AN OPEN LETTER
TO THE READERS OF “LUCIFER” AND ALL TRUE THEOSOPHISTS.
[Lucifer, Vol. V, No. 26, October, 1889, pp. 144-145]
As Lucifer was started as an organ of the T.S. and a means of communication between the senior editor and the numerous Fellows of our Society for their instruction; and as we find the great majority of Subscribers are not members of the T.S., while our own Brothers have apparently little interest in, or sympathy with the efforts of the few real workers of the T.S. in this country—such a state of affairs can no longer be passed over in silence. The following lines
are therefore addressed personally to every F.T.S., as to every reader interested in Theosophy—for their consideration.
I ask, is Lucifer worthy of support or not? If it is not— then let us put an end to its existence. If it is, then how can it live when it is so feebly supported? Again, can nothing be devised to make it more popular or theosophically instructive? It is the earnest desire of the undersigned to come into closer relation of thought with her Theosophist readers. Any suggestion to further this end, therefore, will be carefully considered by me; and as it is impossible to please all readers, the best suggestions for the general good will be followed out. Will then every reader try and realize that his help is now personally solicited for this effort of solidarity and Brotherhood? The monthly deficits of Lucifer are considerable, but they would cheerfully be borne—as they have been for the last year by only two devoted Fellows—if it were felt that the magazine and the arduous efforts and work of its staff were appreciated and properly supported by Theosophists, which is not the case. To do real good and be enabled to disseminate theosophical ideas broadcast, the magazine has to reach ten times the number of readers that it does now. Every Subscriber F.T.S. has it in his power to help in this work: the rich subscribing for the poor, the latter trying to get subscriptions, and every other member making it his duty to notify every Brother Theosophist of the present deplorable state of affairs, concerning the publication of our magazine. It needs a fund, which it has never had; and it is absolutely necessary that a subscription list should be opened in its pages for donations towards such a publication fund of the magazine. Names of donators, or their initials and even pseudonyms—if they so desire it—will be published each month. It is but a few hundred pounds which are needed, but without these—Lucifer will have to cease.
It is the first and last time that I personally make such an appeal, as any call for help, even for the cause so dear to us, has always been unutterably repugnant to me. But in the present case I am forced to sacrifice my personal feelings. Moreover what do we see around us? No appeal for any
cause or movement that is considered good by its respective sympathisers, is ever left without response. The Englishman and the American are proverbially generous. Let "General" Booth clamour in his War-Cry for funds to support the Salvation Army, and thousands of pounds pour in from sympathetic Christians. Let any paper open a subscription list for any mortal thing, from the erection of an Institute for the inoculation of a virus, with its poisonous effects on future generations, the building of a church or statue, down to a presentation cup—and the hand of some portion of the public is immediately in its pocket. Even an appeal for funds for a “Home” for poor stray dogs, is sure to fill the subscription lists with names, and those who love the animals will gladly give their mite. Will then Theosophists remain more indifferent to the furtherance of a cause, which they must sympathise with, since they belong to it—than the general public would for street dogs? These seem hard words to say, but they are true, and justified by facts. No one knows better than myself the sacrifices made in silence by a few, for the accomplishment of all the work that has been done since I came to live in London two and a half years ago. The progress accomplished during this time by the Society in the face of every opposition—and it was terrible—shows that these efforts have not been made in vain. Yet, as none of these “few” possesses the purse of Fortunatus, there comes necessarily a day when even they cannot give what they no longer possess.
If this appeal is not responded to, then the energy that supports Lucifer must be diverted into other channels.
H. P. BLAVATSKY.