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Master KH on "God": Mahatma Letter No. 22

Nov 10, 2002 06:14 AM
by Daniel H. Caldwell

Mahatma Letter No. 22

[Transcribed from a copy in Mr. Sinnett's handwriting. -- ED.] 

Extract from Letter by K.H. to Hume. Received for my perusal towards 
the end of season 1882. (A.P.S.)

Did it ever strike you, -- and now from the standpoint of your 
Western science and the suggestion of your own Ego which has already 
seized up the essentials of every truth, prepare to deride the 
erroneous idea -- did you ever suspect that Universal, like finite, 
human mind might have two attributes, or a dual power -- one the 
voluntary and conscious, and the other the involuntary and 
unconscious or the mechanical power. To reconcile the difficulty of 
many theistic and anti-theistic propositions, both these powers are a 
philosophical necessity. The possibility of the first or the 
voluntary and conscious attribute in reference to the infinite mind, 
notwithstanding the assertions of all the Egos throughout the living 
world -- will remain for ever a mere hypothesis, whereas in the 
finite mind it is a scientific and demonstrated fact. The highest 
Planetary Spirit is as ignorant of the first as we are, and the 
hypothesis will remain one even in Nirvana, as it is a mere 
inferential possibility, whether there or here. 

Take the human mind in connexion with the body. Man has two distinct 
physical brains; the cerebrum with its two hemispheres at the frontal 
part of the head -- the source of the voluntary nerves; and the 
cerebellum, situated at the back portion of the skull -- the fountain 
of the involuntary nerves which are the agents of the unconscious or 
mechanical powers of the mind to act through. And weak and uncertain 
as may be the control of man over his involuntary, such as the blood 
circulation, the throbbings of the heart and respiration, especially 
during sleep -- yet how far more powerful, how much more potential 
appears man as master and ruler over the blind molecular motion -- 
the laws which govern his body (a proof of this being afforded by the 
phenomenal powers of the Adept and even the common Yogi) than that 
which you will call God, shows over the immutable laws of Nature. 
Contrary in that to the finite, the "infinite mind," which we name so 
but for argument's sake, for we call it the infinite FORCE -- 
exhibits but the functions of its cerebellum, the existence of its 
supposed cerebrum being admitted as above stated, but on the 
inferential hypothesis deduced from the Kabalistic theory (correct in 
every other relation) of the Macrocosm being the prototype of the 
Microcosm. So far as we know the corroboration of it by modern 
science receiving but little consideration -- so far as the highest 
Planetary Spirits have ascertained (who remember well have the same 
relations with the trans-cosmical world, penetrating behind the 
primitive veil of cosmic matter as we have to go behind the veil of 
this, our gross physical world --) the infinite mind displays to them 
as to us no more than the regular unconscious throbbings of the 
eternal and universal pulse of Nature, throughout the myriads of 
worlds within as without the primitive veil of our solar system. 

So far -- WE KNOW. Within and to the utmost limit, to the very edge 
of the cosmic veil we know the fact to be correct -- owing to 
personal experience; for the information gathered as to what takes 
place beyond -- we are indebted to the Planetary Spirits, to our 
blessed Lord Buddha. This of course may be regarded as second-hand 
information. There are those who rather than to yield to the evidence 
of fact will prefer regarding even the planetary gods as "erring" 
disembodied philosophers if not actually liars. Be it so. Everyone is 
master of his own wisdom -- says a Tibetan proverb and he is at 
liberty either to honour or degrade his slave --. However I will go 
on for the benefit of those who may yet seize my explanation of the 
problem and understand the nature of the solution. 

