The Occult World, by A.P. Sinnett

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Re: The Occult World, by A.P. Sinnett

Postby admin » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:45 am


As affirmed more than once already, Occult Philosophy in various countries and through different periods has remained substantially the same. At different times and places very different mythological efflorescences have been thrown off for the service of the populace; but, underlying each popular religion, the religious knowledge of the initiated minority has been identical. Of course, the modern Western conception of what is right in such matters will be outraged by the mere idea of a religion which is kept as the property of the few, while a "false religion," as modern phraseology would put it is served out to the common people. However, before this feeling is permitted to land us in too uncompromising disapproval of the ancient hiders of the truth, it may be well to determine how far it is due to any intelligent conviction that the common herd would be benefited by teaching, which must be in its nature too refined and subtle for popular comprehension, and how far the feeling referred to may be due to an acquired habit of looking on religion as something which it is important to profess, irrespective of understanding it. No doubt, assuming that a man's eternal welfare depends upon his declaration, irrespective of comprehension, of the right faith, among all the faiths he might have picked out from the lucky bag of birth and destiny, then it would be the sovereign duty of persons conscious of possessing such a faith to proclaim it from the housetops. But, on the other hypothesis, that it cannot profit any man to mutter a formula of words without attaching sense to it, and that crude intelligences can only be approached by crude sketches of religious ideas, there is more to be advanced on behalf of the ancient policy of reserve than seems at first sight obvious. Certainly the relations of the populace and the initiates look susceptible of modification in the European world of the present day. The populace, in the sense of the public at large, including the finest intellects of the age, are at least as well able as those of any special class to comprehend metaphysical ideas. These finer intellects dominate public thought, so that no great ideas can triumph among the nations of Europe without their aid, while their aid can only be secured in the open market of intellectual competition. Thus it ensues that the bare notion of an esoteric science superior to that offered in public to the scientific world, strikes the modern Western mind as an absurdity. With which very natural feeling it is only necessary at present here to fight, so far as to ask people not to be illogical in its application; that is to say, not to assume that because it would never occur to a modern European coming into possession of a new truth to make a secret of it, and disclose it only to a fraternity under pledges of reserve, therefore such an idea could never have occurred to an Egyptian priest or an intellectual giant of the civilization which overspread India, according to some not unreasonable hypotheses, before Egypt began to be a seat of learning and art. The secret society system was as natural, indeed, to the ancient man of science, as the public system is in our own country and time. Nor is the difference one of time and fashion merely. It hinges on to the great difference that is to be discerned in the essence of the pursuits in which learned men engage now, as compared with those they were concerned with in former ages. We have belonged to the material progress epoch, and the watchword of material progress has always been publicity. The initiates of ancient psychology belonged to the spiritual age, and the watchword of subjective development has always been secrecy. Whether in both cases the watchword is dictated by necessities of the situation is a question on which discussion might be possible; but, at all events, these reflections are enough to show that it would be unwise to dogmatize too confidently on the character of the philosophy and the philosophers who could be content to hoard their wisdom and supply the crowd with a religion adapted rather to the understanding of its recipients than to those eternal verities.

It is impossible now to form a conjecture as to the date or time at which occult philosophy began to take the shape in which we find it now. But though it may be reasonably guessed that, the last two or three thousand years have not passed over the devoted initiates who have held and transmitted it during that time, without their having contributed something towards its development, the proficiency of initiates belonging to the earliest periods with which history deals, appears to have been already so far advanced, and so nearly as wonderful as the proficiency of initiates in the present day, that we must assign a very great antiquity to the earliest beginnings of occult knowledge on this earth. Indeed the question cannot be raised without bringing us in contact with considerations that hint at absolutely startling conclusions in this respect.

But, apart from specific archaeological speculations, it has been pointed out that "a philosophy so profound, a moral code so ennobling, and practical results so conclusive and so uniformly demonstrable, are not the growth of a generation, or even a single epoch. Fact must have been piled upon fact, deduction upon deduction, science have begotten science, and myriads of the brightest human intellects have reflected upon the laws of Nature, before this ancient doctrine had taken concrete shape. The proofs of this identity of fundamental doctrine in the old religions are found in the prevalence of a system of initiation; in the secret sacerdotal castes, who had the guardianship of mystical words of power, and a public display of a phenomenal control over natural forces indicating association with preterhuman beings. Every approach to the mysteries of all these nations was guarded with the same jealous care, and in all the penalty of death was inflicted upon all initiates of any degree who divulged the secrets entrusted to them." The book just quoted shows this to have been the case with the Eleusinian and Bacchic Mysteries among the Chaldean Magi and the Egyptian Hierophants. The Hindu book of Brahminical ceremonies, the "Agrushada Parikshai," contains the same law, which appears also to have been adopted by the Essenes, the Gnostics, and the Theurgic Neo-Platonists. Freemasonry has copied the old formula, though its raison d'être has expired here with the expiration from among freemasons of the occult philosophy on which their forms and ceremonies are shaped to a larger extent than they generally conceive. Evidences of the identity spoken of may be traced in the vows, formulas, rites, and doctrines of various ancient faiths, and it is affirmed by those whom I believe qualified to speak with authority as to the fact, "that not only is their memory still preserved in India; but also that the secret association is still alive, and as active as ever."

As I have now, in support of the views just expressed, to make some quotations from Madame Blavatsky's great book, "Isis Unveiled," it is necessary to give certain explanations concerning the genesis of that work, for which the reader who has followed my narrative of occult experiences through the preceding pages, will be better prepared than he would have been previously. I have shown how, throughout the most ordinary incidents of her daily life, Madame Blavatsky is constantly in communication, by means of the system of psychological telegraphy that the initiates employ, with her superior "Brothers" in occultism. This state of the facts once realised, it will be easy to understand that in compiling such a work as "Isis," which embodies a complete explanation of all that can be told about occultism to the outer world, she would not be left exclusively to her own resources. The truth which Madame Blavatsky would be the last person in the world to wish disguised is that the assistance she derived from the Brothers, by occult agency, throughout the composition of her book, was so abundant and continuous that she is not so much the author of "Isis" as one of a group of collaborateurs, by whom it was actually produced. I am given to understand that she set to work on "Isis" without knowing anything about the magnitude of the task she was undertaking. She began writing to dictation -- the passages thus written not now standing first in the completed volumes -- in compliance with the desire of her occult friends, and without knowing whether the composition on which she was engaged would turn out an article for a newspaper, or an essay for a magazine, or a work of larger dimensions. But on and on it grew. Before going very far, of course, she came to understand what she was about; and fairly launched on her task, she in turn contributed a good deal from her own natural brain. But the Brothers appear always to have been at work with her, not merely dictating through her brain as at first, but sometimes employing those methods of "precipitation" of which I have myself been favoured with some examples, and by means of which quantities of actual manuscript in other handwritings than her own were produced while she slept. In the morning she would sometimes get up and find as much as thirty slips added to the manuscript she had left on her table overnight. The book "Isis" is in fact as great a "phenomenon" -- apart from the nature of its contents -- as any of those I have described.

The faults of the book, obvious to the general reader, will be thus explained, as well as the extraordinary value it possesses for those who may be anxious to explore as far as possible the mysteries of occultism. The deific powers which the Brothers enjoy cannot protect a literary work which is the joint production of several -- even among their minds, from the confusion of arrangement to which such a mode of composition inevitably gives rise. And besides confusion of arrangement, the book exhibits a heterogeneous variety of different styles, which mars its dignity as a literary work, and must prove both irritating and puzzling to the ordinary reader. But for those who possess the key to this irregularity of form, it is an advantage rather than otherwise. It will enable an acute reader to account for some minor incongruities of statement occurring in different parts of the book. Beyond this it will enable him to recognise the voice, as it were, of the different authors as they take up the parable in turn.

The book was written -- as regards its physical production -- at New York, where Madame Blavatsky was utterly unprovided with books of reference. It teems, however, with references to books of all sorts, including many of a very unusual character, and with quotations the exactitude of which may easily be verified at the great European libraries, as footnotes supply the number of the pages, from which the passages taken are quoted.

I may now go on to collect some passages from "Isis," the object of which is to show the unity of the esoteric philosophy underlying various ancient religions, and the peculiar value which attaches for students of that philosophy, to pure Buddhism, a system which, of all those presented to the world, appears to supply us with occult philosophy in its least adulterated shape. Of course, the reader will guard himself from running away with the idea that Buddhism, as explained by writers who are not occultists, can be accepted as an embodiment of their views. For example, one of the leading ideas of Buddhism, as interpreted by Western scholars, is that "Nirvana" amounts to annihilation. It is possible that Western scholars may be right in saying that the explanation of "Nirvana" supplied by exoteric Buddhism leads to this conclusion; but that, at all events, is not the occult doctrine.

"Nirvana," it is stated in "Isis," "means the certitude of personal immortality in spirit, not in soul, which, as a finite emanation, must certainly disintegrate its particles, a compound of human sensations, passions, and yearning for some objective kind of existence, before the immortal spirit of the Ego is quite freed, and henceforth secure against transmigration in any form. And how can man reach that state so long as the 'Upadana', that state of longing for life, more life, does not disappear from the sentient being, from the Ahancara clothed, however, in a sublimated body? It is the 'Upadana", or the intense desire that produces will, and it is will which develops force, and the latter generates matter, or an object having form. Thus the disembodied Ego, through this sole undying desire in him, unconsciously furnishes the conditions of his successive self-procreations in various forms, which depend on his mental state, and 'Karma', the good or bad deeds of his preceding existence, commonly called 'merit' and 'demerit.'" There is a world of suggestive metaphysical thought in this passage, which will serve at once to justify the view propounded just now as regards the reach of Buddhistic philosophy as viewed from the occult standpoint.

The misunderstanding about the meaning of "Nirvana" is so general in the West, that before going on with explanations of the philosophy which this same misunderstanding has improperly discredited, it will be well to consider the following elucidation also:

"Annihilation means with the Buddhistical philosophy only a dispersion of matter, in whatever form or semblance of form it may be; for every thing that bears a shape was created, and thus must sooner or later perish, i.e., change that shape; therefore, as something temporary, though seeming to be permanent, it is but an illusion, 'Maya'; for as eternity has neither beginning nor end, the more or less prolonged duration of some particular form passes, as it were, like an instantaneous flash of lightning. Before we have the time to realise that we have seen it, it has gone and passed away forever; hence even our astral bodies, pure ether, are but illusions of matter so long as they retain their terrestrial outline. The latter changes, says the Buddhist, according to the merits or demerit of the person during his lifetime, and this is metempsychosis. When the spiritual entity breaks loose forever from every particle of matter, then only it enters upon the eternal and unchangeable 'Nirvana'. He exists in spirit, in nothing; as a form, a shape, a semblance, he is completely annihilated, and thus will die no more; for spirit alone is no 'Maya' but the only reality in an illusionary universe of ever-passing forms. ...To accuse Buddhistical philosophy of rejecting a Supreme Being-God, and the soul's immortality -- of Atheism, in short -- on the ground that 'Nirvana' means annihilation, and 'Svabha vat' is not a person, but nothing, is simply absurd. The En (or Aym) of the Jewish Ensoph also means nihil, or nothing, that which is not (quo ad nos), but no one has ever ventured to twit the Jews with atheism. In both cases the real meaning of the term nothing carries with it the idea that God is not a thing, not a concrete or visible being to which a name expressive of any object known to us on earth may be applied with propriety."


"'Nirvana' is the world of cause in which all deceptive effects or illusions of our senses disappear. 'Nirvana' is the highest attainable sphere." The secret doctrines of the Magi of the pre-Vedic Buddhists, of the hierophants of the Egyptian Thoth or Hermes, were we find it laid down in "Isis" -- identical from the beginning, an identity that applied equally to the secret doctrines of the adepts of whatever age or nationality, including the Chaldean Kabalists and the Jewish Nazars. "When we use the word Buddhists, we do not mean to imply by it either the exoteric Buddhism instituted by the followers of Gautama Buddha, or the modern Buddhistic religion, but the secret philosophy of Sakyamuni, which, in its essence, is certainly identical with the ancient wisdom-religion of the sanctuary -- the prevedic Brahmanism. The schism of Zoroaster, as it is called, is a direct proof of it: for it was no schism, strictly speaking, but merely a partially public exposition of strictly monotheistic religious truths hitherto taught only in the sanctuaries, and that he had learned from the Brahmans. Zoroaster, the primeval institution of sun-worship, cannot be called the founder of the dualistic system, neither was he the first to teach the unity of God, for he taught but what he had learned himself from the Brahmans. And that Zarathustra, and his followers the Zoroastrians, had been settled in India before they immigrated into Persia, is also proved by Max Muller. 'That the Zoroastrians and their ancestors started from India,' he says. 'during the Vaidic period, can be proved as distinctly as that the inhabitants of Massilia started from Greece...........Many of the gods of the Zoroastrians come out......., as mere reflections and deflections of the gods of the Veda.'

"If, now, we can prove, and we can do so on the evidence of the 'Kabala,' and the oldest traditions of the wisdom religion, the philosophy of the old sanctuaries, that all these gods, whether of the Zoroastrians or of the Veda, are but so many personated occult powers of Nature, the faithful servants of the adepts of secret wisdom -- magic -- we are on secure ground.

"Thus, whether we say that Kabalism and Gnosticism proceeded from Masdeanism or Zoroastrianism, it is all the same, unless we meant the exoteric worship, which we do not. Likewise, and in this sense we may echo King, the author of the 'Gnostics,' and several other archaeologists, and maintain that both the former proceeded from Buddhism, at once the simplest and most satisfying of philosophies, and which resulted in one of the purest religions in the world... But whether among the Essenes or the Neo-Platonists, or again among the innumerable struggling sects born but to die, the same doctrine, identical in substance and spirit, if not always in form, are encountered. [b[By Buddhism, therefore, we mean that religion signifying literally the doctrine of wisdom, and which by many ages antedates the metaphysical philosophy of Siddhartha Sakyamuni."[/b]

Modern Christianity has, of course, diverged widely from its own original philosophy, but the identity of this with the original philosophy of all religions is maintained in "Isis" in the course of an interesting argument.

