The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett (Reading Group)

Discussion on literature other than by the Star of Azazel.
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ben Shachar
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Re: The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett (Reading Group)

Post by ben Shachar »

Brothers, please forgive my intruding in the group without a formal request to join. I wanted to briefly interject on this subject, as it is essentially the earliest reflections of that endeavor which Theosophy would culminate in giving birth to. The Threefold Way, The Great Way. I am sure you all are familiar with Harold Waldwin Percival's masterpiece Thinking and Destiny of which he wrote after his years as president of the TS of New York.
There exists a book titled "The Esoteric Zodiac" by HWP in which he gives exquisite explanation of the Rounds, roots, and sub races as exactly laid forth in The Secret Doctrine as well as direct footnotes and diagrams.
If T&D is an interest of anyone of the Brethren I would be glad to start a study group of the same nature as it has been the great study of my focus and ultimately the very text responsible for leading me up the path which this Brotherhood was found.

Being in the sixth race of the Fourth round we can now understand that the path to immortality is clear. The next round (5) developing principle being leo, who's involutionary body at its most dense in scorpio Desire will be less dense than we. Round 6 shall develop Virgo(form) who's lowest form is the Thought body/lower Manas and Round 7 Libra(sexes) whos lowest form will be the I-ness/ Self-ness body of spirit . The correlation becomes clear when we consider the adept who builds of himself body of desire to exist in outside the physical, the master who builds a mental or thought body and the mahatma who having the first two also has built a body of spirit I-ness and Self-ness lights which trickle down to the form world as a knowingness.

While I am a long time student of Steiner and have many great things to say about him and his amazing body of work, I find the benefits are of perspective and not inclusive of "How" or "what" one can do to assimilate the seemingly endless knowledge he possessed.

Contrastingly H.W.P's "Thinking and Destiny" seems to have little if any conflicting text with the Star of Azazel tenants.

I am proud to be a member of this order and to see this work continue to be refined and perfected.
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Re: The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett (Reading Group)

Post by RaktaZoci »

Thank you for your comments, frater! It's always a pleasure to receive external reflection to the conversation. Even though we have nominal participants in this reading group, everyone are welcome to comment, as most likely has been the purpose all along; To build up the activity on the forum.

As for your actual subject, I am not personally an expert of the SD, as Nefastos most likely would be, so I leave the answering to him. I'd like to share a few words, however, on the following:
ben Shachar wrote:Being in the sixth race of the Fourth round we can now understand that the path to immortality is clear. The next round (5) developing principle being leo, who's involutionary body at its most dense in scorpio Desire will be less dense than we. Round 6 shall develop Virgo(form) who's lowest form is the Thought body/lower Manas and Round 7 Libra(sexes) whos lowest form will be the I-ness/ Self-ness body of spirit . The correlation becomes clear when we consider the adept who builds of himself body of desire to exist in outside the physical, the master who builds a mental or thought body and the mahatma who having the first two also has built a body of spirit I-ness and Self-ness lights which trickle down to the form world as a knowingness.
It is interesting to note, that I just recently had a discussion with another frater about a similar subject such as this, i.e. intelligence built up to exist outside of one's mind. I'd like to inquire, though, what did you mean by:
ben Shachar wrote:..the mahatma who having the first two also has built a body of spirit I-ness and Self-ness lights which trickle down to the form world as a knowingness.
Could you explain this a bit further and also do you see a relevance of the passage to the text at hand (The Mahatma Letters)?
ben Shachar wrote:I am proud to be a member of this order and to see this work continue to be refined and perfected.
Thank you for these kind words. We are proud to have you, dear brother. .
die Eule der Minerva beginnt erst mit der einbrechenden Dämmerung ihren Flug.
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Re: The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett (Reading Group)

Post by Smaragd »

Nefastos wrote:
Also, it is important to note that the "too similar" magnetisms cannot function to form a fruitful group for magic (as in here, seeking magical guidance from above). Students must be different at the same time when they are ethically bound by the same spiritual ideal.
Great annotation! The reading group topics are starting to melt in to my daily life as this has been very relevant thought to me during this week.
Nefastos wrote:
KH wrote:They [the universal ideas] touch man's true position in the universe, in relation to his previous and future births; his origin and ultimate destiny; the relation of the mortal to the immortal; of the temporary to the eternal; of the finite to the Infinite; ideas larger, grander, more comprehensive, recognizing the universal reign of Immutable Law, unchanging and unchangeable in regard to which there is only an Eternal Now, while to uninitiated mortals time is past or future as related to their finite existence on this material speck of dirt. This is what we study and what many have solved.


