Helena Petrovna Blavatsky se je rodila 31. julija leta 1831 v Jekaterinoslavu v južni Rusiji. Njen oče je bil polkovnik Peter von Hahn, sin generala Alexisa von Rottenstern Hahna. Njena mati, Helena Fadejeva, ki je umrla, ko je bila njena hči stara komaj enajst let, je bila hči Helene Pavlovne Dolgoruki. Tako je Helena odraščala v hiši svojih starih staršev v Saratovu, kjer je bil njen stari oče državni guverner. Jasno je, da je bila izjemen otrok in da se je že v zgodnjem obdobju zavedala, da je drugačna od ljudi okoli sebe. Njene prezgodaj razvite psihične moči so spravljale v zadrego tako njene odnose kot prijatelje. Obenem nepotrpežljiva do vsake avtoritete, a vendar globoko občutljiva, je bila obdarjena s številnimi darovi, ki jih le redko najdemo pri enem samem dekletu. Bistra jezikoslovka, izjemno dobra pianistka in spretna umetnica, ki je bila obenem tudi izurjena jahalka in v precejšnjem obsegu eno z naravo okoli sebe. Zelo zgodaj je občutila, da je bila na nek način namenjena življenju služenja, v katerem naj bi se njene razvijajoče se duhovne moči vpregle v korist človeštva. Ko je bila stara komaj osemnajst let, se je poročila, a ne zaradi ljubezni ali želje, ampak zato, tako pravijo, ker jo je njena guvernanta zbadala, da zaradi svoje uporniške drže ne bo nikoli dobila moža, niti takšnega kot je Nikifor V. Blavatsky, družinski prijatelj, ki je bil namestnik guvernerja province Erevan. Sprejela je izziv in dotičnega v treh dneh zasnubila. Po nekaj mesecih je zbežala in potovala po Egiptu, Grčiji in manj znanih predelih vzhodne Evrope, z denarjem, ki ji ga je priskrbel oče. Leta 1851 je bila v Londonu in tam na svoj dvajseti rojstni dan srečala Mojstra Morya, ali M., kakor so ga pozneje poznali v teozofskem gibanju. On ji je povedal nekaj o delu, ki naj bi jo čakalo. In od tega trenutka dalje je sprejemala njegovo vodstvo, tako za svoj notranji razvoj kot za svoje zunanje delo za človeštvo.
Leta 1852 je poskušala, po pustolovskih popotovanjih po Ameriki, prvič priti v Tibet, kjer je živel njen Mojster, a očitno čas še ni bil zrel, tako da ni prišla dlje kot do Nepala. Vrnila se je v London in nato odplula v Združene Države, kjer je prebila okoli dve leti. Nato je preko Japonske odpotovala v Indijo in tokrat uspela priti v Tibet preko Kashmirja in Ladakha. Tu se je začelo njeno pravo urjenje. Po treh letih, ki jih je preživela z Mojstrom, se je med nemirnim obdobjem vstaje vrnila v Indijo in od tu v Evropo. Domov je prišla nenapovedano, a kmalu nadaljevala s svojimi popotovanji po Kavkazu, Gruziji in ne ve se prav dobro kod vse.
V obdobju od leta 1867 do 1870 je bila zopet v Tibetu, kjer je zaokrožila nadzor nad lastnimi okultnimi močmi in se očistila tega, kar je imenovala “psihofizične slabosti”, s čemer je mislila na zadnje sledi negativnega medijstva. Temu je sledilo obdobje nadaljnjih potovanj, med katerim je obiskala Egipt, Sirijo in Konstantinopel. Ko je bila v Odesi, jo je njen Mojster napotil v Pariz, kjer je prejela neposredna navodila glede svoje poti v New York. Tam se je izkrcala 7. julija 1873 leta.
