Mahatma Letter No. 38
|Written by:||Stainton Moses/Koot Hoomi|
|Received by:||A. P. Sinnett|
|Written on:||November 26, 1881|
|Received on:||January 1882 - see below|
|Received at:||Bombay, India|
This is Letter No. 38 in The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, 4th chronological edition. It corresponds to Letter No. 90 in Barker numbering. See below for Context and background.
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Page 1 transcription, image, and notes
University College, London, W.C.,
November 26th, '81.
My dear Sinnett,
I ought to have answered your letter before this, but deferred doing so till I had had the pleasure of a conversation with Mrs. Sinnett. This I have had, and greatly to my enjoyment. She is, as you led me to expect, thoroughly convinced of the reality of what she has seen and heard. Like me, she does not know what to make of the last departure, I mean in respect of my spirit-experiences. I really do not know what to say about it. There is no way of harmonizing facts with the claim made: and to your belief that 'The Brothers cannot be ignorant . . . cannot be mistaken,' I can only reply that they most undoubtedly are both in respect of me. This, however, would merely be my opinion, were it not that I have an unbroken chain of documentary and other evidence extending in absolute sequence from the first time Imperator appeared down to yesterday. These are all dated communications, notes, and records which speak for themselves, and which in substance can be attested by the knowledge of my friends who have been concerned with me all thro' this matter.
When the old lady first hinted at some connexion between the "Lodge" and me, I entered at once into the thing with Imperator and put the case over and over again. Here is one record which I transcribe. Dec. 24, 1876. "I asked some questions respecting a letter from H.P.B. in which she says in reply to one of mine — 'If you are profoundly certain that I have not understood you, both your
intuition and mediumship have failed you. . . . I never said that you had mistaken Imperator for another spirit. He is not to be mistaken, once that he is known. He knows and his name be blessed for ever. You want objective proof of the Lodge. Have you not Imperator and can you not ask him whether I speak the truth?'
To this the answer written was long and precise. Among other things is this: — (The first person plural is always used by I.) Why?
"We have already told you that your American friends understand neither your character, nor your training, nor your spiritual experiences . . . So far, from your Intuition having failed you, it has protected you. We are not able to say how (!) far any with whom your correspondent is in communication can give her a correct account of you. It is doubtful, so far as we know : though some have the power as Magus. But even he does not understand. (!!) I will try one more honest medium — Eglinton, when he is gone; and see what comes of it. I will do so much for the Society. His work is other than ours and he is not concerned with your inner life. If any have the power, they have not been willing to exercise it. We do not understand whether it is pretended that we ourselves have given any information. It SEEMS that the hint is conveyed without direct statement. We may say at once clearly that we have at no time held any intercourse with your friend on the subject. She does not know us in any way, and we know nothing of this Lodge or Brotherhood." . . .
(As to my mistaking a personating spirit for Imperator, it was said)
"Assuredly you would not mistake any other spirit for us. It would be impossible. We are what we have revealed ourselves to you: no other; and our name and presence could not be taken by any other. We have been permanently your Guardian, and no other takes our place" No; the 6th principles cannot be shifted.
And so on quite unmistakeably. I may say here that Imperator stated when he first came to me, and many times subsequently that he had been with me all my life, tho' I was not conscious of his presence, till he revealed it — NOT at Mt. Athos most surely!? — but in quite another place and way. The coherent development of my mediumship has been uninterrupted. There is no lacuna. Now objective mediumship is gone, and my inner spirit-sense is opened. Only yesterday I sought and got from Imper. who was clearly visible and audible to me (* See Page 4 for footnote) exact and precise renewal of what he has so often repeated that I am ashamed to seek a repetition of his assurance. Whatever may be the explanation, rest assured without room for doubt that not only is he not a Brother, but that he knows nothing whatever of any such beings. (1)(* See Page 5 for footnote)
Your warning as to my being on the wrong scent if I supposed this were a made up story of the Old Lady's is heeded, one must entertain every sort of theory to account for such a thing: but I should not have been found for years defending her against every kind of calumny if I thought her capable of a mere vulgar fraud.
