The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett

Biographical Sketches and Bibliography

From the Combined Chronology by Margaret Conger

HUME, Allan Octavian, 1829-1912. His general career and the splendid work he did for the Indian people after his withdrawal from Theosophical activities make it easier to understand the almost incredible patience shown towards him by the farseeing Masters. He was an English ornithologist of repute, and an Indian Administrator of ability for some years. He had rendered distinguished service during the Mutiny and, between 1867 and 1871, had carried to a successful conclusion negotiations with the proud and powerful Rajput Chiefs for the opening of roads through their territories. After 1882, when he had ceased his Theosophical work and when he had retired from the service, he devoted himself to furthering the aspirations for self-government of the native Indians. The Indian National Congress which held its first session in 1885 owes its existence to his exertions. During the few years of his connection with the T. S. he wrote much and well. The first three numbers of Fragments of Occult Truth by "H. X." published in The Theosophist were largely from his pen, and were written by request in answer to questions from Mr. Terry, an Australian Theosophist. Under the same pseudonym, Mr. Hume also wrote and printed privately several Theosophical pamphlets, some of which have been reprinted under their original title Hints on Esoteric Theosophy. The later numbers of the Fragments, in answer to the same enquirer, were written by Mr. Sinnett and signed by him, as authorized by Mahatma K. H., "A Lay-Chela."

MAITLAND, Edward, 1824-1897. Educated at Caius College, Cambridge, but did not take orders. In 1857 he took up an advanced humanitarian attitude and also claimed to have developed a new sense by which he was able to discern the spiritual condition of people. He was closely associated with DR. ANNA KINGSFORD (1846-1888), supporter of vegetarianism and bitter and fearless foe of vivisection. Together they brought out, in 1882, The Perfect Way, or the Finding of Christ.

MASSEY, Charles Carlton. The son of the first Finance Minister of India and himself a barrister. Sufficient independent means gave him the leisure to prosecute his studies in philosophy, metaphysics and psychism. In 1875 he visited the United States, drawn there by reports of the phenomena at the Eddy homestead. He was one of the small original group that founded the T. S. in 1875 in New York. After his return to London he drew together a number of investigators and these, in 1878, obtained from Olcott a charter as the British T. S., with Massey as its President. In 1880 he translated a portion of Zollner's book under the title Transcendental Physics, and later, at the earnest insistence of Dr. Kingsford, translated Carl du Prel's monumental treatise The Philosophy of Mysticism. In 1884, frightened by the report of the Society for Psychical Research, he resigned from the T. S.

MOSES, The Rev. William Stainton — pseudonym M. A. (Oxon) — 1839-1892. A man of university education, a clergyman and a schoolmaster. In 1872 he became interested in spiritualism and soon began himself to manifest mediumistic phenomena which continued for some ten years. As evidenced by letters from K. H. certain of the Masters had hoped that his psychic constitution might make it possible for him to evolve from an unconscious passive medium into a conscious, intelligent and positive agent. His mediumistic phenomena included (besides trance communications) levitations, raps, production of lights, perfumes and sounds. His record of trance communications published by himself as Spirit Identity and Spirit Teachings is still considered by psychologists the most notable series of English automatic writings. He was recognized by the S. P. R. investigators as being absolutely honest and sincere in his mediumship, and the best general account of his phenomena was compiled by F. W. H. Myers in papers for the S. P. R.

MYERS, Frederic W. H., 1843-1901. An early member of the T. S. He was also one of the founders and most noteworthy members of the S. P. R. An earnest student of the various phases of psychism he gave many new words and ideas to psychology, among them retrocognition, direct knowledge of the past; and subliminal self, the consciousness below the threshold of ordinary awareness. In August 1883, after reading Esoteric Buddhism he sent to The Theosophist a series of "Enquiries from an English F. T. S." which Mahatma M. thought well enough of to answer in part himself. (See BL 23.) Even after the report of the S. P. R. he remained staunch until, in 1886, he came under the influence of Solovioff with whose distorted mentality his own honest mind was entirely unfitted to cope.


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