Leta 1873 je bila stara dvainštirideset let in na najvišji točki svoje izjemne duhovnosti, mentalnih in psihičnih moči. Po mnenju tistih, ki so jo urili, je bila za delo, ki so ga imeli na umu, najboljši od vseh razpoložljivih instrumentov. In sicer, da svetu ponudi novo predstavitev teozofije, “Božanske Modrosti”, “nakopičene modrosti stoletij, preverjene in potrjene s strani številnih generacij jasnovidcev ...”. Naloga, ki je bila pred njo, je bila strašanska. Po eni strani izzvati vkopana prepričanja in dogme ukoreninjenega krščanstva, po drugi strani pa enako dogmatske poglede znanosti tedanjega časa. Toda v tem dvojnem mentalnem okopu se je tedaj pojavila razpoka. Povzročil jo je spiritizem, ki se je tedaj širil po Ameriki. In delo, ki je bilo zaupano tej bleščeči, a razdražljivi ruski ženski, je bilo, kakor ga je razumela ona, jasno: “Poslali so me, da pojasnim spiritistične pojave in njihovo realnost ter da razkrijem zmoto spiritistične teorije o duhovih”.
Dvojna narava tega cilja jo je hitro zbegala. Ob dokazovanju psihične ravni nad fizično, s svojimi lastnimi osupljivimi fenomeni, se je poistovetila s spiritisti, a si z izjemno podrobnim poučevanjem pradavne modrosti in še posebej načel o sedmerni naravi človeka med njimi ustvarila tudi sovražnike. V New Yorku je prišla v stik s polkovnikom H. S. Olcottom in W. Q. Judgeom, pravnikoma, ki sta se zanimala za te nove pojave. Leta 1875 so ti trije, skupaj z mnogimi drugimi zainteresiranimi, ustanovili novo društvo “za zbiranje in širjenje znanja o zakonih, ki vladajo Univerzumu”. Zanj je izbrala ime Teozofija, “Božanska Modrost, ali skupek znanja in modrosti, ki je v osnovi Univerzuma”, besedo, ki so jo izvorno uporabili v 3. stol. n.š. Neo-Platoniki. Teozofsko Društvo je bilo tako ustanovljeno v New Yorku, 17. novembra leta 1875.
V pripravo poti za novo gibanje je začela pisati Isis Unveiled, “Univerzalni Ključ do skrivnosti starodavne in sodobne znanosti ter teologije”, na kateri je delala naslednji dve leti. Medtem se je polkovnik Olcott posvetil organizaciji novega društva. Isis Unveiled je bila objavljena leta 1877 v New Yorku in doživela takojšen uspeh. Teozofsko Društvo, ki je že s svojimi cilji vzbudilo precejšnje zanimanje, podporo in nasprotovanje, se je hitro širilo. V letu 1878 sta, zopet po navodilu svojega Mojstra, Mme. Blavatsky in Pol. Olcott odplula v Indijo. Kmalu po pristanku v Bombayu sta prejela pismo A.P.Sinnetta iz Allahabada, tedanjega urednika revije The Pioneer. Mme. Blavatsky je kmalu zatem Sinnetta povezala z Mojstroma, ki sta podpirala teozofsko gibanje, in iz te zveze se je porodilo med leti 1880 in 1884 dolgo dopisovanje, ki je bilo pozneje objavljeno kot The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett.
Sinnett je iz pisem povzel svoje razumevanje Mojstrov in njihovega Učenja, najprej v The Occult World (1883) in pozneje v Esoteric Buddhism (1883). In ti dve knjigi se smiselno izlivata iz istega vira kot Mme. Blavatskyino poznavanje okultnega učenja, vsebina Mahatma Letters in Tajni Nauk.
Po širnem popotovanju po Indiji sta se ustanovitelja vrnila v Bombay in v oktobru leta 1879 objavila prvo številko revije The Theosophist, z Mme. Blavatsky kot urednico.
V maju leta 1880 sta obiskala Ceylon in javno sprejela “Pancha Silo”. Olcott je to pojasnil tako: “ že prej, v Ameriki, sva se opredelila za buddhista, tako privatno kot javno, tako da je bila to le formalna potrditev najinih predhodnih izjav”. V maju leta 1882 sta ustanovitelja kupila v Adyarju, v bližini Madrasa, veliko posestvo, ki je postalo in ostalo glavni stan Teozofskega Društva vse do današnjega dne. Tu sta se ustalila in z zelo malo pomoči ustanavljala nove lože, sprejemala obiskovalce, vodila izjemno obsežno dopisovanje in izdajala revijo The Theosophist. Polkovnik Olcott je začel s svojo izjemno življenjsko potjo predavatelja in zdravilca. Na Ceylonu je vzpodbudil preporod buddhizma. Leta 1884 je odpotoval v London, da bi britanski vladi predal peticijo sinhalese buddhistov. Mme. Blavatsky ga je spremljala navkljub slabemu zdravju.
