RE: Theos-World Mrs Besant's "leading men"
Sep 29, 2004 05:08 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
Sept 29 2004
If the Masters called H P B their colleague it is probable that she IS NOT
DEAD AT ALL.
One cannot believe that the THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT was left unattended by
either her or the Mahatmas.
Alive, then, but not able for occult reasons (Karma) to direct the T S
objectively - what would prevent her or the Mahatmas from working with
students who are sincere?
Read this as a case in point
W Q J -- THE ESOTERIC SHE
THE ESOTERIC SHE
The Late Mme. Blavatsky - A Sketch of Her Career
By William Quan Judge
A WOMAN who, for one reason or another, has kept the world - first her
little child world and afterward two hemispheres - talking of her, disputing
about her, defending or assailing her character and motives, joining her
enterprise or opposing it might and main, and in her death being as much
telegraphed about between two continents as an emperor, must have been a
remarkable person. such was Mme. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, born under the
power of the holy Tzar, in the family of the Hahns, descended on one side
from the famous crusader, Count Rottenstern, who added Hahn, a cock, to his
name because that bird saved his life from a wily Saracen who had come into
his tent to murder him.
Hardly any circumstance or epoch in Mme. Blavatsky's career was prosaic. She
chose to be born into this life at Ekaterinoslaw, Russia, in the year 1831,
when coffins and desolation were everywhere from the plague of cholera. The
child was so delicate that the family decided upon immediate baptism under
the rites of the Greek Catholic Church. This was in itself not common, but
the ceremony was - under the luck that ever was with Helena - more
remarkable and startling still. At this ceremony all the relatives are
present and stand holding lighted candles. As one was absent a young child,
aunt of the infant Helena, was made proxy for the absentee, and given a
candle like the rest. Tired out by the effort, this young proxy sank down to
the floor unnoticed by the others, and, just as the sponsors were renouncing
the evil one on the babe's behalf, by three times spitting on the floor, the
sitting witness with her candle accidentally set fire to the robes of the
officiating priest, and instantly there was a small conflagration, in which
many of those present were seriously burned. Thus amid the scourge of death
in the land was Mme. Blavatsky ushered into our world, and in the flames
baptized by the priests of a Church whose fallacious dogmas she did much in
her life to expose.
She was connected with the rulers of Russia. Speaking in 1881, her uncle,
Gen. Fadeef, joint Councillor of State of Russia, said that, as daughter of
Col. Peter Hahn, she was grand-daughter of Gen. Alexis Hahn von Rottenstern
Hahn of old Mecklenburg stock, settled in Russia, and on her mother's side
daughter of Héléne Fadeef and grand-daughter of Princess Helena Dolgorouky.
Her maternal ancestors were of the oldest families in Russia and direct
descendants of the Prince or Grand Duke Rurik, the first ruler of Russia.
Several ladies of the family belonged to the imperial house, becoming
Czarinas by marriage. One of them, a Dolgorouky, married the grandfather of
Peter the Great, and another was betrothed to Czar Peter II. Through these
connections it naturally resulted that Mme. Blavatsky was acquainted
personally with many noble Russians. In Paris I met three princes of Russia
and one well-known General, who told of her youth and the wonderful things
related about her then; and in Germany I met the Prince Emile de
Wittgenstein of one of the many Russo-German families, and himself cousin to
the Empress of Russia and aide-de-camp to the Czar, who told me that he was
an old family friend of hers, who heard much about her in early years, but,
to his regret, had never had the fortune to see her again after a brief
visit made with her father to his house. But he joined her famous
Theosophical Society by correspondence, and wrote, after the war with
Turkey, that he had been told in a letter from her that no hurt would come
to him during the campaign, and such turned out to be the fact.
As a child she was the wonder of the neighborhood and the terror of the
simpler serfs. Russia teems with superstitions and omens, and as Helena was
born on the seventh month and between the 30th and 31st day, she was
supposed by the nurses and servants to have powers and virtues possessed by
no one else. And these supposed powers made her the cynosure of all in her
early youth. She was allowed liberties given none others, and as soon as she
could understand she was given by her nurses the chief part in a mystic
Russian ceremony performed about the house and grounds on the 30th of July
with the object of propitiating the house demon. The education she got was
fragmentary, and in itself so inadequate as to be one more cause among many
for the belief of her friends in later life that she was endowed with
abnormal psychic powers, or else in verity assisted by those unseen beings
who she asserted were her helpers and who were men living on the earth, but
possessed of developed senses that laughed at time and space. In girlhood
she was bound by no restraint of conventionality, but rode any Cossack horse
in a man's saddle, and later on spent a long time with her father with his
regiment in the field, where, with her sister, she became the pet of the
soldiers. In 1844, when 14, her father took her to London and Paris, where
some progress was made in music, and before 1848 she returned home.
