from the life of the author of the
Erinnerungen aus dem Leben
des Verfassers der "Lotusblüten."]
By Franz Hartmann, M.D.
Translation from the German by Robert
© 2001 Robert L.
If we were to explain this more closely and hope the whole of it
should not sound like a fairytale to the uninitiated, it would be necessary to not
penetrate too deeply into the area of the Secret Doctrine. But space does allow us to briefly touch upon it. From this
doctrine we find during the progressive development of the human spirit of the human being
that there is neither the destruction nor a new formation of the spiritual individuality,
but only a re-embodiment of the same [entity] through consecutive instead of new and
entirely original personal appearances. The personality of the person, with its thinking,
will and feeling abilities is formed through the earthly spirit of nature; the immortal
I lives in this mortal wrapping based on the descent of the heavenly spirit.
It is generally conceded the spirit of God dwells in the person, but only a
few are conscious of it because it is only in those few during their current existence who
are able to attain to the level of lucid self-consciousness of this higher I. If people
were to eventually attain during their life on earth to this clear state of
self-consciousness, they would be a transfigured saint. They would have been recognized
and one could consider them more than human, but rather as gods. As long as this does not
take place, they will not know their real existence, but rather will lead a kind of
dream-life in this world, similar to after death in the spirit world.
When an ordinary person dies, his soul separates from the body; the
material body remains on the earth, the lust body (Kama rupa) returns back to
the realm of lust (Kama loca); the heavenly soul, however, enters in the residence of the
blessed, where it is surrounded by its ideals, until again the hour of re-embodiment draws
near. Even though this condition appears, for the inhabitants in the world of gods
(Devachan), as being quite real, he is nevertheless, in comparison to the full awakening
of divine self-knowledge, nothing more than a dream, it is only through this awakening
that the person attains freedom and dominion over the self. He then has become a
Now if a person has awakened to true divine life and to a certain
degree has become a master through self-conquest and the defeat of the brutishness in his
nature, a person who is reborn in God, (1) he is no
longer in a dream life. He has awakened in heaven or on earth no longer under such a
delusion, but awakens to true consciousness. Through the overcoming of his lust he has
purified his soul, so that the same is imbued by the spiritual life and has come alive and
even if he leaves his visible body, he is then not only a spirit, but one
clothed with the body of radiance (with the transfigured astral-body), even though he is
an invisible person to earthly eyes. (2)
With regard to this transfigured body, of which St. Paul says that
where an animal body is sowed, a spiritual body will arise from it and that is not to be
confused with the astral-bodies of the deceased. Friedrich Rückert says:
is the spirit body? The [physical] body it is not, that, which is erected from the dust,
collapses back to the dust. That is the spirit body: The form, which he builds himself, in
which with the gleam of spirit looks different.
That is the body, which, though now dimly
shining through the crude bodily-wrapping, even if it falls, it is represented in clearer
fullness. In this body we see ourselves represented there; allowing trust in us; The
spirit has its body, in order to display itself, to inspect.
There are thus two kinds of adepts, such as those who are visibly
embodied on earth, and others who invisibly enjoy the higher existence, over which they
watch mankind and where the law of karma allows they may serve as guardian
angels. But also these guardian angels can incorporate themselves again on earth and
appear as a visible person.
Wherever such a person is reborn in order to accomplish certain works
towards the welfare of humanity and needs a physical body, he must again embody a new
personality and must naturally re-educate this personality, which indeed has its own will,
towards the aim of mastering it. Indeed a servant or official must also be instructed in
his services and be brought up properly before he is useful. The difference is that here
the ruler lives in the servant himself and is his true I. There, it is then explicable,
and so a person can not be faultless, nevertheless in his innermost being there exists a
great genius, to be sure it can even be an Adept. Arent we however entirely in our
innermost god?; yet we do not recognize it!
Now one can who is not a completely perfect human being, e.g., the
pupil of a Master, be sent into the world with a similar purpose: to embody themselves
with their master and be embodied as an inhabitant of the spirit world as with this one
and enter into a connection and be directed by him. This was in fact the case with H. P.
Blavatsky. As a child she already had astonished her acquaintances with her mystical
abilities and from her earliest youth on she had been supervised and instructed by the
adept. She had an active life moving about and was coming and going on journeys to
countries which Europeans rarely set foot on. She had come in touch with various mystics
and adepts in Egypt, Asia and South America, had personally learned to know her own chief
and teacher, had worked through orthodoxy and spiritualism and ultimately became ripe to
proclaim to the world the great knowledge of religion, which is so clearly presented in
her Secret Doctrine and her other writings. In this way she came to be an
apostle of enlightenment, as there has been before her only few and there will be after
her no doubt only few, an incomprehensible riddle for the scholars of this world who know
nothing of divine existence and who was first pronounced by them as the sphinx of
the nineteenth century and then declared a fraud.
