Helena Blavatsky, by Wikipedia

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Helena Blavatsky, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue May 29, 2018 4:25 am

Part 1 of 3

Helena Blavatsky
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 5/28/18



-- Isis Unveiled: A Mastery-Key to the Mysteries of Ancient and Modern Science and Theology, by Helena P. Blavatsky

-- The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, by Helena P. Blavatsky

-- The Esoteric Papers of Madame Blavatsky, by H. P. Blavatsky

-- ETHICS, SCIENCE, AND PHILOSOPHY for the Study of which The Theosophical Society has been Founded, by H.P. Blavatsky

-- The Beacon Light of Truth (Le Phare De L'Inconnu), by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky

-- The Sources of Madame Blavatsky's Writings, by William Emmette Coleman

-- Blavatsky Lodge, by Wikipedia

-- Gandhi Learned Hinduism from Blavatsky's Occult Theosophy, by Gaia Staff

-- Lucifer: A Theosophical Magazine Designed to "Bring to Light the Hidden Things of Darkness", Edited by H.P. Blavatsky and Mabel Collins and Annie Besant and G.R.S. Mead

-- Helena Blavatsky, by Wikipedia

-- Blavatsky and the Battle of Mentana, by Cynthia Overweg

-- Blavatsky, Garibaldi, and Mazzini, by Jaigurudeva

-- H.P. Blavatsky involvement in Italian Politics with Garibaldi and Mazzini, and the Carbonari’s Role in the Republican Revolutions, by The American Minvervan

-- Hypatia interview (Greek Theosophical Journal), by Erica Georgiades

-- The Extraordinary Life and Influence of Helena Blavatsky: Founder of the Modern Theosophical Movement [EXCERPT], by Sylvia Cranston

-- Theosophy in Italy, by Theosopedia

Helena Blavatsky
Blavatsky in 1877
Born Yelena Petrovna von Hahn
12 August [O.S. 31 July] 1831
Yekaterinoslav, Russian Empire (now Ukraine)
Died 8 May 1891 (aged 59)
London, United Kingdom
Cause of death Influenza
Era 19th-century philosophy
School Theosophy
Influences: Edward Bulwer-Lytton[1][2]
Influenced: Rudolf Steiner[3]

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (Russian: Еле́на Петро́вна Блава́тская, Yelena Petrovna Blavatskaya; 12 August [O.S. 31 July] 1831 – 8 May 1891) was a Russian occultist, philosopher, and author who co-founded the Theosophical Society in 1875. She gained an international following as the leading theoretician of Theosophy, the esoteric religion that the society promoted.

Born into an aristocratic Russian-German family in Yekaterinoslav, Ukraine, Blavatsky traveled widely around the Russian Empire as a child. Largely self-educated, she developed an interest in Western esotericism during her teenage years. According to her later claims, in 1849 she embarked on a series of world travels, visiting Europe, the Americas, and India, claiming that during this period she encountered a group of spiritual adepts, the "Masters of the Ancient Wisdom", who sent her to Shigatse, Tibet, where they trained her to develop a deeper understanding of the synthesis of religion, philosophy and science. Both contemporary critics and later biographers have argued that some or all of these foreign visits were fictitious, and that she spent this period in Europe. By the early 1870s, Blavatsky was involved in the Spiritualist movement; although defending the genuine existence of Spiritualist phenomena, she argued against the mainstream Spiritualist idea that the entities contacted were the spirits of the dead. Relocating to the United States in 1873, she befriended Henry Steel Olcott and rose to public attention as a spirit medium, attention that included public accusations of fraudulence.

In New York City, Blavatsky co-founded the Theosophical Society with Olcott and William Quan Judge in 1875. In 1877 she published Isis Unveiled, a book outlining her Theosophical world-view. Associating it closely with the esoteric doctrines of Hermeticism and Neoplatonism, Blavatsky described Theosophy as "the synthesis of science, religion and philosophy", proclaiming that it was reviving an "Ancient Wisdom" which underlay all the world's religions. In 1880 she and Olcott moved to India, where the Society was allied to the Arya Samaj, a Hindu reform movement. That same year, while in Ceylon she and Olcott became the first Westerners to officially convert to Buddhism. Although opposed by the British administration, Theosophy spread rapidly in India but experienced internal problems after Blavatsky was accused of producing fraudulent paranormal phenomena. Amid ailing health, in 1885 she returned to Europe, there establishing the Blavatsky Lodge in London. Here she published The Secret Doctrine, a commentary on what she claimed were ancient Tibetan manuscripts, as well as two further books, The Key to Theosophy and The Voice of the Silence. She died of influenza.

Blavatsky was a controversial figure during her lifetime, championed by supporters as an enlightened guru and derided as a fraudulent charlatan and plagiarist by critics. Her Theosophical doctrines influenced the spread of Hindu and Buddhist ideas in the West as well as the development of Western esoteric currents like Ariosophy, Anthroposophy, and the New Age Movement.

Early life

Developing a reliable account of Blavatsky's life has proved difficult for biographers because in later life she deliberately provided contradictory accounts and falsifications about her own past.[4] Further, very few of her own writings authored prior to 1873 survive, meaning that biographers must rely heavily on these unreliable later accounts.[5] The accounts of her early life provided by her family members have also been considered dubious by biographers.[6]

Childhood: 1831–49

Birth and family background

An illustration of Yekaterinoslav—Blavatsky's birthplace—as it appeared in the early 19th century

Blavatsky was born as Helena Petrovna von Hahn in the Ukrainian town of Yekaterinoslav, then part of the Russian Empire.[7] Her birth date was 12 August 1831, although according to the Julian calendar used in 19th-century Russia it was 31 July.[8] Immediately after her birth, she was baptized into the Russian Orthodox Church.[9] At the time, Yekaterinoslav was undergoing a cholera epidemic, and her mother contracted the disease shortly after childbirth; despite the expectations of their doctor, both mother and child survived the epidemic.[10]

Blavatsky's family was aristocratic.[11] Her mother was Helena Andreyevna von Hahn (Russian: Елена Андреевна Ган, 1814–1842; née Fadeyeva), a self-educated 17-year-old who herself was the daughter of Princess Yelena Pavlovna Dolgorukaya, a similarly self-educated aristocrat.[12] Blavatsky's father was Pyotr Alexeyevich von Hahn (Russian: Пётр Алексеевич Ган, 1798–1873), a descendant of the German von Hahn aristocratic family, who served as a captain in the Russian Royal Horse Artillery, and would later rise to the rank of colonel.[13] Pyotr had not been present at his daughter's birth, having been in Poland fighting to suppress the November Uprising against Russian rule, and first saw her when she was six months old.[14] As well as her Russian and German ancestry, Blavatsky could also claim French heritage, for a great-great grandfather had been a French Huguenot nobleman who had fled to Russia to escape persecution, there serving in the court of Catherine the Great.[15]

As a result of Pyotr's career, the family frequently moved to different parts of the Empire, accompanied by their servants,[16] a mobile childhood that may have influenced Blavatsky's largely nomadic lifestyle in later life.
[17] A year after Pyotr's arrival in Yekaterinoslav, the family relocated to the nearby army town of Romankovo.[18] When Blavatsky was two years old, her younger brother, Sasha, died in another army town when no medical help could be found.[19] In 1835, mother and daughter moved to Odessa, where Blavatsky's maternal grandfather Andrei Fadeyev, a civil administrator for the imperial authorities, had recently been posted. It was in this city that Blavatsky's sister Vera Petrovna was born.[20]

St. Petersburg, Poltava, and Saratov

After a return to rural Ukraine, Pyotr was posted to Saint Petersburg, where the family moved in 1836. Blavatsky's mother liked the city, there establishing her own literary career, penning novels under the pseudonym of "Zenaida R-va" and translating the works of the English novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton for Russian publication.[21] When Pyotr returned to Ukraine circa 1837, she remained in the city.[22] After Fadeyev was assigned to become a trustee for the Kalmyk people of Central Asia, Blavatsky and her mother accompanied him to Astrakhan, where they befriended a Kalmyk leader, Tumen.[23] The Kalmyks were practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism, and it was here that Blavatsky gained her first experience with the religion.[24]

A painting of Blavatsky and her mother, titled "Two Helens (Helena Hahn and Helena Blavatsky)" 1844–1845

In 1838, Blavatsky's mother moved with her daughters to be with her husband at Poltava, where she taught Blavatsky how to play the piano and organised for her to take dance lessons.[25] As a result of her poor health, Blavatsky's mother returned to Odessa, where Blavatsky learned English from a British governess.[26] They next moved to Saratov, where a brother, Leonid, was born in June 1840.[27] The family proceeded to Poland and then back to Odessa, where Blavatsky's mother died of tuberculosis in June 1842, aged 28.[28]

The three surviving children were sent to live with their maternal grandparents in Saratov, where their grandfather Andrei had been appointed Governor of Saratov Governorate.[29] The historian Richard Davenport-Hines described the young Blavatsky as "a petted, wayward, invalid child" who was a "beguiling story-teller".[30] Accounts provided by relatives reveal that she socialized largely with lower-class children and that she enjoyed playing pranks and reading.[31] She was educated in French, art, and music, all subjects designed to enable her to find a husband.[32] With her grandparents she holidayed in Tumen's Kalmyk summer camp, where she learned horse riding and some Tibetan.[33]

She later claimed that in Saratov she discovered the personal library of her maternal great-grandfather, Prince Pavel Vasilevich Dolgorukov (d. 1838); it contained a variety of books on esoteric subjects, encouraging her burgeoning interest in it.[34] Dolgorukov had been initiated into Freemasonry in the late 1770s and had belonged to the Rite of Strict Observance; there were rumors that he had met both Alessandro Cagliostro and the Count of St. Germain.[35] She also later stated that at this time of life she began to experience visions in which she encountered a "Mysterious Indian" man, and that in later life she would meet this man in the flesh.[36] Many biographers have considered this to be the first appearance of the "Masters" in her life story.[37]

According to some of her later accounts, in 1844–45 Blavatsky was taken by her father to England, where she visited London and Bath.[38] According to this story, in London she received piano lessons from the Bohemian composer Ignaz Moscheles, and performed with Clara Schumann.[39] However, some Blavatsky biographers believe that this visit to Britain never took place, particularly as no mention of it is made in her sister's memoirs.[40] After a year spent living with her aunt, Yekaterina Andreyevna Witte,[41] she moved to Tiflis, Georgia, where grandfather Andrei had been appointed director of state lands in Transcaucasia.[42] Blavatsky claimed that here she established a friendship with Alexander Vladimirovich Golitsyn, a Russian Freemason and member of the Golitsyn family who encouraged her interest in esoteric matters.[43] She would also claim that at this period she had further paranormal experiences, astral traveling and again encountering her "mysterious Indian" in visions.[44]

World travels: 1849–69

Blavatsky's drawing of a boat scene, produced in England in 1851[45]

Aged 17, she agreed to marry Nikifor Vladimirovich Blavatsky, a man in his forties who worked as Vice Governor of Erivan Province. Her reasons for doing so were unclear, although she later claimed that she was attracted by his belief in magic.[46] Although she tried to back out shortly before the wedding ceremony, the marriage took place on 7 July 1849.[47] Moving with him to the Sardar Palace, she made repeated unsuccessful attempts to escape and return to her family in Tiflis, to which he eventually relented.[48] The family sent her, accompanied by a servant and maid, to Odessa to meet her father, who planned to return to Saint Petersburg with her. The escorts accompanied her to Poti and then Kerch, intending to continue with her to Odessa. Blavatsky claimed that, fleeing her escorts and bribing the captain of the ship that had taken her to Kerch, she reached Constantinople.[49] This marked the start of nine years spent traveling the world, possibly financed by her father.[50]

She did not keep a diary at the time, and was not accompanied by relatives who could verify her activities.[51] Thus, historian of esotericism Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke noted that public knowledge of these travels rests upon "her own largely uncorroborated accounts", which are marred by being "occasionally conflicting in their chronology".[52] For religious studies scholar Bruce F. Campbell, there was "no reliable account" for the next 25 years of her life.[53] According to biographer Peter Washington, at this point "myth and reality begin to merge seamlessly in Blavatsky's biography".[54]

She later claimed that in Constantinople she developed a friendship with a Hungarian opera singer named Agardi Metrovitch, whom she first encountered when saving him from being murdered.[55] It was also in Constantinople that she met the Countess Sofia Kiselyova, who she would accompany on a tour of Egypt, Greece, and Eastern Europe.[56] In Cairo, she met the American art student Albert Rawson, who later wrote extensively about the Middle East,[57] and together they allegedly visited a Coptic magician, Paulos Metamon.[58] In 1851, she proceeded to Paris, where she encountered the Mesmerist Victor Michal, who impressed her.[59] From there, she visited England, and would claim that it was here that she met the "mysterious Indian" who had appeared in her childhood visions, a Hindu whom she referred to as the Master Morya. While she provided various conflicting accounts of how they met, locating it in both London and Ramsgate according to separate stories, she maintained that he claimed that he had a special mission for her, and that she must travel to Tibet.[60]

Helena Blavatsky, c. 1850

She made her way to Asia via the Americas, heading to Canada in autumn 1851. Inspired by the novels of James Fenimore Cooper, she sought out the Native American communities of Quebec in the hope of meeting their magico-religious specialists, but was instead robbed, later attributing these Natives' behavior to the corrupting influence of Christian missionaries.[61] She then headed south, visiting New Orleans, Texas, Mexico, and the Andes, before transport via ship from the West Indies to Ceylon and then Bombay.[62] She spent two years in India, allegedly following the instructions found in letters that Morya had sent to her.[63] She attempted to enter Tibet, but was prevented from doing so by the British administration.[64]

She later claimed that she then headed back to Europe by ship, surviving a shipwreck near to the Cape of Good Hope before arriving in England in 1854, where she faced hostility as a Russian citizen due to the ongoing Crimean War between Britain and Russia.[65] It was here, she claimed, that she worked as a concert musician for the Royal Philharmonic Society.[66] Sailing to the U.S., she visited New York City, where she met up with Rawson, before touring Chicago, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco, and then sailing back to India via Japan.[67] There, she spent time in Kashmir, Ladakh, and Burma, before making a second attempt to enter Tibet.[68] She claimed that this time she was successful, entering Tibet in 1856 through Kashmir, accompanied by a Tartar shaman who was attempting to reach Siberia and who thought that as a Russian citizen, Blavatsky would be able to aid him in doing so.[69] According to this account, they reached Leh before becoming lost, eventually joining a traveling Tartar group before she headed back to India.[70] She returned to Europe via Madras and Java.[71]

After spending time in France and Germany, in 1858 she returned to her family, then based in Pskov.[72] She later claimed that there she began to exhibit further paranormal abilities, with rapping and creaking accompanying her around the house and furniture moving of its own volition.[73] In 1860 she and her sister visited their maternal grandmother in Tiflis. It was there that she met up with Metrovitch, and where she reconciled with Nikifor in 1862.[74] Together they adopted a child named Yuri, who would die aged five in 1867, when he was buried under Metrovitch's surname.[75] In 1864, while riding in Mingrelia, Blavatsky fell from her horse and was in a coma for several months with a spinal fracture. Recovering in Tiflis, she claimed that upon awaking she gained full control of her paranormal abilities.[76][77] She then proceeded to Italy, Transylvania, and Serbia, possibly studying the Cabalah with a rabbi at this point.[78] In 1867 she proceeded to the Balkans, Hungary, and then Italy, where she spent time in Venice, Florence, and Mentana, claiming that in the latter she had been injured fighting for Giuseppe Garibaldi at the Battle of Mentana.[79]


Tashilhunpo Monastery, Shigatse, the place that Blavatsky claimed held the Senzar texts she translated

She claimed to have then received a message from Morya to travel to Constantinople, where he met her, and together they traveled overland to Tibet, going through Turkey, Persia, Afghanistan, and then into India, entering Tibet via Kashmir.[80] There, they allegedly stayed in the home of Morya's friend and colleague, Master Koot Hoomi, which was near to Tashilhunpo Monastery, Shigatse. According to Blavatsky, both Morya and Koot Hoomi were Kashmiris of Punjabi origin, and it was at his home that Koot Hoomi taught students of the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Koot Hoomi was described as having spent time in London and Leipzig, being fluent in both English and French, and like Morya was a vegetarian.[81]

