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CHAPTER IV - Part 2

[160] In the meantime we had been working hard in our T.S. offices; the children were well; we were planning to get married as soon as things straightened out somewhat.  Our own income was quite seriously reduced.  The salaries at Krotona were ten dollars per week.  Walter Evans' money had ceased coming in since the divorce.  Foster had nothing at this time.  He had relinquished his legal practice at the time of the war though he had intended resuming it.  It was an old, family practice and when he was only twenty-eight he was clearing a large sum per year.  This he gave up entirely, in order to help me in the work which was gradually shaping up for us to do—one of the many things which he sacrificed when he chose to throw in his lot with mine.  The children adored him and do to this day and the relationship between them has always been one of great affection and, on his part, of great sacrifice.

They adopted him from the start.  He made the acquaintance of Dorothy, the eldest, when she was about nine years old, as he was walking up Beechwood Drive to visit me.  He heard shrieks and screams coming from a tree ahead of him.  As he hurried towards the tree, he saw a small girl hanging by her knees from a bough.  He looked up at her and just said, "Drop," and she dropped into his arms, and as he has often said symbolically, she has been there ever since.  Mildred was frightfully ill when he first saw her.  She was running a case of suppressed measles with a temperature of 106 degrees, though at the time we did not know what it was.  She is basically a pronounced introvert and could be depended upon to have "suppressed" measles.  We were trying to get a specialist and in the meantime my friend, Mrs. Copley Enos, and I spent the day rolling her in cold sheets trying to bring the fever down.  Foster walked in and started in to help us.  Mildred gave him one look and they have been exceedingly close [161] ever since.  His introduction to Ellison was making friends with a fat and very dirty child, making mud-pies in the back yard.

Foster's life and mine was, therefore, running along the line of united public work and we were planning and arranging for the future.  The T.S. situation was getting more and more difficult and plans were being made already for the convention of 1920, where the whole situation blew up.  Speaking of my interior experience, I had become as disillusioned with the T.S. as I had with orthodox Christianity but the situation was not so acute because great and basic truths had come to have meaning to me and I was not alone because Foster and I were already planning to get married.

I now come to a happening in my life about which I hesitate to speak.  It concerns the work which I have done for the past twenty-seven years.  This work has received world-wide recognition and has evoked world-wide curiosity.  It has also brought me some ridicule and suspicion, but surprisingly little, and I have been quite able to understand it because I started by being very suspicious myself.  I ask myself why I attempt to deal with the matter at all and why I simply do not continue my hitherto fixed policy of letting my work and the books speak for themselves and prove their own best defense.  I think my reasons are twofold.

I want first of all to point out the closeness of the link which the inner Hierarchy of Masters is establishing with men and I want to make it easier for other people to do the same kind of work, provided it is the same kind of work.  There are so many aspects of so-called psychic writings.  People are apt not to differentiate between that which is the expression of wishful thinking or the emergence of a very nice, sweet, well-intentioned, Christian, subconscious, or again automatic writing, the tapping of thought [162] currents (which everybody is doing all the time) or straight fraud; or on the other hand, those writings which are a result of a strong subjective telepathic rapport and a response to impression coming from certain high Spiritual Sources.  Again and again in the Bible the words come "And the Lord said," whereupon some prophet or seer wrote down what was said.  Much of it is beautiful and of spiritual import.  Much of it, however, bears the signature of frail humanity expressing their ideas of God, His jealousy, His spirit of revenge and a great deal of bloodthirstiness.  We are told that great musicians hear their symphonies and chorales with an inner ear and then transfer it into musical notation.  From whence do our greatest poets and artists down the ages get their inspiration?  All from some inner source of beauty.

This whole subject has been made difficult because of the many metaphysical and spiritualistic writings which are of so low an order of intelligence and so ordinary and mediocre in their content that educated people laugh at them and cannot be bothered to read them.  I want to show, therefore, that there is another kind of impression and inspiration which can result in writings far above the average and which convey teaching needed by coming generations.  I say this in all humility for I am only a pen or pencil, a stenographer and a transmitter of teaching from one whom I revere and honor and have been happy to serve.

