Theosophical University Press Edition
[K.H.'s Replies to the Queries in Letter 23a II. — ED.]
(I) The latter end of a very important cycle. Each Round, each ring, as every race has its great and its smaller cycles, on every planet that mankind passes through.
Our fourth Round Humanity has its one great cycle, and so have her races and sub-races. The "curious rush" is due to the double effect of the former — the beginning of its downward course; — and of the latter (the small cycle of your "sub-race") running on to its apex. Remember, you belong to the fifth Race, yet you are but a Western sub-race. Notwithstanding your efforts, what you call civilization is confined only to the latter and its offshoots in America. Radiating around, its deceptive light may seem to throw its rays on a greater distance than it does in reality. There is no "rush" in China, and of Japan you make but a caricature.
A student of occultism ought not to speak of the "stagnant condition of the fourth Race people" since history knows next to nothing of that condition "up to the beginning of modern progress" of other nations but the Western. What do you know of America, for instance, before the invasion of that country by the Spaniards? Less than two centuries prior to the arrival of Cortez there was as great a "rush" towards progress among the sub-races of Peru and Mexico as there is now in Europe and the U.S.A. Their sub-race ended in nearly total annihilation through causes generated by itself; so will yours at the end of its cycle. We may speak only of the "stagnant conditions" into which, following the law of development, growth, maturity and decline every race and sub-race falls into during its transition periods. It is that latter condition your Universal History is acquainted with, while it remains superbly ignorant of the condition even India was in, some ten centuries back. Your sub-races are now running toward the apex of their respective cycles, and that History goes no further back than the periods of decline of a few other sub-races belonging most of them to the preceding fourth Race. And what is the area and the period of time embraced by its Universal eye? — At the utmost stretch — a few, miserable dozens of centuries. A mighty horizon, indeed! Beyond — all is darkness for it, nothing but hypotheses. . . . .
(2) No doubt there was. Egyptian and Aryan records and especially our Zodiacal tables furnish us with every proof of it besides our inner knowledge. Civilization is an inheritance, a patrimony that passes from race to race along the ascending and descending paths of cycles. During the minority of a sub-race, it is preserved for it by its predecessor, which disappears, dies out generally, when the former "comes to age." At first, most of them squander and mismanage their property, or leave it untouched in the ancestral coffers. They reject contemptuously the advices of their elders and prefer, boy-like, playing in the streets to studying and making the most of the untouched wealth stored up for them in the records of the Past. Thus during your transition period — the middle ages — Europe rejected the testimony of Antiquity, calling such sages as Herodotus and other learned Greeks — the Father of Lies, until she knew better and changed the appellation into that of "Father of History." Instead of neglecting, you now accumulate and add to your wealth. As every other race you had your ups and downs, your periods of honour and dishonour, your dark midnight and — you are now approaching your brilliant noon. The youngest of the fifth race family you were for long ages the unloved and the uncared for, the Cendrillon in your home. And now, when so many of your sisters have died; and others still are dying, while the few of the old survivors, now in their second infancy, wait but for their Messiah — the sixth Race — to resurrect to a new life and start anew with the coming stronger along the path of a new cycle — now that the Western Cendrillon has suddenly developed into a proud wealthy Princess, the beauty we all see and admire — how does she act? Less kind hearted than the Princess in the tale, instead of offering to her elder and less favoured sister, the oldest now, in fact since she is nearly a "million years old" and the only one who has never treated her unkindly, though she may have ignored her, — instead of offering her, I say, the "Kiss of peace" she applies to her the lex talionis with a vengeance that does not enhance her natural beauty. This, my good friend, and brother, is not a far stretched allegory but — history.
(3) Yes; the fifth race — ours — began in Asia a million years ago. What was it about for the 998,000 years preceding the last 2,000? A pertinent question; offered moreover in quite a Christian spirit that refuses to believe that any good could ever have come out from anywhere before and save Nazareth. What was it about? Well, it was occupying itself pretty well in the same way as it does now — craving Mr. Grant Allen's pardon, who would place our primitive ancestor the "hedgehoggy" man, in the early part of the Eocene Age! Forsooth, your scientific writers bestride their hypothesis most fearlessly, I see. It will really be pity to find their fiery steed kicking and breaking their heads some day; something that is unavoidably in store for them. In the Eocene Age — even in its "very first part," the great cycle of the fourth Race men, the Atlanteans — had already reached its highest point, and the great continent, the father of nearly all the present continents — showed the first symptoms of sinking — a process that occupied it down to 11,446 years ago, when its last island, that, translating its vernacular name, we may call with propriety Poseidonis — went down with a crash. By the bye, whoever wrote the Review of Donnelly's Atlantis is right: Lemuria can no more be confounded with the Atlantic Continent than Europe with America. Both sunk and were drowned with their high civilizations and "gods," yet between the two catastrophes, a short period of about 700,000 years elapsed; "Lemuria" flourishing and ending her career just at about that trifling lapse of time before the early part of the Eocene Age, since its race was the third. Behold, the relics of that once great nation in some of the flat-headed aborigines of your Australia! No less right is the review in rejecting the kind attempt of the author to people India and Egypt with the refuse of Atlantis. No doubt your geologists are very learned; but why not bear in mind that, under the continents explored and fathomed by them, in the bowels of which they have found the "Eocene Age" and forced it to deliver them its secrets, there may be, hidden deep in the fathomless, or rather unfathomed ocean beds, other, and far older continents whose stratums have never been geologically explored; and that they may some day upset entirely their present theories, thus illustrating the simplicity and sublimity of truth as connected with inductive "generalization" in opposition to their visionary conjectures. Why not admit — true no one of them has ever thought of it — that our present continents, have — like "Lemuria" and "Atlantis" — been several times already, submerged and had the time to reappear again, and bear their new groups of mankind and civilization; and that, at the first great geological upheaval, at the next cataclysm — in the series of periodical cataclysms that occur from the beginning to the end of every Round, — our already autopsized continents will go down, and the Lemurias and Atlantises — come up again. Think of the future geologists of the sixth and seventh races. Imagine them digging deep in the bowels of what was Ceylon and Simla, and finding implements of the Veddahs, or of the remote ancestor of the civilized Pahari — every object of the civilized portions of humanity that inhabited those regions having been pulverized to dust by the great masses of travelling glaciers, — during the next glacial period — imagine him finding only such rude implements as now found among those savage tribes; and forthwith declaring that during that period primitive man climbed and slept on the trees, and sucked the marrow out of animal bones after breaking them — as civilized Europeans no less than the Veddahs will often do — hence jumping to the conclusion that in the year 1882 a.d. mankind was composed of "man-like animals," black-faced, and whiskered, "with prominent prognathous and large pointed canine teeth." True, a Grant Allen of the sixth race, may be not so far from fact and truth in his conjecture that during the "Simla period" — these teeth were used in the combats of the males for "grass widows" — but then metaphors has very little to do with anthropology and geology. Such is your Science. To return to your questions.
Of course the 4th race had its periods of the highest civilization. Greek and Roman and even Egyptian civilization are nothing compared to the civilizations that began with the 3rd Race. Those of the second were not savages but they could not be called civilized. And now, reading one of my first letters on the races (a question first touched by M.) pray, do not accuse either him or myself of some new contradiction. Read it over and see, that it leaves out the question of civilizations altogether and mentions but the degenerate remnants of the fourth and third races, and gives you as a corroboration the latest conclusions of your own Science. Do not regard an unavoidable incompleteness as inconsistency. You now ask me a direct question and, I answer it. Greeks and Romans were small sub-races, and Egyptians part and parcel of our own "Caucasian" stock. Look at the latter and at India. Having reached the highest civilization and what is more: learning — both went down. Egypt as a distinct sub-race disappearing entirely (her Copts are a hybrid remnant). India — as one of the first and most powerful offshoots of the mother Race, and composed of a number of sub-races — lasting to these times, and struggling to take once more her place in history some day. That History catches but a few stray, hazy glimpses of Egypt, some 12,000 years back; when, having already reached the apex of its cycle thousands of years before, the latter had begun going down. What does, or can it know of India 5,000 years ago, or of the Chaldees — whom it confounds most charmingly with the Assyrians, making of them one day "Akkadians," at another Turanians and what not? We say then, that your History is entirely at sea.
