Jun 24, 2017

The Aquarian Theosophist, June 2017





This is the opening thought of June 2017 edition:

There is a sharp difference between peace and stagnation.

On page one, the article “The Choices that Elevate the Soul” says: 

As soon as a pilgrim decides to tread the path to wisdom, several additional decisions must be made that he cannot postpone.

On page three we have “The State of Mind and External Conditions”. Page four presents “Taking a Rest from Outward Perception” and “Beyond Wishful Thinking”.

The Writings of an Eastern Master - 02”, on pages 5-7, brings us excerpts from a letter of Blavatsky’s teacher. The article “Storks, Babies and the Phoenix” examines an ancient legend, on p. 8.

These are other topics in the June 2017 edition:

* The breathing of the forests and our breathing; 

* Orwell and the power of caring for the others;

* Theosophy in the Epistle of James;

* The Art of Studying Blavatsky;

* Thoughts Along the Road: there can be no firmness in one’s steps, in the absence of self-discipline;

* Ernest Pelletier writes to the editors: Adyar makes progress; and

* The invisibility of essential factors.

The 18-pp. edition includes the List of New Texts in our associated websites.  



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You can find the entire collection of The Aquarian” at our associated websites.

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Jun 21, 2017

Freud on Freedom From Delusion

Psychoanalysis Unmasks Blind Belief
And the Emotional Basis of Ignorance

Carlos Cardoso Aveline

 Freud (1856-1939) in his office


Sigmund Freud wrote about the wrong methods by which people try to avoid suffering and obtain happiness.

As soon as one’s dreams start getting destroyed by reality, there emerges a variety of possible ways to escape from the conscious perception of pain.

Spiritual delusions are one possibility. The intensive use of television and drug-addiction are two other choices. Political and religious ideologies also offer many self-delusional possibilities.

The common ground to all escapes from reality is that they postpone the unavoidable task of combining a process of self-knowledge and self-transformation with altruistic practices, and a feeling of unconditional respect for all beings.

Speaking of one’s disillusionment with the world, Freud explains:   

“The hermit turns his back on this world; he will have nothing to do with it. But one can do more than that; one can try to re-create it, try to build up another instead, from which the most unbearable features are eliminated and replaced by others corresponding to one’s own wishes.”

The founder of Psychoanalysis proceeds:

“He who in his despair and defiance sets out on this path will not as a rule get very far; reality will be too strong for him. He becomes a madman and usually finds no one to help him in carrying through his delusion. It is said, however, that each one of us behaves in some respect like the paranoiac, substituting a wish-fulfilment for some aspect of the world which is unbearable to him, and carrying this delusion through into reality.”

What if people’s unrealistic dreams about reality are shared by others?

“When a large number of people make this attempt together and try to obtain assurance of happiness and protection from suffering by a delusional transformation of reality, it acquires special significance. The religions of humanity, too, must be classified as mass-delusions of this kind. Needless to say, no one who shares a delusion recognizes it as such.” [1]

Conventional religions usually ignore the presence of a common truth in the different mystical traditions, and deny the existence of a universal wisdom that transcends sectarian forms of religiosity.

Though using different words and concepts, both Psychoanalysis and the original teachings of modern Theosophy make an effective unmasking of the superficial and authoritarian character of most conventional creeds.

Russian philosopher Nicolas Berdyaev (1874-1948) helps in the same task.  

“Ethics has not paid sufficient attention to the monstrously big part played by falsehood in man’s moral and spiritual life”, he says. “What is meant here is not the falsehood which is regarded as an expression of wickedness, but falsehood which is morally sanctioned as good. People do not believe that the good may be preserved and established without the aid of falsehood.  The good is the end, the lies are the means. (…) The religious life of mankind, and perhaps of Christendom in particular, is permeated with falsity.”