It was in November 1919 that I made my first contact with The Tibetan.  I had sent the children off to school and thought I would snatch a few minutes to myself and went out on to the hill close to the house.  I sat down and began thinking and then suddenly I sat startled and attentive.  I heard what I thought was a clear note of music which sounded from the sky, through the hill and in me.  Then I heard a voice which said, "There are some books [163] which it is desired should be written for the public.  You can write them.  Will you do so?"  Without a moment's notice I said, "Certainly not.  I'm not a darned psychic and I don't want to be drawn into anything like that."  I was startled to hear myself speaking out loud.  The voice went on to say that wise people did not make snap judgments, that I had a peculiar gift for the higher telepathy and that what I was being asked to do embodied no aspect of the lower psychism.  I replied that I didn't care, that I wasn't interested in any work of a psychic nature at all.  The unseen person who was speaking so clearly and directly to me then said that he would give me time for consideration; that he would not take my answer then and that he would come back in three weeks' time exactly, to find out what I intended to do.

I then shook myself as if I was awakening from a dream and went home and entirely forgot all about the matter.  I never gave it another thought and did not even tell Foster about it.  During the interval I never remembered it but, sure enough, at the end of three weeks I was spoken to again one evening as I sat in my sitting-room after the children had gone to bed.  Again I refused, but the speaker begged me to reconsider and for a couple of weeks, at least, see what I could do.  By this time I was getting curious but not in the least convinced.  I would try for a couple of weeks or a month and then decide what I felt about it.  It was during these few weeks that I got the first chapters of "Initiation, Human and Solar."

I would like to make it quite clear that the work I do is in no way related to automatic writing.  Automatic writing, except in the rarest cases (and, unfortunately, most people think their case is the rare exception) is very dangerous.  The aspirant or disciple is never supposed to be an automaton.  He is never supposed to let any part of his [164] equipment out of his conscious control.  When he does, he enters into a state of dangerous negativity.  The material normally then received is mediocre.  There is nothing new in it, and it frequently deteriorates as time goes on.  Many a time, the subject's negativity permits the entrance of a second force which, for some peculiar reason, is never of as high a standard as the first.  Then there comes danger of obsession.  We have had to handle many cases of obsession as the result of automatic writing.

In the work that I do there is no negativity but I assume an attitude of intense, positive attention.  I remain in full control of all my senses of perception and there is nothing automatic in what I do.  I simply listen and take down the words that I hear and register the thoughts which are dropped one by one into my brain.  I make no changes in what I give out to the public from that which has been given to me except that I will smooth the English or replace an unusual word with one that is clearer, taking care, always, to preserve the sense as given.  I have never changed anything that the Tibetan has ever given me.  If I once did so He would never dictate to me again.  I want to make that entirely clear.  I do not always understand what is given.  I do not always agree.  But I record it all honestly and then discover it does make sense and evokes intuitive response.

This work of the Tibetan has greatly intrigued people and psychologists everywhere.  They dispute as to what is the cause of the phenomenon, and argue that what I write probably comes from my subconscious.  I have been told that Jung takes the position that the Tibetan is my personified higher self and Alice A. Bailey is the lower self.  Some of these days (if I ever have the pleasure of meeting him) I will ask him how my personified higher self can send me parcels all the way from India, for that is what He has done.

[165] A few years ago a very dear friend and a man who had stood very closely with Foster and me since the inception of our work—Mr. Henry Carpenter—went out to India to try and reach the Masters at Shigatze, a small, native town in the Himalayas, just over the Tibetan frontier.  He made this effort three times in spite of my telling him that he could find the Master right here in New York if he took the proper steps and the time was ripe.  He felt he would like to tell the Masters, much to my amusement, that I was having too tough a time and that They had better do something about it.  As he was a personal friend of Lord Reading, once Viceroy of India, he was given every facility to reach his destination but the Dalai Lama refused permission for him to cross the frontier.  During his second trip to India when at Gyantse (the furthest point he could reach near the frontier) he heard a great hubbub in the compound of the dak bungalow.  He went to find out what it was and found a lama, seated on a donkey, just entering the compound.  He was attended by four lamas and all the natives in the compound were surrounding them and bowing.  Through his interpreter, Mr. Carpenter made inquiries and was told that the lama was the abbot of a monastery across the Tibetan frontier and that he had come down especially to speak to Mr. Carpenter.

