1-1 Nirvana = the culmination of all knowledge & absolute wisdom
1-1 the curse known as the "struggle for life" which is the real and most
prolific parent of most woes & sorrows & all crimes no religion, with the
exception of Buddhism, has hitherto taught a practical contempt for this
earthly life. (the TS - a nucleate for a Brotherhood of Humanity)
1-2 Theosophy is the mother of every old religion, forsaken & repudiated
though she may now be by most of her ungrateful children.
1-3 A band of students of the Esoteric Doctrines, who would reap any profits
spiritually must be in perfect harmony & unity of thought. Each one
individually & collectively has to be `utterly unselfish`, kind an full of
goodwill towards each other at least; there must be no party spirit among the
band, no backbiting, no ill will, or envy or jealousy, contempt or anger.
... that true brotherly unity which moves a large body of men to act as a
single man & as endowed with one single heart & soul. ... the "Universal
Brotherhood" It will have to act in full harmony with the Parent Body &
promote the observation of perfect solidarity & unity of thought throughout
the entire Society.
1-4 Think you the truth has been shown to you for your sole advantage?
1-10 Selfishness & the want of self-sacrifice are the greatest impediments in
the path of Adeptship.
1-16 Your imperfect development has often made you ... to fancy your own
mind at work when it was mine trying to influence & talk with yours.
1-19 Let neither your personal predilections, affections, suspicions nor
antipathies affect your action.
1-19 (The SD) an epitome of occult truths that will make it a source of
information & instruction for the earnest student for long years to come.
1-20 to appreciate the difference between inner purity & "outer culture". ... a
festering mass of brutishness within a shell of decency. Learn to neither
condemn nor trust on appearances.
1-22 Be patient, content with little & --- `never ask for more`.
1-29 (= 2-2) To unlock the gates of the mystery you must not only lead a life
of the strictest probity, but learn to discriminate truth for falsehood.
1-31 Learn, child, `to catch a hint through whatever agency it may
1-33 Spiritual faculties demand instruction & regulation even more
than our mental gifts, for intellect imbibes wrong far more easily
1-34 You want a definition of `Spirit`: `Inflowing force` will
define it as well as any other term.
1-34 (the performance of ) duty alone leads to the development you
so crave for.
1-35 Divided nature - hesitates before acting.
1-36 The greatest consolation in & the foremost duty of life, child,
is not to give pain, & avoid causing suffering to man or beast.
1-43 "unaided nature"
1-45 (=2-68) Spheres of influence can be found everywhere. The
first object of the TS is philanthropy. The true Theosophist is a
philanthropist - "not for himself but for the world he lives" This,
and philosophy, the right comprehension of life & its mysteries,
will give the "necessary basis" and show the right path to pursue.
1-46 he who thinks the task of working for others too hard had
better not undertake it.
1-46 The moral & spiritual sufferings of the
world are more important & need help & cure more than science needs
aid from us in any field of discovery.
1-52 (plagiarism no problem)
1-56 Your sins? The greatest of them is your fathering upon your
God the task of purging you of them.
1-60 In our sight, there is no crime worse than ingratitude &
2-2 must learn to discriminate truth from falsehood. realise the
true significance of (that which is called) Karma. laying a
foundation which guards against conscious as well as unconscious
2-6 he struggles, hesitates & mistakes the whispering of fear for
the prophetic warning of his conscience - his Atma's voice.
Spiritualists, Christians, Skeptics
on which lie buried Nature's most mysterious secrets
the problems of Man's Nature & the mysteries of his heart
2-18 the means of benefiting humanity by the practical application
of Love, Mercy, Justice, Divine Charity & boundless self-abnegation.
2-23 LXXII It is as difficult to become a Buddha as to find the
flowers of Udumbara & Palaca along the highway.
"a recruiting camp for" students of philanthropy
2-27 by forcing circumstances to bow before you
2-51 it is the cause of Humanity, of true Religion, of education, of
enlightenment & spiritual elevation.
2-51 it needs missionaries, devotees, agents, even martyrs.
2-65 "to dare, to will, to act & remain silent"
2-68 has first of all to submit himself to be controlled
2-68 Philosophy = the right comprehension of life & its mysteries
2-72 You have offered yourself for the Red Cross; but, Sister, there
are sicknesses & wounds of the soul that no Surgeon's art can cure.
Shall you help us teach mankind that the soul-sick must heal
2-73 Mad. Coulomb is a medium & as such irresponsible for many things
she may say or do.
2-74 "would-be chelas" who deluding themselves into the idea that
they do `all` they can, remain motionless.
2-82 not based upon a common moral solidarity but only on constant
mutual counteraction & purely mechanical equilibrium of individual
powers & interests ...
2-82 the dark Powers of Might, Greed & Luck
2-82 either it is your religion that is impracticable, & in that
case it is no better than a vainglorious delusion, or it might
(contain) a practicable application, but it is you, yourselves, who
do not care to apply its ethics to your daily walk in life ...
2-82 `it is esoteric philosophy alone`, that, by revealing
fundamental truths, can finally lead to the alleviation of human
2-82 (theosophy's) followers have to set the example of a firmly
outlined ad as firmly applied morality before they get the right
to point out, even in a spirit of kindness, absence of a like ethic
Unity & singleness of purpose in other associations & individuals.
2-82 Ever turn away your gaze from the imperfection of your
neighbour & centre rather your attention upon your own short comings
in order to correct them & become wiser ... Show not the disparity
between claim and action in another man, but, whether he be brother
or neighbour, rather help him in his arduous walk in life. ... The
problem of true theosophy & its great mission is the working out of
clear, unequivocal conceptions of ethic ideas & duties which would
satisfy most & best the altruistic & right feeling in us; & the
modelling of those conceptions for their adaptation into such forms
of daily life where they may be applied with most equitableness.
extracts from the Maharma Letters to AP Sinnett
Letter No. 1 Oct 15 1880 KH to APS
p3 As for human nature in general, it is the same now as
it was a million of years ago: Prejudice based upon
selfishness; a general unwillingness to give up an
established order of things for new modes of life and
thought - and occult study requires all that and much
more -; pride and stubborn resistance to Truth if it but
upset their previous notions of things, - such are the
characteristics of your age, and especially of the middle
and lower classes.
p6 TRY - and first work upon the material you have and
then we will be the first to help you to get further
Letter No. 2 Oct 19 1880 KH to APS
p6 At no time have more than a scarcely appreciable
minority of men possessed nature's secret... The adept is
the rare efflorescence of a generation of enquirers; and to
become one, he must obey the inward impulse of his soul
irrespective of the prudential considerations of worldly
science or sagacity.
He who would lift up high the banner of mysticism and
proclaim its reign near at hand, must give the example to
others. He must be the first to change his modes of life;
and, regarding the study of the occult mysteries as the
upper step in the ladder of Knowledge must loudly
proclaim it such despite exact science and the opposition
p7-9 To our mind then, these motives, sincere and worthy
of every serious consideration from the worldly
standpoint, appear - selfish.
They are selfish because you must be aware that the chief
object of the TS is not so much to gratify individual
aspirations as to serve our fellow men; and the real value
of this term "selfish" which may jar upon your ear, has a
peculiar significance with us which it cannot have with
you; therefore, and to begin with, you must not accept it
otherwise than in the former sense.
Perhaps you will better appreciate our meaning when told
that in our view the highest aspirations for the welfare of
humanity become tainted with selfishness if, in the mind
of the philanthropist, there lurks the shadow of desire for
self benefit or a tendency to do injustice, even when they
exist unconsciously to himself.
...we invariably welcome the newcomer; only, instead of
going over to him he has to come to us. More than that;
unless he has reached that point in the path of occultism
from which return is impossible, by his having
irrevocably pledged himself to our association, we never -
except in cases of utmost moment - visit him or even
cross the threshold of his door in visible appearance.
Is any of you so eager for knowledge and the beneficent
powers it confers as to be ready to leave your world and
come into ours?
... supposing you were to abandon all for the truth; to toil
wearily for years up the hard steep road, not daunted by
obstacles, firm under every temptation; were to keep
faithfully within your heart the secrets entrusted to you as
a trial; had worked with all your energy and unselfishly to
spread the truth and provoke men to correct thinking and
a correct life...
Letter No. 4 Oct 29 1880 KH to APS
p17 Therefore, shall we not ask you to precipitately
change fixed habits of life, before the full conviction of
its necessity and advantage has possessed you.
The term "Universal Brotherhood" is no idle phrase. It is
the only secure foundation for universal morality. If it be
a dream, it is at least a noble one for mankind: and it is
the aspiration of the true adept.
Letter No. 28 autumn 1880 KH to AOH
p206 You will pardon me if I have to speak frankly and
sincerely of your long letter. However cogent its logic,
noble some of its ideas, ardent its aspiration, it yet lies
here before me as very mirror of that spirit of this age,
against which we have fought during our whole lives! At
best it is the unsuccessful endeavour of an acute intellect
trained in the ways of an exoteric world. I yet am
confident that some day you will confess that this last
letter of yours under the garb of a noble humility.. was
yet - no doubt quite unconsciously to yourself - a
monument of pride.
p207 ...if it has been constantly our wish to spread on the
Western Continent among the foremost educated classes
"Branches" of the T.S., as the harbingers of a Universal
Brotherhood it was not so in your case.
