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Part II -- Occult Science and Physical Science

Feb 18, 2002 05:37 PM
by dalval14

Part II Occult and physical Sciences

Monday, February 18, 2002

Dear Friends:

This is offered to supplement Part I on this subject.

Best wishes,




>From the magazine the PATH for December 1886

It is with sincere and profound regret-though with no surprise,
prepared as I am for years for such declarations-that I have read
in the Rochester Occult Word, edited by Mrs. J. Cables, the
devoted president of the T.S. of that place, her joint editorial
with Mr. W. T. Brown. This sudden revulsion of feeling is perhaps
quite natural in the lady, for she has never bad the
opportunities given her as Mr. Brown has; and her feeling when
she writes that after "a great desire . . . to be put into
communication with the Theosophical Mahatmas we (they) have come
to the conclusion that it is useless to strain the Psychical eyes
towards the Himalayas ". . . is undeniably shared by many

Whether the complaints are justified, and also whether it is the
"Mahatmas" or theosophists themselves who are to blame for it is
a question that remains to be settled. It has been a pending case
for several years and will have to be now decided, as the two
complainants declare over their signatures that "we (they) need
not run after Oriental mystics, who deny their ability to help
us." The last sentence, in italics, has to be seriously examined.
I ask the privilege to make a few remarks thereon.

To begin with, the tone of the whole article is that of a true
manifesto. Condensed and weeded of its exuberance of Biblical
expressions it comes to this paraphrastical declaration: "We have
knocked at their door, and they have not answered us; we have
prayed for bread, they have denied us even a stone." The charge
is quite serious; nevertheless, that it is neither just nor
fair-is what I propose to show.

As I was the first in the United States to bring the existence of
our Masters into publicity; and, having exposed the holy names of
two members of a Brotherhood hitherto unknown to Europe and
America (save to a few mystics and Initiates of every age), yet
sacred and revered throughout the East, and especially India,
causing vulgar speculation and curiosity to grow around those
blessed names, and finally leading to a public rebuke, I believe
it my duty to contradict the fitness of the latter by explaining
the whole situation, as I feel myself the chief culprit. It may
do good to some, perchance, and will interest some others.

Let no one think withal, that I come out as a champion or a
defender of those who most assuredly need no defense. What I
intend, is to present simple facts, and let after this the
situation be judged on its own merits.

To the plain statement of our brothers and sisters that they have
been "living on husks," "hunting after strange gods" without
receiving admittance, I would ask in my turn, as plainly: "Are
you sure of having knocked at the right door? Do you feel certain
that you have not lost your way by stopping so often on your
journey at strange doors, behind which lie in wait the fiercest
enemies of those you were searching for?"

Our MASTERS are not a jealous god"; they are simply holy mortals,
nevertheless, however, higher than any in this world, morally,
intellectually and spiritually. However holy and advanced in the
science of the Mysteries--they are still men, members of a
Brotherhood, who are the first in it to show themselves
subservient to its time-honored laws and rules.

And one of the first rules in it demands that those who start on
their journey Eastward, as candidates to the notice and favors of
those who are the custodians of those Mysteries, should proceed
by the straight road, without stopping on every side-way and
path, seeking to join other "Masters" and professors often of the
Left Hand Science; that they should have confidence and show
trust and patience, besides several other conditions to fulfill.
Failing in all of this from first to last, what right has any man
or woman to complain of the liability of the Masters to help

Truly " 'The Dwellers of the threshold' are within!"

Once that a theosophist would become a candidate for either
chelaship or favors, he must be aware of the mutual pledge,
tacitly, if not formally offered and accepted between the two
parties, and, that such a pledge is sacred. It is a bond of seven
years of probation. If during that time, notwithstanding the many
human shortcomings and mistakes of the candidate (save two which
it is needless to specify in print) he remains throughout every
temptation true to the chosen Master, or Masters (in the case of
lay candidates), and as faithful to the Society founded at their
wish and under their orders, then the theosophist will be
initiated into ______thence-forward allowed to communicate with
his guru unreservedly, all his failings, save this one, as
specified, may be overlooked: they belong to his future Karma,
but are left for the present, to the discretion and judgment of
the Master. He alone has the power of judging whether even during
those long seven years the chela will be favoured regardless of
his mistakes and sins, with occasional communications with, and
from, the guru. The latter thoroughly posted as to the causes and
motives that led the candidate into sins of omission and
commission is the only one to judge of the advisability or
inadvisability of bestowing encouragement; as he alone is
entitled to it, seeing that he is himself under the inexorable
law of Karma, which no one from the Zulu savage up to the highest
archangel can avoid--and that he has to assume the great
responsibility of the causes created by himself.

