H. P. Blavatsky and the Theosophical Movement — Charles J. Ryan

Chapter 9


While Bombay remained the temporary headquarters, H. P. Blavatsky and her colleague were constantly making toilsome journeys to spread the light of theosophy. One day they would be entertained by a raja in his palace, the next day they would have an open-air discussion with a yogi carrying his begging bowl, or they might attend a great public meeting of all classes followed perhaps by a profound debate with the most learned Sanskrit pandits on the inner meaning of the Puranas or the Upanishads.

Some interesting events that happened during these journeys, and while H.P.B. was traveling in India during her earlier visits, sometimes with her Master, were used by her as the groundwork of a picturesque romance of travel written for the Russian Messenger (Russkiy Vyestnik) and afterwards published under the title, From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan. Though stated to be a work of imagination in large part, this fascinating narrative contains valuable theosophical teaching and some Indian historical and archaeological information in popular form. These brilliant articles produced a profound impression in Russia, and after their appearance she was besieged with requests for further contributions at her own price.

The general interest in theosophy and the personal correspondence with scholars and inquirers had now so greatly increased that it became imperative to start a journal; and a monthly magazine, The Theosophist, saw the light in October 1879, edited by H. P. Blavatsky. The Masters took great interest in it and, according to Colonel Olcott, at least three of them, including the Master M. and the Egyptian Master Serapis, also called the Maha-Sahib, gave valuable advice, the latter coming to Bombay in his natural body for a long interview with H.P.B. and Olcott on September 15, 1879. In Old Diary Leaves, II, Olcott describes a secluded asrama or rest-house in the suburbs of Bombay where Masters and their chelas sometimes stay when taking their long journeys so frequently referred to by H.P.B. and Olcott.

In the first six volumes of The Theosophist, teachings which had only been hinted at in Isis Unveiled were gradually expanded. Much was contributed by various Masters, though always under pseudonyms, and by Damodar, Subba Row, and other chelas. A remarkable example of the scientific teaching of the Mahatma K.H. will be found in a long article by him (signed "Another Theosophist") beginning on page 319 of Volume III, September 1882, called "What is Matter and What is Force?" The Mahatma M. anonymously contributed many "Answers to Correspondents" to the Supplement of the March number of the same year, and it is interesting to compare the two writings and observe the contrasting literary styles of the two Masters, which are also plainly marked in the Mahatma Letters, and which are so different from that of H. P. Blavatsky.

The editor of The Theosophist was greatly helped by the learned Hindu, Buddhist, Parsi, and other scholars who took advantage of such a favorable opportunity of presenting the deeper interpretation of their own scriptures to a sympathetic audience. The journal was H.P.B.'s own "child," and it soon made a profit, most of which went to defray some of the heavy expenses of the Society. While her enemies were charging her with making money out of the membership dues, she was actually straining her limited resources to keep the Society solvent, as the published and audited accounts prove. In this way $10,000 was donated to it in the first few years. It is clear that The Theosophist had become very popular, not only abroad but in India, for the "Administration Report of the Bombay Government for 1881-2," dealing with "Books Published" says that "the only English periodical which appears to enjoy an extensive circulation among natives is the 'Theosophist,' which deals in Mesmerism and Spiritualism"[!] (Theos., IV, 152, April 1883).

In addition to her interminable labors as editor, proofreader, writer of the most important articles (1), Corresponding Secretary, etc., she had to find time to write popular articles for Russian journals in order to make a living. Colonel Olcott had no available financial resources, but he contributed his splendid enthusiasm, great ability and incessant work on his own particular lines.

In August 1879, just in time to give the special help needed in the production of The Theosophist, a most valuable recruit joined the Society — Damodar K. Mavalankar, a young Brahman of high standing. When a boy, he had a vision of one of the Masters whom, years later, he recognized as one of H.P.B.'s teachers. Damodar was quickly accepted by that Master as one of the limited number of candidates for chelaship, and he soon overcame the first trials of probation. He had no difficulty in recognizing H. P. Blavatsky as a real occultist and teacher, though she was a European — and a woman! Damodar's health was poor, but he worked for theosophy to the limit of his strength and capacity with extraordinary devotion. He abandoned his Brahmanical caste and its privileges, and renounced fortune and advantageous worldly prospects to follow what he felt was his duty. He adopted a few simple rules of meditation and regulation of diet, but he absolutely avoided the methods of hatha-yoga. As Olcott says, his method of making progress was by "cultivating a spirit of perfect unselfishness, and by working night and day, to the uttermost limits of his strength, on the duties of the official position I gave him in the Society." In one of her letters to Mr. Sinnett, H.P.B. sharply contrasts his easy life and short hours of work with the incessant labors of Damodar and herself under the most trying conditions.

