Madame Helena P. Blavatsky 


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Madame Blavatsky, seer of 'Theosophy,' was one of the founding pillars of modern 'New Age' thinking. Her guiding theology was pantheism: the idea that all things are God and God is all things:



  • “Who can study carefully the ancient religious and cosmogonic myths without perceiving that this striking similitude of conceptions, in their exoteric form and esoteric spirit, is the result of no mere coincidence, but manifests a concurrent design? It shows that already in those ages which are shut out from our sight by the impenetrable mist of tradition, human religious thought developed in uniform sympathy in every portion of the globe. Christians call this adoration of nature in her most concealed verities—Pantheism.  but if the latter, which worships and reveals to us God in space in His only possible objective form — that of visible nature — perpetually reminds humanity of Him who created it, and a religion of theological dogmatism only serves to conceal Him the more from our sight, which is the better adapted to the needs of mankind?”

  • (H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 152, Kindle location 5134).




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This paradigm is not consistent with Christian or Biblical theology, which situates a great gulf between God, the maker, and the universe, His creation:

“Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” (Psalm 100:3).

“All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, 'What have You done?'” (Daniel 4:35).

In place of this unbridgeable gap, between creature and Creator, pantheism melds the two into one, making God's spirit into the soul of the world-organism. This is an ancient confusion. Aspects of the created world order are amalgamated to Deity, as when the NeoPlatonist theurgist Proclus calls the universe the "only-begotten" offspring of the Father: "Moreover, he fabricates all the multitudes of mundane Gods and daemons, and all celestial and sublunary natures, in order that he may evince this only-begotten and self-sufficient God [the world] to be the image of the intelligible and all-perfect God; fixing the earth indeed, as a firm seat of Vesta, in it, but distributing by lot the other elements to divine souls and daemons." (Proclus, On the Theology of Plato, translated by Thomas Taylor, Book V, Chapter XX, p. 333). The ancient Stoics tended toward pantheism, as did the modern philosopher Benedict de Spinoza:


Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Pantheism can be difficult to distinguish from atheism; Giordano Bruno was executed by the Inquisition as an atheist, though he was a pantheist. More than a few people have had a hard time telling the difference, or even assigning any content to pantheism:

"The chief objection I have to Pantheism is that it says nothing. To call the world 'God' is not to explain it; it is only to enrich our language with a superfluous synonym for the word 'world.' It comes to the same thing whether you say 'the world is God,' or 'God is the world.' . . .If, however, you start from what is really given, that is to say, from the world, and say, 'the world is God,' it is clear that you say nothing, or at least you are explaining what is unknown by what is more unknown." (Arthur Schopenhauer, The Collected Essays, 'A Few Words on Pantheism,' Kindle location 1920).

The pantheist, the atheist, and the theist all believe there is a universe. The theist also believes there is, in addition, a God who is not the universe; the atheist and the pantheist do not believe this. Still, the sun-worshipper does not really believe in the same 'sun' as the monotheist; the most violent anti-idolater must concede the thing is there, shining blindingly up there in the sky. The sun-worshipper believes, not in a different sun,— there is only one,— but there is an extra dimension opening above his, not ours, and presumably the pantheist's universe has some shimmering, numinous quality we do not see. Or in Madame Blavatsky's case, magnetic, electric.

Certain of her preceptors perceived the universe as a living animal, which is a very old idea, not always fully distinguishing between the beating heart of this life and its Creator: "All things therefore in the world are full of life, through the power of the demiurgus and father. And this world is one animal, deriving its completion from containing all animals, through the never-failing cause of the power by which it was generated." (Proclus, Theology of Plato, Book V, Chapter XXII, pp. 336-337). She absorbed this vision, which is not fully consistent with Christian theism, because this demiurge brings the thrashing monster-world into being through imaging and emanation rather than creation. "The one absolutely, the Intelligible, the ever Pre-existing, comprehending all the universe together within the One— nay, more, is not the whole world One living thing— all and everywhere full of life and soul, perfect and made up out of parts likewise perfect?" (Julian the Apostate, Upon the Sovereign Sun, p. 230). The poet Virgil gave this lovely form to the conception of a living, breathing god-universe:

"First, then, the sky and lands and sheets of water,
The bright moon's globe, the Titan sun and stars,
Are fed within by Spirit, and a Mind
Infused through all the members of the world
Makes one great living body of the mass." (Virgil, Aeneid, Book VI, Robert Fitzgerald translation, p. 185).

Unlike the materialist's vision of a cold, dead universe, the pantheist's universe is alive: "But to the follower of the true Eastern archaic Wisdom, to him who worships in spirit nought outside the Absolute Unity, that ever-pulsating great Heart that beats throughout, as in every atom of nature, each such atom contains the germ from which he may raise the Tree of Knowledge, whose fruits give life eternal and not physical life alone." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Kindle location 73645). The god of the pantheists, however, is not personal; he does not love or hate, and is certainly not 'jealous.' Is this vision of an impersonal, all-enveloping deity consistent with Christian revelation? Like Epicurus' carefree, uninvolved gods, this is not a god who cares about your problems; it is simply meaningless to think otherwise:

"Pantheism manifests itself in the vast expanse of the starry heavens, in the breathing of the seas and oceans and the quiver of life of the smallest blade of grass. . .It repudiates in the name of Philo-Theo-Sophia the grotesque idea that Infinite, Absolute Deity should, or rather could, have any, whether direct or indirect, relation to finite illusive evolutions of matter, and therefore cannot imagine a universe outside that Deity, or the latter absent from the smallest speck of animate or inanimate substance." (Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 43215, SD Vol. 1, p. 533).

The pantheist stands convicted, by Paul, of honoring the creation over the Creator: "Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen." (Romans 1:25). This conception of God cannot be accepted as adequate by any Christian, quite apart from its deliberate and conscious intention to deny the incarnation:

"We find our idea perfectly expressed by a writer in the Popular Science Monthly. 'The gods of sects and specialties,' says Osgood Mason, 'may perhaps be failing of their accustomed reverence, but, in the mean time, there is dawning on the world, with a softer and serener light, the conception, imperfect though it still may be, of a conscious, originating, all-pervading active soul — the "Over-Soul," the Cause, the Deity; unrevealed through human form or speech, but filling and inspiring every living soul in the wide universe according to its measure: whose temple is Nature, and whose worship is admiration.'" (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 426, Kindle location 14603).

The next rung down from the impersonal major god, identified with the universe, we find filled by a pantheon of lesser lights: "We do not believe in the supernatural but only in the superhuman, or rather interhuman, intelligences." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, SD Vol. 2, p. 194, Kindle location 57448). These minor gods shade into us. By the same process by which they make the universe into God, pantheists tend to make humanity into detached sparks or particles of deity; man, according to Madame Blavatsky is "a god in the animal form." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, SD Vol. 2, p. 81, Kindle location 52462). Madame Blavatsky frankly identifies "our own immortal spirit" as "our GOD." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 316, Kindle location 10934). We are, it is claimed, broken-off bits of deity:

"The Divine, the highest and immortal spirit, can be neither punished nor rewarded. To maintain such a doctrine would be at the same time absurd and blasphemous, for it is not merely a flame lit at the central and inexhaustible fountain of light, but actually a portion of it, and of identical essence."(Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 327, Kindle location 11276).

There is a downward devolution, from god to man, then back upward on the return trip, from man to god: "No being can become God, or Deva, unless he passes through the human cycles." (Madame H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, SD Vol. 2, p. 322, Kindle location 62725). Our destiny is to reclaim our birthright; or so they say. It should be apparent that, if you are your own god, then you serve a mighty poor god. It may be hoped that those enchained to such unreasoning service will someday look in a mirror and realize their god is distinctly ineffectual, not to mention sinful, and turn to the living God. It should be apparent that looking to a sinner for salvation is futile, yet to this day, it is a popular quest: "Marianne Williamson has written a commentary on Helen Schucman's work, A Course in Miracles. . . .She instructed her audience to respond, 'My salvation comes from me. Nothing outside of me can hold me back. Within me is the world's salvation and my own.'" (Dave Sterrett, Why Trust Jesus?, p. 91). Pity the world saddled with such a 'savior,' it is lost!