V Evropi je okrevala in bila povsod sprejeta z velikim navdušenjem. Njena bleščeča zgovornost, globoko znanje in ugled zaradi psihičnih moči so povsod pritegnili pozornost. Medtem sta njena nameščenca v Adyarju, Coulombova, pripravila zloben in nevaren napad. V Adyar se je vrnila novembra 1884 in zvedela za njegove podrobnosti. Hotela je sodno preganjati par, ki ga je, zaradi njunega grobega obrekovanja Mme. Blavatsky v zvezi z domnevno goljufivim izvajanjem okultnih pojavov v Adyarju, odgovorni odbor odpustil že pred tem, ji tega ni dovolil. Z gnusom se je odpovedala vsem svojim položajem in marca 1885 odpotovala v Evropo ter se ni nikoli vrnila.
Napad je bil, kakor je bilo kasneje dokazano, brez osnove. V odsotnosti ustanoviteljev sta nameščenca, ki sta bila odpuščena zaradi nesposobnosti in drugih, še manj prijaznih stvari, poslala časopisu krščanskega misijona v Madrasu dve pismi, v katerih sta Mme. Blavatsky obsodila goljufanja. The Society for Psychic Research iz Londona, ki se ni menilo za njeno gladko zavračanje pisem, je poslalo v Indijo mladega človeka, Richarda Hodgsona, da bi poročal o obtožbah Coulombovih. To poročilo, objavljeno v decembru 1885, je bilo osnova za vse nadaljnje napade na Mme. Blavatsky, glede njene moralnosti, ničvrednosti “teozofije” in celo neobstoja Mojstrov. Končno je leta 1963, s pomočjo do tedaj neobjavljenih dokumentov, Mr. Adlai Waterman v svojem: Obitary - The “Hodgson Report” on Madame Blavatsky, ki ga je objavila Theosophical Publishing House v Adyarju, analiziral celotno žalostno zgodbo in poročilo brez pristranskosti povsem raztrgal.
Toda učinek tega silovitega napada na Mme. Blavatsky s strani para, s katerim je dolgo prijateljevala, je bil resen. Že tako je bila preveč zaposlena in slabega zdravja, zato se je ob svojem prihodu v Evropo počutila zelo slabo. Vendar je v avgustu vseeno začela v Würzburgu, v Nemčiji, s pisanjem svojega največjega dela, Tajnega Nauka. Leta 1866 se je preselila v Ostende in v naslednjem letu, na povabilo angleških teozofov v majhno hišo, ki so jo zanjo pripravili v Norwoodu, v Londonu. Vendar pa se je to poslopje kmalu izkazalo za premajhno, tako da se je preselila na Lansdowne Road 17 v Notting Hillu, kjer je s pomočjo Mabel Collins, Archibalda in Bertrama Keightleya končala Tajni Nauk. Objavljen je bil leta 1888. V letu 1887 je, ker je izgubila nadzor nad The Theosophistom, ki je izhajal v Adyarju, ustanovila mesečnik Lucifer. Ta je bil zasnovan, kakor pravi na njegovi naslovni strani, zato, “da bi prinesel na svetlo skrite stvari teme”.
Leta 1889 se je preselila na Avenue Road 19, v St. John's Woodu, in tam objavila The Key to Theosophy, “jasno predstavitev Etike, Znanosti in Filozofije v obliki vprašanj in odgovorov za študij tega, zaradi česar je bilo ustanovljeno Teozofsko Društvo”. Istega leta je prevedla tudi izbrane odlomke iz tibetanskega spisa, ki se ga je naučila na pamet med svojim urjenjem v Tibetu, ter jih objavila kot The Voice of the Silence, “Posvečenega Redkim”.
