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Charles Henry Allan Bennett
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 10/17/19

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Charles Henry Allan Bennett (8 December 1872 – 9 March 1923) was a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. He was a close associate of author and occultist Aleister Crowley.

Bennett received the name Bhikkhu Ananda Metteyya at his ordination as a Buddhist monk and spent years studying and practicing Buddhism in the East. He was the second Englishman to be ordained as a Buddhist monk (Bhikkhu) of the Theravada tradition [1] and was instrumental in introducing Buddhism in England. He established the first Buddhist Mission in the United Kingdom.

Early life

Allan Bennett was born in London on 8 December 1872. His father, a civil engineer, died when he was still a boy. He was raised as a strict Roman Catholic by his mother; a faith which he had rejected whilst in his teens. There is reference to his having at least one sister. He was educated at Hollesley College and later at Bath, England. Upon leaving school, he trained as an analytical chemist and achieved some success in that field for he was invited to participate in an expedition to Africa by Dr. Bernard Dyer, chemist to the Corn Trade; however, he did not go in the end. His electrical knowledge was profound while still in his early twenties; this and his talent for experimental science, mathematics and physics would stay with him throughout his life.

Golden Dawn

Bennett was, along with George Cecil Jones, Crowley’s primary teacher during his days in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Bennett was educated at Hollesly College, and scraped by as an analytical chemist. Bennett was initiated into the G.D. in 1894, taking the motto "Iehi Aour" ("let there be light"). He was always very poor and tormented by illness, but still made a strong impression on other occultists of the time.

Bennett was one of the most brilliant minds in the order, and favored mysticism and white magic; he was almost wholly concerned with enlightenment rather than siddhis (magical powers). Bennett had high regard for Golden Dawn leader S. L. Mathers, and with him began working on a book of Hermetic Qabalah correspondences that Crowley would later expand upon as Liber 777.

Soon after meeting, Crowley invited Bennett to come stay with him, as Bennett was living in a dilapidated shared apartment. In return, Bennett trained Crowley in the basics of magic and tried to instill a devotion to white magic. Bennett was generally ascetic and sexually chaste, a marked contrast to Crowley’s libertine attitude. Nevertheless, he was an enthusiastic user of mind changing drugs (with which he treated recurrent asthma) and introduced Crowley to this aspect of his occult researches.[2] Crowley once remarked concerning Bennett’s powers: Bennett had constructed a magical wand out of glass, which he carried with him. Crowley himself stated it to look similar in appearance to a chandelier. As it so happened, Crowley and Bennett were walking along one day and came across a group of theosophists who were ridiculing the use of wands. "Allan promptly produced his and blasted one of them. It took fourteen hours to restore the incredulous individual to the use of his mind and his muscles."

Travel to Southeast Asia

At some time between 1889 and 1900, in his late twenties, Bennett traveled to Asia[3][4] to relieve his asthma, and to dedicate himself to Buddhism. First he traveled to Ceylon where he studied Hatha Yoga under the yogi Shri Parananda. He joined the Sangha and took the name Swami Maitrananda.[5] Later, in Burma, Bennett took the vows of a Buddhist monk, and assumed the name Ananda Metteyya, "Bliss of loving kindness." In 1902 Crowley came to visit him there and was instructed in Hatha Yoga. At this time both men were agreed as to the validity of Buddhist practices. In 1903 he founded the Buddhasasana Samagama or the International Buddhist Society in London, UK (not to be confused with the International Buddhist Society in British Columbia, Canada). Bennett later began a periodical called Buddhism: An Illustrated Review.

Periodical: Buddhism. Published for the International Buddhist Society, v. 1-2, no. 1. Rangoon, Burma, 1903-05. 8th. * OLWF

-- Bulletin of the New York Public Library, Volume 20



Death

Some sources say that Bennett intended to travel to California due to health reasons. But with the outbreak of World War I and the denial of an immigration visa by the US, he found himself stranded, and forced to live in poverty and illness. He died on his native English soil at the age of 51, on 9 March 1923, buried at Morden cemetery. His lifelong friend and Buddhist writer, Dr Cassius Pereira, wrote: "And now the worker has, for this life, laid aside his burdens. One feels more glad than otherwise, for he was tired; his broken body could no longer keep pace with his soaring mind. The work he began, that of introducing Buddhism to the West, he pushed with enthusiastic vigour in pamphlet, journal and lecture, all masterly, all stimulating thought, all in his own inimitably graceful style. And the results are not disappointing to those who know."[6]

Legacy

Allan Bennett was a pioneer, and without him, Buddhism would not have entered the Western world as it did. He wrote two books: The Wisdom of the Aryas (1923)(based in part on a series of discourses in Clifford Bax's studio in 1919 and 1920[7]) and The Religion of Burma (1911, reprinted in 1929 by Theosophical Publishing House as The Religion of Burma and Other Papers). Some of his addresses and papers are still intact and used today.

Notes

1. Batchelor, Stephen The Awakening of the West, p. 40.
2. Symonds p18
3. Humphries C, Ananda Metteyya: With Some Observations on the English Sangha, The Middle Way Nov 1972:133-136.
4. Crow J (University of Amsterdam), The Bhikku and the Magus, Conference 2008
5. Golden Dawn Biographies, Allan Bennett Archived 11 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine
6. D r Elizabeth J Harris, Ananda Metteya, the First British Emissary of Buddhism, The Wheel Publication No.420/422 1998 ISBN 955-24-0179-8. (She is citing The Buddhist, 28 April 1923, p.6.)
7. See page 290(Sec XX) of Inland Far, by Clifford Bax, 1925

References

• Brunton, Paul A Pioneer Western Buddhist.
• Crow, John L. The Bhikkhu and the Magus, Exploring Bennett’s Influence on Crowley.
• Crowley, Aleister. Confessions of Aleister Crowley, Chapters 27–33.
• Fernando, Tilak S. World Buddhist Foundation in London Celebrates the United Kingdom Buddhist Day.
• Free Encyclopedia of Thelema. Allan Bennett. Retrieved 5 March 2005.
• Harris, Elizabeth J. Ananda Metteya: The First British Emissary of Buddhism.
• Symonds, John. The Great Beast, London, 1951

External links

• Xristos, Fra. Petros(7=4) Allan Bennett (1872-1923).
• Order of the Golden Dawn Allan Bennett 1872 - 1923.

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Allan Bennett
by AstrumArgenteum.org
Accessed: 10/17/19

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


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Alan Bennett (8th December 1872 – 9th March 1923)

Charles Henry – Allan Bennett was born in London on the 8th December 1872. His father, who was an engineer passed when he was still a young boy and was raised by his mother as a strict Roman Catholic. Like Crowley, Bennett suffered from severe asthma and would use a wide variety of drugs to combat it but it would haunt him his entire life which was unfortunately cut short when he died at the age of 51 due to a bowel obstruction.

In 1893 Bennett joined the Theosophical Society which he was a member of until 1895. In 1894 he also took initiation in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, taking the motto Frater Iehi Aour which means “let there be light.” He left a profound impression upon his superiors in the Order and within a year’s time would enter the Golden Dawn’s Second Order. Shortly thereafter (in 1898) Crowley joined the Golden Dawn and it is here that the two first met.

At the time Bennett struggled financially and lived in sub-par conditions. So Crowley invited Bennett, who he was very much drawn too – to live with him. Bennett would agree and hence began there long and fruitful friendship.

A couple of years later Bennett would travel to Southeast Asia, primarily in the hope that it would improve his health but also to study Buddhism. He moved to Ceylon (modern Sri Lanka) to study Yoga under the Yogi Shri Parananda. Crowley visited him several times during this period and Bennett would introduce Crowley to a number of practices.

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It was during one of these visits that the two went for an extended retreat to practice Yoga together and Bennett came to the conclusion that Buddhism was indeed his calling. In December Bennett relocated to Burma in order to become a novice within Theravada Buddhism and by February of 1902 Bennett took his Bhikkhu ordination which made him the second Englishman ever to become a Theravada monk. At his Ordination he assumed the name Ananda Maitreya (meaning “Bliss of loving kindness”) but would later change it to the Pali version, Ananda Metteyya. (Matteya being a future incarnation of Buddha).

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Just after his ordination Crowley would again visit and the two discussed how they could bring Buddhism to the west. Crowley fondly recollects this visit in his “Confessions”. These visits and Bennett’s instructions would serve as a catalyst in Crowley’s spiritual development

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Bennett then went on to establish the International Buddhist Society, the Buddhasasana Samagama, in 1903. He began to publish pamphlets and a quarterly journal in English speaking countries with the goal of establish a Buddhist Sangha in England. In April of 1908 he returned to England to do just this and helped establish the Buddhists Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Bennett would eventually publish two books The Religion of Burma (1911) and The Wisdom of the Aryas (1923).

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Though not officially a member of A∴A∴ as we know it Bennett would significantly influence Crowley’s thinking not just in regard to Buddhism but also in regard to Yoga, Pranayama and several other meditative practices whose techniques Crowley continued to utilize and teach throughout his life. Notably, Crowley’s teachings in regard to the Magical Memory stem from what Bennett taught Crowley during this period.

Crowley also included one of Bennett’s essays, “The Training of the Mind” in the Equinox Vol 1 no. 5 and would expand upon Bennett’s Qabalistic dictionary Sepher Sephiroth which is now listed as an official publication of the A∴A∴ given in Class B.

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In his essay “The Training the Mind” Bennett describes how meditation can cultivate Right Concentration. However, what few people know is that Bennett did not write this essay for inclusion in the Equinox – Instead it was originally published in as a pamphlet for Bennett’s organization, the International Buddhist Society in 1908 and was entitled “On the Culture of Mind” which Crowley simply renamed and published in the Equinox, clearly demonstrating that Crowley still highly regarded these teachings.

For further reading on Allan Bennett, please visit our Library.

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Allan Bennett
by George Knowles
© George Knowles September 9, 2016

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


The name of Charles Henry Allan Bennett is little known today, but during his time he was an accomplished highly regarded British occultist. He was an early member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and a one time friend, teacher and mentor to the infamous Aleister Crowley. Allan Bennett later abandoned Western occult traditions in favour of Eastern mystery traditions. In the early 1900’s he travelled to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) then on to Burma (now Myanmar) where he became ordained a Buddhist Monk. He founded the International Buddhist Society in 1903, and did much to introduce and promote Buddhism to the West, particularly here in the United Kingdom.

Allan Bennett was born in London in on 08th December 1872. His father, a civil and electrical engineer, passed away while he was still young and so he and a sister were raised by his mother, a strict Roman Catholic. From a very early age Bennett suffered frequently with acute asthma, an affliction that would leave him debilitated for weeks on end, during those periods while his mother worked and struggled to support the family, his sister would stand in for her taking care for him. His sister later emigrated and went to live in California, USA.

Bennett’s early educated began at the Colonial College in Hollesley Bay, Suffolk, then later continued in Bath, Somerset, where he showed a marked propensity for scientific research, particularly in the fields of electricity and chemistry. After leaving school he first trained as a chemical analyst and later in 1894 was employed briefly by Dr. Bernard Dyer, an International Analyst and Consulting Chemist based in London who worked as an official analyst to the London Corn Trade. That same year Bennett was invited to participate in a scientific expedition to Africa, but this he declined do, due mainly to his continuing ill health.

The chronic asthma that plagued him throughout his life also prevented him from holding down a permanent job, as half of the time he was heavily doped up on a rotation of prescribed drugs, such as: opium, cocaine, morphine and chloroform, courses of which often left him debilitated recovering in bed. While he was also an accomplished research electrician and conducted experiments on a variety of his own electronic inventions, none of these proved successful enough to provide an adequate living. This meant that for most of his early adult life he lived close to poverty living in London’s cheap and dingy slum districts of Southwark and Lambeth.

During his youth and into his teens Bennett was raised a devout Roman Catholic, but at the age of 16 as his keen scientific mind and quest for new research expanded, so to did he seek to expand his growing sense of spirituality. He therefore rejected Catholicism as incompatible with science in favour of the more arcane philosophies and theologies of the Western occult traditions and Eastern mystical religions of Hinduism and Buddhism. He also studied Spiritualism and other esoteric practices.

To quote from Aleister Crowley his later friend and student, at the age of 18 Bennett read Edwin Arnold’s poem “The Light of Asia” (published 1897, an early translation of a Buddhist text), which had a profound influence on his later life, for at that time Buddhism was little known in the West. He had also made a study of Hinduism, and once while practising a yogic form of breath control and trance meditation, he gained “Shivadarshana”, which Crowley describes as: “.... an extraordinarily high state of yogic attainment.” During the trance he is said to have experienced a blissful communion with Shiva, the Hindu god of Yoga, and resolved to dedicate the rest of his life to recapturing similar states of communion.

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Aleister Crowley

As he continued to explore alternative religions and spiritualities, Bennett joined two of the UK’s leading occult organisations. On the 24th March 1893, he joined the “Theosophical Society”, co-founded by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and Colonel Henry Steel Olcott in 1875, an occult philosophical society based on Eastern religious mysticism and theology. Through the Society he attended courses and lectures on yoga, mediation, consciousness and reincarnation, while at the same time studying Blavatsky’s “The Secret Doctrine”. The Society also had a strong connection to Buddhism, as both the co-founders had declared themselves Lay-Buddhists in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in 1880.

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Helena Petrovna Blavatsky

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Colonel Henry Steel Olcott

The second important organisation he joined was the “Hermetic Order of Golden Dawn”, founded in 1888 and based on Western esoteric teachings such as the Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism - spelt variously as Cabbala or Qabalah), Astrology, Alchemical symbolism, Geomancy and the Tarot. When Bennett joined in February 1894 he was initiated into the first/outer Order as a Neophyte, taking the motto: “Voco” (Latin for “I call”). Just a year later on the 22nd of March 1895 he was raised to Adeptus Minor in the higher second/inner Order taking the motto: “Iehi Aour” (Hebrew for “Let there be light”). There he joined S.L. MacGregor Mathers and Dr. William Wynn Westcott, two of the original three ruling Chiefs and co-founders of the Order. The third Dr. William Woodman had passed away on the 25th February 1892.

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S.L. MacGregor Mathers

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Dr. William Wynn Westcott

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Dr. William Woodman

Bennett quickly gained a reputation as a powerful Magus and Cabalist matching the magical abilities of S.L. MacGregor Mathers, who had created most of the Order’s teachings and rituals. Crowley tells a story of how Bennett had a special wand (called a blasting rod):

“He used to carry a ‘lustre’ - a long glass prism with a neck and a pointed knob such as adorned old-fashioned chandeliers. He used this as a wand. One day, a party of theosophists were chatting sceptically about the power of the ‘blasting rod’. Allan promptly produced his and blasted one of them. It took fourteen hours to restore the incredulous individual to the use of his mind and his muscles”.


When not doped up on medications (see use of drugs above) Bennett had one of the most brilliant magical minds in the Order, but he favoured mysticism rather than magical powers and was mostly concerned with enlightenment. However, Bennett had a high regard for the Order’s main magical Chief - S.L. MacGregor Mathers, and being mostly out of work due to ill health, began working with Mathers collating and editing material for the Order’s curriculum, including much of the Hermetic Cabbala correspondences that Aleister Crowley later expand upon in his book “Liber 777.”

Crowley first met Bennett in February 1899 after he (Crowley) had joined the Order on the 18th November 1898, and states his first impression of Bennett was that he possessed: “.... a tremendous spiritual and magical force.” Soon after their first meeting, Crowley learned that Bennett was living in a dilapidated shared apartment, and so invited him to stay at his luxury flat at 67/69 Chancery Lane. They’re Bennett began to teach Crowley the basics of ritual magick and yoga. Crowley goes on to describe Bennett as:

“Allan Bennett was tall, but his sickness had already produced a stoop. His head, crowned with a shock of wild, black hair, was intensely noble; the brows, both wide and lofty, overhung indomitable piercing eyes. The face would have been handsome had it not been for the haggardness and pallor due to his almost continuous suffering.

Despite his ill health, he was a tremendous worker. His knowledge of science, especially electricity, was vast, accurate and profound. In addition he had studied the Hindu and Buddhist scriptures, not only as a scholar but also with the insight that comes from inborn sympathetic understanding.

I did not fully realise the colossal stature of that sacred spirit; but I was instantly aware that this man could teach me more in a month than anyone else in five years.”

Lehi Aour came to stay with me and under his tuition I made rapid progress. He showed me where to get knowledge, how to criticize it and how to apply it. We also worked together at ceremonial Magick; evoking spirits, consecrating talismans, and so on.


Toward the end of 1899 Bennett’s health became so bad that many of his friends feared for his life and recommended he leave England for a warmer climate to convalesce and recuperate. Crowley who had ample funds would have been more than happy to pay for such a move, but was restrained believing that Bennett would have declined such an offer and take offence. While the magical community deemed sharing his flat and hospitality acceptable, for Bennett to accept monetary funding for such a move, might be seen as accepting payment for magical knowledge, and that was unacceptable. Instead Crowley persuaded a wealthy ex-mistress outside of the magical community to donate £100 to fund his move when he was ready.

By this time Bennett was leaning more and more toward Buddhism and the practice of yoga, but was becoming increasingly disillusioned by Mathers’ apparent antagonism toward “Orientalism”. The Golden Dawn was also in a shambles with membership declining as schisms over leadership threatened to break it apart. So with all that going on and now having funding in place for him to make a move, Bennett decided to go and dedicate the rest of his life to Buddhism. Early in 1900 he boarded ship and set sail for Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

After his arrival in Ceylon Bennett spent his first six months in Kamburugamuwa, Matara, recuperating while studying Pali (the sacred language of Buddhism) under the Ven. Weragampita Revata, an elderly Sinhalese monk. As his health improved, so he was also able to give up most of the drugs he had been using in England, but then needing work to support himself, he moved to Kandy where he became a tutor to the son of the Hon. Ponnambalam Ramanathan, the Solicitor-General of Ceylon. There Ramanathan, who was also a well known yogi by the name of Sri. Parananda began to instruct him in the techniques of Hatha Yoga, such things as the Asanas (physical postures) and Pranayama (breathing techniques for meditation).

In July 1901, Bennett presented his first lecture on Buddhism entitled “The Four Noble Truths” to the Hope Lodge of the Theosophical Society in Colombo. It was here that he first met Dr. Cassius Pereira (later the Ven. Kassapa Thera) who was so impressed by his lecture; he became a life-long friend and supporter.

During World War I, in 1915 commercial-ethnic rivalry erupted into a riot in Colombo against the Muslims, with Christians participating as much as Buddhists. Fearing an uprising the inexperienced British colonial Governor of Ceylon Sir Robert Chalmers declared Martial Law on 2 June 1915 and on the advice of Inspector General of Police Herbert Dowbiggin began a brutal suppression of the Sinhala community by giving orders to the Police and the Army to shoot any one who they deemed a rioter without a trial, it is said the numbers of Sinhalese killed this way were thousands. Many local leaders, that included D. S. Senanayake, D. R. Wijewardena, Arthur V. Dias, Dr. Cassius Pereira, Dr. W. A. de Silva, F.R. Dias Bandaranaike, H. M. Amarasuriya, A.H. Molamure were imprisoned and Captain D.E.Henry Pedris, a militia commander, was shot for mutiny.

A memorandum was drafted at a secret meeting held at the residence of E. W. Perera, initiated by Sir James Peiris and presided over by Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan. Before presenting it to his majesties government, the support of the British members of parliament and the press in England had to be obtained. Sea voyage was dangerous due to the presence of German submarines, which attacked ships and destroyed them. Abandoning a promising career at the Bar, E. W. Perera undertook the task of going over to England by obtaining permission saying he was going to do some research in the British museum. To his advantage, the British treated him as a scholarly Christian Barrister rather than a national patriot. He was accompanied by George E. de Silva. In England, he was joined by Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan and later by Sir D.B Jayatilaka and they presented the memorandum to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, pleading for the repeal of martial law and describing the atrocities committed by the Police led by Dowbiggin. The mission was a success. The British government ordered the release of the leaders who were in detention. Several high officials were transferred. A new Governor, Sir John Anderson was sent to replace Sir Robert Chalmers with instructions to inquire and report to His Majesty's Government. E. W. Perera's effort was greatly appreciated and he was thereafter referred to as the Lion of Kotte.

-- E.W. Perera, by Wikipedia


A shortly time later while on a trip to Ceylon, Aleister Crowley paid him a visit and they shared a house together in Kandy called ‘Marlborough’. There Bennett taught him more advanced techniques of yoga and meditation in preparation for Ritual Magic. By this time his own yogic attainments were impressive and he was able to meditate for days at a time in Padmasana, the so-called “lotus posture,” which according to Crowley is extremely difficult to master. Crowley records one incident that happened in Kandy:

“When Allan was meditating, it was my duty to bring his food very quietly (from time to time) into the room adjoining that where he was working. One day he missed two successive meals and I thought I ought to look into his room to see if all was well. I must explain that I have known only two European women and three European men who could sit in the attitude called Padmasana, which is that usually seen in seated images of Buddha. Of these men, Allan was one. He could knot his legs so well that, putting his hands on the ground, he could swing his body to and fro in the air between them. When I looked into his room I found him, not seated on his meditation mat, which was in the centre of the room at the end farthest from the window, but in a distant corner ten or twelve feet off, still in his knotted position, resting on his head and right shoulder, exactly like an image overturned. I set him right way up and he came out of his trance. He was quite unconscious that anything unusual has happened. But he had evidently been thrown there by the mysterious forces generated by Pranayama.”


Crowley also notes that Bennett fed leeches every morning with his own blood, and could control their ability to penetrate his skin by controlling his breathing, or vital prana (“life force” or “life energy”)

By the end of 1901 Bennett determined to become a Buddhist monk and join a Sangha (a Buddhist monk community), but felt that Ceylon was not the right place for him to do so. Instead he traveled to Akyab (now Sittwe), located on the west coast of Burma (now Myanmar), and on the 12th December 1901 gave up all his personal possessions and joined the Theravada tradition of monks at the Buddhist monastery of Lamma Sayadaw Kyoung. There he received ordination as a sramanera (a novice) Bhikkhu (a male monastic monk) from Dr. Moung Tha Nu, taking the name Ananda Maitreya, later he changed his last name to Metteyya (a Pali meaning for “bliss of loving kindness”).

Crowley again visited Bennett in February 1902 and refers to him dressed in robes as: “.... seeming to be of gigantic height compared to the diminutive Burmese.” He also commented on the return of his troubling asthmatic affliction, and how his health had once again deteriorated due to a lack of proper medical attention and the damp cold air of his pre-dawn alms rounds. Bennett was determination to carry out the strict rules of the monastery, and as a new monk would not break any of the daily routines and accepted practices despite his increasing ill health.

Just six months later on the 21st May 1902 Bennett received upasampada (higher ordination as a full Bhikkhu) from the Ven. Sheve Bya Sayadaw, making him just the second person from the United Kingdom ever to be fully ordained as a Buddhist monk. He was now known as the “Venerable” (Ven.) Ananda Metteyya. The first person was an Irish-born Japanese Buddhist called Charles Pfoundes, born Charles James William Pounds to Irish Anglican parents in the South East of Ireland in 1840. In 1889 Pfoundes, led a Buddhist mission to London as a representative of the Japanese “Buddhist Propagation Society” founded in 1887, and after spending three years there promoting Buddhism, returned to Kobe, Japan in 1892, never again to return to Europe. He died there in 1907.

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Charles Pfoundes

Following his higher ordination as a full Bhikkhu, Bennett (now the Ven. Ananda Metteyya) gave a speech to the assembled monks outlining his future goals and his mission to spread knowledge about Buddhism in the West. More particularly he wanted to create a Sangha in his home country England, UK. Bennett was later promoted to syadaw (a Pali word for a senior monk or abbot of a monastery) thus receiving the veneration of many devout Buddhists and acquiring a reputation as a distinguished holy man. Later he moved to another monastery in Rangoon (now Yangon in Myanmar), located about two miles from the city centre from where he began to plan his mission.

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This is possibly (though not confirmed) where he moved to, the Shwezedi Monastery, a famous Theravada Buddhist monastery and one of the oldest in the world, which includes a gilded stupa known as the Great Dagon Pagoda.

In 1903 Bennett founded the “Buddhasasana Samagama” or “International Buddhist Society” with the aim of consolidating Buddhists all around the world. At the first meeting of the Society held on the 15th March 1903, the constitution and rules were implemented and officers elected. Bennett as Ven. Ananda Metteyya appears in the printed prospectus as the General Secretary, with Dr. E. R. Rost, a Westerner and member of the Indian Medical Service, as the Hon. Secretary. Later he produced a periodical called: Buddhism - An Illustrated Quarterly Review, edited by Bhikkhu Ananda Metteyya, the first volume of which was published on the 15th September 1903. While initially intended as a quarterly publication, only six issues of the Review were published between 1903 and 1908, this due mainly to his continuing health problems and apologies for delays appear in almost every issue.