And Berdyaev goes on:

“There is a kind of falsity which is considered a moral and religious duty, and those who reject it are said to be rebels. There exist social accumulations of falsity which have become part of the established order of things.  This is connected with the essential character of moral perception and judgment - with the absence of what I call first-hand moral acts.  Conventional, as it were, socially organized falsity clusters round all social groupings, such as the family, the class, the party, the church, the nation, the state. Such conventional falsity is a means of self-preservation for these institutions; truth might lead to their break up. The conventional falsity of socially organized groups (I include among them schools of thought and ideological tendencies) deprives man of the freedom of moral perception and moral judgment.” [2]

The attitude is widely adopted in various degrees in politics and every aspect of social life.  In order to show the ridiculous violence implicit in the conventional idea of good manners, Freud quoted these ironical words by Heine:

“Mine is the most peaceable disposition. My wishes are a humble dwelling with a thatched roof, but a good bed, good food, milk and butter of the freshest, flowers at my windows, some fine tall trees before my door; and if the good God wants to make me completely happy, he will grant me the joy of seeing some six or seven of my enemies hanging from these trees. With my heart full of deep emotion I shall forgive them before they die all the wrong they did me in their lifetime - true, one must forgive one’s enemies, but not until they are brought to execution.” [3]

When during the 19th century the influence of materialism expanded in our civilization, Marxism became popular as a philosophy. Left-wing thinkers dreamed that human beings don’t need to purify themselves, learn some wisdom and ethics or undergo an inner transformation. They thought it was enough to “change the world” and above all “change the others”, for “when everyone thinks like us, humanity will be happy at last”.

More than one church and sect tends to nurture similar thoughts.

Well-intentioned social-liberals and left-wing citizens often think of themselves as true angels of peace. Their views have one or two fundamental points in common with classic Marxism, in that they see no need for human beings to improve themselves. The psychological diseases of selfishness, envy, hatred and aggression deserve no attention. Economic capitalism is the sole problem: all that people need in order to be eternally happy is a change in economy. 

Speaking of the left and its approach to the problem of hatred and violence, Freud says:

“The Communists believe they have found a way of delivering us from this evil. Man is whole-heartedly good and friendly to his neighbour, they say, but the system of private property has corrupted his nature. The possession of private property gives power to the individual and thence the temptation arises to ill-treat his neighbour; the man who is excluded from the possession of property is obliged to rebel in hostility against the oppressor. If private property were abolished, all valuables held in common and all allowed to share in the enjoyment of them, ill-will and enmity would disappear from among men. Since all needs would be satisfied, none would have any reason to regard another as an enemy; all would willingly undertake the work which is necessary.”

Every human being is therefore essentially an angel according to Marxism.

No need of self-reform: it is enough to eliminate the system of private property of means of production for humanity to attain the celestial heights. Western social-liberals of course reject communism. They sincerely rephrase the same idea in more modest ways, and say that all we need is better salaries everywhere.

However, Freud continues:

“I have no concern with any economic criticisms of the communistic system; I cannot enquire into whether the abolition of private property is advantageous and expedient. But I am able to recognize that psychologically it is founded on an untenable illusion. By abolishing private property one deprives the human love of aggression of one of its instruments, a strong one undoubtedly, but assuredly not the strongest. It in no way alters the individual differences in power and influence which are turned by aggressiveness to its own use, nor does it change the nature of the instinct in any way. This instinct did not arise as the result of property; it reigned almost supreme in primitive times when possessions were still extremely scanty; it shows itself already in the nursery when possessions have hardly grown out of their original anal shape; it is at the bottom of all the relations of affection and love between human beings - possibly with the single exception of that of a mother to her male child. Suppose that personal rights to material goods are done away with, there still remain prerogatives in sexual relationships, which must arouse the strongest rancour and most violent enmity among men and women who are otherwise equal. Let us suppose this were also to be removed by instituting complete liberty in sexual life so that the family, the germ-cell of culture, ceased to exist; one could not, it is true, foresee the new paths on which cultural development might then proceed, but one thing one would be bound to expect and that is that the ineffaceable feature of human nature would follow wherever it led.” [4]

It is easy to see in our century that indulgence in personal habits and the destruction or fragility of family do not pave the way to heaven and to harmony in social relations.

Yet in self-indulgence and similar matters the political Left is far from being the sole responsible for human mistakes and social decay. Politically conservative thinking suffers from its own varieties of delusion. One of them is money-worship, a religion whose priests are bankers, and which has many a politician as its employee.

A significant right-wing delusion is in the idea that poor people and millions of honest workers can be treated with disrespect, paid low salaries or kept in unemployment while the financial elite behaves in irresponsible ways. Self-indulgence in financial crimes, big and small, and deliberate falsehood in political life are familiar to both “liberals” and “conservatives” around the world.

