by Reginald Machell [FTS]

reprinted from “Theosophical Siftings” Volume - 5 -

[Page 3] THE first question that naturally presents itself, in considering this subject is: — What is Art? This appears to me to be as difficult to answer as the old question, What is Truth ? For when we try to analyze Art in itself, we find that we are face to face with an abstract idea; or rather, I should say that we can never come just face to face with the thing in itself, by reason of its abstraction.

We must not confuse Art itself with any of its forms or manifestations; although if we examine deeply any of these forms, or manifestations, we are bound to arrive at that abstract something which lies at the root of all. But as it is useless to discuss abstractions without having our minds trained and etherealized to a degree that is scarcely compatible with life as we know it at present, it will be better, I think, to try and define what is the particular meaning which for the time being we shall agree to attach to the term Art.

This term is used so freely and loosely, that it really serves as a beautiful example of the use of language to conceal the absence of thought. Just at present there is a rage for what is called Art; Art linendrapers, Art paperhangers, Art manufacturers of all kinds abound — indeed, everything in a modern house is either artistic or sanitary (which being interpreted means cheap and useless). But though we may laugh at these grotesque desecrations of a sacred word, it is not so easy to give a logical reason for limiting the use of the term to the higher forms of Art. It seems to me that Art is essentially the expression of an ideal. This ideal will vary in its degree of approximation to Truth, in proportion as it approaches the abstract essence of things; but however low a man's ideal may be, it will still be to him the highest conceivable degree of beauty and Truth.

Beauty appears to be a quality of Nature, of which man only perceives so much as his mind can assimilate. For beauty does not exist apart from the perceiver. Yet it rather seems to me that beauty is really a state of mind. The senses only register vibrations, which are translated by the mind into colour, form, sound, etc.; and then the mind discovers, by the aid of these qualities, a harmony which it calls [Page 4] beauty, and attributes as a quality to the object of perception, but which really seems to be the result of harmonious relations between mind and object. It would be more true perhaps to say that beauty is in both observer and observed, but not in one apart from the other.

This characteristic (of expression of an ideal) is so inseparable from the idea of Art, that it may well be taken as the first and most important; always remembering, however, that the thing in itself is not its characteristics. This being in itself unknowable, can only be symbolized to the mind by means of its characteristics. Hence we have all the schools, each maintaining that theirs is true Art, and quarrelling with others, who uphold some other form of Art. They are all right, and all necessary in their time and place; but each form (or school of Art) must die; and the endeavour of the artist worthy of the name should be to make the constant change one of advance, or of expansion towards the great Truth which lies back of all ideals, and which is the unknown, and to us unknowable.

This faculty of man's — that of being able to conceive the idea of the possibility of the unthinkable — is one on which the study of the constitution of man, particularly the dual nature of Manas (mind) as explained, or rather hinted at, in Madame Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine, will throw much light.

It is the lower Manas (mind) which is so largely developed in humanity at present, and more often it is only the lower subdivisions even of that. Now the mind of the materialist-scientist seems to me to be the full development of the lower Manas, which strives to assure its footsteps, and set itself on a sound footing, but with eyes bent downwards, not seeing or not noticing the gleams of light from the higher Manas, which are taken for illusive fancies, fictions of the brain, and what not.

The artistic mind seems to be the higher aspect of the lower Manas, eagerly looking for these rare gleams of light, catching them, and striving to reflect them again in some form intelligible to other minds; and, unlike the scientific, caring nothing for proving, testing, or classifying the characteristics of these rays of light — or rather their effects. The artist seeks to live in the light, and to reflect it, to reveal the ideal, the beautiful, the true; and leaves the world to do what it can with what he gives it. What the world does generally is to take the revelation and make it a marketable commodity.