"Luke, who was a physician, is designated in the Syriac texts as Asaia, the Essaian or Essene. Josephus and Philo Judreus have sufficiently described this sect to leave no doubt in our mind that the Nazarene Reformer, after having received his education in their dwellings in the desert, and being duly initiated in the mysteries, preferred the free and independent life of a wandering Nazaria, and so separated, or inazarenized, himself, from them, thus becoming a travelling Therapeute, or Nazaria, a healer ... In his discourses and sermons Jesus always spoke in parables, and used metaphors with his audience. This habit was again that of the Essenians and the Nazarenes; the Galileans, who dwelt in cities and villages, were never known to use such allegorical language. Indeed, some of his disciples, being Galileans as well as himself, felt even surprised to find him using with the people such a form of expression. 'Why speakest thou unto them in parables?' they often inquired. 'Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven; but to them it is not given,' was the reply, which was that of an initiate. 'Therefore, I speak unto them in parables, because they seeing, see not, and hearing, they hear not, neither do they understand.' Moreover, we find Jesus expressing his thoughts ... in sentences which are purely Pythagorean, when, during the Sermon on the Mount, he says, 'Give ye not that which is sacred to the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine; for the swine will tread them under their feet, and the dogs will turn and rend you.' Professor A. Wilder, the editor of Taylor's 'Eleusillian Mysteries,' observes a 'like disposition on the part of Jesus and Paul to classify their doctrines as esoteric and exoteric -- the mysteries of the Kingdom of God for the apostles, and parables for the multitude'. We speak wisdom, says Paul, 'among them that are perfect,' or 'initiated.' In the Eleusinian and other mysteries the participants were always divided in two classes, the neophytes and the perfect. ...The narrative of the Apostle Paul in his Second Epistle to the Corinthians, has struck several scholars well versed in the descriptions of the mystical rites of the initiation given by some classes as all ending most undoubtedly to the final Epopteia: 'I know a certain man -- whether in body or outside of body I know not; God knoweth -- who was rapt into Paradise, and heard things ineffable which it is not lawful for a man to repeat.' These words have rarely, so far as we know, been regarded by commentators as an allusion 'to the beatific visions of an initiated seer; but the phraseology is unequivocal'. These things which it is not lawful to repeat, are hinted at in the same words, and the reason assigned for it is the same as that which we find repeatedly expressed by Plato, Proclus, Jamblichus, Herodotus, and other classics. 'We speak wisdom only among them that are perfect,' says Paul; the plain and undeniable translation of the sentence being: 'We speak of the profounder or final esoteric doctrines of the mysteries (which are denominated wisdom), only among them who alone initiated. So in relation to the man who was rapt into Paradise -- and who was evidently Paul himself -- the Christian word Paradise having replaced that of Elysium."

The final purposes of occult philosophy is to show what Man was, is, and will be.

"That which survives as an individuality," says 'Isis,'" after the death of the body is the actual soul, which Plato, in the Timaeus and Gorgias calls the mortal soul; for, according to the Hermetic doctrine, it throws off the more material particles at every progressive change into a higher sphere. The astral spirit is a faithful duplicate of the body in a physical and spiritual sense. The Divine, the highest immortal spirit, can be neither punished nor rewarded. To maintain such a doctrine would be at the same time absurd and blasphemous; for it is not merely a flame lit at the central and inextinguishable fountain of light, but actually a portion of it and of identical essence. It assures immortality to the individual astral being in proportion to the willingness of the latter to receive it. So long as the double man - i.e., the man of flesh and spirit -- keeps within the limits of the law of spiritual continuity; so long as the divine spark lingers in him, however faintly, he is on the road to an immortality in the future state. But those who resign themselves to a materialistic existence, shutting out the divine radiance shed by their spirit, at the beginning of their earthly pilgrimage, and stifling the warning voice of that faithful sentry the conscience, which serves as a focus for the light in the soul -- such beings as these, having left behind conscience and spirit, and crossed the boundaries of matter, will, of necessity, have to follow its laws."


"The secret doctrine teaches that man, if he wins immortality, will remain forever the trinity that he is in life, and will continue so throughout all the spheres. The astral body, which in this life is covered by a gross physical envelope, becomes, when relieved of that covering by the process of corporeal death, in its turn the shell of another and more ethereal body. This begins developing from the moment of death, and becomes perfected when the astral body of the earthly form finally separates from it."

The passages quoted, when read by the light of the explanations I have given, will enable the reader, if so inclined, to take up "Isis" in a comprehending spirit, and find his way to the rich veins of precious metal which are buried in its pages. But neither in "Isis" nor in any other book on occult philosophy which has been or seems likely to be written yet awhile, must anyone hope to obtain a cut-and-dried, straightforward, and perfectly clear account of the mysteries of birth, death, and the future. At first, in pursuing studies of this kind, one is irritated at the difficulty of getting at what the occultists really believe as regards the future state, the nature of the life to come, and its general mise en scène. The well known religions have very precise views on these subjects, further rendered practical by the assurance some of them give that qualified persons, commissioned by churches to perform the duty, can shunt departing souls on to the right or the wrong lines, in accordance with consideration received. Theories of that kind have at any rate the merit of simplicity and intelligibility, but they are not, perhaps, satisfactory to the mind as regards their details. After a very little investigation of the matter, the student of occult philosophy will realise that on that path of knowledge he will certainly meet with no conceptions likely to outrage his purest idealisation of God and the life to come. He will soon feel that the scheme of ideas he is exploring is lofty and dignified to the utmost limits that the human understanding can reach. But it will remain vague, and he will seek for explicit statements on this or that point, until by degrees he realises that the absolute truth about the origin and destinies of the human soul may be too subtle and intricate to be possibly expressible in straightforward language. Perfectly clear ideas may be attainable for the purified minds of advanced scholars in occultism, who, by entire devotion of every faculty to the pursuit and prolonged assimilation of such ideas, come at length to understand them with the aid of peculiar intellectual powers specially expanded for the purpose; but it does not at all follow that with the best will in the world such persons must necessarily be able to draw up an occult creed which should bring the whole theory of the universe into the compass of a dozen lines. The study of occultism, even by men of the world, engaged in ordinary pursuits as well, may readily enlarge and purify the understanding, to the extent of arming the mind, so to speak, with tests that will detect absurdity in any erroneous religious hypotheses; but the absolute structure of occult belief is something which, from its nature, can only be built up slowly in the mind of each intellectual architect. And I imagine that a very vivid perception of this on their part explains the reluctance of occultists even to attempt the straightforward explanation of their doctrines. They know that really vital plants of knowledge, so to speak, must grow up from the germ in each man's mind, and cannot be transplanted into the strange soil of an untrained understanding in a complete state of mature growth. They are ready enough to supply seed, but every man must grow his own tree of knowledge for himself. As the adept himself is not made, but becomes so, in a minor degree, the person who merely aspires to comprehend the adept and his views of things must develop such comprehension for himself, by thinking out rudimentary ideas to their legitimate conclusions.

These considerations fit in with, and do something towards elucidating, the reserve of occultism, and they further suggest an explanation of what will at once seem puzzling to a reader of "Isis," who takes it up by the light of the present narrative. If great parts of the book, as I have asserted, are really the work of actual adepts, who know of their own knowledge what is the actual truth about many of the mysteries discussed, why have they not said plainly what they meant, instead of beating about the bush, and suggesting arguments derived from this or that ordinary source, from literary or historical evidence, from abstract speculation concerning the harmonies of Nature? The answer seems to be, firstly, that they could not well write, "We know that so and so is the fact," without being asked, "How do you know?" -- and it is manifestly impossible that they could reply to this question without going into details, that it would be "unlawful," as a Biblical writer would say, to disclose, or without proposing to guarantee their testimony by manifestations of powers which it would be obviously impracticable for them to keep always at hand for the satisfaction of each reader of the book in turn. Secondly, I imagine that, in accordance with the invariable principle of trying less to teach than to encourage spontaneous development, they have aimed in "Isis," rather at producing an effect on the reader's mind, than at shooting in a store of previously accumulated facts. They have shown that Theosophy, or Occult Philosophy, is no new candidate for the world's attention, but is really a restatement of principles which have been recognised from the very infancy of mankind. The historic sequence which establishes this view is distinctly traced through the successive evolutions of the philosophical schools, in a manner which it is impossible for me to attempt in a work of these dimensions, and the theory laid down is illustrated with abundant accounts of the experimental demonstrations of occult power ascribed to various thaumaturgists. The authors of "Isis," have expressly refrained from saying more than might conceivably be said by a writer who was not an adept, supposing him to have access to all the literature of the subject and an enlightened comprehension of its meaning.

But once realise the real position of the authors or inspirers of "Isis," and the value of any argument on which you find them launched is enhanced enormously above the level of the relatively commonplace considerations advanced on its behalf. The adepts may not choose to bring forward other than exoteric evidence in favour of any particular thesis they wish to support, but if they wish to support it, that fact alone will be of enormous significance for any reader who, in indirect ways, has reached a comprehension of the authority with which they are entitled to speak.
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Re: The Occult World, by A.P. Sinnett

Postby admin » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:46 am


[Added to the second English edition.]

I CANNOT let a second edition of this book appear without recording some, at least, of the experiences which have befallen me since its preparation. The most important of these, indeed, are concerned with fragmentary instruction I have been privileged to receive from the Brothers in reference to the great truths of cosmology which their spiritual insight has enabled them to penetrate. But the exposition even of the little, relatively, that I have learned on this head would exact a more elaborate treatise than I can attempt at present. [Subsequently published as Esoteric Buddhism.] And the purpose of the present volume is to expound the outer facts of the situation rather than to analyse a system of philosophy. This is not entirely inaccessible to exoteric students, apart from what may be regarded as direct revelation from the Brothers. Though almost all existing occult literature is unattractive in its form, and rendered purposely obscure by the use of an elaborate symbology, it does contain a great deal of information that can be distilled from the mass by the application of sufficient patience. Some industrious students of that literature have proved this. Whether the masters of occult philosophy will ultimately consent to the complete exposition in plain language of the state of the facts regarding the spiritual constitution of Man, remains to be seen. Certainly, even if they are still reticent in a way that no ordinary observer can comprehend, they are more disposed to be communicative at this moment than they have been for a long time past.

But the first thing to do is to dissipate as much as possible the dogged disbelief that encrusts the Western mind as to the existence of any abnormal persons who can be regarded as masters of True Philosophy -- distinguished from all the speculations that have tormented the world -- and as to the abnormal nature of their faculties. I have endeavored already to point out plainly, but may as well here emphasise the reason why I dwell upon, the phenomena which exhibit these faculties. Rightly regarded, these are the credentials of the spiritual teaching which their authors supply. Firstly, indeed, in themselves abnormal phenomena accomplished by the willpower of living men must be intensely interesting for everyone endowed with an honest love of science. They open out new scientific horizons. It is as certain as the sun's next rising that the forward pressure of scientific discovery, advancing slowly as it does in its own grooves, will ultimately, and probably at no very distant date, introduce the ordinary world to some of the superior scientific knowledge already enjoyed by the masters of occultism. Faculties will be acquired by exoteric investigation that will bring the outworks of science a step or two nearer the comprehension of some of the phenomena I have described in the present volume. And meanwhile it seems to me very interesting to get a glimpse beforehand of achievements which we should probably find engaging the eager attention of a future generation, if we really could, as Tennyson suggests --

"sleep through terms of mighty wars,
And wake on science grown to more,
On secrets of the brain, the stars,
As wild as aught of fairy lore."

But even superior to their scientific interest is the importance of the lesson conveyed by occult phenomena, when these distinctly place their authors in a commanding position of intellectual superiority as compared with the world at large. They show most undeniably that these men have gone far ahead of their contemporaries in a comprehension of Nature as exemplified in this world; that they have acquired the power of cognizing events by other means than the material senses; that while their bodies are at one place, their perceptions may be at another, and that they have consequently solved the great problem as to whether the Ego of man is a something distinct from his perishable frame. From all other teachers we can but find out what has been thought probable in reference to the soul or spirit of man: from them we can find out what is the fact; and if that is not a sublime subject of inquiry, surely it would be difficult to say what is. But we cannot read poetry till we have learned the alphabet; and, if the combinations b-aba, and so on are found to be insufferably trivial and uninteresting, the fastidious person who objects to such foolishness will certainly never be able to read the "Idylls of the King."

So I return from the clouds to my patient record of phenomena, and to the incidents which have confirmed the experiences and conclusions set forth in the previous chapter of this book, since my return to India.

The very first incident which took place was in the nature of a pleasant greeting from my revered friend, Koot Hoomi. I had written to him (per Madame Blavatsky, of course) shortly before leaving London, and had expected to find a letter from him awaiting my arrival at Bombay. But no such letter had been received, as I found when I reached the headquarters of the Theosophical Society, where I had arranged to stay for a few days before going on to my destination up country. I got in late at night, and nothing remarkable happened then. The following morning, after breakfast, I was sitting talking with Madame Blavatsky in the room that had been allotted to me. We were sitting at different sides of a large square table in the middle of the room, and the full daylight was shining. There was no one else in the room. Suddenly, down upon the table before me, but to my right hand, Madame Blavatsky being to my left, there fell a thick letter. It fell "out of nothing", so to speak; it was materialised, or reintegrated in the air before my eyes. It was Koot Hoomi's expected reply, -- a deeply interesting letter, partly concerned with private matters and replies to questions of mine, and partly with some large, though as yet shadowy, revelations of occult philosophy, the first sketch of this that I had received. Now, of course, I know what some readers will say to this (with a self-satisfied smile) -- "wires, springs, concealed apparatus," and so forth; but first all the suggestion would have been grotesquely absurd to anyone who had been present; and secondly, it is unnecessary to argue about objections of this sort all over again ab initio every time. There were no more wires and springs about the room I am now referring to than about the breezy hilltops at Simla, where some of our earlier phenomena took place. I may add, moreover, that some months later an occult note was dropped before a friend of mine, a Bengal civilian, who has become an active member of the Theosophical Society, at a dak bungalow in the north of India; and that later again, at the headquarters of the Theosophical Society at Bombay, a letter was dropped, according to a previous promise, out in the open air in the presence of six or seven witnesses.

For some time the gift of the letter from Koot Hoomi in the way I have described was the only phenomenon accorded to me, and, although my correspondence continued, I was not encouraged to expect any further displays of abnormal power. The higher authorities of the occult world, indeed, had by this time put a very much more stringent prohibition upon such manifestations than had been in operation the previous summer at Simla. The effect of the manifestations then accorded was not considered to have been satisfactory on the whole. A good deal of acrimonious discussion and bad feeling had ensued; and I imagine that this was conceived to outweigh, in its injurious effect on the progress of the Theosophical movement, the good effect of the phenomena on the few persons who appreciated them. When I went up to Simla in August, 1881, therefore, I had no expectation of further events of an unusual nature. Nor have I any stream of anecdotes to relate which will bear comparison with those derived from the experience of the previous year. But none the less was the progress of a certain undertaking in which I became concerned -- the establishment of a Simla branch of the Theosophical Society -- interspersed with little incidents of a phenomenal nature. When this Society was formed, many letters passed between Koot Hoomi and ourselves which were not in every case transmitted through Madame Blavatsky. In one case, for example, Mr. Hume, who became president for the first year of the new Society -- the Simla Eclectic Theosophical Society, as it was decided it should be called -- got a note from Koot Hoomi inside a letter received through the post from a person wholly unconnected with our occult pursuits, who was writing to him in connection with some municipal business. I myself, dressing for the evening, have found an expected letter in my coat-pocket, and on another occasion under my pillow in the morning. On one occasion, having just received a letter by the mail from England which contained matter in which I thought she would be interested, I went up to Madame Blavatsky's writing-room and read it to her. As I read it, a few lines of writing, comment upon what I was reading, were formed on a sheet of blank paper which lay before her. She actually saw the writing form itself, and called to me, pointing to the paper where it lay. There I recognise Koot Hoomi's hand and his thought, for the comment was to the effect, "Didn't I tell you so?" and referred back to something he had said in a previous letter.

