[On Adepts Living Apart from Society]
Theosophist, August, 1881
The British Theosophical Society
We have received no official report as yet from those quarters though we hope to publish the Secretary’s Report next month. But we gather from a semi-official correspondence that the number of the Fellows is increasing, though our London Brothers are very careful in admitting new members into their Society, and it is on the whole difficult to be admitted into that body. Its esteemed President, Dr. G. Wyld, informs us of an extraordinary opinion held by one of its Members—one who lived in India, and is personally acquainted, as it seems, with a Society of Initiates in Tibet—that “those who live there in the snow (?) are not adepts but under training, and that a true adept can defy all magnetisms and live in society if he chooses.” Most undoubtedly he can. So can a man, gradually having accustomed himself to an ever-increasing heat, pass days—if not altogether live—in a furnace without dying, as recent scientific experiments have proved. So can also a person pass years in the utter darkness of a subterranean cavern and thereby so weaken his sight as to lose it entirely when suddenly emerging into light again. The question is not “could the Eastern initiates” so live or not, but will they, and why should they consent to do so, having no better reason for it than the satisfaction of the curiosity of—to them—an alien race, five-sixths of which would regard them as clever impostors and charlatans, and the other sixth—the best disposed to believe in their psychological powers, regard them as wonderful physical mediums controlled by “spirits.” Mr. Sinnett’s The Occult World is a good feeler in that direction.