About Fern, we (and the letters) have already spoken somewhat, but about the next in line, Moorad Ali Beg, I want to say something. It seems that he is the fallen chela pictured in the tragic footnote in Secret Doctrine 2:10, p.245.
This particular note made me a lasting impression when I was studying Secret Doctrine in my youth:
Secret Doctrine wrote:...an Englishman whose erratic genius killed him. The son of a Protestant clergyman, he became a Mahomedan, then a rabid atheist, and after meeting with a master, a Guru, he became a mystic; then a theosophist who doubted, despaired; threw up white for black magic, went insane and joined the Roman Church. Then again turning round, anathematized her, re-became an atheist, and died cursing humanity, knowledge, and God, in whom he had ceased to believe. Furnished with all the esoteric data to write his “War in Heaven,” he made a semi-political article out of it, mixing Malthus with Satan, and Darwin with the astral light. Peace be to his — Shell. He is a warning to the chelas who fail. His forgotten tomb may now be seen in the Mussulman burial ground of the Joonagad, Kathiawar, in India.
Parts of that brief text kept echoing in my head in many a long dark year, which was a very good thing indeed.
Smaragd wrote:It feels a bit bizarre that something unclean could be harboured in the higher principles as I think it automaticly is of the lower principles.
The problem lies partly in the fact that the idea of unconscious was yet to be (soon) clearly enough formulated by psychologists. When Koot Hoomi writes that –
KH wrote:The world moves and lives under the shadow of the deadly upas-tree of Evil; yet its dripping is dangerous to, and can reach only those whose higher and middle natures are as much susceptible of infection as their lower one. Its venomous seed can germinate but in a willing, well prepared soil
– he uses these words of "lower", "higher" and "middle" natures similarly as we nowadays would speak about subconscious, superego, and conscious personality.
That something is "higher" than our waking state personality does not yet make it factually benevolent. This is also the reason about the myth of the "fall of angels" and the problem of the "ego", which you mentioned. For the superego, our "higher self", can also err, and its Luciferian light can easily be corrupted into something that hinders us rather than helps. Actually, as much of our modern problems are created by our overactive superego ("higher nature") than the too dominant id ("lower nature") or consciously chosen, waking state selfishness ("middle nature").
Smaragd wrote:I'm not sure if this talk of ”her” is about Blavatsky or Laura Carter Holloway-Langford (I guess the former)
Not of Blavatsky. The letter tries to clear to Sinnett the characteristics of this female seer who joined the Theosophical Society with unconsciously mixed agenda of doing actual work but also of making herself grand. Partly under "her" (this seriously misguided even though well-meaning theosophist) influence Sinnett himself had failed, as the last letters show, and practically his true connection with Koot Hoomi has already ended. KH tells that although there really have been great, real occult possibilities open for this woman, her erring ambition made her to fall from the path to true initiations:
KH wrote:As against the above some will say — How then about her great clairvoyance, her chelaship, her selection among the many by the Masters? Her clairvoyance is a fact, her selection and chelaship — another. However well fitted psychically and physiologically to answer such selection, unless possessed of spiritual, as well as of physical unselfishness a chela whether selected or not, must perish, as a chela in the long run. [...] Had her sincere aspirations conquered the intense personality of her lower Self I would have given the T.S. an excellent help and worker. The poor woman is naturally good and moral; but that very purity is of so narrow a kind, of so Presbyterian a character, if I may use the word, as to be unable to see itself reflected in any other but her own Self. She alone is good and pure, all others must and shall be suspected. A great boon was offered her — her wayward spirit would allow her to accept of none that was not shaped in accordance with her own model.
This is how it goes, for the many are called, but few are chosen. In the times of the Theosophical Society, even more of the problem lied in the dual problem of blind religious faith and deaf materialistic science. While these are still factual difficulties to deal with in this later try which is ours, the shallow idea of occultism has become an even greater obstacle. Our age likes, once again, to believe in magic, but it does not understand – at all – how great are the constant demands of true achievement. Everyone would like to be an adept, but almost no one is actually able to be an apprentice (chela or chela candidate), which would be the only way to achieve for real. Our time is truly the time of the infant.