover is the pinnacle of scientific achievement." [18]

"The history of science abounds with instances when a new concept or discovery has led to tremendous advances into vast new fields of knowledge and art whose existence had hitherto been unsuspected. The discoveries of Galileo, Faraday and Pasteur are such instances. But, to my notion, no such instance has been so dramatic as the discovery of the electron, the tiniest thing in the universe, which within one generation has transformed a stagnant science of physics, a descriptive science of chemistry and a sterile science of astronomy into dynamically developing sciences fraught with intellectual adventure, interrelating interpretations and practical values." [19] [11]

The quotation from The Secret Doctrine which opens this article shows that H. P. Blavatsky spoke from positive knowledge, and her seemingly prophetic insight was but a statement of facts, already known to advanced occultists, yet still be to "discovered" by those whose means of investigation pertained mainly to physical agencies.

The revolutionary change in the scientific outlook at the close of last century-, while very largely due to the character of the researchers themselves, did not take place without a good deal of unseen guidance from "behind the scenes." Facts regarding this are but little known and deserve closer attention. This we intend to give to them in a forthcoming issue of this magazine.


1. In this series of articles, it is intended to throw some light on the intimate relation between the discoveries of modern Science and the teachings of Occultism, and to indicate the presence of a guiding influence, not generally accepted, which made itself felt prior to, and during, the major "scientific revolution" at the turn of the century. An effort will be made to trace the connection between certain scientific research of the time and the modern Theosophical Movement.

2. Vol. 1, pp. 611-12.

3. The New World of Physical Discovery, by Floyd L. Darrow, p. 3.

4. A History of Science, by Wm. C.D. Dampier-Whatham, p. xvii.

5. William Crookes was born in a tailor's family, June 17, 1832. At sixteen he entered the newly established Royal College of Chemistry. After several years of diligent study, he became Assistant in the Radcliffe Observatory., Oxford, and later Lecturer on Chemistry at Chester Training College. In 1859, he founded the Chemical News. Most of his life was spent in London. In 1861, he discovered the new element thallium. During the years 1870-74, Crookes, with characteristic independence of spirit. undertook an investigation of psychic and mediumistic phenomena which, on account of their strictly scientific basis, have become classical. This brought down on him the ire of entrenched scientific conservatism. Crookes never retreated from his original position and his deductions. While engaged at various times in his life in a variety of scientific researches, Crookes is best known for his epoch-making investigations of electrical discharges in high-vacuas and his remarkable views on the structure of matter, which paved the way for the discovery of the electron. He became President of the British Association in 1898, and of the Royal Society in 1913. He was also President of the Society for Psychical Research. In 1883, he joined the Theosophical Society, and became Counselor of its London Lodge. He died April 4, 1919.

6. Proc. Roy. Soc., 1876, Vol. xxv, p. 308.

7. "On The Illumination of Lines of Molecular Pressure and the Trajectory of Molecules," Proc. Roy. Soc ... 1878, Vol. xxvii, pp. 103 et seq. (Abstract)

8. Quoted in The Life of Sir William Crookes, by E.E. Fournier d'Albe.

9. Floyd L. Darrow, Op. cit., pp. 191-2.

10. Famous Chemists; The Men and Their Work, E.P. Dutton & Co., N York, l921, pp. 259, 271-2.

11. Quoted in La Revue Spirite (Paris), February, 1880.

12. Rontgen's original monograph on this subject, entitled Ueber eine neue Art von Strahlen, (On a New Kind of Rays), and dated December 28, 1895, appeared in the Sitzungsberichte der Physikulish-Medizinischen zu Wurzburg, Dec, 1895, Vol. cxxxvii. This was the first of three consecutive papers on the subject. English transl. in Nature (Lond.), Vol. 53, pp. 274 et seq.

13. The extracts quoted are from the original papers by Henry Becquerel, entitled Sur lea Radiations Emises Par Phosphorescence (On Radiations Emitted by Phosphorescence), published in Comptes Rendus, Acad. Sci., Paris, Vol. 122, Feb 24, 1896; pp. 420-1, and Mch. 2, 1896, pp. 501-03.

