Some Unpublished Letters of H. P. Blavatsky — comp. E. R. Corson

The Visit to Ithaca

Among my father's papers I found a letter from Olcott which gives us the date, or about the date, when H.P.B. arrived in Ithaca. It was written from his office at 7 Beekman Street, New York, and dated September 14th, 1875.

Professor H. Corson.

Dear Sir,

Madame Blavatsky will probably go to Albany by to-morrow (Wednesday) evening's boat, spend the day, or a part of it, in Albany, and then proceed onward to Ithaca. If there is any train Westward at night by taking which she can arrive at your place in the morning I shall advise her choosing it; otherwise she had better start earlier in the day and get to Ithaca by bed-time.

I requested her to write to you herself and she promised to do so, but she is so absorbed with the things of the other world that, with good intentions she may forget her duty, so I concluded to drop you a line myself from my office.

With compliments to Mrs. Corson, and kind regards to Mr. Anthony,

I remain, dear Sir,

Yours truly,

(signed) H. S. Olcott.

This would make her arrival in Ithaca about September 17th, 1875.

Referring to Old Diary Leaves I find that there was a meeting of the Theosophical Society on September 13th, 1875. There was another meeting of the T.S. on October 16th, at which H.P.B. was present, so that she must have visited Ithaca between these dates, an interval of about four weeks.

At that time my father had a cottage known as the Richardson Cottage, on Heustis Street, not far from a much more pretentious house on Buffalo Street where we had lived for three years, and also close to a much finer home and grounds he shortly afterwards bought and moved into known as Cascadilla Cottage. Here he lived many years up to the time of his death in 1911; it is from Cascadilla Cottage that his books are dated.

The climate of Ithaca is a very severe and trying one, very cold and blustery in the winter when the icy winds blow down off the Great Lakes and when the sun rarely shines. But at the time when H.P.B. visited Ithaca the weather is usually fine. In October there is the Indian Summer; the trees have put on their autumn tints, the mornings and nights are crisp and frosty, with a pleasant warmth in the middle of the day, with the distant hills and lake bathed in the late summer haze. The general outlook is very beautiful. Ithaca proper is in the valley at the foot of Cayuga Lake, and is built up on the east, west, and south hills, with the outskirts heavily wooded. My father's home was on the east hill, probably three to four hundred feet above the valley. On this hill the University stands, an imposing array of noble buildings — lecture halls, libraries, laboratories, and professors' homes. An interesting feature of the landscape are the gorges, with their steep banks, with their foaming waters tumbling over the rocks on their way to the lake; so that to a lover of scenery the prospect was an entrancing one, full of colour, the golden-rod in its glory, massed with the purple composite flowers, and the ripening grapes of the many vineyards dotting all the hills.

I mention this mise en scene, because H.P.B. saw it not. If she saw any part of it from the window or the porch she made no mention of it; it did not hold her; it did not attract her or change the current of her thoughts.

One day my father said to her: "It is a pity, Madame, for you not to see the beauties around you. I want to give you a carriage drive that you may see the University buildings and the lovely country." She finally consented to go, but my father begged her not to smoke in the carriage because the people were not used to it, and it would give them a bad impression and might cause comment, especially with a staid university professor. To this she also reluctantly consented. But before the drive was over, Madame said she would have to smoke a cigarette, she could not stand it a minute longer, and begged that she might get out of the carriage and sit on a stone on a side of the road and smoke in comfort. If the country people took her for a gypsy, why not, what harm would it do? So there sat the author of Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine satisfied with her own thoughts and oblivious of everything around her, even the waiting horses and coachman and the carriage with its occupants. Perhaps it was less the tobacco she wanted than the desire to be alone with herself and her own thoughts. When the cigarettes were finished she returned to the carriage and they continued on their drive.

My father dwelt especially on this incident as showing the woman's preoccupation. As he repeatedly said to me: "Never have I seen such an intense creature, intense in her purpose, intense in her endeavour; nothing around her mattered; though the heavens fall she would keep on her way."

It has always been a regret of my life that I did not meet her at that time. Having graduated at Cornell in June of that year, in September I was in Philadelphia studying medicine, with my mind full of my studies, and certainly with no thought of the events at home. I have to rely on what my father and mother told me subsequently, and in the fifty years or more which have gone by I can only recall the chief incidents of the visit.