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The first issue of Buddhism - An Illustrated Quarterly Review dated 15th September 1903

Thanks to donations from local Burmese people, issues of the Buddhism Review were sent out free to between 500 and 600 libraries across Europe and quickly established an intellectual readership. Through this Bennett was able to set-up a network of international contacts and scholars from all around the world who not only contributed to the Review, but also kept him up-to-date on latest developments in science, scholarship and politics effecting Buddhists in other countries. The International Buddhist Society also made ground with official representatives in Austria, Burma (Myanmar), Ceylon (Sri Lanka), China, Germany, Italy and America.

On the 03rd November 1907 a group of lay-Buddhists in England, UK, founded the “Buddhist Society of Great Britain and Ireland”, and at it’s first meeting on the 26th November elected a Pali scholar T.W. Rhys-Davids as it’s President. This paved the way for Bennett to return to England on a visit and launch his mission to spread word about Buddhism in the West from his home country. Bennett arrived in England for a six-month visit on 23rd April 1908 accompanied with a number of supporters, then returned to Burma on the 02nd October, which was all the time allotted for his Mission.

During his visit and despite his frequent bouts of asthmatic incapacity, Bennett did much to grow membership in the Society by giving a considerable number of talks, lectures and presentations about Buddhism around the country, including one on the 10th June to the Blavatsky Lodge of the Theosophical Society. Many of his lectures were later reprinted as pamphlets, promoting Buddhism far and wide. One such entitled “The Training of the Mind” was also re-published in The Equinox, Aleister Crowley’s main magazine and the vehicle for his own religious teachings ‘Thelema’.

During his visit, Crowley had tried to rekindle his friendship with Bennett, which had dwindled as each travelled along separate spiritual paths. Since their last meeting in Burma in 1905, and while travelling across the China/Burma border, Crowley had experienced a powerful samadhi (a state of intense concentration achieved through meditation, which in yoga is regarded as the final stage at which union with the divine is reached). This had proved a catalyst to Crowley’s further spiritual work, and he had moved on rejecting Buddhism in favour of his own Hermetic Tradition called Thelema. Bennett however would have nothing to do with it, and is quoted as saying: “No Buddhist would consider it worthwhile to pass from the crystalline clearness of his own religion to this involved obscurity”. What caused their initial falling out is not known, but it is clear through his own autobiography that Crowley maintained a deep respect for his early teacher and mentor.

After Bennett returned to Burma where the climate was better than that of England, the régime of his monastic lifestyle continued to cause him difficulty. First, tradition dictated he could only eat before noon each day, which generally kept him physically weak. Secondly, he routinely ventured out into the cold damp air at 06am each morning to collect alms, which only exasperated his continuing asthmatic condition. Despite these difficulties he was adamant in maintaining the strict rules imposed by the monastery and continued to write and promote Buddhism worldwide.

In Burma for instance aided with the support of others, he was successful in getting Buddhism taught in schools as a main-line religion equal to Catholicism, and in 1911 published his first book on Buddhism called The Religion of Burma (1911, reprinted in 1929 by the Theosophical Publishing House as The Religion of Burma and Other Papers). He also, whenever he could, he would travel to give talks, presentations and lectures wherever he was invited. In May 1912 he travelled back to Sri Lanka where his long-time friend and supporter Dr. Cassius Pereira (later known as Ven. Kassapa Thera) was opening a new Hall dedicated to the teachings of Buddha, and which he named Maitriya Hall in Bennett’s honour. At the inauguration of the Hall, Pereira records that Bennett gave “several inspiring addresses.”

Image
Dr. Cassius Pereir

Image
Maitriya Hall

Bennett had hoped to return to England within two and half years and continue his mission to set up his own Sangha, but this was not to happen. Indeed his health had continued to deteriorate. To further complicate matters, in December 1913, Dr. E. R. Rost performed two operations on him to remove gallstones, although the operations were successful, they did little to improve his general health. As a result his doctors advised him to change his régime or leave Burma for a more suitable climate. After talking things through with his sister in the United States, it was decided then that he should leave the Sangha at the monastery and travel to sunny California where she could better take care of him.

Arrangements were made for him to meet his sister in the following year in England while she was there visiting with friends, and then travel back with her to California. So in May 1914 Bennett, who had just been awarded the appellation of Thera (a Pali word for Elder), disrobed and returned to England to meet up with his sister. Their plan then was to board a ship in Liverpool on the 12th September and travel on to California. However when they arrived, the ships Doctor refused to allow him on board, stating his health was so bad the American authorities would not allow him a landing permit on health grounds. His sister therefore travelled on without him.

Bennett, now an ex-Buddhist, was left stranded, sick and with no place to live or stay, he therefore had to call on the charitable help of the Buddhist Society of Great Britain and Ireland, the same he had previously helped to promote on his last visit to England. Fortunately one member of the Liverpool Branch of the Society, a doctor, was able to take him in and for the next two years accommodated him and provided what medical care he needed.

By this time WW1 was escalating across Europe and as England continue to send troops into the conflict, austerity measures to support them deepened. As a result, the doctor in Liverpool could no longer afford to keep Bennett and so he returned to his old cheap accommodations in the slum areas of Southwark and Lambeth in London.

There he lived on supported by charity and donations received from friends in the British Buddhist Society, and other Buddhist overseas, particularly those in Burma and Sri Lanka who had heard about his plight.

Although at one stage his asthma attacks were occurring almost on a daily bases, by the winter of 1917 he was sufficiently improved as to give a series of six lecture presentations on Buddhism to a private selected audience gathered in the studio of Clifford Bax (a well known socially connected London writer, journalist, editor, playwright, poet and lyricist). Perhaps inspired by the lecture series, which were well received, when not incapacitated by his affliction, for Bennett they marked a return to his mission work, that of spreading and promoting Buddhism throughout the West and particularly in England.

Image
Clifford Bax circa 1916

In 1918 he once again began to contribute to the Buddhist Review, which after his last visit to the UK in 1908, and being unable to manage his original Buddhism Review, the Society of Great Britain and Ireland had taken it over, renamed it slightly and continued to produce it as the main voice and vehicle of Buddhism worldwide. Later in 1920 he reassumed his role as the main editor of the Review, began speaking at meetings organised by the Society, and also became actively involved in their future plans.

But time was beginning to run out for Bennett as his health again deteriorated. The January 1922 edition of the Buddhist Review was to be the last that he edited, indeed it was also the last that was published. His final act was to see the publication of his new book containing the six lectures he had given during the winter of 1917/18. These he had extended with an additional large introduction to Buddhism, and an essay on Transmigration, thought to be one of the most difficult of Buddhist teachings to make clear to the Western mind. The new book called The Wisdom of the Aryas, was published just two months before he died.

Allan Bennett died of an intestinal blockage at around 05.00pm on the 09th March 1923, he was just 51 years of age. At the time of his death he is reported to have been living in poverty in a single rented room in a multi occupied property at 90 Eccles Road, Clapham Junction. With no money of his own to afford a proper burial, and to save him from a pauper’s grave, a donation was received from Sri Lanka (most likely from Dr. Cassius Pereira) to purchase a plot in Morden Cemetery, South London. Members of the Buddhist Society of Great Britain and Ireland held a funeral service, which was officiated and prepared by Francis Payne, a convert from his earlier 1908 mission in England. After the service, flowers and incense were placed on the grave by a large gathering of other assembled members. Sadly however, no gravestone was ever erected in memorandum, so it remains today an unmarked grave.

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90 Eccles Road, Clapham Junction

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Morden Cemetery, South London (views today)

While no doubt the Buddhist Society of Great Britain and Ireland who had looked out for Bennett’s well-being through his final years and organised his funeral service, would have received many tributes and condolences about the sad passing of their leader. One such that stands out and best sums-up their loss was written by his long-time friend and supporter in Sri Lanka, Dr Cassius Pereira, who wrote:

“And now the worker has, for this life, laid aside his burdens. One feels more glad than otherwise, for he was tired; his broken body could no longer keep pace with his soaring mind. The work he began, that of introducing Buddhism to the West, he pushed with enthusiastic vigour in pamphlet, journal and lecture, all masterly, all stimulating thought, all in his own inimitably graceful style. And the results are not disappointing to those who know.”


May he rest in peace.

Sources:

The Confessions of Aleister Crowley - edited by John Symonds & Kenneth Grant 1969 (my edition Bantam Books 1971).

http://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh420.pdf

http://web.archive.org/web/200306281413 ... ry/18.html

http://www.island.lk/2007/12/27/features3.html

http://www.themystica.com/mystica/artic ... allan.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_H ... an_Bennett

http://www.golden-dawn.org/biobennett.html

http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016 ... irca-1903/

Plus so many others, way too many to mention.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:50 am

George Cecil Jones
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 10/18/19

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George Cecil Jones, Jr. (10 January 1873 – 30 October 1960),[1]) was a British chemist, occultist, one time member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and co-founder of the magical order A∴A∴. According to author and occultist Aleister Crowley,[2] Jones lived for some time in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England, working at a metallurgy there.

Association with Aleister Crowley

Born in Croydon, Jones was educated at City of London School, Central Technical College and Birmingham University. He was the son of George Cecil Jones, Sr.[1] He studied analytical chemistry at Central Technical College in South Kensington and Birmingham University and became employed in the profession upon graduation. On 12 July 1895 he became a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. He is perhaps best known for the pivotal role he played in the life of British Aleister Crowley, stoking Crowley's youthful enthusiasm for magick. Jones introduced Crowley to the Golden Dawn, which Jones was a member of, going by the Latin magical motto Volo Noscere. On 25 January 1905, he married Ethel Melinda Baker at Balham. She was the sister of Golden Dawn member Julian Levett Baker, who had introduced Crowley to Jones. In 1906 Jones and Crowley would found the A∴A∴, taking some of the lessons from their experiences with the Golden Dawn as well as the teachings of Crowley's The Book of the Law, and incorporating them into their new order, which Crowley would head.

Jones would also contribute to Crowley's book of essays on and references for Qabalah, 777 and other Qabalistic writings. In 1911 he unsuccessfully sued a newspaper, the Looking Glass, for libellously associating him with Crowley.[3]

Little is known about his life except for his roles in the history of the Golden Dawn and as a friend and associate of Crowley. He retired as a chemist in 1939. In the 1950s Jones and his wife were living at 14 Elphinstone Road, Hastings. His wife died on 4 January 1952 at Hastings. He died on 30 October 1960 at St. Helens Hospital in Hastings. They had at least two children: Eileen Cecil Jones (b. 1906) and George Alan Jones (b. 1910).[4][5]

Notes

1. Who's Who in Science, 1913
2. Crowley, Aleister: The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, pg. 172
3. 'King's Bench Division. The Equinox. Jones v. The Looking Glass Publishing Company (Limited) and Others', The Times, 27 April 1911.
4. Van-Asten, Barry (20 March 2014). "George Cecil Jones". The Voice of Fire, Vol. I. No. 4. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
5. Davis, Sally (16 September 2014). "George Cecil Jones". Retrieved 7 February 2015.

References

• Aleister Crowley: His Contribution to the Western Mysteries
• Aleister Crowley in the Desert
• Crowley, Aleister: The Confessions of Aleister Crowley. Penguin, ch. 19, 20, 67, 76
• Sutin, Lawrence: Do What Thou Wilt. St. Martin's Press, 2000
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:59 am

Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 10/18/19

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


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Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
Rose Cross of the Golden Dawn.
Successor
Alpha et Omega
Stella Matutina
Isis-Urania Temple
A∴A∴
Formation 1887
Extinction 1903
Type Magical organization
Headquarters London
Location
United Kingdom
Chiefs of the Second Order
William Wynn Westcott (1888-1897)
Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers (1897-1903)

The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (Latin: Ordo Hermeticus Aurorae Aureae; or, more commonly, the Golden Dawn (Aurora Aurea)) was a secret society devoted to the study and practice of the occult, metaphysics, and paranormal activities during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Known as a magical order, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was active in Great Britain and focused its practices on theurgy and spiritual development. Many present-day concepts of ritual and magic that are at the centre of contemporary traditions, such as Wicca[1][2] and Thelema, were inspired by the Golden Dawn, which became one of the largest single influences on 20th-century Western occultism.[3][4]

The three founders, William Robert Woodman, William Wynn Westcott and Samuel Liddell Mathers, were Freemasons. Westcott appears to have been the initial driving force behind the establishment of the Golden Dawn.

The Golden Dawn system was based on hierarchy and initiation like the Masonic lodges; however women were admitted on an equal basis with men. The "Golden Dawn" was the first of three Orders, although all three are often collectively referred to as the "Golden Dawn". The First Order taught esoteric philosophy based on the Hermetic Qabalah and personal development through study and awareness of the four Classical Elements as well as the basics of astrology, tarot divination, and geomancy. The Second or "Inner" Order, the Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis (the Ruby Rose and Cross of Gold), taught magic, including scrying, astral travel, and alchemy. The Third Order was that of the "Secret Chiefs", who were said to be highly skilled; they supposedly directed the activities of the lower two orders by spirit communication with the Chiefs of the Second Order.

History

Cipher Manuscripts


Main article: Cipher Manuscripts

Image
Folio 13 of the Cipher Manuscripts

The foundational documents of the original Order of the Golden Dawn, known as the Cipher Manuscripts, are written in English using the Trithemius cipher. The manuscripts give the specific outlines of the Grade Rituals of the Order and prescribe a curriculum of graduated teachings that encompass the Hermetic Qabalah, astrology, occult tarot, geomancy, and alchemy.

According to the records of the Order, the manuscripts passed from Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie, a Masonic scholar, to the Rev. A. F. A. Woodford, whom British occult writer Francis King describes as the fourth founder[5] (although Woodford died shortly after the Order was founded).[6] The documents did not excite Woodford, and in February 1886 he passed them on to Freemason William Wynn Westcott, who managed to decode them in 1887.[5] Westcott, pleased with his discovery, called on fellow Freemason Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers for a second opinion. Westcott asked for Mathers' help to turn the manuscripts into a coherent system for lodge work. Mathers in turn asked fellow Freemason William Robert Woodman to assist the two, and he accepted.[5] Mathers and Westcott have been credited with developing the ritual outlines in the Cipher Manuscripts into a workable format.[7] Mathers, however, is generally credited with the design of the curriculum and rituals of the Second Order, which he called the Rosae Rubae et Aureae Crucis ("Ruby Rose and Golden Cross" or the RR et AC).[8]

Image
Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers in Egyptian setup performing a ritual in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

Founding of first temple

In October 1887, Westcott claimed to have written to a German countess and prominent Rosicrucian named Anna Sprengel, whose address was said to have been found in the decoded Cipher Manuscripts. According to Westcott, Sprengel claimed the ability to contact certain supernatural entities, known as the Secret Chiefs, that were considered the authorities over any magical order or esoteric organization. Westcott purportedly received a reply from Sprengel granting permission to establish a Golden Dawn temple and conferring honorary grades of Adeptus Exemptus on Westcott, Mathers, and Woodman. The temple was to consist of the five grades outlined in the manuscripts.[9][10]

In 1888, the Isis-Urania Temple was founded in London.[9] In contrast to the S.R.I.A. and Masonry,[10] women were allowed and welcome to participate in the Order in "perfect equality" with men. The Order was more of a philosophical and metaphysical teaching order in its early years. Other than certain rituals and meditations found in the Cipher manuscripts and developed further,[11] "magical practices" were generally not taught at the first temple.

For the first four years, the Golden Dawn was one cohesive group later known as "the Outer Order" or "First Order." An "Inner Order" was established and became active in 1892. The Inner Order consisted of members known as "adepts," who had completed the entire course of study for the Outer Order. This group of adepts eventually became known as the Second Order.[citation needed]

Eventually, the Osiris temple in Weston-super-Mare, the Horus temple in Bradford (both in 1888), and the Amen-Ra temple in Edinburgh (1893) were founded. In 1893 Mathers founded the Ahathoor temple in Paris.[9]

Secret Chiefs

Main article: Secret Chiefs

In 1891, Westcott's alleged correspondence with Anna Sprengel suddenly ceased. He claimed to have received word from Germany that she was either dead or that her companions did not approve of the founding of the Order and no further contact was to be made. If the founders were to contact the Secret Chiefs, apparently, it had to be done on their own.[9] In 1892, Mathers professed that a link to the Secret Chiefs had been established. Subsequently, he supplied rituals for the Second Order, calling them the Red Rose and Cross of Gold.[9] The rituals were based on the tradition of the tomb of Christian Rosenkreuz, and a Vault of Adepts became the controlling force behind the Outer Order.[12] Later in 1916, Westcott claimed that Mathers also constructed these rituals from materials he received from Frater Lux ex Tenebris, a purported Continental Adept.[13]

Some followers[who?] of the Golden Dawn tradition believe that the Secret Chiefs were not human or supernatural beings but, rather, symbolic representations of actual or legendary sources of spiritual esotericism. The term came to stand for a great leader or teacher of a spiritual path or practice that found its way into the teachings of the Order.[14]

Golden Age

By the mid-1890s, the Golden Dawn was well established in Great Britain, with over one hundred members from every class of Victorian society.[6] Many celebrities belonged to the Golden Dawn, such as the actress Florence Farr, the Irish revolutionary Maud Gonne, the Irish poet William Butler Yeats, the Welsh author Arthur Machen, and the English authors Evelyn Underhill and Aleister Crowley.

In 1896 or 1897, Westcott broke all ties to the Golden Dawn, leaving Mathers in control. It has been speculated that his departure was due to his having lost a number of occult-related papers in a hansom cab. Apparently, when the papers were found, Westcott's connection to the Golden Dawn was discovered and brought to the attention of his employers. He may have been told to either resign from the Order or to give up his occupation as coroner.[15] After Westcott's departure, Mathers appointed Florence Farr to be Chief Adept in Anglia. Dr. Henry B. Pullen Burry succeeded Westcott as Cancellarius—one of the three Chiefs of the Order.

Mathers was the only active founding member after Westcott's departure. Due to personality clashes with other members and frequent absences from the center of Lodge activity in Great Britain, however, challenges to Mathers's authority as leader developed among the members of the Second Order.[16]

Revolt

Toward the end of 1899, the Adepts of the Isis-Urania and Amen-Ra temples had become dissatisfied with Mathers' leadership, as well as his growing friendship with Aleister Crowley. They had also become anxious to make contact with the Secret Chiefs themselves, instead of relying on Mathers as an intermediary.[17] Within the Isis-Urania temple, disputes were arising between Farr's The Sphere, a secret society within the Isis-Urania, and the rest of the Adepti Minores.[17]

Crowley was refused initiation into the Adeptus Minor grade by the London officials. Mathers overrode their decision and quickly initiated him at the Ahathoor temple in Paris on January 16, 1900.[18] Upon his return to the London temple, Crowley requested from Miss Cracknell, the acting secretary, the papers acknowledging his grade, to which he was now entitled. To the London Adepts, this was the final straw. Farr, already of the opinion that the London temple should be closed, wrote to Mathers expressing her wish to resign as his representative, although she was willing to carry on until a successor was found.[18] Mathers believed Westcott was behind this turn of events and replied on February 16. On March 3, a committee of seven Adepts was elected in London, and requested a full investigation of the matter. Mathers sent an immediate reply, declining to provide proof, refusing to acknowledge the London temple, and dismissing Farr as his representative on March 23.[19] In response, a general meeting was called on March 29 in London to remove Mathers as chief and expel him from the Order.[20]

Splinters

In 1901, W. B. Yeats privately published a pamphlet titled Is the Order of R. R. & A. C. to Remain a Magical Order?[21] After the Isis-Urania temple claimed its independence, there were even more disputes, leading to Yeats resigning.[22] A committee of three was to temporarily govern, which included P.W. Bullock, M.W. Blackden and J. W. Brodie-Innes. After a short time, Bullock resigned, and Dr. Robert Felkin took his place.[23]

In 1903, A. E. Waite and Blackden joined forces to retain the name Isis-Urania, while Felkin and other London members formed the Stella Matutina. Yeats remained in the Stella Matutina until 1921, while Brodie-Innes continued his Amen-Ra membership in Edinburgh.[24]

Reconstruction

Once Mathers realised that reconciliation was impossible, he made efforts to reestablish himself in London. The Bradford and Weston-super-Mare temples remained loyal to him, but their numbers were few.[25] He then appointed Edward Berridge as his representative.[26] According to Francis King, historical evidence shows that there were "twenty three members of a flourishing Second Order under Berridge-Mathers in 1913."[26]

J.W. Brodie-Innes continued leading the Amen-Ra temple, deciding that the revolt was unjustified. By 1908, Mathers and Brodie-Innes were in complete accord.[27] According to sources that differ regarding the actual date, sometime between 1901 and 1913 Mathers renamed the branch of the Golden Dawn remaining loyal to his leadership to Alpha et Omega.[28][29][30][31] Brodie-Innes assumed command of the English and Scottish temples, while Mathers concentrated on building up his Ahathoor temple and extending his American connections.[29] According to occultist Israel Regardie, the Golden Dawn had spread to the United States of America before 1900 and a Thoth-Hermes temple had been founded in Chicago.[27][29] By the beginning of the First World War in 1914, Mathers had established two to three American temples.

Most temples of the Alpha et Omega and Stella Matutina closed or went into abeyance by the end of the 1930s, with the exceptions of two Stella Matutina temples: Hermes Temple in Bristol, which operated sporadically until 1970, and the Smaragdum Thallasses Temple (commonly referred to as Whare Ra) in Havelock North, New Zealand, which operated regularly until its closure in 1978.[32][33]

Structure and grades

Much of the hierarchical structure for the Golden Dawn came from the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, which was itself derived from the Order of the Golden and Rosy Cross.[34]

First Order

• Introduction—Neophyte 0=0
• Zelator 1=10
• Theoricus 2=9
• Practicus 3=8
• Philosophus 4=7
• Intermediate—Portal Grade

Second Order

• Adeptus Minor 5=6
• Adeptus Major 6=5
• Adeptus Exemptus 7=4

Third Order

• Magister Templi 8=3
• Magus 9=2
• Ipsissimus 10=1

The paired numbers attached to the Grades relate to positions on the Tree of Life. The Neophyte Grade of "0=0" indicates no position on the Tree. In the other pairs, the first numeral is the number of steps up from the bottom (Malkuth), and the second numeral is the number of steps down from the top (Kether).

The First Order Grades were related to the four elements of Earth, Air, Water, and Fire, respectively. The Aspirant to a Grade received instruction on the metaphysical meaning of each of these Elements and had to pass a written examination and demonstrate certain skills to receive admission to that Grade.

The Portal Grade was an "Invisible" or in-between grade separating the First Order from the Second Order.[35]

Known or alleged members

• Sara Allgood (1879–1950), Irish stage actress and later film actress in America
• Charles Henry Allan Bennett (1872–1923), best known for introducing Buddhism to the West
• Arnold Bennett (1867–1931), British novelist[36]
• Arthur Edward Waite (2 October 1857 – 19 May 1942) Mystic
• Edward W. Berridge (ca. 1843–1923), British homeopathic physician[1]:148–149
• Algernon Blackwood (1869–1951), English writer and radio broadcaster of supernatural stories[37]
• Anna de Brémont, American-born singer and writer.[38]
• Dario Carpaneda (1856 - 1916) Italian occultist and esotericism professor at the University of Lausanne.
• Paul Foster Case was not an original member of the Golden Dawn, but was a member of the successor organization, Alpha et Omega. He was an American occultist
• Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), author of Sherlock Holmes, doctor, scientist, and spiritualist.[39]
• Aleister Crowley (1875–1947), occultist, writer and mountaineer, founder of his own magical society.
• Florence Farr (1860–1917), London stage actress and musician[37]
• Robert Felkin (1853–1925), medical missionary, explorer and anthropologist in Central Africa, author
• Dion Fortune was not an original member of the Golden Dawn, rather a member of the offshoot Golden Dawn order the Stella Matutina. Dion Fortune Founded the Society of Inner Light.
• Frederick Leigh Gardner (1857–1930), British stock broker and occultist; published three-volume bibliography Catalogue Raisonné of Works on the Occult Sciences (1912)[40]
• Maud Gonne (1866–1953), Irish revolutionary, actress.
• Annie Horniman (1860–1937), British repertory theatre producer and pioneer; member of the wealthy Horniman family of tea-traders[37]
• Arthur Machen (1863–1947), leading London writer of the 1890s, author of acclaimed works of imaginative and occult fiction, such as "The Great God Pan", "The White People" and "The Hill of Dreams". Welsh by birth and upbringing.
• Gustav Meyrink (1868–1932), Austrian author, storyteller, dramatist, translator, banker, and Buddhist
• E. Nesbit (1858–1924), real name Edith Bland; English author and political activist
• Israel Regardie was not a member of the original Golden Dawn, but rather of the Stella Matutina, which he claimed was as close to the original order as could be found in the early 1930s (when he was initiated). Regardie wrote many respected and acclaimed books about magic and the Golden Dawn Order, including The Golden Dawn, The Tree Of Life, Middle Pillar, and A Garden of Pomegranates.
• Sax Rohmer, novelist, creator of the Fu Manchu character
• Charles Rosher (1885–1974), British cinematographer
• William Sharp (1855–1905), poet and author; alias Fiona MacLeod
• Pamela Colman Smith (1878–1951), British-American artist and co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck
• Bram Stoker[41][42] (1847–1912), Irish writer best-known today for his 1897 horror novel Dracula
• John Todhunter (1839–1916), Aktis Heliou Irish poet and playwright who wrote seven volumes of poetry, and several plays
• Violet Tweedale (1862–1936), author.
• Evelyn Underhill (1875–1941), British Christian mystic, author of Mysticism: A Study in Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness
• Charles Williams (1886–1945), British poet, novelist, theologian, and literary critic
• W. B. Yeats (1865–1939), Irish poet, dramatist and writer.

