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Filename: "RC1006.TXT" Source: "Blavatsky and the Secret Doctrine" by Max Heindel [PAGE 143] INTRODUCTION: It would have been a real loss to all students of mysticism and metaphysics if this little essay on H.P. Blavatsky and "The Secret Doctrine" had not found its way into print. Max Heindel, the Christian mystic, pays homage to Madame Blavatsky, the Oriental occultist. He sees above the little differences which divide the West from the East and rejoices in the great wisdom which has flowed forth out of Asia, rendering fertile the plains of the world's thought. Great is the mind which rejoices in the greatness of other minds. Max Heindel's tribute to the memory and work of Blavatsky and her Masters is a truly beautiful gesture in a world little given, alas, to such gentle impulses. We live a code of criticism and condemnation with small appreciation of the works of others. Sects and creeds build up walls about themselves, and only heroic souls in whom spiritual perceptions are truly awake can rise above these imaginary limitations. Think back over the books that you have read and [PAGE 144] recall how seldom it is that any writer speaks well of another. Each man, firm in his own opinions, gives scant courtesy to the opinions of others. There are many teachers in this world who instruct with words, but only a few who instruct with the noble example of generous deeds. In his textbook of Christian metaphysics, "The Rosicrucian Cosmo- Conception", Max Heindel refers to Madame Blavatsky as "a faithful pupil of Eastern Masters" and in the same paragraph he speaks of her great book "The Secret Doctrine" as an "unexcelled work." With his deep appreciation of spiritual values Max Heindel was eminently qualified to recognize the fundamental merit of Madame Blavatsky's work. The Christian mystic is here revealed as a sincere student of Oriental occultism. His summary of The Secret Doctrine in the latter part of this book reveals a remarkable grasp of the outstanding principles of the monumental spiritual traditions of Asia. In a few brief and simple words Mr. Heindel sums up Cosmogenesis, the creation of the world, and Anthropogenesis, the creation of man. Both Rosicrucians and Theosophists, in fact all sincere students of the occult sciences, will benefit from a consideration of this summary. The manuscript of this present book may properly be considered as Max [PAGE 145] Heindel's first literary effort. It was the beginning of a considerable metaphysical literature devoted to the application of mystical idealism to the living problems of s sorely afflicted mankind. It has been written that "the first shall be last." This little book brings into print the only remaining unpublished manuscript of Max Heindel. The manuscript originally consisted of the notes of two lectures delivered before the Theosophcial Society in Los Angeles. In the years which followed the preparation of these lectures Max Heindel greatly increased his store of mystical knowledge and has justly earned recognition as America's foremost Christian mystic. His reverence and respect for Madame Blavatsky in no way altered, however, and to the day of his death he always referred to her in terms of highest admiration. It was through the writings of Blavatsky that Max Heindel received in this life his first knowledge of occult sciences. He recognized gratitude to be the first law of occultism and his fine soul preserved to the end a beautiful spirit of gratitude for the inspiration and instruction he had gained from the Secret Doctrine. Both Madame Blavatsky and Mr. Heindel dedicated their lives to the service of mankind. Each was devoted to the dissemination of spiritual knowledge. Both [PAGE 146] were rewarded for the most part by ingratitude, persecution and misunder- standing. Both suffered from the falseness of friends and learned how cruel the world can be to those who seek to educate and improve it. Only the leader of a spiritual movement can realize how heavy a responsibility leadership can become. Madame Blavatsky had already passed into the invisible world before Max Heindel began his ministry. They never met upon the physical plane. Though denied personal acquaintance with the great Oriental occultist, Max Heindel came to understand Blavatsky through years of similar service to the same high ideals. He came to understand her as only a mystic can, and his appreciation of her loyalty and her patience was deepened by the adversities which he himself endured. Both H.P Blavatsky and Max Heindel gave their lives in a beautiful service to the spiritual needs of the race. Both went to early graves, broken by responsibility and persecution. Each has left as a legacy to unborn generations a metaphysical literature which shall survive the visissitudes of time. The true purposes of mysticism are to perpetuate, interpret and apply the idealism of the race. Men turn to religion for guidance, encouragement and solace. We want religion to stand back of us when we try to live honest lives. [PAGE 147] We want to know that there exists somewhere in the world a body of united people who are upholding spiritual values in a world of crumbling material manifestations. We are all seeking inspiration. We want ideals. We want a worthy purpose to unite us in action. We desire to establish in this vale of tears a spiritual structure which shall be elevated above the humdrum. We want to go out into life recognizing our spiritual institutions as oases in a desert of materialism. Civilization is in the throes of a great reconstruction period. As never before in recorded history men are seeking solutions to