We are refused by the Journal of Science — words repeated and quoted by M.A. (Oxon) with a rapture worthy of a great medium — any claim whatever for "higher knowledge." Says the Reviewer: "Suppose the Brothers were to say 'point your telescope to such and such a spot in heavens, and you will find a planet yet unknown to you; or dig into the earth.' . . . etc., and you will find a mineral,' etc." Very fine, indeed, and suppose that was done, what would be the result? Why a charge of plagiarism — since everything of that kind, every "planet and mineral" that exists in space or inside the earth, are known and recorded in our books thousands of years ago; more; many a true hypothesis was timidly brought forward by their own scientific men and as constantly rejected by the majority with whose preconceptions it interfered. Your intention is laudable but nothing that I may give you in answer will ever be accepted from us. Whenever discovered that "it is verily so," the discovery will be attributed to him who corroborated the evidence — as in the case of Copernicus and Galileo, the latter having availed himself but of the Pythagorean MSS.
But to return to "civilizations." Do you know that the Chaldees were at the apex of their occult fame before what you term as the "bronze Age"? That the "Sons of Ad" or the children of the Fire Mist preceded by hundreds of centuries the Age of Iron, which was an old Age already, when what you now call the Historical Period — probably because what is known of it is generally no history but fiction — had hardly begun. We hold — but then what warrant can you give the world that we are right? — that far "greater civilizations than our own have risen and decayed." It is not enough to say as some of your modern writers do — that an extinct civilization existed before Rome and Athens were founded. We affirm that a series of civilizations existed before, as well as after the Glacial Period, that they existed upon various points of the Globe, reached the apex of glory and — died. Every trace and memory had been lost of the Assyrian and Phoenikean civilizations until discoveries began to be made a few years ago. And now they open a new, though not by far one of the earliest pages in the history of mankind. And yet how far back do those civilizations go in comparison with the oldest?, — and even them, history is shy to accept. Archæo-geology has sufficiently demonstrated that the memory of man runs back vastly further than history has been willing to accept, and the sacred records of once mighty nations preserved by their heirs are still more worthy of trust. We speak of civilizations of the anteglacial period; and (not only in the minds of the vulgar and the profane but even in the opinion of the highly learned geologist) the claim sounds preposterous. What would you say then to our affirmation that the Chinese — I now speak of the inland, the true Chinaman, not of the hybrid mixture between the fourth and the fifth Races now occupying the throne — the aborigines, who belong in their unallied nationality wholly to the highest and last branch of the fourth Race, reached their highest civilization when the fifth had hardly appeared in Asia, and that its first offshoot was yet a thing of the future. When was it? Calculate. You cannot think that we, who have such tremendous odds against the acceptance of our doctrine would deliberately go on inventing Races and sub-races (in the opinion of Mr. Hume) were not they a matter of undeniable fact. The group of islands off the Siberian coast discovered by Nordenskjol of the "Vega" was found strewn with fossils of horses, sheep, oxen, etc., among gigantic bones of elephants, mammoths, rhinoceroses and other monsters belonging to periods when man — says your Science — had not yet made his appearance on earth. How came horses and sheep to be found in company with the huge "ante-diluvians"? The horse, we are taught in schools — is quite a modern invention of nature, and no man ever saw its pedactyl ancestor. The group of the Siberian islands may give the lie to the comfortable theory. The region now locked in the fetters of eternal winter uninhabited by man — that most fragile of animals — will be very soon proved to have had not only a tropical climate — something your Science knows and does not dispute — but having been likewise the seat of one of the most ancient civilizations of that fourth race, whose highest relics now we find in the degenerated Chinaman, and whose lowest are hopelessly (for the profane Scientist) intermixed with the remnants of the third. I told you before now, that the highest people now on earth (spiritually) belong to the first sub-race of the fifth root Race; and those are the Aryan Asiatics; the highest race (physical intellectuality) is the last sub-race of the fifth — yourselves the white conquerors. The majority of mankind belongs to the seventh Sub-race of the fourth Root race, — the above mentioned Chinamen and their offshoots and branchlets (Malayans, Mongolians, Tibetans, Javanese, etc. etc. etc.) and remnants of other sub-races of the fourth — and the seventh sub-race of the third race. All these, fallen, degraded semblances of humanity are the direct lineal descendants of highly civilized nations neither the names nor memory of which have survived except in such books as Popol-vuh and a few others unknown to Science.
(4) To the Miocene times. Everything comes in its appointed time and place in the evolution of Rounds, otherwise it would be impossible for the best seer to calculate the exact hour and year when such cataclysms great and small have to occur. All an adept could do would be to predict an approximate time; whereas now events that result in great geological changes may be predicted with as mathematical a certainty as eclipses and other revolutions in Space. The sinking of Atlantis (the group of continents and isles) begun during the Miocene period — as certain of your continents are now observed to be gradually sinking — and it culminated — first, in the final disappearance of the largest continent an event coincident with the elevation of the Alps; and second with that of the last of the fair islands mentioned by Plato. The Egyptian priests of Sais told his ancestor Solon, that Atlantis (i.e. the only remaining large island) had perished 9,000 years before their time. This was not a fancy date, since they had for milleniums preserved most carefully their records. But then, as I say, they spoke but of the "Poseidonis" and would not reveal even to the great Greek legislator their secret chronology. As there are no geological reasons for doubting, but on the contrary, a mass of evidence for accepting the tradition, Science has finally accepted the existence of the great continent and Archipelago and thus vindicated the truth of one more "fable." It now teaches, as you know that Atlantis, or the remnants of it lingered down to post-tertiary times, its final submergence occurring within the palaeozoic ages of American history! Well, truth and fact ought to feel thankful even for such small favours in the previous absence of any, for so many centuries. The deep sea explorations — especially those of the Challenger have fully confirmed the reports of geology and palæontology. The great event — the triumph of our "Sons of the Fire Mist" the inhabitants of "Shambullah" (when yet an island in the Central Asian Sea) over the selfish if not entirely wicked magicians of Poseidonis occurred just 11,446 ago. Read in this connection the incomplete and partially veiled tradition, in Isis, Vol. I, p. 588-94, and some things may become still plainer to you. The corroboration of tradition and history, brought forward by Donnelly I find in the main correct; but you will find all this and much more in Isis.
(5) It certainly does, and I have touched upon the subject long ago. In my notes on Mr. Hume's MSS. "On God" — that he kindly adds to our Philosophy, something the latter had never contemplated before — the subject is mentioned abundantly. Has he refused you a look into it? For you — I may enlarge my explanations, but not before you have read what I say of the origin of good and evil on those margins. Quite enough was said by me for our present purposes. Strangely enough I found a European author — the greatest materialist of his time, Baron d'Holbach — whose views coincide entirely with the views of our philosophy. When reading his Essais sur la Nature, I might have imagined I had our book of Kiu-ti before me. As a matter of course and of temperament our Universal Pundit will try to catch at those views and pull every argument to pieces. So far he only threatens me to alter his Preface and not to publish the philosophy under his own name. Cuneus cuneum trudit: I begged him not to publish his essays at all.
M. thinks that for your purposes I better give you a few more details upon Atlantis since it is greatly connected with evil if not with its origin. In the forthcoming Theosophist you will find a note or two appended to Hume's translation of Eliphas Levi's Preface in connection with the lost continent. And now, since I am determined to make of the present answers a volume — bear your cross with Christian fortitude and then, perhaps, after reading the whole you will ask for no more for some time to come. But what can I add to that already told? I am unable to give you purely scientific information since we can never agree entirely with Western conclusions; and that ours will be rejected as "unscientific." Yet both geology and palæontology bear witness to much we have to say. Of course your Science is right in many of her generalities, but her premises are wrong, or at any rate — very faulty. For instance she is right in saying that while the new America was forming the ancient Atlantis was sinking and gradually washing away; but she is neither right in her given epochs nor in the calculations of the duration of that sinking. The latter — is the future fate of your British Islands the first on the list of victims that have to be destroyed by fire (submarine volcanos) and water, France and other lands will follow suit. When they reappear again, the last seventh Sub-race of the sixth Root race of present mankind will be flourishing on "Lemuria" and "Atlantis" both of which will have reappeared also (their reappearance following immediately the disappearance of the present isles and continents), and very few seas and great waters will be found then on our globe, waters as well as land appearing and disappearing and shifting periodically and each in turn.
