Published by Blavatsky Study Center

Psychic VERSUS Initiate Visions & Knowledge

16 Excerpts from the Writings
of H.P. Blavatsky & the Masters K.H. & M.


"The flashing gaze of those
seers has penetrated into the very....soul of things...."

Excerpt 1
Emanuel Swedenborg's Exuberant Fancy

Writing about Emanuel Swedenborg, "the great Swedish Theosophist," H.P. Blavatsky comments that he "claimed to pass at will into that state when the Inner Self frees itself entirely from every physical sense, and lives and breathes in a world where every secret of Nature is an open book to the Soul-eye."

But she adds:

"Unless one obtains exact information and the right method, one's visions, however correct and true in Soul-life, will ever fail to get photographed in our human memory, and certain cells of the brain are sure to play havoc with our remembrances." The Secret Doctrine, 1897, Vol. III, p. 425

Elsewhere, Madame Blavatsky states that Swedenborg's "clairvoyant powers . . . were very remarkable; but they did not go beyond this plane of matter; all that he says of subjective worlds and spiritual beings is evidently far more the outcome of his exuberant fancy, than of his spiritual insight. . . ." The Theosophical Glossary, entry on "Swedenborg"

H.P. Blavatsky gives more information on this topic in one of her Esoteric Instructions:

"Remember that with our physical senses alone at our command none of us can hope to see beyond gross matter.  We can do so only through one or another of our seven spiritual senses, if these are trained, or if one is a born seer.  Even with this capacity and when seeing in the astral light, unless one is an Adept, ignorance of the whole truth can only lead the most honest and sincere clairvoyant (as witness Swedenborg and several others) to mistake the denizens of such spheres, of which he may occasionally get a glimpse, for God or Angels...."   E.S. Instruction No. I, 1890 ed., p. 17

Elsewhere Madame Blavatsky wrote:

". . . We find in the romances as in all the so-called scientific fictions and spiritistic revelations from moon, stars, and planets, merely fresh combinations or modifications of the men and things, the passions and forms of life with which we are familiar, when even on the other planets of our own system nature and life are entirely different from ours. Swedenborg was pre-eminent in inculcating such an erroneous belief. . . ."

"...For even great adepts (those initiated of course), trained seers though they are, can claim thorough acquaintance with the nature and appearance of planets and their inhabitants belonging to our solar system only. They know that almost all the planetary worlds are inhabited, but can have access to — even in spirit — only those of our system; and they are also aware how difficult it is, even for them, to put themselves into full rapport even with the planes of consciousness within our system, but differing from the states of consciousness possible on this globe. . . ."

"...Many are the romances and tales, some purely fanciful, others bristling with scientific knowledge, which have attempted to imagine and describe life on other globes. But one and all, they give but some distorted copy of the drama of life around us. . . . So strong is this tendency that even great natural, though non-initiated seers, when untrained, fall a victim to it; witness Swedenborg, who goes so far as to dress the inhabitants of Mercury, whom he meets with in the spirit-world, in clothes such as are worn in Europe...."  The Secret Doctrine, Vol. II, p. 701-702

Excerpt 2 
Every Thought of Man

". . . Every thought of man upon being evolved passes into the inner world and becomes an active entity by associating itself - coalescing, we might term it - with an elemental; that is to say with one of the semi-intelligent forces of the kingdoms. It survives as an active intelligence, a creature of the mind's begetting, for a longer or shorter period proportionate with the original intensity of the cerebral action which generated it.  Thus, a good thought is perpetuated as an active beneficent power; an evil one as a maleficent demon."

'And so man is continually peopling his current in space with a world of his own, crowded with the offsprings of his fancies, desires, impulses, and passions. . . ."

Master Koot Hoomi
Letter to A.O. Hume

Excerpt 3
Foreign Influences & Living Entities

"Faith in the Gods and God, and other superstitions attracts millions of foreign influences, living entities and powerful agents [elementals?] around [the devotees of various religions]. . . .The unprogressed Planetaries [elementals?]. . . delight in personating gods and sometimes well known characters who have lived on earth."

