Keep up your courage

There is a sentence in your letter not explained by J. Niemand, which,
however, needs explaining, for it is the outgrowth of an erroneous idea
in you. You say: “Can I help these ignorant elementals with mental
instruction? I tried it, but not successfully.”

In all those cases where it is caused by the elementals you _cannot_.
Elementals are not ignorant. They know just as little and just as
much as you do. Most generally more. Do you not know that they are
reflectors? They merely mirror to you either your own mind, or that
mental strata caused by the age, the race, and the nation you may be
in. Their action is invariably automatic and unconscious. They care not
for what is called by you “mental instruction.” They hear you not.

Do you know how they hear, or what language they understand? Not human
speech; nor ordinary human thought clothed in mental speech. That is a
dead letter to them altogether.

They can only be communicated with through correlations of colours and
sounds. But while you address yourself to them, those thoughts assume
life from elementals rushing in and attaching themselves to those

Do not, then, try to speak to them too much, because did you make
them know they might demand of you some boon or privilege, or become
attached to you, since in order to make them understand they must
_know_ you, and a photographic plate forgets not.

Fear them not, nor recoil in horror nor repulsion. The time of trial
must be fulfilled. Job had to wait his period until all his troubles
and diseases passed away. _Before_ that time he could do naught.

But we are not to idly sit and repine; we are to bear these trials,
meanwhile drawing new and good elementals so as to have–in western
phrase–a capital on which to draw when the time of trial has fully
passed away.

On all other points Niemand has well explained. Read both together.

Lastly; know this law, written on the walls of the temple of learning.

“Having received, freely give; having once devoted your life in
thought, to the great stream of energy in which elementals and souls
alike are carried–and which causes the pulse beat of our hearts–you
can never claim it back again. Seek, then, that mental devotion which
strains to give. For in the law it is written that we must give away
all or we lose it: as you need mental help, so do others who are
wandering in darkness seeking for light.”


To-day I got your wire, “—- very low.” This is a shock to me. I
hardly believe it is the end at all. I cannot believe it, there is so
much fire there. But I wired you to ask if I was to tell —-. Also
to read 2nd ch. _Bhag. Gîtâ_. That, my dear fellow, solves all these
troubles for me though it don’t kill out immediate pain. Besides, it is
Karma just and wise. Defects are in us all, and if this is the taking
off why it means that a lot of obstructive Karma is thus at once and
forever worked off, and has left —- free for greater work in better
places. I would I were there with you. Tell him how much I love him
and that in this era of Kali Yuga no sincere one, such as he, remains
long away from the work there is to do. Words are of no use. I have
sent thoughts, and those are useful, whether we are in the body or out
of it. I sent every night lately all the help I could and continued
through the day, not only to —-, but also you. It reached there, I
know, but I can’t overcome Karma if it is too strong.

Tell —- if it should come to the worst, that no regrets about
the work are needed. What has already been accomplished there will
last, and seethe and do its work for several years to come. So in
that direction there could be nothing to regret. I cannot write —-
directly: but if able to hear this–or maybe when it arrives–then head
it as if it were to him, and not to you.

So, dear —-, in the presence of your wire this is all I can write.
You know my feelings, and I need not say any more

As Ever.


You did right to send me that letter. Of course, I am sorry to hear
from you in that way, but am glad that you wrote. Let me tell you
something–will you believe it? You are not in nearly such a bad way
as you think, and your letter, which you sent me unreservedly, shews
it. Can you not, from the ordinary standpoint of worldly wisdom, see
it so? For your letter shews this; a mind and lower nature in a whirl,
not in the ordinary sense, but as though, figuratively speaking, it
were whirling in a narrow circle, seemingly dead, kept alive by its own
motion. And above it a human soul, not in any hurry, but waiting for
its hour to strike. And I tell you that I know it will strike.

If so far as your personal consciousness goes you have lost all desire
for progress, for service, for the inner life–what has that to do
with it? Do you not think that others have had to go through with
all of that and worse; a positive aversion, may be, with everything
connected with Theosophy? Do you not know that it takes a nature with
some strength in it to sink very low, and that the mere fact of having
the power to sink low may mean that the same person in time may rise to
a proportionately greater height? That is not the highest path to go
but it is one that many have to tread. The highest is that which goes
with little variation, but few are strong enough to keep up the never
ceasing strain. Time alone can give them that strength and many ages of
service. But meanwhile there is that other to be travelled. Travel it

You have got the —-, which of the hells do you think you are in? Try
to find out and look at the corresponding heaven. It is very near. And
I do not say this to bolster you up artificially, for that would be of
no use and would not last, even if I were to succeed in doing it. I
write of facts and I think that somewhere in your nature you are quite
well aware that I do so.

Now what is to be done: * * * * In my opinion you should deliberately
give yourself a year’s trial. Write and tell me at the end of that year
(and meantime as often as you feel called upon to do so, which will
not be very often) how you then feel, and if you do not feel inclined
to go on and stick to it I will help you all I can. But you must do it
yourself, in spite of not wanting to do it. You can.