By-the-by, it may be as well to inform the reader that during the whole of the visit to Simla, of which I am now speaking, for several months before it, and until several months later, Colonel Olcott was in Ceylon, where he was engaged in a very successful lecturing tour on behalf of the Theosophical Society, in reference to some of the phenomena which occurred at Simla in 1880, when both he and Madame Blavatsky were present. Ill-natured and incredulous people -- when it would be glaringly absurd about some particular phenomenon to say that Madame Blavatsky had done it by trickery of her own -- used to be fond of suggesting that the wire-puller must be Colonel Olcott. In some of the newspaper criticisms of the first edition of this book, even, it has been suggested that Colonel Olcott must be the writer of the letters that I innocently ascribe to Koot Hoomi, Madame Blavatsky merely manipulating their presentation. But inasmuch as all through the autumn of 1881, while Colonel Olcott was at Ceylon and I at Simla, the letters continued to come, alternating day by day sometimes with the letters we wrote, my critics, in future, must acknowledge that this hypothesis is played out.

For me myself -- as I think it will also be for my appreciative readers -- the most interesting fact connected with my Simla experience of 1881 was this: During the period in question I got into relations with one other of the Brothers, besides Koot Hoomi. It came to pass that in the progress of his own development it was necessary for Koot Hoomi to retire for a period of three months into absolute seclusion, as regards not merely the body -- which in the case of an Adept may be secluded in the remotest corner of the earth without that arrangement checking the activity of his "astral" intercourse with mankind -- but as regards the whole potent Ego with whom we had dealings. Under these circumstances one of the Brothers with whom Koot Hoomi was especially associated agreed, rather reluctantly at first, to pay attention to the Simla Eclectic Society, and keep us going during Koot Hoomi's absence with a course of instruction in occult philosophy. The change which came over the character of our correspondence when our new master took us in hand was very remarkable. Every letter that emanated from Koot Hoomi had continued to bear the impress of his gently mellifluous style. He would write half a page at any time rather than run the least risk of letting a brief or careless phrase hurt anybody's feelings. His handwriting, too, was always very legible and regular. Our new master treated us very differently: he declared himself almost unacquainted with our language, and wrote a very rugged hand which it was sometimes difficult to decipher. He did not beat about the bush with us at all. If we wrote out an essay on some occult ideas we had picked up, and sent it to him, asking if it was right, it would sometimes come back with a heavy red line scored through it, and "No" written on the margin. On one occasion one of us had written, "Can you clear my conceptions about so and so?" The annotation found in the margin when the paper was returned was, "How can I clear what you haven't got?" and so on. But with all this we made progress under M-, and by degrees the correspondence, which began on his side with brief notes, scrawled in the roughest manner on bits of coarse Tibetan paper, expanded into considerable letters sometimes. And it must be understood that while his rough and abrupt ways formed an amusing contrast with the tender gentleness of Koot Hoomi, there was nothing in these to impede the growth of our attachment to him as we began to feel ourselves tolerated by him as pupils a little more willingly than at first. Some of my readers, I am sure, will realise what I mean by "attachment" in this case. I use a colourless word deliberately to avoid the parade of feelings which might not be generally understood; but I can assure them that in the course of prolonged relations -- even though merely of the epistolary kind -- with a personage who, though a man like the rest of us as regards his natural place in creation, is elevated so far above ordinary men as to possess some attributes commonly considered divine, feelings are engendered which are too deep to be lightly or easily described.

It was by M--------- quite recently that a little manifestation of force was given for my gratification, the importance of which turned on the fact that Madame Blavatsky was entirely uninfluential in its production, and eight hundred miles away at the time. For the first three months of my acquaintance with him, M------ had rigidly adhered to the principle he laid down when he agreed to correspond with the Simla Eclectic Society during Koot Hoomi 's retirement. He would correspond with us, but would perform no phenomena whatever. This narrative is so much engaged with phenomena that I cannot too constantly remind the reader that these incidents were scattered over a long period of time, and that as a rule nothing is more profoundly distasteful to the great adepts than the production of wonders in the outside world. Ordinary critics of these, when they have been thus exceptionally accorded, will constantly argue, "But why did not the Brothers do so and so differently, then the incident would have been much more convincing?" I repeat that the Brothers, in producing abnormal phenomena now and then, are not trying to prove their existence to an intelligent jury of Englishmen. They are simply letting their existence become perceptible to persons with a natural gravitation towards spirituality and mysticism. It is not too much to say that all the while they are scrupulously avoiding the delivery of direct proof of a nature calculated to satisfy the commonplace mind. For the present, at all events, they prefer that the crass, materialistic Philistines of the sensual, selfish world should continue to cherish the conviction that "the Brothers" are myths. They reveal themselves, therefore, by signs and hints which are only likely to be comprehended by people with some spiritual insight or affinity. True the appearance of this book is permitted by them, -- no page of it would have been written if a word from Koot Hoomi had indicated disapproval on his part, -- and the phenomenal occurrences herein recorded are really in many cases absolutely complete and irresistible proofs for me, and therefore for anyone who is capable of understanding that I am telling the exact truth. But the Brothers, I imagine, know quite well that, large as the revelation has been, it may safely be passed before the eyes of the public at large just because the herd, whose convictions they do not wish to reach, can be relied upon to reject it. The situation may remind the reader of the farceur who undertook to stand on Waterloo Bridge with a hundred real sovereigns on a tray, offering to sell them for a shilling apiece, and who wagered that he would so stand for an hour without getting rid of his stock. He relied on the stupidity of the passers-by, who would think themselves too clever to be taken in. So with this little book. It contains a straightforward statement of absolute truths, which, if people could only believe them, would revolutionise the world; and the statement is fortified by unimpeachable credentials. But the bulk of mankind will be blinded to this condition of things by their own vanity and inability to assimilate super-materialistic ideas, and none will be seriously affected but those who are qualified to benefit by comprehending.

Readers of the latter class will readily appreciate the way the phenomena that I have had to record have thus followed in the track of my own growing convictions, confirming these as they have in turn been inferentially constructed, rather than provoking and enforcing them in the first instance. And this has been emphatically the case with the one or two phenomena that have latterly been accorded by M------. It was in friendship and kindness that these were given, long after all idea of confirming my belief in the Brothers was wholly superfluous and out of date. M------ came indeed to wish that I should have the satisfaction of seeing him (in the astral body of course), and would have arranged for this in Bombay, in January, when I went down there for a day to meet my wife, who was returning from England, had the atmospherical and other conditions just at that period permitted it. But, unfortunately for me, these were not favourable. As M----- wrote in one of several little notes I received from him during that day and the following morning, before my departure from the headquarters of the Theosophical Society, where I was staying, even they, the Brothers, could not "work miracles;" and though to the ordinary spectator there may be but little difference between a miracle and any one of the phenomena that the Brothers do sometimes accomplish, these latter are really results achieved by the manipulation of natural laws and forces, and are subject to obstacles which are sometimes practically insuperable.

But M------, as it happened, was enabled to show himself to one member of the Simla Eclectic Society, who happened to be at Bombay a day or two before my visit. The figure was clearly visible for a few moments, and the face distinctly recognised by my friend, who had previously seen a portrait of M-------.

Then it passed across the open door of an inner room in which it had appeared, in a direction where there was no exit; and when my friend, who had started forward in its pursuit, entered the inner room, it was no longer to be seen. On two or three other occasions previously, M----- had made his astral figure visible to other persons about the headquarters of the Society, where the constant presence of Madame Blavatsky and one or two other persons of highly sympathetic magnetism, the purity of life of all habitually resident there, and the constant influences poured in by the Brothers themselves, render the production of phenomena immeasurably easier than elsewhere.

And this brings me back to certain incidents which took place recently at my own house at Allahabad, when, as I have already stated, Madame Blavatsky herself was eight hundred miles off, at Bombay. Colonel Olcott, then on his way to Calcutta, was staying with us for a day or two in passing.

He was accompanied by a young native mystic, ardently aspiring to be accepted by the Brothers as a chela, or pupil, and the magnetism thus brought to the house established conditions which for a short time rendered some manifestations possible. Returning home one evening shortly before dinner, I found two or three telegrams awaiting me, enclosed in the usual way, in envelopes securely fastened before being sent out from the telegraph office. The messages were all from ordinary people, on commonplace business; but inside one of the envelopes I found a little folded note from M---- -. The mere fact that it had been thus transfused by occult methods inside the closed envelope was a phenomenon in itself, of course (like many of the same kind that I have described before); but I need not dwell on this point, as the feat that had been performed, and of which the note gave me information, was even more obviously wonderful. The note made me search in my writingroom for a fragment of a plaster bas-relief that M----- had just transported instantaneously from Bombay. Instinct took me at once to the place where I felt that it was most likely I should find the thing which had been brought -- the drawer of my writing-table, exclusively devoted to occult correspondence; and there, accordingly, I found a broken corner from a plaster slab, with M---- -'s signature marked upon it. I telegraphed at once to Bombay, to ask whether anything special had just happened, and next day received back word that M----- had smashed a certain plaster portrait, and had carried off a piece. In due course of time I received a minute statement from Bombay, attested by the signatures of seven persons in all, which was, as regards all essential points, as follows:

"At about seven in the evening the following persons" (five are enumerated, including Madame Blavatsky) "were seated at the dining-table, at tea, in Madame Blavatsky's veranda opposite the door in the red screen separating her first writing-room from the long veranda. The two halves of the writing-room were wide open, and the dining-table, being about two feet from the door, we could all see plainly everything in the room. About five or seven minutes after, Madame Blavatsky gave a start. We all began to watch. She then looked all round her, and said, 'What is he going to do?' and repeated the same twice or thrice without looking at or referring to any of us. We all suddenly heard a knock -- a loud noise, as of something falling and breaking -- behind the door of Madame Blavatsky's writing-room, when there was not a soul there at the time. A still louder noise was heard, and we all rushed in. The room was empty and silent; but just behind the red cotton door, where we had heard the noise, we found fallen on the ground a Paris plaster mould, representing a portrait, broken into several pieces. After carefully picking the pieces up to the smallest fragments, and examining it, we found the nail, on which the mould had hung for nearly eighteen months, strong as ever in the wall. The iron wire loop of the portrait was perfectly intact, and not even bent. We spread the pieces on the table, and tried to arrange them, thinking they could be glued, as Madame Blavatsky seemed very much annoyed, as the mould was the work of one of her friends in New York. We found that one piece, nearly square and of about two inches, in the right corner of the mould, was wanting. We went into the room and searched for it, but could not find it. Shortly afterwards, Madame Blavatsky suddenly arose and went into her room, shutting the door after her. In a minute she called Mr. ------in, and showed to him a small piece of paper. We all saw and read it afterwards. It was in the same handwriting in which some of us have received previous communications, and the same familiar initials. It told us that the missing piece was taken by the Brother whom Mr. Sinnett calls 'the Illustrious,' ["My illustrious friend," was the expression I originally used in application to the Brother I have here called M-, and it got shortened afterwards into the pseudonym given in the statement. It is difficult sometimes to know what to call the Brothers, even when one knows their real names. The less these are promiscuously handled the better, for various reasons, among which is the profound annoyance which it gives their real disciples if such names get into frequent and disrespectful use among scoffers. I regret now that Koot Hoomi's name, so ardently venerated by all who have been truly subject to his influence, should ever have been allowed to appear in full in the text of the book.] to Allahabad, and that she should collect and carefully preserve the remaining pieces."

The statement goes after this into some further details, which are unimportant as regards the general reader, and is signed by the four native friends who were with Madame Blavatsky at the time the plaster portrait was broken. A postcript, signed by three other persons, adds that these three came in shortly after the actual breakage, and found the rest of the party trying to arrange the fragments on the table.

It will be understood, of course, but I may as well explicitly state, that the evening to which the above narrative relates was the same on which I found Mr. -----'s note inside my telegram at Allahabad, and the missing piece of the cast in my drawer; and no appreciable time appears to have elapsed between the breakage of the cast at Bombay and the delivery of the piece at Allahabad, for though I did not note the exact minute at which I found the fragment -- and, indeed, it may have been already in my drawer for some little time before I came home -- the time was certainly between seven and eight, probably about half-past seven or a quarter to eight. And there is nearly half an hour's difference of longitude between Bombay and Allahabad, so that seven at Bombay would be nearly half-past at Allahabad. Evidently, therefore, the plaster fragment, weighing two or three ounces, was really brought from Bombay to Allahabad, to all intents and purposes, instantaneously. That it was veritably the actual piece missing from the cast broken at Bombay was proved a few days later, for all the remaining pieces at Bombay were carefully packed up and sent to me, and the fractured edges of my fragment fitted exactly into those of the defective corner, so that I was enabled to arrange the pieces all together again and complete the cast.

The shrewd reader -- of the class of persons who would never have been "taken in" by the man who sold sovereigns on Waterloo Bridge -- will laugh at the whole story. A lump of plaster of Paris sent a distance of eight hundred miles across India in the wink of an eye by the willpower of somebody Heaven knows where at the time -- probably in Tibet! The shrewd person could not manage the feat himself, so he is convinced that nobody else could, and that the event never occurred. Rather believe that the seven witnesses at Bombay and the present writer are telling a pack of lies than that there can be anyone living in the world who knows secrets of Nature, and can employ forces of Nature that shrewd persons of the Times- reading, "Jolly Bank-holiday, three-penny bus young man" type know nothing about. Some friends of mine, criticising the first edition of this book, have found fault with me for not adopting a more respectful and conciliatory tone towards scientific scepticism when confronting the world with allegations of the kind these pages contain. But I fail to see any motive for hypocrisy in the matter. A great number of intelligent people in these days are shaking themselves free at once from the fetters of materialism forged by modern science and the entangled superstition of ecclesiastics, resolved that the Church herself, with all her mummeries, shall fail to make them irreligious; that science itself, with all its conceit, shall not blind them to the possibilities of Nature. These are the people who will understand my narrative and the sublimity of the revelations it embodies. But all people who have been either thoroughly enslaved by dogma, or thoroughly materialised by modern science, have finally lost some faculties, and will be unable to apprehend facts that do not fit in with their preconceived ideas. They will mistake their own intellectual deficiencies for inherent impossibility of occurrence on the part of the fact described; they will be very rude in thought and speech towards persons of superior intuition, who do find themselves able to believe and, in a certain sense, to understand; and it seems to me that the time has come for letting the commonplace scoffers realise plainly that in the estimation of their more enlightened contemporaries they do indeed seem a Beotian herd, in which the better educated and the lesser educated -- the orthodox savant and the city clerk -- differ merely in degree and not in kind.

The morning after the occurrence of the incident just detailed, B---- R-----, the young native aspirant for chelaship, who had accompanied Colonel Olcott, and was staying at my house, gave me a note from Koot Hoomi, which he found under his pillow in the morning. One which I had written to Koot Hoomi, and had given to B----- R----- the previous day, had been taken, he told me, at night, before he slept. The note from Koot Hoomi was a short one, in the course of which he said, "To force phenomena in the presence of difficulties magnetic or other is forbidden as strictly as for a bank cashier to disburse money which is only entrusted to him. Even to do this much for you so far from the headquarters would be impossible but for the magnetisms O---- and B----- R---- have brought with them -- and I could do no more." Not fully realising the force of the final words in this passage, and more struck by a previous passage, in which Koot Hoomi wrote -- "It is easy for us to give phenomenal proofs when we have necessary conditions" -- I wrote next day, suggesting one or two things which I thought might be done to take additional advantage of the conditions presented by the introduction into my house of available magnetism different from that of Madame Blavatsky, who had been so much, however absurdly, suspected of imposing on me. I gave this note to B---- R----- on the evening of the 13th of March -- the plaster fragment incident had taken place on the 11th -- and on the morning of the 14th I received a few words from Koot Hoomi, simply saying that what I proposed was impossible, and that he would write more fully through Bombay. When in due time I so heard from him, I learned that the limited facilities of the moment had been exhausted, and that my suggestions could not be complied with; but the importance of the explanations I have just been giving turns on the fact that I did, after all, exchange letters with Koot Hoomi at an interval of a few hours, at a time when Madame Blavatsky was at the other side of India.