Her marriage in 1848 to Gen. Nicephore Blavatsky, the Governor of Erivan in
the Caucasus, gave her the name of Blavatsky, borne till her death. This
marriage, like all other events in her life, was full of pyrotechnics. Her
abrupt style had led her female friends to say that she could not make the
old Blavatsky marry her, and out of sheer bravado she declared she could,
and sure enough, he did propose and was accepted. Then the awful fact
obtruded itself on Helena's mind that this could not - in Russia - be
undone. They were married, but the affair was signalized by Mme. Blavatsky's
breaking a candlestick over his head and precipitately leaving the house,
never to see him again. After her determination was evident, her father
assisted her in a life of travel which began from that date, and not until
1858 did she return to Russia. Meanwhile her steps led her to America in
1851, to Canada, to New Orleans, to Mexico, off to India, and back again in
1853 to the United States. Then her relatives lost sight of her once more
until 1858, when her coming back was like other events in her history. It
was a wintry night, and a wedding party was on at the home in Russia. Guests
had arrived, and suddenly, interrupting the meal, the bell rang violently,
and there, unannounced, was Mme. Blavatsky at the door.
>From this point the family and many friends testify, both by letter and by
articles in the Rebus, a well-known journal in Russia, and in other papers,
a constant series of marvels wholly unexplainable on the theory of jugglery
was constantly occurring. They were of such a character that hundreds of
friends from great distances were constantly visiting the house to see the
wonderful Mme. Blavatsky. Many were incredulous, many believed it was magic,
and others started charges of fraud. The superstitious Gooriel and
Mingrelian nobility came in crowds and talked incessantly after, calling her
a magician. They came to see the marvels others reported, to see her sitting
quietly reading while tables and chairs moved of themselves and low raps in
every direction seemed to reply to questions. Among many testified to was
one done for her brother, who doubted her powers. A small chess table stood
on the floor,. very light - a child could lift it and a man break it. One
asked if Mme. Blavatsky could fasten it by will to the floor. She then said
to examine it, and they found it loose. After that, and being some distance
off, she said, "Try it again." They then found that no power of theirs could
stir it, and her brother supposing from his great strength that this "trick"
could easily be exposed, embraced the little table and shook and pulled it
without effect, except to make it groan and creak. So with wall and
furniture rapping, objects moving, messages about distant happenings
arriving by aerial port, the whole family and neighborhood were in a
constant state of excitement. Mme. Blavatsky said herself that this was a
period when she was letting her psychic forces play, and learning fully to
understand and control them.
But the spirit of unrest came freshly again, and she started out once more
to find, as she wrote to me, "the men and women whom I want to prepare for
the work of a great philosophical and ethical movement that I expect to
start in a later time." Going to Spezzia in a Greek vessel, the usual
display of natural circumstances took place, and the boat was blown up by an
explosion of gunpowder in the cargo. Only a few of those on board were
saved, she among them. This led her to Cairo, in Egypt, where, in 1871, she
started a society with the object of investigating spiritualism so as to
expose its fallacies, if any, and to put its facts on a firm, scientific,
and reasonable basis, if possible. But it only lasted fourteen days, and she
wrote about it then: "It is a heap of ruins - majestic, but as suggestive as
those of the Pharoahs' tombs."
It was, however, in the United States that she really began the work that
has made her name well known in Europe, Asia, and America; made her
notorious in the eyes of those who dislike all reformers, but great and
famous for those who say her works have benefited them. Prior to 1875 she
was again investigating the claims of spiritualism in this country, and
wrote home then analyzing it, declaring false its assertion that the dead
were heard from, and showing that, on the other hand, the phenomena
exhibited a great psycho-physiological change going on here, which, if
allowed to go on in our present merely material civilization, would bring
about great disaster, morally and physically.
Then in 1875, in New York, she started the Theosophical Society, aided by
Col. H. S. Olcott and others, declaring its objects to be the making of a
nucleus for a universal brotherhood, the study of ancient and other
religions and sciences, and the investigation of the psychical and recondite
laws affecting man and nature. There certainly was no selfish object in
this, nor any desire to raise money. She was in receipt of funds from
sources in Russia and other places until they were cut off by reason of her
becoming an American citizen, and also because her unremunerated labors for
the society prevented her doing literary work on Russian magazines, where
all her writings would be taken eagerly. As soon as the Theosophical Society
was started she said to the writer that a book had to be written for its
use. Isis Unveiled was then begun, and unremittingly she worked at it night
and day until the moment when a publisher was secured for it.