14. Born in Manchester, Dec. 18, 1856. Educated in his native city and later at Trinity College, where he was appointed Lecturer in 1883. A man noted in the domain of physics for the imaginative range and fertility of his work. Under his direction (1884-1918) the Cavendish Laboratory became one of the world's most famous laboratories of physics. On his retirement from this post, Thomson became Master of Trinity College. In 1906 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. He died in 1940.

15. Tomson's original monograph dealt with the relation of charge to mass of cathode-ray "particles." It was published in the Philosophical Magazine (Lond.), Ser. 5, Vol. xliv, October, 1897, pp. 293 et seq. His final conclusions on the nature of these "particles" were announced on September 16, 1899, to the Physics Section of the British Association. This paper appeared in the same magazine, Ser. 5, Vol lxviii, 1899, pp. 564 et seq.

16. The Autobiography of Science, edited by Forest Ray Moulton & Justus J. Schifferes, Doubleday, Doran & Co. New York, 1945, P. 484.

17. These Amazing Electrons, Raymond F. Yates, Macmillan Co., New York, 1937, pp. 11-12.

18. Dr. A.K. Solomon, of the U.S. National Research Council, in Fortune, May, 1946, p. 115.

19. Dr. Karl T. Compton, speaking in December, 1936, as retiring President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Science (New York), January 8. 1937.


L. Gordon Plummer

It has doubtless occurred to many to say: "The stars are bright tonight. I wonder how it would feel to be way out there in space." But just stop a moment and think of the space we are traveling through right now at the breakneck speed of 19 miles per second! Indeed, we are now about 186 millions of miles (as the crow flies) from the point in space we occupied six months ago. More than that, we are proceeding at a fair clip to new regions of the universe, for the Sun and our companion planets are carried along on a sweeping orbit of almost unbelievable size, which loses itself among the hosts of stars. Is it not strange that the human mind is so constructed that it must look to telescopic distances for a conception of the space around us?

This trait of the mind shows itself in our approach to life in general. For instance, time weaves a kind of magic around us, and only after we are safely buried, will the future historians say "this one," or "that one" is great. Similarly, we speak of the great religions and philosophies of the past, or make conjectures on the wonders of the 25th century, with the result that much of value in present day thought escapes us.

To emphasize the idea that everything of fundamental value is with us today, we are going to indulge in a little abstract thinking which any one of us can turn to good advantage on his own account.

Where is the Infinite? Have we to look far off in space for it, or would we come near to it if we should sit and count, thinking that one day we will come to the end of counting? Perhaps it would be better, on the basis of the first paragraph, to cut through tedious thinking, and say that just as we are "out in space" all the time, so we are right in the middle of Infinity.

But we can do better than that. We may consider that in several respects we occupy the center of things, with Infinity all around us. For instance, any one may think of himself as occupying the center of the universe,"with Space extending infinitely about him in all directions. Or, more abstractly, if we are thinking in terms of past, present and future, the center is the ever-present NOW, with endless duration extending infinitely about us. Then we might think of Time as a pathway of consciousness traversing infinite duration, like the orbit of a planet in space. In duration, the path we have traveled is known as Past, and that which lies ahead is known as Future. Since the path of consciousness is itself an orbit, history repeats itself, for the Past re-becomes the Future.

Then, in respect to endless life within the universe, we occupy a unique position just now, for we are at, or just beyond the turning-point in the globe-chain cycle, and the downward arc lies behind us, with the luminous arc ahead. [12]

Going one more step into the abstract (in search of a concrete analogy) we may think of zero (0) as the center point from which we may count infinitely in either a positive or a negative direction. And like the orbital path of a planet, or the path of consciousness in Duration, would it be going too far to suggest that in counting, we might come to a place from which, if we go any farther, we would find ourselves returning to zero through the negative numbers? No one has found such a number, so far as I know, but the law of analogy is worth something. It applies even to the tempered piano keyboard, as every musician knows, on which one can modulate from the key of C at the zero point, progress through the sharp keys, and discover that he returns to the key of C, by coming up through the flat keys. If one had the means to do it in a magazine article, one could demonstrate other remarkable facts about music which would quickly convince the reader that the music that we hear is but the earthly counterpart of celestial harmonies which in themselves are the divine magic whereby the worlds come into being.