One might suspect this viewpoint appeals to those who already enjoy a robust self-esteem, "Next in Thomas, we are given a Socratic twist. Saying 3b says, 'When you know yourselves, then you will be known.' The search must be within yourself, at least initially. This is a gospel for narcissists." (Ben Witherington III, What Have They Done with Jesus? p. 29). And so it is. Depending on the subject's innate modesty, self-worship either yields Shirley MacLaine's idea that 'I am God, so are you,' or Father Divine's claim that 'I am God, you're not:'



Apuleius
 On the God of Socrates 


Madame Blavatsky's system offers a career ladder whereby we ascend to godhood, which she feels is more of a square deal than you get from conventional religion:

"The Celestial Hierarchy of the present Manvantara will find itself transferred in the next cycle of life into higher, superior worlds, and will make room for a new hierarchy, composed of the elect ones of our mankind. . .Gods, created as such, would evince no personal merit in beings gods. Such a class of beings, perfect only by virtue of the special immaculate nature inherent in them, in the face of suffering and struggling humanity, and even of the lower creation, would be the symbol of an eternal injustice quite Satanic in character, an ever present crime." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, SD p. 221, Kindle location 30225).

Though mighty poor gods, ultimately the 'you and me' gods turn out to the true ones, rumors to the contrary notwithstanding:

"It is only after the appearance of Kalki-Avatar, or Sosiosh, that man will be born from woman without sin. Then will Brahma, the Hindu deity; Ahura-Mazda (Ormazd), the Zoroastrian; Zeus, the Greco-Olympian Don Juan; Jehovah, the jealous, repenting, cruel, tribal God of the Israelites, and all their likes in the universal Pantheon of human fancy — vanish and disappear in thin air. . .mankind will become freed from its false gods, and find itself finally — SELF-REDEEMED." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, SD Vol. 2, p. 420, Kindle location 66853).

If I'm a God and you're a God, count 'em up on your fingers or your toes, one potato, two potato, how many gods are we going to end up with? The wrong number, because there is only One: "Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God." (Isaiah 44:6).

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  • “History shows in every race and even tribe, especially in the Semitic nations, the natural impulse to exalt its own tribal deity above all others to the hegemony of the gods; and proves that the God of the Israelites was such a tribal god, and no more, even though the Christian Church, following the lead of the 'chosen' people, is pleased to enforce the worship of that one particular deity, and to anathematize all the others. Whether originally a conscious or an unconscious blunder, nevertheless, it was one. Jehovah has ever been in antiquity only 'a god among other Gods,' (lxxxii. Psalm). The Lord appears to Abraham, and while saying, 'I am the Almighty God,' yet adds, 'I will establish my covenant to be a God unto thee' (Abraham), and unto his seed after him (Gen. xvii. 7) — not unto Aryan Europeans.”

  • (H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, pp. 507-508, Kindle location 70370).





Modern Science

Madame Blavatsky was, in her own way, an acolyte of modern science, interested in evolution and other ideas characteristic of nineteenth century science. Her faith in these things played her false, evolution betraying her into racism:

"In his lecture on The Action of Natural Selection on Man, Mr. Alfred R. Wallace concludes his demonstrations as to the development of human races under the law of selection by saying that, if his conclusions are just, 'it must inevitably follow that the higher — the more intellectual and moral — must displace the lower and more degraded races; and the power of 'natural selection,' still acting on his mental organization, must ever lead to the more perfect adaptation of man's higher faculties to the condition of surrounding nature, and to the exigencies of the social state." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 296, Kindle location 10274.)

She is not overly impressed with the Australian natives:

"These apes lack but speech to be men of low grade. The sentinels placed by monkeys; the sleeping chambers selected and built by orang-outangs; their prevision of danger and calculations, which show more than instinct; their choice of leaders whom they obey; and the exercise of many of their faculties, certainly entitle them to a place at least on a level with many a flat-headed Australian. Says Mr. Wallace, 'The mental requirements of savages, and the faculties actually exercised by them, are very little above those of the animals.'" (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 326, Kindle location 11241.)

It was the science of the day which taught her to call the better sort 'Aryans,' though she is patently a willing pupil: "Mankind is obviously divided into god-informed men and lower human creatures. The intellectual difference between the Aryan and other civilized nations and such savages as the South Sea Islanders, is inexplicable on any other grounds. No amount of culture, nor generations of training amid civilization, could raise such human specimens as the Bushmen, the Veddhas of Ceylon, and some African tribes, to the same intellectual level as the Aryans, the Semites and the Turanians so called. The 'sacred spark' is missing in them and it its they who are the only inferior races on the globe, now happily —  owing to the wise adjustment of nature which ever works in that direction — fast dying out." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, SD Vol. 2, p. 421, Kindle location 66901.)

She casts her vote against monogenesis: "The Secret Doctrine teaches that the specific unity of mankind is not without exceptions even now. For there are, or rather still were a few years ago, descendants of these half-animal tribes or races, both of remote Lemurian and Lemuro-Atlantean origin. The world knows them as Tasmanians (now extinct), Australians, Andaman Islanders, etc." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, SD Vol. 2, p. 195, Kindle location 57491.) In her day, this idea of polygenesis was not limited to cranks, but was espoused also by 'scientists.' To her alone, however, belongs her peculiar census of the races: "Occultism defines and limits the number of primordial races to seven, because of the 'seven progenitors,' or prajapatis, the evolvers of beings. These are neither gods, nor supernatural beings, but advanced Spirits from another and lower planet, reborn in this one, and giving birth in their turn in the present Round to present Humanitiy." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, SD Vol. 2, p. 611, Kindle location 74708).

In theosophy, it is not 'races' which evolve as with Charles Darwin, nor is 'the selfish gene' the unit of evolution; rather, the 'monads' are evolving, and changing their place of residence accordingly. Those who used to reside on the moon have departed those precincts, leaving the dead and wasted sphere we see: "But Globe A of the lunar chain is not fully 'dead' till the first Monads of the first class have passed from Globe G or Z, the last of the 'lunar chain,' into the Nirvana which awaits them between the two chains; and similarly for all the other Globes as stated, each giving birth to the corresponding globe of the 'earth-chain.'" (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, pp. 172-173 SD, Kindle location 28549.) (The student of theosophy becomes accustomed to an enhanced population base, including 'Jovians' as well as lunar inhabitants: ". . .when eternal spring reigned over the whole globe, such as is now enjoyed by the inhabitants of Jupiter. . .It must, however, be always borne in mind that the 'eternal spring' referred to is only a condition cognized as such as the Jovians." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 136 SD Vol. 2, Kindle location 55001.)

'Evolution' is not what happens to massed species, but to each individual existent, who travels up the ladder from mineral to vegetable to man to god: ". . .up to the time when that monad blossoms forth by evolution into the DIVINE MONAD. But all the time it is still one and the same Monad, differing only in its incarnations. . ." (ibid., Kindle location 28613). We've been around a long, long time, not counting the period of our lunar residency:

"The Occultists, having most perfect faith in their own exact records, astronomical and mathematical, calculate the age of Humanity, and assert that the latter (as separate sexes) has existed in this Round just 18,618,727 years, as the Brahmanical teachings and even some Hindu calendars declare." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 150 SD, Kindle location 27870.)

