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vol. 1, p. 45
from Adyar archives of the International Theosophical Society
vol. 1 (1874-1876)


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< A few Questions to “Hiraf * * * * *” (continued from page 1-44) >

by religious and political revolutions and social cataclysms, Asia has remained stationary. What was, two thousand years ago, exists now with very little variation. Such practical knowledge as was possessed by the ancients could not die out so soon with such a people. The hope of finding remnants even of such wisdom as Ancient Asia possessed, ought to tempt our conceited modern science to explore her territory.

And thus is it that all we know of what we profess and live upon, comes to us from the scorned, despised Occultism of the East. Religion and sciences, laws and customs—all of these, are closely related to Occultism, and are but its result, its direct products, disguised by the hand of time, and palmed upon us under new pseudonyms. If people ask me for the proof, I will answer that it does not enter my province to teach others what they can learn themselves with very little difficulty, provided they give themselves the trouble to read and think over what they read. Besides, the time is near when all the old superstitions and the errors of centuries must be swept away by the hurricane of Truth. As the prophet Mohammed, when he perceived that the mountain would not come to him, went himself towards the mountain, so Modern Spiritualism made its unexpected appearance from the East, before a skeptical world, to terminate in a very near future the oblivion into which the ancient secret wisdom had fallen.

Spiritualism is but a baby now, an unwelcome stranger, whom public opinion, like an unnatural foster mother, tries to crush out of existence. But it is growing, and this same East may one day send some experienced, clever nurses to take care of it. The immediate danger of Salem tragedies has passed away. The Rochester knockings, tiny as they were, awoke some vigilant friends, who, in their turn, aroused thousands and millions of jealous defenders for the true Cause. The most difficult part is done; the door stands ajar; it remains for such minds as Hiraf invites to help earnest truth-seekers to the key which will open for them the gates, and aid them to pass the threshold dividing this world from the next, “without rousing the dread sentries never seen upon this side of her wall.” It belongs to the exact knowledge of the Occultist to explain and alter much of what seems “repulsive” in Spiritualism, to some of the too delicate Orthodox souls. The latter may object the more to Spiritualistic phenomena, on the ground that Cabalism is mixed up with it. They will begin to prove that Occultism, if it does exist, is the forbidden “Black Art,” the sorcery for which people were burnt, not so long ago. In such a case I will humbly reply, that there is nothing in nature but has two sides to it. Occultism is certainly no exception to the rule, and is composed of White and Black magic. But so is Orthodox religion, likewise. When an Occultist is a real Rosicrucian, he is a thousand times purer and nobler, and more divine, than any of the holiest Orthodox priests; but when one of the latter gives himself up to the turbulent demon of his own vile passions, and so rouses all the fiends, they shout with joy at the sight of such a perversity. In what, pray, is this Orthodox priest better than the blackest of all the sorcerers’ dealings with the Elementary “Dweller,” or with the “Diakka” of A. J. Davis? Verily, we have White and Black Christianity, as well as White and Black magic.

O, you very Orthodox priests and clergymen of various creeds and denominations, you who are so intolerant towards Spiritualism, this purest of the Children of Ancient Magic, can you tell me why, in such a case, you practice daily yourselves, all the most prominent rites of magic in your churches, and follow the antetypes of the very ceremonies of Occultism? Can you light a taper, or illuminate your altars with circles of wax lights, for instance, and not repeat the rites of magic? What is your altar with the vertical burning candles, but the modern mimicry of the original magic monolith with the Baal fires upon it? Don’t you know that by doing so you are following right in the steps of the ancient fire-worshippers, the Persian Heathen Ghebers? And your Pope’s sparkling mitre, what is it but the direct descendant of the Mithraic Sacrifice, symbolical covering invented for the heads of the high priests of this very Occultism in Chaldaea? Having passed through numerous transformations it now rests in its last (?) Orthodox shape, upon the venerable head of your successor of St. Peter. Little do the devout worshippers of the Vatican suspect, when they lift up their eyes in mute adoration upon the head of their God on Earth, the Pope, that what they admire, is after all, but the caricatured head-dress, the Amazon-like helmet of Pallas Athene, the heathen goddess Minerva! In fact, there is scarcely a rite or ceremony of the Christian Church that does not descend from Occultism.

But say or think what you will, you cannot help that which was, is, and ever will be, namely, the direct communication between the two worlds. We term this intercourse modern Spiritualism, with the same right and logic as when we say the “New World,” in speaking of America.

