Reprinted by Blavatsky Study Center

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The How and Why of True Occult Study

"As our London opponent truly remarks: these subjects (metaphysical) are only partly for understanding. A higher faculty belonging to the higher life must see, - and it is truly impossible to force it upon one's understanding - merely in words. One must see with his spiritual eye, hear with his Dharmakayic ear, feel with the sensations of his Ashta-vijnyana (spiritual 'I') before he can comprehend this doctrine fully; otherwise it may but increase one's 'discomfort,' and add to his knowledge very little." (Mahatma Letters, p. 200, #25)

"There is one general law of vision (physical and mental or spiritual) but there is a qualifying special law proving that all vision must be determined by the quality or grade of man's spirit and soul, and also by the ability to translate divers qualities of waves of astral light into consciousness." (Mahatma Letters, p. 255, #40)

"As we do not 'require a passive mind' but on the contrary are seeking for those most active, which can put two and two together once that they are on the right scent, we will, if you please, drop the subject. Let your mind work out the problem for itself... Thus, little by little, the now incomprehensible will become the self-evident; and many a sentence of mystic meaning, will shine yet out before your Soul-eye, like a transparency, illuminating the darkness of your mind. Such is the course of gradual process." (Mahatma Letters, pp. 277-78, #48)

"On close observation, you will find that it was never the intention of the Occultists really to conceal what they had been writing from the earnest determined students, but rather to lock up their information for safety-sake, in a secure safe-box, the key to which is - Intuition. The degree of diligence and zeal with which the hidden meaning is sought by the student, is generally the test - how far he is entitled to the possession of the so buried treasure." (Mahatma Letters, p. 279, #48)

On H.P.B.

"You can never know her as we do, therefore - none of you will ever be able to judge her impartially or correctly. You see the surface of things; and what you would term 'virtue,' holding but to appearances, we - judge but after having fathomed the object to its profoundest depth, and generally leave the appearances to take care of themselves. In your opinion H.P.B. is, at best, for those who like her despite herself - a quaint, strange woman, a psychological riddle; impulsive and kindhearted, yet not free from the vice of untruth. We, on the other hand, under garb of eccentricity and folly - we find a profounder wisdom in her inner Self than you will ever find yourselves able to perceive. In the superficial details of her homely, hard-working, common-place daily life and affairs, you discern but unpracticality, womanly impulses, often absurdity and folly; we, on the contrary, light daily upon traits of her inner nature the most delicate and refined, and which would cost an uninitiated psychologist years of constant and keen observation, and many an hour of close. analysis and efforts to draw out of the depth of that most subtle of mysteries - human mind - and one of her most complicated machines, - H.P.B.'s mind - and thus learn to know her true inner Self." (Mahatma Letters, p. 314, #54)

Finally, in bringing this Section to a close, a challenge is issued to any and every student of Theosophy to produce contradictory teachings as between Masters' letters (whether published in The Mahatma Letters, or The Occult World or the little Adyar book, Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom) and the writings of H.P.B., similar to those that have been shown to exist between the Masters' and H.P.B. on the one hand and Mr. Leadbeater's, Mrs. Besant's and Mr. Jinarajadas's on the other.

It would be extraordinary that the entire perversion of the real teaching, of which these examples are the merest indication, should have gone unperceived by the vast majority of members of the Theosophical Society were it not for the explanation: They do not know what Theosophy is. They have not in them that knowledge of the great truths which forms the criterion, the only true standard, by which they may judge all else.  Without the vision of the true that which looks like the true is bound to produce its glamour with the inevitable results. [33] The motto of the Theosophical Society is that there is no religion higher than truth and the search for it has to be pursued irrespective of likes and dislikes. Most people do not want truth. They only desire the learning that suits them and makes them happy as their personalities regard happiness. They fall into the easy trap of belief because they have not that inward determination to seek and to know, no matter what the effort may cost in time and labour and sacrifice. Those words of H.P.B.'s leap to the mind of the real student at every turn of the way:

"To the mentally lazy or obtuse, Theosophy must remain a riddle; for in the world mental as in the world spiritual each man must progress by his own efforts. The writer cannot do the reader's thinking for him, nor would the latter be any the better off if such vicarious thought were possible." (The Key to Theosophy, p. xi)

Instead, there has been "the gradual descent of... teaching into so-called simplicity so that the most ignorant might be able to grasp it. "Everyone who carefully studies the phenomena presented will admit that men of strong intellect have been driven out... by the crudity of the religious ideas set before them, the contradictions in the authoritative teachings, the views as to God, man and the universe that no trained intelligence could possibly admit." Mrs. Besant can sum it up in regard to Christianity and its "moral degradation" but is unable to make application when the same process is obviously at work in Theosophy.

Theosophy has no relationship, companionship or comradeship with falsehoods. Compromise with them is not tolerance. As illustrated again and again in the case of H.P.B., Theosophy must fight to the bitter end against falsehood and sham. It can be charitable and tolerant towards wrongdoers or committers of mistakes and blunders and sins or criminals but it can neither be charitable nor tolerant towards sin or crime or mistake or blunder [in its teachings.] Between purity and impurity, there is no compromise. Those who assert that there can be, attempt to excuse themselves by passing off lack of courage as "brotherliness. " Where work for the Cause of Theosophy is hindered or spoiled, it becomes a duty to stand firm and fast for TRUTH.

Our duty is not to believe but to seek and know, remembering that our convictions are but the result of past experiences which have to be checked by the established convictions of the synthesis of science, religion and philosophy that is available. IN ORDER TO KNOW, Theosophy must be studied. It can be - in the various letters of the Masters that are now open to us, and in the pages from their Messenger who recorded it again for the Western World in the last quarter of the 19th century. That person alone, permeated through and through by this study, with the wisdom that gives the real standard, can judge whether truth is to be found in so-called expansions of Theosophical teachings. Finally, it has to be remembered that the study which brings knowledge includes application of the principles. Theosophy is an uttermost necessity in daily life, and not a luxury for leisure moments.

                                                               - Margaret Thomas