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A comparison between the Theosophy of H. P. Blavatsky with the "Neo-Theosophy"

of Besant, Leadbeater and followers.

Based on the book "Theosophy or Neo-Theosophy?" by Margaret Thomas

Isis Books



- Forward .........
- Teaching on Logos, or Deity or God . . . .
- On Religion . . . . .
- On "Founders" of Religions . . . . . . . .
- On Jesus and the Christ Principle . . . . . .
- Churches and Priests . . . . . . . . .
- "Absolution" and "Confession" Through "Apostolic Succession" . . . . . .
- Vicarious Atonement . . . . . . . .
- "The Sacraments" . . . . . . . . .
- On Ceremonial . . . . . . . .
- The "Coming" Messiah or Lord Maitreya or World Teacher . . . . .
- Cosmogony . . . . . . . . .
- Atman or Atma . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
- Nebular Theory . . . . . . . . . . .
- Formation of Earth Chain . . . . . . . .
- Mars - Mercury Teachings . . . . . . . .
- Principles of Man . . . . . . . .
- Atma - As Seventh Principle of Man . . . . . . .
- Causal Body . . . . . . . .
- Astral Body . . . . . . . . . . .
- Monad . . . . . . .
- The Goal of Evolution - Man . . . . . .
- Teachings on Lower Kingdoms Vs. "Group Souls" ... . . .
- Conditions During Sleep ("Invisible Helpers") . . . . .
- After Death Conditions - Kama . . . . . . .
- Devachan . . . . . . . .
- Skandhas or "Permanent Atoms"? . . . . . .
- Skandhas . . . . . .
- Sleeping Atoms . . . . . . .
- Occultists and Facts . . . . . . . .
- Memory . . . . . . . . . . .
- The Secret Doctrine . . . . . . .
- "Great Beings" .. . . . . . . . .
- The How and Why of True Occult Study . . . . .
- On H.P.B. . . . . . .
- Notes . . . . . . .
- "A Comparison of C.W. Leadbeater's The Chakras With the Writings of H.P.
Blavatsky, William Q. Judge, and G. de Purucker" - M. Jaqua . . . . . . . .
- "Rev. Leadbeater Off the Trail" - R.S. Gherwal . . . . . .
- "Two Schools of Thought" - Boris de Zirkoff . . . .
- Flowers From a Neo-Theosophical Garden" - H.N. Stokes . . . .
- "The Hidden Voice" - W.E. Small . . . . . . . .
- "The Psychic World - Beware!" - G. de Purucker . . . . .
- "Smogged With 'Astral Intoxication"' - Vonda Urban . . . .



Theosophy Versus Neo-Theosophy, compiled by Margaret Thomas, (member of the

Theosophical Society, Scotland, Wales and England, 1912-1924) was originally published
in mimeograph form as Theosophy or Neo-Theosophy? and was reprinted in Victor
Endersby's Theosophical Notes serially from December, 1952 through October, 1953. This
reprint is taken from Endersby's publication. Some additional comparison quotations have
been added by this editor, and numerous notes by Victor Endersby and this editor have
also been included. It is felt that the value of this compilation is as a comparison of
philosophies and not as a historical reprint or source of original thought or teachings, and
thus the additions to the original.
Blavatsky magazine articles have been referenced to Blavatsky Collected Writings
(Theosophical Publishing House). The Secret Doctrine used was that identical with the
original published by The Theosophy Company (Los Angeles). The Mahatma Letters is that
published by Theosophical University Press (Pasadena). Five Years of Theosophy is that
published by The Theosophy Company.
All "Neo-Theosophy" quotes have not been able to be checked. Quotes from the
following books were able to be checked: A Study in Consciousness (TPH, 1918); Man:
Whence, How and Whither (TPH, 1971); First Principles of Theosophy (TPH, 1923); The
Masters ("The Theosophical Press , Wheaton, IL., no date); The Inner Life I (Rajput Press,
1911); The Inner Life II ("The Theosophical Publishing Society", London, 1911); A Textbook
of Theosophy (TPH, 1971); The Hidden Side of Things I & II (TPH, 1913); Death - And
After? ('The Theosophical Publishing Society", London, 1914); Esoteric Christianity
(TPH/Quest Abridged Edition, 1987); Ancient Wisdom (TPH, 1939); and At the Feet of the
Master (TPH, 1974, pamphlet). The quotes from The Theosophist, Adyar Bulletins, the
Theosophical Review, an interview with the Associated Press from Besant, and Science
of the Sacraments were unable to be checked with originals.
Additionally, The Key to Theosophy used is Theosophical University Press, 1987,
Isis Unveiled is TPH, 1972. Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge and The Voice of the
Silence are those published by The Theosophy Company. The Chakras is TPH, 1987.
Thanks to Edmonton Theosophical Society for reprinting Endersby's Theosophical
Notes from which Thomas's compilation is taken. Thomas's compilation was also serialized
in H. N. Stoke's The 0. E. Library Critic from Sept., 1928 through Oct., 1932. This version
differs in content and order from the Endersby reprint. Thanks to Akron, Ohio,
Theosophical Lodge for a few reference materials to check quotations. Thanks also to R.
Robb of Wizards Bookshelf for a copy of the Gherwal article appearing in the appendix.
This is the second edition of Theosophy Versus Neo-Theosophy from Isis Books. The first
appearing in 1990.
- M. R. Jaqua, 1995


[Quotes from Blavatsky are given in normal type, those of Neo-Theosophists in

Italics. Bracketed numbers refer to notes at the end of the dialogue.]

Comparison of Teachings

"How... can the system be judged by the standard of those who would assume the
name without any right to it? Is poetry or its muse to be measured only by those would-be
poets who afflict our ears?"
- H. P. Blavatsky (Key to Theosophy, p. 56)


"We say and affirm that that motion - the universal perpetual motion which never
ceases never slackens nor increases its speed not even during the interludes between the
pralayas, or 'nights of Brahma' but goes on like a mill set in motion, whether it has anything
to grind or not... we say this perpetual motion is the only eternal and uncreated Deity we
are able to recognize. To regard God as an intelligent spirit, and accept at the same time
his absolute immateriality is to conceive of a nonentity, a blank void; to regard God as a
Being, an Ego and to place his intelligence under a bushel for some mysterious reasons -
is a most consummate nonsense; to endow him with intelligence in the face of blind brutal
Evil is to make of him a fiend - a most rascally God. A Being however gigantic, occupying
space and having length breadth and thickness is certainly the Mosaic Deity..." (Mahatma
Letters, pp. 138-9, #22)

"(1) The Secret Doctrine teaches no Atheism, except in the Hindu sense of the word
nastika, or the rejection of idols, including every anthromorphic god...
"(2) It admits a Logos or a collective 'Creator' of the Universe; a Demiurgos - in the
sense implied when one speaks of 'Architect' as the 'Creator' of an edifice, whereas that
Architect has never touched one stone of it, but, while furnishing the plan, left all the
manual labor to the masons; in our case the plan was finished by the Ideation of the
Universe, and the constructive labour was left to the Hosts of intelligent Powers and
Forces. But that Demiurgos is no personal Deity, i.e., an imperfect extra-cosmic god, - but
only the aggregate of the Dhyan-Chohans and the other forces." (Secret Doctrine I, pp.

"The Logos... 'This highest consciousness,' answer the Occultists, 'is only a synthetic
unit in the world of the manifested Logos - or on the plane of illusion; for it is the sum total
of Dhyan-Chohanic consciousness' ... Iswara or Logos is a compound unity of manifested
living Spirits, the parent-source and nursery of all the mundane and terrestrial monads, plus
their divine reflection, which emanate from, and return into, the Logos, each in the
culmination of its time. (Secret Doctrine I, p. 573) [1] (See Notes)

"When we speak of the deity and make it identical, hence coeval, with Nature, the
eternal and uncreate nature is meant, and not your aggregate of flitting shadows and finite
unrealities. We leave it to the hymn-makers to call the visible earth or heaven, God's
throne, and our earth of mud His Footstool. Our DEITY is neither in a paradise, nor in a
particular tree, building, or mountain: is everywhere, in every atom of the visible as of the
invisible Cosmos, in, over, and around every invisible atom and divisible molecule; for IT
is the mysterious power of evolution and involution, the omnipresent, omnipotent and even
omniscient creative potentiality." (Key to Theosophy, p. 64)

"...physical man (or his body) does not share in the direct pure wave of the divine
Essence which flows from the One in Three, the Unmanifested, through the Manifested
Logos..." (BCW XII, p. 526)


"We have in the Logos of our solar system as near an approach to a personal (or
rather, perhaps, individual) God as any reasonable man can desire, for of Him is true
everything good that has ever been predicated of a personal deity. We cannot ascribe to
Him partiality, injustice, jealously, cruelty; those who desire these attributes in their Deity
must go elsewhere. But so far as His system is concerned He possesses omniscience,
omnipresence, omnipotence; the love, the power, the wisdom, the glory, all are there in
fullest measure. Yet He is a mighty Individual - a trinity in unity, and God in very truth,
though removed by we know not how many stages from the Absolute, the unknowable,
before which even solar systems are but as specks of cosmic dust ... The sun is His chief
manifestation on the physical plane, and that may help us a little to realize some of His
qualities, and to see how everything comes from Him ... I myself who speak to you have
once seen him in a form which is not the form of His system. This is something which
utterly transcends all ordinary experience, which has nothing to do with any of the lower
planes. The thing became possible for me only through a very daring experiment - the utter
blending for a moment of two distinct rays or types, so that by means of this blending a
level could for a moment be touched enormously higher than any to which either of the
egos concerned could have attained alone. He exists far above His system; he sits upon
it as on a lotus throne. He is as it were the apotheosis of humanity, yet infinitely greater
than humanity." (C.W. Leadbeater, The Inner Life I, pp. 71-2)

"Man, the individual, evolving soul, is in truth in the image o f his Maker, [1] and
what HE is in HIS fullness now, that man will be some day. Hence it is that, by a certain
development of faculties latent in the human consciousness, men can touch even now the
fringe, as it were, of the Consciousness of the LOGOS, and so, with HIM, see the Past as
happening even now." ( C. Jinarajadasa, First Principles of Theosophy, p. 29)

" this music-temple . . . he is bearing his share in a concert which comes from
all the worlds of the system, and these streams from all the worlds make somehow the
mighty twelve-stringed lyre upon which the LOGOS Himself plays as He sits upon the Lotus
of His system. It is impossible to put this into words; but the writer has seen it, and knows
that it is true. He hears, He responds, and He Himself plays upon His system. Thus for the
first time we have one brief glimpse of the stupendous life which He lives among the other
LOGOI who are His peers." (Annie Besant & C.W. Leadbeater, Man: Whence, How and
Whither, pp. 390, 392)

"The sacrifice of the Logos lay in His voluntary circumscribing His infinite life in order
that He might manifest. Symbolically, in the infinite ocean of light, with centre everywhere
and with circumference nowhere, there arises a full-orbed sphere of living light, a Logos,
and the surface of the sphere is His will to limit Himself that He may become manifest, His
veil in which He incloses Himself that within it a universe may take form. That for which the
sacrifice is made is not yet in existence; its future being lies in the 'thought' of the Logos
alone; to Him it owes its conception and will owe its manifold life." (Annie Besant, Ancient
Wisdom, p. 304)



"I will point out the greatest, the chief cause of nearly two thirds of the evils that
pursue humanity ever since that cause became a power. It is religion under whatever form
and in whatsoever nation. It is the sacerdotal caste, the priesthood and the churches..."
(Mahatma Letters, p. 57, #10)

"Ignorance created Gods and cunning took advantage of opportunity. Look at India
and look at Christendom and Islam, at Judaism and Fetichism. It is priestly imposture that
rendered these Gods so terrible to man; it is religion that makes of him the selfish bigot, the
fanatic that hates all mankind out of his own sect without rendering him any better or more
moral for it. It is belief in God and Gods that makes two-thirds of humanity the slaves of a
handful of those who deceive them under the false pretense of saving them. ...The Irish,
Italian and Slavonian peasant will starve himself and see his family starving and naked to
feed and clothe his padre and pope. For two thousand years India groaned under the
weight of caste, Brahmins alone feeding on the fat of the land, and to-day the followers of
Christ and those of Mahomet are cutting each other's throats in the names of and for the
greater glory of their respective myths. Remember the sum of human misery will never be
diminished unto that day when the better portion of humanity destroys in the name of Truth,
morality, and universal charity, the altars of their false gods." (Mahatma Letters, p. 58, #10)

"The Bible, from Genesis to Revelations, is but a series of historical records of the
great struggle between white and black Magic, between the Adepts of the right path, the
Prophets, and those of the Left, the Levites, the clergy of the brutal masses... That there
were two schools of Magic, and the orthodox Levites did not belong to the holy one, is
shown in the words pronounced by the dying Jacob. (Secret Doctrine II, p. 211)

"The struggle of Bel and then of Merodach, the Sun-god, with Tiamat, the Sea and
its Dragon, a 'war' which ended in the defeat of the latter, has a purely cosmic and
geological, meaning as well as an historical one. It is a page torn out of the History of the
Secret and Sacred Sciences, their evolution, growth, and DEATH - for the profane
masses... It relates... to the as systematic persecution of the Prophets of the Right Path by
those of the Left. The latter, having inaugurated the birth and evolution of the sacerdotal
castes, have finally led the world into all these exoteric religions, invented to satisfy the
depraved tastes of the 'hoi polloi' and the ignorant for ritualistic pomp and the
materialization of the ever immaterial and Unknowable Principle." (Secret Doctrine II, p .


"Theosophy: As the origin and basis of all religions, it cannot be the antagonist of
any; it is indeed their purifier, revealing the valuable inner meaning of much that has
become mischievous in its external presentation by the perverseness of ignorance and the
accretions of superstition; but it recognizes and defends itself in each, and seeks in each
to unveil its hidden wisdom. No man in becoming, a Theosophist need cease to be a
Christian, a Buddhist, a Hindu; he will but acquire a deeper insight into his own faith."[2]
(Annie Besant, Ancient Wisdom, pp. 4-5)

"If he is on God's side he is one of us, and it does not matter in the least whether he
calls himself a Hindu, or a Buddhist, a Christian, or a Muhammadan..." (3] (J. Krishnamurti,
At the Feet of the Master, p. 8)

"What is the object of religions? They are given to the world by men wiser than the
masses of the people on whom they are bestowed, and are intended to quicken human
evolution . . . all types need religion, so that each may reach upward to a life higher than
that which he is leading ... Religions seek to evolve the moral and intellectual nature to
unfold itself." [4] (Annie Besant, Esoteric Christianity, pp. 2-3)



"But we must resume the thread of our narrative with Buddha. Neither he nor Jesus
ever wrote one word of their doctrines." (Isis Unveiled II, p. 559)

"Our examination of the multitudinous religious faiths that mankind, early and late,
have professed, most assuredly indicates that they have all been derived from one primitive
source. ...Combined, their aggregate represents one eternal truth; separate, they are but
shades of human error and the signs of imperfection." (Isis Unveiled, II, p. 639)


"According to this view, the Founders o f the great religions are members of the one
Brotherhood . . . As Theosophy of old gave birth to religions, so in modern times does it
justify and defend them." (Annie Besant, Ancient Wisdom, pp. 3, 5)

". . . the Guardians of humanity . . . From time to time, one of them comes forth into
the world of men, as a great religious teacher, to carry on the task of spreading a new form
of the Eternal Verities, a form suitable to a new race or civilization. Their ranks include all
the greatest Prophets of the Faiths of the world, and while a religion lives one of these
Great Ones is ever at its head, watching over it as His special charge." (Annie Besant, The
Masters, p. 52 Adyar edition, p. 79 Krotona edition)



"...let these unfortunate, deluded Christians know that the real Christ of every
Christian is the Vach, the 'mystical Voice,' while the man Jeshu was but a mortal like any
of us, an adept more by his inherent purity and ignorance of real Evil, than by what he had
learned with his initiated Rabbis and the already (at that period) fast degenerating Egyptian
Hierophants and priests." (Mahatma Letters, p. 344, #59)

"... neither knew the other John the Baptist having never heard of Jesus who is a
spiritual abstraction and no living man of that epoch." (Mahatma Letters, p. 415, #90)

"Take Paul, read the little of original that is left of him in the writings attributed to this
brave, honest, sincere man, and see whether any one can find a word therein to show that
Paul meant by the word Christ anything more than the abstract ideal of the personal divinity
indwelling in man. For Paul, Christ is not a person, but an embodied idea. 'If any man be
in Christ he is a new creature,' he is reborn, as after initiation, for the Lord is spirit - the
spirit of man. Paul was the only one of the apostles who had understood the secret ideas
underlying the teachings of Jesus, although he had never met him. But Paul had been
initiated himself; and bent upon inaugurating a new and broad reform, one embracing the
whole of humanity, he sincerely set his own doctrines far above the wisdom of the ages,
above the ancient Mysteries and final revelation to the epoptai. As Professor A. Wilder well
proves in a series of able articles, it was not Jesus, but Paul who was the real founder of
Christianity." (Isis Unveiled, II, p. 574)
"Do they affirm that Jesus gave himself as a voluntary sacrifice? on the contrary,
there is not a word to sustain the idea. They make it clear that he would rather have lived
to continue what he considered his mission, and that he died because he could not help
it, and only when betrayed... When, finally, he saw that his time had come, he succumbed
to the inevitable. But see him in the garden, on the Mount of Olives, writhing in agony until
'his sweat was, as it were, great drops of blood,' praying with fervid supplication that the
cup might be removed from him; exhausted by his struggles to such a degree that an angel
from heaven had to come and strengthen him; and say if the picture is that of self -
immolating hostage and martyr." (ibid., p. 545)

"If we do not accept Jesus as God, we revere him as a man. Such a feeling honors
him more than if we were to attribute to him the powers and personality of the Supreme,
and credit him at the same time with having played a useless comedy with mankind, as,
after all, his mission proves scarcely less than a complete failure; 2,000 years have passed,
and Christians do not reckon one-fifth part of the population of the globe, nor is Christianity
likely to progress any better in the future." (ibid., p. 530)


"Again, in these researches into the remote past we have frequently found the
disciple Jesus, who in Palestine had the privilege of yielding up His body to the Christ. As
a result of that act He received the incarnation of Apollonius of Tyana . . . the one who was
once the disciple Jesus stands ready especially to guide the various activities of the
Christian Churches." ( C . W. Leadbeater, The Inner Life I, p. 11)

"I believe with many of the early Christians, that the World Teacher, named by them
the Christ, assumed at the stage of the Gospel story called the Baptism, the body of a
disciple, Jesus, to carry on his earthly work at that time." (Annie Besant, interviewed Jan.
13, 1926 by Associated Press of India)

"The historical Christ, then, is a glorious Being belonging to the great spiritual
hierarchy that guides the spiritual evolution of humanity, who used for some three years the
human body of the disciple Jesus ... That Mighty One who had used the body of Jesus as
His vehicle, and whose guardian care extends over the whole spiritual evolution of the fifth
race of humanity, gave into the strong hands of the holy disciple who had surrendered to
Him His body the care of the infant Church. Perfecting his human evolution, Jesus became
one of the Masters of Wisdom, and took Christianity under His special charge, ever seeking
to guide it to the right lines, to protect, to guard and nourish it." (Annie Besant, Esoteric
Christianity, pp. 96-7)

"We have seen how the man Jesus, the Hebrew disciple, laid down his body in glad
surrender that a higher life might descend and become embodied in the form. He thus
willingly sacrificed, and how by that act He became a Christ of full stature, to be the
Guardian of Christianity . . . triumphing over death." (Annie Besant, Esoteric Christianity,
p. 148)
"Let us pray.
"Guide us, O almighty Father, in all our doings, and from Thy heavenly throne send
down Thy holy Angel to be with Thy people who have met together to serve and to worship
Thee Through Christ our Lord.
"The phrase 'Let us pray' is a signal given by the celebrant to the people when he
is about to say a prayer, and it is therefore time for them to kneel ... for a considerable time
there was no written liturgy, and each celebrant filled in extemporaneously the outline of
the ceremony as given by the Christ.
"That Christ did give such an outline is certain from clairvoyant investigation." ( C.
W. Leadbeater, Science of the Sacraments, p. 471)



"The ever unknowable and incognizable Karana alone, the Causeless Cause of all
causes, should have its shrine and altar on the holy and ever untrodden ground of our heart
- invisible, intangible, unmentioned, save through 'the still small voice' of our spiritual
consciousness. Those who worship before it, ought to do so in the silence and the
sanctified solitude of their Souls; making their spirit the Sole mediator between them and
the Universal Spirit, their good actions the only priests, and their sinful intentions the only
visible and objective sacrificial victims to the Presence." (Secret Doctrine I, p. 280)

"If both Church and priest could but pass out of the sight of the world as easily as
their names do now from the eye of our reader, it would be a happy day for humanity. New
York and London might then soon become as moral as a heathen city unoccupied by
Christians; Paris be cleaner than the ancient Sodom." (Isis Unveiled II, p. 586)


"The clergy exist for the benefit of the world; they are intended to act as channels
for the distribution of God's grace . . . In him also is vested the power to bless and to offer
the sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist. The strength which the priest brings down is not for
himself, but for the flock which is committed to his care ... So there are two aspects of
ordination - the gif t of the Holy Ghost which provides the Key to the reservoir and the
personal link of the Christ Himself with His Minister. The former of these is the official
connection which enables a priest, for example, to consecrate the Host and to dispense
absolution and blessing." ( C. W. Leadbeater, Science and the Sacraments, pp. 301 ,

"Good news comes from Australia ... The three movements there, which I
commended to the special service of our members - the Educational, the Co-Masonic and
the Old Catholic Church - are growing beyond expectation ... A church, one of the old
landmarks of Sydney, a fine looking pile in stone, which has the outside appearance of a
cathedral has been purchased for the Old Catholic Church." (Annie Besant, The
Theosophist, October, 1918)



"An outcry has just been made in England over the discovery that Anglican priests
are largely introducing auricular confession and granting absolution after enforcing
penances. ... The bishop, questioned, points to Matthew xvi, 19, for the source of his
authority to bind and loose on earth those who are to be blessed or damned in heaven; and
to the apostolic succession for proof of its transmission from Simon Barjona to himself. The
present volumes have been written to small purpose if they have not shown,
"1, that Jesus, the Christ-God, is a myth concocted two centuries after the real
Hebrew Jesus died;
"2, that, therefore, he never had any authority to give Peter, or anyone else, plenary
"3, that even if he had given such authority' the word Petra (rock) referred to the
revealed truths of the Petroma, not to him who thrice denied him; and that besides, the
apostolic succession is a gross and palpable fraud;
"4, that Gospel according to Matthew is a fabrication based upon a wholly different
manuscript." (Isis Unveiled II, p. 544)


"Among students of Church history widely divergent views are held about the origin
of Holy Orders. The Roman Church has always maintained that the three Orders (bishop,
priest and deacon) were instituted by Christ Himself and that the first bishops were
consecrated by the apostles. Presbyterians and others, not themselves possessing the
apostolic succession, contend that in the earliest times bishops and presbyters were
synonymous terms . . . Clairvoyant investigation into those early periods absolutely
confirms the contention of the Roman Church . . . They know that there has been no break
in apostolic succession." ( C. W. Leadbeater, Science and the Sacraments, pp. 282, 286)

"But let no one suppose that the public absolution given to the whole flock is in any
way less effective than private absolution, if the desire for rectification on the part of the
wrong-doer is equally earnest and sincere ... In the Liberal Catholic Church auricular
confession is entirely optional, and its frequent and systematic practice is not encouraged,
since it is felt that under such conditions the detailed confession is apt to become a matter
of routine, and its spiritual value in the life of the individual thereby defeated. For all
ordinary purposes the general confession in the Holy Eucharist should suffice." ( C. W.
Leadbeater, Science and the Sacraments, p. 84)


"We have often wondered at the extraordinary ideas of God and His justice that
seem to be honestly held by those Christians who blindly rely upon the clergy for their
religion, and never upon their own reason. How strangely illogical is this doctrine of the
Atonement. We propose to discuss it with the Christians from the Buddhist standpoint, and
to show at once by what a series of sophistries, directed toward the one object of tightening
the ecclesiastical yoke upon, the popular neck, its acceptance as a divine command has
been finally effected; also, that it has proved one of the most pernicious and demoralizing
of doctrines. ...But if we step outside the little circle of creed and consider the universe as
a whole balanced by the exquisite adjustment of parts, how all sound logic, how the faintest
glimmering sense of Justice revolts against this Vicarious Atonement!" (Isis Unveiled II, p.


