A.O Hume, the founder of Indian National Congress, a well read English man got interested in the occult science. He was an active member of Theosophy Movement for sometime. Theosophy tries to explain the natural laws behind the occult science or "miracles". The Movement is said to be guided by the evolved souls called "Masters" from Himalayas. I am not going to get into discussion about proofs of whether there REALLY are any such Masters in Himalayas or not and if we can "see" them etc
The current article of interest is a letter written by one such Master KH to A.O Hume.
In his letter, A.O Hume proposes to start an organization with scientists interested in occult science and asks the Himalayan Masters to guide them. The proposition put forward by AO Hume is very practical and the questions he puts across are the ones most of us ask like Who are they? What are they doing? What is the practical use of what they are doing? Why is India in such poverty if there is such knowledge with it etc Given below are some paras of interest, from the reply of the Master to Mr. Hume.
But you know, as any man who has read history, that patriots may burst their hearts in vain if circumstances are against them. Sometimes, it has happened that no human power, not even the fury and force of the loftiest patriotism, has been able to bend an iron destiny aside from its fixed course, and nations have gone out like torches dropped into water in the engulfing blackness of ruin. Thus, we who have the sense of our country’s fall though not the power to lift her up at once, can not do as we would either as to general affairs or this particular one. ..Think of us as demi-gods and my explanation will not satisfy you; view us as simple men — perhaps a little wiser as the result of special study — and it ought to answer your objection.
You ask us to teach you true Science, the occult aspect of the known side of nature: and this you think can be as easily done as asked. You do not seem to realize the tremendous difficulties in the way of imparting even the rudiments of our Science to those who have been trained in the familiar methods of yours. You do not see that the more you have of the one the less capable you are of intuitively comprehending the other, for a man can only think in his worn grooves, and unless he has the courage to fill up these and make new ones for himself he must perforce travel on the old lines.
Allow me a few instances.
In conformity with exact modern Science you would define but one cosmic energy, and see no difference between the energy expended by the traveller who pushes aside the bush that obstructs his path, and the scientific experimenter who expends an equal amount of energy in setting a pendulum in motion! We do. For we know there is a world of difference between the two. The one uselessly dissipates or scatters force, the other concentrates and stores it. And here please understand that I do not refer to the relative utility of the two as one might imagine; but only to the fact, that in the one case, there is but brute force flung out without any transmutation of that brute energy into the higher potential form of spiritual dynamics, and, in the other there is just that. Please do not consider me vaguely metaphysical. The idea I wish to convey is, that the result of the highest intellection in the scientifically occupied brain is the evolution of a sublimated form of spiritual energy, which, in the cosmic action, is productive of illimitable results, while the automatically acting brain holds or stores up in itself only a certain quantum of brute force that is unfruitful of benefit for the individual or humanity. The human brain is an exhaustless generator of the most refined quality of cosmic force, out of the low, brute energy of nature; and the complete adept has made himself a centre from which irradiate potentialities that beget correlations upon correlations through Aeons to come. This is the key to the mystery of his being able to project into and materialise in the visible world the forms that his imagination has constructed out of inert cosmic matter in the invisible world. The adept does not create anything new, but only utilises and manipulates materials which nature has in store around him; a material which throughout eternities has passed through all the forms; he has but to choose the one he wants and recall it into objective existence. Would not this sound to one of your “learned” biologists like a madman’s dream?
But will you permit me to sketch for you still more clearly the difference between the modes of — physical called exact — often out of mere politeness — and metaphysical sciences? The latter, as you know, being incapable of verification before mixed audiences, is classed by Mr. Tyndall with the fictions of poetry. The realistic science of fact, on the other hand, is utterly prosaic. Now for us poor and unknown philanthropists, no fact of either of these sciences is interesting except in the degree of its potentiality of moral results, and in the ratio of its usefulness to mankind.
May I not ask then without being taxed with a vain “display of science” what have the laws of Faraday, Tyndall, or others to do with philanthropy in their abstract relations with humanity viewed as an integral whole? What care they for MAN as an isolated atom of this great and harmonious Whole, even though they may sometimes be of practical use to him?
Cosmic energy is something eternal and incessant, matter is indestructible, and there stand the scientific facts. Doubt them and you are an ignoramus; deny them, a dangerous lunatic, a bigot; pretend to improve upon the theories — an impertinent charlatan. And yet even these scientific facts never suggested any proof to the world of experimenters, that nature consciously prefers that matter should be indestructible under organic rather than under inorganic forms; and that she works slowly but incessantly towards the realisation of this object — the evolution of conscious life out of inert material. Hence their ignorance about the scattering and concretion of cosmic energy in its metaphysical aspects; their division about Darwin’s theories; their uncertainty about the degree of conscious life in separate elements; and, as a necessity, the scornful rejection of every phenomenon outside their own stated conditions and the very idea of worlds of semi-intelligent if not intellectual forces at work in hidden corners of nature.
