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Re: Master KH on "God": Mahatma Letter No. 10

Nov 10, 2002 07:17 AM
by netemara888

Daniel, this is a wonderful synopsis of what Theosophy is about and 
where the idea that they are atheists came from. They are not 
atheists they are Gnostics. That is what I consider to be the truth--
the Gnostic, the Knower, the Jnani yogi. 

Now my second question is this: Is this a sample of what Blavatsky or 
one of her cohorts is said to have written? Hey, this is extremely 
well written and plain as the nose on your face. There are no 
circuitous arguments here. Could HPB have written all these and the 
SD besides. She would have to have been at her desk writing 24/7!


PS: Did you have to input this letter yourself?

-- In theos-talk@y..., "Daniel H. Caldwell" <comments@b...> wrote:
> Mahatma Letter No. 10
> [Transcribed from a copy in Mr. Sinnett's handwriting. -- Ed] 
> Received at Simla, 1881-? '82. 
> Neither our philosophy nor ourselves believe in a God, least of all 
> in one whose pronoun necessitates a capital G. Our philosophy falls 
> under the definition of Hobbes. It is preeminently the science of 
> effects by their causes and of causes by their effects, and since 
> is also the science of things deduced from first principle, as 
> defines it, before we admit any such principle we must know it, and 
> have no right to admit even its possibility. Your whole explanation 
> is based upon one solitary admission made simply for argument's 
> in October last. You were told that our knowledge was limited to 
> our solar system: ergo as philosophers who desired to remain worthy 
> of the name we could not either deny or affirm the existence of 
> you termed a supreme, omnipotent, intelligent being of some sort 
> beyond the limits of that solar system. But if such an existence is 
> not absolutely impossible, yet unless the uniformity of nature's 
> breaks at those limits we maintain that it is highly improbable. 
> Nevertheless we deny most emphatically the position of agnosticism 
> this direction, and as regards the solar system. Our doctrine knows 
> no compromises. It either affirms or denies, for it never teaches 
> that which it knows to be the truth. Therefore, we deny God both as 
> philosophers and as Buddhists. We know there are planetary and 
> spiritual lives, and we know there is in our system no such thing 
> God, either personal or impersonal. Parabrahm is not a God, but 
> absolute immutable law, and Iswar is the effect of Avidya and Maya, 
> ignorance based upon the great delusion. The word "God" was 
> to designate the unknown cause of those effects which man has 
> admired or dreaded without understanding them, and since we claim 
> that we are able to prove what we claim -- i.e. the knowledge of 
> cause and causes we are in a position to maintain there is no God 
> Gods behind them. 
> The idea of God is not an innate but an acquired notion, and we 
> but one thing in common with theologies -- we reveal the infinite. 
> But while we assign to all the phenomena that proceed from the 
> infinite and limitless space, duration and motion, material, 
> sensible and known (to us at least) cause, the theists assign them 
> spiritual, super-natural and unintelligible an un-known causes. The 
> God of the Theologians is simply and imaginary power, un loup garou 
> as d'Holbach expressed it -- a power which has never yet manifested 
> itself. Our chief aim is to deliver humanity of this nightmare, to 
> teach man virtue for its own sake, and to walk in life relying on 
> himself instead of leaning on a theological crutch, that for 
> countless ages was the direct cause of nearly all human misery. 