"None the less, as we look backwards over the effects produced by this doctrine, we
find that belief in it, even in its legal - and to us crude exoteric - form, is connected with
some of the very highest developments of Christian conduct, and that some of the noblest
examples of Christian manhood and womanhood have drawn from it their strength, their
inspiration, and their comfort. It would be unjust not to recognize this fact. And whenever
we come upon a f act that seems to us startling and incongruous, we do well to pause upon
that fact, and to endeavor to understand it. For if this doctrine contained nothing more than
is seen in it by its assailants inside and outside the churches, if it were in its true meaning
as repellent to the conscience and the intellect as it is found to be by many thoughtful
Christians, then it could not possibly have exercised over the minds and hearts of men a
compelling fascination, nor could it have been the root of heroic self-surrenders, or touching
and pathetic examples of self-sacrifice in the service of men." (Annie Besant, Esoteric
Christianity, p. 136 ) [5]



"With the races of our Fifth Race it became in symbology the sacr', and in Hebrew
n'cabvah, of the first-formed races... See that suggestive work, The Source of Measures,
where the author explains the real meaning of the word 'sacr', from which 'sacred,'
'sacrament,' are derived, which have now become synonyms of 'holiness,' though purely
phallic!" (Secret Doctrine, Proem, I, p. 5)


"The seven sacraments of Christianity cover the whole of life, from the welcome of
baptism to the farewell of extreme unction. They were established by occultists, by men
who knew the invisible worlds; and the materials used, the words spoken, the signs made,
were all deliberately chosen and arranged with a view to bringing about certain results." (
Annie Besant, Esoteric Christianity, p. 224) [6]



"Practical theurgy or 'ceremonial magic,' so often resorted to in their exorcisms by

the Roman Catholic Clergy - was discarded by the Theosophists. ...When ignorant of the
true meaning of the esoteric divine symbols of nature, man is apt to miscalculate the
powers of his soul, and, instead of communing spiritually and mentally with the higher,
celestial beings, the good spirits (the gods of the theurigists of the Platonic school), he will
unconsciously call forth the evil, dark powers which lurk around humanity - the undying,
grim creations of human crimes and vices - and thus fall from theurgia (white magic) into
goetia (or black magic, sorcery). ... Purity of deed and thought and can alone raise us to
an intercourse 'with the gods' and attain for us the goal we desire." (Blavatsky Collected
Writings II, p. 96)

"The Suras, who win their intellectual independence, fight the Suras who are devoid
thereof, who are shown as passing their lives in profitless ceremonial worship based on
blind faith..." (Secret Doctrine II, p. 93)


"That (Co-Masonry) again bringing back the occult use of ceremonial, is to many
non-religious people a veritable religion, and prepares them to understand the value of
ceremonies, a preparation, as every occultist will see, for the coming changes..." (Annie
Besant, Adyar Bulletin, March, 1920, p. 74)

"The ceremonies of each (great religion) interest me profoundly, and I have studied
them all with keen pleasure, and can take part in any of them with full earnestness and
sympathy." (Annie Besant, Adyar Bulletin, March, 1920, pp. 69-70)



"Far from our thoughts may it ever be to erect a new hierarchy for the future
oppression of a priest-ridden world." (Mahatma Letters, p. 407, #87)

"And now, when so many of your sisters have died; and others still are dying, while
the few of the old survivors, now in their second infancy, wait but for their Messiah - the
sixth race - to resurrect to a new life and start anew with the coming stronger along the path
of a new cycle..." (Mahatma Letters, p. 150, #238)

"MAITREYA is the secret name of the Fifth Buddha, and the Kalki Avatar of the
Brahmins - the last MESSIAH who will come at the culmination of the Great Cycle." (Secret
Doctrine I, p. 384)

"He will appear as Maitreya Buddha, the last of the Avatars and Buddhas, in the
seventh Race. Only it is not in the Kali yug, our present terrifically materialistic age of
Darkness, the 'Black Age,' that a new Saviour of Humanity can ever appear." (Secret
Doctrine I, p. 470) [7]

"No Master of Wisdom from the East will himself appear or send anyone to Europe
or America... until the year 1975." (Blavatsky Collected Writings XII, p. 492)


"There is slowly growing up in Europe, silently but steadily, with its strongest centre
perhaps in Holland, but with its members scattered in other European Countries, the little
known movement called the Old Catholic with the ancient ritual, with unchallenged Orders,
yet holding itself aloof from the Papal Obedience. This is a living Christian Church which
will grow and multiply as the years go on, and which has a great future before it small as
it yet is . It is likely to become the future Church of Christendom when He comes.'" (Annie
Besant, The Theosophist, Editorial, October, 1916)

"The great purpose of this drawing together is to prepare the way for the coming of
the new Messiah, or, as we should say in Theosophical circles, the next advent of the Lord
Maitreya, as a great spiritual teacher, bringing a new religion. The time is rapidly
approaching when this shall be launched - a teaching which shall unify the other religions,
and compared with them shall stand upon a broader basis and keep its purity longer." ( C.
W. Leadbeater, The Inner Life I, p. 114)

"And now I have to give to you, by command of the King, I have to give you His
message, and some of the messages of the Lord Maitreya and His great Brothers . . . so
that what I am saying, as to matter of announcement, is definitely at the command of the
King who I serve ... our hope is . . . that very many from the Theosophical and Star
organizations, and the growing Co-Masonry and the great fellowship of teachers may
recognize their Lord when He comes , so that we may keep Him with us for many years,
and not make his own world impossible for Him save in seclusion as was done on His last
coming." (Annie Besant, The Theosophist, November, 1925, pp. 150, 160)

"As to the approaching advent of the Christ and the work which He has to do, you
cannot do better than read Mrs. Besant's book on The Changing World. The time of His
advent is not far distant, and the very body which He will take is even already born among
us." ( C. W. Leadbeater, The Inner Life I, p. 16)


"Believing in seven planes of Kosmic being and states of Consciousness, with
regard to the Universe or the Macrocosm, we stop at the fourth plane, finding it impossible
to go with any degree of certainty beyond." (Key to Theosophy, p. 90)

"The reader is reminded that Kosmos often means in our Stanzas only our own
Solar System, not the infinite Universe." (Secret Doctrine I, p. 200fn)

"These are the four lower planes of Cosmic Consciousness, the three higher planes
being inaccessible to human intellect as developed at present." (Secret Doctrine I, p. 200)
[see diagram from SD I, p. 200) [8]


"We have thus the seven planes of a universe, a solar system, which, as we see by
this brief description, may be regarded as making up three groups: ...

I. Adi - - - - - - - - - I. The field of Logoic manifestation only

ii. Anupadaka


iii. Atmic -------- II. The field of supernormal human evolution

iv. Buddhic


v. Mental -------- III. The field of elemental, mineral, vegetable, animal

vi. Emotional and normal human evolution
vii. Physical

(Annie Besant, A Study in Consciousness, p. 2)



"...Atman or seventh principle ridded of its mayavic distinction from its Universal
Source - which becomes the object of perception for, and by the individuality centered in
Buddhi, the sixth principle... Nor is it the 'Spirit of Buddhas present in the Church,' but the
Omnipresent Universal Spirit in the temple of nature - in one case; and the seventh
principle - the Atman in the temple - man -in the other. " (Mahatma Letters, pp. 343-4, #59)

"First of all, Spirit (in the sense of the Absolute, and therefore, indivisible ALL), or
Atma." (Key to Theosophy, p. 119)

"The fifth plane, the nirvanic, is the plane of the highest human aspect of the God
within us, and this aspect is named by Theosophists Atma, or the Self . It is the plane of
pure existence, of divine powers in their fullest manifestation in our fivefold universe - what
lies beyond on the sixth and seventh planes is hidden in the unimaginable light of God."
(Annie Besant, Ancient Wisdom, p. 184)



"The nebulae exist; yet the nebular theory is wrong. A nebula exists in a state of
entire elemental dissociation. It is gaseous and - something else besides, which can hardly
be connected with gases, as known to physical science; and it is self -luminous. But that
is all... we may, we maintain, define our position with regard to modern nebular theory and
its evident incorrectness, by simply pointing out facts diametrically opposed to it in its
present form." (Secret Doctrine I, pp. 588, 591) [9]

"Therefore, do they (the Adepts) say that the great men of science of the West
knowing nothing or next to nothing either about cometary matter, centrifugal and centripetal
forces, the nature of the nebulae, or the physical constitution of the Sun, stars, or even the
moon, are imprudent to speak so confidently as they do about the 'central mass of the sun'
whirling out into space planets, comets, and what not. Our humble opinion being wanted
we maintain: that it evolutes out but the life principle, the soul of these bodies, giving and
receiving it back in our little solar system, as the 'Universal Life-giver,' the ONE LIFE gives
and receives it in the Infinite and Eternity..." (Blavatsky Collected Writings V, p. 154) [10]

"Q. Is it to be supposed that the Milky Way is composed of matter in a state of

differentiation other than that with which we are acquainted?
"A. I thoroughly believe so. It is the store-house of the materials from which the
stars, planets and other celestial bodies are produced. Matter in this state does not exist
on earth; [11] but that which is already differentiated and found on earth is also found on
other planets and vice-versa. But, as I understand, before reaching the planets from its
condition in the Milky Way, matter has first to pass through many stages of differentiation.
The matter, for instance, within the Solar System is in an entirely different state from that
which is outside or beyond the system.
"Q. Is there a difference between the Nebulae and the Milky Way?
"A. The same, I should say, that there is between a highway road and the stones
and mud upon that road. There must be, of course, a difference between the matter of the
Milky Way and that of the various Nebulae, and these again must differ among themselves.
But in all your scientific calculations and measurements it is necessary to consider that the
light by which the objects are seen is a reflected light, and the optical illusion caused by the
atmosphere of the earth renders it impossible that calculations of distances, etc., should
be absolutely correct, in addition to the fact that it entirely alters observations of the matter
of which the celestial bodies are composed, as it is liable to impose upon us a constitution
similar to that of the earth. This is, at any rate, what the MASTERS teach us." (Transactions
of the Blavatsky Lodge, pp. 113-14)


"Eventually there comes a point at which He sends through it a kind of electrical

shock, which precipitates it into a lower condition of matter, so that instead of being a mere
aggregation of atoms it becomes definitely a combination of them, usually a mass of
glowing hydrogen.
"Here we have the nebular stage, through which various systems in our universe are
at this moment passing ... As our nebula revolved around its axis it gradually cooled,
contracted and flattened down, so that eventually it became rather a huge revolving disc
than a sphere. Presently fissures appeared in this disc and it broke into rings, presenting
somewhat the appearance of the planet Saturn and its surroundings, but on a gigantic
scale. At a chosen point in each of these rings a subsidiary vortex was set up, and
gradually much of the matter of the ring was gathered into this. The concussion of the
fragments generated an amount of heat which reduced them to a gas condition and thus
formed a huge glowing ball, which gradually, as it cooled, condensed into a planet." ( C. W.
Leadbeater, The Inner Life II, pp. 269-270)

"Let us consider first the great nebula in Orion ... It is a chaotic mass of matter, in
an intensely heated condition, millions and millions of miles in diameter ... The probable
change, its next step, we can construct in imagination as we look at the nebula in Canes
Venatici. The nebula now has taken on a spiral motion. It revolves, and its matter tends to
aggregate round a nucleus. In course of time, the spherical mass will flatten; as it contracts,
ring after ring of matter will break off from the cooling nucleus. As millions of years pass,
these rings of matter too will break; each will aggregate round some nucleus, and instead
of a ring we shall have a planet, retaining the original motion of the nebula, and revolving
now round a central sun. Or it may be that, without breaking into rings, the nebula will throw
off, as it whirls, outlying parts of itself, which then condense and become the planets; but
in either process, the original chaotic nebula will have become an orderly solar system, with
a central sun and planets circling round it like the solar system in which we live." ( C.
Jinarajadasa, First Principles of Theosophy, pp. 5-6) [12]



"Again, in the Seventh Round on the Lunar chain, when Class 7, the last, quits
Globe A, that Globe, instead of falling asleep, as it had done in previous Rounds, begins
to die (to go into its planetary pralaya); and in dying it transfers successively, as just said,
its 'principles,' or life-elements and energy, etc., one after the other to a new 'laya centre,'
which Commences the formation of Globe A of the Earth Chain. A similar process takes
place for each of the Globes of the 'lunar chain' one after the other,, each forming a fresh
globe of the 'earth chain.' ...But Globe A of the lunar chain is not fully 'dead' till the first
Monads of the first class have passed from Globe G or Z, the last of the 'lunar chain,' into
the Nirvana which awaits them between the two chains; and similarly for all the other
Globes as stated, each giving birth to the corresponding globe of the 'earth chain.'
"Further, when Globe A of the new chain is ready, the first class or Hierarchy of
Monads from the Lunar chain incarnate upon it in the lowest kingdom, and so on
successively." (Secret Doctrine I, pp. 171-3)

"Now the life impulse reaches 'A' or rather that which is destined to become 'A' and
which so far is but cosmic dust. A centre is formed in the nebulous matter of the
condensation of the solar dust disseminated through space and a series of three evolutions
invisible to the eye of flesh occur in succession, viz., three kingdoms of elementals or
nature forces are evoluted: in other words the animal soul of the future globe is formed; or
as a Kabalist will express it, the gnomes, the salamanders, and the undines are created.
The correspondence between a mother-globe and her child-man may be thus worked out.
Both have their seven principles. In the Globe, the elementals (of which there are in all
seven species) form (a) a gross body, (b) her fluidic double (linga sariram), c) her life
principle (jiva); (d) her fourth principle kama rupa is formed by her creative impulse working
from centre to circumference; (e) her fifth principle (animal soul or Manas, physical
intelligence) is embodied in the vegetable (in germ) and animal kingdoms; (f) her sixth
principle (or spiritual soul, Buddhi) is man (g) and her seventh principle (atma) is in a film
of spiritualized akasa that surrounds her." (Mahatma Letters, p. 94, #15)


"Globe A of the terrene Chain began to form as the life wave left Globe A of the
lunar Chain. The Spirit of a globe, when its life is over, takes a new incarnation, and as it
were, transfers the life with himself to the corresponding globe of the next Chain. The
inhabitants, after leaving the Chain, have long to wait ere their new home is ready for them,
but the preparation that home begins when the spirit of the first globe leaves it and it
becomes a dead body, while he enters on a new cycle of life and a new globe begins to
form round him. Molecules are built up under the direction of Devas, humanity not being
at all involved. The Spirit of a globe is probably on the line of this class of Devas, and
members of it perform the work of building globes all through the system. A great wave of
life from the LOGOS builds up atoms in a system by the intermediary of such a Deva; then
molecules are built, then cells, and so on. Living creatures are like parasites on the surface
of the... earth. . . Our physical Earth was formed when the inhabitants left Globe D of the
Moon Chain ... but Globe D, our earth could not go far in its formation till its congener,
globe D, of the lunar chain, the Moon, had died." (Man: Whence How and Whither, pp.

"The new earth nebula was developed round a centre bearing pretty much the same
relation to the dying planet that the centres of the earth and moon bear to one another at
present. But in the nebulous condition this aggregation of matter occupied an enormously
greater volume than the solid matter of the earth now occupies. It stretched out in all
directions so as to include the old planet in its fiery embrace. The temperature of a new
nebulae appears to be considerably higher than any temperatures we are acquainted with,
and by this means the old planet was superficially heated afresh in such a manner that all
atmosphere, water, and volatilizable matter upon it was brought into the gaseous condition
and so became amenable to the new centre of attraction set up at the centre of the new
nebulae. In this way the air and seas of the old planet were drawn over into the constitution
of the new..." (A. P. Sinnett quoted in Ancient Wisdom, Annie Besant, pp. 353-4)



"Go to your fortepiano and execute upon the lower register of keys the seven notes
of the lower octave - up and down. Begin pianissimo; cresendo from the first key and
having struck fortissimo on the last lower note go back diminuendo getting out of your last
note a hardly perceptible sound - 'morendo pianissimo'... The first and last notes will
represent to you the first and last spheres in the cycle of evolution - the highest! The one
you strike once is our planet." (Mahatma Letters, p. 73, #13)

"Our Globe, as taught from the first, is at the bottom of the arc of descent, where the
matter of our perception exhibits itself in its grossest form. ...Hence it only stands to reason
that the globes which overshadow our Earth must be on different and superior planes."
(letter from Mahatma K.H. quoted in Secret Doctrine I, p. 166)

"It is quite correct that Mars is in a state of obscuration at present, and Mercury just
beginning to get out of it... Again, both (Mars and Mercury) are septenary chains, as
independent of the Earth's sidereal lords and superiors as you are independent of the
'principles' of Daumling (Tom Thumb)..." (letter from Mahatma K.H. quoted, in Secret
Doctrine I, p. 165)


"There are ten schemes of evolution at present existing in our solar system, but only
seven of them are at the stage where they have planets in the physical world. These are:
1 . . . ; 2 . . . ; 3. that of the Earth, Mars and Mercury, which has three visible planets,
because it is in its fourth incarnation..." ( C. W. Leadbeater, Textbook of Theosophy, p.

"... our Earth Chain, or Terrene Chain, is the fourth in succession, and has therefore
three of its seven globes in physical manifestation, its third globe, C, being what is called
the planet Mars, and its fifth globe E, what is called the planet Mercury." (Annie Besant and
C. W. Leadbeater, Man: Whence, How and Whither, p. 9)


[Here in the book is a diagram from Secret Doctrine I, p. 153, which is too
complex to reproduce. - Ed.]

"As we are Proceeding here from Universals to Particulars, instead of using the
inductive or Aristotlean method, the numbers are reversed. Spirit is enumerated the first
instead of seventh, as is usually done, but, in truth, ought not to be done... Or as usually
named after the manner of Esoteric Buddhism and others: 1, Atma; 2, Buddhi (or Spiritual
Soul); 3, Manas (Human Soul); 4, Kama Rupa (Vehicle of Desire and Passions); 5, Linga
Sarira; 6, Prana; 7, Sthula Sarira." (Secret Doctrine I, p. 153)

1. Atma
2. Buddhi (or Spiritual Soul)
3. Manas (Human Soul)
4. Kama Rupa (Vehicle of Desires and Passions)
5. Linga Sarira
6. Prana
7. Sthula Sarira

"We include Atma among the human 'principles' in order not to create additional
confusion. In reality it is no 'human' but the universal absolute principle of which Buddhi,
the Soul-Spirit, is the carrier." (Key to Theosophy, p. 93)

"The 'principles,' as already said, save the body, the life, and the astral eidolon, all
of which disperse at death, are simply aspects and states of consciousness." (Key to
Theosophy, p. 100)

"Occultism teaches that physical man is one, but the thinking man septenary,
thinking, acting, feeling, and living on seven different states of being or planes of
consciousness, and that for all these states and planes the permanent Ego (not the false
personality) has a distinct set of senses." (Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge, p. 73)


I . Adi
ii. Anupadaka
iii. Atma
iv. Buddhi
v. Manas
vi. Kamas
vii. Sthula
(Annie Besant, A Study in Consciousness, p. 64, [1918, 3rd Edition])
Principles: Atma. Spirit; Buddhi; Higher Manas and Lower Manas; Kama; Linga
Sharira; Sthula Sharira
Life: Atma; Spiritual Soul; Human Soul; Animal Soul
Forms: Bliss-Body; Causal Body; Mental Body; Astral Body; Etheric Double;
Dense Body

(Annie Besant, Ancient Wisdom, p. 194)

"Dr . Annie Besant has proposed a set of names for the planes, so for future these
will be used instead of those previously employed. A table of them is given below for
New Names: 1. Divine World; 2.Monadic World; 3.Spiritual World; 4. Intuitional
World; 5. Mental World; 6. Emotional or Astral World; 7. Physical World
Old Names: 1. Adi Plane; 2. Anupadaka Plane; 3. Atmic or Nirvanic Plane; 4.
Buddhic Plane; 5. Mental Plane; 6. Astral Plane; 7. Physical Plane
( C. W. Leadbeater, A Textbook of Theosophy, 3rd Edition, 1918, p. 41) [13]

"The various subtle bodies of man that we have now studied form in their aggregate
what is usually called the 'aura' of the human being. This aura has the appearance of an
egg-shaped luminous cloud, in the midst of which is the dense physical body, and from its
appearance it has often been spoken of as though it were nothing more than such a cloud.
What is usually called the aura is merely such parts of the subtle bodies as extend beyond
the periphery of the dense physical body; each body is complete in itself and
interpenetrates those that are coarser than itself; it is larger or smaller according to its
development, and all that part of it that overlays the surface of the dense physical body is
termed the aura. The aura is thus composed of the overlapping portions of the etheric
double, the desire body, and in rare cases the buddhic body, illuminated by the atmic
radiance." [14] (Annie Besant, Ancient Wisdom, p. 195)



"'Remember that there is within man no abiding principle' - which sentence I find
followed by a remark of yours 'How about the sixth and seventh principles?' To this I
answer, neither Atma nor Buddhi ever were within man..." (Mahatma Letters, p. 455, #127)

"First of all, Spirit (in the sense of the Absolute, and therefore, indivisible ALL), or
Atma. As this can neither be located nor limited in philosophy, being simply that which IS
in Eternity, and which cannot be absent from even the tiniest geometrical or mathematical
point of the universe of matter or substance, it ought not to be called, in truth, a 'human'
principle at all. Rather, and at best, it is in Metaphysics, that point in space which the
human Monad and its vehicle man occupy for the period of every life." (Key to Theosophy,
p. 119)

"These vehicles, being composed of matter modified by the action of the Planetary
Logos of the Chain to which they belong, cannot respond to the vibrations of matter
differently modified; and the student must be able to use his atmic body before he can
contact the Universal Memory beyond the limits of his own Chain." (Annie Besant, A Study
in Consciousness, p. 177)

" ....since the Ego in the causual body gives the fundamental tone or temperament
for the incarnation, we may think of the Ego and his three lower vehicles as forming a chord
of temperamental tones, the Chord of the Man. But the Individuality in the causal body is
only a partial representation of all his qualities; behind his Higher Manas or Abstract Mind
exists the Buddhi, the Divine Intuition, and behind that, the Atma or the indomitable Spirit
of God in man. But the Atma, Buddhi, and higher attributes of the Monad, 'the Son in the
Bosom of the Father.' The fundamental note of the Life of the Logos gives the dominant
tone for the Monad, and the three attributes of the Monad, on the Adi, Anupadaka and the
higher Nirvanic planes, make the 'Chord of the Monad.'" ( C. Jinarajadasa, First Principles
of Theosophy, p. 110) [15]



"For it is the Buddhi-Manas which is called the Causal Body, (the United 5th and 6th
Principles) and which is Consciousness, that connects it with every personality it inhabits
on earth." (Key to Theosophy, p. 121)

"Speaking of Manas, the 'Causal Body,' we may call it - when connecting it with the
Buddhic radiance - the 'HIGHER EGO,' never the 'Higher Self."' (Key to Theosophy, p. 174)

"... you have not yet grasped very firmly the difference between the sixth and
seventh and the fifth, or the immortal and the astral or personal 'Monads = Egos.' ...the 'real
Ego inheres in the higher principles which are reincarnated' periodically every one, two, or
three or more thousands of years. But the immortal Ego the 'Individual Monad,' is not the
personal monad which is the 5th ..." (Mahatma Letters, p. 183, #24B)


"The ego dwells in a causal body, and when he takes upon himself in addition a
mental and an astral body, the operation involves the actual entangling of a portion of the
matter of his causal body with the matter of those lower astral and mental types." ( C.W.
Leadbeater, The Inner Life I, pp. 205-6)

"When the Thinker has consumed in the mental body all the fruits belonging to it of
his earthly life, he shakes it off and dwells unencumbered in his own place. All the mental
faculties which express themselves on the lower levels are drawn within the causal body -
with the germs of the passional life that were drawn into the mental body when it left the
astral shell to disintegrate in Kamaloka - and these become latent for a time, lying within
the causal body, forces which remain concealed for lack of material in which to manifest.
The mental body, the last of the temporary vestures of the true man, disintegrates, and its
materials return to the general matter of the mental plane, whence they were drawn when
the Thinker last descended into incarnation. Thus the causal body alone remains, the
receptacle and treasure house of all that has been assimilated from the life that is over."
(Annie Besant, Ancient Wisdom, p. 161)

"Once again, there begins the process of involution, and now of the Ego who lives
in the causal body. When the Ego descends into incarnation, he undergoes limitation plane
by plane, as he makes successively the mental, astral and physical bodies." ( C .
Jinarajadasa, First Principles of Theosophy, p. 197) [16]


(Linga-Sarira in Theosophy, Kama-Rupa in Neo-Theosophy)

"Why, she confounds 'Soul and Spirit,' refuses to discriminate between the animal
and spiritual Egos the Jiv-atma (or Linga-Shirir) and the Kama-Rupa (or Atma-Rupa), two
as different things as body and mind, and - mind and thought are!" (Mahatma Letters, p.
46, #9)

"Linga-Sarira: the inert vehicle or form on which the body is moulded; the vehicle of
Life. It is dissipated very shortly after the disintegration of the body." (Secret Doctrine II, p.