She claimed that in Tibet, she was taught an ancient, unknown language known as Senzar, and translated a number of ancient texts written in this language that were preserved by the monks of a monastery; she stated that she was, however, not permitted entry into the monastery itself.[82] She also claimed that while in Tibet, Morya and Koot Hoomi helped her develop and control her psychic powers. Among the abilities that she ascribed to these "Masters" were clairvoyance, clairaudience, telepathy, the ability to control another's consciousness, to dematerialize and rematerialize physical objects, and to project their astral bodies, thus giving the appearance of being in two places at once.[83] She claimed to have remained on this spiritual retreat from late 1868 until late 1870.[84] Blavatsky never claimed in print to have visited Lhasa, although this is a claim that would be made for her in various later sources, including the account provided by her sister.[85]

Many critics and biographers have expressed doubts regarding the veracity of Blavatsky's claims regarding her visits to Tibet, which rely entirely on her own claims, lacking any credible independent testimony.[86] It has been highlighted that during the nineteenth century, Tibet was closed to Europeans, and visitors faced the perils of bandits and a harsh terrain; the latter would have been even more problematic if Blavatsky had been as stout and un-athletic as she would be in later life.[87] However, as several biographers have noted, traders and pilgrims from neighboring lands were able to access Tibet freely, suggesting the possibility that she would have been allowed to enter accompanied by Morya, particularly if she had been mistaken for an Asian.[88] Blavatsky's eyewitness account of Shigatse was unprecedented in the West,[84] and one scholar of Buddhism, D. T. Suzuki, suggested that she later exhibited an advanced knowledge of Mahayana Buddhism consistent with her having studied in a Tibetan monastery.[89] Lachman noted that had Blavatsky spent time in Tibet, then she would be "one of the greatest travelers of the nineteenth century",[90] although he added -- "in all honesty I do not know" if Blavatsky spent time in Tibet or not.[91] Conversely, biographer Marion Meade commented on Blavatsky's tales of Tibet and various other adventures by stating that: "hardly a word of this appears to be true".[92]

Later life

Embracing Spiritualism and establishing Theosophy: 1870–78

Arriving in New York City


Blavatsky alleged that she departed Tibet with the mission of proving to the world that the phenomena identified by Spiritualists was objectively real, thus defending it against accusations of fraud made by scientific materialists. However, she also stated that the entities being contacted by Spiritualist mediums were not the spirits of the dead, as the Spiritualist movement typically alleged, but instead either mischievous elementals or the "shells" left behind by the deceased.[93] She proceeded via the Suez Canal to Greece, where she met with another of the Masters, Master Hilarion.[94] She set sail for Egypt aboard the SS Eumonia, but in July 1871 it exploded during the journey; Blavatsky was one of only 16 survivors.[95] Reaching Cairo, she met up with Metamon, and with the help of a woman named Emma Cutting established a société spirite, which was based largely on Spiritism, a form of Spiritualism founded by Allan Kardec which professed a belief in reincarnation, in contrast to the mainstream Spiritualist movement.[96] However, Blavatsky believed that Cutting and many of the mediums employed by the society were fraudulent, and she closed it down after two weeks.[97] In Cairo, she also met with the Egyptologist Gaston Maspero, and another of the Masters, Serapis Bey.[98] It was also here that she met up with Metrovitch, although he soon died of typhoid, with Blavatsky claiming to have overseen the funeral.[99]

Leaving Egypt, she proceeded to Syria, Palestine, and Lebanon, there encountering members of the Druze religion.[100] It was during these travels that she met with the writer and traveler Lidia Pashkova, who provided independent verification of Blavatsky's travels during this period.[101] In July 1872 she returned to her family in Odessa, before departing in April 1873.[102] She spent time in Bucharest and Paris,[103] before -– according to her later claims –- Morya instructed her to go to the U.S., arriving in New York City in July 1873.[104] There, she moved into a women's housing cooperative on Manhattan's Lower East Side, earning a wage through piece work sewing and designing advertising cards.[105] It was here that she attracted attention, and was interviewed by the journalist Anna Ballard of the New York newspaper The Sun; this interview was the earliest textual source in which Blavatsky claimed to have spent time in Tibet.[106] Indeed, it was while in New York that "detailed records" of Blavatsky's life again become available to historians.[107] Soon after, Blavatsky received news of her father's death, thus inheriting a considerable fortune, allowing her to move into a lavish hotel.[108] In December 1874, Blavatsky met the Georgian Mikheil Betaneli. Infatuated with her, he repeatedly requested that they marry, to which she ultimately relented; this constituted bigamy, as her first husband was still alive. However, as she refused to consummate the marriage, Betaneli sued for divorce and returned to Georgia.[109]

Meeting Henry Steel Olcott and the foundation of the Theosophical Society

Blavatsky was intrigued by a news story about William and Horatio Eddy, brothers based in Chittenden, Vermont, who it was claimed could levitate and manifest spiritual phenomena. She visited Chittenden in October 1874, there meeting the reporter Henry Steel Olcott, who was investigating the brothers' claims for the Daily Graphic.[110] Claiming that Blavatsky impressed him with her own ability to manifest spirit phenomena, Olcott authored a newspaper article on her.[111] They soon became close friends, giving each other the nicknames of "Maloney" (Olcott) and "Jack" (Blavatsky).[112] He helped attract greater attention to Blavatsky's claims, encouraging the Daily Graphics editor to publish an interview with her,[113] and discussing her in his book on Spiritualism, People from the Other World (1875),[114] which her Russian correspondent Alexandr Aksakov urged her to translate into Russian.[115] She began to instruct Olcott in her own occult beliefs, and encouraged by her he became celibate, tee-totaling, and vegetarian, although she herself was unable to commit to the latter.[116] In January 1875 the duo visited the Spiritualist mediums Nelson and Jennie Owen in Philadelphia; the Owens asked Olcott to test them to prove that the phenomena that they produced were not fraudulent, and while Olcott believed them, Blavatsky opined that they faked some of their phenomena in those instances when genuine phenomena failed to manifest.[117]

Blavatsky, c. 1877

Drumming up interest for their ideas, Blavatsky and Olcott published a circular letter in Eldridge Gerry Brown's Boston-based Spiritualist publication, The Spiritual Scientist.[118] There, they named themselves the "Brotherhood of Luxor", a name potentially inspired by the pre-existing Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor.[119] They began living together in a series of rented apartments in New York City, which they decorated with taxidermied animals and images of spiritual figures; their life was funded largely by Olcott's continued work as a lawyer.[110] Their last such apartment came to be known as the Lamasery.[121] Allegedly encouraged by the Masters, Blavatsky and Olcott established the Miracle Club, through which they facilitated lectures on esoteric themes in New York City.[122] It was through this group that they met an Irish Spiritualist, William Quan Judge, who shared many of their interests.[123]

At a Miracle Club meeting on 7 September 1875, Blavatsky, Olcott, and Judge agreed to establish an esoteric organisation, with Charles Sotheran suggesting that they call it the Theosophical Society.[124] The term theosophy came from the Greek theos ("god(s)") and sophia ("wisdom"), thus meaning "god-wisdom" or "divine wisdom".[125] The term was not new, but had been previously used in various contexts by the Philaletheians and the Christian mystic Jakob Böhme.[126] Theosophists would often argue over how to define Theosophy, with Judge expressing the view that the task was impossible.[125] Blavatsky however insisted that Theosophy was not a religion in itself.[127] Lachman has described the movement as "a very wide umbrella, under which quite a few things could find a place".[128] On foundation, Olcott was appointed chairman, with Judge as secretary, and Blavatsky as corresponding secretary, although she remained the group's primary theoretician and leading figure.[129] Prominent early members included Emma Hardinge Britten, Signor Bruzzesi, C.C. Massey, and William L. Alden; many were prominent and successful members of the establishment, although not all would remain members for long.[130]

Isis Unveiled

"The underlying theme among these diverse topics [in Isis Unveiled] is the existence of an ancient wisdom-religion, an ageless occult guide to the cosmos, nature and human life. The many faiths of man are said to derive from a universal religion known to both Plato and the ancient Hindu sages. The wisdom-religion is also identified with Hermetic philosophy as "the only possible key to the Absolute in science and theology" (I, vii). Every religion is based on the same truth or "secret doctrine", which contains "the alpha and omega of universal science" (I, 511). This ancient wisdom-religion will become the religion of the future (I, 613)."
Historian Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, 2004.[131]

In summer 1875, Blavatsky began work on a book outlining her Theosophical worldview, much of which would be written while staying in the Ithaca home of Hiram Corson, a Professor of English Literature at Cornell University. Although she had hoped to call it The Veil of Isis, it would be published as Isis Unveiled.[132] While writing it, Blavatsky claimed to be aware of a second consciousness within her body, referring to it as "the lodger who is in me", and stating that it was this second consciousness that inspired much of the writing.[133] In Isis Unveiled, Blavatsky quoted extensively from other esoteric and religious texts, although her contemporary and colleague Olcott always maintained that she had quoted from books that she did not have access to.[134] Writing more than a century after her death Lachman conjectured that if this had been the case, then she may have had an eidetic memory,[135] such that, while relying on earlier sources, the book represented an original synthesis that connected disparate ideas not brought together before.[136]

Revolving around Blavatsky's idea that all the world's religions stemmed from a single "Ancient Wisdom", which she connected to the Western esotericism of ancient Hermeticism and Neoplatonism,[137] it also articulated her thoughts on Spiritualism,[138] and provided a criticism of Darwinian evolution, stating that it dealt only with the physical world and ignored the spiritual realms.[139] The book was edited by Professor of Philosophy Alexander Wilder and published in two volumes by J.W. Bouton in 1877.[140] Although facing negative mainstream press reviews, including from those who highlighted that it extensively quoted around 100 other books without acknowledgement,[141] it proved to be such a commercial success, with its initial print run of 1000 copies selling out in a week,[142] that the publisher requested a sequel, although Blavatsky turned down the offer.[136] While Isis Unveiled was a success, the Society remained largely inactive,[143] having fallen into this state in autumn 1876.[144] This was despite the fact that new lodges of the organisation had been established throughout the U.S. and in London, and prominent figures like Thomas Edison and Abner Doubleday had joined.[145] In July 1878, Blavatsky gained U.S. citizenship.[146]

India: 1879–85

The Theosophical Society established links with an Indian Hindu reform movement, the Arya Samaj, which had been founded by the Swami Dayananda Saraswati; Blavatsky and Olcott believed that the two organisations shared a common spiritual world-view.[147] Unhappy with life in the U.S., Blavatsky decided to move to India, with Olcott agreeing to join her, securing work as a U.S. trade representative to the country.[148] In December, the duo auctioned off many of their possessions, although Edison gifted them a phonograph to take with them to India.[149] They left New York City aboard the Canada, which took them to London. After meeting with well-wishers in the capital, they traveled to Liverpool, there setting sail aboard the Speke Hall, arriving in Bombay in February 1879.[150] In the city, they were greeted with celebrations organised by Arya Samaj member Hurrychund Chintamon before obtaining a house in Girgaum Road, part of Bombay's native area.[151]

Associating largely with Indians rather than the governing British elite, Blavatsky took a fifteen-year-old Gujarati boy, Vallah "Babula" Bulla, as her personal servant.[152] Many educated Indians were impressed that the Theosophists championed Indian religion in the face of British imperialism and Christianization attempts.[153] Her activity in the city was monitored by British intelligence services, who were concerned that she may have been working for Russia.[154] In April, Blavatsky took Olcott, Babula, and their friend Moolji Thackersey to the Karla Caves, announcing that they contained secret passages that let to an underground place where the Masters assembled.[155] Then claiming that the Masters were telepathically commanding her to head to Rajputana in the Punjab, she and Olcott headed north.[156] At the Yamuna river, they met the sannyasin Babu Surdass, who had sat in the lotus position for 52 years, and in Agra saw the Taj Mahal.[157] In Saharanpur they met with Dayananda and his Arya Samajists, before returning to Bombay.[158]

Blavatsky and Hindu Theosophists in India, circa 1884

In July 1879, Blavatsky and Olcott began work on a monthly magazine, The Theosophist, with the first issue coming out in October.[159] The magazine soon obtained a large readership, with the management being taken over by Damodar K. Mavalankar, a Theosophist who introduced the idea of referring to the Masters as mahatmas.[160] In December, Blavatsky and Olcott travelled to Allahabad, there visiting Alfred Percy Sinnett, the editor of The Pioneer and keen Spiritualist. A.O. Hume was also a guest at the Sinnett's home, and Blavatsky was encouraged to manifest paranormal phenomena in their presence.[161] From there, they travelled to Benares, where they stayed at the palace of the Maharaja of Vizianagram.[162] Blavatsky and Olcott were then invited to Ceylon by Buddhist monks. There they officially converted to Buddhism—apparently the first from the United States to do so[163]—taking the Five Precepts in a ceremony at Ramayana Nikayana in May 1880.[164] Touring the island, they were met by crowds intrigued by these unusual Westerners who embraced Buddhism rather than proselytizing Christianity. Their message proved a boost to Sinhalese nationalist self-esteem, and they were invited to see the Buddha's Tooth in Kandy.[165]

Upon learning that old comrade Emma Coulomb (née Cutting) and her husband had fallen into poverty in Ceylon, Blavatsky invited them to move into her home in Bombay.[166] However, the Coulombs annoyed Rosa Bates and Edward Winbridge, two American Theosophists who were also living with Blavatsky; when Blavatsky took the side of the Coulombs, Bates and Winbridge returned to the U.S.[167] Blavatsky was then invited to Simla to spend more time with Sinnett, and there performed a range of materializations that astounded the other guests; in one instance, she allegedly made a cup-and-saucer materialize under the soil during a picnic.[168] Sinnett was eager to contact the Masters himself, convincing Blavatsky to facilitate this communication, resulting in the production of over 1400 pages allegedly authored by Koot Hoomi and Morya, which came to be known as the Mahatma Letters.[169] Sinnett summarised the teachings contained in these letters in his book Esoteric Buddhism (1883), although scholars of Buddhism like Max Müller publicly highlighted that the contents were not Buddhist, and Blavatsky herself disliked the misleading title.[170] Since the book's publication, there has been much debate as to the authenticity of the letters, with some arguing that they were written by Blavatsky herself, and others believing that they were written by separate individuals.[171][172] According to Meade, "there can be no reasonable doubt that Helena was their author".[173]

Theosophy was unpopular with both Christian missionaries and the British government,[174] with India's English-language press being almost uniformly negative toward the Society.[175] The group nevertheless proved popular, and branches were established across the country.[176] While Blavatsky had emphasized its growth among the native Indian population rather than among the British elite, she moved into a comfortable bungalow in the elite Bombay suburb of Breach Candy, which she said was more accessible to Western visitors.[177] Olcott had decided to establish the Buddhist Education Fund to combat the spread of the Christian faith in Ceylon and encourage pride and interest in Buddhism among the island's Sinhalese population. Although Blavatsky initially opposed the idea, stating that the Masters would not approve, Olcott's project proved a success, and she changed her opinion about it.[178]

Blavatsky standing behind Olcott (middle seated) and Damodar Mavalankar (seated to his left), Bombay, 1881

Blavatsky had been diagnosed with Bright's disease and hoping the weather to be more conducive to her condition she took up the offer of the Society's Madras Branch to move to their city.[179] However, in November 1882 the Society purchased an estate in Adyar, which became their permanent headquarters; a few rooms were set aside for Blavatsky, who moved into them in December.[180] She continued to tour the subcontinent, claiming that she then spent time in Sikkim and Tibet, where she visited her teacher's ashram for several days.[181] With her health deteriorating, she agreed to accompany Olcott on his trip to Britain, where he was planning to argue the case for Ceylonese Buddhism and sort out problems with the Society's London Lodge.[182][183]

Sailing to Marseilles, France, in March 1883, she spent time in Nice with the founder of the Theosophical Society's French branch, the Countess of Caithness (widow of James Sinclair, 14th Earl of Caithness), with whom she continued to Paris.[184][185] In London, she appeared at the lodge's meeting, where she sought to quell arguments between Sinnett on the one hand and Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland on the other.[186] Unsatisfied, Kingsford – whom Blavatsky thought "an unbearable snobbish woman" – split from the Theosophical Society to form the Hermetic Society.[187] In London, Blavatsky made contact with the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) through Frederic W. H. Myers. She complied with their request to undertake a study of her and the paranormal abilities that she claimed to possess, although wasn't impressed by the organisation and mockingly referred to it as the "Spookical Research Society".[188]