And one more thought. Are we any closer to Infinity when we have counted to ten million than we were when we were in the hundreds? I doubt it, because there is infinity within each number as we count and it is impossible to come any closer to it than we are now, nor can we ever get any farther from it. When we say that Infinity is in every number, we mean that between zero and 1, or between 1 and 2, or between any two consecutive numbers there is an infinity of fractions, and were we to count these, starting from zero, we would reach 1.

Is this not like the monads in man which we casually enumerate, not stopping to think that in naming any one of them, we are including an infinity of lives, comprising the various aspects of each monad?

Where then is, Infinity? We are Infinity, but we are looking through the wrong end of the telescope. We think in the finite, so the Infinite seems to be far away and unreal. Could we but learn to think in the Infinite, the finite would be seen for what it is, unreal because temporary. The inmost Self in man is an infinite being, but he passes through numerous finite conditions, he is continually subject to the law of change. How then, to think in the Eternal? We must open our minds to the universal verities embodied in the Ancient Wisdom. The Gods who are the imbodiments of Ancient Wisdom are of themselves the very essence of universal consciousness.



Dr. Judith Tyberg, former Professor of Sanskrit and Oriental Religion and Philosophy, at Theosophical University, Covina, Calif., has established a Sanskrit Center and Book Shop in Glendale, at 4219 San Fernando Road, just two blocks north of Los Feliz Boulevard. The object of this Center is to stimulate interest in the glorious teachings of the Wisdom-Religion hidden in the Sanskrit Writings of India. Theosophical Literature is on display here and available for sale.

Books on the Sanskrit language, its philosophy, religion, and literature, and books on occult and metaphysical subjects are also being handled and the supply will grow as the demand calls for it. Classes in Sanskrit language, literature and philosophy, and on the Sanskrit Theosophical Terminology are being conducted every week. All are invited to visit this Center; those wishing to attend classes should phone Citrus 3-7322, and arrangements will be made. In time, if the interest increases, a lending library will be established for all wishing to study the Wisdom-Religion. [13]


A. B.

What are you doing for Theosophy? Are you sitting around waiting for the ancient teachings to be brought to you, or waiting for the Society to become very prominent in world affairs, and then claim to be a member for your personal satisfaction? Is your lodge or society progressing the way you think it should? If not, are you doing something about it or are you going to sit around and "let George do it"? I've heard many dissatisfied persons, who are members or constant attendants of study-groups, complain about the status of progress and yet they will not budge an inch or even make a useful suggestion as to how they think their lodge, study-group, or Society should be handled.

If you do not think there are any problems at hand, then don't decide suddenly to find fault with something just because, after reading this, you discover you haven't put in your two cents worth of opinion for several months: Be certain of your desire to help and then find out where you are needed most and what you can do. I know a number of students in California who claim to be Theosophists; yet month after month and year after year they simply read the literature and never raise a hand toward spreading the teachings. They don't even live them. Theosophy seems to be just an intellectual stimulus to them.

There are a number of ways you can help. First and most important is to make Theosophy your code of living. It isn't always easy, for it takes a lot of self-control nowadays when a person is living in such trying times and is surrounded by material temptations. Second, to give as much time as possible to study, and try to learn and realize the ancient wisdom which is rightfully our sacred heritage. Third, to help in any way possible all Theosophical activities, either financially, no matter how small the donation, or through your talent, trade, or service. If they can be used, then offer them.

Many people are in strapped financial circumstances and feel they cannot offer any financial support. I thought I was so myself until I found a way to accumulate small amounts and offer them. I got a coin bank from the dime store and started saving pennies. The pennies became dollars. By setting aside the pennies at the end of each day I found I didn't miss them, and was able to give a small financial donation. Not many of us would miss a few pennies each day, even a nickel. We probably would end up spending it for a cup of coffee which we didn't need anyway.