Contemporary Golden Dawn orders

While no temples in the original chartered lineage of the Golden Dawn survived past the 1970s,[32][33] several organizations have since revived its teachings and rituals. Among these, the following are notable:

• The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Inc.
• The Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn
• The Fellowship of the Golden Dawn
• Golden Dawn Collegium Spiritu Sancti
• Golden Dawn Universum
• Golden Dawn Ancient Mystery School
• The Ordo Stella Matutina
• Sodalitas Rosae+Crucis et Solis Alati
• Orden Hermética de la Aurora Dorada
• Ordem Esotérica da Aurora Dourada no Brasil
• Hermetic Society of the Golden Dawn
• August Order of the Mystic Rose
• Order of the Golden Dawn in the Outer

See also

• A∴A∴
• Hermeticism
• Tattva
• Tattva vision

References

1. Colquhoun, Ithell (1975) The Sword of Wisdom: MacGregor Mathers & the Golden Dawn. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.
2. Phillips, Julia (1991) History of Wicca in England: 1939 - present day. Lecture at the Wiccan Conference in Canberra, 1991.
3. Jenkins, Phillip (2000) Mystics and Messiahs: Cults and New Religions in American History, pg. 74. "Also in the 1880s, the tradition of ritual magic was revived in London by a group of Masonic adepts, who formed the Order of the Golden Dawn, which would prove an incalculable influence on the whole subsequent history of occultism." USA: Oxford University Press.
4. Smoley, Richard (1999) Hidden Wisdom: A Guide to the Western Inner Traditions, ppg 102-103. "Founded in 1888, the Golden Dawn lasted a mere twelve years before it was shattered by personal conflicts. At its height it probably had no more than a hundred members. Yet its influence on magic and esoteric thought in the English-speaking world would be hard to overestimate." USA: Quest Books.
5. King, 1989, page 42-43
6. King, 1989, page 47
7. Golden Dawn researcher R. A. Gilbert has found evidence which suggests that Westcott was instrumental in developing the Order's rituals from the Cipher Manuscripts. See Gilbert's article, From Cipher to Enigma: The Role of William Wynn Westcott in the Creation of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, from Carroll Runyon's book Secrets of the Golden Dawn Cypher Manuscripts.
8. Regardie, 1993, page 92
9. King, 1989, page 43
10. Regardie, 1993, page 11.
11. King, 1997, page 35
12. King, 1989, page 44
13. King, 1989, page 46
14. Penczak, Christopher. Spirit Allies, p. 27. Red Wheel/Weiser Books. ISBN 1-57863-214-5
15. King, 1989, page 48
16. Raine, Kathleen (1976) [1972]. Liam Miller (ed.). Yeats, the Tarot and the Golden Dawn. New Yeats Papers. II (second ed.). Dublin: Dolmen Press. p. 6.
17. King, 1989, page 66
18. King, 1989, page 67
19. King, 1989, page 68-69
20. King, 1989, page 69
21. Melton, J. Gordon, editor, Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, v. 2 p. 1327, Gale Group, 2001 ISBN 0-8103-9489-8
22. King, 1989, page 78
23. King, 1989, page 94
24. King, 1989, pages 95-96
25. King, 1989, page 109
26. King, 1989, page 110
27. Regardie, 1993, page 33
28. King, 1971, p. 110-111
29. King, 1989, page 111
30. "The Golden Dawn ceased to exist by that name after October, 1901, replaced by Mathers' Alpha et Omega and the London group’s Order of the Morgan Rothe. No longer associated with the SRIA after 1902, Mathers continued to oversee a few temples until his death, when his wife, Moina, assumed supervision." Samuel Liddel MacGregor Mathers biography, Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon, February 26, 2001
31. Golden Dawn Time Line, Chic Cicero and Sandra Tabatha Cicero, Llewellyn Encyclopedia
32. Gilbert, R. A. Golden Dawn Companion. Aquarian Press, 1986. ISBN 0-85030-436-9
33. Llewellyn Encyclopedia: "Golden Dawn Time Line"
34. The masonic career of A.E. Waite by Bro. R. A. Gilbert
35. Golden Dawn Research Center - What is the Golden Dawn?
36. Regardie, 1982, page 16
37. Regardie, 1982, foreword - page ix
38. Moyle, Franny (2011). Constance: The Tragic and Scandalous Life of Mrs Oscar Wilde. Hachette UK. p. 118. ISBN 9781848544611.
39. http://moreintelligentlife.com/story/co ... iritualism
40. "Frederick Leigh Gardner", Biographies: Fringe freemasons, Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon (Freemasons) web site. Retrieved November 2008.
41. Ravenscroft, Trevor (1982). The occult power behind the spear which pierced the side of Christ. Red Wheel. p. 165. ISBN 0-87728-547-0.
42. Picknett, Lynn (2004). The Templar Revelation: Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christ. Simon and Schuster. p. 201. ISBN 0-7432-7325-7.

Bibliography

• Fra. A.o.C. (2002). A Short Treatise on the History, Culture and Practices of The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Retrieved August 3, 2007.
• Armstrong, Allan & R. A. Gilbert, eds. (1997). Golden Dawn: The Proceedings of the Golden Dawn Conference, London - 1997. Hermetic Research Trust.
• Cicero, Chic and Tabatha Cicero (1991). The New Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications. ISBN 0-87542-139-3
• Colquhoun, Ithell (1975). Sword of Wisdom: Macgregor Mathers and the Golden Dawn. Neville Spearman. ISBN 0-85435-092-6.
• Denisof, Dennis. "The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn." BRANCH: Britain, Representation and Nineteenth-Century History. 2013. http://www.branchcollective.org/?ps_art ... -1888-1901.
• Greer, Mary K. (1994). Women of the Golden Dawn. Park Street. ISBN 0-89281-516-7.
• Greer, Mary K. & Darcy Kuntz (1999) The Chronology of the Golden Dawn. Holmes Publishing Group. ISBN 1-55818-354-X
• Gilbert, Robert A. (1983). The Golden Dawn: Twilight of the Magicians. The Aquarian Press. ISBN 0-85030-278-1
• Gilbert, Robert A. (1986). The Golden Dawn Companion. Weiser Books. ISBN 0-85030-436-9
• Gilbert, Robert A. Golden Dawn Scrapbook - The Rise and Fall of a Magical Order. Weiser Books (1998) ISBN 1-57863-037-1
• Howe, Ellic (1978). The Magicians of the Golden Dawn: A Documentary History of a Magical Order 1887-1923. Samuel Weiser. ISBN 0-87728-369-9.
• Jenkins, Phillip (2000) Mystics and Messiahs: Cults and New Religions in American History. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-512744-7
• King, Francis (1971). The Rites of Modern Occult Magic. New York: Macmillan Company. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 76-158-933
• King, Francis (1989). Modern Ritual Magic: The Rise of Western Occultism. ISBN 1-85327-032-6
• King, Francis, ed. (1997). Ritual Magic of the Golden Dawn: Works by S. L. MacGregor Mathers and Others. Destiny Books. ISBN 0-89281-617-1
• Kuntz, Darcy, ed. (1996). The Complete Golden Dawn Manuscript. Introduction by R.A. Gilbert. Deciphered, Translated and Preface by Darcy Kuntz. (Golden Dawn Studies No 1.) Holmes Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1558183254
• Regardie, Israel, et al., eds. (1982). The Golden Dawn. Llewellyn Publications. ISBN 0-87542-664-6
• Israel Regardie|Regardie, Israel, et al., eds. (1989). The Golden Dawn: A Complete Course in Practical Ceremonial Magic. Llewellyn. ISBN 0-87542-663-8
• Regardie, Israel (1993). What You Should Know About the Golden Dawn (6th ed.). ISBN 1-56184-064-5
• Runyon, Carroll (1997). Secrets of the Golden Dawn Cipher Manuscripts. C.H.S. ISBN 0-9654881-2-8
• Smoley, Richard (1999). Hidden Wisdom: A Guide to the Western Inner Traditions. Quest Books. ISBN 978-0-8356-0844-2
• Suster, Gerald (1990). Crowley's Apprentice: The Life and Ideas of Israel Regardie. Weiser Books. ISBN 0-87728-700-7
• Wasserman, James (2005). The Mystery Traditions: Secret Symbols and Sacred Art. Rochester, VT: Destiny Books. ISBN 1-59477-088-3

External links

• The Golden Dawn FAQ (original from 1990s Usenet groups)
• The Golden Dawn Library Project
• Golden Dawn entries in Llewellyn Encyclopedia
• Golden Dawn Tradition, by co-founder Dr. W. Wynn Westcott
• Photocopies and the translation of the original Cipher Manuscripts
• Lots of GD material on display in Yeats exhibition including Ritual Notebooks.
• The Golden Dawn Roll Call
• Golden Dawn at Curlie
• Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn: Biographies of Members
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:13 am

Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 10/18/19

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Image
Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers
Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers, in Egyptian costume, performs a ritual of Isis in the rites of the Golden Dawn
Born: Samuel Liddell Mathers, 8 or 11 January 1854, Hackney, London, England
Died: 5 or 20 November 1918 (aged 64), Paris[1]
Residence: Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk
Nationality: British
Alma mater: Bedford School
Occupation: Occultist, Known for Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
Spouse(s): Moina Mathers
Parent(s): William M. Mathers

Samuel Liddell (or Liddel) MacGregor Mathers (8 or 11 January 1854 – 5 or 20 November 1918), born Samuel Liddell Mathers, was a British occultist. He is primarily known as one of the founders of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a ceremonial magic order of which offshoots still exist today.

Early life

Mathers was born on 8 or 11 January 1854 in Hackney, London, England. His father, William M. Mathers, died while he was still a boy. His mother, whose maiden name was Collins, died in 1885. He attended Bedford School, subsequently working in Bournemouth, Dorset, as a clerk, before moving to London following the death of his mother.

His wife was Moina Mathers (née Mina Bergson), sister of the philosopher Henri Bergson.

Lifestyle

Mathers added the "MacGregor" surname as a claim to Highland Scottish heritage, although there is little evidence of such in his family background. He was a practising vegetarian, or (according to some accounts) vegan, an outspoken anti-vivisectionist, and a non-smoker. It is known that his main interests were magic and the theory of war, his first book being a translation of a French military manual.[2] He became more and more of an eccentric towards his later years, as was noted by W. B. Yeats.[3]

Freemasonry

Mathers was introduced to Freemasonry by a neighbour, alchemist Frederick Holland, and was initiated into Hengist Lodge No.195 on 4 October 1877. He was raised as a Master Mason on 30 January 1878. In 1882 he was admitted to the Metropolitan College of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia as well as a number of fringe Masonic degrees. Working hard both for and in the SRIA he was awarded an honorary 8th Degree in 1886, and in the same year he lectured on the Kabbalah to the Theosophical Society. He became Celebrant of Metropolitan College in 1891 and was appointed as Junior Substitute Magus of the SRIA in 1892, in which capacity he served until 1900. He left the order in 1903, having failed to repay money which he had borrowed.[4]

Upon the death of William Robert Woodman in 1891, Mathers assumed leadership of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. He moved with his wife to Paris on 21 May 1892.[3] After his expulsion from the Golden Dawn in April 1900, Mathers formed a group in Paris in 1903 called Alpha et Omega (its headquarters, the Ahathoor Temple).[5] Mathers choosing the title "Archon Basileus".[6]

Translations

Mathers was a polyglot; among the languages he had studied were English, French, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Gaelic and Coptic, though he had a greater command of some languages than of others. His translations of such books as The Book of Abramelin (14thC.), Christian Knorr von Rosenroth's The Kabbalah Unveiled (1684), Key of Solomon (anonymous 14thC.), The Lesser Key of Solomon (anonymous 17thC.), and the Grimoire of Armadel (17thC.), while probably justly criticised with respect to quality, were responsible for making what had been obscure and inaccessible material widely available to the non-academic English speaking world. They have had considerable influence on the development of occult and esoteric thought since their publication, as has his consolidation of the Enochian magical system of John Dee and Edward Kelley.

Criticism

In addition to many supporters, he had many enemies and critics. One of his most notable enemies was one-time friend and pupil Aleister Crowley, who portrayed Mathers as a villain named S.R.M.D. in his 1917 novel Moonchild.

At the Turk's entrance he rose clumsily, then fell back into his chair. He was more than half intoxicated.

Akbar took the chair opposite to him. "We couldn't get it," he said; in a whisper, though there was nobody within earshot. "Oh, Dr. Balloch, Dr. Balloch! do try to understand! It was impossible. We tried all sorts of ways."

The doctor's voice had a soft suavity. Though a licensed physician, he had long since abandoned legitimate practice, and under the guise of homeopathy pursued various courses which would have been but ill-regarded by more regular practitioners.

His reply was horrible, uttered as it was in feline falseness, like a caress. "You foul ass!" he said. "I have to take this up with S.R.M.D., you know! What will he say and do?"

"I tell you I couldn't. There was an old man there who spoilt everything, in my idea."

"An old man?" Dr. Balloch almost dropped his hypocritical bedside voice in his rage. "Oh curse, oh curse it all!" He leant over to the Turk, caught his beard, and deliberately pulled it. There is no grosser insult that you can offer to a Mussulman, but Akbar accepted it without resentment. Yet so savage was the assault that a sharp cry of pain escaped him.

You dog! you Turkish swine!" hissed Balloch. "Do you know what has happened? S.R.M.D. sent a Watcher -- a bit of himself, do you understand what that means, you piece of dirt? -- and it hasn't returned. It must have been killed, but we can't find out how, and S.R.M.D. is lying half dead in his house. You pig! Why didn't you come with your storry at once? I know now what is wrong."

"You know I don't know your address," said the Turk humbly. "Please, oh please, leave go of my beard!"

Balloch contemptuously released his victim -- who was a brave enough man in an ordinary way, and would have had the blood of his own Sultan, though he knew that the guards would cut him to pieces within the next ten seconds, for the least of such words as had been addressed to him. But Balloch was his Superior in the Black Lodge, which rules by terror and by torture; its first principle was to enslave its members. The bully Balloch became a whimpering cur at the slightest glance of the dreaded S.R.M.D.....

The mystery of S.R.M.D.'s personality and abode were shrouded in the blackest secrecy. Akbar had but the vaguest ideas of the man; he was a formless ideal of terrific power and knowledge, a sort of incarnated Satan, the epitome of successful iniquity. The episode of the "Watcher" had not diminished the chief's prestige in his eyes; it was evidently an "accident"; S.R.M.D. had sent out a patrol and it had been ambushed by a whole division, as it were. So trivial a "regrettable incident" was negligibly normal.

Akbar had no thought but of S.R.M.D. as a Being infinitely great in himself; he had no conception of the price paid by the members of the Black Lodge. The truth is, that as its intimates advance, their power and knowledge becomes enormously greater; but such progress is not a mark of general growth, as it is in the case of the White Brotherhood; it is like a cancer, which indeed grows apace, but at the expense of the man on whom it feeds, and will destroy both him and itself in the long run. The process may be slow; it may extend over a series of incarnations; but it is sure enough. The analogy of the cancer is a close one; for the man knows his doom, suffers continual torture; but to this is added the horrible delusion that if only the disease can be induced to advance far enough, all is saved. Thus he hugs the fearful growth, cherishes it as his one dearest possession, stimulates it by every means in his power. Yet all the time he nurses in his heart an agonizing certainty that this is the way of death.

Balloch knew S.R.M.D. well; had known him for years. He hoped to supplant him, and while he feared him with hideous and unmanly fear, hated him with most hellish hatred. He was under no delusion as to the nature of the Path of the Black Lodge. Akbar Pasha, a mere outsider, without a crime on his hands as yet, was a rich and honoured officer in the service of the Sultan; he, Balloch, was an ill-reputed doctor, living on the fears of old maids, on doubtful and even criminal services to foolish people from the supply of morphia to the suppression of the evidence of scandal, and on the harvest of half-disguised blackmail that goes with such pursuits. But he was respectability itself compared to S.R.M.D.

This man, who called himself the Count Macgregor of Glenlyon, was in reality a Hampshire man, of lowland Scottish extraction, of the name of Douglas. He had been well educated, became a good scholar, and developed an astounding taste and capacity for magic. For some time he had kept straight; then he had fallen, chosen the wrong road. His powers had increased at a bound; but they were solely used for base ends. He had established the Black Lodge far more firmly than ever before, jockeyed his seniors out of office by superior villainy, and proceeded to forge the whole weapon to his own liking. He had had one terrible set-back.

Cyril Grey, when only twenty years of age, a free-lance magician, had entered the Lodge; for it worked to attract innocent people under a false pretence of wisdom and of virtue. Cyril, discovering the trick, had not withdrawn; he had played the game of the Lodge, and made himself Douglas's right-hand man. This being achieved, he had suddenly put a match to the arsenal.

The Lodge was always seething with hate; Theosophists themselves might have taken lessons from this exponent; and the result of Cyril's intervention had been to disintegrate the entire structure. Douglas found his prestige gone, and his income with it. Addiction to drink, which had accompanied his magical fall, now became an all-absorbing vice. He was never able to rebuild his Lodge on its former lines; but those who thirsted for knowledge and power and these he still possessed in ever increasing abundance as he himself decayed -- clung to him, hating and envying him, as a young ruffian of the streets will envy the fame of some robber or murderer who happens to fill the public eye.

It was with this clot of perverse feelings that Balloch approached the Rue Quincampoix, one of the lowest streets in Paris, and turned in at the den where Douglas lodged.

S.R.M.D. was lying on a torn soiled sofa, his face white as death; a mottled and empurpled nose, still showing trace of its original aggressive and haughty model, alone made for colour. For his eyes were even paler than the doctor's. In his hand was a bottle half full of raw whisky, with which he was seeking to restore his vitality.

"I brought you some whisky," said Balloch, who knew the way to favour.

"Put it down, over there. You've got some money."

Balloch did not dare to lie. S.R.M.D. had spotted the fact without a word.

Only a cheque. You shall have half to-morrow when I've cashed it."

"Come here at noon.

Despite the obvious degradation of his whole being, S.R.M.D. was still somebody. He was a wreck, but he was the wreck of something indubitably big. He had not only the habit of command, but the tone of fine manners. In his palmy days he had associated with some very highly placed people. It was said that the Third Section of the Russian Police Bureau had once found a use for him.

-- Moonchild, by Aleister Crowley


According to Crowley's memoirs, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, Mathers was in the habit of ostensibly playing chess matches against various pagan gods. Mathers would set up the chessboard and seat himself behind the white pieces, with an empty chair opposite him. After making a move for himself, Mathers would then shade his eyes and peer towards the empty chair, waiting for his opponent to signal a move. Mathers would then move a black piece accordingly, then make his next move as white, and so forth. Crowley did not record who won.

Earlier, Crowley wrote in his Confessions that: "As far as I was concerned, Mathers was my only link with the Secret Chiefs to whom I was pledged. I wrote to him offering to place myself and my fortune unreservedly at his disposal; if that meant giving up the Abra-Melin Operation for the present, all right."[7]

The Book of Abramelin tells the story of an Egyptian mage named Abraham (pronunciation: (ɛ́jbrəham)), or Abra-Melin, who taught a system of magic to Abraham of Worms, a Jew in Worms, Germany, presumed to have lived from c.1362–c.1458. The system of magic from this book regained popularity in the 19th and 20th centuries partly due to Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers' translation, The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage; and partly to its importance within the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and later within the mystical system of Thelema (created in 1904 by Aleister Crowley).

Due to trust issues, Mathers used the least-reliable manuscript copy as the basis for his translation, and it contains many errors and omissions. The later English translation by Georg Dehn and Steven Guth, based on the earliest and most complete sources, is more scholarly and comprehensive. Dehn attributed authorship of The Book of Abramelin to Rabbi Yaakov Moelin (Hebrew יעקב בן משה מולין; ca. 1365–1427), a German Jewish Talmudist. This identification has since been disputed.

-- The Book of Abramelin, by Wikipedia


Death

Mathers died on 5 or 20 November 1918 in Paris. The manner of his death is unknown; his death certificate lists no cause of death. Violet Firth claimed his death was the result of the Spanish influenza of 1918. While this seems likely, few facts are known about Mathers's private life and thus verification of such claims is difficult.

See also

• The Book of Abramelin
• Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
• List of occultists
• Mathers table
• William Robert Woodman

References

1. Nevill Drury, The Dictionary of the Esoteric, Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 2004, p. 208.
2. S. L. MacGregor Mathers, Practical Instruction in Infantry Campaigning Exercise, Translated from the French ( London: City of London Publishing Co., 1884); cited in Christopher McIntosh, The Rosicrucians: The History, Mythology and Rituals of an Occult Order, page 111 (second revised edition, Crucible, 1987). ISBN 978-1852740252
3. William Butler Yeats, The Collected Works of W.B. Yeats, Volume III: Autobiographies, pages 452–453 (edited by William O'Donnell and Douglas N. Archibald, New York: Scribner, 1999 edition). ISBN 0-684-80728-9
4. History of the SRIA, T M Greenshill, MBE, published 2003
5. "Samuel Liddel MacGregor-Mathers", accessed 17 February 2007.
6. John Michael Greer, The Element Encyclopedia of Secret Societies and Hidden History, page 28 (HarperElement, 2006). ISBN 978-0-00-722068-7
7. Crowley, Aleister. The Confessions of Aleister Crowley. p. 194.

External links

• Biography from Kheper.net
• Biography from the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn
• Biography from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Inc.
• The Truth about S.L. MacGregor Mathers

Works at the Internet Sacred Text Archive

• The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage
• The Kabbalah Unveiled
• The Key of Solomon The King
• The Lesser Key of Solomon
• The Tarot

Published Works

• 2018 — The Tarot — Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers Edition by Eduardo Filipe Freitas ISBN 1986104028
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:05 am

Ananda Metteyya [Charles Henry Allan Bennett]: The First British Emissary of Buddhism [Excerpt]
by Elizabeth J. Harris
Secretary for Inter-faith Relations for The Methodist Church in London. She holds a doctorate in Buddhist studies from the University of Kelaniya and co-produced the recent BBC series, "The Path of the Buddha".
Collected Wheel Publications, Volume XXVII: Numbers 412-430
by Y. Karunadasa, Susan Elbaum Jootla, John D. Ireland, Ananda W.P. Guruge, Elizabeth J. Harris, Bhikkhu Nyanasobhano, Ashin Ottama, Bhikkhu Nanamoli
1998

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

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Chapter 1: Ananda Metteyya: A Dedicated Life

His face was the most significant that I have ever seen. Twenty years of physical suffering had twisted and scored it: a lifetime of meditation upon universal love had imparted to it an expression that was unmistakable. His colour was almost dusky, and his eyes had the soft glow of dark amber … Above all, at the moment of meeting and always thereafter, I was conscious of a tender and far-shining emanation, an unvarying psychic sunlight, that environed his personality.1


Clifford Bax, artist and dramatist, wrote these words after meeting Ananda Metteyya in 1918. A sick man incapacitated by asthma for weeks at a time, he was then wearing the clothes of a lay person and had reverted to his civilian name, Allan Bennett. Yet, ten years earlier, as the Venerable Ananda Metteyya, he had led the first Buddhist mission to England from Burma. The Buddhist Society of Great Britain and Ireland had been formed to prepare the way for him.

See e.g. Harris (1998). The Buddhist Society of Great Britain and Ireland (BSGBI) was  founded by T. W. Rhys-Davids and others in November 1907 solely in anticipation of Bennett‘s  arrival and the BSGBI is similarly regarded as the first of its kind.


-- The First Buddhist Mission to the West: Charles Pfoundes and the London Buddhist mission of 1889 – 1892, by Brian Bocking, University College Cork; Laurence Cox, National University of Ireland Maynooth; and Shin‘ichi Yoshinaga, Maizuru National College of Technology


Bennett, in fact, was the second British person to take on the robes of a Buddhist monk and his influence on Buddhism in Britain in the first decades of the twentieth century was deep.

