A Mahatma Writes on the
Best Way to Help Mankind
An Eastern Master
Our home and a theosophical lodge can help
us have access to higher levels of consciousness
We reproduce below most of Letter 4 of the first
series, in “Letters From the Masters of the Wisdom”
(TPH, 1973 edition). We leave aside the sentences
that are specific to the London city in the decade of
1880. We preserve everything in the Letter that has
universal value. Essentially the document can be
seen as if it were directly written to the Independent
Lodge of Theosophist and to all associations of sincere
students of the original esoteric philosophy. As a
historical text, the letter is addressed to Ms. Francesca
Arundale. Omitted fragments are indicated by ellipsis,
in parenthesis. In some sentences, we put words in italics
in square brackets in order to make understanding easier.
(Carlos Cardoso Aveline)
…You are an officer of [your Lodge] and as such have a special duty and opportunity.
It is not enough that you should set the example of a pure virtuous life and a tolerant spirit; this is but negative goodness – and for chelaship will never do. You should even as a simple member, much more as an officer, learn that you may teach, acquire spiritual knowledge and strength that the work may lean upon you, and the sorrowing victims of ignorance learn from you the cause and remedy of their pain. If you choose, you may make your home  one of the most important centres of spiritualising influence in all the world.
The “power” is now concentrated there, and will remain – if you do not weaken or repulse it: remain to your blessing and advantage. You will do good by encouraging the visits of your fellow members [of the theosophical movement] and of enquirers and by holding meetings, of the more congenial for study and instruction. You should induce others, in other quarters, to do likewise. You should constantly advise with your associates in the Council how to make the general meetings of the Lodge interesting. New members should be taken in hand from the first, by the older ones especially selected and assigned to the duty in each case, and instructed thoroughly in what you have already learnt, so that they may be capable of participating intelligently in the proceedings of regular meetings.
There is a strong disposition to slur over the ceremony of “initiation” in such a way as to make no serious impression upon the candidate. The method of the Parent Society [in India] may be unsuited to English prejudices, yet to fall into the opposite extreme of undignified haste is very much worse. Your ways of initiation are a standing insult to every regular chela and have provoked the displeasure of their “Masters”. It is a sacred thing with us; why should it be otherwise with you? If every fellow took for his motto the wise words of a young boy, but one who is a fervent Theosophist, and repeated with Bertram K. “I am a theosophist before I am an Englishman”, no foe could ever upset your Society. However, candidates should be taught, and old members always recollect, that this is a serious affair the Society is engaged in; and that they should begin the work as seriously by making their own lives Theosophical.
(…) You have accepted an important service – the financial agency – and done wisely. Such aid was very needed. If the members in Europe wish well to the Mother Society, they should help to circulate its publications, and to have them translated into other languages when worthy of it. Intentions – you may tell your fellow-members – and kind words count for little with us. Deeds are what we want and demand. L.C.H. has done – poor child – more in that direction during two months than the best of your members in these five years.
The members of the (…) Lodge have such an opportunity as seldom comes to men. A movement calculated to benefit an English-speaking world, is in their custody. If they do their whole duty, the progress of materialism, the increase of dangerous self-indulgence, and the tendency towards spiritual suicide, can be checked. The theory of vicarious atonement has brought about its inevitable reaction: only the knowledge of Karma can offset it. The pendulum has swung from the extreme of blind faith towards the extreme materialistic skepticism, and nothing can stop it save Theosophy. Is not this a thing worth working for, to save those nations from the doom their ignorance is preparing for them?
Think you the truth has been shown to you for your sole advantage? That we have broken the silence of centuries for the profit of a handful of dreamers only? The converging lines of your Karma have drawn each and all of you into this Society as to a common focus, that you may each help to work out the results of your interrupted beginnings in the last birth. None of you can be so blind as to suppose that this is your first dealing with Theosophy? You surely must realize that this would be the same as to say that effects came without causes. Know then that it depends now upon each of you whether you shall henceforth struggle alone after spiritual wisdom thro’ this and the next incarnate life, or in the company of your present associates and greatly helped by the mutual sympathy and aspiration. Blessings to all – deserving them.
 Note by C. Jinarajadasa: “77 Elgin Crescent, Notting Hill, London, W., where H.P.B. was the guest of Mrs. and Miss Arundale.”
The above text was also published in the October 2016 edition of “The Aquarian Theosophist”, pp. 6-7.
Both “series” or volumes of “Letters From the Masters of the Wisdom” are available in PDF in our websites. See, in the same websites, the article “Turning a House Into a Temple”.
In September 2016, after a careful analysis of the state of the esoteric movement worldwide, a group of students decided to form the Independent Lodge of Theosophists. Two of the priorities adopted by the ILT are taking lessons from History and building a better future.