Reprinted by Blavatsky Study Center

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Introduction

by Margaret Thomas

To H.P.B. and W.Q.J.
In Their Cause, which is the Cause
of true Theosophists the World Over


The Theosophical Society is dead.  But there are many Theosophists in it who are yet alive.  Not knowing the history of the years since 1893-94 that led to its downfall, and not realising the wide divergence between Theosophy and the present-day versions, they may go the way of the Society unless something be done to prevent it.

It is because an opportunity must be given the earnest student to see the differences between the teachings of Theosophy as re-stated in the 19th century by H.P.B[lavatsky]. and those given to-day [by Annie Besant, C.W. Leadbeater, and C. Jinarajadasa]; it is because an opportunity must be given the true seeker to know previously obscured facts concerning the great wrong that brought about the Society's eclipse, that this work of compilation has been undertaken.  Those who prefer the blind belief to knowledge will have no interest in these pages.  But those who seek to know will study them, using the references to find out the facts for themselves and be satisfied whether they are not truths that are here presented.

Note:  All references to page numbers in H.P.B.'s works are to the first editions or Theosophy Company (Los Angeles) reprints, other editions being expurgated and therefore repaged.

Differences in Teaching

The book is written in all sincerity.  It is meant to do even justice, and to speak the truth alike without malice or prejudice.  But it shows neither mercy for enthroned error, nor reverence for usurped authority.  It demands for a spoliated past, that credit for its achievements which has been too long withheld.  It calls for a restitution of borrowed robes, and the vindication of calumniated but glorious reputations. . . . TRUTH, high-seated upon its rock of adamant, is alone eternal and supreme.  - Preface to "Isis Unveiled," p. v.

I dread the appearance in print of our philosophy as expounded by Mr. H---.  He makes of us Agnostics!!  We do not believe in God because, so far, we have no proof, etc.  This is preposterously ridiculous; if he publishes what I read, I will have H.P.B. or Djual Kool deny the whole thing; as I cannot permit our sacred philosophy to be so disfigured.  He says that people will not accept the whole truth; that unless we humour them with a hope that there may be a "loving Father and creator of ALL in heaven" our philosophy will be rejected a priori.  In such a case the less such idiots hear of our doctrines the better for both.  If they do not want the whole truth and nothing but the truth, they are welcome.  But never will they find us - (at any rate) - compromising with and pandering to public prejudices.  - Mahatma Letters, pp. 304-5

The Wise Man Courts Truth; The Fool, Flattery

However it may be, let rather our ranks be made thinner, than the Theosophical Society go on being made a spectacle to the world through the exaggerations of some fanatics, and the attempts of various charlatans to profit by a ready-made programme.  These, by disfiguring and adapting Occultism to their own filthy and immoral ends, bring disgrace upon the whole movement.  Some writer remarked that if one would know the enemy against whom he has to guard himself the most, the looking-glass will give him the best likeness of his face.  This is quite true.  If the first object of our Society be not to study one's own self, but to find fault with all except that self, then, indeed, the T.S. is doomed to become - and it already has in certain centres - a Society for mutual admiration.  - "On Pseudo-Theosophy," "Lucifer," March, 1889.

Theosophy is the accumulated wisdom of the ages.  Mark well that it is no fancy of one or several isolated individuals.  Its uninterrupted record extends over thousands of generations of seers.  It was only formulated after traditions from exalted beings, passed on age by age, had been tested and  verified by the independent visions of great adepts, themselves checked and rechecked by other adepts and by centuries of experiences, during something like eighteen million years.  (See Secret Doctrine, 1, pp.272-3.)

Any teaching that fits in with this Ancient Wisdom is truly Theosophy.   It must stand or fall by the test of comparison with all that has gone before.   Earnest students of to-day, by comparative religion and comparative philosophy, can trace an unbroken line of dovetailed teaching within the last five thousand years from Krishna, Buddha, Confucius and Lao Tse, Pythagoras and Plato, Jeshu (or Jesus), Apollonius of Tyana, the Alexandrian School, teachers of the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th centuries to the 19th century when Madame H.P. Blavatsky once more restated part of the aeon-old truths for the western world.  (See Key to Theosophy, p. 243.)

By the Masters' test, as by their words, H.P.B. stands, one of a long line of Messengers, acceptable because of the other links in the chain before her.  She herself followed the Occult Law and substantiated statements in "The Secret Doctrine," and her other works, by historic, archeological and scientific data, showing the teaching rooted in earlier systems of Theosophic thought.  It is obviously futile, therefore, to talk of improving and expanding the philosophy, given out by her.  Can latter-day soi-disant Theosophical teachers stand this same test?  You are invited to judge for yourself.