It is the peculiar faculty of the involuntary power of the infinite 
mind -- which no one could ever think of calling God, -- to be 
eternally evolving subjective matter into objective atoms (you will 
please remember that these two adjectives are used but in a relative 
sense) or cosmic matter to be later on developed into form. And it is 
likewise that same involuntary mechanical power that we see so 
intensely active in all the fixed laws of nature -- which governs and 
controls what is called the Universe or the Cosmos. There are some 
modern philosophers who would prove the existence of a Creator from 
motion. We say and affirm that that motion -- the universal perpetual 
motion which never ceases never slackens nor increases its speed not 
even during the interludes between the pralayas, or "nights of 
Brahma" but goes on like a mill set in motion, whether it has 
anything to grind or not (for the pralaya means the temporary loss of 
every form, but by no means the destruction of cosmic matter which is 
eternal) -- we say this perpetual motion is the only eternal and 
uncreated Deity we are able to recognise. To regard God as an 
intelligent spirit, and accept at the same time his absolute 
immateriality is to conceive of a nonentity, a blank void; to regard 
God as a Being, an Ego and to place his intelligence under a bushel 
for some mysterious reasons -- is a most consummate nonsense; to 
endow him with intelligence in the face of blind brutal Evil is to 
make of him a fiend -- a most rascally God. A Being however gigantic, 
occupying space and having length breadth and thickness is most 
certainly the Mosaic deity; "No-being" and a mere principle lands you 
directly in the Buddhistic atheism, or the Vedantic primitive 
Acosmism. What lies beyond and outside the worlds of form, and being, 
in worlds and spheres in their most spiritualized state -- (and you 
will perhaps oblige us by telling us where that beyond can be, since 
the Universe is infinite and limitless) is useless for anyone to 
search after since even Planetary Spirits have no knowledge or 
perception of it. If our greatest adepts and Bodhisatvas have never 
penetrated themselves beyond our solar system, -- and the idea seems 
to suit your preconceived theistic theory wonderfully, my respected 
Brother -- they still know of the existence of other such solar 
systems, with as mathematical a certainty as any western astronomer 
knows of the existence of invisible stars which he can never approach 
or explore. But of that which lies within the worlds and systems, not 
in the trans-infinitude -- (a queer expression to use) -- but in the 
cis-infinitude rather, in the state of the purest and inconceivable 
immateriality, no one ever knew or will ever tell, hence it is 
something non-existent for the universe. You are at liberty to place 
in this eternal vacuum the intellectual or voluntary powers of your 
deity -- if you can conceive of such a thing. 

Meanwhile we may say that it is motion that governs the laws of 
nature; and that it governs them as the mechanical impulse given to 
running water which will propel them either in a direct line or along 
hundreds of side furrows they may happen to meet on their way and 
whether those furrows are natural grooves or channels prepared 
artificially by the hand of man. And we maintain that wherever there 
is life and being, and in however much spiritualized a form, there is 
no room for moral government, much less for a moral Governor -- a 
Being which at the same time has no form nor occupies space! Verily 
if light shineth in darkness, and darkness comprehends it not, it is 
because such is the natural law, but how more suggestive and pregnant 
with meaning for one who knows, to say that light can still less 
comprehend darkness, nor ever know it since it kills wherever it 
penetrates and annihilates it instantly. Pure yet a volitional Spirit 
is an absurdity for volitional mind. The result of organism cannot 
exist independently of an organized brain, and an organized brain 
made out of nihil is a still greater fallacy. If you ask me "Whence 
then the immutable laws? -- laws cannot make themselves" -- then in 
my turn I will ask you -- and whence their supposed Creator? -- a 
creator cannot create or make himself. If the brain did not make 
itself, for this would be affirming that brain acted before it 
existed, how could intelligence, the result of an organized brain, 
act before its creator was made. 

All this reminds one of wrangling for seniorship. If our doctrines 
clash too much with your theories then we can easily give up the 
subject and talk of something else. Study the laws and doctrines of 
the Nepaulese Swabhavikas, the principal Buddhist philosophical 
school in India, and you will find them the most learned as the most 
scientifically logical wranglers in the world. Their plastic, 
invisible, eternal, omnipresent and unconscious Swabhavat is Force or 
Motion ever generating its electricity which is life. 

Yes: there is a force as limitless as thought, as potent as boundless 
will, as subtile as the essence of life so inconceivably awful in its 
rending force as to convulse the universe to its centre would it but 
be used as a lever, but this Force is not God, since there are men 
who have learned the secret of subjecting it to their will when 
necessary. Look around you and see the myriad manifestations of life, 
so infinitely multiform; of life, of motion, of change. What caused 
these? From what inexhaustible source came they, by what agency? Out 
of the invisible and subjective they have entered our little area of 
the visible and objective. Children of Akasa, concrete evolutions 
from the ether, it was force which brought them into perceptibility 
and Force will in time remove them from the sight of man. Why should 
this plant in your garden to the right, have been produced with such 
a shape and that other one to the left with one totally dissimilar? 
Are these not the result of varying action of Force -- unlike 
correlations? Given a perfect monotony of activities throughout the 
world, and we would have a complete identity of forms, colours, 
shapes and properties throughout all the kingdoms of nature. It is 
the motion with its resulting conflict, neutralization, 
equilibration, correlation, to which is due the infinite variety 
which prevails. You speak of an intelligent and good -- (the 
attribute is rather unfortunately chosen) -- Father, a moral guide 
and governor of the universe and man. A certain condition of things 
exists around us which we call normal. Under this nothing can occur 
which transcends our every-day experience "God's immutable laws." But 
suppose we change this condition and have the best of him without 
whom even a hair of your head will not fall, as they tell you in the 
West. A current of air brings to me from the lake near which, with my 
fingers half frozen I now write to you this letter -- I change by a 
certain combination of electrical magnetic odyllic or other 
influences the current of air which benumbs my fingers into a warmer 
breeze; I have thwarted the intention of the Almighty, and dethroned 
him at my will! I can do that, or when I do not want Nature to 
produce strange and too visible phenomena, I force my nature-seeing, 
nature-influencing self within me, to suddenly awake to new 
perceptions and feelings and thus am my own Creator and ruler. 

