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To Brigitte: Re: Responce to Daniel's mails .

Nov 04, 2001 05:33 PM
by Blavatsky Archives

Dear Brigitte,

As I have said before on more than one occasion to you, I am trying 
to concentrate on one issue/topic/subject at a time. To skip and 
skim over possibly a dozen subjects as you have done in many of your 
postings may be okay for you but to comment on them in a meaningful 
way would take me many pages of text. Since I have already answered 
some of your questions and made a number of comments relevant to what 
you've already written, I would hope that you would answer my several 
questions that I lately posted on this forum.  

These are the issues and questions:

"If Brigitte CANNOT accept at face value the straightforward event of
the Master Morya coming on horseback to Bombay, then I would really
like to know what she thinks about this 1876 series of events which
reeks of the paranormal and involves Ooton Liatto and 'another dark
skinned gentleman of about fifty. . . . '"

". . . . Does Brigitte accept this Ootoo Liatto case at face value?  
If Brigitte really believes that HPB 'clearly wrote about Olcott's
Master fantasies to Hartmann', then I hope Brigitte will anwer this
question: Is this Ootoo Liatto account by Olcott just another GOOD
EXAMPLE of 'Olcott's Master fantasies'?

Brigitte, a few simple answers would probably not require more than 
15 minutes of your time.

In turn, I will be more than happy to give a similar opinion/feedback 
on one of the many issues you want me to deal with. If you have a 
few related questions about this one issue I will try to give my 

Hoping this will help to further our dialogue.

Daniel H. Caldwell

Brigitte wrote:
> I certainly do not mind that Daniel send half a dozen or so 
> about Blavatsky's knee bend relating it to a joke I once made, 
> several weeks ago on Universal Seekers.
> I already responded to Daniel's mails that now he crospost to 
> talk.
> What thereby still continue to dissapoint is that Daniel 
> continues to ignore, (and the mails he is posting are intended 
> purposely distract from that ?) the actional central issues I was  
> presenting in my mails but wich Daniel not even has as much as 
> refered to with a single word, and carefully cut out. I already 
> pointed this out a few times to Daniel without receiving any 
> response. First he send episodes on "Oriental Cabala/knee bend" 
> Universal Seekers, and now it looks like becoming "knee 
> Cabala".
> Therefore Daniel would you pls for once , do like everybody else on 
> mailinglists does, by returning my mail below, and simple write 
> comments in between. But leave my mail in a whole peace pls without 
> disecting it so we wont be still looking for the pieces after 8 or 
> years as is apparently what you have been doing to Paul Johnson  
> reported this to Universal Seekers a few days ago and to date 
> stil is waiting for any "real" answers from you. 
> So for once get on with it pls. and agreeing or not with me, send 
> the mail below back as such to this list. Below some of the more 
> significant parts from my previous mails that you interresting , 
> continue to leave out of your postings, although since I have 
> the mail below to you severall times already you must have been 
> to read it, and be able to in a straightforward way indeed comment 
> on as per above. I have not rewritten it. Just bringing below the 
> important parts of my mail that you are (on purpose ? ) leaving 
> Thank you (keep going pls): 
> We have the Book of Dzyan seen only by Blavatsky, the golden 
> by Joseph Smith, the mayan tablets about Mu recovered by James 
> Churchward, the manuscript about the lost years of Jesus supposedly 
> seen by Notovich and so on. As samples of the historiography of the 
> occult/esoteric tradition, a habit that can be seen also among the 
> masonic orders of the 17/18th century. Accounts presented by their 
> writers as fiction, for example the novels by Bulwer-Lytton heavily 
> influenced Blavasky and , indirectly her post-theosophical 
> successors. Rudolf Steiner's meditative exercises, which intend to 
> increase one's ability to perceive spiritual realities hidden to 
> ordinary observer, include meeting a shadowy figure called the 
> Guardian at the threshold. This figure was introduced to the 
> tradition by being taken from Bulwer Lytton's Zanoni, published in 
> 1842. The Dweller on Two Planets a work of fiction by Frederik S, 
> Oliver 1886, influenced several "White Brotherhood" organizations. 
