To the Editor. --- Dear Sir, --- In an article headed Theosophy
--- Himalayan Brothers, by W. H. Harrison, of 5th Oct., 1883, so many misleading
statements have been put forward, that I feel bound to do my best towards correcting them.
In the first place Mr. Harrison, who tells us he has given laborious study for
years to the medial phenomena in the endeavour to discover their source, necessarily
found it within his province to examine these new claims, and in order to facilitate his
purpose, studies the Occult World, by Mr. Sinnett, and comes to no other
conclusion, than that Madame Blavatsky was a strong physical medium; and
further, that Mr. Sinnetts conclusions were wrong, consequent upon his want of
knowledge of, shall we say, the art of Witch-finding, a la Hopkins, the celebrated creator
of Witches --- at five shillings a head.
To accuse Mr. Sinnett of not being able to believe the evidence of his own senses, is a
novel way of discrediting all his utterances, and at the same time, of proving that he,
Mr. W. H. Harrison, is infallible! Of course Mr. Sinnett having been in India for a
number of years, and having been in close communication with Mahatma Koot Hoomi, who had
explained to him the modus operandi of many of the wonderful things performed, all count
for nothing. It is in vain that the Brothers have pointed out to the Western mind,
that until it adopts another attitude, (1) it is utterly incapable of
receiving certain truths, one phase of this attitude being, what we dont know,
no body else can possibly know. Surely Mr. Harrison must have experienced
something of this kind in his researches in Spiritualism, which alone ought to make him
more cautious in rejecting any fresh truths brought before him.
That certain phenomena produced by Madame B.s will are also produced in Mrs.
Jenckens presence, proves exactly what has always been contended for, viz., that
what is produced through the Spiritual mediums, by Elementals and Elementaries, is also
produced by Madame by her will-power over the same.
Mr. Harrison should also understand that Madame B.s not being able to have the
phenomena under control on ALL occasions, is precisely the same conditions as that on
which the Elementals work, viz., magnetism. Surely Mr. H. can understand that if the
magnetism is out of order, phenomena cannot be produced (vide page 143, Occult
World, 2nd edition), only the progress one makes in the study of arcane
knowledge from its RUDIMENTAL ELEMENTS brings him gradually to understanding our
As for the assertion regarding Madame B.s mediumship, in page 477, People
from another World, by Col. Olcott, Madame B. distinctly COMMANDS John
King to do a certain thing, and his reply is, YOU SHALL BE OBEYED,
written nearly 10 years ago! Col. Olcott himself, after closely watching, in the
same work declares, that instead of being controlled by spirits it is SHE who seems
to control them. We, her friends who have lived with her, who are fully
conversant with mediums and their powers, know for a fact that she controls the spirits,
and they are as much her servants as Ariel was the servant of Prospero. Whether Col.
Olcott was then in a position to judge of the powers of Madame B., or from whence they
were derived, he certainly would not write now what he wrote then, namely, that all
other mediums are subject to the same power: then would he agree with the main
argument in this article, viz., Mr. Harrisons.
No one said it was malice to express disbelief in the Himalayan Brothers, but it is
malice to misquote from presumed authorities and to falsely apply those quotations.
Surely Mr. Harrison can not for one moment pretend to compare the history of Spiritualism
with that of the Rishis? One the offspring of yesterday, the other accumulated
wisdom of uncounted ages! Nothing but a total ignorance of the subject could have
led to such a comparison having been instituted.
With regard to the Henry Kiddle plagiarism: one thing is
perfectly clear, that Mr. Kiddle passed off the saying, that Ideas ruled the
World, with the results attendant on them, as his own; when in reality they come
from Plato, --- as asserted by Mahatma Koot Hoomi, and disingenuously left out by Mr.
Kiddle. Why have both, this gentleman and Mr. Harrison left this out in the
paragraph quoted from the Occult World? Koot Hoomis opening
sentence --- PLATO WAS RIGHT: Ideas rule the World: and
this proves this was intentionally done. In Platos Dialogues,
volume III., page 291, The Platonic doctrine of Ideas --- those
primordial essences" again, page 244, Ideas, the only objects of real
knowledge; real philosophers are those who employ their minds upon absolute
ideas; and philosophers are the genuine rulers of the World. The
French Revolution of 1788, admirably illustrated this dictum of Plato. Philosophers
started the idea of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity; these for a time
ruled the World: creeds were overset, monarchies overturned, and a new era of
thought established, thus verifying Platos words. And it did not need a Mr.
Kiddle to originate what was already known to any student of history, or to
Macaulays schoolboy of 14!