Trembling at the prospect of fresh charges of "contradictions" at some future incomplete statement I rather explain what I mean by this. The approach of every new "obscuration" is always signalled by cataclysms — of either fire or water. But, apart from this, every "Ring" or Root-Race has to be cut in two, so to say, by either one or the other. Thus, having reached the apex of its development and glory the fourth Race — the Atlanteans were destroyed by water; you find now but their degenerated, fallen remnants, whose sub-races, nevertheless, aye — each of them, had its palmy days of glory and relative greatness. What they are now — you will be some day the law of cycles being one and immutable. When your race — the fifth — will have reached at its zenith of physical intellectuality, and developed the highest civilization (remember the difference we make between material and spiritual civilizations); unable to go any higher in its own cycle — its progress towards absolute evil will be arrested (as its predecessors the Lemurians and Atlanteans, the men of the third and fourth races were arrested in their progress toward the same) by one of such cataclysmic changes; its great civilization destroyed, and all the sub-races of that race will be found going down their respective cycles, after a short period of glory and learning. See the remnants of the Atlanteans, — the old Greeks and Romans (the modern belong all to the fifth Race); see how great and how short, how evanescent were their days of fame and glory! For, they were but sub-races of the seven offshoots of the "root-race." No mother Race, any more than her sub-races and offshoots, is allowed by the one Reigning Law to trespass upon the prerogatives of the Race or Sub-race that will follow it; least of all — to encroach upon the knowledge and powers in store for its successor. "Thou shalt not eat of the fruit of Knowledge of Good and Evil of the tree that is growing for thy heirs" we may say with more right than would be willingly conceded us by the Humes of your Sub-race. This "tree" is in our safe-keeping, entrusted to us by the Dhyan Chohans, the protectors of our Race and the Trustees for those that are coming. Try to understand the allegory, and to never lose sight of the hint given you in my letter upon the Planetaries. (1) At the beginning of each Round, when humanity reappears under quite different conditions than those afforded for the birth of each new race and its sub-races, a "Planetary" has to mix with these primitive men, and to refresh their memories, and reveal to them the truths they knew during the preceding Round. Hence the confused traditions about Jehovahs, Ormazds, Osirises, Brahms, and the tutti quanti. But that happens only for the benefit of the first Race. It is the duty of the latter to choose the fit recipients among its sons, who are "set apart" to use a Biblical phrase — as the vessels to contain the whole stock of knowledge, to be divided among the future races and generations until the close of that Round. Why should I say more since you must understand my whole meaning; and that I dare not reveal it in full. Every race had its adepts; and with every new race, we are allowed to give them out as much of our knowledge as the men of that race deserve it. The last seventh Race will have its Buddha as every one of its predecessors had; but, its adepts will be far higher than any of the present race, for among them will abide the future Planetary, the Dhyan Chohan whose duty it will be to instruct or "refresh the memory" of the first race of the fifth Round men after this planet's future obscuration.
En Passant, to show to you that not only were not the "races" invented by us, but that they are a cardinal dogma with the Lama Buddhists and with all who study our esoteric doctrine, I send you an explanation on a page or two in Rhys Davids Buddhism, — otherwise incomprehensible, meaningless and absurd. It is written with the special permission of the Chohan (my Master) and — for your benefit. No Orientalist has ever suspected the truths contained in it, and — you are the first Western man (outside Tibet) to whom it is now explained.
(6) What emerges at the end of all things is not only "pure and impersonal spirit," but the collective "personal" remembrances skimmed off every new fifth principle in the long series of being. And, if, at the end of all things — say in some million of millions years hence, Spirit will have to rest in its pure, impersonal non-existence as the One or the absolute, still there must be "some good" in the cyclic process, since every purified Ego has the chance in the long interims between objective being upon the planets to exist as a Dhyan Chohan — from the lowest "Devachanee" to the highest Planetary, enjoying the fruits of its collective lives.
But what is "Spirit" pure and impersonal per se? Is it possible that you should not have realized yet our meaning? Why, such a Spirit is a nonentity, a pure abstraction, an absolute blank to our senses — even to the most spiritual. It becomes something only in union with matter — hence it is always something since matter is infinite and indestructible and non-existent without Spirit which, in matter is Life. Separated from matter it becomes the absolute negation of life and being, whereas matter is inseparable from it. Ask those who offer the objection, whether they know anything of "life" and "consciousness" beyond what they now feel on earth. What conception can they have — unless natural born Seers — of the state and consciousness of one's individuality after it has separated itself from gross earthly body? What is the good of the whole process of life on earth — you may ask them, in your turn — if, we are as good as "pure" unconscious entities before birth, during sleep and, at the end of our career? Is not death, according to the teachings of Science, followed by the same state of unconsciousness as the one before birth? Does not life when it quits our body become as impersonal as it was before it animated the fœtus? Life, after all — the greatest problem within the ken of human conception is a mystery that the greatest of your men of Science will never solve. In order to be correctly comprehended, it has to be studied in the entire series of its manifestations, otherwise it can never be, not only fathomed, but even comprehended in its easiest form — life, as a state of being on this earth. It can never be grasped so long as it is studied separately and apart from universal life. To solve the great problem one has to become an occultist; to analyze and experience with it personally, in all its phases, as life on earth, life beyond the limit of physical death, mineral, vegetable, animal and Spiritual life; life in conjunction with concrete matter as well as life present in the imponderable atom. Let them try and examine, or analyze life apart from organism, and what remains of it? Simply a mode of motion; which, unless our doctrine of the all-Pervading, infinite, omnipresent Life is accepted — though it be accepted on no better terms than a hypothesis only a little more reasonable than their scientific hypotheses which are all absurd — has to remain unsolved. Shall they object? Well, we will answer them by using their own weapons. We will say that it is, and will remain for ever demonstrated that since motion is all-pervading and absolute rest inconceivable, that under whatever form or mask motion may appear — whether as light, heat, magnetism, chemical affinity or electricity — all these must be but phases of One and the same universal omnipotent Force, a Proteus they bow to, as the Great "Unknown" — (See Herbert Spencer) and we, simply call the "One Life" the "One Law" and the "One Element." The greatest, the most scientific minds on earth have been keenly pressing forward toward the solution of the mystery, leaving no by-path unexplored, no thread loose or weak in this darkest of labyrinths for them, and all had to come to the same conclusion — that of the Occultists when given only partially — namely, that life in its concrete manifestations is the legitimate result and consequence of chemical affinity; as to life in its abstract sense, life pure and simple — well, they know no more of it today, than they knew in the incipient stage of their Royal Society. They only know that organisms in certain solutions previously free from life will spring up spontaneously (Pasteur and his biblical piety notwithstanding) — owing to certain chemical compositions of such substances. If, as I hope, in a few years, I am entirely my own master — I may have the pleasure of demonstrating to you on your own writing table that life as life is not only transformable into other aspects or phases of the all-pervading Force, but that, it can be actually infused into an artificial man. Frankenstein is a myth only so far as he is the hero of a mystic tale; in nature — he is a possibility; and the physicists and physicians of the last sub-race of the sixth Race will inoculate life and revive corpses, as they now inoculate small-pox, and often less comely diseases. Spirit, life and matter, are not natural principles existing independently of each other, but the effects of combinations produced by eternal motion in Space; and they better learn it.
(7) Most undoubtedly I am so permitted. But then comes the most important point: how far satisfactory will my answers appear — even to you? That not every new law brought to light is regarded as adding a link to the chain of human knowledge is shown by the ill-grace with which every fact unwelcome for some reasons to science, is received by its professors. Nevertheless, whenever I can answer you — I will try to do so, only hoping that you will not send it as a contribution from my pen to the Journal of Science.