> They taught their members that it was true historical nonfiction 
> confirmation of the lineage of the Brotherhood, and incorporated it 
> into their teachings. Part of Blavatsky's legitimacy as an Esoteric 
> spokesperson lies in autobiographical sections of her writings, 
> notably a story told in Isis according to which she visited Tibet 
> witnessed a variety of miraculous events. (IU II:598 ff.) S.B. 
> Liljegren in "Bulwer - Lytton's novels and Isis Unveiled" 1957, 
> mentions that Blavatsky's story was plagiarized from Evariste Huc's 
> account. Anthroposophists will admit in theory that Steiner's 
> clairvoyant faculties are not infallible. In practice, however, 
> Anthroposophy is clearly based on the assumption that Steiner 
> revealed a scientifically accurate as well as objectively true 
> picture of spiritual realities. Each country referred to seems to 
> have its own role in Esoteric historiography. Egypt is the land of 
> initiation, of great mysteries; India is the source of concepts 
> as reincarnation, karma and the subtle bodies; Tibet plays the role 
> of the homeland of sages and the repository of ancient scriptures. 
> However the distinction between an Egyptian tradition and one based 
> on a generalized india, is a scholarly construction. Thus the main 
> impulse behind the study of the kabbala during the Renaissance and 
> to the 17th century combined with hermetism, was the belief that it 
> heralded christianity. Because the historiography of the bible, the 
> only one known that time, started with the jewish as the oldest 
> culture. The pre-eminent form of Classical Kabbalah, began in 
> Provence, France, in the thirteenth century. It contains elements 
> both Gnosticism and Neo-platonism, and in the late fifteenth and 
> sixteenth centuries, this was augmented with aspects of Christian 
> Theology and alchemy. Renaissance representatives of the "christian 
> Kabbalah" are Pico della Mirandola, Johannes Reuchlin, Cornelius 
> Agrippa or Guillaume Postel, and Giordano Bruno who argued this 
> with the inquisition. We often form hypotheses that help us find 
> order even in random data and ensure that the existence of the 
> patterns we have projected onto the data will be corroborated. 
> Especially the number seven seems to serve as a focus of pattern 
> recognition. Blavatsky devotes an entire article to presenting such 
> similarities, claiming that they are due to a common spiritual 
> heritage. ("The Number Seven" BCW II, 408 ff.) One is reminded of 
> similar attempts by Jung to show that there are universal 
> and that especially the number four plays a central role in the 
> spiritual heritage of mankind. Monier-Williams' Sanskrit-English 
> Dictionary in 1872, made, apart from reports by swedish travelers 
> the previous century to India, first mention in the west of the 
> chakras as a coherent system. Blavatsky taught about the chakras to 
> her inner group. But it is Leadbeater who developed this system the 
> way it later became used in the New-Age milieu. Leadbeater 
> each chakra with a gland, a nerve plexus, a vertebra and an organ. 