... this consent, you will bear in mind, was obtained solely
under the express and unalterable condition that the new
Society should be founded as a Branch of the Universal
p208 And this is also the reason why the British T.S.
does not progress one step practically. They are of the
Universal Brotherhood but in name, and gravitate at best
towards Quietism - that utter paralysis of the Soul. They
are intensely selfish in their aspirations.
p209 ...and that which you would never forgive in
yourself - the crime of deception - you try to make
yourself believe you can forgive in another person.
As man is a creature born with a free will and endowed
with reason, whence spring all his notions of right and
wrong, he does not per se represent any definite moral
p212 ...,-nor are we especially anxious to have anyone
work for us except with entire spontaneity. We want true
& unselfish hearts; fearless and confiding souls, and are
quite willing to leave the men of the "higher class' and far
higher intellects to grope their own way to the light.
p213 ...the philanthropy you Western thinkers boast of
(has) no character of universality. Since, in its empirical
nature this kind of philanthropy is like love, but
something accidental, exceptional, and like that has its
selfish preferences and affinities, it is necessarily unable
to warm all mankind with its beneficent rays. This, I
think, is the secret of the spiritual failure and unconscious
egotism of this age. And you, otherwise a good and wise
man, being unconsciously to yourself the type of its spirit,
are unable to understand our ideas upon the Society as a
Letter No. 5 Nov 26 1880 KH to APS
p20 His letter that you will soon read is, as I say to
himself, "a monument of pride and unconsciousness
selfishness". this is Hume. On whatever question he
touches his treatment is the same; a stubborn
determination to make everything fit his own foregone
conclusions or - sweep it away by a rush of ironical and
adverse criticism. Such a state of mind offers little
attraction, as you will understand, to any of us who might
be willing to come and help him.
No, I do not and never will "despise" any "feeling",
however it may clash with my own principles, when it is
expressed as frankly and openly as yours.
I will not tell you to give up this or that, for, unless you
exhibit beyond any doubt the presence in you of the
necessary germs it would be as useless as it would be
cruel. But I say - TRY. Do not despair.
Letter No. 6 Dec 10 1880 KH to APS (portion scrambled)
p23 A very, very excellent man our friend Mr. Hume, but
utterly unfit for moulding into an adept.
The truths and mysteries of occultism constitute, indeed,
a body of the highest spiritual importance, at once
profound and practical for the world at large. Yet, it is
not as a mere addition to the tangled mass of theory or
speculation in the world of science that they are being
given to you, but for their practical bearing on the
interests of mankind.
p24 The Chiefs want a "Brotherhood of Humanity", a real
Universal Fraternity started; an institution which would
make itself known throughout the world and arrest the
attention of the highest minds.
Letter No. 8 Feb 20 1881 KH to APS
p29-30 ...these three clumsy words - past, present and
concepts of the objective phases of the Subjective Whole,
they are about
as illadapted for the purpose as an axe for fine carving.
Oh, my poor,
disappointed friend, that you were already so far advanced
on The Path, that this simple transmission of ideas should
not be encumbered by the conditions of matter, the union
of your mind with ours - prevented by its induced
incapabilities! Such is unfortunately the inherited and
self-acquired grossness of the Western mind; and so
greatly have the very phrases expressive of modern
thoughts been developed in the line of practical
materialism, that it is now next to impossible either for
them to comprehend or for us to express in their own
language anything of that delicate seemingly ideal
machinery of the Occult Cosmos. To some little extent
that faculty can be acquired by the Europeans through
study and meditation but - that's all. And here is the bar
which has hitherto prevented a conviction of the
theosophical truths from gaining wider currency among
Western Nations; caused theosophical study to be cast
aside as useless and fantastic by Western philosophers.
p31 For sound, light and colours are the main factors in
forming these grades of Intelligences, these beings, of
whose very existence you have no conception, nor are
you allowed to believe in them - Atheists and Christians,
materialists and Spiritualists, all bringing forward their
respective arguments against such a belief - Science
objecting stronger than either of these to such a
...but - vera pro gratis - I Warn you.. the task you are so
bravely undertaking, that Missio in partibus infidelium - is
the most ungrateful, perhaps, of all tasks! .. do not forget
the words I once wrote to you of those who engage
themselves in the occult sciences; he who does it "must
either reach the goal or perish. Once fairly started on the
way to the great Knowledge, to doubt is to risk insanity;
to come to a dead stop is to fall; to recede is to tumble
backward, headlong into an abyss". Fear not, - if you are
sincere, and that you are - now. Are you as sure of
yourself, as to the future?
p32 ...yet few of us ... can so far enfranchise ourselves
from the influence of our earthly connection as to be
insusceptible in various degrees as to the higher pleasures,
emotions, and interests of the common run of humanity.
Until final emancipation reabsorbs the Ego, it must be
conscious of the purest sympathies called out by the
esthetic effects of high art, its tenderest cords respond to
the call of the holier and noble human attachments. Of
course, the greater the progress towards deliverance, the
less will be the case, until, to crown all, human and
purely individual personal feelings - blood-ties and
friendship, patriotism and race predilection - all will give
away, to become blended into one universal feeling, the
only true and holy, the only unselfish and Eternal one -
Love, an Immense Love for humanity - as a Whole! For it
is "Humanity" which is the great Orphan, the only
disinherited one upon this earth, my friend. And it is the
duty of every man who is capable of an unselfish impulse
to do something, however little, for its welfare.
p35 And lastly it will appear that the present tidal-wave
of phenomena, with its varied effects upon human thought
and feeling, made the revival of Theosophical enquiry an
indispensable necessity. The only problem to solve is the
practical one, of how best to promote the necessary study,
and give to the spiritualistic movement a needed upward
impulse. It is a good beginning to make the inherent
capabilities of the inner, living man better comprehended.
p36 Rather put it, that by the act of joining other
sympathisers in this organization (the TS) they are
stimulated to effort and incite each other to investigate.
Unity always gives strength: and since Occultism in our
days resembles a "Forlorn Hope", union and co-operation
are indispensable. Union does indeed imply a
concentration of vital and magnetic force against the
hostile currents of prejudice and fanaticism.
Letter No. 31 March 26 1881 KH to APS
p238 Believe me, there comes a moment in the life of an
adept, when the hardships he has passed through are a
thousandfold rewarded. In order to acquire further
knowledge, he has no more to go through a minute and
slow process of investigation and comparison of various
objects, but is accorded an instantaneous, implicit insight
into every first truth.
Letter No. 9 July 5 1881 KH to APS
p38 We must all be blindfolded before we can pass
onward; or else, we have to remain outside.
p39 He is a most charming, devoted friend; a profound
mystic; a generous, noble minded man, a gentleman ...
every inch of him; tried as gold; every requisite for a
student of occultism, but none for an adept, my good
p42 ... a man becomes rarely an adept without being born
a natural Seer.
Every form of filthy suggestion, of bewildering doubt, of
mad and shuddering fear is upon me ... I have not
wavered yet ... and their temptations are fainter...
p43 He must be tried... they would never have returned
had he successfully conquered them by asserting his own
independent WILL..... yet they did.
The process is one of development and the neophyte has
to go to the end. As long as he is subject to occasional
trance - he cannot be an adept. SM passes the two-thirds
of his life in Trance.
p49 Remembering thoughts are things - have tenacity,
coherence, and life, - that they are real entities - the rest
will become plain.
p51. And, if (the men of science) refuse to touch the
ill-shapen oyster-shell, insisting that there is not, nor
cannot by any precious pearl inside it, then shall we wash
once more our hands of any responsibility before
...to invite the elect of mankind to co-operate with him
and help in his turn enlighten superstitious man. ... until
that day of final triumph someone has to be sacrificed -
though we accept but voluntary victims.
Letter No. 49 Aug 5 1881 KH to APS
p278-280 The Occult Science is not one in which secrets
can be communicated of a sudden, by a written or even
verbal communication. If so, all the "Brothers" would
have to do, would be to publish a Hand-book of the art
which might be taught in schools as grammar is. The
truth is that till the neophyte attains to the condition
necessary for that degree of Illumination to which, and for
which, he is entitled and fitted, most if not all of the
Secrets are incommunicable. The illumination must come
from within. Till then no hocus pocus of incantations, or
mummery of appliances, no metaphysical lectures or
discussions, no self-imposed penance can give it. All
these are but means to an end, and all we can do is to
direct the use of such means as have been empirically
found by the experience off ages to conduce to the
required object. And this was and has been no secret for
thousands of years. Fasting, meditation, chastity of
thought, word, and deed; silence for certain periods of
time to enable nature herself to speak to him who comes
to her for information; government of the animal passions
and impulses; utter unselfishness of intention, ... have
been published as the means since the days of Plato and
Iamblicus in the West and since the far earlier times of
our Indian Rishis. How these must be complied with to
suit each individual temperament is of course a matter for
his own experiment and the watchful care of his tutor or
Such is in fact part of his course of discipline, and his
Guru or initiator can but assist him with his experience
and will power but can do no more until the last and
Supreme initiation. Let those who
really desire to learn abandon all and come to us, instead
of asking us to go to them. But how is this to be done in
your world, and atmosphere "Woke up sad on the
morning of the 18th." Did you? Well, well, patience, my
good brother, patience. Something has occurred, though
you have preserved no consciousness of the event. Only
what more can I do? How am I to give expression to
ideas for which you have as yet no language? The finer
and more susceptible heads get, like yourself, more than
others do, and even then when they get a little extra dose
it is lost for want of words and images to fix the floating
To give more knowledge to a man than he is yet fitted to
receive is a dangerous experiment. The sudden
communication of facts, so transcending the ordinary, is
in many instances fatal not only to the neophyte but to
those directly about him.
p281 The Tchang-chub (an adept who has, by the powers
of his knowledge and soul enlightenment, become exempt
from the curse of UNCONSCIOUS transmigration) -
may, at his will and desire, and instead of reincarnating
himself only after bodily death, do so, and repeatedly -
during his life if he chooses.