Umrla je mirno, na Aenue Road 19, 8. maja 1891, njeno telo pa so kremirali v Wokingu.
Imejte pred seboj resnico: čisto življenje, odprt um, čisto srce, goreč intelekt, nezastrto duhovno zaznavo, bratstvo do vseh, pripravljenost dajati in sprejemati nasvet in navodilo, zvest občutek dolžnosti do Učitelja, voljno ubogljivost ukazom Resnice, ko smo enkrat v njo in v prepričanje, da jo Učitelj poseduje, vzpostavili zaupanje; pogumno prenašanje osebne nepravičnosti, hrabro zagovarjanje načel, pogumno obrambo tistih, ki so nepravično napadeni, in stanovitno oko za ideal človeškega napredovanja in popolnosti, ki jo opisuje sveta znanost - to so Zlate Stopnice, po katerih se lahko učeči vzpne do Templja Božanske Modrosti.
HELENA PETROVNA HAHN was born prematurely at the midnight hour between 30 and 31 July (12 August, Russian: Calendar) 1831, at Ekaterinoslav, in the province of the same name. The strange and untoward incidents accompanying her birth and baptism caused the superstitious Russian retainers and servants to forbode for her a life of vicissitudes and trouble. Because of these apprehensions she was greatly spoilt, and her only authority was her own will.
Helena (called also Helene, Heliona, Ileana and Helen), came, on her mother’s side, from the princely ruling Dolgoroukis, of whom her grandmother, Princess Elena (Helene) Pavlovna Dolgorouki, who married Andre Mikaelovitch Fadeef, was the last direct representative. On her father’s side she was descended from the ruling Princes of Mecklenburg, the Rotternstern Hahns, some of whom had been naturalised Russians for 300 years. The Hahn family was descended from a famous German Crusader, a Count Rottenstern, who added Hahn, a cock, to his name because the crowing of a cock near to his tent in the Holy Land saved him from assassination at the hands of a Saracen.
In after years when Col. Olcott asked why permanent control was not put upon Madame Blavatsky’s fiery temper, a Master explained to him that such a course would lead to death from apoplexy. The body was vitalised by a fiery and imperious spirit which from childhood had brooked no restraint, and if vent were not given for the excessive corporeal energy the result must be fatal. He was told to look into the history of the Dolgoroukis, to understand what was meant.
The Dolgoroukis were direct descendants from Rurik, the first to govern a large part of the country which came to be called Russia. The ‘Russ’ were Northmen, Scandinavians, roving tradesmen, seeking profit and power, and also warriors and chiefs desiring to rule. From among them the Slavs of Novgorod invited Rurik, 862 A.D., and his two brothers to help end their feuds. Thus started the political history of Russia. The two brothers disappeared, but Rurik consolidated his authority and built up in Novgorod the first civil government and a wealthy trading market for East and West. Rurik, the first Kniaz, or Prince, ruled for fifteen years. During that time his son Igor and his nephew Oleg conquered much territory south and west. Igor made Kief a great centre. His fierce, courteous warrior son Sviatoslov, 957, made his three sons, of different mothers, the first Princes in Russia. The Principality of Kief carried with it the sovereignty of Russia. One, Vladimir, (d. 1015) powerful, of limitless activity, a pagan, realised that a consolidating religion was necessary, and chose Christianity because of the magnificence and beauty of the Greek churches and services. He was baptized and his whole army, and gradually the people. Yaroslav the Wise, his son, (d. 1054) framed the first code of laws, the Russian Pravda, or Right. His three sons married Greek, Polish and German Princesses, and his three daughters the Kings of Norway, France and Hungary.
In Hints on Esoteric Theosophy, (By A. O. Hume, p. 73.) it is said that H. P. B. possessed “in some degree as an inheritance from an adept ancestor, the special capacity requisite for great success in occult studies.” This was apparently Vseslav (disappeared about 1095), son of Yaroslav’s elder brother. His claims to sovereignty had been overlooked and he strove all his life to be recognised, but failed. The people believed him born of enchantment and feared him. He was credited with powers of disappearance, and incredible swiftness of movement. Because of the strange system of each member of the family moving in turn nearer to the Kief headship when it became vacant, quarrels, hatreds and murders of those in the way never ceased. Vladimir II, Monomachos (1113-25) had eight sons the sixth of whom Yuri (George) was called Dolgorouki (long-handed or grasping). He founded Moscow, and from him descended all the Grand Dukes in Russia, the powerful northern line of Princes so famous in history.
