Permit me to say that I cannot agree with this opinion, nor with the policy which is outlined by it. The opinion is erroneous, and the policy is weak as well as being out of accord with that of the Masters. Those Masters have approved the project of the new Society and are watching the unfolding of its policy.
See what I said in the opening vol. of The Path: that the study of what is now called "practical occultism" was not the object of that journal. "We regard it as incidental to the journey along the path. The traveller, in going from one city to another, has perhaps to cross several rivers; maybe his conveyance fails him and he is obliged to swim, or he must, in order to pass a great mountain, know engineering in order to tunnel through it, or is compelled to exercise the art of locating his exact position by observation of the sun: but all that is only incidental to his main object of reaching his destination. We admit the existence of hidden, powerful forces in nature, and believe that every day greater progress is made towards an understanding of them. Astral body formation, clairvoyance, looking into the astral light, and controlling elementals is all possible, but not all profitable. The electrical current, which when resisted in the carbon produces intense light, may be brought into existence by any ignoramus who has the key to the engine-room and can turn the crank that starts the dynamo, but is unable to prevent his fellow man or himself from being instantly killed, should that current accidentally be diverted through his body. The control of these hidden forces is not easily obtained, nor can phenomena be produced without danger, and in our view the attainment of true wisdom is not by means of phenomena, but through the development which begins within. True occultism is clearly set forth in the Bhagavat Gita and Light on the Path, where sufficient stress is laid upon practical occultism, but after all, Krishna says, the kingly science and the kingly mystery is devotion to and study of the light which comes from within. The very first step in true mysticism and true occultism is to try and apprehend the meaning of Universal Brotherhood, without which58 the very highest progress in the practise of magic turns to ashes in the mouth.
(1) Clothes and astral form.
The deadening dullness you speak of is one of the trials of the age, but we have some good and earnest people, and they may act as the righteous men in the cities of old, for our ideas are more mighty than all the materialism of the age, which is sure to die out and be replaced by the truth. You will have to take care that the spirit of the time, and the wickedness and apathy of the people, do not engender in you a bitter spirit. This is always to be found in the beginning, but now, being forewarned, you are forearmed.
J. Campbell Ver-Planck, F.T.S.
I do not know what to write, for I've been so occupied with people. I am anxious about my lectures; still unprepared. I cannot naturally reply to many of your points, because I have a retiring feeling, and so shall not reply. Indeed, I often think how nice it would be not to speak or write. I am no hand at those nice phrases that people like. Of course, that does not alter my real feelings, but chickens are chickens and often think nonsense. I want to forget and forgive all those children and childish acts. Let us do it, and try as much as possible to be real brothers, and thus get nearer the truth. And by work we will defeat the enemy of Master: by still silently working.