Of course millions of decent citizens support a variety of political parties around the world, and religious organizations of all kinds.

Still the way to heaven is not in joining narrow-minded religious sects, or attempting to make the reform of the world through conventional politics, war, or social movements.

The path to celestial heights is within.

The temple is invisible. It exists in one’s soul. Living in harmony with the sky begins with understanding the neurotic mechanisms of mutual hatred and ignorance.

It is worse than useless to project onto others the responsibility for our own psychic suffering, or the duty of making us happy. A firm sense of self-reliance and the decision to keep free from the habit of blaming others are two helpful factors along the way to heaven.

Freud says that “it is always possible to unite considerable numbers of men in love towards one another, so long as there are still some [men] remaining as objects for aggressive manifestations”. 

In other words, humans are fond of using other humans as scapegoats, and such negative feelings are often mutual. In the Middle East and around the world, however, this sort of neurotic competition does not have to take place through murder, war or terror.

Once anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, Islamic terror and similar hatred-based ideologies are defeated, hopefully once and for all, there are more convenient forms of satisfaction for human aggressive tendencies.

Sports is but one of them.  

Freud once interested himself “in the peculiar fact that peoples whose territories are adjacent, and are otherwise closely related, are always at feud with and ridiculing each other, as for instance, the Spaniards and the Portuguese, the North and South Germans, the English and the Scotch, and so on.”[5]

The Psychoanalyst then added that this is a comparatively harmless way to deal with the problem of collective aggressiveness.

Freud was right, and perhaps he was prophetic. In a future that one probably ought to keep unspecified, moderate jokes and respectful ridicule hopefully will turn out to be the densest forms of conflict among human individuals and social groups.  Laughing at our own mistakes is also a healthy thing to do, and perhaps more useful than laughing at our neighbours.

NOTES:

[1] “Civilization and Its Discontents”, by Sigmund Freud, part II. See “The Major Works of Sigmund Freud”, Great Books of the Western World, Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc., 884 pp., 1952, p. 774.

[2] “The Destiny of Man”, Nicolas Berdyaev, Harper Torchbooks, Harper & Brothers, New York, 1960, 310 pp., see pp. 160-161. The book is available in our associated websites.

[3] “Civilization and Its Discontents”, by Sigmund Freud, part III. See “The Major Works of Sigmund Freud”, Great Books of the Western World, p. 786.

[4] “Civilization and Its Discontents”, by Sigmund Freud, part III. See “The Major Works of Sigmund Freud”, Great Books of the Western World, pp. 787-788.

[5] “Civilization and Its Discontents”, by Sigmund Freud, part III. See “The Major Works of Sigmund Freud”, p. 788.

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The above text was first published on 10 April 2017 in our blog atThe Times of Israel”.

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Read also in our associated websites the article “A Psychoanalysis of Religions”.

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In September 2016, after a careful analysis of the state of the esoteric movement worldwide, a group of students decided to form the Independent Lodge of Theosophists. Two of the priorities adopted by the ILT are taking lessons from History and building a better future.   

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E-Theosophy e-group offers a regular study of the classic, intercultural theosophy taught by Helena P. Blavatsky (photo).


Those who want to join E-Theosophy e-group at YahooGroups can do that by visiting https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info.

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Jun 17, 2017

How to Build a Theosophical Lodge

A Mahatma Writes on the
Best Way to Help Mankind

An Eastern Master

Our home and a theosophical lodge can help
us have access to higher levels of consciousness



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Editorial Note:

We reproduce below most of Letter 4 of the first
series, in “Letters From the Masters of the Wisdom”
(TPH, 1973 edition). We leave aside the sentences
that are specific to the London city in the decade of
1880. We preserve everything in the Letter that has
universal value. Essentially the document can be
seen as if it were directly written to the Independent
Lodge of Theosophist and to all associations of sincere
students of the original esoteric philosophy.  As a
historical text, the letter is addressed to Ms. Francesca
Arundale.  Omitted fragments are indicated by ellipsis,
in parenthesis. In some sentences, we put words in italics
in square brackets in order to make understanding easier.

(Carlos Cardoso Aveline)

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You are an officer of [your Lodge] and as such have a special duty and opportunity.