imminent and eminent problems. Church and State alike are reaching out to grasp something that is ecure, something they may cling to when the world they have known passes into oblivion. In all parts of the civilized world there are men and women devoted to mystical interpretations of life. These men and women are dedicated to a code of spiritual ethics which has as its foundation two great principles: the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man. These students are for the most part organized into various groups large and small for the express purpose of self-improvement and social betterment. Such groups may be classified under [PAGE 148] two headings: First, those whose inspiration is fundamentally Christian; and second, those essentially Oriental. While these groups are divided, by emphasis, the fundamental purposes which they seek to attain are identical, for all enlightened religious movements have as their chief aim and purpose the regeneration of man, individual and collective. Max Heindel was a pioneer in Christian mysticism and Madame Blavatsky was a pioneer in Oriental occultism. Both established systems of thinking which spread rapidly throughout a soul-hungry humanity. Not only did they leave organizations of their own, but the seeds which they planted in the hearts of men have sprouted forth and borne fruit in many parts of the world, where other organizations have been established along similar lines. There is a considerable body therefore of mystics and occultists in America and their number is increased each day by earnest men and women whose hearts and minds are crying out for some reasonable explanation for the changes which are occurring in society. Nearly all students of the occult sciences in America know the work which Madame Blavatsky and Max Heindel have accomplished. The lives of these two religious founders are a constant challenge to greater spiritual effort and [PAGE 149] more unselfish devotion. If we admire these great leaders we shall desire to further their work by the intelligent perpetuation of their doctrines through word and action. During the period of the great Wrold War metaphysics lost a great opportunity to make a permanent contribution to the race by allowing itself to be broken up by internal disruptions and controversies. Organizations which should have been dedicated to the unselfish service of mankind instead wasted their energy in vain wranglings over personal issues of little if any importance. Our present crisis is far greater than the World War. The whole civilized world is struggling against selfishness and corruption. A new and great opportunity is at hand for the application of spiritual solutions to material problems. It is the duty of all spiritually enlightened individuals to forget all differences, sacrifice all personal ambitions, and rededicate themselves to the great ideals which brought their various orders and societies into existence. During the great boom period immediately preceding the present economic crisis even mystical organizations were infected by the bacilli of wealth, personal ambition and exploitation. Personalities eclipsed principles and [PAGE 150] individuals and organizations departed from those simple truths which are the essentials of intelligent living. Then came the collapse. Material values dropped like plummets to an unfathomable depth. Ambitions were scattered to the winds and the race was confronted with problems which can only be solved through a restatement of spiritual values and a rededication of men and organizations to principles of enlightenment and truth. Suppose this very day H.P. Blavatsky, the lioness of the Theosophical Society, should return from the Amenti of the wise, and should demand an accounting from the members of the society she had founded. Who could stand before her and say honestly, "Beloved teacher, we have done our best, we have remained true to you and the Masters for whom you spoke." How many could say, "We have been honest, kind, just and impersonal; we have hewed true to the wisdom you gave us; we have spread your message; we have read your books; most of all we have remained absolutely free, as you bade us, from all disastrous entanglements and alliances." How many could say, "Here is your Society as clean as when you gave it to us." Could Theosophists do this or would they become abashed and unable to gaze into the great sad, [PAGE 151] luminous eyes of the first and Greatest Theosophist? Could Madame Blavatsky walk through the corridors of Adyar and turn to those who represent her in the twentieth century and say, "Well done, good and faithful servants?" If she could not say this, why not? Is it because they have remembered her name and forgotten her work? Is it because weak, petty men and women have so forgotten the greater good that they have elevated themselves to power upon the wreakage of ideals? Theosophists of the world, rededicate yourselves to the noblest spirit that was among you, whose labors are your wealth, whose ideals are your purpose, and whose unselfish sacrifice is the cornerstone of your organization. Suppose, in the same spirit, that Max Heindel returned to the fields of his earthly labors and in simple gabardine walked among his followers. Suppose he should say to them, "Brothers and sisters, have you loved one another? I planted a rose garden of virtues; have you tended it carefully? My name is upon your lips, but is my work in your hearts? Have you been true one to the other? Have you labored unselfishly, impersonally? Have you so greatly loved our Heavenly Father that you have loved all men also?" How would The Rosicrucians answer him? Could