"The desire nature of the astral body provides a delicate instrument o f cognition.
Evil begins when the desire elemental dominates and dispossesses for the time the Ego.
A natural desire then becomes a craving, and the astral body gets out of control. When a
man loses his temper, so that for the time he is not showing a soul's attributes, but those
of a wild beast, he has for the time reverted to an early state of evolution, dragged thereto
by the astral body which he cannot control. What we have to understand is that we are not
the habits of the desire elemental of the astral body, but are to search, for our soul's
purpose, such aptitudes in it as are useful for us." ( C. Jinarajadasa, First Principles of
Theosophy, p. 105) [17]

"While the man is what we call alive and awake on the physical earth he is limited
by his physical body, for he uses the astral and mental bodies only as bridges to connect
himself with his lowest vehicle. One of the limitations of the physical body is that it quickly
becomes fatigued and needs periodical rest. Each night the man leaves it to sleep, and
withdraws into his astral vehicle, which does not become fatigued and therefore needs no
sleep. During this sleep of the physical body the man is free to move about in the astral
world..." ( C. W. Leadbeater, Textbook of Theosophy, pp. 61-2) [18]



"'Having for Father, Spirit, which is Life (the endless Circle or Parabrahm) and for
Mother the Great Deep, which is Substance (Prakriti in its undifferentiated condition) -
Adonai possesses the potency of both and wields the dual powers of all things.' We would
say triple, but in the sense as given this will do. Pythagoras had a reason for never using
the finite useless figure - 2, and for altogether discarding it. The ONE can, when
manifesting, become only 3. The umanifested when a simple duality remains passive and
concealed. The dual monad (the 7th and 6th principles) has, in order to manifest itself as
a Logos, the 'Kwan-shai-yin' to first become a triad (7th, 6th and half of the 5th)..."
(Mahatma Letters, pp. 346-7)

"In short, as the spiritual Monad is one, Universal, Boundless and Impartite, whose
rays, nevertheless, form what we, in our ignorance, call the 'Individual Monads' of men, so
the Mineral Monad being at the opposite point of the circle is also one - and from it proceed
the countless physical atoms, which Science is beginning to regard as individualized. ... As
the Monads are uncompounded things, as correctly defined by Leibnitz, it is the spiritual
essence which vivifies them in their degrees of differentiation, which properly constitutes
the Monad - not the atomic aggregation, which is only the vehicle and the substance
through which thrill the lower and the higher degrees of intelligence." (Secret Doctrine I,

"It would be very misleading to imagine a Monad as a separate Entity trailing its slow
way in a distinct path through the lower Kingdoms, and after an incalculable series of
transformations flowering into a human being; in short, that the Monad of a Humboldt dates
back to the Monad of an atom of hornblende." (Secret Doctrine I, p. 178)


"Now this specialization of Jack out of the dog-Group Soul is due, not only to the
higher vibrations sent towards him from Jack's master, mistress, and friends, but also to
the fact that a Monad, 'a fragment of Divinity,' is seeking to form an Ego or Soul in order to
begin his human experiences. This Monad long ago attached to itself an atom of each of
the planes as a centre on each plane, as an 'earnest' sent in advance with a view to his
future work . . . When the 'permanent atoms' find themselves in touch with a highly
specialized part of the animal Group Soul, like the 'soul of Jack,' then the Monad sends
down from his high plane certain influences ... the 'soul of Jack' as the result of the stronger
and more divine radiations from the Monad, breaks off from the Group Soul ..." ( C.
Jinarajadasa, First Principles of Theosophy, p. 122)

"Meanwhile, it may be said in passing, the everflowing stream of life from the Logos
supplies new Monads of form on the higher levels, so that the evolution proceeds
continuously, and as the more-evolved Monads incarnate in the lower worlds their place
is taken by the newly emerged Monads in the higher." (Annie Besant, Ancient Wisdom,
p. 205)

"The evolution of matter is a re-arrangement; the evolution of life is an unlocking and

an unfoldment. In the first cell of living matter, in some incomprehensible fashion, are
Shakespeare and Beethoven. Nature may need millions of years to re-arrange the
substance, 'selecting' age after age, till the proper aggregation is found, and Shakespeare
and Beethoven can come from her bosom to be the protagonists in one scene of her
drama. Yet all the while, throughout the millions of years, the life held them both
mysteriously within itself . ...Within each cell HE resides in HIS fullness, under HIS
guidance, at the proper time, Shakespeare and Beethoven step forth, and we call it
Evolution." ( C Jinarajadasa, First Principles of Theosophy, p. 17) [19]



"The whole Kosmos is guided, controlled, and animated by almost endless series
of Hierarchies of sentient Beings, each having a mission to perform, and who - whether we
give them one name or another, and call them Dhyan-Chohans or Angels - are
'messengers' in the sense only that they are the agents of Karmic and Cosmic Laws. They
vary infinitely in their respective degrees of consciousness and intelligence; and to call
them all pure Spirits without any of the earthly alloy 'which time is wont to prey upon' is only
to indulge in poetical fancy. For each of these Beings either was, or prepares to become,
a man, if not in the present then in a past or a coming cycle (Manvantara). They are
perfected, when not incipient, men..." (Secret Doctrine I, pp. 274-5)

"In sober truth, as just shown, every 'Spirit' so-called is either a disembodied or a
future man. As from the highest Archangel (Dhyan Chohan) down to the last conscious
'Builder' (the inferior class of Spiritual Entities), all such are men, having lived eons ago, in
other Manvantaras, on this or other Spheres; so the inferior, semi-intelligent and non-
intelligent Elementals - are all future men." (Secret Doctrine I, p. 277)


"The nature-spirits constitute an evolution apart , quite distinct at this stage from that
of humanity ... We know that, after that individuality has been attained, the unfolding of
humanity carries us gradually to the steps of the Path, and then onward and upward to
Adeptship and to the glorious possibilities which lie beyond.
"This is our line of development, but we must not make the mistake of thinking of it
as the only line . . . The nature spirits, for example, neither have been nor ever will be
members of a humanity such as ours." ( C. W. Leadbeater, The Hidden Side of Things
I, pp. 116-7)

"...there are several parallel streams of evolving life, each mostly independent of the
others in its development.
"Two of these streams are those of Humanity and of a parallel stream called the
evolution of Devas or Angels ... As already mentioned, human life has its earlier stages of
animal vegetable, mineral and elemental life. From the same mineral life, however, the life
diverges into another channel, through stages of vegetable forms, animal forms, then the
forms of 'nature-spirits,' or the fairies of tradition, into Angels or Devas ... One stream builds
organisms living in water, while three use forms living on land. Only one of the six streams
leads into humanity; the other five pass into the parallel evolution of the Devas." ( C.
Jinarajadasa, First Principles of Theosophy, pp. 17-19) [20]



"Man was the store-house, so to speak, of all the seeds of life for this Round,
vegetable and animal alike... Having appeared at the very beginning, and at the head of
sentient and conscious life, man (the astral, or the 'Soul,' for the Zohar, repeating the
archaic teaching, distinctly says that 'the real man is the Soul, and his material frame no
part of him') - man became the living and animal UNIT, from which the 'cast-off clothes'
determined the shape of every life and animal in this Round.
"Thus, he 'created' for ages the insects, reptiles, birds, and animals, unconsciously
to himself, from his remains and relics from the Third and Fourth Rounds." (Secret Doctrine
II, pp. 289-90)

"The Monad is a drop out of the shoreless Ocean beyond, or, to be correct, within
the plane of primeval differentiation. It is divine in its higher and human in its lower
condition... and a monad it remains at all times, save in Nirvanic state, under whatever
conditions, or whatever external forms. ...the MONAD has, during the cycle of its
incarnations, to reflect in itself every root-form of each kingdom. Therefore, the Kabalists
say correctly that 'MAN becomes a stone , a plant, an animal, a man, a Spirit, and finally
God ...But by 'MAN' the divine Monad is meant, and not the thinking Entity, much less his
physical body. ... It is correct to say that the man of this Manvantara, i.e., during the three
preceding Rounds, has passed through all the kingdoms of nature. That he was 'a stone,
a plant, an animal.' But (a) these stones, plants, and animals were the prototypes, the filmy
presentments of those of the Fourth Round; and (b) even those at the beginning of the
Fourth Round were the astral shadows of the present, as the Occultists express it... Thus
the astral prototypes of the lower beings of the animal kingdom of the Fourth Round, which
preceded (the chhayas of) Men, were the consolidated, though still very ethereal sheaths
of the still more ethereal forms or models produced at the close of the Third Round on
Globe D. 'Produced from the residue of the substance matter; from dead bodies of men and
(other extinct) animals of the wheel before,' or the previous Third Round - as Stanza 24
tells us. Hence, while the nondescript 'animals' that preceded the astral man at the
beginning of this life-cycle on our Earth were still, so to speak, the progeny of the man of
the Third Round, the mammalians of this Round owe their existence, in a great measure,
to man again. Moreover, the 'ancestor' cf the present anthropoid animal, the ape, is the
direct production of the yet mindless Man, who desecrated his human dignity by putting
himself physically on the level of the animal." (Secret Doctrine II, pp. 186-7)

"...the Manasaputras, the Sons of Wisdom who informed the mindless man, and
endowed him with his mind (manas)." (Secret Doctrine II, p. 608)


"Thus by their repeated plant-reincarnations the monadic group-souls in the

vegetable kingdom evolve, until those that ensoul the highest members of the kingdom are
ready for the next step.
"This step carries them into the animal kingdom, and here they slowly evolve in their
physical and astral vehicles a very distinct personality ... The monadic group-soul
incarnates in a decreasing number of forms as it gradually approaches the point at which
complete individualization will be reached ... At last the decreasing number of forms
animated by a monadic group-soul comes down to unity, and it animates a succession of
single forms -a condition differing from human reincarnation only by the absence of Manas,
with its causal and mental bodies. The mental matter brought down by the monadic group-
soul begins to be susceptible to impacts from the mental plane, and the animal is then
ready to receive the third great outpouring of the life of the LOGOS - the tabernacle is
ready for the reception of the human Monad.
"... Doubtless, in the course of aeons of evolution, the upwardly evolving Monad of
form might have unfolded Manas by progressive growth, but both in the human race in the
past, and in the animals of the present, such has not been the course of Nature. When the
house was ready the tenant was sent down: from the higher planes of being the atmic life
descended, veiling itself in Buddhi, as a golden thread; and its third aspect, Manas,
showing itself in the higher levels of the formless world of the mental plane, germinal
Manas within the form was fructified, and the embryonic causal body was formed by the
union. This is the individualization of the spirit, the incasing of it in form, and the spirit
incased in the causal body is the soul, the individual, the real man ...
"Further, this outpoured life reaches the evolving forms not directly but by
intermediaries. The human race having attained the point of receptivity, certain great Ones,
called Sons of Mind, cast into men the monadic spark of Atma-Buddhi-Manas." (Annie
Besant, Ancient Wisdom, pp. 210-13) [21]



"Q. Is the apparent objectivity in a dream really objective or subjective?

"A. If it is admitted to be apparent, then of course it is subjective. The question
should rather be, to whom or what are the pictures or representations in dreams either
objective or subjective. To physical man, the dreamer, all he sees with his eyes shut, and
in or through his mind, is of course subjective. But to the Seer within the physical dreamer,
that Seer himself being subjective to our material senses, all he sees is as objective as he
is himself to himself and to others like himself." (Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge, p.

"Q. What is the condition of the Linga Sarira (astral body - V.E.), or plastic body,
during dreams?
"A. The condition of the Plastic form is to sleep with its body, unless projected by
some powerful desire generated in the higher Manas. In dreams it plays no active part, but
on the contrary is entirely passive, being the involuntary half-sleepy witness of the
experiences through which the higher principles are passing." (Transactions of the
Blavatsky Lodge, p. 76)

"Mind is a name given to the sum of the states of Consciousness grouped under
Thought, Will and Feeling. During deep sleep, ideation ceases on the physical plane, and
memory is in abeyance; thus for the time-being 'Mind is not,' because the organ, through
which the Ego manifests ideation and memory on the material plane, has temporarily
ceased to function. ...our 'Ego' is latent (in us) at the time of sushupti, sleep..." (Secret
Doctrine I, pp. 38, 429)

"The three states of consciousness, which are Jagrat, the waking; Svapna, the
dreaming; and Sushupti, the deep sleeping state." (Voice of the Silence, p. 6)

"Sleep is a sign that waking life has become too strong for the physical organism,
and that the force of the life current must be broken by changing the waking for the
sleeping state. Ask a good clairvoyant to describe the aura of a person just refreshed by
sleep, and that of another just before going to sleep. The former will be seen bathed in
rhythmical vibrations of life-currents - golden, blue, and rosy; these are the electrical waves
of Life. The latter is, as it were, in a mist of intense golden-orange hue, composed of atoms
whirling with an almost incredible spasmodic rapidity, showing that the person begins to be
too strongly saturated with Life; the life essence is too strong for his physical organs, and
he must seek relief in the shadowy side of that essence, which side is the dream element,
or physical sleep, one of the states of consciousness." (Transactions of the Blavatsky
Lodge, p. 71)

"While a man is what we call alive and awake on the physical earth he is limited by
his physical body, for he uses the astral and mental bodies only as bridges to connect
himself with his lowest vehicle. One of the limitations of the physical body is that it quickly
becomes fatigued and needs periodical rest. Each night the man leaves it to sleep, and
withdraws into his astral vehicle, which does not become fatigued and therefore needs no
sleep. During this sleep of the physical body the man is free to move about in the astral
world, but the extent to which he does this depends upon his development ... The educated
man is generally able to travel in his astral vehicle wherever he will, and has much more
consciousness in the astral world..." (C.W. Leadbeater, Textbook of Theosophy, pp. 61-2)

"The vast importance of the work which They are doing, and the enormous amount
of it, make it obviously impossible that They should take up personal work with individuals.
In the cases where such work has to be done it is always delegated to pupils... The work
of the invisible helpers on the astral plane would simply not be done unless there were
pupils at the stage where that is the best work they can do... For those who are acting as
invisible helpers on the astral plane there are no separate levels; it is all one.
"In India the idea of service on the astral plane is not so widely known as in the
West..." (C.W. Leadbeater, The Inner Life, Vol. I, pp. 19, 178) [22]

"During the night or at any time when we sleep he [the 'physical elemental' - Ed.] lets
the nerves and muscles relax, and devotes himself specially to the assimilation of vitality
and the recuperation of the physical body." ( C. W. Leadbeater, The Chakras, p. 57)

"When vitalized atoms are... more sparsely scattered, the man in rude health
increases his power of absorption, depletes a larger area, and so keeps his strength at the
normal level; but invalids and men of small nerve-force, who cannot do this, often suffer
severely, and find themselves growing weaker and more irritable without knowing why." (
C. W. Leadbeater, The Chakras, pp. 46-7) [23]



"In Kama Loka those who retain their remembrance, will not enjoy it at the supreme
hour of recollection. - Those who know they are dead in their physical bodies - can only be
either adepts or sorcerers; and these two are the exceptions to the general rule . (Mahatma
Letters, p. 128, #20C)

"The good and pure sleep a quiet blissful sleep, full of happy visions of earth-life and
have no consciousness of being already for ever beyond that life...
"Every just disembodied four-fold entity - whether it died a natural or violent death,
from suicide or accident, mentally sane or insane, young or old, good, bad, or indifferent -
loses at the instant of death all recollections, it is mentally - annihilated; it sleeps it's akashic
sleep in the Kama-loka. This state lasts from a few hours, (rarely less) days, weeks,
months - sometimes to several years. All this according to the entity, to its mental status
at the moment of death, to the character of its death, etc. That remembrance will return
slowly and gradually toward the end of the gestation (to the entity or Ego), still more slowly
but far more imperfectly and incompletely to the shell, and fully to the Ego at the moment
of its entrance into Devachan." (Mahatma Letters, pp. 123, 186-7, #19, #24B)

"Enq[uirer:] In no case, then, do you admit the possibility of the communication of

the living with the disembodied spirit?
"Theo[sophist]: Yes, there is a case, and even two exceptions to the rule. The first
exception is during the few days that follow immediately the death of a person and before
the Ego passes into the Devachanic state, ...The spirit is dazed after death and falls very
soon into what we call 'pre-devachanic unconsciousness.' The second exception is found
in the Nirmanakayas. ...adept, or Saint, or whatever you may call him... They have no
material body, as they have left it behind..." (Key to Theosophy, pp. 150-1)

"In the Kama Loka (semi-physical sphere) dwell the shells, the victims and suicides;
and this sphere is divided into innumerable regions and sub-regions corresponding to the
mental states of the comers at their hour of death. This is the glorious 'Summer-land' of the
Spiritualists, to whose horizons is limited the vision of their best seers - visions imperfect
and deceptive because untrained and non-guided by Alaya Vynyana (hidden knowledge)."
(Mahatma Letters, pp. 198-9, #25)


"The dead can see us, but it is our astral body that they see; consequently they are
at once aware of our emotions, but not necessarily of the details of our physical condition.
They know whether we are happy or miserable . . . The dead man carries on with him his
affections and hatreds; he knows his old friends when he meets them, and he also often
forms new friendships among new companions whom he meets for the first time on the
astral plane." ( C. W. Leadbeater, The Inner Life II, p. 88)

"Many men arrive in the astral world in utter ignorance of its conditions, not realizing
at first that they are dead, and when they do realize it fearing the fate that may be in store
for them, because of false and wicked theological teaching." ( C. W. Leadbeater, Textbook
of Theosophy, p. 78)

"When an average man or woman reaches Kamaloka, the spiritual Intelligence is

clothed with a desire body, which possesses considerable vigor and vitality; the lower
Manas, closely interwoven with Kama during the earth - life just ended, having lived much
in the enjoyment of objects of sense and in the pleasures of the emotions, cannot quickly
disentangle itself from the web of its weaving, and return to its Parent Mind, the source of
its own being. Hence a considerable delay in the world of transition, in Kamaloka, while the
desires wear out and fade away to a point at which they can no longer detain the Soul with
their clinging arms.
"As said, during the period that the Immortal Triad, Mind and Desire remain together
in Kamaloka, communication between the disembodied entity and the embodied entities
on earth is possible." (Annie Besant, Death - and After, pp. 35-6)

"The average person passing into the heaven-life, for example, tends to float at a
considerable distance above the surface of the earth, although on the other hand some of
such men are drawn to our level. Still, broadly speaking, the inhabitants of the heaven-
world may be thought of as living in a sphere or ring or zone round the earth. What
spiritualists call summer-land extends many miles above our heads. . ." ( C. W. Leadbeater,
The Inner Life I, p. 174) [24]


"... all the great plans of moral reform of intellectual and spiritual research into
abstract principles of nature, all the divine aspirations, would, in devachan come to fruition,
and the abstract entity... would occupy itself in this inner world of its own preparation, living,
if not quite what one would call a conscious existence, at least a dream of such realistic
vividness that none of the life-realities could ever match it." (Mahatma Letters, p. 191, #25)

"Enq. But what is Devachan?

"Theo. The 'land of gods' literally; a condition, a state of mental bliss. Philosophically
a mental condition analogous to, but far more vivid and real than, the most vivid dream. It
is the state after death of most mortals." (Key to Theosophy, p. 100)

"You postulate an intercourse of entities in devachan which applies only to the

mutual relationship of physical existence. TWO sympathetic souls will each work out its
own devachanic sensations making the other a sharer in its subjective bliss, but yet each
is disassociated from the other as regards actual mutual intercourse. For what
companionship could there be between two subjective entities which are not even as
material as that etherial body - shadow - the Mayavi-rupa?" (Mahatma Letters, p. 198, #25)

"A mother from a savage tribe is not less happy than a mother from a regal palace,
with her lost child in her arms; and although as actual Egos, children prematurely dying
before the perfection of their septenary Entity do not find their way to Deva-Chan, yet all
the same the mother's loving fancy finds her children there, without one missing that her
heart yearns for. Say - it is but a dream, but after all what is objective life itself but a
panorama of vivid realities? The pleasures realized by a Red Indian in his 'happy hunting
grounds' in that Land of Dreams is not less intense than the ecstacy felt by a connoisseur
who passes aeons in the wrapt delight of listening to Divine Symphonies by imaginary
angelic choirs and orchestras." (Mahatma Letters, p. 103, #16)

"When the astral life is over, the man dies t o that world in turn, and awakens in the
mental world . . . His mental body is by no means fully developed; only those parts of it are
really in action to their fullest extent which he has used in this altruistic manner. When he
awakens again after the second death, his first sense is one of indescribable bliss and
vitality - a feeling of such utter joy in living that he needs for the time nothing but just to live.
Such bliss is of the essence of life in all the higher worlds of the system. Even astral life has
possibilities of happiness far greater than anything that we can know in the dense body; but
the heaven-life in the mental world is out of all proportion more blissful than the astral." (
C. W. Leadbeater, Textbook of Theosophy, pp. 89-90) [25]

"And with regard to the true communion, that of soul with soul! That is closer, nearer,
dearer than anything we know here, for, as we have seen, there is no barrier on the mental
plane between soul and soul; exactly in proportion to the reality of soul-life in us is the
reality of soul-communion there; the mental image of our friend is our own creation; his
form as we knew and loved it; and his soul breathes through that form to ours just to the
extent that his soul and ours can throb in sympathetic vibration." (Annie Besant, Ancient
Wisdom, p. 158)

"The fifth subdivision of Kamaloka offers many new characteristics . . . Here are
situated all the materialized heavens which play so large a part in popular religions all the
world over. The happy hunting-grounds of the Red Indian..." (Annie Besant, Ancient
Wisdom, p. 110) [26]



"...Karma is the guiding power, and Trishna (in Pali Tanha) the thirst or desire to
sentiently live - the proximate force or energy, the resultant of human (or animal) action,
which, out of the old Skandhas produce the new group that form the new being and control
the nature of birth itself... The 'old being' is the sole parent - father and mother at once -
of the 'new being.' It is the former who is the creator and fashioner, of the latter, in reality;
and far more so in plain truth, than any father in flesh. And once that YOU have well
mastered the meaning of Skandhas you will see what I mean.
"It is the group of Skandhas, that form and constitute the physical and mental
individuality we call man (or any being). This group consists (in the exoteric teaching) of five
Skandhas, namely: Rupa - the material properties or attributes; Vedana - sensations;
Sanna - abstract ideas; Sankhara - tendencies both physical and mental; and Vinnana -
mental powers, an amplification of the fourth meaning the mental, physical and moral
predispositions. We add to them two more, the nature and names of which you may learn
hereafter. Suffice for the present to let you know that they are connected with, and
productive of Sakkayaditthi, the 'heresy or delusion of individuality' and of Attavada, 'the
doctrine of Self,' both of which (in the case of the fifth principle the soul) lead to the maya
of heresy and belief in the efficacy of vain rites and ceremonies; in prayers and
intercession... Skandhas... are ever and ceaselessly at work in preparing the abstract
mould, the 'privation' of the future new being." (Mahatma Letters, pp. 110-120, #16)

"Enq. What becomes of the other, the lower Skandhas of the personality, after the
death of the body? Are they quite destroyed?
"Theo. They are and yet they are not - a fresh metaphysical and occult mystery for
you. They are destroyed as the working stock in hand of the personality; they remain as
karmic effects, as germs, hanging in the atmosphere of the terrestrial plane, ready to come
to life, as so many avenging fiends, to attach themselves to the new personality of the Ego
when it reincarnates." (Key to Theosophy, p-154)

"A physical impact of any kind will cause vibrations corresponding to its own in the
physical body it contacts ... whether local or general, they will reach the permanent physical
atom . . . All the results of physical experiences remain stored up in this permanent atom,
as powers of vibrating ... The physical body disintegrates at death; its particles scatter, all
carrying with them the result of the experience through which they have passed ... But the
physical permanent atom remains ...
"The permanent astral atom bears exactly the same relation to the astral body as
that borne by the physical permanent atom to the physical body. At the end of the life in
Kama-loka-purgatory - the golden life-web withdraws from the astral body, leaving it to
disintegrate, as its physical comrade had previously done, and enwraps the astral
permanent atom for its long sleep. A similar relation is borne to the mental body by the
permanent mental particle during physical astral and mental life" (Annie Besant, A Study
in Consciousness, pp. 60, 65) [27]

"A questioner sometimes asks: How can these permanent atoms be stored up within
the causal body, without losing their physical, astra1, and mental natures, since the causal
body exists on a higher plane, where the physical, as physical, cannot be? Such a querent
is forgetting, for a moment, that all the planes are interpenetrating ... The triad forms a
minute particle within the causal body; each constituent part of it belongs to its own plane,
but as the planes have meeting points everywhere, no difficulty arises in the necessary
juxtaposition." (Annie Besant, A Study in Consciousness, p. 66) [28]



"Life is ever present in the atom of matter, whether organic or inorganic, conditioned
or unconditioned - a difference that the occultists do not accept. Their doctrine is that life
is as much present in the inorganic as in the organic matter: when life-energy is active in
the atom, that atom is organic; when dormant or latent, then the atom is inorganic... The
'Jiva,' or life principle which animates man, beast, plant, and even mineral, certainly is 'a
form of force indestructible'... Were it to become, we will not say absent, for this is
impossible, since it is omnipresent, but for one single instant inactive, say in a stone, the
particle the latter would lose instantly their cohesive property and disintegrate as suddenly -
though the force would still remain in each of its particles, but in a dormant state. Thus the
continuation of the sentence which states that, when this is 'disconnected with one set of
atoms, it becomes attracted immediately by others' does not imply that it abandons entirely
the first set, but only that it transfers its vis viva or living power, the energy of motion, to
another set. But because it manifests itself in the next set as what is called Kinetic energy,
it does not follow that the first set is deprived of it altogether; for it is still in it, as potential
energy, or life latent. ...we regard and call in our occult phraseology those atoms that are
moved by Kinetic energy as 'life atoms,' while those that are for the time being passive,
containing but invisible potential energy, we call 'sleeping atoms' ..." (Blavatsky Collected
Writings V, pp. 111-13)

"The physical body disintegrates at death; its particles scatter, all carrying with them the
result of the experiences through which they have passed - as indeed all particles of our
bodies are ever doing day by day, in their ceaseless dyings out of one body and ceaseless
birthings into another. But the physical permanent atom remains; it is the only atom that has
passed through all the experiences of the ever-changing conglomerations we call our body,
and it has acquired all the results of all those experiences. Wrapped in its golden cocoon,
it sleeps through the long years during which the Jivatman that owns it is living through
other experiences in other worlds. By these it remains unaffected, being incapable of
responding to them, and it sleeps through its long night in undisturbed repose. ...H. P.
Blavatsky throws out a hint as to these 'sleeping atoms.' (See The Secret Doctrine II, 710)
(Annie Besant, A Study in Consciousness, p. 60) [29]



"There are five Skandhas or 'attributes' in the Buddhist teachings: 'Rupa (form or
body), material qualities; Vedanna, sensation; Sanna, abstract ideas; Samkhara,
tendencies of mind; Vinnana, mental powers. Of these we are formed; by them we are
conscious of existence; and through them communicate with the world about us...
"Enq. What do you mean by Skandhas?
"Theo. Just what I said: 'attributes' among which is Memory... Because memory is
included within the Skandhas, and the Skandhas having changed with the new existence,
a memory, the record of that particular existence, develops. ... the record or reflection of
all the past lives must survive... we preserve no memory on the physical plane of our past
lives, though the real 'Ego' has lived them over and knows them all." (Key to Theosophy,
pp. 129-31)


"When functioning in this physical world he remembers by means of his mental body;
but since that is a new one, assumed only for this birth, it naturally cannot contain the
memory of previous births in which it had no part." (C.W. Leadbeater, A Textbook of
Theosophy, p. 44)

"The memory of the cells, or of groups of cells, perishes at death, and cannot be
said to be recoverable, as such. Where then is Memory preserved?
"The brief answer is Memory is not a facu1ty, and is not preserved; it does not
inhere in consciousness as a capacity, nor is any memory of events stored up in the
individual consciousness. Every event is a present fact in the universe-consciousness, in
the consciousness of the LOGOS..." (Annie Besant, A study in Consciousness, p. 169)


"It was H.P.B., who, acting under the orders of Atrya (one whom you do not know)
was the first to explain in the Spiritualist the difference there was between psyche and
nous, nefesh and ruach - Soul and Spirit. She had to bring the whole arsenal of proofs with
her, quotations from Paul and Plato, from Plutarch and James, etc. before the Spiritualists
admitted that the theosophists were right. It was then that she was ordered to write Isis -
just a year after the Society had been founded." (Mahatma Letters, p. 289, #52)

"And to show you how exact a science is occultism let me tell you that the means
we avail ourselves of are all laid down for us in a code as old as humanity to the minutest
detail..." (Mahatma Letters, p. 144, #22)

"...I the humble undersigned Fakir certify that the Secret Doctrine is dictated to
Upasika [H.P.B] partly by myself and partly by my brother K.H. - M..." [Mahatma Morya]
(Letter to Dr. Hubbe-Schleiden, Invitation to The Secret Doctrine, Theosophical University

"...this you must tell to all: - With occult matters she [H.P.B.] has everything to do.
We have not abandoned her; she is not 'given over to chelas'. She is our direct agent."
(Letters to the Masters of the Wisdom I, p. 46)

"She (H.P.B) often in her humility, buttresses her own true statements with a mass
of rubbish from inferior writers picked up haphazard; on minor points she of ten speaks
hastily and carelessly; and further, she confuses her teachings with excessive
digressions..." (Annie Besant, Theosophical Review, August, 1899)

"Sometimes the Masters themselves used her (H.P.B.'s) body, and wrote or spoke
directly through her. At other times when her ego was elsewhere engaged, one or other
of two pupils, of lower degree than herself , would take the body, and there were even
certain occasions when another woman would be in charge." (C.W. Leadbeater, The Inner
Life II, p. 382)



"The Secret Doctrine will explain many things, set to right more than one perplexed
student." (Mahatma Letters, p. 357, #63)

"I have also noted your thoughts about the Secret Doctrine. Be assured that what
she has not annotated from scientific and other works, we have given or suggested to her.
Every mistake or erroneous notion, corrected and explained by her from the works of other
theosophists was corrected by me, or under my instruction. It is a more valuable work than
its predecessor, an epitome of occult truths that will make it a source of information and
instruction for the earnest student for long years to come." (Letters From the Masters of the
Wisdom, First Series, #19)

"The same will be said of the Secret Archaic Doctrine, when proofs are given of its
undeniable existence and records. But it will take centuries before much more is given from
it... since the SECRET DOCTRINE is not a treatise, or a series of vague theories, but
contains all that can be given out to the world in this century." (Secret Doctrine, I xxxviii)

"...the 'Brothers...' never promised to guide, or even protect, either the Body [of the
Theosophical Society] or its members." (Blavatsky Collected Writings III, p. 274)


"Dr Weller Van Hook has a very useful article in our present number, to which I draw
the attention of our readers. As I have said in the Bulletin for February, 'It is marked by the
strong common sense, freedom of thought, tolerance and open-eyed loyalty, which
are so characteristic of the writer.' [italics added] (Annie Besant, The Theosophist,
March, 1922, p. 530) [A.B. was referring to an article which contained the following quote.]

"They, as they step aside, as did Madame Blavatsky, leave their authority to
appointed leaders who carry on the work under the original Power that caused the
organization to come into existence. To realize this is to find a new respect for the Heads
of the movement, and a new tolerance of their doings. It is to recognize that there is no
need to sustain a movement back to the teachings of H.P.B. Our present leaders
suffice for the hour." [italics added] (Weller Van Hook, The Theosophist, March, 1922)

"We have no quarrel with the 'Back to Blavatsky' movement. Ill would we have
profited by her teachings, were we only to have marked time in knowledge since she left
us on the physical plane thirty years ago. I may, however, say that whenever my Brother
Leadbeater, or myself have come across anything which seemed to conflict with anything
she had written, we examined our observation with minute care, and tested our own
'discoveries' by her statements." (Annie Besant, The Theosophist, March, 1922, p. 595)



"Orientalists and their Dictionaries tell us that the term 'Manu' is from the root Man,
'to think'; hence 'the thinking man.' But, esoterically, every Manu, as an anthro-pomorphized
patron of his special cycle (or Round), is but the personified idea of the 'Thought Divine' (as
the Hermetic 'Pymander'); each of the Manus, therefore, being the special god, the creator
and fashioner of all that appears during his own respective cycle of being or Manvantara.
Fohat runs the Manus (or Dhyan-Chohans') errands, and causes the ideal prototypes to
expand from within without..." (Secret Doctrine I, p. 63)

"It is from IT that issues the great unseen Logos, who evolves all the other logoi, the
primeval MANU who gives being to the other Manus, who emanate the universe and all in
it collectively, and who represent in their aggregate the manifested Logos." (Secret Doctrine
II, p. 310)

"Manu is the synthesis perhaps of the Manasa, and he is a single consciousness in

the same sense that while all the different cells of which the human body is composed are
different and varying consciousnesses there is still a unit of consciousness which is the
man. But this unit, so to say, is not a single consciousness: it is a reflection of thousands
and millions of consciousnesses which a man has absorbed.
"But Manu is not really an individuality, it is the whole of mankind. You may say that
Manu is a generic name for the Pitris, the progenitors of mankind." (Transactions of the
Blavatsky Lodge, p. 100)

"Pratyeka Buddhas are those Bodhisatvas who strive after and often reach the
Dharmakaya robe after a series of lives. Caring nothing for the woes of mankind or to help
it, but only for their own bliss, they enter Nirvana and - disappear from the sight and the
hearts of men. In Northern Buddhism a 'Pratyeka Buddha' is a synonym of spiritual
Selfishness." (Voice of the Silence, p. 47) [31]

"The fact is, that to the last and supreme initiation every chela left to his own
device and counsel. We have to fight our own battles..." (Mahatma Letters, #54, p. 309)

(Comte St. Germain) "No wonder you find it cloudy, for it was never meant for the
uninitiated reader. Eliphas studied from the Rosicruscian MSS. (now reduced to three
copies in Europe). These expound our eastern doctrines from the teachings of Rosencrauz,
who, upon his return from Asia dressed them up in a semi-Christian garb intended as a
shield for his pupils, against clerical revenge. One must have the key to it and that key is
a science per se. Rosencrauz taught orally. Saint Germain recorded the good doctrines in
figures and his only cyphered MS. remained with his staunch friend and patron the
benevolent German Prince from whose house and in whose presence he made his last exit
- HOME." (Mahatma Letters, p. 280, #49)

"(1 ) An adept - the highest as the lowest - is one only during the exercise of his
occult powers.
"(2) Whenever these powers are needed, the sovereign will unlocks the door to the
inner man (the adept,) who can emerge and act freely but on condition that his jailor - the
outer man will be either completely or partially paralyzed - as the case may require; viz:
either (a) mentally and physically; (b) mentally - but not physically; (c) physically but not
entirely mentally; (d) neither, - but with an akasic film interposed between the outer and the
inner man... no adept can be supposed to keep his will in constant tension and the inner
man in full function, when there is no immediate necessity for it. When the inner man rests
the adept becomes an ordinary man, limited to his physical senses and the functions of his
physical brain. Habit sharpens the intuitions of the latter, yet is unable to make them
supersensuous. The inner adept is ever ready, ever on the alert, and that suffices for our
purposes. At moments of rest then, his faculties are at rest also." (Mahatma Letters, p. 180,

"I tell you, my dear friend, that I am far less free to do as I like than you are in the
matter of the Pioneer. None of us but the highest Chutuktus are their full Masters."
(Mahatma Letters, p. 113, #16)

"...a high adept whose powers are not in the Chohan's chancery sequestered by Him
to prevent him from squandering them upon the unworthy objects of his personal
predilections..." (Mahatma Letters, p. 181, #24B)

"... if a 1st - 5th round man devoted himself to occultism and became an adept,
would he escape further earthly incarnations?
"No; if we except Buddha - a sixth round being... Yet even he escaped further
reincarnations but on this earth; and, when the last of the sixth round men of the third ring
is gone out of this earth, the Great Teacher will have to get reincarnated on the next
planet." (Mahatma Letters, p. 117, #17)

"...having become a full adept (which unhappily I am not) I arrest the hand of Death
at will,, and when finally obliged to submit to it, my knowledge of the secrets of nature puts
me in a position to retain my consciousness and distinct perception of Self as an object to
my own reflective consciousness and cognition; and thus avoiding all such
dismemberments of principles, that as a rule take place after the physical death of average
humanity, I remain as Koothoomi in my Ego throughout the whole series of births and lives
across the seven worlds and Arupa-lokas until finally I land again on this earth among the
fifth race men of the full fifth Round beings. I would have been, in such a case - 'immortal'
for an inconceivable (to you) long period embracing many milliards of years. And yet am
'I' truly immortal for all that? Unless I make the same efforts as I do now, to secure for
myself another such furlough from Nature's Law, Koothoomi will vanish and may become
a Mr. Smith or an innocent Babu, when his leave expires." (Mahatma Letters, pp. 120-30,
# 20C)

"And this weary round of birth upon birth must be ever and ever run through, until
the being reaches the end of the seventh round, or - attains in the interim the wisdom of an
Arhat, then that of a Buddha and thus gets relieved for a round or two..." (Mahatma Letters,
p. 196, #25)


"The Manu, or temporal leader , is practically an autocratic monarch who arranges

everything connected with the physical-plane life of the new race, and endeavors in every
way... to male it as perfect an expression as possible of the idea which the LOGOS has
set before Him for realization." (C. W. Leadbeater, The Inner Life I, pp. 8-9)

"The Root-Manu of the terrene Chain, Vaivasvata, who directs the whole order of
its evolution, is a mighty Being from the Fourth Chain of the Venus Scheme ... A Root-
Manu of a Chain must achieve the level fixed for the Chain or Chains on which He is
human, and become one of its Lords; ... then he becomes the Manu of a Race; then a
Pratyeka Buddha; then a Lord of the World; then the Root-Manu, then the Seed-Manu of
a Round, and only then the Root-Manu of a Chain." (Annie Besant and C. W. Leadbeater,
Man: Whence, How and Whither, p. 82)

"The Adept of the First Ray who takes the seventh Initiation usually enters thereafter
upon the arduous duties of the Manu of a Root Race on a globe. His term of office begins
with the slow gathering of the egos who are going to work under Him at the commencement
of the new race, and through all the successive sub-races as they appear one by one.
During the hundreds of thousands of years of the history of a Root Race, He directs the
building of variant after variant of the sub-races, and Himself incarnates in each sub-race
to set the form for it." (C. Jinarajadasa, First Principles of Theosophy, p. 209)
"When the life-wave shall pass from Earth to Mercury, it is these Three who shall
become in turn Lords of Mercury, and guide all evolution on that globe. They are known in
Buddhism as Pratyeka Buddhas, the 'solitary Buddhas;' for They do not teach ... But They
stand at the level of the Buddha, though Theirs is not the role of the World-Teacher. Hence
the curiously misleading description in popular Buddhism of Them as 'so1itary' or 'se1fish'
Buddhas." (C. Jinarajadas, First Principles of Theosophy, p. 208)

(St. Germain: ) "The last survivor of the Royal House of Rakoczi, known as the
Comte de S. Germain in the history of the eighteenth century; as Bacon in the seventeenth;
as Robertus the monk in the sixteenth, as Hunyadi Janos in the fifteenth; as Christian
Rosencreuz in the fourteenth - to take a few of His incarnations - was disciple through
these laborious lives and now has achieved Masterhood, the 'Hungarian Adept' of The
Occult World, and known to some of us in the Hungarian body ... They live in different
countries. . . the Master Rakoczi in Hungary but travelling much..." (Annie Besant, The
Masters, pp. 80-2)

"An accepted pupil is taken into his Master's consciousness to so great an extent
that whatever he sees or hears is within the knowledge of his Master - not that the Master
necessarily sees or hears it at the same moment (though this often happens) but that it lies
within the Master's memory exactly as it does within the memory of the pupil. Whatever the
pupil feels or thinks is within the astral and mental bodies of his Master . . . If , for example,
the pupil is writing a letter or giving a lecture, the Master is sub-consciously aware of the
fact, and may at any moment throw into the mind of the pupil a sentence to be included..."
(C. W. Leadbeater, The Inner Life I, p. 27)

"Just in the same way the Great White Brotherhood has nothing to do with the
relations between the Master and His pupil; that is a matter solely for the private
consideration of the Master himself." (C. W. Leadbeater, The Inner Life I, p. 27)
"A Master is a term applied by Theosophists to denote certain human beings, who
have completed their human evolution, have attained human perfection, have nothing more
to learn so far as our part of the solar system is concerned..." (Annie Besant, The Masters,
p. 73)

" day one of the Masters made a suggestion to me with regard to a certain kind
of meditation which would evoke this force (the kundalini)." ( C . W. Leadbeater, The
Chakras, p. 87) [32]



"As our London opponent truly remarks: these subjects (metaphysical) are only
partly for understanding. A higher faculty belonging to the higher life must see, - and it is
truly impossible to force it upon one's understanding - merely in words. One must see with
his spiritual eye, hear with his Dharmakayic ear, feel with the sensations of his Ashta-
vijnyana (spiritual 'I') before he can comprehend this doctrine fully; otherwise it may but
increase one's 'discomfort,' and add to his knowledge very little." (Mahatma Letters, p. 200,

"There is one general law of vision (physical and mental or spiritual) but there is a
qualifying special law proving that all vision must be determined by the quality or grade of
man's spirit and soul, and also by the ability to translate divers qualities of waves of astral
light into consciousness." (Mahatma Letters, p. 255, #40)

"As we do not 'require a passive mind' but on the contrary are seeking for those
most active, which can put two and two together once that they are on the right scent, we
will, if you please, drop the subject. Let your mind work out the problem for itself... Thus,
little by little, the now incomprehensible will become the self-evident; and many a sentence
of mystic meaning, will shine yet out before your Soul-eye, like a transparency, illuminating
the darkness of your mind. Such is the course of gradual process." (Mahatma Letters, pp.
277-78, #48)

"On close observation, you will find that it was never the intention of the Occultists
really to conceal what they had been writing from the earnest determined students, but
rather to lock up their information for safety-sake, in a secure safe-box, the key to which
is - Intuition. The degree of diligence and zeal with which the hidden meaning is sought by
the student, is generally the test - how far he is entitled to the possession of the so buried
treasure." (Mahatma Letters, p. 279, #48)


"You can never know her as we do, therefore - none of you will ever be able to judge
her impartially or correctly. You see the surface of things; and what you would term 'virtue,'
holding but to appearances, we - judge but after having fathomed the object to its
profoundest depth, and generally leave the appearances to take care of themselves. In
your opinion H.P.B. is, at best, for those who like her despite herself - a quaint, strange
woman, a psychological riddle; impulsive and kindhearted, yet not free from the vice of
untruth. We, on the other hand, under garb of eccentricity and folly - we find a profounder
wisdom in her inner Self than you will ever find yourselves able to perceive. In the
superficial details of her homely, hard-working, common-place daily life and affairs, you
discern but unpracticality, womanly impulses, often absurdity and folly; we, on the contrary,
light daily upon traits of her inner nature the most delicate and refinded, and which would
cost an uninitiated psychologist years of constant and keen observation, and many an hour
of close. analysis and efforts to draw out of the depth of that most subtle of mysteries -
human mind - and one of her most complicated machines, - H.P.B.'s mind - and thus learn
to know her true inner Self." (Mahatma Letters, p. 314, #54)


Finally, in bringing this Section to a close, a challenge is issued to any and every
student of Theosophy to produce contradictory teachings as between Masters' letters
(whether published in The Mahatma Letters, or The Occult World or the little Adyar book,
Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom) and the writings of H.P.B., similar to those that
have been shown to exist between the Masters' and H.P.B. on the one hand and Mr.
Leadbeater's, Mrs. Besant's and Mr. Jinarajadas's on the other.
It would be extraordinary that the entire perversion of the real teaching, of which
these examples are the merest indication, should have gone unperceived by the vast
majority of members of the Theosophical Society were it not for the explanation: They do
not know what Theosophy is. They have not in them that knowledge of the great truths
which forms the criterion, the only true standard, by which they may judge all else. Without
the vision of the true that which looks like the true is bound to produce its glamour with the
inevitable results. [33] The motto of the Theosophical Society is that there is no religion
higher than truth and the search for it has to be pursued irrespective of likes and dislikes.
Most people do not want truth. They only desire the learning that suits them and makes
them happy as their personalities regard happiness. They fall into the easy trap of belief
because they have not that inward determination to seek and to know, no matter what the
effort may cost in time and labour and sacrifice. Those words of H.P.B.'s leap to the mind
of the real student at every turn of the way:

"To the mentally lazy or obtuse, Theosophy must remain a riddle; for in the world
mental as in the world spiritual each man must progress by his own efforts. The writer
cannot do the reader's thinking for him, nor would the latter be any the better off if such
vicarious thought were possible." (The Key to Theosophy, p. xi)

Instead, there has been "the gradual descent of... teaching into so-called simplicity
so that the most ignorant might be able to grasp it. "Everyone who carefully studies the
phenomena presented will admit that men of strong intellect have been driven out... by the
crudity of the religious ideas set before them, the contradictions in the authoritive teachings,
the views as to God, man and the universe that no trained intelligence could possibly
admit." Mrs. Besant can sum it up in regard to Christianity and its "moral degradation" but
is unable to make application when the same process is obviously at work in Theosophy.
Theosophy has no relationship, companionship or comradeship with falsehoods.
Compromise with them is not tolerance. As illustrated again and again in the case of
H.P.B., Theosophy must fight to the bitter end against falsehood and sham. It can be
charitable and tolerant towards wrongdoers or committers of mistakes and blunders and
sins or criminals but it can neither be charitable nor tolerant towards sin or crime or mistake
or blunder [in its teachings.] Between purity and impurity, there is no compromise. Those
who assert that there can be, attempt to excuse themselves by passing off lack of courage
as "brotherliness. " Where work for the Cause of Theosophy is hindered or spoiled, it
becomes a duty to stand firm and fast for TRUTH.
Our duty is not to believe but to seek and know, remembering that our convictions
are but the result of past experiences which have to be checked by the established
convictions of the synthesis of science, religion and philosophy that is available. IN ORDER
TO KNOW, Theosophy must be studied. It can be - in the various letters of the Masters that
are now open to us, and in the pages from their Messenger who recorded it again for the
Western World in the last quarter of the 19th century. That person alone, permeated
through and through by this study, with the wisdom that gives the real standard, can judge
whether truth is to be found in so-called expansions of Theosophical teachings. Finally, it
has to be remembered that the study which brings knowledge includes application of the
principles. Theosophy is an uttermost necessity in daily life, and not a luxury for leisure

- Margaret Thomas




[1] In these two words, "emanate" and "Maker", reside the very key to the
fundamental difference between Theosophy and all religions - including the religion called
materialism. According to both religion and materialism, man has a "maker;" (and) in all
common justice as well as common sense, this absolves him from either moral
responsibility, or the consequences of the nature put into him. Man is never "created or
"made. " He is a compound of emanations, self -evolved from the Absolute under powers
and drives inherent in himself. He is his own "Maker," and absolutely responsible for his
fate. Materialism merely substitutes a combination of blind forces for "god" as the "Maker;"
an equally vicious proposition. The introduction of such notions and terminology into what
is supposed to be Theosophy was a red-flag warning of the nature of the Leadbeater
conspiracy. (V.E.)
[2] It is true that a man could theoretically sort out and cast away the accrued errors
of each of these religions, and still hang on to some remnant of pure Theosophy in them
without having recourse to wider teachings from elsewhere. But to call himself a Christian
or Mohammedan (Buddhism can be partially excepted) to his fellows of that faith, because
of that pitiful salvage recognized by them as their own, would certainly cause them to call
him a contemptible hypocrite if they knew his real views. In our opinion, one of the worst
kinds of deceit is knowingly to call oneself by a name having a specific meaning to others,
and quite a different one to oneself. (V.E.)
[3] At that time, Krishnamurti was being readied, as a boy, for becoming the "vehicle"
of Maitreya Buddha, the "Coming Christ." He detected the folly of himself and broke with
the Theosophical Movement at a later date. He now pursues a kind of unclassifiable
mysticism. (V.E.) (Krishnamurti died in 1986)
[4] on the influence of conventional religion being positive in nature, we find in The
Mahatma Letters: "...the 'Ma-Mo Chohans'... are the gods the Hindus and Christians and
Mahommed and all others of bigoted religions and sects worship; and so long as their
influence is upon their devotees we would no more think of associating with or
counteracting them in their work than we do the Red-Caps... the Ma-Mos are the
personification in nature of Shiva, Jehovah and other invented monsters with Ignorance at
their tail." (p. 463, #134)
[5] Chief among said "assailants" being this same "shortsighted" H. P. Blavatsky,
founder of the Theosophical Movement. (V.E.) Originally Besant completely ignored The
Mahatma Letters (O. E. Library Critic, Sept., 1928) and Leadbeater referred to it as "that
abominable book". (American Theosophist, Dec., 1964, p. 290)
Further on "Vicarious Atonement," Blavatsky Theosophy holds that every action
produces its unavoidable results for gods, men, or motes and that there is no way of
avoiding the repercussions eventually of evil actions. H. N. Stokes in his O. E. Library Critic
(May, 1927) writes: "Leadbeater told us that sin is a 'twist in the ether' (Theosophist
September, 1917), which will automatically straighten itself in time, but cannot be corrected
by any effort of the sinner himself; only a priest, by the use of the ceremonials peculiar to
the church can rectify it. Here we have a flat contradiction of the doctrine of Karma, a basic
principle of Theosophy. He further announced that 'power', or what Christians call 'the
grace of God', is something which no one can secure by his own efforts or worthiness, but
that priest of 'apostolic succession' can secure it for him by muttering certain prescribed
incantations by which an astral pipe is run up, and 'Christ himself', standing at the top pours
the force or grace down through it, with the aid of an assisting angel. From the priest it is
sprinkled over the congregation and even over the surrounding country for miles around -
a sort of theosophical April shower, wetting alike the just and the unjust. This force or grace
of God he described as a sort of electricity which could be stored in reservoirs and liquified
and distilled in a suitably constructed still, and so gross was the picture he drew of it that
one might expect it to be bottled and served from door to door like the morning milk
(Theosophist, April, 1920, pages 55-63)."
[6] They were indeed established by "Occultists" of no mean ability; and the results
were and are powerful indeed, as exemplified by the life-long hypnosis of Annie Besant
expressed thus. What kind of Occultists, and what kind of results, is the question. (V.E.)
[7] According to Blavatsky Theosophy, we are only about 5000 years into the kali-
yuga which lasts 432,000 years. The seventh race is millions of years away.
[8] If one were to heed the maunderings of Neo-Theosophists, the human mind
developed more in their ranks in twenty years than in a million among the poor simple
Mahatmas. (V.E.)
[9] While perhaps not what HPB is referring to, Plasma - the fourth state of matter -
has been discovered by science since HPB's time. It is gaseous in some properties, but
"elementally disassociated" into ions and with different properties than gas in other aspects.
Also "dark matter" of unknown properties is postulated by science to explain certain
gravitational effects observed.
[10] Haley's Comet has different proportions of isotopes of carbon than found on
earth. (see Canadian Theosophist, May-June '89) The moon's proportionality of different
elements is very different from the earth. It has virtually no water in any form - not even
locked in minerals as earth rocks do - high proportionality of uranium and rare earths, and
specific density only about 60% of the earth. This fits the Blavatsky assertion that the moon
is a disintegrating and dried-out shell.
[11] This seems to correspond with the recently proposed "dark matter" of science
which is held to infill much of space and be more prevalent than other forms of matter.
[12] All this is simply the original crude nebular theory of La Place, now as dead in
science as in real Theosophy. We have had a Leadbeater addict tell us that precisely one
of the reasons for his faith in Leadbeater was his consistency with science. Naturally one
is consistent with a book from which one swipes whole pages. But poor outmoded H.P.B.
won out. No scientist today will unqualifiedly endorse any extant theory of the origin of
planets or solar system. (V.E.)
[13] one can see that a few decades after Blavatsky's death, there remained little
relationship to her terms and meaning.
[14] The subtle bodies exist on completely different planes of consciousness and
perception from the "aura" seen by clairvoyants. Atma throws no direct form of radiance on
the level of the aura, being too far removed from this coarse astral level.
[15] There can be no "higher" aspects of the monad - which is tautology. All its
attributes or manifestations are "below" or manifestations of it - which is why it is called a
[16] The term "mental body" thus used makes no sense. During life an aspect of
Manas becomes attached to the material universe and functions as "Kama-manas." At
death - unless the being has become soulless, which is another matter - this aspect of
Manas is withdrawn into its Primary and the "shell" or Kama-rupa (combination of the Kama
and part of the astral body) separates out and disintegrates as an entity. There is
temporarily a "Kama-body;" but the only "mental" body is the "Causal" from which material
mind emerges and to which it returns. (V.E.) The dregs or purely material-oriented part of
manas disintegrates in the kama-loka.
[17] The "desire elemental" is not the "astral body. " It is not a form or body at all, but
a principle - Kama. (V.E.)
[18] The true teaching is that normally the astral body moves little if at all away from
the physical in sleep. Moreover, a withdrawal merely into the astral body would mean a
sleeping existence only of dreams and nightmares. (V.E.)
[19] This "special creation" idea for an explanation of things is at base a Christian
doctrine. Theosophy has a more rational explanation in that it is acquired ability through
previous incarnations as well as development of sensitivity to the higher nature, which also
is the result of effort and a moral life. Blavatsky writes: "...the presence in man of various
creative powers - called genius in their collectivity - is due to no blind chance, to no innate
qualities through hereditary tendencies... but to an accumulation of individual antecedent
experiences of the Ego in its preceding life, and lives. " (Blavatsky Collected Writings XII,
p. 17) Each person creates himself through effort and experience. Shakespeare created
himself and earned his abilities.
[20] In original Theosophy, the nature-spirits are lower in evolution than the
minerals, plants, animals, or humans, or the highest in the series - the Dhyan Chohans.
There are three kingdoms of elementals before the mineral stage. Some nature-spirits are
powerful natural forces but unselfconscious. Original Theosophy holds that there is only
one course of evolution, let alone six. Everything passes through the same, identical
stages. In a cosmos that is constructed in a certain way, how can any being evolve except
according to how that cosmos is constructed? The Neo-Theosophical scheme is not
rational, but appealing as a fairytale.
[21] The "Sons of Mind" or "Manasaputras" as Blavatsky calls these beings superior
to us in evolution, did not give a "monadic spark" to incipient mankind because it already
had this. Mankind had the mind-principle or manas, but it was latent and would have taken
aeons to develop on its own. What the "Sons of Mind" did was to inflame or awaken man's
latent mentality, much as one flame lights another.
[22] Because it was a Western invention with no truth in it. There are real "invisible
helpers," but they are Adepts and they do not work in the crude ways described by
Leadbeater. (V.E.) In original Theosophy "spirit guide" or astral communications are
portrayed as being almost always false, the result of astral shells of the dead, elementaries,
elementals and other sources. Just because something is invisible, it is no guarantee of
good intentions or moral or spiritual superiority. The lower astral is the sewer for the worse
of human emotions and thoughts. As for "astral helpers", "astral masters" and the like, K.H.
writes in the Mahatma Letters (#8): "...ninety-nine hundredths of supposed spiritual
communications, are, prima facie false."
[23] On this fundamental matter, HPB claims we sleep because of too much vitality,
or that the body has to rest and regain its resistence to Nature's vital influx, while
Leadbeater states we sleep because of too little vitality. Leadbeater is describing
[24] This section represents the same kind of political compromise with spiritualism
that Leadbeater made with Christianity via the "Liberal Catholic Church." (V.E.)
[25] The "happiness" of astral life, for the living who open the door, is the deadly
"bliss" of the opium-smoker - the "Lower Iddhi" under each blossom of which a serpent is
coiled. For the dead who is conscious at all in it, it is either the hell of Kama Loka or the
hideous vicarious satiations of passion through mediumism. The Mahatma Letters should
be studied in this connection. (V.E.)
[26] Here the basic idea is correct, but the "fifth subdivision" as used has no
authentic warrant. (V.E.)
[27] This "permanent atom" is one of the most interesting inventions of Leadbeater.
But it is an invention pure and simple (V.E.)
Original Theosophical doctrines hold that nothing is "permanent" in Nature, and
especially illusive on the physical and astral levels. Blavatsky wrote: "It is on the doctrine
of the illusive nature of matter, and the infinite divisibility of the atom, that the whole science
of Occultism is built. " (SD I, p. 520) The prevalent idea in Blavatsky's time of scientists was
that of the irreducible "billiard ball" model of the atom.
[28] This is really materializing things. (V.E.) Leadbeater/Besant obviously got
themselves into a corner here as parts of their fantasy-scheme didn't match up. It doesn't
matter how "minute" something is, it can't change the laws of nature and exist on the wrong
plane of being.
[29] H.P.B. certainly does throw out a hint but note the complete passage in the
opposite column [page] from which the footnote referred to was taken and compare them.
(V.E.) This is all a muddle. Which SD edition Besant refers to is uncertain. See BCW V, pp.
109-117, or Five Years of Theosophy (Theosophy Company) pp. 531-539, for the complete
article referred to - neither article agreeing with the other in wording, punctuation, etc..
[30] on the record, this is utter nonsense - or a flat lie. (V.E.)
[31] This footnote in the original Voice was deleted from TPH/Quest editions for
many years along with hundreds of other alterations. See Eclectic Theosophist 3/15/72, #9,
pp. 2-3 I believe it is now included in the current edition.
[32] This "meditation", as revealed in Gregory Tillet's The Elder Brother biography
of Leadbeater, is a debased sexual tantric practice, and as such and among else could not
have been recommended by a genuine white adept. Such practices are a means of lower
black magic. (see chart opposite BCW XII, p. 524)
[33] The point at hand is also not who has the truth, because many may not have
put effort to determine an answer one way or another, but that Leadbeater/Besant
represent a forgery in claiming to represent the same Theosophy that Blavatsky did. There
is a technical Theosophy with specific doctrines and a more generic "theosophy" that is
roughly genuine mysticism and altruism. Modern Theosophists take refuge in ignoring that
there was a definite technical Theosophy presented by Blavatsky, and thus only
acknowledge the generic mystical definition. Adept K.H. writes in the Mahatma Letters:
"Our doctrine knows no compromises. It either affirms or denies, for it never teaches but
that which it knows to be the truth." (p. 52, #10)
Whether Leadbeater and Besant were genuine mystics and not self-deluded
psychics is another question but it is clearly dishonest to ride on the shirttails of original
Theosophy by calling a contradictory system by the same name. Many, many have
doubtless been turned away from genuine Theosophy after being exposed to the obvious
gibberish of "Leadbeaterism" and not being aware of the difference.



- "A Comparison of C.W. Leadbeater's The Chakras With the Writings of H.P.
Blavatsky, William Q. Judge, and G. de Purucker" - M. Jaqua . . . . . . . .
- "Rev. Leadbeater Off the Trail" - R.S. Gherwal . . . . . .
- "Two Schools of Thought" - Boris de Zirkoff . . . .
- "Flowers From a Neo-Theosophical Garden" - H.N. Stokes . . . .
- "The Hidden Voice" - W.E. Small . . . . . . . .
- "The Psychic World - Beware!" - G. de Purucker . . . . .
- "Smogged With 'Astral Intoxication"' - Vonda Urban . . . .

A Comparison of C. W. Leadbeater's The Chakras with the writings of H. P.
Blavatsky, William Q. Judge, and G. de Purucker
- M. R. Jaqua

By far the largest selling book of any Theosophical publisher over the past fifty years
has been C.W. Leadbeater's The Chakras, with 300,000 in print as of 1987. Possibly it has
sold more than all Blavatsky's books combined. Today, when one tells a knowledgeable
person that he is a Theosophist, he will more than likely be categorized as a student of
Leadbeater and Annie Besant. Most, I doubt, have any further understanding of what
Theosophy is about, and no clear conception of who our founder Blavatsky was, if they
have ever heard her name, let alone the name of the even more obscure founder William
Quan Judge.
With the publication of the revealing biography of Leadbeater by Gregory Tillet, The
Elder Brother, the Leadbeater/Besant school of "Theosophy" may be on the wane. Things
change slowly however, and if one goes to his local bookstore and looks in the "New Age"
section, he is likely to find books by Leadbeater, along with shelves of "channeling" and the
like, and lucky to find anything by Blavatsky or the dozens of other serious Theosophical
Leadbeater's The Chakras and other writings have been promoted as "Theosophy"
for the past three-quarters of a century, yet they differ considerably in philosophy from other
forms of "Theosophy." This writer's own preferred authors of Blavatsky, Judge, and
Purucker also call their presentations "Theosophy." Do each differ in fundamentals as to
what they are labeling "Theosophy"?
If the two philosophies differ considerably, who can lay claim to correctly calling his
work by that name? This would not seem a matter of mere opinion or vague
intellectualizing, but something of concrete definition. A discrete system of philosophy is
due a name that differentiates it from others. If "Pure Land" Buddhists began calling their
system "Mahayana" Buddhism, would there be an objection from the genuine
Mahayanists? Any Theosophist who is sincerely interested in the truth of the matter and
not mere emotionalism or the titillation of psychic and power games would seem
necessarily to be interested in coming to some conclusions. A point by point comparison
of aspects of Leadbeater's "Theosophy" in his The Chakras with statements by other
writers should provide some valuable insight on this crucial question to the future of
In his Esoteric Teachings (vol. IX, pp. 85-99) G. de Purucker states that he makes
the few observations he does of the chakras:

"... largely in order to enforce or to emphasize the warning to all Esotericists to leave
the chakras and their respective pranas alone, because very serious peril to both mental
and physical health will almost certainly be incurred by ignorant and consequently foolish
yoga experimentation in connection with them, such as attempting to control the breath...
etc." (P. 94)

While Leadbeater specifically gives location of the chakras in his book (which differs
considerably from Purucker's locations in ET IX, p. 95), Blavatsky nowhere in her Secret
Doctrine gives the locations of the chakras or in any of her other writings. outside the
papers for her Esoteric Group. William Judge also did not give out the locations of the
chakras in any of his writings.
There are numerous contradictions within Leadbeater's The Chakras (Quest Books,
1987). on pages 90 and 91 he states that the use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs
destroys a person's "etheric web" and allows entrance of negative influences. He states
that in other cases these drugs cause this "etheric web" to "harden" and that no higher
influences can enter. This "etheric web" is not referred to in the literature of Blavatsky,
Judge, or Purucker. Leadbeater's analogies as to the effect of drugs on the "etheric web"
are contradictory and similar to saying that a bullet will either pierce the flesh or turn it into
On the use of tobacco, to which Leadbeater assigns the most horrible
consequences, we find that he is not in agreement with either Blavatsky, Judge, or
Purucker. Leadbeater Writes:

"For any person who really means to develop his vehicles, to awaken his chakras,
to make progress along the path of holiness, tobacco is undoubtedly to be sedulously
avoided." (P. 93)

Considering that to most Theosophists admission, H.P. Blavatsky, while being a

heavy smoker, was also the greatest practical and public occultist of our movement, there
seems to be a misapprehension of fact in Leadbeater's statements. Olcott, Judge,
Purucker, Blavatsky, and the Adept Morya were all smokers (see Mahatma Letters, #71,
p. 374, T.U.P. edition). In another contradiction along this line, Leadbeater states on page
10 of The Chakras that "unfoldment" of the chakras "seems to have no more direct
connection with morality than has the enlargement of the biceps," while, contradicting
himself, on pages 90-3 he states that use of drugs, alcohol, or tobacco is fatal to occult
development. Blavatsky, Judge, and Purucker all state in innumerable places that only
within the highest morality is any occult development safe or desirable.
The Blavatskian idea is basically to avoid any type of attempt at psychic or occult
development, as virtually no one can live the life required. These faculties will be natural
at a later stage of evolution. The Leadbeater school, in contradiction, centers their whole
scheme on the psychic glamors. Blavatsky, Judge and Purucker promote philosophy and
the practical results in living a high philosophy, while the Leadbeater/Besant school of
"Theosophy" promotes primarily the excitement of the lower psychic realms, which appeals
more to everyone's baser and emotional being, the "lower iddhi". Without the higher
philosophy and understanding, the lower psychic is ever and absolutely undependable'.
Blavatsky states about tobacco in her rules for the Esoteric Group that:

"The moderate use of tobacco is not prohibited, for it is not an intoxicant; but its
abuse, like that of everything else, even pure water or bread - is prejudicial." (Blavatsky
Collected Writings, vol. XII, p. 496)

Purucker likewise with Blavatsky on tobacco states that:

"There is no occult reason against smoking; but there is an occult reason for
smoking in certain cases, for it takes the place, to a degree, of incense, which is an aid or
a help in driving away certain elemental and evil forces." (ET I, p. 104fn)

Judge, while implying that tobacco is only a protective on more material levels and
that real occult protection stems from inner strength, states:

"Tobacco may protect the carcass from germs and disease, but that security to
safety is needed by all men, whether they are studying Occultism or not. The whole
question of tobacco or no tobacco is purely material. It has been discovered that it does not
degrade except by abuse, but at the same time it was found and declared that other
narcotics and stimulants, such as hemp, opium, and spirits, do dynamically obstruct and
spiritually degrade. Hence these tears - and tobacco." (Echoes of the Orient, Vol. II, p.

Use of alcohol was prohibited in both the Purucker and the Blavatsky/Judge Esoteric
In another contradiction within The Chakras, Leadbeater states on pages 71-2 that
the astral chakras are in "full activity" in all cultured, later races - while on page 86 he states
that Hindus, who are of an earlier race than our own, are "by heredity more adaptable" to
awaken the higher centers. His first statement implies that our western race is superior to
the eastern occultly, while his second statement contradicts his first viewpoint. (In The
Mahatma Letters, #23b and #28, one might see that the Hindu race is less materialistically
intellectual, but more spiritual than our western race. The first and later sub-races in a root-
race are seen as more spiritual in nature but less materialistically intellectual like our own

On pages 46-7 and 57 of The Chakras Leadbeater states that the reason persons
become tired is because they can no longer absorb sufficient energy from the environment.
They thus have to sleep to absorb more vitality and charge the body up, so to speak, while
it is inactive in sleep. He says people of rude health are able to "absorb" more energy than
those of weak constitutions (which, incidently, is also descriptive of vampirism.)

"When vitalized atoms are.. more sparsely scattered, the man in rude health
increases his power of absorption, depletes a larger area, and so keeps his strength at the
normal level; but invalids and men of small nerve-force, who cannot do this, often suffer
severely, and find themselves growing weaker and more irritable without knowing why."

