SIR, -- May I be allowed to say some words once
more upon the subject of Esoteric Buddhism. Having left England for India on August 25th,
I have been unable to keep en rapport with the discussion while it lasted, and to
communicate with you at a time perhaps more suitable than the present.
I am enabled to write in answer to your Spiritualistic correspondents,
because I am in sympathy with all honest Spiritualists and am a corresponding member of
the Central Association in London. While acknowledging, however, the phenomena of
Spiritualism to be scientific, I have been enabled by some study to see their rationale,
and to rise to Esoteric Truth, which masters of Occultism and Theosophists can understand.
Well, then, I proceed now to offer some resistance to the attacks of
your contributors and of the journalists of London generally.
I refer first to an opinion expressed in regard to the erudition of
Rhys Davids as opposed to that of our President-Founder. It would not be real modesty to
refrain from asserting that no one with so-called normal powers can know nearly so much of
Buddhism as the prominent members of the Theosophical Society.
I now proceed, sir, to deal with some contributions to the paper under
your editorial direction. In answer to them generally, it may be said that we expect, and
are prepared for, the scepticism, of which we have recently had a sample. It would be vain
to expect other things from those who having eyes yet do not see. The doubting of the
existence of the Occult Brethren is a matter which, in the real Theosophist, provokes a
quiet laugh. The speaking disparagingly raises feelings of indignation and of pity.
Accepted Chelas, of whom there are many in this Empire and four of whom I have the honour
of knowing personally, are in constant communication with their masters, have seen them
frequently in both ordinary and to us extraordinary circumstances, and know them as they
know their own souls. The statement that "the Brothers" are not seen is, indeed,
absurd and untrue.
And now I proceed to notice particularly the letter of one of your
correspondents, Mr. Henry Kiddle. Mr. Kiddles letter is written conscientiously and
in a good spirit: and there is no doubt but that, from an ordinary standpoint, there is
fair reason for the protest with which we have been favoured.
Mr. Kiddle, "not to put too fine a point upon it," accuses
one of our respected masters of nothing short of plagiarism. Mr. Kiddle will not, I am
sure, maintain that the ideas in his excerpts are original and are placed by him for the
first time before an attentive world. Our master puts the same ideas before us (in pretty
much the same words, it is true), but refers, beforehand, to a gentleman of the name of
Plato. The sentences to which Mr. Kiddle lays claim are found among a number of others
bearing on the subject, but the latter are not, so far as we have heard, to be found in
any discourse delivered at Mount Pleasant or elsewhere. Whence come they? is the query
We will not answer Mr. Kiddle by saying, in the words of Solomon, that
there is nothing new under the sun; but will tell him, instead, that the explanation is
occult, and deals with an essence known as "astral light." Our master has, no
doubt, seen the idea, and, being tired (as indicated at the close of the paragraph
referred to), has written or impressed it hurriedly without regard to the feelings of Mr.
Kiddle on the one hand or of Plato on the other.
To us who are within the pale, it is unpleasant to write letters of a
nature such as this, in answer to unsympathetic and sceptical men. But as time goes on it
will be recognised (though we say it, perhaps, who should not) that an explanation such as
this is good-natured; for the absence of knowledge on the part of Mr. Kiddle is assuredly
his loss -- not ours. -- I am, Sir, yours truly,