I will close by startling, perhaps, even Orthodox Spiritualists by reaffirming that all who have ever witnessed our modern materializations of genuine spirit-forms, have, unwittingly, become the initiated neophytes of the Ancient Mystery; for each and all of them have solved the problem of Death, have “lifted the veil of Isis.”

Shot No 1. — Written by H.P.B. by express orders from S*** (See first result in the query from a learned!! Mason—art: “Rosicrucianism,” back of the page.

What are you going to do about it?

A most outrageous swindle was perpetrated upon the public last Sunday evening, at the Boston Theatre. Some persons with no higher aspirations in the world, than a lust for a few dollars to fill their pockets depleted by unsuccessful cheap shows, advertised a “Séance” and engaged as “Mediums” some of the most impudent impostors with which the world is cursed. They furthermore abused public confidence by causing it to be understood that these people were to appear before the Scientific Commission at St. Petersburg.

Is it not about time that some Society in Boston should be sufficiently strong financially, and have members who will have the requisite energy TO ACT, in an emergency like this? Common sense would dictate what might be done, and a determined WILL would overcome all obstacles. Spiritualism needs a Vigilance Committee. Public opinion will justify any measures that will tend to check this trifling. “Up, and At Them” should be the watchword, until we have rid Society of these pests and their supporters.

The Press of Boston are disposed to be fair towards Spiritualists. But if Spiritualists do not care enough for Spiritualism to defend it from tricksters who have not sufficient skill to merit them the title of jugglers, how can they expect any different treatment than that it is receiving?

As a proof of the sincerity of the Boston Press, and also in support and further explanation of the above, we might mention that the following card sent to all the Morning Dailies, was accepted and printed in Tuesday’s edition.

Boston, July 19th, 1875.

Sir,—The undersigned desire to say that the persons who advertised a so-called spiritualistic exhibition, at the Boston Theatre, last evening, were guilty of false representations to the public. We are alone empowered by the Academy of Sciences attached to the Imperial University of St. Petersburg, Russia, to select the mediums who shall be invited by that body to display their powers during the forthcoming scientific investigation of Spiritualism, and Mr. E. Gerry Brown, editor Spiritual Scientist of this city, is our only authorized Deputy.

Neither “F. Warren,” “Prof. J. T. Bates,” “Miss Suydam,” “Mrs. S. Gould,” nor “Miss Lillie Darling,” has been selected, or are at all likely to be selected for that honor.

As this swindle may be again attempted, we desire to say, once for all, that no medium accepted by us will be obliged to exhibit his powers to earn money to defray his expenses, nor will any such exhibition be tolerated. The Imperial University of St. Petersburg makes this investigation in the interest of science; not to assist charlatans to give juggling performances in theatres, upon the strength of our certificates.

Henry S. Olcott.
H. P. Blavatsky.

<Untitled> (Foreword for “Quid Divinum”)

THE articles that follow in this connection are in answer to a letter in a former number of the Rerun, to whose writer our author, while substantially agreeing with him in sentiment, yet replies by “Quid divinum.” The insertion of the letter, however, is not necessary to a comprehension of “Quid divinum,” which will. I think, be found sufficiently interesting and important, treating as it does of the intimate relation of all material things to things spiritual. It is also interesting as an illustration of the manner in which the subject is treated by French Spiritists of different schools and of different views in the same school — showing how a subject assumes new aspects in passing through various forms of mind.

Foreign Spiritists, it is well known, hold some peculiar views, which though adopted, either wholly or partially, by some of our own people, have not, as yet, been fully indorsed by the majority among us, the principal one being the reincarnation of the soul through various human bodies, either in this or in other worlds, until the soul’s purification has reached its highest degree. They, however. expressly repudiate the ancient idea of the human soul entering the body of an inferior animal. Everything progressing to good, no backward step is permitted by the Infinite Ruler of all. This doctrine of reincarnation so permeates all their writings, that every argument and every exemplification is colored by it, and those who reed, as well as those who translate, must look at their arguments from the stand-point of their own philosophy; finding, as they will, in every new investigation, fresh proofs of the goodness and wisdom of the Creator.

Editor's notes

  1. What are you going to do about it? by Olcott, H. S.; Blavatsky, H. P., Spiritual Scientist, v. 2, No. 20, July 22, 1875, p. 235
    This is published in "Modern Panarion", p. .... – Archivist
  2. Foreword for “Quid Divinum” by unknown author, Spiritual Scientist, v. 2, No. 15, June 17, 1875, p. 172. Only four badly damaged lines have survived in current version of SB, the rest is restored from original newspaper. This text is a foreword for the article “Quid Divinum” by Emma A. Wood, which is not included in SB.