The account I have just been giving of the instantaneous transmission of the plaster of Paris fragment from Bombay to Allahabad forms a fitting prelude to a remarkable series of incidents I have next to record. The story now to be told has already been made public in India, having been fully related in "Psychic Notes," [Newton & Co., Calcutta.] a periodical temporarily brought out at Calcutta, with the object especially of recording incidents connected with the spiritualistic mediumship of Mr. Eglinton, who stayed for some months at Calcutta during the past cold season. The incident was hardly addressed to the outside world; rather to spiritualists, who while infinitely closer to a comprehension of occultism than people still wrapped in the darkness of orthodox incredulity, about all super-material phenomena, are nevertheless to a large extent inclined to put a purely spiritualistic explanation on all such phenomena. In this way it had come to pass that many spiritualists in India were inclined to suppose that we who believed in the Brothers were in some way misled by extraordinary mediumship on the part of Madame Blavatsky. And at first the "spirit guides" who spoke through Mr. Eglinton confirmed this view. But a very remarkable change came over their utterances at last. Shortly before Mr. Eglinton's departure from Calcutta, they declared their full knowledge of the Brotherhood, naming the "Illustrious" by that designation, and declaring that they had been appointed to work in concert with the Brothers thenceforth. On this aspect of affairs, Mr. Eglinton left India in the steamship Vega, sailing from Calcutta, I believe, on the 16th of March. A few days later, on the morning of the 24th, at AIahabad, I received a letter from Koot Hoomi, in which he told me that he was going to visit Mr. Eglinton on board the Vega at sea, convince him thoroughly as to the existence of the Brothers, and if successful in doing this notify the fact immediately to certain friends of Mr. Eglinton's at Calcutta. The letter had been written a day or two before, and the night between the 21st and 22nd was mentioned as the period when the astral visit would be paid. Now the full explanation of all the circumstances under which this startling programme was carried out will take some little time, but the narrative will be the more easily followed if I first describe the outline of what took place in a few words. The promised visit was actually paid, and not only that but a letter written by Mr. Eglinton at sea on the 24th describing it -- and giving in his adhesion to a belief in the Brothers fully and completely -- was transported instantaneously that same evening to Bombay, where it was dropped "out of nothing" like the first letter I received on my return to India before several witnesses; by them identified and tied up with cards written on by them at the time; then taken away again and a few moments later dropped down, cards from Bombay and all, among Mr. Eglinton's friends at Calcutta who had been told beforehand to expect a communication from the Brothers at that time. All the incidents of this series are authenticated by witnesses and documents, and there is no rational escape, for anyone who looks into the evidence, from the necessity of admitting that the various phenomena as I have just described them have actually been accomplished, "impossible" as ordinary science will declare them.

For the details of the various incidents of the series, I may refer the reader to the account published in Psychic Notes of March 30, by Mrs. Gordon, wife of Colonel W. Gordon, of Calcutta, and authenticated with her signature.

Colonel Olcott, Mrs. Gordon explains in the earlier part of her statement, which for brevity's sake I condense, had just arrived at Calcutta on a visit to Colonel Gordon and herself. A letter had come from Madame Blavatsky dated Bombay the 19th, telling us that something was going to be done, and expressing the earnest hope that she would not be required to assist, as she had had enough abuse about phenomena. Before this letter was brought by the post peon, Colonel Olcott had told me that he had had an intimation in the night from his Chohan (teacher) that K. H. [We had got into the habit at this time of using these initials for the Mahatma's name.] had been to the Vega and seen Eglinton. This was at about eight o'clock on Thursday morning, the 23rd. A few hours later a telegram, dated at Bombay, 22nd day, 21 hours 9 minutes, that is, say 9 minutes past 9 P.M. on Wednesday evening, came to me from Madame Blavatsky, to this effect: 'K.H. just gone to Vega.' This telegram came as a 'delayed' message, and was to me from Calcutta, which accounts for its not reaching me until midday on Thursday. It corroborated, as will be seen, the message of the previous night to Colonel Olcott. We then felt hopeful of getting the letter by occult means from Mr. Eglinton. A telegram later on Thursday asked us to fix a time for a sitting, so we named 9 o'clock Madras time, on Friday, 24th. At this hour we three -- Colonel Olcott, Colonel Gordon, and myself -- sat in the room which had been occupied by Mr. Eglinton. We had a good light, and sat with our chairs placed to form a triangle, of which the apex was to the north. In a few minutes Colonel Olcott saw outside the open window the two 'Brothers' whose names are best known to us, and told us so; he saw them pass to another window, the glass doors of which were closed. He saw one of them point his hand towards the air over my head, and I felt something at the same moment fall straight down from above on to my shoulder, and saw it fall at my feet in the direction towards the two gentlemen. I knew it would be the letter, but for the moment I was so anxious to see the 'Brothers' that I did not pick up what had fallen. Colonel Gordon and Colonel Olcott both saw and heard the letter fall. Colonel Olcott had turned his head from the window for a moment to see what the 'Brother' was pointing at, and so noticed the letter falling from a point about two feet from the ceiling. When he looked again the two 'Brothers' had vanished.

"There is no veranda outside, and the window is several feet from the ground.

"I now turned and picked up what had fallen on me, and found a letter in Mr. Eglinton's handwriting, dated on the Vega the 24th; a message from Madame Blavatsky, dated at Bombay the 24th, written on the backs of three of her visiting cards; also a larger card, such as Mr. Eglinton had a packet of, and used at his séances. On this latter card was the, to us, well-known handwriting of K.H., and a few words in the handwriting of the other 'Brother,' who was with him outside our window, and who is Colonel Olcott's chief. All these cards and the letter were threaded together with a piece of blue sewing silk. We opened the letter carefully, by slitting up one side, as we saw that some one had made on the flap in pencil three Latin crosses, and so we kept them intact for identification. The letter is as follows:

"S.S. Vega, Friday, 24th March, 1882." My DEAR MRS. GORDON. At last your hour of triumph has come! After the many battles we have had at the breakfast-table regarding K.H.'s existence, and my stubborn scepticism as to the wonderful powers possessed by the "Brothers," I have been forced to a complete belief in their being living distinct persons, and just in proportion to my scepticism will be my firm unalterable opinion respecting them. I am not allowed to tell you all I know, but K.H. appeared to me in person two days ago, and what he told me dumbfounded me. Perhaps Madame B. will have already communicated the fact of K.H.'s appearance to you. The "Illustrious" is uncertain whether this can be taken to Madame or not, but he will try, notwithstanding the many difficulties in the way. If he does not I shall post it when I arrive at port. I shall read this to Mrs. B---- and ask her to mark the envelope; but whatever happens, you are requested by K.H. to keep this letter a profound secret until you hear from him though Madame. A storm of opposition is certain to be raised, and she has had so much to bear that it is hard she should have more." Then follow some remarks about his health and the trouble which is taking him home, and the letter ends.

"In her note on the three visiting cards Madame Blavatsky says:

'Headquarters, March 24th.

These cards and contents to certify to my doubters that the attached letter addressed to Mrs. Gordon by Mr. Eglinton was just brought to me from the Vega, with another letter from himself to me, which I keep. K.H. tells me he saw Mr. Eglinton and had a talk with him, long and convincing enough to make him a believer in the "Brothers," as actual living beings, for the rest of his natural life. Mr. Eglinton writes to me: "The letter which I enclose is going to be taken to Mrs. G. through your influence. You will receive it wherever you are, and will forward it to her in ordinary course. You will learn with satisfaction of my complete conversion to a belief in the "Brothers", and I have no doubt K.H. has already told you how he appeared to me two nights ago," etc., etc.. K.H. told me all. He does not, however, want me to forward the letter in "ordinary course", as it would defeat the object, but commands me to write this and send it off without delay, so that it would reach you all at Howrah tonight, the 24th. I do so. ...H. P. Blavatsky.'

"The handwriting on these cards and signature are perfectly well known to us. That on the larger card (from Mr. Eglinton's packet) attached was easily recognised as coming from Koot Hoomi. Colonel Gordon and I know his writing as well as our own; it is so distinctly different from any other I have ever seen, that among thousands I could select it. He says, William Eglinton thought the manifestation could only be produced through H.P. B. as a "medium", and that the power would become exhausted at Bombay. We decided otherwise. Let this be a proof to all that the spirit of living man has as much potentiality in it (and often more) as a disembodied soul. He was anxious to test her, he often doubted; two nights ago he had the required proof and will doubt no more. But he is a good young man, bright, honest, and true as gold when once convinced...

"This card was taken from his stock today. Let it be an additional proof of his wonderful mediumship. ...K.H.'

"This is written in blue ink, and across it is written in red ink a few words from the other 'Brother' (Colonel Olcott's Chohan or chief). This interesting and wonderful phenomenon is not published with the idea that anyone who is unacquainted with the phenomena of spiritualism will accept it. But I write for the millions of spiritualists, and also that a record may be made of such an interesting experiment. Who knows but that it may pass on to a generation which will be enlightened enough to accept such wonders?"

A postscript adds that since the above statement was written, a paper had been received from Bombay, signed by seven witnesses who saw the letter arrive there from the Vega.

As I began by saying, this phenomenon was addressed more to spiritualists than to the outer world, because its great value for the experienced observer of phenomena turns on the utterly unmediumistic character of the events. Apart from the testimony of Mr. Eglinton's own letter to the effect that he, an experienced medium, was quite convinced that the interview he had with his occult visitant was not an interview with such "spirits" as he had been used to, we have the three-cornered character of the incident to detach it altogether from mediumship either on his part or on that of Madame Blavatsky.

Certainly there have been cases in which under the influence or mediumship the agencies of the ordinary spiritual séance have transported letters half across the globe. A conclusively authenticated case in which an unfinished letter was thus brought from London to Calcutta will have attracted the attention of all persons who have their understanding awakened to the importance of these matters, and who read what is currently published about them, quite recently. But every spiritualist will recognise that the transport of a letter from a ship at sea to Bombay, and then from Bombay to Calcutta, with a definite object in view, and in accordance with a prearranged and preannounced plan, is something quite outside the experience of mediumship.

Will the effort made and the expenditure of force, whatever may have been required to accomplish the wonderful feat thus recorded, be repaid by proportionately satisfactory effects on the spiritualistic world? There has been a great deal written lately in England about the antagonism between spiritualism and theosophy, and an impression has arisen in some way that the two cultes are incompatible. Now, the phenomena and the experiences of spiritualism are facts, and nothing can be incompatible with facts. But theosophy brings on the scene new interpretations of those facts, it is true, and sometimes these prove very unwelcome to spiritualists long habituated to their own interpretation. Hence, such spiritualists are now and then disposed to resist the new teaching altogether, and hold out against a belief that there can be anywhere in existence men entitled to advance it. This is consequently the important question to settle before we advance into the region of metaphysical subtleties. Let spiritualists once realise that the Brothers do exist, and what sort of people they are, and a great step will have been accomplished. Not all at once is it to be expected that the spiritual world will consent to revise its conclusions by occult doctrines. It is only by prolonged intercourse with the Brothers that a conviction grows up in the mind that as regards spiritual science they cannot be in error. At first, let spiritualists think them in error if they please; but at all events it will be unworthy of their elevated position above the Beotian herd if they deny the evidence of phenomenal facts; if they hold towards occultism the attitude which the crass sceptic of the mere Lankester type occupies towards spiritualism itself. So I cannot but hope that the coruscation of phenomena connected with the origin and adventures of the letter written on board the Vega may have flashed out of the darkness to some good purpose, showing the spiritualistic world quite plainly that the great Brother to whom this work is dedicated is, at all events, a living man, with faculties and powers of that entirely abnormal kind which spiritualists have hitherto conceived to inhere merely in beings belonging to a superior scheme of existence.

For my part, I am glad to say that I not only know him to be a living man by reason of all the circumstances detailed in this volume, but I am now enabled to realise his features and appearance by means of two portraits, which have been conceded to me under very remarkable conditions. It was long a wish of mine to possess a portrait of my revered friend; and some time ago he half promised that some time or other he would give me one. Now, in asking an adept for his portrait, the object desired is not a photograph, but a picture produced by a certain occult process which I have not yet had occasion to describe, but with which I had long been familiar by hearsay. I had heard, for example, from Colonel Olcott, of one of the circumstances under which his own original convictions about the realities of occult power were formed many years ago in New York, before he had actually entered on "the path." Madame Blavatsky on that occasion had told him to bring her a piece of paper which he would be certainly able to identify, in order that she might get a portrait precipitated upon it. We cannot, of course, by the light of ordinary knowledge form any conjecture about the details of the process employed; but just as an adept can, as I have had so many proofs, precipitate writing in closed envelopes, and on the pages of uncut pamphlets, so he can precipitate color in such a way as to form a picture. In the case of which Colonel Olcott told me he took home a piece of note-paper from a club in New York -- a piece bearing a club stamp -- and gave this to Madame Blavatsky. She put it between the sheets of blotting-paper on her writing-table, rubbed her hand over the outside of the pad, and then in a few moments the marked paper was given back to him with a complete picture upon it representing an Indian fakir in a state of samadhi. And the artistic execution of this drawing was conceived by artists to whom Colonel Olcott afterwards showed it to be so good that they compared it to the works of old masters whom they specially adored and affirmed that as an artistic curiosity it was unique and priceless. Now in aspiring to have a portrait of Koot Hoomi, of course I was wishing for a precipitated picture, and it would seem that just before a recent visit Madame Blavatsky paid to Allahabad, something must have been said to her about a possibility that this wish of mine might be gratified. For the day she came she asked me to give her a piece of thick white paper and mark it. This she would leave in her scrapbook, and there was reason to hope that a certain highly advanced chela, or pupil, of Koot Hoomi's, not a full adept himself as yet, but far on the road to that condition, would do what was necessary to produce the portrait.

Nothing happened that day nor that night. The scrapbook remained lying on a table in the drawing-room, and was occasionally inspected. The following morning it was looked into by my wife, and my sheet of paper was found to be still blank. Still the scrapbook lay in full view on the drawing-room table. At half-past eleven we went to breakfast; the dining-room, as is often the case in Indian bungalows, only being separated from the drawing-room by an archway and curtains, which were drawn aside. While we were at breakfast Madame Blavatsky suddenly showed, by the signs with which all who know her are familiar, that one of her occult friends was near. It was the chela to whom I have above referred. She got up, thinking she might be required to go to her room; but the astral visitor, she said, waved her back, and she returned to the table. After breakfast we looked into the scrapbook, and on my marked sheet of paper, which had been seen blank by my wife an hour or two before, was a precipitated profile portrait. The face itself was left white, with only a few touches within the limits of the space it occupied; but the rest of the paper all round it was covered with cloudy blue shading. Slight as the method was by which the result was produced, the outline of the face was perfectly well-defined, and its expression as vividly rendered as would have been possible with a finished picture.

