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The Writing of the Mahatma Letters

Jan 27, 2003 07:38 AM
by D. H. Caldwell " <>

Charles Johnston wrote about one of his meetings with Madame 
Blavatsky. He brought up the subject of the writing of the Mahatma 

"There is one thing about the SPR Report I want you to explain. What 
about the writing in the occult letters [of the Masters]?"

"Well, what about it?" asked HPB, immediately interested.

"They say that you wrote them yourself, and that they bear evident 
marks of your handwriting and style. What do you say to that?"

"Let me explain it this way," she answered, after a long gaze at the 
end of her cigarette. "Have you ever made experiments in thought-
transference? If you have, you must have noticed that the person who 
received the mental picture very often colors it, or often changes it 
slightly, with his own thought, and this where perfectly genuine 
transference of thought takes place. Well, it is something like that 
with the precipitated letters. One of our Masters, who perhaps does 
not know English, and of course has no English handwriting, wishes to 
precipitate a letter in answer to a question sent mentally to him. 
Let us say he is in Tibet, while I am in Madras or London. He has the 
answering thought in his mind, but not in English words. He has first 
to impress that thought on my brain, or on the brain of someone else 
who knows English, and then to take the word forms that rise up in 
that other brain to answer the thought. Then he must form a clear 
mind picture of the words in writing, also drawing on my brain, or 
the brain of whoever it is, for the shapes. Then either through me or 
some chela with whom he is magnetically connected, he has to 
precipitate these word shapes on paper, first sending the shapes into 
the chela's mind, and then driving them into the paper, using the 
magnetic force of the chela to do the printing, and collecting the 
material, black or blue or red, as the case may be, from the astral 
light. As all things dissolve into the astral light, the will of the 
magician can draw them forth again. So he can draw forth colors of 
pigments to mark the figures in the letter, using the magnetic force 
of the chela to stamp them in, and guiding the whole by his own much 
greater magnetic force, a current of powerful will.

"That sounds quite reasonable," I answered. "Won't you show me how it 
is done?"

"You would have to be clairvoyant," she answered, in a perfectly 
direct and matter-of-fact way, "in order to see and guide the 
currents. But this is the point: Suppose the letter [is] precipitated 
through me; it would naturally show some traces of my expressions, 
and even of my writing; but all the same, it would be a perfectly 
genuine occult phenomenon, and a real message from that Mahatma. 
Besides, when all is said and done, they exaggerate the likeness of 
the writings. And the experts are not infallible. We have had experts 
who were just as positive that I could not possibly have written 
those letters, and just as good experts, too. But the Report says 
nothing about them. And then there are letters, in just the same 
handwriting, precipitated when I was thousands of miles away. Dr. 
Hartmann received more than one at Adyar, Madras, when I was in 
London; I could hardly have written them. But you have seen some of 
the occult letters? What do you say?"

"Yes," I replied; "Mr. Sinnett showed me about a ream of them: the 
whole series that the Occult World and Esoteric Buddhism are based 
on. Some of them are in red, either ink or pencil, but far more are 
in blue. I thought it was pencil at first, and I tried to smudge it 
with my thumb; but it would not smudge."

"Of course not!" she smiled; `the color is driven into the
surface of the paper. But what about the writings?"

"I am coming to that. There were two: the blue writing, and the red; 
they were totally different from each other, and both were quite 
unlike yours. I have spent a good deal of time studying the relation 
of handwriting to character, and the two characters were quite 
clearly marked. The blue was evidently a man of very gentle and even 
character, but of tremendously strong will; logical, easygoing, and 
taking endless pains to make his meaning clear. It was altogether the 
handwriting of a cultivated and very sympathetic man."

"Which I am not," said HPB, with a smile; "that is Mahatma Koot 
Hoomi; he is a Kashmiri Brahman by birth, you know, and has traveled 
a good deal in Europe. He is the author of the Occult World letters, 
and gave Mr. Sinnett most of the material of Esoteric Buddhism. But 
you have read all about it."

"Yes, I remember he says you shriek across space with a voice like 
Sarasvati's peacock. Hardly the sort of thing you would say of 

"Of course not," she said; "I know I am a nightingale. But what about 
the other writing?"

"The red? Oh that is wholly different. It is fierce, impetuous, 
dominant, strong; it comes in volcanic outbursts, while the other is 
like Niagara Falls. One is fire, and the other is the ocean. They are 
wholly different, and both quite unlike yours. But the second has 
more resemblance to yours than the first."

"This is my Master," she said, "whom we call Mahatma Morya. I have 
his picture here."

And she showed me a small panel in oils. If ever I saw genuine awe 
and reverence in a human face, it was in hers, when she spoke of her 
Master. He was a Rajput by birth, she said, one of the old warrior 
race of the Indian desert, the finest and handsomest nation in the 
world. Her Master was a giant, six feet eight, and splendidly built, 
a superb type of manly beauty. Even in the picture, there is a 
marvelous power and fascination; the force, the fierceness even, of 
the face; the dark, glowing eyes, which stare you out of countenance; 
the clear-cut features of bronze, the raven hair and beard—all
spoke of manhood strength. I asked her something about his age. She 

"My dear, I cannot tell you exactly, for I do not know. But this I 
will tell you. I met him first when I was twenty—in 1851. He was
in the very prime of manhood then. I am an old woman now, but he has 
not aged a day. He is still in the prime of manhood. That is all I 
can say. You may draw you own conclusions."

Then she told me something about other Masters and adepts she had 
known. She had known adepts of many races, from Northern and Southern 
India, Tibet, Persia, China, Egypt; of various European nations, 
Greek, Hungarian, Italian, English; of certain races in South 
America, where she said there was a Lodge of adepts.

Source: Johnson, Charles. 1900. "Helena Petrovna Blavatsky." 
Theosophical Forum (New York) 5–6 (Apr.–Jul.). Reprint in
Blavatsky, Collected Writings, 8:392–409. 

Daniel H. Caldwell

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"...Contrast alone can enable us to appreciate things at
their right value; and unless a judge compares notes and
hears both sides he can hardly come to a correct decision."
H.P. Blavatsky. The Theosophist, July, 1881, p. 218.

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