Make up your mind that in some part of your nature somewhere there is
that which desires to be of use to the world. Intellectually realise
that that world is not too well off and probably wants a helping hand.
Recognise mentally that you should try to work for it sooner or later.
Admit to yourself that another part of your nature–and if possible see
that it is the lower part–does not care in the least about the world
or its future, but that such care and interest should be cultivated.
This cultivation will of course take time: all cultivation does. Begin
by degrees. Assert constantly to yourself that you intend to work and
that you will do so. Keep that up all the time. Do not put any time
limit to it, but take up the attitude that you are working towards that
end. Begin by doing ten minutes’ work every day of any sort, study,
or the addressing of envelopes, or anything, so long as it be done
deliberately and with that object in view. If a day comes when this is
too irksome, knock it off for that day. Give yourself three or four
days’ rest and do it deliberately. Then go back to your ten minutes’
work. At the end of six or seven weeks you will know what to add to
that practice: but go slowly, do nothing in a hurry, be deliberate.

Don’t try to feel more friendly to this or that person–more actively
friendly I should have said. Such things must spring up of their own
accord and will do so in time. But do not feel surprised that you
feel _all_ compassion die out of you in some ways. That too is an old
story. It is all right because it does not last. Do not be too anxious
to get results from the practice I have outlined above. Do not look
for any: you have no concern with them if you do all that as a duty.
And finally, do not forget, my dear fellow, that the dead do come to
life and that the coldest thing in the world may be made hot by gentle
friction. So I wish you luck, and wish I could do more for you. But I
will do what I can.


Now this is, as I said, an era. I called it that of Western Occultism,
but you may give it any name you like. But it is western. The symbol
is the well-intended American Republic, which was seen by Tom Paine
beforehand “as a new era in the affairs of the world.” It was meant as
near as possible to be a brotherhood of nations, and that is the drift
of its declaration and constitution. The T.S. is meant to be the same,
but has for many years been in a state of friction. It has now, if
possible, to come out of that. It cannot be a brotherhood unless each,
or some, of its units becomes a brother in truth. And _brother_ was the
noble name given in 1875 to the Masters. Hence you and I and all of us
must cultivate that. We must forgive our enemies and those who assail
us, for only thus can the great brothers properly help by working
through us. There seems to be a good deal to forgive, but it is easily
done inasmuch as in fifty years we’ll all be gone and forgot.

Cut off, then, thoughts about those “foolish children” until harmonious
vibrations ensue to some extent. That absurdity … let go. I have
deliberately refrained from jumping at such a grand chance. So you see
forgive, forgive and largely forget. Come along, then, and with me get
up as fast as possible the feeling of brotherhood.

Now then, you want more light, and this is what you must do. You will
have to “give up” something. To wit: have yourself called half an
hour earlier than is usual and devote it _before_ breakfast to silent
meditation, in which brood upon all great and high ideas. Half an hour!
Surely that you can spare. And don’t eat first. If you can take another
half _before_ you go to bed and without any preliminaries of undressing
and making things agreeable or more comfortable, meditate again.
Now don’t fail me in this. This is much to give up, but give it up,
recollecting that you are not to make all those preparations indulged
in by people…. “The best and most important teacher is one’s seventh
principle centered in the sixth. The more you divest yourself of the
illusionary sense of personal isolation, and the more you are devoted
to the service of others, the more Maya disappears and the nearer you
approach to Divinity.” Good-bye, then, and may you find that peace that
comes from the self.


In answer to your questions:

(1) Clothes and astral form.

Answer.–You are incorrect in assuming that clothes have no astral
form. Everything in nature has its double on other planes, the facts
being that nothing visible in matter or space could be produced without
such a basis. The clothes are seen as well as the person because they
exist on the astral plane as well as he. Besides this, the reason why
people are seen on the astral plane with clothes of various cut and
colour, is because of the thought and desire of the person, which
clothes him thus. Hence a person may be seen in the astral light
wearing there a suit of clothes utterly unlike what he has on, because
his thought and desire were on another suit, more comfortable, more
appropriate, or what not.

(2) What can true and earnest Theosophists do against the Black Age or
Kali Yuga?

Answer.–Nothing _against_ it but a great deal _in_ it; for it is to
be remembered that the very fact of its being the iron or foundation
age gives opportunities obtained in no other. It is only a quarter as
long as the longest of the other ages, and it is therefore crammed
four times as full of life and activity. Hence the rapidity with which
all things come to pass in it. A very slight cause produces gigantic
effects. To aspire ever so little now will bring about greater and more
lasting effects for good than at any other time. And similarly evil
intent has greater powers for evil. These great forces are visibly
increased at the close of certain cycles in the Kali Yuga. The present
cycle, which closes Nov. 17th, 1897-Feb. 18th, 1898, is one of the most
important of any that have been. Opportunities for producing permanent
effects for good in themselves and in the world as a whole, are given
to Theosophists at the present time, which they may never have again if
these are scattered.


