1885 TO 1886
OSTENDE, DECEMBER 5
My dear Doctor: (1) — You must really forgive me for my seeming neglect of you, my old friend. I give you my word of honor, I am worried to death with work. Whenever I sit to write a letter all my ideas are scattered, and I cannot go on with the Secret Doctrine that day. But your letter (the last) is so interesting that I must answer it as asked. You will do an excellent thing to send to the Theosophist this experiment of yours. It has an enormous importance in view of Hodgson's lies and charges, and I am happy you got such an independent corroboration; astral light, at any rate, cannot lie for my benefit. (2)
I will only speak of number 4, as the correctness about the other three letters you know yourself. 1. This looks like the private temple of the Teschu Lama, near Tchigadze — made of the "Madras cement "-like material; it does shine like marble and is called the snowy "Shakang" (temple) — as far as I remember. It has no "sun or cross" on the top, but a kind of algiorna dagoba, triangular, on three pillars, with a dragon of gold and a globe. But the dragon has a swastica on it and this may have appeared a "cross." I don't remember any "gravel walk" — nor is there one, but it stands on an elevation (artificial) and a stone path leading to it, and it has steps — how many I do not remember (I was never allowed inside); saw from the outside, and the interior was described to me. The floors of nearly all Buddha's (Songyas) temples are made of a yellow polished stone, found in those mountains of Oural and in northern Tibet toward Russian territory. I do not know the name, but it looks like yellow marble. The "gentleman" in white may be Master, and the "bald-headed" gentleman I take to be some old "shaven-headed" priest. The cloak is black or very dark generally — (I brought one to Olcott from Darjeeling), but where the silver buckles and knee-breeches come from I am at a loss. (3) They wear, as you know, long boots — up high on the calves, made of felt and embroidered often with silver — like that devil of a Babajee had. Perhaps it is a freak of astral vision mixed with a flash of memory (by association of ideas) about some picture she saw previously. In those temples there are always movable "pictures," on which various geometrical and mathematical problems are placed for the disciples who study astrology and symbolism. The "vase" must be one of many Chinese queer vases about in temples, for various objects. In the corners of the temples there are numerous statues of various deities (Dhyanis). The roofs are always (almost always) supported by rows of wooden pillars dividing the roof into three parallelograms, and the mirror "Melong" of burnished steel (round like the sun) is often placed on the top of the Kiosque on the roof. I myself took it once for the sun. Also on the cupolas of the [dagoba] there is sometimes a graduated pinnacle, and over it a disk of gold placed vertically, and a pear-shaped point and often a crescent supporting a globe and the svastica upon it.
Ask her whether it is this she saw, Om tram ah hri hum, which
figures are roughly drawn sometimes on the Melong "mirrors" — (a disk of brass) against evil spirits — for the mob. Or perhaps what she saw was a row of slips (little cubes) on which such things are seen:
If so, then I will know what she saw. "Pine woods" all round such temples, the latter built expressly where there are such woods, and wild prickly pear, and trees with Chinese fruit on that
the priests use for making inks. A lake is there, surely, and mountains plenty — if where Master is; if near Tchigadze — only little hillocks. The statues of Meilha Gualpo, the androgyne Lord of the Salamanders or the Genii of Air, look like this "sphinx;" but her lower body is lost in clouds, not fish, and she is not beautiful, only symbolical. Fisherwomen do use soles alone, like the sandals, and they all wear fur caps. That's all; will this do? But do write it out.
H. P. B.
WURZBURG, DECEMBER (something), 1885
My dear Conspirator: (4) — Glad to receive from your letter such an emanation of true holiness. I too wanted to write to you; tried several times and — failed. Now I can. The dear Countess Wachtmeister is with me, and copies for me, and does what she can in helping, and the first five minutes I have of freedom I utilize them by answering your letter. Now, as you know, I also am occupied with my book. It took possession of me (the epidemic of writing) and crept on "with the silent influence of the itch," as Olcott elegantly expresses it — until it reached the fingers of my right hand, got possession of my brain — carried me off completely into the region of the occult. (5) I have written in a fortnight more than 200 pages (of the Isis shape and size). I write day and night, and now feel sure that my Secret Doctrine shall be finished this — no, not this — year, but the next. I have refused your help, I have refused Sinnett's help and that of everyone else. I did not feel like writing — now I do. I am permitted to give out for each chapter a page out of the Book of Dzyan — the oldest document in the world, of that I am sure — and to comment upon and explain its symbology. I think really it shall be worth something, and hardly here and there a few lines of dry facts from Isis. It is a completely new work.
My "satellite," (6) I do not need him. He is plunged to his neck in the fascinations of Elberfeld, and is flirting in the regular style with the Gebhardt family. They are dear people and are very kind to him. The "darling Mrs. Oakley" has shown herself a brick — unless done to attract attention and as a coup d'etat in the bonnet business. But I shall not slander on mere speculation; I do think she has acted courageously and honorably; I send you the Pall Mall to read and to return if you please; take care of the paper.
Thanks for photo. Shall I send a like one to your "darling"? She is mad with me however. Had a letter from Rodha; she swears she never said to "Darling" or the he Darling either, that I had "abused them to the Hindus."
To have never existed, good friend, is assuredly better. But once we do exist we must not do as the Servian soldiers did before the invincible Bulgarians or our bad Karma, we must not desert the post of honor entrusted to us. A room may be always had at Wurzburg; but shall you find yourself contented for a long time with it? Now the Countess is with me, and I could not offer you anything like a bed, since we two occupy the bedroom; but even if you were here, do you think you would not go fidgeting again over your fate? Ah, do keep quiet and wait — and try to feel once in your life — and then do not come at night, as you did two nights ago, to frighten the Countess out of her wits. .Now you did materialize very neatly this time, you did. (7) Quite so.
Yours in the great fear of the year 1886 — nasty number.
H. P. B.
( To be continued)
1. On the request of Mr. and Mrs. Johnston and others 1 have permitted these private letters from H. P. Blavatsky to myself to be published in the PATH, as they contain some things of general interest. — Dr. F. Hartmann (return to text)
2. This refers to the clairvoyant (psychometric) examination of an "occult letter," which was printed, together with the picture, in the Theosophist of 1886. The psychometer was a German peasant woman, entirely uninformed in regard to such things; but gave as it appears a correct description of a Buddhist temple in Tibet, with its surroundings and the inscriptions within; also of the lamas or priests and of the Master, and also of some people working in the neighborhood of the temple. The picture could not have been read from my own mind, as I have never seen such a temple, or if I have been there in the spirit, that visit has left no trace in my personal memory. — H. (return to text)
3. The explanation of seeing the gentleman in knee-breeches may be that I was just then very much occupied with the spirit of the well-known occultist, Carl von Eckertshausen. — H. (return to text)
4. H.P.B. used to call me in fun her "conspirator" or "confederate" because the stupidity of certain persons went so far as to accuse me of having entered into a league with her for the purpose of cheating myself. — H. (return to text)
5. This was in answer to a letter in which I complained of the irresistible impulse that caused me to write books, very much against my inclination, as I would have preferred to devote more time to "self-development." — H. (return to text)
6. Babajee. (return to text)
7. I know nothing about it. — H. (return to text)
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