FOOTNOTES TO THE PHILOSOPHY OF SPIRIT
[The Theosophist, Vol. III, No. 12, September, 1882, pp. 298-303]
[The article is a reply of William Oxley to Subba Row’s review of his work, The Philosophy of Spirit. W. Oxley says: “However this may be, as judged from the modern orthodox Brahminical standpoint, I venture to think that ‘enlightened’ Buddhists would hardly express so severe a judgment.” To this H. P. B. remarks:]
As already stated in our editorial, Mr. Subba Row is not an “orthodox” Brahmin in the sense Mr. Oxley uses the word as with him it means bigotry. And we are moreover obliged to declare that “enlightened Buddhists” will hardly ever disagree with such an enlightened Brahmin as Mr. Subba Row.
[Speaking of the authorship of the Vedas, the Mahâbhârata and the Bhagavad-Gîtâ, W. Oxley says: “I am not going beyond the truth in saying, no man living knows who were the authors of these Records, or writings, or when and where they were written, and first published.” H. P. B. comments on this:]
We believe Mr. Oxley is again mistaken in his denial. It does not at all stand to reason, that because Professor Monier Williams says so, no one in India should know anything on the subject. Many of the initiated Brahmans claim to, and we firmly believe, they do know, when the Vedas, the Mahabharata, and especially the Bhagavad-Gita, were written, and by whom.
[W. Oxley further writes: “Speaking of Occultism and Spiritualism: Theosophy seems anxious to impress upon Spiritualists, that the phenomena they witness are due to the ‘intervention of enlightened living men and not disembodied spirits’”]
We deny most emphatically to have ever said any such absurdity. Who are the “enlightened living men” masquerading in the guise of spirits, is really more than we can ever imagine!
[In the course of his article, William Oxley writes: “. . . I have had three visits by the astral form of the venerable Koot Hoomi through a sensitive, whose linguistic organism was used by the astral form to speak to me, first in Bengali, and afterwards in my own language . . . The statement may come that ‘this was the work of some vagrant spook, or elemental’; and even Koot Hoomi himself may, or may not, give a denial. . . .” To this statement H.P.B. has appended the following footnote;]
We feel extremely sorry to acknowledge that Mr. Oxley was right in his foreboding. Far from pretending to be informed of all the doings and actions of our venerated Brother Koot-Hoomi, and notwithstanding our surprise since the language given is certainly not that of the Koot-Hoomi we all know—we were preparing to allow the above extraordinary statement to be published without comment, when we received the following from our BROTHER’S favorite Chela:—
“I am commanded by my beloved Master, known in India and in the Western lands as Koot-Hoomi Lal Singh, to make in his name the following declaration, in answer to a certain statement made by Mr. W. Oxley, and sent by him for publication. It is claimed by the said gentleman that my Master Koot-Hoomi (a) has thrice visited him ‘by the astral form’; and (b) that he had a conversation with Mr. Oxley when, as alleged, he gave the latter certain explanations in reference to astral bodies in general, and the incompetency of his own Mayavi-rupa to preserve its consciousness simultaneously with the body ‘at both ends of the line.’ Therefore, my Master declares:
“1. Whomsoever Mr. Oxley may have seen and conversed with at the time described, it was not with Koot-Hoomi, the writer of the letters published in the Occult World.
“2. Notwithstanding that my Master knows the gentleman in question who once honoured him with an autograph letter, thereby giving him the means of making his (Mr. Oxley’s) acquaintance, and of sincerely admiring his intuitional powers and Western learning—yet he has never approached him whether astrally or otherwise; nor has he ever had any conversation with Mr. Oxley; nor could he under any circumstances, even had there been any such conversation, have expressed himself in the terms now imputed to him.
“To guard against all possible misapprehension of this kind in the future, my Master will undertake to hold no communication henceforward with any medium or seer without authenticating that communication by means of three passwords which shall be made known to Messrs. A. O. Hume, President, and A. P. Sinnett, Vice-President, of the Simla “Eclectic Theosophical Society,” so that they may be enabled to declare explicitly that my Master cannot be the author of any statement attributed to him in which they do not find these words.”
[Consult The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, Letter CXXV, where the text of this communication differs somewhat from the above and is longer. The original, either handwritten or precipitated, is actually signed as “Gjual-Khool,” although the usual spelling is “Djual-Khool.”—Compiler.]