In 1224 the Mongol hordes over-ran Russia, conquering and destroying all they could reach. No one could live who did not bow down to them, the “Golden Horde.” All Princes had to appear yearly with tribute before the Khan, and receive investiture from him. For two hundred years this lasted till Ivan III (d. 1533), a Dolgorouki, refused the tribute, 1480, and threw off the Mongol yoke. The arrogant Golden Horde broke up, and over its remnants at Astrakhan H. P. B.’s grandfather was Governor. Ivan III united all Russia and thought the title of Grand Duke was not sufficient. Ivan IV, the Terrible, on attaining his majority at 17 years of age, demanded to be crowned with the title of Tsar (Caesar). He drew all authority to himself. His son Fedor being unfit to rule, Boris Goudenoff, the regent, developed this authority into compulsory service for the aristocrats and serfdom for the people. With Fedor died out, 1598, the long Dolgorouki dynasty. Then the Romanoffs were called in, a “younger” branch, as Michael Romanoff was a grandson of Ivan IV. Even so, we find the Dolgoroukis influential and controlling counsellors and advisors in the Courts of the succeeding Tsars. A Dolgorouki Princess was betrothed to Peter II, but he died before the marriage.
From this brief indication of H. P. B.’s ancestry it will be understood why she was so well known, not only in Russia but throughout Europe, and why she was so anxious not to implicate her family in any of her own actions; though for herself she was a rebel against public opinion and the conventions of society. At eleven years of age Helena’s mother died. She had feared her exceptional daughter’s life would be full of suffering. Helena, her sister Vera and her brother Leonid, went to live with their grandparents Fadeef at Saratov, where their grandfather was Civil Governor. They lived in an immense old mansion, where the long lofty halls were hung with portraits of Dolgoroukis and Fadeefs. There were gloomy caverns underground, haunted by the ghosts of serfs beaten to death by the previous owner’s tyrannous steward. Alone of the children, Helena dared take refuge in these dark regions when she wished to avoid lessons, and only a corps of strong-bodied servant men could fetch her out by force. She declared she was never alone; always there were invisible companions with whom she played and talked. Sometimes she took refuge in a large criminal-infested forest near by. The only one who could really control the wilful small Helena was her grandmother Dolgorouki, herself a remarkable character. She was a woman of great erudition, an archaeologist and geologist of note. She was well known for her work on natural history, archaeology and numismatics, twenty volumes of which were preserved in the University of Petrograd, and she corresponded with savants. When she died her collection of antiquities, relics, minerals and articles of vertu was so great that it was subsequently presented to the Government. (G. L. Ditson in Banner of Light, Nov. 1875 - Scrapbook, I. Ditson stayed at the house of H. P. B.’s sister in Circassia in 1868, and knew all her history and antecedents. Scrapbook, XIX (2), p. 118.) In the apartments of H. P. B.’s favourite aunt Mlle N. A. Fadeef, was a remarkable private museum and a rare and precious library. All these collections were H.P.B.’s delight and she could put herself in psychic touch with the various objects, stuffed animals and birds, skulls, fossils, shells and skeletons, and describe their long past history.
Fairy tales and old legends, told to her by the servants, were Helena’s special delight, while she avoided as far as she could the dry lessons of the governesses, though she had brilliant abilities, and learned languages with ease. In later life she knew at least eight languages and as many dialects. She had also considerable musical talent, which her father encouraged. Again and again her recklessness led Helena into physical danger, and always there was One whom she saw, though not physically, who rescued or protected her and whom she knew to be her Guardian. She was in contact, not only with the physical world, but also with the elemental denizens of another, and with those human beings who are called “dead,” but who are actively interested in the physical world and .wish to communicate with it. Such capacity is called “mediumship.” At first she could not control these conditions, but gradually she mastered them, especially when she came under the direction of the Great White Brotherhood, whose willing and devoted servant she became. Her family was well aware of her extraordinary gifts, and that wherever she was phenomena occurred.
