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vol. 1, p. 102
from Adyar archives of the International Theosophical Society
vol. 1 (1874-1876)


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< Spiritualism in Russia (continued from page 1-101) >

Prof. Boutlerof’s account of personal investigations in Spiritualistic phenomena, was to appear in the next number of the Russian Messenger of Moscow, an official journal; and Prof. N. Wagner, the distinguished zoologist, had sent to the same journal a lengthy notice of Mr. Crooke's experiments and a review of my own work, “People from the Other World.”

Our eminent correspondent truthfully adds, in concluding: “We are crossing a real epoch here.”

Yours Respectfully,

Henry S. Olcott

New York, Dec. 16, 1875.

Eastern Wonder Workers


The Truths of Spiritualism Against the Claims of Occultism

The alarmists are availing themselves of the opportunity afforded by the advancement of the new theories or ideas, to give full vent to their imagination and picture the dread horrors that are to come upon us in the near future; but it is difficult to believe that they are really agitated by those fears which so often find expression in wails of despair over the injury that may result to Spiritualism through the publication of certain works on Occultism, Natural Magic, or Elementary Spirits.

The Religio Philosophical Journal, in its latest issue, devotes two columns editorially to these warning opinions; but like all articles of the same tenor, from whatever source, it fails to advance any reasons why the principles of Occult Philosophy should not receive careful attention for the purpose of discovering what relation, if any, exists between them and the accepted principles of spirit-communion. The charges of conspiracy on the part of either the Protestant or Catholic churches, and especially a combination of the two, to undermine Spiritualism are simply ridiculous; for no reasoning mind will discard a demonstrated truth to accept a vague theory. To suppose that Spiritualisis may be captured by Occultism, Natural Magic, or “Elementary Spirits," is to admit that it has a self-evident truths more weighty than that of spirit communion, or else that Spiritualists, as a class, are of weak intellects and easily captured by Error.

The dogmatic attitude of the leaders of the Catholic Church, towards its adherents, is cited as illustrative of the position of those who are about to give these “follies or truths” to the world. This illustration is drawn for the sole purpose of creating, in the minds of its readers, an aversion to the discussion of these subjects; but wherein is this policy of denouncing any investigation, except within prescribed limits, different from that of the Catholic Church? Both act in the same bigoted manner — stigmatizing with opprobrious titles those who claim to have knowledge to impart and denouncing their teachings as heresies calculated to do an inestimable damage to the Established Faith.

To acknowledge the existence of a power that can force one who has become satisfied pf the truth of spirit- communion to renounce such a belief, is to clothe this power with attributes that necessitate prompt investigation, with a view of discovering more of its nature, be it Occultism, Natural Magic, or Elementary Spirits.

All truths are related, and if Occultism has even one truth pertaining to Spiritualism, it is worthy of diligent search, and when found must be accepted; if the asserted claims prove to be but rubbish they will certainly be discarded as such. How liberal (?) Spiritualists can lend themselves to such dogmatisms as have already been published concerning this unknown subject, is beyond our comprehension. We prefer to hear what “Occultism” has to offer, and then as unhesitatingly to denounce and expose its errors as we will champion its truths.

The phenomena of Spiritualism are not sufficiently understood to warrant a belief that we are familiar with all the causes at work to produce them; the possibilities of the spirit in the body, are too vast to justify an assumption that it takes no causative part in the manifestations that are now ascribed to an outside force. The latent spiritual faculties, will-ability, the law of influences, the relation between the spirit of man and the spirit that pervades each atom of animal, vegetable, or mineral life, should receive profound investigation. The revelations cannot effect the truth of spirit-communion.

Future Existence and Spirit-communion are simple facts which cannot be uprooted from the minds of those who have once accepted them. They are truths, and as truths are of the spirit—literally, a part of the spirit that can never be destroyed. It teaches us progression here and hereafter. Shall we then halt and form a line of battle to defend our weapons—future existence and spirit-communion? Rather let us arm with them and press forward, firm in the faith that we possess the power that shall conquer every force that may oppose us, be it the Catholic or Protestant Church, Occultism, Natural Magic, or Elementary Spirits. Every truth is ours, and let us seize upon them whether they be found on heathen or on Christian ground. Clash our truths against the claims of Occultism, or any other “ism,” and we shall <... continues on page 1-103 >

Editor's notes

  1. Eastern Wonder Workers by unknown author, New York Sun
  2. The Truths of Spiritualism Against the Claims of Occultism by unknown author, Spiritual Scientist, v. 3, No. 16, December 23, 1875, p. 186