In her dress she wore mostly a loose wrapper with a sort of embroidered jacket, as my mother described it to me, with the cigarette papers in one pocket and the tobacco in the other. My father, who was a great smoker himself and a judge of tobacco, thought her brand a cheap kind; perhaps her lack of money accounted for it. The cigarettes were countless, and the flowerpots were full of the stubs.

She had an elaborate robe, which shows well in the photograph taken by Beardsley.

She spent her time at her desk, writing, writing, writing most of the day and way into the night, carrying on a huge correspondence by long letters. Here she started Isis Unveiled, writing about twenty-five closely written foolscap pages a day. She had no books to consult; my father's very extensive library was almost wholly on English literature, Early English, Anglo-Saxon, English poetry, and classic literature, and she rarely consulted him about anything.

On one occasion she asked him for a Greek word on some text in the New Testament, and when my father said he could not remember it but would look it up for her at once, she said to him, half irritated and half joking: "You schoolboy! Why, don't you know it?" My father got the Greek for her, and she went on with her writing.

The incident is interesting in connection with a somewhat similar one mentioned by G. R. S. Mead, and may well bear being quoted here. He had received a pressing telegram from H.P.B. from the Island of Jersey, where she was editing Lucifer and writing the Secret Doctrine, and carrying on this same voluminous correspondence.

He writes: "One of the greatest proofs to me of H.P.B.'s extraordinary gifts and ability, if proof were needed in the face of the manifest sincerity of her life-work, was the way in which she wrote her articles and books. I knew every book she had in her small library, and yet day after day she would produce quantities of MS. abounding in quotations, which were seldom inaccurate. I remember almost the last day she sat at her desk, going into her room to query two Greek words in a quotation, and telling her they were inaccurate. Now, though H.P.B. could in her early years speak modern Greek and had been taught ancient Greek by her grandmother, she had long forgotten it for all purposes of accuracy, and the correction of the words I objected to required precise scholarship. "Where did you get it from, H.P.B.?" I asked. "I'm sure I don't know, my dear," was her rather discouraging rejoinder, "I saw it!" adding that she was certain she was right, for now she remembered when she wrote the particular passage referred to. However, I persuaded her that there was some mistake, and finally she said: "Well, of course you are a great Greek pundit, I know, but you are not going to sit upon me always. I'll try if I can see it again, and now get out," meaning that she wanted to go on with her work, or at any rate had had enough of me. About two minutes afterwards she called me in again and presented me with a scrap of paper on which she had written the two words quite correctly, saying "Well, I suppose you'll be a greater pundit than ever after this!" (From "The Last Two Years," by G. R. S. Mead, F.T.S., in the pamphlet entitled: In Memory of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky: by Some of her Pupils. Published by the Theosophical Publishing Society of London. 1891.)

This incident is of value here as partly showing the way she wrote.

To try to explain her writings by citing the books from which she quoted, or from which she may have gotten her thoughts, is about as sensible as trying to understand the genius of Shakespeare from the books he may have read or glanced at. But no theories or fancies can be too ridiculous or extravagant for those who have no imagination and no intuitions, and who will grasp any theory to solve a problem beyond their understanding. Witness the Baconian theory of Shakespeare, which of all attempts to explain his genius is the most ridiculous. No true student or lover of Shakespeare could for a moment accept it; only the literary grubbers who love to count the p's and q's could have imagined any such silly evasion of the real mystery.

There are some facts we now know positively, namely, the marvels of certain forms of automatic writing, of clairvoyant writing, the automatisms and the visualizations of genius, and while not the ultimate solution of the mystery by any means, at least gets us on the way, and saves us from the quagmires and quicksands of crass materialism. Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine and the other voluminous writings of H.P.B. may be full of mistakes and be shockingly lacking in style and literary precision, and yet be the work of genius, and live long after the scholarly and literary quidnuncs have had their day. When Shakespeare introduced lions into the Forest of Arden he did not hurt his genius, but helped us to wonder at it and admire it the more.

There is the best of evidence, as good or better than any put forth by the S.P.R. in its various excursions into psychical research, that H.P.B. did not simply copy out of books what she wanted to write about, as we ordinary mortals would do, but that she got her copy automatically or clairvoyantly, or "saw it in the astral," which is as good as any way to describe it. No matter how we call it, or how we describe it, we do not get much closer to the mystery itself. It was the easiest and most obvious way to understand how she wrote in Ithaca the beginning of Isis Unveiled. She had no books to consult in my father's library; and certainly he could not help her at the task.