> Pantheistic we may be called -- agnostic NEVER. If people are 
> to accept and to regard as God our ONE LIFE immutable and 
> in its eternity they may do so and thus keep to one more gigantic 
> misnomer. But then they will have to say with Spinoza that there is 
> not and that we cannot conceive any other substance than God; or as 
> that famous and unfortunate philosopher says in his fourteenth 
> proposition, "practer Deum neque dari neque concepi potest 
> substantia" -- and thus become Pantheists . . . . who but a 
> Theologian nursed on mystery and the most absurd super-naturalism 
> imagine a self existent being of necessity infinite and omnipresent 
> outside the manifested boundless universe. The word infinite is but 
> negative which excludes the idea of bounds. It is evident that a 
> being independent and omnipresent cannot be limited by anything 
> is outside of himself; that there can be nothing exterior to 
himself -
> - not even vacuum, then where is there room for matter? for that 
> manifested universe even though the latter limited. If we ask the 
> theist is your God vacuum, space or matter, they will reply no. And 
> yet they hold that their God penetrates matter though he is not 
> himself matter. When we speak of our One Life we also say that it 
> penetrates, nay is the essence of every atom of matter; and that 
> therefore it not only has correspondence with matter but has all 
> properties likewise, etc. -- hence is material, is matter itself. 
> can intelligence proceed or emanate from non-intelligence -- you 
> asking last year. How could a highly intelligent humanity, man the 
> crown of reason, be evolved out of blind unintelligent law or 
> But once we reason on that line, I may ask in my turn, how could 
> congenital idiots, non-reasoning animals, and the rest 
of "creation" 
> have been created by or evoluted from, absolute Wisdom, if the 
> is a thinking intelligent being, the author and ruler of the 
> Universe? How? says Dr. Clarke in his examination of the proof of 
> existence of the Divinity. "God who hath made the eye, shall he not 
> see? God who hath made the ear shall he not hear?" But according to 
> this mode of reasoning they would have to admit that in creating an 
> idiot God is an idiot; that he who made so many irrational beings, 
> many physical and moral monsters, must be an irrational 
being. . . . 
> . . . We are not Adwaitees, but our teaching respecting the one 
> is identical with that of the Adwaitee with regard to Parabrahm. 
> no true philosophically brained Adwaitee will ever call himself an 
> agnostic, for he knows that he is Parabrahm and identical in every 
> respect with the universal life and soul -- the macrocosm is the 
> microcosm and he knows that there is no God apart from himself, no 
> creator as no being. Having found Gnosis we cannot turn our backs 
> it and become agnostics. 
> . . . . Were we to admit that even the highest Dyan Chohans are 
> liable to err under a delusion, then there would be no reality for 
> indeed and the occult sciences would be as great a chimera as that 
> God. If there is an absurdity in denying that which we do not know 
> is still more extravagant to assign to it unknown laws. 
> According to logic "nothing" is that of which everything can truly 
> denied and nothing can truly be affirmed. The idea therefore either 
> of a finite or infinite nothing is a contradiction in terms. And 
> according to theologians "God, the self existent being is a most 
> simple, unchangeable, incorruptible being; without parts, figure, 
> motion, divisibility, or any other such properties as we find in 
> matter. For all such things so plainly and necessarily imply 
> finiteness in their very notion and are utterly inconsistent with 
> complete infinity." Therefore the God here offered to the adoration 
> of the XIXth century lacks every quality upon which man's mind is 
> capable of fixing any judgment. What is this in fact but a being of 
> whom they can affirm nothing that is not instantly contradicted. 
> Their own Bible their Revelation destroys all the moral perceptions 
> they heap upon him, unless indeed they call those qualities 
> perfections that every other man's reason and common sense call 
> imperfections, odious vices and brutal wickedness. Nay more he who 
> reads our Buddhist scriptures written for the superstitious masses 
> will fail to find in them a demon so vindictive, unjust, so cruel 
> so stupid as the celestial tyrant upon whom the Christians 
> lavish their servile worship and on whom their theologians heap 
> perfections that are contradicted on every page of their Bible. 
> and veritably your theology has created her God but to destroy him 
> piecemeal. Your church is the fabulous Saturn, who begets children 
> but to devour them. 