This is very important. The "universal now" is nirvâna; that supreme mental state (plane) in which time collapses (or more precisely, expands into an infinite frozen explosion) totally to form a plane in itself.
It is always a joy to read this sort of reminders of what we are working towards. It is easy to get lost in the Work and just do it to deal with the suffering rather than really trying to cultivate the universal ideas in the very soil under ones boot.
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Re: The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett (Reading Group)

Post by Nefastos »

Since brother Obnoxion is very busy, I will cover him & give some thoughts about the next letter, number seven: January 30th 1881. Brother Obnoxion will later present to us one of the longer letters of the second series.
KH wrote:Happy, thrice happy and blessed are they, who have never consented to visit the world beyond their snow-capped mountains; whose physical eyes have never lost sight of for one day of the endless ranges of hills, and the long unbroken line of eternal snows!


I just remembered these longings for solitary serenity of the Himalayas when I received a letter from our sister, who was so invigorated & elevated in her trip to the deep northern Finland (Lapland) and said that she felt how much easier it would attain spiritual/occult growth in the places like that. I believe so too, in a way; or more exactly, I think that those serene places of austerity are where the already attained inner growth can be worked into power. But the more important part of our work is still in the midst of men, I believe, and that is where that later formal growth (technical initiations) is usually earned. As Koot Hoomi writes:

KH wrote:You were not asked or expected to revolutionise your life habits, but at the same time you were warned not to expect too much as you are. [...] Be patient, friend and brother; and I must repeat again — be our helpful co-worker; but in your own sphere, and according to your ripest judgment.


Especially if we come to the occult Work when young, we would rather like to "leave everything and follow": go to Tibet, or to some other distant monastery, to learn from the masters there. But in this there is actually less sacrifice than is demanded from us if we do postpone that "leaving all", instead "taking care of all" - meaning both our own psychology (which still has so much to study & mend) and the world around us. To leave everything because one is so hungry for ultimate knowledge & power is, in a way, ultimately selfish. Not to say such selfishness is necessarily wrong (an elevated "selfishness" like this is the very core of our Left Hand Path), but as such, it must be tempered with much work. Such a work can, and should, be done in the world and not in a monastery, lamasery or some other outer ashram.

KH wrote:If you had come to me as a boy of 17, before the world had put its heavy hand upon you, your task would have been twenty-fold easier.


I repeated this sentence in my book Ihmisen ikäkaudet ("The Ages of Man", chapter V) when talking about a) how different principles & aspects are developed in a human being when he ages, and b) how in order to actually reach the potentiality of these awakening principles one must be very vigilant indeed, to be able to grasp the moment when it presents itself. In that chapter I presented the following tabulation for the awakening of the human principles:


Nine months in the womb: correspondence Aries, develops linga sharîra
Age 0 to 7: correspondence Taurus, develops kâma rupa
Age 7 to 14: correspondence Gemini, develops kâma manas
Age 14 to 21: correspondence Cancer, develops manas
Age 21 to 28: correspondence Leo, develops buddhi
Age 28 to 35: correspondence Virgo, develops âtma
Age 35 to 42: correspondence Libra, applies outward linga sharîra
Age 42 to 49: correspondence Scorpio, applies outward kâma rupa
Age 49 to 56: correspondence Sagittarius, applies outward kâma manas
Age 56 to 63: correspondence Capricorn, applies outward manas
Age 63 to 70: correspondence Aquarius, applies outward buddhi
Age 70 to 77: correspondence Pisces, applies outward âtma


As we see, the seventeen year old boy that KH mentions is in the midpoint of his manasic development, which means he is at the point where his a) lower vehicles (physical body, emotions, and reasoning ability) have been developed and can be used as apt tools, b) vitality is full, and c) his personal genius is about to blossom, but it still needs to find its roots in the ideals true. This really seems like an ideal age to enter to the path of occultism, if we can make such a simplification.