> Similar links, especially those between chakras and glands play a 
> central role in Alice Bailey's version of the subtle anatomy. The 
> tantric authors would probable have lacked the detailed anatomical 
> knowledge of the human nervous system to construct such specific 
> parallels. One the cover of Leadbeater's book "The Chakras" one 
> one of J.G. Gichtel's illustrations, originally published in 1696, 
> which circles and astrological signs have been placed on a male 
> figure. Gichtel's main source of inspiration, Jacob Boehme tried to 
> construct a traditional, hermetic system of correspondences between 
> man, the microcosms, and the planetary system, and did so from a 
> heliocentric point of view. Whereas the chakra system of the 
> yogi consists of a vertical hierarchy. However the original system 
> was that of of six chakras. The earliest literary reference to the 
> yogic physiology of the six chakras and ten nadis is in the eight-
> century Malati-Madhava by Bhavabhuti.The Hindu tantric schools in 
> whose works the six chakras of hathayogic practice make their 
> earliest appearance are the pascimamnaya or Western Transmission 
> the Yogini Kaula founded by Matsyendranath, which predate the Trika 
> Kaula reformer Abhinavagupta, who makes veiled allusions to both in 
> his, ca. A.D. 1000, Tantraloka. The number then becomes variable: 
> certain systems describe a system of nine, twelve, or even twenty-
> seven chakras, of which six extend beyond the top of the head into 
> space. Such early Buddhist work as the Gubyasamaja Tantra (with the 
> Sekoddesa and other commentaries) know of six-limbed (sadanga) 
> yoga, but only speak of the four specifically Buddhist chakras. The 
> primacy in this system of four chakras for physiological 
> in ascetic practices may well go back to the old Upanisadic 
> of the four states of consciousness. But the Hindu cosmos has been 
> for at least three thousand years, a fivefold one. It is the 
> Brahmanas that, even as they continue the Vedic discourse of the 
> triune universe, first elaborate the concept of the universe as 
> fold. And gives rise in the early Taittiriya Uphanishad (2.1), to a 
> hierarchical representation of the five elements in their 
> relationship to the universal man: "From this atman verily ether 
> arose; from ether air; from air fire; from fire, water; from water, 
> earth; from earth, herbs; from herbs, food; from food, semen; from 
> semen, Man." This notion of the physical universe as an aggregate 
> the five elements is one that permeates all three metaphysical 
> systems of ancient India; Samkhya, Vedanta, and the Buddhist. The 
> hermetism of Boehme/Gichtel was seven fold. The 
> system indeed seems the initial source of Blavatskys septenary 
> system. Paul Johnson points out in "Edgar Cayce in Context" p. 125, 
> the metaphysics of Suhrawardi based on light and optics as the 
> of a sevenfold system. Suhrawardi a 12th century Iranian sufi , is 
> referred to as "neoplatonic and hermetic" by scholars. The 
> light /rainbow specter idea also shows up with Goethe as he lets 
> Faust facing a rainbow call out, "am farbigen Abglanz haben wir das 
> Leben !" (this is the specter of life!), but I cannot claim that 
> there is a relationship here to Suhrawardi's philosophy of light. 
> as far as I can see the neoplatonic/hermetic system therefore 
> seems the source of Blavatskys initial septenary system. She did 
> use the names of the skandas in Isis Unveiled. H.P.B. placed the 
> Corpus Hermetic in early Pharaoh times instead of during the 
> Hellenistic period. She placed the Kabbala of the middle ages in 
> Rabbinistic time periods and assumed that the Greek mysteries had 
> similar contents as the cabbalist- neoplatonic ideas. Blavatsky 
> therefore was not so much interested in Gnosticism as she was in 
> Hermetism, because for her, Gnosis derived from Hermetism, whereby 
> today we know it is the other way around. Those who believe in 
> a "philosophia perennis" like Blavatsky, still have to explain the 
> differences between religious traditions. In the SD, Blavatsky 
> presents a legend of the origin of other religions as well as her 
> doctrine that try to explain why a allegoric reading of Hindu or 
> Buddhist scriptures is necessary to bring out the inner, hidden 
> meaning of these texts. Which eliminates the relativism that one 
> risks when facing the diversity of human faiths. One passage in 
> became the subject of controversy. Blavatsky had claimed that the 
> transmigration of souls was "an exception, a phenomenon as abnormal 
> as a fetus with two heads". (IU I:351.) In the SD a different story 
> is told. One of the Mahatma Letters called "The Famous 
> Contradictions", attempts to clarify the change. The channel of 
> information between the Master and the disciple may be partially 
> blocked. The Master does not always speak in his quality of Master; 
> at times he abstains from using his occult powers and is then 
> fallible. (ML p. 178.) Being Masters from the Himalayas, they can 
> times misspell the English language, e.g. by using an erroneous 
> punctuation that alters the meaning of the sentences. Furthermore, 
> the masters "had not yet decided upon teaching the public 
> indiscremininatly". (ML.p.179.) Many of these were defined by the 
> of the Enlightenment. Nevertheless, it seems reasonable to consider 
> the last two decades of the eighteenth century as a period of major 
> religious innovation. Science and faith were syncretized by the 
> mesmerism of Marquis de Puysegur and his followers. A non-Christian 
> form of religiosity had become an increasingly available option in 
> Europe by the end of the same decade. Since then, dozens of 
> successful prophets have explained that their message is logical 
> accords with the latest findings of science; that their doctrines 
> not their own innovations but the fruits of ancient tradition; and 
> that they can be experienced in the life of every person. The 
> Doctrine is a major source of fantasy images of Atlantis and 
> The map of the world expanded with the rise of the modern age. 
