Published by The Blavatsky Archives Online. Online Edition copyright 2000.
The Evolution of Humanity[Letter to the Editor.]
by F.W Read
[Reprinted from Light (London), May 6, 1893, p. 216.]
Sir, --- I have waited a week since the appearance of Mr. Sinnetts letter in answer to mine, in the hope that some champion of The Secret Doctrine would take part in the discussion. As it appears we are not to be favoured with any argument from that side. I may perhaps be allowed a few words of comment.
The great fact which is brought home to one on reading Mr. Sinnetts letter is the increasing difficulty of knowing what the Theosophic Revelation really reveals. As long as Esoteric Buddhism stood alone, it was possible to refer to it as a precise statement of the Mahatmic teachings, but the appearance of The Secret Doctrine has totally altered the state of the case. In that work, as I showed in my previous letter, certain of the teachings in Esoteric Buddhism are said to be erroneous; and now Mr. Sinnett informs us that the former work is blemished here and there by failures to cast that teaching correctly in the mould of our thought and language. Not only so, but it is marred by misquotation. Besides the one to which Mr. Sinnett now calls attention, there is the more important one about Laplace and the moons of Mars to which I referred in my previous letter. In this latter case a statement was quoted by Madame Blavatsky verbatim (as she alleged) from a letter of the Teachers, and yet in the Agnostic Journal of June 28th, 1890, Mr. Mead gave a quotation (also alleged to be verbatim) from the same letter, which showed, if accurate, that Madame Blavatsky had under the name of a verbatim quotation put forward a statement which was never in the letter at all. This, of course, raises a presumption that she was equally mistaken in the other verbatim quotation from the same letter, to which I have drawn attention as being in conflict with the teachings of Esoteric Buddhism. Under such circumstances, how is the student to know what the true teaching is? Madame Blavatsky and Mr. Sinnett each say that the other misinterprets the Masters; and the former is convicted, first on the testimony of Mr. Mead (who must be taken as her representative, since he was allowed to use the Mahatma manuscripts), and now by Mr. Sinnett, of distinct misquotation. On the whole, the Theosophic revelation seems to be getting almost as involved as the Christian.
With regard to Mr. Sinnetts denial in Esoteric Buddhism of the peopling of Egypt by the Atlanteans, I must admit that this is not necessarily in conflict with his later statement as to an Atlantean immigration into that country.
F. W. Read.