Fortunately, however, the work of Art may be hidden or destroyed, its secret cannot be touched by the traders who buy and sell the casket which contains the hidden gem, whose light they cannot see. [Page 5] "Eyes have they, but they see not". The higher senses are atrophied, and trade has deadened the effect of Art, whose light cannot pierce the gloom of a mind filled with money-making. When such a man speaks of beauty, it can only mean that something has been found to vibrate sympathetically in his nature; and you will not be far wrong in tracing this sympathy to sexual passion, which to the ordinary animal-man takes the place of artistic feeling for harmony.

As I have said, Art appears to me as the expression of an ideal. Now if we take the most thoroughgoing realist in Art, say in pictorial Art, what is it he does ? He attempts to express the idea that he has conceived of some aspect of Nature, having no faculty by which he can cognize or express the real nature of things in themselves, apart from his own conception of their appearance as conveyed to his mind by his senses. So that, after all, he is attempting to express an ideal, only he is deceiving himself by taking his own ideal for the reality. And here let me say that the so-called realist is just the most difficult of all to understand, for he does not attempt (consciously) to give any clue to the ideas underlying all manifested Nature, but just plants a fact before you and leaves you to worry it out for yourself, or to follow the mob, who fall down and worship the accuracy of the imitation, leaving the ideas to take care of themselves.

In allegorical pictures, the spectator is told plainly — This is an allegory, try and find out what it means; yet you will hear people complain that Burne Jones' pictures are so untrue to Nature, and so forth. It is just that very question, what is Truth in Nature, which is so intensely interesting. Is it the sense-perception of Nature? or is it a far more subtle perception of the underlying Nature of which the outer material world is the sense-form? May there not perhaps be more ways of knowing Nature than those usually employed; and when an artist, poet, or musician puts forth a strange and unintelligible work, shall we say it is untrue to Nature? Is it not better to try and see if perchance he has not found a new way of seeing one more face of the great unknown mystery.

The great master in any branch of Art appears as an interpreter of the hidden ideal concealed in the common facts of ordinary life; he is a light bringer, who points out a way to the real nature of things; the revealer of the soul of Nature. He does not throw a glamour over simple facts, to deceive men, but rather he lifts the veil of matter ever so little, and shows a faint glimpse of the real nature of the idea, which he strives to express materially by a certain arrangement of objects or persons. Art then being, if my definition be accepted, the expression [Page 6] of the ideal, which must be the highest conceivable form of Truth, the study of Art must be the pursuit of Truth, and that is aspiration.

In Science the pursuit of Truth means knowledge and progress, while in Religion the same search for Truth becomes almost a passive state, and assumes the form of worship, while Truth is symbolized as God. The Artistic, the Scientific, and the Religious — these are the three main classes into which human aspirants may be divided. There is another class which includes all these; for the Occultist, I imagine, must have the capacity of development along all these lines, though he, also, will be swayed in one or other direction, according to the star under which he is born; but this star which controls his existence throughout the life-cycle of the manvantara is not the astrological star which presides at each physical rebirth. This, however, is fully explained in the Secret Doctrine, where we are told that mankind is divided into seven great classes which are under the guidance of a Planetary spirit, a Dhyani Buddha, a Master Mind; or rather the collective mind of that whole class of men, the real self of each one.

We are further told that an individual cannot change the class in which he starts at the beginning of the manvantara, till the whole cycle has run its course; and for this reason it is important to try and find out to which class we really do belong. But in whatever class we may be, the same forces, in various combinations and modifications, work in all of us; and the road of progress must be similar in all; that is, it must be, in some form, aspiration. This should be the basis upon which our lives should be built. And so I would say that Art, Science, or Religion, should be the very foundation of life for all who wish to be men and not animals; and, while a man will be inevitably drawn more towards one than the other, I imagine that if he would really rise he must keep the other lines open, while still developing himself more particularly on the one towards which he is most attracted. So, while it would be absurd to ask every man to at once begin the practice of some branch of Art, yet I do hold that every man should try to develop in himself that perception of Art which is a key to the harmony of Nature, and to his own position in that harmony.

