On Doubting Letters
Sep 14, 2006 09:43 AM
These letters you mention (below) belong to different subjects and issues.
It would be better to discuss letters by groups and by affinity of issues raised; and in depth, not just raising questions in the air.
If you just raise questions and list the disagreements among people, it seems you are only doubting about everything, and the underlying conclusion to a neophyte (and perhaps to a non-neophyte as well) would be that theosophists can never understand each other, and so on.
Scarcely anyone seriously doubts these letters now, except perhaps the visualization letter, which Jake has questioned.
Letter Ten, and the Prayag Letter, for instance, have both been published by Adyar. So who would question them? Their very content is most meaningful to the movement today - after 120 years or so -- and they will keep that way in the future.
As to Jake's doubts about the visualization letter, I would say to Jake that, for me, it is rather a question of context, depending on the level of consciousness at which things are done. And -- that letter was originally private and not to the general public.
I hope that helps the common investigation.
Data:Thu, 14 Sep 2006 16:02:04 -0000
Assunto:[Spam] Theos-World Are these Phoney Mahatma Letters or Genuine Letters??
> Are these Phoney Mahatma Letters or Genuine Letters??
> Summary of the Argument & Issues
> I give the following outline in order to present an overview of
> the argument, issues and implications involved. I'm hoping all
> contributors to this thread will try to grapple with the UNDERLYING
> ISSUE(S) presented and any implications that there may be.
> In 1888 H.P. Blavatsky herself framed the basic argument/issue as
> ...We have been asked by a correspondent why he should not "be free
> to suspect some of the so-called 'precipitated' [Mahatma] letters as
> being forgeries," giving as his reason for it that while some of
> them bear the stamp of (to him) undeniable genuineness, others seem
> from their contents and style, to be imitations.
> BELOW are FIVE examples (more could be cited) of Mahatma Letters
> considered as "phoney" or "dubious" by certain Theosophical students:
> 1881 Prayag letter (Letter 134 in first 3 eds of
> Mahatma Letters) --- doubted by Henry Olcott and Annie Besant
> 1882 KH Letter on "God" (Letter 10 in first 3
> eds of Mahatma Letters) --- doubted by Hugh Shearman
> 1888 KH Letter to Henry Olcott (S.S. Shannon
> Letter) --- doubted by A.P. Sinnett
> 1888-1889 KH Letter on Concentrating on the Master
> as a Living Man within you. --- doubted by Jake Jaqua
> on Theos-Talk
> 1900 KH Letter to Annie Besant --- doubted by Victor Endersby, Dallas
> TenBroeck, Vernon Harrison and Walter A. Carrithers, Jr.
> Some general observations:
> All of the above individuals (Olcott, Shearman, Sinnett, Jaqua,
> TenBroeck, and Carrithers, with the possible exception of Harrison)
> are students of Theosophy.
> It would appear that all of the above individuals believe in the
> existence of H.P.B.'s Masters. I am assuming Harrison did, too.
> It would also appear that they believe that there are also genuine
> letters that actually were written or precipitated by the Mahatmas.
> But in the above 5 examples, the CONTENTION is made that the
> SPECIFIC Mahatma letters in question seem "from their contents and
> style, to be imitations."
> In other words, presumably the argument is made that the REAL Master
> could NOT or would NOT have written said letter(s) or the contents
> of the letters in question.
> I assume that the Theosophical student may be thinking or claiming
> that someone else (other than the real Master) must have written
> these letters or communications and attributed the words/thoughts to
> the real Mahatmas. Hence "phoney".
> [NOTE: So that there is no confusion in anyone's mind about my
> position, I am of the opinion that the first four letters are
> genuine and are from HPB's teachers. I have some reservations about
> the 1900 Letter to Mrs. Besant but I am inclined to agree with
> Carlos Aveline's affirmative estimation of the letter.]
> I also give BELOW H.P. Blavatsky's extended remarks in reply to her
> unnamed "correspondent" since HPB states quite well many of
> the issues and implications involved.
> I'm hoping some readers will comment on H.P.B.'s various points.
> In Oct. 1888 in the pages of her magazine LUCIFER, Madame Blavatsky
> ...We have been asked by a correspondent why he should not "be free
> to suspect some of the so-called 'precipitated' letters as being
> forgeries," giving as his reason for it that while some of them bear
> the stamp of (to him) undeniable genuineness, others seem from their
> contents and style, to be imitations.
> This is equivalent to saying that he has such an unerring spiritual
> insight as to be able to detect the false from the true, though he
> has never met a Master, nor been given any key by which to test his
> alleged communications. The inevitable consequence of applying his
> untrained judgment in such cases, would be to make him as likely as
> not to declare false what was genuine, and genuine what was false.
> Thus what criterion has any one to decide between one "precipitated"
> letter, or another such letter?
> Who except their authors, or those whom they employ as
> their amanuenses (the chelas and disciples), can tell? For it is
> hardly one out of a hundred "occult" letters that is ever written by
> the hand of the Master, in whose name and on whose behalf they are
> sent, as the Masters have neither need nor leisure to write them;
> and that when a Master says, "I wrote that letter," it means only
> that every word in it was dictated by him and impressed under his
> direct supervision. Generally they make their chela, whether near or
> far away, write (or precipitate) them, by impressing upon his mind
> the ideas they wish expressed, and if necessary aiding him in the
> picture-printing process of precipitation. It depends entirely upon
> the chela's state of development, how accurately the ideas may be
> transmitted and the writing-model imitated.
> Thus the non-adept recipient is left in the dilemma of uncertainty,
> whether, if one letter is false, all may not be; for, as far as
> intrinsic evidence goes, all come from the same source, and are
> brought by the same mysterious means.
> But there is another, and a far worse condition implied. For all
> that the recipient of "occult" letters can possibly know, and on the
> simple grounds of probability and common honesty, the unseen
> correspondent who would tolerate one single fraudulent line in his
> name, would wink at an unlimited repetition of the
> And this leads directly to the following. All the so-
> called occult letters being supported by identical proofs, they have
> all to stand or fall together. If one is to be doubted, then all
> have, and the series of letters in the "Occult World," "Esoteric
> Buddhism," etc., etc., may be, and there is no reason why they
> should not be in such a case - frauds, "clever impostures,"
> and "forgeries," such as the ingenuous though stupid agent [Richard
> Hodgson] of the "S.P.R." has made them out to be, in order to raise
> in the public estimation the "scientific" acumen and standard of
> his "Principals."...
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