Received through Mad. B. About February 20th, 1881.
Letter №15 (ML-8)
Mahatma K.H. - A.P. Sinnett
20 February, 1881
Covers - 1. Pages - 25.
My dear friend, you are certainly on the right path: the path of deeds and actions, not mere words — may you live long and keep on!. . . I hope this will not be regarded by you as an encouragement to be "goody-goody" — a happy expression which made me laugh — but you indeed step in as a kind of Kalka Avatar dispelling the shadows of "Kali-yug" — the black night of the perishing T.S. and driving away before you the fata morgana of its Rules. I must cause the word fecit to appear after your name in invisible but indelible characters on the list of the General Council, as it may prove some day a secret door to the heart of the sternest of Hobilgans. . . .
Though a good deal occupied — alas, as usual, I must contrive to send you a somewhat lengthy farewell epistle before you take up a journey that may have most important results — and not alone for our cause. . . . You understand, do you not, that it is no fault of mine if I cannot meet you as I would? Nor is it yours, but rather that of your life-long environment and a special delicate task I have been entrusted with since I knew you. Do not blame me then, if I do not show myself in more tangible shape, as not
A "Fata Morgana" is an unusual and complex form of superior mirage that is seen in a narrow band right above the horizon.
Fecit: "He or she made it" -- used formerly on works of art next to the artist's name.
you alone, but I myself might desire! When I am not permitted to do so for Olcott — who has toiled for us these five years, how could I be for others who have undergone none of his training as yet? This applies equally to the case of the Lord Crawford and Balcarres, an excellent gentleman — imprisoned by the world. His is a sincere and noble, though may be a little too repressed nature. He asks what hope he may have? I say — every hope. For he has that within himself that so very few possess: an exhaustless source of magnetic fluid which, if he only had the time, he could call out in torrents and need no other master than himself. His own powers would do the work and his own great experience be a sure guide for him. But, he would have to guard against, and avoid every foreign influence — especially those antagonistic to the nobler study of MAN as an integral Brahm, the microcosm free and entirely independent of either the help or control of the invisible agencies the "new dispensation" (bombastic word!) calls "Spirits." His Lordship will understand my meaning without any further explanation: he is welcome to read this if he chooses, if the opinions of an obscure Hindu interest him.
James Ludovic Lindsay, the Earl of Crawford and of Balcarres (1847–1913) was a British astronomer, book collector, and Freemason, and a member Royal Society.
Were he a poor man, he might have become an English Dupotet, with the addition of great scientific attainments in exact science. But alas —! what the peerage has gained psychology has lost. . . . And yet it is not too late. But see, even after mastering magnetic science and giving his powerful mind to the study of the noblest branches of exact science, how even he has failed to lift more than a small corner of the veil of mystery. Ah! that whirling, showy, glittering world, full of insatiable ambition, where family and the State parcel out between them a man's nobler nature, as two tigers a carcase, and leave him without hope or light! How many recruits could we not have from it, if no sacrifice were exacted! His Lordship's letter to you exhales an influence of sincerity tinged with regret. This is a good man at heart with latent capacity for being a far better and a happier one. Had his lot not been cast as it has, and had his intellectual power all been turned upon Soul-culture, he would have achieved much more than he ever dreamt. Out of such material were adepts made in the days of Aryan glory. But
Baron Du Potet de Sennevoy was a French nobleman who wrote about animal magnetism (Mesmerism) in the 19th century.
I must dwell no longer upon this case; and I crave his Lordship's pardon if, in the bitterness of my regret I over-stepped in any way the bounds of propriety, in this too free "psychometrical delineation of character" as the American mediums would express it . . . full measure only bounds excess" but — I dare go no further. Ah, my too positive and yet impatient friend, if you but had such latent capacities!
The "direct communication" with me of which you write in your supplement note, and the "enormous advantage" that it would bring "to the book itself, if it can be conceded," would be so conceded at once, did it depend but of me alone. Though it is not often judicious to repeat oneself, yet I am so anxious that you should realize the present impracticability of such an arrangement, were it even conceded by our Superiors, that I will indulge in a brief retrospect of principles stated.