With Blavatsky in Europe, trouble broke out at the society's Adyar headquarters in what became known as the Coulomb Affair. The society's Board of Control had accused Emma Coulomb of misappropriating their funds for her own purposes, and asked her to leave their center. She and her husband refused, blackmailing the society with letters that they claimed were written by Blavatsky and which proved that her paranormal abilities were fraudulent. The society refused to pay them and expelled them from their premises, at which the couple turned to the Madras-based Christian College Magazine, who published an expose of Blavatsky's alleged fraudulence using the Coulomb's claims as a basis. The story attracted international attention and was picked up by London-based newspaper, The Times.[189] In response, in November 1884 Blavatsky headed to Cairo, where she and Theosophist Charles Webster Leadbeater searched for negative information on Emma Coulomb, discovering stories of her alleged former history of extortion and criminality.[190][191] Internally, the Society was greatly damaged by the Coulomb Affair,[192] although it remained popular in India, as did Blavatsky herself.[193]

Final years in Europe: 1885–91

Worsening health led Blavatsky contemplate a return to the milder climate of Europe, and resigning her position as corresponding secretary of the society, she left India in March 1885.[194] By 1885, the Theosophical Society had experienced rapid growth, with 121 lodges having been chartered across the world, 106 of which were located in India, Burma, and Ceylon.[195] Initially, each lodge was chartered directly from the Adyar headquarters, with members making democratic decisions by vote.[195] However, over the coming years the lodges were organised into national units with their own ruling councils, resulting in tensions between the different levels of administration.[195]

For our own part, we regard [Blavatsky] neither as the mouthpiece of hidden seers, nor as a mere vulgar adventuress; we think that she has achieved a title to permanent remembrance as one of the most accomplished, ingenious, and interesting imposters in history.
— The statement of the Society for Psychical Research on the basis of the Hodgson Report.[196]

Settling in Naples, Italy, in April 1885, she began living off of a small Society pension and continued working on her next book, The Secret Doctrine.[197] She then moved to Würzburg in the Kingdom of Bavaria, where she was visited by a Swedish Theosophist, the Countess Constance Wachtmeister, who became her constant companion throughout the rest of her life.[198] In December 1885, the SPR published their report on Blavatsky and her alleged phenomena, authored by Richard Hodgson. In his report, Hodgson accused Blavatsky of being a spy for the Russian government, further accusing her of faking paranormal phenomena, largely on the basis of the Coulomb's claims.[199] The report caused much tension within the Society, with a number of Blavatsky's followers – among them Babaji and Subba Row – denouncing her and resigning from the organisation on the basis of it.[200]

Blavatsky wanted to sue her accusers, although Olcott advised against it, believing that the surrounding publicity would damage the Society.[201] In private letters, Blavatsky expressed relief that the criticism was focused on her and that the identity of the Masters had not been publicly exposed.[202] For decades after, Theosophists criticized Hodgson's methodology, arguing that he set out to disprove and attack Blavatsky rather than conduct an unbiased analysis of her claims and abilities. In 1986 the SPR admitted this to be the case and retracted the findings of the report.[203][204] However, Johnson has commented "Theosophists have overinterpreted this as complete vindication, when in fact many questions raised by Hodgson remain unanswered."[205]

In 1886, by which time she was largely wheelchair-bound, Blavatsky moved to Ostend in Belgium, where she was visited by Theosophists from across Europe.[206] Supplementing her pension, she established a small ink-producing business.[207] She received messages from members of the Society's London Lodge who were dissatisfied with Sinnett's running of it; they believed that he was focusing on attaining upper-class support rather than encouraging the promotion of Theosophy throughout society, a criticism Blavatsky agreed with.[208] She arrived in London in May 1887, initially staying in the Upper Norwood home of Theosophist Mabel Collins.[209] In September, she moved into the Holland Park home of fellow Theosophists, Bertram Keightley and his nephew Archibald Keightley.[210]

Blavatsky and Olcott in 1888

In London, she established the Blavatsky Lodge as a rival to that run by Sinnett, draining much of its membership.[211] Lodge meetings were held at the Keightels' house on Thursday nights, with Blavatsky also greeting many visitors there, among them the occultist and poet W. B. Yeats.[212] In November 1889 she was visited by the Indian lawyer Mohandas Gandhi, who was studying the Bhagavad Gita with the Keightels. He became an associate member of Blavatsky's Lodge in March 1891, and would emphasize the close connection between Theosophy and Hinduism throughout his life.[213] In 1888, Blavatsky established the Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society, a group under her complete control for which admittance was restricted to those who had passed certain tests. She identified it as a place for "true Theosophists" who would focus on the system's philosophy rather than experiment with producing paranormal phenomena.[214]

In London, Blavatsky founded a magazine, controversially titling it Lucifer; in this Theosophical publication she sought to completely ignore claims regarding paranormal phenomena, and focus instead on a discussion of philosophical ideas.[215] Blavatsky also finished writing The Secret Doctrine, which was then edited by the Keightels.[216] As a commercial publisher willing to publish the approximately 1,500 page work could not be found, Blavatsky established the Theosophical Publishing Company, who brought out the work in two volumes, the first published in October 1888 and the second in January 1889.[217] Blavatsky claimed that the book constituted her commentary on the Book of Dzyan, a religious text written in Senzar which she had been taught while studying in Tibet.[218] Buddhologist David Reigle claimed that he identified Books of Kiu-te, including Blavatsky's Book of Dzyan as a first volume, as the Tantra section of the Tibetan Buddhist canon.[219] However, most scholars of Buddhism to have examined The Secret Doctrine have concluded that there was no such text as the Book of Dzyan, and that instead it was the fictional creation of Blavatsky's.[220] In the book, Blavatsky outlined her own cosmogonical ideas about how the universe, the planets, and the human species came to exist. She also discussed her views about the human being and their soul, thus dealing with issues surrounding an afterlife.[221] The two-volume book was reviewed for the Pall Mall Gazette by the social reformer Annie Besant; impressed by it, Besant met with Blavatsky and joined the Theosophists.[222] In August 1890, Blavatsky moved in to Besant's large house at 19 Avenue Road in St. John's Wood.[223]

Woking Crematorium in 2018

She appointed Besant to be the new head of the Blavatsky Lodge,[224] and in July 1890 inaugurated the new European headquarters of the Theosophical Society in Besant's house.[225] There, she authored a book containing questions and corresponding answers, The Key to Theosophy.[226] This was followed by The Voice of the Silence, a short devotional text which she claimed was based on a Senzar text known as The Book of the Golden Precepts. As with The Secret Doctrine, most scholars of Buddhism have doubted that this latter text was an authentic Tibetan Buddhist document.[227] She continued to face accusations of fraud; U.S. newspaper The Sun published a July 1890 article based on information provided by an ex-member of the Society, Elliott Coues. Blavatsky sued the newspaper for libel, and they publicly retracted their accusations in September 1892.[228] That winter, Britain had been afflicted by an influenza epidemic, with Blavatsky contracting the virus; it led to her death on the afternoon of 8 May 1891, in Besant's house.[229] The date would come to be commemorated by Theosophists ever since as White Lotus Day.[230] Her body was cremated at Woking Crematorium on 11 May.[231]

Personal life

"Blavatsky talked incessantly in a guttural voice, sometimes wittily and sometimes crudely. She was indifferent to sex yet frank and open about it; fonder of animals than of people; welcoming, unpretentious, scandalous, capricious and rather noisy. She was also humorous, vulgar, impulsive and warm-hearted, and didn't give a hoot for anyone or anything."
— Biographer Peter Washington, 1993.[232]

The biographer Peter Washington described Blavatsky as "a short, stout, forceful woman, with strong arms, several chins, unruly hair, a determined mouth, and large, liquid, slightly bulging eyes".[233] She had distinctive azure colored eyes,[234] and was overweight throughout her life.[235] According to the biographer Marion Meade, Blavatsky's "general appearance was outrageously untidy".[236] In later life, she was known for wearing loose robes, and wore many rings on her fingers.[232] She was a heavy cigarette smoker throughout her life,[237] and was known for smoking hashish at times.[238] She lived simply and her followers believed that she refused to accept monetary payment in return for disseminating her teachings.[239] Blavatsky preferred to be known by the acronym "HPB",[240] a sobriquet applied to her by many of her friends which was first developed by Olcott.[241] She avoided social functions and was scornful of social obligations.[242] She spoke Russian, Georgian, English, French, Italian, Arabic, and Sanskrit.[243]

Meade referred to her as "an eccentric who abided by no rules except her own",[244] someone who had "utter disregard for the Victorian code of morality".[245] Meade believed that Blavatsky perceived herself as a messianic figure whose purpose was to save the world by promoting Theosophy.[244] Lachman stated that Blavatsky exhibited what he referred to as "Russian traits – an intense devotion to spiritual truth, combined with a profound contradictory character."[246] Washington expressed the view that she was "a persuasive story-teller [with the] power to fascinate others" although noted that she was also "self-absorbed and egotistical".[247] For Meade, Blavatsky had a "vivid imagination" and a "propensity for lying".[248] Godwin noted that Blavatsky had "a fearsome temper".[243] The religious studies scholar Bruce F. Campbell noted that she had been a "strong-willed, independent child", and that the harsh environment of her childhood may have resulted in her "difficulty in controlling her temper and... her tendency to swear".[249] In his opinion, she represented "an archetypal charismatic leader".[250] Anthropologist Leo Klejn claimed that Blavatsky's indefatigability and energy were surprising.[251] The Indologist Alexander Senkevich stated that Blavatsky's charisma exerted influence on Charles Massey and Stainton Moses.[252]

Blavatsky's sexuality has been an issue of dispute; many biographers have believed that she remained celibate throughout her life,[253] with Washington believing that she "hated sex with her own sort of passion".[254] In later life she stated that she was a virgin, although she had been married to two men during her lifetime.[244] Throughout its early years, the Theosophical Society promoted celibacy, even within marriage.[255] Some have suggested that she may have been a lesbian or transvestite, due to early accounts in which she traveled while dressed in masculine attire.[256] Meade thought that Blavatsky had, with a few exceptions, been "contemptuous" of other women, suggesting that while this may have been the result of general societal misogyny, it may have reflected that Blavatsky had been jilted by another woman.[234]

Socio-political beliefs

Godwin suggested that Blavatsky's life work was "not only spiritual but socially idealistic and fiercely political".[257] He suggested that her "emotional fuel" was partly "a hatred of oppression", either through the intellectual domination of Christianity or through British imperialism.[257] Conversely, Meade thought Blavatsky to be "basically a non-political person".[258]

The scholar of religion Olav Hammer noted that "on rare occasions" Blavatsky's writings are "overtly racist",[259] adding that her antisemitism "derives from the unfortunate position of Judaism as the origin of Christianity" and refers to "the intense dislike she felt for Christianity".[259] She wrote that "Judaism, built solely on Phallic worship, has become one of the latest creeds in Asia, and theologically a religion of hate and malice toward everyone and everything outside themselves."[260] She also stated that Jews were "degenerate in spirituality", although she still viewed them as Aryans.[261] She wrote that Africans, aboriginal Australians, and South Sea Islanders as inferior to Europeans, stating "MONADS of the lowest specimens of humanity (the 'narrow-brained' [in other words, those people with 'simply brains devoid of intellect generally,' according to Blavatsky, such as] savage South-Sea Islander, the African, the Australian) had no Karma to work out when first born as men, as their more favoured brethren in intelligence had."[262] She also referred to aboriginal Australians as "half-animal".[263]
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Re: Helena Blavatsky, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue May 29, 2018 4:26 am

Part 2 of 3

Theories and doctrines

According to Meade, Blavatsky assembled her theories and doctrines gradually, in a piecemeal fashion.[264] Blavatsky claimed that these Theosophical doctrines were not her own invention, but had been received from a brotherhood of secretive spiritual adepts whom she referred to as the "Masters" or "Mahatmas".[265]

Theosophy, the Masters, and the "Ancient Wisdom"

The logo for the Theosophical Society brought together various ancient symbols

Blavatsky was the leading theoretician of the Theosophical Society,[266] responsible for establishing its "doctrinal basis".[267] The ideas expounded in her published texts provide the basis from which the Society and wider Theosophical movement emerged.[268] Blavatsky's Theosophical ideas were a form of occultism, a current of thought within Western esotericism which emphasized the idea of an ancient and superior wisdom that had been found in pre-Christian societies but which was absent from the doctrines of established Christianity.[269] Blavatsky stated that the Theosophical teachings were passed on to her by adepts, who lived in various parts of the world.[239]

Fundamentally, the underlying concept behind Blavatsky's Theosophy was that there was an "ancient wisdom religion" which had once been found across the world, and which was known to various ancient figures, such as the Greek philosopher Plato and the ancient Hindu sages.[270] Blavatsky connected this ancient wisdom religion to Hermetic philosophy, a worldview in which everything in the universe is identified as an emanation from a Godhead.[271] Blavatsky believed that all of the world's religions developed from this original global faith.[271] Blavatsky understood her Theosophy to be the heir to the Neoplatonist philosophers of Late Antiquity, who had also embraced Hermetic philosophy.[272] She believed that the Theosophical movement's revival of the "ancient wisdom religion" would lead to it spreading across the world, eclipsing the established world religions.[271] Thus, in bringing these Theosophical ideas to humanity, Blavatsky viewed herself as a messianic figure.[244]

According to Goodrick-Clarke, the Theosophical Society "disseminated an elaborate philosophical edifice involving a cosmogony, the macrocosm of the universe, spiritual hierarchies, and intermediary beings, the latter having correspondences with a hierarchical conception of the microcosm of man."[273] Officially, the Society-based itself upon the following three objectives:

1. To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or colour.

2. To encourage the study of Comparative Religion, Philosophy, and Science.

3. To investigate the unexplained laws of Nature and the powers latent in man.[274]

Washington believed that the purpose of these three precepts was to lead to the "discovery of the powers latent in man through the occult study of science, philosophy and religion [which] shall be the preferred route to the social harmony and equality which will prefigure – and perhaps become – the divine harmony."[275]

While living in New York City, Blavatsky had referred to herself as a "Buddhist",[276] although only officially embraced Buddhism while in Ceylon.[277] However, Lachman stated that her Buddhism was "highly eccentric and had little to do with the Buddhism of scholars like [Max] Müller or that of your average Buddhist".[170] Blavatsky argued that The Buddha had sought to return to the teachings of the Vedas, and that Buddhism therefore represented a more accurate survival of ancient Brahmanism than modern Hinduism.[278] Although critical of Catholicism and Protestantism, and opposing their growth in Asia, throughout her life she remained highly sympathetic to the Russian Orthodox Church, commenting that "with the faith of the Russian Church I will not even compare Buddhism".[279]

G. R. S. Mead proclaimed, "Two things in all the chaos of her [Blavatsky’s] cosmos stood firm in every mood – that her Teachers existed and that she had not cheated."[280]

Theology, cosmogony, and the place of humanity

"Blavatsky's writings garnered the materials of Neoplatonism, Renaissance magic, Kabbalah, and Freemasonry, together with ancient Egyptian and Greco-Roman mythology and religion, joined by Eastern doctrines taken from Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta to present the idea of an ancient wisdom handed down from prehistoric times."
— Historian Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, 2008.[281]

Blavatsky expounded what has been described as a "monotheistic, immanentist, and mystical cosmology".[282] Blavatsky was a pantheist,[283] and emphasized the idea of an impersonal divinity, referring to the Theosophical God as a "universal Divine Principle, the root of All, from which all proceeds, and within which all shall be absorbed at the end of the great cycle of being".[267] She was dismissive of the Christian idea of God in the Western world, describing it as "a bundle of contradictions and a logical impossibility."[267] She stated that the universe emanated from this Divine Principle, with each particle of matter being infused with a spark of the divine.[284] Lower Orders emanated from higher ones, before becoming increasingly dense and being absorbed back into the Divine Principle.[284] This cosmology exhibited commonalities with the scientific discoveries of geology and biological evolution, both of which had been revealed by scientific inquiry during the 19th century.[284]

In The Secret Doctrine, Blavatsky articulated the belief that in the beginning of time there was absolute nothingness. This primordial essence then separated itself into seven Rays, which were also intelligent beings known as the Dhyan Chohans; these Seven Rays then created the universe using an energy called Fohat.[285][286] The Earth was created and underwent seven Rounds, in each of which different living beings were created.[285]