Letter No. 27 autumn 1881 KH to APS
p204 ...but, his loyal and faithful instincts will always
give him precedence and place him far above many a
man who remained chaste and virtuous only because he
never knew what temptation was.
For you have erred, individually and collectively, as will
be made apparent in a very near future; and the
management and success of the Society will prove as a
result far more difficult in your case, since none of you is
as ready to admit that he has done so, nor are you as
prepared as he is, to follow any advice offered you,
though in each case it is based on foresight of impending
Letter No. 29 October 1881 M to ?
p219 ...and he who is desirous to learn how to benefit
humanity, and believes himself able to read the characters
of other people, must begin first of all, to learn to know
himself, to appreciate his own character at its true value.
Had he hated her with the most bitter hatred, he could not
have tortured her foolishly sensitive nerves more
effectually than he has, while "still loving the dear old
woman." he has done so with those he loved best, and
unconsciously to himself, he will do so more than once in
the hereafter; and yet his first impulse will be always to
deny it, for he is indeed fully unconscious of the fact, the
extreme kindness of his heart being in such cases entirely
blinded and paralyzed by another feeling, which, if told
of, he will also deny.
p220 He is too highly intellectual to be conceited: he is
simply and unconsciously to himself the embodiment of
pride. This may throw light upon the fact why I refused
giving him during the short period of my instruction -
anything but half problems, hints and puzzles to solve for
(He) complains .. that we show a desire of sitting upon
him. It is (he) who (again unconsciously and yielding but
to a life-long habit) tried that most uncomfortable posture
with my brother in every letter he wrote.
p224 Please realize the fact that so long as men doubt
there will be curiosity and enquiry, and that enquiry
stimulates reflection which begets effort.
Letter No. 134 Nov 4 1881 M to APS
p455 It is useless for a member to argue 'I am one of a
pure life, I am a teetotaller and an abstainer from meat
and vice. All my aspirations are for good etc.' and he, at
the same time, building by his acts and deeds an
impassable barrier on the road between himself and us.
There are 100 of thousands of Fakirs, Sannyasis and
Sadhus leading the most pure lives, and yet being as they
are, on the path of error, never having had an opportunity
to meet, see or even hear of us.
Sinnett and Hume are exceptions. Their beliefs are no
barrier to us for they have none. They may have had
influences around them, bad magnetic emanations the
result of drink, Society and promiscuous physical
associations (resulting even from shaking hands with
impure men) but all this is physical and material
impediments which with a little effort we could counteract
and even clear away without much detriment to ourselves.
Not so with the magnetism and invisible results
proceeding from erroneous and sincere beliefs. Faith in
the Gods and God, and other superstitions attracts
millions of foreign influences, living entities and powerful
agents around them, with which we would have to use
more than ordinary exercise of power to drive them away.
We do not choose to do so.
Letter No. 40 Nov 1881 (Feb 1882) M to APS
p251-2 (SR) - a truly good man - yet a devotee of
another error. Not his
guru's voice - his own. The voice of a pure, unselfish,
earnest soul, absorbed in misguided, misdirected
mysticism. (SR) is the chief medium and at the same time
the principal magnetic factor, who spreads his disease by
infection - unconsciously to himself; who inoculates with
his vision all the other disciples. No harm and much
instruction may come to you by joining his Society. Learn
and study. They say and affirm that the one and only God
of the Universe was incarnated in their guru. But they are
idolators, my friend. Their guru was no initiate, only a
man of extraordinary purity of life and powers of
Letter No. 38 Dec 10 1881 (Feb 1882) M to APS
p248 I say then that it is the vilification and abuse of the
founders, the general misconception of the aims and
objects of the Society that paralyses its progress - nothing
else. There's no want of definitiveness in these objects
were they but properly explained. The members would
have plenty to do were they to pursue reality with half the
fervour they do mirage.
It is he alone who has the love of humanity at heart, who
is capable of grasping thoroughly the idea of a
regenerating practical Brotherhood who is entitled to the
possession of our secrets. A man who places not the good
of mankind above his own good is not worthy of
becoming our chela - he is not worthy of becoming
higher in knowledge than his neighbour.
Letter No. 37 Jan 1882 Dd to APS
p246 Though you may have read in the modern works on
mesmerism how that which we call "Will-Essence" - and
you "fluid" - is transmitted from the operator to his
objective point, you perhaps scarcely realize how
everyone is practically, albeit unconsciously,
demonstrating this law every day and every moment. Nor,
can you quite realize how the training for adeptship
increases both one's capacity to emit and to feel this form
I am also to tell you that in a certain Mr Bennett, you
may recognise one, who is one of our agents (unknown to
himself) to carry out the scheme for the enfranchisement
of Western thoughts from superstitious creeds.
(Mr H) chooses to do but what suits his personal fancy
without any regard whatever to the feelings of other
people. His present work also - a pyramid of intellectual
energy misspent - are all calculated but to exonerate
himself only. Master regrets to find in him the same spirit
of utter, unconscious, selfishness with no view to the
good of the Cause he represents.
Will you kindly see to it? Master thinks you can do it as
well as (Mr H) if you but tried, as the metaphysical
faculty in you is only dormant but would fully develop
were you but to awake it to its full action by constant use.
Letter No. 43 Jan a (Feb) 1882 M to APS
p255-6 You must thoroughly put aside the personal
element if you would get on with occult study. Realize,
my friend, that the social affections have little, if any,
control over any true adept in the performance of his
duty. In proportion as he rises towards perfect adeptship
the fancies and antipathies of his former self are
weakened: he takes all mankind into his heart and regards
them in the mass.
p258 Knowledge for the mind, like food for the body, is
intended to feed and help to growth, but it requires to be
well digested and the more thoroughly and slowly the
process is carried out the better both for body and mind.
Letter No. 42 Jan b 1882 (Feb) M to APS
p254 The pathway through earth-life leads through many
conflicts and trials, but he who does naught to conquer
them can expect no triumph. Let then the anticipation of
... inspire you with patience to wait for, perseverance to
press on to, and full preparation to receive the blissful
consummation of all your desires.
Letter No. 45 Feb 1882 KH to APS
p261 ...but what you do not know is the great harm
produced by your own unconscious indiscretions. Shall I
give you an instance?
Letter No. 47 3rd March 1882 M to APS
p268 She is forbidden to say what she knows. Nay - she
is ordered in cases of need to mislead people.
Letter No. 48 March 3rd 1882 KH to APS
p273-4 Neglect then, not, my good Brother, the humble,
the derided Journal of your Society, and mind not either
its quaint, pretentious cover, nor the "heaps of manure"
contained in it. But let your attention be rather drawn to
the few pearls of wisdom and occult truths to be
occasionally discovered under that "manure".
So, with the poor old Journal. Behold, its mystically
bumptious clothing!, its numerous blemishes and literary
Yourself, some fine morning, while poring over its
crooked columns with the sharpened wits of a well rested
brain, peering into what you now view as hazy,
impalpable speculations, having only the consistency of
vapour, - yourself you may, perchance, perceive in them
the unexpected solution of an old, blurred, forgotten
"dream" of yours, which once recalled will impress itself
in an indelible image upon your outer from your inner
memory, to never fade from it again. All this is possible
and may happen; for our ways are the ways of "Madmen"
. . .
p275 On close observation, you will find that it was never
the intention of the Occultists really to conceal what they
had been writing from the earnest determined students,
but rather to lock up their information for safety-sake,
in a secure safe-box, the key to which is - intuition. The
degree of diligence and zeal with which the hidden
meaning is sought by the student, is generally the test -
how far he is entitled to the possession of the so buried
LMW1st Letter No. 18 KH to HSO April 5th 1884
"There have always been in that quarter latent
potentialities of destructive as well as of a constructive
nature, and the best interests of our movement required
the bringing of all to the surface. ... Those who have been
so perplexed and puzzled over our policy as regards the
London Lodge will understand its necessity better when
they become better acquainted with the very occult art of
drawing out the hidden capacities and propensities of
beginners in occult study." p42/43
LMW1st Letter No. 12 KH April 14 1882
"Degrade not truth by forcing it upon unwilling minds.
Seek not to secure help from those whose hearts are not
patriotic enough to selfishly work for the good of their
LMW1st Letter No. 42 M to a member May 1882
"He has to infuse into the new branch the spirit of
independent Theosophical Research, to make the members
begin their work as though the Founders were no longer
living persons, and the burden of continuing this
movement rested entirely upon their shoulders." p94
LMW1st Letter No. 43 M to a member May 1882
"A constant sense of abject dependence upon a Deity
which he regards as the sole source of power makes a
man lose all self-reliance and the spurs to activity and
initiative." ... "Your sins? The greatest of them is your
fathering upon your God the task of purging you of them.
This is no creditable piety, but an indolent and selfish
Letter No. 18 June 1882 KH to APS
p118 "Isis" was not unveiled but rents sufficiently large
were made to afford flitting glances to be completed by
the student's own intuition. In this curry of quotations
from various philosophic and esoteric truths purposely
veiled, behold our doctrine, which is now being partially
taught to Europeans for the first time.