The Masters have written that we are all bound together in one living
whole. Hence the thoughts and acts of one react upon all.

Experience has shewn that it is true, as said by Masters, that any
sincere member in any town can help the T.S. and benefit his fellow
townsmen. It is not high learning that is needed, but solely devotion
to humanity, faith in Masters, in the Higher Self, a comprehension
of the fundamental truths of Theosophy and a little, only a little,
sincere attempt to present those fundamental truths to a people who are
in desperate need of them. That attempt should be continuous. No vain
striving to preach or prove phenomena will be of any value, for, as
again Masters have written, one phenomenon demands another and another.

What the people want is a practical solution of the troubles besetting
us, and that solution you have in Theosophy. Will you not try to give
it to them more and more and save —- from the slough it is in?

I would distinctly draw your attention to Brother —-. There is not
that complete sympathy and toleration between him and you there ought
to be, and for the sake of the work it should be otherwise. You may say
that it is his fault. It is not wholly, for you must also be somewhat
to blame, if not in this life then from another past one. Can you deny
that for a long period he has held up the Branch there? for if he had
not it would have died out, even though you also were necessary agents.

Have any of you had unkind or revengeful feelings to him? If so, ought
you not to at once drive them out of your hearts. For I swear to you
on my life that if you have been troubled or unfortunate it is by the
reaction from such or similar thoughts about him or others. Drive them
all out of your hearts, and present such kindliness and brotherliness
to him that he shall, by the force of your living kindness, be drawn
into full unity and co-operation with you.

Discussion or proofs to shew that you are all right and he wrong avail
nothing. We are none of us ever in the right, there is always that in
us that causes another to offend. The only discussion should be to the
end that you may find out how to present to the world in your district,
one simple, solid, united front.

As to the expression “seeing sounds,” this you understand, of course,
so far as the statement goes. It records the fact that at one time
the vibrations which cause a sound now were then capable of making a
picture, and this they do yet on the astral plane.


In reply to your question:

Neither the general law nor the Lodge interferes to neutralise the
effect of strain upon the disciple’s physical energies when caused by
undue exertion or want of regularity, except in certain cases. Hence
the Theosophist is bound to see that his arrangement of hours for
sleep, work and recreation are properly arranged and adjusted, as he
has no right to so live as to break himself down, and thus deprive the
cause he works for of a useful and necessary instrument.

Your friend’s energies have been disarranged and somewhat exhausted by
irregularities as to rest and recreation, since work has been hard and
required rest–whether asleep or awake–has not been had. This causes
excitement, which will (or has) react in many different ways in the
system and upon the organs. It causes mental excitement which again
raises other disturbance. He, like anyone else, should take measures
so as to insure regularity as to rest, so that what work he does shall
be better and the present excitement subside in the system. It is not
wise to remain up late unless for good purposes, and it is not that to
merely remain with others to late hours when nothing good or necessary
can be accomplished. Besides other reasons, that is a good one.

Excitement is heat; if heat be applied to heat, more is produced.
Coolness must be applied so as to create an equilibrium. This applies
in that case, and the establishment of regularity in the matter of
rest is the application of coolness. Second, the various exciting and
“wrongful” acts or thoughts of others are heat; coolness is to be
produced by discharging the mind of those and ceasing to refer to them
in words, otherwise the engendered heat will continue. It is needless
to refer to reasons resting on the points of conduct and example, for
those anyone is capable of finding and applying.

As there is no hurry, it is easy to divest the mind of anxiety and the
irritation arising from hurry. Again, comparison of one’s own work or
ways of doing things better than others is wrong and also productive of
the heat above spoken of.


You are right in thinking that the essential principles of Theosophy
are often stated without the use of that name, for it is the only
universal fundamental system which underlies the religions of every
age. The New Testament, rightly understood, teaches Theosophy, and
we know that both Jesus and St. Paul were initiates. Of course, in
Theosophy, as in any other Science, one understands more as one reads
more, and I recommend you to read and digest such of our books as you
can conveniently procure.