Have you seen in the springtime the glorious masses of blossom gleaming in pure loveliness in the midday sun (as some of us saw it one day last May — a day that few of us will forget) ? And again, have you not on an autumn evening watched the effect of the setting sun, showing splashes of golden light, glowing among the purple shades, and pearly mists of some country scene. And have you not felt the beauty, and understood that the beauty and harmony were the reality [Page 7] although you might also know that the setting sun was reflected in golden glory from the glowing surface of some pool of black slime oozing from a pigstye, and the purple shades were made by a manure heap, and the pearly mists were poisonous exhalations from some marsh, or drain, perhaps. Now what would that scene suggest to a man without a perception of Art or beauty? Why, rheumatism, ague, typhoid, etc., all that comes within the range of his bodily perception, poor man! And in the masses of blossom he would see a prospect of a good crop of saleable fruit, bless him! A perception of beauty is not necessarily a protection from rheumatism; but we may see how the lowest objects in Nature become the means of expressing the grandest beauty. They take their place in the harmony of Nature, and each reflect the rays of the great sun, which shines on all alike.

Art is the golden key by which beauty is perceived, and beauty is the key to harmony, and harmony prepares the way for unity, which is the point from which mankind shall one day start upon a new plane of higher evolution. That eternal evolution which Theosophy shows to be the law of the universe, and which makes intelligible to us the existence of apparent discord, of crime, and of misery in the world, all of which seems to be directly due to ignorance of the real principles which govern our life. Of Art in particular how little is known or understood! It is sad to see how utterly degraded is the present general conception of Art, and of what should be the position of mankind with regard to it. Nothing is more common than to hear it spoken of apologetically, as being useful to brighten the lives of people immersed in worldly cares; a pleasant addition to a home; like Crosse and Blackwell's marmalade "an elegant adjunct to the breakfast table"; a kind of sauce to add flavour to the enjoyment of life — as though Art were something external to man, and to be had on tap, of all respectable artists!

Art cannot be bought and sold. A man may buy a picture, but if he has not the key to Art in himself, he simply buys the privilege of preventing other people from enjoying that which he cannot perceive. He is the privileged custodian of a work of Art, but he has no more to do with Art than one of the policemen at South Kensington Museum. He makes an investment which often turns out most profitable, and is then considered a patron of Art by a public without any sense of humour — a public sunk in the degrading influence of our beautiful, respectable civilization. No; as Whistler has said: No man can do anything for Art, can add aught to it, or take anything from it; Art is. It is constant, and that which varies is the number of light-bringers,[Page 8] or great masters, who mark the great periods of civilization, and who are reborn into the world at regular (though apparently irregular) periods. They produce the great revivals and renaissances, and their glory remains as an after-glow when they are withdrawn.

What happens seems to be this: the light-bringer, or master, lifts the veil of matter, and shows a glimpse of Truth. The light flashes out and blinds the mob who happen to be looking in that direction, and they howl, and curse the discomfort produced by this unpleasant thing; paying, as Whistler rightly says, the only homage possible from the mob to the master — that of execration. Those who are looking the other way see the light reflected in the eyes of some one or two eager searchers after Truth, and promptly fall down and worship them, as if they were the real source of light; and so by their flattery too often cause an earnest seeker to become a mock master, a king crowned, like Shilili Bagarag, with a crown of apes' skulls and asses' ears. The applause of the multitude! Truly, "Beware when all men speak well of you".

But perhaps my definition of Art may be too wide, for it would almost cover mathematics and geometry, for instance, and other forms of expression which yet can hardly be called forms of Art. The ordinary observer will see a clear distinction between a mathematical problem or a geometrical figure and a work of Art; but when we look deeper into the nature of things it is not so easy to draw a hard and fast line between the two. The explanation may perhaps be found in the study of Theosophic writings of all times on the subject of the difference between the soul and mind. Art is of the soul, and as there are many phases of Art there are also many types of soul. Psyche, the ΨυΧη of the Greeks, was symbolized by a butterfly, which springs from the grub, and opens its wings to the great sun. And so, when Whistler took the butterfly as his monogram, or device, he did well. It hovers in the middle region, a link between earth and heaven, like the Peri at the gate of Paradise in Moore's poem.

