Mahatma Letter No. 127
|H. P. Blavatsky
|A. P. Sinnett
This is Letter No. 127 in The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, 4th chronological edition. It corresponds to Letter No. 133 in Barker numbering. See below for Context and background.
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Page 1 transcription, image, and notes
My dear Mr. Sinnett,
It is very strange that you should be ready to deceive yourself so willingly. I have seen last night whom I had to see, and getting the explanation I wanted I am now settled on points I was not only doubtful about but positively averse to accepting. And the words in the first line are words I am bound to repeat to you as a warning, and because I regard you, after all, as one of my best personal friends. Now you have and are deceiving, in vulgar parlance, bamboozling yourself about the letter received by me yesterday from the Mahatma. The letter is from Him, whether written through a chela or not; and — perplexing as it may seem to you, contradictory and "absurd," it is the full expression of his feelings and he maintains what he said in it. For me it is surpassingly strange that you should accept as His only that which dovetails with your own feelings, and reject all that contradicts your own notions of the fitness of things. Olcott has behaved like an ass, utterly devoid of tact; he confesses it, and is ready to confess it and to say mea culpa before all the Theosophists — and it is more than any Englishman would be willing to do. This is perhaps, why, with all his lack of tact, and his frequent freaks that justly shock your susceptibilities and mine too, heaven knows! going as he does against every conventionality — he is still so liked by the Masters, who care not for the flowers of European civilization. Had I known last night what I have learnt since — i.e. that you imagine, or rather force yourself to imagine that the Mahatma's
letter is not wholly orthodox and was written by a chela to please me, or something of the sort, I would not have rushed to you as the only plank of salvation. Things are getting dark and hazy. I have managed last night to get the Psychic Research Society rid of its nightmare, Olcott; I may manage to get England rid of its bugbear — Theosophy. If you — the most devoted, the best of all Theosophists — are ready to fall a victim to your own preconceptions and believe in new gods of your own fancy dethroning the old ones — then, notwithstanding all and everything Theosophy has come too early in this country. Let your L.L.T.S. go on as it does — I cannot help it, and what I mean I will tell you when I see you. But I will have nothing to do with the new arrangement and — retire from it altogether unless we agree to disagree no more.
Context and background
This letter is from H.P.B., written soon after July 18, 1884. She had returned to London for a time. Apparently Sinnett had written to her — or had protested to her in person — following receipt of the letter last considered (Letter No. 126 [ML-62]), in which the Mahatma K.H. said that he had never approached Sinnett or anyone else through Mrs. Holloway. Sinnett felt that the letter could not be genuine, for he believed implicitly that the Mahatma K.H. had spoken through and even possessed Mrs. Holloway at a meeting on July 6.
The letters also speak of Olcott’s behavior. This probably refers to the unconventional dress in which he appeared when guests were present, and embarrassed everyone. Sinnett was inclined to want only the "elite" as members of the Theosophical Society; both men and women dressed formally for meetings of the London Lodge. The reference may, however, have to do with statements made by Olcott to representatives of the Society for Psychical Research, since H.P.B. mentions that organization. In ODL 3:p. 99-101, Olcott tells how a meeting with these individuals came about. He and H.P.B. had been quite friendly with members of the SPR and met them socially and with entire cordiality on numerous occasions. Finally, Olcott agreed to be examined by a Commission of the SPR — F.W.H. Myers and Mr. Herbert Stack. There was considerable curiosity concerning the Mahatmas and the many phenomena which had been performed. However, it is said that Olcott made some statements which his interviewers considered unscientific. As a result of this, and of a further faux pas committed by Olcott, SPR decided to send an investigator to Adyar.
Physical description of letter
In HPB's handwriting on both sides of a sheet about 7" X 8" [17.8 X 20.3 cm], in purplish ink.
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), 197.