Since I too am in an extreme hurry right now, I must stop here for now. But it would be most interesting to delve more deeply in this, perhaps studying this model side by side with the Steinerian ages model you mentioned, ben Shachar. What do you think, would that be better to do in a spin-off thread or in this? Either one sounds fine.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Re: The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett (Reading Group)

Post by Smaragd »

Nefastos wrote:But the more important part of our work is still in the midst of men, I believe, and that is where that later formal growth (technical initiations) is usually earned.
It is interesting to view our brotherhood from this thought. I see it as an inner monastery, the sharp tip of the world going forward (or upwards) and our personal lives are mediums, bringing the motion to the midst of men.
Nefastos wrote:What do you think, would that be better to do in a spin-off thread or in this? Either one sounds fine.
I think it would be drowned in this topic and as the week is closing in soon, maybe a new topic would be good.
KH wrote:—— you must see yourself as you are, not as the ideal human image which our emotional fancy always projects for us upon the glass.
Seeing myself as I am allows the ideal human image to pour itself to the lower self in a natural way. As I found my occult path relatively late in life, around the ages of 21-23, only now ~5 years later I've been starting to see myself as I am. In the beginning of the path, a massive flood of information poured in and I saw these high ideals and passionately tried to achieve them by straight up molding my identity to them. This wasn't too vigilant a way. It seems much more effective to just let it come.
Nefastos wrote:—— one must be very vigilant indeed, to be able to grasp the moment when it presents itself.
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Re: The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett (Reading Group)

Post by Nefastos »

Smaragd wrote:Seeing myself as I am allows the ideal human image to pour itself to the lower self in a natural way. As I found my occult path relatively late in life, around the ages of 21-23...


Just a bit over twenty is still quite early. There are many who have come to this kind of awakening or interest at their thirties, and even some who become seriously interested in the occult when they are senior already. One of "mahatmas'" aspirant students was an elder gentleman, although to him it was said that the best he can do is to lead an exemplary life in an exoteric way, helping others, and wait/create for the new opportunity (in another life), since the possibilities for further practical occult studies were minimal.

It is interesting to recall that the same was also said by Eliphas Levi about himself: he regrets not to have become acquianted with the occult earlier, and says that for him is therefore left mostly the philosophical study of it. Even though he made some necromantic rituals and such lesser (i.e. formal) working, he did not dare to name himself an adept or a practical magician – something that our contemporary dabblers in magic(k) are not at all unwilling to do in an instant.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Re: The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett (Reading Group)

Post by RaktaZoci »

After viewing last weeks subject, the letter 7, I have not much, or nothing really, to say about it. I marvel, however, the ability of such brilliant minds, as our brother Nefastos here, to be able to make so much out of such an abstract passage.

As I was discussing with fra YinLong recently, at times it is hard to grasp the subject matter since the original letter, to which the correspondence has been written for, is absent. Obviously it is possible to reach the topics and ideas presented here, but the task is not an easy one (when is it ever, in the occult world?).

As a brief comment to the discussion of the letter 7 I'd like to add, on my part, that apart from, as fra Smaragd said:
Smaragd wrote:"Seeing myself as I am.."
I have shortly learned to see myself also as what I am NOT. This should not be taken as a plead for martyrdom, but more that of modesty and simplicity. Even though one should reach for the Heavens, our current plane also requires assistance and that is where my assets lie. Some of us are most likely meant to "stay behind" and maintain the structure, so to speak.
-------------------
As to the topic of letter 8, I found it most interesting and didn't feel at all hindered by its length. To me, it seems that there are two (or possibly three) topics that Master KH brings forth.

The first seems to be the problematic in their (his and Sinnett's) communication, which the latter seems to have wanted to happen on a material level, i.e. eye to eye. Here KH emphasises that Westeners could not be able to comprehend to the least even the means of how a communication could be managed if the medium of air is excluded from the equation and he seems to be introducing a means of communication via light through colour.

I find this extremely interesting, as I see it that Western science is, little by little, approaching these "hidden secrets" as it has discovered that the consistency of distant stars can be learned when looking into the spectrum of light and analyzing the "black lines" between the spectral colours. Not to mention that science has begun to observe the universe also through mediums of light which are not observable to the human eye (such as gamma rays, ultraviolet, X-rays etc.) I have long been interested in the mediums of light & sound as a unity, so perhaps I should add colours to this package (which obviously are a property of light)? This must have sounded, though, quite miraculous to a person from the early 1900's.

