[From Light, 1883.]
BOTTOM.Let me play
the lion. . . . I will roar, that I will do
any mans heart good to hear me. . . .
I will make the Duke say, . . . "Let him
roar let him roar again." . . . Masters,
you ought to consider with yourselves; to bring
inGod shield us!a lion among ladies,
is a most dreadful thing; for, there is not
a more fearful wild-fowl than your lion living;
and we ought to look tot. . . . Nay, you
must name his name, and half his face must be
seen through the lions neck; and he himself
must speak through, saying thus, or to the same
defect: "Ladies," or "fair ladies
[or Theosophists] I would wish you,"
or "I would request you," or
"I would entreat you," not
to fear, not to tremble: . . . If you think
I come hither as a lion, . . . no, I
am no such thing: I am a man . .
. and there indeed let him name his name.Midsummer
of July 21st, in the "Correspondence,"
appears a letter signed "G. W., M.D."
Most transparent initials these, which "name
the name" at once, and show the writers
face "through the lions neck."
The communication consists of just fifty-eight
paragraphs, containing an equal number of sneering,
rancorous, vulgar, personal flings, the whole
distributed over three and a half columns. It
pretends to criticize, while only misquoting and
misinterpreting Eastern Esotericism. Its author
would create a laugh at the expense of Mr. Sinnetts
book, and succeeds in showing us what a harmless
creature is the "lion," "wild-fowl"
though he may be; and where he would make
a show of wit, the letter is onlynasty.
I should not address your public, even in my
private capacity, but that the feelings of many
hundreds of my Asiatic brothers have been outraged
by this, to them, ribald attack upon what they
hold sacred. For them, and at their instance,
I protest. It might be regarded
as beneath contempt had it come from an outsider
upon whom rested no obligation to uphold the dignity
of the Theosophical Society; in such case it would
have passed for a clumsy attempt to injure an
unpalatable cause: that of Esoteric Buddhism.
But when it is a wide-open secret that the letter
came from a member of about five years standing,
and one who, upon the protogenesis of the "British
Theosophical Society" as the "London
Lodge of the Theosophical Society," retained
membership. the case has quite another aspect.
The cutting insult having been inflicted publicly
and without antecedent warning, it appears necessary
to enquire as to the occult motive.
I shall not stop to remark upon the wild résumé,
which, professedly "a criticism from
a European and arithmetical standpoint,"
passed muster with you. Nor shall I lose time
over the harmless flings at "incorrigible
Buddhists and other lunatics," beyond remarking
à propos of "moon"
and "dust-bins" that the former seems
to have found a good symbol of herself as a "dust-bin"
in the heads of those whose perceptive faculties
seem so dusty as to prevent the entrance of a
single ray of Occult light. Briefly then, since
the year 1879 when we came to India, the author
of the letter in question has made attempts to
put himself into communication with the "Brothers."
Besides trying to enter into correspondence with
Colonel Olcotts Guru, he sent twice, through
myself, letters addressed to the Mahâtmâs.
Being, as it appears, full of one-sided prejudiced
questions, suggesting to Buddhist Philosophers
the immense superiority of his own "Esoteric"
Christianity over the system of the Lord Buddha,
which is characterized as fruitful of selfishness,
human blindness, misanthropy and spiritual
death, they were returned by the addressees
for our edification and to show us why they would
not notice them. Whoever has read a novelette
contributed by this same gentleman to The Psychological
Review and entitled "The Man from the
East" will readily infer what must have been
his attitude towards the "Himâlayan"
and Tibetan Mystics. A Scotch
doctor, the hero, meets at a place in Syria, in
an Occult Brotherhood, a Christian convert from
this "Himâlayan heathen Brotherhood,"
whoa Hindûutters against his
late Adept Masters the self-same libels as are
now repeated in the letter under notice.*
The shot at Theosophy being badly aimed, flew
wide of the mark; but still, like Richard III,
"G. W., M.D." resolved, as it appears,
to keep up the gunnery
If not to fight with foreign enemies,
Yet to beat down these rebels here at home.
The three indignant answers called out by "G.