Now in respect to the questions you ask, let me say that Theosophy
requires no man to abandon a mode of life which is not in itself wrong.
The use of meat diet is not a sin; it is not even an offence; it is
a habit which the race has now largely conformed to, and is not a
question of morals or right. At a certain stage of advance as a chela
or disciple, the use of meat food has to be abandoned because of its
psychical and physiological effects. But you have not reached that
stage, nor is it likely that you will for a long time. As the use of
meat is not an offence, so neither can be the supply of it to others,
so that your assisting in killing hogs for market is in no way opposed
to your duty as a man or as a Theosophist. That being your duty in
present circumstances, I should recommend you to perform it without

Men and women are complementary in character, and therefore adapted
to each other. It is natural that each sex should enjoy the company
of the other, and what is natural cannot be wrong. Moreover, it is
perfectly proper that when a suitable mate is found a man should marry
and settle down as a householder, bringing up a family with right views
and high purposes. He contributes a service to humanity, who puts
to take his place after his death, children who reproduce his true
and altruistic life. Consequently, if you find a suitable match and
desire matrimony, there can be no possible reason why you should not
carry out such a purpose. Like the abstention from meat, celibacy is
essential to advance after a certain stage, but that stage has not yet
been reached by you, and you cannot, therefore, be subjected to its
conditions. There can be no one rule laid down for all human beings,
inasmuch as the temperaments and desires are so different. Each must
work out the problem of life in his own way. If your aspirations are so
set on higher things that you find the lower a hindrance, it is evident
that you should not indulge in the latter; but if you are not so
hindered, then no less a duty is yours. You are right in thinking that
the essential to all true progress is a wish to conform utterly to the
Divine Will, we being certain that we shall be helped in proportion, as
is our need.


Yes, you are right. I am in danger, but that danger is not on the
outside, although it is on the outside that attempts are brought
forward. And in some sense all those with me are in danger too. It is a
danger from —- which ever tries to forestall the steps of those who
travel forward. So too, my Dear, you are in the same sort of danger.
But while the danger is there, yet there is encouragement in the fact
itself. For we would not be so placed if we had not been so fortunate
as to have progressed through work and patience to the point where —-
sees enough in us to try and stop progress and hinder our work. Hence,
if they see they cannot stop us, they try all plans to get up strife,
so as to nullify our work. But we will win, for knowing the danger we
take measures against it. I am determined not to fail. Others may; but
—- and I will not. Let us then await all suffering with confidence
and hope. The very fact that you suffer so much is objective evidence
of progress, even though so painful, not only to you but to those who
love you. So while I do not say “suffer on,” I am comforted by the
knowledge that it will be for great good in the future. So I am writing
this, instead of machining it, in order that you may feel the force of
my love and comradeship.

Let us all draw closer together in mind and heart, soul and act,
and try thus to make that true brotherhood through which alone our
universal and particular progress can come.

To thee, oh holder of the flame, my love I send. Well, I go again, but
never do I forget. My best love and blessing to thee. I cannot speak of
these things, but thou knowest.

And now, as formerly, and as now, and as forever and forevermore.


Doubts and questions have arisen as to some things since the present
cloud gathered. Among others it has been said that it were better that
—- had left the chair: it would be well for him to go, and so on.
These views should not be held. If held, they should be dismissed.
There are two forces at work in the T.S., as well as in the world and
in man. These are the good and the bad. We cannot help this: it is
the Law. But we have rules, and we have preached of love and truth
and kindness; and above all, we have spoken of gratitude, not only
of Masters, but among us. Now this applies to this question of —-.
Again, he may be incompetent … and yet be competent for the little he
has to do…. Now let me tell you: the work must not fail because here
and there personalities fall, and sin, and are unwise. TRUTH remains,
and IT IS, whoever falls: but the multitude look to the visible leader.
If he falls apart like an unjointed puzzle, at once they say, “there
is no truth there, nothing which is”: and the work of a century is
ruined and must be rebuilt again from its foundations, and years of
backward tendency must come between the wreck of one undertaking and
the beginning of another. Let me say one thing I KNOW: only the feeling
of true brotherhood, of true love towards humanity aroused in the soul
of someone strong enough to stem this tide, can carry us through.
For LOVE and TRUST are the only weapons that can overcome the REAL
enemies against which the true theosophist must fight. If I, or you,
go into this battle from pride, from self-will, from desire to hold
our position in the face of the world, from anything but the purest
motives, we shall fail. Let us search ourselves well and look at it
as we never looked before: see if there is in us the reality of the
brotherhood which we preach and which we are supposed to represent.

Let us remember those famous words: “Be ye wise as serpents and harmless
as doves.” Let us remember the teaching of the Sages that death in the
performance of our duty is preferable to the doing by us of the duty of
another, however well we may do the latter: the duty of another is full
of danger. Let us be of and for peace, and not for war alone.


It is true —- suffered through my cold and hard feelings. But it was
her fault, for I say now as then to —- that she, absorbed in —-,
neglected my members, who are my children, and for whom I wanted her
best and got her worst. That made me cold, of course, and I had to
fight it, and didn’t care if —- did not like it: I have no time to
care. I am glad she has gone to —-. It is her trial and her chance
and when she sets back she can see for herself if she is able to
prevent the “big head” from coming on as has happened with others. If
she does, then she will have stood the reaction and I have faith she
will stand; but still it has to be met. Time comes on sure, and with it
trial. H. P. B. was her preparer and comfort, but men are not made into
steel by comfort, and note that H. P. B. then died off.