But with the proclamation of a doctrine not much is served by it if
no one is there to hear it. It was not only called upon to write about the new doctrine in
a bound-up book which no one reads, but it was something which should be disseminated. For
this purpose H. P. Blavatsky joined with H. S. Olcott, W. Q. Judge and others to establish
the Theosophical Society in 1875 in New York, of which its headquarters was
later transferred to India. Hardly a more suitable person would have been found to
disseminate the Theosophical doctrines than Col. Olcott, who possessed an excellent talent
to form alliances and organizations, to bring together financial resources and to procure
for an ideal a material basis on which it could develop. In particular, his errors
benefited the matter, for were he to have clung only to the material side, he would have
ascribed less importance to occult phenomena and he would no doubt have come upon only a
few people with the philosophy itself, for the great multitude of people are attracted, to
be sure, only to that which they can comprehend and stare at with their hands. He has
fulfilled his obligation as best as he could have.
Besides the above-mentioned there were some young Indians who were
found at the headquarters, among whom one who stood out was Damodar K. Mavalankar, who was
called by others Babajee. They had the aim to become chelas. What was proven
about them was especially not heard by me. But T. Subba Row-Garu is especially worth
mentioning as one of the most learned of Brahmans, who was also in possession of occult
powers and visited the headquarters almost daily.
As to the occult phenomena, of which there was then no shortage of at
the headquarters, Col. Olcott did not know enough about it to tell anything. H. P.
Blavatsky could produce with any object, without touching it, what is known to the
spiritualist as rap-sounds. Indeed she could even convince a skeptic that the teeth in his
mouth had done it. Bell-ringing, similar to silver bells, soon resounded there, and then
in the air; books, carried by invisible hands, came, when H. P. Blavatsky wanted them,
flown from the remote bookcase at her desk, objects were summoned or transported by
spirits (elemental-beings), if she needed them right away, etc., (3) however the main thing were the occult
letters, of which soon this and soon that one were received from the adept, wherein
personal advice was related. These occult letters were found occasionally in
locked places, wherein they could not have arrived by any ordinary manner; soon they
suddenly fell down from the ceiling of the room, or were laid on the table where at a
previous moment nothing had laid there before. To be sure it even happened that one saw
how a kind of mist emerged in the air and a written letter with an address on it developed
and materialized. Also, direct writing occasionally appeared on the resting paper and all
this did not happen pointlessly, or for the curious to be held in wonder, but had the aim
of performing communications in order to convey orders and to give out advice. In this way
manuscripts were often altered, border comments were written on the proofs; waste-paper
suddenly and then again suddenly returned at its old position. In short, it was as if in
addition to the visible staff members there were also unseen active helpers in the house
and the office.
Whoever is closely acquainted with the laws of occult science, knows
the influence which light has on the production of some of the phenomena utilizing
etheric-oscillations, and that by such materializations there is an agreement
reached towards conclusions about light. This is also known among all spiritualists. For
this reason there was on the upper floor of the headquarters a single reserved room and in
this room was found a wall-closet into which inquiries for the adepts were occasionally
placed in this box and its doors were then locked. Sometimes at once and sometimes only
later, the letter disappeared and in its place the answer was found. The wall-closet
itself was empty with the exception of a couple of preserved pictures, portraits of
adepts. The room was guarded like a sanctuary by the chelas who only allowed
foreigners access on certain occasions. The closet itself was the inner sanctum, before
which they threw themselves down on their knees and, with the exception of Col. Olcott, no
European or American was allowed to touch it.
In the beginning everything went well; however as soon as a matter
became general, it also became ordinary or common. When it became known that one could get
advice in this way by the adepts, [individuals] great and small streamed in. One person
wanted the exalted saints to explain to him as to whether now was the correct time to sell
his house; another wished for a son; the third wanted a good position with the government,
a fourth an improvement of his capacity, etc. Those who received an answer were envied;
those who received no answer grew angry and felt insulted.
After Dr. Hartmann had come to India to work in the service of the
adepts, he would no doubt have also been glad to have an outward sign of life from this,
but he was afraid to seek it since he thought the adepts, if they wanted to inform him of
something, would no doubt do this without his inquiry. However after three weeks had past,
since nothing happened, he dared to attempt to place a letter in the wall closet, wherein
he explained that he was ready to place his services at the disposal of the Adepts. Yet on
the same evening the letter disappeared from the enclosure, just as Col. Olcott explained.
