Physical and sensational medium.
This week is Diamond Jubilee Celebrations to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II of England. As such, in the United Kingdom there is an extension in Bank Holidays and also a small break from the proceeding of physical circle. However, on this occasion I would love to share with you a blog and introductory piece about one of the profound and exhilarated trance and physical mediums. One person who was noted and loved by so numerous a number of historical figures; one who Einstein favoured and held a copy of her book by his side…and one who has visited our physical circle bringing forth names of Bertram and Archibald Keightley who will become apparent as important as you delve deeper; one infamous and spirit beloved individual… One H. P. Blavatsky (1831-1891) was one of the most extraordinary and controversial figures of the 19th century. The influence of her life, writings and teachings on world thought has been sensed.
What she, as a psychic and physical spiritualist, is best known for are that she was able to:
- Launched the Theosophical Movement calling her message Theosophy.
- First introduced knowledge of eastern religions to the West – including the ideas of karma and reincarnation.
- First showed that all major religions are derived from one original religious philosophy.
- Demonstrated that the ancient wisdom was still known.
- Presented a portion of that ancient wisdom.
- Performed phenomena not explainable by “known” laws of science.
- Gave the logical basis for morality and brotherhood.
- Required that the first objective of the Theosophical Movement be Universal Brotherhood without regard to race, creed, sex, caste, or color
Helena Petrovna von Hahn was born at Ekaterinoslav, a town on the river Dnieper, in Southern Russia, this was on the 12th of August, 1831. She was the daughter of Colonel Peter von Hahn, and Helena de Fadeyev, a renowned novelist. On her mother’s side, she was the granddaughter of the gifted Princess Helena Dolgorukov, a noted naturalist and writer. After the early death of her mother in 1842, Helena was brought up in her maternal grandparents’ house at Saratov, where her grandfather was Civil Governor; this background was to be the founding block in a future which would touch the world.
Spiritualism is often sensed and witnessed at times when people are the most open. Helena was an exceptional child, and at an early age was aware of being different from those around her. Her possession of certain psychic powers puzzled her family and friends to such an extent that questions circulated. At once impatient of all authority, yet deeply sensitive, she was gifted in many ways. A clever linguist, a talented pianist and a fine artist, she was yet a fearless rider of half-broken horses, trained to tune into their need and always in close touch with nature. At a very early age she sensed that she was in some way dedicated to a life of service, this vision the beginning of something deep and was aware of a special guidance and protection; Helena was set to be a founding figure to one of the most tuned and central foundation.
As a child she had visions of a man who would in her future play an important role in her position as a pyschic and spiritualist. At the age of 20 she made her first validation of her vision as a child and met with the man she had seen in a park; Hyde park. This meeting in London, England was a moment in the United Kingdom that was set to monumentally make waves.
Madame Helena: she was attuned to their being a spiritual level of being. However her love of science and ethics also played a role in her work. At the time, one Emma Hardinge Britten was also involved in one main theory which was taking shape; and rapidly Theosophy took hold.
In October, 1874, H.P.B. was put in touch by her Teachers with one Colonel Henry Steel Olcott, a man of sterling worth who had acquired considerable renown during the Civil War, he had served the U.S. Government with distinction, and was at the time practicing law in New York. She also met William Quan Judge, a young Irish Lawyer, who was to play a unique role in the future Theosophical work.
On September 7, 1875, these three leading figures, together with several others, founded a society which they chose to call The Theosophical Society, as calling the ancient teachings of Theosophy (or the Wisdom concerning the Divine which had been the spiritual basis of other great movements of the past, such as Neo-Platonism, Gnosticism, and the Mystery-Schools of the Classical world). The Inaugural Address by the President-Founder, Colonel Olcott, was given; November 17, 1875, a date which is considered to be the official date of the founding of the Society. Starting from a generalized statement of objectives, namely, “to collect and diffuse a knowledge of the laws which govern the Universe,” the Founders soon expressed them more specifically. After several minor changes in wording, it is appreciated the Objects stand today as follows:
1. to form a centre of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or color.
2. to encourage the study of Comparative Religion, Philosophy and Science.
3. to investigate unexplained laws of Nature, and the powers latent in man.
