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Mr. Sinnett in his posthumous work "The Early Days of Theosophy in Europe" reopens this old controversy, and in the course of his remarks he makes many insinuations of a personal nature against Madame Blavatsky which are as untrue of her, as they are unworthy of her old colleague. In Chapter IX p. 92 of that work after saying that Madame Blavatsky had stated in The Secret Doctrine that he had made a great mistake in representing Mars, Mercury, and the Earth as belonging to the same planetary chain, he continues on the same page —: . . . . "The letter from the Master from which she (H.P.B.) professed to give extract was not what she represents it, an answer to enquiries of her own, but a garbled version of a letter originally addressed to me."
Two different letters are in reality here referred to — the first, addressed to Mr. Sinnett, was quoted from on p. 163, Vol. I of The Secret Doctrine; the second, addressed to Mdme. Blavatsky is quoted on p. 165; the former is contained in the present volume, but the latter is not.
On page 94 of the same work appears the following: — "Eventually when Mrs. Besant by the expansion of her own knowledge had ascertained definitely that Mars and Mercury did belong to our chain with functions in evolution as I had originally described them, she did publish a statement to that effect in 'Lucifer' vol. XVII. p. 271."
For the convenience of those not having access to the volumes of Lucifer the passage referred to is here quoted in full together with a former statement by Mrs. Besant on the same subject: —
"The apparent contradiction between the teaching of The Masters as put forward by their direct messenger H. P. Blavatsky, and as understood by Mr. Sinnett is capable of very easy explanation. The solution turns on the words 'Solar System.' If that term be held to denote the Solar System known to Western Science, the sentence given by Mr. Sinnett is meaningless; but reference to the series of letters from which the isolated passage respecting Mars is quoted, at once shows the meaning attached to the 'Solar System' in the correspondence. I naturally turned to the letters themselves — copies of which I have — to solve the puzzle, and I found that Master K.H. used the term in a special and quite definite sense.
"He explains three kinds of Manvantaras, Pralayas etc., universal, solar, and minor. A minor Manvantara is composed of seven Rounds i.e. the circuit seven times of a Planetary Chain of
seven Globes. To such a chain, our Earth belongs. A Solar Period consists of seven of such sevenfold Rounds i.e. forty-nine; seven such Planetary Chains compose a 'Solar System'; in three of such chains, our Earth, Mars, and Mercury, form the D. Globe. Globe D. of the Mars Chain, Globe D. of the Mercury Chain are visible to us, because those chains are sufficiently near our own in evolution, one behind us and one ahead of us, for their matter to affect our senses, while the remaining four chains are too far away in evolution to have enough in common with us for visibility.
"Mars and Mercury bear a special relation to our Earth in the whole evolution of the Solar System, though not part of the Earth Chain. The other four Planetary Chains belonging to our Solar System are too far behind us or in front of us for even their Globes D. to be seen.
"Other planets in the Solar System of Science as arranged in the West do not belong to the Solar System of the Esoteric Philosophy; and it is the ignoring of this which led to the confusion. A western reader naturally gives the term his own sense not knowing that in the teachings it was used in quite a different one. And so, once more we find the Masters' doctrines self-consistent.
"The old Mars and Mercury discussion has been lately revived to some extent in Theosophical circles, and an appeal has been made to me to say if any further light has been thrown upon the subject. In Lucifer vol. XIII. p. 206, I wrote an explanation which seemed satisfactory so far as the documents then in my hands were concerned. I was leaving for India when I wrote the paragraph and Mr. Sinnett kept silence, in his generous way, during my absence; but on my return he showed me the original letter on which the statement in Esoteric Buddhism was founded, the letter partially quoted in the Secret Doctrine vol. I p. 187; this letter was one of those received in the early days and was not among those of which I had copies. This original letter left no doubt as to the Master's statement on this point, for it said categorically, that Mars and Mercury made part of the chain of which our Earth is the fourth Globe. As the Society was then disturbed over Mr. Judge's affair, Mr. Sinnett did not wish the question to be revived merely to justify himself, but there is no reason now why the matter should not be put straight.
"The facts are these; the planetary chain consists of Globes A., B., Mars, Earth, Mercury, F., and G., and round these the great life-wave has swept three and a half times, reaching Earth for the fourth time; the mass of humanity passed from Mars to the Earth, and will pass from the Earth to Mercury. But the leading class of humanity — and here is a fact that throws some light on the opposing statements — did not share in this general evolution. It came directly to the Earth from another region at a much later period in evolution, and had never been on Mars at all. Another fact, which H.P.B. evidently had in mind, when writing on this question, is that Mars is also concerned in an entirely different evolution, as to which nothing can be publicly said. It is therefore impossible to clear the matter up to the satisfaction of exoteric students, but it is just that it should be publicly stated that Mr. Sinnett's statement is entirely borne out by the original letter."
