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History of ideas, and evidence for masters

Oct 13, 2001 07:26 AM
by bri_mue

Dear Dallas,and all others on the list,

To gain more understanding of the background of the Master letters, I
think special attention should be given to the first appearance of the 
Masters, as John King and later Serapis Bey (of the Brotherhood of 
Luxor) that asked Olcott to invest in Blavatsky's that time husband 
Betanelly's investment scemes. And notice how this has evolved into to 
the current theosophical claims of the Masters "that watch over 

John King was a spirit guide (and soon also John King's "doughter", 
Katie) channeled by Jennie and Nelson Holmes.
The "Kings", father and daughter, gained much notoriety from an 1874 
incident. It appeared that the Holmes' had employed Katie King as more 
than just a spirit guide: the elderly Robert Dale Owen (1801-1877) 
claimed publicly that the jewellery he had been giving "Katie King", 
via the Holmes, had turned up in the possession of a woman by the name 
of Eliza White, who acknowledged that she had been employed by the 
Holmes' to impersonate the spirit. 

Yet Writing in 1875, Blavatsky claimed her own association with the 
mysterious John King : 
[T]he spirit John King is very fond of me, and I am fonder of him than 
of anything on earth. He is my only friend, and if I am indebted to 
anyone for the radical change in my ideas of life, my efforts and so 
on, it is to him alone ...

Blavatsky apparently attempted to rehabilitate the reputation of 
Philadelphian Spiritualism - or at least so she had said at the time. 
It is during this period, however, that a subtle readjustment in 
explaining Spiritualist phenomena can be discerned in Olcott: 
Try to get private talk with "John King" - he is an initiate, and his 
frivolities of speech and action are meant to cover serious business.
There can be little doubt that Olcott's references to King's standing 
as an "initiate" were mediated to Olcott by Blavatsky. This shift from 
imaging the spirit entities as discarnate humans of no specific 
religious hue or status, to conceiving of them as in some sense 
spiritually adept is evidence of early Blavatskian revisionism. From 
the middle of 1875, Blavatsky would assign the impetus for the 
inception of Spiritualism, and indeed the governance and direction of 
esoteric orders as a whole, to a band of living adepts she called 
An attempt in consequence of orders received from T*** B*** [Tuitit 
Bey?] through P*** [an elemental?] personating J. K. [John King?]. 
Ordered to begin telling the public the truth about the phenomena & 
their mediums. And now my martyrdom will begin! I will have all the 
Spiritualists against me in addition to the Christians & the Skeptics! 
Thy Will, oh M:. [Master? Morya? ] be done!

Olcott's occult tutelage passed from Tuitit Bey to Serapis Bey at a 
very early stage. From the middle of 1875 until the latter part of 
1879, Olcott received many Masters letters' from Serapis, sometimes in 
concentrated volleys, at other times only intermittently. Arriving by 
regular mail (postmarked from Philadelphia and Albany), the first 
several letters are in the main unremarkable and concern themselves 
with relatively mundane details of Blavatsky's and Olcott's domestic 
life. The central topics appear to be Blavatsky's financial woes and 
her by now failed second - and bigamist - marriage to the Georgian 
Michael Betanelly.
At one time Serapis exhorted Olcott to approach relatives of his 
divorced wife for money for the sake of the Cause'; at another he 
attempted to involve Olcott in highly questionable business deals with 
Betanelly, Blavatsky's erstwhile husband. Serapis' assured Olcott 
that his "distant future is at Boston" and that "there are millions in 
the future in store for Betanelly". In fact, there is little about 
Serapis' self-revelation which would justify Theosophical claims that 
with the emergence of Blavatsky's Masters a new spiritual dispensation 
had begun. 

It seems to me however that in later life Blavatsky herself wanted to 
do away with the Master/staging fiction. One finds hardly mention of 
the Masters for example in the Voice of Silence, and much less then 
the earlier master letters to Sinnet would let one expect, in the 
Secret Doctrine.
This has however not stopped theosophists to instead more and more 
expand on the Master myth. 

Diana Eck in her "A New Religious America",mentions religious 
tolerance by accepting each religion for what it is. This is 
put slightly different with theosophy it seems, that claims 
to be the one that knows the "true" origine off "all" religions, that 
is really "theosophy".

What I wonder also is how this is (from the perspective of the history 
of ideas and the underlying message, that is the inner attitude that 
creates) works out with theosophy , where the emphasis is "not 
so much" on one source, or a God , but more on an elusive group of 
beings called Masters , and one has to "wait" till one is ready, and 
"they" contact you? 

See also ; Occult Historiography, and the Invention of the Esoteric: 
Foundations of Theosophical Thinking -and From late 19th century 
constructionism to the here-and-now.
click ; 

Thank you, 
Wed, 10 Oct 2001 15:44:24 -0700
Subject: RE: historical evidence for masters.
Body: Sunday, October 07, 2001

Dear Brigitte

The only way any one can determine the verity in any statement,
person or system is to study what they write.

The "touchstone" is always interior to us.

Theosophy holds that the SPIRIT (representing, law, continuity,
truth, brotherhood and all the virtues is UNIVERSAL.

A portion of this SPIRIT is interior to each of us, as to all
other beings. Admittedly this is not easy to grasp as we have
been educated into a materialistic, mechanistic, and totally
physical "world-plane." Even our religions are materialistic.

But we sense that that view is not entirely correct. Why is that?

What we perceive here on this plane, called physical matter, is
the FORM that these many 'SPIRITS" use to manifest, to show
themselves and their intelligence, at some level, here.

In a cold winter evening, our warm breath becomes visible as a
condensed cloud of water vapor when we breathe out. The
temperature variations allow this, and our breath for a little
while become visible from its usual unseen condition. There are
many analogetic phenomena to this .

The historical evidence for the existence of the WISE as a body
of ancient and venerable Sages has always existed. Every
religion traces its sources to a reformer who was WISE. The fact
is, if one wishes to, one can compare all religious sources, and
discover if it is true that they are in fact almost identical.
It is better that you do the work yourself rather than accept
what I or any one else says is a fact. One instinctively trusts
one's own work, however superficial of fragmentary.

But in matters of faith and belief it is far better to trust what
one discovers, rather than what any one else says is a fact. In
fact I would add that any one who presents something for others
to accept ought to give all the sources and the processes of
logic that they have used -- it enable others to VERIFY the help
offered. No one is an authority. nature preceded us all and the
harmony and cooperation there that supports us all in living is
an important proof of the necessity of our seeing out every fact
for ourselves.

The logic in this case is as I see it: There is one UNIVERSAL
WISE SPIRIT. It is in everything and it is unlimited.

Its work is to seek to have every living speck of matter graduate
so that they know it.

Mankind is the balance point where Mind has to opportunity of
universalizing itself and knowing the ONE SPIRIT, as well as
everything else in the Universe.

Best wishes


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