These three divisions again suggest that Art also may be divided into three kinds, or three stages. There is the Art of ancient Egypt, of India, Assyria, and probably of later Atlantis, all which is essentially symbolic and spiritual; yet still displaying the highest degree ol decorative beauty. Then comes the astral or lower ideal Art of the Greeks, in which sensuous beauty is so developed as to obscure the spiritual nature of the ideas concealed under the graceful forms which are the glory of the Greek school. The third form is modern impressionism, which I should call the materialised form of Art. Not that I [Page 9] mean for a moment to call the great artists of our time materialists but simply that in comparison with Greece or Egypt the Art of today bears more the stamp of materialism than of the ideal or the spiritual. I think that anyone who spends much time in studying the remains of ancient Egyptian and Assyrian Art in the British Museum will feel a sense of coming down to earth on entering the Greek sculpture gallery, and if he spends time enough there to become imbued with the feeling of the beauty, grace, and dignity of Greek Art, he will also experience another drop on entering the National Gallery. The casual observer would naturally reverse the order; but when we consider the enormous proportion of our artists who devote all their talent and time to portraiture, I think the term materialistic will not be found misapplied.

Into the dull mist of sham classic and gross material vulgarity, which until lately reigned supreme in Europe, a light was flashed in the shape of that which is now known as impressionism, but which had other names at first. It is but twenty years or more since Manet and his followers startled the world by their glimpses of real Nature, of open air, of light and life. What a howl there was at the time in Paris, and has been since; and yet within ten years the influence of the new light was reflected in every picture exhibition, and in the works of the men who even then still continued to laugh at those whose genius had shown them the light. Zola has told all this in his great work, L'Oeuvre, in that marvellous and masterly style of his; which, again, is a light that has multiplied itself in the literary world; while the public, who are incapable of just appreciation, pick out certain books and certain passages, read them with prurient joy, and then hold up their pure hands in virtuous horror.

Truth has stepped out of her well, hearing her name called so loudly and long; and lo! she is behind the times, and her pure nudity shocks the mock modesty of the canting world, and they drive her back with stones and sticks. Zola's books are often horrible, but not so horrible as the life that goes on all around us, if we will look into it. Shall we shrink from the Truth, or face it? learning to look on it unmoved, except by pity for our race, which suffers from such hideous sores; remembering that we, who tolerate such a state of things, are more to be reviled than the man who lifts the veil and lets the light in upon its hideousness.

The Secret Doctrine teaches the complex nature of man, and shows that while all the principles, developed and undeveloped, exist potentially in every man, the higher faculties are for the most part [Page 10] latent at the present time. Evolution then must take the direction of the developing of these latent powers. The effort in this direction is, again, aspiration towards the ideal. Now this ideal will necessarily vary in each class of mankind; consequently with each type of mind we shall have a different form of Art, Science or Religion. Each of these forms is the best for those minds which belong to that class (or evolutionary stage) in which it appears; and thus we have men of the greatest ability positively asserting that their particular form of expression is the only true one. This is well, for each class of mind is, as it were, a different member of the great human body, a separate note in a chord which forms a part of the harmony of Nature; and a man who is fully convinced that his own perception of Truth is the one only right perception, is more than likely to produce good work, to sound his one note clearly and well; but he must not be allowed to overwhelm the other notes in the chord, as too often happens for want of the knowledge of the fact that he and his school are only one note in a great harmony.

I do not think that the great men, the great artists of all times, could ever have ignored this simple fact; but as they are, as it were, the leading tones, and in their own chord are so important, their followers imagine them to be the whole chord in themselves, and promptly strive to destroy all the sonorousness of the other tones in the chord. If they succeed, they naturally produce discord. Then another great man rises, and sounds his note, giving the leading tone for another chord, and the lesser minds rush off and swamp the sonorousness of his tone with their discordant imitations; and so the world is tossed backward and forward.