Leadbeater's position here is again directly contrary to that of each Blavatsky,

Judge,. and Purucker. The latter all state that the reason sleep is necessary is not because
there is too little vitality available, as Leadbeater states, but because there is too much, and
the onslaught cannot be resisted any longer. This is also why death ensues. At death when
there is no longer resistence from a unified body-system, the pranic currents destroy the
body in decomposition. William Q. Judge writes:
"During the waking state the life-waves rush into the body with greater intensity
every hour, and, we being unable to resist them any longer than the period usually
observed, they overpower us and we fall asleep. While sleeping, the life-waves adjust
themselves to the molecules of the body; and when the equilibrium is complete we again
wake to continue the contest with life. If this periodical adjustment did not occur, the life
current would destroy us." (Echoes of the Orient, vol. III, p. 11)

Purucker in his Esoteric Teachings, vol. XII, p. 76, quotes from Transactions of the
Blavatsky Lodge in expressing his views on the physical cause of sleep:

"Ask a good clairvoyant to describe the aurora of a person just refreshed by sleep,
and that of another just before going to sleep. The former will be seen bathed in rhythmical
vibrations of life currents - golden, blue, and rosy; these are the electrical waves of Life.
The latter is, as it were, in a mist of intense golden-orange hue, composed of atoms
whirling with an almost incredible spasmodic rapidity, showing that the person begins to be
too strongly saturated with Life; . the life essence is too strong for his physical organs, and
he must seek relief in the shadowy side of that essence, which side is the dream element,
or physical sleep, one of the states of consciousness." (p. 71)

Blavatsky, Judge and Purucker (through quoting Blavatsky in this case) all state that
physical sleep becomes necessary because there is too much vitality for the body and not
too little as Leadbeater states. This is a fundamental difference in doctrine between
Blavatsky, Judge, and Purucker as compared to Leadbeater and points to a clear-cut
divergence in the Source of their teachings that goes beyond merely the point at hand.
There is some inimical power in personifying the "Deity" or Absolute. It categorizes
it within narrow human limitations when actually beyond all possible comprehension on the
human level. Blavatsky goes so far as to say that such personification is at the root of Black
Magic and all the degenerative forces against the human race. (BCW XIII, p. 256)
Leadbeater personifies the Logos in The Chakras by referring to it as "He." "It," yes, but
"He", hardly. The Logos is no single entity as we think of an individual entity. Blavatsky

"In Esoteric philosophy the Demiurge or Logos, regarded as CREATOR, is simply

an abstract term, an idea, like 'army.' As the latter is the all-embracing term for a body of
active forces or working units - soldiers - so is the Demiurge the qualitative compound of
a multitude of Creators or Builders." (Secret Doctrine I, p. 380fn)

Elsewhere Blavatsky remarks on the matter, of personifying cosmic powers:

"Shall we call these 'Fathers' of ours, whether individually or collectively and under
any circumstances, our personal God? Occultism answers Never." (BCW XII, P. 533)

Leadbeater's description on pages 38-30 of The Chakras of the manifestation our

cosmos through the First, Second and Third Logos is at complete odds with the teachings
of Blavatsky, Judge, and Purucker and could only be aimed at destruction of any sense of
philosophic discrimination in the student! While Leadbeater has each of the Logoi
performing different Direct functions in the manifesting of the world, according to the
writings of Blavatsky, Judge and Purucker As Well As Simple Logic! - only the Third or
"lowest" Logos in the scheme of manifestation can possibly have anything directly to do
with our material world. Leadbeater's position here can be nothing else than facetious, as
he has the First and Second Logos directly involved within the physical cosmos without the
intermediary of the Third Logos. It is obfuscation, pure and simple, of a true or the original
and sensible doctrine of progressively material emanation through three succeeding levels
of increasing materiality, or the three Logoi.
Roughly, in the genuine doctrine, the Third or "Demiourgos" as called by the Greeks,
Logos, is emanated by the Second Logos, the Second Logos is an emanation of the First
Logos, and the First Logos an emanation of indescribable and infinite Parabrahman.
Leadbeater, "as he has long understood" (but incorrectly), has the First and Second Logos
participating in our manifestation independently of the Third Logos - which is functionally
impossible and something like saying that the president of General Motors is personally
responsible for tightening the lug nuts on every car sold. As regards our manifested
cosmos emanating only from the Third Logos, Blavatsky writes in a commentary on the
New Testament:

"The... verse refers to the Third or Creative Logos. All things came into existence
through it, viz., the third aspect of the Logos and source of their existence..." (BCW XI, p.

Purucker writes identically as to the emanation of the First, Second, and Third Logos
and the manifested cosmos through the latter:

"Manu, or dhyani-chohan, in the esoteric system, is the entities collectively which

appear first at the beginning of manifestation and from which, like a cosmic tree, everything
is derived or born. Manu actually is the (spiritual) tree of life of any planetary chain, of
manifested being. Manu is thus, in one sense, the Third Logos..." (Fundamentals of the
Esoteric Philosophy, p. 48, T.U.P. edition)

Judge writes identically to Blavatsky and Purucker:

"... all Planes of Consciousness and all the Principles of man are root-differentiations
of MAHAT, the 'Great Principle' of Mind of the Universe (the Third Logos of the Secret
Doctrine.)" (Echoes III, p. 310)

On page 27 of The Chakras Leadbeater writes that "The force of Kundalini in our
bodies comes from that laboratory of the Holy Ghost deep down in the earth." Since he
elsewhere states that the source of the physical kundalini is the basal or Muladhara chakra,
he seems to be equating the third being of the Christian Trinity with the lowest chakra. In
Purucker's view the Christian "Holy Ghost" is the same as the Second Logos because of
its feminine/passive potency. (E.T, vol. v, p. 21) Elsewhere Purucker equates the Second
Logos with "Cosmic Buddhi" or Alaya. Blavatsky at one point equates the Holy Ghost with
Atma, but in one sense anything could be generically labeled "Atma" that was unmanifest
to us in our cosmos. (BCW XI, p. 497)
William Judge writes identically to Purucker: "Akasa in the mysticism of the Esoteric
Philosophy is, properly speaking, the female 'Holy Ghost'..." (Echoes III, p. 58) (Cosmic
Buddhi, or Alaya, is of a superior hierarchy to the Buddhi principle in the human
constitution. Akasa is identical to Alaya or "Cosmic Buddhi" in Akasa's higher aspects.)
Neither Blavatsky, Judge, or Purucker place the Holy Ghost "deep down in the earth"
as Leadbeater does. Even conventional Christianity places the Holy Ghost as something
detached from the earthly-material, not operating within the bowels of the earth, where
many place their hell.
On page 28 of The Chakras Leadbeater states that the Third Logos ("He'' in his
personification) "is engaged in building denser and denser chemical elements." This is
again directly contrary to the teachings of Blavatsky and Purucker and against the very
spirit of their Theosophy - thus again pointing to another source of Leadbeater's teachings,
which is most likely his own imagination. According to Blavatsky and Purucker, we have
now passed the low point in materiality for our round - during Atlantean times - and now
matter is becoming LESS DENSE and more ephemeral as we ascend the arc of spirituality,
and not MORE DENSE as Leadbeater states. Leadbeater gives the perspective that we
should be looking to the more material and away from the spiritual, which is of course the
direction of sorcery and not of spirituality. Spirituality's direction is away from and progress
from dense materiality. Evolution is away from dense matter and not towards it as
Leadbeater infers.
Purucker states:

"From now on, all the globes and all the life-waves which up to the present have
shown a tendency to sink into matter, now having reached their balance, will hereafter
show a tendency to become more ethereal. The very earth we live on, as the ages pass,
will show a tendency to etherealize itself, spiritualize itself; and I may point out that the
discoveries in radioactivity, such as that of uranium, and certain other elements of high
atomic weight, are merely examples of the steady disintegration of the grossest chemical
elements known. They would naturally be the first to etherealize." (Studies in Occult
Philosophy, p. 97)

Leadbeater states that the kundalini is aroused by bringing of the first or Mulhadara
chakra fully into activity (pp. 77-8). This method, of what he calls "Laya Yoga," is the
method of Tantra Yoga, its coined "Laya Yoga'' name notwithstanding. Leadbeater states
(p. 119) that the term "laya" is somehow derived or associated with the english word
"latency," to which this writer doubts it has any philological relationship other than sounding
similarly. "Laya" is from the Sanskrit root li, meaning "to dissolve" or "disintegrate." In
Purucker's Occult Glossary a "laya center" is described as "the mystical point where a thing
disappears from one plane and passes onwards to reappear on another plane." "Laya
Yoga" could not be described as one of the "seven recognized systems of Yoga" in India
as Leadbeater states, but as a derivation of often or usually degenerate Tantra Yoga - the
system used by eastern sorcerers.
In another contradiction. within The Chakras (pp. 72, 77), Leadbeater states that the
first chakra or Muladhara is the home of the serpent fire or kundalini, while elsewhere (pp.
81-2) he states that the greatest danger in rousing the kundalini is that it will rush
downwards instead of upwards, and thus excite the lower passions. One may wonder
how, if its base is in the lowest chakra, the kundalini can rush downwards any lower than
this lowest chakra?
On page 77 of The Chakras Leadbeater states that "all schools of yoga recognize...
the importance of the chakras" and that "The plan of the Raja Yogi is to meditate upon each
in turn and bring them into activity by sheer force of will..." THIS IS A FALSE STATEMENT
is the method of Theosophy and Blavatsky, Judge, and Purucker, does not regard study
of especially the lower chakras as important but inimical and dangerous, and as a method
used in black magic. It sees concentration on the chakras below the head as harmful or
fatal to spiritual development. It is a concentrating on the perishable physical and astral
qualities instead of the truly valuable mental and spiritual qualities. It is a directing of the
attention in the wrong course, towards the material and away from the spiritual. Blavatsky
writes in her Esoteric Instructions:

"He who has studied both systems, the Hatha and Raja-Yoga, finds an enormous
difference between the two: one is purely psycho-physiological, the other purely psycho-
spiritual. The Tantrists do not seem to go higher than the six visible and know plexuses,
with each of which they connect the Tattvas; and the great stress they lay on the chief of
these, the Muladhara Chakra (the sacral plexus), shows the material and selfish bent of
their efforts towards the acquisition of powers. ...with the followers of the old school it is
different. We begin with mastery of that organ which is situated at the base of the brain, in
the pharynx, and called by Western anatomists the Pituary Body." (BCW XII, p. 616)

In reference to the higher centers that Blavatsky states Raja-yoga is solely

concerned with, Leadbeater claims that the brow center or pituary chakra exerts its special
faculties of spiritual sight by means of a special "etheric microscope." He writes:

"A tiny flexible tube of etheric matter is projected from the center of it, resembling
a microscopic snake with something like an eye at the end of it. This is the special organ
used in that form of clairvoyance, and the eye at the end of it can be expanded or
contracted, the effect being to change the power of magnification according to the size of
the object which is being examined." (p. 79)

Leadbeater also states that this "etheric microscope" was the basis of the serpent-
crown worn by Egyptian initiates.
The powers of the "third eye" are mental. and spiritual powers and have no need of
etheric devices modeled after modern microscopes. Leadbeater's explanation of the "third
eye" as a microscope is absurd and infantile. Size is a mental and relative concept or
dimension or quality and has no bearing on the relative size of the clairvoyant. It would
seem that an adept with such an occult ability would merely have to bring his mind in
rapport with an object, whether its scope be, to us, the size of a speck of dust or a planet.
The serpent is an ancient symbol of wisdom and initiation and it was such on the Egyptian
headdress - a symbol.
In Egypt the serpent in one aspect was Hermes-Thoth and represented "divine
creative wisdom." "... the 'Serpent' and 'Dragon' were names given to the 'Wise ones', the
initiated adepts of olden times." (SD I, p. 404) As to the Egyptian serpent headdress in
particular, Blavatsky writes: "It has been repeatedly stated that the Serpent is the symbol
of wisdom and of occult knowledge... The crown form of an asp, the Thermuthis, belongs
to Isis, goddess of Life and Healing." (SD II, p. 26fn)
In the diagram opposite page 524 in BCW XII, Blavatsky states that the lower
physical organs are "used only by Dugpas in Black Magic." (The lower ternary is only used
in sorcery, its symbol being the inverted triangle. One might consider whether the inverted
triangle used in the heart chakra on page 99 of The Chakras is a symbol of such.)
Leadbeater states on page 87 that " day one of the Masters made a
suggestion to me with regard to a certain kind of meditation which would evoke this force."
(the kundalini) The practice, while remaining a mystery to most for sixty years, was recently
unearthed by Gregory Tillet in his biography of Leadbeater, The Elder Brother, and is a low
tantric autoerotic one - and thus by Blavatsky's definition concerning the lower ternary is
a black magic practice. The "Master" could not have been one from the Lodge that utilized
Blavatsky as a presenter of their doctrines, and thus Leadbeater is found self-deluded, a
pawn, or a presenter of teachings of the left-hand path.
Blavatsky states elsewhere (BCW XII, p. 621) that Raja-yoga schools never publish
tantra-like works or on the chakras because they "tend to Black Magic and are most
dangerous to take for guides in self-training." She adds: "I hope that American Esotericists
will be on their guard." In the original Esoteric Section under Blavatsky overall and Judge
in America, there was a prohibition "against physical means and physical practices pursued
for the finite purpose of developing psychic power." (Echoes III, p. 333)
G. de Purucker presented the same view as Blavatsky and Judge that concern over
the chakras tends in the direction selfishness, psychism and the left-hand path:

"It is precisely these relatively unimportant facts of occult physiology which seem to
exercise on the perverse minds of the men and women of our generation a sort of psychic
fascination, as if, for sooth, it is with the human body and its functions and organs, etc., that
the really sublime teachings of the occult or Esoteric Philosophy mainly deals! ... In India
these truths are as well known and in fact far better known, due to ages of high
philosophical teaching, than they are in the West; yet India and China and other Oriental
countries are simply overrun with the dangers of quasi-occultism, whose proponents in
India are called the lower classes of Yogins or Fakirs, etc., etc. Their whole attention and
indeed their whole life, more or less, is given up to a study and practice of the often
elaborate rules for psycho-physical development contained in the Hatha-Yoga as well as
in the often infamous and bestial Tantrika works. But whereas in India, as an example, the
dangers of these works through centuries of a relatively high philosophical education are
more or less clearly appreciated by educated people and those who have been trained in
the higher philosophical thought, there is little if any such protective knowledge abroad or
common in the Occident. ... There is a complete science regarding the chakras, but it is not
a science which it would be helpful for you to study now. It is mostly studied by Black
Magicians or by those who unconsciously aspire to become Black Magicians, because
what they want to gain is 'powers' ...even the chelas are not allowed to cultivate the powers
of the chakras by concentrating upon them. They find out by following the chela-life how
to use the powers naturally; and I have known chelas who did not even know the names
of the chakras. They have heard vaguely that these nerve-centers are in the body, but they
are not interested. They simply use the powers which flow through these chakras, because
they have become evolved men..." (ET IX, pp. 85-6, 93fn)

Just what is "Theosophy?" Is it anything anyone wishes to call by that name - like
a generic name for the metaphysical - or is there a valid standard of definition? The word
"Theosophy" may have been used a thousand years ago, but it obtains a new and definite
definition if used as a chosen label for a specific system of philosophy, as chosen and used
by Blavatsky for her specific system a hundred years ago. There may be primary and
secondary definitions, as in many terms. one such definition is Theosophy as the specific
philosophic system presented by Blavatsky.
Leadbeater calls his book The Chakras "Theosophy" as are scores or hundreds of
others in the same vein labeled, yet differing completely from Blavatsky Theosophy and
producing great misconception in the public. Blavatsky, Judge, Purucker and as well The
Mahatma Letters are as mutually consistent as could be possible in their presentation and
thus intellectually and intuitively can be held to represent an identical Source Doctrine, as
they maintain they do.
Within the present Theosophical Societies, according to the program of the original
Society and still held in principle by each, there can be promulgated no dogma, "complete
freedom of thought" being one of our ideals. Even if one thought Theosophy as presented
by Blavatsky, Judge, and Purucker, or someone else, was "the complete truth and nothing
but the truth," it would be wrong to set such up as dogma. The Theosophical Societies and
THEOSOPHY, however, are two things quite different. "Our doctrine knows no
compromises" one finds in The Mahatma Letters as to the technical doctrines. People have
to discover truth by their own means, by their own "self-induced and self-devised efforts."
To impose belief is to destroy the very function that is responsible for discovering truth.
As to Theosophy, the technical philosophic system: A system of thought has to have
a label or name and Theosophy was the term used by Blavatsky to label the definite system
of thought she presented. Her writings and the writings of those that agree with her's are
the only writings that can be logically or truthfully called "Theosophy." This is the only
reasonable definition.
In analysis and comparison of Leadbeater's The Chakras with what in simple
definition is Theosophy, it is obvious that The Chakras is not Theosophy. It is something
else. It represents Theosophy's polar antithesis in its basic aspects, and to argue minor
points of agreement serves no purpose as everything agrees with something else on some
point. Without Blavatsky Theosophy to falsely present himself as a representative of, it is
likely C. W. Leadbeater would have never received a hearing or popularity. If one prefers
Leadbeater's philosophy, this is a person's prerogative (at his own delusion and peril, if
one were to give credence to Blavatsky, Judge, Purucker), but it can only be called
Theosophy by theft.



- R. S. Gherwal

The harm to Yoga philosophy that has been done by misinformation thru the
"Theosophist" Rev. C. W. Leadbeater is indeed very great.
Most readers of Theosophical and occult literature believe Rev. Leadbeater to be
a friend to the Hindus, but after reading his book, The Inner Life and The Chakras, I am
forced to say by the information he has given, he is the greatest enemy of Yoga philosophy,
and has given a bad name to Yoga. This may have been done unconsciously.
Nevertheless, it is hard to believe, as in The Chakras he in no instance has corrected the
misinformation made in The Inner Life. For example, in The Chakras he tries to prove a
difference in the petals of the different centers from that which is given in Yoga philosophy.
According to Rev. Leadbeater all the Yogis of the past and present, even the
founder of Yoga philosophy are wrong about the Chakras, and their petals.
All Yogis and our books claim Sahasrara, has one thousand petals but in one of his
chapters, Rev. Leadbeater says he found there were only Nine Hundred and Sixty and not
"One Thousand". The Ajna Chakra has two petals, according to Yoga, but Rev. Leadbeater
claims he found Ninety-six petals in the Ajna Chakra. All his counts are opposite the Yogis'
Chakras, except one. He claims he found Nine Hundred and Sixty and Ninety-six.

Every Yogi cannot help but laugh, because there are really no petals at all. I will
explain here, the symbols these petals stand for.
Every Yogi knows, and the students of Yoga Philosophy know, that Rev.
Leadbeater, is "off the trail," and did not stop to consider the origin of our One Thousand
Petals, but undoubtedly he had something else in mind.
In Yoga Philosophy these Chakras are symbols: the first - Earth, the second -
Water, third - Fire, fourth - Air, fifth - Ether and sixth Mental. The "Thousand - Petaled" we
do not call a Chakra, as it is above the nature element and mind.
In these six symbols we have the "Garland of Letters," as there are fifty letters in the
Sanskrit alphabet and each petal of these centers represent a letter. In the first or Root
Chakra, Yoga puts four petals, six in the second, ten in the third, twelve in the fourth,
sixteen in the fifth and two in the sixth, between the eyes. That includes the occult symbol
of the Sanscrit alphabet. By repeating all of the fifty alphabetical letters twenty times we
have One Thousand - the symbol of the "Thousand - petals". We would like to know just
where Rev. Leadbeater gets his idea that there are only 960. Now is he not off the trail,
Now I will give you his own words about awakening the Kundalini:

"One very common effect of rousing it prematurely is that it rushes downwards in the
body instead of upwards, and thus excites the most undesirable passions - excites them
and intensifies their effects to such a degree that it becomes impossible for the man to
resist them, because a force has been brought into play, in whose presence he is as
helpless as a swimmer before the jaws of a shark".

The reader will find this kind of "stuff" in Chapter Four and in the next Chapter he
contradicts as follows:

"It is said in some cases Kundalini has been awakened not only by the will, but also
by accident; by a blow or by physical pressure. I heard recently from one of our
Theosophical lecturers that he had come across an example of the kind when touring in
Canada. A lady, who knew nothing at all of these matters fell down the cellar steps in her
house. She lay for some time unconscious, and when she awoke she found herself
clairvoyant, able to read the thoughts passing in other people's minds, and to see what was
going on in every room in the house; and this clairvoyance has remained a permanent
possession. One assumes that in this case in falling, the lady must have received a blow
at the base of the spine exactly in such a position of such a nature as to shock the
Kundalini into partial activity."

The miseries and dangers spoken of in the previous chapter, do not appear to have
been monstrous in this case.
I will now show my readers at what Rev. Leadbeater is driving. And he does not
hesitate, if, at the same time he gives a bad name to the Yoga Philosophy, because he
wants followers of his method of opening the Kundalini, and really one can hardly blame
Rev. Leadbeater, as it seems to be the custom of the West to first give the other man a bad
name and then, seek his followers. For nearly half a century I have met Master Yogis who
have awakened their Kundalini and not in a single instance did they claim they had opened
it. Rev. Leadbeater is the first man to come to my attention, who claims he has opened his
Kundalini. For the rest of the people he says:

"...but most people cannot gain it during the present incarnation, if it is the first in
which they have begun to take these matters seriously in hand, but it is really for the
majority, the work of a later round altogether. The conquest of the serpent-fire has to be
repeated in each incarnation, since the vehicles are new each time, but after it has been
once thoroughly achieved these repetitions will be an easy matter."

Then on the same page he gives his own personal experience:

"It may be of use if I mention my own experience in this matter. In the earlier part
of my residence in India forty years ago I made no effort to rouse the fire, not indeed
knowing very much about it, and having the opinion that, in order to do anything with it, it
was necessary to be born with a specially psychic body, which I did not possess. But one
day one of the masters made a suggestion to me with regard to a certain kind of meditation
which would evoke this force. Naturally I at once put the suggestion into practice, and in
course of time was successful. I have no doubt, however, that He watched the experiment,
and would have checked me if it had become dangerous. I am told that there are Indian
ascetics who teach this to their pupils, of course keeping them under careful supervision
during the process. But I do not myself know of any such, nor would I have confidence in
them unless they were specially recommended by someone who I knew to be possessed
of real knowledge."

Rev. Leadbeater claims he has opened the Kundalini, still he will not have the
confidence in the Hindu Master, unless they were specially recommended by some ghost
on the Astral Plane. Following, I will show how he wants you to open the Kundalini:

"People often ask me what I advise them to do with regard to the arousing of this
force. I advise them to do exactly what I myself did. I recommend them to throw themselves
into theosophical work and wait until they receive a definite command from some Master
who will undertake to superintend their psychic development, continuing in the meantime
all the ordinary exercises of meditation that are known to them. They should not care in the
least whether such development comes in this incarnation or in the next, but should regard
the matter from the point of view of the ego and not of the personality, feeling absolutely
certain that the Masters are always watching for those whom They can help, that it is
entirely impossible for anyone to be overlooked, and that They will unquestionably give
Their directions when They think that the right time has come."

It would really be a great joy to all Yogis if, Rev. Leadbeater will leave the Yoga
Philosophy alone and give to the world what he wants, but by all means, call it by some
other name.
This is not a pleasure to me to criticize some other writer, but I believe it is the duty
of every Yogi, to give to those who are seeking information, only that which he (the Yogi)
knows to be correct about the Kundalini the Mother of the Universe.
The following is an article on the same subject, by Arthur Avalon. He, too, questions
Rev. Leadbeater's remarks.