It will be at once seen that in the first of the above statements Lucifer Vol. XIII, Mrs. Besant in the main supports the explanation given in the Secret Doctrine, while in the second, Vol. XVII she says, "that the letter partially quoted on page 163 of Secret Doctrine Vol. I., categorically states that Mars and Mercury made part of the chain of which our Earth is the fourth Globe."
The letter referred to was among those left by Mr. Sinnett and it is therefore possible to examine the facts in the light of the original document. The passage quoted will be found on page 176 of this volume in the paragraph numbered (23), and with due deference to Mrs. Besant, it must be pointed out that there is nothing in that paragraph or the remainder of the letter, which can be construed into a "categorical statement that Mars and Mercury made part of the chain of which our Earth is 4th Globe."
Attention has been drawn to the fact that Mdme. Blavatsky was not accurate in her quotation of the Master's letter to the extent that she added the word "etc." and omitted the word "yet" — and there are some who would like to convince themselves and others that this fact is sufficient to invalidate the whole of H.P.B.'s exposition of the teaching regarding the nature of the septenary planetary chains. It should be evident to every student that in reality, at the worst, this mis-quotation invalidates the hypothesis which Mdme. Blavatsky offered as a possible explanation of Mr. Sinnett's misunderstanding, and it leaves utterly untouched the doctrine of the septenary chain with one physical globe which is implied in every line of The Secret Doctrine and is in fact an integral part of the esoteric philosophy.
As stated over and over again and from every point of view in these pages of the Secret Doctrine (Vol. I., pp. 162-169) . . . "neither Mars nor Mercury belong to our chain. They are along with other planets, Septenary Units in the Great host of Chains of our System and all are as visible as their upper Globes are invisible." (p. 164.) And again "The one Eternal Law unfolds everything in the to be manifested Nature, on a sevenfold principle; among the rest, the countless circular chains of worlds composed of 7 globes, graduated on the 4 lower planes of the World of Formation, the 3 others belonging to the Archetypal Universe. Out of these 7 only one, the lowest and the most material of these Globes, is within our plane or means of perception, the 6 others lying outside it and being therefore invisible to the terrestrial eye. . . . To make it clearer; we are told that each of the planets, of which seven only were called sacred, as being ruled by the highest Regents or Gods, . . . is a septenary, as also is the chain to which the Earth belongs; . . . while the superior fellow globes of these planets are on other planes quite outside that of our terrestrial senses. . . . These invisible companions correspond curiously to that which we call the "principles" in man. The seven are on three material planes and one spiritual plane" (Vol I., p. 152). . . and again . . . "but it may be stated that our satellite is only the gross body of its invisible principles. Seeing then that there are seven Earths, so there are seven Moons, the last alone being visible. The same for the Sun, whose visible body is called a Maya a reflection, just as man's body is. The real Sun and the real Moon are as invisible as the real man." (Vol I., p. 179) Says an occult axiom.
Could words be plainer? Hardly — and yet for over thirty years the Theosophical Society has permitted itself to spread this misleading superstition, preferring to assume that it was Madame Blavatsky who did not understand what she was writing about. The mystery is after all as clear as it well nigh can be. The septenary chains of Globes about which Theosophical Text Books talk so much, are seven principled Units, each having a physical body and six higher or subtler principles invisible to the ordinary senses, but co-existing and inter-penetrating each other.
Students of Astrology at least are able to prove for themselves that the correspondence between man and a planet is exact; for just as the six invisible principles of a planet correspond to the six invisible principles in man, so do the seven sacred Planets correspond to the whole of the seven principles of our Earth and therefore of man. How then is it possible that the theory, which credits the Earth Chain with three physical planets, can be correct from any point of view? It is manifestly ridiculous, because if it were true, it would mean by the occult law of correspondence, that man also must have three physical bodies which is an absurdity, and proves the whole theory false from beginning to end.
The publication of these letters gives to the student an opportunity to examine the whole range of Theosophic teaching in their light — while adding thereto the faculty of criticism — the highest and most discriminative of which he is capable. That faculty is an impersonal one; it is neither critic nor respecter of persons — for to it persons are without significance. But with ideas — with doctrines, it has everything to do, and if it is inevitable that the use of that faculty by students the world over will reveal many discrepancies in the accepted Theosophical doctrines of the day, it is equally certain that a large part of that teaching will receive a confirmation which cannot be gainsaid.
— A. T. B.
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