In September 1877, a powerful impact was made upon the evaluating and thinking public by the publication of H.P. Blavatsky’s first monumental work. It regarded Isis unveiled; which was issued by J.W. Bouton in New York City, the one thousand copies of the first printing being sold within ten days. The New York Herald-Tribune considered the work as one of the “remarkable productions of the century,” many other papers and journals speaking in similar terms. Isis Unveiled outlines the history, scope and development of the Occult Sciences, the nature and origin of Magic, the roots of Christianity, the errors of some religious strains and the fallacies of established orthodox Science, against the backdrop of the secret teachings which run as a golden thread through bygone centuries, coming up to the surface every now and then in the various mystical movements of the last two thousand years or so.
On July 8, 1878, H.P. Blavatsky was naturalized as a U.S.citizen: an event which received publicity in various newspapers. In December of the same year, H.P. Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott left for India via England.
India can be thought of as one of the most spiritual places. Whether in city or country there is an ambience and spiritual value which can be sensed; there is this exhibited somewhat in the actions of Helen Blavatsky. Arriving in Bombay;in February, 1879, they established their Theosophical Headquarters in that city. It was important to put themselves in place; and to help establish their grounding. Soon after landing, they were contacted by Alfred Percy Sinnett, then Editor of the Government Paper, The Pioneer of,Allahabad.
Compassion is the law of laws. Madame Blavatsky; She explained that brotherhood is not a mere ideal – it is a fact in nature on the spiritual plane. We derive scientific basis and a binding source for morality that can guide and inspire us, even while more traditional religious sources are losing their compelling force. She gives us the metaphysics from which we can deduce the most important principles of how to live; how we can be.
After a tour of north western India, the Founders returned to Bombay and started, in October, 1879, their first Theosophical Journal, The Theosophist (still published today), with H.P. Blavatsky as Editor. The society experienced then a rapid growth, and some very remarkable people were attracted to it both in India and globally.
During May-July, 1880 the Founders spent some time in Ceylon(Sri Lanka), where Colonel Olcott laid the foundations for his later work to stimulate the revival of particular Buddhism. They both took “Pancha Sila” or became officially known as Buddhists.
Physical circles are vivid and vital. The endevour of spiritualist not as commonly thought just to evidence spirit motive for being but also to show that they are vital beings. In September and October, 1880, H.P.B. and Colonel Olcott visited A.P. Sinnett and his wife Patience at Simla in northern India. The serious interest of Sinnett in the teachings, practices and the code of putting work in to the Theosophical Society prompted H.P. Blavatsky to establish a contact by correspondence between the Sinnett and the two Adepts who were sponsoring the Society; the two adepts were Mahatmas K.H. and M. From this correspondence Sinnett wrote The Occult World (1881) and Esoteric Buddhism (1883), both being books which had an enormous influence in generating public interest in Helena Blavatsky’s concept. The replies and explanations given by the Mahatmas to the questions by Sinnett were put in their correspondance from 1880 to 1885 and were printed in 1923 as The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett The original letters from the actual Teachers are preserved in the British Library where they can be seen by special permission in the Department of Rare Manuscripts.
Why, this person and her writings are so important lies in the fact that her section of history is one which can accurately put in place the workings and reality of spirit and how one person was involved. In May, 1882, a large estate was bought in southern India at Adyar, this was near Madras, and the Theosophical Headquarters were moved there at the end of the year. This center became soon the main point for a world-wide activity. Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott were invited on trips to various outlying districts, founded Branches, received visitors who wanted to learn, conducted an enormous flurry of information giving with inquirers, and filled their Journal with most valuable and scholarly material the main purpose of which was to revitalize the dormant interest on the part of Indiain the spiritual worth of their own ancient Scriptures; which was itself, a part of significant spiritual work.
Healing was important to the figures around the foundation. It is during this period that Colonel Olcott engaged in healings until February, 1884, when he left for London to petition the British Government on behalf of the Buddhists of Ceylon. H.P. Blavatsky, then in rather poor health, went to Europe with him.
After staying almost five months in Paris and then the city of London, H.P.B. visited the Gebhard family in Elberfeld, this was in Germany during the late Summer period. Then it was in and around early Fall of 1884 when it was busily engaged in writing that Helena Blavatsky started her second work, The Secret Doctrine.
Meanwhile, a vicious attack on her by Alexis and Emma Coulomb (two of her staff members at Adyar groyp) this was rapidly building up; it was a result of this that Helena returned to Adyar on December 21, 1884 to learn the details of the situation. She wished to hold the couple accountable, already dismissed from Adyar for their gross libel on her concerning the said fraudulent production of psychic phenomena. H.P.B. was, however, overruled by a number of leading members, and in disgust resigned as Corresponding Secretary of the Society. On March 31, 1885, she left for Europe, never to return to India.
