[M.'s comments appear in bold type. — Ed.]
My "dear Sir and Brother" —
and Respected Boss.
We are cooked, both you and I. Of course with that worldly prevision that characterises you so preeminently in the discovery of things well known and long discovered you must have had a prophetic premonition of my fuming, swearing, kicking, and plunging after the receipt of your letter of Oct. 26. Well I knew this, as I had told you, long before. In my sight she was always a selfish, vain, and mediumistic creature, too fond of adulation and dress and tinkling jewelry to be of the right sort. And then you, too, say that from the first you were painfully alive to her defects — whereas this is a moutarde apres diner — for you were fascinated with her like all the rest, July 1881. However, it may be noble theosophist, you and I are cooked beyond redemption — for She has the best of us, it seems. Listen. Three days ago I received a letter from her; 8 pages of her beautiful clear writing, with the usual celestial young lady surrounded with the seven pigeons and pressing to her heart the illegitimate offspring of her faux pas — stamped on the paper. A letter reasonable and refined, concise and clear to desperation; a letter breathing the spirit of devotion to theosophy (her "Theo-sophia" of the pigeons, of course); of reverence "profound and reasoned" for the Mahatmas, of "high consideration" for poor I — the whole signed and concluded "with cordial and sympathetic sentiments."
Oh woman — cunning, besides frailty — is thy name! Now I knew and know that the whole letter is a humbug. The little "unpleasantness" between Maitland and the L.L. fellows, you write took place on the 26th I believe? Her letter is dated the 30th of October. Evident what must have been her feelings, her true womanly spite when she wrote this reasonable plaintive letter against Mr. Sinnett's "unreasonableness" his "eagerness to impress us with the paramount importance of the Mahatmas," her struggles "to preserve the equilibrium of reasonableness upon this head" and her "admonitions" not being taken by any means "in good part by a considerable number of our Fellows." She "feared, of late, to see our English Branch degenerating into a kind of idolatrous feeling towards these good and kind Adepts (italics mine) instead of preserving towards them an attitude of reverence only." It "must be displeasing to the Mahatmas themselves." It is "injudicious" because in a country "where the eye of criticism and unfriendly ridicule, is kept fixed upon every new movement" and it is "manifestly unwise of our Society to present itself before the World in the guise of a Sect having chiefs accredited with super-human powers of greatness." All this led to the Standard calling "us a Society founded on the alleged feats of certain Indian jugglers." (Ital. hers.) "This incident and other similar episodes have much annoyed and exercised" her. Much as she esteems Mr. Sinnett, she thinks that "he is making a mistake in carrying in this country the identical policy pursued by the Society in India. It will be fatally destructive to all our hopes of attracting the attention of the Leaders of Thought (Lankester and Donkin?) and Science whose cooperation would be invaluable to us" etc. etc. etc.
Now I have good reason to quote her language as you will see. Have patience then. Further she goes on saying that what she wants is, that the general public would understand "the basis of our Society to be that we are a Philosophical School, constituted on the ancient Hermetic basis, following scientific methods and exact processes of reasoning independent of any absolute authority of an extraneous kind, although accepting with reverence teaching from competent sources." Otherwise, and though our such reverse policy in India is perfectly right, for here "the position and influence of Adepts and gurus is understood" — in London your Society under such a mistaken policy as yours — "is liable to be regarded on the one hand, as evincing uncommon credulity and ignorance of scientific methods; and on the other, as a system bearing — to the protestant mind — a striking resemblance to the Catholic system of Directors and confessors, the submission required of the catechumen towards his guru or Mahatmas . . . . I hope," she concludes, "I have made my position quite clear without exposing myself to any misunderstanding. It would be a help and support to me if you would kindly lay this letter before K.H. himself and ask his Counsel." She then complains that she had "endeavoured personally to come into 'rapport' with Mahatma K.H. but have quite failed," and winds up by asking K.H. to strengthen her by his influence, for which reason thinking that "it may be an aid — magnetically or otherwise — to Mahatma K.H. to see my face (!?!?) — I send my photograph. . . . It may help him to a right analysis of my present personality . . ." etc. etc.