Meanwhile crowds of visitors were constantly calling at her rooms in Irving
Place, later in Thirty-fourth street, and last in Forty-seventh street and
Eighth avenue. The newspapers were full of her supposed powers or of
laughter at the possibilities in man that she and her society asserted. A
prominent New York daily wrote of her thus: "A woman of as remarkable
characteristics as Cagliostro himself, and one who is every day as
differently judged by different people as the renowned Count was in his day.
By those who know her slightly she is called a charlatan; better
acquaintance made you think she was learned; and those who were intimate
with her were either carried away with belief in her power or completely
puzzled." Isis Unveiled attracted wide attention, and all the New York
papers reviewed it, each saying that it exhibited immense research. The
strange part of this is, as I and many others can testify as eyewitnesses to
the production of the book, that the writer had no library in which to make
researches and possessed no notes of investigation or reading previously
done. All was written straight out of hand. And yet it is full of references
to books in the British Museum and other great libraries, and every
reference is correct. Either, then, we have, as to that book, a woman who
was capable of storing in her memory a mass of facts, dates, numbers,
titles, and subjects such as no other human being ever was capable of, or
her claim to help from unseen beings is just.
In 1878, Isis Unveiled having been published, Mme. Blavatsky informed her
friends that she must go to India and start there the same movement of the
Theosophical Society. So in December of that year she and Col. Olcott and
two more went out to India, stopping at London for a while. Arriving in
Bombay, they found three or four Hindoos to meet them who had heard from
afar of the matter. A place was hired in the native part of the town, and
soon she and Col. Olcott started the Theosophist, a magazine that became at
once well known there and was widely bought in the West.
There in Bombay and later in Adyar, Madras, Mme. Blavatsky worked day after
day in all seasons, editing her magazine and carrying on an immense
correspondence with people in every part of the world interested in
theosophy, and also daily disputing and discussing with learned Hindoos who
constantly called. Phenomena occurred there also very often, and later the
society for discovering nothing about the psychic world investigated these,
and came to the conclusion that this woman of no fortune, who was never
before publicly heard of in India, had managed, in some way they could not
explain, to get up a vast conspiracy that ramified all over India, including
men of all ranks, by means of which she was enabled to produce pretended
phenomena. I give this conclusion as one adopted by many. For any one who
knew her and who knows India, with its hundreds of different languages, none
of which she knew, the conclusion is absurd. The Hindoos believed in her,
said always that she could explain to them their own scriptures and
philosophies where the Brahmins had lost or concealed the key, and that by
her efforts and the work of the society founded through her, India's young
men were being saved from the blank materialism which is the only religion
the West can ever give a Hindoo.
In 1887 Mme. Blavatsky returned to England, and there started another
theosophical magazine, called Lucifer, and immediately stirred up the
movement in Europe. Day and night there, as in New York and India, she wrote
and spoke, incessantly corresponding with people everywhere, editing
Lucifer, and making more books for her beloved society, and never possessed
of means, never getting from the world at large anything save abuse wholly
undeserved. The Key to Theosophy was written in London, and also The Secret
Doctrine, which is the great text book for Theosophists. The Voice of the
Silence was written there too, and is meant for devotional Theosophists.
Writing, writing, writing from morn till night was her fate here. Yet,
although scandalized and abused here as elsewhere, she made many devoted
friends, for there never was anything half way in her history. Those who met
her or heard of her were always either staunch friends or bitter enemies.
The Secret Doctrine led to the coming into the society of Mrs. Annie Besant,
and then Mme. Blavatsky began to say that her labors were coming to an end,
for here was a woman who had the courage of the ancient reformers and who
would help carry on the movement in England unflinchingly. The Secret
Doctrine was sent to Mr. Stead of the Pall Mall Gazette to review, but none
of his usual reviewers felt equal to it and he asked Mrs. Besant if she
could review it. She accepted the task, reviewed, and then wanted an
introduction to the writer. Soon after that she joined the society, first
fully investigating Mme. Blavatsky's character, and threw in her entire
forces with the Theosophists. Then a permanent London headquarters was
started and still exists. And there Mme. Blavatsky passed away, with the
knowledge that the society she had striven so hard for at any cost was at
last an entity able to struggle for itself.