> Legislation in countries such as the newly founded United States of 
> America made it possible for spiritual enterpreneurs to experiment 
> with non-Christian doctrines and rituals and incorporate elements 
> from various exotic creeds. A generic Orient, the belief in the 
> savage and the veneration of ancient civilisations arose at 
> times and were supported by different spokespersons, yet were 
> amalgamated into a common vision. The Secret Doctrine is an 
> myth in which a rich tapestry of details fill out the barebones 
> account, of for example reincarnation, that Blavatsky had inherited 
> from Kardec via Kingsford, lady Caithness and others. By liberally 
> applying a strategy of pattern recognition, Blavatsky's 
> doctrine builds on elements deriving from several different 
> Following a view that could be either Hindu or Platonic, but 
> certainly not Buddhist in any orthodox sense, she claims that there 
> is a unique individuality that incarnates again and again. The 
> individual is said to be composed of an aggregate of seven entities 
> that part ways at physical death. A quote such as the following is 
> closer to a Lurianic kabbalistic view than to the "Esoteric 
> that Sinnet wrote of: The Monad emerges from its state of spiritual 
> and intellectual unconsciousness; and-gets directly into the plane 
> Mentality. But there is no place in the whole universe with a wider 
> margin, or a wider field of action in its almost endless gradations 
> of perceptive and apperceptive qualities, than this plane, which 
> in its turn an appropriate smaller plane for every "form", from 
> the "mineral" monad up to the time when that monad blossoms forth 
> evolution into the Divine Monad. But all the time it is still one 
> the same Monad, differing only in its incarnations, throughout its 
> ever succeeding cycles of partial or total obscuration into the 
> depths of materiality. (SD I: p.175) The constuction of tradition, 
> the bricolage from bits and pieces of such originally distinct 
> historical sources, masks the novelty of Blavatsky's overall 
> conception. Essentially, the Theosophical view of the 
> of souls is not so much Oriental or Platonic, as a typically 19th 
> century construction. Three key ideas run through Blavatsky's 
> description of the chain of rebirth. The first is the fact of 
> Orientalism itself. The frequent references to India and the East 
> rather than to Plotinus or Paracelsus are in themselves a 
> of the post-Enlightenment era. The second is the placement of 
> reincarnation within the most overarching meta-narrative of the 
> century evolutionism. Despite Blavatsky's reference to the Buddhist 
> doctrine of suffering, Theosophical reincarnation is the optimistic 
> story of the progress of the human soul. The third element is the 
> synthesis of these ideas with another meta narrative of the 19th 
> century: the view that humanity is divided into races and peoples 
> with clearly definable properties. A closer look at the purported 
> ancient wisdom religion shows it to be a mythologization of ideas 
> characteristic of late 19th century Europe. There can be little 
> that for example Jacolliot's presentation of India as the crucible 
> of "Aryan" civilisation and religion ,placed in India as the first 
> Brahmins, influenced Blavatsky. It is known she possessed his 
> and that she quoted liberally - often without acknowledgment - from 
> his Indophile fancyings. Olcott noted that Jacolliot's "twenty-
> volumes" were among those works of which Blavatsky "made great use" 
> while writing Isis Unveiled: Olcott, Old Diary Leaves, 207. James 
> Webb noted that "Jacolliot's works furnished H. P. Blavatsky with 
> less than fifty-nine plagiarized passages:" Webb, The Occult 
> Establishment, 306. The Renaissance hermetic tradition has been 
> characterized by Francis Yates as not only creating a pseudo 
> Kaballah, but also pseudo- Egyptianizing. Instead Isaac Casaubon 
> (1556-1614), a scholar of Greek from Geneva, published an 
> of the context and language of the Hermetic corpus in 1614, dating 
> not to the time of Moses but to late antiquity. In some quarters, 
> Casaubon's work went unheeded, so did Blavatsky (the Masters) still 
> place the Corpus Hermeticum in early Pharaoh times instead of 
> the Hellenistic period. She placed the Kabbala of the middle ages 
> Rabbinistic time periods and assumed that the Greek mysteries had 
> similar contents as the cabbalist- neoplatonic ideas. Nevertheless, 
> Casaubon marked the beginning of a split between emic and ethic 
> historiography. Secondly, there is the pre-Champollion and post-
> Champollion era. The deciphering of the hieroglyphs made it 
> to gain insights into the actual religion and culture of ancient 
> Egypt that made it more difficult to support fantasy projections. 