. . .indeed we are eternal, as endless and beginningless as God. It is characteristic of this system to give exaggerated ages for everything, ". . .we have first of all to eliminate from the 100 years of Brahma (or 311,040,000,000,000 years) two years taken up by the Sandhyas (twilights), which leaves 98, as we have to bring it to the mystical combination 14 x 7. But we have no knowledge at what time precisely the evolution and formation of our little earth began." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 206 SD, Kindle location 29664.) We may not know exactly, but 311,040,000,000,000 is not really a very good estimate! Madame Blavatsky's shield against the church is 'science,' but science is not after all her forte: "Every unprejudiced person would prefer to believe that primeval humanity had at first an ethereal — or, if so preferred, a huge filamentoid, jelly-like form, evolved by gods or natural 'forces,' which grew, condensed throughout millions of ages, and became gigantic in its physical impulse and tendency. . ." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 152 SD Vol. 2, Kindle location 55649).

Nevertheless, as should be apparent, in spite of the extravagant and whimsical character of her system, she has picked up the secular, 'scientific' football of 'evolution,' and run with it. Darwin stops with us; but what are we becoming? What is the next 'higher' step? Gods, what else? The concept of upward progress, very much a part of nineteenth century Darwinian evolution, appealed to her. While her habitat framework is eccentric, nevertheless, many of her assumptions about advanced and primitive races were handed to her by 'science.' It's an unfortunate fact that nineteenth century science was racist; Madame Blavatsky was not the first, nor the last, to be betrayed into this degrading error of ranking the human races, because this gradation from 'primitive' to 'advanced' was expounded in certain and knowing terms by the evolutionists.




Madame Blavatsky's racial taxonomy, however, is all her own, including some forms consisting mostly of moon-beams and stardust: "The Commentary explains this by saying that, as the First Race was simply composed of the astral shadows of the creative progenitors, having of course neither astral nor physical bodies of their own — this Race never died. Its 'men melted gradually away, becoming absorbed in the bodies of their own 'sweat-born' progeny, more solid than their own." (Madame Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 54319, SD Vol. 2, p. 121). Nevertheless her ideal of 'racial progression' was destined to lead a tragic life all its own, and her beloved swastika took on evil connotations never dreamed of by her.

Of the seven root races of mankind, five have unfolded themselves; the glorious future will usher in. . .more of her kind of folks: "The Cycles of Matter will be succeeded by Cycles of Spirituality and a fully developed mind. On the law of parallel history and races, the majority of the future mankind will be composed of glorious Adepts. . .Thus will mankind, race after race, perform its appointed cycle-pilgrimage." (Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Kindle location 67747). Certainly Charles Darwin cannot be blamed for astral light and cosmic consciousness, he spoke of none of these things. However there is a certain synergy here.

Another Darwinian theme that set her antennae vibrating on the same wave-length was 'survival of the fittest.' The pagan gods were fighters as well as lovers, the Titans fought the Olympians, and Osiris and Typhon squared off for their cataclysmic battle. What could all this fighting be but occult reminders of our unending struggle for survival?: "The 'Struggle of Existence' and the 'Survival of the Fittest' reigned supreme from the moment that Kosmos manifested into being, and could hardly escape the observant eye of the ancient Sages. . .Hence the incessant fights of Indra, the god of the Firmament, with the Asuras. . .the battles fought between stars and constellations, between Moon and planets. . ." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, p. 202 SD, Kindle location 29559). This theme appealed to other nineteenth century thinkers including Friedrich Nietzsche, and was actually carried into practice in the twentieth century, with results so appalling that the 'struggle for existence' has lost its popular appeal. She projects this epic life-conflict into the worlds above as well as here below: "A 'struggle for life' as a 'survival of the fittest' in the worlds above, as on our planet here below, are distinctly taught." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, p. 203 SD, Kindle location 29576).

According to Madame Blavatsky, there is nothing inorganic, rocks are organic, but comatose:

"Foremost of all, the postulate that there is no such thing in Nature as inorganic substances or bodies. Stones, minerals, rocks, and even chemical 'atoms' are simply organic units in profound lethargy. Their coma has an end and their inertia becomes activity." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, SD v. I, p. 627, Kindle location 47065).

If her faith in nineteenth-century evolutionary biology betrayed her into racism, her interest in electro-magnetism and the 'aether' betrayed her into silliness. The nineteenth century shared her faith in the existence of this universal medium, all-pervading, tenuous and elastic, without necessarily conceding its religious significance: "It is now admitted that the universal aether pervades all things in nature, even the most solid." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 183, Kindle location 6298.) This had to be un-admitted, however, after Michelson and Morley showed that it doesn't actually pervade all things in nature, or at any rate not perceptibly so. Madame Blavatsky's universal aether was more abundantly populated than that of the nineteenth century physicists, however, because this is the abode where her tribe of "elemental spirits" found their home:

"The universal ether was not, in their eyes, simply a something stretching, tenantless, throughout the expanse of heaven; it was a boundless ocean peopled like our familiar seas with monstrous and minor creatures, and having in its every molecule the germs of life." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 284, Kindle location 9668.)

There is, she believed, a "spark of the divine which lurks in every particle of inorganic matter — itself materialized spirit." (Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 14792, page 432.), striving upward to free itself through evolution. She found the precursors to these nineteenth century talismans of 'modern science' in ancient myth, not always very happily:



  • “There is both religion and science in these Scandinavian songs of heathendom. As an example of the latter, take the conception of Thor, the son of Odin. Whenever this Hercules of the North would grasp the handle of his terrible weapon, the thunderbolt or electric hammer, he is obliged to put on his iron gantlets. He also wears a magical belt known as the 'girdle of strength'. . .He rides upon a car drawn by two rams with silver bridles, and his awful brow is encircled with a wreath of stars. His chariot has a pointed iron pole, and the spark-scattering wheels continually roll over rumbling thunder-clouds. . .
  • “Rendered into plain English, how can this myth be interpreted but as showing that the Norse legend-makers were thoroughly acquainted with electricity? Thor, the euhemerization of electricity, handles his peculiar element only when protected by gloves of iron, which is its natural conductor. His belt of strength is a closed circuit, around which the isolated current is compelled to run instead of diffusing itself through space.”

  • (H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 161, Kindle location 5411).




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This effort to blend the realms of myth and science was ill-starred, no matter whether we consider the stars as tiny bright spangles or as gaseous fusioning giants, though admittedly it would be a foolish, even a suicidal, person, who would reach out and touch Thor after he has built up a charge by rushing around in a chariot between the thunder-clouds. Use a wooden stick. Underlying this entire enterprise is a basic misunderstanding of pagan mythology, which, according to her, is the repository of ancient scientific understanding, and is moreover accurate as to nineteenth century science: "Mythology is the repository of man's most ancient science, and what concerns us chiefly is this — when truly interpreted once more, it is destined to be the death of those false theologies to which it has unwittingly given birth." (Madame H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Kindle location 33095). 'Truly interpreted,' unfortunately, means Electro-Magnetic Thors.

Madame Blavatsky gets carried away with electricity, which after all will make a dead frog's leg twitch: "Light is the first begotten, and the first emanation of the Supreme, and Light is Life, says the evangelist. Both are electricity— the life-principle, the anima mundi, pervading the universe, the electric vivifier of all things." (Madame H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 258, Kindle location 8868). One wonders whether to bow down in adoration before the light bulb in its majestic socket:

"Sacred generator of a no less sacred progeny. . .Electricity, the ONE Life at the upper rung of Being, and Astral Fluid, the Athanor of the Alchemists, at its lowest; GOD and DEVIL, Good and EVIL. . ." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 25629).