In her dying moment she showed that her life had been spent for an idea,
with full consciousness that in the eyes of the world it was Utopian, but in
her own necessary for the race. She implored her friends not to allow her
then ending incarnation to become a failure by the failure of the movement
started and carried on with so much of suffering. She never in all her life
made money or asked for it. Venal writers and spiteful men and women have
said she strove to get money from so-called dupes, but all her intimate
friends know that over and over again she has refused money; that always she
has had friends who would give her all they had if she would take it, but
she never took any nor asked it. On the other hand, her philosophy and her
high ideals have caused others to try to help all those in need. Impelled by
such incentive, one rich Theosophist gave her $5,000 to found a working
girls' club at Bow, in London, and one day, after Mrs. Besant had made the
arrangements for the house and the rest, Mme. Blavatsky, although sick and
old, went down there herself and opened the club in the name of the society.
The aim and object of her life were to strike off the shackles forged by
priestcraft for the mind of man. She wished all men to know that they are
God in fact, and that as men they must bear the burden of their own sins,
for no one else can do it. Hence she brought forward to the West the old
Eastern doctrines of karma and reincarnation. Under the first, the law of
justice, she said each must answer for himself, and under the second make
answer on the earth where all his acts were done. She also desired that
science should be brought back to the true ground where life and
intelligence are admitted to be within and acting on and through every atom
in the universe. Hence her object was to make religion scientific and
science religious, so that the dogmatism of each might disappear.
Her life since 1875 was spent in the unremitting endeavor to draw within the
Theosophical Society those who could work unselfishly to propagate an ethics
and philosophy tending to realize the brotherhood of man by showing the real
unity and essential non-separateness of every being. And her books were
written with the declared object of furnishing the material for intellectual
and scientific progress on those lines. The theory of man's origin, powers,
and destiny brought forward by her, drawn from ancient Indian sources,
places us upon a higher pedestal that that given by either religion or
science, for it gives to each the possibility of developing the godlike
powers within and of at last becoming a co-worker with nature.
As every one must die at last, we will not say that her demise was a loss;
but if she had not lived and done what she did humanity would not have had
the impulse and the ideas toward the good which it was her mission to give
and to proclaim. And there are today scores, nay, hundreds, of devout,
earnest men and women intent on purifying their own lives and sweetening the
lives of others, who trace their hopes and aspirations to the
wisdom-religion revived in the West through her efforts, and who gratefully
avow that their dearest possessions are the result of her toilsome and
self-sacrificing life. If they, in turn, live aright and do good, they will
be but illustrating the doctrine which she daily taught and hourly
WILLIAM Q. JUDGE New York Sun, Sept. 26, 1892
CREDENTIALS OF H. P. BLAVATSKY
H. P. BLAVATSKY died May 8, 1891.
As a person she ceased to be on that date. All that survives is a name, a
memory, one of countless other names and memories, the remains of a
generation almost extinguished and fast fading into the indistinguishable
monument we call the past. She is now a mere episode in written and
unwritten History -- the occidental term for the Skandhas of the human race
and the personal human being. As a body, as a mind, as an actor, she has
played her part, passed from the stage and been replaced.
But the play goes on. The great drama of life and death, of good and evil
fortune, is not of yesterday and to-day only but of all time, and each new
person, each incoming generation must perforce become both spectator and
actor in the Mysteries.
Like many another, H. P. Blavatsky was one who purported to speak from
behind the screen of time, to bear witness and to teach of things hidden
from mortal sight, even that of the wisest among us. What are the
credentials of H. P. Blavatsky, Messenger of the Masters of Wisdom, Elder
Brothers of the human race, to us Their younger brothers in the School of
Nearest to us of all such Messengers, the claims or credentials of H. P.
Blavatsky are of vital moment to all searchers for truth and are more
readily and searchingly possible of examination. To determine between claims
and credentials is the prime necessity of the student of life and action. As
matters stand from generation to generation the average searcher for truth
is bewildered by the cloud of witnesses, by the apparently hopeless
contradictions in their testimony, by his own inability to distinguish the
true from the false in witnesses and in their testimony.
The experience of the race is that of a continual alteration and alternation
of opinion. We reach a decision one day, one generation, only to reverse it
the next, though all men are aware that the essential facts of life never
vary, that Truth must be in its own nature changeless.
Unless we are prepared to admit, and to ourselves act upon the admission,
not only that Truth exists but that we are capable of discerning the truth
in all things, we but stultify our Self in giving any attention at all to
the search for Truth as reflected in such mighty subjects as philosophy,
religion, ethics, science.