Occult Science .. allows not a shadow of self-indulgence.
p119 It was then an easy matter for the creatures in
following E's unconscious desire to attract other
disintegrated particles ......
Letter No. 11 June 30 1882 KH to AOH
p63 Modern science is our best ally. However, you will
have to bear in mind (a) that we recognize but one
element in Nature (whether spiritual or physical) outside
which there can be no Nature since it is Nature itself
(as the sum total of everything), and which as the Akasa
pervades our solar system, every atom being part of itself,
pervades throughout space and is space in fact, which
pulsates as in profound sleep during the pralayas, ....
p64 The recognition of the higher phases of man's being
on this planet is not to be attained by mere acquirement
of knowledge. Volumes of the most perfectly constructed
information cannot reveal to man life in the higher
regions. One has to get a knowledge of spiritual facts by
personal experience and from actual observation.
Men seek after knowledge until they weary themselves to
death, but even they do not feel very impatient to help
their neighbour with their knowledge;
...hence my sincere thanks to you and desire to urge your
attention to such a course as shall aid a true progression
and achieve wider results by turning your knowledge into
a permanent teaching in the form of articles and
But for the attainment of your proposed object, viz., for
a clearer comprehension of the extremely abstruse and at
first incomprehensible theories of our occult doctrine,
never allow the serenity of your mind to be disturbed
during your hours of literary labour., nor before you set to
work. It is upon the serene and placid surface of the
unruffled mind that the visions gathered from the invisible
find representations in the visible world. Otherwise you
would vainly seek those visions, those flashes of sudden
light which have already helped to solve so many of the
minor problems and which alone can bring the truth
before the eye of the soul.
p65 It was never done to any one of us, for the iron rule
is that what powers one gets he must himself acquire.
And when acquired and ready for use the powers lie
dumb and dormant in their potentiality... and only then
does it become easy to wind up the key and set them in
Yet every earnestly disposed man may acquire such
powers practically. That is the finality of it; there are no
more distinctions of persons in this than there are as to
whom the sun shall shine upon or the air give vitality to.
There are the powers of all nature before you; take what
Letter No. 15 July 10 1882 KH to AOH
p89 Yes, as described in my letter - there is but one
element and it is impossible to comprehend our system
before a correct conception of it is firmly fixed in one's
mind. ...unless this great primary fact is firmly grasped
the rest will appear unintelligible. This element then is the
- so to speak metaphysically - one sub-stratum or
permanent cause of all manifestations in the phenomenal
p95 The one element not only fills space and is space, but
interpenetrates every atom of cosmic matter.
Letter No. 16 July 1882 KH to APS
p98 Its divine Udumbara flower casts a root in the
shadow of every earth, and blossoms for all those who
p107 ... you can do nothing better than to study the two
doctrines - of Karma and Nirvana - as profoundly as you
can. Unless you are thoroughly well acquainted with the
two tenets - the double key to the metaphysics of
Abhidharma - you will always find yourself at sea trying
to comprehend the rest. We have several sorts of Karma
and Nirvana .. (they) are but two of the seven great
MYSTERIES of Buddhist metaphysics..
p111 it is curious that H.P.B. when subjecting poor Mr.
Hume's brain to torture with her muddled explanations,
never thought - until receiving the explanation from
himself of the difference that exists between individuality
and personality - that it was the very same doctrine she
had been taught: that of Pacceka-Yana, and of
Amata-Yana... many personal entities blended in one
(1) The Pacceka Yana -(in Sanskrit "Pratyeka") means
literally the "personal
vehicle" or personal Ego, a combination of the five lower
(2) The Amata-Yana - (in Sanskrit "Amrita") is
translated "the immortal vehicle," or the Individuality, the
Spiritual Soul, or the Immortal monad - a combination of
the fifth, sixth and seventh.
Letter No. 20C July 1882 KH to APS?
p124 ... nothing in short, outside of that immortal feeling
of love and sympathetic attraction whose seeds are
planted in the fifth , whose plants blossom luxuriantly in
and around the fourth, but whose roots have to penetrate
deep into the sixth principle, if it would survive the lower
p127 X It is certainly inconceivable; therefore , there is
no mortal use to discuss the subject. The potency for evil
is a great in man - aye - greater - than the potentiality for
p128 We tell you what we know, for we are made to
learn it through personal experience.
Letter No. 30 August 1882 KH to AOH
p228 The chela is at perfect liberty, and often quite
justified from the standpoint of appearances - to suspect
his Guru of being "a fraud". More than that: the greater,
the sincerer his indignation - whether expressed in words
or boiling in his heart - the more fit he is, the better
qualified to become an adept.
He .. will not be held to account for using the most
abusive words and expressions regarding his guru's
actions and orders, provided he comes out victorious from
the fiery ordeal; provided he resists all and every
temptation; rejects every allurement, and proves that
nothing, not even the promise of that which he holds
dearer than life, of that most precious boon, his future
adeptship - is able to make him deviate from the path of
truth and honesty, or force him to become a deceiver. we
.. allow our chelas to be temporarily deceived, to afford
them means never to be deceived hereafter, and to see the
whole evil of falsity and untruth, not alone in this but in
many of their after lives.
p229 ...with the sole object of drawing out the whole
inner nature of the chela, most of the nooks and corners
of which would remain dark and concealed for ever, were
not an opportunity afforded to test each of these corners
in turn. Whether the chela wins or loses the prize -
depends solely on himself.
p232 you have repeatedly offered yourself as a chela, and
the first duty of one is to hear without anger or malice
anything which the guru may say.
p233 ...to have him tested, tempted and examined by all
and every means, so as to have his real nature drawn out.
This is a rule with us as inexorable as it is disgusting in
your Western sight. It is not enough to know thoroughly
what the chela is capable of doing or not doing at the
time and under the circumstances during the period of
probation. We have to know of what he may become
capable under different and every kind of opportunities.
p234 He was, is, and will be tempted to do all manner of
He may imagine and say what he likes, but that you
should allow yourself to be so carried away with a
prejudice the existence of which you are not even
prepared to admit, is surpassingly strange!
...and she told him -"Work for the cause; try to enquire
and search and so to obtain every evidence you can of the
existence of the Brothers."
What Morya knows of this .. he alone knows and even I
will never interfere in his ways of training, however
distasteful they may be to me personally.
Letter No. 53 Aug 1882 KH to APS
p292 No one has ever attempted a deliberate deception,
nor would anyone be permitted to attempt anything of the
sort. Everything was made to follow its natural, ordinary
course. (F) is in the hands of two clever dwellers of the
threshold kept by us to draw out the latent vices - if there
be any - from the candidates.
p294 ...they tempt him, and lead him to imagine that in
doing no injury to any human being and when the motive
is good every action becomes legal!! I was thus tempted
in my youth, and had nearly succumbed twice to the
temptation, but was saved by my uncle from falling into
the monstrous snare; and so was the Illustrious; and so
would be any one of you had I consented to accept you
for chelas. But I was aware from the first that there was
something supremely revolting to the better class of
European minds in that idea of being tested, of being
Letter No. 21 Aug 22 1882 KH to APS
p132 Bear always in mind that there are exceptions to
every rule, and to these again and other side exceptions,
and be always prepared to learn something new.
p133 Accustomed as we are to teach chelas who know
enough to find themselves beyond the necessity of "if's"
and "but's" during the lessons -
Letter No. 52 Autumn 1882 KH to APS
p284 he is an actor, who enacts a part for his own
benefit, regardless of the pleasure or displeasure of his
audience, though when the latter is manifested to the
slightest degree, he turns round, concealing admirably his
rage and hisses and spits internally.
p285 And is it because she obeyed our orders, and wrote,
purposely veiling some of her facts (when she wrote Isis
Letter No. 32 autumn 1882KH to APS
yourself deduce but too readily from incompleteness
The novelty or inexplicable aspect of any asserted fact in
our science is not a sufficient reason for setting it
immediately down as a contradiction.
Letter No. 10 Sept 1882 KH to AOH
p55 Intelligence requires the necessity of thinking; to
think one must have
ideas; ideas suppose senses which are physical material,
and how can anything material belong to pure spirit? If it
be objected that thought cannot be a property of matter,
we will ask the reason why?
p57 Evil is the exaggeration of good, the progeny of
human selfishness and greediness. ...it is neither nature
nor an imaginary Deity that has to be blamed, but human
nature made vile by selfishness. Think well over these
few words; work out every cause of evil you can think of
and trace it to its origin and you will have solved
one-third of the problem of evil. ...the greatest, the chief
cause of nearly two-thirds of the evils that pursue
humanity ever since that cause became a power. It is
religion under whatever form and in whatsoever nation. It
is the sacerdotal class, the priesthood and the churches; it
is in those illusions that man looks upon as sacred, that he
has to search out the source of that multitude of evils
which is the great curse of humanity and that almost
overwhelms mankind. Ignorance created Gods and
cunning took advantage of the opportunity. It is priestly
imposture that rendered these Gods so terrible to man; it
is religion that makes of him the selfish bigot, the fanatic
that hates all mankind out of his own sect without
rendering him any better or moral or it. It is belief in God
and Gods that makes two-thirds of humanity the slaves of
a handful of those who deceive them under the false
pretence of saving them. ... cutting each others throats in
the names of and for the greater glory of their respective
myths. Remember the sum of human misery will never be
diminished unto that day when the better portion of
humanity destroys in the name of Truth, morality, and
universal charity, the altars of their false gods.