(8) Most assuredly they have. Rain can be brought on in a small area of space — artificially and without any claim to miracle or superhuman powers, though its secret is no property of mine that I should divulge it. I am now trying to obtain permission to do so. We know of no phenomenon in nature entirely unconnected with either magnetism or electricity — since, where there are motion, heat, friction, light, there magnetism and its alter ego (according to our humble opinion) — electricity will always appear, as either cause or effect — or rather both if we but fathom the manifestation to its origin. All the phenomena of earth currents, terrestrial magnetism and atmospheric electricity, are due to the fact that the earth is an electrified conductor, whose potential is ever changing owing to its rotation and its annual orbital motion, the successive cooling and heating of the air, the formation of clouds and rain, storms and winds, etc. This you may perhaps, find in some text-book. But then science would be unwilling to admit that all these changes are due to akasic magnetism incessantly generating electric currents which tend to restore the disturbed equilibrium. By directing the most powerful of electric batteries, — human frame electrified by a certain process, you can stop rain on some given point by making "a hole in the rain cloud" as the occultists term it. By using other strongly magnetized implements within, so to say, an insulated area — rain can be produced artificially. I regret my inability to explain to you the process more clearly. You know the effects produced by trees and plants on rain clouds; and how their strong magnetic nature attracts and even feeds those clouds over the tops of the trees. Science explains it otherwise, may be. Well, I cannot help it, for such is our knowledge and the fruits of milleniums of observations and experience. Were the present to fall into the hands of Hume, he would be sure to remark that I am vindicating the charge publicly brought by him against us: "Whenever unable to answer your arguments (?) they (we) calmly reply that their (our) rules do not admit of this or that." — Charge notwithstanding, I am compelled to answer that since the secret is not mine I cannot make of it a marketable commodity. Let some physicists calculate the amount of heat required to vaporize a certain quantity of water. Then, let them compute the quantity of rain needed to cover an area — say, of one square mile to a depth of one inch. For this amount of vaporization they will require, of course, an amount of heat that would be equal to at least five million tons of coal. Now the amount of energy of which this consumption of heat would be the equivalent corresponds (as any mathematician could tell you) — to that which would be required to raise a weight of upwards of ten million tons, one mile high. How can one man generate such amount of heat and energy? Preposterous, absurd! — we are all lunatics and you who listen to us will be placed in the same category if you ever venture to repeat this proposition. Yet I say, that one man alone can do it, and very easily if he is but acquainted with a certain "physico-spiritual" lever in himself, far more powerful than that of Archimedes. Even simple muscular contraction is always accompanied with electric and magnetic phenomena, and there is the strongest connection between the magnetism of the earth, the changes of weather and man, who is the best barometer living, if he but knew to decipher it properly; again, the state of the sky can always be ascertained by the variations shown by magnetic instruments. It is now several years that I had an opportunity of reading the deductions of science upon this subject; therefore, unless I go to the trouble of catching up what I may have remained ignorant of, I do not know the latest conclusions of Science. But with us, it is an established fact that it is the earth's magnetism that produces wind, storms and rain. What Science seems to know of it, is but secondary symptoms always induced by that magnetism and she may very soon find out her present errors. Earth's magnetic attraction of meteoric dust, and the direct influence of the latter upon the sudden changes of temperature especially in the matter of heat and cold, is not a settled question to the present day, I believe. (2) It was doubted whether the fact of our earth passing through a region of space in which there are more or less of meteoric masses has any bearing upon the height of our atmosphere being increased or decreased, or even upon the state of weather. But we think we could easily prove it; and since they accept the fact that the relative distribution and proportion of land and water on our globe may be due to the great accumulation upon it of meteoric dust; snow — especially in our northern regions — being full of meteoric iron and magnetic particles; and deposits of the latter being found even at the bottom of seas and oceans, I wonder how Science has not hitherto understood that every atmospheric change and disturbance was due to the combined magnetism of the two great masses between which our atmosphere is compressed! I call this meteoric dust a "mass" for it is really one. High above our earth's surface the air is impregnated and space filled with magnetic, or meteoric dust, which does not even belong to our solar system. Science having luckily discovered, that, as our earth with all the other planets is carried along through Space, it receives a greater proportion of that dust matter on its northern than on its southern hemisphere, knows that to this are due the preponderating number of the continents in the former hemisphere, and the greater abundance of snow and moisture. Millions of such meteors and even of the finest particles reach us yearly and daily and all our temple knives are made of this "heavenly" iron, which reaches us without having undergone any change — the magnetism of the earth keeping them in cohesion. Gaseous matter is continually added to our atmosphere from the never ceasing fall of meteoric strongly magnetic matter, and yet it seems with them still an open question whether magnetic conditions have anything to do with the precipitation of rain or not! I do not know of any "set of motions established by pressures, expansions, etc., due in the first instance to solar energy." Science makes too much and too little at the same time of "solar energy" and even of the Sun itself; and the Sun has nothing to do whatever with rain and very little with heat. I was under the impression that Science was aware that the glacial periods as well as those periods when temperature is "like that of the carboniferous age" — are due to the decrease and increase or rather to the expansion of our atmosphere, which expansion is itself due to the same meteoric presence? At any rate, we all know, that the heat that the earth receives by radiation from the sun is at the utmost one third if not less of the amount received by her directly from the meteors.
(9) Call it a chromosphere or atmosphere, it can be called neither; for it is simply the magnetic and ever present aura of the sun, seen by astronomers only for a brief few moments during the eclipse and by some of our chelas — whenever they like — of course while in a certain induced state. A counterpart of what the astronomers call the red flames in the "corona" may be seen in Reichenbach's crystals or in any other strongly magnetic body. The head of a man — in a strong ecstatic condition, when all the electricity of his system is centred around the brain, will represent — especially in darkness — a perfect simile of the Sun during such periods. The first artist who drew the aureoles about the heads of his gods and Saints, was not inspired, but represented it on the authority of temple pictures and traditions of the sanctuary and the chambers of initiation where such phenomena took place. The closer to the head or to the aura-emitting body — the stronger and the more effulgent the emanation — (due to hydrogen science tells us — in the case of the flames); hence — the irregular red flames around the Sun or the "inner corona." The fact that these are not always present in equal quantity shows only the constant fluctuation of the magnetic matter and its energy, upon which also depend the variety and number of spots. During periods of magnetic inertia the spots disappear or rather remain invisible. The further the emanation shoots out the more it loses in intensity, until gradually subsiding it fades out; hence — the "outer corona," its rayed shape being due entirely to the latter phenomenon whose effulgence proceeds from the magnetic nature of the matter and the electric energy and not at all from intensely hot particles as asserted by some astronomers. All this is terribly unscientific, nevertheless a fact, to which, I may add another by reminding you that the Sun we see is not at all the central planet of our little Universe, but only its veil or its reflection. Science has tremendous odds against studying that planet which luckily for us we have not: Foremost of all — the constant tremours of our atmosphere which prevent them from judging correctly the little they do see. This impediment was never in the way of the ancient Chaldee and Egyptian astronomers; nor is it an obstacle to us, for we have means of arresting, or counteracting such tremours — acquainted as we are with all the akasic conditions. No more than the rain secret, would this secret — supposing we do divulge it — be of any practical use to your men of Science unless they become Occultists and sacrifice long years to the acquirement of powers. Only fancy a Huxley or a Tyndall studying Yog-vidya! Hence the many mistakes into which they fall and the conflicting hypotheses of your best authorities. For instance: the Sun is full of iron vapours — a fact that was demonstrated by the spectroscope showing that the light of the corona consisted largely of a line in the green part of the spectrum very nearly coinciding with an iron line. Yet Professors Young and Lockyer rejected that, under the witty pretext, if I remember, that, if the corona were composed of minute particles like a dust cloud (and it is this that we call "magnetic matter") these particles would (1) fall upon the sun's body, (2) comets were known to pass through this vapour without any visible effect on them; (3) Professor Young's spectroscope showed that the coronal line was not identical with the iron one, etc. Why they should call those objections "scientific" is more than we can tell.