they say, "Beloved Brother, our constant inspiration, we have fulfilled your works in humility and gentleness. There [PAGE 152] has been no pride among us, no selfishness, no personality, no small ambitions at a great cost. Here is the Fellowship you gave into our keeping. We can return it as beautiful, as clean, as united in holy purpose as you intended it to be. There is no jot and tittle observance here; we are united not in petty things but in great things. In the fifteen years since you passed away into greater life we have sought to do your work. We are as you intended us to be-- men and women in whom there is no guile." Would these words be true? If not, why would they not be true? Is man too weak to carry on a good work? Is his littleness so great and his greatness so little? If we should feel ashamed if our leaders should return to us again and we should know that we have failed them, let us rededicate ourselves to them. Let the spirit of H.P. Blavatsky be reborn in the heart of each Theosophist and the spirit of Max Heindel live again in the heart of each Rosicrucian. When this time comes, and may it come, the mystics and the occultists of the world can clasp hands across the gulf of their differences and, united in purpose, be an army of spiritual reconstruction marching like the prophets of old in the vanguard of progress. --Manly P. Hall [PAGE 153] MAX HEINDEL: A SHORT BIOGRAPHY: Max Heindel, known as the greatest western mystic of the twentieth century, was born on July 23rd, 1865, of the royal family of Von Grasshoffs, who were connected with the German Court during the lifetime of Prince Bismark. The father of Max Heindel was Francois L. von Grasshoff. He migrated, when quite a young man, to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he married a Danish woman of noble birth. Three children blessed this union, two sons and one daughter. The oldest of these sons was Carl Louis Von Grasshoff, who later adopted the pen name of Max Heindel. The father died when the eldest son was six years of age, leaving the mother with her three small children in very straitened circumstances. The mother's pride of family and name forced her with her family of three [PAGE 154] children to live in genteel poverty so that the small income would suffice. Self-denial was carried to an extreme in order that her sons and daughter could have private tutors so that they might take their place in society as became the sons and daughters of nobility. This life did not please the eldest son who left home at the age of sixteen years and wounded his mother's pride by entering the ship-yards at Glascow, Scotland, where he learned the engineering profession. He was chosen as Chief Engineer of a trading steamer while yet very young. This took him into the Orient, and his trips all over the world in the capacity of engineer gave Max Heindel a great deal of knowledge of the world and its people. For a number of years he was Chief Engineer on one of the large passenger steamers of the Cunard Line plying between America and Europe. Between the years 1895, and 1901, he was a consulting engineer in the city of New York. His first marriage was full of disappointments and sorrow and ended by the death of his wife in 1905. Max Heindel came to Los Angeles, California, in 1903, where he acted as engineer for a time but ill luck overtook him. Hunger and privation were his daily companions but neverthless he was not idle. With a dauntless spirit and [PAGE 155] a determination to succeed along more advanced mental lines, he became interested in the study of metaphysics and joined the Theosophical Society of Los Anegeles, of which he was vice-president in 1904 and 1905. His heart was ever longing for the knowledge of the deeper mysteries of life. His earlier years had been full of sorrow and had awakened his mind to search for the explanation of life and being and had created in him a desire to understand the sorrows, privations and sufferings of humanity. The thought which was ever uppermost in his mind was to find some means by which he could help to lift the burdens of his brothers and sisters in the world. This light began to dawn when he contacted the teachings which had been given out by Madame Blavatsky of the Theosophical Society. While connected with this society he met the woman who was years later to become his spiritual inspiration. She it was who helped him to find work, for Augusta Foss was also interested along similar lines of research and she was instrumental in interesting Max Heindel in the science of astrology. In this science he found a field with many possibilities in that it is truly a science of the soul. It gave him the key by which he could unlock the mysteries of man's inner nature. By learning to know and understand the weaknesses of character he could then help to guide and help them to find their proper place in the world. [PAGE 156] Overwork and privation brought on a severe spell of heart trouble in 1905 and for months he lay at the point of death but upon recovery he was even more keenly awake to the needs of humanity. He realized that it was not so much from the need of physical food that mankind suffered as it was because of soul hunger which lead them to do the things that brought suffering upon them. He started out on a lecture tour which eventually led him to Germany. While in Germany, in the fall of 1907, where he had gone with the hopes of contacting the Elder Brothers of the Rosicrucian Order, he was unsuccessful, as it appeared to him, and in great dejection he prepared to return to America; but one day a visitor appeared to him whom he later learned was an Elder Brother of