At first Madame Blavatsky was dissatisfied with the sketch. Knowing the original personally, she could appreciate its deficiencies; but though I should have welcomed a more finished portrait, I was sufficiently pleased with the one I had thus received to be reluctant that Madame Blavatsky should try any experiment with it herself with the view of improving it, for fear it would be spoilt. In the course of the conversation, M---- put himself in communication with Madame Blavatsky, and said that he would do a portrait himself on another piece of paper. There was no question in this case of a "test phenomenon"; so after I had procured and given to Madame Blavatsky a (marked) piece of Bristol board, it was put away in the scrapbook, and taken to her room, where, free from the confusing cross magnetisms of the drawingroom, M---- would be better able to operate.

Now it will be understood that neither the producer of the sketch I had received, nor M-----, in the natural state, is an artist. Talking over the whole subject of these occult pictures, I ascertained from Madame Blavatsky that the supremely remarkable results have been obtained by those of the adepts whose occult science as regards this particular process has been superseded to ordinary artistic training. But entirely without this, the adept can produce a result which, for all ordinary critics, looks like the work of an artist, by merely realising very clearly in his imagination the result he wishes to produce, and then precipitating the coloring matter in accordance with that conception.

In the course of about an hour from the time at which she took away the piece of Bristol board -- or the time may have been less -- we were not watching it, Madame Blavatsky brought it me back with another portrait, again a profile, though more elaborately done. Both portraits were obviously of the same face, and nothing, let me say at once, can exceed the purity and lofty tenderness of its expression. Of course it bears no mark of age. Koot Hoomi, by the mere years of his life, is only a man of what we call middle age; but the adept's physically simple and refined existence leaves no trace of its passage; and while our faces rapidly wear out after forty -- strained, withered, and burned up by the passions to which all ordinary lives are more or less exposed -- the adept age, for periods of time that I can hardly venture to define, remains apparently the perfection of early maturity. M-----, Madame Blavatsky's special guardian still, as I judge by a portrait of him that I have seen, though I do not yet possess one, in the absolute prime of manhood, has been her occult guardian from the time she was a child; and now she is an old lady. He never looked, she tells me, any different from what he looks now.

I have now brought up to date the record of all external facts connected with the revelations I have been privileged to make. The door leading to occult knowledge is still ajar, and it is still permissible for explorers from the outer world to make good their footing across the threshold. This condition of things is due to exceptional circumstances at present, and may not continue long. Its continuance may largely depend upon the extent to which the world at large manifests an appreciation of the opportunity now offered. Some readers who are interested, but slow to perceive what practical action they can take, may ask what they can do to show appreciation of the opportunity. My reply will be modelled on the famous injunction of Sir Robert Peel: "Register, register, register!" Take the first steps towards making a response to the offer which emanates from the occult world -- register, register, register; in other words, join the Theosophical Society -- the one and only association which at present is linked by any recognised bond of union with the Brotherhood of Adepts in Tibet. There is a Theosophical Society in London, as there are other branches in Paris and America, as well as in India. If there is as yet but little for these branches to do, that fact does not vitiate their importance. After a voter has registered, there is not much for him to do for the moment. The mere growth of branches of the Theosophical Society, as associations of people who realise the sublimity of adeptship, and have been able to feel that the story told in this little book, and more fully, if more obscurely, in many greater volumes of occult learning, is absolutely true -- true, not as shadowy religious "truths" or orthodox speculations are held to be true by their votaries, but true as the "London Post-Office Directory" is true; as the Parliamentary reports people read in the morning are true; the mere enrolment of such people in a society under conditions which may enable them sometimes to meet and talk the situation over if they do no more, may actually effect a material result as regards the extent to which the authorities of the occult world will permit the further revelation of the sublime knowledge they possess. Remember, that knowledge is real knowledge of other worlds and other states of existence -- not vague conjecture about hell and heaven and purgatory, but precise knowledge of other worlds going on at this moment, the condition and nature of which the adepts can cognize, as we can the condition and nature of a strange town we may visit. These worlds are linked with our own, and our lives with the lives they support; and will the further acquaintance with the few men on earth who are in a position to tell us more about them be superciliously rejected by the advance guard of the civilized world, the educated classes of England? Surely no inconsiderable group will be sufficiently spiritualized to comprehend the value of the present opportunity, and sufficiently practical to follow the advice already quoted, and -- register, register, register.
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Re: The Occult World, by A.P. Sinnett

Postby admin » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:47 am


LATER acquaintance with the subject has done much to show me that the reserve hitherto maintained by the masters of occult science was inevitable. It is useless to offer any man information which his faculties are not sufficiently expanded to receive. Only a few hundred years after the physical science that has been absorbed by the last two or three generations with avidity would have been unwelcome and despised. Till quite recently the serious contemplation of psychic phenomena would have been resented as a relapse into superstition. No man can investigate causes till he is willing to observe facts, and it was only the other day that a disposition to observe facts lying outside the domain of physical causation would have alienated any prematurely developed enthusiast from the sympathies of all his contemporaries. The light of mere worldly wisdom may thus vindicate the reticence of the few and secluded custodians of the higher knowledge, but with far greater precision is their policy vindicated when with their own help we come at last to comprehend the scientific law of human intellectual development. The progress of the world is not rolling on under the direction of blind chance. Propelled though it is by the collective impulses of individual energy, it advances in a defined path, and the knowledge, the discoveries, the spiritual teaching, which breaks upon the world at each stage of its advancement, is precisely proportioned to the receptivity of mankind at that period of its evolution. The revelation of occult truth going on in the world just now in many ways and under various aspects -- though as I most emphatically believe, under none more unequivocally or satisfactorily than in the case of the direct teaching of occult science I am instrumental in bringing to public notice -- is the legitimate inheritance of this generation, and the good it may do in the world now could not have been done only a few decades ago. It is useless to try to take a photographic picture upon a non-sensitized plate; it is useless to present the subtle conceptions of spiritual science to minds on which no psychic collodion has previously been deposited. The Esoteric study in which some of us connected with the Theosophical Society have been privileged, during the last two or three years, to engage, has so effectually dispelled the discontent we first felt at the jealousy that had withheld this teaching from the world so long, that we recognise the message we are now commissioned to convey as addressed so far only to the most highly advanced and intuitive minds of our time. We are but beginning to put forward a doctrine which will only be appreciated in its full significance later on.

June 7, 1884.
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Re: The Occult World, by A.P. Sinnett

Postby admin » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:47 am


It is interesting to observe that, in accordance with predictions made to me when I began to write on these subjects, the dawn of psychic truth has begun to brighten our sky from several directions at once. The psychological telegraphy here referred to was quite unheard of in the world at large in 1880. But for the last year or two the Psychic Research Society in London has been specially engaged on a long series of experiments in what it calls "thought transference," the phenomena of which contain the germs of the adepts' psychic telegraph. If anyone still doubts that thought impressions really can be conveyed from one mind to another, without the aid of speech or any sign or communication whatever having to do with the physical senses, he is unacquainted with the result of scientific enquiry in that direction. The transactions of the society referred to put the broad fact just noted beyond the reach of incredulity that can any longer be regarded as intelligent.
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Re: The Occult World, by A.P. Sinnett

Postby admin » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:47 am


It is too late in the day now, when several editions of this book have already passed through the press, to affect any reserve about this name. But in truth I greatly regret now that I ever permitted it to become public property. All over India the disciples of the Brothers regard their Masters' names with the tenderest possible respect. The free and easy criticism to which this book has naturally been subject since its first appearance has often been associated with more or less disrespectful references to my revered correspondent, and this has given rise to great pain on the part of the regular chelas in India, the pupils of occult science; indeed, it is no longer necessary to go to India in search of persons whose sensibilities are liable to be disturbed seriously in the same way. In London a large and earnestly studious branch of the Theosophical Society has been formed, and long contact with the grand conceptions of Esoteric philosophy has developed on the part of its members a sentiment of reverence for the Mahatmas only second in intensity to that of the regular oriental initiates. It would spare all such persons a great deal of indignant distress, if the name I was unfortunately led to print in this work at full length had never been disclosed. To most Western readers the matter may seem very unimportant, but trouble and annoyance which I greatly deplore have ensued from the mistake thus committed. As a matter of fact, I may here observe that the original manuscript of my book was written from end to end without the use of the name, instead of which I had placed a mere initial, "H", but a letter I received from India shortly before the publication of the book authorised the use of the name, and I felt at that time that it was absurd to be plus royaliste que le roi. So the step came to be taken which cannot now be recalled. The name of the Mahatma here made use of, I may explain, in conclusion of this digression.
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Re: The Occult World, by A.P. Sinnett

Postby admin » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:48 am

Part 1 of 2


The necessity of reprinting this work for a fourth edition gives me an opportunity of noticing some discussion that has taken place in the spiritualistic press on the subject of a letter addressed to Light, of September 1st, 1883, by Mr. Henry Kiddle, an American spiritualist. The letter was as follows:



In a communication that appeared in your issue of July 21st, "G.W., M.D.," reviewing '"Esoteric Buddhism," says: "Regarding this Koot Hoomi, it is a very remarkable and unsatisfactory fact that Mr. Sinnett, although in correspondence with him for years, has yet never been permitted to see him." I agree with your corespondent entirely; and this is not the only fact that is unsatisfactory to me. On reading Mr. Sinnett's "Occult World," more than a year ago, I was very greatly surprised to find in one of the letters presented by Mr. Sinnett as having been transmitted to him by Koot Hoomi, in the mysterious manner described, a passage taken almost verbatim from an address on Spiritualism by me at Lake Pleasant in August, 1880, and published the same month by the Banner of Light. As Mr. Sinnett's book did not appear till a considerable time afterwards (about a year, I think), it is certain that I did not quote, consciously or unconsciously, from its pages. How, then, did it get into Koot Hoomi's mysterious letter?

I sent to Mr. Sinnett a letter through his publishers, enclosing the printed pages of my address, with the part used by Koot Hoomi marked upon it, and asked for an explanation, for I wondered that so great a sage as Koot Hoomi should need to borrow anything from so humble a student of spiritual things as myself. As yet I have received no reply; and the query has been suggested to my mind -- Is Koot Hoomi a myth? or, if not, is he so great an adept as to have impressed my mind with his thoughts and word while I was preparing my address? If the latter were the case he could not consistently exclaim: 'Pereant qui ante nos nostra dixerunt.'"

Perhaps Mr. Sinnett may think it scarcely worth while to solve this little problem; but the fact that the existence of the brotherhood has not yet been proved may induce some to raise the question suggested by "G.W., M.D". Is there any such secret order? On this question, which is not intended to imply anything offensive to Mr. Sinnett, that other still more important question may depend. Is Mr. Sinnett's recently published book an exponent of Esoteric Buddhism? It Is, doubtless, a work of great ability, and its statements are worthy of deep thought; but the main question is, are they true, or how can they be verified?' As this cannot be accomplished except by the exercise of abnormal or transcendental faculties, they must be accepted, if at all, upon the ipse dixit of the accomplished adept, who has been so kind as to sacrifice his esoteric character or vow, and make Mr. Sinnett his channel of communication with the outer world, thus rendering his sacred knowledge exoteric. Hence, if this publication, with its wonderful doctrine of Shells, overturning the consolatory conclusions of Spiritualists, is to be accepted, the authority must be established, and the existence of the adept or adepts -- indeed, the facts of adeptship -- must be proved. The first step in affording this proof has hardly yet, I think, been taken. I trust this book will be very carefully analysed, and the nature of its inculcations exposed, whether they are Esoteric Buddhism or not.

The following are the passages referred to, printed side by side [in the book, but one after the other in this document] -- for the sake of ready reference.

Extract from Mr. Kiddle's discourse, entitled "The Present Outlook of Spiritualism", delivered at Lake Pleasant Camp Meeting on Sunday, August 15, 1880.

"My friends, ideas rule the world; and as men's minds receive new ideas, laying aside the old and effete, the world advances. Society rests upon them; mighty revolutions spring from them; institutions crumble before their onward march. It is just as impossible to resist their influx, when the time comes, as to stay the progress of the tide.

And the agency called Spiritualism is bringing a new set of ideas into the world -- ideas on the most momentous subjects, touching man's true position in the universe; his origin and destiny; the relation of the mortal to the immortal; of the temporary to the Eternal; of the finite to the Infinite; of man's deathless soul to the material universes in which it now dwells -- ideas larger, more general, more comprehensive, recognising more fully the universal reign of law as the expression of the Divine will, unchanging and unchangeable in regard to which there is only an Eternal Now, while to mortals time is past or future, as related to their finite existence on this material plane; etc., etc., etc.

New York, August 11th, 1883

Extract from Koot Hoomi's letter to Mr. Sinnett, in the "Occult World", 3rd Edition, page 102. The first edition was published in June 1881.

Ideas rule the world; and as men's minds receive new ideas, laying aside the old and effete, the world will advance, mighty revolutions will spring from them, creeds and even powers will crumble before their onward march, crushed by their irresistible force. It will be just as impossible to resist their influence when the time comes as to stay the progress of the tide. But all this will come gradually on, before it comes we have a duty set before us; that of sweeping away as much as possible the dross left to us by our pious forefathers. New ideas have to be planted on clean places, for these ideas touch upon the most momentous subjects. It is not physical phenomena, but these universal ideas that we study, as to comprehend the former, we have first to understand the latter. They 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, recognising the eternal reign of immutable law, unchanging and unchangeable, in regards 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, etc., etc., etc.


The appearance of this letter puzzled, without very much disturbing, the equanimity of Theosophical students. If it had been published immediately after the first publication of the "Occult World," its effect might have been more serious, but in the interim the Brothers had by degrees communicated to the public through my agency such a considerable block of philosophical teaching, then already embodied in my second book, "Esoteric Buddhism," and scattered through two or three volumes of the Theosophist, that appreciative readers had passed beyond the stage of development in which it might have been possible for them to suppose that the principal author of this teaching could at any time have been under any intellectual temptation to borrow thoughts from a spiritualistic lecture. Various hypotheses were framed to account for the mysterious identity between the two passages cited, and people to whom the Theosophic teachings were unacceptable, as overthrowing conceptions to which they were attached, were greatly enchanted to find my revered instructor convicted, as they thought, of a commonplace plagiarism. A couple of months necessarily elapsed before an answer could be obtained from India on the subject, and meanwhile the "Kiddle incident," as it came to be called, was joyfully treated by various correspondents writing in the columns of Light, as having dealt a fatal blow at the authority of the Indian Mahatmas as exponents of esoteric truth.

