Mahatma Letter No. 85a

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Quick Facts
People involved
Written by: Koot Hoomi
Received by: A. P. Sinnett
Sent via: unknown
Dates
Written on: unknown
Received on: mid-September 1882
Other dates: none
Places
Sent from: unknown
Received at: Simla, India
Via: none

This is Letter No. 24a in Barker numbering. See below for Context and background.

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Cover sheet

Contradictions

85A-0_6458_thm.jpg

NOTES:

  • British Museum mark stamped in red.

Page 1 transcription, image, and notes

I hope you will give me great credit for obedience in having laboriously and against my inclination endeavoured to compile a case for the plaintiff in re the alleged contradictions. As I have said elsewhere these appear to me not much worth worrying about; though for the present they leave me cloudy in my ideas about Deva Chan and the victims of accident. It is because they do not fret me that I have never hitherto acted on your suggestion that I should make notes of them. [1]

Hume has been inclined to trace contradictions in some letters referring to the evolution of man, but in conversation with him

85A-1_6455_thm.jpg


NOTES:

  • The number [1] was added to the letter in blue and black pencil.

Page 2

I have always contended that these are not contradictions at all, — merely due to a confusion about rounds and races — a matter of language. Then he has pretended to think that you have built up the philosophy as you have gone on, and got out of the difficulty by inventing a great many more races than were contemplated at first, which hypothesis I have always ridiculed as absurd. [2]

I have not re-copied here the passages about victims of accident quoted in my letter of the 12th August and in apparent conflict with the corrections on the proof of my Letter on Theosophy. You have already said

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NOTES:

  • The number [2] was added to the letter in blue pencil.

Page 3

apropos to these quotations, on back of mine dated August 12th: —

[3]

"I can easily understand we are accused of contradictions and inconsistencies aye even to writing one thing to-day and denying it to-morrow. Could you but know how I write my letters and the time I am enabled to give to them perchance you would feel less critical if not exacting."

[4]

This passage it was which led me to think it might be that some of the earlier letters had been perhaps the "victim of accident" itself.

But to go on with the case for the plaintiff: —

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NOTES:

  • The numbers [3] and [4] were added to the letter in blue pencil, embracing the paragraphs below them.

Page 4

[5]

"Most of those whom you may call, if you like, candidates for Deva Chan die and are reborn in the Kama loka without remembrance. . . . You can hardly call remembrance a dream of yours, some particular scene or scenes within whose narrow limits you would find enclosed a few persons. . . etc., call it the personal remembrance of A. P. Sinnett if you can." Notes on back of mine to Old Lady.

[6]

"Certainly, the new Ego, once that it is reborn in the Deva Chan retains for a certain time proportionate to its Earth life, a 'complete recollection of his spiritual life on Earth.' Long Devachan letter.

[7]

All those who have not slipped down into the mire

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NOTES:

  • The number [5], [6], and [7] were added to the letter in blue pencil.

Page 5

of unredeemable sin and bestiality — go to the Deva chan, ibid.

[8]

It (Devachan) is an idealed paradise in each case of the Ego's own making and by him filled with the scenery crowded with the incidents and thronged with the people he would expect to find in such a sphere of compensative bliss. Ibid.

[9]

Nor can we call it a full but only a partial remembrance. X Love and hatred are the only immortal feelings, the only survivors from the wreck of the Ye-damma or phenomenal world. Imagine yourself in Devachan then, with those you may have loved with such immortal love, with the familiar shadowy scenes connected with them for a background, and a perfect

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NOTES:

  • The numbers [8] and [9] were added to the letter in blue pencil.
  • Ye Dhamma means "arisen from a cause".

Page 6

blank for everything else relating to your interior social political and literary life — Former letter: i.e. Notes.

[10]

Since the conscious perception of one's personality on Earth is but an evanescent dream, that sense will be equally that of a dream in the Devachan — only a hundred fold intensified." Long Devachan letter.

[11]

". . . . a connoisseur who passes aeons in the rapt delight of listening to divine symphonies by imaginary angelic choirs and orchestras." Long letter. See X ante. See my notes 10 and 11 about Wagner etc.

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NOTES:

  • The numbers [10] and [11] were added to the letter in blue pencil.
  • See X ante was written in red.

Page 7

You say:

[12A]

"In no case then, with the exception of suicides and shells is there any possibility for any other to be attracted to a seance room." Notes.

[12B]

"On margin I said rarely but I have not pronounced the word never." Appended to mine of 12th Aug.

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NOTES:

  • The numbers [12A] and [12B] were added to the letter in blue pencil.

Context and background

Physical description of letter

The original is in the British Library, Folio 2. According to George Linton and Virginia Hanson, the letter was written:

ML-24A is on 7 sheets of thin paper in APS script. Numbers in brackets, 1 to 12-B, were added in blue script, as well as underlining of some passages. Under passage numbered (11) is added in red ink: "See X ante." Also added in black ink is: "See my notes 10 and 11 about Wagner, etc."[1]

Publication history

Commentary about this letter

Notes

  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), 143.


Additional resources