But quite aside from any evidence during her visit at Ithaca, many very reliable witnesses have repeatedly testified to her writing without the books before her or within her grasp. Olcott, who was longest associated with her intimately, who followed her by day while she wrote Isis Unveiled, and much of her other writing, can testify that she wrote automatically or clairvoyantly. She herself never took any credit for what she wrote, but always insisted that she was simply the amanuensis. If this was an isolated case we might well pause and doubt, but we have very good evidence from many sources dating back from the very beginning of psychical research, that direct writing, automatic and clairvoyant writing, on subjects unknown and foreign to the automatist have been produced.

As an example of this and applicable here, I quote the following. In The Annals of Psychical Science, Professor Charles Richet published his very careful experiments with Madame X, whose automatic writing brought the entire subject definitely and strikingly before psychical researchers. She wrote in Greek, a language unknown to her, and Professor Richet was able to trace all of it to its sources. He writes: "But what truly strikes us is the almost absolute correctness of the text: this accuracy is probably highly superior to that of which students after two years' study of the language would be capable.

"Finally, the adaption is perfect between the ideas expressed, as, after the fine words which St. John gives to Christ, there is written: I can do no more . . . I have finished my work . . . it is the end. These words are written in quite a different text, and in almost another language — the text of Byzantios and modern Greek.

"I think there is no need to dwell longer upon the variety of Greek phrases thus given. We have not only phrases from the Dictionary of Byzantios (Preface, Dedication, Lexicon), but also quotations from Plato (Apology for Socrates and Phaedrus), and these long quotations from the Gospel of John: that is to say, we have quotations from four distinctly different works, and always — the given phrase — as I have several times pointed out — is admirably adapted to the conditions of the time being." — The Annals of Psychical Science, January to March, 1909.

This paper was presented to the English S.P.R., and it is interesting to note how it was received. Sir Oliver Lodge regarded the writing as copying something actually before her, or else of type mentally seen in a manner something analogous to a crystal vision. Sir Oliver not only has the caution of the great scientist but he also has vision. Mrs. Verall, Mr. Feilding, and Miss Johnson hemmed and hawed over it and, strongly suspicious of fraud, could come to no conclusion. They were not scientists, but smart people whose incredulity was their stock-in-trade.

I shall consider this subject more fully in a subsequent chapter, especially in relationship to the charges of fraud brought against H.P.B.

This form of psychical literature has been growing by leaps and bounds, and to the psychical researcher has become of great interest.

With all of this before us, to ignore its application to much at least of H.P.B.'s writings is to allow prejudice and animosity, and the conceits and self-sufficiency of mere scholarship, to cloud all reasonable investigation.

And now for another incident of the Ithaca visit.

My mother described to me how H.P.B. would sit down at the piano and improvise with great skill, showing a remarkable efficiency for one who played but at odd times as the spirit might move her. Her biographers have not dwelt at any length on her musical talent. Her cousin, Count Witte, in his Memoirs, refers to this musical talent at some length and with some detail, although he was wholly out of sympathy with her and does not hesitate to speak of the follies and sins of her youth — if they were sins — in strong and very plain language. (The Memoirs of Count Witte, translated from the original Russian manuscript and edited by Abraham Yarmolinsky, pp. 4-10. 1921.)

Count Witte writes: "They learned from the papers that she gave pianoforte concerts in London and Paris, and afterwards became the manager of the royal choir, maintained by King Milan of Serbia. . . . A self-taught musician, she was able to give pianoforte concerts in London and Paris, and although entirely ignorant of the theory of music, she conducted a large orchestra."

My mother on several occasions spoke of the charm of her playing.

To H.P.B. many incidents in her eventful and stormy life during her younger days were a sealed book to her friends and acquaintances. In a casual way she mentioned to my mother that she had fought in Garibaldi's army and had slept in the Pontine marshes. This seemed to her an extraordinary statement, and she had at the time no way to corroborate it. In "A Modern Panarion,"* from an article in Light, 1884, entitled "Mr. A. Lillie's Delusions," she wrote: "Lest Mr. Lillie should take my omitting to answer a single one of his very indiscreet questions as a new pretext for printing some impertinence, I say: I was at Mentana during the battle in October, 1867, and left Italy in November of the same year for India. Whether I was sent there, or found myself there by accident, are questions that pertain to my private life, with which, it appears to me, Mr. Lillie has no concern. But this is on a par with his other ways of dealing with his opponents."

