Mahatma Letter No. 70b

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Written by: A. P. Sinnett
Received by: H. P. Blavatsky
Sent via: unknown
Written on: July 25, 1882
Received on: August 1882
Other dates: unknown
Sent from: unknown
Received at: Simla, India
Via: unknown 

This is Letter No. 70b in The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, 4th chronological edition. It corresponds to Letter No. 20b in Barker numbering. See below for Context and background.

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Page 1 transcription, image, and notes

My Dear Old Lady,

I began to try to answer N.D.K.'s letter at once so that if K.H. really meant the note to appear in this immediately "next" appearing Theosophist for August it might just be in time. But I soon got into a tangle. Of course we have received no information that distinctly covers the question now raised, though I suppose we ought to be able to combine bits into an answer. The difficulty turns on giving the real



Page 2

explanation of Eliphas Levi's enigma in your note in the October Theosophist.

If he refers to the fate of this, at present existing race of mankind his statement that the intermediate majority of Egos are ejected from nature or annihilated, would be in direct conflict with K.H.'s teaching.(*) They do not die without remembrance, if they retain remembrance in Devachan and again recover remembrance (even of past personalities as of a book's pages) at the period of



  • Die without remembrance, refers to Eliphas Levi's words: "To be immortal in good, one must identify oneself with God; to be immortal in evil, with Satan . . . between these two poles vegetate and die without remembrance the useless portion of mankind."

Page 3

full individual consciousness preceding that of absolute consciousness in Pari-Nirvana.

But it occurred to me that E.L. may have been dealing with humanity as a whole, not merely with the fourth round men. Great numbers of fifth round personalities are destined to perish I understand, and these might be his intermediate useless portion of mankind. But then the individual spiritual monads, as I understand the matter, do not perish whatever happens, and if a monad reaches the fifth round with all his



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previous personalities preserved in the pages of his book awaiting future perusal, he would not be ejected and annihilated because some of his fifth round pages were "unfit for publication." So again there is a difficulty in reconciling the two statements.

But again is it conceivable that a spiritual monad though surviving the rejection of its third and fourth round pages, cannot survive the rejection of fifth and sixth round pages. That failure to lead good lives in these rounds mean



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the annihilation of the whole individual who will never then get to the seventh round at all. (**)

But on the other hand if that were so the Eliphas Levi case would not be met by such a hypothesis, for long before then the individuals who had become co-workers with nature for evil would have been themselves annihilated by the obscuration of the planet (***) between the fifth and sixth rounds — if not by the obscuration between the fourth and the fifth, for



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to every round there is one obscuration we are told. There is another difficulty here because some fifth rounders being here already it is not clear when the obscuration comes on. Will it be behind the avant couriers of the fifth round, who will not count as commencing the fifth, that epoch only really beginning after the existing race has totally decayed out — but this idea will not work. (5)

Having got so far in my reflections yesterday, I went up to Hume to see



  • avant couriers is French for forerunners or precursors.

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if he could make out the puzzle and so enable me to write what was wanted for this post. But on looking into it and looking back to the October Theosophist we came to the conclusion that the only possible explanation was that the October Theosophist note was utterly wrong and totally at variance with all our later teaching. Is that really the solution? I do not think so or K.H. would not have set me to reconcile the two.

But you will see that at present, with



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the best will in the world I am utterly unable to do the job set me, and if my dear Guardian and Master will kindly look at these remarks he will see the dilemma in which I am placed.

And then in the way which will be the least trouble to himself either through you or directly he will perhaps indicate the line which the required explanation ought to take. Manifestly it cannot be done for the August number, but I am inclined to believe he never



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intended this as the time is now so short.

We all feel so sorry for you, over-worked amid the heat and the flies. When you have got the August number off your hands you might perhaps be able to take flight for here, and get a little rest amongst us. You know how glad at any time we should be to see you. Meanwhile my own individual plans are a little uncertain. I may have to return to Allahabad, in order to leave Hensman free to go as special correspondent to Egypt. I am fighting my proprietors tooth and nail to



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avert this result — but for a few days still the issue of the struggle will be uncertain.

Ever Yours,

A. P. S.

P.S. — As you may want to print the letter in this number, I return it herewith, but hope that this may not be the case and that you will send it me back again so that I may duly perform my little task with the help of a few words as to the line to be followed.



Context and background

For full context and background see here.

Physical description of letter

The original is in the British Library, Folio 1. George Linton and Virginia Hanson described this letter with related letters 70a and 70c:

20A is from AOH to KH, written on note paper in black ink. Certain passages have been underscored and reference numbers have been added in blue pencil.
20B is from APS to HPB and is written on small sheets of note paper. Certain passages have been underscored in blue pencil.
20C is from KH to APS. It is written on the back of 20A, 20B and on additional sheets of the same size. He writing is in blue pencil and has a granular appearance such as one might produce by writing with a colored pencil on paper placed on the cover of a clothbound book, or similar rough surface. A number of letters dated during the latter half of 1882 have this appearance. how this effect was produced is not known.[1]

Publication history

Commentary about this letter


  1. George E. Linton and Virginia Hanson, eds., Readers Guide to The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett (Adyar, Chennai, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1972), 123.