Russian Mystic, Spiritualist and a founder of the Theosophical Society
Helena Blavatsky, aka Helena Petrovna "H.P." Blavatsky or Madame Blavatsky, born Helena von Hahn
Russian Mystic, Spiritualist and a founder of the Theosophical Society
THEOSOPHIST. Just so. But as I see very well what you are driving at, I may just as well tell you that we hold faith, such as you advocate, to be a mental disease, and real faith, i.e., the pistis of the Greeks, as belief based on knowledge, whether supplied by the evidence of physical or spiritual senses. ENQUIRER. What do you mean? THEOSOPHIST. I mean, if it is the difference between the two that you want to know, then I can tell you that between faith on authority and faith on one's spiritual intuition, there is a very great difference. ENQUIRER. What is it? THEOSOPHIST. One is human credulity and superstition, the other human belief and intuition. As Professor Alexander Wilder says in his Introduction to the Eleusinian Mysteries, It is ignorance which leads to profanation. Men ridicule what they do not properly understand. . . . The undercurrent of this world is set towards one goal; and inside of human credulity . . is a power almost infinite, a holy faith capable of apprehending the supremest truths of all existence. Those who limit that credulity to human authoritative dogmas alone, will never fathom that power nor even perceive it in their natures. It is stuck fast to the external plane and is unable to bring forth into play the essence that rules it; for to do this they have to claim their right of private judgment, and this they never dare to do.
We fear but whom we hate or love. We avoid but those who repulse us or attract us too much. We never avoid those for whom we feel indifferent.
Theosophy is who Theosophy does, not thinks, not studies, not feels but does.
We think of "spirit" as of something formless and entirely beyond the ken of our sensual perceptions, and, therefore, not to be considered apart from, or independently of, corporeal existence. Universal Existence and the One Life, as we call it, conceived of, and apart from any physical organization, becomes vital essence, an energy of force; and none of these we believe can be considered as a distinct entity, a substance, or, as having a being or even a form separate from matter? Every true Advaitin and Eastern Occultist ... would [say] that "matter alone is a substance, in which thinking, knowing, doubting, and a power of moving, are inherent, whether as a latent or active potentiality - and whether that matter is in a differentiated, or an undifferentiated state."
Theosophy, on earth, is like the white ray of the spectrum, and every religion only one of the seven prismatic colors. Ignoring all the others, and cursing them as false, every special colored ray claims not only priority, but to be that white ray itself, and anathematizes even its own tints from light to dark, as heresies. Yet, as the sun of truth rises higher and higher on the horizon of man?s perception, and each colored ray gradually fades out until it is finally re-absorbed in its turn, humanity will at last be cursed no longer with artificial polarizations, but will find itself bathing in the pure colorless sunlight of eternal truth. And this will be Theosophia.
We venture to say a few words in explanation of the plan of this work. Its object is not to force upon the public the personal views or theories of its author; nor has it the pretensions of a scientific work, which aims at creating a revolution in some department of thought. It is rather a brief summary of the religions, philosophies, and universal traditions of human kind, and the exegesis of the same, in the spirit of those secret doctrines, of which none ? thanks to prejudice and bigotry ? have reached Christendom in so un-mutilated a form, as to secure it a fair judgment. Since the days of the unlucky mediaeval philosophers, the last to write upon these secret doctrines of which they were the depositories, few men have dared to brave persecution and prejudice by placing their knowledge upon record. And these few have never, as a rule, written for the public, but only for those of their own and succeeding times who possessed the key to their jargon. The multitude, not understanding them or their doctrines, have been accustomed to regard them en masse as either charlatans or dreamers. Hence the unmerited contempt into which the study of the noblest of sciences ? that of the spiritual man ? has gradually fallen.
There is a phenomenon in nature unknown, and therefore rejected by physiology and psychology in our age of unbelief. This phenomenon is a state of half-death. Virtually, the body is dead; and, in cases of persons in whom matter does not predominate over spirit and wickedness not so great as to destroy spirituality, if left alone, their astral soul will disengage itself by gradual efforts, and, when the last link is broken, it finds itself separated forever from its earthly body. Equal magnetic polarity will violently repulse the ethereal man from the decaying organic mass. The whole difficulty lies in that 1, the ultimate moment of separation between the two is believed to be that when the body is declared dead by science; and 2, a prevailing unbelief in the existence of either soul or spirit in man, by the same science.