Even within his own lifetime Allan Bennet
was a controversial figure. In 1894, he joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a society concerned with spiritual growth through esoteric knowledge. He gained a reputation as a magician and a man of mystery, which was not completely shaken off even when he embraced Buddhism several years later. In the early years of the twentieth century, he was much praised by Western Buddhists. Yet, as time passed, he became more and more marginalized as asthma took an ever deepening grip on his life, leading to dependency on drugs. By 1916, his case is described as a “sad” one by The Buddhist Review, published by The Buddhist Society of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1917-18, he managed to give a series of lectures and when he died in 1923, he was the acting Honorary Secretary of The Buddhist Society. Yet, his final years were marked by poverty. Clifford Bax wrote in the conclusion of his 1918 article:

As a Buddhist, he was an alert and powerful personality: as Allan Bennett, a poor man, dwelling unknown in London, he was a sick creature prematurely old. As he was putting on his overcoat, I heard Meena Gunn saying, “Why it’s riddled with moths,” and Bennett responding, “They’re such pretty little things,” and Meena continuing, “Some day we must get you a new one: this coat is too full of holes,” and Bennett answering, shy of his pun, “But, you see, I’m supposed to be a holy man.”2


Bennett was buried without a memorial stone in Morden cemetery. His lifelong friend, Dr. Cassius Pereira, wrote:

And now the worker has, for this life, laid aside his burden. One feels more glad than otherwise, for he was tired; his broken body could no longer keep pace with his soaring mind. The work he began, that of introducing Buddhism to the West, he pushed with enthusiastic vigour in pamphlet, journal and lecture, all masterly, all stimulating thought, all in his own inimitably graceful style. And the results are not disappointing to those who know.3


Allan Bennett was a holy man. His writings reveal sensitivity, conviction, and passionate concern that Buddhism should grow in the West. He combined a poetic imagination, a scientific mind, and a deep concern for justice and peace. He was also able to make the Buddhist path live, not so much through lectures as through the written word. In this study, I seek to make his thought come alive. I look at his life and place him in historical perspective. Then I probe his view of the world and his interpretation of Buddhist doctrine. I show how his thought developed through the trauma of the First World War, and finally I discuss the relevance of his writings today.

Of course, it is impossible to re-create the thought of Ananda Metteyya with authenticity two generations after he died. I rely mainly on what he published in England and Burma, a few personal letters, and the impressions of his contemporaries in Sri Lanka and the West. Furthermore, no biographical writing is objective. It reflects the biographer’s character as much as it portrays the person written about. Allan Bennett, or Ananda Metteyya, will elude any attempt to pin him down. He was a man of his time, born when the British Empire was at the height of its power and the wish to probe new religious pathways was gripping many young minds. Yet, I believe the message he strove to share is still relevant. A probe into his life not only uncovers forgotten history but can give inspiration to the present.

The Search for Truth

In piecing together the biography of Allan Bennett, I am heavily indebted to the writings of two of his closest friends: Aleister Crowley and Dr. Cassius Pereira (later Ven. Kassapa Thera).4 Bennett’s relationship with Crowley was not lifelong. It began when Bennett was more interested in esoteric mysticism than Buddhism and petered out as Crowley sank deeper and deeper into study of the occult. The friendship with Pereira was based on a more solid foundation, that of commitment to Buddhism. They met on Bennett’s first visit to Sri Lanka in 1900 and the relationship continued when Bennett went to Burma. Alec Robertson5 told me that Ven. Kassapa had told him he had had such a close rapport with Bennett that the two could communicate by telepathy. Each knew the other’s thoughts, even at a distance.

Allan Bennett was born in London on the 8th December 1872. His father, a civil and electrical engineer, died when Allan was young. Cassius Pereira claims he was adopted by a Mr. McGregor and kept this name until McGregor died, a fact repeated to me by Ven. Balangoda Ananda Maitreya.6 Yet, it is possible that his mother was still in contact with him, since Crowley refers to him being brought up by his mother as a strict Catholic.7 His education was in Bath after which he trained as an analytical chemist. He was eventually employed by Dr. Bernard Dyer, a public analyst and consulting chemist of international repute who was based in London as an official analyst to the London Corn Trade at the time of Bennett’s association with him.8

Information about Bennett’s early years is sketchy. What is available suggests that he was a sensitive and serious young man who became alienated from Christianity both because it seemed incompatible with science and because he could not square the concept of a God of love with the suffering he saw and experienced. The asthma which plagued him throughout his life seems to have begun in childhood. As a young man, it prevented him from holding down a permanent job. Together with his family circumstances, this meant that he was at times desperately poor. Suffering, therefore, was part of his life from an early stage. Crowley, in fact, wrote of him, “Allan never knew joy; he disdained and distrusted pleasure from the womb.”9

If Bennett distrusted pleasure, he certainly didn’t distrust the search for truth and goodness. This seems to have informed his life from youth. Nineteenth century developments in science gripped him, particularly in the areas of chemistry and electricity, and scientific metaphors permeate his writing. Science meant far more to him than technical knowledge. He linked it with the search for truth about the human being and human consciousness. In his youth particularly, it was intertwined with his religious quest. After rejecting Roman Catholicism, he turned first to Hinduism and Buddhism. In 1890, at the age of eighteen, he read Edwin Arnold’s poem, The Light of Asia. Some say he became a Buddhist at this point but this is doubtful. The poem certainly had a profound influence on him but it was part of a larger exploration which included Hindu literature as well. Both Cassius Pereira and Aleister Crowley refer to him practicing yogic forms of breath control and meditation at this time, a practice closer to Hinduism than to Buddhism. Pereira thought these exercises might have exacerbated his asthma. Crowley refers to him experiencing, at eighteen, Shivadarshana, which Crowley describes as an extraordinarily high state of yogic attainment. “It is a marvel that Allan survived and kept his reason,” Crowley remarked, but he also claimed that Bennett had told him that he wanted to get back to that state.10

In addition, Bennett was also being drawn both into Theosophy and spiritualism, psychology and Western esoteric mysticism. Spiritualism entered Britain in the mid-nineteenth century, based on the conviction that there was a spirit world which could be contacted by clairvoyants. It became linked with interest in alchemy, magical invocations, and esoteric or secret knowledge. Helena Blavatsky, one of the founders of Theosophy, for instance, claimed she was in contact with mahatmas, masters in the spirit world. Significant for Bennett was the creation of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in 1889 by William Wynn Westcott and Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers.11 At first his members were little more than spiritual philosophers, interested in such things as astrology, alchemy, mysticism, and the kabbalah – esoteric practices connected with Judaism. Later, magical rituals were developed and practiced. Bennett joined in 1894. He took the name Iehi Aour, Hebrew for “let there be light,” and rapidly became an important member, respected for his psychic powers.

At this point most of the available information about Bennett comes to us through the eyes of Aleister Crowley, who joined the order in 1898. Crowley’s first impression of him was that he possessed “a tremendous spiritual and magical force.”12 He finds him living in a tiny tenement – “a mean, grim horror”13 – and says of his appearance:

Allan Bennett was tall, but his sickness had already produced a stoop. His head, crowned with a shock of wild, black hair, was intensely noble; the brows, both wide and lofty, overhung indomitable piercing eyes. The face would have been handsome had it not been for the haggardness and pallour due to his almost continuous suffering.

Despite his ill-health, he was a tremendous worker. His knowledge of science, especially electricity, was vast, accurate, and profound. In addition, he had studied the Hindu and Buddhist scriptures, not only as a scholar, but with the insight that comes from inborn sympathetic understanding.

I did not fully realize the colossal stature of that sacred spirit; but I was instantly aware that this man could teach me more in a month than anyone else in five years.14


An unpublished manuscript by Crowley cited by Kenneth Grant adds more:

We called him the White Knight, from Alice in the Looking Glass. So lovable, so harmless, so unpractical! But he was a Knight, too! And White! There never walked a whiter man on earth. He never did walk on earth, either! A genius, a flawless genius. But a most terribly frustrated genius.15


Crowley also claimed that he was known all over London “as the one Magician who could really do big-time stuff,”16 and in two places he recorded an incident when Bennett used a wand to render motionless a sceptic who doubted its power.17

By the year 1899, therefore, Bennett was deeply interested in the religious heritage of the East. He was appreciated as a gentle person who would be loathe to harm anyone. (Crowley was later to write that he was, “the noblest and the gentlest soul that I have ever known.”18) He was widely read and had practiced some forms of meditation, probably using yogic methods of breath control and trance-inducement. He felt an affinity to Buddhism and had been influenced particularly by The Light of Asia. He was also interested in Western esoteric practice and magic and had discovered that he possessed certain psychic powers. Asthma had already made deep inroads into his health. He was knowledgeable about the latest scientific discoveries and optimistic about science’s potential.

In 1900, Bennett travelled to Sri Lanka, the cost of his passage raised by Crowley.19 It was an attempt to save his life. His friends feared he would die unless he was sent to a warmer climate. Crowley also hoped that Bennett would spread Western esoteric lore in the East. He did not. Crowley’s hopes were ironically twisted. Bennett turned away from the emphases of the Order of the Golden Dawn, became a Buddhist monk, and eventually brought Buddhism to the West, convinced that it was Buddhism alone which could meet the religious crisis there.

In Sri Lanka

Bennett spent between one and two years in Sri Lanka. He learnt Pali, developed his meditation practice, and delivered his first sermon on Buddhist doctrine. All the evidence suggests this period was a turning point. His asthma improved. He gave up the cycle of drugs he had found so necessary in England.20 Most of all, he found a focus for his religious quest.

Bennett began by spreading his exploratory net quite wide. According to Cassius Pereira, he went to Kamburugamuwa and studied Pali for six months under an elder Sinhalese monk. But the end of six months, he could converse in it fluently – “Such was the brilliance of his intellect,” Pereira adds.21 Yet, he did not restrict himself to Buddhism. Crowley, who visited him, claimed that he learnt much about the theory and practice of yoga from the Hon. P. Ramanathan, the Solicitor-General of Ceylon, a Tamil gentleman who engaged Bennett as a private tutor for his son. Crowley’s descriptions of Bennett show a person experimenting with different practices. According to Crowley, for instance, Bennett could, with a breathing trick, release leeches from his arm, having purposely fed them.22 He could also enter such a deep state of trance-like meditation through his breathing exercises that his whole body could be upturned without him realizing it.23 Pereira confirms this. He later wrote that Allan had taught him much about meditation at this time. He had thought it was all Buddhist in origin but later realized that it also contained “mystic Christian, Western ‘occult,’ and Hindu sources.” His conclusion was that Bennett’s knowledge was then “vague, wonder seeking, and really only played about the fringe of a truly marvelous avenue for study and practice.”24

So, was Bennett merely a person who selected what he wanted from a variety of sources? The Order of the Golden Dawn certainly did this. Yet in Sri Lanka another process was at work. Bennett gradually came to see that eclectic experimentation with psychic power and the development of iddhi was a mundane accomplishment, divorced from true wisdom or liberation. Theravada Buddhism gained the upper hand. According to Crowley:

Allan had become more and more convinced that he ought to take the Yellow Robe. The phenomena of Dhyana and Samadhi had ceased to exercise their first fascination. It seemed to him that they were insidious obstacles to true spiritual progress; that their occurrence, in reality, broke up the control of the mind which he was trying to establish and prevented him from reaching the ultimate truth which he sought. He had the strength of mind to resist the appeal of even these intense spiritual joys.25


In July 1901, Bennett gave his first Buddhist address before the Hope Lodge of the Theosophical Society, Colombo. His subject was the Four Noble Truths. For the young Cassius Pereira it was a turning point which directed him towards his eventual renunciation.26 Almost certainly, Bennett, by this time, was speaking from the depths of his own conviction that renunciation, as a committed Buddhist, was the only path for him. During his visit Crowley concluded that, in spite of his experimentation, “Allan was already at heart a Buddhist. The more he studied the Tripitika, ‘the three baskets of the law’ … the more he was attracted.”27

Bennett decided to become ordained in Burma. Crowley’s writing suggests that Bennett saw Burma as a place where the Sangha was in a purer state than in Sri Lanka.28 Bennett was disillusioned, for instance, by such practices as “devil dances” …

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and the Kandy Perahera.29



Other accounts do not mention Bennett’s reason for leaving Sri Lanka but it is certain that he left realizing that the path of magic, psychic power, and esoteric lore was inadequate. In all his later writings he condemned it.30 The message of the Four Noble Truths became uppermost.

In Burma

On 12th December 1901, Allan Bennett was ordained a novice at Akyab in Arakan, Burma. The name he took was the Venerable Ananda Maitreya. Later he changed the second name to the Pali, Metteyya. At Akyab, he continued his Buddhist studies, supported by Burmese lay people. Pereira and Crowley mention one Dr. Moung Tha Nu, the resident medical officer, as one of these.31 Six months later, on 21st May 1902, he received upasampada, higher ordination, under the Venerable Sheve Bya Sayadaw. Crowley visited Ananda Metteyya in February 1902 and it is again interesting to see through his eyes. He refers to Allan, in robes, as seeming to be “of gigantic height, as compared to the diminutive Burmese” but claims, “The old gentleness was still there.”32

Unfortunately, Crowley also referred to the return of Ananda Metteyya’s asthma. He puts it down to the cold air of the pre-dawn alms rounds and shares a wish that “sanctity was not so incompatible with sanity.”33 As a new monk, Ananda Metteyya would not have wanted to have broken any of the accepted practices.

The next time Crowley visited Burma, Ananda Metteyya was in Rangoon. He went there soon after his higher ordination and stayed in a monastery about two miles from the city. Two interesting points emerge from Crowley’s writing: the suspicion of the British authorities, who imagined political dangers when Europeans “thought Burmese beliefs better than their European equivalents.”34 and the fact that Ananda Metteyya’s health was still not good because of lack of proper medical attention and “his determination to carry out the strict rules of the Order.”35

Yet, it was from Rangoon that Ananda Metteyya began to plan what he had come to see as his life’s mission – bringing Buddhism to the West. The first step was the forming of the Buddhasasana Samagama, an international Buddhist society which aimed at the global consociation of Buddhists. Its first meeting was on 13th march 1903. Ven. Ananda Metteyya took the role of General Secretary. The Honorary Secretary was Dr. E.R. Rost, a Westerner and member of the Indian Medical Service.36 Buddhism - An Illustrated Quarterly Review was launched, edited by Ananda Metteyya, the first volume appearing in September 1903.

The six issues of Buddhism which were published between 1903 and 1908 -- it soon became evident that it could not be a quarterly review -- give much information about Ananda Metteyya's priorities. His vision was missionary and international. The aims of the journal, as set out in the first issue, were:

Firstly, to set before the world the true principles of our Religion, believing, as we do, that these need only to be better known to meet with a wide-spread acceptance among the peoples of the West -- an acceptance which, if manifested in practice, would in our opinion do much to promote the general happiness -- Secondly, to promote, as far as lies in our power, those humanitarian activities referred to in the latter portion of THE FAITH OF THE FUTURE37 and, Thirdly, to unite by our Journal, as by a common bond of mutual interest and brotherhood, the many Associations with Buddhist aims which now exist.38


From Rangoon, Ananda Metteyya maintained a network of international contacts and kept abreast of developments in science, Buddhist scholarship, and politics in Buddhist countries. By 1904, the journal was being sent free to between 500 and 600 libraries in Europe on the condition that each copy be left on the Reading Room table until the next was received. 39. Burmese donations made this possible. The Buddhasasana Samagama gained official representatives in Austria, Burma, Ceylon, China, Germany, Italy, America, and England. The articles published were drawn from scholars worldwide. Ananda Metteyya's comments embraced all his interests, religious, scientific, and political. He could write about the life of philosopher-scientist Herbert Spencer, discoveries concerning the origins of life at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge,40 and research on the dangerous effects of alcohol.41 Since Sri Lanka is also mentioned in every edition of Buddhism, it is obvious that Ananda Metteyya remained in close contact with the country and he went back there at one point. Pereira records that he gave "several inspiring addresses from the Maitriya Hall."42

During these years, two men who eventually became better known than Ananda Metteyya joined him. The first was J.F. McKechnie. Inspired by Ananda Metteyya's article on Nibbana in the first issue of Buddhism, he wrote to him in 1904 to offer his services in business management free. He was accepted. Once in Burma, he learnt Pali and took on far more than business management as his book reviews in the October 1905 issue of Buddhism reveal. By 1908, he was Ven. Silacara. Then, by the beginning of 1905, Ven. Nyanatiloka was also staying with Ananda Metteyya. Nyanatiloka or Anton Gueth was born in 1879 in Wiesbaden, Germany. He was ordained in Burma in 1903, after a period of exhausting travel which had included Sri Lanka. Ananda Metteyya facilitated his return to Sri Lanka to learn Pali,43 a return which sealed the future for Nyanatiloka. He spent almost all his monk's life there, and at his death was given a state funeral.44

The Mission to England

Health continued to elude Ven. Ananda Metteyya. This was one reason why the publication of Buddhism became erratic. Apologies for delays due to illness appear in almost every issue. Yet, his ailment was not serious enough to prevent him from commencing the first Buddhist mission to Britain. Ananda Metteyya had entered the Order “chiefly with the object of eventually forming a Sangha in the West.”45 His life was inspired by the conviction that the West had only to understand the message of Buddhism to embrace it. He was convinced the West was ready. Yet, the first step in this process was not an unqualified success.

Ven. Ananda Metteyya arrived in England on 23rd April 1908 with some of his most faithful supporters, Mrs. Hla Oung, her son, and his wife. He remained until 2nd October of the same year, “the time allotted to the Mission,” according to Christmas Humphreys.46 The Buddhist Society of Great Britain and Ireland, formed in preparation for the mission the previous November, welcomed him eagerly.

See e.g. Harris (1998). The Buddhist Society of Great Britain and Ireland (BSGBI) was  founded by T. W. Rhys-Davids and others in November 1907 solely in anticipation of Bennett‘s  arrival and the BSGBI is similarly regarded as the first of its kind.

-- The First Buddhist Mission to the West: Charles Pfoundes and the London Buddhist mission of 1889 – 1892, by Brian Bocking, University College Cork; Laurence Cox, National University of Ireland Maynooth; and Shin‘ichi Yoshinaga, Maizuru National College of Technology


Ananda Metteyya himself told a Rangoon paper on his return that he was highly gratified with the visit47 but the response of some of his British supporters was different. Disappointment comes across, for instance, in the account later written by Christmas Humphreys. The positive, according to Humphreys, was this:

He was then thirty-six years of age, tall, slim, graceful, and dignified. The deep-set eyes and somewhat ascetic features, surmounted by the shaven head, made a great impression on all who met him, and all who remember him speaking of his pleasing voice and beautiful enunciation. It seems that his conversation was always interesting; and in his lighter moments he showed a delightful sense of humour, while his deep comprehension of the Dhamma, his fund of analogy from contemporary science, and power and range of thought combined to form a most exceptional personality.48


Humphreys continues to explain that by “correspondence and constant interviews” Ananda Metteyya collected around him a body of scholars who supported the mission and that he “formally admitted into the fold of Buddhism all who wished to be received.” Yet, the negative side of the mission included: the difficulties supporters faced in ensuring Ananda Metteyya could follow the Vinaya rules; the uncomprehending and sometimes ribald laughter leveled at his orange robes in the streets; the uncharismatic nature of Ananda Metteyya’s public speaking style; and his frequent ill-health. Ananda Metteyya was understandably unwilling to compromise when it came to handling money, eating after noon, or sleeping in the same house as a woman. This meant he could not journey alone, his programme had to allow for a meal before noon, and the team needed two houses. For a small group of supporters, this was perhaps more than they had bargained for.49

As for his communication skills, in private conversation, he was probably engaging and impressive. Humphreys declares that “he was popular wherever he went.”50 Yet, in public speaking, he seems to have been self-effacing, avoiding eye contact by keeping his eyes cast down on a prepared script, from which he deviated little. Such an attitude would have been the norm for a monk in Burma, but for those who had enthusiastically hoped for a flowering of Buddhism in Britain, his inability to engage with his audience would have been disappointing, perhaps even embarrassing. The deterioration of his health must also have caused serious concern.

There can be no doubt, however, that the young Buddhist Society was strengthened by Ananda Metteyya’s visit because it attracted enthusiastic scholars. It also sealed a friendship with Burma which was to prove invaluable in terms of financial support in the years ahead. The Buddhist Review, the organ of the newly-formed Buddhist Society, was able to say in 1909 that he left behind him “golden opinions and the friendship and respect of all who had the privilege of meeting him.”51

Years of Crisis

Ven. Ananda Metteyya hoped that he would return to England in two and a half years to establish a permanent Buddhist community in the West.52 This was the next step in his mission plan. The hope died. He remained in Burma until 1914. During 1909, records show that he was still mentioned with much respect at The Buddhist Society in Britain. For instance, he and his colleagues were congratulated for pressing successfully for Buddhism to be taught in schools in Burma.53 The 1911 mission was anticipated. Yet, as time passed, he was mentioned less and less. Ven. Silacara’s name began to arise more often than his in The Buddhist Review. In 1912, Ananda Metteyya appeared in the Minutes as having sent many copies of his book, The Religion of Burma, to the Society as a present54 but when bringing a bhikkhu to England was discussed later in the year55 he was not mentioned. It was Ven. Silacara who was eventually considered.56 By 1914, Ananda Metteyya’s mission was remembered with respect but he was no longer considered a possible future missionary.

One reason for this silence, of course, was his health. According to Cassius Pereira, his health began to fail rapidly on his return to Burma, with gallstone trouble superimposed on his chronic asthma. “He was operated on twice,” Pereira wrote, “and on the urgent advice of his doctors, he reluctantly decided to leave the Order where he had now attained the seniority of Thera or Elder.”57 Pereira did not give a date for this. In 1912 and 1913, The Buddhist Society was still referring to him as Ven. Ananda Metteyya,58 but it is possible that he had already disrobed by this time. In 1914 doctors in Burma pressed him to leave the country if his life was to be saved. His Burmese friends, therefore, sent him to England where he was to meet up with his sister, who had come from America to lead him back to her home in California. A passage from Liverpool was booked but the ship’s doctor refused Bennett permission to board because he feared the American authorities would deny him a landing permit on health grounds. His sister travelled without him. Bennett, now a lay person, was left to the mercy of British well-wishers.

From this point onwards, Allan Bennett’s story was a sad one. A member of the Liverpool Branch of The Buddhist Society, a doctor, took him in and gave him incessant medical care. During the First World War his sister came back from America but she stayed with friends and could not look after her brother. For the doctor’s family, the financial and emotional burden of having a chronically sick, prematurely old person in the house was great. Mrs. Hla Oung, offered 10.00 pounds a year towards maintenance but it was not enough. At this point an anonymous group of well-wishers were forced to write to The Buddhist Review in 1916 appealing for money to save Bennett from being placed “in some institution supported by public charity.”59 His asthma attacks were occurring now more than once a day.

Help did come, from overseas as well as Britain. Yet, Bennett’s final years were far from comfortable. The First World War, which killed a generation of young people in the trenches of France, had a profound effect on him, as it did on many sensitive Westerners. It drove him into deep introspection about the human condition, the sustainability of Western culture, and the contribution of Buddhism. There was also the ever present awareness that his health had prevented him from realizing his hopes for Buddhist outreach in Britain. Yet, the very trauma of the war eventually impelled him into writing and speaking again. In the winter of 1917-18, he was persuaded by Clifford Bax to give a series of papers to a private audience in Bax’s studio. These were later published as “The Wisdom of the Aryas, just two months before his death.

Then, on Vesak Day (May) 1918, Bennett gave to The Buddhist Society what Christmas Humphreys called “a ‘fighting speech’ which aroused the listening members to fresh enthusiasm.”60 It marked a return to active work. He opened by reminding his listeners that it was ten years since his mission to Britain, “the first Buddhist Mission which for over ten centuries had been sent forth from any Buddhist country.” He reported with sadness that the parent body of The Buddhist Society of Great Britain and Ireland, the Buddhasasana Samagama, had completely broken up, and he referred to the war as “the opening of an era of well-nigh universal calamity and woe.”61. He went on to tackle the central question of how the “priceless treasure of the Law” could offer solace, strength, and clear vision even when “it appears that all our world is rocking about us to its fall.” The wider content of his talk I will deal with later. What is important here is that Allan Bennett returned to active work in Britain. He seems to have been helped financially by friends in Britain and Sri Lanka. Cassius Pereira refers to Clifford Bax and Dr. C.A. Hewavitarana as patrons.62

According to one account, Bennett moved to London in 1920.63 Although he was incapacitated for weeks at a time, he took over the editorship of The Buddhist Review from D.B. Jayatilaka, who returned to Sri Lanka. He spoke at meetings organized by the Buddhist Society and became actively involved in the Society’s plans. His conviction that Buddhism offered hope for the West remained unshaken, as his first editorial in 1920 made clear:

These facts, we consider, justify us in our conclusion that in the extension of this great Teaching lies not only the solution of the ever-growing religious problems of the West; but even, perhaps, the only possible deliverance of the western civilization from that condition of fundamental instability which now so obviously and increasingly prevails.64


By 1922, however, Allan Bennett was dying. The January 1922 edition of The Buddhist Review was the last that he edited and indeed the last that was published. Before his death he was reported to have lived at 90 Eccles Road, Clapham Junction. His financial situation was grave, but help continued to come from Dr. Hewavitarana and probably Cassius Pereira. He died on 9th March 1923. A Buddhist funeral service was prepared by Francis Payne, a prominent Buddhist and convert from the 1908 mission, who was present when he died. Dr. Hewavitarana cabled money from Sri Lanka to buy a grave in Morden Cemetery in South London. Humphreys wrote that “flowers and incense were placed on the grave by members of the large gathering assembled, and so there passed from human sight a man whom history may some time honour for bringing to England as a living faith the Message of the All-Enlightened One.”65

Travers Christmas Humphreys, QC (15 February 1901 – 13 April 1983) was an English barrister who prosecuted several controversial cases in the 1940s and 1950s, and later became a judge at the Old Bailey. He also wrote a number of works on Mahayana Buddhism and in his day was the best-known British convert to Buddhism. In 1924 he founded what became the London Buddhist Society, which was to have a seminal influence on the growth of the Buddhist tradition in Britain.