For men do not realize that each one of them has his own place, grouped naturally round some one or other of these great master minds, and that for all to try and play the same part in the great orchestra is to produce inevitable discord. Each instrument, or set of instruments, is tuned to a different key, and has a different capacity and different uses, and consequently must have its own special score adapted to its capacity, and arranged by the master mind in such manner as to bring out to the best advantage, and in its proper place, the full value of the particular instrument. The conductor is the mind of the whole orchestra, and can only produce harmony so long as each instrumentalist looks conscientiously to him for the beat, and each concerns himself with his own instrument, and not at all with his neighbours'. The conductor without his orchestra is voiceless, and the orchestra without the conductor is helpless, and can only produce confusion. [Page 11] But many people declare that the harmony of the universe is a myth, a poetic fancy, a delusion; that all is discord, with at best a snatch of melody here and there. Here again the analogy holds good. Suppose we take a complicated orchestral piece and confine our attention to one of the instrumental parts, we shall find little to please our ear, and little to satisfy us in any way. We most of us know by painful experience the effect of hearing a bandsman practising his part alone. There appears to be no melody, no meaning whatever in his sudden bursts of sound, with long pauses and then a single note that seems harsh and discordant without the other instruments, each of which is also playing a part as meaningless — when heard alone. And though some one or two may play a distinct melody, yet it will seem weak and thin without the whole body of sound of the combined orchestra. And this is just the position of separate individuals, or classes, or races of men.

We may carry this analogy of the orchestra even a step further, and see how it is almost impossible for any one player, while still playing his part in the great orchestra, to judge of the effect of the whole performance. He can do so if he leaves his place and listens to the others; but though in this way he may enjoy the harmony of the whole, he has selfishly deprived that whole of one of its constituent parts, and neglected to perform his duty. This is what is done when a man leaves the world in order to selfishly enjoy the contemplation of Nature, and is very different to the seclusion of the student, who only retires in order to prepare himself to fitly take his place, and worthily perform his part. Of these two paths I need hardly say that the one pointed out by Theosophy is not that of selfish enjoyment, even of the most elevated kind; for it teaches the essential unity of the universe, and warns the student against the "great heresy" of separateness.

The Theosophical Society makes its first object the establishment of a nucleus of Universal Brotherhood. To attain this great object the first step is to establish a platform, so to speak, on which all the opposing and conflicting elements may meet. They must have a common basis to work upon; and the search for this platform, or basis, will lead men to a deeper study of their own natures; for until we go pretty deep there is no sign of any common nature in all men. To make a brotherhood of man you must be able to show wherein really lies the bond, the real union; and it must be a part of the compound nature which is existent in all and each, else it will be only a class, not an universal union. It is useless to say we are all brothers unless we can show something more than a sentimental relationship, for a very large [Page 12] number will never be able to admit the idea on those grounds. I think that the study of Theosophy will offer a key to the unravelling of the mystery by the theory of the relation between the compound nature of man and that of the universe. If we can prove to ourselves the truth of the statement, so often repeated in Theosophical writings of all times, that man is a miniature universe, governed by similar laws, and that the same laws apply to every particle of matter; then we may see that the Brotherhood of Man is not only desirable, but that it is inevitable. It merely rests with us to say whether we will recognize it or not; and if we do, then in whatever way we may take it, how shall we understand it?

