On beliefs in a personal God.
From THE MAHATMA LETTERS to A. P. Sinnett. (Presentation here.)
Pages 142 - 144, a part of
”Letter No XXII — Extracts from Letter by K. H. to Hume.
Received for my perusal towards the end of season 1882. (A. P. S.)”
[A. O. Hume was a high official in the British rule over India, a friend of A. P. Sinnett, active in the Theosophical Society in northern India and by what´s below defending his belief in a personal God.]
...And now to your extraordinary hypothesis that Evil with its attendant train of sin and suffering is not the result of matter, but may be perchance the wise scheme of the moral Governor of the Universe. Conceivable as the idea may seem to you trained in the pernicious fallacy of the Christian, – ”the ways of the Lord are inscrutable” – it is utterly inconceivable for me. Must I repeat again that the best Adepts have searched the Universe during millenniums and found nowhere the slightest trace of such a Machiavellian schemer — but throughout, the same immutable, inexorable law. You must excuse me therefore if I positively decline to lose my time over such childish speculations. It is not “the ways of the Lord“ but rather those of some extremely intelligent men in everything but some particular hobby, that are to me incomprehensible.
As you say this need “make no difference between us“ — personally. But it does make a world of difference if you propose to learn and offer me to teach. For the life of me I cannot make out how I could ever impart to you that which I know since the very A. B. C. of what I know, the rock upon which the secrets of the occult universe, whether on this or that side of the veil, are encrusted, is contradicted by you invariably and a priori. My very dear Brother, either we know something or we do not know anything. In the first case what is the use of your learning, since you think you know better? In the second case why should you lose your time? You say it matters nothing whether these laws are the expression of the will of an intelligent conscious God, as you think, or constitute the inevitable attributes of an unintelligent, unconscious “God,” as I hold. I say, it matters everything, and since you earnestly believe that these fundamental questions (of spirit and matter – of God or no God) “are admittedly beyond both of us“ – in other words that neither I nor yet our greatest adepts can know no more than you do, then what is there on earth that I could teach you? You know that in order to enable you to read you have first to learn your letters — yet you want to know the course of events before and after the Pralayas, of every event here on this globe on the opening of a new cycle, namely a mystery imparted at one of the last initiations, as Mr. Sinnett was told, – for my letter to him upon the Planetary Spirits was simply incidental – brought out by a question of his. And now you will say I am evading the direct issue. I have discoursed upon collateral points, but have not explained to you all you want to know and asked me to tell you. I “dodge“ as I always do. Pardon me for contradicting you, but it is nothing of the kind. There are a thousand questions I will never be permitted to answer, and it would be dodging were I to answer you otherwise than I do. I tell you plainly you are unfit to learn, for your mind is too full and there is not a corner vacant from whence a previous occupant would not arise, to struggle with and drive away the newcomer. Therefore I do not evade, I only give you time to reflect and deduce and first learn well what was already given you before you seize on something else. The world of force, is the world of occultism, and the only one whither the highest initiate goes to probe the secrets of being. Hence no-one but such an initiate can know anything of these secrets. Guided by his Guru the chela first discovers this world, then its laws, then their centrifugal evolutions into the world of matter. To become a perfect adept takes him long years, but at last he becomes the master. The hidden things have become patent, and mystery and miracle have fled from his sight forever. He sees how to guide force in this direction or that — to produce desirable effects. The secret chemical, electric or odic properties of plants, herbs, roots, minerals, animal tissue, are as familiar to him as the feathers of your birds are to you. No change in the etheric vibrations can escape him. He applies his knowledge, and behold a miracle! And he who started with the repudiation of the very idea that miracle is possible, is straight way classed as a miracle worker and either worshipped by the fools as a demi-god or repudiated by still greater fools as a charlatan! And to show you how exact a science is occultism let me tell you that the means we avail ourselves of are all laid down for us in a code as old as humanity to the minutest detail, but everyone of us has to begin from the beginning, not from the end. Our laws are as immutable as those of Nature, and they were known to man and eternity before this strutting game cock, modern science, was hatched. If I have not given you the modus operandi or begun by the wrong end, I have at least shown you that we build our philosophy upon experiment and deduction — unless you choose to question and dispute this fact equally with all others. Learn first our laws and educate your perceptions, dear Brother. Control your involuntary powers and develop in the right direction your will and you will become a teacher instead of a learner. I would not refuse what I have a right to teach. Only I had to study for fifteen years before I came to the doctrines of cycles and had to learn simpler things at first. But do what we may, and whatever happens I trust we will have no more arguing which is as profitless as it is painful.