"There are Dhyan-Chohans and 'Chohans of Darkness,' not what they term devils but imperfect 'Intelligences' who have never been born on this or any other earth or sphere no more than the 'Dhyan Chohans' have and who will never belong to the 'builders of the Universe,' the pure Planetary Intelligences, who preside at every Manvantara while the Dark Chohans preside at the Pralayas. . . . "

"As all in this universe is contrast . . . so the light of the Dhyan Chohans and their pure intelligence is contrasted by the 'Ma-Mo Chohans' — and their destructive intelligence. These are the gods the Hindus and Christians and Mahomed and all others of bigoted religions and sects worship. . . ."

Master Morya
The Mahatma Letters, 2nd ed., Letter 134

Excerpt 4
They Have Disturbed But Bats....

"Vainly do your modern seers and their prophetesses, creep into every cleft and crevice without outlet or continuity they chance to see; and still more vainly, when once within do they lift up their voices and loudly cry: 'Eureka! We have gotten a Revelation from the Lord!' - - for verily have they nothing of the kind. They have disturbed but bats [elementals, unprogressed Planetaries?], less blind than their intruders; who, feeling them flying about, mistake them as often for angels — as they too, have wings! Doubt not, my friend: it is but from the very top of those 'adamantine rocks' of ours, not at their foot, that one is ever enabled to perceive the whole Truth, by embracing the whole limitless horizon...."

Master Koot Hoomi
The Mahatma Letters, 2nd ed., Letter 48 


Excerpt 5
Since Truth is One....

". . . You have heard of and read about a good many Seers, in the past and present centuries, such as Swedenborg, Boehme, and others. Not one among the number but thoroughly honest, sincere, and as intelligent, as well educated; aye, even learned. Each of them in addition to these qualities, has or had . . . a 'Guardian' and a Revelator — under whatever 'mystery' and 'mystic name' — whose mission it is — or has been to spin out to his spiritual ward — a new system embracing all the details of the world of Spirit. Tell me, my friend, do you know of two that agree? And why, since truth is one, and that putting entirely the question of discrepancies in details aside — we do not find them agreeing even upon the most vital problems — those that have either 'to be, or not to be' — and of which there can be no two solutions?..."

Master Koot Hoomi
The Mahatma Letters, 2nd ed., Letter 48

Excerpt 6
Stainton Moses & His Spirit "Guide" Imperator

W. Stainton Moses
W. Stainton Moses, a "seer" and medium of the 1880s, wrote about his spirit "guide" Imperator:

". . . my inner spirit-sense is opened. Only yesterday . . . Imper[ator] . . . was clearly visible and audible to me...."

To this comment by Stainton Moses [S.M.], Master Koot Hoomi wrote:

". . . So is Jesus and John the Baptist [clearly visible and audible] to Edward Maitland; [who is] as true and as honest and sincere as S.M. . . . And does not E. Maitland see Hermes the first and second and Elijah, etc."

"Finally does not Mrs. [Anna] Kingsford feel as sure as S.M. with regard to ... [Imperator] that she saw and conversed with God!! . . . And who purer or more truthful than that woman or Maitland!"

"Mystery, mystery will you exclaim. IGNORANCE we answer; the creation of that we believe in and want to see. . . . "  The Mahatma Letters, 2nd ed., Letter 90. 

Excerpt 7
Rai Salig Ram:  Absorbed in Misguided, Misdirected Mysticism

Rai Salig Ram"[Rai Salig Ram is] — a truly good man — yet a devotee of another error. Not his guru's voice — his own. The voice of a pure, unselfish, earnest soul, absorbed in misguided, misdirected mysticism. Add to it a chronic disorder in that portion of the brain which responds to clear vision and the secret is soon told: that disorder was developed by forced visions; by hatha yog and prolonged asceticism. S. Ram is the chief medium and at same time the principal magnetic factor, who spreads his disease by infection — unconsciously to himself; who innoculates with his vision all the other disciples."