> Enlightenment philosophies, rejected the old order, whether 
> or Hermeticist. It was part of the project of a revived esotericism 
> of the end of the 18th century to attempt to support the pre-
> Enlightenment claim to Egypt as a fountainhead of wisdom. In the 
> Mahatma Letters Egypt is seen as one of a series of historic 
> to have transmitted elements of this "primeval" wisdom religion. 
> Blavatsky had already begun to orient her religious creativity 
> further east, towards the Indian subcontinent. The shift is 
> underpinned mythologically by the assumption that the Egyptians 
> actually descendants of the aryans, whose spiritual traditions 
> thus represent a purer form of the ancient wisdom religion. 
> refers approvingly to baron Bunsen's imaginative history of Egypt 
> a source for this hypothesis. (IU II: 437f.) In 1784 Antoine Court 
> Géblin, building on Fabre d'Olivet's "study of the three mother 
> tongues of Hebrew, Sanskrit and Chinese," published Le Monde 
> Analysé et Comparé avec le Monde Moderne, a seminal work on
the of 
> concept of an ancient and universal "primordial tradition." In 1792 
> the famous esotericist Louis-Claude de Saint-Martian published Le 
> Nouvel Homme and later Le Ministère de L'Homme-Espirit, works 
> strongly influenced by Indic ideas. Saint-Martain explicitly draws 
> connections, as did the esotericist Pierre-Simon Ballanche, between 
> the ideas of illuminism, Theosophy, and the literature of India. By 
> the 1820s in America, Ralph Waldo Emerson was beginning to make 
> journal entries on Hindu religions based on his initial readings of 
> English translations of Sanskrit like those of Wilkins and Jones. 
> Europe, these same translations were also making an impact in 
> and Germany. The German Romantic Naturphilosophie movement, a 
> influence on Western Esotericism, was certainly affected by the new 
> translations of Indic materials. It was Friedrich von Schlegel who 
> coined the popular term "Oriental Renaissance" (1803) to describe 
> impact of Asian and Indic philosophy on early 19th century European 
> intellectuals and esotericists which he described as "a sun in 
> comparison to the weak spark of Western Idealism." These authors 
> shared a common esoteric interest in India as a source for 
> a "primordial tradition" (philosophia perennis) or a "universal 
> revelation" that could be reconstructed to counter rising emphasis 
> rational materialism. While the Secret Doctrine does not directly 
> refer to American transcendentalism, it is perhaps not a matter of 
> chance that Blavatsky's indophilia developed during her stay in New 
> York. The iconography of Isis Unveiled supports this universalistic 
> interpretation: two large line drawings show what are said to be 
> exact correspondences between the worldview of Hinduism and that of 
> the kabbala. A compairance that is already evidenced in the 
> Theosophical work of Swedenborg. It should be noted that the India 
> that has now entered Theosophy is an imagined India. Throughout 
> Blavatsky's work, the Orient continues to be a homogenized and 
> generalized culture. Thus a generic Buddhism enters the Mahatma 
> letters where Tibetan lamas and Theravada (Pali) scriptures coexist 
> without any sense of the anachronism involved. (Mahatma Letters p. 
> 58.) In 1844, two French priests, Evariste Huc and Father Gabet, 
> entered Tibet. They were the first to write a detailed account of 
> country, published in 1850. Translated into English 
as "Recollections 
> of Travel in Tartary, Tibet and China", and trough Blavatsky's 
> appropriation of part of their narrative, claiming it to be her own 
> travels, they would come to influence the modern Esoteric Trations. 