> (The Universal Mind) -- A few reflections and arguments ought to 
> support every new idea -- for instance we are sure to be taken to 
> task for the following apparent contradictions. (1) We deny the 
> existence of a thinking conscious God, on the grounds that such a 
> must either be conditioned, limited and subject to change, 
> not infinite, or (2) if he is represented to us as an eternal 
> unchangeable and independent being, with not a particle of matter 
> him, then we answer that it is no being but an immutable blind 
> principle, a law. And yet, they will say, we believe in Dyans, or 
> Planetaries ("spirits" also), and endow them with a universal mind, 
> and this must be explained. 
> Our reasons may be briefly summed up thus: 
> (1) We deny the absurd proposition that there can be, even in a 
> boundless and eternal universe -- two infinite eternal and omni-
> present existences. 
> (2) Matter we know to be eternal, i.e., having had no beginning (a) 
> because matter is Nature herself (b) because that which cannot 
> annihilate itself and is indestructible exists necessarily -- and 
> therefore it could not begin to be, nor can it cease to be (c) 
> because the accumulated experience of countless ages, and that of 
> exact science show to us matter (or nature) acting by her own 
> peculiar energy, of which not an atom is ever in an absolute state 
> rest, and therefore it must have always existed, i.e., its 
> ever changing form, combinations and properties, but its principles 
> or elements being absolutely indestructible. 
> (3) As to God -- since no one has ever or at any time seen him or 
it -
> - unless he or it is the very essence and nature of this boundless 
> eternal matter, its energy and motion, we cannot regard him as 
> eternal or infinite or yet self existing. We refuse to admit a 
> or an existence of which we know absolutely nothing; because (a) 
> there is no room for him in the presence of that matter whose 
> undeniable properties and qualities we know thoroughly well (b) 
> because if he or it is but a part of that matter it is ridiculous 
> maintain that he is the mover and ruler of that of which he is but 
> dependent part and (c) because if they tell us that God is a self 
> existent pure spirit independent of matter -- an extra-cosmic 
> we answer that admitting even the possibility of such an 
> impossibility, i.e., his existence, we yet hold that a purely 
> immaterial spirit cannot be an intelligent conscious ruler nor can 
> have any of the attributes bestowed upon him by theology and thus 
> such a God becomes again but a blind force. Intelligence as found 
> our Dyan Chohans, is a faculty that can appertain but to organized 
> animated being -- however imponderable or rather invisible the 
> materials of their organizations. Intelligence requires the 
> of thinking; to think one must have ideas; ideas suppose senses 
> are physical material, and how can anything material belong to pure 
> spirit? If it be objected that thought cannot be a property of 
> matter, we will ask the reason why? We must have an unanswerable 
> proof of this assumption, before we can accept it. Of the 
> we would enquire what was there to prevent his God, since he is the 
> alleged creator of all -- to endow matter with the faculty of 
> thought; and when answered that evidently it has not pleased Him to 
> do so, that it is a mystery as well as an impossibility, we would 
> insist upon being told why it is more impossible that matter should 
> produce spirit and thought, than spirit or the thought of God 
> produce and create matter. 
> We do not bow our heads in the dust before the mystery of mind -- 
> we have solved it ages ago. Rejecting with contempt the theistic 
> theory we reject as much the automaton theory, teaching that states 
> of consciousness are produced by the marshalling of the molecules 
> the brain; and we feel as little respect for that other hypothesis -
> the production of molecular motion by consciousness. Then what do 
> believe in? Well, we believe in the much laughed at phlogiston (see 
> article "What is force and what is matter?" Theosophist, 
> and in what some natural philosophers would call nisus the 
> though perfectly imperceptible (to the ordinary senses) motion or 
> efforts one body is making on another -- the pulsations of inert 
> matter -- its life. The bodies of the Planetary spirits are formed 
> that which Priestley and others called Phlogiston and for which we 
> have another name -- this essence in its highest seventh state 
> forming that matter of which the organisms of the highest and 
> Dyans are composed, and in its lowest or densest form (so 
> yet that science calls it energy and force) serving as a cover to 
> Planetaries of the 1st or lowest degree. In other words we believe 
> MATTER alone, in matter as visible nature and matter in its 
> invisibility as the invisible omnipresent omnipotent Proteus with 
> unceasing motion which is its life, and which nature draws from 
> herself since she is the great whole outside of which nothing can 
> exist. For as Bellinger truly asserts "motion is a manner of 
> existence that flows necessarily out of the essence of matter; that 
> matter moves by its own peculiar energies; that its motion is due 
> the force which is inherent in itself; that the variety of motion 
> the phenomena that result proceed from the diversity of the 
> properties of the qualities and of the combinations which are 
> originally found in the primitive matter" of which nature is the 
> assemblage and of which your science knows less than one of our 
> Tibetan Yak-drivers of Kant's metaphysics. 