Seeing mediums may be able to see things which to others present (whether
mediums or not) are invisible; but I, who am no medium, have witnessed, in the presence of
persons who have never claimed abnormal sight, phenomena in broad daylight which were
patent to the vision of all present. Such for instance as the projection of a letter
through the roof and ceiling of the room, from a Mahatma, addressed to a person present,
containing instructions about and allusions to recent conversations, the letter not being
visible till it had come through the ceiling, when it assumed a form, and with a noise
like that from a small rocket, and with an equal velocity fell in a corner of the
room. When picked up I found a quaint envelope, covered with strange characters and
coloured figures, Thibetan, showing where the letter came from.
Theosophists are presumed to live pure lives; as for their entering the fraternity,
that is not so easy. A severe and lengthened (chelaship) apprenticeship must be
borne, and then you may never be accepted as an initiate. Madame B. has passed many
stations of initiation, but she is not an Adept. So her not being an ascetic has
nothing to do with her position. Further, she leads a pure life. What Mr.
Harrisons experiences have been in the West, would count for very little in the
East, and his standard of asceticism would not apply here. His physical mediums
would be equal to the production of Black Magic, not White Magic, a very different matter.
Madame B. having been accused of giving an incorrect version of the Neilgherry Todas,
in Isis Unveiled, and of having stated there were White Todas and
Grand Temples existent, where nothing of the kind is to be found, as the
country has been well explored from end to end, I having been a resident of
the Neilgherries for more than forty years --- thirty years continuously --- I also know
the Todas well. But, at the same time, I may observe that if portions of the
Himalayas have not been well explored," there are portions of the Neilgherries that
are equally unknown. The "Silent Valley, for instance, where there may be
Todas and Temples, quite apart from the ordinary Toda and his hut. Further, it is a
well-known fact, that on all solemn occasions, such as the wholesale murder of a family of
Coorumburs, who are suspected of having used Witchcraft to damage the Burghurs, a Toda is
invariably called in, as it is supposed that the Coorumburs magic is proof against
all but a Todas power, and in every other way the Todas are acknowledged as a
superior race by the Burghurs, such as in tithes of grain and manorial RIGHTS, as
practised by the Barons of old, (2) showing that once the Todas were
considered by the Burghurs as a very superior race. That they have degenerated is
very possible, most likely due to civilization and the retirement of the Mahatmas.
In the last paragraph, the idea of physical phenomena being the result of increased
purity is scouted. Here again Black Magic is confounded with White. To produce
very extraordinary physical phenomena is often the attribute of the Black Magician ---
and, of course, requires no spiritual purity. But to produce the physical phenomena
of the Mahatmas, requires a complete knowledge of Occult Science, combined with great
spiritual attainments; and these powers can only be exercised for the benefit of mankind;
--- hence, to accuse the Mahatmas of seeking their own advancement, instead of
living a life of self-sacrifice in the world, is to misunderstand the subject
entirely. The very contact of the world with these Mahatmas would destroy their
spirituality, and compel them to seclude themselves in their Himalayan fastnesses.
Mr. Harrison cannot understand, that, by means of their telegraphs, universal
intelligence, and with their power of travelling in their astral bodies, they can go
anywhere, learn anything they desire to know, and do anything short of changing or forming
animals endowed with souls.
Black Magic is a terrible power, but the practiser of it has its limits. The
Adept of White Magic has no limits to his power, short of dealing with souls.
How Mr. Harrison could have read The Occult Wold to so little purpose is
astonishing. Many things are so clearly laid down there, that to the student of
Occult Science there can be no doubt. There are some people who doubt everything ---
even their own existence. In regard to Mr. Burnss comments on Madame B.s
Establishment for a Spiritualistic movement at Cairo, the facts of the case
were, that a French lady resident there was very anxious to start something of the kind,
and asked for the help of Madame B., who good-naturedly gave it, but very soon withdrew it
on finding what the French lady meant by a Spiritualistic Movement, At this
very time Madame B. was in close communication with two of the Adept Brothers --- one a
Syrian, the other a Druse, --- so that the ordinary spiritualistic seances could not be
accepted by her. In addition to the above two Brothers, there were several others in
the neighbourhood, well known to, and acknowledged by, many of the natives of Egypt.
It is satisfactory to find that Mr. Burns agrees with us regarding the vegetarian
diet. It has been stated frequently that Mr. Spriggs was a strict vegetarian ---
nay, more --- I hold a letter from Mr. Smart stating the same. This disposes of Mr.
Harrisons hypothesis, that strong physical mediums must not be ascetics.
As a proof of Occult Science, only two days ago a Headquarters Chela, who is now
near Lahore, projected his astral body here and conversed for some time with Madame
B. This was verified by a telegram received here from near Lahore, the distance is
over 1,300 miles, sent 50 minutes after the fact from the Telegraph office, to ascertain
if the astral body had been seen.
Ellen H. Morgan, F.T.S.
Madras, Adyar, Head Quarters Theo Society,
19th November, 1883.
(1) See "Theosophist," for Oct., Nov.
(2) Nearly all the Burghur monegars of villages are the
offspring of Todas, from Burghur women!