> The concept of Lemuria was first mentioned by The city Agarthi was 
> invented in 1873, in Jacolliot's "Le fils de dieu". The theme was 
> taken and elaborated on by Saint Yves d'Alveydre in his Mission de 
> l'Inde. The same story was retold with minor variations by the 
> writer Ferdinand Ossendowski in his "Betes, hommes et dieux", who 
> placed the story in the Gobi dessert. To be copied almost verbatum 
> Roerich in his Shamballah myth, his creative travel story. 
> combined in her Atlantis epic Ignatius Donnelly's "Atlantis", Jean 
> Sylvain Bailly's theory that the homeland of humanity lay near the 
> North Pole, and the Methodist minister William F. 
Warren's "Paradise 
> Found". The Secret Doctrine contains detailed histories of e.g. the 
> inhabitants of Atlantis and Lemuria that first appeared in 
> claims highly precise details concerning the anatomy and physiology 
> of the Atlanteans and Lemurians. Nearly every aspect of the Secret 
> Doctrine, is buttered with appeals to scientific legitimacy. The 
> original Theosophical Society, founded in New York was, in contrast 
> to its re-founding in India, the joint creation, in varying but 
> significant ways, of all of its founding members, including the 
> writing of its by laws. Blavatsky was not a major factor in the 
> formation of the TS nor was universal Brotherhood an original 
> of the Society. This is only first mentioned in the circular of May 
> 3, 1878, the same month when the TS affiliated with the Arya Samaj 
> under the leadership of Dayananda Sarasvati. Instead Olcott wrote 
> about the beginnings of the TS: "Our object was to learn, 
> experimentally, whatever was possible about the constitution of 
> his intelligence, and his place in nature. Especially Mind, active 
> Will, was a grate problem for us. (TH VI/6: 204) Of all the 
> practices, the highest possible achievement of magic is the 
> separation of the astral body from the physical body (TH 
> because with this separation the astral body becomes almost 
> omnipotent." In the Circular of May 3.1878 the two meetings at 
> that society's Preamble and Bylaws were adopted and its officers 
> elected, on October 16 and 30, 1875, were held in Dr. William 
> Britten's reception rooms at the Brittens' house on 38th Street, 
> York. And they were written at the same time as Emma Harding 
> was preparing Art Magic for publication, before Blavatsky started 
> writing Isis Unveiled. J. P. Deveney (in: Astral Projection or 
> liberation of the Double and the Work of the Early Theosophical 
> Society., 1997) proved that originally the Theosophical Society 
> offered its members practical training in various occult practices, 
> including what is now called astral projection, and has connected 
> this fact with the pledge of secrecy for the society's members that 
> was instituted on January 19, 1876. However also in India was there 
> an inner group with degrees and a pledge of secrecy, (see letter to 
> Blavatsky: 
<> ) 
> followed later by the ES that is still in existence today. Note 
> the later references to Damodar and the other "chelas" in regards 
> Astral travel. Deveney noted, Emma Harding Britten was particularly 
> familiar with the astral projection probably due to her experience 
> already as a "flying soul" for the Orphic brotherhood in the 1830s. 
