Published by The Blavatsky Archives.  Online Edition copyright 2000. 

Extract from H.P.B.'s
E.S.T.S. Instruction No. I

[In the Preface to Volume XII of H.P.B.'s Collected Writings, Boris de Zirkoff writes that ". . . the student will find in its [Volume XII's] pages the complete, unaltered and unedited text of H.P.B.'s Esoteric Instructions."   Whatever Mr. de Zirkoff may have meant by this, unfortunately, the text of the Esoteric Instructions in Volume XII is found to be incomplete, altered and edited when compared with the original edition of these Instructions.  The first edition of HPB's three Esoteric Instructions was issued in mimeograph form.  The second edition was a printed edition issued by the Aryan Press of New York in 1890.  I have reproduced below a few pages of the 1890 edition of Instruction No. I.  I invite the reader to compare this text with the version  found in H.P.B.'s Collected Writings, Volume XII, pp. 515-516.  I have indicated in red type the portion of the original text which is completely missing from the Volume XII version.  Also if the student carefully compares the rest of the text, he will find a good number of other significant changes.  Whatever the reason(s) for these deletions and changes, the Volume XII version does not accurately reflect the original text as written by HPB in 1889.--- Daniel H. Caldwell.]


E.S.T.S. --- No. I.

A Warning Addressed to All Members of the
Esoteric Section.

There is a strange law in Occultism which has been ascertained and proven by thousands of years of experience; nor has it failed to demonstrate itself, almost in every case, during the thirteen years that the T. S. has been in existence.

As soon as anyone pledges himself as a “Probationer,” certain occult effects ensue.  Of these the first is the throwing outward of everything latent in the nature of the man: his faults, habits, qualities or subdued desires, whether good, bad or indifferent.

For instance, if a man is vain or a sensualist, or ambitious, whether by Atavism or by Karmic heirloom, all those vices are sure to break out, even if he has hitherto successfully concealed and repressed them.  They will come to the front irrepressibly, and he will have to fight a hundred times harder than before, until he kills all such tendencies in himself.

On the other hand, if one is good, generous, chaste, and abstemious, or has any virtue hitherto latent and concealed in him, it will work its way out as irrepressibly as the rest.  Thus a civilized man who hates to be considered a Grandison, and therefore assumes a mask, will not be able to conceal his true nature, whether base or noble.

This is an immutable law in the domain of the occult.

Its action is the more marked, the more earnest and sincere is the desire of the candidate and the more deeply he has felt the reality and importance of his pledge.

Therefore let all members of this Section be warned and on their guard; for even in the last three months, even before the esoteric teaching began, several of the most promising candidates have failed ignominiously.


A Few Words as Preface.

Before entering upon the first installment of the Instructions to be given to the Esoteric Section, it is necessary to call the special attention of its members to a new and rapidly growing danger which is threatening the Theosophical Society and the spread of the pure Esoteric Philosophy and knowledge in the U.S.A.

I allude to those charlatanesque imitations of Occultism and Theosophy of which the “Call to the Awakened,” lately published in the Boston Esoteric, is the most glaring example.

The danger in this particular case is the greater because some men of real scientific attainments and knowledge seem to have been drawn into it, and thus give to it an appearance of real knowledge which may easily deceive the unwary.

By pandering to the prejudices of people, and especially by adopting the false ideas of a personal God and a personal, carnalized Saviour, as the groundwork of their teaching, the leaders of this “swindle” (for such it is) are endeavoring to draw men to them and in particular to turn Theosophists from the true path.  The H. B. of L., of shameful memory in England, has now found a worthy substitute in the Esoteric College in Boston founded by a “Brahmin of Irish descent, thousands of years old,” (Vide “A Call from the Unseen,” etc.)