My trip all over this country shows me that it is of more consequence
that I should now work up the U. S., where the Masters first worked in
this century. It needs all I can do…. So when I have fulfilled my
engagement on the English stage I shall skip back here quickly and do
this work. The field is even greater than I thought, although I had a
big idea of it. From the United States we can affect the world and they
will come to us from all places either for solid work or for help in
their need….

Well now, of you: I feel it all. It is up, and down. It is well you
are courageous, and to endure you are able. Indeed endure is the best
word, for that is what the oak does when the storms rage, for it is
better to endure when we can do nothing than to faint and fall. The
facts are to be faced. I hope they may turn out otherwise, but if not,
it is Karma. Aside from pain, it is the same as anything else. If it
comes, it will not last long. Still, I hope it cometh not. I think much
of it, but know the bravery of you and the high soul that dwells there.
All the time of pain and dogged fighting I know your real self sits up
above it all unaffected, and so does mine, and from that let us take
comfort. All things in this age move like lightning and so with all
our Karma, though mine has so often seemed slow, so far as concerns
me. Well, I cannot go on with this: I feel as you do: I stand by you
in heart and have often of late sent you messages of hope and power to
help you.

I advised —- to do her part to lessening the constant bringing
forward of the name of H. P. B., instead of independent thought on
Theosophy. We have too much of it and it is no proof of loyalty, and
it gives rise to much of the foolish talk of our dogmatism. You will
understand, and may be able to influence some to a more moderate though
firm attitude that will not lessen their loyalty and devotion. One good
point is that the true chêla does not talk much of his Master and often
does not refer to that Master’s existence. It has almost become the
same as unnecessarily waving the red flag to a bull. Those of us who
have experience do not do it; but the younger ones do. X —- does it
here in his speeches and I am going to speak to him of it. If it be not
avoided the first thing we know there will be a split between the H. P.
B.’ers and the theosophists _pur sang_, the latter claiming to be the
real thing because devoid of any personal element. You and I and —-
do not find it necessary all the time to be flinging her (H. P. B.) in
the faces of others, and it is well now to take the warning offered
from the outside. Besides, I have had a very strong inside warning on
it. My best love now that we are near Christmas and New Year, and may
there be some sunshine to light the path. I send you my love unsullied
by a mere gift.

I hope —- will be firm and proceed as indicated, but she, like us
all, must meet her own old enemies in herself.

Again I go, as for evermore.


Great excitement last night. It was the regular night of —- T.S. and
—- was to speak. We got there at 8:15, and it was full. He began and
had just been fifteen minutes when it was discovered that the building
was on fire. We stopped and let 1,000 people in the various halls get
out, then quietly went and none were hurt, only two, —- and —-,
getting a few quarts of water from a burst hose.

It was a queer exit, for we went downstairs beside the elevator, and
glass, bricks and water were falling down the light well, while the
fire on the top stories of it roared and made a fine light, and streams
of fire ran down the oily elevator pipes on the other side; and firemen
pulled up hose neck or nothing as we got away. It was —-‘s own
meeting, and it ended in fire! None of the great psychics present had
had the remotest premonition, but one invented afterwards an _ex post
facto_ sense of terror.

Tell —- the time has passed for him to vacillate; he knows his guru:
she was and is H. P. B.; let him reflect ere he does that which, in
wrecking her life and fame, will wreck his own life by leaving him
where nothing that is true may be seen…. Silence is useful now and
then, but silence sometimes is a thing that speaks too loud. I am his
friend and will help. No one can hurt him but himself; his work and
sacrifice were noble and none can point at him.

See what I said in the opening vol. of _The Path_: that the study of
what is now called “practical occultism” was not the object of that
journal. “We regard it as incidental to the journey along the path.
The traveller, in going from one city to another, has perhaps to cross
several rivers; maybe his conveyance fails him and he is obliged to
swim, or he must, in order to pass a great mountain, know engineering
in order to tunnel through it, or is compelled to exercise the art of
locating his exact position by observation of the sun: but all that
is only incidental to his main object of reaching his destination. We
admit the existence of hidden, powerful forces in nature, and believe
that every day greater progress is made towards an understanding of
them. Astral body formation, clairvoyance, looking into the astral
light, and controlling elementals is all possible, but not all
profitable. The electrical current, which when resisted in the carbon
produces intense light, may be brought into existence by any ignoramus
who has the key to the engine-room and can turn the crank that starts
the dynamo, but is unable to prevent his fellow man or himself from
being instantly killed, should that current accidentally be diverted
through his body. The control of these hidden forces is not easily
obtained, nor can phenomena be produced without danger, and in our view
the attainment of true wisdom is not by means of phenomena, but through
the development which begins within. True occultism is clearly set
forth in the _Bhagavat Gita_ and _Light on the Path_, where sufficient
stress is laid upon practical occultism, but after all, Krishna says,
the kingly science and the kingly mystery is devotion to and study
of the light which comes from within. The very first step in true
mysticism and true occultism is to try and apprehend the meaning of
Universal Brotherhood, without which the very highest progress in the
practise of magic turns to ashes in the mouth.

