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The process of impressing upon paper the mental images of a writer instead of writing it by hand. This was the mode used by the MAHĀTMAS when they wrote letters to Alfred P. SINNETT and other correspondents in the early years of the Theosophical Society (TS).

According to Mahātma KOOT HOOMI, the process usually involves the sending of a photographic image of the letter to a chela or pupil, and then the latter would impress the received images onto the paper. When the transmission or reception is imperfect, the letter would contain errors or distortion, as what happened to the Kiddle Incident, when the dictated letter was mixed up with mental images from the sender’s memory, resulting in a charge of plagiarism.

The time involved in physically writing a letter or precipitating a letter is practically the same. “I have to think it over, to photograph every word and sentence carefully in my brain before it can be repeated by ‘precipitation.’ As the fixing on chemically prepared surfaces of the images formed by the camera requires a previous arrangement within the focus of the object, . . . so we have to first arrange our sentences and impress every letter to appear on paper in our minds before it becomes fit to be read” (ML, p. 37).

Madame Helena P. BLAVATSKY gave a more detailed explanation:

The work of writing the letters in question is carried on by a sort of psychological telegraphy; the Mahātmas very rarely write their letters in the ordinary way. An electro-magnetic connection, so to say, exists on the psychological plane between a Mahātma and his chelas, one of whom acts as his amanuensis. When the Master wants a letter to be written in this way, he draws the attention of the chela, whom he selects for the task, by causing an astral bell (heard by so many of our Fellows and others) to be rung near him just as the despatching telegraph office signals to the receiving office before wiring the message. The thoughts arising in the mind of the Mahātma are then clothed in words, pronounced mentally, and forced along the astral currents he sends towards the pupil to impinge on the brain of the latter. Thence they are borne by the nerve-currents to the palms of his hand and the tips of his fingers which rest on a piece of magnetically prepared paper. As the thought-waves are thus impressed on the tissue, materials are drawn to it from the ocean of akas (permeating every atom of the sensuous universe), by an occult process, out of place here to describe, and permanent marks are left.

From this it is abundantly clear that the success of such writings as above described depends chiefly upon these things: (1) The force and the clearness with which the thoughts are propelled, and (2) the freedom of the receiving brain from disturbance of every description. (CW VI:120)

Precipitated letters appear to have the curious quality of the text being composed of diagonal lines, including underlines, something that pencils or crayons cannot produce. For a detailed discussion on this point, refer to Geoffrey Barborka’s The Mahatmas and Their Letters (Adyar, 1973).



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