H.P. Blavatsky


H.P. Blavatsky’s Talks With Students




 Introduction                                     Page

1. Meeting    January  10, 1889         1

2. Meeting    January  17, 1889         27

3. Meeting    January  24, 1889         59

4. Meeting    January  31, 1889         95

5. Meeting    February 7,   1889        129

6. Meeting    February 14, 1889        153

7. Meeting    February  21, 1889       191

8. Meeting    February  28, 1889        223

9. Meeting    March      7,  1889         256

10.Meeting   March     14, 1889         295

11.Meeting   March    21,  1889         323

12.Meeting   March    28,  1889         341

13.Meeting    April       4,   1889         371

14.Meeting    April      11,  1889         403

15.Meeting    April      18,  1889         429
16.Meeting    April       25, 1889         457

17.Meeting    May       2,  1889          491

19.Meeting    May      16,  1889         523

20.Meeting    May       30, 1889         549

21.Meeting    June        6, 1889         575

22.Meeting    June      20, 1889         607

Appendix 1                                         635

Appendix 2                                         636

Appendix 3                                         639




In 1890 the an intended series based on stenographic reports of the meetings at London’s Blavatsky Lodge of the group had formed after H.P.B.’s move to London in 1887, and these Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge contained H.P.B.’s answers to questions relating to the cosmogenesis put forth in her recent book, The Secret Doctrine. Mme. Blavatsky gives a behind the scenes glimpse into the proceedings in a letter to her sister, Vera:

     Every Saturday we hold a reception and every Thursday a meeting, with all its scientific questions, with shorthand writers at my back, and with a couple of reporters in corners. Does not all this take time? I have to prepare myself for every Thursday, because the people who attend the meetings are not ignoramuses, but men as Kingsland, the worker in electricity, as Dr William Bennett, and the naturalist, Carter Blake. I have to be ready to defend the theories of occultism against those of applied sciences so that it will be possible to print them straight away from the shorthand reports in our new special monthly magazine under the title of Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge.

     The first installment (1890) carried the note that the printed version was “somewhat condensed from the original discussions,” and presented the material in an anonymous question and answer format. Another volume was published in 1891, and though others were indicated, nothing further appeared. The recorded weekly meetings went from January 10 to June 20, but the published account only covered the meetings up to March 14.

     The version printed here is a word for word transcription from the original handwritten reports of the meetings, now published for the first time. The only editing has been in the uniformity of punctuation and spelling of words. All Sanskrit terms are given with their diacritical marks. Any additions, which are few and provided for the sake of readability, are indicated by the following parenthesis {  }. Sometimes the text contains a blank space left where the stenographer was unable to get a word or term, and this is indicated by brackets
[  ]. All footnotes are by the transcriber.

     The report of the first meeting of January 10th is unique in that it bears H.P.B.’s handwritten editorial changes, which differ from the published one. The reader will find it here for the first time in its entirety, and will therefore be able to catch H.P.B.’s authentic voice in her delivery and comments as she responds to questions about material in The Secret Doctrine. The discussions at this meeting covered the first two verses of stanza 1 in the first volume of the book.

     Among those present who played a part in the discussions, Thomas H. Harbottle, who chaired the meeting, was the Lodge’s President, elected at its formation in 1887. William Kingsland (1855-1936) had supervised the installation of electrical light in England, and William Ashton Ellis (1852-1919), though trained as a medical doctor, had devoted his energies to introducing Richard Wagner’s writings to the English reading public. The name of B. Keightley is introduced at the beginning of the text; all other references are simply to Mr. Keightley, whom one supposes to be the same person (Bertram Keightley, who acted as H.P.B.’s secretary at the time) though his nephew, Archibald Keightley, was Secretary of the Blavatsky Lodge.

M. G.


The Theosophical Society

Meeting on Thursday, January 10th, 1889

at 17 Lansdowne Road, W.

{T.B.} Harbottle Esq. — President.


Mr. B. Keightley: In the Proem to to the Secret Doctrine speaking of space, this is said (reads quotation, Volume I, pp. 8 et seq.1). That is just the few words on the subject of space in the abstract: but the first Śloka of the first stanza run as follows: “The eternal Parent Space wrapped in her ever invisible robes, had slumbered once again for seven eternities,” and on this the first question that strikes one to ask is why is the Eternal Parent, or Space, called feminine here?


