Notable Books 15

Well, that book must be somewhere….

Notable Books: A Golden Oldie

Edited by Bib Leo Phyle -- Planet Earth

Cyril Scott

Cyril Meir Scott (27 September 1879 – 31 December 1970) was an English composer, writer, and poet. As a composer, he was a late romantic whose style was strongly influenced by impressionism with notably exotic harmonies. Scott also wrote poetry and prose. He was fascinated by the occult and health foods, and described his beliefs as a blend of science, philosophy, and religion. His best-known book is undoubtedly the first in a series on a fictional Mahatma named Justin Moreward Haig:

Scott, Cyril. The Initiate: Some Impressions of a Great Soul. By His Pupil. New York: Samuel Weiser, 1977 (first published by Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1920).

The book includes many Theosophically relevant comments, of which the following are typical:

“Beliefs are the crutches by which some people hobble towards Truth — when one arrives there, one throws the crutches away. Many devout religionists believe, but to believe is not of necessity to know; only the practical occultist knows” (p. 22).

“The sportsman gives other living things pain in order to get pleasure himself — the ideal sport is to derive pleasure oneself from relieving other people’s pain” (p. 23).

“The only real sin in life . . . is ignorance” (p. 41).

“[A]nything remarkable that anybody can do, is a step Godward and a step towards freedom. Impotence is the strongest of all fetters. Talk about being like God, Who projected this Universe from Himself, and yet be incapable of doing anything but twirling the thumbs! / Bless my soul! what a conception!” (pp. 130-1).

“I asked him [Moreward] why he didn’t eat meat, and he just smiled and said it was a pity to kill unoffending animals” (p. 141).

“. . . heredity is only the effect, and not the cause. A man, for instance, who drinks, will in his next incarnation be drawn into a family where he will be able to gratify his desire. Heredity would then imply that he drank because his father drank; in other words, he inherits a body troubled by the tendency to drink . . . but the reason of his inheriting it is left out . . . the cause lying much further back” (p. 143).

“[P]eople deny re-incarnation because they cannot recollect their past lives — absence of memory to them is a sufficient proof of non-existence. . . .[But] with each incarnation, the ego obtains a new body, and hence a new brain, and it is solely the brain which remembers; that being so, the brain cannot register anything which took place before it was formed . . . . All the same, within every one of us are certain rudimentary organs [by which we can access] a memory which is not dependent on the physical brain. . . . That is why, and how, the initiate remembers his past lives” (pp. 144-5).

“There was a very wise man . . . who said that life is too serious to take seriously” (p. 169).

[L]ove is simply the principle of attraction and . . . the whole universe hangs together through love[.] That is why love is the most important thing in the world” (p. 171); cf. At the Feet of the Master.

“A human being is not merely his physical body: he has an emotional body, a mental body, and a spiritual body as well; all of these interpenetrating his physical one” (p. 172).

“[T]here is no such thing as a miracle. We of the Brotherhood merely utilize laws of nature which most people are not acquainted with” (p. 206).

“Mrs. Besant pithily puts it, ‘Ignorance can never convince knowledge’” (p. 213).


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