The Hill of Discernment

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The Hill of Discernment

By Alfred Trevor Barker

H. P. B. and the Masters of Wisdom

heosophists in the name of H. P. B. and those Great Teachers who sent her forth into the world.

As her name implies she was a Russian, and she was born in the year 1831, on the 31st of July. She came of aristocratic parents, and she married, very much against her will, the elderly Russian general Blavatsky when she was but seventeen years of age. The story goes that she ran away from him after the first few hours of this purely nominal marriage. She was now entirely dependent upon her father, a Colonel in the army, and she proceeded to travel extensively, not only in the West but also (and mainly) in the Near and Far East, seeking always for those centers of occult learning which she had always felt to exist, hidden from the sight of men. She believed in the existence of an Occult Brotherhood in whose hands were the keys of many, if not all, of the problems and mysteries that perplex men and women in the world — scientific, religious and philosophic — and in seeking she found.

The reason, I suggest, why she was admitted into the sanctuaries in Eastern lands, was because the real entity within H. P. Blavatsky, within the outer form of the woman of Western blood, was actually one of the Great Brotherhood of Adepts or Initiates who guard these occult centers, and thus she had an "Open Sesame" to every one of them. You will find in Theosophical literature the statement that there are two or three main centers of this Occult Brotherhood, and the first one that she visited was in Egypt. That center, of course, still exists today, and the agents of the Egyptian Section of the Great Lodge are particularly active in that ancient and mysterious land.

Then she traveled through Persia and the Near East, going through Afghanistan, I believe, also visiting various parts of India; and eventually spending many years in Tibet, from which country she had actually been sent to the Western world. These are all details of the inner or private life of one that we knew, or that history speaks of, as H. P. Blavatsky.

Many, I dare say, will wonder as to the nature of those mysterious beings who have the power to send such a person as H. P. B. into the world.

The teachers of H. P. B. were men, but saintly men — men of vast Wisdom and Knowledge and Compassion: men who had mastered the occult secrets of nature by perfecting their own spiritual, intellectual, psychical and physical natures to the utmost possible degree. Therefore not alone with spirit entities did she commune but with living men, who were able to show her how to unlock the mysteries of nature, and thus regain the knowledge that had been hers in former incarnations.

She had been exiled from the physical presence of her Teachers for many years, and however much she might have lived with them spiritually and psychically during every hour of the day and every hour of the night, her actual life was naturally an exiled one and in a very true sense a crucifixion. So you can understand what a tremendous thing it meant to her when she received an order one day to go to Sikkim and there to spend at least a few hours with the two Teachers to whom she owed all that she had of spiritual value in her life; those two to whom she owed all the occult knowledge that she possessed; and, as she said in one part of her writings, with whose help and by whose hands her very soul was brought to birth in that incarnation. It is in this atmosphere that we read her own words about the journey.

The fact is that had I not left Bombay in the greatest secrecy-even some Theosophists who visit us believing me at home but busy and invisible as usual — had I not gone incognito so to say till I reached the hills and turned off the railway to enter Sikkim I would have never been allowed to enter it unmolested, and would not have seen M. and K. H. in their bodies both. Lord, I would have been dead by this time. Oh the blessed blessed two days! It was like the old times when the bear paid me a visit. The same kind of wooden hut, a box divided into three compartments for rooms, and standing in a jungle on four pelican's legs; the same yellow chelas gliding noiselessly; the same eternal "gul-gul-gul" sound of my Boss's inextinguishable chelum pipe; the old familiar sweet voice of your K. H. (whose voice is still sweeter and face still thinner and more transparent) the same entourage for furniture — skins, and yak-tail stuffed pillows and dishes for salt tea, etc. Well when I went to Darjeeling sent away by them — "out of reach of the chelas, who might fall in love with my beauty" said my polite boss — on the following day already I received the note I enclose from the Deputy Commissioner warning me not to go to Tibet! ! He locked the stable door after the horse had been already out. Very luckily; because when the infernal six or seven babus who stuck to me like parasites went to ask passes for Sikkim they were refused point blank and the Theos. Society abused and jeered at. But I had my revenge. I wrote to the Deputy Commissioner and told him I had permission from Government — the fact of Government not answering for my safety being of little importance since I would be safer in Tibet than in London; that after all I did go twenty or thirty miles beyond Sikkim territory and remained there two days and nothing happened bad to me and there I was. Several ladies and gentlemen anxious to see "the remarkable woman," pester me to death with their visits, but I have refused persistently to see any of them. Let them be offended. What the d----- do I care. I won't see anyone. I came here for our Brothers and Chelas and the rest may go and be hanged. Thanks for your offer. I do mean to pay you a visit but I cannot leave Darjeeling until my Boss is hovering near by. He goes away in a week or ten days and then I will leave D. and if you permit me to wait for you at your house I will do so with real pleasure. But I cannot be there much before the 20th so if you write to tell them it will be all right.
That is just one little cameo from her own writings. You will find that letter on page 38 in the volume called The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett and many such incidents which throw a side-light upon the esotericism of the Great Lodge.

One has to remember that H. P. Blavatsky's life was necessarily a very strange one, and there is a great difference between her life after 1875, when she founded the Theosophical Society, and the period up to that time.

