Published by Blavatsky Study Center. Online Edition copyright 2004.

Leaves of Theosophial History

[Reprinted from The Theosophical Forum (Point Loma, California), May 1936, pp. 343-346.]

  (The following letter from H. P. Blavatsky to Mrs. Hollis Billings is reproduced from a 
copy in one of General Abner Doubleday’s scrapbooks held in the archives of the 
International Theosophical Headquarters, Point Loma [now located in Pasadena, California.]   
It is copied in his own hand and is here reproduced verbatim et literatim
--- Eds. [of The Theosophical Forum.])

Letter from H. P. Blavatsky to Mrs. Hollis Billings

Simla. Oct. 2. 1881.

My dear good friend

Of course you must have long time since given me up as a bad job, or a bad penny.  But do I turn up again and swear to you that not a dozen but a hundred of time I wanted to write and rush of business connected with the Theosophist, of important affairs --- sometimes weariness, not laziness, always made me put off the letter to another day.  Believe me dear Mrs. Billings that never, never will I forget or love you less.  You have been a dear good faithful friend to me, and so will I be forever to you, until my old body is burned and scattered to the winds.  So negligent and careless am I that the silver bracelets I got for dear Sally are there for her, for nearly two years, and it is only my carelessness and truly constant sickness that prevented me always from sending them and be done with it.

I am now at Simla 10,000 feet over the plains of India with the eternal snows over me and feeling better.  I had kidney disease and have it still, and a beginning of dropsy.  But I now feel better though not wholly cured.

Now to business.

Why for pity’s sake do not you tell people the truth about our Brother Ski, as you told me, as you and he know it to be truth?  Why allow people to believe he is a disembodied “Spirit, when he is a living Spirit, who lived and will live for as many hundred years as he likes, putting his body away to sleep, whenever tired of earthly life, and roaming in the interplanetary worlds as much as he likes.  Why should you conceal from those who are prepared to receive the truth, that he was an Initiate, and knew more than all their “medicine men” put together?  Our Brothers know him and he knows them.  Morya is his greatest friend as you know, and he brought that silk handkerchief from his house to Olcott.  Morya (M  ) wants Ski to come out bravely and tell the world the truth: for, otherwise, now that our Society becomes so powerful with the most learned Englishmen, the most influential Anglo-Indian officials daily joining it, and who have their ideas about “Spirits” as taught by K. H. and M   (read well the pamphlet I will send you in a week or so in the October Theosophist) even Ski and “Jim Nolan” (who are one) will be doubted and called “Shells” and Elementaries and spooks.  Do dear turn a new leaf.  Let it out gradually and please send me your address.

K. H. or Koot-Hoomi is now gone to sleep for three months to prepare during this Sumadhi or continuous trance state for his initiation, the last but one, when he will become one of the highest adepts.  Poor K. H. his body is now lying cold and stiff in a separate square building of stone (1) with no windows or doors in it, the entrance to which is effected through an underground passage from a door in Toong-ting (reliquary, a room situated in every Thaten (temple) or Lamisery; and his Spirit is quite free.  An adept might lie so for years, when his body was carefully prepared for it beforehand by mesmeric passes etc.  It is a beautiful spot where he is now in the square tower.  The Himalayas on the right and a lovely lake near the lamisery.  His Cho-han (spiritual instructor, master, and the Chief of a Tibetan Monastery takes care of his body.  M . . also goes occasionally to visit him.  It is an awful mystery that state of cataleptic sleep for such a length of time, but Ski describes it, when you have received the pamphlet and read it.  You know the Buddhists do not believe in a personal God.  They believe in one universal mind which gives impulses to creation but does not rule or meddle with the natural evolution or with man.  This MIND is composed of the millions of aggregations of intelligences --- Planetary Spirits --- whom they call Dyan-Cho-han and these spirits were human at one time.  Gautama Buddha is one of the five principal Celestial Buddhas, or Dyani-Buddhas.  These reincarnate themselves in the Dala-Lamas, and the Tsheshu-Lamas, and some of the highest adepts.  They relinquish the attainment of Br. and bliss in Nirvana that they might be born again in men for the benefit of mankind.  The Dala Lama lives at Lha-ssa, and the Tsheshu Lama at and near Shikadze.

Now Morya lives generally with Koot-Hoomi who has his house in the direction of the Kara Korum Mountains, beyond Ladak, which is in Little Tibet and belongs now to Kashmire.  It is a large wooden building in the Chinese fashion pagoda-like, between a lake and a beautiful mountain, and The Brothers do not think the world ripe enough to teach them Occultism in its highest development.  The world believes too much in a personal God and Christianity, and gods and such flap-doodle.  They come out very rarely.  But they can project their astral forms anywhere.

Morya is dead against phenomena but Sinnett the author of The Occult World is always craving for phenomena, and yet will give up neither his wine nor dances nor anything else.  Hume, the President of the new Simla Eclectic Theosophical Society is less for phenomena and more for philosophy.  And they believe a Ritual which Judge wants is nonsense.  No one will work in New York for the Society and it is going to the devil.  If you could take my place in N. Y. and give life to the N. Y. Society the Brothers would help you surely.  Only propagate their ideas, and ask Ski to tell the truth and it will be done.  Tell me is Eglinton a true medium?  You had better write to him to proceed in the Theosophical groove in India, if he wants success here.  Disembodied angels are at a fearful discount here, and he will do no good, and get all the Theosophists against him if he propounds here too much the theory of angels and returning mothers-in-law.  Let him show phenomena and give no explanation; that will be better.  Mr. Hume, who is the most influential man here, wants to have nothing to do with him, as he thinks it will compromise the Theosophical Society.  Tell him that.

Now good-bye dear.  Anything you want me to do for you I will do, so command.  I do not know what “questions” to ask, but you give a sitting to Judge and let Ski instruct him about Theosophy and we will have it printed.

My love to dear Sally and believe me Yours for ever and eternally

H. P. Blavatsky

Where is Billings now?  Is he gone to the dogs decidedly?


(1)  Master Morya in a letter to A.P. Sinnett described K.H.'s retreat as follows:  

"At a certain spot not to be mentioned to outsiders, there is a chasm spanned by a frail bridge of woven grasses and with a raging torrent beneath. The bravest member of your Alpine clubs would scarcely dare to venture the passage, for it hangs like a spider's web and seems to be rotten and impassable. Yet it is not; and he who dares the trial and succeeds --- as he will if it is right that he should be permitted --- comes
into a gorge of surpassing beauty of scenery --- to one of our places and to some of our people, of which and whom there is no note or minute among European geographers. At a stone's throw from the old Lamasery stands the old tower, within whose bosom have gestated generations of Bodhisatwas. It is there, where now rests your lifeless friend [K.H.] --- my brother, the light of my soul, to whom I made a faithful promise to watch during his absence over his work."  Mahatma Letter No. 29

NOTE:  For Theosophical definitions of many of the terms H.P.B used in this letter, consult the following two sources: