“Enq: Is it the duty of every member to teach others and preach Theosophy?
Theo: It is indeed. No fellow has a right to remain idle, on the excuse that he knows too little to teach. For he may always be sure that he will find others who know still less than himself. And also it is not until a man begins to try to teach others, that he discovers his own ignorance and tries to remove it. But this is a minor clause.
Enq: What do you consider, then, to be the chief of these negative Theosophical duties?
Theo: To be ever prepared to recognize and confess one’s faults. To rather sin through exaggerated praise than through too little appreciation of one’s neighbor’s efforts. Never to backbite or slander another person. Always to say openly and direct to his face anything you have against him.
Never to make yourself the echo of anything you may hear against another, nor harbour revenge against those who happen to injure you.
Enq: But it is often dangerous to tell people the truth to their faces. Don’t you think so? I know of one of your members who was bitterly offended, left the Society, and became its greatest enemy, only because he was told some unpleasant truths to his face, and was blamed for them.
Theo: Of such we have had many. No member, whether prominent or insignificant, has ever left us without becoming our bitter enemy.
Enq: How do you account for it?
Theo: It is simply this. Having been, in most cases, intensely devoted to the Society at first, and having lavished upon it the most exaggerated praises, the only possible excuse such a backslider can make for his subsequent behaviour and past short-sightedness, is to pose as an innocent and deceived victim, thus casting the blame from his own shoulders on to those of the Society in general, and its leaders especially.
Such persons remind one of the old fable about the man with a distorted face, who broke his looking-glass on the ground that it reflected his countenance crookedly.”
H. P. Blavatsky