One of the things that was hardest for her to bear was the fact that when the enemies of the Theosophical Movement, of which she raised a perfect legion, could not sink her philosophy; when they found that she was capable of tearing to pieces their materialistic and dogmatic arguments, and confounding them with logic and titanic intellectual power that simply staggered them; when they found that she gave them a philosophy that for completeness the world has never had anything to equal, one which literally embraced the Universe; then they fell back upon trying to pick holes in some detail, some incident, that might besmirch the early days of her life before she became a public character — the old, old trick. This is what she says on page 145 of the same book before quoted:

The whole of my life except the weeks and months I passed with the Masters, in Egypt or in Tibet, is so inextricably full of events with whose secrets and real actuality the dead and the living are concerned, and I made only responsible for their outward appearance, that to vindicate myself, I would have to step on a hecatomb of the dead and cover with dirt the living. I will not do so. For, firstly, it will do me no good except adding to the other epithets I am graced with, that of a slanderer of post mortem reputation, and accused, perhaps, of chantage and blackmail; and secondly I am an Occultist, as I told you. You speak of my "susceptibilities" with regard to my relatives, I say it is occultism, not susceptibilities. I KNOW the effect it would have on the dead, and want to forget the living. This is my last and final decision: I WILL NOT TOUCH THEM.
Now I could, but I do not want to, omit mention altogether of the gross attack that was made on H. P. B. It is very difficult, in attempting to deal with this extraordinary and outstanding figure of the latter part of the last century, to know how to present to those who know nothing about the subject the essential facts: what to say; what to leave out. It is certain that no uninitiated psychologist could ever solve the mystery of H. P. B., for he would be dealing with problems of the mysteries of occult development, mysteries of the sanctuary and the mind of an Initiated Adept — all incarnated in a woman's body.

She was accused of fraud; she was accused, like some common or garden medium, of descending to trickery in the production of what are known as "The Mahatma Letters," and the agents for this conspiracy — for such it was — were a certain Monsieur and Madame Coulomb, whom she befriended when they were starving. She picked them up in Egypt; took them with her, if I am not mistaken, or they followed her, to Bombay, where they deliberately set about to collect bits and snippets of letters and communications in her own hand-writing, and even went so far as to take odd sentences from them. Then Coulomb, who was capable of copying perfectly the writing of the Mahatma, proceeded to make up letters based upon these odd sentences, which produced the most fiendish indictment of the whole of H. P. B.'s work and mission, and needless to say, her private character.

This is what she says about it on pages 110 and 111:

But those secrets were "open letters" for years. Why should I complain? Has not Master left it to my choice, to either follow the dictates of Lord Buddha, who enjoins us not to fail to feed even a starving serpent, scorning all fear lest it should turn round and bite the hand that feeds it — or to face Karma which is sure to punish him, who turns away from the sight of sin and misery, or fails to relieve the sinner and the sufferer. I knew her and tried my best not to hate her, and since I always failed in the latter, I tried to make it up by sheltering and feeding the vile snake. I have what I deserve, not for the sins I am charged with but for those which no one — save Master and myself know of. Am I greater, or in any way better, than were St. Germain, and Cagliostro, Giordano Bruno and Paracelsus, and so many many other martyrs whose names appear in the Encyclopedias of the 19th cent. over the meritorious titles of charlatans and impostors? It shall be the Karma of the blind and wicked judges — not mine. In Rome, Darbargiri Nath went to the prison of Cagliostro at the Fort Sant Angelo, and remained in the terrible hole for more than an hour. What he did there, would give Mr. Hodgson the ground work for another scientific Report if he could only investigate the fact.
No; it is not "the Brothers' policy of covering up such evidence . . . of their existence" — but that of the MAHA CHOHAN, and it is Mahatma K. H.'s Karma. If you have never given a thought to what may be His suffering during the human intervals of His Mahatmaship — then you have something yet to learn. "You were warned" — says his Chohan — and He answers — "I was." Still He says He is glad He is yet no Mejnoor, no dried up plant, and that had He to suffer over and over again — He would still do the same for He knows that real good for humanity has come out from all this suffering, and that such books as "Esoteric Buddhism" and "Karma" would not have been written for years to come had He not communicated with you, and had not orders been given to me to do what I have done — stupidly sometimes as I may have carried them out.
These are Mahatma K. H.'s own words. No; He is not "right away in Nirvana" — except during the hours of His Mahatmaship. His "devachan" is far off yet, and people may hear of Him when they expect it the least. I never see or hear of Him, lately — D. N. does. But I know what I say, though I have no orders to tell it to anyone. Remember only that He suffers more, perhaps, than any one of us. And you do not know how right you are in saying that "Well as He loved, He will love me truly — Yea, even better than I love Him" — for even you can never love Him as well as He loves you — that particle of Humanity which did its best to help on and benefit Humanity — "the great orphan" He speaks of in one of His letters.
If we use our minds rightly when we read or hear these sacred things, we shall necessarily gain a deeper understanding of what the great Masters really are, the nature of their work, and what they are trying to bring about in the Movement which They founded.



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