Of all phenomena produced by occult agency
in connection with our Society, none have been witnessed
by a more extended circle of spectators or more widely known and
commented on through recent Theosophical publications than the
mysterious production of letters. The phenomenon itself
has been so well described in the Occult World and elsewhere,
that it would be useless to repeat the description here.
Our present purpose is more connected with the process than the
phenomenon of the mysterious formation of letters. Mr.
Sinnett sought for an explanation of the process and elicited
the following reply from the revered Mahatma, who corresponds with him:
. . . Bear in mind
these letters are not written but impressed, or precipitated, and then
all mistakes corrected. . . . I have to think it over,
to photograph every word and sentence carefully in my brain before
it can be repeated by precipitation. As the fixing on chemically
prepared surfaces of the images formed by the camera requires
a previous arrangement within the focus of the object to be represented,
for, otherwise as often found in bad photographs the
legs of the sitter might appear out of all proportion with the
head, and so on some have to first arrange our sentences
and impress every letter to appear on paper in our minds before
it becomes fit to be read. For the present, it is
all I can tell you.
Since the above was written, the Masters have been pleased
to permit the veil to be drawn aside a little more, and
the modus operandi can thus be explained now more fully to the outsider.
Those having even a superficial knowledge of the science of mesmerism
know how the thoughts of the mesmeriser, though silently
formulated in his mind are instantly transferred to that of the
subject. It is not necessary for the operator, if
he is sufficiently powerful, to be present near the subject
to produce the above result. Some celebrated practitioners
in this Science are known to have been able to put their subjects
to sleep even from a distance of several days' journey.
This known fact will serve us as a guide in comprehending the
comparatively unknown subject now under discussion. The
work of writing the letters in question is carried on by a sort
of psychological telegraphy; the Mahatmas very rarely write
their letters in the ordinary way. An electromagnetic connection,
so to say, exists on the psychological plane between a
Mahatma and his chelas, one of whom acts as his amanuensis.
When the Master wants a letter to be written in this way,
he draws the attention of the chela, whom he selects for
the task, by causing an astral bell (heard by so many of
our Fellows and others) to be rung near him, just as the
despatching telegraph office signals to the receiving office before
wiring the message. The thoughts arising in the mind of
the Mahatma are then clothed in word, pronounced mentally,
and forced along the astral currents he sends towards the pupil
to impinge on the brain of the latter. Thence they are
borne by the nerve-currents to the palms of his hands and the
tips of his fingers, which rest on a piece of magnetically
prepared paper. As the thought-waves are thus impressed
on the tissue, materials are drawn to it from the ocean
of ákas, (permeating every atom of the sensuous
universe) by an occult process, out of place here to describe,
and permanent marks are left. . . .
From this it is abundantly clear that the success of such writing
as above described depends chiefly upon these things: (1)
The force and the clearness with which the thoughts are propelled
and (2) the freedom of the receiving brain from disturbance of
every description. The case with the ordinary electric
telegraph is exactly the same. If, for some reason
or other the battery supplying the electric power falls below
the requisite strength on any telegraph line or there is some
derangement in the receiving apparatus, the message transmitted
becomes either mutilated or otherwise imperfectly legible.
The telegram sent to England by Reuter's agent at Simla on the
classification of the opinions of Local Governments on the Criminal
Procedure Amendment Bill, which excited so much discussion,
gives us a hint as to how inaccuracies might arise in the process
of precipitation. Such inaccuracies, in fact do
very often arise as may be gathered from what the Mahatma says
in the above extract. "Bear in mind,"
says He, that "these letters are not written,
but impressed, or precipitated, and then all mistakes corrected." To turn
to the sources of error in the precipitation. Remembering
the circumstances under which blunders arise in telegrams,
we see that if a Mahatma somehow becomes exhausted or allows his
thoughts to wander off during the process, or fails to
command the requisite intensity in the astral currents along which
his thoughts are projected, or the distracted attention
of the pupil produces disturbances in his brain and nerve-
the success of the process is very much interfered with.
It is to be very much regretted that the illustrations of the
above general principles are not permitted to be published.
Otherwise, the present writer is confident that facts in
his possession alone would have made this paper far more interesting
and instructive. Enough, however, has been
disclosed above to give the public a clue as to many apparent
mysteries in regard to precipitated letters. It ought satisfy
all earnest and sincere inquirers and draw them most strongly
to the path of Spiritual progress, which alone can lead
to e knowledge of occult phenomena, but it is to be feared
that the craving for gross material life is so strong in the western
Society the present day that nothing will come to them amiss so
long as it will shade off their eyes from unwelcome truth.
They are like Circe's swine.
Who not once
their foul deformity perceive,
but would trample down Ulysses for seeking to restore them their
Theosophist, January, 1884