After spending time in India, Blavatsky adopted a belief in reincarnation (as shown here in Hindu art)

Blavatsky advocated the idea of "Root Races", each of which was divided into seven Sub-Races.[287] In Blavatsky's cosmogony, the first Root Race were created from pure spirit and lived on a continent known as the "Imperishable Sacred Land".[285][288] The second Root Race, known as the Hyperboreans, were also formed from pure spirit and lived on a land near to the North Pole, which then had a mild climate.[285] The third lived on the continent of Lemuria, which Blavatsky alleged survives today as Australia and Rapa Nui.[289][290] Blavatsky alleged that during the fourth Round of the Earth, higher beings descended to the planet, with the beginnings of human physical bodies developing and the sexes separating.[287] At this point, the fourth Root Race appeared, living on the continent of Atlantis; they had physical bodies but also psychic powers and advanced technology.[291] She claimed that some Atlanteans were giants and built such ancient monuments as Stonehenge in southern England and that they also mated with "she-animals", resulting in the creation of gorillas and chimpanzees.[287] The Atlanteans were decadent and abused their power and knowledge, so Atlantis sunk into the sea, although various Atlanteans escaped and created new societies in Egypt and the Americas.[287]

The fifth Root Race to emerge was the Aryans and was found across the world at the time she was writing.[287][292] She believed that the fifth Race would come to be replaced by the sixth, which would be heralded by the arrival of Maitreya, a figure from Mahayana Buddhist mythology.[293] She further believed that humanity would eventually develop into the final, seventh Root Race.[287][294] Lachman suggested that by reading Blavatsky's cosmogonical claims as a literal account of history, "we may be doing it a disservice."[287] He instead suggested that it could be read as Blavatsky's attempt to formulate "a new myth for the modern age, or as a huge, fantastic science fiction story".[287]

Blavatsky taught that humans composed of three separate parts: a divine spark, an astral fluid body, and the physical body.[295] Later Blavatsky proclaimed the septenary of Man and Universe.[296] According to Blavatsky, man is composed of seven parts: Atma, Buddhi, Manas, Kama rupa, Linga sharira, Prana, and Sthula sharira.[296] In Isis Unveiled, Blavatsky denied that humans would be reincarnated back on the Earth after physical death.[297] However, by the time that she had authored The Secret Doctrine, she had changed her opinion on this issue, likely influenced by her time in India.[298] Here, she stated that the law of reincarnation was governed by karma, with humanity's final purpose being the emancipation of the soul from the cycle of death and rebirth.[299] She believed that knowledge of karma would ensure that human beings lived according to moral principles, arguing that it provided a far greater basis for moral action than that of the Christian doctrine.[300] Blavatsky wrote, in Isis Unveiled, that Spiritualism "alone offers a possible last refuge of compromise between" the "revealed religions and materialistic philosophies". While she acknowledged that fanatic believers "remained blind to its imperfections", she wrote that such a fact was "no excuse to doubt its reality" and asserted that Spiritualist fanaticism was "itself a proof of the genuineness and possibility of their phenomena".[301]

Goodrick-Clarke noted that Blavatsky's cosmology contained all four of the prime characteristics of Western esotericism that had been identified by the scholar Antoine Faivre: "(a) correspondences between all parts of the universe, the macrocosm and microcosm; (b) living nature as a complex, plural, hierarchical, and animate whole; (c) imagination and mediations in the form of intermediary spirits, symbols, and mandalas; and (d) the experience of transmutation of the soul through purification and ascent."[302]


"[Blavatsky was] one of the most significant, controversial, and prolific of modern esotericists... It is more than evident that, whatever one thinks of the more flamboyant aspects of this remarkable and many-sided woman, she possessed a keen intellect and a wide-ranging vision of what occultism could be in the modern world."
— Religious studies scholar Robert Ellwood, 2005.[303]

Blavatsky was a highly controversial figure,[304] and attitudes toward her were typically polarized into extreme camps, one uncritically idolizing her as a holy guru and the other expressing complete disdain for her as a charlatan.[305] Washington suggested that Blavatsky generated such controversy because she courted publicity without knowing how to manage it.[306] Blavatsky's devotees often try to attribute the criticism that she sustained to the fact that she attacked the vested interests of both the Christian establishment and the material scientific skeptics, rather than it being a reaction to her frauds and impostures. Thus, all critics of her are deflected by her believers, who say that "the slanders on her reputation are the signs of grace: the stigmata that all great martyrs must bear."[307]

Various authors have questioned the authenticity of her writings, citing evidence that they are heavily plagiarized from older esoteric sources,[308][309][310][311] pronouncing her claim of the existence of masters of wisdom to be utterly false, and accusing her of being a charlatan, a false medium, and a falsifier of letters.[312][313] Her supporters claimed most of the accusations were undocumented. The Eastern literature scholar Arthur Lillie published a long list of extracts from mystic works next to extracts from Blavatsky's writings purporting to show her extensive plagiarism in his book Madame Blavatsky and her Theosophy. Lillie also analysed the Mahatma letters and asserted they had been written by Blavatsky, based on certain peculiarities of expression and spelling.[314][172] The traditionalist René Guénon wrote a detailed critique of Theosophy, in which he claimed that Blavatsky had acquired all her knowledge naturally from other books, not from any supernatural masters.[308] Carl Jung virulently criticized her work. Agehananda Bharati dismissed it as "a melee of horrendous hogwash and of fertile inventions of inane esoterica". Mircea Eliade suggested that her theory of spiritual evolution contradicts the entire spirit of Eastern tradition, which is "precisely an anti-evolutionist conception of the spiritual life".[315] After her death, Blavatsky continued to be accused of having fraudulently produced paranormal phenomena by skeptics such as John Nevil Maskelyne,[316] Robert Todd Carroll,[317] and James Randi.[318]

According to religious studies scholar Mark Bevir, Blavatsky "adapted the occult tradition to meet the challenge of Victorian science and morality".[319] Historian Ronald Hutton described Blavatsky as "one of the century's truly international figures", whose ideas gained "considerable popularity".[320] Various biographers have noted that by the late 20th and early 21st century, Blavatsky was little known among the general public.[321] In 2006, scholar James A. Santucci nevertheless noted that she was "as visible today as any modern trend-setting guru, and she will most likely remain the most memorable and innovative esotericist of the 19th century."[322]

Parasychologist Nandor Fodor stated, "Whatever result psycho-analysts may arrive at in the study of her [Blavatsky's] complex character, it must be admitted that she was a remarkable woman and that she indeed possessed psychic powers which, however, fell far short of the miraculous feats she constantly aimed at."[323] A number of authors, primarily Scholars, have suggested that Blavatsky sometimes spoke and/or wrote out of altered states of consciousness.[323][324][325] G. R. S. Mead wrote about Blavatsky, "I know no one who detested, more than she did, any attempt to hero-worship herself – she positively physically shuddered at any expression of reverence to herself – as a spiritual teacher; I have heard her cry out in genuine alarm at an attempt to kneel to her made by an enthusiastic admirer."[280] Leo Klejn wrote about Blavatsky, "Indefatigability and energy of this woman were surprising. She had a revolutionary's merits."[251][a] Another person who said Blavatsky was a remarkable woman was a former associate and publisher of the Theosophical magazine Lucifer 1887–1889, Mabel Collins. After leaving the movement she said "She taught me one great lesson. I learned from her how foolish, how 'gullible', how easily flattered human beings are, taken en masse. Her contempt for her kind was on the same gigantic scale as everything else about her, except her marvellously delicate taper fingers. In all else, she was a big woman. She had a greater power over the weak and credulous, a greater capacity for making black appear white, a larger waist, a more voracious appetite, a more confirmed passion for tobacco, a more ceaseless and insatiable hatred for those whom she thought to be her enemies, a greater disrespect for les convenances, a worse temper, a greater command of bad language, and a greater contempt for the intelligence of her fellow-beings than I had ever supposed possible to be contained in one person. These, I suppose, must be reckoned as her vices, though whether a creature so indifferent to all ordinary standards of right and wrong can be held to have virtues or vices, I know not."[326][327]

The book The Voice of the Silence presented by Blavatsky to Leo Tolstoy

Blavatsky presented her book The Voice of the Silence, The Seven gates, Two Paths to Leo Tolstoy. In his works, Tolstoy used the dicta from the theosophical journal Theosophischer Wegweiser.[328] In his diary, he wrote on 12 February 1903, "I am reading a beautiful theosophical journal and find many common with my understanding."[329]


Theosophical movement

According to Kalnitsky, the Theosophical movement of the nineteenth century was created and defined in the main through the astuteness and conceptual ideas provided by H.P. Blavatsky. He stated that "without her charismatic leadership and uncompromising promotion of the Theosophical agenda, it appears unlikely that the movement could have attained its unique form."[330] By the time of her death in 1891 she was the acknowledged head of a community numbering nearly 100,000, with journalistic organs in London, Paris, New York and Madras.[331] Her writings have been translated and published in a wide range of European and Asian languages.[332]

Blavatsky's Theosophy redirected the interest in Spiritualism toward a more coherent doctrine that included cosmology with theory of evolution in an understanding of humanity's spiritual development.[333] Further, it took the traditional sources of Western esotericism and globalized them by restating many of their ideas in terminology adopted from Asian religions.[333] Blavatsky's Theosophy was able to appeal to women by de-emphasizing the importance of gender and allowing them to take on spiritual leadership equal to that of men, thus allowing them a greater role than that permitted in traditional Christianity.[334]

Since its inception, and through doctrinal assimilation or divergence, Theosophy has also given rise to or influenced the development of other mystical, philosophical, and religious movements.[335] During the 1920s the Theosophical Society Adyar had around 7,000 members in the U.S.[336] There also was a substantial following in Asia. According to a Theosophical source, the Indian section in 2008 was said to have around 13,000 members while in the US the 2008 membership was reported at around 3,900.[337]

Western esotericism

Blavatsky's Theosophy has been described as representing "a major factor in the modern revival" of Western esotericism.[338] Godwin deemed there to be "no more important figure in modern times" within the Western esoteric tradition than Blavatsky.[243] For Johnson, Blavatsky was "a central figure in the nineteenth-century occult revival".[339] Lachman claimed that "practically all modern occultism and esotericism" can trace its origins back to her influence.[340] Blavatsky's published Theosophical ideas, particularly those regarding Root Races, have been cited as an influence on Ariosophy, the esoteric movement established in late 19th- and early 20th-century Germany and Austria by Guido von List and Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels.[341][342] Hannah Newman stated that via Ariosophy, Blavatsky's Theosophical ideas "contributed to Nazi ideology".[343] Nevertheless, Lachman has asserted that Blavatsky should not be held accountable to any of the antisemitic and racist ideas that the Ariosophists promoted, commenting that were she alive to witness the development of Ariosophy she probably would have denounced its ideas regarding race.[344] Blavatsky's Theosophical ideas regarding Root Races have also been cited as an influence on Anthroposophy, the esoteric movement developed by Rudolf Steiner in early 20th-century Germany,[345] with Steiner's Anthroposophical Society being termed a "historical offshoot" of the Theosophical Society.[346]

Blavatsky's Theosophy has been cited as an influence on the New Age Movement, an esoteric current that emerged in Western nations during the 1970s.[347] "No single organization or movement has contributed so many components to the New Age Movement as the Theosophical Society. ... It has been the major force in the dissemination of occult literature in the West in the twentieth century."[348] Other organizations loosely based on Theosophical texts and doctrines include the Agni Yoga, and a group of religions based on Theosophy called the Ascended Master Teachings: the "I AM" Activity, The Bridge to Freedom, Universal Medicine and The Summit Lighthouse, which evolved into the Church Universal and Triumphant.[350]

[b]South Asian religion and politics

Hutton suggested that Blavatsky had a greater impact in Asia than in the Western world.[279] Blavatsky has been cited as having inspired Hindus to respect their own religious roots.[351] The Theosophical Society influenced the growth of Indian national consciousness, with prominent figures in the Indian independence movement, among them Mohandas Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, being inspired by Theosophy to study their own national heritage.[352] The Theosophical Society had a major influence on Buddhist modernism and Hindu reform movements,[353] while Blavatsky and Olcott took part in Anagarika Dharmapala's revival of Theravada Buddhism in Ceylon.[354][355]

Meade stated that "more than any other single individual", Blavatsky was responsible for bringing a knowledge of Eastern religion and philosophy to the West.[351] Blavatsky believed that Indian religion offered answers to problems then facing Westerners; in particular, she believed that Indian religion contained an evolutionary cosmology which complemented Darwinian evolutionary theory, and that the Indian doctrine of reincarnation met many of the moral qualms surrounding vicarious atonement and eternal damnation that preoccupied 19th-century Westerners.[356] In doing so, Meade believed that Blavatsky paved the way for the emergence of later movements such as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Transcendental Meditation movement, Zen Buddhism, and yoga in the West.[351] Hutton believed that the two greatest achievements of Blavatsky's movement were in popularizing belief in reincarnation and in a singular divine world soul within the West.[357]

Blavatsky "both incorporated a number of the doctrines of eastern religions into her occultism, and interpreted eastern religions in the light of her occultism", in doing so extending a view of the "mystical East" that had already been popularized through Romanticist poetry.[358] Max Müller scathingly criticized Blavatsky's Esoteric Buddhism. Whilst he was willing to give her credit for good motives, at least at the beginning of her career, in his view she ceased to be truthful both to herself and to others with her later "hysterical writings and performances". There is a nothing esoteric or secretive in Buddhism, he wrote, in fact the very opposite. "Whatever was esoteric was ipso facto not Buddha's teaching; whatever was Buddha's teaching was ipso facto not esoteric".[359][c] Blavatsky, it seemed to Müller, "was either deceived by others or carried away by her own imaginations."[360] Blavatsky responded to those academic specialists in Indian religion who accused her of misrepresenting it by claiming that they only understood the exoteric nature of Hinduism and Buddhism and not the inner esoteric secrets of these faiths, which she traced back to the ancient Vedas.[361]
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Re: Helena Blavatsky, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue May 29, 2018 4:26 am

Part 3 of 3


1. Theosophist Leadbeater claimed that at the time of the French Revolution Blavatsky was "in incarnation under the name of Père Joseph" and worked with "the Comte de S. Germain".Leadbeater, Charles Webster (1992), The Hidden Life in Freemasonry, Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing, ISBN 1564590267
2. The "Chronology of the New Age Movement" in New Age Encyclopedia begins with the formation of the Theosophical Society in 1875.[349] See Lewis & Melton 1992, xi.
3. For Sinnett's response and Müller's rejoinder, see Sinnett 1893 and Müller 1893b.