It is not enough that you should set the example of a pure virtuous life and a tolerant spirit; this is but negative goodness - and for chelaship will never do. You should even as a simple member, much more as an officer, learn that you may teach, acquire spiritual knowledge and strength that the work may lean upon you, and the sorrowing victims of ignorance learn from you the cause and remedy of their pain. If you choose, you may make your home [1] one of the most important centres of spiritualising influence in all the world.

The “power” is now concentrated there, and will remain - if you do not weaken or repulse it: remain to your blessing and advantage. You will do good by encouraging the visits of your fellow members [of the theosophical movement] and of enquirers and by holding meetings, of the more congenial for study and instruction. You should induce others, in other quarters, to do likewise. You should constantly advise with your associates in the Council how to make the general meetings of the Lodge interesting. New members should be taken in hand from the first, by the older ones especially selected and assigned to the duty in each case, and instructed thoroughly in what you have already learnt, so that they may be capable of participating intelligently in the proceedings of regular meetings.

There is a strong disposition to slur over the ceremony of “initiation” in such a way as to make no serious impression upon the candidate. The method of the Parent Society [in India] may be unsuited to English prejudices, yet to fall into the opposite extreme of undignified haste is very much worse. Your ways of initiation are a standing insult to every regular chela and have provoked the displeasure of their “Masters”. It is a sacred thing with us; why should it be otherwise with you? If every fellow took for his motto the wise words of a young boy, but one who is a fervent Theosophist, and repeated with Bertram K. “I am a theosophist before I am an Englishman”, no foe could ever upset your Society. However, candidates should be taught, and old members always recollect, that this is a serious affair the Society is engaged in; and that they should begin the work as seriously by making their own lives Theosophical.

(…) You have accepted an important service - the financial agency - and done wisely. Such aid was very needed. If the members in Europe wish well to the Mother Society, they should help to circulate its publications, and to have them translated into other languages when worthy of it. Intentions - you may tell your fellow-members - and kind words count for little with us. Deeds are what we want and demand. L.C.H. has done - poor child - more in that direction during two months than the best of your members in these five years.

The members of the (…) Lodge have such an opportunity as seldom comes to men. A movement calculated to benefit an English-speaking world, is in their custody. If they do their whole duty, the progress of materialism, the increase of dangerous self-indulgence, and the tendency towards spiritual suicide, can be checked. The theory of vicarious atonement has brought about its inevitable reaction: only the knowledge of Karma can offset it. The pendulum has swung from the extreme of blind faith towards the extreme materialistic skepticism, and nothing can stop it save Theosophy. Is not this a thing worth working for, to save those nations from the doom their ignorance is preparing for them?

Think you the truth has been shown to you for your sole advantage? That we have broken the silence of centuries for the profit of a handful of dreamers only? The converging lines of your Karma have drawn each and all of you into this Society as to a common focus,  that you may each help to work out the results of your interrupted beginnings in the last birth. None of you can be so blind as to suppose that this is your first dealing with Theosophy? You surely must realize that this would be the same as to say that effects came without causes. Know then that it depends now upon each of you whether you shall henceforth struggle alone after spiritual wisdom thro’ this and the next incarnate life, or in the company of your present associates and greatly helped by the mutual sympathy and aspiration. Blessings to all - deserving them.

K. H.

NOTE:

[1] Note by C. Jinarajadasa: “77 Elgin Crescent, Notting Hill, London, W., where H.P.B. was the guest of Mrs. and Miss Arundale.”

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The above text was also published  in the October 2016 edition of “The Aquarian Theosophist”, pp. 6-7.

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Both “series” or volumes of “Letters From the Masters of the Wisdom” are available in PDF in our websites. See, in the same websites, the article “Turning a House Into a Temple”.

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In September 2016, after a careful analysis of the state of the esoteric movement worldwide, a group of students decided to form the Independent Lodge of Theosophists. Two of the priorities adopted by the ILT are taking lessons from History and building a better future.   

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E-Theosophy e-group offers a regular study of the classic, intercultural theosophy taught by Helena P. Blavatsky (photo).


Those who want to join E-Theosophy e-group at YahooGroups can do that by visiting https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info.