It will not, however, escape your critical mind that an allegation such as this confronted by such plain and perfect testimony as I bring, must be capable of some sort of proof, if it is to be seriously entertained. It is unfortunately the fact that not only is the claim incompatible with all the facts; but the alleged facts put forward are just those, and only those, made known by me: and the guesses made are so ludicrously wide of truth — as can be shown by evidence not resting on me alone — that it is plain they are mere shots.
That is a destructive criticism from the negative side. Now what positive proof is produced? None. Can any be given? This Brother who cast his eye on me at Mt. Athos and assumed the style and title of Imperator. What did he ever say to me or tell me? When and where did he appear, and what proof can he give of the fact? During a long intercourse such as he claims he can surely produce some positive evidence to rebut the presumption drawn above.
If not any sane person would know what conclusion to draw.
Pardon me for pursuing this subject at length. I see in fact that I am come to a place where two ways meet: and I sadly fear that Fragments of Occult Truth show that Spiritualism and Occultism are incompatible. I should be heartily sorry if you were to waste your time and force over anything that cannot found itself demonstrably on Truth. Hence my desire to have this raked out.
Otherwise I should dismiss it with much contempt. As you say of the Old Lady "just consider the opportunities I have had of forming an opinion."
Hearty good wishes,
Page 4 - Footnote to page 2 - slide 7087
* So was Madme. Lebendorff to the Russian child medium. . . . So is Jesus and John the Baptist
to Edward Maitland; as true and as honest and sincere as S.M.; though neither knew the other John the Baptist having never heard of Jesus who is a spiritual abstraction and no living man of that epoch. And does not E. Maitland see Hermes the first and second and Elijah, etc. Finally does not Mrs. Kingsford feel as sure as S.M. with regard to + that she saw and conversed with God!!; and that but a few evenings after she had talked with, and received a written communication from the Spirit of a dog? Read, read Maitland's Soul, etc., once more my friend, see pp. 180, 194, 239, 240, and 267-8-9, etc. And who purer or more truthful than that woman or Maitland! Mystery, mystery will you exclaim. IGNORANCE we answer; the creation of that we believe in and want to see.
(1) A Brother? Does he or even yourself know what is understood by the name of Brother? Does he know what we mean by Dhyan Chohans or Planetary Spirits, by the disembodied and embodied Lha? by — but it is and must remain yet for some time a mere vexation of spirit for you all. My letter is private. You may use the arguments but not my authority or name. It will be all explained to you rest assured. A living Brother may show himself and be de facto ignorant of many things. But a Spirit, an omniscient Planetary show himself so completely ignorant of what is going round him: most extraordinary.
Context and background
This is a letter from Stainton Moses, probably received early January 1882, since that would have been about the length of time required for it to reach India from England.
It will be recalled that Letter No. 18 dealt at some length on Stainton Moses, pointing out some of his errors and mistaken ideas. A. P. Sinnett copied long passages from it and later sent them to Stainton Moses.
This letter (No. 38) is mainly concerned with Moses’s response to those passages and with his insistence that Imperator (+) (whom he claimed was his spirit guide) was never one of the Brothers (contrary to what the Mahatma K.H. had said) and knew nothing whatever about them or their existence. Therefore Moses did not believe in them.
One of the Mahatma’s comments refers to William Eglinton, a popular English medium who came to India early in 1882 and spent some time in Calcutta. Apparently he was an excellent medium but had a number of personal weaknesses. There are indications that K.H. intended to bring him to Simla for a period of training so that he could be used in the work, but later he decided against this. Eglinton remained in Calcutta and left for England again in March.
This letter from Stainton Moses is placed where it is chronologically because it was probably received by Sinnett in early January, although the comments by the Mahatma K.H. were probably inserted later.
Physical description of letter
This is a letter from Stainton Moses to APS with underscorings and comments by KH. It is written on both sides of two long narrow sheets, about 5" X 16" [12.7 X 40.6 cm] in size. The underscoring and comments are in blue ink and the KH script. The comments are on the back side of sheet No. 2.
Commentary about this letter
- George E. Linton and Virginia Hanson, eds., Readers Guide to The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett (Adyar, Chennai, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1972), 88.