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2. Brian Stableford, The A to Z of Fantasy Literature, Scarecrow Press, 2009, "Blavatsky, Madame (1831–1991)".
3. Carlson, Maria (2015). No Religion Higher Than Truth: A History of the Theosophical Movement in Russia, 1875-1922. p. 33. ISBN 9780691607818.
4. Lachman 2012, pp. xii–xiii.
5. Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 23.
6. Lachman 2012, p. xvi.
7. Cranston 1993, p. 8; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 2; Lachman 2012, p. 5.
8. Cranston 1993, pp. 8–9; Santucci 2006, p. 177; Lachman 2012, p. 5; Сенкевич 2010, p. 34.
9. Meade 1980, p. 21; Cranston 1993, p. 9.
10. Meade 1980, pp. 20–21; Lachman 2012, p. 5; Сенкевич 2010, p. 34.
11. Kuhn 1992, p. 44; Lachman 2012, p. 7; Сенкевич 2010, p. 17.
12. Campbell 1980, pp. 2–3; Meade 1980, pp. 16–17; Lachman 2012, pp. 7–8.
13. Meade 1980, pp. 18–19; Cranston 1993, p. 5–6; Lachman 2012, p. 6; Сенкевич 2010, p. 19.
14. Meade 1980, pp. 20, 21; Cranston 1993, p. 10; Lachman 2012, p. 6; Сенкевич 2010, p. 43.
15. Cranston 1993, pp. 3–4; Сенкевич 2010, p. 17.
16. Cranston 1993, p. 11; Santucci 2006, p. 177; Lachman 2012, p. 9.
17. Lachman 2012, p. 10.
18. Meade 1980, p. 21; Cranston 1993, p. 10; Lachman 2012, p. 10.
19. Meade 1980, p. 23; Cranston 1993, p. 11; Lachman 2012, p. 10.
20. Meade 1980, p. 26; Cranston 1993, p. 11; Lachman 2012, p. 10.
21. Meade 1980, pp. 27–28, 31; Cranston 1993, pp. 12–13; Lachman 2012, pp. 8, 10–11; Сенкевич 2010, p. 46, 48.
22. Lachman 2012, p. 11.
23. Meade 1980, pp. 29–31; Cranston 1993, pp. 13–14; Lachman 2012, pp. 11–12; Сенкевич 2010, pp. 50, 56–57.
24. Cranston 1993, pp. 13–14; Lachman 2012, pp. 11–12; Сенкевич 2010, p. 50, 56–57.
25. Meade 1980, pp. 31–32; Cranston 1993, p. 15; Lachman 2012, p. 12.
26. Meade 1980, p. 32; Cranston 1993, pp. 16–17; Lachman 2012, p. 12; Сенкевич 2010, p. 52.
27. Cranston 1993, p. 18; Lachman 2012, p. 13; Сенкевич 2010, p. 50.
28. Meade 1980, p. 34; Cranston 1993, p. 23; Lachman 2012, p. 13; Сенкевич 2010, p. 54.
29. Meade 1980, p. 35; Cranston 1993, p. 25; Lachman 2012, p. 13; Сенкевич 2010, p. 56.
30. Davenport-Hines 2011.
31. Lachman 2012, p. 14.
32. Lachman 2012, p. 15.
33. Lachman 2012, p. 16; Сенкевич 2010, p. 59.
34. Meade 1980, p. 48; Cranston 1993, pp. 31, 35; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 2; Lachman 2012, p. 19; Сенкевич 2010, p. 116.
35. Goodrick-Clarke 2004, pp. 2–3.
36. Lachman 2012, p. 17; Сенкевич 2010, p. 78.
37. Lachman 2012, p. 17; Сенкевич 2010, p. 79.
38. Meade 1980, pp. 43–44; Cranston 1993, p. 43; Lachman 2012, p. 18.
39. Lachman 2012, p. 18.
40. Meade 1980, p. 44; Lachman 2012, p. 18.
41. Meade 1980, pp. 45–46; Lachman 2012, p. 26.
42. Meade 1980, pp. 46–47; Cranston 1993, p. 33; Lachman 2012, p. 26.
43. Meade 1980, pp. 51–52; Cranston 1993, p. 35; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 3; Lachman 2012, pp. 27–29; Сенкевич 2010, p. 102.
44. Lachman 2012, p. 27.
45. Cranston 1993, p. 46.
46. Meade 1980, pp. 52–54; Cranston 1993, pp. 35–36; Washington 1993, p. 30; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 3; Lachman 2012, pp. 29–30; Сенкевич 2010, p. 124.
47. Meade 1980, p. 55; Cranston 1993, p. 36; Lachman 2012, p. 32; Сенкевич 2010, p. 126.
48. Meade 1980, pp. 56–57; Cranston 1993, pp. 36–37; Lachman 2012, p. 32.
49. Meade 1980, pp. 61–62; Cranston 1993, pp. 37–38; Washington 1993, p. 31; Lachman 2012, p. 33.
50. Lachman 2012, pp. 33–34.
51. Cranston 1993, p. 42.
52. Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 3.
53. Capmbell 1980, p. 4.
54. Washington 1993, pp. 30–31.
55. Meade 1980, pp. 70–71; Lachman 2012, pp. 36–37; Сенкевич 2010, p. 141.
56. Lachman 2012, p. 34.
57. Meade 1980, p. 64; Cranston 1993, p. 43; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, pp. 3–4; Lachman 2012, pp. 38–40.
58. Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 4; Santucci 2006, p. 177; Lachman 2012, pp. 41–42.
59. Lachman 2012, pp. 42–43.
60. Kuhn 1992, p. 47; Cranston 1993, pp. 45–46; Kalnitsky 2003, p. 197; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 4; Lachman 2012, pp. 43–44; Сенкевич 2010, p. 163.
61. Cranston 1993, p. 48; Santucci 2006, p. 177; Lachman 2012, pp. 44–45.
62. Cranston 1993, p. 49; Santucci 2006, p. 177; Lachman 2012, p. 45.
63. Lachman 2012, pp. 45–46.
64. Cranston 1993, p. 50; Santucci 2006, p. 177; Lachman 2012, p. 46.
65. Cranston 1993, pp. 51–52; Lachman 2012, p. 46.
66. Cranston 1993, p. 52; Lachman 2012, p. 46.
67. Cranston 1993, pp. 52–54; Santucci 2006, p. 177; Lachman 2012, p. 46.
68. Lachman 2012, p. 47.
69. Cranston 1993, pp. 57–58; Santucci 2006, p. 177; Lachman 2012, pp. 60–61.
70. Lachman 2012, p. 61–62.
71. Cranston 1993, p. 60; Santucci 2006, p. 178; Lachman 2012, p. 47.
72. Meade 1980, pp. 75–76; Cranston 1993, p. 63; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 4; Lachman 2012, p. 47.
73. Campbell 1980, pp. 4–5; Meade 1980, pp. 76–78; Cranston 1993, pp. 65–69; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 4; Lachman 2012, pp. 48–49.
74. Kuhn 1992, p. 75; Cranston 1993; Lachman 2012, p. 50.
75. Lachman 2012, pp. 37–38, 50.
76. Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 4; Lachman 2012, pp. 50–51.
77. Kuhn 1992, p. 68.
78. Lachman 2012, p. 51.
79. Meade 1980, p. 91; Cranston 1993, pp. 78–79; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 4; Lachman 2012, pp. 51–52.
80. Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 4; Lachman 2012, p. 63.
81. Cranston 1993, pp. 92–83; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, pp. 4–5; Lachman 2012, pp. 64–65.
82. Cranston 1993, p. 100; Lachman 2012, pp. 68–69.
83. Lachman 2012, pp. 71–72.
84. Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 5.
85. Cranston 1993, p. 97; Lachman 2012, p. 67.
86. Meade 1980, pp. 69–70; Lachman 2012, p. 57.
87. Washington 1993, p. 33; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 5; Lachman 2012, pp. 53–54.
88. Cranston 1993, p. 82; Lachman 2012, p. 64.
89. Cranston 1993, p. 84; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 5.
90. Lachman 2012, p. 53.
91. Lachman 2012, p. 75.
92. Meade 1980, p. 69.
93. Godwin 1994, p. 282; Lachman 2012, pp. 77–78, 81.
94. Lachman 2012, p. 78.
95. Meade 1980, p. 93; Cranston 1993, p. 105; Godwin 1994, p. 279; Lachman 2012, p. 78.
96. Meade 1980, pp. 94–96; Cranston 1993, pp. 105–106; Godwin 1994, p. 279; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 5; Lachman 2012, p. 79.
97. Cranston 1993, p. 106; Godwin 1994, p. 279; Lachman 2012, pp. 80–81.
98. Lachman 2012, p. 82.
99. Lachman 2012, p. 83.
100. Cranston 1993, pp. 105, 106; Lachman 2012, pp. 83–84.
101. Lachman 2012, p. 84.
102. Cranston 1993, pp. 106–107; Lachman 2012, p. 84.
103. Meade 1980, pp. 96–97; Cranston 1993, p. 107; Lachman 2012, p. 84.
104. Meade 1980, p. 101; Cranston 1993, pp. 107–108; Washington 1993, p. 40; Lachman 2012, p. 84.
105. Meade 1980, p. 102; Washington 1993, p. 40; Lachman 2012, p. 87.
106. Meade 1980, pp. 102–103; Lachman 2012, pp. 88–89.
107. Washington 1993, p. 40.
108. Lachman 2012, pp. 89–90.
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110. Meade 1980, pp. 110–114; Cranston 1993, pp. 124–126; Washington 1993, p. 29; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 6; Lachman 2012, pp. 92–98.
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113. Lachman 2012, pp. 107–108.
114. Campbell 1980, p. 23; Lachman 2012, p. 122.
115. Lachman 2012, p. 123.
116. Lachman 2012, pp. 108–109.
117. Meade 1980, pp. 134–135; Washington 1993, pp. 42–43; Lachman 2012, pp. 108–110.
118. Meade 1980, p. 140; Washington 1993, p. 495; Godwin 1994, p. 282; Lachman 2012, p. 124.
119. Meade 1980, p. 140; Godwin 1994, p. 282; Lachman 2012, pp. 124, 126.
120. Washington 1993, pp. 44–45; Lachman 2012, pp. 143–144.
121. Campbell 1980, p. 76; Meade 1980, p. 177; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, pp. 10–11.
122. Campbell 1980, p. 26; Washington 1993, p. 49; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 7; Lachman 2012, pp. 129–130.
123. Meade 1980, p. 148; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 7; Lachman 2012, pp. 129–130.
124. Campbell 1980, pp. 27–28; Meade 1980, p. 151; Washington 1993, pp. 53–54; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 7; Lachman 2012, pp. 130–31, 136.
125. Lachman 2012, p. 132.
126. Washington 1993, p. 55; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 8; Lachman 2012, p. 133.
127. Lachman 2012, p. 137.
128. Lachman 2012, p. 135.
129. Meade 1980, p. 155; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 7; Lachman 2012, pp. 130–131, 135–136.
130. Washington 1993, pp. 53–54; Lachman 2012, pp. 136–137.
131. Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 9.
132. Campbell 1980, p. 31; Meade 1980, pp. 152, 176; Lachman 2012, pp. 137, 140–143.
133. Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 8; Lachman 2012, pp. 137–138.
134. Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 8; Lachman 2012, p. 147.
135. Lachman 2012, p. 148.
136. Lachman 2012, p. 154.
137. Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 9; Lachman 2012, pp. 155, 157.
138. Lachman 2012, p. 156.
139. Lachman 2012, pp. 159–160.
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141. Campbell 1980, p. 33; Washington 1993, p. 52.
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144. Meade 1980, p. 174.
145. Lachman 2012, p. 171.
146. Meade 1980, p. 183; Lachman 2012, p. 171.
147. Campbell 1980, p. 77; Washington 1993, p. 57; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 11; Lachman 2012, p. 173.
148. Washington 1993, p. 58; Lachman 2012, pp. 176–179.
149. Lachman 2012, p. 180.
150. Washington 1993, p. 59; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 11; Lachman 2012, pp. 181–182.
151. Campbell 1980, p. 79; Washington 1993, pp. 59–60; Lachman 2012, pp. 182–184.
152. Meade 1980, p. 197; Lachman 2012, p. 184.
153. Meade 1980, p. 206; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, pp. 11–12.
154. Meade 1980, p. 198; Washington 1993, p. 60.
155. Lachman 2012, pp. 186–187.
156. Lachman 2012, p. 187.
157. Meade 1980, pp. 202–203; Lachman 2012, p. 188.
158. Meade 1980, pp. 203–204; Lachman 2012, pp. 188–189.
159. Campbell 1980, p. 79; Meade 1980, pp. 207–209; Washington 1993, p. 60; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 11; Lachman 2012, p. 189.
160. Lachman 2012, p. 189.
161. Meade 1980, pp. 209–211; Washington 1993, p. 61; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 12; Lachman 2012, pp. 190–191.
162. Meade 1980, pp. 211–212; Lachman 2012, p. 191.
163. Lori Pierce, "Origins of Buddhism in North America", in Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America, Rosemary Skinner Keller, Rosemary Radford Ruether, Marie Cantlon (eds.). Indiana University Press, 2006. p. 637
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165. Lachman 2012, p. 194.
166. Meade 1980, pp. 205–206, 213–214; Lachman 2012, pp. 189–190, 192–193.
167. Meade 1980, p. 215; Washington 1993, p. 79; Lachman 2012, pp. 194–195.
168. Campbell 1980, p. 80; Meade 1980, pp. 216, 219–224; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 12; Lachman 2012, pp. 197–200.
169. Meade 1980, pp. 227–228, 234; Lachman 2012, p. 201.
170. Lachman 2012, p. 202.
171. Lachman 2012, pp. 203–204.
172. Harrison 1997.
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174. Lachman 2012, p. 219.
175. Сенкевич 2010, p. 347.
176. Lachman 2012, p. 214.
177. Meade 1980, pp. 230–231; Lachman 2012, p. 214.
178. Campbell 1980, p. 84; Washington 1993, pp. 66–67; Lachman 2012, pp. 215–216.
179. Lachman 2012, p. 217.
180. Campbell 1980, pp. 84–85; Washington 1993, p. 66; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 13; Lachman 2012, pp. 217–218.
181. Lachman 2012, p. 218.
182. Lachman 2012, pp. 220–221.
183. Сенкевич 2010, p. 404.
184. Lachman 2012, pp. 221–222.
185. Сенкевич 2010, p. 397.
186. Tillett 1986, p. 131.
187. Washington 1993, pp. 76–77; Lachman 2012, pp. 222–223.
188. Lachman 2012, pp. 224, 226–227.
189. Campbell 1980, pp. 88–90; Washington 1993, pp. 79–82; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 13; Lachman 2012, pp. 224–226; Сенкевич 2010, pp. 411–412.
190. Lachman 2012, p. 228.
191. Tillett 1986, p. 142.
192. Campbell 1980, p. 95.
193. Campbell 1980, pp. 94–95.
194. Washington 1993, p. 85; Lachman 2012, p. 231.
195. Washington 1993, p. 68.
196. Campbell 1980, p. 93.
197. Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 14; Lachman 2012, p. 232.
198. Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 14; Lachman 2012, pp. 232–233.
199. Campbell 1980, pp. 92–93; Washington 1993, pp. 82–83; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 13; Lachman 2012, pp. 228–230, 236–237.
200. Washington 1993, p. 87; Lachman 2012, p. 235.
201. Washington 1993, p. 85.
202. Lachman 2012, pp. 235–236.
203. Society for Psychical Research 1986.
204. Cranston 1993, pp. xvii–xviii; Washington 1993, p. 84; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 14; Lachman 2012, p. 238.
205. Johnson 1994, p. 3.
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207. Lachman 2012, p. 241.
208. Lachman 2012, pp. 241–242.
209. Washington 1993, p. 91; Lachman 2012, p. 244.
210. Lachman 2012, p. 245.
211. Washington 1993, p. 90; Lachman 2012, p. 245.
212. Washington 1993, p. 91; Lachman 2012, pp. 246–247.
213. Lachman 2012, pp. 258–259.
214. Washington 1993, p. 100; Lachman 2012, pp. 248–249.
215. Washington 1993, p. 90; Lachman 2012, pp. 245–246.
216. Washington 1993, p. 91; Lachman 2012, p. 246.
217. Washington 1993, p. 92; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 14; Lachman 2012, pp. 249–250.
218. Washington 1993, p. 92; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 14; Lachman 2012, p. 250.
219. Reigle 1983.
220. Lachman 2012, p. 257.
221. Washington 1993, pp. 92–93; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, pp. 16–18; Lachman 2012, p. 255–256.
222. Washington 1993, p. 93; Lachman 2012, pp. 157–258.
223. Washington 1993, p. 100; Lachman 2012, p. 259.
224. Washington 1993, p. 99; Lachman 2012, p. 265.
225. Lachman 2012, p. 265.
226. Lachman 2012, pp. 260–261.
227. Lachman 2012, pp. 261–262.
228. Santucci 2006, p. 184; Lachman 2012, p. 268.
229. Washington 1993, p. 100; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 17; Lachman 2012, p. 269.
230. Lachman 2012, p. 270.
231. Lachman 2012, p. 271.
232. Washington 1993, p. 41.
233. Washington 1993, p. 26.
234. Meade 1980, p. 24.
235. Meade 1980, p. 24; Godwin 1994b, p. xv.
236. Meade 1980, p. 167.
237. Meade 1980, p. 152; Washington 1993, p. 41; Lachman 2012, pp. 40–41.
238. Meade 1980, p. 65.
239. Cranston 1993, p. xix.
240. Lachman 2012, p. ix.
241. Washington 1993, p. 43.
242. Meade 1980, p. 49.
243. Godwin 1994b, p. xv.
244. Meade 1980, p. 7.
245. Meade 1980, p. 71.
246. Lachman 2012, p. 26.
247. Washington 1993, p. 30.
248. Meade 1980, p. 161.
249. Campbell 1980, p. 3.
250. Campbell 1980, p. 100.
251. Клейн 2011.
252. Сенкевич 2010, p. 403.
253. Lachman 2012, p. 31.
254. Washington 1993, p. 88.
255. Godwin 1994, p. 348.
256. Lachman 2012, pp. 34–35.
257. Godwin 1994b, p. xviii.
258. Meade 1980, p. 198.
259. Hammer 2001, p. 121.
260. Blavatsky 1888b, p. 471.
261. Blavatsky 1888b, p. 200.
262. Blavatsky 1888b, p. 168.
263. Blavatsky 1888b, p. 195.
264. Meade 1980, p. 80.
265. Johnson 1994, p. 1.
266. Santucci 2006b, p. 1114; Lachman 2012, pp. 135–136.
267. Bednarowski 1980, p. 221.
268. Santucci 2006b, p. 1114.
269. Hanegraaff 2013, p. 40.
270. Campbell 1980, p. 36; Goodrick-Clarke 2008, p. 216.
271. Goodrick-Clarke 2008, p. 216.
272. Goodrick-Clarke 2008, p. 217.
273. Goodrick-Clarke 2008, p. 220.
274. Washington 1993, p. 69; Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 11; Lachman 2012, p. 134.
275. Washington 1993, p. 69.
276. Godwin 1994, p. 322.
277. Godwin 1994, pp. 321–322.
278. Bevir 1994, p. 757.
279. Hutton 1999, p. 19.
280. Mead 1920.
281. Goodrick-Clarke 2008, p. 212.
282. Bevir 1994, p. 759.
283. Godwin 1994, p. 328.
284. Bevir 1994, p. 753.
285. Lachman 2012, p. 255.
286. Kuhn 1992, p. 199.
287. Lachman 2012, p. 256.
288. Kuhn 1992, p. 222.
289. Lachman 2012, pp. 255–256.
290. Kuhn 1992, p. 224.
291. Kuhn 1992, p. 225.
292. Kuhn 1992, p. 226.
293. Goodrick-Clarke 2008, p. 223.
294. Blavatsky 1888. Volume II: Anthropogenesis. Phoenix, Arizona: United Lodge of Theosophists. 2005. Retrieved 29 January 2011. The entire volume constitutes a detailed description of the Theosophical doctrines of the evolution of Humankind, and related subjects. (Chakras references: pp. 465, 466, 483, 546).
295. Bevir 1994, p. 755.
296. Blavatsky 1962, sect. vi.
297. Goodrick-Clarke 2008, p. 221.
298. Hanegraaff 2013, p. 135.
299. Goodrick-Clarke 2008, p. 225.
300. Bevir 1994, p. 761.
301. Blavatsky 1877a, x–xi.
302. Goodrick-Clarke 2008, p. 224.
303. Ellwood 2005, p. 110.
304. Kalnitsky 2003, p. 178; Ellwood 2005, p. 110; Lachman 2012, p. ix,4.
305. Meade 1980, p. 9; Kalnitsky 2003, p. 178; Lachman 2012, p. 4.
306. Washington 1993, p. 31.
307. Washington 1993, pp. 45–46.
308. Guénon 2004, pp. 82–89.
309. Campbell 1980.
310. Sedgwick 2004, p. 44.
311. William Emmette Coleman, "The Sources of Madame Blavatsky's Writings", in A Modern Priestess of Isis by Vsevolod Sergyeevich Solovyoff, London, Longmans, Green, and Co., 1895, Appendix C, pp. 353–366.
312. Sedgwick 2004, p. 44; Campbell 1980, pp. 32–34.
313. Hower 1995.
314. Barker 1925, pp. 134–139, etc..
315. Oldmeadow 2004, p. 131.
316. The Fraud of Modern "Theosophy" Exposed (1912), by J. N. Maskelyne
317. Carroll 2003, p. 376.
318. Randi 2006.
319. Bevir 1994, p. 764.
320. Hutton 1999, p. 18.
321. Washington 1993, p. 45; Lachman 2012, p. xi.
322. Santucci 2006, p. 184.
323. Fodor 2003.
324. Kalnitsky 2003, p. 180.
325. Сенкевич 2010, p. 427.
326. Theosophy: Origin of the New Age – C. C. Martindale in This Rockmagazine, Feb 96
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328. Толстой 1955, p. 67.
329. Толстой 1935, p. 155.
330. Kalnitsky 2003, p. 331.
331. Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition 1911, Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna
332. Cranston 1993, p. xxii.
333. Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 18.
334. Bednarowski 1980, p. 222.
335. Melton 1990, pp. xxv–xxvi.
336. Tillett 1986, pp. 942–947.
337. TIS 2009.
338. Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 2.
339. Johnson 1994, p. 2.
340. Lachman 2012, p. xi.
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344. Lachman 2012, p. 251.
345. Staudenmaier 2008, pp. 6–7.
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352. Goodrick-Clarke 2004, p. 17.
353. MacMahan 2008.
354. Gombrich 1996, pp. 185–188.
355. Fields 1992, pp. 83–118.
356. Bevir 1994, p. 748.
357. Hutton 1999, p. 20.
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359. Müller 1893a.
360. Müller 1902.
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Further reading

