The 1900 Letter Inconsistencies
Nov 22, 1996 04:36 AM
by Sy Ginsburg
A request to Theosophical Historians and other knowledgeable folks:
I know there was a discussion of the 1900 letter from K.H. to Annie Besant a
while ago on Theos-L but I missed out on it. The letter was recently reposted
to Theos-L as follows:
THE 1900 LETTER
... The T.S. and its members are slowly manufacturing a
creed. Says a Thibetan proverb "credulity breeds credulity and ends
in hypocrisy." How few are they who can know anything about us. ...
Beware of an Esoteric Popery. ...
...The T.S. must safely be ushered into the new century.
...You have for some time been under deluding influences.
...Shun pride, vanity and love of power.
Be not guided by emotion but learn to stand alone. Be accurate and
critical rather than credulous. The mistake of the past in the old
religions must not be glossed over with imaginary explanations.
The E.S.T. must be reformed so as to be as unsectarian and
creedless as the T.S.. The rules must be few and simple and
acceptable to all. No one has the right to claim authority over a
pupil or his conscience. Ask him not what he believes. All who are
sincere and pure minded must have admittance. The crest wave of
intellectual advancement must be taken hold of and guided into
spirituality. It cannot be forced into beliefs and emotional
worship. The essence of the higher thoughts of the members in
their collectivity must guide all action in the T.S. and E.S.. We
never try to subject to ourselves the will of another. At
favourable times we let loose elevating influences which strike
various persons in various ways. It is the collective aspect of
many such thoughts that can give the correct note of action. We
show no favours. The best corrective of error is an honest and
open-minded examination of all facts subjective and objective.
Misleading secrecy has given the death blow to numerous
organizations. The cant about "Masters" must be silently but firmly
put down. Let the devotion and service be to that Supreme Spirit
alone of which one is a part. Namelessly and silently we work and
the continual references to ourselves and the repetition of our
names raises up a confused aura that hinders our work. You will
have to leave a good deal of your emotions and credulity before you
become a safe guide among the influences that will commence to work
in the new cycle. The T.S. was meant to be the corner-stone of the
future religions of humanity. To accomplish this object those who
lead must leave aside their weak predilections for the forms and
ceremonies of any particular creed and show themselves to be true
Theosophists both in inner thoughts and outward observances. The
greatest of your trials is yet to come. We watch over you but you
must put forth all your strength.
Copyright (c) 1900-1995 --- permission for goodwill non-profit use
In looking through my references I find the photo facsimile of this letter
reproduced in Barborka, The Mahatmas and Their Letters,(TPH, 1973) pp 358-360
plus photo plate. In the photo plate appearing in Barborka's book, several
significant sentences have been blocked out, and the explanation for this by Mr.
Jinarajadasa is given.
Can any of you tell me what is the source for the complete text of the 1900
letter including the blocked out text as put on Theos-L above, and is this
generally accepted by Theosophical historians to be correct? The effort to
insert the blocked out portions is obviously important. But in looking at the
photo plate in the Barborka book, some of the allegedly missing words which are
inserted in the above text do not appear to fit quite accurately into the
context of the photo plate.
For example, in the photo plate, following the words "How few they are who can
know anything about us", these words appear , "Are we to be propitiated...."
I do not find these words in the above text posted to Theos-L, so it would
appear to me that neither the above text, nor what is on the photo plate in the
Barborka book are complete.
Where is the complete text? And is it authenticated?
If this has all been discussed here before, I ask your indulgence and would
appreciate the information.
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