Stealing from us our esoteric Sanskrit terms, our facts --- which he disfigures --- and even our motto, “There is No Religion Higher than Truth,” this self-styled illuminator is sure to prepare thousands of enemies to Theosophy, when those “awakened” by him will awaken to the sad truth of having been swindled by this “Brahmin” & Co.  Let all Theosophists be warned in time by the Esotericists.

True knowledge comes slowly and is not easily acquired.  In this attempt the students will be at first confronted by the great difficulties of the disciple’s first steps upon the path of true Occultism.  Even members of the E. S., especially those who crave for magic powers, are not unlikely to grow impatient and to rebel against the apparently slow progress made at first and at the amount of metaphysical and theoretic study required of them.  To such the deceptive promises of quick results and grand achievements, of growth and progress, that are promised by the “Esoteric College” from day to day (??) will appear most attractive.  But let all such take warning in time and avoid a snare in which they will at least leave the contents of their purses, even if they save their reputations.

A close examination will assuredly reveal the whole scheme as a mere device for money getting and selfish gratification, in which materials largely stolen, as said, from Theosophical writings are distorted and falsified so as to be palmed off on the unwary as revelations of new and undreamed of truths.  But many will neither have the time nor the opportunity for such a thorough investigation; and before they become aware of the imposture they may be led far from the Truth, as well as be despoiled of their property and, worse than that, of their health.

Under these circumstances, it is the duty of all members of the E. S. in America to do their utmost to unmask such movements, for nothing is more dangerous to Esoteric Truth than the garbled and distorted versions disfigured to suit the prejudices and tastes of men in general.

Finally, the attention of all members of the E. S. is expressly called to Rule 18 of the Preliminary Memorandum, no infraction of which can or will be allowed.


Instruction for January and February, 1889.

The ancient occult axiom, “Know Thyself,” must be familiar to every member of this Section; but few if any have apprehended the real meaning of the Delphic Oracle.  You all know your earthly pedigree, but who of you has ever traced all the links of heredity, siderial, psychic and spiritual, which go to make you what you are?  Many have written and expressed their desire to unite themselves with their Higher Self, yet none seem to know the indissoluble link connecting their “Higher Selves” with the One Universal SELF.

For all purposes of Occultism, whether practical or purely metaphysical, such knowledge is absolutely requisite.  It is proposed, therefore, to begin the esoteric instruction by showing this connection in all directions with the worlds: Absolute, Archetypal, Spiritual, Psychic, Siderial, Astral and Elemental.  Before, however, we can touch upon the three higher worlds --- Archetypal, Spiritual, and Psychic --- we must master the relations of the seventh, the terrestrial world, the lower Prakriti, or Malchuth as in the Kabala, to the four worlds or planes which immediately follow it.  (See Secret Doctrine, vol. I, p. 200 et seq.)

It is clear that once the human body is admitted to have direct relation with such higher worlds, the specialization of the organs and parts of the body will necessitate the mention of all parts of the body without exception.  In the eyes of truth and nature, no one organ is more noble or ignoble than any other organ.  The ancients considered as the most holy precisely those organs which we associate with feelings of shame and secrecy: for they are the creative organs corresponding to the Creative Forces of the Kosmos.

The Esotericists are therefore warned that unless they are prepared to take everything in the spirit of truth and nature, and to forget the code of false propriety bred by hypocrisy and the shameful misuse of primeval functions, once considered divine --- they had better not study Esotericism.

“OM,” says the Aryan Adept, the son of the Fifth Race, who with this syllable begins and ends his salutation to the human being, his conjuration of, or appeal to, non-human PRESENCES.

“OM-MANI,” murmurs the Turanian Adept, the descendant of the Fourth Race; and after pausing he adds, “PADME-HUM.”

This famous invocation is very erroneously translated by the Orientalists as meaning, “O the Jewel in the Lotus.”  For although, literally, OM is a syllable sacred to the Deity, PADME means “in the Lotus,” and MANI is any precious stone, still neither the words themselves, nor their symbolical meaning, are really correctly rendered.