The theory is widely known among the members of the Society that at the close of each century a spiritual movement is made in the world by the Mahatmas, which begins with the last twenty-five years of the century and does not in that form begin again after the close of twenty-five years until the last quarter of the following period. But this has been exaggerated and much misunderstood. Some, indeed many, go so far as to conclude that then in the course of the next few years the Mahatmas will entirely recede from all work in the world and leave us all to our fate. One person went so far as to argue that it meant the coming of the sixth race in ’98, and hence asked how it could be, or what matter it would be, as the sixth race would have sufficient knowledge of itself. But the major part seem to think that no help will be given after that time. I think this is incorrect, and will try to explain it as it was explained to me by the promulgator of the theory, H.P.B.
The Masters are governed by the law of action and reaction, and are wise enough always not to do that which might result in undoing all their prior work. The law of reaction applies as much to the mind of man as to physical things and forces. By going too far at any one time with the throwing-out of great force in the mental plane, the consequence would be that a reaction of superstition and evil of all sort would undo everything. Superstition rules yet in the world, and the world is not confined for the Masters to the Western peoples. In the West, following the historical cycles, a great and definite effort is made among the people—for instance, as the Theosophical Society—so as to aid the psychical and spiritual development of man. Among other reasons for not keeping up the display of much force is that if it went too far many unprepared persons whose moral senses are not rightly governed would take up with all our theories and follow them out along the lines of pure selfishness for business and other purposes.
For that reason, among others, H.P.B. began to slacken her phenomena some time before her departure, although to my own certain knowledge she was able to do them to the last, and did do many of them, and some of the most wonderful sort, up to the last. But publicly it was not so. Some have taken on themselves to say that the reason for this alteration was because she came to the conclusion it was a mistake to do them, but I do not believe this at all. It was a part of a well-understood campaign and order.
At the end of the twenty-five years the Masters will not send out in such a wide and sweeping volume the force they send during the twenty-five years. But that does not mean they will withdraw. They will leave the ideas to germinate in the minds of the people at large, but never will they take away from those who deserve it the help that is due and given to all. However, many will have gone on further by that time than others, and to those who have thus gone on from altruism and unselfish devotion to the good of the race continual help and guiding will be given. Many, however, in and out of the T.S. will continue so selfish and personal that they will have to content themselves with what they will get from others and from the general development. H.P.B. was quite definite on this. It agrees with history. During all the centuries there have been many persons who have had direct and valuable help from Masters, and to suppose that at the end of our first twenty-five years all of that will be finished is an absurdity in itself.