When it comes to electricity, there is the dumb variety, and the intelligent:

"These are the visible effects of the blind, or crude electricity produced by blind elements — the word blind being used by the table itself in contradistinction to the intelligent electricity. But there evidently exists a corresponding electricity produced by the cerebral pile of man; this soul-electricity, this spiritual and universal ether, which is the ambient, middle nature of the metaphysical universe, or rather of the incorporeal universe, has to be studied before it is admitted by science, which, having no idea of it, will never know anything of the great phenomenon of life until she does." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 322, Kindle location 11120.)

Just as the heroic rural electrification programs of the early twentieth century vivified dusty, dilapidated, neglected areas into vibrant life pulsating with strings of lights, so Madame Blavatksy took a neglected, unexciting Buddhist god named 'Fohat' and electrified him. He was never the same, he became a contender, who must now spend his time separating his sons-brothers lest they short-circuit:

"Bear in mind that Fohat, the constructive Force of Cosmic Electricity, is said, metaphorically, to have sprung like Rudra from Brahma 'from the brain of the Father and the bosom of the Mother,' and then to have metamorphosed himself into a male and a female, i.e., polarity, into positive and negative electricity. He has seven sons who are his brothers; and Fohat is forced to be born time after time whenever any two of his son-brothers indulge in too close contact — whether an embrace or a fight. To avoid this, he binds together and unites those of unlike nature and separates those of similar temperaments. This, of course, relates, as any one can see, to electricity generated by friction and to the law involving attraction between two objects of unlike, and repulsion between those of like polarity." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 27707, p. 145 SD).

Some people claim she made 'Fohat' up, but that's mean. She conducted a running feud with the 'Orientalists,' who claimed the Tibetan and Sanscrit words she used either did not exist or else did not mean what she said they did. Theosophy is like playing 3-D chess, there are multiple levels. At its lowest level, electricity is that force which zaps you if you stick a fork into an electrical outlet; at the higher levels, perhaps it is something like 'life-force.' Classical paganism reified the forces of nature, as then understood, marvelled, and bowed down in worship. Nineteenth century science had achieved such wonders, drawing together what had previously been thought unrelated phenomena, like light and electricity, into one spectrum, that Madame Blavatsky evidently felt it was time for a pagan revival. Of course sometimes her 'science' is a bit 'iffy:'

". . .and that the sun is but one of the myriad magnets disseminated through space— a reflector— as General Pleasanton has it. That the sun has no more heat in it than the moon or the space-crowding host of sparkling stars." (Madame H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 271, Kindle location 9253).

A cold, but magnetized sun; whatever. It is difficult to know what to do with the information she provides, which reflects confusion between material and spiritual, organic and inorganic, fish and fowl, and whatever else might possibly or impossibly be confused:

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  • “He [Paracelsus] demonstrates further than in man lies hidden a 'sidereal force,' which is that emanation from the stars and celestial bodies of which the spiritual form of man— the astral spirit— is composed. This identity of essence, which we may term the spirit of cometary matter, always stands in direct relation with the stars from which it was drawn, and thus there exists a mutual attraction between the two, both being magnets.”

  • (H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 168, Kindle location 5865).




Thriceholy Radio


Table-Rapping

To judge from the evidence of 'Isis Unveiled,' what propelled Madame Blavatsky onto her downward spiritual trajectory, ending in rank paganism, were the table-rapping demonstrations put on in her day by departed spirits in communication with living mediums. She began her career as a stalwart defender of the nineteenth century craze for seances. Up to a point the Christian can sympathize with her frustration with the materialists who flatly denied the possibility of such things: "No man, however gross and material he may be, can avoid leading a double existence; one in the visible universe, the other in the invisible." (Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 6202, p. 180). She had a love/hate relationship with science; much of her material she draws from that source, but she also taunted the materialistic scientist with his impending annihilation as opposed to the blessed immortality she imagined for herself: "Many of our greatest scientists are but animate corpses — they have no spiritual sight because their spirits have left them." (Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 10984, p. 318).

While others dismissed these ectoplasmic manifestations as hoaxes motivated by desire for monetary gain, she saw in them the real thing, efforts by the near-infinitely populated spirit world to make contact. She herself claimed to be an adept, competent to channel voices from the beyond, which led her critics to denounce her as a charlatan. She did not fall for the cover story that these spirits were in all cases those of the dearly departed. She noted humanity's universal conviction, prior to the Enlightenment, that unseen spiritual forces impacted our lives. She did not believe in the supernatural, but did believe in the superhuman; her list of known and documented fact is rather expansive: "Of course our argument proceeds upon the supposition that levitation is an observed fact." (Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 6714, p. 197). Whether she was a fraud or a bona fide demon priestess must be left to the reader's judgment.

From its inception, the nineteenth century craze to make contact with the beyond was marred by fraud and imposture:

"The Fox sisters carried through their hoax for 40 years, establishing themselves in New York City to conduct professional seances at $100 and up per client. During the Civil war the Foxes really cleaned up on thousands of grieving parents seeking contact with their sons and husbands killed in combat.
"The ruse continued until 1888 when the two sisters, now in their 50s and chronic alcoholics, had had enough of spiritualism, especially as criticism from scientists and clergymen grew. Finally, Margaret decided to confess. At an audience of believers and nonbelievers at the New York Academy of Music she declared, 'Spiritualism is an absolute falsehood from beginning to end.' Then Margaret told how she and Kate had concocted their hoax to tease their parents, and especially their mother who was a very superstitious and gullible person." (Hoaxes and Scams, a Compendium of Deceptions, Ruses and Swindles, by Carl Sifakis, p. 97).

Of course many of those who followed the trail-blazing fraudsters down this dead end were deceived rather than deceivers.

It is likely that the majority of participants in the popular enthusiasm for seances held to something like the traditional Christian view of the 'intermediate state,' that their departed loved ones with whom they sought to establish communication were in the bosom of Abraham, awaiting the future physical resurrection. When Spiritualism unfolded into 'denominations,' they dithered about their Christian identity, but most wanted to remain somewhere within the Christian orbit. Madame Blavatsky, however, who was faintly contemptuous of the faith of the church, was more interested in reviving an Ancient Wisdom, which bought into a different paradigm:

"The Pre-existence and God-like powers of the human spirit were believed in by most all the sages of ancient days." (Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 8434, p. 251).

As is common,— not only in dealing with an eclectic pagan like Madame Blavatsky, but even with outright atheists,— she tosses in the occasional plaudit to "the esoteric pearl of Christ's religion," sadly "degraded into Christian theology" (Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 39161, p. 442); don't they all just adore Jesus, but hate His followers. The Lord's teaching of resurrection was, evidently, no 'pearl' but only a 'shell' to be discarded. Referring to one her schools of esoteric Buddhism, she says, "It is based upon the great truth that re-incarnation is to be dreaded, as existence in this world only entails upon man suffering, misery and pain; Death itself being unable to deliver man from it, since death is merely the door through which he passes to another life on earth after a little rest on its threshold. . ." (Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 23751). To the Bible-believer, this is no "great truth," but a fiction, albeit an ancient one:




Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky


The Bible sounds a cautionary note about the effort to establish communications with the deceased, not least because the party with whom Madame Blavatsky hopes to put you in touch may not be the dearly departed but a denizen of the pit. In fact this was an integral component of old-time religion:

“And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?” (Isaiah 8:19).

Her census of the population of the spirit world is immense. . .and she has identified and catalogued each and every tribe and variety! By natural bent, her mind was the mind of a systematizer, and she compiles a wide variety of categories and classes of souls, spirits, etc. Some, you might not want to meet. As she states, it is an ancient pursuit:

"We must not forget that what is now called Necromancy by the Church, and Spiritualism by modern believers, and that includes the evoking of departed spirits, is a science which has, from remote antiquity, been almost universally diffused over the face of the globe." (Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 7106, p. 205).



