Letter №74


Letter 74 (ML-30)

Mahatma K.H. - A.P. Sinnett/A.O. Hume

August, 1882

Pages - 26.

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Letter №74, p. 1


My dear Brother.

Perhaps, a week ago, I would have hardly failed to embrace this available opportunity and say that your letter concerning Mr. Fern is as complete a misrepresentation of the spirit, and above all, of the attitude of M. towards the said young gentleman, as your complete ignorance of the aim he is pursuing could produce — and I would have said no more. But now, things have changed; and though you have "come to know that we" did not really possess the power of reading minds as had been pretended, nevertheless, we know enough of the spirit in which my last letters were received, and of the dissatisfaction produced, — to suspect, if not to know that unwelcome as truth may often come, yet the time has arrived for me to speak frankly and openly with you. Lying is a refuge to the weak, and we are sufficiently strong, even with all the shortcomings you are pleased to discover in us, to dread truth very little; nor are we likely to lie, only because it is to our interest to appear wise concerning matters of which we are ignorant. Thus, perchance it might have been more prudent to remark that you knew that we did not really possess the power of reading minds, unless we brought

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ourselves thoroughly en rapport with, and concentrated an undivided attention on, the person whose thoughts we wanted to know — since that would be an undeniable fact, instead of a gratuitous assumption as it now stands in your letter. However it may be, I now find but two ways before us, with not the smallest path for compromise. Henceforth, if your desire is that we should work together, we must do so on a footing of perfect understanding. You will be at perfect liberty to tell us — since you seem, or rather have brought yourself to sincerely believe it — that most of us, owing to the mystery that enshrouds us, live by getting credit for knowing what we really do not know; while I, for instance, will be as entitled as you are, to let you know what I may think of you, yourself meanwhile promising, that you will not laugh at it outwardly, and bear a grudge for it inwardly (something that notwithstanding your efforts you can rarely help) but that, in case I am mistaken you will prove it by some demonstration weightier than a mere denial. Unless you bind yourself by such a promise, it is utterly useless for any of us to be losing our time in controversies and correspondences. Better shake hands astrally, across space, and wait

en rapport with means "in touch, in contact with".


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until either you have acquired the gift of discerning truth from falsehood to a greater degree than you now have it; or, that we are shown to be no better than impostors (or still worse — lying spooks); or finally, that some one of us is in a position to demonstrate our existence to yourself or Mr. Sinnett — not astrally, for that might only strengthen the "Spirit" theory but — by visiting you personally.

Since it becomes quite hopeless to convince you that even we occasionally, do read other people's thoughts, may I hope that you will credit us, at least, with a sufficient knowledge of the English language not to have entirely misunderstood your very plain letter? And, to believe me, when I say, that having perfectly understood it, I answer you as plainly "as My dearest Brother, you are egregiously mistaken from first to last!" Your whole letter is based upon a misconception, an entire ignorance of "missing links," which alone may have given you a true key to the whole situation. What can you mean by the following?

My dear Master.

Amongst you you are utterly spoiling Fern — it is a thousand pities 

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for he is really a good fellow at heart and he has an intense desire for occult knowledge — and strong will and a great capacity for self-mortification — he would I am sure be useful for your purposes; but his self-conceit is growing intolerable and he is becoming a confirmed fabricator of fiction and this is due to you all. He has thoroughly humbugged Morya!! from the first — and he has gone persistently lying to Sinnett to keep up the delusion he has got Morya to entrust him with secrets and to accept him as a chela and he now thinks himself a match for anyone. . . . Morya replies quite falling into the trap . . . this fraud no doubt commenced in (y)our interests . . . etc. etc. etc.

It is unnecessary for me to repeat once more what I have said before; namely, that up to receiving your first letter concerning Mr. Fern, I had never given him one moment's attention. Who then, amongst us — spoils that young gentleman? Is it Morya? Well, it is easy to see, that you know still less of him, than he knows, in your conceptions, of what you have in your mind. "He has thoroughly humbugged Morya." Has he? I am sorry to be obliged to confess that, in accordance with your Western code it would

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look rather the reverse; that it was my beloved Brother who "humbugged" Mr. Fern — had not the ill-sounding term another meaning with us, as also another name. The latter of course, may appear to you still more "revolting," since even Mr. Sinnett, who is but the echo in that of every English Society man, regards it as thoroughly revolting to the feelings of the average Englishman. That other name is — PROBATION; something every chela who does not want to remain simply ornamental, has nolens volens to undergo for a more or less prolonged period; something that — for this very reason that it is undoubtedly based upon what you Westerns would ever view as a system of humbug or deception — that I, who knew European ideas better than Morya, have always refused to accept or even to regard any of you two as — chelas. Thus, what you have now mistaken for "humbug" as coming from Mr. Fern, you would have charged M. with it, had you only known a little more than you do of our policy; whereas the truth is, that one is utterly irresponsible for much he is now doing, and that the other is carrying out that of which he has honestly warned Mr. Fern beforehand; that, which, — if you have read, as you say, the correspondence — you must have learned from H.P.B.'s letter to Fern from Madras, that in her jealousy for M.'s favours, she wrote to him to Simla, hoping she would thereby frighten him off. A chela under probation is allowed to think and do whatever he likes. He is warned and told beforehand:

nolens volens means "willing or unwilling".