"There is one general law of vision (physical and mental or spiritual) but there is a qualifying special law proving that all vision must be determined by the quality or grade of man's spirit and soul, and also by the ability to translate divers qualities of waves of astral light into consciousness. There is but one general law of life, but innumerable laws qualify and determine the myriads of forms perceived and of sounds heard. There are those who are willingly and others who are unwillingly — blind. Mediums belong to the former, sensitives to the latter."

"Unless regularly initiated and trained — concerning the spiritual insight of things and the supposed revelations made unto man in all ages from Socrates down to Swedenborg . . . no self-tutored seer or clairaudient ever saw or heard quite correctly."

". . .[Rai Salig Ram and the other disciples] say and affirm that the one and only God of the Universe was incarnated in their [deceased] guru,
and were such an individual to exist he would certainly be higher than any 'planetary' [spirit]. But they are idolators. . . . "

"Their guru was no initiate only a man of extraordinary purity of life and powers of endurance. He had never consented to give up his notions of a personal god and even gods. . . . He was born an orthodox Hindu and died a self-reformed Hindu. . . . with no ambition to taint his bright soul. Many of us have regretted his self-delusion. . . ."

Master Morya
The Mahatma Letters, 2nd ed., Letter 40

Excerpt 8
Visions of Living Psychics & Revelations of Living Mediums

"Our Correspondent seems to have been misled as to the state of consciousness which entities experience in Kama-loka. He seems to have formed his conceptions on the visions of living psychics and the revelations of living mediums. But all conclusions drawn from such data are vitiated by the fact, that a living organism intervenes between the observer and the Kama-loka state per se. There can be no conscious meeting in Kama-loka, hence no grief. . . ."

"In dealing with the dicta of psychics and mediums, it must always be remembered that they translate, automatically and unconsciously, their experiences on any plane of consciousness, into the language and experience of our normal physical plane. And this confusion can only be avoided by the special study-training of occultism, which teaches how to trace and guide the passage of impressions from one plane to another and fix them on the memory...."

H.P. Blavatsky
Collected Writings, Vol. IX, 163

Excerpt 9
Your Vivid Creative Fancy Evokes Illusive Gurus & Chelas

"You cannot acquire psychic power until the causes of psychic debility are removed. . . . You have scarcely learned the elements of self-control in psychism. . . . Your vivid creative fancy [imagination] evokes illusive Gurus and chelas, and puts into their mouths words coined the instant before in the mint of your mind, unknown to yourself. The false appears as real, as the true, and you have no exact method of detection, since you are yet prone to force your communications to agree with your preconceptions...." 

Master Koot Hoot
Mrs. Holloway and the Mahatmas, Letter 17 

Excerpt 10
Contradictory Views of Three Mystics

"In reference to your wonder that the views of the three mystics 'are far from being identical,' what does the fact prove? Were they instructed by disembodied, pure, and wise Spirits — even by those of one remove from our earth on the higher plane — would not the teachings be identical? The question arising: 'May not Spirits as well as men differ in ideas?' Well, then their teaching — aye, of the highest of them since they are the 'guides' of the three great London Seers — will not be more authoritative than those of mortal men. 'But, they may belong to different spheres?' Well; if in the different spheres contradictory doctrines are propounded, these doctrines cannot contain the Truth, for Truth is One, and cannot admit of diametrically opposite views; and pure Spirits who see it as it is, with the veil of matter entirely withdrawn from it — cannot err...."