> (Deveney, Astral Projection or liberation of the Double and the 
> of the Early Theosophical Society., p. 5- 11.) In the Circular of 
> 3. 1878, the objects of the Society are listed as follows: "The 
> objects of the Society are various. It influences its fellows to 
> acquire an intimate knowledge of natural law, especially its occult 
> manifestations-He should, therefore, study to develop his latent 
> powers, and inform himself respecting the laws of magnetism, 
> electricity and all forms of force, whether of the seen or unseen 
> universes." For early hermeticists or magicians such as Giordano 
> Bruno, Cornelius Agrippa or Robert Fludd, there was no perceived 
> entity "science" that needed to be confronted. By contrast, 
> proponents of post- enlightenment esotericism, from Mesmer, via the 
> spiritualists, Theosophy and its offshoots have actively positioned 
> themselves in relation to science. By the second half of the 18th 
> century, F.C. Oetinger (1702-1782) constructed a first form of 
> esoteric scienticism by adapting Boehme's Theosophy to the 
> worldview. Next came F.A. Mesmer, who is generally known for his 
> contribution to hypnosis, the discovery of the unconscious. (see 
> Crabtree, "From Mesmer to Freud" and Pattie "Mesmer and animal 
> magnetism")- A focus on his scientistic reinterpretation of 
> hermeticism and construction of ritual healing in scientific terms 
> also reveals Mesmer as the successful originator of a kind of 
> religion. In 1785, the marquis de Puysegur finally formulated a 
> theory of mesmerism largely stripped of its hermetic cosmology, as 
> started mentioning somnambulism and clairvoyance. The societe de 
> l'Harmony, a quasi Masonic organization which had served as a focal 
> point for the mesmerists, split in two. The orthodox mesmerists 
> remained in one camp, while the reformists who followed Pusysegur 
> founded their own branch based in Strasbourg. An event that might 
> the source of later "hidden hand" theories. Blavatsky considered a 
> positioning vis-à-vis science of importance, so that Book I and
> the SD are devoted to it. Devas and genii are declared to be the 
> entities that science calls forces. (SD I: 478.) Chemicals terms 
> molecules, atom and particle refer to realities named Hosts, Monads 
> and Devas. (SD: I: 548.) The periodic table of Mendeleeff is 
> explained as consisting of seven families of elements plus an 
> said to correspond to the Hindu allegory of Aditi, the mother or 
> infinite space who accepted seven of her sons and rejected the 
> (SD: I: 553.) The founding of the Theosophical Society can in 
> be interpreted as an apogee of 19th century scientism as seen 
> Scientism seemingly entered every facet of the Society, from its 
> founding charter to its canonical scriptures. Later the founders 
> entered three principles into the stated purpose of the 
> 1. The formation of a universal brotherhood without distinction of 
> race, creed, caste or color, 2. The encouragement of studies in 
> comparative religion, philosophy and science, and 3. The 
> investigation of unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent 
> man. The third of these principles of course embodies a paradox. 
> basic premises of Theosophy would therefore seem to be a fertile 
> ground in the quest for scientistic formulations.(1) Blavatsky 
> insists that the knowledge of the ancients and contemporary science 
> are the same thing. That ancient cultures knew more of science than 
> contemporary scientists. (IU p. 25, 35) The Secret Doctrine can be 
> seen as a paradigmatic example of how both attitudes to science, 
> negative as well as positive, can be articulated. The Secret 
> mentions dozens of works by contemporary scientists. No part of 
> science plays as crucial a role as evolutionism. Post Theosophical 
> spokespersons partly look to other branches of science in order to 
> structure and delimit their arguments. Books presenting the 
> of Theosophy itself are, with a few exception, apologetic. The 
> overwhelming majority of these works present Theosophy as a fixed 
> of coherent doctrines, largely eschew discussions of historical 
> changes, and aim to presenting Theosophical doctrines in an easily 
> understandable format for potential converts. Wouter 
> Hanegraaff's "New Age Religion and Western Culture" 1996, 
> this common worldview as a legacy of an older Western esotericism, 
> which has been profoundly transformed through a process of 
> secularization and modernization. The common characteristics of 
> Theosophy, Esoteric science and their similarities with Romantic 
> science, can be summed up in the following points: For Theosophy, 
> materialism is invalid since matter per se, is only an aspect of 
> the "prima materia", and in a sense does not exist. Romantic 
> similarly contains an element of idealism: positing vital force, a 
> spiritual element to nature. The worldview of Romanticism has been 
> called natural supernaturalism. Whereas the Enlightenment project 
> attempts to rationalize the supernatural, Romanticism does the 
> opposite. Romantic science is equally characterized by its 
> antireductionism, the idea of unity (a) between all sciences: 
> rather than specialization, (b) in nature itself: the discovery of 
> the ur-type behind the varieties and in the conception of the 
> as a vast and organic whole, and (c) between the human being and 
> world around us. In several ways, Romantic science is an anti-
> Cartesian view of the world, at least in the sense that it 
> itself against the standard picture of Descartes as the philosopher 
> of dichotomies between body and soul, between subject and object. 