Letter No. 46 autumn 1882 M to APS
p265 ...- we
claim the right to know our own business best.
Letter No. 22 October 1882 KH to AOH
p133-134 Did it ever strike you, ...did you ever suspect
that Universal, like finite, human mind might have two
attributes, or a dual power - one the voluntary and
conscious, and the other the involuntary and unconscious
or the mechanical power? To reconcile the difficulty of
many theistic and anti-theistic propositions, both these
powers are a philosophical necessity.
The possibility of the first or the voluntary and conscious
attribute in reference to the infinite mind, notwithstanding
the assertions of all the Egos throughout the living world
- will remain for ever a mere hypothesis, whereas in the
finite mind it is a scientific and demonstrate fact. The
highest Planetary Spirit is as ignorant of the first as we
are, and the hypothesis will remain one even in Nirvana,
as it is a mere inferential possibility, whether there or
Man has two distinct physical brains; the cerebrum ... the
source of the voluntary nerves; and the cerebellum ... the
fountain of the involuntary nerves which are the agents of
the unconscious or mechanical powers of the mind to act
Contrary in that to the finite, the "infinite mind", which
we name so but for agreement sake, for we call it the
infinite FORCE - exhibits but the function of its
cerebellum, the existence of its supposed cerebrum being
admitted as above stated, but on the inferential hypothesis
deduced from the Kabalistic theory (correct in every other
relation) of the Macrocosm being the prototype of the
So far as we know ... so far as the highest Planetary
Spirits have ascertained (who, remember will have the
same relations with the trans-
cosmical world, penetrating beyond the primitive veil of
cosmic matter as we have to go behind the veil of this,
our brute physical world) the infinite mind displays to
them as to us no more than the regular unconscious
throbbings of the eternal and universal pulse of Nature,
throughout the myriads of worlds within as without the
primitive veil of our solar system.
p135 It is the peculiar faculty of the involuntary power of
the infinite mind - which no one could ever think of
calling God - to be eternally evolving subjective matter
into objective atoms (you will please remember that the
two adjectives are used but in a relative sense) or cosmic
matter to be later on developed into form. And it is
likewise that same involuntary mechanical power that we
see so intensely active in all the fixed laws of nature -
which governs and controls what is called the Universe or
the Cosmos. There are some modern philosophers who
would prove the existence of a Creator from motion. We
say and affirm that that motion - the universal perpetual
motion which never ceases, never slackens nor increases
its speed, not even during the interludes between the
pralayas, or "nights of Brahma", but goes on like a mill
set in motion whether it has anything to grind or not (for
the pralaya means the temporary loss of every form, but
by no means the destruction of cosmic matter which is
eternal) - we say this perpetual motion is the only eternal
and uncreated Deity we are able to recognise.
p136 Meanwhile we may say that it is motion that
governs the laws of nature; Study the laws and doctrines
of the Nepaulese Swabhavikas, the principal Buddhist
philosophical school in India.. Their plastic, invisible,
eternal, omnipresent and unconscious Swabhavat is Force
or Motion ever generating its electricity which is life.
Yes; there is a force as limitless as thought, as potent as
boundless will, as subtle as the essence of life, so
inconceivably awful in its rending force as to convulse the
universe to its centre were it but used as a lever, but this
Force is not God, since there are men who have learned
the secret of subjecting it to their will when necessary.
p137 But do you think that you are right when saying that
"the laws arise?" Immutable laws cannot arise, since they
are eternal and uncreated.
p138 The difficulty of explaining the fact that
"unintelligent Forces can give rise to highly intelligent
being like ourselves", is covered by the eternal
progression of cycles, and the process of evolution ever
perfecting its work as it goes along.
The conception of matter and spirit as entirely distinct,
and both eternal, could certainly never have entered my
head... for it is one of the elementary and fundamental
doctrines of Occultism that the two are one, and are
distinct but in their respective manifestations, and only in
the limited perceptions of the world of senses. ...our
doctrines show but one principle in nature - spirit-matter
or matter-spirit. In the book of Kiu-te, Spirit is called the
ultimate sublimation of matter,
and matter the crystallization of spirit.
p139 For the life of me I cannot make out how I could
ever impart to you that which I know since the very
A.B.C. of what I know, the rock upon which the secrets
of the occult universe, whether on this or that side of the
veil, are encrusted, is contradicted by you invariably and
p139-140 You say it matters nothing whether these laws
are the expression of the will of an intelligent conscious
God, as you think, or constitute the inevitable attributes of
an unintelligent, unconscious "God", as I hold. I say, it
matters everything... I tell you plainly you are unfit to
learn, for your mind is too full, and there is not a corner
vacant from whence a previous occupant would not arise,
to struggle with and drive away the newcomer.
The world of force is the world of Occultism and the
only one whither the highest initiate goes to probe the
secrets of being.
p141 I have at least shown you that we build our
philosophy upon experiment and deduction. Learn first
our laws and educate your perceptions. Control your
involuntary powers and develop in the right direction your
will and you will become a teacher instead of a learner. I
would not refuse what I have a right to teach. Only I had
to study for fifteen years before I came to the doctrine of
cycles and had to learn simpler things at first.
Letter No. 54 October 1882 KH to APS
p300 The quality of wisdom ever was, and will be yet for
a long time - to the very close of the fifth race - denied to
him who seeks the wealth of the mind for its own sake,
and for its own enjoyment and result without the
secondary purpose of turning it to account in the
attainment of material benefits.
p305-6 You are thoroughly unacquainted with our system,
and could I succeed in making it clear to you, ten to one
your "better feelings" - the feelings of a European -
would be ruffled, if not worse, with such a "shocking"
discipline. The fact is, that to the last and supreme
initiation every chela - (and even some adepts) - is left to
his own device and counsel. We have to fight our own
battles, and the familiar adage -"the adept becomes, he is
not made" is true to the letter. Since every one of us is
the creator and producer of the causes that lead to such
or some other results, we have to reap but what we have
sown. ... Thus, step by step, and after a series of
punishments, is the chela taught by bitter experience to
suppress and guide his impulses; he loses his rashness, his
self-sufficiency and never falls into the same errors.
I must remind you of that which you so heartily hate;
namely, that no one comes in contact with us, no one
shows a desire to know more of us, but has to submit to
being tested and being put by us on probation. Thus,
CCM could no more than any other escape his fate. He
has been tempted and allowed to be deceived by
appearances, and to fall but too easily a prey to his
weakness - suspicion and lack of self-confidence. In short,
he is found wanting in the first element of success in a
candidate - unshaken faith, once that his conviction rests
upon, and has taken root in knowledge, not simple belief
in certain facts.
p309 Of course she is utterly unfit for a true adept: her
nature is too passionately affectionate and we have no
right to indulge in personal attachments and feelings.
p310 I am now going to approach once more a subject,
good friend, I know is very repulsive to your mind, for
you have told and written so repeatedly.
(CCM, Hood & SM) were all tried and tested in various
ways, and not one of them came up to the desired mark.
You may say that such a secret way of testing people is
dishonest; that we ought to have warned him, etc. A
man's character, his true inner nature can never be
thoroughly drawn out if he believes himself watched, or
strives for an object. Besides, Col. O. had never made a
secret of that way of ours, and all the Bsh. theosophists
ought to - if they did not - know that their body was,
since we had sanctioned it, under a regular probation.
p311-2 Oh, the poor, trusting, credulous nature! Take
away from her her clairvoyant powers; plug up in a
certain direction her intuitions - as in duty bound was
done by M. - and what remains? A helpless,
Take another case, that of Fern. His development, as
occurring under your eye, affords you a useful study and
a hint as to even more serious methods adopted in
individual cases to thoroughly test the latent moral
qualities of the man. Every human being contains within
himself vast potentialities, and it is the duty of the adepts
to surround the would-be chela with circumstances which
shall enable him to take the "right-hand path'" - if he have
the ability in him. We are no more at liberty to withhold
the chance from a postulant than we are to guide and
direct him in the proper course. At best, we can only
show him - after his probation period was successfully
terminated - that if he does this he will go right; if the
But until he has passed that period, we leave him to fight
out his battles as best he may; and have to do so
occasionally with higher and initiated chelas such as
HPB, once they are allowed to work in the world, that all
of us more or less avoid. More than that - and you better
learn it at once, if my previous letters to you about Fern
have not sufficiently opened your eyes - we allow our
candidates to be tempted in a thousand various ways, so
as to draw out the whole of their inner nature and allow it
the chance of remaining conqueror either one way or the
other. We were all so tested. The victor's crown is only
for him who proves himself worthy to wear it; for him
who attacks Mara single handed and conquers the demon
of lust and earthly passions. It was not a meaningless
phrase of the Tathagata that "he who masters Self is
greater than he who conquers thousands in battle": there
is no such other difficult struggle. If it were not so,
adeptship would be but a cheap acquirement.
p312-3 We have a reform in head. (CC imagines) that
theosophy is hostile to Christianity; whereas it is but
impartial, and whatever the personal views of the two
Founders, the journal of the Society has nothing to do
with them, and will publish as willingly criticism directed
against Lamaism as against Christianism.
p313-4 What do you think of the idea of placing the
Branches on quite a
different footing? Let them be all chartered and initiated
as heretofore by the Parent Society, and depend upon it
nominally. At the same time, let every Branch before it is
chartered, choose some one object to work for, an object,
naturally, in sympathy with the general principle of the
TS - yet a distinct and definite object of its own, whether
in the religious, educational or philosophical line. ...more
real, useful work would be done. There must be no more
disappointment in members once they have joined. Every
Branch has to choose its well defined mission to work
for. Solidarity of thought and action within the broad
outline of the chief and general principles of the Society
there must always be between the Parent and Branch
bodies; yet the latter must be allowed each their own
independent action in everything that does not clash with
p315 M. thinks that the Supplement ought to be enlarged
if necessary, and made to furnish room for the expression
of thought of every Branch, however diametrically
opposed these may be. The Theosophist ought to be made
a distinct colour and become a unique specimen of its
own. We are ready to furnish the necessary extra funds
for it. You ask what you can do? Nothing better or more
efficient than the proposed plan.