We might leave out of the question the most vital point — one, you would hesitate perhaps to believe — that the refusal concerns as much your own salvation (from the standpoint of your worldly material considerations)
as my enforced compliance with our time honoured Rules. Again I might cite the case of Olcott (who, had he not been permitted to communicate face to face — and without any intermediary — with us, might have subsequently shown less zeal and devotion but more discretion) and his fate up to the present. But, the comparison would doubtless appear to you strained. Olcott — would you say — is an enthusiast, a stubborn, unreasoning mystic, who goes headlong before him, blindfolded, and who will not allow himself to look forward with his own eyes. While you are a sober, matter-of-fact man of the world, the son of your generation of cool thinkers; ever keeping fancy under the curb, and saying to enthusiasm: "Thus far shalt thou go and no farther." . . . Perhaps you are right — perhaps not. "No Lama knows where the ber-chhen will hurt him until he puts it on," says a Tibetan proverb. However, let that pass, for I must tell you now that for opening "direct communication" the only possible means would be: (1) For each of us to meet in our own physical bodies. I being where I am, and you in your own quarters, there is a material impediment for me. (2) For both to meet in our astral form — which would
"ber-chhen" is a Tibetan word meaning a full cloak
necessitate your "getting out" of yours, as well as my leaving my body. The spiritual impediment to this is on your part. (3) To make you hear my voice either within you or near you as "the old lady" does. This would be feasible in either of two ways: (a) My chiefs have but to give me permission to set up the conditions — and this for the present they refuse; or (b) for you to hear my voice, i.e., my natural voice without any psycho-physiological tamasha being employed by me (again as we often do among ourselves). But then, to do this, not only have one's spiritual senses to be abnormally opened, but one must himself have mastered the great secret — yet undiscovered by science — of, so to say abolishing all the impediments of space; of neutralising for the time being the natural obstacle of intermediary particles of air and forcing the waves to strike your ear in reflected sounds or echo. Of the latter you know as yet only enough to regard this as an unscientific absurdity. Your physicists, not having until recently mastered acoustics in this direction, any further than to acquire a perfect (?) knowledge of the vibration of sonorous bodies and of reverberations through tubes, may sneeringly ask: "Where are your indefinitely
Tamasha is a psychic illusion. The word literally means "a spectacle; entertainment."
continued sonorous bodies, to conduct through space the vibrations of the voice?" We answer that our tubes, though invisible, are indestructible and far more perfect than those of modern physicists, by whom the velocity of the transmission of mechanical force through the air is represented as at the rate of 1,100 feet a second and no more — if I mistake not. But then, may there not be people who have found more perfect and rapid means of transmission, from being somewhat better acquainted with the occult powers of air (akas) and having plus a more cultivated judgment of sounds? But of this we will argue later on.
There is still more serious inconvenience; an almost insurmountable obstacle — for the present, and one, under which I myself am labouring, while even I do no more than correspond with you, a simple thing that any other mortal could do. It is my utter inability to make you understand my meaning in my explanation of even physical phenomena, let alone the spiritual rationale. This is not the first time I mention it. It is, as though a child should ask me to teach him the highest problems of Euclid before he had even begun studying the elementary rules of arithmetic.
Only the progress one makes in the study of Arcane knowledge from its rudimental elements, brings him gradually to understand our meaning. Only thus, and not otherwise, does it, strengthening and refining those mysterious links of sympathy between intelligent men — the temporarily isolated fragments of the universal Soul and the cosmic Soul itself — bring them into full rapport. Once this established, then only will these awakened sympathies serve, indeed, to connect MAN with — what for the want of a European scientific word more competent to express the idea, I am again compelled to describe as that energetic chain which binds together the material and Immaterial Kosmos, — Past, Present, and Future — and quicken his perceptions so as to clearly grasp, not merely all things of matter, but of Spirit also. I feel even irritated at having to use these three clumsy words — past, present and future! Miserable concepts of the objective phases of the Subjective Whole, they are about as ill adapted for the purpose as an axe for fine carving. Oh, my poor, disappointed friend, that you were already so far advanced on THE PATH, that this simple transmission of ideas should
not be encumbered by the conditions of matter, the union of your mind with ours — prevented by its induced incapabilities! Such is unfortunately the inherited and self-acquired grossness of the Western mind; and so greatly have the very phrases expressive of modern thoughts been developed in the line of practical materialism, that it is now next to impossible either for them to comprehend or for us to express in their own languages anything of that delicate seemingly ideal machinery of the Occult Kosmos. To some little extent that faculty can be acquired by the Europeans through study and meditation but — that's all. And here is the bar which has hitherto prevented a conviction of the theosophical truths from gaining wider currency among Western Nations; caused theosophical study to be cast aside as useless and fantastic by Western philosophers. How shall I teach you to read and write or even comprehend a language of which no alphabet palpable, or words audible to you have yet been invented! How could the phenomena of our modern electrical science be explained to — say, a Greek philosopher of the days of Ptolemy were he suddenly recalled to life — with such an unbridged hiatus in discovery as would exist