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|"Within you is the light of the world--the only light that can be shed upon the Path. If you are unable to
perceive it within you, it is useless to look for it elsewhere." -- Light on the Path by Mabel Collins
"Wisdom is not a matter of study, but a matter of living........To be wise is to live in an inner harmony that
overcomes all obstacles" -- Thoughts for Aspirants, Vol. I by N. Sri Ram
"[Modern] Theosophy is no new candidate for the world's attention, but only the restatement of principles which have
been recognised from the very infancy of mankind."
Master K.H., The Mahatma Letters, Letter 8. Italics added.
". . . We have broken the silence of centuries . . . . "
Master K.H., Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, Series One, Letter 4. Italics added.
". . . Our [esoteric] doctrine . . . is now being partially taught to Europeans for the first time."
Master K.H., The Mahatma Letters, Letter 18.
"Our [modern] knowledge of this Wisdom called Theosophy sprang from two sources, . . . [The Mahatma Letters] and
the writings of H.P. Blavatsky. From these Letters A.P. Sinnett wrote The Occult World and Esoteric Buddhism; from
the knowledge gained from these Masters, H.P. Blavatsky gave the world Isis Unveiled, The Secret Doctrine, The Key to
Theosophy, The Voice of the Silence, and much besides. . . . 'H.P.B.' ... was the Founder of the Theosophical
Movement, and the Masters' chosen and beloved pupil, agent and scribe. . . . "
Christmas Humphreys and Elsie Benjamin, The Mahatma Letters (Preface to 3rd Ed.)
Madame Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophical Movement. (July 31, 1831 - May 8, 1891)
She was born in Ekaterinoslav (now called Dnipropetrovsk), Ukraine (then part of the Russian Empire), the
daughter of Colonel Peter Hahn, a Russian officer, and was brought up in an atmosphere permeated with
superstition and fantasy. As a child, she loved to surround herself with mystery and assured her playmates that in
the subterranean corridors of their old house at Saratow, where she used to wander about, she was never alone;
claiming she had companions and playmates whom she called her "hunchbacks." She was often discovered in a
dark tower underneath the roof where she put pigeons into mesmeric sleep by stroking them.
Once, while riding a horse, she fell from the saddle and her foot became entangled in the stirrup. She claimed that
she ought to have been killed outright before the horse was stopped "but for the strange sustaining power she
distinctly felt around her, which seemed to hold her up in defiance of gravitation." According to the records of her
sister, she showed frequent evidence of somnambulism as a child, speaking aloud, and often walking in her sleep.
She saw eyes glaring at her from inanimate objects or from phantasmal forms.
In later years, Mme. Blavatsky claimed visions of a phantom protector whose imposing appearance had
dominated her imagination. Her powers of make-believe were so remarkable that she could actually cause
hallucinations in playmates by her vivid story-telling. In a nutshell, she possessed great musical talents, had a
fearful temper, a passionate curiosity for the unknown, and an uncontrollable craving for independence and action.
At seventeen, she married General Blavatsky, from whom she escaped three months later. She then fled abroad
and led a wild, wandering life for ten years all over the world, in search for mysteries. When she returned to
Russia, she possessed well-developed mediumistic gifts. Raps, whisperings, and other mysterious sounds were
heard all over the house. Objects moved about in obedience to her will. Their weight decreased and increased as
she wished. Winds swept through the apartment, extinguishing lamps and candles. She exhibited clairvoyance,
discovered a murderer for the police, and narrowly escaped being charged as an accomplice.
In 1860 she had an attack of severe illness. A prior wound below the heart opened and she suffered intense
agony, followed by convulsions and trance. After she recovered, the spontaneous physical phenomena about her
seems to have disappeared; she claimed that they only occurred in obedience to her will.
Again, Mme. Blavatsky went abroad, and, disguised as a man, she fought under Garibaldi and was left for dead in
the battle of Mentana. She fought back to life, had a miraculous escape at sea on a Greek vessel which was
blown up, and founded, in 1871, in Cairo, the Societe Spirite.
Her ties to Spiritualism date from her arrival in New York in July, 1873. She first worked as a dressmaker and,
after her acquaintance with Colonel Henry Steel Olcott at Chittenden, Vermont, in the house of the Eddy Brothers
(famous physical mediums), she launched a career in journalism, writing mostly on Spiritualism for magazines.
"For over 15 years have I fought my battle for the blessed truth," she wrote in The Spiritual Scientist, Boston,
December 3, 1874. "For the sake of Spiritualism I have left my house; an easy life amongst a civilized society, and
have become a panderer upon the face of this earth."
One could say that the real starting point of her work was the founding of the Theosophical Society in December,
1875. It professed to "expound the esoteric tradition of Buddhism and aimed at forming a universal brotherhood
of man, studying and making known the ancient religions, philosophies and sciences, and investigating the laws of
nature and developing the divine powers latent in man."
Colonel Olcott was elected as Chairman. He was a tireless organizer and propagandist. His relationship to Mme.
Blavatsky was clearly that of the pupil to the teacher. He did the practical, while Mme. Blavatsky engaged in the