At the next day the answer was found in its place, from which it is allowed for us to
disclose the following statement: (4)
1883.)Blessings! Were we to employ in our service a man of no intelligence, we would
have to point out to him, as you say in the West, chapter and verse, i.e., give him
special assignments and definite orders; but a mind like yours, with a background of much
experience, can find the way by itself, when given a hint in regard to the direction which
leads to the goal. Make for yourself a clear picture of what a man is, in what relation
this particular life stands to the sum-total of his former existences, and that his future
is entirely within his own power, and you will not be in doubt any longer as to what you
should do. . . . I placed in H. S. Olcotts head the idea to suggest to you to come
here. Remain in Asia. Take part in the work of the Theosophical Society. Make known
without reservations the principles of the philosophy which speaks the loudest in your own
heart. Help others, so that you may be helped yourself. . . . Live according to the
highest Ideal of Manhood. Think and work. In this lie the conditions of satisfaction for
both yourself and others. . . . M.
Were a person to receive a letter from someone who they do not
personally know and whose handwriting they had never seen before, that person naturally
can not maintain definitively as to who the dispatcher was. In the above boisterous places
there were among private talk concerns about this matter, [hints as to its truth] which
were not known to anyone in India. Without mentioning that, this letter well could have
been written also by H. P. Blavatsky or Olcott. But before the
face of this doubt stood that feeling of internal conviction, which is not acknowledged
before the tribunal which only has the outer light of scientific judgement as its witness,
and ultimately it did not determine, to be sure, as to who had written the letter and not
as to the identity of proof, but was written in order to impart advice and the appointed
advice was in any case good as from whom it came. (5)
Because of the sensation which caused the transpiring of occult
phenomena (of which the appearance of [A. P.] Sinnetts book, The Occult
World, contributed the most), the reputation of the Theosophical Society
disseminated throughout the entire world, but the spirit of the Society became diminished.
However, it no longer took concern over the general brotherhood of people; it was uttered
only as an empty phrase, which no one took seriously; the main subject of importance was
the phenomena. From all over the world curiosity seekers gravitated here to
see the miracles and the phenomena which encompassed the daily conversation; here and
there you could hear the arguments on this topic, the world though doubted and contested
the authenticity of the phenomena, the testimonies were derided. If one came
to convince himself, he only left disappointed. It appeared to rest on the reputation of
the Society; to prove that the phenomena were right. To them this became the
one dominating question, they fought and scraped, and in the process the ideal of
brotherhood became evermore terminated with every giant step. Increasingly skepticism was
the enemy of the ideal, and the blind, screaming for proofs, following the half-learned,
became the destroyers of belief.
At the same time the Protestant missionaries began to stir and to
engage in the controversy over phenomena by joining in on the quarrels concerning
religion. The missionaries, offended over the treatment which resulted from their shallow
interpretation of the allegories of the bible, knew they were incapable of any defense
with the weapons of the spirit alone, set out to destroy the Society by unmasking H. P.
Blavatsky. They waited for a favorable point in time, since they knew that Blavatsky and
Olcott were about to go to Europe. During their absence the bomb was about to explode and
they had the assurances of the assistance of the married couple C. . .; however no one at
the headquarters knew anything of it.
It is not our intent to enter again into the details of this alleged
unmasking, which displaced the entire world into a state of agitation; however
we are recalling the memory of H. P. Blavatsky, who was an outstanding personality in the
history of mankind; we are bound upon touching the main points and to represent how she
was in reality. However for those who are interested in the question as to whether there
are adepts, that is those beings who are able to displace their consciousness and
perception to far off places, in order to watch over certain events, might yield some
results by reflecting on the following points.
The festivities at the headquarters were at an end; H. P. Blavatsky
and Olcott prepared themselves for departure. There, Dr. Hartmann found upon opening a
drawer, a sealed letter addressed to himself with the following content:
February 5, 1884.Friend! . . . .
Therefore with an eye to a variety of unexpected emergencies in the future which I
foresee, I must ask you to show practically your devotion to the cause of truth by
accepting the rudder of the theosophical cause [boat]. If I know anything, [it is this,] I
know you to be entirely free from those prejudices and predilections that are generally in
the way of a calm and dispassionate pursuit of the chief aim of the Society, full equality
among men as brothers and an entire unconcern with the childish fairy tales they call
their religion, whether exoteric or esoteric. If you
kindly consent to take care of theosophical interests during the absence of [Henry] Olcott
and Upasika, I will cause him [to write you an official letter], [investing you with more
official power than any other assistant] so as to give you a firmer hold of
the rod of authority than you would otherwise have with an informal title shared by so
many others. . . . [Your pucca authority I ask you to make the best of it in the interests
of] Truth, Justice and Charity.
. . .. In so reading this, let me give you a
suggestion. Never offer yourself as a chela, but wait until chelaship descends by itself
upon you. Above all, try to find yourself, and the path of knowledge will open itself
before you, and this so much the easier as you have made a contact with the light-ray of
the Blessed one, whose name you have now taken as your spiritual lode-star.(6)
. . . Receive in advance my blessings and thanks. M.