This nineteenth century enthusiasm for seances was, for Madame Blavatsky and her followers, their point of entry into the world of the occult. She wanted to revive, not necromancy alone, but astrology, indeed all the attendant 'sciences' of pagan theurgy: "But the chief features of one's life are always in accordance with the 'Constellation' one is born under, or, we should say, with the characteristics of its animating principle or the deity that presides over it, whether we call it a Dhyan Chohan, as in Asia, or an Archangel, as with the Greek and Latin Churches." (Madame H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 47583). But is it prudent to follow where she leads, even to take the first step? Does the Bible teach reincarnation? Certainly no such doctrine is ever explicitly taught; moreover, a very different promise is revealed. Not reincarnation, but resurrection in the flesh, is the Bible's great promise:



  • “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.
  • “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.
  • “My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
  • “Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.”

  • (Psalm 139:13-16).




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In the mind of the psalmist, there are as yet no days written in his book when he first began to be framed in the womb. Had he believed in reincarnation, he ought to have said, 'The page turned, and another chapter commenced.' Instead he perceives a blank book. Another verse of similar tendency is, "But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." (2 Samuel 12:23). Neither does the New Testament leave room for reincarnation,

"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:. . ." (Hebrews 9:27).

One early church author, Origen, is open to the possibility of multiple lives, and modern Judaism, greatly influenced by the medieval revival of gnosticism in the Kabbalah, has re-opened this door, which the Bible closes. The early gnostic heretics were open to reincarnation:

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LogoAnnie Besant

Madame Blavatsky was not a prophet without honor; she had disciples, though unfortunately they quarrelled. One of her acolytes was a woman named Annie Besant, who turned out to have quite an influence over a young man named Mohandas Gandhi, later called Mahatma Gandhi. ('Mahatma' is an honorific meaning 'great soul.')

In his promotional video for the book 'Love Wins,' Rob Bell tells the story of an art show at his church. The art show featured a work incorporating a quote from Gandhi, to which someone had attached a note: "Reality Check: he's in Hell." Rob Bell's response was incredulity: Really? "Gandhi's in Hell? He is?" He expects others to share his astonishment. Gandhi is a man who speaks in the tones and accents of the Sermon on the Mount, so how could he be in Hell?

Mohandas Gandhi's religious affiliation is often misconstrued. This man, by his own admission, would have been content to touch the hem of Annie Besant's garment: "I was a mere boy practically unknown to anybody. I would have been more than satisfied if I could have touched the hem of the garments of Madame Blavatsky and her distinguished disciple." (Mohandas Gandhi, quoted in Sir C. P. Ramaswami's biography of Annie Besant, quoted by Arun Shourie at the Voice of Dharma site). Some people are willing to accept Gandhi as an autochthonous, authentic Hindu holy man, rooted to the spot where he ended up; however, if he ever did become that, he took a winding road to get there; in earlier life Gandhi was a theosophist. Nor was he even raised a Hindu as a boy. When he quotes the Sermon on the Mount, he quotes our Sermon on the Mount; there is no other. Theosophists think of Jesus of Nazareth, Gautama Buddha, Socrates, Pythagoras and other such worthies as Ascended Masters, deserving of reverence and imitation. Certainly it is nothing but a good thing that Gandhi modelled his actions upon the Lord's commands. Would that Christians took the Lord's words to heart and acted upon them, as well! Is he, nonetheless, in a "ridiculous hell"? (Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 10932, p. 316)

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Lake of Fire Worm Dieth Not
Lazarus I'm Not Going
The Face of God Dark Fire
Wheat and Chaff Vengeance is Mine
Wheat and Tares Old Testament
God's Will Gandhi in Hell
Hell in the Koran Infinite Loss
Do Unto Others Atheists in Hell



LogoThe Christian Alternative

The Eastern religions from which the paradigm of reincarnation originally came are not concerned with the survival of the human personality, but only an impersonal spark or 'life-force,' which is not specifically human but might just as well be a pig or a dog. The proof of this assertion is that it is prone to wander. . .from pig to dog to man, and back again. Madame Blavatsky's inheritance from Christianity included the expectation of eternal life, for a person, not for a 'something.'

Given her out-of-control interpretive strategies,— Aristotle had not hitherto been known to be a Pythagorean— she found it easy enough to project this fond hope back into the 'Ancient Wisdom,' because the 'ancients,' as it happens, unexpectedly enough, turn out to believe whatever she believes. Those ancient authors with whom she disagrees were "not adepts. The latter, when they did write, either had their works burned by Christian mobs or they worded them in a way to be intelligible only to the initiated." (Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 13898, p. 405). Since their meaning is hidden, she is obliged to go and find it, and find it she does, or invent it; she has her own system of planetary peregrinations. She is bound to admit, however, that human beings can be reincarnated as beasts, which is central to this conception:

"The body of so grossly materialistic a person as above described, having been deserted by its spirit before physical death, when that event occurs, the plastic material, astral soul, following the laws of blind matter, shapes itself thoroughly into the mold which vice has been gradually preparing for it through the earth-life of the individual. Then, as Plato says, it assumes the form of that 'animal to which it resembled in its evil ways' during life." (Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 11292, page 328.)

Elsewhere, however, she denounces the doom of annihilation against this same "gross and sensual" man, because "the soul of the wicked vanishes" (Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 14771, page 432.) One is hard pressed to think of any practical, observable difference between the two scenarios, inasmuch as it seems unlikely the dog or pig would remember having been a man. Jesus promised, not reincarnation, but the endurance and ultimate resurrection of the whole person, soul, spirit and body:





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Eastern religions assign a negative value to the human personality and urge their devotees to free themselves from the illusion that there is any such thing. In contradistinction, the gospel promise is that we, being what and who we are, will live forever. Madame Blavatsky was not retailing a new product, though it had new and improved features, but rather an old one. Gnosticism is ancient. Her updating touches, like the electro-magnetic Thor, are not always happy ones. This ancient error saw a medieval revival in the religion of the Cathars and the Kabbalah. Even today, the Harper-Collins publishing house keeps pushing volumes out the door, written by Elaine Pagels and such authors, seeking to slap a 'happy-face' onto this dour and elitist old faith. When it comes to elitism, Madame Blavatsky takes second place to none; she was unimpressed with her fellow-creatures:

"The public is a docile and pious child, and readily goes whither the nurse leads it. It chooses its idols and fetishes, and worships them in proportion to the noise they make; and then turns round with a timid look of adulation to see whether the nurse, old Mrs. Public Opinion, is satisfied." (Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 5834, page 167.)

There is not really any univocal Ancient Wisdom, but some of the tunes she sounds do have a long and extensive history. One kindred spirit was Apollonius of Tyana, an ancient holy man who imbibed the wisdom of the Brahmins. He is more in sync with this crowd than Jesus could ever be, with his jarring and unpleasant monotheism:


Scape-goating Transmigration of Souls
Proteus Incarnate Post Hoc
Suttee Just Deserts
Respect of Persons Pollution



She is not timid in compiling her god-census: "This is the root-number of the Hindu Pantheon, which enumerates. . .over three hundred millions of gods and goddesses." (Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Kindle location 25327). Theosophy is paganism reborn. As with the Kabbalists, she is monotheistic only insofar as she begins the proliferation with one deity, but He does not remain solitary for long; there are many creators, guides, and inhabitants: "Collectively, men are the handiwork of hosts of various spirits; distributively, the tabernacles of those hosts; and occasionally and singly, the vehicles of some of them." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, SD p. 224, Kindle location 30319). "Man is not, nor could he ever be, the complete product of the 'Lord God;' but he is the child of the Elohim, so arbitrarily changed into the singular masculine gender. . .Man is, beyond any doubt, formed physically out of the dust of the Earth, but his creators and fashioners were many." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, SD p. 225, Kindle location 30330). Monotheism this is not.