-- Christmas Humphreys, by Wikipedia


No gravestone has ever been placed on Allan Bennett’s grave. This could have been due to suspicions which continued to surround his name after his death. For instance, Bennett never completely outlived his reputation as a magician and a member of the Order of the Golden Dawn. The young Buddhist Society was keen to dissociate itself from anything esoteric. Allan Bennett’s involvement as a young man with a movement which was controversial and his early friendship with Aleister Crowley, by then a known occultist, would have been cause enough for suspicion. It is significant that several articles during his lifetime took pains to stress that he was not a man of “mystery”, that he had rejected that part of his past. “It is necessary to say this, since some attempts have been made to surround him with mystery. There is no more mystery attending the Bhikkhu Ananda Metteyya than any other person,” an editorial of The Buddhist Review stated in 1909.66 Clifford Bax said something similar in 1918: “At first glance I realized that he never could have played at being a man of mystery.”67

Ven. Ananda Metteyya rejected the path of “mystery” as a hindrance to the goal. It was not “mystery” and magic which taxed his mind but two quite different aspects of life: the search for truth and the pain within human existence. He brought the sensitivity of the poet and the mind of the scientist to this. Yet, he occasionally shared a conviction that there was a power, an energy, which moved to goo and which could be used by humans on their way to liberation. This could mistakenly have struck some Western Buddhists as touching the theism they had rejected. As for his friendship with Aleister Crowley, it ended as Ananda Metteyya travelled further and further from the path Crowley chose. His influence on Crowley was great but ultimately Crowley chose to reject it.

Another reason for suspicion might have been his illness. Throughout his life, he was reliant on dependency-creating drugs such as cocaine, opium, and morphine, no doubt first prescribed by a doctor, although by the end of his life some of the dangers were known and new remedies were being tried. The consequence, however, could have been times of hallucination, giving the appearance of the “mystery” with which some linked him. The truth is that it was an injustice to a person who, in his writing, communicated the message of the Buddha with a poetic sensitivity and a scientific directness which still speaks to us today.

_______________

Notes:

1. Clifford Bax, “Ananda Metteyya” in The Middle Way, Vol. 43:1, May 1968, p. 23.

2. Ibid., p. 27.

3. The Buddhist, 28th April 1923, p. 6.

4. Dr. Cassius Pereira was a prominent Sri Lankan Buddhist. Together with Ven. Narada, Dr. W.A. de Silva, and Hema Basnayake, in 1921 he founded the Servants of the Buddha, an organization which provided a forum for English-speaking Buddhists to discuss the Dhamma. At the age of 65 he was ordained with the monastic name Kassapa, receiving both novice ordination and higher ordination on the same day. Throughout his life, he was an influential exponent of Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka, stressing its rationality. His father built Maitriya Hall (Lauries Road, Bambalapitiya), which was named after Ananda Metteyya.

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It is early Saturday evening and the Galle Road at Bambalapitiya is a comfortable cacophony of weekend activity but a turn into Lauries’ Road, finds the Mettaramaya; an escape from the noisy sights and sounds. The temple this evening is a peaceful hum of activity as a few individuals make their way past the stupa to the back, where stands a chapel- a building one would hardly expect to see in a temple.

If such a sight caused surprise in the mind of the casual observer, it clearly didn’t bother the men and women who removed their shoes at the entrance and stepped inside; a practice that has been taking place for close to a century as they prepared for the weekly meeting of the society of ‘The Servants of the Buddha’.

“In my personal view it goes to real Buddhist philosophy,” explains Mrs. Jayakuru who had joined the society in the early 90s. More of a forum rather than a typical “bana” or sermon, meetings take place every Saturday at 4.30 p.m. “We go through the minutes of the previous session and then meditate for about five minutes,” clarifies Dr. Kosala De Silva, President of the society. A guest speaker either from the clergy and laity conducts the session. For the members, it is comprehensive and allows them to question the Dhamma and share their views and opinions- all in English.

With a history that has witnessed many events such as birth of the country’s independence and two world wars, the walls of the Maitri Hall, as the chapel is known have always provided its visitors with a spiritual escape while offering them the freedom and liberty to examine Buddhism from a layman’s point of view.

Established almost 40 years after the acclaimed publication “The Light of Asia” by Sir Edwin Arnold, KCIE CSI, the study of Buddhism in English built a bridge between the East, the West and Buddhism. With interest in the doctrine spreading across America and Europe over the next few decades, an Englishman -- Allan Bennett was ordained as a Bhikkhu in Ceylon, believed to have been only the second Englishman to take the robes. As Ven. Ananda Metteyya, he had a vision of teaching the Dhamma in English especially in Anglicised schools as Buddhism was not part of the school curriculum at that point.

Having heard Ven. Ananda give a sermon, Dr. Cassius A. Pereira, LMS (Cey), LRCP (Lond) embraced Buddhism. Ordained as Bhikkhu Kassyapa of the Vajiraramaya Temple, he worked diligently toward the spread of the Dhamma and together with Ven. Rambukwelle Siddhartha Thera, Ven Narada Maha Swaminwahanse and a few others formed the Servants of the Buddha Society in 1921, becoming its first president.

Since its inception the society has attracted the clergy and laity, scholars and even those of different faiths.

Over the years little has changed within the society. The medium of communication remains English. In fact the Servants of the Buddha is believed to be one of the only Buddhist societies in Sri Lanka to conduct their meetings exclusively in English. While introducing Buddhism to schools was a primary objective, Dr. De Silva believes that conducting sessions in English may have been done to create a sense of familiarity among English speaking Colombo of the colonial ’20s.

Another, if not the most atypical feature of the society is in the hall itself. The Maitri Hall located at the back of the Mettaramaya with long open doors familiar to a classical church building, has a chapel-like atmosphere, complete with a high ceiling, pews and even an altar. Softly lit, one feels quite at home seated in one of the pews, feet touching the cold cement floor. The building is rustic and simple. A small vestry of sorts adjoins the hall, where two cupboards make up the humble ‘library’ with books dating back to the last century. “The building itself captures attention,” adds a member, and yes, it is in need of repair.

For Dr. De Silva little has changed since he can remember. Although he joined only about three and a half years ago the Servants of the Buddha is a society linked to him from his childhood. “My father used to come for meetings, even from Panadura,” he reminisces. Having attended Dhamma school as a child, his father’s spiritual influence was deeply rooted within young Kosala, who would later on become a keynote speaker at many a meeting, before becoming a member, and more recently the society’s president.

Mrs. Jayakuru joined the society during her late husband‘s period as President. “We have a lot of professionals -- lawyers, doctors, engineers, even naval officers,” she explains, as to the diverse group of people who make their way to the Maitri Hall with a thirst of knowledge and maybe even inner peace.

Retired teacher Badra Yatamagamuwa who has been attending meetings for the past 30 years still doesn’t call herself a member per se. She comes for the opportunity to listen and learn, she says, and some speakers go “straight to the heart”.

The weekly meetings attract around 20 to 25 people, while they do see bigger crowds especially young people coming in on Vesak poya day.

On the last Saturday in July when the Sunday Times dropped in, the meeting was devoted to one and a half hours of meditation. Not everyone was able to remain in full concentration, and some waited till the end to ask questions and discuss their own doubts with Prof. Rajah De Alwis, the guest speaker for the day. All in an atmosphere of calm that seems to characterise the society.

-- A Spiritual Escape, by Pumima Pilapitiya, The Sunday Times


5. Alec Robertson, a prominent exponent of Buddhism, has been linked with the Servants of the Buddha since 1948, since 1970 as its President. He was a close associate of Dr. Cassius Pereira.

6. Ven. Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Thera was born in 1896 and entered the Bhikkhu Sangha in 1911, gaining higher ordination in 1916. During his life, he has earned international renown as a scholar and spiritual leader. Still alive and in good health at the time this publication goes to press (1998), he was one of the few people I met during my research having first-hand memories of Ananda Metteyya’s era.

7. The Confessions of Aleister Crowley: An Autohagiography, eds. John Symonds & Kenneth Grant (Penguin (Arkana), Harmondsworth, U.K., 1989), p. 180.

8. Kenneth Grant, The Magical Revival (Frederick Muller Ltd., London, 1972), p. 82n.

9. Confessions, p. 234.

10. The Magical Revival, p. 85.

11. See R.A. Gilbert, The Golden Dawn: Twilight of the Magicians. A Concise history, drawing on new material from privately printed and manuscript sources, of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (The Aquarian Press, Wellingborough, UK, 1983); Ellic Howe, The Magicians of the Golden Dawn: A Documentary History of a Magical Order (The Aquarian Press, Wellingborough, UK, 1972); Kenneth Grant, The Magical Revival.

12. Confessions, p. 178.

13. Ibid., p. 179.

14. Ibid., p. 181.

15. The Magical Revival, p. 82.

16. Ibid., p. 85.

17. See Confessions, p. 180; The Magical Revival, p. 85.

18. Confessions, p. 234.

19. Ibid., pp. 181-82.

20. In the late 1880s, the remedies prescribed by doctors for asthma included cocaine, opium, and morphine. Bennett was heavily dependent on them in Britain. See Confessions, p. 180; James Adam, Asthma and its Radical Treatment (Henry Kimpton, London, 1913), which advises the use of cocaine and, with restrictions, morphine; A.C. Wootton, Chronicles of Pharmacy (MacMillan & Co. Ltd., London, 1910), which affirms the beneficial effects of laudanum, an opium-based drug, in a variety of ailments; John C. Thorowgood, Asthma and Chronic Bronchitis (Bailliere Tindall and Cox, London, 1894), which recommends arsenical cigarettes, cocaine, cannabis, and morphine together with less toxic drugs.

21. The Buddhist, 28th April 1923, p. 6.

22. Confessions, p. 247.

23. Ibid., p. 246.

24. Dr. Cassius A. Pereira, “Why do I renounce the World?” Ceylon Daily News, Vesak Number 2491 (1947), (Colombo, Sri Lanka), p. 67.

25. Confessions, p. 249.

26. See “Why do I renounce the World?”, p. 67.

27. Confessions, p. 237.

28. Ibid., p. 237.

29. Ibid., p. 250.

30. See Buddhism, Vol. 1:4, pp. 677-68, where Ananda Metteyya justifies representation of the first International Freethought Conference because Buddhism is opposed to all supernaturalism; Buddhism (Vol. 1:1), p. 27, where Buddhism is divorced from the esoteric.

31. See The Buddhist, 28th April 1923, p. 6; Confessions, p. 271.

32. Confessions, p. 270.

33. Ibid., p. 271.

34. Ibid., p. 462.

35. Ibid., p. 464.

36. For further information about Rost see Christmas Humphreys Sixty Years of Buddhism in England (1907-1967) (The Buddhist Society, London, 1968).

37. "The Faith of the Future" mentions arbitration instead of warfare; equality between the sexes; humane treatment of criminals.

38. Buddhism: An Illustrated Quarterly Review, Vol. 1:1, pp. 63-64.

39. Ibid. Vol. 1:3, p. 473.

40. Ibid. Vol. 1:3, pp. 503ff.; Vol. 2:1, p. 119.

41. Ibid., Vol. 1:3, p. 515.

42. The Buddhist, 28th April 1923, p. 6.

43. Unpublished letter from Ven. Ananda Metteyya to Dr. Cassius Pereira (Forest Hermitage, Kandy, Sri Lanka).

44. William Peiris, The Western Contribution to Buddhism (Motilal Barnasidass, Delhi, 1973), p. 139.

45. The Buddhist Review, Vol. 9, 1917, p. 184.

46. Humphreys, Sixty Years of Buddhism in England, p. 7. It is unlikely that Ananda Metteyya came to England intending to stay on permanently and that failure sent him back to Burma. More probably, his visit was intended to begin a process that would eventually produce an indigenous monastic Sangha in the West.

47. Ibid., p. 7.

48. Ibid., p. 6.

49. See also Sandra Bell, “British Buddhism and the Negotiation of Tradition,” paper given at a symposium on “The Invention and Re-Invention of Tradition” held at St. Mary’s College, 22-24 September 1994. Bell writes, “Those middle classes and upper class late Victorian Londoners who chose to support the activities of Ananda Metteyya were, despite his British origins, faced with alien forms of behavior to which they had difficulty in adapting.”

50. Christmas Humphreys, “Ananda Metteyya,” in The Middle Way, Vol. 47, 1972, p. 133.

51. The Buddhist Review, Vol. 1, 1909, p. 3

52. Ibid., p. 3.

53. Minute Book, December 3rd, 1909 (The Buddhist Society, London).

54. Ibid., April 4th, 1912.

55. Ibid., November 1st, 1912.

56. Ibid., December 23rd, 1914.

57. The Buddhist, 28th April 1923, p. 6.

58. See Minute Book, April 30th, 1912; March 14th, 1913; December 9ths, 1913 (The Buddhist Society, London).

59. The Buddhist Review, Vol. 8, 1916, pp. 217-19.

60. Humphreys, Sixty Years, p. 14.

61. The Buddhist Review, Vol. 9, p. 141.

62. The Buddhist, 28th April 1923, p. 6

63. Kenneth Mullen, “Ananda Metteyya: Buddhist Pioneer” in The Middle Way, Vol. 64, 1989.

64. The Buddhist Review, Vol. 10, pp. 186-87.

65. Humphreys, Sixty Years, pp. 16-17.

66. The Buddhist Review, Vol. 1, 1909, p. 3.

67. Clifford Bax, “Ananda Metteyya” in The Middle Way, Vol. 43:1, p. 23.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Curuppumullage Jinarājadāsa
by Theosophy Wiki
Accessed: 10/19/19

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


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C. Jinarājadāsa

Curuppumullage Jinarājadāsa (16 December 1875 – 18 June 1953), was a Sri Lankan scholar, lecturer, and writer who served as the fourth President of the Theosophical Society based in Adyar, Chennai, India from 1945 to 1953. An accomplished linguist, he traveled extensively for fifty years as an international lecturer, speaking in English, French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese, as well as Sinhalese and Tamil. He was known to his wide circle of friends as "Raja", "Brother Raja", or "CJ".

See also Jinarājadāsa writings.

Early years and education

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CJ as a young man

Mr. Jinarājadāsa was born on December 16, 1875 in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) of Sinhalese Buddhist parents in a town about fifteen miles (24 km) south of the capital city, Colombo. The name Curuppumullage indicates a person "Curuppu" living in the house or town of Mullage. The surname Jinarājadāsa can be interpreted in various ways, but is a combination of three words: jina (winner), raja (king), and dāsa (servant).

His association with Theosophy began at the age of thirteen when, as one of the first students of Ananda College, he met C. W. Leadbeater. Brother Raja wrote of that year:

There was a certain day for me in November 1889, when I was thirteen when my feet were "washed in the blood of the heart." That day the Master received me as his chela.[1]


He wrote more of this event in his book Christ and Buddha.

The following year, A. P. Sinnett asked Mr. Leadbeater to return from India to England to tutor his son Denny and George Arundale, Leadbeater brought Raja with him. The three boys were close in age: Raja was born in 1875, Denny in 1877, and George in 1878. Jinarājadāsa met Madame Blavatsky for the first time. For two years, Raja and Leadbeater lived in the Sinnett household, but after that they moved into tiny quarters supported by Leadbeater's work giving English languages to foreigners. Raja attended classes to prepare for university.[2]

On March 14, 1893 he became a member of the Theosophical Society through the London Lodge, and 1894 was admitted into its Inner Group where he "was present at the intimate and informal gatherings of the Group which were held on most Sunday mornings in Mr. Sinnett's library for discussion."[3]

In 1896, Raja was admitted to St John’s College, Cambridge, and four years later took his Degree in the Oriental Languages Tripos. He also studied Law, and was coxswain of the College boat in the rowing team. He then went back to Ceylon where he became Vice-Principal (1900-1901) of Ananda College in Colombo. In 1902 he returned to Europe to study literature and science at the University of Pavia, Italy. In 1904 he went to America, where he began his career as an international lecturer of the Theosophical Society.[4]

Influences on C. Jinarājadāsa

In 1928, Mr. Jinarājadāsa spoke of some major intellectual influences on his life:

There are four great writers of the West who have influenced my thinking very profoundly. One is Richard Wagner. It was his ethical conception of life, linked to his marvellous creations, that made a profound impression on me. Another is Plato. As far as the West is concerned, ever since Plato wrote, wherever there is any kind of philosophical thought which deals with civilization or tries to understand the principles of art, every political writer and every exponent of art has more or less to follow Plato's trail... The third great writer is Dante, whom I consider the greatest poet humanity has yet produced... The supreme value of Dante is that he is utterly unique, so far as I know as always rising with his poetic art to the plane of the Buddhi. Whatever he says has a quality of intuition about it which is not characteristic of many other great poets...

The other writer is Ruskin. I well remember the great revolution which took place in my whole attitude toward life when I began to receive the volumes of Ruskin which Bishop Leadbeater sent to me in 1900. He had always been an admirer of Ruskin and he was brought up in the tradition of looking at Ruskin as someone very great indeed. When I received those volumes, there was that exhilaration which you yourself doubtless experienced when you came across Theosophy. It was a revelation... He emphasized the thought that the laws that should govern human life are not the ordinary laws of supply and demand as stated in the schools but that the primary factor in economic life is the human being, not as a producer but as a spiritual being who has an eternal destiny.... Ruskin refused to acknowledge that theology as such was separate from life, or that political economy was not as necessary to the salvation of the soul as any kind of prayers...[5]


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A. P. Warrington with Jinarâjadâsas

Marriage

In 1916, Mr. Jinarājadāsa married Miss Dorothy M. Graham, an English member who founded the Women's Indian Association with Margaret Cousins.

Theosophical work

During the administration of Annie Besant, Brother Raja served as Vice President of the Society, from 1921 to 1928, during the presidency of Annie Besant. For a few years beginning in 1934, he was Head of The Manor, Mosman, Sydney, Australia.[6]

He was one of the founding members of the Order of the Brothers of Service, along with his wife Dorothy and Fritz Kunz. In 1934 he succeeded C. W. Leadbeater as Outer Head of the Esoteric Section.

Mr Jinarâjadâsa was editor of The Theosophist for three periods of time. Annie Besant turned over that responsibility when she was interned for three months in 1917, and again in 1931-33 during her last illness. He resumed the editorship during his term in office as President of the Society from 1946–53.

TO BE EXPANDED

Travels as international lecturer
Because of his deep knowledge of Theosophy, his inspiring personality, and his proficiency in English, French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese, Raja was much in demand as a lecturer. The first speaking tour was in 1904 in the United States of America. He presented lectures at annual conventions of the international Society in 1914, 1917, 1921, and many times afterward.

In 1930, Brother Raja was asked to deliver the Blavatsky Lecture. His topic was "The Personality of H. P. Blavatsky".

This is a partial listing of his lecture tours: TO BE ADDED

Adyar library and archives

During the years 1930-1932 and 1935, Mr. Jinarâjadâsa served as director of the Adyar Library and Research Centre. TO BE EXPANDED

He was highly engaged in organizing the archives of the Society, and in publishing materials found there. TO BE EXPANDED

Presidency

Following the death of George Arundale,Mr. Jinarâjadâsa ran unopposed for election to the presidency. He took office as President of the Society on February 17, 1946 and served until 1953, when he resigned due to illness. His successor was N. Sri Ram.

According to his official biography:

As President, during the post-war years, Brother Râjâ, as he was affectionately called, was very concerned about Adyar as it was affected by a shortage of workers, military occupation of the ocean frontage and consequent public traffic through the estate. He did his best to free Adyar of all its entanglements and restore it to its earlier serenity, as the centre of Theosophical thought and the symbol of the unity of the Society, and preserving its international character.

In 1949 Jinarâjadâsa founded the School of the Wisdom at Adyar, for the study of Theosophical teachings in depth as given in the textbooks, but primarily because a student knowing these things could with widened vision ‘sit in the centre’ of his own being and ‘enjoy clear day’ in his understanding of the world of men and affairs. The School was also to devote its studies to the thoughts of the great and the affairs of men in the larger sense through historical time. Its yearly sessions attract students from several countries to this day. He tried to make the Headquarters once more a centre for students and gradually reorganized the estate for that purpose. Jinarâjadâsa could always present his thoughts with clear and delicate appreciation of the pictures his words would create in the minds of his readers.[7]


Other accomplishments:

1949 - Led an appeal by scholars to the new nation of India "to accord Sanskrit the honored position which belongs to it" as a foundational source of spiritual and practical wisdom.[8]

TO BE EXPANDED

Other activities

Brother Raja was fond of the American sport of baseball:

Base Ball originated in America. It was introduced into India by Mr. Jinarajadasa, who took with him on his return from this country a supply of bats, balls, gloves and rule books, and as always his work has taken root. We have a letter from Mr. Felix Layton, the Head Master of the Besant Theosophical School at Adyar, stating that that team has won the Madras Schools' Base Ball Championship. In other respects, also, the school is doing well.[9]


TO BE EXPANDED

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Final letter to Boris de Zirkoff

Final years

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Memorial service in Olcott Library

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Ashes scattered in Fox River

The strains of his travels took a toll on his health. In a 1946 letter to James Perkins he wryly commented on the hot climate of Adyar, India:

If only Adyar would cool off 20° between day and night we would manage quite well. As to my stay in Bangalore, the one who worked hardest was Elithe [Nisewanger, his secretary], because I gave several lectures and talks and she took them all down. The skin irritation stopped with 10° cooler than Adyar, but by compensation to equalize karmic debits, knees and particularly my left shoulder (I am left handed) got going. However, all these ups and downs are part of the order of the day.[10]


On February 17, 1953, suffering from diabetes and heart disease, Mr. Jinarājadāsa resigned from the presidency of the Society after one term in office. He was the only President who declined to stand for re-election, and in February of that year Nilakanta Sri Ram became his successor.

CJ had committed to a lecture tour of the United States. When he reached the headquarters of the American Section, he became ill. On June 10th he wrote a final letter to his longtime friend Boris de Zirkoff describing his heart attacks. Despite the earnest efforts of Dr. Henry A. Smith, other doctors, and the staff to help him, Mr. Jinarājadāsa passed away on June 18, 1953. A memorial service was held in the library, and all of his ashes were scattered on the Fox River by James S. Perkins, Kathrine Perkins, Helen Zahara, Caroline Tess, and Geoffrey Hodson, according to Brother Raja's specific instructions. A very detailed account of his final days was written by Mr. Perkins.[11]

A few years before his death, he composed an epitaph for himself:

He loved children, the sea,
Beethoven, Wagner’s Ring, the
Hallelujah Chorus, and his
Gospel was Ruskin.[12]


Writings

C. Jinarājadāsa was one of the foremost Theosophical writers. A list of his works is in a separate article, Jinarājadāsa writings.

In 1913 he was awarded the Subba Row Medal for his extensive contributions to Theosophical literature.

Articles are indexed in the Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals. Over 1600 articles are listed under the name Jinarājadāsa. Searching under CJ will result in a lengthy list that includes work by Charles Johnston, a Sanskrit scholar who was married to Madame Blavatsky's niece, and who was also known the same initials. Within the results list, the articles by Mr. Jinarājadāsa will include those in the periodicals: The Adyar Bulletin, The American Theosophist, The Australian ES Bulletin, The Herald of the Star, The Messenger, Sishya (The Student)], The Theosophic Messenger, The Theosophist, and World Theosophy. Articles by Charles Johnston appear in Theosophical Quarterly, Theosophy, The Path, and The Irish Theosophist.

Awards and honors

In 1913, Mr. Jinarājadāsa was awarded the Subba Row Medal for his contribution to Theosophical literature. A grove was planted at the Olcott campus with a plaque and stone bench. A Raja Commemorative Fund was established to support travel expenses of lecturers.

Photo gallery

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CJ with Ensor and Yarco, Theosophical Messenger, March 1911

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CJ in tent in Chicago, summer 1911.

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CJ as Fire Guard in World War II London. Image from TSA Archives.

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CJ with Sidney Cook, on Olcott campus, 1930s or 1940s.

Additional resources

Articles


• "C. Jinarajadasa" by Surendra Narayan. This article was originally published in Quest 93.6 (November-December 2005): 228-229.
• C Jinarajadasa 1875-1953 Memorial Program.

Pamphlets

• Jinarajadasa Collection in Archive.org.

Audio

• Theosophy UK C Jinarajadasa from the Theosophical Society in Nottingham and Leicester. Audio file on YouTube with photos.
• Occult Commentaries by C. W. Leadbeater, G. S. Arundale & C. Jinarajadasa

Social media

• Curuppumullage Jinarajadasa on Facebook.

