HPB on the Masters
Dec 18, 1994 01:33 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker
Following are some quotes from "The Key to Theosophy",
Chapter XIV, on "The 'Theosophical Mahatmas,'" verbatim
edition, 1946, Theosophical University Press. I'll write my
own thoughts in a later posting.
---- Eldon Tucker
Q Some say they are "Spirits," or some other kind of
supernatural beings, ... [or] "myths."
A ... neither ... they are *living men,* born as we are
born, and doomed to die like every other mortal.
Q ... it is rumored that some of them are a thousand years
A [No.] ... the more we try to set people right, the more
absurd do the inventions become.
Q ... do they outlive the ordinary age of men?
A ... Some Adepts do exceed, by a good deal, what you would
call the ordinary age ...
Q ... why do you call them "Masters"?
A ... because they are our teachers; and because from them
we have derived all the Theosophical truths, however
inadequately some of us may have expressed, and others
understood them. They are men of great learning, whom we term
Initiates, and still greater holiness of life. They are not
ascetics in the ordinary sense, though they certainly remain
apart from the turmoil and strife of your western world.
Q But is it not selfish thus to isolate themselves?
A Where is the selfishness? ... the world is neither ready
to recognize them nor to profit by their teaching ... Besides,
they isolate themselves only from the West. In their own
country they go about as publicly as other people do.
Q Don't you ascribe to them supernatural powers?
A ... The powers which they exercise are simply the
development of potencies lying latent in every man ...
Q Is it true that these men *inspire* some of your writers?
A Some have. There are passages entire dictated by them and
*verbatim,* but in most cases they only inspire the ideas and
leave the literary form to the writers.
Q ... How can they do it?
A ... there exists as much interaction between one mind and
another, no matter at what distance, as between one body and
another in closest contact ... When two minds are
sympathetically related ... there is nothing which will
prevent the transmission of thoughts ...
Q ... have the Adepts thus inspired or dictated to many of
A ... to very few. Such operations require special
conditions. An unscrupulous but skilled Adept of the Black
Brotherhood ("Brothers of the Shadow," and Dugpas, we call
them) has far less difficulties to labor under. For, having no
laws of the Spiritual kind to trammel his actions, such a
Dugpa "sorcerer" will most unceremoniously obtain control over
any mind, and subject it entirely to his evil powers. But our
Masters will never do that. They have no right, except by
falling into Black Magic, to obtain full mastery over anyone's
immortal Ego, and can therefore act only on the physical and
psychic nature of the subject, leaving thereby the free will
of the latter wholly undisturbed. Hence, unless a person has
been brought into psychic relationship with the Masters, and
is assisted by virtue of his full faith in, and devotion to,
his Teachers, the latter, whenever transmitting their thoughts
to one with whom these conditions are not fulfilled,
experience great difficulties in penetrating into the cloudy
chaos of that person's sphere ...
Q ... [There are men who have] laughed at the very mention
of Witchcraft and Sorcery.
A ... knowing as we do of the existence of good and holy
Adepts, believe as thoroughly in the existence of bad and
unholy Adepts, or--*Dugpas.*
Q But if the Masters exist, why don't they come out before
all men and refute once for all the many charges ... that
*they* do not exist, and that she has invented them.
A ... To say that she has invented the Masters comes to
this: She must have invented every bit of philosophy that has
ever been given out in Theosophical literature ... personally
she treats the whole matter with contempt, while the Mahatmas
simply laugh at it.
Q The S.P.R. now denies completely the existence of the
A ... she almost prefers that people should not believe in
the Masters. She declares openly that she would rather people
should seriously think that the only Mahatmaland is the grey
matter of her brain ... than that their names and grand ideal
should be so infamously desecrated as they are at present. At
first she used to protest indignantly against any doubts as to
their existence. Now she never goes out of her way to prove or
disprove it. Let people think what they like.
Q But, of course, these Masters *do* exist?
A We affirm *they do.* Nevertheless, this does not help
Q But if you have such wise and good men to guide the
Society, how is it that so many mistakes have been made?
A The Masters do *not* guide the Society, not even the
Founders; and no one has ever asserted that they did: they
only watch over, and protect it ... The Masters look at the
future, not at the present, and every mistake is so much more
accumulated wisdom for days to come.
Q ... many of your Theosophical writers claim to have been
inspired by these Masters ...
A ... the burden of proof rests with them .. some ... have
*lied* or were hallucinated when boasting of such inspiration;
others were truly inspired by great Adepts.
Q [How about "The Secret Doctrine"?]
A ... she gives out the doctrines that she has learned from
the Masters, but claims no inspiration whatever for what she
has lately written. As for our best Theosophists, they would
also in this case far rather that the names of the Masters had
never been mixed up with our books in any way. With few
exceptions, most of such works are not only imperfect, but
positively erroneous and misleading. Great are the
desecrations to which the names of two of the Masters have
been subjected ... Many and heavy are the sins of those who
advanced these claims ... every earnest Theosophist regrets
today, from the bottom of his heart, that these sacred names
and things have ever been mentioned before the public ...
Q The names certainly do occur very frequently ...
A We Theosophists were, unfortunately, the first to talk of
these things, to make the fact of the existence in the East of
"Adepts" and "Masters" and Occult knowledge known; now, that
the Karma ... has fallen ... The cycle of "Adepts," used as a
sledge-hammers to break the theosophical heads with, began ...
we can only suffer in the hope that our indiscretions may have
made it a little easier for others to find the way to these
Masters, whose names are now everywhere taken in vain ...
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