The abbot told him that he was interested in the work that we were doing and asked after me.  He inquired about the Arcane School and gave him two large bundles of incense for me.  Later, Mr. Carpenter saw General Laden Lha at Darjeeling.  The General is a Tibetan, educated in Great Britain at public school and university and was in charge of the secret service on the Tibetan frontier.  He is now dead but was a great and good man.  Mr. Carpenter told him of his experience with this lama and told him that he was the abbot of a certain [166] lamaserie.  The General flatly denied the possibility of this.  He said the abbot was a very great and holy man and that he had never been known to come down across the frontier or visit an Occidental.  When, however, Mr. Carpenter returned the following year, General Laden Lha admitted that he had made a mistake; that the abbot had been down to see him.

After writing for the Tibetan for nearly a month I got completely scared and absolutely refused to do any more work.  I told the Tibetan that the three little girls had only me to look to, that if I were ill or went crazy (as so many psychics seemed to do) they would be all alone and that I did not dare take the chance.  He accepted my decision but told me to try and get in touch with my Master, K. H., and talk the matter over with Him.  After thinking it over for a week or so I decided to get in touch with K. H. and proceeded to do so, following the very definite technique He had taught me.  When I got my opportunity for an interview with K. H. we talked the whole thing through.  He assured me that I was in no danger, either physically or mentally, and that I had the opportunity of doing a really valuable piece of work.  He told me that it was He, Himself, Who had suggested that I help the Tibetan; that He was not transferring me into the Tibetan's ashram (or spiritual group) but that He wished me still to work in His.  I therefore complied with the wish of K. H. and told the Tibetan that I would work with Him.  I have been strictly his amanuensis and secretary and am not a member of His group.  He has never interfered with my personal work or training.  In the spring of 1920 I entered into a very happy time of collaboration with Him, while working as a senior disciple in the ashram of my own Master.

I've written many books since then for the Tibetan.  Shortly after finishing the first few chapters of "Initiation, [167] Human and Solar" I showed the manuscript to B. P. Wadia.  He got very excited and told me that he would publish anything that "came from that source" and printed the first few chapters in "The Theosophist," published in Adyar, India.  Then the usual theosophical jealousy and reactionary attitude appeared and no more was printed.

The Tibetan's style has improved over the years.  He dictated a cumbersome, poor English in the beginning, but between us we have managed to work out a style and presentation which is suited to the great truths which it is His function to reveal, and mine and my husband's to bring to the attention of the public.

In the early days of writing for the Tibetan, I had to write at regular hours and it was clear, concise, definite dictation.  It was given word for word, in such a manner that I might claim that I definitely heard a voice.  Therefore, it might be said that I started with a clairaudient technique, but I very soon found, as our minds got attuned, that this was unnecessary and that if I concentrated enough and my attention was adequately focussed I could register and write down the thoughts of the Tibetan (His carefully formulated and expressed ideas) as He dropped them into my mind.  This involves the attaining and preservation of an intense, focussed point of attention.  It is almost like the ability which the advanced student of meditation can demonstrate to hold one's achieved point of spiritual attention at the very highest possible point.  This can be fatiguing in the earlier stages, when one is probably trying too hard to make good, but later, it is effortless and the results are clarity of thought and a stimulation which has a definitely good physical effect.

Today, as the result of twenty-seven years work with the Tibetan I can snap into telepathic relation with Him without the slightest trouble.  I can and do preserve my [168] own mental integrity all the time and I can always argue with Him if it seems to me, at times, that—as an Occidental—I may know better than He does as regards points of presentation.  When we have an argument along any line I invariably write as He wants the text written, though He is apt to modify His presentation after discussion with me.  If He does not change His wording and point of view, I do not change what He had said in any way.

After all, the books are His, not mine, and basically the responsibility is His.  He does not permit me to make mistakes and watches over the final draft with great care.  It is not just a question of taking His dictation and then submitting it, after I have typed it out, to Him.  It is a question of His careful supervision of the final draft.  I am mentioning this quite deliberately as quite a few people, when the Tibetan says something with which they do not personally agree, are apt to regard the point of disagreement as having been interpolated by me.  This has never happened, even if I do not always agree or understand and I want to re-iterate—I have published exactly what the Tibetan has said.  On that one point I emphatically take my stand.