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Jun 16, 2017

Theosophists Must Be Independent

The Principle of Self-Responsibility
Opens the Door to Real Knowledge

A Master of the Wisdom




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Editorial Note:

The following text is signed by the Master
of Helena Blavatsky himself. [1] It shows that
self-responsibility is of the essence in the Pedagogy
and Philosophy of true Initiates. The text exemplifies 
the fact that while whited sepulchres insist in expressing
sweet lies and politically correct falsehoods,  authentic
masters are not afraid of using frank and severe words.
In order to make it easier to contemplate the teaching, 
we have divided the text in small paragraphs.

(Carlos Cardoso Aveline)

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A constant sense of abject dependence upon a Deity which he regards as the sole source of power makes a man lose all self-reliance and the spurs to activity and initiative.

Having begun by creating a father and guide unto himself, he becomes like a boy and remains so to his old age, expecting to be led by the hand on the smallest as well as the greatest events of life.

The saying, “Help thyself, and God will help thee”, he so interprets that when an undertaking results to his own advantage, he credits it to himself only; when a failure, he charges it to the will of his God.

The Founders prayed to no Deity in beginning the Theosophical Society, nor asked his help since. Are we expected to become the nursing mothers of the Bengal Theosophical Society? Did we help the Founders? No; they were helped by the inspiration of self-reliance, and sustained by their reverence for the rights of man, and their love for a country whose national honour has long been trampled into the mud, under the feet of her meek and lazy sons, indifferent to her woes, unmindful to her dying glory….

Your sins? The greatest of them is your fathering upon your God the task of purging you of them. This is no creditable piety, but an indolent and selfish weakness. Though vanity would whisper to the contrary, heed only your common sense.


NOTE:

[1] It constitutes letter 43 in the volume “Letters From the Masters of the Wisdom”, first series, transcribed and edited by C. Jinarajadasa, T.P.H., Adyar, India, 1973, see pp. 95-96. In the more recent editions, see Letter 56. The text was also published in the November 2016 edition of “The Aquarian Theosophist”, pp. 3-4.

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In September 2016, after a careful analysis of the state of the esoteric movement worldwide, a group of students decided to form the Independent Lodge of Theosophists. Two of the central priorities adopted by the ILT are taking lessons from History  and building a better future.

000 

E-Theosophy e-group offers a regular study of the classic, intercultural theosophy taught by Helena P. Blavatsky (photo).


Those who want to join E-Theosophy e-group at YahooGroups can do that by visiting https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info.

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Jun 11, 2017

On the Mahatma Letters

Direct Teachings from the Masters Shed a
Higher Light on the Theosophical Writings

John Garrigues




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A 2017 Editorial Note:

The following text was first
published at the March 1924 edition of
“Theosophy” magazine, in Los Angeles,
pp. 204-209. It had no indication as to the
name of the author. An analysis of contents,
style, and date of publication of the article
indicates it was written by John Garrigues.
Original title: “The Mahatma Letters”.
We add a few explanatory notes to the article.

The complete 1926 edition of the Mahatma
Letters is available at our associated websites.

(Carlos Cardoso Aveline)

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The publication of The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett signalizes the passing of the midway point in the centenary cycle of the Theosophical Movement, the entrance upon its upward curve to 1975, when a new Messenger - not a new Message - shall appear. [1]

Beginning with the coming of H. P. Blavatsky to New York City in 1873, the centenary cycle was formally launched with the foundation of the Parent Theosophical Society in November, 1875. From that day to this the various stages in the descent of the Movement from spirit to matter have been manifested in events that are, or should be, well known to all theosophical students. Before 1875 the fact of Masters, the teachings of the Wisdom-Religion, the existence of Theosophical Movement, were unknown in the West - a sacredly guarded secret of Occultism. Now the Messenger has come and gone, the Message has been placed of record, the Movement made public, and all are in the faithful or unfaithful stewardship of theosophists.

The Mahatma Letters, which now reach the stage of full publicity after forty years, were all written in the period from 1880 to 1885, that is to say during the first ten years of the Movement. In point of time they antedate the Secret Doctrine, which was published in 1888, and in point of fact they were the moving cause of the character of that great work, which was originally intended to be merely a revised edition of Isis Unveiled. These Letters are, beyond all question, the one great and final contribution to Theosophical literature and history since the Secret Doctrine. They solve the hitherto baffling and inscrutable mysteries in connection with the public course of the Movement, by bringing to light the missing links of its degradation through theosophists, theosophical societies, and the world at large. The triple aspects of the Movement are still either ignored or corrupted both on the part of theosophists and the public.

