Yes, Mabel, the "mahatmic force" does exist. It exists in every great soul
like yours! There is no need of a word of mine further. It is Helen P. Blavatskys
turn to speak next.
1726 N. St., Washington, D. C., May 3, 1889.
THROUGH THE "GATES OF GOLD."
To the Editor of the Religio-Philosophical Journal:
The recently published letter of "Mabel Collins" (Mrs. Cooke) has attracted,
for a very good reason, so much attention and favorable comment, that the following will
doubtless be read with interest. It is the full text written to me by Mrs. Cooke shortly
after the appearance of the "Gates of Gold," of what Mrs. Cooke and myself both
refer to in our joint recent publication in the Journal. I did not then give it,
because I could not conveniently lay my hands on it. But since the matter has assumed such
magnitude I feel the need of being exact on every point. Having looked over my files and
found the letter, I give it word for word. It is in Mrs. Cookes handwriting, undated
"72 Clarendon Road, Notting Hill, W., London.
"The writer of the Gates of Gold is Mabel Collins, who had it as well
as Light on the Path and the Idyll of the White Lotus dictated to
her by one of the adepts of the group which through Madame Blavatsky first communicated
with the Western world. The name of this inspirer cannot be given, as the personal names
of the Masters have already been sufficiently desecrated."
This is exactly, word for word, what Mrs. Cooke now says she wrongly wrote to me
because Madame Blavatsky "begged and implored" her to do so, and which she also
wrote at her dictation. It certainly has the genuine Blavatskian ring about it.
MORE MAHATMIC FORCE.
To the Editor of the Religio-Philosophical Journal:
If you mail resembles mine in quantity and quality of theosophical correspondence since
"Mabel Collinss" disavowal of inspiration from Madame Blavatskys
Hindu "controls," it must be curious reading for one who is as used as you are
to reflect upon the lights and shades of human nature. At this revelation through the Journal
some people are pleased; others sorry; others angry; some applaud; some condemn; many are
curious, and most of them want to argue about it. My mail has a sort of shivery,
gooseflesh quality, as if a panic in mahatmic stock were imminent, and there is a tendency
of the hair of the faithful to stand on end.
What will happen to the original and only genuine straightout Blavatskians, who now
present so picturesque a microscopic group, when the rest of the facts in the case are
wrested into the garish light of day by profane editors, I do not know. But it is always
safe to wait and see. Just now I gather from my correspondents two curious items.
First, a good many persons are surprised that I seem to have only now found out that
"Light on the Path" was not dictated by our friend Koot Hoomi or any other
Eastern adept. Such have always known all about its source, and my discovery is discounted
as a theosophical chestnut. Let me say to all such, that I do not always tell all I know,
and that I might have continued silent on the authorship of "Light on the Path,"
had I not had reasons for publishing Mrs. Cookes letter just then and there -
reasons I reserve for the present.
Secondly, and very curiously, some of my correspondents advance a theory that would
have the charm of novelty to one less versed than myself in that capacity of the human
mind to resist knowledge which results in what the Catholics call "invincible
ignorance." This theory is, that Madame Blavatsky knew the source of Mrs.
Cookes inspiration better than the author of "Light on the Path" knew it
herself; and therefore the former ingenious lady was quite right in begging the latter
ingenuous lady to do as she did.
It is a very pretty quarrel as it stands, and one that I should not like to mar by any
injudicious interference. The more we learn of the methods of Mahatmic manipulations of
our wild and woolly Western wickedness, the more we admire Oriental wisdom and innocence.
Commending your soul to the care of the Dhyan-Chohans, and recommending you to read Bret
Hartes deathless poem,
I remain, with respect,
(Evidently from Dr. Coues as avowing publication of Mrs. Collinss
1. Madame Blavatsky left England for India in November, 1884, and did not return to
England till May 1st, 1887. Light on the Path was published about March,
1885. At the time of Mrs. Collinss reception of the letter which Dr. Coues wrote her
in 1885, Madame Blavatsky was in India. Mrs. Collins could not, therefore, have been
"studying and studying under" her, nor could she have "taken the
letter" to her, nor have "written the answer at her dictation."
