Mr. Sinnetts Reply to Mr. Kiddle.
[Reprinted from Light (London), September 23, 1883, p. 424]
To the Editor of "LIGHT"
SIR, -- Having been travelling about for the last few weeks, I only received "LIGHT" of September 1st, on my arrival here yesterday evening. I hasten to acknowledge the letter signed "Henry Kiddle," commenting on the practical identity of some passages in one of my adept teachers letters, published in the Occult World with certain others in the report of Mr. Kiddles lecture. Original manuscripts to which I should wish to refer in connection with this matter are in London, and until I return thither at the end of this month, I can only say a few words on the subject. I now have heard of the alleged plagiary for the first time. I have no recollection of having received the letter Mr. Kiddle appears to have addressed to me. If such a letter reached my office in India and escaped my attention while I was burdened with the immense correspondence I had to deal with there as editor of a daily newspaper, I must apologise to Mr. Kiddle for the oversight, and regret it on my own account, as it would have been much easier for me to have dealt with the question raised, while still in India, than it is here.
For the moment all I can say is that as printed in the Occult World (a copy of which I have just succeeded in obtaining here for reference), I notice that the passage referred to by Mr. Kiddle is introduced by my revered friend with the expression "Plato was right," which seems to point to some origin for the sentences immediately following, that may have lain behind both the letter and the lecture. To obtain a further explanation of the mystery from India will take time, but meanwhile I may point out that the path leading to acquaintanceship with the adepts, is always found strewn with provocations to distrust them; for reasons very fully detailed in my books: their policy at present is rather to ward off than to invite European confidence. We, who are keenly desirous of penetrating to a comprehension of their philosophy, must be prepared at every turn to find traps set for our suspicions; as regards the matter before us it seems to me, in any case, hardly worth being regarded as a trap. Scarcely anyone who has realised the grandeur and sufficient completeness of the esoteric teaching, as already disclosed in its broad outlines, will be inclined to take notice of the relatively trivial question now brought up. That might have claimed attention when the Occult World came out; it is rather out of date now, that those of us who held steadily to our purpose have, by disregarding incidents that seemed to repel confidence in the beginning, got beyond them so far that in the retrospect they look merely ridiculous.
Wiesbaden, September 15th.
A. P. SINNETT