All too soon the question of marriage loomed for Helena Hahn. There are several accounts as to why she married, in 1848, the elderly General Nicephore V. Blavatsky, Vice-Governor of the Province of Erivan. General Blavatsky’s ancestors were derived also from the early Russ adventurers, who settled in S. E. Russia, the Ukraine, and probably intermixed with the Tartars. His family came of the “Hetman Blavatko” or chiefs, an essentially military society. The General took Helena to a summer retreat in Erivan. She tried to escape on the way but failed, and for three months lived there in misery, for she would concede nothing. At last she managed to escape to her family, who sent her to her father. She feared he would want her to return to her husband, so she escaped again, in disguise. Then began years of wandering and adventure.
During her travels Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (H.P.B.) kept in touch with her father, who realised that his unusual daughter must go her own way. He kept her supplied with funds, though she was often in want, for she was careless of money. General Blavatsky himself endeavoured to obtain a formal divorce, but Russian laws were strict. It was necessary for H. P. B. to spend ten years out of the country to make the separation legal.
H. P. B. was emphatic that prior to the formation of The Theosophical Society her private life concerned no one but herself, and she only reluctantly gave any details about it. There is much to be learned of it however, scattered throughout a number of books and records. It is impossible here, for want of space, to give details of her many journeys all over the world in search of occult knowledge, during which she found her way to the ashramas (retreats) of her Master and other members of the Great Brotherhood in the Himalayas, where she garnered the priceless knowledge with which she afterwards enriched the world’s literature. She acquired a profound knowledge of the philosophy and esotericism of Tibetan Buddhism, which shows in her writings.
On the physical plane H. P. B. met her Master and Guardian first in 1851 in London, and more frequently later. She so oriented herself to His thought in true disciple-fashion that she was sensitive to His every hint or direction. Under His guidance she passed from strength to strength in her power to control many unusual forces, by means of which she produced the phenomena which caused so much scepticism, alarm, opposition and shock to a materialistic and conventional world.
In the section of this History entitled “Preparation,” are traced her efforts and her success in bringing into being an organisation to combat the prevailing lack in the West of a profound and searching understanding of life such as existed already in the East, and to make it accessible to the many instead of only to a few scholars, most of whom seemed to have little insight into the meaning of the riches they handled.
H. P. B. entered the Spiritualistic movement to explain its phenomena, to expose its frauds, to enlarge its spiritual scope, and to give to it the dignity in the world of science which was its due. But scientists mostly decided not to follow the road of investigation along which she led - it was too thorny, too uncharted. It was easier to leave it alone and declare her mistaken. There is no need here to recite the number of phenomena with which she enticed eager, adventurous minds to explore and know for themselves the deeper laws of life. There is such a mass of these phenomena that the mere bulk of them is impressive and cannot lightly be dismissed. They await the patient investigator who will sift, weigh and present them with judgment and acumen.
About the time that H. P. B. was instrumental in establishing The Theosophical Society her appearance was often mentioned in newspapers and elsewhere. She was described as being of average height, sharing the family plumpness which turned to corpulency as she grew older, and which was aggravated by her sedentary life. She had a massive face, often described as Kalmuck, though she had no Mongol blood, which suggested power and culture, “a rare countenance,” and over her features a combination of moods seemed constantly to play. Her hair was light brown, thick, very wavy, silken soft and drawn back from her face. Her brilliant penetrating blue-grey eyes were characteristic of her race, as was her self-possession and her air of command. Her beautiful arms and hands were regarded as ideal models for a sculptor. She dressed usually in a loose robe, which suited her, and despite all excentricities of appearance, she impressed all who met her with a sense of her dignity and imperiousness.
H. P. B. with all these gifts seemed indeed the right person to undertake the great task entrusted to her. Much has been written of her dual personality, and into that again it is not possible to go here. There was undoubtedly a great personage behind the personality, and that personage came and went according to need; one whose wisdom was far greater than could be given to the unready, one whose knowledge was at times forbidden expression lest it cause trouble through misunderstanding; but one whose courage and trustworthiness privileged her to be a Messenger of Truth from the Great White Brotherhood to the world at large.