Gradually, and without strain, Damodar found inner powers awakening quite naturally and becoming available for use in his increasing responsibilities. Olcott describes this development with appreciation and sympathy. He gives instances showing the increase in Damodar's power of communication with the Masters and H.P.B. at great distances, in general clairvoyance, and in other supernormal powers. This young chela was also able at times to make remarkable cures by magnetic healing. By the year 1883, it was possible for the Master to employ him to transmit his messages by "astral mail." As in the case of all advanced souls who have killed out personal egotism and transmuted desire into spiritual energy, the occult powers that emerged into activity were perfectly normal under the conditions. They had not been ambitiously coveted, or sought for personal gratification, and they were never displayed to the mere curiosity seeker, nor exhibited as inducements to join the Society. Such a proceeding is utterly opposed to the principles of theosophy, though:

If we have had one we certainly have had an hundred intimations from strangers that they were ready to join at once if they could be sure that they would shortly be endowed with siddhis, or the power to work occult phenomena. — "Editorial Notice" in The Theosophist, II, 85, Jan. 1881

For those who might doubt the existence of high Adepts living on the physical plane, the evidence of Damodar is valuable, because he gives firsthand testimony in writing of several experiences which cannot be explained away. In November 1883, at Lahore, he met the Master K.H., and a little later he spent a few days with the Masters at their asrama in Kashmir. When in Ceylon with H. P. Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott in 1880, a Master took him to an asrama on a small island where he had a long conversation with another Adept who was living there. Details of this and other similar events are given in two letters of great interest written by Damodar to Mr. Judge, and published in The Theosophical Forum for November 1932, and April 1933.

In April 1885, Damodar started on the perilous journey to Tibet, going, according to Colonel Olcott, "in the company of an 'Avatari Lama,' a very influential and mysterious Tibetan prelate who happened to be within reach, at Sikkim, just at the nick of time." (Theos., LIV, 151, Nov. 1932. Also see O. D. L., III, 253-68.) In The Theosophist, July 1886, Olcott and Subba Row issued a signed statement "that he [Damodar] has safely reached his destination, and is alive under the guardianship of the friends whom he sought." Before he reached his occult friends, however, he had, according to a Master, "to undergo the severest trials that a neophyte ever passed through" (L.M.W., I, 77). Colonel Olcott pays Damodar a very high tribute:

A nobler heart never beat in a human breast, and his departure was one of the hardest blows we ever received. As above remarked, he had almost broken down his constitution by incessant official work, . . . Yet, with undaunted courage, he undertook the hard journey across the Himalayas, . . . intent upon reaching the Guru [spiritual Teacher] whom he had first seen in his youth . . . What made him so devotedly attached and unswervingly loyal to H.P.B. was the discovery that this Guru was one of the Adepts behind our movement, . . . — O. D. L., III, 265-6

The estimation in which Damodar was held by H.P.B. is shown in these words from her letter to Judge N. D. Khandalavala:

Damodar was ready from his last birth to enter the highest PATH and suspected it. He had been long waiting for the expected permission to go to Tibet before the expiration of the 7 years; . . .

I was driven away [from India], by the cowardice of those for whom I had risked my whole life, reputation and honour and he was the only true, devoted friend I had in all India, the only one who having the Masters' and my secret, knew the whole truth and therefore knew that whatever people thought being blinded by appearance I had never deceived anyone — though I was bound on my oath and pledge to conceal much from everyone, even Olcott. — Theos., LIII, 623-4, Aug. 1937

Another high caste Brahman, T. Subba Row (or Rao), B.A., B.L., a brilliant lawyer, and a chela of the Master M., became a Fellow of the Society about the same time as Damodar. Endowed with a powerful intellect, great learning, and the rare opportunity of obtaining knowledge implied in chelaship, Subba Row was able to contribute valuable articles to The Theosophist, some of which have been republished. (2) In view of the absurd charges still occasionally circulated against H.P.B. and her work, the enthusiastic support of such high-minded and intelligent men as Damodar and Subba Row, and of numerous other Hindus of high caliber, should be borne in mind. From the worldly standpoint they had everything to lose, for in "following the gleam" they risked the loss of friends and the estrangement of relatives, and defied Indian public opinion. It was almost incredible to find the proud Brahmans recognizing a European, a mlechchha or 'impure foreigner,' and a woman, as a spiritual teacher or guru; but it would have been impossible unless her life and character had been unselfish and stainless. Subba Row wrote from personal knowledge:

It is not necessary [that] one should be a member of any society to deserve a Guru. But the Occult Fraternities in every part of the world have now made a rule that admission into their ranks must be sought through the "Theosophical Society." I mistake no confidence when I inform you that I know personally of many instances in which those who were Chelas — a very high Chela one of them, before the advent of the Society among us in India, were compelled by their Gurus to join the Society on pain of their being forsaken by them. But joining the Society alone will not help you. You must work, work uphill. What I did, I repeat, is nothing to be admired from my Hindunstand point [Hindu standpoint]. There is not one Hindur [Hindu] Brahmin, who will not do the same a hundred times over. — Forum, VI, 188, Mar. 1935

In December 1879, H. P. Blavatsky met A. P. Sinnett and A. O. Hume, C.B., at Allahabad, and rather later at Simla, the summer capital of India. These two English gentlemen took an active part in theosophical activities in the earlier years of theosophy in India, and their prominence in political and social life helped to attract considerable attention to the movement from the Anglo-Indians.

Mr. Sinnett was an able writer, the editor of The Pioneer, an influential Anglo-Indian newspaper, and he was well equipped to give opportune help. Mr. Hume was a former Secretary of Agriculture to the Indian government, and had scientific standing as an ornithologist. While Sinnett remained connected with theosophy to the end of his life, Hume unfortunately lost his interest and, after giving H.P.B. considerable trouble, left the Society.

He, and even Sinnett, to a degree, wished to have the "Simla Eclectic Theosophical Society" (of which Hume was president for a while) entirely independent of the headquarters, and demanded for it special privileges in regard to the study of occultism under the Masters. As neither Sinnett nor Hume were chelas, nor had they shown any aptitude or desire for chelaship but only an interest in psycho-intellectual studies, their demand was kindly but firmly rejected. Brilliant minds as they were, neither of them was prepared to understand, much less to accept, the very first conditions required for the study of atma-vidya, the divine wisdom: absolute devotion to the interest of others and the renunciation of desire for personal gratification. The Master K.H. pointed out to them that their motives were in the deepest sense selfish. He said:

They are selfish because you must be aware that the chief object of the T.S. is not so much to gratify individual aspirations as to serve our fellow men: . . . — Mahatma Letters, 7-8

Sinnett was undoubtedly sincere and thoroughly devoted to the ideal of theosophy as he fancied it to be, and he never lost his belief in the real existence of the Masters, but Mr. Hume's attitude was far less satisfactory, and quickly became worse. It is instructive though painful to follow the gradual revelation of certain weaknesses in this undoubtedly able man, as shown in the Mahatma Letters and elsewhere. The reader, if at all intuitive, can see almost from the first that his intellectual "pride and unconscious selfishness," mentioned by the Masters, would stand as a barrier to real progress in spite of their patient endeavors to awaken his soul-vision. A glance at their voluminous correspondence with both Sinnett and Hume shows the almost incredible pains the Masters took to explain their teachings, ideals, and methods of training to these men who had such exceptional opportunities of acquiring wisdom, and of becoming agents to pass it on to the West.

Hume's dual nature became well marked as circumstances lifted the veil of polite conventions. For a while he gave valuable help and the Masters were so grateful to him for his kindness to their messenger that they were willing to overlook his lapses. He worked hard for the betterment of the Indian masses and, as the Masters said: "When the spiritual soul is left to guide him, no purer, no better, nor kinder man can be found" (Ibid., 225). But when his intellectual pride was aroused, and he demanded the occult knowledge which cannot be given to the unprepared, it was a different story. The Master K.H. writes to Mr. Sinnett as early as 1881:

I tell you, my good friend, he will never be satisfied do what we may! And as, we cannot consent to over flood the world at the risk of drowning them, with a doctrine that has to be cautiously given out, and bit by bit like a too powerful tonic which can kill as well as cure — the result will be a reaction in that insatiable craving of his, and then — well you yourself know the consequences. — Ibid., 245