Notes

1. C. Jinarājadāsa, The "K. H." Letters to C. W. Leadbeater (Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1941), 56.
2. C. Jinarājadāsa, The "K. H." Letters," 68.
3. C. Jinarājadāsa, The "K. H." Letters," 74.
4. "Jinarajadasa, Curuppumullage," The Theosophical Year Book, 1938. Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 189.
5. C. Jinarājadāsa, "Ruskin - A Herald of the New Age," The American Theosophist 34.11 (November, 1946), 245-247. Taken from unrevised notes of a lecture given in 1928.
6. "Jinarajadasa, Curuppumullage," The Theosophical Year Book, 1938. Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 189.
7. "C. Jinarājadāsa (1875–1953)", TS Adyar Web Page. Available at TS Adyar Web page.
8. "To Lovers of Sanskrit," The American Theosophist 38.1 (January, 1050), 23).
9. "Base Ball Championship at Adyar," The American Theosophist 28.5 (May, 1940), 117.
10. C. Jinarājadāsa letter to James S. Perkins, July 30, 1946. James S. Perkins Papers. Records Series 08.06. Theosophical Society in America Archives.
11. James S. Perkins to Dr. P. W. Van den Broek [at The Manor]. August 9, 1953. James S. Perkins Papers. Records Series 08.06. Theosophical Society in America Archives.
12. "C. Jinarājadāsa (1875–1953)," Theosophical Society, Adyar web page.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:46 am

Louis William Rogers
by Theosophy Wiki
Accessed: 10/19/19

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


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L. W. Rogers

Louis William Rogers was an American lecturer and editor who served from 1920 to 1931 as General Secretary and President of the American Theosophical Society in the Theosophical Society based in Adyar. He was a man of great energy and vision, who organized dozens of lodges in the United States.

Early life

Louis William Rogers was born in the Midwestern state of Iowa on May 28, 1859. He taught in the public schools of Iowa and Kansas for five years, beginning late in the 1870s.[1] In the 1880s Rogers became a public lecturer in the Free Thought movement, which had Rationalism as its underlying philosophy.

Railroad career and union activities

Rogers began a railroad career with a job as a brakeman, and went on to edit a series of periodicals related to railroads and their unions. In 1888 Rogers launched a short-lived newspaper, the Railroad Patriot of St. Joseph, Missouri.[1] The next year, he moved to Colorado, where he became active first in the Brotherhood of Railroad Brakemen and then in the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen.[1] From 1889 to 1892 he edited several periodicals - the Railroad Brakemen's Journal, the Denver Patriot, and the Vona Herald. Early in the 1890s Rogers returned to the Midwest, moving first to the rail hub of Galesburg, Illinois, then to Chicago, and finally in 1892 to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He published a new paper, the Age of Labor, which merged in 1893 with The Labor Advocate, a prominent labor newspaper of the day.[1] That year he helped to establish the Wisconsin Federation of Labor.[1]

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L. W. Rogers

American Railway Union activities

In 1894, former Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen official Eugene V. Debs established the American Railway Union (ARU), attempting to create an industrial union that joined all the railway workers in a powerful, centralized organization. Rogers became a member of the ARU's executive board, and was appointed editor of the organization's weekly newspaper, Railway Times.[1] In 1894, the United States Attorney General responded to the ARU's famous Pullman Strike by issuing an injunction ordering the union to cease striking against any train carrying U.S. Mail.[2] L. W. Rogers, Eugene V. Debs, and two other union officials were found to be in contempt of the injunction, and they surrendered to authorities on July 17, 1894. Bail was set at $3,000 each, and all four ARU officials waived the right to post bail. They were immediately taken to Cook County Jail. Rogers later recalled that the substantial amount set for bail was not the cause of the decision to waive bail, declaring, "If it was $2, I'd go to jail. This is a mighty test between labor and capital, and we will fight it to the finish."[3] The four were released on July 25.[4] After a trial, the union and its leaders were found guilty of having conducted an illegal strike in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.[5] Rogers was sentenced to three months to be served in McHenry County Jail, which was served from June to August, 1895.[6] Debs and the union were subjected to further charges in a case that was defended all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court by the famous orator Clarence Darrow, although the unionists ultimately lost.

Later union activism

Rogers moved to Pueblo, Colorado, where he worked as an organizer for the American Federation of Labor, and edited another labor newspaper in 1896, the Industrial Advocate.[1] In 1897 he returned to Chicago to edit The Social Democrat, the journal of Eugene V. Debs' new politicl party, the Social Democratic Party of America. He also helped to organize Debs' lecture tours for two years.[1] He remained involved with the labor movement, serving as President of the Michigan Federation of Labor from 1898 to 1899.[1]

Theosophical Society activities

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L. W. Rogers

In the 20th Century, Rogers' attention turned to spirituality, after Eugene V. Debs gave him a book about reincarnation.[7]. In 1903 Rogers joined the American Theosophical Society.[8] He threw himself whole-heartedly into the Theosophical movement, lecturing extensively and publishing numerous books, articles, and pamphlets on reincarnation, life after death, karma, and dreams, and other matters. A firebrand speaker, Rogers was much in demand as a lecturer. Within fifteen years he had organized 53 new lodges.[9]

From April, 1908 to October, 1909 he edited a periodical with the name American Theosophist, published in Albany, New York.

Over the course of many years, Mr. Rogers maintained a close association with Annie Besant and C. W. Leadbeater. He made two world-wide lecture tours through Europe, the Far East, and Australia.[10]

Mr. Rogers’ granddaughter, Virginia Roach, commented on his strong friendship with Manly Hall, in an interview conducted by Robert and Leatrice Bonnell: “They were the closest of friends and spent many evenings exchanging views of lecturing locations pointed out on a world map spread before them. She also recalled the many Hall lectures, which L. W. enthusiastically attended.”[11]

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L. W. Rogers with members in Caspar, Wyoming, 1940.

Lecture tours

THIS SECTION UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Both as a union organizer and as a Theosophical worker, Mr. Rogers was known for his great skill in lecturing.

An incident in 1934 illustrates the challenges of cross-country lecture tours:

Mr. Rogers and Grayson were on their way to Denver from St. Louis... when they struck an unexpected layer of loose sand, the car overturned and turned over at least twice on its way down an embankment. Mr. Rogers suffered a good many bruises and was badly shaken up, but a crushed finger was the only injury demanding hospital treatment. They were able to flag a train and get into Denver without too long delay, and Mr. Rogers kept his evening lecture engagement without allowing what he termed a rather disreputable appearance, to say nothing of a painful finger, to interfere.[12]


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L. W. and May Rogers in Hollywood

Theosophical Society activities of Rogers family

May Rogers accompanied her husband on many of his lecture tours, including two long visits to Australia. After L. W. had stirred up interest in a new location with his rousing public lectures, Maysie would teach a beginning class in Theosophy for two weeks, so that a new lodge could be left well-established. She also served for a time as secretary to Annie Besant in Adyar in 1929.

Sons Grayson and Stanley were also involved with the Society. In 1926 George S. Arundale, then General Secretary of the Australian Section, wrote that "We are indeed blessed with Mr. Stanley Rogers, a printing expert, the son of the American General Secretary and of Mrs. Rogers. What we should do without him I do not know."[13] Stanley worked in the printing department of Advance! Australia.[14]

Vice President and Acting President

He was elected Vice President in 1918 during the administration of A. P. Warrington.

1920 Convention

THIS SECTION UNDER CONSTRUCTION

On March 18, 1920, A. P. Warrington addressed a letter to the Trustees of the Section, announcing his resignation.[15] The annual convention that year was turbulent, but ultimately, Rogers was elected as President (General Secretary) of the Section.

President of the American Theosophical Society

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President L. W. Rogers at desk, 1927. Image from TSA Archives.

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Ceramic sculpture of L. W. Rogers by Lillian Zimmermann

His first actions as President were decisive. Within a month, he changed the venue for the Thirty-Fourth Annual Convention from Seattle to Chicago. The National Secretary, Foster Bailey, was replaced by Mrs. Betsey Jewett. At the same time, Rogers removed the editor of the Society's periodical, The Messenger, Alice Evans, who later became Alice Bailey. Mrs. Grace Boughton Voce became Editor. Woodruff Sheppard, the Publicity Director, was removed from his position, and Bruno Ussher temporarily took over.[16]

In May he published a statement of policy that he had promised to the membership. While the American Theosophical Society was sound financially, its affairs were complicated by the economic disarray of the Krotona Institute of Theosophy. Ultimately the property in Hollywood was sold. The Esoteric Section moved to Ojai, California, and Rogers moved headquarters operations back to Chicago, which he considered to be more suitable due to its central location. The Theosophical Book Concern was re-established to increase publication and distribution of Theosophical books. His plan was to emphasize publishing as a major activity of the national organization, and to strengthen the local groups with national lecturers. In 1920 alone, he opened 55 branches of the Society. A tireless organizer, he continually lectured all over the country.

By 1925, the headquarters location in Chicago had become very overcrowded, and an initiative was undertaken to find a new permanent location. Rogers and his board wanted to stay in a central location within 500 miles of Chicago, and to create a campus where administrative activities could be conducted along with educational events and retreats. The National Secretary Kay Campbell found suitable land in Wheaton, Illinois that eventually became known as the Olcott campus. Members donated and loaned money so that the headquarters building could be built, and operations were moved into it in September 1927. The headquarters structure was eventually renamed the L. W. Rogers Building in honor of the President who made it happen.

Among the other accomplishments of the Rogers administration are these:[17]

• Increasing membership from 3,000 to over 8,000 members.
• Increasing the number of lodges from 100 to 209.
• Founding the Theosophical Book Gift Institute.
• Revising the national by-laws to a more democratic platform.
• Founding the Messenger newsletter.
• Encouraging vegetarianism for establishing a Vegetarian Cooking Club.
• Establishing a Purchasing Service Bureau managed by Dr. Ernest Stone to sell hard-to-find foods and other items to members.

Image
90th birthday on May 28, 1949 in Florida

Later years

Sidney A. Cook took over as president in 1931. During the years after his presidency, Mr. Rogers continued to lecture around the country on behalf of the Society. In 1931 Mr. Rogers reported that 48 new members joined the St. Louis Lodge after a week of lectures, and regarded that as "the largest number ever obtained during a single week by one Lodge in his entire experience of 28 years."[18] Another spectacular success in his later years of lecturing came when he toured Mexico in 1939: "Inspired by the leadership of Mr. L. W. Rogers, thirty-eight members in Mexico City have joined hands in a new lodge for the spreading of Theosophy in Mexico. Mr. Rogers writes that thirty-six of these members are entirely new to the Society."[19]

In order to reach southern and eastern locations more easily, Rogers moved in 1944 from California to St. Petersburg, Florida, but in 1947 at age 88 he announced his retirement from the lecture circuit.

Instead he undertook expansion of the Theosophical Book Gift Institute. In the first year he and Mrs. Lillian Carr of Paterson Lodge (New Jersey) placed 5-6 books in each of 502 institutions - 254 public libraries, plus academic libraries, and collections in hospitals, naval bases, and prisons.[20]

The organization incorporated as an Illinois not-for-profit corporation in 1948. At the passing of Eugene Wix, who initially served as secretary-treasurer, Mr. Rogers took on the position of secretary, and Herbert A. Kern, Sr. became the treasurer. Rogers wrote,

Mr. Kern is not only a long-time member of The Theosophical Society but is a man with very wide business experience. T. G. B. I. is indeed fortunate to have him on its working staff.

With this improvement in its working force T. G. B. I. will carry on the work with renewed energy. Its past work has scattered thousands of theosophical books over the nation; and they are now available to readers in scores of universities, colleges, public libraries, hospitals, on the ships of the United States Navy and in military camps and training stations. [21]


Louis Rogers died in Santa Barbara, California, on April 18, 1953.[22]

Editorial work

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Rogers served as the editor of two of the Society's other periodicals — Ancient Wisdom, which he edited from 1935 to 1936, and The Voice, beginning in 1952.

Writings about Theosophy

Mr. Rogers wrote hundreds of columns and articles for The Messenger, The Theosophic Messenger, The American Theosophist, The Theosophist, Discovery, and other periodicals. They are listed in the Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals under the names "LW Rogers", "L W Rogers", and LWR. In 1949, Mr. Rogers was awarded the Subba Row Medal for his contributions to Theosophical literature.

These are some of his numerous books and pamphlets, listed in order of publication:

• The Evidence for Theosophy: A Lecture. Harrogate: Theosophical Publishing Committee, 1906.
• The Occultism in Shakespeare's Plays. New York: Theosophical Book Co., 1909. Available at Internet Archive and Hathitrust.
• Occultism as a Factor in Civilization: A Lecture on the Two Phases of Human Evolution Represented in the Civilization of the Occident and the Orient. Ridgewood, NJ: Theosophical Book Company, 1910.
• The Hidden Side of Evolution: A Lecture on the Reasonableness of the Existence of a Spiritual Hierarchy and the Guidance of Human Evolution. Chicago: L.W. Rogers, n.d. [c. 1910s].
• What Theosophy Is. Chicago: National Publicity Department, Theosophical Society, 1910.
• Soul Powers and Possibilities: A Lecture on Some of the Methods by which those powers that are latent in all human beings may be evolved. Ridgewood, N.J.: Theosophical Book Co., 1910.
• Karma: Nature's Law of Justice: A Lecture on the Law of Cause and Effect as Operating in Some of the Affairs of Love. Los Angeles: Theosophical Book Concern, n.d. [c. 1910s].
• Hints to Young Students of Occultism.
• 3rd Edition - Ridgewood, N.J.: The Theosophical Book Co., 1911. Available at Hathitrust.
• 4th Edition - Los Angeles: Theosophical Book Concern, 1917. Available at [Available at Hathitrust and another Hathitrust version.
• Chicago: Theosophical Theosophical Concern, 1931.
• The Inspired Life. Los Angeles: L.W. Rogers, 1915.
• Self Development and the Way to Power. Los Angeles: L.W. Rogers, 1916. Available at Overdrive Content Reserve and Hathitrust.
• Elementary Theosophy. Los Angeles: Theosophical Book Concern, 1917. Seven more edition by Theosophical Press and Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, Illinois. 1917 edition available online at Internet Archive and Hathitrust.
• The Life Sublime. Chicago: Theosophical Book Concern, 1917.
• Reincarnation from the Scientific Viewpoint: A Lecture Chicago: Theosophical Book Concern, 1917.
• Reincarnation: Do We Live on Earth Again? Chicago: National Publicity Dept., Theosophical Society, 1917.
• The Logic of Reincarnation: A Lecture. Chicago: Theosophical Book Co., 1918.
• Beyond the Border: A Lecture. Chicago: Theosophical Book Co., 1918.
• Occultism as a Factor in Civilization: A Lecture. Chicago: Theosophical Book Concern, 1918.
• Scientific Evidence of Future Life: A Lecture. Chicago: Theosophical Book Concern, 1918.
• The Invisible World About Us: A Lecture on the Unseen Regions Beyond the Grasp of the Physical Senses and the Life We Live After Bodily Death. Chicago: Theosophical Book Concern, 1918. Available at Hathitrust.
• Australian War Speeches and the Soldier Dead. Chicago: Theosophical Book Concern, c. 1918.
• Dreams and Premonitions. Chicago: Theosophical Book Concern, 1923 and Wheaton, Ill.: The Theosophical Press, 1948.
• Theosophical Questions Answered. Chicago: Theosophical Book Concern, 1924.
• Gods in the Making, and Other Lectures. Chicago: Theosophical Book Concern, 1925. Republished in 1950 as Man: An Embryo God, and Other Lectures.
• The Purpose of Life, and Other Lectures. Chicago: Theosophical Book Concern, 1925.
• The Soldier Dead; and A Scientific Religion. Chicago: Theosophical Book Concern, 1925.
• Universal Brotherhood. Chicago: Theosophical Concern, 1925.
• The Coming Civilization. Chicago: Theosophical Book Concern, 1934.
• Olcott Manual: First Series: Theosophy, Religion, Science, Philosophy. With Annie Besant. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Press, 1934.
• Reincarnation, and Other Lectures. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Press, n.d. [1940s].
• The Ghosts in Shakespeare: A Study of the Occultism in the Shakespeare Plays. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Press, 1949 and 1955; New York, Haskell House Publishers, 1972; and Folcroft, Pa.: Folcroft Library Editions, 1973. First edition was in 1925.
• Man: An Embryo God, and Other Lectures. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Press, 1950. Published in 1925 as Gods in the Making.
• Karma: The Law of Human Destiny. New York: Philosophers Book Shop, n.d.
• A World in Distress: the Remedy as Seen by the Theosophist coauthored by C. Jinarājadāsa and Charles Leadbeater.

Online resources

Articles


• Memories of L. W. Rogers by Robert Bonnell and Leatrice Kreeger-Bonnell.
Notes
1. tuart B. Kaufman, Peter J. Albert, and Grace Palladino (eds.), The Samuel Gompers Papers: Volume 4: A National Labor Movement Takes Shape, 1895-98, (Urbana, IL: Illinois University Press, 1991), 547-548.
2. David Ray Papke, The Pullman Case: The Clash of Labor and Capital in Industrial America., (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1999), 40.
3. Quoted in Papke, The Pullman Case, 44.
4. J. Robert Constantine (ed.), Letters of Eugene V. Debs: Volume 1, 1874-1912, (Urbana, IL: Illinois University Press, 1990), 72.
5. Papke, The Pullman Case, pp. 49-50.
6. Constantine (ed.), Letters of Eugene V. Debs: Vol. 1, pg. 98, fn. 9.
7. Joy Mills, 100 Years of Theosophy in America, Wheaton, Ill.: Theosophical Publishing House, 1987), 68.
8. Robert Bonnell and Leatrice Kreeger-Bonnell, Quest, 92:6 (Nov.-Dec. 2004), 224-226. Available at "Memories of L.W. Rogers,".
9. ""About the Candidates: L. W. Rogers," The American Theosophist" 33.4 (April, 1945), 86.
10. ""About the Candidates: L. W. Rogers," The American Theosophist" 33.4 (April, 1945), 86.
11. Robert Bonnell and Leatrice Kreeger-Bonnell, "Memories of L. W. Rogers" The Quest 92.6 (November-December 2004), 224-226. Available at Quest website.
12. Anonymous, "Mr. Rogers' Accident" The American Theosophist 22.6 (June, 1934), 139.
13. "News Items" The Messenger 14.3 (August 1926), 65.
14. "News Items" The Messenger 14.8 (Jan 1927), 180.
15. The Messenger (April, 1920) ????????.
16. Mills, 68-69.
17. Robert Bonnell and Leatrice Kreeger-Bonnell, "Memories of L. W. Rogers" The Quest 92.6 (November-December 2004), 224-226. Available at Quest website.
18. "What Lodges Are Doing" The Theosophical Messenger 19.5 (May, 1931), 402.
19. "New Lodge In Mexico, " The American Theosophist 27. 10 (October, 1939), 239.
20. L. W. Rogers, "Theosophical Book Gift Institute in 1947" The American Theosophist 35.1 (January, 1947), 17-18.
21. "T. G. B. I. Affairs," The American Theosophist 36.5 (May, 1948), 119.
22. State of California. California Death Index, 1940-1997. Sacramento, CA, USA: State of California Department of Health Services, Center for Health Statistics. California, Death Index, 1940-1997.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Foster Bailey
by Theosophy Wiki
Accessed: 10/19/19

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


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Foster Bailey

Foster Bailey was an American publisher and writer who established the Lucis Trust, the Arcane School, and The Beacon magazine, working with his wife Alice Bailey.

Early life

Foster Bailey was born on March 16, 1888 in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.[1][2] His parents were William Kimball Bailey, a civil engineer, and his wife Cora. The family included another son and daughter.[3] Foster Bailey became an attorney. He enlisted in the U. S. Army on September 18, 1917 and was released from service on March 28, 1918.[4]

Theosophical Society work

Bailey was admitted to the American Theosophical Society on October 27, 1917, probably on a "Liberty" membership that was offered to servicemen in World War I.[5] After the war he served as National Secretary of the American Theosophical Society at its headquarters in Hollywood, California. There he met an Englishwoman, Mrs. Alice A. Evans, editor of the organization's magazine The Messenger. When L. W. Rogers was elected President of the Society in 1920, he replaced both of them with other workers and moved the headquarters to Chicago. Bailey and Evans moved to New York City. They were active in the Central Lodge, cosponsoring Marie M. Montreuil for membership on an application signed March 7, 1921, one week before their marriage.[6]

In the postwar climate of anxiety about the birthrate, an proposal for public sex education evoked heated opposition. Accordingly, proponents reverted to the traditional panacea of maternal "tact."58 When the Paris Medical Faculty endorsed a proposal to make sexual hygiene a branch of public education, the assembly of French cardinals and archbishops rejected "scientific initiation" because courses might promote "physiological laws [such as the dangers of sexual continence] contrary to truth as much as the moral order."59 In the mid-1930s many teachers thought that they should teach children about sexual life at school but were reluctant to do so because of parental conviction that the subject was "dirty."60 The Ministry of Public Education did not introduce sex education into the school system until the mid-1970s -- and then provided few instructional resources.61

Yet, other attempts to provide sexual education were beginning to reach at least some young French women in the interwar years. In the early 1920s, Dr. Montreuil-Strauss of the French Association of Women Doctors, for example, joined with the French League against the Venereal Peril to organize a series of educational meetings for women. In 1925, the Association of Women Doctors went on to establish the Feminine Education Committee, which gained the support of the French Union for Women's Suffrage, the League for the Rights of Women, Red Cross societies, and 175 other student, nursing, and even Catholic youth groups. With subsidies from the Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Social Insurance, the committee held 644 conferences between 1925 and 1935 on subjects like maternity and venereal diseases, attracting more than 140,000 people. The committee also distributed 83,000 brochures to almost a third of all female public school teachers.62 In talks sponsored by the Ministry of Health, Montreuil-Strauss favored "biological education for maternity" and warned about venereal diseases. Indicative of the changes, however slowly, underway in French society in the interwar years, the conservative Association for Christian Marriage printed a report by Montreuil-Strauss, documenting that young women were not shocked but rather reassured by sex education.63

-- Secret Gardens, Satanic Mills: Placing Girls in European History, 1750-1960, edited by Mary Jo Maynes, Birgitte Søland, Christina Benninghaus


Bailey continued to be a member of the Society almost continuously until June 30, 1930.

Marriage and personal life

On March 14, 1921, Foster and Alice were married in Manhattan, New York.[7] She was divorced with three daughters – Dorothy, Mildred, and Ellison. It was through this marriage that she became a naturalized American citizen.[8] The family traveled to Europe several times.[9] Apart from a few years in Connecticut, they mostly resided in New York City and New Jersey.

Lucis Publishing and Lucis Trust

In 1922 the Baileys founded a quarterly magazine called The Beacon, which is still being published. They founded Lucifer Publishing Company, which was later renamed as Lucis Publishing Company. They began producing correspondence courses in esoteric philosophy, offered as the Arcane School under the umbrella of Lucis Trust.

Masonry

In 1913, Bailey was initiated into the Charles W. Moore Lodge of Freemasons. He rose to 33rd degree, and wrote The Spirit of Masonry.[10]

Charles W. Moore Lodge of Masons has been an integral part of the community of Fitchburg [Massachusetts] for one hundred fifty years. The lodge was established in 1865. In that span, which touched three centuries and two millennia, local Freemasons have been witnesses and influencers to events and changes that have shaped the world into what it is today.

This year, as we prepare to celebrate a milestone in our history, the Brothers of Charles W. Moore Lodge are making a renewed commitment to one of the primary goals of Freemasonry – making good men better. Would you like to join us in our endeavors?

For the curious, Freemasonry is not a cult, nor do we have any connection to the occult. A belief in God is a requirement to join, but we are not faith specific. Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others all gather together under the starry canopy of our lodge, united by common goals and a sincere desire to make our community and our country a better place.

We screen our members thoroughly because we only want men of strong moral fiber who are willing to serve the needs of others. Hope, Faith, and Charity are more than aspirations. They are requirements. A Freemason needs to hold himself to a higher standard, so we set the bar high when we conduct interviews and vote on new candidates.

Are you a good man who wants to be better? Do you think you have what it takes to be a Freemason? It’s not the life for everyone, but the rewards for those who follow this path are beyond measuring, in this life and beyond. If you want to be a part of that, fill out the form below, include your phone number, and we’ll call you to set up an appointment.

-- About Us, by Charles W. Moore Lodge AF & AM


Later years

Bailey died on June 3, 1977 in New York City.[11]

Writings

Foster Bailey wrote about 130 articles under his own name for The Beacon, according to the Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals, and probably quite a few more under initials or anonymously. He also wrote several books, several of which were translated into German and French:

• Changing Esoteric Values. Tunbridge Wells, Kent: Lucis Press, 1955.
• The Spirit of Masonry. Tunbridge Wells, Kent: Lucis Press 1957 and London: Lucis Press, 1972.
• Running God's Plan. New York: Lucis Publishing Co., 1972 and London: Lucis Press, 1972.
• Things to COme. New York: Lucis Publishing Co., 1974 and London: Lucis Press, 1974.
• Reflections. New York: Lucis Publishing Co., 1979.

He also wrote chapters of his wife's work, An Unauthorized Autobiography, which is available from the website of Lucis Trust.