From pp. 6 to 18 Mr. A. Avalon's, The Serpent Power:

"We may here notice the account of a well-know 'Theosophical' author (Mr. C. W.
Leadbeater), regarding what he calls the 'Force Centres' and the 'Serpent Fire,' of which
he writes that he has had personal experience. Though Mr. Leadbeater also refers to the
Yoga Shastra, it may perhaps exclude error if we here point out that his account does not
profess to be a representation of the teaching of the Indian Yogis (whose competence for
their own Yoga the author somewhat disparages), but that it is put forward as the Author's
own original explanation (fortified, as he conceives, by certain portions of Indian teaching)
of the personal experience which (he writes) he himself has had. This experience appears
to consist in the conscious arousing of the 'Serpent Fire,' [1] with the enhanced 'astral' and
mental vision which he believes has shown him what he tells us. [2] The centres, or
Chakras, of the human body are by Mr. Leadbeater described to be vortices of 'etheric'
matter [3] into which rush from the 'astral' [4] world, and at right angles to the plane of the
whirling disc, the sevenfold force of the Logos bringing 'divine life' into the physical body.
Though all these seven forces operate on all the centres, in each of them one form of the
force is greatly predominant. These inrushing forces are alleged to set up on the surface
of the 'etheric double' [5a] secondary forces at right angles to themselves. The primary
force on entrance into the vortex radiates again in straight lines, but at right angles. The
number of these radiations of the primal forces is said to determine the number of 'Petals'
[6] (as the Hindus call them) which the 'Lotus' or vortex exhibits. The secondary force
rushing round the vortex produces, it is said, the appearance of the petals of a flower, or,
'perhaps more accurately, saucers or shallow vases of wavy iridescent glass.' In this way -
that is, by supposition of an etheric vortex subject to an incoming force of the Logos - both
the 'Lotuses' described in the Hindu books and the number of their petals is accounted for
by the author, who substitutes for the Svadhishthana centre a six-petalled lotus at the
spleen, [5b] and corrects the number of petals of the lotus in the head, which he says is not
a thousand, as the book of this Yoga say, 'but exactly 960.' [6a]
"There are some resemblances between this account and the teaching of' the Yoga
Shastra, with which in a general way the author cited appears to have some acquaintance,
and which may have suggested to him some features of his account. There are firstly
seven centres, which with one exception correspond with the Chakras described. The
author says that there are three other lower centres, but that concentration on them is full
of danger. What these are is not stated. There is no centre lower, that I am aware of, than
the Muladhara (as the name 'root-centre' itself implies), and the only centre near to it which
is excluded, in the above-mentioned account, is the Apas Tattva centre, or Svadhishthana.
Next there is the Force ' the Serpent Fire,' which the Hindus call Kundalini, in the lowest
centre, the muladhara. Lastly, the effect of the rousing of this force, which is accomplished
by will power (Yogabala) [8] is said to exalt the physical consciousness through the
ascending planes to the 'heaven world.' To use the Hindu expression, the object and aim
of Shatchakrabheda is Yoga. This is ultimately union with the Supreme Self or Paramatma;
but it is obvious, that as the body in its natural state is already, though unconsciously, in
Yoga, otherwise it would not exist, each conscious step upwards is Yoga, and there are
many stages of such before complete or Kaivalya Mukti is attained. This and, indeed, many
of the preceding stages are far beyond the 'heaven world' of which the author speaks.
Yogis are not concerned with the 'heaven world,' but seek to surpass it; otherwise they are
not Yogis at all. What, according to this theory, manifested force apparently does is this:
it enhances the mental and moral qualities of the self-operator as they existed at the time
of its discovery. But if this be so, such enhancement may be as little desirable as the
original state. Apart from the necessity for the possession of health and strength, the
thought, will, and morality, which it is proposed to subject to its influence must be first
purified and strengthened before they are intensified by the vivifying influence of the
aroused force. Further, as I have elsewhere pointed out, [9] the Yogis say that the piercing
of the Brahmagranthi or 'knot' [10] sometimes involves considerable pain, physical disorder,
and even disease, as is not unlikely to follow from concentration on such a centre as the
navel (Nabhipadma).
"To use Hindu terms, the Sadhaka must be competent (Adhikari), a matter to be
determined by his Guru, from whom alone the actual method of Yoga, can be learned. The
incidental dangers, however, stated by Mr. Leadbeater go beyond any mentioned to me by
Indians themselves, who seem to be in general unaware of the subject of 'phallic sorcery',
to which reference is made by Mr. Leadbeater, who speaks of schools of (apparently
Western) 'Black Magic' which are said to use Kundalini for the purpose of stimulating the
sexual centre. Another author says: [11] 'The mere dabbler in the pseudo-occult will only
degrade his intellect with the puerilities of psychism, become the prey of the evil influence
of the phantasmal world, or ruin his soul by the foul practices of phallic sorcery - as
thousands of misguided people are doing even in this age.' Is this so? It is possible that
perverse or misguided concentration on sexual and connected centres may have the effect
alluded to. And it may be that the Commentator Lakshmidara alludes to this when he
speaks of Uttara Kaulas who arouse Kundalini in the Muladhara to satisfy their desire for
world-enjoyment and do not attempt to lead Her upwards to the Highest Centre which is
the object of Yoga seeking super-worldly bliss. Of such, a Sanskrit verse runs 'they are the
true prostitutes.' I have, however, never heard Indians refer to this matter, probably
because, it does not belong to Yoga in its ordinary sense, as also by reason of the
antecedent discipline required of those who would undertake this Yoga, the nature of their
practice, and the aim they have in view, such a possibility does not come under
consideration. The Indian who practices this or any other kind of spiritual Yoga ordinarily
does so not on account of a curious interest in occultism or with a desire to gain 'astral' or
similar experiences. [12] His attitude in this as in all other matters is essentially a religious
one, based on a firm faith in Brahman (Sthiranishtha), and inspired by a desire for union
with It which is liberation.
"Assuming for argument the alleged correspondence, then the 'etheric centres' or
Chakras of Mr. Leadbeater's account appear to be centres of energy of Prana-vayu - or
Vital Force. The lotuses are also this and centres of the universal consciousness. Kundalini
is the static form of the creative energy in bodies which is the source of all energies,
including Prana. According to Mr. Leadbeater's theory, Kundalini is some force which is
distinct from Prana, understanding this term to mean vitality of the life-principle, which on
entrance into the body shows itself in various manifestations of life which are the minor
Pranas, of which inspiration is called by the general name of the force itself (Prana). Verses
10 and 11 says of Kundalini: 'It is She who maintains all the beings (that is, jiva, jivatma)
of the world by means of inspiration and expiration.' She is thus the Prana Devata, but, as
She is (Comm., vv. 10 and 11) Srishti-sthitilayatmika, all forces therefore are in Her. She
is, in fact, the Shabdabrahman or "word" in bodies. The theory discussed appears to
diverge from that of the Yogis when we consider the nature of the Chakras and the
question of their vivification. According to Mr. Leadbeater's account, the Chakras are all
vortices of 'etheric matter,' apparently of the same kind and subject to the same external
influence of the inrushing sevenfold force of the 'Logos" but differing in this, that in each of
the Chakras one of other of their sevenfold forces is predominant. Again, if, as has been
stated, the astral body corresponds with the Manomayakosha, then the vivification of the
Chakras appears to be, according to Mr. Leadbeater, a rousing of the Kamik side of the
mental sheath. According to the Hindu doctrine, these Chakras are differing centres of
consciousness, vitality, and Tattvik energy.
Each of the five lower Chakras is the centre of energy of a gross Tattva - that is, of
that form of Tattvik activity or Tanmatra which manifests the Mahabhuta or sensible matter.
The sixth is the centre of the subtle mental Tattva, and the Sahasrara is not called a
Chakra at all. Nor, as stated, is the splenic centre included among the six Chakras which
are dealt with in this account.
'In the Indian system the total number of the petals corresponds with the number of
the letters of the Sanskrit Alphabet, [13] and the number of the petals of any specific lotus
is determined by the disposition of the subtile "nerves" [or]Nadis around it. These petals,
further, bear subtile sound-powers, and are fifty in number, as are the letters of the Sanskrit
"This work also describes certain things which are gained by contemplation on each
of the Chakras. Some of them are of general character, such as long life, freedom from
desire and sin, control of the senses, knowledge, power of speech, and fame. Some of
these and other qualities are results common to concentration on more than one Chakra.
others are stated in connection with the contemplation upon one centre only. Such
statements seem to be made, not necessarily with the intention of accurately recording the
specific result, if any, which follows upon concentration upon a particular centre, but by way
of praise for increased self-control or Stuti-vada; as where it is said in v. 21 that
contemplation on the Nabhi-padma gains for the Yogi power to destroy and create the
"It is also said that mastery of the centres may produce various Siddhis or powers
in respect of the predominating elements there. And this is, in fact, alleged. [14] Pandit
Ananta Shastri says: [15] 'We can meet with several persons every day elbowing us in the
streets or bazaars who in all sincerity attempted to reach the highest plane of bliss, but fell
victims on the way to the illusions of the psychic world, and stopped at one or the other of
the six Chakras. They are of varying degrees of attainment, and are seen to possess some
power which is not found even in the best intellectuals of the ordinary run of mankind. That
this school of practical psychology was working very well in India at one time is evident
from these living instances (not to speak of the numberless treatises on the subject) of men
roaming about in all parts of the country.' The mere rousing of the Serpent power does not,
from the spiritual Yoga standpoint, amount to much. Nothing, however, of real moment,
from the higher Yogis' point of view, is achieved until the Ajna Chakra is reached. Here,
again, it is said that the Sadhaka whose Atma [aim?] is nothing but a meditation on this
lotus 'becomes the creator, preserver and destroyer, of the three worlds; and yet, as the
commentator points out (v. 34), 'This is but the highest Prashangsa-vada or Stutivada - that
is, compliment - which in Sanskrit literature is often void of reality as it is in our ordinary life.
Though much is here gained, it is not until the Tattvas of this centre are also absorbed, and
complete knowledge [16] of the Sahasrara is gained, that the Yogi attains that which is both
his aim and the motive of his labour, cessation from rebirth which follows on the control and
concentration of the Chitta on the Shivasthanam, the Abode of Bliss.
It is not to be supposed that simply because the Serpent Fire has been aroused that
one has thereby become a Yogi or achieved the end of Yoga. There are other points of
difference which the reader will discover for himself, but into which I do not enter, as my
object in comparing the two accounts has been to establish a general contrast between this
modern account and that of the Indian schools. I may, however, add that the differences
are not only as to details. The style of thought differs in a way not easy shortly to describe,
but which will be quickly recognized by those who have some familiarity with the Indian
Scriptures and mode of thought. The latter is ever disposed to interpret all processes and
their results from a subjective standpoint, though for the purposes of Sadhana the objective
aspect is not ignored. The Indian Theory is highly philosophical. Thus, to take but one
instance, whilst Mr. Leadbeater attributes the power of becoming large or small at will
(Anima and Mahima Siddhi) to a flexible tube or 'microscopic snake' in the forehead, the
Hindu says that all powers (Siddhi) are the attributes (Aishvaryya) of the Lord Ishvara, or
Creative Consciousness, and that in the degree that the Jiva realizes that consciousness
[17] he shares the powers inherent in the degree of his attainment."
The Above is an excerpt from Mr. Avalon's introduction to his book, The Serpent
Power. Every student of Yoga should read it.

Om, Om, Om.


NOTES* (Arthur Avalon):

[1] This and the following notes compare his and the Indian theory. The Devi or
Goddess is called Bhujangi or serpent because at the lowest centre (Muladhara) she lies
'Coiled' - at rest. The Cosmic Power in bodies is here at rest; when roused it is felt as
intense heat.
[2] Certain Siddhis or occult powers are acquired at each center as the practitioner
works his way upwards.
[3] The petals of the lotus are Pranashakti manifested by Pranavayu or vital force.
Each lotus is a centre of a different form of 'matter' (Bhuta) there predominant.
[4] This is a western term.
[5a, 5b] Not mentioned in the account here given.
[6] See last note but three.
[6a] So little attention seems to be given to exactitude in this matter that one of the
letters is dropped in order to make 1000 petals - that is 50 X 20. 'Thousand' is, here only
symbolic of magnitude.
[7] (Apparently editing error. No note 7 in original. -ed.)
[8] With the aid of bodily purification, certain Asans and Mudras (v. post).
[9] In the first edition of Mahanirvana Tantra, CXXIV.
[10] There are three 'knots' which have to be pierced or centres where the force of
Maya is particularly strong.
[11] The Apocalypse Unsealed, by James M. Pryse, p. 62
[121 Those who do practice magic of the kind mentioned work only in the lowest
centre, have recourse to the Prayoga, which leads to Mayika Shiddhi, whereby commerce
is had with female spirits and the like. The process in this work described is one upon the
path of liberation and has nothing to do with sexual black magic.
[13] - which are sometimes given as 50 and sometimes as 51.
[14] See Yogatattve Upanishad, where contemplation on the earth centre secures
mastery over, etc. At the same time it points out that these 'powers' are obstacles to
[15] Anandalahari, p. 35.
[16] This, it is obvious, comes only after long effort, and following on less complete
experiences and results. According to Indian nations, success (Siddhi) in Yoga may be the
fruit of experiences of many preceeding lives. Kundalini must be gradually raised from one
centre to another until she reaches the Lotus in the cerebrum. The length of time required
varies in the individual - it may be years ordinarily or in exceptional cases months.
[17] As this is by the Devi's grace, She is called "the giver of the eight Siddhis"
(Ishitvadyashtasiddhida). See Trishati, 11, 47. She gives Aishvaryya.

* From Kundalini, Mother of the Universe: Mystery of Piercing the Sixth Chakra,
Gerwal Singh, Santa Barbara, 1930. The excerpt in this article appeared only in the lst
edition of Avalon's The Serpent Power, London, 1920.


- Boris de Zirkoff*

Within the ranks of the organized Theosophical Movement, there have existed for
a number of years past two schools of thought vastly different from each other.
One of them is primarily based upon the writings of H.P. Blavatsky, the chief founder
of the Theosophical Society, and the pronouncements of her own superiors in the occult
hierarchy. To these may be added a considerable number of essays and articles written
by some of the direct pupils of the Teachers, and frequently under their own direction.
The other school is based upon claimed psychic investigations and clairvoyant
revelations of several individuals whose claims have remained unsupported and unchecked
by any collateral authority, and have been accepted on their own say-so, without any
subsidiary corroboration.
The teachings of these two schools of thought diverge from, and very often
contradict, each other on various important points. In the very nature of things, they cannot
be harmonized.
Personal attachments of students to one or another "authority," genuine or claimed,
is of course no guarantee, and therefore cannot decide either the nature or the implications
of one or the other approach to the subject of occultism. Something more is required than
emotional reactions or the tendency to overlook essentials and disregard fundamental
It is quite probable that in a Movement like ours, no matter what historical era it may
manifest itself, there will arise from time to time individuals whose psychic tendencies will
be the basis for various claims of special knowledge, and groups of followers will always
be found to give them the emotional support which they desire - a support devoid of any
intellectual basis or independent analysis of the claims made. This seems to be the fate of
all occult and pseudo-occult movements whose history has come down to us, however
It is a curious commentary upon human confusion in general, and the psycho-mental
uncertainty of some students of Theosophy, that Publishing Houses within the organized
Theosophical Movement sell indiscriminately various works belonging to the two
diametrically opposite schools of thought mentioned above, and often advertise them on
the same page of their publications. Considering this fact, the accusation made by some
hostile critics that the organized Movement is not vitally interested in spreading truth (as
it understands it), but in merely selling books on the general subject of occultism, is not
without foundation, and should be sympathetically considered and analyzed.
There is, however, a very important fact which must not be overlooked by students.
It is concerned with science and scientific discoveries and developments of recent years.
It so happens that scores of the most up-to-date scientific pronouncements
concerning the nature and structure of the universe support and uphold many of the
statements contained in the writings of H. P. Blavatsky and her own Teachers, while the
same pronouncements go contrary to, and disavow the claims of psychic investigators and
the results of their research. This fact is of primary importance and should be given most
careful consideration by students of Theosophy.
Recent developments in the field of astronomy, chemistry, physics, anthropology,
biology and, above all, in the newly developed area of parapsychology, present a long list
of discoveries, as well as theories, which were foreshadowed in The Secret Doctrine and
other contemporary writings from high occult sources. The scientific achievements and
conclusions have thrown further doubt, however, on a number of psychic speculations the
nature of which had been suspect for some years past.
There is a serious warning contained in this fact of observation.
It would be regrettable if the reader were to j ump to the totally unwarranted
conclusion that no reliance whatever should be given to the pronouncements of psychics
and clairvoyants, on the ground that they are, allegedly, always wrong. This is not true.
Psychic vision can be objective and reliable, but only in the case of those extremely
rare individuals who have received severe and sustained occult training, maybe for more
than one lifetime, under the guidance of a competent Teacher, himself a genuine Initiate.
Many are those who have psychic vision, or psychic sensitivity of one type or another;
many are those who are to some extent clairvoyant or clairaudient. But the overwhelming
majority of them do not know what they see or hear and, jumping to conclusions, ascribe
what they perceive to totally wrong causes, and interpret them in accordance with one or
another theory or pet illusion which gives a special bent to their mind and their emotions.
Hence the unreliability of otherwise kindly and friendly folk claiming to be the custodians
of higher knowledge.
The only way in which truth can be sifted from a lot of psychic rubbish, as far as
students of Theosophy are concerned, is by a calm analysis of the teachings of the two
schools referred to above. Compare their pronouncements on the basic occult subjects.
Consider their implications. Do not jump to conclusions on the basis of an inadequate
research. Find out whether the propositions under consideration are logical, reasonable
and universal; whether they fit together into a harmonious whole; whether they follow one
from the other and support one another. If they do not, reserve your judgement and remain
alert. A more prolonged study may be required before you can arrive at a conclusion that
will satisfy you in every way.
On the eve of the centenary of the modern Theosophical Movement, we are called
upon to purify the Theosophical atmosphere of unfortunate delusions and to abide as
closely as possible by the original teachings as a sacred trust in our care.

* From Theosophia, Summer, 1971. Boris de Zirkoff was compiler of Theosophical
Publishing House's Blavatsky Collected Writings.


- H. N. Stokes*

The following declaration formed part of the evidence in the Madras High Court Case
No. 1778, 1913, the suit of G. Narayaniah vs. Mrs. Annie Besant. It purports to be the
sworn statement of a certain boy whom, in order to avoid annoyance to his family, I
designate by his initials only, "D.D.P." It was reprinted in The Hindu, Madras, April 13,
1913, certain names being omitted in order to avoid identification of the deponent, and can
also be found in Brooks, Neo-Theosophy Exposed, page 305. The original of this
declaration as written by the boy himself, with affidavit, is, I understand, in the possession
of Mrs. Tingley, who secured it from him with the knowledge and consent of his father.

The D.D.P. Declaration:

"In the year 1903 I was visiting in the city of .... with my parents, and then and there
met Mr. Charles W. Leadbeater. I was then thirteen years of age and Mr. Leadbeater from
the first treated me in a very affectionate manner.
"At his suggestion my parents consented to my accompanying him to .... on a
pleasure trip. We remained in .... three months, at the expiration of which time I
accompanied Mr. Charles W. Leadbeater to the .... coast, visiting en route a number of
large cities.
"Mr. Charles W. Leadbeater and myself occupied the same bed, habitually sleeping
together. On the morning succeeding the first night that we slept together, and before we
arose to dress, Mr. Charles W. Leadbeater explained to me the practice ... (in question)
and urged me to engage in the practice, giving as a reason therefore that it would aid me
in overcoming any desire to have .... (normal) intercourse with women - which desire, he
told me, would develop in the course of nature at my age very soon. Mr. Charles W.
Leadbeater also told me that the practice was recommended by his Master and teacher for
that reason, and advised me not to speak of the matter to any one.
"This reciprocal (note the word - Ed. "Critic") practice continued for the greater part
of seven months.
"On leaving Mr. Charles W. Leadbeater I returned to my parents who expressed
themselves as being very much shocked at my changed appearance and condition.
"My health was greatly broken as a result of the practices mentioned herein. I have
been under medical treatment since that time and I am now under a physician's care and,
I believe, slowly regaining physical health.
"I make this statement with the motive of thus giving a warning which may enable
parents to protect their children from pernicious teachings given by those who pose before
the world as moral guides but whose practices debase and destroy both children and men."

"......... being first duly sworn on oath deposes and says that he is the identical
person who signed the foregoing statement, knows the contents thereof and each and
every statement therein made is true.
(seal) .........................

The authenticity of the above document is unquestionable and so far as I know has
never been seriously denied. This, of course, is not asserting the literal truth of the charges
contained therein, but one may well ask whether the boy would have made false
statements under oath, with the connivance of his parents, thus placing himself on record
as a partner in such criminal proceedings, and bringing unpleasant notoriety on his family.
Its genuineness is attested by the boy's father in the course of certain correspondence with
Mr. A.P. Warrington, then Corresponding Secretary of the American E.S. with who Mr. P.'s
application for reinstatement in the E.S. was then pending. I quote from Mr. Warrington's
letter, dated Los Angeles, February 6, 1912, as follows. (This Letter formed part of the
evidence in the above Madras High' Court Case and is published in full in Neo-Theosophy
Exposed, page 306). Says Mr. Warrington in part:

"Now as to your application for membership in the E.S., I submitted the same to the
outer Head as I informed you I would do, and she replies just as I expected, and I think you
will quite agree with the position which she takes when you think it all over quietly,
dispassionately and impersonally. She says that it is necessary for you to make good that
you should try to get from Mrs. Tingley D...'s signed declaration, for she has used this
declaration and circulates all over the world the foulest slanders."

From this letter it appears that Mrs. Besant made it a condition of Mr. P.'s
reinstatement in the E. S. not that he should give evidence of the ability to profit by the
inner teachings, nor even that he should deny the charges, but that he should secure and
deliver to her the original of a document highly compromising to her Brother Leadbeater,
and that she endeavored to utilize his desire to reenter the E.S. as a tool for suppressing
damaging evidence. And this indecent proposal emanated from one who claims to be "the
successor" of H.P.B.! In this we see one more evidence that the E.S. is simply an
instrument of A.B. and C.W.L. for accomplishing their personal aims.
In his rejoinder to Mr. Warrington, dated March 8, 1912 (see Brooks, Neo-
Theosophy Exposed, page 310) Mr. P., the boy's father, says, among other things:

"I think it would be useless to make a demand on Mrs. Tingley for the return of the
declarations, for I am sure she would not part with them.
"When we went to Seattle in early 1909, an attempt was made to get a better
understanding of the "X" (Leadbeater - Ed. Critic) matter, and to that end four prominent
members of the Seattle Branch met and discussed it; as an outcome of this D.... made a
voluntary confession (not about the "teachings" so-called but of certain other objectionable
acts which it would be impossible to countenance on any wild plea of purity of
motive) ...
"The bare thought that D.... went out of his way to make awful statements is too
dreadful to dwell on. At present I am defending him less because he is my son than that
I am certain he has told the truth...
"All the same - if it can be proved that the statements made by D.... and myself to
Mrs. Tingley are false - then we are ready to publish an apology in any publication named.
More - in view of the heinousness of the offense, we will both of us make a public apology
in the presence of Mrs. Besant, Mr. Leadbeater or any other official, at which the members
around shall be invited at what would be a semi-public function. ..."

Needless to say this offer was never accepted. It was not retraction, which was
impossible, but concealment, that was sought the bully-ragging and swindling of the T.S.
membership. As for the charges in D. D. P.'s statement, whatever might be thought of them
had they been isolated, they carry great weight when placed side by side with the charges
of the two boys embodied in the original letter filed with Mrs. Besant by the American
Section (Critic, March 15th).

