QUESTIONS ABOUT ESOTERIC THEOSOPHY ANSWERED
[The Theosophist, Vol. III, No. 11, August, 1882, p. 272]
[Replying to a correspondent’s questions about the doctrines inculcated in the pamphlet Hints on Esoteric Theosophy, H. P. B. wrote:]
Our correspondent need not trouble himself as to what might be the consequences, if all the world should turn ascetics and chelas and train for adeptship. There are enough realities in this life for us to look into, without concocting such wild contingencies to vex ourselves withal. There was never a time yet, nor ever will be, while this human race lasts, when anything more than a small minority would devote themselves to the mighty task of self-conquest and spiritual evolution. The adept is as rare as the flower of the Vogay tree, which, the Tamil proverb says, is most difficult to see. So what our friend read in Hints on Esoteric Theosophy referred to the ideal man, the living—and most necessary—type of human perfectibility. The mere certainty that such rare powers—psychical and intellectual—and such moral grandeur, as he exemplifies, are within human reach, gives dignity to our common nature and a worthy model to look up to, and, in some degree, pattern after. The organs of our body were not “given” to us at all—if we may credit modern science; they developed themselves as occasion required; and, when disused, they gradually diminish and disappear: which they would
not if “given.” “What man’s mission upon earth would be if all were good,” is more than we can say. To merely imagine such a state of things is beyond the limited range of our mental powers. But if they were not too good they might, perhaps, try to become better. There is no “Theosophical religion,” and every member professes the one he prefers.
We regret our inability to concur in the suggestion to suppress discussion of the occult powers of nature, since that is the only thing most needed to extinguish superstition and sweep away false religions from the face of the earth. Our correspondent does well not to show to any persons who are “good Christians (not only professing, but behaving as such)” any copy of our magazine, which may contain an attack upon professed Christians, who do not at all behave as such: our strictures are not meant for the former, and it would only give them pain to see how the bad conduct of the others provokes reprisal, and brings disgrace upon the faith they misrepresent.