In due course I received a long and instructive explanation of the mystery from Mahatma Koot Hoomi himself; but this letter reached me under the seal of the most absolute confidence. Rigidly adhering to the policy which had all along restrained within narrow limits the communication of their teaching to the world at large, the Brothers remained as anxious as ever to leave everybody full intellectual liberty to disbelieve in them, and reject their revelation if his spiritual intuitions were not of a kind to be readily kindled. In the same way that from the first they had refused me the overwhelming and irresistible proofs of their power, which I had sought for in the beginning as weapons with which I might successfully combat incredulity, they now shrank from interfering with the conclusions of any readers who might be found capable, after the rich assurances of the later teaching, of distrusting the Mahatmas on the strength of a suspicion which was ill founded in reality, plausible though it might seem. Debarred myself, however, from making any public use of the Mahatma's letter, some of the residents and visitors at the Headquarters of the Theosophical Society at Adyar, Madras, came into possession of the true facts of the case, and some communications appeared in the society's magazine which afforded everyone honestly desirous of comprehending the truth of the matter, all necessary information. In the December number of the Theosophist, Mr. Subba Row put forward a very cautiously worded article, hinting merely at the actual explanation of the identity of the passages cited by Mr. KiddIe, and concerned chiefly with an elaborate analysis of the "plagiarised" sentences, the object of which was to show that in truth we might have divined for ourselves, if we had been sharp enough in the beginning, that some mistake had been made, and that the Mahatma could not have intended to write the sentences just as they stood. The hint conveyed by Mr. Subba was as follows:

"Therefore from a careful perusal of the passage and its contents, any unbiased reader will come to the conclusion that somebody must have greatly blundered over the said passage, and will not be surprised to hear that it was unconsciously altered through the carelessness and ignorance of the chela by whose instrumentality it was 'precipitated.' Such alterations, omissions, and mistakes sometimes occur in the process of precipitation; and I now assert I know it for certain, from an inspection of the original precipitation proof, that such was the case with regard to the passage under discussion."

The same Theosophist in which this article appeared contained a letter from General Morgan in reply to various spiritualistic attacks on the Theosophical position, and in the course of his remarks he referred to the "Kiddle incident" as follows:-

"Happily we have been permitted, many of us, to look behind the veil of the parallel passage mystery, and the whole affair is very satisfactorily explained to us; but all that we are permitted to say is that many a passage was entirely omitted from the letter received by Mr. Sinnett, its precipitation from the original dictation to the chela. Would our Great Master but permit us his humble followers to photograph and publish in the Theosophist the scraps shown to us, scraps in which whole sentences parenthetical and quotation marks are defaced and obliterated and consequently omitted in the chela's clumsy transcription -- the public would be treated to a rare sight -- something entirely unknown to modern science -- namely, an akasic impression as good as a photograph of mentally expressed thoughts dictated from a distance."

A month or two after the appearance of these fragmentary hints, I received a note from the Mahatma relieving me of all restrictions previously imposed on the full letter of explanation he had previously sent me. The subject, by that time, however, seemed to have lost its interest for all persons in England whose opinions I valued. Within the London Theosophical Society, now already a large and growing body, the Kiddle incident was looked on as little more than a joke, and the notion that the Mahatma who had inspired the teachings of Esoteric Buddhism, could have "plagiarised" from a spiritualistic lecture, as so absurd on the face of things that no appearances seeming to endorse that conception could have any importance. I did not feel disposed, therefore, to treat the suspicions some critics had entertained, with the respect that would have been involved in any appeal from me to the public to listen to what would have been represented as a defence -- and a strangely postponed defence -- of the Mahatma.

Now, however, that this new edition of the Occult World II is required, there is an obvious propriety in the course I now take. The new letter from the Mahatma constitutes in itself a correction of the letter from which I quote on pages 101-102, and apart from the interest of the explanation it furnishes in regard to the precipitation process, the thoughts it conveys are in themselves valuable and suggestive.

"The letter in question," writes the Mahatma, referring to the communication I originally received, "was framed by me while on a journey and on horseback. It was dictated mentally in the direction of and precipitated by a young chela not yet expert at this branch of psychic chemistry, and who had to transcribe it from the hardly visible imprint. Half of it, therefore, was omitted, and the other half more or less distorted by the 'artist.' When asked by him at the time whether I would look over and correct it, I answered -- imprudently, I confess -- 'Anyhow will do, my boy; it is of no great importance if you skip a few words.' I was physically very tired by a ride of forty-eight hours consecutively, and (physically again) half asleep. Besides this, I had very important business to attend to psychically, and therefore little remained of me to devote to that letter. When I awoke I found it had already been sent on, and as I was not then anticipating its publication, I never gave it from that time a thought. Now I had never evoked spiritual Mr. Riddle's physiognomy, never had heard of his existence, was not aware of his name. Having, owing to our correspondence, and your Simla surroundings and friends, felt interested in the intellectual progress of the Phenomenalists, I had directed my attention, some two months previous, to the great annual camping movement of the American Spiritualists in various directions, among others to Lake or Mount Pleasant. Some of the curious ideas and sentences representing the general hopes and aspirations of the American Spiritualists remained impressed on my memory, and I remembered only these ideas and detached sentences quite apart from the personalities of those who harboured or pronounced them. Hence my entire ignorance of the lecturer whom I have innocently defrauded, as it would appear, and who raises the hue and cry. Yet had I dictated my letter in the form it now appears in print, it would certainly look suspicious, and however far from what is generally called plagiarism, yet in the absence of any inverted commas it would lay a foundation for censure. But I did nothing of the kind, as the original impression now before me clearly shows. And before I proceed any further I must give you some explanation of this mode of precipitation.

The recent experiments of the Psychic Research Society will help you greatly to comprehend the rationale of this mental telegraphy. You have observed in the journal of that body, how thought transference is cumulatively effected. The image of the geometrical or other figure which the active brain has had impressed upon it is gradually imprinted upon the recipient brain of the passive subject, as the series of reproductions illustrated in the cuts show. Two factors are needed to produce a perfect and instantaneous mental telegraphy -- close concentration in the operator and complete receptive passivity in the reader subject. Given a disturbance of either condition, and the result is proportionately imperfect. The reader does not see the image as in the telegrapher's brain, but as arising in his own. When the latter's thought wanders, the psychic current becomes broken, the communication disjointed and incoherent. In a case such as mine the chela had, as it were, to pick up what he could from the current I was sending him, and, as above remarked, patch the broken bits together as best he might. Do not you see the same thing in ordinary mesmerism -- the maya impressed upon the subject's imagination by the operator becoming now stronger, now feebler, as the latter keeps the intended illusive image more or less steadily before his own fancy. And how often the clairvoyants reproach the magnetiser for taking their thoughts off the subject under consideration. And the mesmeric healer will always bear you witness that if he permits himself to think of anything but the vital current he is pouring into his patient, he is at once compelled to either establish the current afresh or stop the treatment. So I, in this instance, having at the moment more vividly in my mind the psychic diagnosis of current spiritualistic thought, of which the Lake Pleasant speech was one marked symptom, unwittingly transferred that reminiscence more vividly than my own remarks upon it and deductions therefrom. So to say, the 'despoiled victim's' -- Mr. Kiddle's -- utterances came out as a high light, and were more sharply photographed (first, in the chela's brain, and thence on the paper before him, a double process, and one far more difficult than thought reading simply), while the rest, my remarks thereupon and arguments as I now find, are hardly visible and quite blurred on the original scraps before me. Put into a mesmeric subject's hand a sheet of bank paper, tell him it contains a certain chapter of some book that you have read, concentrate your thoughts upon the words, and see how, provided that he has himself not read the chapter, but only takes it from your memory, his reading will reflect your own more or less vivid successive recollections of your author's language. The same as to the precipitation by the chela of the transferred thought upon (or rather into) paper. If the mental picture received be feeble, his visible reproduction of it must correspond. And the more so in proportion to the closeness of attention he gives. He might -- were he but merely a person of the true mediumistic temperament -- be employed by his "Master" as a sort of psychic printing machine (producing lithographed or psychographed impressions of what the operator had in mind; his nerve system the machine, his nerve aura the printing fluid, the colors drawn from that exhaustless store-house of pigments (as of everything else) the akasa. But the medium and the chela are diametrically dissimilar, and the latter acts consciously, except under exceptional circumstances, during development not necessary to dwell upon here.

"Well, as soon as I heard of the change, the commotion among my defenders having reached me across the eternal snows, I ordered an investigation into the original scraps of the impression. At the first glance I saw that it was I the only and most guilty party, the poor boy having done but that which he was told. Having now restored the characters and the lines omitted and blurred beyond hope of recognition by anyone but their original evolver, to their primitive color and places, I now find my letter reading quite differently, as you will observe. Turning to the 'Occult World', the copy sent by you, to the page cited, I was struck, upon carefully reading it, by the great discrepancy between the sentences, a gap, so to say, of ideas between part 1 and part 2, the plagiarised portion so called. There seems no connection at all between the two; for what has indeed the determination of our chiefs (to prove to a sceptical world that physical phenomena are as reducible to law as anything else) to do with Plato's ideas which 'rule the world,' or 'Practical Brotherhood of Humanity.' I fear that it is your personal friendship alone for the writer that has blinded you to the discrepancy and disconnection of ideas in this abortive precipitation even until now. Otherwise you could not have failed to perceive that something was wrong on that page, that there was a glaring defect in the connection. Moreover, I have to plead guilty to another sin: I have never so much as looked at my letters in print, until the day of the forced investigation. I had read only your own original matter, feeling it a loss of time to go over my hurried bits and scraps of thought. But now I have to ask you to read the passages as they were originally dictated by me, and make the comparison with the 'Occult World' before you... I enclose the copy verbatim from the restored fragments, underlining in red the omitted sentences for easier comparison.

" ...Phenomenal elements previously unthought of... will disclose at last the secrets of their mysterious workings. Plato was right to readmit every element of speculation which Socrates had discarded. The problems of universal being are not unattainable, or worthless if attained. But the latter can be solved only by mastering those elements that are now looming on the horizons of the profane. Even the Spiritualists, with their mistaken, grotesquely perverted views and notions, are hazily realising the new situation. They prophecy -- and their prophecies are not always without a point of truth in them -- or intuitional prevision, so to say. Hear some of them reasserting the old, old axiom that 'ideas rule the world,' and as men's minds receive new ideas, laying aside the old and effete, the world will advance, mighty revolutions will spring from them; institutions, aye, and even creeds and powers, they may add, will crumble before their onward march, crushed by their own inherent force, not the irresistible force of the 'new ideas' offered by the Spiritualists. Yes, they are both right and wrong. It will be 'just as impossible to resist their influence when the time comes as to stay the progress of the tide -- to be sure. But what the Spiritualists fail to perceive, I see, and their spirits to explain (the latter knowing no more than what they can find in the brain of the former) is that all this will come gradually on, and that before it comes they, as well us ourselves, have all a duty to perform, a task set before us -- that of sweeping away as much as possible the dross left to us by our pious forefathers. New ideas have to be planted on clean places, for these ideas touch upon the most momentous subjects. It is not physical phenomena, or the agency called Spiritualism, but these universal ideas that we have precisely to study; the noumenon, not the phenomenon: for to comprehend the latter we have first to understand the former. They do touch man's true position in the universe, to be sure, but only in relation to his future not previous births. It is not physical phenomena, however wonderful, that can ever explain to man his origin, let alone his ultimate destiny, or as one of them expresses it, the relation of the mortal to the immortal, of the temporary to the eternal, of the finite to the infinite, etc. They talk very glibly of what they regard as new ideas, 'larger, more general, grander, more comprehensive,' and at the same time they recognise instead of the eternal reign of immutable law, the universal reign of law and the expression of a Divine will. Forgetful of their earlier beliefs, and that 'it repented the Lord that he had made man,' these would-be philosophers and reformers would impress upon their hearers that the expression of the said Divine will 'is unchanging and unchangeable, in regard to which there is only an Eternal Now, while to mortals [uninitiated] time is past or future as related to their finite existence on this material plane,' -- of which they know as little as of their spiritual spheres -- a speck of dirt they have made the latter, like our own earth, a future life that the true philosopher would rather avoid than court. But I dream with my eyes open. ...At all events, this is not any privileged teaching of their own. Most of these ideas are taken piecemeal from Plato and the Alexandrian philosophers. It is what we all study, and what many have solved, etc., etc.

"This is the true copy of the original document as now restored -- the 'Rosetta stone' of the Kiddle incident. And now, if you have understood my explanations about the process, as given in a few words further back, you need not ask me how it came to pass that, though somewhat disconnected, the sentences transcribed by the chela are mostly those that are now considered as plagiarised, while the missing links are precisely those phrases that would have shown the passages were simply reminiscences, if not quotations -- the keynote around which came grouping my own reflections on that morning. For the first time in my life I had paid a serious attention to the utterances of the poetical 'media' of the so-called 'inspirational' oratory of the English-American lecturers, its quality and limitations. I was struck with all this brilliant but empty verbiage, and recognised for the first time fully its pernicious intellectual tendency. It was their gross and unsavoury materialism, hiding clumsily under its shadowy spiritual veil, that attracted my thoughts at the time. While dictating the sentences quoted -- a small portion of the many I have been pondering over for some days -- it was those ideas that were thrown out in relief the most, leaving out my own parenthetical remarks to disappear in the precipitation."

I need only add a few words of apology to Mr. Kiddle for my accidental neglect of his original communication on this subject addressed to me in India. When his letter above quoted appeared in Light, I had no recollection whatever of having received any letter from him while in India; but within the last few months going over, in London, and sorting papers brought back en masse from India, I have turned up the forgotten note. While in India, and the editor of a daily newspaper, my correspondence was such that letters requiring no immediate action on my part would inevitably sometimes be put aside after a hasty glance, and would unfortunately sometimes escape attention afterwards. And after the appearance of this book, I received letters of inquiry of various kinds from all parts of the world, which I was too often prevented by other calls on my time from answering as I should have wished. With the tone and spirit in which Mr. Kiddle made his very natural inquiry I have no fault to find whatever, and if his subsequent letter to Light betrayed some disposition on his part to construct unfavourable hypotheses on the basis of the parallel passages, even this second letter would hardly in itself have justified some of the indignant protests ultimately published on the other side. The spiritualists pur sang, eager to seize on an incident which seemed to cast discredit on the Theosophical teachings by which their views had been so seriously compromised, were responsible for handling the 'Kiddle incident' in such a way as to provoke the vehement rejoinders of some Theosophical correspondents writing in the columns of Light and elsewhere. In consideration, however, of the explanations to which it has eventually given rise, and of the further insight thus afforded us into some interesting details connected with the methods under which an adept's correspondence may sometimes be conducted, the whole incident need not altogether be regretted.

The relations with the "Occult World" that I have been fortunate enough to establish have so greatly expanded during the few years that have elapsed since this volume was written that I must refer my readers to my second book, "Esoteric Buddhism," for an account of their later development. It may be worth while, however, as directly connected with the main purpose of this earlier narrative, to insert here some papers I wrote quite recently for submission to Theosophical audiences in London on the main question discussed in this volume, the existence and sources of knowledge at the command of the adepts. The evidence on this subject has long since overshadowed in its amplitude and completeness the preliminary testimony afforded by my own experiences in India. I summed up some of this later evidence on one of the occasions just referred to, as follows:

All persons who become interested in any of the teachings which have found their way out into the world through the intermediation of the Theosophical Society very soon turn to the sanctions on which those teachings rest.

Now the orthodox occult reply hitherto given to inquirers as to the authenticity of any small statements of occult science that have hitherto been put forth, has simply been this: "Ascertain for yourself." That is to say, lead the pure spiritual life, cultivate the inner faculties, and by degrees these will be awakened and developed to the extent of enabling you to probe Nature for yourself. But that advice is not of a kind which great numbers of people have ever been ready to take, and hence knowledge concerning the truths of occult science has remained in the hands of a few.