Thus, the chief and the only indispensable condition required in
the candidate or chela on probation, is simply unswerving
fidelity to the chosen Master and his purposes.

This is a condition sine qua non; not as I have said, on account
of any jealous feeling, but simply because the magnetic rapport
between the two once broken, it becomes at each time doubly
difficult to re-establish it again; and that it is neither just
nor fair, that the Masters should strain their powers for those
whose future course and final desertion they very often can
plainly foresee. Yet, how many of those who, expecting as I would
call it "favors by anticipation," and being disappointed, instead
of humbly repeating mea culpa, tax the Masters with selfishness
and injustice?

They will deliberately break the thread of connection ten times
in one year, and yet expect each time to be taken back on the old
lines! ...Emotionalism is not philosophy; and Buddha devoted his
long self-sacrificing life to tear people away precisely from
that evil breeding superstition. Why speak of Buddha then, in the
same breath? The doctrine of salvation by personal merit, and
self-forgetfulness is the comer-stone of the teaching of the Lord

Both the writers may have and very likely they did" hunt after
strange gods"; but these were not our MASTERS. They have "denied
Him thrice" and now propose "with bleeding feet and prostrate
spirit" to "pray that He (Jesus) may take us (them) once more
under his wing," etc. The "Nazarene Master" is sure to oblige
them so far. Still they will be "living on husks" plus "blind
faith." But in this they are the best judges, and no one has a
right to meddle with their private beliefs in our Society; and
heaven grant that they should not in their fresh disappointment
turn our bitterest enemies one day.

Yet, to those Theosophists, who are displeased with the Society
in general, no one has ever made to you any rash promises; least
of all, has either the Society or its founders ever offered their
"Masters" as a chromo-premium to the best-behaved. For years
every new member has been told that he was promised nothing, but
bad everything to expect only from his own personal merit. The
Theosophist is left free and untrammeled in his actions. Whenever
displeased--alia tentanda via est--no harm in trying elsewhere;
unless, indeed one has offered himself and is decided to win the
Masters' favors.

To such especially, I now address myself and ask: Have you
fulfilled your obligations and pledges? Have you, who would fain
lay all the blame on the Society and the Masters-the latter the
embodiment of charity, tolerance, justice and universal love-have
you led the life requisite, and the conditions required from one
who becomes a candidate? Let him who feels in his heart and
conscience that he has,--that he has never once failed seriously,
never doubted his Master's wisdom, never sought other Master or
Masters in his impatience to become an Occultist with powers; and
that he has never betrayed his theosophical duty in thought or
deed,--let him, I say, rise and protest. He can do so fearlessly;
there is no penalty attached to it, and he will not even receive
a reproach, let alone be excluded from the Society--the broadest
and most liberal in its views, the most catholic of all the
Societies known or unknown.

I am afraid my invitation will remain unanswered. During the
eleven years of the existence of the Theosophical Society I have
known, out of the seventy-two regularly accepted chelas on
probation and the hundreds of lay candidates-only three who have
not hitherto failed, and one only who had a full success. No one
forces anyone into chelaship; no promises are uttered, none
except the mutual pledge between Master and the would-be chela.
Verily, Verily, many are the called but few are chosen-or rather
few who have the patience of going to the bitter end, if bitter
we can call simple perseverance and singleness of purpose.

What about the Society, in general, outside of India? Who among
the many thousands of members does lead the life? Shall anyone
say because be is a strict vegetarian--elephants and cows are
that--or happens to lead a celibate life, after a stormy youth in
the opposite direction; or because he studies the BHAGAVAD GITA,
or the "Yoga philosophy" upside down, that he is a theosophist
according to the Masters' hearts? As it is not the cowl that
makes the monk, so, no long hair with a poetical vacancy on the
brow are sufficient to make of one a faithful follower of divine

Look around you, and behold our UNIVERSAL Brotherhood so called!
The Society founded to remedy the glaring evils of Christianity,
to shun bigotry and intolerance, cant and superstition and to
cultivate real universal love extending even to the dumb brute,
what has it become in Europe and America in these eleven years of

In one thing only we have succeeded to be considered higher than
our Christian Brothers, who, according to Lawrence Oliphant's
graphic expression, "kill one another for Brotherhood's sake and
fight as devils for the love of God"--and this is that we have
made away with every dogma--and are now justly and wisely trying
to make away with the last vestige of even nominal authority.

