Reprinted by Blavatsky Study Center
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The Psychic World - Beware!
by G. de Purucker (1)
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 Messages.
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 is.
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.
(1) From The Eclectic Theosophist, Jan., 15, 1973 and also The Esoteric Tradition II, p. 889.