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Astral Body

Alongside the Kabbalists she admires, Madame Blavatsky is a believer in the 'astral body.' In case you ever wondered what that was,



  • “As Eliphas Levi beautifully expresses it, 'nature shuts the door after everything that passes, and pushes life onward' in more perfected forms. The chrysalis becomes a butterfly; the latter can never become again a grub. In the stillness of the night-hours, when our bodily senses are fast locked in the fetters of sleep, and our elementary body rests, the astral form becomes free. It then oozes out of its earthly prison, and as Paracelsus has it — 'confabulates with the outward world,' and travels round the visible as well as the invisible worlds. 'In sleep,' he says, 'the astral body (soul) is in freer motion; then it soars to its parents, and holds converse with the stars.'”

  • (H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 179, Kindle location 6183).





Evidently the 'astral body' is a sort of phantom man, resembling the original in every respect, only less solid and more tenuous. . . 'aetherial' one might almost say. According to her, "the ancients" taught that "man is a trinity of body, astral spirit, and immortal soul." (Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 11248, page 327.) She quotes the maxim, 'As above, so below,' explaining, "Esoteric philosophers held that everything in nature is but a materialization of spirit." (Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 14647, page 428.)  However this phantom man, who somehow got into the Kabbalah, seems a survival of ancient atomistic philosophy, materialist to the core, obliged by its own tenets to describe 'spirit' as a form of matter.

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LogoAll Paths Converge

Madame Blavatsky was a believer in the maxim that all paths converge. Her writings consist of the most astonishing mash-up of various pagan deities, all in the interests of 'showing' that these varied, poly-form myths were all, at bottom, teaching the very same thing, which as it just so happens corresponds to her novel doctrine: "There never was, nor can there be more than one universal religion; for there can be but one truth concerning God." (Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 18613, page 560.) The exception to the rule, the one child on the play-ground who will not play nicely with the others, is, of course, Christianity, the bad religion, as is normal with these folks. But there is hope even for Christians, if they obediently discard those aspects of their faith which hinder its absorption into foreign rites:




Madame Blavatsky seems at times to be going out of her way to disparage Christianity, for example in identifying the cross as a 'phallic symbol:'

"As well expressed, 'The Cube unfolded is in display a cross of the tau, or Egyptian form, or of the Christian cross form. . .the symbol is completed by the attachment of a man to the cross. This kind of measure was made to co-ordinate with the idea of the origin of human life, and hence the phallic form.'" (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 33695, SD page 321, quoting J. Ralston Skinner).

And did you know that Christians worship the moon? You heard it here first: "The Sun is the giver of life to the whole planetary system; the Moon is the giver of life to our globe. . .She is pre-eminently the deity of the Christians, through the Mosaic and the Kabalistic Jews, though the civilized world may have remained ignorant of the fact for long ages; in fact, ever since the last initiated Father of the Church died, carrying with him into his grave the secrets of the pagan temples." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, SD pp. 386-387, Kindle location 36727). But, although Christianity and Judaism are really pagan, only she knows their true identity, because there has been a 'cover-up,' a conspiracy. The moral of the story seems to be, that all the great religions agree in teaching the 'Secret Doctrine,' except first you must allow Madame Blavatsky to discard the 'bad' parts, or else they wouldn't agree.

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Cosmic Mote

Madame Blavatsky cannot bring herself to believe that God troubles Himself (or itself) (or themselves) with a planet as inconsequential as our own,

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  • “We challenge any one to indicate a single passage in the works of Hermes which proves him guilty of that crowning absurdity of the Church of Rome which assumed, upon the geocentric theory of astronomy, that the heavenly bodies were made for our use and pleasure, and that it was worth while for the only son of God to descend upon this cosmic mote and die in expiation for our sins!”

  • (H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 255, Kindle location 8767).





Sparks Ascending

The student of the Kabbalah is familiar with the idea that bits and pieces of deity, exploded and disintegrated, got scattered through the cosmos as the result of an early industrial accident known as 'the breaking of the vessels.' This common Kabbalistic paradigm explains the antinomianism adopted by the Sabbatarians and Frankists; they are wandering the streets of the red light district, looking for lost sparks. When, for reasons not directly connected with this very old gnostic paradigm, Charles Darwin posited that life arises, by a process of gradual evolution, from the non-living, a spark erupted in Madame Blavatsky's mind: she saw a connection. Indeed she saw more than that: virtual proof, from an incontrovertibly 'scientific' source, that the gnostic paradigm of the lost and orphaned divine 'sparks' is true. How else could life arise from non-life, unless the potential (the 'divine spark') were there all along?:



  • “The Hermetists and the later Rosicrucians held that all things visible and invisible were produced by the contention of light with darkness, and that every particle of matter contains within itself a spark of the divine essence— or light, spirit— which, through its tendency to free itself from its entanglement and return to the central source, produced motion in the particles, and from motion forms were born. Says Hargrave Jennings, quoting Robertus di Fluctibus: 'Thus all minerals in this spark of life have the rudimentary possibility of plants and growing organisms; thus all plants have rudimentary sensations which might (in the ages) enable them to perfect and transmute into locomotive new creatures, lesser or higher in their grade, or nobler or meaner in their functions; thus all plants, and all vegetation might pass off (by side roads) into more distinguished highways as it were, of independent, completer advance, allowing their original spark of light to expand and thrill with higher and more vivid force, and to urge forward with more abounding, informed purpose, all wrought by planetary influence directed by the unseen spirits (or workers) of the great original architect.'”

  • (H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 258, Kindle location 8868).




Is evolution such a convincing paradigm that it is worthwhile investigating its spiritual implications, as it seemed to Madame Blavatsky and Teilhard de Chardin? Or is it, and its spiritual implications if any, best left behind, in the same bin with Thor's mighty hammer?:

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Bad Voodoo

In her efforts to revive the occult, unfortunately, Madame Blavatsky does not confine her attention to white magic. The sorcerers, yogis and fakirs who interest her are capable of harming others, she believes, through the evil eye or thinking bad thoughts. Certainly they believe that they are:

"This same power which enables one to compress the astral fluid so as to form an impenetrable shell around one, can be used to direct, so to speak, a bolt of the fluid against a given object, with fatal force. Many a dark revenge has been taken in that way; and in such cases the coroner's inquest will never disclose anything but sudden death, apparently resulting from heart-disease, an apoplectic fit, or some other natural, but still not veritable cause." (Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 13185, page 380.)

It is wrong to want to harm another, whether this idea is fond and foolish delusion of the yogis or a real capability. It is certain that the sorcerers of pagan antiquity were able to harm people in earnest, because they made up whatever their spells and whammies lacked in mojo by application of poison. Madame Blavatsky ultimately seems a fairly amoral person, unafraid to peer round at the dark side.

Madame Blavatsky has been anything but an overlooked or uninfluential person. The modern 'New Age' movement owes a great deal to her influence, and the Hippies' cosmic consciousness patter was borrowed from her lexicon. It is far from obvious why; this is a woman who thought that the giant stone heads of Easter Island had to have been carved by giant people, because, see, they're so big, and why would little people like us have made such gigantic monuments?: "The Easter Island relics are, for instance, the most astounding and eloquent memorials of the primeval giants." (Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 58664, SD Vol. 2, page 224.) Unfortunately, this is not a parlor game; real people, by the thousands, are languishing in Hell after listening to these ill-informed blandishments. Moreover, atheists, who will soberly and sincerely tell you that Jesus is identical to Dionysus or Mithras or whomever, need to understand who it is they are getting their information from. The idea that all religions are, at bottom, saying the same thing is a sincerely held religious belief for many people; it is not, however, a statement about the world that is either plausible or credible:

"In recognizing in the gods of Stonehenge the divinities of Delphos and Babylon, one need feel little surprised. Bel and the Dragon, Apollo and Python, Osiris and Typhon, are all one under many names, and have travelled far and wide." (Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 18339, page 550.)