• Barker, A. Trevor, ed. (1923). The Mahatma letters to A. P. Sinnett from the Mahatmas M. & K. H. London: T. Fisher Unwin. OCLC 277224098.
• Blavatsky, Helena P. (1877a). Isis unveiled: a master-key to the mysteries of ancient and modern science and theology. 1. New York: J. W. Bouton. OCLC 7211493.
• —— (1877b). Isis unveiled: a master-key to the mysteries of ancient and modern science and theology. 2. New York: J. W. Bouton. OCLC 7211493.
• —— (October 1879). "What is Theosophy?". The Theosophist. Bombay. 1 (1): 2–5.
• —— (1888a). The secret doctrine: the synthesis of science, religion, and philosophy. 1. London: The Theosophical Publishing Company. OCLC 8129381. Please note other editions vary. Reprinted without original diacritical marks in Blavatsky, Helena P. (1999) [1888]. The secret doctrine: the synthesis of science, religion, and philosophy. 1(photoreprint of original 1st ed.). Pasadena: Theosophical University Press. ISBN 1-55700-001-8.
• —— (1888b). The secret doctrine: the synthesis of science, religion, and philosophy. 2. London: The Theosophical Publishing Company. OCLC 8129381. Please note other editions vary. Reprinted without original diacritical marks in Blavatsky, Helena P. (1999) [1888]. The secret doctrine: the synthesis of science, religion, and philosophy. 2(photoreprint of original 1st ed.). Pasadena: Theosophical University Press. ISBN 1-55700-001-8.
• —— (December 1888). "Dialogue between the two editors on astral bodies, or doppelgangers". Lucifer. London: Theosophical Publishing Society. 3 (16): 328–333. OCLC 804337810. Reprinted in De Zirkoff, Boris; Eklund, Dara, eds. (1988) [1964]. Collected writings. 10 (Reprint ed.). Wheaton, Il: Theosophical Publishing House. pp. 217–226. ISBN 0-8356-7188-7.
• —— (1918) [1892]. Mead, George R. S., ed. The theosophical glossary (Reprint of 1st ed.). Los Angeles: Theosophical Publishing Society. OCLC 679877592.
• —— (1925). Barker, A. Trevor, ed. The letters of H.P. Blavatsky to A.P. Sinnett, and other miscellaneous letters. London: T. Fisher Unwin.
• —— (1937). Neff, Mary K., ed. Personal memoirs of H. P. Blavatsky. New York: Dutton. OCLC 311492.
• —— (1962) [1889]. The key to theosophy being a clear exposition in the form of question and answer of the ethics, science, and philosophy for the study of which the Universal brotherhood and Theosophical society has been founded (Reprint of original 1st ed.). Los Angeles: Theosophical Company. OCLC 26116335. Please note other editions vary. Reprinted without original diacritical marks in The key to theosophy being a clear exposition in the form of question and answer of the ethics, science, and philosophy for the study of which the Universal brotherhood and Theosophical society has been founded(Theosophical University Press electronic ed.). Pasadena: The Theosophical Society. 1962. ISBN 1-55700-046-8.
• —— (2004). Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas, ed. Helena Blavatsky. Western esoteric masters series. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books. ISBN 1-55643-457-X.
• Bleiler, Everett Franklin (1948). The checklist of fantastic literature; a bibliography of fantasy, weird and science fiction books published in the English language. Chicago: Shasta Publishers. OCLC 1113926.
• Boase, Frederic (1908). "Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna". Modern English biography: containing many thousand concise memiors of persons who have died since the year 1850. 4. Truro: Netherton and Worth. col. 428–429. OCLC 2704608.
• Caldwell, Daniel H (2000). The esoteric world of Madame Blavatsky: insights into the life of a modern sphinx. Theosophical Pub. House. ISBN 978-0-8356-0794-0.
• Carroll, Robert T. (2003). "Theosophy". The Skeptic's Dictionary: A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions. Hoboken: Wiley. ISBN 978-0-471-27242-7.
• Carter, Steven R. (1998). James Jones: an American literary orientalist master. Urbana, Il and Chicago: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-02371-4.
• Coleman, William E. (1895) [essay composed 1893-08-02]. "Appendix C. The sources of Madame Blavatsky's writings". In Solovyov, Vsevolod S.; Leaf, Walter. A Modern Priestess of Isis. Abridged and translated on behalf of the Society for Psychical Research. London: Longmans, Green. pp. 353–366. OCLC 468865051.
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• Клейн, Лев Самуилович (June 2011). "Рациональный взгляд на успехи мистики". Здравый смысл (in Russian). Moscow: Российское гуманистическое общество. 16 (2): 11. ISSN 1814-0416.
• —— (1999) [1996]. Данилов, Леонид Лукьянович, ed. Е.П. Блаватская: Жизнь и творчество основательницы современного теософского движения (in Russian) (2nd ed.). Рига: Лигатма. ISBN 5-7738-0017-9. Translation of Cranston, Sylvia L. HPB: the extraordinary life and influence of Helena Blavatsky, founder of the modern Theosophical movement.
• Писарева, Елена Ф. (1909). Елена Петровна Блаватская (биографический очерк) (in Russian). Transcribed in Елена Петровна Блаватская (биографический очерк) . magister.msk.ru (in Russian). Archived from the original on 19 December 2000. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
• Толстой, Лев Н. (1935). Чертков, Влади́мир Г., ed. Полное собрание сочинений (in Russian). 54. Moscow: Гос. изд-во худож. лит-ры. LCCN 51015050. OCLC 6321531.
• —— (1955). Чертков, Влади́мир Г., ed. Полное собрание сочинений (in Russian). 80. Moscow: Гос. изд-во худож. лит-ры. LCCN 51015050. OCLC 6321531.

External links

• John Cooper Theosophy Collection, including letters of Helena Blavatsky
• Articles by Helena P. Blavatsky
• The Blavatsky Study Center / Blavatsky Archives
• Works by Helena Petrovna Blavatskyat Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Helena Blavatsky at Internet Archive
• Works by Helena Blavatsky at LibriVox(public domain audiobooks)
• A collection of letters to and from Helena Blavatsky are in the Andover-Harvard Theological Library at Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
• An extensive online bibliography, dating from 1908 to 2001, with section for "Internet Resources",[1] annexed to The theosophical movement of the nineteenth century doctoral dissertation of Arnold Kalnitsky.[2]
• Helena Petrovna Blavatsky at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
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Re: Helena Blavatsky, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:00 am

Blavatsky and the Battle of Mentana
by Cynthia Overweg
Quest magazine
Summer 2015



The soul ripens in tears.

As an early morning rainstorm pounded the ancient walls of Rome, thousands of soldiers from two opposing armies were preparing for a ferocious battle over the fate of the Eternal City and the future of Italy. On November 3, 1867, they were marching to Mentana, a small and quaint town located sixteen miles northeast of Rome. Mentana was an important battleground in a decades-long struggle by Italian revolutionaries to unify Italy and overthrow a thousand years of a papal theocracy in Rome and in much of the Italian peninsula.

On one side of Mentana's battle line stood the army of Pope Pius IX, who firmly believed in a church-state form of government. Not only was the pope the temporal ruler and bishop of Rome, he was also the ruler of a patchwork of Italian provinces known as the Papal States, and he had no intention of giving them up. On the other side of the confrontation was the all-volunteer army of General Giuseppe Garibaldi, a charismatic, world-famous advocate of universal human rights and the separation of church and state. Garibaldi's army was known as the "Redshirts" because the troops' shirts were made from inexpensive red flannel.

There to witness or participate in the battle were a few journalists, sketch artists, volunteers, and supporters of one side or the other who were brave or foolish enough to be at the front line. As both armies took positions in the hills around Mentana and along embankments on the main road into town, the deafening sound of thousands of muskets firing simultaneously filled the cold air. Clouds of black smoke rose above Mentana, and the foul smell of musket fire mingled with the fierce and anguished cries of war. As with any war, the price either for victory or defeat would be paid by the men and women who were willing to die for it.

By the time the battle was over that afternoon, the dead, the dying, and the wounded were strewn on the blood-soaked ground. Among them was a young and perhaps idealistic Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, who lay bleeding and unconscious in a ditch. She was wearing a red shirt. Left for dead, she was rescued by Italian civilians who helped the wounded and took loved ones home for burial. HPB was thirty-six years old and living in Italy at the time.

It is not known at what point in the battle Blavatsky was wounded, but it must have been a traumatic and life-changing event for her, just as it has been for millions of others down through the centuries who have seen war. Experts on war trauma have long known that the experience often provokes an existential crisis, thrusting an individual headlong into the turbulent question about the meaning of human existence. For some, the vexing contradictions inherent in war can deepen an appreciation for the sacredness of life. Veteran war correspondent Chris Hedges, who covered the Balkan war as well as conflicts in the Middle East and Central America, has written powerfully about the paradox of finding meaning in the meaninglessness of war: "Its destruction and carnage can give us what we long for in life. It can give us purpose, meaning, a reason for living. Only when we are in the midst of conflict does the shallowness and vapidness of much of our lives become apparent."

Is it possible that at Mentana, HPB saw the depths of human suffering for the first time and found a purpose that gave her life meaning? She was still a young woman, and although she had traveled much of the world searching for sacred knowledge, war has a way of challenging everything a person holds dear. We can't know for sure, but for someone who spent her life trying to fathom the unknown and come to terms with the predicament of the human species, Mentana must have contributed greatly to her inner development and worldview.

The battle of Mentana did not end well for Garibaldi's forces. Just as it looked as if his Redshirts might win, 2000 French reinforcements, sent by the emperor Napoleon III, turned the tide of battle. The French troops had been equipped with a brand-new weapon called the Chassepot rifle, named after its inventor, Antoine Chassepot. It had a longer range than muskets, fired at a higher speed, and inflicted more damage to the human body than any comparable weapon before it. It shocked and disoriented Garibaldi's troops. Whether Blavatsky was at Mentana to witness the battle or participate as a volunteer (it was not uncommon for observers and volunteers, including women, to be near the front line), she could easily have been hit several times just trying to get out of the way.

The Redshirts suffered heavy losses, while the pope's army had only a few. Garibaldi was wounded in the leg and lost the battle, one of the few losses of his career. But three years later, in 1870, the Italian army finally took control of Rome and divested the pope of his temporal power. Italy eventually became the united country we know today. In 1929, after a concordat signed with Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, Vatican City became an independent city-state governed by the papacy.

Blavatsky's biographers have found her presence at Mentana to be a source of fascination, disbelief, and awe. Most accept that she was there; others are skeptical. At her first meeting with Henry Steel Olcott in 1874, he reported that she was wearing a Garibaldi red shirt, which predictably got his attention. Later, she told Olcott about being wounded at Mentana. "In proof of her story," he wrote in Old Diary Leaves, "she showed me where her left arm had been broken in two places by a saber stroke, and made me feel in her right shoulder a musket bullet still embedded in the muscle, and another in her leg."

As a veteran of the American Civil War, Olcott could recognize authentic battle wounds, and he not only believed her, he wondered what impact the experience might have had on her: "I suspect that none of us ever knew the normal HPB . . . we just dealt with . . . a perpetual psychic mystery, from which the proper jiva was killed out at the battle of Mentana," he wrote after HPB had died. Olcott seemed to suggest that a radical shift in Blavatsky's spiritual psyche took place as a result of the war experience, a shift in consciousness so powerful that it may have been the turning point in her life.