*A Modern Panarion. A collection of fugitive fragments from the pen of H. P. Blavatsky. First edition, Vol. I. London, 1895.

Another reference to this incident may still further enhance its interest. Olcott, in Old Diary Leaves, has given us a more detailed account of this incident. "While she was at Chittenden she told me many incidents of her past life, among others, her having been present as a volunteer, with a number of other European ladies, with Garibaldi at the bloody battle of Mentana.* In proof of her story she showed me where her left arm had been broken in two places by a sabre stroke, and made me feel in her right shoulder a musket bullet still imbedded in the muscle, and another in the leg. She also showed me a scar just below the heart where she had been stabbed with a stiletto. This wound reopened a little while she was at Chittenden, and it was to consult me about it that she was led to show it to me. She told me many curious tales of peril and adventure, among them the story of the phantom African sorcerer with the oryx-horn coronet, whom she had seen in life doing phenomena in Upper Egypt many years before."

*Mentana, thirteen miles N.E. of Rome, noted from the battle which took place there November 3rd, 1867. On this occasion Garibaldi himself was taken prisoner. See Johnson's Universal Encyclopaedia, article, "Mentana."

H.P.B.'s phenomena with a few exceptions were not a feature of her visit. She showed the raps as produced by her will-power sometimes through a stack of hands, and again on different parts of the room. My father was familiar with this phenomenon in the seance room through the ordinary medium, but was much more impressed when produced by conscious will-power. On another occasion he had asked if she could place me and tell what I was doing, then a student of medicine in Philadelphia, and she gave him an accurate account of where I was and what was taking place. It happened to be that I was visiting my preceptor on Green Street. She said I was much under his influence, which was true, and a very good influence it was too. On another occasion she caused a heavy table to rise up in the air without touching it, and she repeatedly said that this was all due to her will-power, and was not to be classed with the ordinary mediumistic phenomena.

One evening a frost was predicted, and my mother was anxious to get in her potted plants from the porch, when H.P.B. told her not to worry, and she would get "John" to bring them in. So they went to bed without any concern, and in the morning all the plants were found inside.

I mention these incidents, not that I think them of much importance at this late day, but because these phenomena became a part of her activities, both in New York and India and later in Europe. In the fifty years and more which have gone by they have become but a faint memory, and are not, of course, evidential.

But another incident deserves a much more detailed description, both on account of its striking character and because it can be checked up with similar happenings which are more evidential.

It happened in this way. One evening my father had called on Andrew D. White, the President of the University. There was a most cordial relationship existing between him and my father and mother. They were often guests at his table to meet many distinguished people. On this occasion my father was seated by a table in Dr. White's study, and as they talked my father was mechanically fingering some notepaper by his side, and himself a lover of fine stationery, he picked it up and noticed the watermark. In due time he returned home, and found that my mother and Mme. Blavatsky had retired to their rooms, so he went up to bed. In his room he always had a small table and lamp by his bedside. On the table were placed a number of books which he was in the habit of reading before he went to sleep. On awaking in the morning he was astonished to find on the table a portrait of my sister in black and white. It was a striking likeness; there was a chaplet of flowers in her hair, hanging down her back. She was in the habit of having her photograph taken in this way, the only difference being the wreath of flowers in her hair. Now, in the background there were faint outlines of the faces of gnomes or sprites. My father noticed at once it was the same paper and the same watermark which he had seen at Dr. White's. He rushed to my mother greatly excited to show her the picture. When she looked at it she exclaimed: "This is the work of the devil," burst out crying, and threw it in the fire, to the great regret and sorrow of my father. Mme. Blavatsky was all protestation and apology and sorrow that she should have hurt my mother's feelings, saying further, that she had done it thinking it would give them pleasure.

As may be seen by H.P.B.'s letter, she herself was much wrought up over the incident, and declares that in the future she will resist the temptation to repeat the phenomenon under similar circumstances.

As an offset to this incident, and to help show its genuineness, I wish to copy from Old Diary Leaves Olcott's description of a precipitated picture under very dissimilar circumstances. Olcott gives the photograph of the original picture, and the copy of it by precipitation; all the circumstances in the case are of great interest, and impress me as very evidential.