When the Simla branch was formed, however, everything seemed promising. Many Anglo-Indians joined it, and some remained faithful to the movement. Unfortunately, though perhaps unavoidably, far more inquirers were attracted by H. P. Blavatsky's reputation as a wonder-worker than by the teachings of the ancient wisdom, and much trouble and bitter controversy arose from this cause. Exaggerated reports were spread about the phenomena she occasionally produced in the presence of a few private friends, and she and some of her devoted members had to suffer heavily from false charges. Perhaps unwisely, she took no pains at first to propitiate the Anglo-Indians by conforming to the orthodox conventions of fashionable society which she, though a born aristocrat, regarded as little better than a hypocritical veneer covering the dry rot of selfishness. The independence of character so marked from her childhood, and her ingrained rebellion and contempt for artificial forms made it hard for her friends to protect her against misrepresentations which they knew were cruelly unjust. Her outspoken and blunt remarks were often highly embarrassing to their 'victims,' especially as they were only too true; and they were not calculated to turn enemies into friends. High rank, official position, or wealth were nothing to her. On one occasion, for example, when the aged, white-haired, Parsi Chief Justice of Baroda introduced his wife, a little girl ten years old, she told him in plain and decidedly unvarnished language that he was "an old beast" and ought to be thoroughly ashamed of himself. In extreme cases, when H.P.B. wished to arouse the dormant soul in a man or woman she would assume uncouth ways and use rough language, regardless of the consequences to herself, or the almost inevitable misunderstanding that she risked.

In regard to her phenomena, she showed an almost childish naivete in her method of presenting them, and she was astonished when anyone insisted that the absence of "test conditions" in some cases permitted her critics to suggest the possibility of fraud. The control of the occult forces by her trained will was so perfectly natural to her that she found it hard to understand that her phenomena were bewildering and practically incredible to those unfamiliar with psychic matters. No charlatan would have either spoken or behaved so unceremoniously as she often did to persons whom she hoped to convince of her genuineness. No trickster would have dreamed of presenting fraudulent manifestations in the utterly casual and unmethodical way described by numerous witnesses. All this was part of her complex character which was curiously unsophisticated and childlike in many ways and as far removed from that of a cunning impostor as could be. She is known to have put her trust in the most disappointing people, even after being warned by her Master, though at other times she showed an amazingly keen perception of character.

In justice to the skeptics, it should not be forgotten that to the educated Westerner of the nineteenth century, even the simplest demonstration of the occult, such as telepathy, was received as an insult to his intelligence, and H.P.B. had to suffer from this lack of understanding. That, however, is no excuse for the gross unfairness and lack of common honesty on the part of those who wanted to destroy her reputation before theosophy became too widely spread. For instance, a charge was published in a book on India and in magazine articles by the Rev. Moncure Conway, that she had concocted the name Koot Hoomi (or Kuthumi as it is also spelled) from the names of Olcott and Hume! He claims the support of several Sanskritists in saying that the name "was outside all analogies of any language ever known in India." These 'Sanskritists' were either strangely ignorant of their subject or they deliberately misled Rev. Conway in order to fling a stone at H. P. Blavatsky, for the name is perfectly familiar to real students. For example, see Garrett's Classical Dictionary of India, or the well-known Vishnu-Purana (Book III, chap. vi, 60, Wilson's trans., 1866), where the learned sage Kuthumi is mentioned as a teacher of the Sama Veda and a pupil of Paushyinji (or Paushpinji). It is said to be a fairly common name in India today. Students of theosophy have become used to such perversions of the truth, which are so frequently made to deceive the ignorant in order to discredit H. P. Blavatsky.

Hostile comment was aroused by her "incomprehensible" preference for the society of Hindus, Zoroastrians, or Buddhists, whether independent pandits or scholars, or theosophical students; for in her day little or no social intercourse took place between Europeans and natives of India. Then again, her unorthodox religious views utterly condemned her in the eyes of the intolerant missionaries. This was perhaps the cause of the greatest persecutions she suffered. It is worth noting that one of the leading Christian organizations working in India was sufficiently well-informed in the history of the so-called miraculous as to admit the genuineness of her phenomena and therefore her personal honesty, at the same time putting them down to the cunning work of the Devil!