A new departure has now been taken. Certain proficients in occult science have broken through the old restrictions of their order, and have suddenly let out a flood of statements into the world, together with some information concerning the attributes and faculties they have themselves acquired, and by means of which they have learned what they now tell us.

It is very widely recognised that the teaching is interesting and coherent and even supported by analogies, but every new inquirer in turn must ask what assurance we can have that the persons from whom this teaching emanates are in a position to ascertain so much. Most people, I think, would be ready to admit that persons invested, as the Brothers of Theosophy are said to be invested with abnormal and extraordinary powers over Nature -- even in the departments of Nature with which we are familiar -- may very probably have faculties which enable them to obtain a deep insight into many of the generally hidden truths of Nature. But then come the primary question, "What assurance can you give us that there really are behind the few people who stand forward as the visible representatives of the Theosophical Society, any such persons as the Adept Brothers at all?" This is an old question which is always recurring, and which must go on recurring as long as newcomers continue to approach the threshold of the Theosophical Society. For many of us it has long been settled; for some new inquirers the existence of psychological Adepts seems so probable that the assurances of the leading representatives of the Society in India are readily accepted, but for others again, the existence of the Brothers must first be established by altogether plain and unequivocal evidence before it will seem worthwhile to pay attention to the report some of us make as to the specific doctrine they teach.

I propose, therefore, to go over the evidence on this main question, which certainly underlies any with which the Theosophical Society, so far as it is concerned with the Indian teaching, can be engaged. Of course, I am not going to trouble you with any repetition of particular incidents already described in published writings. What I propose to do is briefly to review the whole case as it now stands, very greatly enlarged and strengthened as it has been during the last two years. The evidence, to begin with, divides itself into two kinds. First, we have the general body of current belief, which in India goes to show that such persons as Mahatmas or Adepts are somewhere in existence; secondly, the specific evidence which shows that the leaders of the Theosophical Society are in relation with, and in the confidence of, such Adepts.

As to the general body of belief, it would hardly be too much to say that the whole mass of the sacred literature of India rests on belief in the existence of Adepts and a very widely-spread belief, covering great areas of space and time, can rarely be regarded as evolved from nothing -- as having had no basis of fact. But passing over the Mahabharata and the Puranas and all they tell us concerning Rishis or Adepts of ancient date, I may call your attention to a paper in the Theosophist of May 1882, on some relatively modern popular Indian books, recounting the lives of various "Sadhus," another word for saint, yogee, or Adept, who have lived within the last thousand years. In this article a list is given of over seventy such persons, whose memory is enshrined in a number of Marathi books, where the miracles they are said to have wrought are recorded. The historical value of their narratives may, of course, be disputed. I mention them merely as illustrations of the fact that belief in the persons having the power now ascribed to the Brothers is no new thing in India. And next we have the testimony of many modern writers concerning the very remarkable occult feats of Indian yogees and fakirs. Such people, of course, are immeasurably below the psychological rank of those whom we speak of as Brothers, but the faculties they possess, sometimes, will be enough to convince anyone who studies the evidence concerning them that living men can acquire powers and faculties commonly regarded as superhuman.

In Jaccolliot's books about his experiences in Benares and elsewhere, this subject is fully dealt with, and some facts connected with it have even forced their way into Anglo-Indian official records. The Report of an English resident at the court of Runjeet Singh describes how he was present at the burial of a yogee who was shut up in a vault, by his own consent, for a considerable period -- six weeks, I think, but I have not got the report at hand just now to quote in detail -- and emerged alive, at the end of that time, which he had spent in Samadhi or trance. Such a man would, of course be an "Adept" of a very inferior type, but the record of his achievements has the advantage of being very well authenticated as far as it goes. Again, up to within a few years ago, a very highly spiritualized ascetic and gifted seer was living at Agra, where he taught a group of disciples, and by their own statement has frequently reappeared amongst them since his death. This event itself was an effort of will accomplished at an appointed time. I have heard a good deal about him from one of his principal followers, a cultivated and highly respected native Government official, now living at Allahabad. His existence, and the fact that he possessed great psychological gifts, are quite beyond question.

Thus, in India, the fact that there are such people in the world as Adepts is hardly regarded as open to dispute. Most of those, of course, concerning whom one can obtain definite information, turn out on inquiry to be yogees of the inferior type, men who have trained their inner faculties to the extent of possessing various abnormal powers, and even insight into spiritual truths. But none the less do all inquiries after Adepts superior to them in attainments provoke the reply that certainly there are such, though they live in complete seclusion. The general vague, indefinite belief, in fact, paves the way to the inquiry with which we are more immediately concerned -- whether the leaders of the Theosophical Society are really in relation with some of the higher Adepts who do not habitually live amongst the community at large, nor make known the fact of their adeptship to any but their own regularly accepted pupils.

Now the evidence on this point divides itself as follows:

?? First, We have the primary evidence of witnesses who have personally seen certain of these Adepts, both in the flesh and out of the flesh, who have seen their powers exercised, and who have obtained certain knowledge as to their existence and attributes.

?? Secondly. The evidence of those who have seen them in the astral form, identifying them in various ways with the living men others have seen.

?? Thirdly. The testimony of those who have acquired circumstantial evidence as to their existence.
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Re: The Occult World, by A.P. Sinnett

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Part 2 of 2

Foremost among the witnesses of the first group stand Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott themselves. For those who see reason to trust Madame Blavatsky, her testimony is, of course, ample and precise, and altogether satisfactory. She has lived among the Adepts for many years. She has been in almost daily communication with them ever since. She has returned to them, and they have visited her in their natural bodies on several occasions since she emerged from Tibet after her own initiation. There is an intermediate alternative between the conclusion that her statements concerning the Brothers are broadly true, and the conclusion that she is what some American enemies have called her, "the champion impostor of the age." I am aware of the theory which some Spiritualists entertain to the effect that she may be a medium controlled by spirits whom she mistakes for living men, but this theory can only be held by people who are quite inattentive to nine-tenths of the statements she makes, not to speak yet of the testimony of others. How can she have lived under the roof of certain persons in Tibet for seven years and more, seeing them and their friends and relations going about the business of their daily lives, instructing her by slow degrees in the vast science to which she is devoted, and be in any doubt as to whether they are living men or spirits. The conjecture is absurd. She is either speaking falsely when she tells us that she has so lived among them, or the Adepts who taught her are living men. The Spiritualists hypothesis about her supposed "controls" is built upon the statement she makes, that the Adepts appear to her in the astral form when she is at a distance from them. If they had never appeared to her in any other form there would be room to argue the matter from the Spiritualists' point of view, or there might be, but for other circumstances again. But her astral visitors are identical in all respects with the men she has lived and studied amongst. At intervals, as I have said, she has been enabled to go back again and see them in the flesh. Her astral communication with them merely fills up the gap of her personal intercourse with them, which has extended over a long series of years. Her veracity may of course be challenged, though I think it can be shown that it is most unreasonable to challenge this, but we might as reasonably doubt the living reality of our nearest relations, of the people we live amongst most intimately, as suppose that Madame Blavatsky can be herself mistaken in describing the Brothers as living men. Either she must be right, or has consciously been weaving an enormous network of falsehood in all her writings, acts, and conversations for the last eight or nine years. And the plea that she may be a loose talker and given to exaggeration will no more meet the difficulty than the Spiritualists' hypothesis. Pare away as much as you like from the details of Madame Blavatsky's statement on account of possible exaggeration, and that which remains is a great solid block of residual statement which must be either true, or a structure of conscious falsehood. And even if Madame Blavatsky's testimony stood alone, we should have the wonderful fact of her self-sacrifice in the cause of Theosophy to make the hypothesis of her being a conscious impostor one of the most extravagant that could be entertained. At first, when we in India who specially became her friends pointed this out, people said, "But how do you know that she had anything to sacrifice? she may have been an adventurer from the beginning." We proved this conjecture as I have fully explained in my preface to the second edition of the "Occult World", and from some of the foremost people in Russia, her relations and affectionate friends, came abundant assurances of her personal identity. If she had not given up her life to Occultism she might have spent it in luxury among her own people, and in fact as a member of the aristocratic class.

Difficult as the hypothesis of her imposture thus becomes, we next find it in flagrant incompatibility with all the facts of Colonel Olcott's life. As undeniably as in the case of Madame Blavatsky, he has forsaken a life of worldly prosperity to lead the theosophical life, under circumstances of great physical self-denial, in India. And he also tells us that he has seen the Brothers, both in the flesh and in the astral form. By a long series of the most astounding thaumaturgic displays when he was first introduced to the subject in America, he was made acquainted with their powers. He has been visited at Bombay by the living man, his own special master, with whom he had first become acquainted by seeing him in the astral form in America. His life, for years, has been surrounded with the abnormal occurrences which Spiritualists again will sometimes conjecture -- so wildly -- to be Spiritualism, but which all hinge on to that continuous chain of relationship with the Brothers, which for Colonel Olcott has been partly a matter of occult phenomena, and partly a matter of waking intercourse between man and man. Again, in reference to Colonel Olcott, as in reference to Madame Blavatsky, I assert, fearlessly, that there is no compromises possible between the extravagant assumption that he is consciously lying in all he says about the Brothers, and the assumption that what he says establishes the existence of the Brothers as a broad fact, for remember that Colonel Olcott has now been a co-worker of Madame Blavatsky's and in constant intimate association with her for eight years. The notion that she has been able to deceive him all this while by fraudulent tricks, apart from its monstrosity in other ways, is too unreasonable to be entertained. Colonel Olcott, at all events, knows whether Madame Blavatsky is fraudulent or genuine, and he has given up his whole life to the service of the cause she represents in testimony of his conviction that she is genuine. Again the spiritualistic hypothesis comes into play. Madame Blavatsky may be a medium whose presence surrounds Colonel Olcott with phenomena, but then she is herself deceived by astral influences as to the true nature of the Brothers who are the head and front of the whole phenomenal display, and we have a!ready seen reason, I think, to reject that hypothesis as absurd. There is logical escape from the conclusion that things are broadly as she and Colonel Olcott say, or they are both conscious impostors, rival champions of the age in this respect, both sacrificing everything that worldly-minded people live for, to revel in this lifelong imposture which brings them nothing but hard living and hard words.

But the case for the authenticity of their statement, far from ending here, may in one sense be said to begin here. Our native Indian witnesses now come to the front. First, Damodar of whom the well known writer of "Hints on Esoteric Theosophy" speaks as follows in that pamphlet:

"You specially in a former letter referred to Damodar, and you asked how it could be believed that the Brothers would waste time with a half-educated slip of a boy like him, and yet absolutely refuse to visit and convince men like ------ and ------, Europeans of the highest education and marked abilities. But do you know that this slip of a boy has deliberately given up high caste, family and friends, and an ample fortune, all in pursuit of the truth. That he has for years lived that pure, unworldly self-denying life which we are told is essential to direct intercourse with the Brothers? 'Oh, a monomaniac,' you say; 'of course he sees anything and everything.' But do not you see whither this leads you? Men who do not lead the life do not obtain direct proof of the existence of the Brothers. A man does lead the life and avers that he has obtained such proof, and you straightaway call him a monomaniac, and refuse his testimony,.... quite a 'heads I win, tails you lose,' sort of position."

Damodar has seen some of the Brothers visit the headquarters of the Society in the flesh. He has repeatedly been visited by them in the astral shape. He has himself gone through certain initiations; he has acquired very considerable powers, for he has been rapidly developed as regards these, expressly that he might be an additional link of connection, independently of Madame Blavatsky, between the Brothers, his masters, and the Theosophical Society. The whole life he leads is impressive testimony to the fact that he also knows the reality of the Brothers. On another hypothesis we must include Damodar in the conscious imposture supposed to be carried on by Madame Blavatsky, for he has been her intimate associate and devoted assistant, sharing her meals, doing her work, living under her roof at Bombay for several years.

Shall we, then, rather than believe in the Brothers accept the hypothesis that Madame Blavatsky, Colonel Olcott, and Damodar are a band of conscious impostors? In that case Ramaswamy has to be accounted for. Ramaswamy is a very respectable, educated, English-speaking native of Southern India, in government service as a registrar of a court in Tinnevelly, I believe. I have met him several times. First, to indicate the course of his experience in a few words, -- he sees the astral form of Madame Blavatsky's Guru, at Bombay; then he gets clairaudient communication with him, while many hundred miles away from all the Theosophists, at his own home in the South of India. Then he travels in obedience to that voice to Darjeeling; then be plunges wildly into the Sikkim jungles in search of the Guru, whom he has reason to believe in that neighbourhood, and after various adventures meets him, -- the same man he has seen before in astral shape, the same man whose portrait Colonel Olcott has, and whom he has seen, the living speaker of the voice that has been leading him on from Southern India. He has a long interview with him, a waking, open-air, daylight interview, with a living man, and returns his devoted chela, as he is at this moment, and assuredly ever will be. Yet his master, who called him from Tinnevelly and received him in Sikkim, is of those who on the spiritualistic hypothesis are Madame Blavatsky's spirit controls.

Two more witnesses who personally know the Brothers next come to me at Simla, in the persons of two regular chelas who have been sent across the mountains on some business, and are ordered en passant to visit me and tell me about their master, my Adept correspondent. These men had just come, when I first saw them, from living with the Adepts. One of them, Dhabagiri Nath, visited me several days running, talked to me for hours about Koot Hoomi, with whom he had been living for ten years, and impressed me and one or two others who saw him as a very earnest, devoted, and trustworthy person. Later on, during his visit to India, he was associated with many striking occult phenomena directed to the satisfaction of native inquirers. He, of course, must be a false witness, invented to prop up Madame Blavatsky's vast imposture, if he is anything else than the chela of Koot Hoomi that he declares himself to be.

Another native, Mohini, soon after this, begins to get direct communication from Koot Hoomi independently altogether of Madame Blavatsky, and when hundreds of miles away from her. He also becomes a devoted adherent to the Theosophical cause; but Mohini must, as far as I am aware, be ranked in the second group of our witnesses, those who have had personal astral communication with the Brothers, but have not yet seen them in the flesh.

Bhavani Rao, a young native candidate for chelaship, who came once in company with Colonel Olcott, but at a time when Madame Blavatsky was in another part of India, to see me at Allahabad, and spent two nights under our roof there, is another witness who has had independent communication with Koot Hoomi, and more than that, who is able himself to act as a link of communication between Koot Hoomi and the outer world. For during the visit I speak of, he was enabled to pass a letter of mine to the master, to receive back his reply, to get off a second note of mine, and to receive back a little note of a few words in reply again. I do not mean that he did all this of his own power, but that his magnetism was such as to enable Koot Hoomi to do it through him. The experience is valuable because it affords a striking illustration of the fact that Madame Blavatsky is not an essential intermediary in the correspondence between myself and my revered friend. Other illustrations are afforded by the frequent passage of letters between Koot Hoomi and myself through the mediation of Damodar at Bombay, at a time when both Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott were away at Madras, travelling about on a Theosophical tour, in the course of which their presence at various places was constantly mentioned in the local papers. I was at AIlahabad, and I used, during that time, to send my letters for Koot Hoomi to Damodar at Bombay, and occasionally receive replies so promptly that it would have been impossible for these to have been furnished by Madame Blavatsky, then four or more days further from me in the course of post than Bombay.