But in every other respect we are as bad as they are: backbiting,
slander, uncharitableness, criticism, incessant war-cry and ding
of mutual rebukes that Christian Hell itself might be proud of!
And all this, I suppose, is the Masters' fault: THEY will not
help those who help others on the way of salvation and liberation
from selfishness--with kicks and scandals? Truly we are an
example to the world, and fit companions for the holy ascetics of
the snowy Range!

And now a few words more before I close. I will be asked: "And
who are you to find fault with us? Are you, who claim
nevertheless communion with the Masters and receive daily favors
from Them; Are you so holy, faultless, and so worthy?"

To this I answer: I AM NOT. Imperfect and faulty is my nature;
many and glaring are my shortcomings--and for this my Karma is
heavier than that of any other Theosophist. It is--and must be
so--since for so many years I stand set in the pillory, a target
for my enemies and some friends also. Yet I accept the trial
cheerfully. Why? Because I know that I have, all my faults
notwithstanding, Master's protection extended over me. And if I
have it, the reason for it is simply this: for thirty-five years
and more, ever since 1851 that I saw any Master bodily and
personally for the first time, I have never once denied or even
doubted Him, not even in thought. Never a reproach or a murmur
against Him has escaped my lips, or entered even my brain for one
instant under the heaviest trials.

>From the first I knew what I had to expect, for I was told that,
which I have never ceased repeating to others: as soon as one
steps on the Path leading to the Ashrum of the blessed
Masters--the last and only custodians of primitive Wisdom and
Truth--his Karma, instead of having to be distributed throughout
his long life, falls upon him in a block and crushes him with its
whole weight. He who believes in what he professes and in his
Master, will stand it and come out of the trial victorious; he
who doubts, the coward who fears to receive his just dues and
tries to avoid justice being done--FAILS. He will not escape
Karma just the same, but he will only lose that for which he has
risked its untimely visits.

This is why, having been so constantly, so mercilessly slashed by
my Karma using my enemies as unconscious weapons, that I have
stood it all. I felt sure that Master would not permit that I
should perish; that he would always appear at the eleventh
hour--and so he did. Three times I was saved from death by Him,
the last time almost against my will; when I went again into the
cold, wicked world out of love for Him, who has taught me what I
know and made me what I am.

Therefore, I do His work and bidding, and this is what has given
me the lion's strength to support shocks--physical and mental,
one of which would have killed any theosophist who would go on
doubting of the mighty protection.

Unswerving devotion to Him who embodies the duty traced for me,
and belief in the Wisdom--collectively, of that grand,
mysterious, yet actual Brotherhood of holy men--is my only merit,
and the cause of my success in Occult philosophy.

And now repeating after the Paraguru--my Master's MASTER--the
words He had sent as a message to those who wanted to make of the
Society a "miracle club" instead of a Brotherhood of Peace, Love
and mutual assistance--"Perish rather, the Theosophical Society
and its hapless Founders," I say perish their twelve years'
labour and their very lives rather than that I should see what I
do today: theosophists, outvying political "rings" in their
search for personal power and authority; theosophists slandering
and criticizing each other as two rival Christian sects might do;
finally theosophists refusing to lead the life and then
criticizing and throwing slurs on the grandest and noblest of
men, because tied by their wise laws--hoary with age and based on
an experience of human nature millenniums old--those Masters
refuse to interfere with Karma and to play second fiddle to every
theosophist who calls upon Them and whether he deserves it or

Unless radical reforms in our American and European Societies are
speedily resorted to--I fear that before long there will remain
but one centre of Theosophical Societies and Theosophy in the
whole world--namely, in India; on that country I call all the
blessings of my heart. All my love and aspirations belong to my
beloved brothers, the Sons of Old Aryavarta--the Motherland of my

End of Part II

Dear readers:

Would you like to receive PART III

"Practical Occultism" -- H P B ?


"Occultism vs. the Occult Arts" -- H P B ?


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