Master Koot Hoomi
The Mahatma Letters, 2nd ed., Letter 9

Excerpt 11
Hallucinations & Visions

"[Hallucination is a] . . . state produced sometimes by physiological disorders, sometimes by mediumship, and at others by drunkenness. But the cause that produces the visions has to be sought deeper than physiology. All such visions, especially when produced through mediumship, are preceded by a relaxation of the nervous system, in variably generating an abnormal magnetic condition which attracts to the sufferer waves of astral light. It is the latter that furnishes the various hallucinations. These, however, are not always what physicians would make them, empty, and unreal dreams. No one can see that which does not exist—i.e., which is not impressed—in or on the astral waves. A Seer may, however, perceive objects and scenes (whether past, present, or future) which have no relation whatever to himself, and also perceive several things entirely disconnected with each other at one and the same time, thus producing the most grotesque and absurd combinations."

"Both drunkard and Seer, medium and Adept, see their respective visions in the Astral Light; but while the drunkard, the madman, and the untrained medium, or one suffering from brain-fever, see, because they cannot help it, and evoke the jumbled visions unconsciously to themselves, the Adept and the trained Seer have the choice and the control of such visions. They know where to fix their gaze, how to steady the scenes they want to observe, and how to see beyond the upper outward layers of the Astral Light. With the former such glimpses into the waves are hallucinations: with the latter they become the faithful reproduction of what actually has been, is, or will be, taking place. The glimpses at random caught by the medium, and his flickering visions in the deceptive light, are transformed under the guiding will of the Adept and Seer into steady pictures, the truthful representations of that which he wills to come within the focus of his perception."

H.P. Blavatsky
The Theosophical Glossary, entry on "Hallucination"

Excerpt 12
Anna Kingsford Not an Initiate

Anna Bonus Kingsford
"No doubt, Mrs. [Anna] Kingsford, the gifted author of The Perfect Way, is the most competent person in all Europe — I say it advisedly and unhesitatingly — to reveal the hidden mysteries of real Christianity. But, no more than Mr. Sinnett is she an initiate, and cannot, therefore, know anything about a doctrine, the real and correct meaning of which no amount of natural seership can reveal, as it lies altogether beyond the regions accessible to untrained seers. If revealed, its secrets would, for long years, remain utterly incomprehensible even to the highest physical sciences."

"I hope, this may not be construed into a desire of claiming any great knowledge for myself; for I certainly do not possess it. All that I seek to establish is, that such secrets do exist, and that, outside of the initiates, no one is competent to prove, much less to disprove, the [Theosophical] doctrines now given out through Mr. Sinnett [in his book Esoteric Buddhism]...."

H.P. Blavatsky
Collected Writings, Vol. VI, pp. 132-133

Excerpt 13
Two Kinds of Seership

"There are two kinds of seership — that of the soul and that of the spirit. The seership of the ancient Pythoness, or of the modern mesmerized subject, vary but in the artificial modes adopted to induce the state of clairvoyance. But, as the visions of both depend upon the greater or less acuteness of the senses of the astral body, they differ very widely from the perfect, omniscient spiritual state; for, at best, the subject can get but glimpses of truth, through the veil which physical nature interposes. The astral principle, or mind . . . is the sentient soul, inseparable from our physical brain, which it holds in subjection, and is in its turn equally trammelled by it."

"This is the ego, the intellectual life-principle of man, his conscious entity. While it is yet within the material body, the clearness and correctness of its spiritual visions depend on its more or less intimate relation with its higher Principle. When this relation is such as to allow the most ethereal portions of the soul- essence to act independently of its grosser particles and of the brain, it can unerringly comprehend what it sees; then only is it the pure, rational, supersentient soul. That state is known in India as the Samaddi. . . .When the body is in the state of dharana — a total catalepsy of the physical frame — the soul of the clairvoyant may liberate itself, and perceive things subjectively. And yet, as the sentient principle of the brain is alive and active, these pictures of the past, present, and future will be tinctured with the terrestrial perceptions of the objective world; the physical memory and fancy will be in the way of clear vision."