“We appeal, therefore, to all who wish to raise themselves and their
fellow creatures–man and beast–out of the thoughtless jog-trot of
selfish everyday life. It is not thought that Utopia can be established
in a day: but through the spreading of the idea of Universal
Brotherhood, the truth in all things may be discovered. What is wanted
is true knowledge of the spiritual condition of man, his aim and
destiny. Such a study leads us to accept the utterance of Prajapati to
his sons: ‘Be restrained, be liberal, be merciful,’ it is the death of

This is the line for us to take and to persevere in, that all may in
time obtain the true light.

* * * * *


_Book of Items._




All the work that any of us do anywhere redounds to the interest and
benefit of the whole T.S., and for that reason we know that we are

The Self is one and all-powerful, but it must happen to the seeker
from time to time that he or she shall feel the strangeness of new
conditions; this is not a cause for fear. If the mind is kept intent
on the Self and not diverted from it, and comes to see the Self in all
things, no matter what, then fear should pass away in time. I would
therefore advise you to study and meditate over the _Bhagavat Gita_,
which is a book that has done me more good than all others in the whole
range of books, and is the one that can be studied all the time.

This will do more good than anything, if the great teachings are
silently assimilated and put into action, for it goes to the very root
of things and gives the true philosophy of life.

If you try to put into practice what in your inner life you hold to be
right, you will be more ready to receive helpful thoughts and the inner
life will grow more real. I hope with you that your home may become a
strong centre of work for Theosophy.

* * * * *

You want to know the inner situation of the T.S., well, it is just
this: we have all worked along for eighteen years, and the T.S. as a
body has its karma as well as each one in it. Those in it who have
worked hard, of course, have their own karma, and have brought
themselves to a point ahead of the T.S. Now, if the branches are
weak in their knowledge of Theosophy, and in their practise of its
precepts and their understanding of the whole thing, the body is in the
situation of the child who has been growing too fast for its strength,
and if that be the case it is bound to have a check. For my part I do
not want any great rush, since I too well know how weak even those
long in it are. As to individuals, say you, … and so on. By reason
of hard and independent work you have got yourselves in the inner
realm just where you may soon begin to get the attention of the Black
Magicians, who then begin to try to knock you out, so beware. Attempts
will be silently made to arouse irritation, and to increase it where
it now exists. So the only thing to do is to live as much as possible
in the higher nature, and each one to crush out the small and trifling
ebullitions of the lower nature which ordinarily are overlooked, and
thus strength is gained in the whole nature, and the efforts of the
enemy made nil. This is of the highest importance, and if not attended
to it will be sad. This is what I had in view in all the letters I have
sent to you and others. I hope you will be able to catch hold of men,
here and there, who will take the right, true, solid view, and be left
thus behind you as good men and good agents.

* * * * *

When I was in —- I broached to you and others the plan of getting
Theosophy to the working people. Has anything been done? It must be
simply put. It can be understood. It is important. Let us see if this
thing cannot be done; you all promised to go to work at it. Why not
turn, like the Bible man, to the byways and hedges from all these
people who will not come? Then I feel sure that, if managed right, a
lot of people who believe in Theosophy but don’t want to come out for
it, would help such a movement, seeing that it would involve talking
to the poor and giving them sensible stuff. If need be, I’d hold a
meeting every night, and not give them abstractions. Add music, if
possible, etc. Now let me hear your ideas. Time rolls on and many queer
social changes are on the way.

* * * * *

I have your long letter from —- and you are right as to conduct of
Branches. No Branch should depend on one person, for, if so, it will
slump, sure; nor on two or three either. Here they depended on me for
a long time, and my bad health in voice for a year was a good thing as
it made the others come forward. —- is right enough in his way, but
certainly he ought to be fitting himself for something in addition to
speaking, as the T.S. has to have a head as well as a tongue; and if a
man knows he is bad at business, he should mortify himself by making
himself learn it, and thus get good discipline. We sadly need at all
places some true enthusiasts. But all that will come in time. The main
thing is for the members to study and know Theosophy, for if they do
not know it how can they give any of it to others? Of course, at all
times most of the work falls upon the few, as is always the case, but
effort should be made, as you say, to bring out other material.

* * * * *

… I am abundantly sure that you are quite correct in saying that it
is the Branches which work that flourish, and that those addicted to
“Parlour Talks” soon squabble and dwindle. You have gone right to the
root of the matter. So, also, I agree with you, heart and soul, in
what you say as to the policy of a timid holding and setting forth of
Theosophy. Nothing can be gained by such a policy, and all experience
points to energy and decision as essential to any real advance.