I believe the "analysis" is all made and long ago. At least I have rightly analysed the sweet, fascinating creature and thus I was going to answer accordingly. I prepared a long, polite and as I thought a diplomatic letter, defending you of course in one sense and blaming only for your thirst for phenomena and tests. Alas, alas! I had calculated without my host! I had no occasion to "submit it to Mahatma K.H." for the same day he helped himself to it, without saying a word. Now a digression. You say in your last — that whatever K.H. would tell you [to] do, you would do accordingly and add — "and you too." Well I say that in this case I am not sure I would. K.H. is not my Master however much I revere Him. But, no sooner had I finished copying my letter (English corrected by Mohini) an operation performed on my best paper and with new pen, which took me a whole forenoon to the detriment and neglect of other work, than the following occurred. My letter 8 pages — was quietly torn one page after the other by my Boss!! his great hand appearing on the table under Subba Row's nose (who wanted me to write quite differently) and His voice uttering a compliment in Telugu which I shall not translate though Subba Row seemed to translate it for me in great glee. "K.H. wants me to write differently" was the order. They (the Bosses) have put their heads together and decided that the "divine Anna" should be humoured. She is necessary to them; she is a wonderful palliative (whatever on earth the word means in the present case!) and they mean to use her. She must be made to remain the aureolic President, you the nucleus (or nucleatic?) President. Both of you have to face each other as the two poles, chance guided by Masters drawing finally the true meridian between you two for the Society. Now don't imagine that I laugh or chaff. I am in a state of mute and helpless despair — for this once I be hung if I understand what they are driving at! I simply give you the expressions of Djual Khool as he gave them to me, not to write to her but in order that I should "realize and understand their (the Masters) policy." The devil a bit I shall! Let Them make for me new brains then for I cannot for the life of me understand how after she has so irreverently abused them in her address — she can remain President! To this D.K. only laughed. "The words of a woman wounded in her physical vanity, angry at not being taken notice of by Master (K.H.) are less than a passing breeze. She may say what she likes. The Fellows have done their duty to protest as they have, she will know better now, but she must remain, and Mr. Sinnett must become the leader and President of the inner ring." This is as nearly verbatim as I can remember D.K.'s words whatever the inner ring means. I suppose it is this: Mrs. K. will be the President of the exoteric Theos. Soc. nominally that also of the inner Society, and within the general Society will be an inner esoteric or circle of the Fellows who pursue the study of the esoteric doctrines like yourself. Well I had to write to her in consequence and tell her all manner of pious and lying compliments I do not feel. Let the Karma of this fall upon Boss — for I have been solely and only the weapon or irresponsible agent in all this. I suppose Mahatma K.H. played first fiddle and my Boss second as usual. I have as you say but to obey.
Quite so for it is the best policy.
That's all and now I wash my hands. Since the Masters take this upon themselves what have I to say? They want her to write her occult experiences in the Theosophist — she says — and she kindly consents.
Really I do not know how to answer your question about Mrs. Gebhard. Of course she deserves if any to receive direct instructions from the Masters. But how can K.H. go to her — a woman? Don't you know the strict prohibition? Besides Boss forbids me talking on those subjects. He blew me up several times for talking too much and telling you of things I knew nothing much myself — as about this darned "Moon" question. I was abused more than I ever was for this when the question of the moon — "dust bin" came out. It's all that wretched Wyld. His answer is so stupid that I will not even notice it. "Mr. B." indeed! Mr. B. is of course Dayanand who is referred to as Mr. B. in his silly letter in Light. Ah yes! "Mr. B . . . is rapidly disintegrating and become rotten and must no doubt shortly die out altogether," and "Mr. B." or Dayanand has very rapidly disintegrated and is just dead on Oct. 30th last as prophesied 18 months ago. Wyld may laugh. But he is disintegrating and rapidly dying out himself — the fool!
Well there's news again. Day before yesterday I received telegram from Jummar from Olcott "Damodar taken away by the Masters." Disappeared!! I thought and feared as much though it is strange for it is hardly four years he is chela. I send you both telegrams from Olcott and Mr. Brown's second one. Why should Brown be so favoured — is what I cannot understand. He may be a good man, but what the devil has he done [of] so holy and good! That's all I know about him that it seems to be K.H.'s second visit personally to him. He is expected here or in the neighbourhood by two chelas who have come from Mysore to meet Him. He is going somewhere to the Buddhists of the Southern Church. Shall we see him? I do not know. But there's a commotion here among the chelas. Well strange things are taking place. Earthquakes, and blue and green sun; Damodar spirited away and Mahatma coming. And now what shall we do in the office without Damodar! Ye gods and powers of Heaven and Hell we didn't have work and trouble enough! Well, well THEIR Will be done not mine.
Yours ever in hot water,
H. P. Blavatsky.
Give my love to dear Mrs. Sinnett and a kiss to Denny. How is he and the Bossess? Who is Mr. Finch? A candidate for chelaship? What does Mr. Myers say to the Replies? Disgusted I suppose? I thought as much. Well that's all the Adepts will get for their trouble. Adieu!
Sinnett Sahib — you must not wonder. We have the good of the whole Movement and Society at heart. Even the wishes of the majority shall not prevail — the feelings of the less enlightened minority having also to be consulted. The day must come when all will know better. Meanwhile the akhu tries to fascinate K.H. by her portraiture!