December 2008 Newsletter
The following articles are reproduced from the December 2008 Newsletter to members. Non-members may or may not be able to relate to the contents.
“We never pretended to be able to draw nations in the mass to this or that crisis in spite of the general drift of the world's cosmic relations. The cycles must run their rounds. Periods of mental and moral light and darkness succeed each other, as day does night. The major and minor yugas must be accomplished according to the established order of things. And we, borne along on the mighty tide, can only modify and direct some of its minor currents. If we had the powers of the imaginary Personal God, and the universal and immutable laws were but toys to play with, then indeed might we have created conditions that would have turned this earth into an Arcadia for lofty souls. But having to deal with an immutable Law, being ourselves its creatures, we have had to do what we could and rest thankful.”
A Master of the Wisdom
The Mahatma Letters Study Class
Two of the greatest books ever published by the Theosophical Society are The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett and The Secret Doctrine. Both books have been a source of reference and inspiration for students of the esoteric philosophy for the past century. The profound teachings found in these books have intrigued students up till this day. Quotations and references were constantly made to these books by theosophical writers and speakers. The Mahatma Letters may be considered, in some way, to be more authoritative as it contains the actual writings of the Masters. Students the world over have engaged themselves in the study of these letters ever since they were first published in 1923.
We ourselves commenced our study of The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett on March 27, 1999 and concluded it on March 25, 2000. It took us exactly a year to study the Mahatma Letters on a weekly basis. To be exact, considering some discontinuity, we had a total of 40 weekly sessions, each session varying between 2 to 4 hours, or well over 100 hours of study in total. During this time we not only studied every single letter published in The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, we also studied some significant letters published in the Letters From The Masters of the Wisdom, First and Second Series and the marginal notes of the Masters found in The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett.
The first letter to Mr. A. P. Sinnett was received in Simla, India, about October 17, 1880 and the last direct letter (Letter No. 138) was received by him in London, England, in the Fall of 1885. Hence, the correspondence between the Masters and Mr. Sinnett extended over a period of exactly five years. During this time over 300 letters and marginal notes from the Masters were known to be received by A. P. Sinnett, A. O. Hume and other early members of The Theosophical Society. Not all letters from the Masters were published. Some letters are believed to have been lost. Amongst the known letters, 184 letters are found published in The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett in Chronological Sequence. Another 60 letters are found in Letters From The Masters of the Wisdom, First Series and a further 82 letters published in the Second Series. Three letters from the Master K.H. are found in The “K. H.” Letters To C. W. Leadbeater.
In studying the Mahatma Letters, we follow the chronology of the correspondence of the Masters and A. P. Sinnett. In the process, we find ourselves immersed in and navigating through the early history of the Society. We also find ourselves privy to the occult teachings given out to Mr. Sinnett and Mr. Hume. Aligning ourselves with the recipients we are delighted with what could be considered “direct” occult teachings coming from the Great Ones. We also take note of the triumph and failures of individuals and learn about human vagaries. We can see the lost opportunities and wonder why those who were so privileged to receive the Masters’ attention could not. We are often awed by the encyclopaedic knowledge, the omniscience and the powers of the Masters. Quite naturally, we are also humbled by our own ignorance and imperfection. If we do not learn anything else we must at least become wiser, gaining from the moral of the stories of the various individuals--their successes and failures. We are greatly inspired by the compassion of the Great Ones and the importance They placed on The Theosophical Society. Consequently, we must certainly feel encouraged to do our bit for humanity to perpetuate the mission of the Society. All in all, the study of the Mahatma Letters must prove enriching if not enlightening.
The Mahatma Letters Study Class was conducted almost ten years ago and many members who joined later missed the wonderful opportunity of studying the occult teachings given by the Masters in Their Letters. For this reason, we shall repeat The Mahatma Letters Study Class next year, on its 10th anniversary. This time, instead of holding the class on Saturdays, we shall hold it on a weekday evening, to be decided by the majority of prospective students. This is intended to benefit those who are not able to attend our lodge meetings on Saturdays. We will be sending out an invitation soon. Look out for it and don’t miss the Study Class this time or you may have to wait another 10 years!
This is the centenary year of the Theosophical Order of Service and also the inception of TOS Singapore with Bro. Danilo Giron in the lead. Our TOS group visits the Bright Hill Evergreen Home for elderly people every Wednesday, with cookies and other snacks for the residents. For those who are able to go to the recreation room, whether on wheelchair or assisted walking, they are entertained with songs by popular Chinese entertainers on DVD. In another TOS activity, Bro. Kay Keng Chuan generously hosted a sumptuous Chinese vegetarian lunch and gave “Ang-Pow’s” to 183 residents of Tai Pei Old People’s Home.