H P Blavatsky
The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett
On the 17th of November next [1882,] the Septenary term of trial given the
Society at its foundation in which to discreetly "preach us" will expire. One or
two of us hoped that the world had so far advanced intellectually, if not
intuitionally, that the Occult doctrine might gain an intellectual acceptance,
and the impulse given for a new cycle of occult research. . . . For the 61/2
years they (HPB and H. S. Olcott) have been struggling against such odds as
would have driven off any one who was not working with the desperation of one
who stakes life and all he prizes on some desperate supreme effort. (p. 263)
I am painfully aware of the fact that the habitual incoherence of her [HPB's]
statements -- especially when excited -- and her strange ways make her in your
opinion a very undesirable transmitter of our messages. . . .
state of hers is intimately connected with her occult training in
The bearing and status of the remaining six depend upon the inherent qualities, the psycho-physiological peculiarities of the person, especially upon the idiosyncrasies transmitted by what modern science calls "atavism." Acting in accordance with my wishes, my brother M. made to you through her a certain offer, if you remember. You had but to accept it, and at any time you liked, you would have had for an hour or more, the real baitchooly to converse with, instead of the psychological cripple you generally have to deal with now.
The Old Woman is accused of untruthfulness, inaccuracy in her statements. "Ask no questions and you will receive no lies." She is forbidden to say what she knows. You may cut her to pieces and she will not tell. Nay -- she is ordered in cases of need to mislead people; and, were she more of a natural born liar --
she might be happier and won her day long since by this time. But that's just
where the shoe pinches, Sahib. She is too truthful, too outspoken, too incapable
of dissimulation: and now she is being daily crucified for it.
Of course, she is utterly unfit for a true adept: her nature is too passionately
affectionate and we have no right to indulge in personal attachments and
feelings. You can never know her as we do, therefore -- none of you will ever be
able to judge her impartially or correctly. You see the surface of things; and
what you would term "virtue," holding but to appearances, we -- judge but after
having fathomed the object to its profoundest depth, and generally leave the
appearances to take care of themselves. In your opinion H.P.B. is, at best, for
those who like her despite herself -- a quaint, strange woman, a psychological
riddle: impulsive and kindhearted, yet not free from the vice of untruth. We, on
the other hand, under the garb of eccentricity and folly -- we find a profounder
wisdom in her inner Self than you will ever find yourselves able to perceive. In
the superficial details of her homely, hard-working, common-place daily life and
affairs, you discern but unpracticality, womanly impulses, often absurdity and
folly; we, on the contrary, light daily upon traits of her inner nature the most
delicate and refined, and which would cost an uninitiated psychologist years of
constant and keen observation, and many an hour of close analysis and efforts to draw out of the depth of that most subtle of mysteries -- human mind -- and one of her most complicated machines, -- H.P.B.'s mind -- and thus learn to know her true inner Self.
We have to fight our own battles, and the familiar adage -- "the adept becomes,
he is not made" is true to the letter. Since every one of us is the creator and
producer of the causes that lead to such or some other results, we have to reap
but what we have sown. Our chelas are helped but when they are innocent of the
causes that lead them into trouble; when such causes are generated by foreign,
outside influences. Life and the struggle for adeptship would be too easy, had
we all scavengers behind us to sweep away the effects we have generated through our own rashness and presumption.
You must have understood by this time, my friend, that the centen[n]ial attempt
by us to open the eyes of the blind world -- has nearly failed: in
chance of salvation for those who still believe: to rally together and face the
storm bravely. Let the eyes of the most intellectual among the public be opened
to the foul conspiracy against theosophy that is going on in the missionary
and in one year's time you will have regained your footing. In
is: "either Christ or the Founders (!!) Let us stone them to death!" They have
nearly finished killing one -- they are now attacking the other victim --
Olcott. The padris are as busy as bees. The P.R.S. [Society for Psychical
Research] has given them an excellent opportunity of making capital of their
ambassador. -- Mr. Hodgson fell quite easily a victim to false evidence; and the
scientific a priori impossibility of such phenomena helping the reality of the
phenomena he was sent to investigate and report upon is utterly and totally
discredited. He may plead as an excuse the personal disappointment he felt,
which made him turn in a fury against the alleged authors of the "gigantic
swindle"; but there is no doubt that if the Society collapses it will be due to
Some, most unjustly, try to make H.S.O. and H.P.B., solely responsible for the
state of things. Those two are, say, far from perfect -- in some respects, quite
the opposite. But they have that in them (pardon the eternal repetition but it
is being as constantly overlooked) which we have but too rarely found elsewhere
-- Unselfishness, and an eager readiness for self-sacrifice for the good of
others; what a "multitude of sins" does not this cover! It is but a truism, yet
I say it, that in adversity alone can we discover the real man. It is a true
manhood when one boldly accepts one's share of the collective Karma of the group one works with, and does not permit oneself to be embittered, and to see others in blacker colours than reality, or to throw all blame upon some one "black sheep," a victim, specially selected. Such a true man as that we will ever
protect and despite his shortcomings, assist to develop the good he has in him.
Such an one is sublimely unselfish; he sinks his personality in his cause, and
takes no heed of discomforts or personal obloquy unjustly fastened upon him.
If, for generations we have "shut out the world from the Knowledge of our
Knowledge," it is on account of its absolute unfitness; and if, notwithstanding
proofs given, it still refuses yielding to evidence, then will we at the End of
this cycle retire into solitude and our kingdom of silence once more. . . . For
countless generations hath the adept builded a fane of imperishable rocks, a
need be, dwell alone, emerging from it but at the end of every cycle, to invite
the elect of mankind to co-operate with him and help in his turn enlighten
superstitious man. And we will go on in that periodical work of ours; we will
not allow ourselves to be baffled in our philanthropic attempts until that day
when the foundations of a new continent of thought are so firmly built that no
amount of opposition and ignorant malice guided by the Brethren of the Shadow
will be found to prevail.
But until that day of final triumph someone has to be sacrificed --though we
accept but voluntary victims. The ungrateful task did lay her low and desolate
in the ruins of misery, misapprehension, and isolation: but she will have her
reward in the hereafter for we never were ungrateful.
Fear not; although we do "cling superstitiously to the relics of the Past" our
knowledge will not pass away from the sight of man. It is the "gift of the gods"
and the most precious relic of all. The keepers of the sacred Light did not
safely cross so many ages but to find themselves wrecked on the rocks of modern scepticism. Our pilots are too experienced sailors to allow us [to] fear any such disaster. We will always find volunteers to replace the tired sentries, and the world, bad as it is in its present state of transitory period, can yet
furnish us with a few men now and then.