Another matter KH introduces is that of Sinnett's book (I assume this to be Esoteric buddhism?) and the question regarding its actual need. KH seems to think that this need does indeed exist. This, I'd see, relates to the formerly discussed idea of the importance of the Work in this world. The spiritual breeding ground has been ripe for sometime, it seems, but still the seeds have not sprouted (to some extent). It is unclear to me in how grand a scale KH (and the others Masters) see this phenomenon and do they actually strive for a complete unity of Man under theosophys flag? This is, of course, a possibility, if we stretch the timeline long enough (which in itself is somewhat of an illusion).

This (The unity of all Man) seems to be an objective in:
Mahatma Letters wrote:"Of course, the greater the progress towards deliverance, the less this will be the case, until, to crown all, human and purely individual personal feelings — blood-ties and friendship, patriotism and race predilection — all will give away, to become blended into one universal feeling, the only true and holy, the only unselfish and Eternal one — Love, an Immense Love for humanity — as a Whole!"
The metaphor below of the war between the body and its members was, to me, an apt one:
Mahatma Letters wrote:"For it is "Humanity" which is the great orphan, the only disinherited one upon this Earth, my friend. And it is the duty of every man who is capable of an unselfish impulse, to do something, however little, for its welfare. Poor, poor humanity! It reminds me of the old fable of the war between the Body and its members: here too, each limb of this huge "Orphan" — fatherless and motherless — selfishly cares but for itself. The body uncared for suffers eternally, whether the limbs are at war or at rest. Its suffering and agony never cease.."
die Eule der Minerva beginnt erst mit der einbrechenden Dämmerung ihren Flug.
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Re: The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett (Reading Group)

Post by Smaragd »

RaktaZoci wrote:I have shortly learned to see myself also as what I am NOT.
Do you mean this in the same way as you pointed out from the current letter, of blending personal feelings into "the only unselfish and Eternal one — Love, an Immense Love for humanity — as a Whole!"?
Interesting point is where KH writes about his shortcomings achieving this.
KH wrote:Yet I confess that I, individually, am not yet exempt from some of the terrestrial attachments. I am still attracted toward some men more than toward others, and philanthropy as preached by our Great Patron — "the Saviour of the World — The Teacher of Nirvana and the Law . . . ." has never killed in me either individual preferences of friendship, love — for my next of kin ——
An image of hierarchy draws out where "terrestrial attachments" define the work one is doing within KH's brotherhood. Kama manas driven(?) social thinking is needed in KH's line of work, as we see in the postscript.
"Yet in view of some future events I feel it my duty to warn you, for this one is an exceptionally bad man "
I wonder if an adept would help to build such preconceptions of future situations or men? Concidering adepts have killed their individual preferences, such "enemies" might actually be seen helpful and empowering to be faced by aspirant of great will. This is the same idea which fra Nefastos pointed out of the Letter No. 6. Opposite polarities making the gears move, though here the tension is stretched wider as there's no shared spiritual ideal.
RaktaZoci wrote:Another matter KH introduces is that of Sinnett's book (I assume this to be Esoteric buddhism?)
In the internet version of the book it's stated being The Occult World.
KH wrote: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.
KH wrote:Once fairly started on the way to the great Knowledge, to doubt is to risk insanity; to come to a dead stop is to fall; to recede is to tumble backward, headlong into an abyss. Fear not, — if you are sincere, and that you are — now. Are you as sure of yourself, as to future?
These passages seem important.
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Re: The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett (Reading Group)

Post by Sothoth »

