A Poem to Truth: a Comparison
Between Theosophy and Jesuitism
A Mahatma of the Himalayas
The Himalayas: a painting by Nicholas Roerich
A 2012 Editorial Note:
Since some circles of the theosophical
movement are still under the influence of
illusions fabricated during the last century,
it is appropriate to take into consideration
what real Eastern Masters have to teach – and
compare their stern statements to the false,
superficial kindness, with which fake teachers
use to inspire many an honest theosophist.
The following text is part of Letter 74,
in the Chronological edition of “The
Mahatma Letters” (TPH, Philippines), or
Letter XXX, in TUP edition, Pasadena. The
whole fragment belongs to a single paragraph.
In order to make its contemplative reading
easier, we have divided it into smaller paragraphs.
The text begins by showing that the theosophical
path starts as a choice between two possibilities.
It goes on to explain that the practice of
adoring “masters” in any uncritical way is part
of Jesuitism, and does not belong to the
Pedagogy of true Mahatmas. The text then makes
a thorough comparison between the two methods.
The reader will see that it can be read as a poem to truth.
(Carlos Cardoso Aveline)
“They are trained to
deceive; we – to undeceive…”
A chela under probation is allowed to think and do whatever he likes. He is warned and told beforehand: you will be tempted and deceived by appearances; two paths will be open before you, both leading to the goal you are trying to attain; one easy, and that will lead you more rapidly to the fulfilment of orders you may receive; the other – more arduous, more long; a path full of stones and thorns that will make you stumble more than once on your way; and, at the end of which you may, perhaps, find failure after all and be unable to carry out the orders given for some particular small work, – but, whereas the latter will cause the hardships you have undergone on it to be all carried to the side of your credit in the long run, the former, the easy path, can offer you but a momentary gratification, an easy fulfilment of the task.
The chela is at perfect liberty, and often quite justified from the standpoint of appearances – to suspect his Guru of being “a fraud” as the elegant word stands. More than that: the greater, the sincerer his indignation – whether expressed in words or boiling in his heart – the more fit he is, the better qualified to become an adept.
He is free to [use] , and will not be held to account for using the most abusive words and expressions regarding his guru’s actions and orders, provided he comes out victorious from the fiery ordeal; provided he resists all and every temptation; rejects every allurement, and proves that nothing, not even the promise of that which he holds dearer than life, of that most precious boon, his future adeptship – is unable to make him deviate from the path of truth and honesty, or force him to become a deceiver.
My dear Sir, we will hardly ever agree in our ideas of things, and even of the value of words. You have once upon a time called us Jesuits; and, viewing things as you do, perhaps, you were right to a certain extent in so regarding us, since apparently our systems of training do not differ much. But it is only externally.
As I once said before, they know that what they teach is a lie; and we know that what we impart is truth, the only truth and nothing but the truth.
They work for the greater power and glory (!) of their order; we – for the power and final glory of individuals, of isolated units, of humanity in general, and we are content, nay forced – to leave our Order and its chiefs entirely in the shade.
They work, and toil, and deceive, for the sake of worldly power in this life; we work and toil, and allow our chelas to be temporarily deceived, to afford them means never to be deceived hereafter, and to see the whole evil of falsity and untruth, not alone in this but in many of their after lives.
They – the Jesuits sacrifice the inner principle, the Spiritual brain of the ego, to feed and develop the better the physical brain of the personal evanescent man, sacrificing the whole humanity to offer it as a holocaust to their Society – the insatiable monster feeding on the brain and marrow of humanity, and developing an incurable cancer on every spot of healthy flesh it touches.
We – the criticized and misunderstood Brothers – we seek to bring men to sacrifice their personality – a passing flash – for the welfare of the whole humanity, hence for their own immortal Egos, a part of the latter, as humanity is a fraction of the integral whole, that it will one day become.
They are trained to deceive; we – to undeceive; they do the scavenger’s work themselves – barring a few poor sincere tools of theirs – con amore, and for selfish ends; we – leave it to our menials – the dugpas at our service, by giving them carte blanche for the time being, and with the sole object of drawing out the whole inner nature of the chela, most of the nooks and corners of which, would remain dark and concealed for ever, were not an opportunity afforded to test each of these corners in turn.
Whether the chela wins or loses the prize – depends solely of himself. Only, you have to remember that our Eastern ideas about “motives” and “truthfulness” and “honesty” differ considerably from your ideas in the West.
We both believe that it is moral to tell the truth and immoral to lie; but here every analogy stops and our notions diverge in a very remarkable degree. For instance it would be a most difficult thing for you to tell me, how it is that your civilized Western Society, Church and State, politics and commerce have ever come to assume a virtue that it is quite impossible for either a man of education, a statesman, a trader, or anyone else living in the world – to practice in an unrestricted sense?
Can any one of the above mentioned classes – the flower of England’s chivalry, her proudest peers and most distinguished commoners, her most virtuous and truth speaking ladies – can any of them speak the truth, I ask, whether at home, or in Society, during their public functions or in the family circle?
What would you think of a gentleman, or a lady, whose affable politeness of manner and suavity of language would cover no falsehood; who, in meeting you would tell you plainly and abruptly what he thinks of you, or of anyone else?
And where can you find that pearl of honest tradesmen or that god-fearing patriot, or politician, or a simple casual visitor of yours, but conceals his thoughts the whole while, and is obliged under the penalty of being regarded as a brute, a madman – to lie deliberately, and with a bold face, no sooner he is forced to tell you what he thinks of you; unless for a wonder his real feelings demand no concealment?
All is lie, all falsehood, around and in us, my brother ; and that is why you seemed so surprised, if not affected, whenever you find a person, who will tell you bluntly truth to your face; and also why it seems impossible for you to realize that a man may have no ill feelings against you, nay even like and respect you for some things, and yet tell you to your face what he honestly and sincerely thinks of you.
 The Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, 1989 edition, defines a Jesuit with these words: “Jesuit: 1. a member of a Roman catholic religious Order (‘Society of Jesus’); 2. A crafty, intriguing, or equivocating person, so-called in allusion to the methods ascribed to the order by its opponents.” (CCA)
 Though coming from an Eastern teacher, the present passage coincides with the best tradition in Western philosophy. It can be compared, for instance, to the words of a distinguished French philosopher. Blaise Pascal (1623 – 1662) directly confronted the Jesuits in a series of open letters to them. He also wrote:
“To tell the truth is useful to those to whom it is spoken, but disadvantageous to those who tell it, because it makes them disliked. Now those who live with princes love their own interests more than that of the prince whom they serve; and so they take care not to confer on him a benefit so as to injure themselves. (….) Human life is thus only a perpetual illusion; men deceive and flatter each other. No one speaks of us in our presence as he does of us in our absence. Human society is founded on mutual deceit; few friendships would endure if each knew what his friend said of him in his absence, although he then spoke in sincerity and without passion. Man is then, only disguise, falsehood, and hypocrisy, both in himself and in regard to others. He does not wish anyone to tell him the truth; he avoids telling it to others, and all these dispositions, so removed from justice and reason, have a natural root in his heart.” (“Pensées”, by Blaise Pascal, Encyclopaedia Britannica, “Great Books of the Western World”, 1955, printed in the USA, 487 pp., see items 99 and 100, pp. 191-192.) (CCA)
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, whose priorities include the building of a better future in the different dimensions of life.