The letter contained, in addition to a portrait of the master, a
dedication. That the same [envelope] would have been placed in the drawer by a visible
person was an impossibility, for there was, besides Dr. Hartmann, no one else in the room
and the same drawer was empty only a few minutes prior to receiving the envelope. Still,
it is advisable to here to again point out the fact that we are dealing solely with the
content of the letter and not with the manner in which it had come. Even if it were to
have arrived in the ordinary way by first class mail, it would have made no difference.
Its import was not to accomplish a feat, but rather to extend a communication.
Because of this letter Dr. Hartmann was entrusted with the
supervision of the Theosophical Society from its headquarters. Only the chambers of H. P.
Blavatsky and the upper floor, wherein only the occult room and the holy
closet were found and remained locked. Through those passageways, no one could enter
other than Mr. and Mrs. C. . . .
Mrs. C. . . . was a small, elderly person with a hawk nose and small,
stinging eyes. Besides her tendency towards magic she especially loved the Christian
church and quite took one on, were one to make derogatory remarks about it. She was an
unusual animal friend. For example, because of her orders once the driver had to make a
considerable detour, so that a group of crows, which were found nearby, would not be
frightened and scared away. Comparable to this however she tormented the person [driver]
and was especially feared by the chelas. To her and her husband (a one-eyed
individual) was entrusted the sanctuary on the upper floor.
Dr. Hartmann accompanied H. P. Blavatsky on her journey to Bombay and
made a visit with her to the court of the Thakor Sahib [Thâkur Sâhib] of Kathiavar (7) and with another Indian prince, Hurasingshee of Wadhwan
[Hurasinghjee of Wadhwân]. There were many interesting things to tell, from the wedding
celebrations of the Maharaja, the dances of the bajans, fakirs and occult phenomena,
rock-temples of Ellora and the towers of silence, to the funeral sites of the
Parsis; however we must again return with the author back to Adyar, so as to not interrupt
the rhythm of our account.
After the departure of H. P. Blavatsky it had become very quiet. In
addition to a Scot named W.F.B. . ., who wanted to educate himself towards becoming a
chela, and the already mentioned persons, as well as an Englishman, Mr. St.
George Lane Fox, who was the inventor of the division of electric current for the purpose
of illumination, there was Madame C. . . . who provided for the household, and her spouse
who, as it was said, engaged the entire day with repairs on the upper floor, however no
one would have taken any particular notice of the activity and would not have thought
anything bad circulating around it, were it were not for Madame C. . . . and her frequent
careless remarks regarding trapdoors and a mechanical apparatus designed for the
production of alleged occult phenomena.
There again Dr. Hartmann received one day a certain occult
letter in the now well-known handwriting of the Master. The contents, in so far as
they may be of interest to the reader, was the following:
28, 1884. For some time already the woman had opened communication with the enemies of the
Theosophists, certain . . . . . ., admitted. She hopes to receive by this more than 2000
rupees, if it is successful for her to destroy the Society or at least harm the reputation
of the founders. Therefore her hints of deceit, trapdoors and conjuring. Which by the way
the trapdoors will be effected and so will come to light, as soon as it is necessary, for
they have been working on them for some time. The C . . .s are the exclusive rulers
of the upper floor; all doors stand open [to them] and they have everything in hand.
Monsieur is a skillful carpenter and joiner and also understands masonry work[.]
On account of this warning it was concluded to explore the upper
floor, which was intended despite the resistance on the part of Mrs. C. It was found that
there were actually various hidden holes, trapdoors and so forth broken in to the walls,
which appeared very much like they had the purpose to allow occult letters to
appear or disappear. Fortunately, these apparatuses were not yet completely finished, as
Monsieur C. . . was interrupted in his work.
A great outcry now arose in all the newspapers over these
discoveries. One naturally did not worry at all about the impending circumstances. It was
enough to know that trapdoors had been found at the headquarters of the Theosophical
Society, and it was enough to bolt the doors on the issue, that the same thing had been
done by H. P. Blavatsky in order to cheat the world. And yet, the facts were distorted in
every possible manner and the most absurd rumors had been disseminated; indeed it was even
claimed that Colonel Olcott would be branded (burned) through with Madame C . . . .
At the same time, the Christian missionaries opened their locks and
released a tide of accusations about Blavatsky. They published a number of the same
letters, which had been sold to them by Mad. C . . ., and their content had been
distorted, whereupon it was quite easy because Blavatsky had the bad habit to merrily make
and append the same nickname over anyone, even to her best friends. Among her close
friends this may appear as joke, but it has a completely different face if it is brought
before the publics eyes.
End of Installment 2