(1) The reason why the particles — since they call them so — do not fall upon the sun's body is self-evident. There are forces co-existent with gravitation of which they know nothing; besides that other fact that there is no gravitation properly speaking; only attraction and repulsion. (2) How could comets be affected by the said passage since their "passing through" is simply an optical illusion: they could not pass within the area of attraction without being immediately annihilated by that force, of which no vril can give an adequate idea since there can be nothing on earth that could be compared with it. Passing as the comets do through a "reflection" no wonder that the said vapour has "no visible effect on these light bodies." (3) The coronal line may not seem identical through the best "grating spectroscope," nevertheless, the corona contains iron as well as other vapours. To tell you of what it does consist, is idle, since I am unable to translate the words we use for it, and that no such matter exists (not in our planetary system, at any rate) — but in the sun. The fact is, that what you call the Sun is simply the reflection of the huge "store-house" of our System wherein all its forces are generated and preserved; the Sun being the heart and brain of our pigmy Universe, we might compare its faculae — those millions of small, intensely brilliant bodies of which the Sun's surface away from the spots is made up — with the blood corpuscles of that luminary — though some of them as correctly conjectured by Science are as large as Europe. Those blood corpuscles are the electric and magnetic matter in its sixth and seventh state. What are those long white filaments twisted like so many ropes, of which the penumbra of the Sun is made up? What — the central part that is seen like a huge flame ending in fiery spires, and the transparent clouds, or rather vapours formed of delicate threads of silvery light, that hangs over those flames — what — but magneto-electric aura — the phlogiston of the Sun? Science may go on speculating for ever — yet so long as she does not renounce two or three of her cardinal errors she will find herself groping for ever in the dark. Some of her greatest misconceptions are found in her limited notions on the law of gravitation; her denial that matter may be imponderable; her newly invented term "force" and the absurd and tacitly accepted idea, that force is capable of existing per se, or of acting any more than life, outside, independent of, or in any other wise than through matter: in other words that force is anything but matter in one of her highest states — the last three on the ascending scale being denied because only Science knows nothing of them; and her utter ignorance of the universal Proteus, its functions and importance in the economy of nature — magnetism and electricity. Tell Science that even in those days of the decline of the Roman Empire, when the tatooed Britisher used to offer to the Emperor Claudius his nazzur of "electron" in the shape of a string of amber beads that even then, there were yet men remaining aloof from the immoral masses, who knew more of electricity and magnetism than they, the men of Science, do now, and Science will laugh at you as bitterly as she now does over your kind dedication to me. Verily, when your astronomers speaking of Sun-matter, term those lights and flames as "clouds of vapour" and "gases unknown to science" (rather!) — chased by mighty whirlwinds and cyclones — whereas we know it to be simply magnetic matter in its usual state of activity — we feel inclined to smile at the expressions. Can one imagine the "Sun's fires fed with purely mineral matter . . . with meteorites highly charged with hydrogen giving the Sun a far reaching atmosphere of ignited gas"? We know that the invisible Sun is composed of that which has neither name, nor can it be compared to anything known by your Science — on earth; and that its "reflection" contains still less of anything like "gases," mineral matter, or fire, though even we when treating of it in your civilized tongue are compelled to use such expressions as "vapour" and "magnetic matter." To close the subject, the coronal changes have no effect upon the earth's climate, though spots have — and Professor N. Lockyer is mostly wrong in his deductions. The Sun is neither a solid nor a liquid, nor yet a gaseous globe; but a gigantic ball of electro-magnetic Forces, the store-house of universal life and motion, from which the latter pulsate in all directions, feeding the smallest atom as the greatest genius with the same material unto the end of the Maha Yug.
(10) I believe not. The stars are distant from us, at least 500,000 times as far as the Sun and some as many times more. The strong accumulation of meteoric matter and the atmospheric tremours are always in the way. If your astronomers could climb on the height of that meteoric dust with their telescopes and havanas they might trust more than they can now in their photometers. How can they? Neither the real degree of intensity of that light can be known on earth — hence no trustworthy basis for calculating magnitudes and distances can be had —, nor have they hitherto made sure in a single instance (except in the matter of one star in Cassiopeia) which stars shine by reflected and which by their own light. The working of the best double star photometers is deceptive. Of this I have made sure, so far back as in the spring of 1878 while watching the observations made through a Pickering photometer. The discrepancy in the observations upon a star (near Gamma Ceti) amounted at times to half a magnitude. No planets but one have hitherto been discovered outside of the solar system, with all their photometers, while we know with the sole help of our spiritual naked eye a number of them; every completely matured Sun-star having like in our own system several companion planets in fact. The famous "polarization of light" test is as about trustworthy as all others. Of course, the mere fact of their starting from a false premise cannot vitiate either their conclusions or astronomical prophecies since both are mathematically correct in their mutual relations, and that it answers the given object. The Chaldees nor yet our old Rishis had either your telescopes or photometers; and yet their astronomical predictions were faultless, the mistakes — very slight ones in truth — fathered upon them by their modern rivals — proceeding from the mistakes of the latter.
You must not complain of my too long answers to your very short questions, since I answer you for your instruction as a student of occultism, my "lay" chela, and not at all with a view of answering the Journal of Science. I am no man of Science with regard to, or in connection with modern leraning. My knowledge of your Western Sciences is very limited in fact; and you will please bear in mind that all my answers are based upon, and derived from, our Eastern occult doctrines regardless of their agreement or disagreement with those of exact Science. Hence, I say: —
"The sun's surface emits per square mile, as much light (in proportion) as can be emitted from any body." But what can you mean in this case by "light"? The latter is not an independent principle; and, I rejoiced at the introduction, with a view to facilitate means of observation — of the "diffraction spectrum;" since by abolishing all these imaginary independent existences, such as — heat, actinism, light, etc., it rendered to Occult Science the greatest service, by vindicating in the eyes of her modern sister our very ancient theory that every phenomenon being but the effect of the diversified motions of what we call Akasha (not your ether) there was, in fact, but one element, the causative Principle of all. But since your question is asked with a view to settling a disputed point in modern Science I will try to answer it in the clearest way I can. I say then, no, and will give you my reasons why. They cannot know it, for the simple reason that heretofore they have in reality found no sure means of measuring the velocity of light. The experiments made by Fizeau and Cornu known as the two best investigators of light in the world of Science, notwithstanding the general satisfaction at the results obtained, are not a trustworthy data neither in respect to the velocity with which Sun-light travels nor to its quantity. The methods adopted by both these Frenchmen are yielding correct results (at any rate approximately correct, since there is a variation of 227 miles per second between the result of the observations of both experimenters albeit made with the same apparatus) — only as regards the velocity of light between our earth and the upper regions of its atmosphere. Their toothed wheel revolving at a known velocity records, of course, the strong ray of light which passes through one of the niches of the wheel, and then has its point of light obscured whenever a tooth passes — accurately enough. The instrument is very ingenious and can hardly fail to give splendid results on a journey of a few thousand meters there and back; there being between the Paris Observatory and its fortifications no atmosphere, no meteoric masses to impede the ray's progress; and that ray finding quite a different quality of a medium to travel upon than the ether of Space, the ether between the Sun and the meteoric continent above our heads, the velocity of light will of course show some 185,000 and odd miles per second, and your physicists shout "Eureka"! Nor do any of the other devices contrived by Science to measure that velocity since 1887 answer any better. All they can say is that their calculations are so far correct. Could they measure light above our atmosphere they would soon find that they were wrong.
(11) It is — so far; but is fast changing. Your Science has a theory, I believe, that if the earth were suddenly placed in extremely cold regions — for instance were it to exchange places with Jupiter — all our seas and rivers would be suddenly transformed into solid mountains; the air, — or rather a portion of the aeriform substances which compose it — would be metamorphosed from their state of invisible fluid owing to the absence of heat into liquids (which now exist on Jupiter, but of which men have no idea on earth). Realize, or try to imagine the — reverse condition, and it will be that of Jupiter at the present moment.