Letter No. 23A Oct 1882 KH to APS
p141-2 There is nothing "improper" - certainly in such a
curiosity. Only would it not be still more proper to study
our own present personality before attempting to learn
anything of its creator, predecessor, and fashioner - the
man that was? ... a simple sketch, and a hint or two to
test your intuitional powers.
Letter No. 23B Probably Oct 1882 KH to APS
p149-50 ... many a true hypothesis was timidly brought
forward by their own scientific men and as constantly
rejected by the majority with whose preconceptions it
interfered. ... Whenever discovered that "it is verily so",
the discovery will be attributed to him who corroborated
the evidence - as in the case of Copernicus and Galileo,
the latter having availed himself but of the Pythagorean
p155-6 (Life) can never be grasped so long as it is
studied separately and
apart from universal life. To solve the great problem one
has to become an occultist; ...under whatever form or
mask motion may appear, whether as light, heat,
magnetism, chemical affinity or electricity - all these must
be but phases of One and the same universal omnipotent
Force ... and (which) we, simply call the "one Life", the
"One Law" and the "One Element."
LMW Letter No. 31 KH near March 1884
"Can I bring them from exoteric religion to esoteric?
Not the work of a day nor of a few years. India has been
going down for thousands of years. She must take equally
long for her regeneration. The duty of the philanthropist is
to work with the tide and assist the onward impulse. ...the
aim of the philanthropist should be the spiritual
enlightenment of his fellow-men, and whoever works
unselfishly to that goal necessarily puts himself in
magnetic communication with our chelas and ourselves."
LMW1st Letter No. 33 KH to a member
"The moral and spiritual sufferings of the world are
more important and need help and cure more than science
needs aid from us in any field of discovery." p77
Letter No. 57 6-1-83 KH to APS
p325 And it will be no news though it may disgust and
shock you, to learn that the two were brought into the
closest relationship in order to bring out their mutual
virtues and defects - each to shine in his own true light.
Such are the laws of Eastern probation. Fern was a most
remarkable psychic subject, naturally very spiritually
inclined, but corrupted by (), and with his 6th and 7th
Principles completely dormant and paralysed within him.
No idea of right and wrong whatever; in short -
irresponsible for anything but the direct and voluntary
actions of the animal man. I would not have burdened
myself with such a subject knowing beforehand that he
was sure to fail. M. consented, for the chiefs have so
wished it; and he deemed it useful and good to show to
you the moral stamina and worth of him whom you
regarded and called a friend.
p330 ...for what he did had my approval, since it was a
necessary part of a preconceived plan to bring out -
besides Mr H.'s true nature, - .. ultimate good.
Letter No. 25 Feb 2nd 1883 KH to APS
p197 Personality is the synonym for limitation, and the
a person's ideas, the closer will he cling to the lower
spheres of being, the longer loiter on the plane of selfish
social intercourse.... When you realize at least the
following - that the skandhas are the elements of limited
Letter No. 67 March 1883 KH to HSO
p365 Few men know their inherent capacities - only the
ordeal of crude chelaship develops them. (Remember
these words: they have a deep meaning.)
Letter No. 59 July 1883 KH to APS
p336 TRY. You know our motto, and that its practical
application has erased the word "impossible' from the
occultist's vocabulary. If he wearies not of trying, he may
discover that most noble of all facts, his true SELF. But
he will have to penetrate many strata before he comes to
Once separated from the influences of Society, nothing
draws us to any outsider save his evolving spirituality. He
may be a Bacon or an Aristotle in knowledge, and still
not even make his current felt a feather's weight by us, if
his power is confined to the Manas. The supreme energy
resides in the Buddhi; latent - when wedded to Atman
alone, active and irresistible when galvanised by the
essence of "Manas" and when none of the dross of the
latter commingles with that pure essence to weigh it down
by its finite nature. Manas, pure and simple, is of a lower
degree, and of the earth earthly: and so your greatest men
count but as nonentities in the arena where greatness is
measured by the standard of spiritual development.
HSO has been trying to convert each of the Indian
Branches into such a school of research, but the capacity
for sustained independent study for knowledge's sake is
lacking, and must be developed.
p337 The hair in it is in itself but an "accumulator" of the
energy of him who grew it, and can no more cure of
itself than stored electricity can turn a wheel until
liberated and conducted to the objective point.
Yet hopeless as their cases may be, it would appear well
worth the trouble of testing the intuitions of your London
members - of some of them, at any rate - by half
expounding one or two mysteries and leaving them to
complete the chain themselves.
p340 Does your BTS know the meaning of the white and
black interlaced triangles, of the Parent Society's seal?
p342 As our Pondichery chela significantly says, neither
you nor any other man across the threshold has had or
ever will have the "complete theory" of Evolution taught
him; or get it unless he guesses it for himself. If anyone
can unravel it from such tangled threads as are given him,
very well; and a fine proof it would indeed be of his or
her spiritual insight.
p342-3 The rest could not be called mistakes - rather
incomplete explanations. Yet, all things considered, they
are few and trivial... it will be pleasant for you to know
that every one of them, however now seeming to you
contradictory, can be easily reconciled with facts.
The trouble is that you cannot be given the real figures
and difference in the Rounds, and that you do not open
doors enough for explorers. At all events Try. "Nothing
was ever lost by trying." You share with all beginners the
tendency to draw too absolutely strong inferences from
partly caught hints, and to dogmatize thereupon as though
the last word had been spoken. You may misunderstand
us, are more than likely to do so, for our language must
always be more or less that of parable and suggestion,
when treading upon forbidden ground; we have our own
peculiar modes of expression and what lies behind the
fence of words
is even more important than what you read. But still -
LMW1st Letter No. 9 KH end 1883
"Chelaship unveils the inner man and draws forth the
dormant vices as well as the dormant virtue." But
remember, he who is not as pure as a young child better
leave chelaship alone."
LMW1st Letter No. 24 KH to a Chela end 1883 p59
"If you would recover the lost ground do two things:
make the amplest, most generous reparation ... and to the
good of mankind devote your energies ... Try to fill each
day's measure with pure thoughts, wise words, kindly
LMW1st Letter No. 22 KH to WT Brown Dec 17th 1883
"then you have material to appeal to any intellect
capable of perceiving the continuous thread underneath
the series of your facts. For the benefit of such people
only you have to write, not for those who are unwilling to
part with their prejudices and preconceptions for the
attainment of truth from whatever source it may come. It
is not our desire to convince the latter, for no explanation
can make a blind man see." p56/57
LMW1st Letter No. 10 KH to MM Chatterjee
"Selfishness and the want of self-sacrifice are the
greatest impediments on the path of adeptship." p32
LMW1st Letter No. 11 KH to MM Chatterjee
"My chelas must never doubt, nor suspect, nor injure
our agents by foul thoughts." p32
LMW1st Letter No. 6 KH to PP Nath Jan 1884
"The later a man begins the living of a higher life, the
longer must be his period of probation, for he has to undo
the effects of a long number of years spent in objects
diametrically opposed to the real goal. ... If his aspiration
is genuine - a settled conviction and not a sentimental
flash of the moment - he transfers from one body to
another the determination which finally leads him to the
attainment of his desire." p26
Letter No. 85 Jan 1884KH to Members of the LL
p392-3 Nor is it a matter of the slightest consequence
whether the gifted President of the "London Lodge"
Theos. Soc. entertains feelings of reverence or disrespect
toward the humble and unknown individuals at the head
of the Tibetan Good Law, but rather a question whether
the said lady is fitted for the purpose we have all at heart,
namely the dissemination of TRUTH through Esoteric
doctrines, conveyed by whatever religious channel, and
the effacement of crass materialism and blind prejudices
and skepticism. As the lady has rightly observed, the
Western public should understand the Theosophical
Society to be "a Philosophical School constituted on the
ancient Hermetic basis" - that public having never heard
of the Tibetan, and entertaining very perverted notions of
the Esoteric Buddhist System...we would remind our
members of the "LL" in this reference, that Hermetic
Philosophy is universal and unsectarian, while the Tibetan
School will ever be regarded by those who know little, if
anything of it, as coloured more or less with sectarianism.
The former knowing neither caste, not colour, nor creed,
no lover of Esoteric wisdom can have any objection to
the name, which otherwise he might feel, were the
Society to which he belongs to be placarded with a
specific denomination pertaining to a distinct religion.
Hermetic Philosophy suits every creed and philosophy and
clashes with none.
There are even at the present moment three centres of
the Occult Brotherhood in existence, widely separated
geographically, and as widely exoterically - the true
esoteric doctrine being identical in substance though
differing in terms; all aiming at the same grand object,
but no two agreeing seemingly in the details of procedure.
