PERT QUESTIONS AND PLAIN ANSWERS
[The Theosophist, Vol. III, No. 8, Supplement, May, 1882, pp. 5-6]
How little the “beliefs and creeds” of the Theosophical Society—which has no belief or creed—are understood by the average public in India after three years of constant explanations, may be inferred by the letter that follows. Crude and childish as it is, yet, finding in it the echo of the public bigotry and blindness to facts and practical proofs, we give it room in our Supplement. Unless we are greatly mistaken, it was written under the direct inspiration—than which there is not a more bigoted or more intolerant one the world over—we mean that of a Protestant missionary.
[Then follows the letter above mentioned. The sentences to which H. P. B. replied in footnotes appear below in small type, immediately followed by her comments.]
Is “Theosophy” a religion, or a belief? Does the Theosophical Society propagate any kind of belief (directly or indirectly)?
Useless to repeat that which was asserted over and over again—namely, that the Theosophical Society, as a body, has no religion.
The Theosophical Society comprises three sections, and each section comprises three classes. I ask whether there is a single member recognized as of the first or second section who is permitted (according to the rules of those sections) to retain his orthodox religious views?
Most undoubtedly every one of them is allowed to do so if he likes; but whether, after learning the truth, he will do so and persist in his dogmatic views, is another question.
“Occultism” disproves the truth of miracles (superhuman powers ).
Most undoubtedly it does. It rejects the very idea of there being anything supernatural (i.e., above, below, or outside of nature) in this infinite Universe—as a stupendous fallacy.
“Occultism,” then, affects all the popular faiths of this planet, which claim to be of divine origin (i.e., revealed by God to man miraculously through some prophet).
To “claim” is one thing, and “to be”—and prove it—is quite another.
In short “Occultism” teaches that Paul, Moses, Confucius, Mahomet, Zoroaster, and Buddha were liars and deceivers when they said that they received Divine inspirations.
We would advise our young friend to study a subject before he presumes to speak of it. Buddha never claimed to have received “Divine Inspiration,” since Buddha rejected the very idea of a god, whether personal or impersonal. Therefore, Occultism does not teach that he was a “liar,” nor does it give that abusive epithet—so generously bestowed by the Christian padris on all and every other prophet but their own—any more to Moses, than to Mahomet, or Zoroaster, least of all to Confucius, since, no more than Gautama Buddha, has that great sage ever claimed “divine” inspiration.
“Senex” goes on to say that “Theosophy” is a speculation of certain visionaries who pretend to be able to hold direct communication with the Deity and to direct and combat the influence of the Deity (the Supreme “Light”) by the medium of Genii, (spirits), or demons, or by the agency of stars or fluids (as electricity).
If our correspondent is unable to appreciate journalistic humour and wit, and takes the definition copied out by “Senex” from Webster’s Dictionary as Gospel Truth, we cannot help him to more intuitive perceptions than he is endowed with.
I see no difference between “Occultism” of the Theosophists and “Spiritualism” as professed by Zöllner, Mrs. Hauffe, Eglinton, Slade, and a score of other mediums in the United States.
This is to be deplored, but so long as our correspondent will rush into print to discuss subjects he knows nothing about, he is sure to commit such ridiculous blunders.
Bishop Sargent informs us that the king-cocoanut, planted by Colonel Olcott and the Tinnevelly Brothers in the temple-yard of the Great Pagoda of Tinnevelly, was soon after removed, and that the whole temple-yard had to be ceremonially purified of the contamination it had thus contracted by the intrusion of the foreigner.
Which only proves that Bishop Sargent also speaks of what he knows nothing about, or gladly repeats unproved missionary calumnies. (See the remarks under the heading “Milk for Babes and Strong Meat for Men.”)*
Yet Colonel Olcott makes no mention of this in his address at the Framjee Cowasjee Institute.
Pleading “guilty” to never reading or paying attention to missionary and other pious organs, and not being endowed with omniscient clairvoyance to help him to follow the constant intrigues of their editors and their inventions against our Society and its Founders, Colonel Olcott could not “mention” that which he was not aware of, namely that, after the calumny had been well spread by our meek and humble missionaries and as effectively shown to be false, no less a personage than a “Bishop” would take it up, and circulate what he knew was a malicious falsehood.
* [pp. 88-91 of the present Volume.—Compiler.]