To give you another practical illustration. We see a vast difference between the qualities of two equal amounts of energy expended by two men, of whom one, let us suppose, is on his way to his daily quiet work, and another on his way to denounce a fellow creature at the police station, while the men of science see none.
And we — not they — see a specific difference between the energy in the motion of the wind and that of a revolving wheel. And why? Because every thought of man upon being evolved passes into the inner world and becomes an active entity by associating itself – coalescing, we might term it — with an elemental; that is to say with one of the semi-intelligent forces of the kingdoms. It survives as an active intelligence, a creature of the mind’s begetting, for a longer or shorter period proportionate with the original intensity of the cerebral action which generated it. Thus, a good thought is perpetuated as an active beneficent power; an evil one as a maleficent demon. And so man is continually peopling his current in space with a world of his own, crowded with the offsprings of his fancies, desires, impulses, and passions, a current which reacts upon any sensitive or and nervous organisation which comes in contact with it in proportion to its dynamic intensity. The Buddhist calls this his “Skandha,” the Hindu gives it the name of “Karma”; the Adept evolves these shapes consciously, other men throw them off unconsciously.
Still less does exact science perceive that while the building ant, the busy bee, the nidifacient bird accumulate, each in their own humble way as much cosmic energy in its potential form as a Haydn, a Plato, or a ploughman turning his furrow, in theirs; the hunter who kills game for his pleasure or profit, or the positivist who applies his intellect to proving that + x + = -, are wasting and scattering energy no less than the tiger which springs upon its prey. They all rob nature instead of enriching her, and will all in the degree of their intelligence find themselves accountable.
Exact experimental Science has nothing to do with morality, virtue, philanthropy, therefore can make no claim upon our help, until it blends itself with the metaphysics. Being but a cold classification of facts outside man, and existing before and after him, her domain of usefulness ceases for us at the outer boundary of these facts; Therefore as our sphere lies entirely outside hers — as far as the path of Uranus is outside the earth’s — we distinctly refuse to be broken on any wheel of her construction. The philosophical but transcendental (hence absurd?) notion of the mediaeval theosophists that the final progress of human labour aided by the incessant discoveries of man, must one day culminate in a process, which in imitation of the sun’s energy — in its capacity of a direct motor — shall result in the evolution of nutritious food out of inorganic matter — is unthinkable for men of science. Were the sun, the great nourishing father of our planetary System, to hatch granite chickens out of a boulder “under test conditions” tomorrow, they (the men of Science) would accept it as a scientific fact, without wasting a regret that the fowls were not alive so as to feed the hungry and the starving. But let a Shaberon cross the Himalayas in a time of famine, and multiply sacks of rice for the perishing multitudes — as he could — and your magistrates and collectors would probably lodge him in jail, to make him confess what granary he had robbed. This is exact science and your realistic world. ………………….You cause a waste of cosmic energy by tons, to accumulate hardly a few ounces in your volumes — to speak figuratively.
About purpose of Theosophy KH says
"You can do immense good by helping to give the Western nations a secure basis upon which to reconstruct their crumbling faith. What they need is the evidence that Asiatic psychology alone supplies. Give this and you will confer happiness of mind on thousands. The era of blind faith is gone; that of enquiry is here. Enquiry that only unmasks error, without discovering anything upon which the soul can build, will but make iconoclasts. Iconoclasm from its very destructiveness can give nothing, it can only raze. But man can not rest satisfied with bare negation. Agnosticism is but a temporary halt.
This is the moment to guide the recurrent impulse which must soon come, and which will push the age toward extreme atheism, or drag it back to extreme sacerdotalism, .. The age is revelling at a debauch of phenomena. The same marvels that the spiritualists quote in opposition to the dogmas of eternal perdition and atonement, the catholics swarm to witness as the strongest proof of their faith in miracles. The skeptics make game of both. All are blind and there is no one to lead them! You and your colleagues may help furnish the materials for a needed universal religious philosophy; one impregnable to scientific assault because itself the finality of absolute science; and, a religion, that is indeed worthy of the name, since it includes the relations of man physical to man psychical, and of the two to all that is above and below them. Is not this worth a slight sacrifice? And if after reflection you should decide to enter this new career, let it be known that your Society is no miracle-mongering or banqueting club, nor specially given to the study of phenomenalism. Its chief aim is to extirpate current superstitions and skepticism, and, from long sealed ancient fountains to draw the proof that man may shape his own future destiny, and know for a certainty that he can live hereafter, if he only wills; and that all “phenomena” are but manifestations of natural law, to try to comprehend which is the duty of every intelligent being.
The entire letter can be found at http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/mahatma/ml-khaoh.htm