* * * * *

You are, I think, quite right to attempt to get all members to work
for their individual advance, by working for their Branches. By
doing things in this way, they provide an additional safeguard for
themselves, while forming a centre from which Theosophical thought can
radiate out to help and encourage others who are only beginning their
upward way.

* * * * *

I find that you state my view exactly. That view is that the A B C of
Theosophy should be taught all the time, and this not only for the
sake of outsiders, but also for the sake of the members who are, I
very well know, not so far along as to need the elaborate work all the
time. And it is just because the members are not well grounded that
they are not able themselves to get in more inquirers. Just as you say,
if the simple truths practically applied as found in Theosophy are
presented, you will catch at last some of the best people, real workers
and valuable members. And Theosophy can best be presented in a simple
form by one who has mastered the elements as well as “the nature of
the Absolute.” It is just this floating in the clouds which sometimes
prevents a Branch from getting on. And I fully agree, also, that if
the policy I have referred to should result temporarily in throwing
off some few persons it would be a benefit, for you would find others
coming to take their places. And I can agree with you, furthermore, out
of actual experience.

* * * * *

You by no means need to apologise for asking my attention to the matter
of your joining the Theosophical Society. It is my great desire and
privilege to give to all sincere enquirers whatever information I may
possess, and certainly there can be no greater pleasure than to further
the internal progress of any real student and aspirant. I think you
quite right in wishing to identify yourself with the Theosophical
Society, not only because that is the natural and obvious step for
anyone sincerely interested; but also because each additional member
with right spirit strengthens the body for its career and work.

* * * * *

In taking advantage of an opportunity to introduce Theosophy into the
secular press you are doing exactly the work which is so invaluable to
the Society, and which I so constantly urge upon our members. It is
in this way that so very many persons are reached who would otherwise
be quite inaccessible, and the amount of good which seed thus sown
can accomplish is beyond our comprehension. You have my very hearty
approval of and encouragement in your work and I am very sure that that
work will not be without fruit.

* * * * *

NEW YORK, _October 11th, 1892_.–This is the era of _Western
Occultism_. We are now to stand shoulder to shoulder in the U.S. to
present it and enlarge it in view of coming cussedness, attacks which
will be in the line of trying to impose solely Eastern disciples on us.
The Masters are not Eastern or Western, but universal.

* * * * *

I shall be glad to give you any information possible respecting
Theosophy and the Theosophical Society, but I think you err in
supposing that the purpose of either is to encourage the study of
what is known as the Occult Arts. Knowledge concerning, and control
of, the finer forces of nature are not things which should be sought
after at our elementary stage of progress, nor would such attainment
be appropriate, even if possible, to anyone who had not thoroughly
mastered the principles of Theosophy itself.

Mere desire for powers is a form of selfishness, and receives no
encouragement from our Teachers. Mme. Blavatsky stated this matter
very clearly indeed in an article published in _Lucifer_, entitled
“Occultism _versus_ the Occult Arts.” When persons without a large
preliminary training in the real Wisdom-Religion seek knowledge on
the Occult plane they are very apt, from inexperience and inadequate
culture, to drift into black magic. I have no power to put you into
communication with any adept to guide you in a course of Occult study,
nor would it be of service to you if the thing was possible. The
Theosophical Society was not established for any such purpose, nor
could anyone receive instructions from an adept until he was ripe for
it. In other words, he must undergo a long preliminary training in
knowledge, self-control, and the subjugation of the lower nature before
he would be in any way fit for instruction on the higher planes. What I
recommend you to do is to study the elementary principles of Theosophy
and gain some idea of your own nature as a human being and as an
individual, but drop entirely all ambition for knowledge or power which
would be inappropriate to your present stage, and to correct your whole
conception of Theosophy and Occultism.



I think the way for all western theosophists is through H. P. B. I
mean that as she is the T.S. incarnate, its mother and guardian, its
creator, the Karmic laws would naturally provide that all who drew this
life through her belonged to her, and if they denied her, they need not
hope to reach …: for how can they deny her who gave this doctrine
to the western world? They share her Karma to little purpose, if they
think they can get round this identification and benefit, and … want
no better proof that a man does not comprehend their philosophy. This
would, of course, bar him from … by natural laws (of growth). I do
not mean that in the ordinary business sense she must forward their
applications or their merits; I mean that they who do not understand
the basic mutual relation, who under value _her_ gift and _her_
creation, have not imbibed the teaching and cannot assimilate its

She must be understood as being what she is to the T.S., or Karma (the
law of compensation, or of cause and effect) is not understood, or the
first laws of occultism. People ought to _think_ of this: we are too
much given to supposing that events are chances, or have no connection
with ourselves: each event is an effect of the Law.

* * * * *

What should be done is to realise that “the Master-Soul is one” with
all that that implies; to know the meaning of the old teaching,
“Thou art That.” When this is done we may with impunity identify our
consciousness with that of anything in nature; not before. But to do
this is a lifetime’s work, and beforehand we have to exhaust all Karma,
which means duty; we must live for others and then we will find out all
we _should_ know, not what we would _like_ to know.