Most Theosophists can afford to give some of their time, if they cannot help financially. If you are not working but have your days at home, you can afford to give at least an hour a week to finding people to form a study-group, helping with field work, collecting old clothes for bundles going to European Theosophists, or continuing your occult studies.

So you see, there are a number of ways in which your service is badly needed, and which won't upset your present domestic or financial schedule. What are you going to do about it?


The rising cost of production makes it imperative to raise the subscription price of "Theosophia" to $1.50. We have delayed this change as long as we could. We earnestly hope that our subscribers will understand the unavoidable nature of this move, forced as we are to keep pace with the economic circumstances prevailing in the country. [14]


The Lust for Power - What is it?

Internationally, Nationally or Individually, we find a constant and increasing craving for Power and Domination. Whence this urge? Of what use is it to wield POWER? The Hitler, Mussolinis, Napoleons of history can all answer these questions, for they all tried to increase the range of their POWER and failed dismally in the attempts.

The mere fact that all those who have tried inordinately to extend their lust for power have invariably failed, should indicate to all observers that some great Natural Law has been violated.

As Usual Theosophy has the answer, which is why you can never find a REAL Theosophist trying to extend his range of Power or Domination over anybody or anything. Theosophy furnishes a yardstick which anyone can use in estimating the real worth of anyone claiming to be a Spiritual Leader. The Great Law of the Universe always furnishes us with positive means of appraisal. All we have to do is to make use voluntarily of the means provided.

Utopia in some political systems, is merely a matter of making people work together by the Power of Law, backed by Force. Utopia, in some philosophical systems, can be described as the domination of the intellect of the few over the intellects of the many. Utopia, in the Theosophical concept, can only be brought into being by the voluntary consent of all the people, by the spiritual realization of the inherent Brotherhood of Man.

The political and philosophical concepts are both backed by the sense of exerting the Power of Domination. It is only when the heart of man is touched and he responds to the influence of his real, spiritual self, that he appreciates that Guidance must take the place of Domination, and voluntary action the place of compulsion.

Spiritually minded and spiritually influenced people merely guide and suggest. The mentally minded encourage domination; while the purely materialistically minded always flagrantly abuse the possession of power.

The fact that the present day world demonstrates the lust for power, tinctured with the desire to dominate, shows that its phase of evolution is between the material and mental. The fact that there are found altruistically inclined people as well as real Spiritual Leaders, who but guide and suggest, makes the Spiritual World self-evident and proves its Eternal Verity as the fomenting power in the Universe.

The need for voluntary action is because a Push from below is required, as well as a PULL from above. The dominators and power-mad zealots think that the pull alone is sufficient. Symbolically the Ancient Wisdom depicts it as an up-stretched hand being grasped by one of the Guiders of Life. There is no gain in grasping a person by the hair and forcibly jerking him upward to a higher plane of Life, because the jerkee will immediately flop back, when released.

Mankind calls GREAT those spiritual characters in History who have been the Guiders and Counselors. It repudiates those who have dominated or tried to dominate. It forgets - utterly - those who have misused power conferred or gained.

Spiritual Growth can only come about by the Voluntary Consent of tile entity evolving. Natural Laws merely circumscribe one's activities within various "Rings Pass Not." Within the cyclically set evolutionary transmutations, all growth must come voluntarily. [15]

This is why so comparatively little has been done in the world along the lines of real Spiritual Growth. Man shuns the responsibility of being the Master of his own Destiny and prefers to lean on a Personal God, a Personal Leader or a Power-mad person, asserting his Divine Mission. MORAL: - Push and Pull are the two ends of the Evolutionary Stick.

And that's Evolutionary Theosophy.

- The Wayfarer. (Hubert S. Turner)



(The first and foremost object of all genuine Theosophical work is the formation of a nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, the furtherance of the ideal, and the wide recognition the world over, of the FACT of the Oneness of all that lives. In the interest of this paramount objective of our work, we publish below a few telling excerpts from various authoritative sources, which express the prevailing view among first-rate scientists and social leaders of thought regarding certain unfounded and separative theories which so often jeopardize international understanding and good-will. For the benefit of students of Theosophy, we wish to utter a warning not to confuse the modern term "race" with its occult meaning, such as "Root-Race," etc. - Editors).