The Coulomb attack, as was later proved, had no solid foundation at all. It was based on forged and partially forged correspondance, purporting to have been written by H.P. Blavatsky, with instructions to arrange fraudulent psychic phenomena.
It is very important in physical circles to have evidence and proof. Spirit actions and links in circle are all questioned into and run under required checks. Spirit overtly express themselves and evidence survival via means that are clear and precise. It is vital that there is gracious trust between both sides. Without cohesive bonds and exact transparency no spiritual activity can take place.
In 1963, Adlai Waterman (pseudonym of Walter A. Carrithers, Jr.) in his definitive work entitled Obituary: The “Hodgson Report” on Madame Blavatsky analyzed and refuted Hodgson’s contentions against Madame Blavatsky spiritual actions. A more recent refutation of some of Hodgson’s charges on H.P.B. is in Vernon Harrison’s book titled H. P. Blavatsky and the SPR: An Examination of the Hodgson Report of 1885.
This vicious attack had a most unfortunate effect on H.P. Blavatsky’s health. Having left India to go to Europe, she settled in Italy and then in August, 1885 at Wurzburg, Germany, where she worked on The Secret Doctrine. In July, 1886, she relocated to Ostend, Belgium, and in May of 1887, at the invitation of English Theosophists, she moved to a small house at Upper Norwood, London. Throughout spiritualism, it has been known that mediums have been able to hold certain spiritual collectives in specific places; this could be due to the atmosphere, setting or spirit energy.
After her arrival in England, Theosophical activities started. The Blavatsky Lodge was formed and started publicizing Theosophical ideas. The idea of a Lodge is one which took shape as a building aspect to the proposed project which was to take root.
H.P.B. continued to write her work which was finally published in two large volumes. This was in October through to December, 1888. Her indefatigable helpers in the transcription and the checking of the manuscript were Bertram Keightley and Archibald Keightley, whose financial backing was also of immense support.
The Secret Doctrine was the crowning achievement of H.P. Blavatsky’s literary career. Volume I is concerned mainly with the evolution of Universe. The basis of this volume is via seven Stanzas, translated from the Book of Dzyan, with commentary, summary and explanations by H.P.B. Also in this volume is an elucidation of the symbols main and minor contained in the great religions and mythologies of the world. The second Volume contains a further series of Stanzas from the Book of Dzyan, which relates to the evolution of human moral and self.
Also in October, 1888, Madame Blavatsky formed an Esoteric Section. This was a Section (or School) of the Theosophical Society for the deeper study of the Esoteric Philosophy by dedicated students, and wrote for them her three E. S. Instructions.
In 1889 H.P. Blavatsky published another text The Key to Theosophy, “a clear Exposition, in the form of Question / Answer; of the Ethics, Science and Philosophy for the study of which the Theosophical Society has been founded,” and the devotional mystical gem called The Voice of the Silence, containing selected excerpts translated from an Eastern scripture, The Book of the Golden Precepts, which she had learnt by heart during her training in the East.
In July, 1890, H.P. B. put down the European Headquarters of Theosophical Society; this was at 19 Avenue Road, St. John’sWood, London. It was from this address H.P. Blavatsky died on May 8, 1891, during a severe epidemic of flu in England, and her remains were cremated at Woking Crematorium, Surrey.
Against the background of her writings and teachings, her life and character, her mission and psychic powers, H.P. Blavatsky is destined to be recognized in time as the greatest Spiritualist in the history of Western civilization; she was a direct agent of the Trans-Himalayan Brotherhood and avid aid to the Brotherhood of Adepts.
In physical activity and providing sense of spirits; it is always important to know, and keep in mind that sense, emotion and love is felt both sides. The devotion that was expressed by this one individual is so vast, that it can interpret, and be used to show how much of an involved process spiritualism is. It can be rewarding but not as one may directly guess, it is in the treasure of seeing and exposing new levels, by helping and learning about new senses, and of course by witnessing fragments of the past that build up the most keen amount of intrigue. Having an open mind is important. Having an open spirit is the main aspect and appears to be how many historical mediums have been able to sense and divulge hidden mysteries. Spiriualism is revealing about the self and as I have found out, it can be one surprise that inspires and leaves you wrapped in its hands of comfort.