2. Mr. William Q. Judge was in London in November, 1884, after Madame Blavatskys
departure, and returned to the States in December. Mrs. Collins was writing Light on
the Path at the time of his visit, and he received one of the first copies about April
3. The above unsigned and undated letter from Mrs. Collins to Dr. Coues is headed
"72 Clarendon Road." Mrs. Collins did not live in Clarendon Road until after
February, 1885, at least three months after Madame Blavatskys departure from
England. A distance of 7,000 miles made it therefore impracticable for the latter to
personally "beg and implore" the composition of this epistle.
4. In dedicating The Idyll of the White Lotus to "The true Author, the
Inspirer," Mrs. Collins made the same claim of inspiration as in the first letter to
Dr. Coues, though (as will be seen from an extract below from Madame Blavatsky) Madame
Blavatsky was ignorant even of the existence of the book until after Mrs. Collins avowed
the inspiration to Col. Olcott.
5. The history of Light on the Path was given to Dr. Keightley by Mrs. Collins
herself as follows. When Madame Blavatsky was in London in 1884, Mrs. Collins had partly
written The Idyll of the White Lotus. This story (she stated to Dr. K.) was due to
inspiration from a Being whom she described to Madame Blavatsky. Madame Blavatsky said
that, from the description and the tone of the thought, she believed this Being to be an
old friend of her own among the Occult Brotherhood, - though not "Koot Hoomi or some
other Hindu Adept." Mrs. Collins further stated that, after the completion of the
book, this same Being urged her to endeavor to reach a higher state of consciousness, as
there was work for her to do. The effort resulted in the production of Light on the
Path, written down in the manner which Mrs. Collins described.
Extracts from Madame Blavatskys letter of May 27th, 1889.
1. "Light on the Path was first published early in 1885, and Dr.
Couess letter to her could not have preceded the publication of the book. I returned
to India in November, 1884, and never saw Mabel Collins till the 1st of May,
1887. Therefore it is perfectly impossible that I should have dictated, or even suggested,
such a letter as Mabel Collins speaks of."
2. "Before my return to India in 1884, I saw Mabel Collins barely three or four
times. She then showed me the first page or two of Light on the Path, wherein I
recognized some phrases which were familiar to me. Therefore I the more readily accepted
the description of the manner in which they had been given to her. She herself certainly
believed that this book was dictated to her by some one whose appearance she
described, in which statement I am sure I shall be borne out by Mr. Finch, who had the
chief share in bringing about the publication of the book."
3. "I saw the completed work for the first time in my life at Ostend, a few months
before I came to London in 1887."
4. "I emphatically and unreservedly deny Mabel Collinss vile insinuation
that I ever asked her to make any statement regarding Light on the Path at
all, let alone any untrue statement."
5. "The book (Idyll of the White Lotus) was begun long before I first saw
her; it was unearthed by Mr. Ewen, and shown to Col. Olcott, who heard all about its
inspirer before I even knew of its existence."
From the above facts and extracts, it is clear -
1st. That Mrs. Collins claimed an inspirer for The Idyll of the White
Lotus before Madame Blavatsky had seen or even known of the book.
2d. That the suggestion of inspiration in the case of Light on the Path was
not made by Madame Blavatsky to Mrs. Collins, but by Mrs. Collins to Madame Blavatsky.
3d. That at the time Mrs. Collins alleges herself to have been "implored" by
Madame Blavatsky to write to Dr. Coues a claim of inspiration, Madame Blavatsky was, and
had been for months, 7,000 miles away.
4th. That if the claim to inspiration was false, Mrs. Collins alone was
responsible for the falsehood, and
5th. That the falsehood cannot be shifted to another person by a second
falsehood even more glaring and palpable.