The only object to be striven for is the melioration of the
condition of MAN by the spread of truth suited to the
various stages of his development and that of the country
he inhabits and belongs to. TRUTH ...does not suffer
from the name under which it is promulgated - if the said
object is attained.
Letter No. 87 Jan (Feb) 1884 KH to LL
p402 The experience of the Parent Society proves that the
usefulness of a Branch very largely, if not entirely,
depends upon the loyalty, discretion and zeal of its
President and Secretary; however much their colleagues
may do to assist them, the efficient activity of their group
develops proportionately with that of those officers.
p403 However natural such sensational surprises may be
in politics when parties are composed of devotees whose
souls rejoice in party intrigue, they are very painful to
witness in an association of persons who profess to give
themselves up to the most solemn questions affecting
LMW1st Letter No. 27 KH to DKM 27 Feb 1884
"As Mr. Sinnett rightly says in his Esoteric Buddhism,
the higher spiritual progress must be accompanied by
intellectual development on a parallel line. Make the best
of the present favourable opportunity to improve yourself
intellectually while developing your intuitions. p62
Letter No. 62 18-7-84 KH to APS
p345-6 And duty, let me tell you, is for us stronger than
any friendship or even love; as without this abiding
principle which is the indestructible cement that has held
together for so many millenniums, the scattered
custodians of nature's grand secrets - our Brotherhood,
nay, our doctrine itself - would have crumbled long ago
into unrecognisable atoms. Unfortunately, however great
your purely human intellect, your spiritual intuitions are
dim and hazy, having been never developed. Hence,
whenever you find yourself confronted by an apparent
contradiction, by a difficulty, a kind of inconsistency of
occult nature, one that is caused by our time honoured
laws and regulations - (of which you know nothing, for
your time has not yet come) - forthwith your doubts
are aroused, your suspicions bud out - and one finds that
they have made mock at your better nature, which is
finally crushed down by all these deceptive appearances
of outward things! You have not the faith required to
allow your Will to arouse itself in defiance and contempt
against your purely worldly intellect, and give you a
better understanding of things hidden and laws unknown.
You are unable, I see, to force your better aspirations ...
to lift up the head against cold, spiritually blind reason; to
allow your heart to pronounce loudly and proclaim that
which it has hitherto only been allowed to whisper:"
Patience, patience. A great design has never been
snatched at once."
You were told, however, that the path to Occult Sciences
has to be trodden laboriously and crossed at the danger of
life; that every new step in it leading to the final goal is
surrounded by pit-falls and cruel thorns; that the pilgrim
who ventures upon it is made first to confront and
conquer the thousand and one furies who keep watch over
its adamantine gates and entrance - furies called Doubt,
Skepticism, Scorn, Ridicule, Envy and finally Temptation
- especially the latter; and that he who would see beyond
had to first destroy this living wall; that he must be
possessed of a heart and soul clad in steel, and of iron,
never failing determination and yet be meek and gentle,
humble and have shut from his heart every human
passion, that leads to evil. Are you all this? Have you
ever begun a course of training which would lead to it?
p349 Verily "suspicion overturns, what confidence
builds"! And if, on the one hand, you have some reasons
to quote Bacon against us, and say that "there is nothing
that makes a man suspect much, more than to know
little'" on the other hand you ought also to remember that
our Knowledge and Science cannot be pursued altogether
on the Baconian methods. We are not permitted - come
what may - to offer it as a remedy against, or to cure
people from suspicion. They have to earn it for
themselves, and he who will not find our truths in his
soul and within himself - has poor chances of success in
Occultism. It is certainly not suspicion that will mend the
situation for it is - " . . a heavy armour, and with its own
weight impedes more than it protects."
p350 It is all as it should be. If, throwing aside every
preconceived idea, you could TRY and impress yourself
with this profound truth that intellect is not all powerful
by itself; that to become " a mover of mountains" it has
first to receive life and light from its higher principle -
Spirit, and then would fix your eyes upon everything
occult, spiritually trying to develop the faculty according
to the rules, then you would soon read the mystery right.
Letter No. 63 Summer 1884 KH to APS
p351 ...to put before the world all the materials in (those)
old letters, in which, I confess, much was purposely made
obscure, would only be making confusion worst
Letter No. 60 Sept 1884 KH to APS
p343 Know, then, that even the chelas of the same guru
are often made to separate and keep apart for long months
while the process of development is going on - simply on
account of the two contrary magnetisms that, attracting
each other, prevent mutual and INDIVIDUALIZED
development in some one direction.
Letter No. 55 October 1884 KH to APS
p317 And now, friend, you have completed one of your
minor cycles; have suffered, struggled, triumphed.
Tempted, you have not failed, weak you have gained
strength, and the hard nature of the lot and ordeal of
every aspirant after occult knowledge is now better
comprehended by you, no doubt.
p319 If you would go on with your occult studies and
literary work - then learn to be loyal to the Idea, rather
than to my poor self. When something is to be done never
think whether I wish it, before acting: I wish everything
that can, in great or small degree, push on this agitation.
You have seen by the Kiddle incident - perchance
allowed to develop to its bitter end for a purpose - that
even an "adept" when acting in his body is not beyond
mistakes due to human carelessness. There is always that
danger if one has neglected to ascertain whether the
words and sentences rushing into the mind have come all
from within or whether some may have been impressed
Letter No. 66 Oct 10 1884 KH to APS
p361 It would not be the part of a friend to withhold the
truth when the speaking of it can do good, so I must tell
you that you ought to put a close watch upon yourself.
Insensibly to yourself you are encouraging a tendency to
dogmatism and unjust misconception of persons and
Beware then, of an uncharitable spirit, for it will rise up
like a hungry wolf in your path, and devour the better
qualities of your nature which have been springing into
life. Broaden instead of narrowing your sympathies; try to
identify yourself with your fellows, rather than to contract
your circle of affinity. However caused, a crisis is here,
and it is a time for the utmost practicable expansion of
your moral power.
Your forget that he who approaches our precincts even in
thought, is drawn into the vortex of probation. Pride and
"dignified contempt" will not help you in the present
There is such a thing - when understood allegorically - as
treasures guarded by faithful gnomes and fiends. The
treasure is our occult knowledge that many of you are
after ...(you yourself may have awakened the guardians.)
Such books as the Occult World and Esoteric Buddhism
do not pass unnoticed under the eyes of these faithful
guardians, and it is absolutely necessary that those who
would have that knowledge should be thoroughly tried
p364 HSO and HPB ... have that in them which we have
too rarely found elsewhere - UNSELFISHNESS, and an
eager readiness for self-sacrifice for the good of others;
what a "multitude of sins" does not this cover! It is but a
truism, yet I say it, that in adversity alone can we
discover the real man. It is true (brotherhood) when one
boldly accepts one's share of the collective Karma of the
group one works with, and does not permit oneself to be
embittered, and to see others in blacker colours than
reality, or to throw all blame upon some one "black
sheep", a victim, specially selected. Such a one is
sublimely unselfish; he sinks his personality in his cause,
and takes no heed of discomforts or personal obloquy
unjustly fastened upon him. One who would have higher
instruction given to him has to be a true theosophist in
heart and soul,
not merely in appearance.
LMW1st No. 7 KH to CWL 31st Oct 1884
"To accept any man as a chela does not depend on my
personal will. It can be only the result of one's personal
merit and exertions in that direction.
Force any one of the "Masters" you may happen to
choose; do good works in his name and for the love of
mankind; be pure and resolute in the path of
righteousness (as laid out in our rules); be honest and
unselfish; forget your Self but to remember the good of
other people - and you will have forced that "Master" to
accept you. ... He who would shorten the years of
probation has to make sacrifices for theosophy. ...
'difficulty, abnegation, martyrdom, death are the
allurements that act' during the hours of trial on the heart
of a true chela. ... Chelaship is an educational as well as a
probationary stage, and the chela alone can determine
whether it shall end in adeptship or failure. Chelas from a
mistaken idea of our system too often watch and wait for
orders, wasting precious time which should be taken up
with personal effort. Our cause needs missionaries,
devotees, agents, even martyrs, perhaps." p28-30
Letter No. 64. Nov 1884 KH to APS
p352 How few of the many pilgrims who have to start
without chart or compass on that shoreless Ocean of
Occultism reach the wished for land. ... its waves will
carry one no longer on waves of hope, but will turn every
ripple into doubt and suspicion; and bitter shall they prove
to him who starts on that dismal, tossing sea of the
Unknown, with a prejudiced mind!
p353-5 ...try to study more seriously the laws that govern
our "Occult World". I grant you, those laws do seem very often
unjust, even at times cruel. But this is due to the fact that they
were never meant either for the immediate redress of wrongs, or the
direct help of those who offer at random their allegiance to the
Still, the seemingly real, the evanescent and quick passing
evils they bring about are as necessary to the growth,
progress and final establishment of your small Th. Society
as those cataclysms in nature, which often decimate whole
populations, are necessary to mankind. Say rather, then, to
yourself "whatever happened, there can be no cause for
regret". It was absolutely necessary that within the
personal experience of those few staunch members the
secret working of Karma should take place; that its deeper
meaning should be practically illustrated (as also its
effects) - on those self-opinionated volunteers and
candidates for chelaship who will rush under the dark
shadow of her wheels. ...unless possessed of spiritual, as
well as of physical unselfishness a chela whether selected
or not, must perish, as a chela in the long run. Self
personality, vanity and conceit harboured in the higher
principles are enormously more dangerous than the same
defects inherent only in the lower physical nature of man.