Devotion and aspiration will, and do, help to bring about a proper
attitude of mind, and to raise the student to a higher plane, and
also they secure for the student help which is unseen by him, for
devotion and aspiration put the student into a condition in which aid
can be given to him, though he may, as yet, be unconscious of it. But
conscious communication with one’s Master can only be accomplished
after _long_ training and study. What a student has to do, and is able
to do, is to fit himself to receive this training.

* * * * *

The recognition from a Guru will come when you are ready, and my advice
to you is that, if possible, you put away from yourself the desire for
such recognition; for such desire will hinder you. If you will read
the _Bhagavat Gîtâ_, especially chapters ii. and iii., I think you
will find much to help you. There it says: “Let, then, the motive for
action be in the action itself, not in the event. Do not be incited
to actions by the hope of their reward … perform thy duty … and
laying aside all desire for any benefit to thyself from action, make
the event equal to thee, whether it be success or failure.” It is but
natural that a student should hope for recognition from a Master, but
this desire is to be put aside, and that work is to be done which lies
before each. At the same time each one knows that the effect follows
the cause, hence whatever our due, we shall receive it at the right

* * * * *

Every Chêla (and we are all that once we determine to be) has these
same difficulties. Patience and fortitude! For an easy birth is not
always a good one. The kingdom of heaven is only taken by violence,
and not by weakness of attack. Your constant aspiration persevered in
secret has led you to that point where just these troubles come to all.
Console yourself with the thought that others have been in the same
place and have lived through it by patience and fortitude…. Fix your
thoughts again on Those Elder Brothers, work for Them, serve Them, and
They will help through the right appropriate means and no other. To
meditate on the Higher Self is difficult. Seek then, the bridge, the
Masters. “Seek the truth by strong search,” by doing service, and by
enquiry, and Those who know the Truth will teach it. Give up doubt, and
arise in your place with patience and fortitude. Let the warrior fight,
the gentle yet fierce Krishna, who, when he finds thee as his disciple
and his friend, will tell thee the truth and lighten up the darkness
with the lamp of spiritual knowledge.

* * * * *

Attacks cannot hurt, they must needs come, but all we have to do is to
keep right on, working steadily, and Masters will see after the rest.
For, that which is done in Their name will come right; and this whole
thing has arisen because I have chosen to proclaim my personal belief
in the existence of these beings of grandeur. So, let us shake again
with the confidence born from the knowledge of the wisdom of the Unseen
Leaders, and we go forth separately once more, again to the work, if
even not to meet until another incarnation is ours. But meeting then,
we shall be all the stronger for having kept faith now.

* * * * *

I am glad that you have such a faith in the Great Workers who are
behind us. They _are_ behind us, to my personal knowledge, and not
behind me only, but behind all sincere workers. I know that their
desire is that each should listen to the voice of his inner self and
not depend too much on outside people, whether they be Masters, Eastern
disciples or what not. By a dependence of that kind you become at last
thoroughly independent, and then the unseen helpers are able to help
all the more.

* * * * *

We are all human and thus weak and sinful. In that respect in which
we are better than others, they are better than we are in some other
way. We would be self-righteous to judge others by our own standard….
Are we so wise as never to act foolishly? Not at all…. Indeed I have
come to the conclusion that in this nineteenth century a pledge is no
good, because everyone reserves to himself the right to break it if he
finds after a while that it is galling, or that it puts him in some
inconsistent attitude with something he may have said or done at some
other time…. In —-‘s case, … everyone should never think but the
very best, no matter what the evidences are. Why, if the Masters were
to judge us exactly as They must know we are, then good-bye at once.
We would all be sent packing. But Masters deal kindly with us in the
face of greater knowledge of our thoughts and evil thoughts from which
none are yet exempt. This is my view, and you will please me much if
you will be able to turn into the same, and to spread it among those
on the inside who have it not. It is easy to do well by those we like,
it is our duty to make ourselves do and think well by those we do not
like. Masters say we think in grooves, and but few have the courage to
fill those up and go on other lines. Let us who are willing to make the
attempt try to fill up these grooves, and make new and better ones.

… Keep up your courage, faith and charity. _Those who can to
any extent assimilate the Master, to that extent they are the
representatives of the Master, and have the help of the Lodge in its
work…._ Bear up, firm heart, be strong, be bold and kind, and spread
your strength and boldness.

* * * * *

H. P. B. then said that it is by falling and by failing that we learn,
and we cannot hope at once to be great and wise and wholly strong.
She and the Masters behind expected this from all of us; she and They
never desired any of us to work blindly, but only desired that we work

* * * * *

H. P. B. wrote me in 1890: “Be more charitable for others than for
yourself, and more severe on yourself than on others.” This is good
advice. A strain always weakens the fibres and produces friction. I
hope all misunderstandings will fly away.