Olcott writes: "H.P.B. had naturally but small pity for intellectual weaklings, especially for the stubborn dupes of mediumistic trickery, and she often poured out the vials of her wrath upon the, as she called her, purblind old maid. One cold evening (Dec. 1st, 1875) after a fresh day of failures at Mr. Mason's laboratory, Mlle. Liebert was, as usual, shuffling over her grimy photographs, sighing and arching her eyebrows into an expression, when H.P.B. burst out: 'Why will you persist in this folly? Can't you see that all those photographs in your hand were swindles on you by photographers who did them to rob you of your money? You have had every possible chance now to prove your pretended power — more than one hundred chances have been given you, and you have not been able to do the least thing. Where is your pretended guide, Napoleon, and the other sweet angels of Summerland? Why don't they come and help you? Pshaw! it makes me sick to see such credulity. Now see here; I can make a "spirit picture" whenever I like — and of anybody I like. You don't believe it, eh? Well, I shall prove it on the spot!' She hunted up a piece of cardboard, cut it to the size of a cabinet photograph, and then asked Mlle. Liebert whose portrait she wished. 'Do you want me to make your Napoleon?' she asked. 'No,' said Mlle. L., 'please make for me the picture of that beautiful M. Luis.' H.P.B. burst into a scornful laugh, because, by Mrs. Britten's request, I had returned to her through the post the Louis portrait three days previously, and it being by that time in Boston, 250 miles away, the trap set by the French lady was but too evident. 'Ah!' said H.P.B., 'you thought you could catch me, but now see!' She laid the prepared card on the table before Mlle. Liebert and myself, rubbed the palm of her hand over it three or four times, turned it over, and lo! on the under side we saw (as we then thought) a facsimile of the Louis portrait. In a cloudy background at both sides of the face were grinning elemental sprites, and above the head a shadowy hand with the index finger pointing downward. I never saw amazement more strongly depicted on a human face than it was upon Mlle. Liebert's at that moment. She gazed in positive terror at the mysterious card, and presently burst into tears and hurried out of the room with it in her hand, while H.P.B. and I went into fits of laughter. After a half-hour she returned, gave me the picture, and on retiring for the night I placed it as a bookmark in a volume I was reading in my own apartment. On the back I noted the date and the names of the three witnesses. The next morning I found that the picture had quite faded out, all save the name 'Louis,' written at the bottom in imitation of the original; the writing a precipitation made simultaneously with the portrait and the elves in the background. That was a curious fact — that one part of a precipitated picture should remain visible, while all the rest had disappeared, and I cannot explain it. I locked it up in my drawer, and Mr. Judge, dropping in a day or two later, or, perhaps, the same evening, I told him the story and showed him the defaced card; whereupon he asked H.P.B. to 'fix' it. It needed but a moment to lay the card again face down upon the table, cover it with her hand, and reproduce the picture as it had been. He took it by her permission, and kept it until we met him in Paris in 1884, when — as he had fortunately brought it with him — I begged it of him for the Adyar Library. From Paris I crossed over to London, and going one evening to dine with my friend, Stainton Moses, he showed me his collection of mediumistic curios, among others, the very original of the Louis picture which I had returned to Mrs. Britten by post from New York to Boston in 1876! On the back was written 'M. A. Oxon, March 1, 1877, from the Author of Art Magic and Ghostland.' The next day I brought and showed Stainton Moses the H.P.B. copy, and he kindly gave me the original. Thus, after the lapse of eight years, both came back to my hand. Upon comparing them we found so many differences as to show conclusively that the one was not a duplicate of the other. To begin with, the faces look in opposite directions, as though the one were the enlarged and somewhat deranged reflection of the other in a mirror. When I asked H.P.B. the reason for this she said that all things on the objective plane have their images reversed in the astral light, and that she simply transferred to paper the astral reflection of the Louis picture as she saw it: the minuteness of its accuracy would depend upon the exactness of her clairvoyant perception. Applying this test to these two pictures, we find that there are material differences in horizontal and vertical measurements throughout, as well as in the curl of the hair and beard and the outlines of the dress; the 'Louis' signatures also vary in all details while preserving a general resemblance. When the copy was precipitated, the tint was infused into the surface of the whole card as a sort of pigmentous blur, just as the background still remains, and H.P.B. touched up some of the main lines with a lead pencil; to the artistic improvement of the picture, but to its detriment as an exhibit of occult photography."