Notes

1. U. S. Census, 1930.
2. Massachusetts Birth Records, 1840-1915.
3. U. S. Census, 1910.
4. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010.
5. Membership Ledger Cards Roll 1. [Microfilm record] Theosophical Society in America Archives.
6. Membership Blue Ledger Cards Roll 1. [Microfilm record] Theosophical Society in America Archives.
7. New York Marriage Index, 1866-1937.
8. Passenger List of S.S. Galway, sailing from Galway to New York in 1940.
9. Passenger List of S.S. Westernland , sailing from Cherbourg to New York in 1931.
10. Massachusetts, Mason Membership Cards, 1733-1990.
11. U. S. Social Security Death Index.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:36 am

Alice Bailey
by Theosophy Wiki
Accessed: 10/19/19

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


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Alice Bailey

Alice Ann Latrobe Batemen Bailey (June 16, 1880 – December 15, 1949) was a teacher and writer and the founder, together with husband Foster Bailey, of a spiritual movement growing out of the theosophical tradition. She was one of the first writers to use the term New Age.

Early Years

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Alice Bailey

Alice Bailey was born to well-to-do parents in Manchester, England. Her upper middle class background was religious and also service oriented. Although she showed mystical tendencies, her childhood was generally unhappy: “They were for me the years of greatest physical comfort and of luxury; they were years of freedom from all material anxiety but they were, at the same time, years of miserable questioning, of disillusionment, of unhappy discovery and of loneliness.” [1]She began already at a young age to search for the world of meaning and believed that progress was rooted in mystical consciousness. [2]

Both parents (Frederic Foster La Trobe-Batemen and Alice Hollinshead) died of tuberculosis by the time Alice was eight, so she and her sister lived from then on with their grandparents in Surrey. They were educated by governesses and later attended a finishing school in London. [3][4]Their young life was completely disciplined by people or the social conventions of the time; but she and her sister were also taught to care about the poor and sick and to realize that fortunate circumstances entailed responsibility. [5]

After finishing school at the age of eighteen, following a family trend, she did religious work in the Young Women’s’ Christian Association and the Y.W.C.A. sent her to India, where she delivered strongly evangelic sermons to British troops. It was during that time that she gained experience in leadership and management. In India she met Walter Evans, an American studying for the Episcopal priesthood. They were married in 1907, and she returned with him to the U.S. where he was ordained in the Episcopal Church. The couple settled in California and had three daughters. She was a busy minister’s wife, and Bible class teacher but the marriage failed “due to his appalling temper” [6] and the couple separated in 1915 and was divorced in 1919. [7][8]

Theosophical Society involvement

In order to support her daughters, Alice worked in a sardine cannery in Pacific Grove, California and discovered Theosophy during that time at the age of 35. As Mrs. Alice Anne Evans she was admitted to the American Theosophical Society as a member on September 1, 1915. She is listed as one of fifteen founding members of the Pacific Grove Lodge (formerly Monterey Lodge) in California according to the charter dated September 17, 1915.[9] In 1918, she was admitted to the Esoteric Section.She spent the next several years working while studying the new Theosophical ideas – attending meetings, poring over The Secret Doctrine, and attempting to integrate these ideas with the strict Christianity of her upbringing. Her mystical side found certain ideas, such as the law of karma and the existence of the Masters, appealing and helpful to her during this difficult time.[10] She moved to Hollywood, California, where she at first worked in the vegetarian cafeteria of the Krotona colony. In Krotona she met Foster Bailey, national secretary of the Theosophical Society, whom she subsequently married.[11] Foster Bailey and Alice Anne Evans reached high positions within the Society - she became editor of the Society's periodical, The Messenger, and member of the committee administering Krotona.[12] They were both dismissed in 1920, when L. W. Rogers was elected President of the Society, [13] which was disappointing to both of them: “Thus, ended our time at Krotona and our very real effort to be of service to the Theosophical Society.” [14]

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Foster Bailey

Mrs. Evans and Foster Bailey moved to New York, where they became members of the Central Lodge and were active for several years. On March 17, 1921, for example, Alice and Foster both sponsored Marie M. Montreuil for membership in that lodge. The Baileys participated in a panel discussion at the 1921 annual convention of the Society in Seattle. She spoke on the topic "Theosophy and the Public," and Mr. Bailey was a featured speaker at the final banquet of the event.[15] Mrs. Bailey's membership in the Society continued, with short lapses, until June 30, 1939.[16]

In Alice Bailey view “the movement initiated by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky was an integral part of a Hierarchical plan. There have always been theosophical societies down the ages. The name of the movement is not new but H. P. B. gave it a light and a publicity that set a new note and that brought a neglected and hitherto somewhat secret group out into the open and made it possible for the public everywhere to respond to this very ancient teaching. The indebtedness of the world to Mrs. Besant for the work that she did in making the basic tenets of the T.S. teaching available to the masses of men in every country, is something that can never be repaid. There is absolutely no reason why we should overlook the stupendous, magnificent work she did for the Masters and for humanity.” [17]

Master Khoot Humi and Master Djual Khul

When Alice was a teenager in England she had been under the supervision of a mysterious man who had visited her in person twice. She described the first encounter with Master Koot Hoomi in her unfinished autobiography:

He told me there was some work that it was planned that I could do in the world but that it would entail my changing my disposition very considerably; I would have to give up being such an unpleasant little girl and must try and get some measure of self-control. My future usefulness to Him and to the world was dependent upon how I handled myself and the changes I could manage to make.[18]


Many years later, after she had joined the Theosophical Society and lived in Krotona and the first time she went into the Shrine room of the Theosophical Lodge, she saw a portrait of this man on the wall and only then learned that his name was Master Koot Hoomi and that he was a member of the Spiritual Hierarchy.[19][20]Her spontaneous recognition was viewed by some member of the Lodge as an effort to claim special status. [21] Bailey’s relationship to the Theosophical Society suffered more strains when she claimed reception of new communications from Masters in the theosophical tradition.


In November 1919, as she was walking in the Hollywood Hills near Krotona, she said she was contacted by Djual Khul, known popularly as “The Tibetan”, who wanted her to serve as his amanuensis. He began dictating to her by means of telepathy and the first book produced in this manner, Initiation: Human and Solar, appeared in 1922; it was followed by others over the next thirty years. Uniformly bound in blue they are the basic texts of the Bailey work.[22]

Life after Krotona

After leaving Krotona, Alice and Foster Bailey went to New York, where they were married the following year. In 1922, they established the Lucis Trust to publish her books. According to the Lucis Trust website, it is still today dedicated to the establishment of a new and better way of life for everyone in the world based on the fulfillment of the divine plan for humanity.

They founded the Arcane School in 1923, a training institution for students of the Tibetan’s teaching. The school has a website and trains people in meditation and service to develop their spiritual potential. The purpose of their training is to help students understand and accept discipleship responsibility and to recognize the part that they can play in the evolution of consciousness by serving humanity.

The remainder of her life was spent in writing and the administration of the School and other activities which the work of the Tibetan inspired. Alice Bailey died on December 15, 1949.

The Great Invocation

In 1937 Bailey published the prayer called The Great Invocation. Widely used in occult and New Age circles, it is very well known and associated with her name:

The Great Invocation

From the point of Light within the Mind of God
Let light stream forth into the minds of men.
Let Light descend on Earth.
From the point of Love within the Heart of God
Let love stream forth into the hearts of men.
May Christ return to Earth.
From the center where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide the little wills of men –
The purpose which the Masters know and serve.
From the center which we call the race of men
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out
And may it seal the door where evil dwells.
Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.


Followers of Alice Bailey’s philosophy see The Great Invocation as a world prayer. It was translated into over 80 languages and dialects. It is said that it was given to Alice Bailey in April 1945 in a message for all people of goodwill. [23]

Perhaps as well as anything could, the tone and thrust of these simple lines suggest the distinctive ethos of the Bailey work. It clearly shares basic theosophical teaching concerning human nature. Karma, and the claimed existence of a hierarchy of a generally invisible but transcendent Masters guiding individual spiritual development and the evolution of the planet. [24]

In Hidden Foundations of the Great Invocation author John Berges details cryptographic evidence that Master Rakoczi may have authored or influenced the composing of this invocation[25].

Groups in the Bailey Tradition

Groups in the Bailey tradition have had several names, among them World Goodwill, Triangles, Meditation Groups for the New Age. World Goodwill was founded in 1932 with the purpose of helping establish right relationships among the peoples of the world; it is an “accredited non-government organization” at United Nations centers in New York and Geneva. The Triangles group was established in 1937 to create teams of three people each of whom would unite daily in a mental chain to send energy into the world. The Meditation Group for the New Age, the Group for Creative Meditation and other such works are sponsored by Meditation Groups, Inc. and are headquartered on a mountainside near Ojai, California. [26]

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Alice Bailey's basic texts

Writings

Periodicals


The Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals lists numerous articles by or about Alice Bailey: 12 under the name Alice Evans and over 300 under Alice Bailey. Most of the latter were published in The Beacon, the journal of the Lucis Trust. During her early years as editor of the American Theosophical Society's periodical, The Messenger, she would have written many other articles anonymously for that journal.

Books

All of Alice Bailey's books were published by Lucis Publishing Company, New York and London. Some of her most important titles are listed below.

Written with Djwhal Khul

These books are among those that begin with a two page Extract from a statement by the Tibetan, indicating that Bailey took mental dictation and collaborated with the distant author who wished to avoid the emotional aspects of master worship.

Among other assertions the extract states that the books 'may or may not be correct, true and useful,' and begs the reader to use the intuition and right practice to evaluate the ideas presented.

• Initiation, Human and Solar. 1922, 1951.
• A Treatise on Cosmic Fire . 1962, 1925, 1973, 1982.
• The Light of the Soul. 1955, 1927, 1972, 1983. (commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali)
• A Treatise on White Magic. 1934, 1951, 1984. (more readable, a good overview)
• Glamour - A World Problem. 1950 (recommended for group and individual study)
• The Reappearance of the Christ. 1947.
• Discipleship in the New Age. 1955, 1968, 1972.
• The Externalization of the Hierarchy. 1957. (Ends on page 701 with humanity's two goals)
• A Treatise on the Seven Rays:
• Volume 1: Esoteric Psychology I. 1936.
• Volume 2: Esoteric Psychology II. 1942.
• Volume 3: Esoteric Astrology. 1951.
• Volume 4: Esoteric Healing. 1953.
• Volume 5: The Rays and the Initiations. 1960. (The last DK book, his name revealed on page 738)

Credited to Alice Bailey writing alone

• The Unfinished Autobiography. 1951.
• Consciousness of the Atom. 1922, 1961.

Additional resources

• Ellwood, Robert. "Bailey, Alice Ann Latrobe Bateman" in Theosopedia.
• Alice Bailey Natal Horoscope.

Notes

1. Bailey, A. An Unfinished Autobiography. http://www.mysticknowledge.org/17-The_U ... graphy.pdf. Page 6, Web. Accessed 18 Aug. 2017
2. Bailey, A. An Unfinished Autobiography. http://www.mysticknowledge.org/17-The_U ... graphy.pdf. Page 12, Web. Accessed 18 Aug. 2017
3. Biography of Alice Bailey. School of Esoteric Studies. http://www.esotericstudies.net/AABbio.html. Web. Accessed 17 Aug. 2017
4. Bailey, Alice Ann Latrobe Bateman. Theosophical Encyclopedia. Print. Quezon City, Philippines. Theosophical Publishing House, 2006
5. Bailey, A. An Unfinished Autobiography. http://www.mysticknowledge.org/17-The_U ... graphy.pdf. Page 14ff, Web. Accessed 18 Aug. 2017
6. Bailey, A. An Unfinished Autobiography. http://www.mysticknowledge.org/17-The_U ... graphy.pdf. Page 50, Web. Accessed 18 Aug. 2017
7. Biography of Alice Bailey. School of Esoteric Studies. http://www.esotericstudies.net/AABbio.html. Web. Accessed 17 Aug. 2017
8. Bailey, Alice Ann Latrobe Bateman. Theosophical Encyclopedia. Print. Quezon City, Philippines. Theosophical Publishing House, 2006
9. Charter of Pacific Grove Lodge. September 17, 1915. Records Series 11.10. Records of Dissolved Groups. Theosophical Society in America Archives, Wheaton, Illinois.
10. Biography of Alice Bailey. School of Esoteric Studies website. Accessed 17 Aug. 2017
11. Bailey, Alice Ann Latrobe Bateman. Theosophical Encyclopedia. Print. Quezon City, Philippines. Theosophical Publishing House, 2006.
12. Campbell, Bruce, F., Ancient Wisdom Revived, a History of the Theosophical Movement, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1980, p. 151
13. Sørensen, K. Alice Bailey and Theosophy. Kheper.net website. Accessed 18 August 2017
14. Bailey, A. An Unfinished Autobiography. http://www.mysticknowledge.org/17-The_U ... graphy.pdf. Page 79, Web. Accessed 19 Aug. 2017
15. "Program," The Messenger 9.2 (July 1921), 47.
16. Membership records. Theosophical Society in America Archives.
17. Bailey, A. An Unfinished Autobiography. Available at MysticKnowledge.org website. Page 80. Accessed 19 August 2017,
18. Alice Bailey, An Unfinished Autobiography. http://www.mysticknowledge.org/17-The_U ... graphy.pdf. Page 18, Web. Accessed 18 Aug. 2017
19. "Biography of Alice Bailey." School of Esoteric Studies. http://www.esotericstudies.net/AABbio.html. Web. Accessed 17 Aug. 2017
20. Bailey, A. An Unfinished Autobiography. http://www.mysticknowledge.org/17-The_U ... graphy.pdf. Page 71, Web. Accessed 18 Aug. 2017
21. Biography of Alice Bailey. School of Esoteric Studies. http://www.esotericstudies.net/AABbio.html. Web. Accessed 18 Aug. 2017
22. "Bailey, Alice Ann Latrobe Bateman." Theosophical Encyclopedia. Quezon City, Philippines. Theosophical Publishing House, 2006. Also available in Theosopedia.
23. The Great Invocation. Lucis Trust in Social Media.https://www.lucistrust.org/the_great_invocation. Web. Accessed 18 Aug. 2017
24. Bailey, Alice Ann Latrobe Bateman. Theosophical Encyclopedia. Print. Quezon City, Philippines. Theosophical Publishing House, 2006
25. John Berges. Hidden Foundations of the Great Invocation. Print. Northfield, New Jersey. Planetwork Press, 2000
26. Bailey, Alice Ann Latrobe Bateman. Theosophical Encyclopedia. Print. Quezon City, Philippines. Theosophical Publishing House, 2006
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15. CONVERT TO COMPASSION: Allan Bennett, Excerpt from Theravada Buddhism and the British Encounter: Religious, Missionary and Colonial Experience in Nineteenth Century Sri Lanka
by Elizabeth J. Harris
2006
© 2006 Elizabeth J. Harris

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Behind all this thrilling, hoping life, reigns Death...Nature is a battle-field....all this life is a cheat, a snare, – so long as you look at it from this standpoint of the individual.....

Buddhahood consists not in His humanity, but rather in the fact that, through lives of incredible effort and endurance, He has attained to a spiritual evolution which renders Him as different from a human being as the Sun is different from one of its servient planets; which makes of Him, His personality whilst it endures; His teaching, after that personality has passed away; a focal centre of spiritual power no less mighty in its sphere than that of the Sun in the material realm....

Crowds ... turn their faces to bathe them in the splendour of His very presence...

A follower of The Buddha, rightly will he merit the name of Buddhist, who walks the Way The Buddha found...

Life, so far as it is individualised, enselfed, ensouled is – even as the Reason teaches – evil, coterminous with Pain . . . Give up all hope, all faith in Self . . . Dream no more ‘I am’ or ‘I shall be’ but realise, Life suffers; and only by destruction of life’s cause in Selfhood can that suffering be relieved, and Life pass nearer to the Other Shore....

Just as all the waters of the ocean are one water, and one body of water, so it is with this universal teeming life; and just as, in the great ocean, there is, and can be by the very nature of it, no individual body of water separate from the rest, so in life’s ocean there is – and can be by the very nature of it – no single separate unit or body of life, whether it be the highest or the lowest, most subtle or most gross . . . Each satta – each living being that our Nescience makes us regard as an individual, a real and separate entity, a self or soul or Atma – is in truth only one such wave, whether a billow or a ripple only, upon the surface of life’s ocean....

Pity is the highest Law of Life, – this is in Buddhism accounted the true beginning of all righteousness, – unselfishness that gives all...

Seeing . . . how Life is One . . . let us live no more for self’s fell phantasy, but for the All . . . let us live so that the All, the One, may be the nobler and the greater for our life.....

Mindfulness...as the observation and classification of thought, speech and action and ‘the constant application to each and all of them of the Doctrine of Selflessness’ with the thought, ‘This is not I, this is not Mine, there is no Self herein’....

Samadhi... ‘ecstacy’... non-dual insight into the ‘One Life’....

Suddenly the lightning flashes, and for an instant the unseen world gleams forth in instantaneous light, light penetrating every darkest corner, flushing the clouded sky with momentary glory.... No words, no similes, no highest thought of ours can adequately convey that mighty realisation... we shall realise that all our life has changed of a sudden... the utmost attainment that the mind or the life of man can compass – that is ours at last; we have won, achieved, and entered into the Path of which mere words can never tell....

Annihilation of the threefold fatal fire of Passion, Wrath and Ignorance... the annihilation of conditioned being, of all that has bound and fettered us; the Cessation of the dire delusion of life that has veiled from us the splendour of the Light Beyond... the End of All – the end of the long tortuous pilgrimage through worlds of interminable illusion; the End of Sorrow, of Impermanence, of Self-deceit.... from the torture of selfhood an eternal Liberation......

A Way that all might follow to the Light Beyond all Life....

That force whereby we are ever, so to speak, drawn upwards out of this life in which we live, towards the State Beyond – Nirvana.

-- Convert to Compassion: Allan Bennett, by Elizabeth J. Harris


15. CONVERT TO COMPASSION: Allan Bennett

His face was the most significant that I have ever seen. Twenty years of physical suffering had twisted and scored it: a lifetime of meditation upon universal love had imparted to it an expression that was unmistakable. His colour was almost dusky, and his eyes had the soft glow of dark amber . . . Above all, at the moment of meeting and always thereafter, I was conscious of a tender and far-shining emanation, an unvarying psychic sunlight, that environed his personality.

(Bax 1968: 23)


This was Clifford Bax’s impression of Allan Bennett (1872–1923) in 1918. Bennett was then a lay person, and he was sick, incapacitated by asthma for weeks at a time. But ten years earlier, as the venerable Ananda Metteyya, he had led the first Buddhist mission to England, from Myanmar. The Buddhist Society of Great Britain and Ireland had been formed in preparation.

Allan Bennett’s life, after his discovery of Buddhism, was inspired by the conviction that the West needed Buddhism and had only to understand its message to embrace it. He laid down a threefold agenda in the first edition of the journal he edited from Myanmar. First, he imagined a West that was losing both religious and moral awareness:

Apart altogether from the misery that that civilization has spread in lands beyond its pale, can it be claimed that in its internal polity, that for its own peoples, it has brought with it any diminution of the world’s suffering, any diminution of its degradation, its misery, its crime; above all, has it brought about any general increase of its native contentment, the extension of any such knowledge as promotes the spirit of mutual helpfulness rather than the curse of competition?

(Bennett 1903a: 12)


‘No’, was his answer and he backed this up with reference to the West’s ‘crowded taverns’, ‘overflowing gaols’, ‘sad asylums’ and its neglect of mental culture (Bennett 1903a: 13). Second, he rejected three ‘misconceptions’ about Buddhism: that it was heathen and idolatrous; that it was connected with ‘miracle-mongering and esotericism’; that it was ‘a backboneless, apathetic, pessimistic manner of philosophy’ (Bennett 1903a: 25). Third, he put across what he believed Buddhism to be: rational and optimistic. Later he would contest, in addition, two ‘onlys’: that Buddhism was only a rational philosophy; and that the Buddha was only a remarkable and enlightened teacher.

To this apologetic task, Allan Bennett brought a poetic imagination, a scientific mind and a deep concern for justice and peace. And in Allan Bennett, compassion moves centre stage as Buddhism’s sine qua non.

Bennett’s life

In piecing together the biography of Allan Bennett, I am heavily indebted to the writings of two of his closest friends, Aleister Crowley and Dr Cassius Pereira.1 Bennett was born in London. His father, a civil and electrical engineer, died when he was young. Pereira claimed he was adopted by a Mr McGregor and kept this name until McGregor died, a fact repeated to me by the venerable Balangoda Ananda Metteyya (Harris 1998: 4). Yet, it is possible that his mother was still in contact, since Crowley refers to him being brought up by his mother as a strict Catholic (Symonds and Grant 1989: 180). This might explain his later opposition to any form of religion that placed more importance on ‘sin’ than love. After an education in Bath, he trained as an analytical chemist and was eventually employed by a Dr Bernard Dyer, a public analyst and consulting chemist then based in London (Grant 1972: 82).

The limited information available suggests that Bennett was a sensitive and serious young man, who became alienated from Christianity both because it seemed incompatible with science, and because he could not reconcile the concept of a God of love with the suffering he saw and experienced. The asthma that plagued his life seems to have begun in childhood. It prevented him from holding down a permanent job, meaning that he was at times desperately poor and ill. ‘Allan never knew joy,’ Crowley wrote, ‘he disdained and distrusted pleasure from the womb’ (Symonds and Grant 1989: 234).

Bennett did not, however, distrust the search for truth and goodness. And his two keys to this were science and religion. His religious quest was experimental, even daring. After rejecting Roman Catholicism, he turned first to Asia. At the age of 18, The Light of Asia influenced him, but it was part of a larger exploration that embraced Hindu literature, yogic forms of breath control and meditation (Grant 1972: 85; Symonds and Grant 1989: 246–7) and eventually Western esoteric mysticism.

In 1894, Bennett joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, founded in 1889 by William Wynn Westcott and Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers, taking the name Iehi Aour, Hebrew for ‘let there be light’. He rose to the top rapidly, known for his psychic powers.2 Most of the available information about Bennett at this point comes through Crowley, who joined the Order in 1898. He speaks of Bennett as tall but stooped because of illness, with ‘a shock of wild, black hair’ and a noble head, adding, ‘I did not fully realize the colossal stature of that sacred spirit; but I was instantly aware that this man could teach me more in a month than anyone else in five years’ (Symonds and Grant 1989: 181).

The next stage in Bennett’s life began when he travelled to Sri Lanka in 1900 for health reasons, Crowley paying his passage in the hope that this would save his life and spread Western esotericism in the East. But Bennett was more interested in exploring the local, learning yoga, for instance, from P. Ramanathan, the Solicitor-General.3 According to Pereira, he also went to Kamburugamuwa and studied Pali under an elder Sinhala monk. By the end of six months, Pereira claimed, he could converse in it fluently, adding, ‘Such was the brilliance of his intellect’ (Pereira 1923: 6).

Sri Lanka was a turning point for Bennett. His asthma improved. He gave up the cycle of drugs he had found necessary in England.4 Most of all, he found the answer to his religious quest in Theravada Buddhism, rejecting his former eclectic experimentation with psychic and esoteric power (Symonds and Grant 1989: 237, 249). By the time he addressed the Hope Lodge of the Theosophical Society, Colombo, in July 1901, he had probably decided that he would become a Buddhist monk.

Bennett was ordained a novice in Akyab, Arakan, Myanmar on 12 December 1901, taking the name Ananda Maitreya, which he later changed to the Pali, Metteyya. Higher ordination followed on 21 May 1902, under the venerable Sheve Bya Sayadaw. When Crowley next visited Myanmar, he was in a monastery just outside Rangoon. From there, on 13 March 1903, he inaugurated the Buddhasasana Samagama, an international Buddhist society that aimed at the global networking of Buddhists.5 It soon had official representatives in Austria, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, China, Germany, Italy, America and England. In the same year, he launched Buddhism – An Illustrated Quarterly Review, which, by 1904, was being sent free to between 500 and 600 libraries in Europe.6

The first Buddhist mission to England

Ananda Metteyya arrived in England on 23 April 1908 to an eager welcome from the Buddhist Society of Great Britain and Ireland, formed the previous November. He remained until 2 October, ‘the time allotted to the Mission,’ according to Christmas Humphreys (Humphreys 1968: 7). Although Ananda Metteyya told a Rangoon paper that he was highly gratified with the visit, it was a qualified success. On the positive side there was his grace and dignity, his ‘pleasing voice and beautiful enunciation’ (Humphreys 1968: 6), his knowledge of Buddhism, the scholars he gathered around him through ‘correspondence and constant interviews’ (Humphreys 1968: 6) and his engaging manner in private conversation (Humphreys 1972: 133). Yet, ensuring he could follow his monastic discipline stretched his supporters to the limit (Bell 2000). His orange robes in the streets caused laughter, and his public speaking style was uncharismatic, since he would avoid eye contact, keeping his eye on a prepared script. Nevertheless, the Buddhist Society’s journal, The Buddhist Review (BR), could say in 1909 that he left behind him, ‘golden opinions and the friendship and respect of all who had the privilege of meeting him’.7

Ananda Metteyya hoped he would return to England within three years to establish a permanent Buddhist community in the West. The hope died. One reason for this was his health, which failed rapidly on his return to Myanmar. Pereira records that he underwent two operations and reluctantly agreed to leave the Order on medical advice (Pereira 1923: 6).8 In 1914, Burmese friends sent him to England where he intended to sail from Liverpool to America to stay with his sister, but the ship’s doctor refused him passage.