The trouble is, in order to perceive the essential sameness here, without being thrown off the track by the obvious and glaring differences, one needs a mind like Madame Blavatsky's, inexorable as the tides, sweeping over all hindrances in its unstoppable course. Paganism is a blooming pandemonium, one never knows when the plow will turn up a little boy, or a horse will fly by; it is essentially irrational, it is half-remembered dreams and nightmares; the grand themes she finds in it are mostly her own contribution. Even where there are intriguing correspondences amongst various civilizations, it takes a bit of 'cheating' to make the leap to a universal religion; did both Egyptians and Mayans build pyramids? Yes, but do not assume a menu of all possible structures was open before them, as if they built pyramids by preference to the Hagia Sophia; when low-skill builders start to work on gargantuan scale, what are their options? Take pail and shovel to the beach and build your own sand-castle; a pyramid is non-collapsible,— it has already 'collapsed,'— and requires no skill.

It takes quite a bit of mashing with the fork to reduce this material all to the same consistency, and the only reason why Jesus is anything at all like Osiris, is because these people badly need Him to be. Madame Blavatsky has both links to other New Age purveyors, and also differences; the popular 'New Age' theme of 'positive thinking' is meaningful to her as well, though in the form of raw will:

"This thinking of oneself as this, that, or the other, is the chief factor in the production of every kind of psychic or even physical phenomena. The word 'whosoever shall say to this mountain be thou removed and cast into the sea, and shall not doubt. . .that thing will come to pass,' are no vain words. Only the word 'faith ought to be translated by WILL." (Madame H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Kindle location 51640, SD Vol. II, p. 59).
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All Things New Mary Baker Eddy
Unity School of Christianity Transmigration of Souls
Wicca National Socialism
I am God The Kabbalah
Oprah Winfrey Madame H. P. Blavatsky
Astrology Postscript



LogoKnowledge, Falsely So-Called

Madame Blavatsky accuses the early church of an intense effort to stamp out the 'ancient wisdom' she celebrates:

"However great and zealous the fanatical efforts, during those early centuries, to obliterate every trace of the mental and intellectual labor of the Pagans, it was a failure; but the same spirit of the dark demon of bigotry and intolerance has perverted systematically and ever since, every bright page written in the pre-Christian periods. . .However superhuman the efforts of the early Christian fathers to obliterate the Secret Doctrine from the very memory of man, they all failed." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 22304).

To what conflict is she referring? Presumably to the effort by the early Christian apologists to mark out the gnostics as heretics, and expel them from the churches. Many pagans, upon hearing the gospel story, were charmed and set about reinterpreting these events in terms of their traditional theology, which counted many gods. But their syncretistic blending of the gospel with paganism was rejected by the church. They taught the creation of the world, not by the highest god, but by fallen, inferior beings: "Were the Gnostics so wrong, after this, in affirming that this our visible world, and especially the Earth, had been created by lower angels, the inferior Elohim, of which, as they taught, the God of Israel was one." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 51717, SD Vol. 2, p. 61).

Madame Blavatsky, who oddly enough insists that the pagans worshipped only one God, so that it is slander to call them polytheists, even though they were polytheists, believes that the God of Israel is not God the Father:



  • “The tutelar national deity of the Hebrews (who is not the Highest Father) forbids expressly, in Deuteronomy, his people 'to learn to do after the abominations of other nations. . .'”

  • (H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 491, Kindle location 16517).




Logo This information cannot come as any surprise to those 'in the know.' The gnostics, it turns out, are members of the club: "The Gnostics, whose various teachings are the many echoes of the one primitive and universal doctrine. . ." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 75059, SD Vol. 2, p. 618). It may seem that Madame Blavatsky, with her focus on Eastern religion, does not spend much time developing the gnostic theme of a bad Old Testament god versus the good Jesus; she does, however, endorse it:

"Moreover, all the texts agree that 'The Lord's (Jehovah) portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance' (Deut. xxxii. 9); and this settles the question. The 'Lord' Jehovah took for his portion Israel — what have other nations to do with that particular national Deity? Let then, the 'angel Gabriel' watch over Iran and 'Mikael-Jehovah' over the Hebrews. These are not the gods of other nations, and it is difficult to see why Christians should have selected a god against whose commandments Jesus was the first one to rise in rebellion." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 45023, SD pp. 576-577).



The idea that 'Jehovah' is the name, not of the true and living God, but of a creative company of angels, is a favorite of hers: "For Jah-hovah is the generic name of that group or hierarchy of creative planetary angels, under whose start their nation has evolved. He is one of the planetary Elohim of the regent group of Saturn." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 54586, SD, Vol. 2, p. 127). At other points she limns the outlines of the gnostic revealer, sometimes identified with the serpent in the Garden of Eden:

"Typhon cuts Osiris into fourteen pieces, in order to prevent his peopling the world and thus creating misery; and Typhon becomes, in the exoteric, theological teaching, the Power of Darkness. . .It is the worshippers of the latter who attribute to disobedience and rebellion the effort and self-sacrifice of those who would help men to their original status of divinity through self-conscious efforts; and it is these worshippers of Form who have made demons of the Angels of Light." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 53051, SD Vol. 2, pp. 93).

The viewer of the Sistine Chapel ceiling is startled by the scene of the crucifixion of Haman. This scene is almost never depicted in Christian art; Haman, the wicked man of the Book of Esther, is hung upon a scaffold, one possible interpretation of which is crucifixion. Since any imagery of a crucifixion immediately brings to mind Jesus, what is the charge conveyed by the message, 'the wicked man is crucified'? To the mind of certain gnostics, such as the Ophites, Jesus is the hidden revealer, the serpent in the Garden of Eden, who came to free us from the chains of the wicked Demiurge, 'Jehovah;' and, what do you know,



  • “So little have thee first Christians (who despoiled the Jews of their Bible) understood the first four chapters of Genesis in their esoteric meaning, that they never perceived that not only was no sin intended in this disobedience, but that actually the 'Serpent' was 'the Lord God' himself, who, as the Ophis, the Logos, or the bearer of divine creative wisdom, taught mankind to become creators in their turn.”

  • (H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, SD Vol. 2, p. 215, Kindle location 58310).





LogoSome of the time, she identifies this Gnostic Revealer as Satan:

"In this case it is but natural — even from the dead letter standpoint — to view Satan, the Serpent of Genesis, as the real creator and benefactor, the Father of Spiritual mankind. For it is he who was the 'Harbinger of Light,' bright radiant Lucifer, who opened the eyes of the automaton created by Jehovah, as alleged; and he who was the first to whisper: 'in the day ye eat thereof ye shall be as Elohim, knowing good and evil' — can only be regarded in the light of a Saviour." (Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 243 SD Vol. 2, Kindle location 59501).
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LogoSatan, Prince of this World

In 'Isis Unveiled,' her earlier work, Madame Blavatsky, expressed skepticism about the existence of a personal devil. In her later work, 'The Secret Doctrine,' it turns out, what a surprise, that he's an old friend. . .older than God, even:



  • “The devil is now called Darkness by the Church, whereas, in the Bible he is called the 'Son of God' (see Job), the bright star of the early morning, Lucifer (see Isaiah). There is a whole philosophy of dogmatic craft in the reason why the first Archangel, who sprang from the depths of Chaos, was called Lux (Lucifer), the 'Luminous Son of the Morning,' or manvantaric Dawn. He was transformed by the Church into Lucifer or Satan, because he is higher and older than Jehovah, and had to be sacrificed to the new dogma.”

  • (H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 25256).