"But the seer-adept knows how to suspend the mechanical action of the brain. His visions will be as clear as truth itself, uncolored and undistorted, whereas, the clairvoyant, unable to control the vibrations of the astral waves, will perceive but more or less broken images through the medium of the brain. The seer can never take flickering shadows for realities, for his memory being as completely subjected to his will as the rest of the body, he receives impressions directly from his spirit. Between his subjective and objective selves there are no obstructive mediums. This is the real spiritual seership, in which, according to an expression of Plato, soul is raised above all inferior good. When we reach 'that which is supreme, which is simple, pure, and unchangeable, without form, color, or human qualities: the God — our Nous.'"

"This is the state which such seers as Plotinus and Apollonius termed the 'Union to the Deity'. . . but this state is as far above modern clairvoyance as the stars above glow-worms. Plotinus, as is well known, was a clairvoyant-seer during his whole and daily life; and yet, he had been united to his God but six times during the sixty-six years of his existence, as he himself confessed to Porphyry...."

H.P. Blavatsky
Isis Unveiled, Vol. II, 590-591

Excerpt 14
The Highest Initiate Goes to Probe the Secrets of Being

"The world of force, is the world of Occultism and the only one whither the highest initiate goes to probe the secrets of being. Hence no-one but such an initiate can know anything of these secrets. Guided by his Guru the chela first discovers this world, then its laws, then their centrifugal evolutions into the world of matter. To become a perfect adept takes him long years, but at last he becomes the master. The hidden things have become patent, and mystery and miracle have fled from his sight forever...."

Master Koot Hoomi
The Mahatma Letters, 2nd ed., Letter 22

Excerpt 15
Many Seers Subject to the Delusions of Isolation

"From Swedenborg onwards there have been many seers who profess to gather their knowledge of other worlds from actual observation, but such persons are isolated, and subject to the delusions of isolation. Any intelligent man will have an intuitive perception of this, expressing itself in a reluctance on his part to surrender himself entirely to the assurances of any such clairvoyants. But in the case of regularly initiated seers it must be remembered that we are dealing with a long — an extraordinarily long — series of persons who, warned of the confusing circumstances into which they pass when their spiritual perceptions are trained to range beyond material limits, are so enabled to penetrate to the actual realities of things, and who constitute a vast organized body of seers, who check each other's conclusions, test each other's discoveries and formulate their visions into a science of spirit as precise and entirely trustworthy as, in their humble way, are the conclusions, as far as they go, of any branch of physical science. Such initiates are in the position, as regards spiritual knowledge, that the regularly taught professor of a great university is in, as regards literary knowledge, and anyone can appreciate the superior claims of instruction which might be received from him, as compared with the crude and imperfect instruction which might be offered by the merely self- taught man. The initiate's speculations, in fact, are not spun at all; they are laid out before him by the accumulated wisdom of ages, and he has merely followed, verified and assimilated them...."

H.P. Blavatsky
"Spiritualism And Occult Truth", The Theosophist, Vol. III, February, 1882

Excerpt 16
No Vision of One Adept Was Accepted Till It Was Checked & Confirmed

"The Secret Doctrine is the accumulated Wisdom of the Ages, and its cosmogony alone is the most stupendous and elaborate system....The facts...have actually occupied countless generations of initiated seers and prophets to marshal, to set down and explain....The flashing gaze of those seers has penetrated into the very kernel of matter, and recorded the soul of things there...."

"...The [Theosophical-Esoteric] no fancy of one or several isolated individuals....It is the uninterrupted record covering thousands of generations of Seers whose respective experiences were made to test and to verify ...the teachings of higher and exalted beings, who watched over the childhood of Humanity...."

"For long ages, the 'Wise Men' of the Fifth Race...had passed their lives...checking, testing, and verifying in every department of nature the traditions of old by the independent visions of great adepts; i.e., men who have developed and perfected their physical, mental, psychic, and spiritual organisations to the utmost possible degree."

"No vision of one adept was accepted till it was checked and confirmed by the visions — so obtained as to stand as independent evidence — of other adepts, and by centuries of experiences...."  

H.P. Blavatsky
The Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, pp. 272-273

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