They are the breakers against which the cause of
chelaship, in its probationary stage, is sure to be dashed
to pieces unless the would-be disciple carries with him
the white shield of perfect confidence and trust. The mass
of human sin and frailty is distributed throughout the life
of a man who is content to remain an average mortal. It
is gathered in and centred, so to say, within one period of
the life of a chela - the period of probation. That which is
generally accumulating to find its legitimate issue only in
the next rebirth of an ordinary man, is quickened and
fanned into existence in the chela - especially in the
presumptuous and selfish candidate who rushes in without
having calculated his forces. ...there are persons, who,
without ever showing any external signs of selfishness,
are intensely selfish in their inner spiritual aspirations.
These will follow the path once chosen by them with their
eyes closed to the interests of all but themselves, and see
nothing outside the narrow pathway filled with their own
personality. They are so intensely absorbed in the
contemplation of their own supposed "righteousness" that
nothing can ever appear right to them outside the focus of
their own vision distorted by their self-complacent
contemplation, and their judgement of the right and
wrong. The poor woman is naturally good and moral; but
that very purity is of so narrow a kind...as to be unable to
see itself reflected in any other but her own Self. She
alone is good and pure. All others must and shall be
suspected. Much as remains unexplained, the little you
may have gathered from this letter will serve its purpose.
It will start your thoughts in a new direction and will
have unveiled another corner in the domain of
If you would learn and acquire Occult Knowledge, you
have, my friend, to remember that such tuition opens in
the stream of chelaship many an unforeseen channel to
whose current even a "lay" chelas must perforce yield, or
else strand upon the shoals; and knowing this to abstain
for-ever judging on mere appearance. The ice is broken
once more. Profit by it if you may.
LMW1st Holloway Letters from KH likely 1884
"Now, the lake in the mountain heights of your being is
one day a tossing waste of waters, as the gust of caprice
or temper sweeps through your soul; the next a mirror as
they subside and peace reigns in the 'house of life'.
...Chelaship admits none of these transitions; its prime and
constant qualification is a calm, even, contemplative state
of mind, fitted to receive psychic impressions from
without, and to transmit one's own from within. The mind
can be made to work with electric swiftness in a high
excitement; but the Buddhi - never. To its clear region,
calm must ever reign. ... You cannot acquire psychic
power until the causes of psychic debility are removed.
You have scarcely learned the elements of self-control in
psychism; your vivid creative imagination evokes illusive
creatures, coined the instant before in the mint of your
mind, unknown to yourself. As yet you have not acquired
the exact method of detecting the false from the true,
since you have not yet comprehended the doctrine of
"How can you know the real from the unreal, the true
from the false? Only by self-development. How get that?
By first carefully yourself against the causes of
"Learn, child, to catch a hint through whatever
agency it may be given." Try to realize that in occultism
one can neither go back nor stop. An abyss opens behind
every step taken forward." p150
"The ... foremost duty of life is not to give pain ..."
LMW1st Letter X KH to HPB re Laura C Holloway
"If she has not learnt yet the fundamental principle in
occultism that every idle word is recorded as well as one
full of occult meaning, she ought to be told as much,
before being allowed to take one step further."
"' I am not a chela', she keeps on saying, ignorant of
having pledged herself as one unconsciously and when
out of the body." p156
LMW1st Letter No. 20 KH to F. Arundale likely 1884
"Mrs H., ... by placing so constantly her personality
over and above her inner and better Self - tho' she knows
it not - she has done all she could for the last week to
sever herself from us for ever. Yet so pure and genuine
she is that I am ready to leave a chink in the door she
slams unconsciously to herself into her own face, and
await for the entire awakening of that honest nature
whenever that time comes. She is without artifice or
malice, entirely truthful and sincere, yet at times quite
false to herself." p49
"Padshah and Mohini ... have both set themselves
voluntarily apart from worldly Society Eastern and
Western for a specific object;... there are rules of conduct
controlling chelas which cannot be departed from in the
slightest degree." p50
" She (mother of FA) is unconsciously doing herself
harm - great harm by not curbing her temper. " p51
"... do not let selfishness penetrate into your ranks, for
it is [un]selfishness alone that throws open all the doors
and windows of the inner Tabernacle and leaves them
" the Path is never closed; but in proportion to one's
previous errors so is it harder to find and tread." p52
"You have much to unlearn. The narrow prejudices of
your people bind you more than you suspect. They make
you intolerant, as last night, of the petty offenses of
others against your artificial standards of propriety, and
disposed to lose sight of essentials.
You are not yet able to appreciate the difference between
inner purity and "'outer culture'." p53
LMW1st Letter No. 4 1884 KH to F. Arundale
"It is not enough that you should set the example of a
pure virtuous life and a tolerant spirit; this is but negative
goodness - and for chelaship will never do. You should
even as a simple member, much more as an officer, learn
that you may teach, acquire spiritual knowledge and
strength that the work may lean upon you, and the
sorrowing victims of ignorance learn from you the cause
and remedy of their pain." p16/17 "However,
candidates should be taught, and old members always
recollect, that this is a serious affair the Society is
engaged in; and that they should begin the work as
seriously by making their own lives theosophical." p18
"Time enough to discuss the terms of chelaship when
the aspirant has digested what has already been given out,
and has mastered his most palpable vices and
"A movement calculated to benefit an
English-speaking world" ... (referring to the LL). If they
do their whole duty, the progress of materialism, the
increase of dangerous self-indulgence, and the tendency
towards spiritual suicide, can be checked. The theory of
vicarious atonement has brought about its inevitable
reaction; only the knowledge of Karma can offset it."
"Think you the truth has been shown to you for your sole
Letter No. 65 March/April 1885 KH to APS
p359-60 Could but your LL understand, or so much as
suspect, that the present crisis that is shaking the TS to its
foundations is a question of perdition or salvation to
thousands; a question of the progress of the human race
or its retrogression, of its glory or dishonour, and for the
majority of this race - of being or not being, of
annihilation, in fact - perchance many of you would look
into the very root of evil, and instead of being guided by
false appearances and scientific decisions, you would set
to work and save the situation by disclosing the
dishonourable doings of your missionary world.
I believe I had better tell you once more what I would
have you remember always. I should be glad if every
question could be answered as easily as your query about
the "distressing event." Why is it that doubts and foul
suspicions seem to beset every aspirant for chelaship? My
friend, in the Masonic Lodges of old the neophyte was
subjected to a series of frightful tests of his constancy,
courage and presence of mind. By psychological
impressions supplemented by machinery and chemicals,
he was made to believe himself falling down precipices,
crushed by rocks, walking spider-web bridges in mid-
air, passing through fire, drowned in water and attacked
by wild beasts. This was a reminiscence of and a
programme borrowed from the Egyptian Mysteries. The
West having lost the secrets of the East, had, as I say, to
resort to artifice. But in these days (such trifling tests are)
obsolete. The aspirant is now assailed entirely on the
psychological side of his nature. His course of testing is
to develop every germ good and bad in him in his
The rule is inflexible, and not one escapes whether he but
writes to us a letter, or in the privacy of his own heart's
thought formulates a strong desire for occult
communication and knowledge. As the shower cannot
fructify the rock, so the occult teaching has no effect
upon the unreceptive mind; and as the water develops the
heat of caustic lime so does the teaching bring into fierce
action ever unsuspected potentiality latent in him.
Few Europeans have stood this test. Suspicion, followed
by self-woven conviction of fraud seems to have become
the order of the day.
LMW1st Letter No. 29 KH to HSO June 5 1886
"To unlock the gates of the mystery you must not only
lead a life of the strictest probity, but learn to discriminate
truth from falsehood. You have talked a great deal about
Karma but have hardly realised the true significance of
that doctrine. The time is come when you must lay the
foundation of that strict conduct - in the individual as well
as in the collective body - which, ever wakeful, guards
against consciousness as well as unconsciousness
LMW1st Letter no. 19 KH to HSO Aug 1888
"Misunderstandings have grown... the largest share
rests with others, whose serene unconsciousness of their
own defects is very marked and much to be blamed. One
of the most valuable effects of Upasika's mission is that it
drives men to self-study and destroys in them blind
servility for persons."p44
LMW1st Letter No. 47 to HPB from presumably KH 1888
"In our sight there is no crime worse than ingratitude
and injustice; and to see one who suffers them without
protest is equal to seeing in him a passive confederate to
them. This policy has done more harm to the spirit of the
Society and its growth than several Couloumbs could do."
LMW1st Letter No. 46 KH to AB 22nd Aug 1900
"The TS and its members are slowly manufacturing a
"The crest wave of intellectual advancement must be
taken hold of and guided into Spirituality. It cannot be
forced into beliefs and emotional worship. The essence of
the higher thoughts of the members in their collectivity
must guide all action in the TS. .. At favourable times we
let loose elevating influences which strike various persons
in various ways. It is the collective aspect of many such
thoughts that can give the correct note of action. ...The
best corrective of error is an honest and open-minded
examination of all facts subjective and objective...
continual references to ourselves ... raises up a confused
aura that hinders our work. ... The TS was meant to be
the cornerstone of the future religions of humanity. To
accomplish this object those who lead must leave aside
their weak predilections for the forms and ceremonies of
any particular creed and show themselves to be true
Theosophists both in inner thought and outward