If we contradict the terms of our own inmost Being, if we render our Self
foolish, incompetent to prove all things and to hold fast to that which is
true, if we allege our Self insane and incapable of determining Truth, who
or what can validate the Truth to us, can make us reasonable?
But, granting that we are "open to reason," it must follow that we are
bewildered, that we err and wander in our search for Truth, not because
credentials and evidences are lacking to us, but because we do not examine
them in the light of reason and experience.
The all-inclusive credential of H.P.B. as messenger and witness is that she
addressed herself exclusively to the intelligence of mankind -- that is to
say, to the universal experience, the common sense, the innate reason of all
men, therefore of every man. Her teachings were put forward as in no sense a
She appealed to the Truth in us, to the truth as known to us, to our
capacity to assimilate additional truth -- to what the Masters have in
common with us, to what all men have in common with the Masters, as the
bridge of progress, the Antaskarana of spiritual, as of all other evolution.
What she knew that is to us unknown, she put forward as a theory, as a
working hypothesis which every man is invited to examine, test, verify for
himself, step by step, proceeding from the known to the unknown.
Compare and contrast this credential with those submitted by the revealers,
the prophets, the priests of every religion and of every sect. Always it is
a revelation of one sort or another from a higher to a lower being -- a
revelation which demands belief, which in its very nature is impossible of
proof or disproof by the ones to whom it is offered, and which promises
rewards or threatens penalties to those who do or do not accept it out of
hand on the ipse dixit of the revealer.
Compare and contrast the credential of H.P.B. with the "working hypotheses"
so freely offered and accepted in modern "exact" science -- working
hypotheses which do not "work," and of which there is not a single one
submitted by any scientist that other equally eminent scientists have not
exposed as faulty, incomplete, contradicted by known facts.
Not a theory or hypothesis propounded by H. P. Blavatsky has ever been upset
philosophically, logically, historically or evidentially. Hundreds and
thousands have tried it, as invited first and foremost by H.P.B. herself.
The most that any have achieved has been a "Scotch verdict": "Not proven."
This is an admission of her impregnability; a confession of their own
inability to impeach her testimony after rigid cross-examination.
Invariably the religious or scientific investigator of the credential of
H.P.B. has tested her theories in the light of his own. If her propositions
agreed with his, well and good; if not, they must be false or erroneous,
"not proved," -- that is, "not approved."
Assume for one moment that her theories are true, and the inverted logic of
these investigators is instantly self-evident. They did not, and they do
not, compare and contrast theory with theory, hypothesis with hypothesis,
for relative consistency and synthesis, for relative accord with known
It stands to-day as it has stood from the beginning; no known fact conflicts
with or discredits a single theorem advanced by H.P.B., while her
propositions do shed the light of reason on all the problems of life, all
the missing links in science and religion; do bring into order and relation,
into ethical and moral purposiveness, all the otherwise bewildering and
confused mass of the facts which constitute the experience of the race and
the individual; do point out the causes of those failures and miseries which
our religions and our sciences seek in vain to explain or alleviate.
The individual and personal credential of H. P. Blavatsky to every sincere
searcher for truth is the spiritual fact that her mission is educative. She
was and is a Teacher of truth. It is through the Hall of Learning alone that
we can hope to arrive at Wisdom on our own account.
Not miracle, not prayer, not revelation, not even the devotion of implicit
faith can ever bring any of us one step nearer to the Masters of Wisdom, to
real Knowledge. Her life, her labor, her writings, constitute a School of
Life, into which may enter whosoever will to acquire instruction in the
mysteries of Self; instruction in Self-knowledge, Self-discipline,
Self-control -- and prove out to himself and for himself the same credential
of The Wisdom.
THEOSOPHY Magazine, Los Angeles, Vol. 14, Pages 289-291
Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2004 3:52 AM
Subject: Re: H P B
The more I read about the post HPB´s " discipleship" the more I believe why
The Masters decided to disappear after her passing and also deeply
undersdood why their communication broke off from then.
I am plainly conviced that, as KH claimed in AP Sinnet´s ML , their upasika
was their best choice in that period.
>From what I have read it seemed that after HPB left us, much of what was
left became a theatrical play in the hands of people who played with their
siddhis and self-illusioned egos.
Can you please tell if you have any online version of the contents of the
pamphlet you mentioned on the "I had a copy of that pamphlet with me when I
met with Mrs Rukmini Devi Arundale at Adyar..." ? I got curious.
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