All three aspects are extensively treated in these Letters, and have become public property in inverse order. Philosophically, whatever there is of value in Mr. Sinnett’s two books - The Occult World, published in 1881, and Esoteric Buddhism, first issued in 1883 - was derived from the Letters. The student of today has but to compare the teachings in the Letters with the presentations made by Mr. Sinnett to see how often and how sadly Mr. Sinnett misunderstood both the spirit and the letter of what was given to him in trust. Man: Fragments of Forgotten History - now itself almost forgotten - written by Mohini M. Chatterji and Mrs. Laura Holloway, and published in 1885 - was also derived from these same Letters and, if anything, interpreted their teachings in still worse and weaker fashion. Fragments of Occult Truth, originally published serially in The Theosophist in 1882 and 1883, and written chiefly by Mr. Sinnett and Mr. A. O. Hume, were likewise based upon the Letters, but the errors there made were largely corrected in notes by H.P.B., Subba Row, Damodar Mavalankar and other Chelas, and occasionally by the Masters Themselves, as the Letters now make clear. After his removal to London Mr. Sinnett permitted copies of some of the Letters and of extracts from others to be made and privately circulated. Miss Francesca Arundale, Mr. C. W. Leadbeater, Mrs. Annie Besant, and a few others were thus favored. None of these ever made any public beneficial use of them, and therefore benefited from them personally as little as Mr. Sinnett and Mr. Hume.

Copies of all the Letters were originally supplied at the time to H.P.B. by the Masters Themselves. From H.P.B. Mr. Judge had copies and both Judge and H.P.B. made extensive use of them. Not only were they and other communications direct from the Masters employed in the composition of the Secret Doctrine, but textual extracts were published in the Path and in Lucifer.[2] Besides this, other extracts were published without mentioning their Source, and in scores of their magazine articles both H.P.B. and Mr. Judge embodied one and another aspect of the teachings imparted in the Letters. With the authentic text of the Letters now before him, the theosophical student of today can re-read the various writings of the pioneers of the Movement and easily discern for himself at first hand who was, and who was not, what was and what was not, true in substance and in form to the Great Example set in these Letters. Such a study and comparison will show the gradual divagations in teaching and in practice of many of those who rose to prominence and leadership.

Taken as the standard of theosophical teachings, ethics and conduct, these Letters shed an uncolored, albeit a terrible light on the corruption of the exoteric aspect of the Movement - the old Theosophical Society - by those to whom both the word and the Fellows looked for inspiration and guidance. No thoughtful man can avoid seeing how the existing debasement has been brought about, and how it parallels in every respect the debasement of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and all earlier impulsions of the Theosophical Movement. Now, as before, the corruption and degradation, have come about through Karma, Cause and Effect. Esoteric failures became exoteric leaders; psychics, mediums, and priests replaced the true Chelas; oracular and “inspired” utterances were substituted for a consistent philosophy; Authority dethroned Reason, faith took the place of knowledge; Theosophical sects have replaced the Theosophical Movement.

On the other hand, the Letters shed a glorious illumination on the Theosophical writings and career of H.P.B., and W.Q.J.  More these Letters are conned, more their contents and implications are used as a searchlight, more and more clearly will stand out the unique consistency and authenticity of the great Messenger and her Colleague. Neither in philosophy, in ethics, nor in practice did their life work vary in whole or in part from the lines laid down in the Letters of the Mahatmas. Their calumniated reputations are vindicated. It remains for individual Theosophists everywhere to demand for a spoliated past that credit for its achievements which has been too long withheld, to call for the restitution of borrowed robes - to show neither mercy for enthroned error, nor reverence for usurped authority, if the work of the Theosophical Movement is to be restored to its pristine purpose and purity. There must be a return to the Source of all theosophical teaching and endeavor - the Messenger and the Message.

The Mahatma Letters supply the missing links in many matters of historical as well as philosophical and occult mysteries. Readers of The Theosophical Movement, originally published in this magazine and beginning in January, 1920, will be able now to verify the exactitude of the deductions as well as the facts therein submitted on controverted subjects. A study of the complete text can alone show how vast and inclusive is their light on the past, the present and the future of the Theosophical Movement, but a partial index can be given of some of the hitherto unknown or unused values now made realizable.