So far we have, Satan is a (a.) fiction invented by the Church; b.) one of the Elohim, Jehovah's elder brother. Let's add another! (c.) A state of mind:

"And now it stands proven that Satan, or the Red Fiery Dragon, the 'Lord of Phosphorus' (brimstone was a theological improvement), and Lucifer, or 'Light-Bearer,' is in us: it is our Mind — our tempter and Redeemer, our intelligent liberator and Saviour from pure animalism." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 70596).

A "ridiculous bogey," "fabricated" by the Church (Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Kindle location 70392), a disposition of the human mind, or the elder god? Satan is Proteus! When she is not busy denying his personal existence, she bows down to worship, identifying Satan with Jesus and Jehovah:

"It is 'Satan who is the god of our planet and the only god,' and this without any allusive metaphor to its wickedness and depravity. For he is one with the Logos, 'the first son, eldest of the gods,' in the order of microcosmic (divine) evolution; Saturn (Satan), astronomically, 'is the seventh and last in the order of macrocosmic emanation'. . .The Gnostics were right, then, in calling the Jewish god 'an angel of matter,' or he who breathed (conscious) life into Adam, and he whose planet was Saturn." (Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, pp. 234-235 SD Vol. 2, Kindle location 59125).

The idea that Jehovah is a minor deity is a persistent theme with her, "In the Zohar, En-Soph is also the ONE, and the infinite Unity. This was known to the very few learned Fathers of the Church, who were aware that Jehovah was but a third rate potency and no 'highest' God." (Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, p. 349 SD, Kindle location 35002) In 'The Secret Doctrine,' she seems open to the idea of Satan as a gnostic revealer, as the Cathars considered him:

"Ilda-Baoth, or Jehovah, is simply one of the Elohim, the seven creative Spirits, and one of the lower Sephiroth. He produces from himself seven other Gods, 'Stellar Spirits' (or the lunar ancestors), for they are all the same. They are all in his own image (the 'Spirits of the Face'), and the reflections one of the other, and have become darker and more material as they successively receded from their originator. They also inhabit seven regions disposed like a ladder, as its rungs slope up and down the scale of spirit and matter. . .They all were the Genii of the seven planets, as of the seven planetary spheres of our septenary chain, of which Earth is the lowest. . .Thus 'SATAN,' once he ceases to be viewed in the superstitious, dogmatic, unphilosophical spirit of the Churches, grows into the grandiose image of one who made of terrestrial a divine MAN; who gave him, throughout the long cycle of Maha-kalpa the law of the Spirit of Life, and made him free from the Sin of Ignorance, hence of death." (Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, p. 198 SD, Kindle location 29414).

If this is not yet actual Satanism, it seems rather close.

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LogoKwanzaa

In the 1960's Ron Karenga, a Black Studies academic and sometime revolutionary, invented a novel holiday called 'Kwanzaa.' First positioned as an alternative to Christmas, it applied various abstract terms from the Swahili language to a candle-lighting ritual. People are surprisingly gullible, and many, including the U.S. Postal Service which issued a Kwanzaa stamp, believed right off the bat in this authentically African holiday, even though nobody in Africa had ever heard of it. As people became aware of the synthetic nature of this observance, interest waned, but some people still celebrate Kwanzaa.

Theosophy is like Kwanzaa. Madame Blavatsky does not present herself as an innovator; she is recovering for us the Secret Doctrine, the hidden wisdom of the ancient sages. However, it is visibly frustrating to her, how, unless she stands by us and holds our hand, we just can never, ever see it. Unfortunately, using her interpretive strategies, anything at all can be found anywhere at all. You need a key to unlock the door, which only she holds:



  • “A good deal can be given out and explained from the three first-named sciences. But unless the key to their teachings is furnished by Atma-Vidya [the true Spiritual and Divine wisdom], they will remain for ever like the fragments of a mangled text-book, like the adumbrations of great truths, dimly perceived by the most spiritual, but distorted out of all proportion by those who would nail every shadow to the wall.”

  • (H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 169 SD, Kindle location 28461).




Logo First of all, she claims much ancient writing, for instance in the Bible, intends to present 'blinds,' to obscure the 'hidden' truth; so presenting ancient texts which rebut her teachings can avail nothing. The content of a text might be enlightening or it might be a 'blind;' Madame Blavatsky will have to sort this out for us. Notice how she discards the Genesis creation account, which does not report that 'sparks' became incarnate in the first man, and so therefore is a 'blind:'

"The well-known Kabbalistic aphorism runs:— 'A stone become a plant; a plant, a beast; the beast, a man; a man a spirit; and the spirit a god.' The 'spark' animates all the kingdoms in turn before it enters into and informs divine man, between whom and his predecessor, animal man, there is all the difference in the world. Genesis begins its anthropology at the wrong end (evidently for a blind) and lands nowhere." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, SD p. 246, Kindle location 31032).

Thus we discard such 'ancient wisdom' as Madame Blavatsky has ascertained to be a 'blind,' an intentional dead end. The sculptor makes a statue by removing those parts of the marble block he doesn't want. The Bible is made safe as a source of Ancient Wisdom by being conformed to its Kabbalistic interpretation: "The Bible can be understood only by the light of the the Kabbalah." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 75391, SD Vol. 2, p. 219). . .in other words, pre-conformed to paganism. And besides there is much she cannot tell us; it is secret! What she is forbidden to reveal includes the connective argumentation which would substantiate her wild leaps from one pagan thought-form to another. She is confident she has found the key:

"The Key fits them all. No one can study ancient philosophies seriously without perceiving that the striking similitude of conception between all — in their exoteric form very often, in their hidden spirit invariably — is the result of no mere coincidence, but of a concurrent design: and that there was, during the youth of mankind, one language, one knowledge, one universal religion, when there were no churches, no creeds or sects, but when every man was a priest unto himself." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, SD p. 341, Kindle location 34618).

You must apply to the landlady herself for the key, however, lest it all seem a blooming, buzzing confusion. Thus the greater part of the Hindu and Buddhist explanations of their own religions may safely be discarded: "Our Orientalists never trouble to think that if a native commentator is a non-initiate, he could not explain correctly, and if an Initiate, would not." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 75908, SD Vol. 2, p. 637). One must peer behind the veil to find the truth: "Firstly, all these 'ancient philosophies' and 'modern religions' are — as sufficiently shown these two volumes — an exoteric veil thrown over the face of esoteric truth. . ." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 76583, SD Vol. 2, pp. 357-358). So either a teaching of an ancient philosophy or a modern religions confirms, or it does not confirm, the 'Secret Doctrine.' If it does not, then toss it out; it's a 'veil,' a 'blind.' With these rules, one need not worry about finding ample confirmation — of anything.

Her nineteenth century science, with its luminiferous aether,— the physicists believed in it, though they did not know it as the quintessence, god-stuff, raw material of the astral body, "the deific Entity worshipped by the Greeks and Latins under the name of 'Pater omnipotens Aether'" (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, SD p. 331, Kindle location 34076)— has gone away, tossed into the reject bin alongside phlogiston and the sliding equant. Since Michelson and Morely found that light travels at the same speed no matter which way you measure it, hardly anybody still believes in it. Albert Einstein did away with it, in preference to making the speed of light a universal constant. So the 'science,' so important to them, which was never identical with ancient science in any case, got caught in a time warp; theosophists still talk about the aether, though no physicist does. If you sell your soul to science, but then science changes, as it invariably does, who remains as the current owner?

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LogoCock-Crow

Madame Blavatsky would seem to have been an adherent of the ancient, if ill-founded, idea that the cock crows at midnight:

"Cock. A very occult bird, much appreciated in ancient augury and symbolism. According to the Zohar, the cock crows three times before the death of a person; and in Russia and all Slavonian countries whenever a person is ill on the premises where a cock is kept, its crowing is held to be a sign of inevitable death, unless the bird crows at the hour of midnight, or immediately afterwards, when its crowing is considered natural."
(The Theosophical Glossary of H. P. Blavatsky)
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