Some students, also, when they personally do not understand what the Tibetan means say that His ambiguities, so called, are due to my having wrongly brought through what He was saying.  Where there are ambiguities, and there are quite a number in His books, they are due to the fact that He is quite unable to be clearer, owing to the limitations of his readers, and the difficulty of finding words which can express newer truths and those intuitive perceptions which are still only hovering on the borders of man's developing consciousness.

The books that the Tibetan has written are regarded of importance by the Teachers responsible for the giving [169] out of the new truths which humanity needs.  New teaching, along the line of spiritual training and the preparation of aspirants for discipleship has also been given.  Great changes are being made in methods and techniques and because of this the Tibetan has been peculiarly careful to see that I do not make mistakes.

At the time of the second phase of the World War, which started in 1939, many pacifists and well meaning, though unthinking, people among the students of the Arcane School and the general public, which we could succeed in reaching, took the position that I had written the pamphlets and papers endorsing the United Nations and the need to defeat the Axis Powers, and that the Tibetan was not responsible for the anti-Nazi point of view of these articles.  This, again, was not true.  The pacifists took the orthodox and idealistic point of view that because God is love it would be impossible for Him to be anti-German or anti-Japanese.  Because God is love, He had no alternative, or the Hierarchy either, working under the Christ, to do anything else but stand firmly on the side of those who were seeking to free humanity from slavery, evil, aggression and corruption.  The words of the Christ have never been more true, "He that is not with Me is against Me."  The Tibetan in His writings at that time took a firm and unshakable stand, and today (1945) in view of the unspeakable atrocities, cruelties and enslavement policies of the Axis nations, His position has been justified.

All this time the situation at Krotona was getting more acute.  Wadia had arrived at Krotona (as the representative of Mrs. Besant) and was stirring up trouble and we collaborated with him to the full in order to swing back the Theosophical Society to its original impulse of universal brotherhood.  We collaborated because at this time Wadia seemed sound and sincere and to have the interest of the [170] society truly at heart.  The cleavage in the society was steadily widening and the line of demarcation between those who stood for the democratic point of view and those who stood for spiritual authority and the complete control of the Theosophical Society by the Esoteric Section was rapidly growing.

The original platform of the T.S. had been founded on the autonomy of the lodges within the various national sections but, at the time that Foster Bailey and I came into the work, this whole situation had been fundamentally changed.  Those people were put into office in any lodge who were E.S. members and through them Mrs. Besant and the leaders in Adyar controlled every section and every lodge.  Unless one accepted the dictum of the E.S. members in every lodge, one was in disgrace and it was almost impossible for the individual, therefore, to work in the Lodge.  The sectional magazines and the international magazine, called "The Theosophist," were pre-occupied with personality quarrels.  Articles were given up to the attack or the defense of some individual.  A strong phase of psychism was sweeping through the society due to the psychic pronouncements of Mr. Leadbeater and his extraordinary control over Mrs. Besant.  The aftermath of the Leadbeater scandal was still causing much talk.  Mrs. Besant's pronouncements about Krishnamurti were splitting the society wide open.  Orders were going out from Adyar, based upon what were claimed to be orders to the Outer Head by one of the Masters, that every member of the Theosophical Society had to throw his interests into one or all of the three modes of work—the Co-Masonic Order, the Order of Service and an educational movement.  If you did not do so you were regarded as being disloyal, inattentive to the requests of the Masters and a bad Theosophist.

Books were being published at Adyar by Mr. Leadbeater [171] that were psychic in their implications and impossible of verification, carrying a strong note of astralism.  One of his major works, Man:  Whence, How and Whither, was a book that proved to me the basic untrustworthiness of what he wrote.  It is a book that outlines the future and the work of the Hierarchy of the future, and the curious and arresting thing to me was that the majority of the people slated to hold high office in the Hierarchy and in the future coming civilisation were all Mr. Leadbeater's personal friends.  I knew some of these people—worthy, kind, and mediocre, none of them intellectual giants and most of them completely unimportant.  I had travelled so widely and had met so many people whom I knew to be more effective in world service, more intelligent in serving the Christ, and more truly exponents of brotherhood that my eyes were opened to the futility and uselessness of this kind of literature.

