1887: “Classification Of “Principles”

In a most admirable lecture by Mr. T. Subba Row on the Bhagavad-Gita, published in the February number of the Theosophist, the lecturer deals, incidentally as I believe, with the question of septenary “principles” in the Kosmos and Man. The division is rather criticized, and the grouping hitherto adopted and favoured in theosophical teachings is resolved into one of Four. This criticism has already given rise to some misunderstanding, and it is argued by some that a slur is thrown on the original teachings. This apparent disagreement with one whose views are rightly held as almost decisive on occult matters in our Society is certainly a dangerous handle to give to opponents who are ever on the alert to detect and blazon forth contradictions and inconsistencies in our philosophy. Hence I feel it my duty to show that there is in reality no inconsistency between Mr. Subba Row’s views […] Read More

Elementaries

[From The Religio-Philosophical Journal, Nov. 17th, 1877.] I perceive that of late the ostracized subject of the Kabalistic “Elementaries” is beginning to appear in the orthodox spiritualistic papers pretty often. No wonder; Spiritualism and its Philosophy are progressing, and they will progress despite the opposition of some very learned ignoramuses, who imagine the Cosmos rotates within the academic brain. But if a new term is once admitted for discussion, the least we can do is to first clearly ascertain what that term means. We students of the Oriental Philosophy count it a clear gain that spiritualistic journals on both sides of the Atlantic are beginning to discuss the subject of sub-human and earth-bound beings, even though they ridicule the idea. But do those who ridicule know what they are talking about, having never studied the Kabalistic writers? It is evident to me that they are confounding the “Elementaries” – […] Read More

1881: Is Creation Possible for Man?

  THE EDITOR OF THE THEOSOPHIST, MADAME,     Talking the other day to a friend, who, like me, without being a Theosophist, takes a very great interest in the movements of your Society, I incidentally happened to remark that the “Brothers of the first section” were credited with such large powers, that even creation was not at times impossible to them. In support of my assertion, I instanced their own cup and saucer phenomenon, as narrated by Mr. Sinnett in his “Occult World,” which phenomenon appeared to me to be something more than the mere reproduction, transference or unearthing from its hiding-place of an article lost or stolen, like the brooch. My friend, however, warmly objected to my statement – remarking that creation was not possible to man, whatever else he may be able to accomplish.     Believing, as I then did, in Christianity as the most perfect heaven-descended […] 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

My Books

My Books Some time ago, a Theosophist, Mr. R_____, was travelling by rail with an American gentleman, who told him how surprised he had been by his visit to our London Headquarters. He said that he had asked Mdme. Blavatsky what were the best Theosophical works for him to read, and had declared his intention of procuring Isis Unveiled, when to his astonishment she replied, “Don’t read it, it is all trash.” Now I did not say “trash” so far as I remember; but what I did say in substance was: “Leave it alone; Isis will not satisfy you. Of all the books I have put my name to, this particular one is, in literary arrangement, the worst and most confused.” And I might have added with as much truth that, carefully analysed from a strictly literary and critical standpoint, Isis was full of misprints and misquotations; that it […] Read More

The Todas

For my answer to the sneer of your correspondent “H. M.” about my opinion of the Todas a few lines sufficed. I only cared to say that what I have written in Isis Unveiled was written after reading Col. Marshall’s A Phrenologist among the Todas, and in consequence of what, whether justly or not, I believe to be the erroneous statements of that author. Writing about Oriental psychology, its phenomena and practitioners, as I did, I should have been ludicrously wanting in common sense if I had not anticipated such denials and contradictions as those of “H. M.” from every side. How would it profit the seeker after this Occult knowledge to face danger, privations, and obstacles of every kind to gain it, if, after attaining his end, he should not have facts to relate of which the profane were ignorant? A pretty set of critics are the ordinary […] Read More