But why was HPB interested in a battle that appeared to have nothing to do with her? The answer may be in what was happening in nineteenth-century Italy. It was a time when ideas about individual liberty and freedom from oppression, whether religious, economic, or cultural were gaining momentum. Garibaldi, along with Giuseppe Mazzini and other Italian reformers, were leaders in what was known as the Risorgimento, or the rebirth and unification of Italy. The Risorgimento demanded an end to foreign occupation, a government that empowered ordinary people, and the overthrow of papal rule, or the "pope as king."

Given Blavatsky's antipathy to religious dogma and any form of theocracy, it's not surprising that she was interested in, perhaps passionate about, what Garibaldi stood for. He also advocated free public education, equal rights for women, and the emancipation of slaves, and had been doing it well before the American Civil War. Like many others, HPB was aligned with Garibaldi's ideals. But there is another reason they shared common ground: Garibaldi was a Freemason. Since HPB had a lifelong interest in the spiritual principles of Freemasonry, it would have made them kindred spirits, if not good friends.

The French esotericist Rene Guenon, one of HPB's most vociferous critics, admits that a high-ranking Mason named John Yarker was "the friend of Mazzini and Garibaldi and, in their entourage, had known Mme Blavatsky." While it seems most likely that Blavatsky met Garibaldi and Mazzini as a result of their mutual interest in Freemasonry, she also could have met Garibaldi simply by attending a speech he gave.

Although a link between Garibaldi and Blavatsky can be made, and her biographers agree that she was living in Italy in 1867, none of them has been able to independently verify that she was at Mentana the day of the battle. For some, this is what puts her presence there in question.

The supposition is that someone would have noticed her and there would be a record of it. But it is important to consider that when the battle took place, Blavatsky was unknown outside of Russia. There were no journalists eager to write about her and her adventures. She was not a published writer, and very few people even knew where she was.

It may be difficult to imagine, but at that stage of her life Blavatsky was an obscure spiritual seeker, still ripening in maturity and searching for her purpose in life. There was no reason she would have been singled out as a casualty, or written about by a journalist or other witnesses to a chaotic battle that involved thousands of soldiers and volunteers from both sides. Thus there will probably never be independent confirmation that HPB was at Mentana, but that certainly doesn't mean she wasn't there.

When she was pestered by an unfriendly inquirer who demanded to know more, she wrote: "Whether I was sent there or found myself there by accident are questions that pertain to my private life." In one brusque sentence, she offered two different possibilities: If she was "sent" there, we are left to guess by whom; or if there by "accident," she may have been traveling near Mentana, and was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It seems like a deliberate effort to keep us in the dark. On the other hand, for those who have been in war, it is a raw and highly personal experience that cannot be fully understood by someone who has not been there. It's conceivable that Blavatsky preferred to sow confusion rather than answer questions from people who did not have the capacity to understand.

In 1886, when A.P. Sinnett was writing a biography about her and asked her about Mentana, she refused to elaborate, writing in a letter: "The Garibaldi's (the sons) are alone to know the whole truth and a few more Garibaldians with them. What I did you know partially, but you do not know all." With that statement, she deepens the mystery and raises more questions: What is the "whole truth" she referred to? She indicates that she knew Garibaldi's sons. How did she come to know them?

Garibaldi's two oldest sons, Menotti and Ricciotti, actively promoted the philosophy espoused by their father. In fact, Ricciotti fought at the battle of Mentana himself. It is reasonable to suggest that HPB met Garibaldi's sons in the same way she met him'at public or private meetings where like-minded people gathered to discuss philosophical ideas and current affairs.

But the question remains: why would she put her life in jeopardy at Mentana? One answer is that like many others, she expected Garibaldi to win and wanted to be part of a historic event that championed the right to self-determination, religious freedom, and human dignity. Another possibility is that she went to Mentana to help care for the wounded. Garibaldi did not have a traditional medical corps, and volunteers were very important in saving lives. HPB may have felt an inner calling to do what she could to mitigate suffering on the battlefield. But she did not want to talk about Mentana, at least not publicly. And that would not be unusual for a war survivor; most do not want to revisit such powerful memories.

The larger question is: how might the experience of war have shaped Blavatsky's life from that point forward? She told Sinnett that after she recovered from her wounds, she left Italy and traveled to northern India and eventually crossed into Tibet, where she spent time with her spiritual teacher. While her physical wounds were not life-threatening, what about emotional and spiritual wounds? The deep distress of having witnessed the brutality of a battlefield must have placed a great strain on her highly sensitive nature. Did she need time in the peaceful atmosphere of a retreat to heal the shock and sorrow that accompanies the experience of war? Did she get help from her teacher in integrating the inner turmoil that she must have felt? Did Mentana, as Olcott suggested, transform her in some way?

It is worth noting that the haunting and transformative effects of war are well-documented. There is a tremendous body of literature written over the centuries by war veterans, war correspondents, and poets like Walt Whitman and Lord Byron or nurses like Clara Barton (founder of the American Red Cross and a medic during the Civil War), which illustrate the inner turbulence experienced in war. For example, on an evening before a battle, when she knew that hundreds of soldiers would die, Barton wrote that she thought she could hear "the slow flap of the grim messenger's wings, as one by one, he sought and selected his victims for the morning." The Pulitzer Prize–winning World War II journalist Ernie Pyle put it this way: "My spirit is wobbly and my mind is confused . . . You feel small in the presence of dead men."

Unfortunately, HPB never wrote a memoir about her war experience, so we are left to hypothesize, surmise, and wonder about how it may have shaped her understanding of what is at stake for a world in perpetual combat. Yet it would not be exaggerating to suggest that the battle of Mentana may have greatly influenced her determination to bring a form of spiritual education to the West that could nurture an expansion of consciousness.

One very interesting glimpse into what HPB may have experienced at Mentana (and then later used as a basis for a philosophical point she wanted to make), is a little-known but provocative short story that she published in her journal Lucifer in 1888. In "Karmic Visions," she describes the insanity of war in the compelling imagery of someone who has been there: "Thousands of mangled corpses covered the ground, torn and cut to shreds by the murderous weapons devised by science and civilization, blessed to success by the servants of his God. Not a wife or mother, but is haunted in her dreams by the black and ominous storm-cloud that over-hangs the whole of Europe. The cloud is approaching . . . It comes nearer and nearer . . . I foresee once more for earth the suffering I have already witnessed."

"Karmic Visions" is set during the Franco-Prussian War, which broke out three years after Mentana, and in which the Chassepot rifle was used as well. The story chronicles the various incarnations of a soldier and emperor-king who cannot turn away from the destructive impulse of war. But that is only one component of a story which portrays the utter uselessness of war and the blindness of those who glorify it or who use it as a means to achieve power over others. Her story also seems to foretell the repetition of warfare in the twentieth century. Just twenty-three years after HPB's death, World War I began, followed of course by World War II, and the many regional wars since then, which now cast a shadow over the twenty-first century.

To sign "Karmic Visions," Blavatsky used the pen name "Sanjna" for the first and only time. According to Boris de Zirkoff, the compiler of Blavatsky's Collected Writings, Sanjna can mean "perception" or "consciousness" in Sanskrit. It also means "creator" or "unity." Exactly how HPB intended the word to be understood is unknown. But the underlying theme, perhaps informed by her experience at Mentana, is that war will be humanity's ongoing nightmare until we wake up from the dream of separation and transform how we understand ourselves and our relationship with each other and with the rest of creation.

While we may never know the whole truth of her experience at the battle of Mentana, there are enough enticing indicators to provide food for thought and reflection. Perhaps it can be said that at Mentana, Blavatsky saw the horrible waste of war and then looked for an antidote. Near the end of her life, she wrote what is arguably her most beloved work, The Voice of the Silence, in which she offers a vision for a world without war. In it, she depicts a very different kind of battle'the battle that takes place within the heart and mind of every sincere spiritual seeker who yearns to become a fully realized human being.

Echoing the teaching of Mahayana Buddhism, HPB describes the one battle that is worth fighting: the arduous inner struggle to transcend an egoic mind which is possessed by an endless stream of thoughts, unbridled desire, greed, anger, and fear. These are the human weaknesses that kill millions of people in war century after century. Without confronting the root cause of war from within, HPB suggests, there can be no escape from the repetition of the outer war. It could be said that "Karmic Visions" portrays the outer war which manifests from ignorance and hate, while The Voice of the Silence reveals what is necessary to end war entirely. In a way, they are two sides of the same coin, though written in a very different style and tone.

The inner battle described in The Voice of the Silence is of course a spiritual journey filled with the land mines of self-interest that, once transformed, can become the path of wisdom and compassion. It culminates in a state of being where the end of war can be realized one person at a time. HPB wrote that once that path is fully embraced, "the last great fight, the final war between the Higher and the Lower Self, hath taken place. Behold, the very battlefield is now engulfed in the great war, and is no more."


Aronson, Marc, and Patty Campbell, eds. War Is: Soldiers, Survivors and Storytellers Talk about War. Somerville, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 2009.

Barker, A.T., ed. The Letters of H.P. Blavatsky to A.P. Sinnett. Pasadena, Calif.: Theosophical University Press, 1973.

Blavatsky, H.P. Collected Writings. 15 vols. Edited by Boris de Zirkoff. Wheaton: Theosophical Publishing House, 1966–91.

'''. The Letters of H.P. Blavatsky, vol. 1, 1861–79. Edited by John Algeo. Wheaton: Quest, 2003.

'''. The Voice of the Silence. Pasadena, Calif.: Theosophical University Press, 1992.

Coulombe, Charles. The Pope's Legion. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.

Cranston, Sylvia. HPB: The Extraordinary Life and Influence of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Founder of the Modern Theosophical Movement. Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1993.

Garibaldi, Giuseppe. My Life. Translated by Stephen Parkin. London: Hesperus, 2004.

Guénon, René. Theosophy: History of a Pseudo-Religion. Translated by Alvin Moore Jr. et al. Hillsdale, N.Y.: Sophia Perennis et Universalis, 2001.

Hedges, Chris. War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning. New York: Anchor House, 2003.

Hibbert, Christopher. Garibaldi: Hero of Italian Unification. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.

Mead, Marion. Madame Blavatsky: The Woman behind the Myth. Lincoln: iUniverse.com, 2001. Originally published by G.P. Putnam's Sons.

Olcott, Henry Steel. Old Diary Leaves. Adyar: Theosophical Publishing House, 1974.

Riall, Lucy. Garibaldi: Invention of a Hero. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2007.

Smith, Denis Mack. Garibaldi: A Great Life in Brief. New York: Knopf, 1970.

Cynthia Overweg is a writer and educator who presents programs at the Krotona School of Theosophy in Ojai, California. Her study has focused on H.P. Blavatsky, Ramana Maharshi, and Christian mystics. During the Balkan war, she traveled as a photojournalist with United Nations relief organizations. Her images of war-traumatized children won awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Film Institute. Recent articles for Quest include profiles of Joy Mills, Ravi Ravindra, and Milarepa.
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Re: Helena Blavatsky, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:06 am

Blavatsky, Garibaldi, and Mazzini
by Jaigurudeva
Blavatsky News: An informative site for those with an interest in Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.
Sunday, October 2, 2011



The August-September 2011 issue of Rivista italiana di teosofia, the journal of the Theosophical Society in Italy, carries an article on “Helena Petrovna Blavatsky e l’Italia” by Patrizia Moschin Calvi. The writer informs us that as 2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy, H.P. Blavatsky has come into the news there, together with Giuseppe Garibaldi and Giuseppe Mazzini, who were the well-known protagonists and heroes in the fight for unification. Blavatsky’s different statements about her presence at the Battle of Mentana, Italy, in November 1867, are referred to, though the writer is forced to mention: it is difficult to make rational sense of her movements, as AP Sinnett explains “We rarely find any logical meaning which might explain her actions and often even she found herself in the position of not understanding ‘why’ at any given moment she was preparing to go here or there. The true reasons for these movements were the orders she received through occult channels.” Obviously another area that needs further research.

Olcott says she was still wearing her red Garibaldian shirt when they met in rural Vermont in October 1874: she told me many incidents of her past life, among others, her having been present as a volunteer, with a number of other European ladies, with Garibaldi at the bloody battle of Mentana. In proof of her story she showed me where her left arm had been broken in two places by a sabre-stroke, and made me feel in her right shoulder a musket-bullet, still imbedded in the muscle, and another in her leg. She also showed me a scar just below the heart where she had been stabbed with a stiletto.

Garibaldi was also shot and wounded at the Battle of Mentana, which occurred on November 3, 1867. Garibaldi’s army was routed by the Papal troops.
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Re: Helena Blavatsky, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:10 am

Theosophy in Italy
by Theosopedia
Accessed: 1/16/19



The first contact with Theosophy in Italy may be traced to the frequent presence of H. P. BLAVATSKY there, where she undoubtedly met many persons who later became members of the Theosophical Society. She visited Trieste, Venice, Rome, Bologna, Bari, and Naples. She is reported to have been with the Italian patriots Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-82) and Giuseppe Mazzini (1805-72); the latter she apparently met in London in the year 1851. She claimed to have participated with volunteers at Garibaldi’s [1867] battle of Mentana (in an attempt to capture Rome) in the year 1867 (Cranston and Williams, p. 79).

Theosophy (in the early broad sense of teachings about this and the divine worlds) was known in Italy before the formation of the Theosophical Society. The Italian philosopher Antonio Rosmini Serbati (1797-1855), a Catholic priest, wrote a large work in eight volumes with the title Teosofia, published in 1859 after his death, and condemned by the Catholic Church. The first Theosophical Center was established in Milan (1890) by J. Murphy, helped by Alfredo Pioda, who also established the first Theosophical Center in Locarno (Switzerland) and commenced the magazine La Nuova Parola. The first Lodge and lending library was organized in Rome (1897) through the efforts of C. A. Lloyd and Decio Calvari, who was the secretary of the Italian Parliament. This Lodge translated and published several Theosophical books, among which were The Occult World and Esoteric Buddhism by Alfred P. SINNETT. At about the same time, Lodges were established at Genoa and Palermo through the efforts of the British Consul, Macbean Reginald Gambier. Later Isabel COOPER-OAKLEY helped to form Lodges in Florence, Milan, Naples, Rome, and Torino. The Italian Section of the Society was established on February 1, 1902, in the presence of Charles W. LEADBEATER, with Oliviero Boggiani as its first General Secretary. At Trieste, the first Lodge was established in 1908, after a visit by Annie BESANT, but a Theosophical center may have existed earlier and been visited by the famous explorer and British Consul at Trieste Richard Francis Burton (1821-90) who translated The Thousand Nights and a Night (1885-88), popularly known as The Arabian Nights, into English.

During World War I (1914-18) the activity of Italian Lodges was considerably reduced because of military service (in which several members died) and the shortage of paper for publishing the Section’s magazine and books. At the end of the war, membership and the number of Lodges increased, as did the printing of books. Theosophy flourished until the advent of the Italian Fascist government, which adopted Nazi race discrimination and persecution of Jews. In order to continue the work of the Society in Italy, the General Secretary, Tullio Castellani, proposed to abolish the first aim of the Theosophical to avoid a clash with the law. In a memorable meeting of representatives of almost all Lodges in Italy on November 20, 1938, that proposal was rejected. The Fascist government ordered the dissolution of the TS in Italy by a decree issued by the Prefect of Genoa. However, members meetings continued secretly from time to time in another place, but this did not escape the notice of the police and several members were threatened with internment, harassed, and some were imprisoned and deported to Germany. Some did not survive. The following is the text of the decree abolishing the TS in Italy issued by the Fascist government:


“According to the report of the local police headquarters of 30th November 1938-XVII it appears that the Italian Theosophical Society in the greatest part of its members is composed of persons who show little comprehension of the basic principles of Fascism and carry on an activity often in opposition to the politics of the National Government under the pretext of spiritual studies. Considering that many members of the Italian Theosophical Society far from pursuing any high ideal indulge, especially of recent times, in sectarian and demagogical manifestations; pursuant to the telegram by the Hon. Home Ministry n. 470-442 of 4th January 1939-XVII and according the article 210 of the law in force, of the civil police.


“The Italian Theosophical Society with its central seat in Genoa, Piazza del Ferro, 3 is dissolved; consequently are dissolved all Groups of the same Society extant at Genoa under the title ‘Giordano Bruno’ and in the following towns: Bari, Forlì, Milan, Rome, Turin, Florence, Venice and Trieste. “The police inspectors of Genoa and of the other aforesaid towns are ordered to execute this decree. Genoa, 14th January 1939-XVII.”