About this time a situation arose which, although only a temporary misunderstanding, must be mentioned because it was afterwards used most dishonorably against the good name of the movement. In the eighties, exaggerated fears of a Russian invasion of India were rampant, and the most elaborate precautions were taken against espionage. Now, H. P. Blavatsky was a Russian and Colonel Olcott was not British, and their brilliant success in arousing a new patriotic pride in the Hindus and others in India for their national religions and philosophical traditions was a strange phenomenon. Could there be something hidden behind it? Was she a Russian agent? A watch was set on their every movement, but of course there was nothing suspicious to be found. Finally, Colonel Olcott protested directly to the Viceroy's government, explained the nonpolitical and nonsectarian work of the Theosophical Society, and submitted full documentary proof from the United States government of his own high standing and honorable career in America, as well as the official evidence from Russia which established H. P. Blavatsky's reputation and high rank, and her freedom from political interests. The police supervision was at once removed and there was no further trouble. Although H.P.B. had thundered against the chief of the Indian police for his hypercritical attitude in regard to a phenomenon he had seen at Simla, and he could not have been too friendly, he never attempted to bring any charges of fraud against her.

H. P. Blavatsky suffered exquisitely from all these misunderstandings, knowing that every slander raised another obstruction between the Cause and thousands who needed its spiritual help. But a liberating work like hers ever challenges attack and its value might be questioned if all went easily with its pioneers.

In later years Colonel Olcott was occasionally employed by the Madras government to advise on agricultural problems as an expert authority. He also had a standing invitation to attend receptions at Government House.

When H.P.B. and Olcott were in Simla in 1880, A. P. Sinnett was enabled to collect the material for his book, The Occult World, which was based largely on his notes of her occult activities, and which made her name widely known, though it contained nothing from her pen. It explained the relation of the Masters of wisdom with the outer world, and described events at Simla which had convinced Sinnett and many others that such advanced Adepts exist who are far ahead in occult and spiritual knowledge and power even of the most celebrated Hindu yogis or Tibetan lamas known to the world. It also contained extracts from letters of the Masters, by whose perusal those who had no connection with them could realize that they were actual human beings, albeit of a superior order, and that each had a well-marked individuality. While the letters are the most valuable portion of the book, the author's straightforward account of the occult phenomena he had personally observed was probably responsible for its enormous sale. Rather unfortunately, as it turned out, The Occult World was not seen by the Masters until it was published, although generally approved by them and, as the Master K.H. told Sinnett, if they had read his manuscript many hastily written and obscure passages quoted from personal letters not meant for publication as they stood, would have been corrected or revised. Sinnett found it difficult to present the deeper, spiritual teachings of theosophy because the psycho-intellectual aspect appealed more strongly to his nature. He was warned by the Masters more than once against that one-sidedness of outlook which was ultimately his undoing as an exponent of theosophy. In one of the earliest letters he received, the Master K.H. writes:

. . . the chief object of the T.S. is not so much to gratify individual aspirations as to serve our fellow men: . . . Yet, you have ever discussed but to put down the idea of a universal Brotherhood, questioned its usefulness, and advised to remodel the T.S. on the principle of a college for the special study of occultism. This, my respected and esteemed friend and Brother — will never do!

The Chiefs want a "Brotherhood of Humanity," a real Universal Fraternity started; an institution which would make itself known throughout the world and arrest the attention of the highest minds. — Mahatma Letters, 7-8, 24

But lest there be any misunderstanding, the Maha-chohan, the great Teacher, the Superior of both the Mahatmas M. and K.H., made it plain:

Rather perish the T. S. with both its hapless founders than that we should permit it to become no better than an academy of magic and a hall of occultism. That we — the devoted followers of the spirit incarnate of absolute self-sacrifice, of philanthropy, divine kindness, . . . should ever allow the Theosophical Society to represent the embodiment of selfishness, the refuge of the few with no thought in them for the many, is a strange idea, my brothers.

. . . Let us understand each other. — L.M.W., I, 10-11

Unfortunately, Sinnett never understood because, as the Master said, his spiritual intuitions were "dim and hazy." But he did good pioneering work for which he deserves a tribute of gratitude from the theosophical world. His second book, Esoteric Buddhism, an outline of some of the main teachings of theosophy, attracted much attention and served as a harbinger of H.P.B.'s monumental work, The Secret Doctrine. He also deserves honor for his courage in standing by her in India when so many fainthearted followers fled before the first attacks on her reputation. The good work done by the early pioneers in theosophy must never be forgotten, even though many dropped out by the wayside. How many who enthusiastically praise H. P. Blavatsky at this safe distance of time would have stood staunchly by her under her downright and unflattering methods of training, not to speak of the ridicule and misrepresentation which theosophists suffered from the ignorant and prejudiced in her time!

