IN the November number the "expiring Cycle" is referred to by Mr. Sinnett, and members are rightly warned not to be so absurd (though that is my word) as to think that after 1897 "some mysterious extinguisher will descend upon us."
Who is the person who gave out the concrete statement that 1897 was to be the close of a cycle when something would happen? It was H.P. Blavatsky. There is not the slightest doubt about it that she did say so, nor that she fully explained it to several persons. Nor is there any doubt at all that she said, as had been so long said from the year 1875, and that 1897 would witness the shutting of a door. What door? Door to what? What was or is to end? Is the T.S. to end and close all the books?
Nothing is more plain than that H.P. Blavatsky said, on the direct authority of the Masters, that in the last twenty-five years of each century an effort is made by the Lodge and its agents with the West, and that is ceases in its direct and public form and influence with the twenty-fifth year. Those who believe her will believe this; those who think they know more about it than she did will invent other ideas suited to their fancies.
She explained, as will all those who are taught (as are many) by the same Masters, that were the public effort to go on any longer than that, a reaction would set in very similar to indigestion. Time must be given for assimilation, or the "dark shadow which follows all innovations" would crush the soul of man. The great public, the mass, must have time and also material. Time is ever. The matter has been furnished by the Masters in the work done by H.P Blavatsky in her books, and what has grown out of those. She has said, the Masters have said, and I again assert it for the benefit of those who have any faith in me, that the Masters have told me that they helped her write the Secret Doctrine so that the future seventy-five and more years should have some material to work on, and that in the coming years that book and its theories would be widely studied. The material given has then to be worked over, to be assimilated for the welfare of all. No extinguisher will fall therefore on us. The T.S., as a whole, will not have the incessant care of the Masters in every part, but must grow up to maturity on what it has with the help to come from those few who are "chosen." H.P. Blavatsky has clearly pointed out in the Key, in her conclusion, that the plan is to keep the T.S. alive as an active, free, unsectarian body during all the time of waiting for the next great messenger, who will be herself beyond question. Thereby will be furnished the well-made tool with which to work again in grander scale, and without the fearful opposition she had without and within when she began this time. And in all this time of waiting the Master, "that great Initiate, whose single will upholds the entire movement," will have his mighty hand spread out wide behind the Society.
Up to 1897 the door is open to anyone who has the courage, the force, and the virtue to TRY, so that he can go in and make a communication with the Lodge which shall not be broken at all when the cycle ends. But at the striking of the hour the door will shut, and not all your pleadings and cryings will open it to you. Those who have made the connection will have their own door open, but the public general door will be closed. That is the true relation of the "extinguisher" as given by H.P. Blavatsky and the Master. It seems very easy to understand.
"Many are called but few are chosen," because they would not allow it. The unchosen are those who have worked for themselves alone; those who have sought for knowledge for themselves without a care about the rest; those who have had the time, the money, and the ability to give good help to Masters' cause, long ago defined by them to be work for mankind and not for self, but have not used it thus. And sadly, too, some of the unmarked and unchosen are those who walked a long distance to the threshold, but stopped too long to hunt for the failings and the sins they were sure some brother pilgrim had, and then they went back farther and farther, building walls behind them as they went. They were called and almost chosen; the first faint lines of their names were beginning to develop in the book of this century; but as they retreated, thinking indeed, they were inside the door, the lines faded out, and other names flashed into view. Those other names are those belonging to humble persons here and there whom these proud aristocrats of occultism thought unworthy of a moment's notice.
What seems to me either a printer's error or a genuine mistake in Mr. Sinnett's article is on page 26, where he says: "will be knowledge generally diffused throughout the cultured classes." The italics are mine. No greater error could seem possible. The cultured classes are perfectly worthless, as a whole, to the Master-builders of the Lodge. They are good in the place they have, but they represent the "established order" and the acme of selfishness. Substitute masses for cultured classes, and you will come nearer the truth. Not the cultured but the ignorant masses have kept alive the belief in the occult and the psychic now fanned into flame once more. Had we trusted to the cultured the small ember would long ago have been extinguished. We may drag in the cultured, but it will be but to have a languid and unenthusiastic interest.
We have entered on the dim beginning of a new era already. It is the era of Western Occultism and of special and definite treatment and exposition of theories hitherto generally considered. We have to do as Buddha told his disciples: preach, promulgate, expound, illustrate, and make clear in detail all the great things we have learned. That is our work, and not the bringing out of surprising things about clairvoyance and other astral matters, not the blinding of the eye of science by discoveries impossible for them but easy for the occultist. The Master's plan has not altered. He gave it out long ago. It is to make the world at large better, to prepare a right soil for the growing out of the powers of the soul, which are dangerous if they spring up in our present selfish soil. It is not the Black Lodge that tries to keep back psychic development; it is the White Lodge. The Black would fain have all the psychic powers full flower now, because in our wicked, mean, hypocritical, and money-getting people they would soon wreck the race. This idea may seem strange, but for those who will believe my unsupported word I say it is the Master's saying.
William Q. Judge
Irish Theosophist, January, 1895