The whole of our system is imperceptibly shifting its position in space. The relative distance between planets remaining ever the same, and being in no wise affected by the displacement of the whole system; and the distance between the latter and the stars and other suns being so incommensurable as to produce but little if any perceptible change for centuries and milleniums to come; — no astronomer will perceive it telescopically, until Jupiter and some other planets, whose little luminous points hide now from our sight millions upon millions of stars (all but some 5, or 6,000) — will suddenly let us have a peep at a few of the Raja-Suns they are now hiding. There is such a king-star right behind Jupiter that no mortal physical eye has ever seen during this, our Round. Could it be so perceived it would appear, through the best telescope with a power of multiplying its diameter 10,000 times, — still a small dimensionless point, thrown into the shadow by the brightness of any planet; nevertheless — this world is thousands of times larger than Jupiter. The violent disturbance of its atmosphere and even its red spot that so intrigues science lately, are due — (1) to that shifting and (2) to the influence of that Raja-Star. In its present position in Space imperceptibly small though it be — the metallic substances of which it is mainly composed are expanding and gradually transforming themselves into aeriform fluids — the state of our own earth and its six sister globes before the first Round — and becoming part of its atmosphere. Draw your inferences and deductions from this, my dear "lay" chela, but beware lest in doing so you sacrifice your humble instructor and the occult doctrine itself, on the altar of your wrathful goddess — modern science.
(12) I am afraid not much, since our Sun is but a reflection. The only great truth uttered by Siemens is that interstellar space is filled with highly attenuated matter, such as may be put in air vacuum tubes, and which stretches from planet to planet and from star to star. But this truth has no bearing upon his main facts. The sun gives all and takes back nothing from its system. The Sun gathers nothing "at the poles" — which are always free even from the famous "red flames" at all times, not only during the eclipses. How is it that with their powerful telescopes they have failed to perceive any such "gathering" since their glasses show them even the "superlatively fleecy clouds" on the photosphere? Nothing can reach the Sun from without the boundaries of its own system in the shape of such gross matter as "attenuated gases." Every bit of matter in all its seven states is necessary to the vitality of the various and numberless systems — worlds in formation, suns awakening anew to life, etc., and they have none to spare even for their best neighbours and next of kin. They are mothers, not stepmothers, and would not take away one crumb from the nutrition of their children. The latest theory of radiant energy which shows that there is no such thing in nature, properly speaking, as chemical light, or heat ray is the only approximately correct one. For indeed, there is but one thing — radiant energy which is inexhaustible and knows neither increase nor decrease and will go on with its self-generating work to the end of the Solar manvantara. The absorption of Solar Forces by the earth is tremendous; yet it is, or may be demonstrated that the latter receives hardly 25 per cent. of the chemical power of its rays, for these are despoiled of 75 per cent. during their vertical passage through the atmosphere at the moment they reach the outer boundary "of the aerial ocean." And even those rays lose about 20 per cent. in illuminating and caloric power — we are told. What with such a waste must then be the recuperative power of our Father-Mother Sun? Yes; call it "Radiant Energy" if you will: we call it Life — all-pervading, omnipresent life, ever at work in its great laboratory — the Sun.
(13) None can ever be given by your men of Science, whose "bumptiousness" makes them declare that only to those for whom the word magnetism is a mysterious agent the supposition that the Sun is a huge magnet can account for the production by that body of light, heat and the causes of magnetic variations as perceived on our earth. They are determined to ignore and thus reject the theory suggested to them by Jenkins of the R.A.S. of the existence of strong magnetic poles above the surface of the earth. But the theory, is the correct one nevertheless, and one of these poles revolves around the North-Pole in a periodical cycle of several hundred years. Halley and Handsteen — besides Jenkins — were the only scientific men who ever suspected it. Your question is again answered by reminding you of another exploded supposition. Jenkins did his best some three years ago to prove that it is the north end of the compass needle that is the true north pole, and not the reverse as the current scientific theory maintains. He was informed that the locality in Boothia where Sir James Ross located the earth's north magnetic pole, was purely imaginary: it is not there. If he (and we) are wrong, then the magnetic theory that like poles repel and unlike poles attract, must also be declared a fallacy; since if the north end of the dipping needle is a south pole then its pointing to the ground in Boothia — as you call it — must be due to attraction? And if there is anything there to attract it, why is it that the needle in London is attracted neither to the ground in Boothia nor to the earth's center? As very correctly argued, if the north pole of the needle pointed almost perpendicularly to the ground in Boothia, it is simply because it was repelled by the true north magnetic pole when Sir J. Ross was there about half a century ago.
No; our "Lordships" have nothing to do with the inertia of the needle. It is due to the presence of certain metals in fusion in that locality. Increase of temperature diminishes magnetic attraction, and a sufficiently high temperature destroys it often altogether. The temperature I am speaking of is, in the present case rather an aura, an emanation than anything science knows of. Of course, this explanation will never hold water with the present knowledge of Science. But we can wait and see. Study magnetism with the help of occult doctrines, and then that which now will appear incomprehensible, absurd in the light of physical science, will become all clear.
(14) They must be. Not all of the Intra-mercurial Planets, nor yet those in the orbit of Neptune are yet discovered, though they are strongly suspected. We know that such exist and where they exist; and that there are innumerable planets "burnt out" they say, — in obscuration we say; — planets in formation and not yet luminous, etc. But then "we know" is of little use to science, when the Spiritualists will not admit our knowledge. Edison's tasimeter adjusted to its utmost degree of sensitiveness and attached to a large telescope may be of great use when perfected. When so attached the "tasimeter" will afford the possibility not only to measure the heat of the remotest of visible stars, but to detect by their invisible radiations stars that are unseen and otherwise undetectable, hence planets also. The discoverer, an F.T.S., a good deal protected by M. thinks that if, at any point in a blank space of heavens — a space that appears blank even through a telescope of the highest power — the tasimeter indicates an accesion of temperature and does so invariably, this will be a regular proof that the instrument is in range with a stellar body either non-luminous or so distant as to be beyond the reach of telescopic vision. His tasimeter, he says, "is affected by a wider range of etheric undulations than the eye can take cognizance of." Science will hear sounds from certain planets before she sees them. This is a prophecy. Unfortunately I am not a Planet, — not even a "planetary." Otherwise I would advise you to get a tasimeter from him and thus avoid me the trouble of writing to you. I would manage then to find myself "in range" with you.
(15) No, good friend; I am not as indiscreet as all that, I left you simply to your own reminiscences. Every mortal creature, even the less favoured by Fortune, has such moments of relative happiness at some time of his life. Why shouldn't you?
Yes, it was an X quantity I referred to.
(16) It is a widely spread belief among all the Hindus that a person's future pre-natal state and birth are moulded by the last desire he may have at the time of death. But this last desire, they say, necessarily hinges on to the shape which the person may have given to his desires, passions, etc., during his past life. It is for this very reason, viz. — that our last desire may not be unfavourable to our future progress — that we have to watch our actions and control our passions and desires throughout our whole earthly career.
(17) It cannot be otherwise. The experience of dying men — by drowning and other accidents — brought back to life, has corroborated our doctrine in almost every case. Such thoughts are involuntary and we have no more control over them than we would over the eye's retina to prevent it perceiving that colour which affects it most. At the last moment, the whole life is reflected in our memory and emerges from all the forgotten nooks and corners picture after picture, one event after the other. The dying brain dislodges memory with a strong supreme impulse, and memory restores faithfully every impression entrusted to it during the period of the brain's activity. That impression and thought which was the strongest naturally becomes the most vivid and survives so to say all the rest which now vanish and disappear for ever, to reappear but in Devachan. (3) No man dies insane or unconscious — as some physiologists assert. Even a madman, or one in a fit of delirium, tremens will have his instant of perfect lucidity at the moment of death, though unable to say so to those present. The man may often appear dead. Yet from the last pulsation, from and between the last throbbing of his heart and the moment when the last spark of animal heat leaves the body — the brain thinks and the Ego lives over in those few brief seconds his whole life over again. Speak in whispers, ye, who assist at a death-bed and find yourselves in the solemn presence of Death. Especially have you to keep quiet just after Death has laid her clammy hand upon the body. Speak in whispers, I say, lest you disturb the quiet ripple of thought, and hinder the busy work of the Past casting on its reflection upon the Veil of the Future.
