A Needed Explanation
Theosophist, March, 1882
A valued friend and correspondent in Upper India writes:—
“We have not had the pleasure of hearing from you since your return to Bombay. We do not want to trespass upon your most valuable time, but we do earnestly pray that you will be pleased to write to us once a month, should you find leisure.”
This is from the President of one of our Indian branch Societies, and we print the extract that we may thus answer many of like tenor that are received by the Founders. Since the Theosophical Society was established we two have had to do all its more important work; not because our colleagues have been at all unwilling to share the burden, but because enquirers have seemed like the patients of a popular doctor, or the clients of a leading lawyer—reluctant to take advice or instructions from any one in the Society, but ourselves. This was well enough in the infancy of our movement, and by working late in the night, sometimes all night long, the year round, we managed for the first three years to keep up with our official duties. But our coming to India doubled, perhaps trebled, the calls upon our time. We were not relieved from our Western correspondence, while at the same time the whole volume of enquiries, naturally provoked among the people of Asia by our coming, poured in upon us besides. So our magazine was determined upon, and in the Prospectus issued at Bombay, in July 1879, it was stated that “the rapid growth of the Society and of the correspondence between the Executive and the Society’s branches in various European countries, and with the Aryan, Buddhist, Parsi and Jain scholars who take a deep interest in its work . . . has made necessary the publication of the present journal.” There is a limit both to physical endurance and to the number of hours in a day. With the most benevolent wishes to oblige, the Founders cannot engage to regularly correspond with anybody, whether in or outside the Society. They will do their best, but our friends will kindly remember that neither Col. Olcott, with lecturing engagements enough to break down a man of less iron endurance, nor the Editor of The Theosophist with the cares of its management and her indispensable journeys about India for several months each year, can in fairness be reproached for failure to keep up private correspondence even with relatives or nearest personal friends. The more so, when they reflect that much of the guidance and instruction asked, can be found in the pages of our Magazine.