Once again I would suggest that the study of another form of Art may offer a suggestion. Let us take the analogy of the stage. The actors are called together, and the parts are distributed, just as the Egos are fitted with bodies and personalities at each rebirth. They are, to a certain extent, bound by the conditions of the part they play, but how they will play their respective parts will depend upon the result of the experience gained in previous parts played upon the stage; just as a man's character is said to be the outcome of the way he has lived his previous earth-lives. Now a good actor will never imagine that he can act independently of his brother actors, or that he is at all free to disregard the unity of the whole piece; he will not even try to force his part into undue prominence, as he knows that the success of the play depends upon the harmonious action of all. He knows the importance of keeping his part well within the picture, aiming at the whole effect, and not at a momentary self-glorification. If he has to play the part of a villain, he does it as carefully as he would if he were playing a more congenial character, and accepts the hisses of the gallery as proof of his success. He does not look upon his unpleasant character as a punishment for having played badly other parts, but as an opportunity of gaining still more experience, and displaying the knowledge already gained; working as much for the good of the whole company as the actor who plays the good genius of the piece. All the parts are important, and all the players are dependent upon the work of a host of others who do not appear, but whose momentary neglect of their duty may throw the whole performance into confusion.

Or suppose that the actor who for the time is playing the villain of the piece decides that he will make his character more amiable, and quietly cuts out the murder that is set down for him to commit, what becomes of the virtuous hero who has been robbed of his great death. [Page 13] scene, and of his dying speech, which he is wont to fire off at the full pitch of his voice, regardless of the dagger sticking in his heart of lungs as the case may be! Vice and virtue are no longer to be distinguished, and the piece is drowned by the jeers of the audience. This sounds like advocating the theory of fatalism or predestination, but it is not quite that if we look into it. The actor voluntarily accepts his part, and only becomes a villain so long as his appointed task actually continues, returning to his own character with a little experience gained. So the Ego perhaps deliberately sacrifices itself to suffer the crucifixion of being nailed to the cross of a criminal personality, to save that personality perhaps from utter loss, or for some other purpose more difficult to imagine or understand.

And here I would suggest that our present estimate of right and wrong, of virtue and vice, may be very materially altered in a more developed state, particularly the relative importance which we give to certain vices or virtues. It is evident that at the present day the only crime that renders a man who has plenty of money unfit for the best society, is suicide. Now it is quite conceivable (though perhaps a somewhat wild speculation) that the greatest crime might, in a better state of society, be dishonesty; but this is to look too far ahead, I fear. If we could but just face in that direction it would be something gained.

Some students of Theosophy seem rather inclined to regard Art as a matter of purely sensuous enjoyment, and consequently something to be avoided as a snare. There is a sensuous side to Art, because there is a sensuous side to man. There is also a psychic side, and an inner spiritual and occult side. Certainly the senses play their part in any appreciation of a work of Art, and if the senses are systematically blunted and deadened, it will be hard for a man to get into touch with any artistic work; and so the inner nature of it remains unknown to him, and he closes a valuable window from which he might look out on to a wider world than that enclosed in the mental walls which he has narrowed into a prison-house for his soul. The lower nature is the horse we ride upon in the great journey, and for a man to kill his horse at the start because he is restive, is surely shortsighted policy; better master him with skill and judgment, and make him carry his rider through the dark valley, till he reach the mountain up which the pilgrim must climb on foot, and alone.

The study of Art is just this — the training of the senses, putting them in harmony with Nature, and so stilling their constant turmoil, and leaving the soul free. A lady once told me how, when sitting in a [Page 14] College Chapel at Oxford, looking at the windows designed by Burne Jones, she rather wondered at the admiration that she had heard expressed for them, when just at that moment the full rich tones of the organ pealed out, filling the place with harmony. Then all at once a new light seemed to shine from the windows, the harmony of colour melted into the harmony of sound, and somehow the colour and sound seemed one; a wonderful calm fell on all her senses; but her mind seemed to open out upon the other side of some hitherto impassable barrier, and all grew clear; she seemed to read the meaning of life, and of her own being. When she told me about it she was puzzled, and could find no words to express what she had felt. I pointed out to her that a great artist had worked long to produce those windows, another great artist had worked long to produce that music, and a great architect had worked long before that building became the shrine of Art; and yet it took all their joint work to produce the harmony necessary to express those ideas, for, if it could be done with words, then their work was useless. Words are so small and poor, for when a poet takes words, and makes with them a great poem that becomes a window for the soul to look through, is it the meaning of the words analyzed grammatically that will explain the effect of his poem ? Is it not the rhythm, the tone, the accent, the secret spell of number (that great lord of Nature) that all combine to put the lower man in harmony and at peace, so that the soul can hear the voice of the poet's soul, without words?

