Page 3


Letter №1 p. 3

It depends entirely upon the social and moral conditions of the people in their bearing on these deepest and most mysterious questions which can stir the human mind — the deific powers in man and the possibilities contained in nature. How many, even of your best friends, of those who surround you, who are more than superficially interested in these abstruse problems? You could count them upon the fingers of your right hand. Your race boasts of having liberated in their century, the genius so long imprisoned in the narrow vase of dogmatism and intolerance — the genius of knowledge, wisdom and freethought. It says that in their turn ignorant prejudice and religious bigotry, bottled up like the wicked Jin of old, and sealed up by the Solomons of science rests at the bottom of the sea and can never, escaping to the surface again, reign over the world as it did in days of old; that the public mind is quite free, in short, and ready to accept any demonstrated truth. Aye; but is it verily so, my respected friend? Experimental knowledge does not quite date from 1662, when Bacon, Robert Boyle and the Bishop of Chester transformed under the royal charter their "Invisible College" into a Society for the promotion of experimental science.


Jin (also Jinn or Djinn) is a genie, a supernatural creature from Arabic folklore - often captured in a bottle and released by magic. It is a play on the word "genius."

Solomons is used here, sarcastically, to indicate wise men. King Solomon in the Bible was noted for his wisdom and fairness.

The Bishop of Chester refers to John Wilkins, an Anglican clergyman, natural philosopher and author. He was one of the founders of the Royal Society in London. (Notice that the 3rd and 4th editions of the Mahatma Letters wrongly refer to "the Bishop of Rochester," who was John Warner.

The Invisible College was a precursor of the Royal Society.