But do you think that you are right when saying that "the laws 
arise." Immutable laws cannot arise, since they are eternal and 
uncreated, propelled in the Eternity and that God himself if such a 
thing existed, could never have the power of stopping them. And when 
did I say that these laws were fortuitous per se. I meant their blind 
correlations, never the laws, or rather the law -- since we recognise 
but one law in the Universe, the law of harmony, of perfect 
EQUILIBRIUM. Then for a man endowed with so subtle a logic, and such 
a fine comprehension of the value of ideas in general and that of 
words especially -- for a man so accurate as you generally are to 
make tirades upon an "all wise, powerful and love-ful God" seems to 
say at least strange. I do not protest at all as you seem to think 
against your theism, or a belief in an abstract ideal of some kind, 
but I cannot help asking you, how do you or how can you know that 
your God is all wise, omnipotent and love-ful, when everything in 
nature, physical and moral, proves such a being, if he does exist to 
be quite the reverse of all you say of him? Strange delusion and one 
which seems to overpower your very intellect. 

The difficulty of explaining the fact that "unintelligent Forces can 
give rise to highly intelligent beings like ourselves," is covered by 
the eternal progression of cycles, and the process of evolution ever 
perfecting its work as it goes along. Not believing in cycles, it is 
unnecessary for you to learn that which will create but a new pretext 
for you, my dear Brother, to combat the theory and argue upon it ad 
infinitum. Nor did I ever become guilty of the heresy I am accused 
of -- in reference to spirit and matter. The conception of matter and 
spirit as entirely distinct, and both eternal could certainly never 
have entered my head, however little I may know of them, for it is 
one of the elementary and fundamental doctrines of Occultism that the 
two are one, and are distinct but in their respective manifestations, 
and only in the limited perceptions of the world of senses. Far 
from "lacking philosophical breadth" then, our doctrines show, but 
one principle in nature, -- spirit-matter or matter-spirit, the third 
the ultimate Absolute or the quintessence of the two, -- if I may be 
allowed to use an erroneous term in the present application -- losing 
itself beyond the view and spiritual perceptions of even the "Gods" 
or Planetary Spirits. This third principle say the Vedantic 
Philosophers -- is the only reality, everything else being Maya, as 
none of the Protean manifestations of spirit-matter or Purusha and 
Prakriti have ever been regarded in any other light than that of 
temporary delusions of the senses. Even in the hardly outlined 
philosophy of Isis this idea is clearly carried out. In the book of 
Kiu-te, Spirit is called the ultimate sublimation of matter, and 
matter the crystallization of spirit. And no better illustration 
could be afforded than in the very simple phenomenon of ice, water, 
vapour and the final dispersion of the latter, the phenomenon being 
reversed in its consecutive manifestations and called the Spirit 
failing into generation or matter. This trinity resolving itself into 
unity, -- a doctrine as old as the world of thought -- was seized 
upon by some early Christians, who had it in the schools of 
Alexandria, and made up into the Father, or generative spirit; the 
Son or matter, -- man; and into the Holy Ghost, the immaterial 
essence, or the apex of the equilateral triangle, an idea found to 
this day in the pyramids of Egypt. Thus once more it is proved that 
you misunderstand my meaning entirely, whenever for the sake of 
brevity I use a phraseology habitual with the Western people. But in 
my turn I have to remark that your idea that matter is but the 
temporary allotropic form of spirit differing from it as charcoal 
does from diamond is as unphilosophical as it is unscientific from 
both the Eastern and the Western points of view, charcoal being but a 
form of residue of matter, while matter per se is indestructible, and 
as I maintain coeval with spirit -- that spirit which we know and can 
conceive of. Bereaved of Prakriti, Purusha (Spirit) is unable to 
manifest itself, hence ceases to exist -- becomes nihil. Without 
spirit or Force, even that which Science styles as "not living" 
matter, the so-called mineral ingredients which feed plants, could 
never have been called into form. There is a moment in the existence 
of every molecule and atom of matter when, for one cause or another, 
the last spark of spirit or motion or life (call it by whatever name) 
is withdrawn, and in the same instant with the swiftness which 
surpasses that of the lightning glance of thought the atom or 
molecule or an aggregation of molecules is annihilated to return to 
its pristine purity of intra-cosmic matter. It is drawn to the mother 
fount with the velocity of a globule of quicksilver to the central 
mass. Matter, force, and motion are the trinity of physical objective 
nature, as the trinitarian unity of spirit-matter is that of the 
spiritual or subjective nature. Motion is eternal because spirit is 
eternal. But no modes of motion can ever be conceived unless they be 
in connection with matter. 