It is not necessary for the undersigned to expand the reflections which instantly arise
in any honest and clear mind upon perusal of such a story as the foregoing. The spectacle
of a woman spontaneously accusing herself of a falsehood and sanctioning the utmost
publicity, not in penitence or atonement, but as a means, coupled with a greater
falsehood, to spite and injure a former friend, is of a sadness beyond measure. And yet
one can hardly see incongruity in the added spectacle of an officer of a Society grasping
at such an occasion, eagerly telegraphing across the ocean for permission to use it as
widely as possible to belittle and befoul the Society and its Head, exulting in the
probable confusion to the Cause to which he has professed allegiance, and finding
"Mahatmic force" in the very person he has just proclaimed a liar! Before these
astounding displays of moral callousness and mental short-sightedness, conscience,
judgment, and taste can but stand appalled.
There is, however, one remark which we, as students of Theosophy and intimate friends
of Madame Blavatsky, desire to make to all those who are interested in the Wisdom Religion
or members of the Theosophical Society. There is no cause for discouragement or alarm.
This is not the first time that evil passion has used the arts of detraction and treason
to check the progress of the Society and impair the influence of the Founders. Preceding
ones have failed. After each attack the Cause has rallied and stridden forward and upward,
the enemys hopes vanishing like his reputation. Why? Because behind the Society and
its friends are the Masters Themselves, Their aid ever given to those who are
earnestly working for the Truth and sustaining the hands of the visible Founders. It will
be so in this case. Very soon the animus of the present attack will be understood, its
spirit, motives, objects become apparent, and the very letters which to some seemed at
first so damaging will, like the scorpion, die from their own sting. Honor and honesty are
not dead among Theosophists, nor is perception of motive or horror of perfidy.
WILLIAM Q. JUDGE,
June 6th, 1889.
Concerning the actual authorship of the works referred to, and concerning the varied
assertions made by the reputed author, the following considerations may have weight.
1. In Lucifer Vol. I, No. 1. Mabel Collins in "Comments upon Light on
the Path" says that the book has a deep underlying meaning, and he who reads it
"is in fact deciphering a profound cipher"; and p. 9, "The whole of Light
on the Path is written in an astral cipher, and can therefore only be deciphered by
one who reads astrally." This is repeated and enforced in Lucifer for
2. Extract from a letter from Mabel Collins dated London, July 17, 1887, and printed in
The Path of September, 1887.
"To the Editor of The Path - As to Light on the Path, that is a
collection of axioms which I found written on the walls of a certain place to which I
obtained admittance, and I made notes of them as I saw them. But I see no feasible method
of making such explanations to the public, and therefore at present I propose to place
this preface before each of the books."
3. Through the Gates of Gold, by the same author, is dedicated to an unknown
being who, she says, came to her room and told her the story.
4. It is well known to those who are acquainted with Mabel Collins that, previous to
the writing of Light on the Path, she had been solely engaged in novel writing and
5. She stated to the undersigned in London in 1888 that she knew nothing about
philosophy or the laws of occultism, of Karma or any far-reaching theosophical doctrine.
6. That the books Light on the Path, Idyll of the White Lotus, and Through
the Gates of Gold were written, according to her own claim, under the inspiration of
some being or beings whom she does not know, and that the best of those contains within
itself indisputable evidence that it could not have been written by her unassisted.
7. That even if her charge against Madame Blavatsky was true, she is now claiming to be
the author of those books which, in many places and at times when Madame Blavatsky was not
with her, she has declared were not her own.
8. It cannot fail to be plain to every one that the explanation now offered by Prof.
Coues and Mabel Collins in regard to these books is only an attempt to make the public
believe that during these four years she has been pretending, at the solicitation of
Madame Blavatsky, that the book was written by an Adept, whereas in 1887 she published the
same explanation in the Path.
WILLIAM Q. JUDGE.