Published by Blavatsky Study Center. Online Edition copyright 2004.

Letters of H.P.B. to Dr. Hartmann

Letter V

[Reprinted from The Path (New York), March 1896, pp. 366-367.]

[No Date.]

My Dear Doctor: --- Every word of your letter shows to me that you are on the right path, and I am mighty glad of it for you. Still, one may be on the right way, and allow his past-self to bring up too forcibly to him the echoes of the past and a little dying-out prejudice to distort them. When one arrives at knowing himself, he must know others also, which becomes easier. You have made great progress in the former direction; yet, since you cannot help misjudging others a little by the light of old prejudices, I say you have more work to do in this direction. All is not and never was bad in Adyar. The intentions were all good, and that’s why, perhaps, they have led Olcott and others direct to fall, as they had no discrimination. The fault is not theirs, but of circumstances and individual karmas.

The first two pages of your letter only repeat that, word for word, which I taught Olcott and Judge and others in America. This is the right occultism. Arrived at Bombay, we had to drop Western and take to Eastern Rosicrucianism. It turned [out] a failure for the Europeans, as the Western turned [out] a failure for the Hindus. This is the secret, and the very root of the failure. But, having mixed up the elements in the so-desired Brotherhood - that could not be helped. Please do not misunderstand me. Occultism is one and universal at its root. Its external modes differ only. I certainly did not want to disturb you to come here only to hear disagreeable things, but [I] do try: (a) to make you see things in their true light, which would only benefit you; and (b) to show you things written in the Secret Doctrine which would prove to you that that which you have lately learned in old Rosicrucian works, I knew years ago, and now have embodied them. Cross and such symbols are world-old. Every symbol must yield three fundamental truths and four implied ones, otherwise the symbol is false. You gave me only one, but so far it is a very correct one. In Adyar you have learned many of such implied truths, because you were not ready; now you may have the rest through self-effort. But don’t be ungrateful, whatever you do. Do not feel squeamish and spit on the path - however unclean in some of its corners - that led you to the Adytum at the threshold of which you now stand. Had it not been for Adyar and its trials you never would have been where you are now, but in America married to some new wife who would either have knocked the last spark of mysticism out of your head, or confirmed you in your spiritualism, or what is worse, one of you would have murdered the other. When you find another man who, like poor, foolish Olcott, will love and admire you as he did - sincerely and honestly - take him, I say, to your bosom and try to correct his faults by kindness, not by venomous satire and chaff. We have all erred and we have all been punished, and now we have learned better. I never gave myself out for a full-blown occultist, but only for a student of Occultism for the last thirty-five or forty years. Yet I am enough of an occultist to know that before we find the Master within our own hearts and seventh principle - we need an outside Master. As the Chinese Alchemist says, speaking of the necessity of a living teacher: "Every one seeks long life (spiritual), but the secret is not easy to find. If you covet the precious things of Heaven you must reject the treasures of the earth. You must kindle the fire that springs from the water and evolve the Om contained within the Tong: One word from a wise Master and you possess a draught of the golden water."

I got my drop from my Master (the living one); you, because you went to Adyar. He is a Saviour, he who leads you to finding the Master within yourself. It is ten years already that I preach the inner Master and God and never represented our Masters as Saviours in the Christian sense. Nor has Olcott, gushing as he is. I did think for one moment that you had got into the epidemic of a "Heavenly Master and Father God," and glad I am to find my mistake. This was only natural. You are just one of those with whom such surprises may be expected at any moment. Commit one mistake, and turn for one moment out of the right path you are now pursuing, and you will land in the arms of the Pope. Olcott does not teach what you say, Doctor. He teaches the Hindus to rely upon themselves, (1) and that there is no Saviour save their own Karma. I want you to be just and impartial; otherwise you will not progress. Well, if you do not come and have a talk - I will feel sorry, for I will never see you again. If you do, the Countess and I will welcome you.

Yours ever truly,           H.P.B.


(1)  The reputed "Postscript" in No. 7, vol. xvi, of the Theosophist, goes to show that in this case H.P.B. was wrong. - H[artmann].

(Go to Letter VI.)

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