In regard to Sinnett, certain tributes from the Master K.H. written in 1882 are instructive. After pointing out some of his very serious mistakes which had done great harm to the Society, the Master says:

Your strivings, perplexities and forebodings are equally noticed, good and faithful friend. In the imperishable RECORD of the Masters you have written them all. There are registered your every deed and thought; for, though not a chela, as you say to my Brother Morya, nor even a "protege" — as you understand the term — still, you have stepped within the circle of our work, . . . Your hidden Self has mirrored itself in our Akasa; your nature is — yours, your essence is — ours. The flame is distinct from the log of wood which serves it temporarily as fuel; . . . During the past few months, especially, when your weary brain was plunged in the torpor of sleep, your eager soul has often been searching after me, . . . What that "inner Self," impatient, anxious — has longed to bind itself to, the carnal man, the worldlings' master has not ratified: the ties of life are still as strong as chains of steel. — Mahatma Letters, 266-7

It should be well understood that H. P. Blavatsky never received a penny from the enormous sale of Sinnett's Occult World and that the accounts of the phenomenal occurrences at Simla upon which its vogue largely depended were the cause of much of the misunderstanding and suffering she had to endure for the rest of her life. She never made the smallest financial profit from her occult powers — such a thing is a crime in occultism. Olcott describes occasions where she was offered large sums to show "even one little phenomenon" to wealthy persons. She invariably rejected such offers, but would often perform one of her occult experiments for the instruction or encouragement of a humble but sincere theosophist, and this, perhaps, immediately after disappointing the rich curiosity-seeker.

The unfortunate notoriety attached to her name by the phenomena became a serious handicap on her work, and she found that the Master K.H. was right when he told Sinnett that occult matters "ought to have been limited to an inner and very SECRET circle." But her position was very embarrassing, for Sinnett and others were carried away by their discovery of an occult world behind the veil of nature, and were demanding phenomena and more occult phenomena, and she felt compelled to satisfy their natural curiosity, in order to break down their crude materialistic point of view.

But she sacrificed more than the skeptics or even the theosophists imagined when she produced phenomena of a more elaborate character than the trifling ones such as raps or the "fairy bells," which she called "parlor tricks," yet which were remarkable enough in themselves and equally inexplicable to all but trained occultists. Few, even of the theosophists, realized the great expenditure of vital energy required to precipitate matter out of the atmosphere into an astral matrix formed by the trained imagination and held by an intense act of will, and so apparently to 'create' objects, or to make writing appear on paper. Students of psychic phenomena learn that the vital force required for occult purposes has to be carefully conserved, as it is not free as air, even to the Adept. Thoughtless persons who craved "just one little phenomenon" never suspected how much vital energy every display of her occult power cost her. She may not always have been wise in the presentation of her phenomena, for to many persons they were like a red rag to a bull; but it was no pleasure or diversion for her to produce them for, as the Masters said, it was "killing her inch by inch," and they tried, though not always with success, to induce her to conserve her power. In such matters of personal conduct chelas are left to their own devices and have to take the consequences of mistakes. The chela training is designed to develop strong, self-reliant characters, not marionettes pulled by invisible strings.

The time came, however, when it was no longer necessary for phenomena to be shown, because they had served their purpose. H.P.B. had proved that an occultist has control over nature forces which are no more supernatural than the intangible radio waves which were then unsuspected, and are even now as mysterious to the scientist as to the schoolboy who makes his amateur receiver.

Later, responsible and highly intelligent persons, such as Sir Wallis Budge and A. Weigall, eminent Egyptologist, Mme. David-Neel, Buddhist scholar and Tibetan explorer, Lord Curzon, former Viceroy of India, Dr. Carl Jung, leading psychologist, Dr. J. B. Rhine, Dr. Alexis Carrel, Major F. Yeats-Brown, and many others, testified to their knowledge of the occult or psychic powers in man. Representative members of the Psychical Research Society now recognize that the nature of man is complex, and that strange powers, such as prevision, telepathy, and even worse "superstitions and old wives' tales" are latent in the "subliminal or supraliminal consciousness" and can emerge under certain conditions.


1. [The early volumes of The Theosophist are practically unobtainable, but all known articles by H. P. Blavatsky are being reprinted in H. P. Blavatsky: Collected Writings. — ED.] (return to text)

2. Notes on the Bhagavad Gita. (return to text)

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