> The existence of matter then is a fact; the existence of motion is 
> another fact, their self existence and eternity or 
> is a third fact. And the idea of pure spirit as a Being or an 
> Existence -- give it whatever name you will -- is a chimera, a 
> gigantic absurdity. 
> Our ideas on Evil. Evil has no existence per se and is but the 
> absence of good and exists but for him who is made its victim. It 
> proceeds from two causes, and no more than good is it an 
> cause in nature. Nature is destitute of goodness or malice; she 
> follows only immutable laws when she either gives life and joy, or 
> sends suffering [and] death, and destroys what she has created. 
> Nature has an antidote for every poison and her laws a reward for 
> every suffering. The butterfly devoured by a bird 
> becomes that bird, and the little bird killed by an animal goes 
> a higher form. It is the blind law of necessity and the eternal 
> fitness of things, and hence cannot be called Evil in Nature. The 
> real evil proceeds from human intelligence and its origin rests 
> entirely with reasoning man who dissociates himself from Nature. 
> Humanity then alone is the true source of evil. Evil is the 
> exaggeration of good, the progeny of human selfishness and 
> greediness. Think profoundly and you will find that save death -- 
> which is no evil but a necessary law, and accidents which will 
> find their reward in a future life -- the origin of every evil 
> whether small or great is in human action, in man whose 
> makes him the one free agent in Nature. It is not nature that 
> diseases, but man. The latter's mission and destiny in the economy 
> nature is to die his natural death brought by old age; save 
> neither a savage nor a wild (free) animal die of disease. Food, 
> sexual relations, drink, are all natural necessities of life; yet 
> excess in them brings on disease, misery, suffering, mental and 
> physical, and the latter are transmitted as the greatest evils to 
> future generations, the progeny of the culprits. Ambition, the 
> of securing happiness and comfort for those we love, by obtaining 
> honours and riches, are praiseworthy natural feelings but when they 
> transform man into an ambitious cruel tyrant, a miser, a selfish 
> egotist they bring untold misery on those around him; on nations as 
> well as on individuals. All this then -- food, wealth, ambition, 
> a thousand other things we have to leave unmentioned, becomes the 
> source and cause of evil whether in its abundance or through its 
> absence. Become a glutton, a debauchee, a tyrant, and you become 
> originator of diseases, of human suffering and misery. Lack all 
> and you starve, you are despised as a nobody and the majority of 
> herd, your fellow men, make of you a sufferer your whole life. 