What is imagination? Psychologists tell us that it is the plastic or creative power of the soul; but materialists confound it with fancy. The radical difference between the two, was however, so thoroughly indicated by Wordsworth, in the preface to his Lyrical Ballads, that it is no longer excusable to interchange the words. Imagination, Pythagoras maintained to be the remembrance of precedent spiritual, mental, and physical states, while fancy is the disorderly production of the material brain.
There is no room for despotism or ruling ... in it [the ES] ... no glory for me [H.P. Blavatsky], but a series of misconceptions, slanders, suspicion and ingratitude in almost an immediate future; but if our of the hundred (109) theosophists who have already pledged themselves, I can place on the right and true path half a dozen or so - I will die happy. Many are called, few chosen ... I can only show the way to those whose eyes are open to the truth, whose souls are full of altruism, charity and love for the whole creation and who think of themselves last... The Esoteric Section is not of the earth earthy; it does not interfere with the exoteric administration of the Lodges ... It requires neither subscription, fees nor money, for as I have not so received it, I shall not so impart it and that I would rather starve in the gutter than take one penny for my teaching the sacred truths.
What proofs other than negative have we that the animal is without a surviving, if not immortal, soul? On strictly scientific grounds we can adduce as many arguments pro as contra. To express it clearer, neither man nor animal can offer either proof or disproof of the survival of their souls after death. And from the point of view of scientific experience, it is impossible to bring that which has no objective existence under the cognizance of any exact law of science.
There is often greater martyrdom to live for the love of, whether man or an ideal, than to die is a motto of the Mahatmas.
Whatever plane our consciousness may be acting in, both we and the things belonging to that plane are, for the time being, our only realities. As we rise in the scale of development we perceive that during the stages through which we have passed we mistook shadows for realities, and the upward progress of the Ego is a series of progressive awakenings, each advance bringing with it the idea that now, at last, we have reached reality; but only when we shall have reached the absolute Consciousness, and blended our own with it, shall we be free from the delusions produced by Maya [illusion].
There is one absolute Reality which antecedes all manifested, conditioned, being.
When desire is for the purely abstract - when it has lost all traces or tinge of "self" - then it has become pure.
Therefore, we say, man, in addition to the physical, has also a spiritual brain.
When he has ceased to hear the many, he may discern the one, the inner sound which kills the outer.
This earth is but the dismal entrance leading to the twilight that precedes the valley of true light, that light which no wind can extinguish, that light which burns without a wick or fuel.
When science shall have effectually demonstrated to us the origin of matter, and proved the fallacy of the occultists and old philosophers who held (as their descendants now hold) that matter is but one of the correlations of spirit, then will the world of skeptics have a right to reject the old Wisdom, or throw the charge of obscenity in the teeth of the old religions.
Those who pause and hesitate and are the most cautious before entering into the spirit of an entirely new scheme are to be generally far more relied upon than those who rush into every new enterprise like so many flies into a bowl of boiling milk.
While Moses forbids 'graven images' of Him whose name is not to be taken in vain, Spinoza goes farther. He clearly infers that God must not be so much as described. Human language is totally unfit to give an idea of this "Being" who is altogether unique. Whether it is Spinoza or the Christian theology that is more right in their premises and conclusion, we leave the reader to judge for himself. Every attempt to the contrary leads a nation to anthropomorphize the deity in whom it believes, and the result is that given by Swedenborg. Instead of stating that God made man after his own image, we ought in truth to say that "man imagines God after his image," forgetting that he has set up his own reflection for worship.
Thou canst not travel on the path before thou hast become that Path itself.
Who am I that I should deny a chance to one in whom I see a spark still glimmering of recognition of the Cause I serve, that might yet be fanned into a flame of devotion? What matter the consequences that fall on me personally when such a one fails, succumbing to the forces of evil within him-deception, ingratitude, revenge, what not-forces that I saw as clearly as I saw the hopeful spark; though in his fall he cover me with misrepresentation, obloquy and scorn? What right have I to refuse to any one the chance of profiting by the truths I can teach him, and thereby entering upon the Path? I tell you that I have no choice. I am pledged by the strictest rules and laws of occultism to a renunciation of selfish considerations, and how can I dare to assume the existence of faults in a candidate and act upon my assumption, even though a cloudy forbidding aura may fill me with misgivings?
Thou shalt not separate thy being from being, and the rest, but merge the ocean in the deep, the drop within the ocean.
Yet, the Universe is real enough to the conscious beings in it, which are as unreal as it is itself.
Thus, in our humble opinion, the something, or rather the no-thing, called Spirit, has by itself, no form or forms in either progressive or stationary "states of development"