> Romantics admired a version of anti-mechanistic science. They 
> believed that the human being possesses faculties that go beyond 
> confines of rationality-faculties assigned a variety of labels such 
> as intuition and imagination. Romantic science could still conceive 
> of science as fundamentally allied with art, poetry and myth. 
> Romantic science also had its share of proponents of the 
> supernatural. Mesmerism, spiritualism, visions and the paranormal 
> were all part of a vaster conception of the world. The same U 
> view of history that informs the Romantic view of ancient and 
> cultures is also adopted in the understanding of the development of 
> science.(2) Theosophy and Esoteric science are clothed in 
> terminology and expressed by means of carefully selected bits and 
> pieces of a scientistic bricolage. In an age where science is 
> of fundamentally appealing qualities such as goal, meaning and 
> purpose, it remains tempting to claim "reality", status for what 
> essentially religious beliefs. (1) Blavatsky was by no means alone 
> attempting to reconcile her knowledge with the burgeoning 
> paradigms of the late nineteenth century. A simple survey of the 
> titles of books and periodicals which include the term "science", 
> yet which deal with issues of a meta-empirical nature, would be 
> illuminating. Aside from Theosophy, this special use of the 
> term "science" was most obvious in New Thought and Christian 
> cf., eg., Warren Felt Evans, Soul and Body: The Spiritual Science 
> Health and Disease, Colby and Rich, Boston, 1876; Emma Curtis 
> Hopkins, Esoteric Philosophy in Spiritual Science, High Watch 
> Fellowship, Corwall Bridge, Connecticut, n.d.; Marcus Gregory, 
> Psychotherapy: Scientific and Religious, Macmillan & Co., London, 
> 1939. Cf. also various New Thought periodicals: Science of Thought 
> Review (ed. H. T. Hamblin, Chichester, England, 1921-); Science of 
> Mind (Monthly, Institute of Religious Science, Los Angeles, 1927-); 
> Science of Life & Health (Boston, 1912-1915); Scientific Christian 
> (ed. T. J. Shelton, Little Rock, Arkansas, 1894-1921) (2) A study 
> the influence of the German Idealists upon Blavatsky might also 
> fertile ground. Schelling is especially interesting as his 
> of Swedenborg indicate his direct esoteric "credentials": see 
> Friedemann Horn, Schelling and Swedenborg: Mysticism and German 
> Idealism, trans. George F. Dole, Swedenborg Foundation, West 
> Pennsylvania, 1997. Schiller would also have been of interest to 
> Blavatsky through her acknowledged hero, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, who 
> translated much of Schiller into English and who referred regularly 
> to the German within his esoteric novels, particularly Zanoni 
> (Blavatsky's favorite): see T. H. S. Escott, Edward Bulwer, First 
> Baron Lytton of Knebworth: A Social, Personal and Political 
> Monograph, George Routledge and Sons, London, 1910, 281. For 
> Blavatsky on Schiller cf., eg., Blavatsky, Collected Writings, vol. 
> XII, 79; vol. IX, 60. In this context Swedenborg's rejection of the 
> traditional esoteric Naturphilosophie for Cartesian dualism would 
> figure as perhaps the most significant precursor for Blavatsky's 
> attempts to rationalise esotericism: see the formidable anthology 
> Swedenborg studies in Robin Larsen, Stephen Larsen, James F. 
> & William Ross Woofenden, eds., Emanuel Swedenborg: A Continuing 
> Vision. A Pictorial Biography & Anthology of Essays & Poetry, 
> Swedenborg Foundation, New York, 1988. The ramifications of the 
> of scientific rationalism into esotericism, particularly within the 
> nineteenth century, are enormous. Of the other esoteric 
> historiographers and cosmographers who may have influenced 
> Martinés de Pasqually and Jean- Baptiste Willermoz are likely 
> candidates; Hugh Urban has noted the emanationist character of 
> cosmographies in a comparative paper: Hugh B. Urban, "Elitism and 
> Esotericism: Strategies of Secrecy and Power in South India Tantra 
> and French Freemasonry" in Numen, XLIV:1, January, 1997, 1-38.

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