(18) Yes; the "full" remembrances of our lives (collective lives) will return back at the end of all the seven Rounds, at the threshold of the long, long Nirvana that awaits us after we leave Globe Z. At the ends of isolated Rounds, we remember but the sum total of our last impressions, those we had selected, or that have rather forced themselves upon us and followed us in Devachan. Those are all "probationary" lives with large indulgences and new trials afforded us with every new life. But at the close of the minor cycle, after the completion of all the seven Rounds, there awaits us no other mercy but the cup of good deeds, of merit, outweighing that of evil deeds and demerit in the scales of Retributive Justice. Bad, irretrievably bad must be that Ego that yields no mite from its fifth Principle, and has to be annihilated, to disappear in the Eighth Sphere. A mite, as I say, collected from the Personal Ego suffices to save him from the dreary Fate. Not so after the completion of the great cycle: either a long Nirvana of Bliss (unconscious though it be in the, and according to, your crude conceptions); after which — life as a Dhyan Chohan for a whole Manvantara, or else "Avitchi Nirvana" and a Manvantara of misery and Horror as a —— you must not hear the word nor I — pronounce or write it. But "those" have naught to do with the mortals who pass through the seven spheres. The collective Karma of a future Planetary is as lovely as the collective Karma of a —— is terrible. Enough. I have said too much already.
(19) Verily so. Until the struggle between the higher and middle duad begins — (with the exception of suicides who are not dead but have only killed their physical triad, and whose Elemental parasites, therefore, are not naturally separated from the Ego as in real death) — until that struggle, I say, has not begun and ended, no shell can realize its position. When the sixth and seventh principles are gone, carrying off with them the finer, spiritual portions of that, which once was the personal consciousness of the fifth, then only does the shell gradually develop a kind of hazy consciousness of its own from what remains in the shadow of personality. No contradiction here, my dear friend, — only haziness in your own perceptions.
(20) All that which pertains to the materio-psychological attributes and sensations of the five lower skandhas; all that which will be thrown off as a refuse by the newly born Ego in the Devachan, as unworthy of, and not sufficiently related to the purely spiritual perceptions, emotions and feelings of the sixth, strengthened, and so to say, cemented by a portion of the fifth, that portion which is necessary in the devachan for the retention of a divine, spiritualized notion of the "I" in the Monad — which would otherwise, have no consciousness in relation to object and subject at all — all this "becomes extinct for ever": namely at the moment of physical death, to return once more, marshalling before the eye of the new Ego, at the threshold of Devachan and to be rejected by It. It will return for the third time fully at the end of the minor cycle, after the completion of the seven Rounds when the sum total of collective existences is weighed — "merit" — in one cup, "demerit" in the other cup of the scales. But in that individual, in the Ego — "good, bad, or indifferent" in the isolated personality, — consciousness leaves as suddenly as "the flame leaves the wick." Blow out your candle, good friend. The flame has left that candle "for ever"; but are the particles that moved, their motion producing the objective flame annihilated or dispersed for all that? Never. Relight the candle and the same particles drawn by mutual affinity will return to the wick. Place a long row of candles on your table. Light one and blow it out; then light the other and do the same; a third and fourth, and so on. The same matter, the same gaseous particles — representing in our case the Karma of the personality — will be called forth by the conditions given them by your match, to produce a new luminosity; but can we say that candle No. 1 has not had its flame extinct for ever? Not even in the case of the "failures of nature," of the immediate reincarnation of children and congenital idiots, etc., that so provoked the wrath of C.C.M., can we call them the identical ex-personalities; though the whole of the same life-principle and identically the same Manas (fifth principle) re-enters a new body and may be truly called a "reincarnation of the personality" — whereas, in the rebirth of the Egos from devachans and avitchis into Karmic life it is only the spiritual attributes of the monad and its Buddhi that are reborn. All we can say of the reincarnated "failures" is, that they are the reincarnated Manas, the fifth principle of Mr. Smith or Miss Grey, but not certainly that these are the reincarnations of Mr. S. and Miss G. Therefore, the explanation, clear and concise (though perhaps less literary than you might make it) given to C.C.M. in the Theosophist in answer to his spiteful hit in Light, is not only correct but candid also; and both yourself and C.C.M. were unjust to Upasika and even to myself who told her what to write; since even you mistook my wail and lament at the confused and tortured explanations in Isis (for its incompleteness no one but we, her inspirers are responsible) and my complaint of having had to exercise all my "ingenuity" to make the thing plain, for an avowal of ingeniousness in the sense of cunning and craft, whereas ingenuousness — a sincere desire (though very difficult of realization) to mend and clear up the misconception was meant by me. I do not know of anything since the very beginning of our correspondence that displeased the Chohan so much as that. But we must not return to the subject again.
But what is then "the nature of the remembrance and self-consciousness of the shell?" you ask. As I said in your note — no better than a reflected or borrowed light. "Memory" is one thing and "perceptive faculties" quite another. A madman may remember very clearly some portions of his past life; yet he is unable to perceive anything in its true light for the higher portion of his Manas and his Buddhi are paralyzed in him, have left him. Could an animal — a dog, for instance — speak, he would prove you that his memory in direct relation to his canine personality, is as fresh as yours; nevertheless his memory and instinct cannot be called "perceptive faculties." A dog remembers that his master thrashed him when the latter gets hold of his stick — at all other times he has no remembrance of it. Thus with a shell; once in the aura of a medium, all he perceives through the borrowed organs of the medium and of those in magnetic sympathy with the latter, he will perceive very clearly — but not further than what the shell can find in the perceptive faculties and memories of circle and medium — hence often the rational and at times highly intelligent answers; hence also a complete oblivion of things known to all but that medium and circle. The shell of a highly intelligent, learned, but utterly unspiritual man who died natural death, will last longer and the shadow of his own memory helping — that shadow which is the refuse of the sixth principle left in the fifth — he may deliver discourses through trance speakers and repeat parrot-like that which he knew of and thought much over it, during his life-time. But find me one single instance in the annals of Spiritualism where a returning shell of a Faraday or a Brewster (for even they were made to fall into the trap of mediumistic attraction) said one word more than it knew during its life-time. Where is that scientific shell, that ever gave evidence of that, which is claimed on behalf of the "disembodied Spirit" — namely, that a free Soul, the Spirit disenthralled from its body's fetters perceives and sees that which is concealed from living mortal eyes? Challenge the Spiritualists fearlessly, I say! Defy the best, the most reliable of mediums — Stainton Moses for one — to give you through that high disembodied shell, that he mistakes for the "Imperator" of the early days of his mediumship, to tell you what you will have hidden in your box, if S.M. does not know it; or to repeat to you a line from a Sanskrit manuscript unknown to his medium, or anything of that kind. Prohpudor! Spirits they call them? Spirits with personal remembrances? As well call personal remembrances the sentences screeched out by a parrot. Why don't you ask C.C.M. to test +? Why not settle his and your mind at rest by suggesting to him to ask a friend or an acquaintance unknown to S.M. — to select an object the nature of which will remain in its turn unknown to C.C.M., and then see whether + will be able to name that object — something possible even to a good clairvoyant. Let the "Spirit" of Zollner — now that he is in the "fourth dimension of space," and has put up an appearance already with several mediums — tell them the last word of his discovery, complete his astro-physical philosophy. No; Zollner when lecturing through an intelligent medium, surrounded with persons who read his works, are interested in them — will repeat on various tones that which is known to others (not even that which he alone knew, most probably), the credulous, ignorant public confounding the post hoc with the propter hoc and firmly convinced of the Spirits' identity. Indeed, it will be worth your while to stimulate investigation in this direction. Yes; personal consciousness does leave every one at death; and when even the centre of memory is reestablished in the shell, it will remember and speak out its recollections but through the brain of some living human being. Hence —
(21) — A more or less complete, still dim recollection of its personality, and of its purely physical life. As in the cases of complete insanity the final severance of the two higher duads (7th 6th and 5th 4th) at the moment of the former going into gestation digs an impassable gulf between the two. It is not even a portion of the fifth that is carried away — least of all 2 1/2 principles as Mr. Hume crudely puts it in his Fragments that go into Devachan leaving but l 1/2 principles behind. The Manas shorn of its finest attributes, becomes like a flower from which all the aroma has suddenly departed, a rose crushed, and having been made to yield all its oil for the Attar manufacture purposes; what is left behind is but the smell of decaying grass, earth and rottenness.