This sensuous part of Art is no doubt full of danger, for if when the point of harmonious balance is reached the mind turns its gaze downwards, then it will be caught in the web of pleasure and drowned in the sweet intoxication of sense. But when we look round at the state of our modern society, we see that the great aim of life is not even enjoyment of life, but enjoyment of the good opinion of other men, whether genuine or not. What sense pleasures are really enjoyed are so low as to be out of the question altogether when we are discussing Art, and one almost begins to think the intoxicating delight of a Salvation Army band is an advance, and Moody and Sankey's hymns a high flight of aesthetic progress.

All is relative, and just as we now look with pitying contempt on the proceedings of a Salvation Army procession, it is quite conceivable that in a more advanced state of progress our highest achievements in Art may appear poor and trivial to our descendants. All we can do is to aspire ever towards the light of Truth, and use for the expression of our ideals such methods as may seem best suited to our purpose for [Page 15] the time being, not copying slavishly the methods of others, however great they may be; for the great artist employs the best methods for expressing his ideal; and for a lesser man to copy his method, without having anything worthy of such expression, is to produce a solemn burlesque — such as we see in such profusion in all our exhibitions where the imitator and the adapter shine in all the glory of their numbers.

These are the men who take the reflection of the light revealed by genius, and make it up into a marketable commodity, nicely arranged, to suit the public intellect, shall I say? But when I speak of artists having nothing to express, I do not allude to what is ordinarily called the subject of a work, or the story told; but to the real subject — that subtle something which defies language and can only be expressed in its own particular form of Art, thereby causing that Art, and justifying the existence of the artist.

The essential unity of the universe, this is the constant theme of Theosophic writers. Unity is the aim of every great aspiration; unity to be reached by harmony. On whatever plane the aspirant may be, the process I imagine will be the same, or similar. So in Art; I would say, look for harmony, whether of sound, form, or colour, and remember that in a harmony all the factors need not be expressed; sometimes one may have a harmony with one tone fully expressed, and all the rest more or less concealed, some being merely suggested.

Where then will you look for the completion of the harmony, but in yourself. The artist can only suggest, the spectator must seek in himself the elements of harmony; and only so will he find what is the use of a work of art. The music is silent without the soul to hear it. The poet, the painter, the sculptor, work in vain, or for themselves alone, if Art is dead in the people; and the work of Art must breathe back its gentle life to the realm of harmony, from which the artist has called it. And the world must sink lower and lower into materiality, unless it make the great effort, and succeed in awakening its own soul, finding beauty, and love, and harmony surrounding it on every side — till then unknown, unrecognized, and unbelieved.


Go to Top of this page
Back to our On Line Documents
Back to our Main Page

A free sample copy of our bilingual magazine can be sent to you. This offer is only good for a mailing to a Canadian address. You have to supply a mailing address.

The Canadian membership of $25.00 includes the receipt of four seasonal issues of our magazine "The Light Bearer" . If you are a resident of Canada send a note to requesting a packet of information and your free copy of our magazine

For membership outside of Canada send a message to the International Secretary in Adyar, India

For a problem viewing one of our documents - or to report an error in a document - send a note to the webmaster at

We will try to answer any other query -if you would send a note to

This document is a publication of the
Canadian Theosophical Association (a regional association of the Theosophical Society in Adyar)
89 Promenade Riverside,
St-Lambert, QC J4R 1A3

To reach the President - Pierre Laflamme dial 450-672-8577
or Toll Free - from all of Canada 866-277-0074
or you can telephone the national secretary at 905-455-7325

Используются технологии uCoz