The great mystery of the Psychical Research Society’s “exposure” of H.P.B. and her phenomena is now plain enough. The Letters disclose the disaffection of Stainton Moses (“M.A., Oxon.”), C.C. Massey, and others - all spiritualists - with the theosophical teachings on “communication with the dead” and mediumship in general. It was these gentlemen who were prime movers in the organization of the S.P.R. Their object was phenomena, not Brotherhood; mediumship, not chelaship. All were actuated by these motives and by distrust of H.P.B. and hatred for her teachings.

The “Kiddle incident” is treated at length and cleared up, and with it the obscure subject of “precipitations” and “occult messages” is covered far more fully than in any literature hitherto extant. “Messages” are shown by the Mahatmas Themselves as being precipitated by Chelas of varying degrees of proficiency by Their orders in Their own “adopted” handwritings for purposes of communication with non-chelas. The whole “Judge case” hinged on this sole subject. Mrs. Besant’s charges against Mr. Judge in 1894 were, on her own declaration, due, not to the fact that he gave out various messages from the Masters - she admitted their substance was from Them - but to the fact that Judge’s messages were in the script made familiar by the messages coming through H.P.B.

Because these messages “were neither written nor precipitated directly by the Master in whose writing they appear”, Mrs. Besant charged Mr. Judge with “forgery”, with “fraud”, and with “misusing the handwriting of the Mahatmas”. “Now personally”, declared Mrs. Besant, “I hold that this method is illegitimate and that no one should simulate a recognized writing which is regarded as authoritative when it is authentic. And by authentic I mean directly written or precipitated by the Master Himself”. Thus Mr. Judge was assailed and dishonored and his reputation covered with obloquy. Now, in His own Letters, we find the Mahatma Himself writing to Mr. Sinnett in a “strictly private and confidential” letter in or about 1882:

“Another of our customs, when corresponding with the outside world, is to entrust a chela with the task of delivering the letter or any other message; and if not absolutely necessary - to never give it a thought. Very often our very letters - unless something very important and secret - are written in our handwritings by our chelas.[3]

This very fact had been repeatedly stated by both H.P.B. and Judge, with the further statement that no external signs, such as script, handwriting, cryptographs, seals, and “precipitation” itself, should be regarded by anyone as either “authoritative” or a certificate of “authenticity”, but that all messages, phenomenal or otherwise, should be regarded on the basis of their philosophical and moral worth. Yet it was precisely “signs” that the phenomena hunters high and low were always looking for. And when the “signs” were present but the contents of the messages such as to oppose or upset their preconceived notions, then, in every case, these would-be “occultists” were sure “fraud” had been practiced or attempted upon them.

Mr. Sinnett’s recently published posthumous “Early Days of Theosophy in Europe” shows that he very early became convinced that H.P.B. was a “fraud” also. The now published Letters show why and wherefore. Over and over the Master reproves, reproaches, corrects Mr. Sinnett, warns him, pleads with him; over and over He reaffirms the knowledge, the bona fides, the dependability of H.P.B. as Their Agent - all to no purpose. Finally the Master quit all communication with Sinnett - who thereafter had recourse to mediums and psychics for thirty-five years for his “messages from Masters”.

When Judge was accused he pointed to H.P.B. and finally published a certain “message” delivered through H.P.B. to the Brahmin members at Allahabad in 1881. This was the famous “Prayag Message”. Col. Olcott pronounced it a “fraud”, and Mrs. Besant a “forgery”. Now the complete text is published as No. CXXXIV, in The Mahatma Letters. [4] Readers can compare it with Mrs. Besant’s statements in the articles “East and West” and “The Prayag Letter”, in Lucifer for May and July, 1895, and with Col. Olcott’s “Postscript” in the Theosophist for April, 1895. Once more Mrs. Besant is shown to have been wholly mistaken and a pitiful as well as a pitiable guide in Occultism.