"The different races of man are not distinguished from each other by strongly marked, uniform, and permanent distinctions, as are the species belonging to any given tribe of animals. All the diversities which exist are variable, and pass into each other by insensible gradations." [1]

"Every civilized group of which we have record has been a hybrid group, a fact which disposes effectually of the theory that hybrid peoples are inferior to pure-bred ones." [2]

"In South America our experience of centuries has taught us that there is no real understanding except the one that comes through the fusion of races." [3]

"With full responsibility for my words as a professional biologist, I do not hesitate to say that all existing and genuine knowledge about the way in which the physical characteristics of human communities are related to their cultural capabilities can be written on the back of a postage stamp." [4]

"In regard to really important characteristics, the natural differences between the races pale into insignificance beside the natural differences between individuals - so much so that an impartial science of genetic improvement could not afford to take the former into account at all in its procedure." [5]

"'Race' is the cheap explanation tyros offer for any collective trait that they are too stupid or too lazy to trace to its origin in the physical environment, the social environment, or historical conditions." [6] [16]

"All responsible anthropologists condemn the malignant nonsense about racial psychology which is preached and published by those who try to justify the oppression of ethnic minorities. Political theories about race are nothing more than instruments of propaganda, devised for the child minds of totalitarian populations." [7]

"(Racism) is a method of bolstering up self-esteem and lust for power by means of beliefs which can have nothing in their favor except that they are flattering." [8]

"At the best, however, belief in race dogma is just the same as national chauvinism, a symptom of immaturity, lack of experience, and in general of an intellectually poor individuality." [9]

"For the combating of racism before it sinks its ugly fangs deep in our body politic, the scientist has a special responsibility. Only he can clean out the falsities which have been masquerading under the name of science in our colleges, our high schools and our public prints. Only he can show how groundless are the claims that one race, one nation or one class has any God-given right to rule." [10]



"Whereas, The prime requisites of science are the honest and unbiased search for truth and the freedom to proclaim such truths when discovered and known; and, "Whereas, Anthropology in many countries is being conscripted and its data distorted and misinterpreted to serve the cause of an unscientific racialism rather than the cause of truth;

"Be it resolved, That the American Anthropological Association repudiates such racialism and adheres to the following statement of facts:

"(1) Race involves the inheritance of similar physical variations by large groups of mankind, but its psychological and cultural connotations, if they exist, have not been ascertained by science.

"(2) The terms `Aryan' and `Semitic' have no racial significance whatsoever. They simply denote linguistic families.

"(3) Anthropology provides no scientific basis for discrimination against any people on the ground of racial inferiority, religious affiliation or linguistic heritage. [11]


1. J.C. Prichard, Natural History of Man, London, H. Bailliere, 1855, p. 473.

2. Ralph Linton, The Study of Man, New York, D. Appleton-Century, 1936, p. 34.

3. Dr. Oliviera Lima, quoted by Cedric Dover in Half-Caste, London, Secker & Warburg, 1937, p. 248.

4. Lancelot Hugben, "Preface on Prejudices" in Cedric Dover, Half-Caste, p. 9.

5. H. J. Muller, Out of the Night; A Biologist's View of the Future, New York, Vanguard Press, 1935, p. 120.

6. E.A. Ross, Social Psychology, New York, Macmillan Co., 1915, p. 3.

7. E. A. Hooton, Twilight of Man, New York, G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1939, p. 129.

8. Bertrand Russell, In Praise of Idleness, New York, W. W. Norton & Co., 1935, p. 114.

9. Friedrich Hertz, Race and Civilization, New York, Macmillan Co., 1928, p. 323.

10. Henry A. Wallace, in an address delivered at the World's Fair, New York, October 14, 1939.

11. "Science, Vol. 89, No. 2298, January 13, 1939.