A Note On Eliphas Lévi

[To the Editor of “The Theosophist.”] Madam, – Since you have published a posthumous letter of my master and beloved friend, the late Éliphas Lévi, I think it would be agreeable to you to publish, if judged suitable, a few extracts of the many manuscripts in my possession, written expressly for, and given to, me by my ever regretted master. To begin with, I send you “Stray Thoughts on Death and Satan” from his pen. I cannot close this letter without expressing the deep indignation aroused in me by the base diatribes published in the London Spiritualist against your Society and its members. Every honest heart is irritated at such unfair treatment, especially when proceeding from a man of honour as Mr. Harrison (editor of The Spiritualist) who admits in his journal anonymous contributions that are tantamount to libels. With the utmost respect, I remain, Madam, Yours devotedly, – […] Read More

“Is It Idle To Argue Further?”

Says Light, in its “Notes by the Way,” edited by “M.A. Oxon.”:     The current number of The Theosophist contains an important manifesto, which establishes and defines the ground finally taken up by that body. Shortly put, it is one of complete antagonism to Spiritualism. The Spiritualist believes that it is possible for spirits of the departed to communicate with this earth. Whatever divergence of opinion there may be among us in respect of other matters, we are agreed on this, the cardinal article of our faith. Our daily experience affirms its truth. The con sentient testimony of the most experienced among us agrees that, whether there be, or whether there be not, other agencies at work, the spirits we know of are human spirits who have once lived on this earth. To this the Theosophist returns the simple answer that we are mistaken. No spirits communicate with earth for […] Read More

Echoes From India

What Is Hindu Spiritualism? Phenomena in India – beside the undoubted interest they offer in themselves, and apart from their great variety and in most instances utter dissimilarity from those we are accustomed to hear of in Europe and America—possess another feature which makes them worthy of the most serious attention of the investigator of Psychology. Whether Eastern phenomena are to be accounted for by the immediate interference and help of the spirits of the departed, or attributed to some other and hitherto unknown cause, is a question which, for the present, we will leave aside. It can be discussed, with some degree of confidence, only after many instances have been carefully noted and submitted, in all their truthful and unexaggerated details, to an impartial and unprejudiced public. One thing I beg to reaffirm, and this is, that instead of exacting the usual “conditions” of darkness, harmonious circles, and […] Read More

Mr. A. Lillie’s Delusions

I write to rectify the many mistakes – if they are, indeed, only “mistakes” – in Mr. Lillie’s last letter that appeared in Light of August 2nd, in answer to the Observations on his pamphlet by the President of the London Lodge. 1. This letter, in which the author of Buddha and Early Buddhism proposed to     Consider briefly some of the notable omissions made in the “Observations,” begins with two most notable assertions concerning myself, which are entirely false, and which the author had not the slightest right to make. He says:     For fourteen years (1860 to 1874) Madame Blavatsky was an avowed Spiritualist, controlled by a spirit called “John King” . . . she attended many séances. But this would hardly prove anyone to be a Spiritualist, and, moreover, all these assertions are entirely false. I say the word and underline it, for the facts in them are […] Read More

Madame Blavatsky on the Himalayan Brothers

Sir, – “On the authority of an adept” (?) “they” (the Theosophists and Madame Blavatsky) “are all mediums under the influence of the lower spirits.” Such is the sentence used by you in an editorial review of Mr. Sinnett’s Occult World (Spiritualist, June 17th). Doubtful as its pertinency might appear, I personally found nothing very objectionable in it, the more so, as elsewhere you do me the honour to express your conviction that (whether controlled by good or bad spirits) I yet am a “strong physical medium” – that term precluding at least the suspicion of my being a regular impostor. This letter then is not directed against you, but rather against the pretensions of a would-be “adept.” Another point should be also attended to before I proceed, in order that the situation may be as clearly defined as possible. Finding myself for the period of nearly seven years […] Read More

Parting Words

So far as I can at present foresee, this will be the last time I shall ask you to print anything over my, to many Spiritualists, loathed signature, as I intend to start for India very soon. But I have once more to correct inaccurate statements. If I had had my choice, I would have preferred almost any other person than my very esteemed friend Dr. Bloede, to have last words with. Once an antagonist, a bitter and unjust one to me, as he himself admits, he has since made all the amends I could have asked of a scholar and a gentleman, and now, as all who read your valuable paper see, he does me the honour to call me friend. Honest in intent he always is, I am sure, but still a little prejudiced. Who of us but is so, more or less? Duty, therefore, compels me […] Read More

