COSMICAL RINGS AND ROUNDS
[The Theosophist, Vol. IV, No. 9, June, 1883, pp. 231-32]
[“A Student of Occultism” writes that No. VII of the “Fragments of Occult Truth” by Lay Chela “raises a difficulty for me and others which we should be glad to have explained.” He cites statements that appear to be inconsistent with earlier teachings of the Brothers in regard to Fifth Rounders and allied subjects. He quotes this sentence: “The obscuration of the Planet on which are now evoluting the races of the 5th Round men, will of course be behind the few avant-couriers that are now here.” To this H. P. B. says:]
We hope we will not be accused of attempting to reconcile entirely the difficulty between the early and later teachings, by suggesting, in this particular instance, that the word full inserted between “The” and “Obscuration” might perhaps remove a portion of the apparent contradiction. Having been taught that the earliest and latest races of humanity evoluted and died out during, and with, the dawn (or end) and the twilight (or beginning) of every Obscuration, we see no contradiction in this particular sentence, as quoted.
[To the writer's assertion that “Lay Chela must be wrong,” H. P. B. appends the following footnote:]
We believe not; only that the fifth Rounders have several significances. The “Student of Occultism” is only fairly entering upon the path of difficulties and most tremendous problems and need not as yet complain. Difficulty (1): The CHELA who instructed the writer or “LAY CHELA”—last, and gave him the new version about the fifth Rounders, is a regular and “accepted Chela” of several years
standing of the “Brother” who “is no English scholar.” On the other hand the latter is the very guru who taught us the doctrine, and it coincides certainly more with that of “a student of occultism,” and as he understands it than with its version as given now by “Lay Chela.” Speaking but for ourselves we know that (new version notwithstanding), THERE ARE “normal” fifth Rounders, and we told so repeatedly. But, since the instructor chosen to explain the doctrine would not give out the key to the problem, all we could do was to submit. Evidently our MASTERS do not choose to give out all.
[H. P. B.'s Editorial Note is as follows:]
“Lay Chela” received from a regular and “accepted Chela” the explanations and instructions that led him to develop in Fragment VII the last theory objected to, and most decidedly it seems to clash with previous notions. Under these circumstances we do not feel justified in stepping in to make the two theories agree. Nevertheless, we have no doubt that both, however discrepant they may seem now, would be found to agree charmingly together, were the “Student of Occultism” and the “Lay Chela” given the whole doctrine and explained the great difference between the seven Rounds instead of being taught so spasmodically, and receiving small stray bits at a time. But such is the will and pleasure of those who know better than we do as to what it is fit to, reveal, and what has to be kept back for a time. As much as (or perchance, from the little) we know of the doctrine, the two statements show neither a gap nor a flaw in it, however conflicting they may seem. The “apparent, distinctly contradictory statements” are no more so than would be a description of a human being emanating from two different sources, supposing one teacher would say that “the being called man crawls on all fours . . . and the other that “man walks erect on his two feet” and later on, that—”he walks supported on two legs”; all these statements, however conflicting for a blind man, would nevertheless be perfectly consistent with truth, and would not require an Oedipus to solve the riddle. Who of the “Lay Chelas” can say, whether there is not as much danger for our MASTERS in giving out
at once the whole doctrine as there was for the Sphinx who had to pay for her imprudence with death? However it may be, it is not for us to give the desired explanations, nor would we accept the responsibility even if permitted. Having, therefore, submitted the above article to another regular and high Chela, we append hereto his answer. Unfortunately, instead of clearing the horizon, it overclouds it with fresh and far more tremendous difficulties.*
* [This has reference to a long explanation written from Pondichery and signed S.T.K. *** Chary, apparently a Chela of one of the Teachers. ––Compiler.]