The president, George S. ARUNDALE, appointed Giuseppe Gasco as presidential agent in Italy, and he held the office until the end of World War II (1939-1945). Thereafter, Gasco was elected General Secretary until his retirement in the year 1956. Immediately after the war, the Section experienced a great renewal of activity, with new Lodges, an increased number of members, and the publishing of Theosophical books. The publishing house Ars Regia, established by Sulli Rao with the help of Isabel Cooper-Oakley, ceased to exist, but soon after another Theosophical publishing house, Alaya, was set up by Gaetano De Martino. In 1952, at Trieste, the publishing house Sirio was established, operating until 1995. The new publishing house Edizioni Teosofiche Italiane was then founded in Vicenza in 2001 and since then it has been the Italian Theosophical Society official publishing house.

The Italian government granted an act of incorporation for the Section on September 15, 1980, by a decree of the president of the Italian Republic. From that time on, the Theosophical Society in Italy has grown every year and has been fortunate in receiving several legacies that have greatly assisted Theosophical work. At the time of writing, the Society in Italy comprises 51 lodges and centers with 1043 members in good standing.

A series of initiatives were taken at Assisi in 2002 for the centenary of the Italian Theosophical Society (1902-2002). In particular, a congress was organized with the participation of eminent representatives of the Theosophical Society from all over the world (including Radha Burnier, international president; Tran-Thi-Kim Dieu, chairman of the European Theosophical Federation; Nelda Samarel, director of the Krotona School of Theosophy; Diana Dunningham Chapotin, international secretary of the Theosophical Order of Service; and Phan-Chon-Ton, scientist). There was also an exhibition showing the history and development of the Theosophical movement in Italy, including a wide range of documents, Theosophical magazines and literature, and videos. Part of the exhibition was dedicated to the impact of Theosophical ideas on such notable representatives of the Italian culture as Giuseppe Calligaris, Aldo Capitini, Pietro Ubaldi and Maria Montessori.

The Italian Theosophical Society was profoundly honored and deeply privileged to organize the tenth world congress of the Theosophical Society in Rome from 10 to 15 July 2010, with the subject “Universal Brotherhood without Distinction: a Road to Awareness”. More than 500 delegates coming from 39 different countries attended the event, chaired by Radha Burnier. The president of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, sent a message of wishes which was read during the opening ceremony. The congress was an important occasion for thorough research carried out through fraternal works. Twenty lectures, all now downloadable from the Italian Theosophical Society official website, were delivered during the five-day congress. Moreover, three study groups were established to make a contribution by specific works. A special area called "Casa Italia" was set up for the exhibiting of digitalized material on the history of the Italian Theosophical Society. Other events included meetings, movies, and the presentation of the new Italian edition of some Theosophical books. A charity bazaar, run by the Italian Theosophical Order of Service, operated during the congress in order to raise funds for the T.O.S international initiatives.

During the past almost one hundred years, about 300 works on Theosophy have been published, most translated from classical Theosophical literature.

For more than a century, the Italian Theosophical Society has published several magazines, such as: Teosofia (1898-1902) in Rome; Bollettino della Sezione Italiana della Società Teosofica (1907-1920) in Genoa; Ultra (1907-1934) in Rome; Gnosi, rivista di studi teosofici (1919-1936) in Turin; Il Loto (1930-1939) in Florence; Società Teosofica Italiana Bollettino (1935-1937 and 1945-1948); Alba Spirituale (1948-1968) in Savona-Rome-Florence; Rivista Teosofica Italiana (1968-1971) in Florence; Rivista Italiana di Teosofia (1971-1995) in Trieste and since 1995 in Vicenza.

The following is a list of the General Secretaries in Italy:

Oliviero Boggiani (1901-1904)
Decio Calvari (1904-1905)
Otto Penzig (1905-1918)
Emilio Turin (1919-1920)
Oliviero Boggiani (1920-1929)
Luisa Gamberini Cavallini (1929-1934)
Tullio Castellani (1934-1939)
Giuseppe Gasco, Presidential Agent (1939-1946)
Giuseppe Gasco (1946-1956)
Giuseppe Filipponio (1956-1962)
Roberto Hack (1962-1971)
Edoardo Bratina (1971-1995)
Antonio Girardi (1995- )

The Italian Section has been fortunate in attracting a considerable number of eminent persons into its membership. Among them are these:

Prince Fabrizio Ruspoli (1878-1935), admiral
Otto Penzig (1856-1929), a botanist
Roberto Assagioli (1888-1974), founder of Psychosynthesis
Edoardo Bratina (1913-1999), scholar and writer
Bernardino del Boca (1919-2001), anthropologist, painter, and writer
Maria Montessori (1870-1952), pedagogue
Pietro Ubaldi (1886-1972), philosopher
Giuseppe Calligaris (1876-1944), scientist
Gaetano De Martino (1899-1966), jurist and philanthropist
Lando del Sere (1900-1985), teacher
Enzo Forcellini (1910-2001), teacher
Renato De Grandis (1927-2008), musician


Cranston, Sylvia, and Carey Williams, research assistant. HPB: The Extraordinary Life and Influence of Helena Blavatsky, Founder of the Modern Theosophical Movement. 3rd rev. ed. Santa Barbara, CA: Path Publishing House, c. 1993.

Antonio Girardi
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Re: Helena Blavatsky, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:17 am

H.P. Blavatsky involvement in Italian Politics with Garibaldi and Mazzini, and the Carbonari’s Role in the Republican Revolutions
The American Minvervan
Posted on 5 Aug 2018




Blavatsky interest in Italian Politics, and the Carbonari

It is not enough to study history, but to make history, and the movers of history is a function we take interest in. The subject of the relation between Secret Societies, Politics and Theosophy is a fascinating side of history, and the thing is, while we are interested in history, many of us may not be academic scholars. It means, we do not regard the underlying ideas of our branches and movements to be merely ideas and abstractions, especially since these revolutionaries of our interest considered concrete action resultant from their ideas was the point of their sacrifices, philosophy, and mission. This is why, what I have stated, and will state, will be surely discounted and argued against by a few who unwelcome the truth; but try as you might, it cannot. H.P. Blavatsky’s interest in Italian politics has been very scanty in the historical record of her life, but with us, we find it a positive, than a negative. H.P.B. herself had claimed, and proven to H.S. Olcott, as detailed in his Diary Leaves, that she had joined Garibaldi and the Red Shirts (the Garibaldians) at the bloody battle of Mentana, stabbed with a stiletto, her right shoulder with a musket-bullet wound, and her left-arm broken by a sabre-stroke.

She was intimate with a few Carbonaros (of the Italian Carbonari liberals), Mazzinists, and Garibaldians, including his sons, whom she stated alone knew the whole truth of the story of her participation in these events prior to the formation of the Theosophical Society.

The woman was therefore intimately involved in early nationalist movements, and for this reason, intrigues me, in regards to my late research on the Italian philosopher of Actualism, Giovanni Gentile who synthesized and expressed the spirit of that Italian thought, with respects to the Italian political prophet Giuseppe Mazzini.

Understanding this history and the ideas will help us rebuild associations and establish new bonds, and continue the mission, or better, mould our own from it. No harm comes to us for being a little public, as firstly no one will take the efforts seriously. In a more democratically-ruled society of our political age, than the 1800s, there should be no reason to run idiotically, or hide. We have all the avenues and opportunities of freedom of expression of our ideas open to us more than in any age, which people have grown accustomed to on the fundamental level; hence we ought to feel comfortable to express these ideas in their truest sense, as the author aims to do, publicly, and without pseudonyms. Those days are over; or so it seems even in the “liberal order.”

The liberal order turns out to not be as we envision, since the work of the Renaissance is not a finished project; and firstly having no influence on the modern society. Typically it is thought, political interests is one thing, and Occultism another, but in truth, the two are a linked interest and are linked in history, since the intent is to truthfully propagandize, or promulgate our ideas and philosophy, despite public opinion — a thing shaped for us — the citizens, the masses, the uninitiated. The Southern Italian Carbonari was a secret society and political organization founded to advocate liberal ideas in the early nineteenth-century Europe.

Carbonari society initiation. 1879 illustration showing members of the Italian secret society known as the Carbonari performing an initiation ceremony in a cave. The Carbonari was an informal network of Italian secret societies active in Italy from around 1800 to 1831. They were a focus for those unhappy with the repressive political situation in Italy following 1815, especially in the south of the Italian Peninsula. Members of the Carbonari took part in important events in the process of Italian unification (the Risorgimento), especially the failed Revolution of 1820.

The Carbonari spread into Northern Italy by 1815, when Napoleon was defeated, and they were initially united in the goal to oppose Napoleonic ruler of Naples, Joachim Murat. The Carbonari were composed of advocates of both constitutional monarchy and republicanism, and Freemasons. What united the Freemasons and Carbonari was “militant opposition to the Roman Catholic Church domination of Italy,” K. Paul Johnson explains in The Masters Revealed (Johnson 38). Marquis de Lafayette often known in the United States simply as Lafayette (as spoken of by W.Q. Judge and H.P.B. on the Freemasons and Rosicrucians' roles in the Revolutions in Adepts in America in 1776: William Q. Judge’s Speculations prompt Blavatsky to Question “Illuminati” Theory), was a vital figure in the historical fight for American and French Independence served as leader of the Charbonnerie in France. Thus far, in the public’s opinion, they are made to think of this as nefarious, and suspect. The goal of opposition to the Church for the Carbonari and Freemasons was primarily for a secular Italy, and to restrict the power of the Church, promote freedom of religion and secular education. Yet, there is more to this vision, which they fought for, and certainly the Theosophists and H.P. Blavatsky.

In a footnote in A Few Questions to Hiraf about the Rosicrucians, Illuminati, and Kabbalists, H.P. Blavatsky connected the “political cataclysms” of the time with the Carbonari, who were responsible for the establishment of new constitutional governments in some states in Italy, and fighting for Greek independence, before the European powers united to overthrow these governments. She stated of them:

“For those who are able to understand intuitionally what I am about to say, my words will be but the echo of their own thoughts. I draw the attention of such only, to a long series of inexplicable events which have taken place in our present century; to the mysterious influence directing political cataclysms; the doing and undoing of crowned heads; the tumbling down of thrones; the thorough metamorphosis of nearly the whole of the European map, beginning with the French Revolution of ’93, predicted in every detail by the Count de St.-Germain, in an autograph MS., now in possession of the descendants of the Russian nobleman to whom he gave it, and coming down to the Franco-Prussian War of the latter days. This mysterious influence called “chance” by the skeptic and Providence by Christians, may have a right to some other name. Of all these degenerated children of Chaldaean Occultism, including the numerous societies of Freemasons, only one of them in the present century is worth mentioning in relation to Occultism, namely, the “Carbonari.” Let some one study all he can of that secret society, let him think, combine, deduce. If Raymond Lully, a Rosicrucian, a Cabalist, could so easily supply King Edward I of England with six millions sterling to carry on war with the Turks in that distant epoch, why could not some secret lodge in our day furnish, as well, nearly the same amount of millions to France, to pay their national debt — this same France, which was so wonderfully, quickly defeated, and as wonderfully set on her legs again. Idle talk! — people will say. Very well, but even an hypothesis may be worth the trouble to consider sometimes.”

-- (H.P. Blavatsky, A Few Questions to Hiraf)
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Re: Helena Blavatsky, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:24 am

Hypatia interview (Greek Theosophical Journal)
by Erica Georgiades
http://adepts.light.org/2012/02/03/hypa ... ntinued-2/
Posted on January 24, 2012 and February 3, 2012
by adepts.light.org



Q. In a letter sent by H.P.B. to the President of the Ionian branch of the Theosophical Society she expresses interest in knowing what is the situation regarding Mazzini bust. Why H.P.B. was interested in Giuseppe Mazzini? What was the connection of HP.Blavatsky with the Carbonari?

A. Blavatsky claimed to have fought and been injured in the 1867 battle of Mentana, and speaks of knowing the Garibaldis who could vouch for her. Admiring references to Mazzini are found in other TS founders sources like Charles Sotheran and Herbert Monachesi, and of course Olcott. Later Rene Guenon described HPB as having been involved in the Jeune Europe movement which had been established by Mazzini. He was passionately anti-clerical and promoted a spirituality that would be more liberal and inclusive than that of the Catholic Church. Hence Blavatsky’s resonance with Mazzini’s ideas could have been equally political and spiritual. Likewise her admiration for Cagliostro and his “Egyptian Masonry” which also seems to have been common among the several TS founders.
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Re: Helena Blavatsky, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:40 am

The Extraordinary Life and Influence of Helena Blavatsky: Founder of the Modern Theosophical Movement [EXCERPT]
by Sylvia Cranston
Carey Williams, Research Assistant
© 1993 by Sylvia Cranston



Chapter 5: Travels Resumed

As when she left Tiflis more than a decade previously, HPB says she again fled ‘‘because I was sick at heart and my soul needed space.’’ It was the boredom of conventional life in Russia and the absence of real freedom that drove her away. [30] She went to Odessa for a while. Thereafter one cannot speak with certainty as to the sequence of her travels, but besides Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and Jerusalem, HPB appears to have been more than once in Egypt, Greece, and Italy. It may be during this time that she studied the Kabbalah under a learned rabbi. She corresponded with him until he died, and his portrait was always a treasured relic.

In 1867, HPB spent several months traveling through Hungary and the Balkans. The towns visited were recorded in a travel diary that still exists. [31] Her last stops were in Venice, Florence, and Mentana. [32] A small town northeast of Rome, Mentana has special historic significance: In Italy's long struggle for freedom, on November 3, 1867 it was the site of an important battle waged between the forces of the Italian liberator, Garibaldi, and those of the papists and the French.

When eight years later HPB was in New York, a reporter heard about her participation in this battle. He wrote under the caption ‘‘Heroic Women’’:

Her life has been one of many vicissitudes, and the area of her experiences is bounded only by the world. . . . in the struggle for liberty [she] fought under the victorious standard of Garibaldi. She won renown for unflinching bravery in many hard-fought battles, and was elevated to a high position on the staff of the great general. She still bears the scars of many wounds she received in the conflict. Twice her horse was shot under her, and she escaped hasty death only by her coolness and matchless skill.

Altogether Madame Blavatsky is


When HPB included the clipping in her scrapbook she inked in these words: ‘‘Every word is a lie. Never was on ‘Garibaldi’s staff’. . . .’’

To Sinnett, she wrote: ‘‘The Garibaldis (the sons) are alone to know the whole truth; and [a] few more Garibaldians with them. What I did, you know partially; you do not know all.’’ [33] On another occasion she remarked, ‘‘[W]hether I was sent there, or found myself there by accident, are questions that pertain to my private life.’’ [34] One of Blavatsky’s inveterate critics, René Guenon, admits that a high-ranking Mason, John Yarker (whose writings HPB commends in Isis), was ‘‘a friend of Mazzini and Garibaldi’’ and ‘‘had once seen Madame Blavatsky in their entourage.’’ [35]

HPB told Olcott she was at Mentana as a volunteer with a number of other European ladies. He recalls ‘‘In proof of her story she showed me where her left arm had been broken in two places by a sabre stroke, and made me feel in her right shoulder a musket bullet, still embedded in the muscle, and another in her leg.’’ In all, five wounds were received and she was picked up out of a ditch for dead. Olcott is of the opinion that this near-death was a critical stage in her development, wherein she was able to use her personal self more effectively as a vehicle for the higher self within.

In the early part of 1868, apparently recovered from her wounds, HPB was in Florence. Then via northern Italy she crossed over to the Balkans, according to her account spending some time there awaiting orders from her teacher. Finally word came to proceed to Constantinople and then on to India, [36] after which she journeyed to eastern Tibet. This trip is said to mark her first prolonged stay in that mysterious realm.



31. Blavatsky, H. P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, 1:xlvii, 11–25

32. Blavatsky, The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett, 144

33. Blavatsky, The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett, 144; H. P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, 1:54–55

34. H. P. Blavatsky, ‘‘Mr. A. Lillie’s Delusions,’’ Light, London, England, Aug. 9, 1884, 323–24; Blavatsky, H. P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, 4:277–78

35. René Guenon, Le Théosophisme: Histoire d’une pseudo-religion, Paris, France, 43

36. Olcott, Old Diary Leaves, 1:9, 264; Blavatsky, The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett, 151–52
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