W., M.D.," having emanated from an English
lady and two genuine English gentlemen, are, in
my humble opinion, too dignified and mild for
the present case. So brutal an attack demanded
something stronger than well-bred protests; and
at the risk of being taken by "G. W., M.D."
as the reverse of well-bred, I shall use plain
words about this whilom friend, but now traitorI
hope to show the term is not too harsh. As an
ardent Theosophist, the grateful loyal friend
of the author denouncedwho deserves and
has the regard of Mahâtmâ Koot-Hoomiand
as the humble pupil of Those to whom I owe my
life and the future of my soul, I shall speak.
While I have breath, I shall never allow to pass
unnoticed such ugly manifestations of religious
intolerance, nay, bigotry, and personal
rancour resulting from envy, in a member of our
Before closing, I must notice one specially glaring
fact. Touched evidently to the quick by Mr. Sinnetts
very proper refusal to let one so inimical see
the "Divine Face" (yes, truly Divine,
though not so much so as the original) of the
Mahâtmâ, "G. W., M.D." with
a sneer of equivocal propriety, calls it a mistake.
For just as some second-class saints have been
made by gazing on halfpenny prints of the Mother
of God, so who can say that if my good friend
had permitted my sceptical eyes to look on the
Divine face of Koot-Hoomi I might not forthwith
have been converted into an Esoteric Buddhist?
Impossible; an Esoteric Buddhist never broke
his pledged word; and one who upon entering the
Society gave his solemn word of honour,
in the presence of witnesses, that he would
Defend the interests of the Society and the
honour of a brother Theosophist, when unjustly
assailed, even at the peril of my [his]
and then could write such a letter, would never
be accepted in that capacity. One who unjustly
assails the honour of hundreds of his Asiatic
brothers, slanders their religion and wounds their
most sacred feelings, may be a very esoteric
Christian, but certainly is a disloyal
Theosophist. My perceptions of what constitutes
a man of honour may be very faulty, but I confess
that I could not imagine such a one making public
caricatures upon confessedly "private instructions."
(See second column, paragraph 14 of his letter.)
Private instructions of this sort, given
at confidential private meetings of the Society
in advance of their publication, are exactly what
the entering members "word of honour"
pledges him not to reveal.
The broken faith hath made
thee prey for worms;
What canst thou swear by now?
Your correspondent deprecates
At the outset this Oriental practice of secrecy;
[he knows] that secrecy and cunning are ever
twin sisters, [and it appears to him] childish
and effeminate [to pretend] by secret words
and signs to enshrine great truths behind a
veil, which is only useful as a concealment
of ignorance and nakedness.
Indeed: so he is not an "Esoteric
Christian" after all, else I have misread
the Bible. For what I find there
in various passages, of which I cite but one,
shows me that he is as disloyal to his own Master
and Ideal Christ, as he is to Theosophy:
And He said unto them [His own disciples],
Unto you it is given to know the mystery of
the kingdom of God; but unto them that are without
[the "G.W., M.D.s" of the day]
all these things are done in parables: that
seeing they may see and not perceive; and hearing
they may hear, and not understand; lest at any
time they should be converted, and their sins
should be forgiven them. (Mark, iv. II,
Shall we characterize this also as "childish
and effeminate," say that the twins sisters
"secrecy and cunning" lurk behind this
veil, and that in this instance, as usual, it
was "only useful as a concealment of ignorance
and nakedness"? The grandeur of Esoteric
Buddhism is that it hides what it does from the
vulgar, not "lest at any time they should
be converted, and their sins forgiven them,"
or as they would say, "cheat their Karma"but
lest by learning prematurely that which can safely
be trusted only to those who have proved their
unselfishness and self-abnegation, even the
wicked, the sinners should be hurt.
And now, may the hope of Bottom be realized,
and some London Duke say to this harmless lion:
"Let him roar, let him roar again."
H. P. BLAVATSKY.
Nilgherry Hills, Aug. 23rd, 1883.
* The mythical hero of the
story would seem to have met at Paris with a certain
pseudo-Brâhman, a convert to Roman Catholicism,
who is giving himself out as an ex-Chelâhis
statements and all corroborative ones to the contrary
notwithstanding; he may have misled, if not the
mythical Scotch doctor, at least the actual "M.D."
of London. And, by the way, our French Fellows
may as well know, that unless this pretender ceases
his bogus revelations as to the phenomenal powers
of our Mahâtmâs being "of the
devil" a certain native gentleman who has
known this convert of the Jesuits from childhood,
will expose him most fully.H. P.
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