In this way, my very voluminous correspondence is, demonstrably as regards portions of it, and therefore by irresistible inference as regards the whole, not the work of Madame Blavatsky, or Colonel Olcott, which, if the Brothers are not a reality, it must be. The correspondence is visible on paper, a considerable mass of it. How has it come into existence, reaching me at different places and times, and in different countries, and through different people? I do not quite understand what hypotheses can be framed by a nonbeliever in the Brothers about my correspondence. I can think of none which are not at once negatived by some of the facts about it.

It would be useless to copy out from statements that from time to time have been published in the Theosophist the names of native witnesses who have seen the astral forms of the Brothers -- spectral shapes which they were informed were such -- about the headquarters of the Society at Bombay. Quite a cloud of witnesses would testify to such experiences, and I myself, I may add, saw such an appearance on one occasion at the Society's present headquarters in Madras. But, of course, it might be suggested of such appearances that they were spiritualistic. On the other hand, in that case the argument travels back to the considerations already pointed out, which show that the occult phenomena surrounding Madame Blavatsky cannot be Spiritualism. They can be, in fact, nothing but what we who know her intimately and are now closely identified with the Society believe them to be with all conviction -- viz., manifestations of the abnormal psychological powers of those whom we speak of as the Brothers.

As I write, Colonel Olcott and Mr. Mohini Mohun Chatterjee, mentioned above, are in London on a short visit, and many people have heard from their own lips the verification of what I have here stated -- as far as it concerns them -- and a great deal more besides. For during his recent tour in Northern India, Colonel Olcott had an opportunity of meeting the Mahatma Koot Hoomi personally in the flesh, and thus identifying his previous "astral" visitor. At the same time that this meeting took place, Mr. W.T. Brown, a young Scotchman who has recently become a devoted adherent to the Theosophical cause, also saw the Mahatma, and Mr. Lane Fox, who has gone out to India to follow up the clue afforded by the Theosophical Society, has been in receipt in India, by abnormal methods, of correspondence from Koot Hoomi, while Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott have been in Europe. Taking into account, in fact, over and above the evidence collected in these pages, the abundant information connected with the adepts which has latterly been poured out through the pages of the Theosophist, the magazine of the Theosophical Society now published at Madras, the argument in the form in which it is here presented is really out of date. Anyone who may still think with Mr. Kiddle, if he remains of the opinion expressed in his letter to Light, that the allegations of my book concerning the existence of the adepts and the facts of adeptship still remain to be proved, must be inaccessible to the force of reason, or still unacquainted with the literature of the subject.

The second of the papers I wish to insert here, read like the first to a meeting of the Theosophists in London, dealt with the considerations which, after the existence of the Brothers is established, lead us to put confidence in the teaching they convey to us in regard to the origin and destinies of man and the whole problem of Nature. It is as follows:

Many people who approach the consideration of occult philosophy are inclined to lay great emphasis on the difference between believing in the existence of those whom we call "the Brothers," and believing in the vast and complicated body of teaching which has now been accumulated by their recent pupils. I think it can really be shown that there is no halting place at which a man who sets out on this enquiry can rationally pause and say, '"Thus far will I go, and no farther". The chain of considerations which will lead anyone who has once realised the existence of the Adepts to feel sure that there can be no great error in a conception of nature obtained with their help, consists of many links, but is really unbroken in its continuity, and equally capable of bearing a strain at any point.

It consists of many links, partly because no one at present among those who are in our position as students -- who are living, that is to say, an ordinary worldly life all the while that they are intellectually studying Occultism -- can ever obtain in his own person a complete knowledge of the Adepts. He cannot, that is to say, come to know of his own personal knowledge all about even any one Adept. The full elucidation of this difficulty leads to a proper comprehension of the principle on which the Adepts shroud themselves in a partial seclusion, a seclusion which has only become partial within a very recent period, and was so complete until then that the world at large was hardly aware of the existence of any esoteric knowledge from which it could be shut out. This is a matter that is all the more important because experience has shown how the world at large has been quick to take offence at the hesitating and imperfect manner in which the Adepts have hitherto dealt with those who have sought spiritual instruction at their hands. Judging the occult policy pursued by comparison with inquiries on the plane of physical knowledge, the impatience of inquirers is very natural, but none the less does even a limited acquaintance with the conditions of mystic research show the occult policy to be reasonable likewise.

Of course, everyone will admit that Adepts are justified in exercising great caution in regard to communicating any peculiar scientific knowledge which would put what are commonly called magical powers within the reach of persons not morally qualified for their exercise. But the considerations that prescribe this caution do not seem to operate also in reference to the communication of knowledge concerning the spiritual progress of man or the grander processes of evolution. And in truth the Adepts have come to that very conclusion; they have undertaken the communication to the general public of their safe theoretical knowledge, and the effort they are making merely hangs fire, or may seem to do so to some observers, by reason of the magnitude of the task in hand, and the novel aspect it wears, as well for the teachers as for the students. For remember, if there has been that change of policy on the part of the Adepts to which I have just referred, it has been a change of such recent origin that it may almost be described as only just coming on. And if the question be then asked, 'Why has this safe theoretical knowledge not been communicated sooner,' it seems reasonable to find a reply to that question in the actual state of the intellectual world around us at this moment. The freedom of thought of which English writers often boast is not very widely diffused over the world as yet; and hardly, at all events, in any generation before this, could the free promulgation of quite revolutionary tenets in religious matters have been safely undertaken in any country. Communities in which such an undertaking would still be fraught with peril are even now more numerous than those in which it could be set on foot with any practical advantage. One can thus readily understand how in the occult world the question has been one of debate up to our own time, whether it was desirable as yet to promote the dissemination of esoteric philosophy in the world at large at the risk of provoking the acrimonious controversies, and even more serious disturbances, liable to arise from the premature disclosure of truths which only a small minority would really be ready to accept. Keeping this in view, the mystery of the Adepts' reserve, up till recently, can hardly be thought so astounding as to drive us on violent alternative hypotheses at variance with all the plain evidence concerning their present action. There is manifest reason why they should be careful in launching a body of newly-won disciples on to their general stream of human progress; and added to this, the force of their own training is such as to make them habitually cautious to a far greater extent than the utmost prudence of ordinary life would render ordinary men. "But," it will be argued, "granting all this, but assuming, that at last some of the Adepts, at all events, have come to the conclusion that some of their knowledge is ripe for presentation to the world, why do they not present as much as they do present, under guarantees of a more striking, irresistible, and conclusive kind than those which have actually been furnished?" I think the answer may be easily drawn from the consideration of the way in which it would be natural to expect that a change of policy amongst the Adepts in a matter of this kind would gradually be introduced. By the hypothesis we conceive them but just coming to the conclusion that it is desirable to teach mankind at large some portions of that spiritual science hitherto conveyed exclusively to those who give tremendous pledges in justification of their claim to acquire it. They will naturally advance, in dealing with the world at large, along the same lines they have learned to trust in dealing with aspirants for regular initiation. Never in the history of the world have they sought out such aspirants, courted them or advertised for them in any way whatever. It has been found an invariable law of human progress that some small percentage of mankind will always come into the world invested by Nature with some of the attributes proper to adeptship, and with minds so constituted as to catch conviction as to the possibilities of the occult life, from the least little sparks of evidence on the subject that may be floating about. Of persons so constituted some have always been found to press forward into the ranks of chelaship, to resort, that is to say, to any devices or opportunities that circumstances may afford them for fathoming occult knowledge. When thus besieged by the aspirant the Adept has always, sooner or later, disclosed himself. The change of policy now introduced prescribes that the Adept shall make one step towards the disclosure of himself in advance of the aspirant's demand upon him, but we can easily understand how the Adept, in first making this change, would argue that if many chelas have hitherto come forward in the absence of any spontaneous action from his side, it might be that an almost dangerous rush of ill qualified aspirants would be invited by any manifestation from him that should be more than a very slight one. At any rate, the Adept would say it would be premature to begin by too sensational a display of faculties inherent in advanced spiritual knowledge with which the world at large is as yet unfamiliar. It will be better at first to make such an offer as will only be calculated to inflame the imagination of persons only one step removed beyond those whose natural instincts would lead them into the occult life. This appears actually to have been the reasoning on which the Adepts have proceeded so far, and this may help us to understand how it is that, as I began by saying, no one person amongst those outer students, who have been called lay-chelas, has yet been enabled to say that of his own personal knowledge he knows all about any of the Adepts.

On the other hand, putting together the various scattered revelations concerning the Brothers which have been distributed amongst various people in India belonging to the Theosophical Society, so much can be learned about the Adepts as to put us in a very strong position in regard to estimating their qualifications for speaking with confidence as they do about the actual facts of Nature on the superphysical plane. These scattered revelations -- if my reasoning in what has gone before may be accepted -- have been broken up and thrown about in fragments designedly, in order that as yet it should only be possible to arrive at a full conviction concerning Adeptship after a certain amount of trouble spent in piecing together the disjointed proofs. But when this process is accomplished we are provided with a certain block of knowledge concerning the Adepts, out of which large inferences must necessarily grow. We find, to begin with, that they do unequivocally possess the power of cognizing event and facts on the physical plane of knowledge with which we are familiar, by other means than those connected with the five senses. We find also that they unequivocally possess the power of emerging from their proper bodies and appearing at distant places in more or less ethereal counterparts thereof which are not only agencies for producing impressions on others but habitations for the time being of the Adepts' own thinking principles, and thus in themselves, if the proof went no further, demonstration of the fact that a human soul is something quite independent of brain matter and nerve centres. I do not stop now to enumerate instances. The record of evidence must be dissociated from its manipulation in arguments like the present, but the records are abundant and accessible for all who will take the trouble of examining them. Now, if we know that the Adept's soul can pass at his own discretion into that state in which its perceptive faculties are independent of corporeal machinery, it is not surprising that he should be enabled to make, of his own knowledge, a great many statements concerning processes of Nature, reaching far beyond any knowledge that can be obtained by mere physical observation. Take for example, the Adepts' statement that certain other planets besides this earth, are concerned with the growth of the great crop of humanity of which we form a part. This is not advanced as a conjecture or inference. The Adepts tell us that once out of the body they find they can cognize events on some other planets as well as in distant parts of our own. This is not the exceptional belief of an exceptional!y organised individual, who may be regarded by doubters as hallucinated; there is no room for doubting the fact that it is the concurrent testimony of a considerable body of men engaged in the constant experimental exercise of similar faculties. In this way the fact becomes as much a fact of true science, as the fact that the great nebula Orion, for instance, exhibits a gaseous spectrum, and is therefore a true nebula. All of us who have star spectroscope can ascertain that fact for ourselves, if we make use of a clear night when the conditions of observation are possible. To doubt it, would not be to show greater caution than is exercised by those who believe it, but merely an imperfect appreciation of the evidence. It is true that in regard to the condition of the other planets our acceptance of the Adepts' statement must be governed by our impressions concerning the bona fides of their intention in telling us that they have made such and such observations. So far it is a matter of inference with us whether the Adepts are saying what they believe to be true -- when they speak of the septenary chain of planets to which the earth belongs -- or consciously deluding us with a rigmarole of statements which they know to be false. I think it can be shown in a variety of ways, that the latter supposition is absurd. But an exhaustive examination of its absurdity would be a considerable task in itself. For the moment the position I am endeavouring to establish is one which does not depend upon the question whether the Adepts are telling us, in reference to the planets, what they know to be true, or something which they know to be untrue. My present position is that at all events the Adepts themselves know what is true in the matter, and that position, it will be observed, is not vitiated by the fact that, as yet, we, their most recent pupils, are unable to follow In their footsteps and repeat the experiments on which their teaching rests.

The same train of reasoning may be applied to the whole body of teaching which the Theosophical Society is now concerned in endeavouring to assimilate. As offered now to the uninitiated world, it can only take the form of a set of statement on authority. And that sort of statement is not one which is most agreeable to our methods or to the Adepts' habitual methods of teaching. For there is no chemical laboratory in England where the system of teaching Is more rigidly confined to the direction of the learner's own experiments, than that same system is adopted with occult chelas following the regular course of initiation. Step by step, as the regular chela is told that such and such is the fact in regard to the inner mysteries of Nature, he is shown how to apply his own developing faculties to the direct observation of such facts. But those developing faculties carry with them, as pointed out a while ago, fresh powers over Nature which can only be entrusted to those from whom the Adepts take the recognised pledges. In teaching outsiders as they are trying to do now, the Adepts must depart from their own habitual methods, -- we must depart, if we wish to understand what they are willing to teach, from our habitual methods of inquiry. We must suspend our usual demand for proof of each statement made, in turn as it is advanced. We must rest our provisional trust in each statement on our broad general conviction which can be satisfied along familiar lines of demonstration, -- that such men as the Adepts certainly exist, even though we cannot visit them at pleasure, that they must understand an enormous block of Nature's laws outside the range of those which the physical senses cognize, that in any statement they make to us they must be in a position to know absolutely whether that statement is or is not true.

This much fully realised, the truth is that each inquirer in turn becomes satisfied, pari passu with his realisation of the case so far, that reason revolts against the notion that the Adepts can be engaged in their present attempt to convey some of their own knowledge to the world at large in any other than the purest good faith. It may be concluded that we who have come to the conclusion that their teaching is altogether to be accepted, are rearing a large inverted pyramid upon a small base. But the logical strength of our position is not impaired by this objection. In every branch of human knowledge, inferences far transcend the observed facts out of which they grow. And even in the most exact science of all, a theorem is held to be proved if any alternative hypothesis is found, on examination, to be irrational. Moreover, the doctrine even of legal testimony recognises the value of secondary evidence where in the nature of the case it is impossible that primary evidence can be forthcoming. That is exactly the state of the case in regard to the present attempt to bridge the gulf that separates the school of physical research from the from the school of spiritual knowledge. As long as we of this side were justified in doubting whether there was anywhere on earth such a thing as a school of spiritual knowledge, it may have been hardly worth while to worry ourselves with the stray fragments of its teaching which now and then broke loose in barely intelligible shapes. But to doubt the existence of such a school now is equivalent, really to doubting the statement about the nebula in Orion, according to the illustration I adduced just now. It can only arise from inattention to the facts of the whole case as these now stand, from reluctance to take that trouble to examine these thoroughly, which still, as a sort of hedge, separates the Theosophical Society from the general community in the midst of which it is planted. Regarded in the light of an occult barrier, -- as an obstacle which corresponds, in the case of the lay-chela to the really serious ordeals which have to be crossed by the regular chela, -- the necessity of taking this trouble can hardly be regarded as a hedge that it is difficult to traverse. And on the other side there lies a wealth of information concerning the mysteries of Nature which clearly lights up vast regions of the past and future hitherto shrouded in total darkness for critical intelligences, and the prey for others of untrustworthy conjecture. For those who once thoroughly go into the matter, and obtain a complete mastery over all the considerations I have put forward, -- who thus obtain full conviction the Brothers certainly exist, that they must be acquainted with the actual facts about Nature behind and beyond this life, that they are now ready to convey a considerable block of their knowledge to us, and that it is ridiculous to distrust their bona fides in doing this, -- for all such true Theosophists of the Theosophical Society, nothing, at present, connected with spiritual success is comparable in importance with the study of the vast doctrine now in process of delivery into our hands.
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