And, since you see them not, such rays, nor can know them, nor have you any names for them as yet in Science, if I were to tell you: — "My good friend Sinnett, if you please, without moving from your writing desk, try search for, and produce before your eyes the whole solar spectrum decomposed into fourteen prismatic colors (seven being complementary), as it is but with the help of that occult light that you can see me from a distance as I see you" . . . . what think you, would be your answer? What would you have to reply? Would you not be likely enough to retort by telling me in your own quiet, polite way, that as there never were but seven (now three) primary colours, which, moreover, have never yet by any known physical process been seen decomposed further than the seven prismatic hues — my invitation was as "unscientific" as it was "absurd"? Adding that my offer to search for an imaginary solar "complement" being no compliment to your knowledge of physical science — I had better, perhaps, go and search for my mythical "dichromatic" and solar "pairs" in Thibet, for modern Science has hitherto been unable to bring under any theory even so simple a phenomenon as the colors of all such dichromatic bodies. And yet — truth knows — these colors are objective enough!
Sounds some wild scifi stuff! But of course one can remember that f.ex using electricity and communicating with it was a similar fantasy a few hundred years ago.
Nothing of the kind; for what I now say may avail for as much as it can and no more; but — vera pro gratis — I warn you, and will say no more, apart from reminding you in a general way, that the task you are so bravely undertaking, that Missio in partis infidelium — is the most ungrateful, perhaps, of all tasks! But, if you believe in my friendship for you, if you value the word of honour of one who never — never during his whole life polluted his lips with an untruth, then do not forget the words I once wrote to you (see my last letter) of those who engaged themselves in the occult sciences: he who does it "must either reach the goal or perish. Once fairly started on the way to the great Knowledge, to doubt is to risk insanity; to come to a dead stop is to fall; to recede is to tumble backward, headlong into an abyss." Fear not, — if you are sincere, and that you are — now. Are you as sure of yourself, as to future?
This is a great reminder that the path of occultism is dangerous and demands all - no compromices. At some point it's yes or no - either you follow the path towards ascension or slip from the path and risk your mental healh.
Until final emancipation reabsorbs the Ego, it must be conscious of the purer sympathies called out by the esthetic effects of high art, its tenderest cords respond to the call of the holier and nobler human attachments. Of course, the greater the progress towards deliverance, the less this will be the case, until, to crown all, human and purely individual personal feelings — blood-ties and friendship, patriotism and race predilection — all will give away, to become blended into one universal feeling, the only true and holy, the only unselfish and Eternal one — Love, an Immense Love for humanity — as a Whole! For it is "Humanity" which is the great orphan, the only disinherited one upon this Earth, my friend. And it is the duty of every man who is capable of an unselfish impulse, to do something, however little, for its welfare.
Agape, the universal mercurial love is the solvent. Gradually separastistic symphaties and antipathies will grow towards unselfish will of helping all beings - and not just f.ex. members of some group or nation.
Women do lack the power of concentration.
:D Though I must say women are superior to men in many respects.
Should you actually need now and again the help of a happy thought as your work progresses, it may, very likely be, osmosed into your head — if sherry bars not the way, as it has already done at Allahabad.
:D again! Apparently alcohol prevents some higher telepathic form of communication.
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Re: The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett (Reading Group)

Post by obnoxion »

This ninth letter, we are told, was received in India, while A.P. Sinnet was staying with Blavatsky in Bombay (modern Mumbai). The letter is dated July 8th, 1881. My first impression was that the tone of the letter seems more personal (I feel there is a relaxed atmosphere in the very first paragraph, consistent with communications between befriended parties) that in the letter I presented before. This letter is somewhat lengthy, and many different people & different topics are discussed in it. I will lift from the letter some fragments of interest.

“We must all be blindfolded before we can pass onward; or else, we have to remain outside.”

Here KH uses perhaps the most classical description of formal initiation there is – to enter the inner sanctum blindfolded – in an intentionally polysemic way. My interpretation there is an intrinsic value in faith and the ability to believe. This brings to mind the interesting problem of what to call a religion and how to describe it. In some cultures religion is named to signify the passing on of a tradition, and in other cultures it means a process of unification. In Finnish religion is called “uskonto”, which means the practice of belief. So I would describe that this is an important angle to religion and spirituality: The ability to believe and have faith, ability to resist hopelessness, ability to maintain high idealism.

“I have a dim notion that you will be very impatient with me. I have a very clear notion that you need not be.”

KH writes that A.P. Sinnet is an incarnate note of interrogation, and as such, a part of a longer plan for the manifestation of occult philosophy. Thus, by discussing and reviewing these letters on a public forum, we become parts of the same plan. I am very well aware that many topics in these letters are something that might reduce the overall credibility of the ones who contemplate them. But I also realize that absolute credibility can become a narrow cage. Sometimes it feels that the only ones allowed to give serious thought to spiritual topics are those who are close to death. But I suggest that the courage to think freely about spiritual topics in the prime of one’s life can become a healthy process of accepting one’s mortality in an environment where natural death is hidden away, and violent death is gorged upon as entertainment.