* From Stokes' 5/10/22 O. E. Library Critic. This was one of a series of articles on
the same specific topic. H. N. Stokes was probably the most consistent and outspoken
critic of Neo-Theosophy during the 26 years of his publication.
- W. E. Small*

A sickness of heart comes over one on reading and pondering long an article in the
October 1971 issue of The Theosophist by Hugh Shearman, titled Theosophical
Ontologies. It is an article that demands from members of all Theosophical Societies and
groups a most careful and honest evaluation. What inner urgings, we may ask, led to its
writing and publication? What effects may it have not only on one Theosophical Society but
on the whole Theosophical Movement?
A curious introductory note by the Editor, N. Sri Ram, commenting that the article
may be regarded by some as controversial, as "upsetting to settled views of one sort or
another," would indicate that he himself may regard it as constituting a challenge, a
throwing down of the gauntlet. We may certainly accept his words as indirect, if not overt,
invitation expectant of a rebuttal expressing other' views.
So we speak out. And we trust that this will be only one of other speakings-out from
Theosophists in many countries; for in Dr. Shearman's words we find a line of thought and
attitude which, if representative of large numbers of other Theosophists, could change the
future course and destiny of that Noble Movement launched and re-activated in the closing
quarter of the 19th century with such high hopes by H.P. Blavatsky and the Adept
Brotherhood of which she was the outer representative.
These words are not leveled in an uncharitable spirit at any individual. They point
with honest conviction to what appears to the writer to be a great and serious danger within
the Theosophical Movement; for what Dr. Shearman writes may well act as a placebo
helping to lull the stirring conscience of many because of its appealing but specious
argument, its flavor of scientific open inquiry. To others, of course, it will serve as an irritant,
a prod or challenge.
Dr. Shearman advances the idea that there are in Theosophy mainly two ontologies.
(He is using the word in its philosophic meaning as the science of being or reality; the
branch of knowledge that investigates the nature, essential property, and relations of
being.) There is the ontology, he says, which "came from Madame Blavatsky," extensions
of which are to be found in the Mahatma Letters, with respect to which she was the medium
and means of transmission..." And there is, he contends, the ontology of Bishop
Leadbeater - "more personally his own," from his individual experience. These are, the
author declares, very largely what constitutes the corpus of Theosophical literature today.
That is Dr. Shearman's major premise, and from it he pursues his argument. But it
is a false premise, untrue; and thus no matter with what apparently fair or persuasive
reasoning he seeks its support, it will confuse and mislead the untutored reader or
beginning student of Theosophy.
Let us speak plainly. There are not in Theosophy various and sundry 'ontologies'
differing in their fundamental teachings concerning the nature of the universe (see The
Mahatma Letters, p. 49) - not one propounded by H.P.B. and another equally sound and
authentic presented by C.W. Leadbeater or by Olcott or by Tom, Dick or Harry. Truth per
se is one. It is not one thing here and another thing somewhere else. It is one. If you want
to use the term 'ontology,' acceptable to that branch of study called Philosophy, then there
is in Theosophy only one ontology. We prefer the simple word Teaching. The Teachings
are the facts of universal being. Thus Have I Heard: iti maya srutam: are the words that
mark the true chela become Teacher. Only as I have been taught, only as I have received
it, do I pass on the Teaching. What true Theosophist does not recognize its esoteric ring?
On that statement and what it deeply signifies Theosophy stands - or falls.
But this, you say, is not an attitude acceptable to Science or scientists today. Let that
be. Given time, in the true spirit of scientific inquiry and research, leading and intuitive
thinkers will come to recognize the basic Theosophical truths. This is not said dogmatically
but because we believe, as Dr. G. de Purucker expresses it (Occult Glossary), that
Theosophy is "the formulation in human language of the nature, structure, origin, destiny,
and operations of the Kosmical Universe and of the multitudes of beings which infill it."
Facts are pitchforks, said H.P.B. somewhere, meaning they are there; they exist; they
cannot be wished away or denied. Our inadequacy intellectually and intuitively to grasp
them, to place them in proper relationship with other facts of being, does not change, das
Ding an sich. It remains. Obviously H.P.B. did not say all there was to say about these facts
of being, but what she did say is a faithful reporting on which students can rely. They can
test them; they should. They can question them; they should. They will find that there will
be no need to throw them overboard, to flounder around for new facts, or, if you prefer, new
Each student will, of course, see these basic ideas colored by his own nature and
understanding - some more clearly and intuitively one aspect; some another. But this
natural personal coloring is not a creating of grand postulates or new and worthy
'ontologies.' It is merely a viewing of the Truth through the qualities of one's individual
swabhava, one's essential nature. Seek the Truth. Seek the Great Idea. The rest will come.
Seek in the buddhi-manas of your being, and let psychic visions fall into their place as
relatively unimportant and subsidiary.
Dr. Shearman stresses the 'personality' of these two individuals, emphasizing the
"strong prejudices of H.P.B." which affect the "descriptive material that came from her," and
insinuating, as an instance, that her accounts of the after-death conditions "clash very
emphatically, not only with what Bishop Leadbeater and other members of the Society later
describe, but also with descriptions given by psychics quite unconnected with the Society."
(I should think so!)
Throughout the article the effort to discredit H.P.B.'s bona fides is transparent.
Shearman quotes from A.P. Sinnett's The Early Days of Theosophy in Europe (p. 26),
written as all historians should know, when A.P.S. in his later years was disgruntled with
Theosophy and had completely turned against H.P.B. Sinnett says that H.P.B. did not know
enough of the truths of "Reincarnation, karma, the planetary chains, the succession of root-
races, the sub-races and so on" to tamper with them, "to import confusion" into them; but,
he implies that because of "a bitter detestation of spiritualism" she let this feeling distort the
teachings on the 'after-death' conditions.
Poppycock! Anyone who knows anything about H.P.B. and how she was trained and
taught will laugh at this bleating of the bruised ego. It is pitiable enough to recall Sinnett's
turning on his friend after all he had received from her of inestimable value while she was
alive; but for a later Theosophical writer, an historian to boot, to seek reinforcement of his
own personal views from this biased source is sadly reprehensible.
Shearman tries to show that letters which H.P.B. transmitted from the Masters
contained ideas and expressions out of her own head. In support of this he quotes phrases
taken out of context from a letter from H.P.B. written in Wurzburg, Germany, in June 1886
and copied in the handwriting of Frau F. Gebhard. A careful reading of that whole letter
(see The Theosophist, August, 1931), and, for a longer version, The Path, March, 1893)
makes, perfectly clear that H.P.B. was not writing anything out of her own head and making
it appear to be Master's. It often happened that in precipitating messages from the Master,
chelas who could not speak English sought appropriate English words and phrases "from
H.P.B.'s own head" when she was present. But the real message was not tampered with;
it was conveyed as intended. To imply that H.P.B. 'invented' these is a plain falsehood. And
as for the general slur that H.P.B. concocted large portions of these messages herself, just
ask yourself the simple question: If you could produce or write anything on order from the
Master and in his own style of handwriting, would this message be considered your own
or Master's?! If you take a note in shorthand from the boss and he says, Sign it and post
it, is that letter his message or yours? Verb. sap.
Who, after all, was H.P.B.? All true Theosophists should know her rightful place. It
is not a matter of praise or worship. It is a matter of honesty and a burning desire to search
for and know the Truth. Who was that complex, dynamic, often volcanic and unconventional
character? Says the Master M. (Mahatma Letters, p. 263): "... 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."
In simple language, H.P.B. was far more than a sensitive psychic of rare ability. She
was, above all else, the direct and chosen vehicle or carrier of the message "of the truths
of being" about Man and Nature from the Trans-Himalayan Adepts. She was their chela,
who had paid the awful price necessary in training and discipleship. What do we, with our
petty comparisons, our limited focus of understanding, know of the constraints, the rules,
under which she labored in order to become worthy, second to none, to carry out her
mission? Again the Master M. speaks (op. cit. p. 272): "The Old Woman is accused of
untruthfulness, inaccuracy in her statements... She is forbidden to say what she knows.
You may cut her to pieces and she will not tell... were she a natural born liar - she might
be happier and [have I won her day long since by this time. But that's just where the shoe
pinches, Sahib. She is too truthful, too outspoken, too incapable of dissimulation, and now
she is being daily crucified for it."
H.P.B. makes no bones about her own qualifications. She knew what she knew and
for the most part kept silent on the real issues involved. Despite what her detractors in the
past have said of her; still worse, despite what so-called friends would intimate today, that
she concocted or invented these truths, she declares frankly and straightforwardly,
borrowing Montaigne's words, that what she brought of her own was but the 'string' that tied
the 'nosegay of culled flowers.' And she adds words that every student of Theosophy
should know and should have tested: "Pull the I string to pieces and cut it up in shreds, if
you will. As for the nosegay of FACTS - you will never be able to make away with these.
You can only ignore them, and no more."
And here let us say that these "facts" do not comprise an 'ontology' of H.P.B.'s. What
she brought is a page of the Secret Doctrine, something about the truth in Nature -
inviolable because a part of TRUTH itself . It should be obvious to any tyro in Theosophy
that H.P.B.'s words, when it comes to teaching, when it comes to reporting the facts of
universal nature, are what have been checked and tested - scientifically, if you please, for
what else is real science but such a testing? - by generations of adepts and seers, and are
an accurate reporting of them. Nor do you belittle H.P.B. by saying that she 'merely'
reported these facts. In saying so you can only elevate her. And to say, as Shearman
concludes, that H.P.B. confined herself "to the perhaps safer fields of things large, relatively
remote and incapable of testing," is with subtle casuistry trying to saw seeds of doubt and
confusion in the minds of those untrained. And to trot out Count Keyserling as finding C.W.
Leadbeater's account of inner worlds written as "one who observes more or less
scientifically, the only one who describes in simple straightforward language" - what support
is this? Since when is Keyserling considered an authority on the invisible or astral worlds!
It is doubtful if any scientist would be impressed on reading Leadbeater's Man, How,
Whence and Whither? or his Lives of Alcyone by the veracity of his visions. To say this is
to state mildly what could be expressed with some force. One does not attack Mr.
Leadbeater because of his psychic explorings; one can recognize his sincerity and the
devotion of his followers; but one must clearly state that his so-called reportings are simply
what they are: psychic investigations by a psychic and are not Theosophy as the word
should be understood.
These are facts our readers should know in judging the worth and value of what is
presented as Theosophy today. Theosophy should be respected, sought after as
embodying in its practical bearing "divine ethics" (H.P.B.); also recognized as "the
substratum and basis of all the world-religions and philosophies, taught and practiced by
a few elect ever since man became a thinking man" (H.P.B.); and, as we have already
noted, as reporting the "nature, origin, destiny, and operations" of the Universe and its
multimyriad beings (G. de Purucker). Theosophy should be recognized as nothing less than
this in the public mind.
What, frankly, would a logical follow-through of Dr. Shearman's ideas mean? That
basically there are two Theosophical Societies? - one loyal to the Teachings of the original
Founders (and composed of individuals who are members of various groups and some
probably not outwardly even labeled as Theosophists); and another whose chief aim would
be to serve the forwarding of the psychic investigations of C.W. Leadbeater and the Liberal
Catholic Church of which he was a Bishop?
Let us be honest with ourselves. That dichotomy may yet be invisible, but who will
deny that it is there, growing, consolidating? No longer can a slumbering membership
sweep under the rug and shrug off what has lain hidden there as something to turn away
from or postpone decision on to some indefinite future. The hope of true Theosophists has
ever been to preserve and promulgate the original Teachings which carry the impact of
tested Truth, and to work constructively and harmoniously with all. The danger has been,
and is now stronger than ever - if we may judge by the publication of this article under
review in a Theosophical organ of international repute - that the pure stream of teaching
may be so contaminated by the psychic tide, that for the very preservation of that inner life
essential to the Movement, a separation may prove to be an unavoidable and remedial
necessity. It is a strange and eminently fateful situation.
As a Bishop of the Liberal Catholic Church, Leadbeater may speak for that body
through his writings, but he cannot under that guise be considered to speak for the T. S.
or for Theosophy itself, nor for any true Esoteric Section of any Theosophic body. Yet one
is impelled to ask: Is there here a hidden voice that thus speaks for many kindly, well-
meaning, sincere individuals who are unacquainted with the basic Theosophical literature
and the tradition behind it? Is there a hidden Voice representing the Liberal Catholic Church
that seeks to elevate one of its Bishops and at the same time to lower in the estimation of
Theosophists uncertain of their ground H.P.B. and what she stood for?
Or, we may ask, is there not another deeper hidden voice that, overleaping barriers
of separative organizations and the weathered canyons of prejudice, speaks for untold
numbers in this great Theosophical Movement? A voice that cries out for Truth above all
else? Truth that will enlighten. Truth that will stir to noble and wise action? If and when we
come to truly know something of the Essence of the Nature of Being or Reality, can we
ever be satisfied with that which is obviously less, swept along by currents and temptations
that offer the 'easy way,' succumbing to the merely pleasing and pleasant? Has not the time
come in this new cycle to stand firm and raise high the banner of real Theosophy, and to
acknowledge allegiance only to that "TRUTH, high-seated upon its rock of adamant,"
"alone eternal and supreme"? (Isis Unveiled, Preface, v.)

* From The Eclectic Theosophist, May 15, 1972. W. E. Small's active Theosophical
career spans over seventy years, from an Editor of Theosophical Forum in the 1930's, to
Editor of the Eclectic in the 1990's.


- G. de Purucker*

Here once more, and with extreme reluctance, one feels the need of stating that
there is a good deal of the teaching of the Esoteric Philosophy which simply cannot be
openly stated in a published book, because such teaching belongs to the highly recondite
and extremely difficult thought of the esoteric studies reserved for the few.
The author of the present work desires to state once for all, and with the emphasis
at his command, that neither this declaration of certain esoteric teachings which are too
sacred to be given to the public, nor other similar declarations made in the course of the
present work, are in any sense of the word to be considered or looked upon as 'claims'
made by him possessing 'superior' or wonderful knowledge. The author absolutely
disavows not only any such intention of 'claiming' anything, but must point out that merely
stating that the Esoteric Philosophy contains wide ranges of teaching or doctrine which are
incommunicable to the public is making no 'claims' whatsoever, but is the simple statement
of something that ought to be known to every student of the Archaic Wisdom.
The writer of these lines has immense and profound sympathy with those who look
askance and with suspicion upon any claimants to occult powers or occult knowledge; for
he, fully as much as others, is keenly sensible of the mischief and confusion that such
claimants have brought about in the Theosophical Movement. There are today abroad in
the world associations or societies or organizations of many different kinds, some of them
claiming either new and greater revelations than H.P. Blavatsky brought to the Western
World, and usually as being from the source from which she drew her great knowledge, or
averring that they and their respective heads draw their alleged 'wisdom' and so-called
'secret teaching' from a source still higher than that upon which H.P. Blavatsky drew.
Now with all the charity in the world towards honest students, whether they be
Theosophists or not, and with no wish whatsoever to seem to be inconsiderate or unkind,
the author of these lines feels impelled to say that in his considered opinion virtually all of
these various claims to special powers or privileges are fraudulent shams. Such is his own
individual and considered judgement in the matter, and he bases this opinion upon two
facts which are as follows: (a) the statements, writings, averments, or 'claims' of these
especial groups generally wander so far from and contain so little of that Archaic Wisdom
which in the present work is called the Esoteric Tradition, and which throughout the ages
has been universal over the globe, that they thus lack the primal requisite of truth, both
esoteric and exoteric, which is universality, and lack it both in substance and in form. Thus
the greater and more important test of true Esotericism, to wit, is its universality in all ages
and in all races of men as evidenced in that common Doctrine which all the great Religions
and Philosophies of the human race imbody as their spiritual substance; and (b) it is
virtually impossible to set forth or to publish esoteric truth in any manner, except by pointing
to what the great sages and seers of the ages, have left behind them as their respective
One must look for the cause of the rising of these various erratic associations to that
inrush of psychic influence which H.P. Blavatsky and her great Teachers from the
beginning of the modern Theosophical Movement taught was about to take place; and
there is no part of the human constitution which is so uncertain, so erratic in its processes,
so dangerous to follow as a guide, as the psychical portion of man's being. It is full of
dangers and pitfalls to the unwary; and there is a deep pathos in the fact that it is just these
things of psychic stamp and character which appeal so to men of our time. Psychism in all
its forms, relatively good, downright bad, and indifferent, is something which unfortunately
appeals directly to the credulous, the gullible, the unwise, and the foolish; and the earnest
Theosophist should never hesitate openly to proclaim that one of the main purposes in
founding the modern Theosophical Movement was to do what could be done to stem the
then impending inrushing tide or flow of psychism in its various forms. Where psychism is,
Spirituality usually flies out at the window - because evicted by man's folly; where
Spirituality is allowed to enlighten the mind and refine the heart by its benign and inspiring
influence, the psychical in all its forms shrivels into the bundle of illusions which it actually
All these various psychical bodies or societies are posterior in time to the founding
of the Theosophical Society in New York in 1875 by H. P. Blavatsky and others. Some of
them broke off from the Theosophical Movement, while others arose outside of its ranks,
although all younger than the Theosophical Society, they rarely if ever acknowledge the
debt they owe to it in so far as concerns the teachings which they have one and all taken
from it, and which teachings form whatever is worthwhile in them. Without any philosophy
that is worthy of the name, save what has been cribbed from the Theosophical Society,
with a religious atmosphere which is insignificant and a science which is either mere
popular trifling or worse, one turns from an inspection of them with relief.
Yet even here in these various movements, some quasi-theosophical without
acknowledging it, and some frankly anti-theosophical and vaunting it, there are doubtless
numbers of very kindly and good people who in their search for truth have not yet come to
our doors. Without question the best way for Theosophists to handle this situation is with
great gentleness and with unending kindness both of heart and mind and with an ever-
ready desire to extend to truth-seekers from whatsoever quarter they may come such
portion of the ancient wisdom as we ourselves may be privileged to have made our own.
As Edwin Markhim (in his poem "Outwitted") said:

He drew a circle that shut me out -

Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!

Finally, the writer of the present work does not here make, nor has he ever made,
claims to anything whatsoever; he has given in the present work and in his former books,
something of what he himself has been taught; but this statement is made not as a 'claim,'
but as a simple averment of fact which the reader is at full liberty to accept or reject,
according to his conscience and his best reason.
The proof of the body of the truth of any teaching or group of teachings is not and
cannot be based on 'claims,' though made by the high gods themselves, but solely on the
intrinsic and inherent merits of said teaching or body of teachings; and upon this ground
of merit alone, such merit comprising universality, spirituality, mutual coherency, and logical
consecution in thought, any teaching whatsoever must rest. It is true enough that great
names and brilliant reputations lend splendor to a teaching, and in themselves evoke
respect; but even brilliant reputations and great names are no absolute proofs that any
teaching coming from such source is true. This is especially true in Esotericism, whose
doctrines persuade the mind and sway the heart solely because of their intrinsic value and
obvious merit, and on these alone they must stand or fall.

* From The Eclectic Theosophist, Jan., 15, 1973 and also The Esoteric Tradition II,
p. 889.


- Vonda Urban*

The recent widely viewed television portrayal of Shirley Maclaine's book, Out on a
Limb has to be considered along with it as, at best, a questionable blessing. While there
is no doubt about some splendid Theosophical thoughts sprinkled throughout... is it realistic
to expect that these morsels of truth can outweigh or counteract the pernicious lure to
psychism which is overwhelmingly the main substance of the message promoted therein?
One can only sadly wonder how many of the followers of the "tinsel town guru" will
innocently plunge after her into the treacherous realms of Kama-Loka, persuing "sweet
tongued voices of illusion in the stupefying enchantment of those mayavic regions,"
blissfully unaware of dangers lurking there? How many will become the hapless victims of
those voices, unable ever again to close the door once it has been opened, the very same
voices and hallucinations tempting and tormenting the hundreds of thousands of the
psycho-mentally ill living in untold misery and confusion on the streets of our cities? How
many may have arrived there via channeling, hatha-yoga, hypnosis, negative meditation,
chanting, drugs, and all such harmful practices that are strictly forbidden on the Spiritual
Indeed, it comes as a shock to many - nor is it likely to be believed by those
smogged with 'astral intoxication' - that psychic is not spiritual! And how much of sound
value is there in the view that wherever interest is primarily focused on phenomena and the
occult arts similar and equal attention will be given to study about the seven principles of
man; about the Astral Light and its inhabitants; about psychic powers; about the after-death
states; about hatha-yoga, about hypnotism, etc? It is a study of these areas that give
KNOWLEDGE that will protect students from rushing into paranormal experimentation. It
cannot be overstated that preoccupation with phenomena is an impediment to spiritual
growth; that wherever psychic activity prevails, there spirituality dies; and this because
altered states of consciousness occur on an extended range of physical sense that function
on other densities of energy-substance-matter. Consider, for example, that animals exhibit
highly developed psychic faculties, and they respond to sensory frequencies beyond the
human range as proved by the dog whistle that we cannot hear.
In The Voice of the Silence, H. P. Blavatsky defines the difference between psychic
and spiritual sense; "...There are two kinds of Siddhis, one group embraces the lower,
coarse, psychic and mental energies; the other is one which exacts the highest training of
Spiritual powers... :"(Glossary 1, note 1.) These two groups stand in opposition at the
material and spiritual of human self-consciousness; and development toward either
direction occurs with equal withdrawal from the other. The Voice makes this very clear in
pronouncing: "... The Self of matter and the SELF of spirit can never meet. One of the twain
must disappear; there is no place for both..." (p. 12, orig. ed.) Spiritual siddhis unfold
normally along the path of chelaship as they are earned by living the life which means, of
course, first deserve, then desire. But forced entry onto other planes of perception is
cheating nature, the price for which is apt to be a short circuit in the sensory apparatus.
The field in which extrasensory perception operates is the Astral Light, graphically
described in The Theosophical Glossary, p. 38:

"A subtle essence visible only to a clairvoyant eye, and the lowest but one (viz., the
earth), of the seven Akasic or Kosmic Principles. Eliphas Levi calls it the great Serpent and
the Dragon from which radiates on Humanity every evil influence. This is so; but why not
add that the Astral Light gives out nothing but what it has received; that it is the great
terrestrial crucible, in which the vile emanations of the earth (moral and physical) upon
which the Astral Light is fed, are all converted into their subtlest essence, and radiated back
intensified, thus becoming epidemics - moral, psychic and physical..."

Psychic epidemics occur in periodic cycles during which the separation between the
physical and astral world grows very thin resulting in an inrush of psycic forces and
substances into the physical sphere. The mushrooming seminars offering instruction in
every sort of paranormal activity evidences the psychic. epidemic now dangerously raging.
What used to be called seance is now called "Channeling" and "trance-channeling;" but the
meaning is the same. Channeling is the condition through which the living assimilate
themselves with the dead. H.P.B. gives so vivid a picture of the process and what it is that
we channel, that it should chill any interest in romping through the field of Kama-Loka; and
it helps explain obsession and multi-personality afflictions:
"... During epidemics of this kind the kingdom of the dead invades the region of the
living, though fortunately this kind of refuse are bound by the ties of their former
surroundings. And so, when evoked by mediums, they cannot break through the limits and
boundaries in which they acted and lived... And the wider the doors are opened to them the
further the necromantic epidemic is spread...
"It stands to reason that this mere earthly refuse, irresistibly drawn to the earth,
cannot follow the soul and spirit - these highest principles of man's being. With horror and
disgust I often observed how a reanimated shadow of this kind separated itself from the
inside of the medium; how separating itself from his astral body and clad in someone else's
vesture, it pretended to be someone's relation... Oh, if they only knew the truth... If they
saw, as I have often seen, a monstrous, bodiless creature seizing hold of someone present
at these spiritistic sorceries! It wraps the man as if with a black shroud, and slowly
disappears in him as if drawn into his body by each of his living pores..." - (From a letter to
her sister published in The Path, Vol. IX, pp. 380-1)

Fortunate are those who, though lured into the dazzling illusion of the psychic world,
escape from it unharmed.
* The Eclectic Theosophist, Sept./Oct., 1987