Owing all these various causes many people were leaving the Theosophical Society in disgust and bewilderment.  I have often wondered what would have been the fate of the T.S. if they had had the grit to stay in, if they had refused to be ousted, and if they had fought for the spiritual basis of the movement.  But they did not and a great number of the worthwhile people got out, feeling frustrated and handicapped and unable to work.  I, personally, never resigned from the society and it is only during the past few years that I have let my annual dues lapse.  I am writing about this somewhat at length because it was this situation or background that made it necessary for changes to take place and out of these our work for the next twenty years took shape.

The disciples of all the Masters are everywhere in the world, working along the many different lines to bring humanity into the light and to materialise the kingdom of [172] God on earth, and the attitude of the Theosophical Society in regarding itself as the only channel and its refusal to recognise other groups and organisations as integral and equally important parts of the Theosophical Movement (not the Theosophical Society) in the world is largely responsible for its loss of prestige.  It seems rather late now for the T.S., to mend its ways and to emerge from isolation and separateness and to form part of the great Theosophical Movement which is today sweeping the world.  This movement is not only expressing itself through the various occult and esoteric bodies, but through the labor unions, through the plans for world unity and post-war rehabilitation, through the new vision in the political field, and through the recognition of the needs of humanity everywhere.  The degeneration of the initial, beautiful impulse is heartbreaking to those of us who loved the principles and truths for which Theosophy originally stood.

Let there be no mistake, the movement initiated by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky was an integral part of a Hierarchical plan.  There have always been theosophical societies down the ages—the name of the movement is not new—but H. P. B. gave it a light and a publicity that set a new note and that brought a neglected and hitherto somewhat secret group out into the open and made it possible for the public everywhere to respond to this very ancient teaching.  The indebtedness of the world to Mrs. Besant for the work that she did in making the basic tenets of the T.S. teaching available to the masses of men in every country, is something that can never be repaid.  There is absolutely no reason why we should overlook the stupendous, magnificent work she did for the Masters and for humanity.  Those who have during the past five years so violently attacked her seem to me of no more importance than fleas attacking an elephant.

[173] In 1920 this whole situation was reaching a climax.  The cleavage between the authoritarians of the E.S. and the more democratic minds in the T.S. was steadily widening.  In America Mr. Warrington and the E.S. wardens and heads everywhere represented one group, and the other group, at that time, was led by Foster Bailey and B. P. Wadia.  This was the situation which was rampant when the famous convention of 1920 took place in Chicago in the summer.  I had never been present at any convention in my life and to say that I was disillusioned, disgusted and outraged is putting it mildly.  Gathered together was a group of men and women from all parts of the United States who were presumably occupied in teaching and spreading brotherhood.  The hatred and rancour, the personality animus and the political manipulation was so outrageous and shocking that I made a vow never to attend another Theosophical Convention again in my life.  Next to Mr. Warrington, we were the ranking officials of the T.S. but we were a small minority.  It was obvious from the first moment of the Convention that the E.S. was in control and that those who stood for brotherhood and democracy were hopelessly outnumbered and, therefore, beaten.

There were Theosophists on the authoritarian side who were bitterly unhappy.  They were controlled by the E.S. but felt that the methods employed were shocking.  Many of them did what they could to show a friendly spirit to us as individuals.  Some of them, towards the close of the Convention, were convinced of the rightness of our position and told us so.  Others, who came over to the Convention with an open mind, threw the weight of their interests and backing on our side.  In spite of it all, however, we were hopelessly defeated and the E.S. was aggressively triumphant.  There was nothing for us to do but to return to Krotona and the situation was such that eventually Mr. [174] Warrington was forced to resign as head of the Theosophical Society in America, though retaining his position in the E.S.  He was succeeded by Mr. Rogers who was bitterly opposed to us and far more personal in his opposition than Mr. Warrington.  The latter realised our sincerity and apart from organisational differences there was a strong affection between Mr. Warrington, Foster and myself.  Mr. Rogers was of a much smaller calibre and he threw us out of our positions as soon as he got into power.  Thus ended our time at Krotona and our very real effort to be of service to the Theosophical Society.