***
Perhaps the major theme of the letter is a strong criticism – if not an outright refutation – of spiritualism. To stress out the difference of spirituality and spiritualism, I will use the term phantomosophy, which KH coins in this letter. Phantomosphy (that is, spiritualism) means reliance and practice of communicating by mediums, and a belief that souls of deceased humans can be contacted (for example in seances led by mediums), and such contacts are profitable.
In the process of refuting phantomosphy, KH touches on many interesting topics, which are dealt at length in The Secret Doctrine. KH describes the idea of circular macrocosm where microcosmic worlds are poised epicyclically on the macrocosmic form like pearls on a string. KH describes such ring as if it was a rosary composed with white and black bead alternating with each other, so that the white beads represents worlds of causes (KH says we live in a world of causes), and the black beads are the worlds of effects.

These black beads are described as sort of twilight zones, that form barriers of passive resistance. Now, if I understood correctly, there are two sorts of such barriers that are bordering us. The one is the place where the transmigrating part of deceased beings are in an unconscious state, their individuality dormant like butterfly in its chrysalis. In addition to the thing that such unconscious (and, from our point of view, practically inexistent) beings would have nothing sensible to say, the attempt to disturb such beings would be ethically comparable to harassing an infant.

The other shadowy barrier – the lower world of effects - compares roughly to the ideas of infernal worlds. KH calls it the sphere of distorted thoughts (for example, of anthropomorphic deities) of people who have never outgrown their brutehood on earth.

If we accept this view (and I think it could be most helpful to think of them as states of mind, and not as some semi-physical locations in space) then there would be little point in phantomosophy. Actually, from a hasty reading of this letter, it could be concluded that Theosophy teaches that the souls of the dead cannot be contacted. KH actually says in this letter that the purpose of Isis Unveiled was not so much to start a rivalry with material science, but to refute the claims of the phantomosophists.

“You want to know why it is deemed supremely difficult if not utterly impossible for pure disembodied Spirits to communicate with men through mediums or Phantomosophy. I say, because
(a) On account of the antagonistic atmospheres respectively surrounding these worlds;
(b) Of the entire dissimilarity of physiological and spiritual conditions; and
(c) Because that chain of worlds I have just been telling you about, is not only an epicycloid but an elliptical orbit of existences, having, as every ellipse, not one but two points — two foci, which can never approach each other; man being at one focus of it and pure Spirit at the other.”


So, to sum it up, Theosophy seems to teach that one cannot bring down our level a spiritual being, but the only way to communicate with a spiritual being (if such beings exists) would be, according to Theosophy, to become more spiritual one self – that is, one cannot bring down, but one must ascend. And spirituality means above all ethical idealism. And I think this would mean also, that the only spiritual beings on earth would have to be humans who have achieved a high standard of ethics. And thus, if there would be ascended masters in our world (I myself would best picture such masters as a handful of adults in this world of irresponsible children), they should be real men or women, and not phantoms or other apparitions (which would rather be our thoughts that seem to take a concrete form, and as such, they would indications of the nature of our mental state, which state does define the outer world we find ourselves in, I believe, to a more significant decree than is admitted)

Now KH seems to speak about some exceptions, but this is what I gathered from the letter. I read it and wrote this in a haste, and I tried to do it with as little preconceptions as possible. So feedback on these conclusions (some of which came as a surprise) is very welcome.

***
I must say that I have immensely enjoyed the history behind these letters, so I will dedicate this last part for a list of interesting character mentioned in the letter.

William Stainton Moses (S.M./ M.A. Oxon), 1893 – 1892: An English clergyman, spiritualist, and one of the founders of the London Lodge. Resigned from TS in 1884 after the Kiddle incident (one Mr. Kiddle accused KH of plagiarism). Went on to co-found The Society for Psychical Research.

Imperator (“+”, Imperator S.D. , I.S.D.): A spirit guide contacted by S.M. in séance, understood to be the bilblical prophet Malachi. There seems to be a lot of confusion about the nature and identity of Imperator. Imperator is often indicated in The Letters by the symbol of an equal-armed cross (+).

Charles Carleton Massey (C.C. Massey), 1838 - 1905: One of the original founders of The Theosophical Society, being present at the meeting held on September 8th, 1875, when the founding of the society was proposed, and at the first meeting under the name The Theosophical Society, on October 16th. He was once a president of The London Lodge. He was spiritualists with an interest in paranormal phenomenon, and though educated as a lawyer, he didn’t practice his profession, but devoted his life to psychic research. Massey resigned from The Theosophical Society, 1883 after coming to believe that The Mahatma Letters were a hoax. He was one of the founders of The Society of Psychical Research in 1882.