the Rosicrucian Order, (and who became his Teacher). This Being was clothed in his vital body, and offered to impart to him the teachings for which he had spent time and money to find in Germany; but these teachings could only be given after he, Max Heindel, would make a solemn promise never to divulge them, (they must be kept secret). Having passed through an unhappy period of soul hunger he was most desirous of sharing his [PAGE 157] knowledge with others, who like himself were also seeking, he refused to accept anything which he could not pass on to the world. The Teacher left him. Later the Teacher appeared in his room again and told him that he, Max Heindel, had stood his test. He stated that if he had accepted the offer, namely, to keep the teachings secret from the world, he, the Elder Brother, would have not returned. He was told that the candidate whom they had first chosen, who had been under their instruction for several years, had failed to pass his test in 1905; also that Max Heindel had been under the observation of the Elder Brothers for a number of years as the most fit candidate, should the first one fail. In addition he was told that the teachings must be given to the public before the close of the first decade of the century, whcih would be the end of December, 1909. At this last interview with the Teacher he was given instruction how to reach the Temple of the Rose Cross. At this Temple Max Heindel spent a little over one month in direct communication with and under the personal instructions of the Elder Brothers, who imparted to him the greater part of the teachings contained in "The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception". The first [PAGE 158] draft of this book, which was made while he was in the Temple, the Teacher told him was but an outline. The heavy psychic atmosphere of Germany was particularly adapted to the communication of mystical thought to the consciousness of the canididate, but he was told that the three hundred and fifty pages of manuscript which he had written would not satisfy him when he reached the electric atmosphere of America and that he would then wish to rewrite the entire book. In his great enthusiasm he at first doubted this. He felt that he had received a wonderfully complete message. But the Elder Brother's predictions were true. After Mr. Heindel had spent a few weeks in New York City, what the Elder Brother had told him proved to be a fact. The style in which the manuscript was written did not then please him, and he set about the work of rewriting. He returned to America in the spring of 1909 where he at once started to formulate the Rosicrucian message which he had received from the Elder Brothers. This was given to the world in the form of a book entitled "The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception", which is a masterpiece of mystical literature. It contains one of the most comprehensive, simply written, and complete histories of the evolution of the earth and man that has been written for centuries. A minister of one of the churches in the northwestern [PAGE 159] part of America made the statement that he had two books on his library table which gave him his thoughts for his sermons; one was the Bible and the other was Max Heindel's "Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception" which unlocked the mysteries of the Bible to him. This book is now translated into eight different languages. In November 1909, after a successful lecture tour, Max Heindel returned to Los Angeles where he met with much success in lecturing and teaching. In August 1910, he was joined in marriage to Augusta Foss, the woman who had been instrumental in helping him to find the truth. With this added help and inspiration the field of his work so greatly increased that it soon became necessary that a Headquarters be esyablished for the purpose of disseminating the Rosicrucian Philosophy. For the first eight months these two pioneers lived in a small three room bungalow in Ocean Park, California, with little money but a determined spirit to start correspondence courses in the Rosicrucian philosophy. Later they moved permanently to Oceanside, California. In those ten years that Max Heindel lived, to start this great work for the Brothers of the Rose Cross, he gave as man volumes to the world as is [PAGE 160] ordinarily given in the life-time of an author. His brain children are many and the following books, which this wonderful man left as a legacy to the world are: "The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception" "The Rosicrucian Mysteries" "The Web Of Destiny" "Teachings Of An Initiate" "Freemasonry And Catholicism" "Letters To Students" "The Rosicrucian Philosophy In Questions And Answers" "Gleanings Of A Mystic" "Mysteries Of The Great Operas" "The Rosicrucian Principles Of Child Training" "How Shall We Know Christ At His Coming" "The Mystical Interpretation Of Christmas" "Simplified Scientific Astrology" "The Message Of The Stars" Max Heindel suffered constantly on account of injuries received while a young boy. A number of unsuccessful operations, which had removed some of the veins and arteries of his left leg, greatly interfered with the circulation in [PAGE 161] the body. He later developed valvular heart trouble. However, he was blessed with an indomitable will and great energy, and would never permit physical disability to interfere with his work for humanity. He had a message to give to the soul sick world and nothing must interfere. many of his lessons, letters and books were written while propped up in bed, after spending nights of suffering. But the world did not know, for the faithful wife shielded him and was ever ready to assist and encourage him. These two souls faced many dark days together, but still happy in each others' love, knowing that they were the instruments by which a great message was to be given to the world. In the spring of 1910 after a course of lectures and lessons delivered in the City of Los Angeles, Max Heindel was taken seriously ill with leakage of the heart. While in the hospital, and after the consultation of several doctors, who, under the impression that their patient was unconscious, discussed his case by the side of his bed, he heard them state that Heindel could not live through the night, that his case was hopeless. After the doctors were gone, Max Heindel, with the assistance of his Teacher, worked on his body with the result that within three hours after the doctors had [PAGE 162] pronounced his doom he requested a friend, who called to take him for an airing in a wheeled chair; and within one week after this experience Max Heindel was dictating his second book, "The Rosicrucian Philosophy In Questions And Answers" to a stenographer. After this book was finished Max Heindel again started a tour to lecture in the Sates of Washington and Oregon, but he was unable to stand the strain of meeting the public, so he returned to Southern California and again was seriously ill as a result of overwork. After this illness he was so filled with the desire to write that he dictated his third book, "The Rosicrucian Mysteries." Strange to say Max Heindel accomplished his best work immediately after each severe illness, then it seemed that he was closer to his Teacher and in rapport with the spiritual worlds. With very little money and a suffering body Max Heindel and his brave and loyal helpmate started their pioneer work in Oceanside, California, from where the Rosicrucian Teachings were distributed and spread over the entire globe. The various books have been translated and printed in foreign languages; lessons were being sent out by correspondence and groups formed in many of the larger cities. Like an endless chain the Teachings have spread, but the work [PAGE 163] on the physical plane for this great messenger was drawing to a close. His companion had been well trained to carry on the work on the physical plane for a greater work awaited him on the higher planes. He was well aware that his days were few, and he prepared his work so that when his call came Mrs. Heindel could go on without him. The last few days of his life seemed very peaceful, even happy, wanting Mrs. Heindel with him in his office. After lunch on January 6th, 1919, she was called to her office to finish some work in directing the many secretaries. About 4 P.M. Max Heindel, who had drafted a letter to the local Postmistress, brought the letter into Mrs. Heindel's office for her approval, for he would never make any changes or start any new projects unless he consulted his trusted partner. While Mrs. Heindel was reading this letter, Max Heindel, who had been standing by her side, dropped slowly to the carpet; he did not fall heavily as is usually the case but as if lovinghands were holding him and laying him down gently. His last words as he looked up smiling into Mrs. Heindel's face were, "I am all right dear," and he passed into unconsciousness. With these loving words on his lips he passed into the Great Beyond, where he had through his devfotion to God and humanity prepared a great work with the band of "Invisible Helpers", through [PAGE 164] which the work of healing is carried on. Is Max Heindel's work finished? No indeed, for the special work in which the Rosicrucian Order is interested is that of the Invisible Helpers--through which a great work of healing is being accomplished--Max Heindel was assured by his Teacher that he was the instrument through which a great movement was to be inaugurated, a movement which had a special mission: TO MAKE THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION A LIVING FACTOR IN THE LAND. The struggles of these two great messengers Madame Blavatsky and Max Heindel, were very similar. Both these spirits were encased in suffering bodies, and both were in need of financial help which was denied them, both were unappreciated and neglected by their friends until death had taken them, then the world began to realize their greatness. Max Heindel was a great admirer of Madame Blavatsky, he saw in her his own future struggles, he too after he had contacted the Brothers of the Rose Cross, with spirit aflame with the desire to give to the world this greater knowledge which he had contacted, knowing that his years were numbered and that his physical body could not long stand the strain of the pioneer life. Like Madame Blavatsky he was in constant physical pain and in great need of [PAGE 165] help, both physical and financial. The struggle and hardships which both these souls suffered was greatly responsible in shortening their days in the physical body. But what a great work they have accomplished, what a BOON to humanity they have been. "Great truths are portions of the soul of man; Great souls are portions of eternity." --Lowell. [PAGE 166] BLAVATSKY AND THE SECRET DOCTRINE: BY MAX HEINDEL: "The Secret Doctrine" is one of the most remarkable books in the world. I realize how far beyond my feeble powers is the task of conveying an adequate idea of the teachings contained within its covers. It has a history, however, a history of peculiar interest to the student who from its rich store seeks to garner the wisdom which, as the apostle has said, is like meat fit only for the strong. How it came to be written, and under what circumstances it was written, and under what circumstances it was written, is the topic of this book. I shall endeavor to give in as simple and comprehensive language as possible an outline of the plan upon which the work was built and the teaching it reveals. The nature of the task is such that I am forced to quote freely from Theosophical literature, especially from Colonel Olcott's "Old Diary Leaves", Countess Wachmeister's "Reminiscences", "The Secret Doctrine" itself, and other works. [PAGE 167] It is first necessary for us to realize that Madame Blavatsky, or as she liked to be called, H.P.B., was, as she herself often expressed it, only the compiler of the work. Behind her stood the real teachers, the guardians of the Secret Wisdom of the ages, who taught her all the occult lore which she transmitted in her writings. She had a threefold ability which eminently qualified her for the task. First, she was able to assimilate the transcendental knowledge which came to her. Second, she was a worthy messenger of the Masters. Third, she had a marvelous aptitude for rendering abstruse Eastern metaphysical thought into a form intelligible to Western minds, and for verifying and comparing Eastern Wisdom with Western Science. She also deserves great credit for her high moral courage in representing to the world thoughts and theories wholly at variance with materialistic science. Many of these teachings, however, have since been verified by science. [PAGE 168] Humankind has always persecuted, tortured, and killed those who in thought have been in advance of their age. Witness Copernicus, whom only a natural death saved from a fate similar to that which half a century later overtook Bruno. Galileo was harassed all his life, and finally when old and broken in body and spirit by the abuse of the clergy, was forced to retract on his knees all of his teachings which was at variance with the commonly accepted views of the time. The same fate was shared by countless others. The seed which these men had son, however, was not only indestructible, but grew and grew until one day the world woke up to find that what once was denounced as heresy had become the commonly expressed opinion. Then came the epilog of the drama--when a Thorwaldsen immortalised in marble the same Nikolas Copernicus who, once persecuted, was proudly claimed as her son by Russia, or when amid the cheers [PAGE 169] of his countrymen was reared the statue of Giordano Bruno on the same spot where fanatical monks had danced around his funeral pyre and burned the genius in the name of God. At one time in the history of the West, men were scourged for the sake of the Christian religion. When Christianity became strong, it attempted to suppress science, which was then but a fledgling. Science, however, grew stronger and stronger, gradually forcing the Church into its present apologetic attitude. Then the world slowly sank into a state of unbelief. Nothing which could not be weighed or measured was accepted. Anyone who dared to assert the existence of anything superphysical was at once stamped as an impostor. Science and religion vied with each other in their efforts to heap obloquy and opprobrium on such individuals. With the foregoing in mind, we can better appreciate the great moral courage of H.P.B., and see why that courage constituted one of her qualifications as a messenger of the Masters. In the same materialistic attitude of the world of that day is also to be found the reason for making use of phenomena. Many thoughtful persons have sincerely regretted that this part of the subject should ever have been taken [PAGE 170] up by the Society, but H.P.B. always maintained that in the early days of her work these proceedings were absolutely necessary. This opinion was changed in the last years when the Master himself told her that phenomena had been a hindrance rather than a help to "The Secret Doctrine" in Europe and that it would have been better had only the philosophy been given. In 1884 it was thought among the leaders of the Theosophical Society that the time had arrived for a revision and an amplification of Madame Blavatsky's first book "Isis Unveiled", and that she was to rewrite it, with the late T. Subba Row as co-editor. All through the year they collected material. Then Colonel Olcott and Mr. Cooper-Oakley formulated a plan, and it was announced that the work would be published in twenty parts of about seventy-seven pages each. But on the 8th of January, 1885, H.P.B.'s Master communicated to her the scheme of "The Secret Doctrine", and as a result, the original plans were abandoned. Soon afterwards the heart trouble from which Madame Blavatsky was suffering became so serious that her physician, Dr. Mary Scharlich, insisted upon her leaving India if she would save her life. Acting upon this advice, H.P.B. left [PAGE 171] Adyar, the spot she loved most on earth, in the spring of 1885. We next find her installed in a cheap little inn on the northern slope of Vesuvius. The room is almost bare of furniture, the floor is of stone. Through the crevices in windows and door blows a cold wind which aggravates the rheumatism of the poor "old lady" as she sits writing at her rickety old table far from friends, alone in a foreign country, the language of whose inhabitants she did not understand, sick in body, and chafing under the injustice done her by those whom she had befriended. Thus, inauspicious were the circumstances attending the first work on "The Secret Doctrine". In the fall of 1885 she went to the quaint old German town of Wurzburg. What associations this name calls forth--thoughts of Martin Luther, the stern and unflinching reformer who vowed against the Romish priests though the roofs of the city were covered with devils. Not more staunch and unflicnhing was he than this new reformer who with dogged persistence, despite sickness and adverse criticism, toiled at her desk from day to day when she might have had ease and comfort. [PAGE 172] Some time after Madame Blavatsky arrived at Wurzburg she was joined by the Countess Wachmeister, who loyally and lovingly helped in the great work. The number of visitors caused H.P.B. in a letter to a friend to write that the city was becoming a philosophical Medina. Continuing, she wrote: "I am only in the middle of Part One, but shall in a month send you the first six sections. I take from ISIS only facts, leaving out everything in the shape of dissertations, attacks on Christianity and Science--in short, all the useless stuff, and all that has lost its interest. Only myths, symbols and dogmas, explained from the esoteric point of view. It is actually and de facto a new work entirely. Cycles are explained from the occult side." Her insight into problems of philosophy, racial origins, fundamental bases [PAGE 173] of religions, and keys to old symbols was phemonenal; yet it was not the result of study, for never was a student more eccentric and restless. Of trained literary faculty she had none. She wrote under inspiration; thoughts flashed through her brain like meteors. Scenes often painted themselves before her mental vision and died out when only half caught. Because of her excessive use of parentheses, many sentences were inordinately long. Like Shakespeare and other geniuses, she would take material where she found it, and work it into the mosaic upon which she put the stamp of her own individuality, and around which she wove the golden web of her own high powers. In one of her letters she announced that the enormous volume of introductory stanzas, the first chapter on the Archaic Period and Cosmogony, was ready. "But now," she goes on, "how send them to Adyar? Suppose they are lost! I do not remember one word of them and so we would be cooked! Well---has read them through twice and started the third time. He has not found one part to be corrected in the English, and he says he is amazed at the gigantic erudition and the soundness of it, showing the esotericism of the Bible and its incessant parallels with the Vedas and Brahmanas. This is a little more [PAGE 174] wonderful yet than ISIS, that you corrected and Wilder suggested. Now I am absolutely alone with my armchair and inkstand and no books to speak of. In about four hours I wrote a whole section and the introduction of a whole Stanza (about forty pages) without any books around me. SIMPLY LISTENING-- simply listening." Can we realize what that means? She was merely writing what was transmitted to her clairaudiently, as Colonel Olcott and others had seen her do day to day. Herein lies the answer to the traducers who have accused her of plagiarism. I am satisfied that never in one instance was she guilty of having consciosuly appropriated another's writings. She may, however, have drawn them direct spiritually, or having received them second-hand from that great store- house of human thought and mental products, the Akash, where, as drops are merged in the ocean, personal begetters of thought are lost in the infinite Mind, save to those most advanced intelligences who can count the sand grains or the drops in the ocean and pick out the atoms in their vortices. About December, 1886, Colonel Olcott received the first volume of "The Secret Doctrine" for revision by T. Subba Row and himself, but Mr. Row refused to do more than read it, saying that if he touched it he would have to rewrite [PAGE 175] it, as it was full of mistakes. This was mere pique, but it had its effect, for when his remark was reported to H.P.B., she was greatly distressed. She set to work revising the manuscript carefully, correcting many errors due to slipshod literary methods, and with the help of friends, especially Bertram and Archibald Keightley, put the book into the shape in which it was first published. She was always eager to have her mistakes pointed out, and was also ready to correct them. The errors occurred especially in such of her writings as were not dictated to her psychically by the Master. Frequently she would ruthlessly destroy faulty pages. Often at a word from the Master she would consign to the flames reams of laboriously prepared and copied manuscript, to the intense grief of her friends. Countess Wachmeister related that one day when she went into Madame Blavatsky's writing room she found the floor strewn with discarded manuscript. To her question about it, H.P.B. replied, "Yes, I have tried twelve times to write this one page correctly and each time Master says it is wrong! I think I shall go mad writing it so often, but leave me alone; I will not pause until I have conquered it even if I have to go on all night." The Countess brought her a cup of coffee to refresh her and then left [PAGE 176] her to pursue her weary task. An hour later Madame Blavatsky called her and said the task had been accomplished. The labor had been prodigious and the result small, as was often the case when she had been annoyed. This is apparent from her answer to the Countess' question as to how she could make mistakes in setting down what was given her. She replied, "Well, you see, it is like this. I make what I can only describe as a sort of vacuum in the air before me and fix my sight and my will intently upon it, and soon scene after scene passes before me like the successive pictures of a diorama; or, if I need a reference, as information from some book, I fix my mind intently, and the astral counterpart of the book appears and from it I take what I need. The more perfectly my mind is freed from distraction, the more easily I can do this, but after the annoying letter I had this morning I could not concentrate properly, and each time I tried I got the quotation all wrong. It is all right now, however, so Master says." H.P.B. often asked her friends in various parts of the world to verify quotations from books which could be found in libraries where such friends resided. Thus, she would need verification of a passage from a book of which [PAGE 177] only one copy was extant and that in the Library of the Vatican. Again, a friend in London would be asked to verify a quotation from some document possessed only by the Britich Museum. It should be noted, however, that she needed only VERIFICATION. The subject matter she already had. Madame Blavatsky stated that she was only the mouthpiece of the Masters-- writing, speaking, and acting, as directed by them. This has been ridiculed and she herself caracterized as a rogue and an impostor. There are, however, certain incontrovertible facts to be taken into consideration by those who wish to form a fair and unbiased opinion. When she wrote "The Secret Doctrine" she had around her only a handful of ordinary books. From such sources she could have obtained but little to help her. We cannot in this way account for the extraordinary and prodigious knowledge manifest in "The Secret Doctrine". Most of the time during which the work was written, she was hundreds of miles from any library of consequence. Had she been able financially to travel from library to library she would have been physically unable to seek out the passages she is accused of having plagiarised. She never said that she discovered the knowledge she gave the world. Her [PAGE 178] contention was that it came from the remote past; that it is in every scripture and in every philosophy. The purpose of "The Secret Doctrine" is to quote from every scripture of every religion, from the writings of every people, in order to show the identity of the teachings and prove the antiquity of the subject-matter. What is new in the book lies not in the NATURE of its facts or ideas, for these can be found scattered among the works of various Orientalists and in the numerous sacred books which have long existed. What is new is the selection by H.P.B. from all sources of facts which together form a single mighty concept of the evolution of the universe and of man--the coherent synthesis of the whole cosmogony. She qualifies as the greatest Teacher of the time because she had real knowledge and not mere book learning. She had that which enabled her to gather from many books in many places the truths which, fitted together, made one great whole. She held the clue which she was able to follow with unerring accuracy through the maze, and show that each individual material held within itself the possibility of becoming the single edifice. Her work is the more extraordinary because she did it without being a scholar; without having had the education whcih would have fitted her to some [PAGE 179] extent for piecing together this knowledge; because she did what none of the Orientalists have done with all their learning, what not all of them together have done with all their knowledge of Eastern tongues and their study of Eastern literature. Not one of them out of such a motley of material was able to synthesize such a momentous work. Not on of them out of that chaos was able to build up a cosmos--but this Russian woman with little education did it. She who was no scholar and did not pretend to be one, somewhere gained a knowledge that enabled her to do what no one else--scholar or sciolist--has done. Somewhere she received that which made it possible for her to transform chaos to order and to produce a work which conveys to us an understanding of the universe and man. She said it was not hers. She frequently spoke of her own lack of knowledge, and referred to THOSE who taught her. This brings us to the other part of the attacks made on Madame Blavatsky, or rather on the Masters, the existence of whom is regarded as a myth. The learning and ability which she herself disclaims is not challenged by her enemies. They sometimes say that her knowledge is poorly digested, that she arranges her material badly, that her writings are misty, involved, self- [PAGE 180] contradictory. But that she possessed an extraordinary fund of varied knowledge bearing on out-of-the-way topics and obscure philosophies is freely admitted. If she was a fraud, why was she such a fool to invent imaginary Teachers? Why should she make them the fathers of her knowledge, and so become a target for abuse and slander, while she might have gained esteem, to say nothing of money, by the simple and easier course of taking the entire credit herself? Can anything more preposterous be imagined than for a Russian woman of noble family, married to a high official, go out into the world on a wild goose-chase after imaginary Teachers, and having acquired an immense mass of recondite knowledge at great cost and suffering, to throw away the credit of acquiring it, to ascribe it to nonexistent persons, to face slander, abuse and calumny instead of utilizing it in the common way, to be poor and despised when she might have been wealthy and honored? Looked at from any standpoint consistent with reason, the only tenable conclusion is that H.P.B. told the truth when she affirmed that her knowledge was received through the Masters of Wisdom. Continued with file "RC1007.TXT" End of File


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