Spiritualism And Spiritualists

DEAR SIR, – For the last three months one has hardly been able to open a number of The Banner, or the other papers, without finding one or more proofs of the fecundity of the human imagination in the condition of hallucination. The Spiritualist camp is in an uproar, and the clans are gathering to fight imaginary foes. The toxin is sounded; danger signals shoot, like flaming rockets, across the hitherto serene sky, and warning cries are uttered by vigilant sentries posted at the four corners of the “angel-girt world.” The reverberations of this din resound even in the daily press. One would think that the Day of Judgment had come for American Spiritualism. Why all this disturbance? Simply because two humble individuals have spoken a few wholesome truths. If the grand beast of the Apocalypse with its seven heads and the word “Blasphemy” written upon each, had appeared […] Read More

Stray Thoughts On Death And Satan

Stray Thoughts On Death And Satan TO THE EDITOR OF THE THEOSOPHIST Madam, – Since you have published a posthumous letter of my Master and beloved friend, the late Éliphas Lévi, I think it would be agreeable to you to publish, if judged suitable, a few extracts of the many manuscripts in my possession, written expressly for, and given to, me by my ever-regretted MASTER. To begin, I send you – “Stray Thoughts on Death and Satan” from his pen. I cannot close this letter without expressing the deep indignation aroused in me by the base diatribes published in the London Spiritualist against your Society and its members. Every honest heart is irritated at such unfair treatment, especially when proceeding from a man of honour as Mr. Harrison (Editor of the Spiritualist) who admits in his journal anonymous contributions that are tantamount to libels. With the utmost respect, I […] Read More

1974: The Lack Of Unity Among Spiritualists

    [From a letter received from Mme. Blavatsky last week we make the following extracts, want of space alone preventing us from publishing it entire. It was written in her usual lively and entertaining style, and her opinions expressed are worthy of careful study, many of them being fully consistent with the true state of affairs.—EDITOR “SPIRITUAL SCIENTIST” (Dec. 3rd, 1874).] As it is, I have only done my duty; first, towards Spiritualism, that I have defended as well as I could from the attacks of imposture under its too transparent mask of science; then towards two helpless slandered “mediums”—the last word becoming fast in our days the synonym of “martyr”; secondly, I have contributed my mite towards opening the eyes of an indifferent public to the real, intrinsic value of such a man as Dr. Beard. But I am obliged to confess that I really do not believe that […] Read More

1881: The Leaven Of Theosophy

Those of us whose duty it is to watch the Theosophical movement and aid its progress can afford to be amused at the ignorant conceit displayed by certain journals in their criticisms upon our Society and its officers. Some seem to think that when they have flung their handful of dirt we must certainly be overwhelmed. One or two have even gone so far as, with mock sympathy, to pronounce us already hopelessly disrupted. It is a pity we cannot oblige them, but so it is, and they must make the best of the situation. Our Society as a body might certainly be wrecked by mismanagement or the death of its founders, but the idea which it represents and which has gained so wide a currency, will run on like a crested wave of thought until it dashes upon the hard beach where materialism is picking and sorting its […] Read More

Theosophy And Spiritualism

A Calcutta correspondent asks: (a) Is Occultism a science akin to Spiritualism? (b) What are the principal points in which the Theosophists and the Spiritualists differ? (c) Can a Spiritualist call himself a Theosophist without altering his faith? and vice versa? (d) I understand you do not believe in Spiritualism – then how is it that a Spiritualist has been elected President for the Bengal Branch of the Theosophical Society? To which we answer: – (a) That Theosophy is a very ancient science, while Spiritualism is a very modern manifestation of psychical phenomena. It has not yet passed the stage of experimental research. (b) The difference is in our theories to account for the phenomena. We say they are mainly, though not always, due to the action of other influences than that of the disembodied conscious spirits of the dead. The Spiritualists affirm the contrary. (c) Yes; many excellent […] Read More