In 1881, when the septenary “term of trial” of The Society drew near, the Master M. wrote of Madame Blavatsky and Col. Olcott:
“One or two of us hoped that the world had so far advanced intellectually, if not intuitionally, that the Occult doctrine might gain intellectual acceptance, and the impulse given for a new cycle of occult research. Others - wiser as it would now seem - held differently, but consent was given for the trial. It was stipulated, however, that the experiment should be made independently of our personal management; that there should be no abnormal interference by ourselves. So casting about we found in America, the man to stand as leader - a man of great moral courage, unselfish, and having other good qualities. He was far from being the best, but … he was the best one available. With him we associated a woman of most exceptional and wonderful endowments. Combined with them she had strong personal defects, but just as she was, there was no second to her living fit for this work. We sent her to America, brought them together - and the trial began. From the first both she and he were given to clearly understand that the issue lay entirely with themselves. And both offered themselves for the trial for certain remuneration in the far distant future as - as K. H. would say - soldiers volunteer for a Forlorn Hope.” (Mahatma Letters, p. 263.)
From Josephine Ransom's A Short History of the Theosophical Society.
Behold the truth before you: A clean life, an open mind, a pure heart, an eager intellect, an unveiled spiritual perception, a brotherliness for one's co-disciple; a readiness to give and receive advice and instruction, a loyal sense of duty to the Teacher, a willing obedience to the behests of TRUTH, once we have placed our confidence in, and believe that Teacher to be in possession of it; a courageous endurance of personal injustice, a brave declaration of principles, a valiant defence of those who are unjustly attacked, and a constant eye to the ideal of human progression and perfection which the secret science depicts - these are the golden stairs up the steps of which the learner may climb to the Temple of Divine Wisdom.
The Key to Theosophy - Conclusion in 1900 Edition
In The Key to Theosophy, H. P Blavatsky wrote that the future of The Theosophical Society would “depend almost entirely upon the degree of selflessness, earnestness and devotion, and last, but not least, on the amount of knowledge and wisdom possessed by those members, on whom it will fall to carry on the work, and to direct the Society after the death of the Founders. … I do not refer to technical knowledge of the esoteric doctrine, though that is most important; I spoke rather of the great need which our successors in the guidance of the Society will have of unbiassed and clear judgment. Every such attempt as the Theosophical Society has hitherto ended in failure, because, sooner or later, it has degenerated into a sect, set up hard-and-fast dogmas of its own, and so lost by imperceptible degrees that vitality which living truth alone can impart. You must remember that all our members have been bred and born in some creed or religion, that all are more or less of their generation both physically and mentally, and consequently that their judgment is but too likely to be warped and unconsciously biassed by some or all of these influences. If, then, they cannot be freed from such inherent, bias, or at least taught to recognise it instantly and so avoid being led away by it, the result can only be that the Society will drift off on to some sandbank of thought or another, and there remain a stranded carcase to moulder and die. [If this danger be averted] the Society will live on into and through the twentieth century. It will gradually leaven and permeate the great mass of thinking and intelligent people with its large-minded and noble ideas of Religion, Duty, and Philanthropy. Slowly but surely it will burst asunder the iron fetters of creeds and dogmas, of social and caste prejudices; it will break down racial and national antipathies and barriers, and will open the way to the practical realisation of the Brotherhood of all men. Through its teaching, through the philosophy which it has rendered accessible and intelligible to the modern mind, the West will learn to understand and appreciate the East at its true value. Further, the development of the psychic powers and faculties, the premonitory symptoms of which are already visible in America, will proceed healthily and normally. Mankind will be saved from the terrible dangers, both mental and bodily, which are inevitable when that unfolding takes place, as it threatens to do, in a hot-bed of selfishness and all evil passions. Man’s mental and psychic growth will proceed in harmony with his moral improvement, while his material surroundings will reflect the peace and fraternal good-will which will reign in his mind, instead of the discord and strife which is [are] everywhere apparent around us to-day.”
Pripravil: Anton Rozman