Allan Octavian Hume (A.O. Hume), 1829 – 1912: A.O. Hume was foremost a brilliant politician, who joined the Bengal Civil Service in 1850, and whose main contribution was in founding the Indian National Congress. He was the only government official who studied the native languages of India. He political achievements include introducing free primary education, established 181 schools, advocated women’s education, opposed infanticide and enforced widowhood. Hume and his wife were present in Sinnets summer house in Simla, were they witnessed the phenomenon described by Sinnet in his book The Occult World. After seeing some letters Sinnet had received from KH, he wrote a letter to KH himself. The short exchange of letters ended in an argument. Hume left Theosophical Society, but remained a vegetarian and a philantrophist, both of which, it seems, were inspirations from his involvement with Theosophy.

Sang-Ko-Pa of Kokonor (Je Tsongkhapa), 1357 – 1419: A tibetan lama, who reformation activities led to the formation of the Geugpa or “The Yellow Hat” school of Tibetan Buddhism. The name Tsongkhapa means “The Man from the Onion Valley”. Kokonor is a lake in Tibet, that is believed to have magical powers. Gelugpa school can be seen as a kind of continuation of Kadampa school, founded by the foremost disciple of the famous Bengali master Atisha. Tsongkhapa reformed the old Kadampa lineages into New Kadampa, that is, the Gelugpa-school. The Dalai Lamas are most prominent representatives of the Gelugpa. KH says in the 9th Mahatma Letter that Tsongkhapa was the last Khobligan to reach highest adeptship, and thus being able to exercise the Niriria Namastaka. In the 20th century New Kadampa is mostly used by a sect that opposes the Dalai Lama. It elevates a king-spirit called Shugden Dogyal to an elevated status. New Kadampa is supected of three ritual killings in Dhamasala in the 1990’s, where three monks were killed, after dalai Lama forbid the worship of Sugden Dogyal. Shugden is believed to be a violent spirit of a high lama that some believe was killed by the Great Fifth Dalai Lama. Shugden protects the purity of the Gelugpa tradition, and attacks those who mix Red Hat practices with Yellow Hat practices. (I must say that all the talk of battle with the Dark Brothers in the 9th letter does sound to me somewhat worrying, especially when considering how Blavatsky tends to use the term “Red Hat” – which means practically all other Tibetan Budddhists except the Gelugpas – as a synonym for black magicians. This sort of thinking, I think, is seen at its extreme point in the modern Shugden Cult).

Gustav [Theodor] Fechner (G.T. Fechner), 1801 – 1887: A German pioneer of experimental psychology, who is very relevant to modern science of psychology. It is said he proved wrong Immanuel Kant’s idea that psychology cannot become a real science, because it is by nature immeasurable (sorry for the simplification!). Though Fechner was an atheist, he was also a panpsychist. KH says to Fachner in the 9th Mahatma Letter, after Fachner has wanted to “know the Hindu view to what he ahs written”, that “You are right… every diamond, every crystal, every plant and star has its own individual soul, besides man and animal… and there is a hierarchy of souls from the lowest forms of matter up to the World Soul… but, you are mistaken when adding to the above the assurance that spirits of the departed hold direct psychic communication with Souls that are still connected with a human body – for they do not.” (This is one of the most clear refutations of phantomosophy that KH has voiced in the 9th letter). Fechner is also the writer of a curious little volume, called “The Little Book of Life After Death”, which I haven’t yet read, but which I am about to. Prominent psychologist William James (author of the “Religious Experience” was an admirer of the book, and wrote the introduction to it English translation.

Lord Tennyson (Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson), 1809 – 1892: English poet of traditional meters and mythological themes. He is one of the most iconic characters of the Victorian age, and was the poet laurate of the England and Ireland. A favourite poet of Edgar Allan Poe, Lord Tennyson has been long out of favour as an example of everything modernism left behind. Nowadays a new revival interest can be seen towards Tennyson’s many layered poetry. His poems have been some of the favourite topics of the the Pre-Rafaelite Brotherhood’s painters. KH ends his 9th letter with a quote from Tennyson’s poem called “The Mystic” (KH calls the poem the “Wakeful Dreamer”). I think this poem elucidates perfectly the contrast between The Medium and The Seer, of which KH often speaks in the 9th Mahatma Letter.
One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54 000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Shiva.
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