(a) Question the second is sufficiently answered, I believe. (your second para.) The Spiritual Ego goes on evolving personalities, in which "the sense of identity" is very complete while living. After their separation from the physical Ego, that sense returns very dim, and belongs wholly to the recollections of the physical man. The shell may be a perfect Sinnett when wholly engrossed in a game of cards at his club, and when either losing or winning a large sum of money — or a Babu Smut Murky Dass trying to cheat his principal out of a sum of rupees. In both cases — ex-editor and Babu will — as shells, remind anyone who will have the privilege of enjoying an hour's chat with the illustrious disembodied angels, more of the inmates of a lunatic asylum made to play parts in private theatricals as means of hygienic recreation, than of the Caesars and Hamlets they would represent. The slightest shock will throw them off the track and send them off raving.
(b) An error. A. P. Sinnett is not "an absolutely new invention." He is the child and creation of his antecedent personal self; the Karmic progeny for all he knows, of Nonius Asprena, Consul of the Emperor Domitian — (94 A.D.) together with Arricinius Clementus, and friend of the Flamen Dealis of that day (the high priest of Jupiter and chief of the Flamenes) or of that Flamens himself — which would account for A.P. Sinnett's suddenly developed love for mysticism. A.P.S. — the friend and brother of K.H. will go to devachan; and A.P.S., the Editor and the lawn-tennis man; the Don Juan — in a mild way — in the palmy days of "Saints, Sinners and Sceneries," identifying himself by mentioning a usually covered mole or scar, — will, perhaps, be abusing the Babus through a medium to some old friend in California or London.
(c) It will find "enough decent material" and to spare. The few years of Theosophy will furnish it.
(d) Perfectly correctly defined.
(e) As much as there is of the personality — in A.P.S.'s reflection in the looking glass — of the real, living A.P.S.
(f) The Spiritual Ego will not think of the A.P.S. the shell, any more than it will think of the last suit of clothes it wore; nor will it be conscious that the individuality is gone, since that only individuality and Spiritual personality it will then behold in itself alone. Nosce te ipsum is a direct command of the oracle to the Spiritual monad in devachan; and the "heresy of Individuality" is a doctrine propounded by Tathagatha with an eye to the Shell. The latter whose bumptiousness is as proverbial as that of the medium when reminded that it is A.P.S. — will echo out: "Of course, no doubt, hand me over some preserved peaches I devoured with such an appetite for breakfast, and a glass of claret!" — and who after this who knew A.P.S. at Allahabad will dare doubt his identity? And, when left alone for one short instant by some disturbance in the circle, or the thought of the medium wandering for a moment to some other person — that shell will begin to hesitate in its thoughts whether it is A.P.S., S. Wheeler, or Rattigan; and end by assuring itself it is Julius Caesar. (g) — and by finally "remaining asleep."
(h) No; it is not conscious of this loss of cohesion. Besides, such a feeling in a shell being quite useless for nature's purposes, it could hardly realize something that could be never even dreamed by a medium or its affinities. It is dimly conscious of its own physical death — after a prolonged period of time though — that's all. The few exceptions to this rule — cases of half successful sorcerers, of very wicked persons passionately attached to Self — offer a real danger to the living. These very material shells, whose last dying thought was Self, Self, Self — and to live, to live! will often feel it instinctively. So do some suicides — though not all. What happens then is terrible for it becomes a case of post mortem lycanthropy. The shell will cling so tenaciously to its semblance of life that it will seek refuge and a new organism in any beast — in a dog, a hyena, a bird when no human organism is close at hand — rather than submit to annihilation.
(22) A question I have no right to answer.
(23) Mars and four other planets of which astronomy knows yet nothing. Neither A, B, nor Y, Z, are known; nor can they be seen through physical means however perfected.
(24) Most decidedly not. Not even a Dhyan Chohan of the lower orders could approach it without having its body consumed or rather annihilated. Only the highest "Planetary" can scan it. (b) Not unless we call it the vertex of an angle. But it is the vertex of all the "chains" collectively. All of us dwellers of the chains — we will have to evolute, live and run the up and down scale in that highest and last of the septenaries chains (on the scale of perfection) before the Solar Pralaya snuffs out our little system.
(25 [& 26]) . . . "in which case it" — the "it" relates to the sixth and seventh principles, not to the fifth, for the manas will have to remain a shell in each case; only in the one in hand it will have no time to visit mediums: for it begins sinking down to the eighth sphere almost immediately. "Then and there" in the eternity may be a mighty long period. It means only that the monad having no Karmic body to guide its rebirth falls into non-being for a certain period and then reincarnates — certainly not earlier than a thousand or two thousand years. No, it is not an "exceptional case." Save a few exceptional cases in the case of the initiated such as our Teshu-Lamas and the Boddhisatwas and a few others, no monad gets ever reincarnated before its appointed cycle.
(27) "How does he toss into confusion." . . . If instead of doing today something you have to do you put it off till the next day — does not even this — invisibly and imperceptibly at first, yet as forcibly — throw into confusion many a thing, and in some cases even shuffle the destinies of millions of persons, for good, for evil, or simply in connection with a change, — may be unimportant in itself — still a change? And do you mean to say that such an unexpected, horrid murder has not influenced the destinies of millions?
(28) Here we are, again. Verily ever since I had the folly of touching upon this subject — i.e. of harnessing the cart before the horse — my nights are bereft of their hitherto innocent sleep! For heaven's sake take into consideration the following facts and put them together, if you can. (1) The individual units of mankind remain a 100 times longer in the transitory spheres of effects than on the globes; (2) The few men of the fifth Round do not beget children of the fifth but of your fourth Round. (3) That the "obscurations" are not pralayas, and that they last in a proportion of one to ten, i.e., if a Ring or whatever we call it, the period during which the seven Root races have to develop and reach their last appearance upon a globe during that Round — lasts say 10 millions of years (of course it lasts far longer) then the "obscuration" will last no longer than one million. When our globe having got rid of its last fourth Round men and a few, very few of the fifth, goes to sleep, during the period of its rest the fifth Round men will be resting in their devachans and Spiritual lokas — far longer at any rate than the fourth Round "angels" in theirs since they are far more perfect. A contradiction, and a "lapsus calami of M." — says Hume; because M. wrote something quite correct though he is no more infallible than I am and might have expressed himself, more than once, very carelessly.
"I want to make out how the next superior Round forms are evolved." My friend, try to understand that you are putting me questions pertaining to the highest initiations. That I can give you a general view, but that I dare not nor will I enter upon details — though I would if I could satisfy you. Do not you feel that it is one of the highest mysteries than which there is no higher one?
(a) "Dead" but to resurrect in greater glory. Is not what I say, plain?
(29) Of course not, since it is not destroyed, but remains crystallized, so to say — statu quo. At each Round there are less and less animals — the latter themselves evoluting into higher forms. During the first Round it is they that were the "kings of creation." During the seventh men will have become gods and animals — intelligent beings. Draw your inferences. Beginning with the second Round, already evolution proceeds on quite a different plan. Everything is evolved and has but to proceed on its cyclic Journey and get perfected. It is only the first Round that man becomes from a human being on globe B. a mineral, a plant, an animal on planet C. The method changes entirely from the second Round; but — I have learned prudence with you; and will say nothing before the time for saying it has come.
And now, you had a volume; when will you digest it? Of how many contradictions will I have to be suspected before you understand the whole correctly?
Yours, nevertheless, and very sincerely,
Next: Letter 78
Previous: Letter 23a
Table of Contents
1. The letter in answer to yours, I believe, where you question me about C.C.M., S.M. and Mrs. K. (return to text)
2. Dr. Phipson in 1867 and Cowper Ranyard in 1879 both urged the theory but it was rejected then. (return to text)
3. Good gracious! had I forgotten in my hurry to add the last five words, would not I have caught it as a charge of flat contradiction! (return to text)