> Therefore it is neither nature nor an imaginary Deity that has to 
> blamed, but human nature made vile by selfishness. Think well over 
> these few words; work out every cause of evil you can think of and 
> trace it to its origin and you will have solved one-third of the 
> problem of evil. And now, after making due allowance for evils that 
> are natural and cannot be avoided, -- and so few are they that I 
> challenge the whole host of Western metaphysicians to call them 
> or to trace them directly to an independent cause -- I will point 
> the greatest, the chief cause of nearly two thirds of the evils 
> pursue humanity ever since that cause became a power. It is 
> under whatever form and in whatsoever nation. It is the sacerdotal 
> caste, the priesthood and the churches; it is in those illusions 
> man looks upon as sacred, that he has to search out the source of 
> that multitude of evils which is the great curse of humanity and 
> almost overwhelms mankind. Ignorance created Gods and cunning took 
> advantage of the opportunity. Look at India and look at Christendom 
> and Islam, at Judaism and Fetichism. It is priestly imposture that 
> rendered these Gods so terrible to man; it is religion that makes 
> him the selfish bigot, the fanatic that hates all mankind out of 
> own sect without rendering him any better or more moral for it. It 
> belief in God and Gods that makes two-thirds of humanity the slaves 
> of a handful of those who deceive them under the false pretence of 
> saving them. Is not man ever ready to commit any kind of evil if 
> that his God or Gods demand the crime?; voluntary victim of an 
> illusionary God, the abject slave of his crafty ministers. The 
> Italian and Slavonian peasant will starve himself and see his 
> starving and naked to feed and clothe his padre and pope. For two 
> thousand years India groaned under the weight of caste, Brahmins 
> alone feeding on the fat of the land, and to-day the followers of 
> Christ and those of Mahomet are cutting each other's throats in the 
> names of and for the greater glory of their respective myths. 
> Remember the sum of human misery will never be diminished unto that 
> day when the better portion of humanity destroys in the name of 
> Truth, morality, and universal charity, the altars of their false 
> gods. 
> If it is objected that we too have temples, we too have priests and 
> that our lamas also live on charity . . . let them know that the 
> objects above named have in common with their Western equivalents, 
> but the name. Thus in our temples there is neither a god nor gods 
> worshipped, only the thrice sacred memory of the greatest as the 
> holiest man that ever lived. If our lamas to honour the fraternity 
> the Bhikkhus established by our blessed master himself, go out to 
> fed by the laity, the latter often to the number of 5 to 25,000 is 
> fed and taken care of by the Samgha (the fraternity of lamaic 
> the lamassery providing for the wants of the poor, the sick, the 
> afflicted. Our lamas accept food, never money, and it is in those 
> temples that the origin of evil is preached and impressed upon the 
> people. There they are taught the four noble truths -- ariya sakka, 
> and the chain of causation, (the 12 nid[ci]anas) gives them a 
> solution of the problem of the origin and destruction of suffering. 
> Read the Mahavagga and try to understand not with the prejudiced 
> Western mind but the spirit of intuition and truth what the Fully 
> Enlightened one says in the 1st Khandhaka. Allow me to translate it 
> for you. 
> "At the time the blessed Buddha was at Uruvella on the shores of 
> river Nerovigara as he rested under the Boddhi tree of wisdom after 
> he had become Sambuddha, at the end of the seventh day having his 
> mind fixed on the chain of causation he spake thus: 'from Ignorance 
> spring the samkharas of threefold nature -- productions of body, of 
> speech, of thought. From the samkharas springs consciousness, from 
> consciousness springs name and form, from this spring the six 
> (of the six senses the seventh being the property of but the 
> enlightened); from these springs contact from this sensation; from 
> this springs thirst (or desire, Kama, tanha) from thirst 
> existence, birth, old age and death, grief, lamentation, suffering, 
> dejection and despair. Again by the destruction of ignorance, the 
> Sankharas are destroyed, and their consciousness name and form, the 
> six regions, contact, sensation, thirst, attachment (selfishness), 
> existence, birth, old age, death, grief, lamentation, suffering, 
> dejection, and despair are destroyed. Such is the cessation of this 
> whole mass of suffering." 
> Knowing this the blessed one uttered this solemn utterance. "When 
> real nature of things becomes clear to the meditating Bikshu, then 
> all his doubts fade away since he has learned what is that nature 
> what its cause. From ignorance spring all the evils. From knowledge 
> comes the cessation of this mass of misery, and then the meditating 
> Brahmana stands dispelling the hosts of Mara like the sun that 
> illuminates the sky." 
> Meditation here means the superhuman (not supernatural) qualities, 
> arhatship in its highest of spiritual powers. 
> Copied out Simla, Sept. 28, 1882.

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