Still another matter cleared up in The Mahatma Letters is the famous controversy over whether Mars and Mercury are part of the “earth chain globes”. Mr. Sinnett thought and taught that they are, and when H.P.B. corrected his interpretations in the Secret Doctrine, he said she was wrong and maintained his own accuracy of presentation. Later on, after her death, he repeated his assertions and declared she was under “other influences than those of the Masters”. Judge defended the knowledge and faith of H.P.B. and this, in 1893, was the starting point of the conspiracy against Judge which culminated in the charges of 1894-1895. The original text of the Mahatmas Letters to Sinnett himself now make clear that H.P.B. was right and Sinnett wrong. On this Mars and Mercury dispute Mrs. Besant first sided with Judge and H.P.B. (Lucifer, August, 1893, pp. 576-577), then equivocated (Lucifer, November, 1893, p. 206), then sided point-blank with Mr. Sinnett (Lucifer, December, 1895, p. 271), and, to bolster up her affirmation, declared that the Master Himself had said “categorically, that Mars and Mercury made part of the chain of which our Earth is the fourth Globe…. Mr. Sinnett’s statement is entirely borne out by the original letter”. Mrs. Besant’s accuracy and trustworthiness can be examined by comparing her various statements as cited with the exact text as given in The Mahatma Letters, pp. 148 and 176. The subject matter of this controversy itself is ably treated in an Appendix, beginning at page 489, written by the Compiler of the Letters, Mr. A. Trevor Barker, himself a Fellow in Mrs. Besant’s Theosophical society.

The Letters make plain the basis and origin, not less than the hitherto concealed facts of the internal difficulties which, within the first seven-year cycle of the Parent Theosophical Society, made a breach which was never healed in the solidarity of the “Third Section”. Through this breach, as through a crevasse, poured the “muddy torrent of Kamaloca”, spreading disaster and ultimate ruin (a) to the professed “Objects” of the Society; (b) to the “Esoteric Section”, composed of “lay” and “probationary” chelas; (c) to the purity of the original teachings; (d) to the theosophical repute of H.P.B. and W.Q.J.  Step by step with this inundation the original impulses have been submerged, the spurious and the corrupt have usurped the place of the genuine. Black magic has triumphed over White in the public aspect of the Theosophical Movement, and the once living Theosophical Society is no longer even a “shell”; it has become a mere scattered and incoherent mass of skandhas. As a body, the Theosophical Movement has perished, but today, as always, there are the individual units, “the true Theosophists in every country and of every race”, who have in all times given the public Movement whatever vitality it may possess. They are now armed as never before, for they have a recorded philosophy, recorded history, recorded experience, before their very eyes in their own generation; the world’s need is greater than ever. The forces of evil have done their worst, but they could not prevent the making and the imprint of the triple record for the sure guidance of all who seek to form a nucleus of Universal Brotherhood on the imperishable foundation. Let all true Theosophists rejoice at the light that is now shed on the dark places of the past and present, and go on with the work of fitting themselves to be the better able to help and teach others, by studying, applying, promulgating, the lessons and the facts of theosophical philosophy and theosophical history.

The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett should not be confused by theosophical and other students with a small volume lately published in India and Chicago by interests connected with the official conduct of Mrs. Besant’s society, and which is made up of copies and extracts, out of setting and out of relation to the whole series. The genuine edition of The Mahatma Letters contains the complete and unexpurgated verbatim transcript direct from the original Letters which were bequeathed by Mr. Sinnett to his executrix and by her turned over to Mr. Barker for publication. The volume is issued by the well-known London house of T. Fisher Unwin, Limited, and contains 492 + xxxv pages. The English edition is priced at 21 shillings, but we understand that an authorized American edition is to be brought out by Frederick A. Stokes Co. of New York City.

NOTES:

[1] This sentence refers to the influence of the 100-year cycle in the theosophical effort. See the article “The Theosophical Movement, 1875-2075”, which is the Chapter 22 of the book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline (The Aquarian Theosophist, Portugal, 2013, 255 pages).

[2] “Lucifer” magazine, founded by Helena Blavatsky in London and edited by her until she left physical life in 1891. “Lucifer” means “light-bearer”. This ancient and pagan name of Venus, the morning and evening star, has been distorted by Christian fanatics since the Middle Ages.

[3] The italics bas been added by John Garrigues. The quotation is made from “The Mahatma Letters”, published by T. Fisher Unwin Ltd., in London, UK, with 493 pages and Index, Letter LIII (or 53), p. 296.

[4] See p. 461.

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In September 2016, after a careful analysis of the state of the esoteric movement worldwide, a group of students decided to form the Independent Lodge of Theosophists, whose priorities include the building of a better future in the different dimensions of life.  

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