From this point onwards, Allan Bennett’s story was a sad one. A doctor who was a member of the Liverpool Branch of the Buddhist Society took him in, but the financial and emotional burden of this proved too great. In 1916, an anonymous group of well-wishers appealed for money through the Buddhist Society to save Bennett from being placed ‘in some institution supported by public charity’.9

Help came, from overseas as well as Britain, and Bennett’s health rallied. In the winter of 1917–1918, he gave a series of papers to a private audience in Clifford Bax’s studio. Then, on Vesak Day (May) 1918, Bennett gave to the Buddhist Society what Christmas Humphreys called ‘a “fighting speech” which aroused the listening members to fresh enthusiasm’ (Humphreys 1968: 14).

According to one account, Bennett moved to London in 1920 (Mullen 1989: 92). Although he was incapacitated for weeks at a time, he took over the editorship of the BR from the Sri Lankan scholar, D.B. Jayatileka. The January 1922 edition was the last he edited and indeed the last that was published. He died on 9 March 1923. A Buddhist funeral service was prepared by Francis Payne, a prominent Buddhist convert from the 1908 mission.10

I will use three main sources to explore Ananda Metteyya/Allan Bennett’s representation of Buddhism. The Religion of Burma and other Papers published by the Theosophical Publishing House of India in 1929 contains talks given in Myanmar, belonging to the first decade of the twentieth century. The Wisdom of the Aryas, published in London in 1923, the year of his death, consists of the lectures delivered in 1917–1918 plus one additional paper on rebirth. Finally, his writing in the journal Buddhism is most important.

A suffering world

Ananda Metteyya’s understanding of Buddhism began with awareness of suffering (dukkha). Speaking of the progression of thought in one who attempted to look at the world with ‘the cold, clear light of Reason’, he wrote:

Firstly, he sees Life, – the interminable waves of Life’s great Ocean all around him; the pulsing, breathing, gleaming waters of the Sea of Being; and, at first thought and sight of this, he thinks: this Life is Joy.

He lives. Living, he learns. Learning, he presently comes to know – for Learning is Suffering, and Suffering is Life. He sees beneath this so fair-seeming face of Nature lies everywhere corruption. Behind all this thrilling, hoping life, reigns Death; certain, inevitable, and by all life abhorred . . . He looks deeper into life, hoping that thus he may find the secret of happiness . . . Learning more, he sees that this Nature is a battle-field.

He sees each living creature fighting for its life, Self against the Universe . . . He sees at last how all this life is a cheat, a snare
, – so long as you look at it from this standpoint of the individual. If he had had faith in God, – in some great Being who had devised the Universe, he can no longer hold it; for any being, now he clearly sees, who could have devised a Universe wherein which was all this wanton war, this piteous mass of pain coterminous with life, must have been a Demon, not a God.

(Bennett 1908a: 183–4)


Ananda Metteyya’s conclusion was that it was sacrifice that pervaded existence, not joy. His phrases were vivid: ‘Life ever offered up to Life on its own altar’ (Bennett 1923: 3); nature as ‘a slaughter-house wherein no thought of pity ever enters’ (Bennett 1929: 156); ‘Life alone can feed life’ (Bennett 1929: 170). And in ‘the Vast Emptiness’ of the cosmos there was a, ‘a horror of living past conceiving, full of the Pain of Being, darkened by Not-Understanding; thrilling with Hope in youth, and ever aging in Despair!’ (Bennett 1929: 142–3).

Part of Buddhism’s attraction for Ananda Metteyya was that it looked the truth of suffering in the eye (Bennett 1923: xiv). ‘To dare to look on life as it really is’ was the first step along the religious path (Bennett 1929: 221). It was into this suffering world that the Buddha came as liberator.

The Buddha

At a time when most Westerners were stressing the humanity and historicity of the Buddha, Ananda Metteyya was pointing out that no comparison with ordinary humanity was possible:

but his Buddhahood consists not in His humanity, but rather in the fact that, through lives of incredible effort and endurance, He has attained to a spiritual evolution which renders Him as different from a human being as the Sun is different from one of its servient planets; which makes of Him, His personality whilst it endures; His teaching, after that personality has passed away; a focal centre of spiritual power no less mighty in its sphere than that of the Sun in the material realm.

(Bennett 1923: 111)


It was compassionate self-sacrifice in innumerable lives preceding Buddhahood that qualified the Buddha for this, according to Ananda Metteyya, a sacrifice, ‘so great, so utterly beyond our ken, that we can only try to dimly represent it in terms of human life and thought and action’ (Bennett 1923: 16–17).

Acts of devotion to the Buddha, therefore, did not seem unnatural or irrational to Ananda Metteyya, and in this he knew he differed from some Western Buddhists (Bennett 1929: 341–2). When, in Myanmar, he came across an atmosphere of worship so intense that the air seemed to vibrate with a ‘palpable’ potency, an ‘immediate’ presence (Bennett 1923: 7), his reaction was not disdain but wonder. His disdain was for those who denied that the Buddha could be present in the lives of the people:

There, into the daily lives, the very speech and household customs of the common folk, this ever-present sun-light of the Teaching penetrated; there, hearing at a fiesta the gathered crowds take refuge in the Buddha, you could all but see them turn their faces to bathe them in the splendour of His very presence – till one could understand how, instead of getting angry when they hear the Christian missionaries tell them they are taking refuge in a Being whom their own religion tells them has passed utterly away, they always answer, as they do answer, only with a wise and a compassionate smile.

(Bennett 1923: 6)


The devotion of dependence and blind faith, however, he did criticize, as something akin to childhood. It could lead to heavenly rebirth but not to the ultimate goal (Bennett 1929: 370). There was a higher devotion connected with questioning, investigation and recognition: ‘the devotion that comes in the train of Understanding’ . . . ‘when we attain some glimpse of the tremendous meaning of the Love that has for us resulted in the knowledge of the Law we have’ (Bennett 1929: 320). Yet, ultimately:

The true worship of the Buddhas is not even in divinest-seeming outer offering or praise; rightly that one shall be called a follower of The Buddha, rightly will he merit the name of Buddhist, who walks the Way The Buddha found; that is, the Way, that He, the Master of Compassion, walked first Himself, twenty-five centuries ago in India.

(Bennett 1929: 320)


What the Buddha taught

Ananda Metteyya would have agreed with the theosophists that the key to the Buddhist view of the world, as taught by the Buddha, was Law, as shown in the Law of cause and effect (paticcasamuppada). But he did not see this as the exoteric component of an esoteric vision, but as making the need for the esoteric, obsolete. With the Law of Cause and Effect as shown in the Four Noble Truths (Bennett 1929: 320, 356), the need for esoteric knowledge, the goal of his youthful experimentation, was wiped out.

Ananda Metteyya could graphically describe dukkha, the First Noble Truth. His representation of the cause of dukkha varied. Sometimes he stressed tajha, craving, and appealed to science. Take the amoebae, he suggested, and dukkha can be seen. Amoebae move only when irritated, when feeling aversion. When still, they are at peace. From this, he continued, all other animal reactions have developed. By the time human aversion is reached, a thousand complex suffering-creating cravings have arisen. Yet, he preferred to cite avijja, ‘ignorance’, rather than tajha, most particularly ignorance of anatta, non-self.

Without knowledge of Buddhist ideas, he wrote, it is almost impossible to become aware ‘how much every mode of expression of western thought involves the assumption of the existence of a Self’ (Bennett 1908b: 279). The would-be Buddhist, therefore, had to learn:

Life, so far as it is individualised, enselfed, ensouled is – even as the Reason teaches – evil, coterminous with Pain . . . Give up all hope, all faith in Self . . . Dream no more ‘I am’ or ‘I shall be’ but realise, Life suffers; and only by destruction of life’s cause in Selfhood can that suffering be relieved, and Life pass nearer to the Other Shore.

(Bennett 1908a: 186–7)


There are echoes of Arnold and Rhys Davids here, but Ananda Metteyya went further. The message of the Buddha, he believed, was that dukkha was inseparably linked with belief in self. The realization of the falsity of the soul concept was, ‘the darkest hour in all the evolution of a man’. But it was ‘the darkest hour which goes before the dawn’ (Bennett 1904a: 369–70).

Undergirding this in Ananda Metteyya’s vision was cosmic interconnectedness, raised to the status of scientific truth. All life was one. There was ‘One Life’. The simile he most frequently used was of a wave:

Just as all the waters of the ocean are one water, and one body of water, so it is with this universal teeming life; and just as, in the great ocean, there is, and can be by the very nature of it, no individual body of water separate from the rest, so in life’s ocean there is – and can be by the very nature of it – no single separate unit or body of life, whether it be the highest or the lowest, most subtle or most gross . . . Each satta – each living being that our Nescience makes us regard as an individual, a real and separate entity, a self or soul or Atma – is in truth only one such wave, whether a billow or a ripple only, upon the surface of life’s ocean.

(Bennett 1904a: 165–7)


Arnold had stressed the interdependence of all. Ananda Metteyya again took the imagery further. All animal and plant life was so fused together that every action, movement or thought affected the whole, rendering meaningless any distinction between good for self and good for others. Non-recognition of this was the main cause of suffering.

When the sense of self was blown out, when the ‘One Life’ was recognized, according to Ananda Metteyya’s reading of the Buddha’s teaching, something ‘immeasurable and indescribable’ was released, taking the place of self (Bax 1968: 26–7). Ananda Metteyya sought continually to define this ‘something’. He sometimes appealed to non-possessive love, but more often to compassion or pity, rooted in the realization:

that we ourselves are but as transitory waves upon the Ocean of existence, – that all the good we do, the love we have, the wisdom that we garner and the help we give is wrought but for the reaping of the Universe, wrought because Pity is the highest Law of Life, – this is in Buddhism accounted the true beginning of all righteousness, – unselfishness that gives all, whilst knowing yet that it shall never reap the gain.

(Bennett 1904a: 363)


Compassion was the highest point in human evolution for Ananda Metteyya and it led to a missionary commitment to spread a more humane ethic:

Understanding how all of it is doomed to sorrow – wrought of the very warp and woof of Pain and Suffering and Despair – let the divine emotion of Compassion that wakes in us at the thought of it kill out all Hatred from our hearts and ways. Seeing . . . how Life is One . . . let us live no more for self’s fell phantasy, but for the All . . . let us live so that the All, the One, may be the nobler and the greater for our life.

(Bennett 1929: 177)


Within the writers I have covered, Ananda Metteyya was the first, as far as I know, to use the phrase, ‘One Life’. But he was not the first Westerner in Myanmar to do so. A civil servant with an empathic understanding of Buddhism similar to Dickson’s, H. Fielding Hall, had used the term in 1898, claiming he had drawn from oral data (Fielding Hall 1906: 250). And Frank Woodward would use it after him, from Sri Lanka (Woodward 1914: 48).

Morality and meditation

Two distinct lines of teaching are present in Ananda Metteyya’s work about how to begin the Buddhist path: act with generosity and it will affect your mind; work on your mind through meditation and it will affect both your mind and your action. He was aware that many Buddhists in Myanmar were generous simply to gain a better rebirth. He did not condemn this, but claimed that the action itself could modify the motivation, by widening, ‘the petty limits of man’s selfhood’ (Bennett 1929: 65). In other words, the Dhamma could teach that, ‘like a flame of fire, Love kindles Love, grows by the mere act of loving’ (Bennett 1929: 66).

If action could be mind-changing, Ananda Metteyya insisted that meditation could be action-changing and that it was essential, even at the beginning of the path. Sila (morality) and dana (generosity)11 were not enough alone (Bennett 1929: 327). Only meditation could give insight into the how and why of the mind and heart, enabling a person to change the constitution of his being through the power of the ‘mental element’ (Bennett 1908b: 284).

Ananda Metteyya’s response to Westerners who branded meditation as selfish was simply that ‘from the Buddhist view-point, all reformation, all attempt to help on life, can best be effected by first reforming the immediate life-kingdom of the “self"’ (Bennett 1929: 232). In other words, if you wanted to help the whole world, there was no better place to start than with the self: ‘Each thought of love, each effort after purity man makes or thinks is gain to all’ (Bennett 1903a: 22). But it had to be the right kind of meditation. If it served only to magnify the ‘I’, it could be worse than the absence of meditation (Bennett 1929: 407–8).

One practice that Ananda Metteyya recommended as action-changing at the beginning of the path was meditation on a brahmavihara (divine abiding) or an attribute of existence. Meditation on compassion, the second brahmavihara, for instance, could, he believed, open up a path with ‘power to help relieve the sorrow of the world’ (Bennett 1929: 329–30).

Right ‘watchfulness’ or ‘recollectedness’, the translation he gave of sati, more frequently translated as mindfulness, was a further practice Ananda Metteyya recommended to all, including beginners. He defined it as the observation and classification of thought, speech and action and ‘the constant application to each and all of them of the Doctrine of Selflessness’ with the thought, ‘This is not I, this is not Mine, there is no Self herein’ (Bennett 1929: 87).12 This meticulous discipline, Ananda Metteyya taught, could lead to samadhi, which he judged a higher form of meditation that could bring sudden insight.

Ananda Metteyya could find no adequate English translation for the word samadhi, usually defined as concentration, preferring the word ‘ecstacy’. He linked it with non-dual insight into the ‘One Life’. Usually the mind is like a flickering flame, he explained, oscillating continually between consciousness and unconsciousness. In samadhi the flame burns steadily and, ‘the true understanding of the Oneness of Life that makes for Peace, can be won’ (Bennett 1929: 393).

Ananda Metteyya rarely mentioned the jhana, meditative absorptions. But his writings contain one intense description of an experience that he links with entering the first, although its quality speaks more of the attainment of stream-entry (sotapatti), the first of four traditional supermundane paths in Theravada Buddhism. Meditation on compassion came first and then, a burst of liberating consciousness:

As from the heart of a dark thundercloud at night time when nought or but a little of earth or heaven can be seen, suddenly the lightning flashes, and for an instant the unseen world gleams forth in instantaneous light, light penetrating every darkest corner, flushing the clouded sky with momentary glory – so then, at that great moment, will come the realisation of all our toil. No words, no similes, no highest thought of ours can adequately convey that mighty realisation; but then, at that time, we shall know and see; we shall realise that all our life has changed of a sudden, and what of yore we deemed Compassion – what of old we deemed the utmost attainment that the mind or the life of man can compass – that is ours at last; we have won, achieved, and entered into the Path of which mere words can never tell.

(Bennett 1929: 333–4)


Ananda Metteyya did not stress upekkha, equanimity, the quality normally linked with the third and fourth jhana. Yet, there is one interesting definition of it, possibly directed at those who linked the term with apathy: ‘Discrimination or Aloofness from the worldly life’ (Bennett 1923: 104).

Nibbana – inalienable peace

Lying in creative tension within Ananda Metteyya’s work were two images: nibbana as near and attainable; nibbana as distant and indescribable. When new to monastic life, in Myanmar, it was as though he could turn the page of anicca, dukkha, anatta and find nibbana lying on the other side (Bennett 1929: 174). He wrote down his thoughts on it in the first issue of Buddhism (Bennett 1903b). ‘Peace’ was the word he used most frequently at this point to describe it, a peace linked with the death of the ‘I’. ‘It grows but from the ashes of the self outburnt’ (Bennett 1929: 48) he graphically wrote. And those who would equate it with the nihilistic he vehemently challenged:

If I am asked, ‘Is the Nibbana Annihilation? Is it Cessation? Is it the End of All?’ I reply, thus even have we learned. It is Annihilation – the annihilation of the threefold fatal fire of Passion, Wrath and Ignorance. It is Annihilation – the annihilation of conditioned being, of all that has bound and fettered us; the Cessation of the dire delusion of life that has veiled from us the splendour of the Light Beyond. It is the End of All – the end of the long tortuous pilgrimage through worlds of interminable illusion; the End of Sorrow, of Impermanence, of Self-deceit. From the torment of the sad Dream of Life an everlasting Awakening, – from the torture of selfhood an eternal Liberation; – a Being, an Existence, that to name Life were sacrilege, and to name Death a lie: – unnameable, unthinkable, yet even in this life to be realised and entered into.

(Bennett 1903b: 133)


In 1917, as war raged, however, he was less euphoric:

Nirvana stands for the Ultimate, the Beyond, and the Goal of Life – a State so utterly different from this conditioned ever-changing being of the Self-dream that we know as to lie not only quite Beyond all naming and describing; but far past even Thought itself.

(Bennett 1923: 124)


Yet, in the same talk, he could add that it lay ‘nearer to us than our nearest consciousness; even as, to him who rightly understands, it is dearer than the dearest hope that we can frame’ (Bennett 1923: 125). Struggling to explain it to Clifford Bax, though, he drew on atomic science: what happened at arahantship could be similar to atomic disintegration. Forces that had been bound together were separated and transformed into something completely different (Bax 1968: 28).

The danger of science and rationalism

As a young monk, Ananda Metteyya saw Buddhism and science walking hand in hand to bring hope to the West. Before 1914, he could claim that the knowledge science fostered would pave the way to ‘a grander and more stable civilization than ever the world has known’ through ‘the true comprehension of the nature of life and thought and hence of the universe in which we live’ (Bennett 1904b: 533). It would be a ‘New Civilisation’ in which ‘unerring Reason’ would be substituted for ‘the transitory dreams of the emotions’ (Bennett 1904b: 540).

Reason, he believed, could lead to an appreciation of Truth that would humanize society and break war-generating hatred. He was also convinced that only time was needed for science to uncover the material and psychic secrets of the universe.

Lying behind this hope was an evolutionary theory, not the kind favoured by the theosophists, but a corporate form. He imagined it as a movement from childhood to adulthood with two trajectories: one connected with compassion and the other with wisdom. Within the first, the stage of ‘childhood’ was when good was done from fear of punishment. Adolescence came when the motivation changed to the selfishness that saw the fruit of good deeds. The stage of adulthood was when good was done with no expectation of reward (Bennett 1905: 3). Within the second, childhood was when moral imperatives were accepted without question as the dictates of a hypothetical supreme being. Adolescence was the age of investigation and questioning, and adulthood the age of understanding.

When Ananda Metteyya looked at the West from Myanmar before 1908, he saw the age of investigation. He saw reason beginning to triumph over an ontology based on unquestioning faith, the mark of childhood. He was willing to praise the Western mind for its ‘incomparable achievements’ in science (Bennett 1929: 253) and looked forward to an age of understanding, as science and Buddhism joined hands. Never did he slip into the ‘trope of the child’, as identified by postcolonial writers such as Sugirtharajah: the tendency of orientalists to locate the East in a pre-enlightenment, innocent state of childhood (Sugirtharajah 2003: 31–2, 67–9). It was the West that was emerging from a state of childhood.

The First World War changed this. Ananda Metteya’s belief that the West could be reaching adolescence through severing itself from blind faith was destroyed. So, in 1920, as Allan Bennett, he lamented that scientific advance had not been accompanied by ‘improvement in matters of morality and self-restraint’ and added,

For stability, it is essential that every advance in the conquest over nature should be accompanied by an equal advance in the conquest over self; – over the spirits of greed and passion and ambition, which have brought this late calamity upon our Western world.

(Bennett 1920b: 3)


In spite of this, the final writings of Allan Bennett were optimistic. He stood before the Buddhist Society on Vesak Day, 1918, while the war still raged, and admitted that force seemed to be triumphing over reason, hate over truth and love, and heartless greed over charity (Bennett 1920a: 141–2). He recounted the Buddhist narrative of the Sakyans’ willingness to be destroyed rather than fight, and suggested that Britain should have followed that path in 1914 (Bennett 1920a: 142) in stark contrast to words uttered in 1904.13 Yet, he also exhorted everyone to have faith that ‘the Good’ would conquer in the end, and to hold fast to cultivating the ‘Heart’s Kingdom’ where truth and compassion lay. He concluded:

When, then, the dark clouds of the sad world’s dreaming gather thick around us . . . when the vast agony of life about us grips our hearts well-nigh to suffocation; even when death itself draws near; in each and every bitter circumstance of life we can find solace and new inspiration in the Law our Master left . . . And so, remembering, remembering how that great hope came to us; how He that won it was no God, but one just like ourselves, who suffered through life after life, yet ever strove to find a Way that all might follow to the Light Beyond all Life.

(Bennett 1920a: 147–8)


After the war, he urged Buddhists in Britain to move outwards. One thing the war had done, he believed, was to shake people out of apathy and materialism. Therefore, in 1920, he could write, ‘no period could possibly be more propitious to the fulfilment of our aims than that upon which we have entered’ – the aim of building Buddhism up in Britain (Bennett 1920b: 181).14

Concluding thoughts

A progression can be seen in Allan Bennett/Ananda Metteyya’s thought. In his early years as a monk, science, reason and the Dhamma seemed to offer joint hope to the world. In his later years, he realised that it was not scientific advance that would pave the way for Buddhism’s success in the West but the experience of dukkha, suffering. So, eventually, it was the religious life of Myanmar, not the scientific laboratory, that gave Ananda Metteyya his primary inspiration. In his 1917 lectures, the contrasts he wove between the brightness and intensity of Buddhist faith in Myanmar, and the greyness of wartime England were aimed at the heart rather than the intellect, at experience rather than rational argument. ‘Till I went out to the East’, he declared, ‘I did not know what it was to experience the awakening to the Buddhist light of day’ (Bennett 1923: 5). In the West, he added, one cannot find religion as such ‘a vivid, potent, living force’ as in the East (Bennett 1923: ix):

For you must understand that this is no mere cut-and-dried philosophy – as it may seem to one who reads of it out here in books – but a living, breathing Truth; a mighty power able to sweep whomsoever casts himself wholeheartedly into its great streams, far and beyond the life we know and live.

(Bennett 1923: 7)


The intensity of this awareness sometimes made the Dhamma appear to him as a bright, almost tangible, external force leading human effort onwards. There is a remarkable passage from his 1917 talks in which the Buddha and the Dhamma are seen as the source of regenerating power. Echoing Edwin Arnold, Allan Bennett stressed that there was a power ‘whereby we may enfranchise that droplet of Life’s ocean which we term ourselves’, a power that moved to good and manifested itself as sympathy and compassion. He located it in the Buddha and the Dhamma, and claimed that it ‘constitutes that force whereby we are ever, so to speak, drawn upwards out of this life in which we live, towards the State Beyond – Nirvana, the Goal towards which all Life is slowly but surely moving’ (Bennett 1923: 119).

_______________

Notes:

1 Crowley’s relationship with Bennett began when both were interested in occult mysticism, and petered out when Bennett became a convinced Buddhist. Pereira met Bennett in 1900 and the friendship lasted a lifetime. Together with the Venerable Narada, DrW.A. de Silva and Hema Basnayake, Pereira founded the Servants of the Buddha in 1921 to provide a discussion forum for English-speaking Buddhists. At 65 years he was ordained as the Venerable Kassapa. His father built Maithriya Hall, Bambalapitiya (Colombo) named after Ananda Metteyya.

2 Crowley claimed that he was known all over London ‘as the one Magician who could really do big-time stuff ’ (Grant 1972: 85), which included using a wand to render motionless a sceptic who doubted its power (Symonds and Grant 1989: 180).

3 Pereira later wrote that he had thought all Bennett had taught him about meditation at that time was Buddhist but later realized that it also contained, ‘mystic Christian, Western “occult” and Hindu sources’ (Pereira 1947: 67).

4 In the late 1880s, the remedies prescribed by doctors for asthma included cocaine, opium and morphine. Bennett was heavily dependent on them (Symonds and Grant 1989: 180). See James Adam 1913, which advises the use of cocaine and, with restrictions, morphine; A.C. Wootton 1910, which affirms the beneficial effects of laudanum, an opium-based drug; Thorowgood 1894, which recommends arsenical cigarettes, cocaine, cannabis, and morphine together with less toxic drugs.

5 Ananda Metteyya became General Secretary, with Dr E.R. Rost, a Western convert to Buddhism and member of the Indian Medical Service, the Honorary Secretary. For further information about Rost see Humphreys 1968: 3–5.

6 Editorial comment, Buddhism 1, 3 March 1904: 473.

7 BR, I, 1909: 3.

8 Pereira gives no date for this. See Harris 1998: 14.

9 BR, 8, 1916: 217–9.

10 No gravestone has ever been placed on Allan Bennett’s grave, perhaps because suspicions concerning his link with esotericism continued. See Harris 1998: 17.

11 In Sri Lanka, the traditional threefold classification is: dana, sila, bhavana (giving, morality, meditation). Ananda Metteyya describes his classification, sila, dana, bhavana, as: avoiding evil, charity, meditation.

12 See also Bennett 1923: 94.

13 A 1904 editorial by Ananda Metteyya had commended the war between Japan and Russia as the fight of Japan, a Buddhist power, against ‘the most ruthless of the Christian powers’ (Buddhism, I, 4: 649).

14 He added at the end:

These facts, we consider, justify us in our conclusion that in the extension of this great Teaching lies not only the solution of the ever-growing religious problems of the West; but even, perhaps, the only possible deliverance of the western civilization from that condition of fundamental instability which now so obviously and increasingly prevails.

(Bennett 1920b: 187)
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