And now to your extraordinary hypothesis that Evil with its attendant 
train of sin and suffering is not the result of matter, but may be 
perchance the wise scheme of the moral Governor of the Universe. 
Conceivable as the idea may seem to you trained in the pernicious 
fallacy of the Christian, -- "the ways of the Lord are inscrutable" --
it is utterly inconceivable for me. Must I repeat again that the 
best Adepts have searched the Universe during milleniums and found 
nowhere the slightest trace of such a Machiavellian schemer -- but 
throughout, the same immutable, inexorable law. You must excuse me 
therefore if I positively decline to lose my time over such childish 
speculations. It is not "the ways of the Lord" but rather those of 
some extremely intelligent men in everything but some particular 
hobby, that are to me incomprehensible. 

As you say this need "make no difference between us" -- personally. 
But it does make a world of difference if you propose to learn and 
offer me to teach. For the life of me I cannot make out how I could 
ever impart to you that which I know since the very A.B.C. of what I 
know, the rock upon which the secrets of the occult universe, whether 
on this or that side of the veil, are encrusted, is contradicted by 
you invariably and a priori. My very dear Brother, either we know 
something or we do not know anything. In the first case what is the 
use of your learning, since you think you know better? In the second 
case why should you lose your time? You say it matters nothing 
whether these laws are the expression of the will of an intelligent 
conscious God, as you think, or constitute the inevitable attributes 
of an unintelligent, unconscious "God," as I hold. I say, it matters 
everything, and since you earnestly believe that these fundamental 
questions (of spirit and matter -- of God or no God) "are admittedly 
beyond both of us" -- in other words that neither I nor yet our 
greatest adepts can know no more than you do, then what is there on 
earth that I could teach you? You know that in order to enable you to 
read you have first to learn your letters -- yet you want to know the 
course of events before and after the Pralayas, of every event here 
on this globe on the opening of a new cycle, namely a mystery 
imparted at one of the last initiations, as Mr. Sinnett was told, -- 
for my letter to him upon the Planetary Spirits was simply 
incidental -- brought out by a question of his. And now you will say 
I am evading the direct issue. I have discoursed upon collateral 
points, but have not explained to you all you want to know and asked 
me to tell you. I "dodge" as I always do. Pardon me for contradicting 
you, but it is nothing of the kind. There are a thousand questions I 
will never be permitted to answer, and it would be dodging were I to 
answer you otherwise than I do. I tell you plainly you are unfit to 
learn, for your mind is too full and there is not a corner vacant 
from whence a previous occupant would not arise, to struggle with and 
drive away the newcomer. Therefore I do not evade, I only give you 
time to reflect and deduce and first learn well what was already 
given you before you seize on something else. The world of force, is 
the world of Occultism and the only one whither the highest initiate 
goes to probe the secrets of being. Hence no-one but such an initiate 
can know anything of these secrets. Guided by his Guru the chela 
first discovers this world, then its laws, then their centrifugal 
evolutions into the world of matter. To become a perfect adept takes 
him long years, but at last he becomes the master. The hidden things 
have become patent, and mystery and miracle have fled from his sight 
forever. He sees how to guide force in this direction or that -- to 
produce desirable effects. The secret chemical, electric or odic 
properties of plants, herbs, roots, minerals, animal tissue, are as 
familiar to him as the feathers of your birds are to you. No change 
in the etheric vibrations can escape him. He applies his knowledge, 
and behold a miracle! And he who started with the repudiation of the 
very idea that miracle is possible, is straightway classed as a 
miracle worker and either worshipped by the fools as a demi-god or 
repudiated by still greater fools as a charlatan! And to show you how 
exact a science is occultism let me tell you that the means we avail 
ourselves of are all laid down for us in a code as old as humanity to 
the minutest detail, but everyone of us has to begin from the 
beginning, not from the end. Our laws are as immutable as those of 
Nature, and they were known to man and eternity before this strutting 
game cock, modern science, was hatched. If I have not given you the 
modus operandi or begun by the wrong end, I have at least shown you 
that we build our philosophy upon experiment and deduction -- unless 
you choose to question and dispute this fact equally with all others. 
Learn first our laws and educate your perceptions, dear Brother. 
Control your involuntary powers and develop in the right direction 
your will and you will become a teacher instead of a learner. I would 
not refuse what I have a right to teach. Only I had to study for 
fifteen years before I came to the doctrines of cycles and had to 
learn simpler things at first. 

But do what we may, and whatever happens I trust we will have no more 
arguing which is as profitless as it is painful.

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