1889: A Puzzle from Adyar

When the cat is abroad the mice dance in the house it seems. Since Colonel Olcott sailed for Japan, the Theosophist has never ceased to surprise its European readers, and especially the Fellows of our Society, with most unexpected capers. It is as if the Sphinx had emigrated from the Nile and was determined to continue offering her puzzles broadcast to the Œdipuses of the Society. Now what may be the meaning of this extraordinary, and most tactless “sortie” of the esteemed acting editor of our Theosophist? Is he, owing to the relaxing climate of Southern India, ill, or like our (and his) editor-enemies across the Atlantic, also dreaming uncanny dreams and seeing Lying visions – or what? And let me remind him at once that he must not feel offended by these remarks, as he has imperatively called them forth himself. LUCIFER, the PATH and the THEOSOPHIST are […] Read More

1877: Indian Metaphysics

Two peas in the same pod are the traditional symbol of mutual resemblance, and the time-honoured simile forced itself upon me when I read the twin letters of our two masked assailants in your paper of Feb. 22nd. In substance they are so identical that one would suppose the same person had written them simultaneously with his two hands, as Paul Morphy will play you two games of chess, or Kossuth dictate two letters at once. The only difference between these two letters – lying beside each other on the same page, like two babes in one crib – is, that “M.A. Cantab’s” is brief and courteous, while “Scrutator’s” is prolix and uncivil. By a strange coincidence both these sharp-shooters fire from behind their secure ramparts a shot at a certain “learned Occultist” over the head of Mr. C. C. Massey, who quoted some of that personage’s views, in […] Read More

Lodges of Magic

    When fiction rises pleasing to the eye,     Men will believe, because they love the lie;     But Truth herself, if clouded with a frown,     Must have some solemn proofs to pass her down.         – CHURCHILL.     One of the most esteemed of our friends in occult research, propounds the question of the formation of “working Lodges” of the Theosophical Society, for the development of adeptship. If the practical impossibility of forcing this process has been shown once, in the course of the theosophical movement, it has scores of times. It is hard to check one’s natural impatience to tear aside the veil of the Temple. To gain the divine knowledge, like the prize in a classical tripos, by a system of coaching and cramming, is the ideal of the average beginner in occult study. The refusal of the originators of the Theosophical Society to encourage […] Read More

1889: On Pseudo-Theosophy

On Pseudo-Theosophy The more honesty a man has, the less he affects the air of a saint. The affectation of sanctity is a blotch on the face of devotion. – LAVATER The most difficult thing in life is to know yourself. – THALES SHALL WE WINNOW THE CORN, BUT FEED UPON THE CHAFF? The presiding genius in the Daily News Office runs amuck at LUCIFER in his issue of February 16th. He makes merry over the presumed distress of some theosophists who see in our serial novel, “The Talking Image of Urur” – by our colleague, Dr. F. Hartmann – an attempt to poke fun at the Theosophical Society. Thereupon, the witty editor quizzes “Madame Blavatsky” for observing that she “does not agree with the view” taken by some pessimists; and ends by expressing fear that “the misgivings that have been awakened will not easily be laid to rest.” […] Read More

1880: The Number Seven and Our Society

The thoughtful reader must have pondered well over the mysterious import that the number Seven seems to have always had among the ancients, as succinctly epitomized in our June number, as well as the theory of cycles, discussed in the July issue. It was there stated that the German scientists are now giving attention to this manifestation of the numerical harmony and periodicity of the operations of Nature. A series of statistical observations, embracing some centuries of historical events, tend to show that the ancients must have been perfectly aware of this law when constructing their systems of philosophy. In fact, when statistical science shall have been fully perfected, as it seems likely to be, there will be constantly increasing proofs that the evolution of heroes, poets, military chieftains, philosophers, theologians, great merchants, and all other remarkable personages, is as capable of mathematical estimate upon the basis of the […] Read More