I wish to quote from Old Diary Leaves one more instance of this strange phenomenon. Olcott wrote: "Another example, perhaps even more interesting, is the following: Under date of December 22, 1887, Stainton Moses wrote her a five-paged letter of a rather controversial, or, at any rate, critical character. The paper was of square, full letter size, and bore the embossed heading, 'University College, London,' and near the left hand upper corner his monogram, — a W and M interlaced and crossed by the name 'Stainton' in small capitals. She said we must have a duplicate of this too, so I took from the desk five half-sheets of foreign letter-paper of the same size as Oxon's and gave her them. She laid them against the five pages of his letter, and then placed the whole in a drawer of the desk just in front of me as I sat. We went on with our conversation for some time, until she said she thought the copy was made and I had better look and see if that were so. I opened the drawer, took out the papers, and found that one page of each of my five pieces had received from the page with which it was in contact the impression of that page. So nearly alike were the original and the copies that I thought them — as the reader recollects I did the copy of the Britten-Louis portrait — exact duplicates. I had been thinking so all these subsequent sixteen years, but since I hunted up the documents for description in this chapter, I see that this is not the case. The Writings are almost duplicates, yet not quite so. They are rather like two original writings by the same hand. If H.P.B. had had time to prepare this surprise for me, the explanation of forgery would suffice to cover the case; but she had not. The whole thing occurred as described, and I submit that it has an unquestionable evidential value as to the problem of her possessing psychical powers. I have tried the test of placing one page over the other to see how the letters and marks correspond. I find they do not, and that is proof, at any rate, that the transfer was not made by the absorption of the ink by the blank sheet from the other; moreover, the inks are different, and Oxon's is not copying ink. The time occupied by the whole phenomenon might have been five or ten minutes, and the papers lay the whole time in the drawer in front of my breast, so there was no trick of taking it out and substituting other sheets for the blank ones I had just then handed to her. Let it pass to the credit of her good name, and help to make the case which her friends would offset against the intemperate slanders circulated against her by her enemies."

The reader will have to examine the photograph of the original letter and compare it with the photograph of the reproduced letter to appreciate fully its evidential character.

I have quoted from Old Diary Leaves these two incidents of a precipitated picture and letter to help familiarize the reader with this astounding phenomenon. Even among the ordinary mediumistic phenomena there are many well-attested cases of "direct" writing, so-called, which can only be regarded as a process of precipitation; there is no other word which seems to fit the case as well. Unless we knew the real method of its production any attempt to characterize it properly is vain. It is too obscure and occult to explain it in any way with all our vaunted science, and we may well be proud of how much has been attained. Certainly the conditions differ greatly in its production in comparing the ordinary mediumistic process with the one employed by H.P.B., although ultimately the process may be the same. The repetition of the phenomenon may better familiarize us with it, and under test conditions more firmly establish its reality, yet we are still far from grasping the secret. The passage of matter through matter is thoroughly verified by many scientific men, among whom I may mention Sir William Crookes and Prof. Zollner, yet the mystery remains. We know, however, that there must be some process of de-materialization, but how this is done we can have no conception. The de-materialization of matter by the chemist and the physicist, the changing of a solid into a gas, and vice versa, seems today quite natural, yet the process in the seance room is very different. We can only look to the future for more light.

I have quoted from Olcott because I think him honest and very intelligent, and I am quite convinced that he is not the dupe of H.P.B., as declared by the Society of Psychical Research. I have seen too many flagrant mistakes and, I must add, unpardonable mistakes by this body, not to receive with caution any pronouncement they may put forth. Scholarship and the academic spirit by no means qualify one to be a psychical researcher in the true sense of the word; there are other psychical qualities necessary; we require the psyche for the psychics. Scholarship is all right for the elucidation of an obscure Greek text, or a problem in mathematics, but there are other qualities necessary when we go deeper down into the depths.

We must not forget that the so-called physical phenomena are just as mysterious as the psychical ones proper, to try to solve which we must go down just as deep into the depths. The S.P.R. has dealt very little with this part of the problem, and what it has attempted has not been to its credit. It is to workers outside that sacred precinct to whom we are indebted for a much larger part of the literature on the subject; this indebtedness is also largely due to the French and Italian workers.

According to H.P.B.'s letter she must have left for New York the day after the portrait incident.

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