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Letter №74, p. 6

you will be tempted and deceived by appearances; two paths will be open before you, both leading to the goal you are trying to attain; one easy, and that will lead you more rapidly to the fulfilment of orders you may receive; the other — more arduous, more long; a path full of stones and thorns that will make you stumble more than once on your way; and, at the end of which you may, perhaps, find failure after all and be unable to carry out the orders given for some particular small work, — but, whereas the latter will cause the hardships you have undergone on it to be all carried to the side of your credit in the long run, the former, the easy path, can offer you but a momentary gratification, an easy fulfilment of the task. The chela is at perfect liberty, and often quite justified from the standpoint of appearances — to suspect his Guru of being "a fraud" as the elegant word stands. More than that: the greater, the sincerer his indignation — whether expressed in words or boiling in his heart — the more fit he is, the better qualified to become an adept. He is free to, and will not be held to account for using the most abusive words and expressions regarding his guru's actions and orders, provided he comes out victorious from the fiery ordeal; provided he resists all and every temptation; rejects every allurement, and proves that nothing, not even the promise of that which he holds dearer than life,

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of that most precious boon, his future adeptship — is unable to make him deviate from the path of truth and honesty, or force him to become a deceiver. My dear Sir, we will hardly ever agree in our ideas of things, and even of the value of words. You have once upon a time called us Jesuits; and, viewing things as you do, perhaps, you were right to a certain extent in so regarding us, since apparently our systems of training do not differ much. But it is only externally. As I once said before, they know that what they teach is a lie; and we know that what we impart is truth, the only truth and nothing but the truth. They work for the greater power and glory (!) of their order; we — for the power and final glory of individuals, of isolated units, of humanity in general, and we are content, nay forced — to leave our Order and its chiefs entirely in the shade. They work, and toil, and deceive, for the sake of worldly power in this life; we work and toil, and allow our chelas to be temporarily deceived, to afford them means never to be deceived hereafter, and to see the whole evil of falsity and untruth, not alone in this but in many of their after lives. They — the

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Jesuits sacrifice the inner principle, the Spiritual brain of the ego, to feed and develop the better the physical brain of the personal evanescent man, sacrificing the whole humanity to offer it as a holocaust to their Society — the insatiable monster feeding on the brain and marrow of humanity, and developing an incurable cancer on every spot of healthy flesh it touches. We — the criticized and misunderstood Brothers — we seek to bring men to sacrifice their personality — a passing flash — for the welfare of the whole humanity, hence for their own immortal Egos, a part of the latter, as humanity is a fraction of the integral whole, that it will one day become. They are trained to deceive; we — to undeceive; they do the scavenger's work themselves — barring a few poor sincere tools of theirs — con amore, and for selfish ends; we — leave it to our menials — the dugpas at our service, by giving them carte blanche for the time being, and with the sole object of drawing out the whole inner nature of the chela, most of the nooks and corners of which, would remain dark and concealed for ever, were not an opportunity afforded to test each of these corners in turn. Whether the chela wins or loses the prize — depends solely of himself. Only, you have to remember that our Eastern ideas about "motives" and "truthfulness"

Con amore means "with love".

Carte blanche means unrestricted power to act at one's own discretion.

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and "honesty" differ considerably from your ideas in the West. Both we believe that it is moral to tell the truth and immoral to lie; but here every analogy stops and our notions diverge in a very remarkable degree. For instance it would be a most difficult thing for you to tell me, how it is that your civilized Western Society, Church and State, politics and commerce have ever come to assume a virtue that it is quite impossible for either a man of education, a statesman, a trader, or anyone else living in the world — to practice in an unrestricted sense? Can any one of the above mentioned classes — the flower of England's chivalry, her proudest peers and most distinguished commoners, her most virtuous and truth speaking ladies — can any of them speak the truth, I ask, whether at home, or in Society, during their public functions or in the family circle? What would you think of a gentleman, or a lady, whose affable politeness of manner and suavity of language would cover no falsehood; who, in meeting you would tell you plainly and abruptly what he thinks of you, or of anyone else? And where can you find that pearl of honest tradesmen or that god-fearing patriot, or politician, or a

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simple casual visitor of yours, but conceals his thoughts the whole while, and is obliged under the penalty of being regarded as a brute, a madman — to lie deliberately, and with a bold face, no sooner he is forced to tell you what he thinks of you; unless for a wonder his real feelings demand no concealment? All is lie, all falsehood, around and in us, my brother; and that is why you seemed so surprised, if not affected, whenever you find a person, who will tell you bluntly truth to your face; and also why it seems impossible for you to realize that a man may have no ill feelings against you, nay even like and respect you for some things, and yet tell you to your face what he honestly and sincerely thinks of you. In noticing M's opinion of yourself expressed in some of his letters — (you must not feel altogether so sure that because they are in his handwriting, they are written by him, though of course every word is sanctioned by him to serve certain ends) — you say he has "a peculiar mode of expressing himself to say the least." Now, that "way" is simply the bare truth, which he is ready to write to yourself, or even say and repeat to your face, without the least concealment or change — (unless he has purposely allowed the expressions to be exaggerated for the same purposes as mentioned above); and he is — of all the men I know just the one to do it without the least hesitation!