Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 17.djvu/140

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

the Croton by three different routes, one of a little less than fifteen miles, another nearly twenty-seven miles, and the third forty-one miles. The shorter route is regarded as impracticable, as the water would have to be raised one hundred and six feet to the conduit. The third route, though the longest, is considered the best for a permanent work of this character. It would consist of thirty miles of open canal, two and one half miles of tunnel, and eight miles of natural watercourses. The area drained by the Housatonic above the point where this conduit would join it is six hundred and thirty-one square miles, and the water that could be delivered into the Croton is estimated at one hundred million gallons daily. The cost of this work to the head of the Croton River is estimated at a little over two million dollars. It is considered that, with the auxiliary supply which this river would furnish, the water-supply of New York would be assured for a number of years. Mr. Campbell urges the necessity of early action, that a work which will necessarily consume a considerable time may be commenced in season to meet the continually augmenting demand for water.

The Theosophist. A Monthly Journal devoted to Oriental Philosophy, Art, Literature, and Occultism: embracing Mesmerism, Spiritualism, and other Secret Sciences. Conducted by H. P. Blavatsky. Subscription price, 10 rupees. Published, 108 Girgaum Back Road, Bombay, India.

This periodical, which was started last October, seems to be the organ of the Theosophical Society that has existence both in New York and Bombay. Colonel Henry S. Olcott is its president and Madame Blavatsky its corresponding secretary. Bombay, we suppose, is now headquarters, as the parties mentioned have recently left New York and established themselves in Bombay, where their organ is now printed. "The Theosophist" is printed in English, but claims to have a universal patronage, being subscribed for in every part of India, in Ceylon, Burmah, on the Persian Gulf, in Egypt, Australia, North and South America, and the chief European countries. Of its contents it is somewhat difficult to speak. A large proportion of its contributions are from writers whose names betray an English origin, but there are many from learned natives of India. We should say that the journal is devoted to mysticism, and is perhaps the purest and most perfect antiscientific periodical that has ever been started.

Its ideal virtue is evidently to believe. We can gather no intimation that there is any check to this process, nor anything too wild, absurd, or extravagant to be credited. One would think that Colonel Olcott and Madame Blavatsky could have found exercise enough for credulity in New York. But they have sought an Oriental sphere where they can revel in a far richer and wider field of superstition.

It seems there is a Hindoo spiritualism akin to American spiritualism, but still arrogating superiority over it. Mr. Rao Bahadur Janardhan Sakharam Gadgil, LL. B., F. T. S., in a communication to the December "Theosophist," thus contrasts the two systems:

The spiritualists of America and Europe have this truth (the survival and return of spirits) phenomenally demonstrated to them, and so far Eastern philosophy welcomes the movement. But beyond this it can not go; for it finds little reason to congratulate the spiritualists upon the new ideas and aspirations they put forth. That death is the mere separation of the corporeal from the Jiva, or soul, that animates it, is a truth admitted in all schools of Oriental philosophy. The Bhagwatgita says that the Jiva, which is a part and parcel of myself, that is, Brahm, leaves the corporeal body at the time of death, and it draws in and takes with it the mind and the senses, just as the breeze of air that touches and leaves a flower bears off its perfume. So far Oriental philosophy and Western spiritualism are at one. But it appears that Western spiritualists are drifting into the belief that every human soul, after its severance from the corporeal body which it animated on this earth, remains for ever without another corporeal body; that all human souls can and some do make themselves manifest to living human beings either through the bodies of mediums or by assuming, temporarily, objective forms themselves; that this state of existence is better than the earthly one; and that in their corporeal existence they will develop and attain to the degree of final perfection. Now, Hindoo philosophy and religion teach differently on every one of these points. Though they admit that some human souls may continue for a long time without another corporeal body, still this is the lot of comparatively a few of those only who, during their existence on this earth, led a life of sensual appetites and who died prematurely with the intensity of those car-