Mme. Blavatsky: Perhaps it is a mistake to do so. But since it is impossible to define Parabrahman or that which is beyond human conception, therefore once that we speak of that first something which can be conceived, we had better say “She.” In all the cosmogonies it is the goddess and goddesses that come first the former one becoming the all immaculate mother from which proceed all the gods. We have to adopt either one or the other gender, as we cannot say IT. From IT nothing can proceed, strictly speaking, neither a radiation nor an emanation.


Mr. Keightley: Is that the Egyptian Neith?


Mme. Blavatsky: In truth, it is beyond Neith. But it is Neith in one sense.


1 [“Space is called in the esoteric symbolism ‘the Seven-Skinned Eternal Mother- Father.’ It is composed from its undifferentiated to it differentiated surface of seven layers. ‘What is that which was, is, and will be, whether there is a Universe or not; whether there be gods or none?’ asks the esoteric Senzar Catechism. And the answer made is — SPACE.”]


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Mr. Keightley: Then the IT itself is not the seven skinned Eternal father-mother in this stanza?


Mme. Blavatsky: Assuredly not. The IT is beyond the meta the Parabrahman. This which “is”, is the female aspect of Brahmâ the male.


Mr. Keightley: And that is what is spoken of in the Proem that I read as the “seven-skinned Father-Mother”?


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes, it becomes that at the first flutter of differentiation. Then the subjective proceeds to emanate—or falls into the objective and becomes what they called the Mother Goddess, from which proceeds the Logos or Father God, the unmanifested. For the manifested Logos is quite a different thing again and is called the “Son” in all cosmogonies.


Mr. Keightley: Is the first differentiation from the Absolute IT female always?


Mme. Blavatsky: It is sexless; but the female aspect is the first it assumes. Take the Jewish Kabbalah. You have “Ain-Soph” which is also the IT, the infinite, the endless the boundless, the adjectives used in conjunction with IT being negatives of every kind of attributes. From IT the negative, the zero, O, proceeds number One, the positive which is Sephira or the Crown. The Talmudists say it is the “Torah,” the law, which they call the wife of “Ain-Soph.” Now see the Hindu cosmogony. There you find that Parabrahman is not mentioned; but only Mûlaprakriti: there is Parabrahman and there is Mûlaprakriti which the latter is the lining so to say or the aspect of Parabrahman in the invisible universe. Mûlaprakriti means the root of matter, but Parabrahman cannot be called the “root,” for it is the rootless root of all that is. Therefore you must begin with Mûlaprakriti the veil of Brahman as they call it. Take any cosmogony in the world: you will always find it begins thus; the first manifestation is the Goddess the reflection the root or the first plane of substance. From or rather in that Mother-Goddess is formed the unmanifested Logos her son and husband at


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once, as he is called the Concealed Father; and from these two the manifested Logos which is the Son itself—the Architect of all the visible universe.


Mr. Keightley: The second question is, what aspect of space, or the unknown deity, “That,’ of which you speak further on, is here called the Eternal Parent”?


Mme. Blavatsky: Well, it is just this androgynous something; the Svabhavat of the Buddhists. It is non-differentiated, hence—an abstraction. It is the Mûlaprakriti of the Vedântins if you proceed to make it correspond with the human principles it will be Buddhi, Âtma corresponding with Parabrahman. Then comes Mahat which corresponds with Manas.


Mr. Keightley: And so on downwards.


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes.


Mr. Keightley: Then what are the seven layers of space. You speak in the Proem of the “seven-skinned Father-Mother.”


Mme. Blavatsky: It is what Aristotle called the privation of matter; that which will become the seven planes of Being, beginning with the spiritual and passing through the psychic till it comes down to the material plane. Then there


[page missing in original see Appendix 1, page 655]


has named the protyle; that which he would like to find, which he does not find, and which he certainly he cannot find on this plane or earth. It is the first non-differentiated substance or spiritual matter.


Mr. Keightley: Is it Laya?


Mme. Blavatsky: “Robes” and all are in the Laya condition, up to that point from which the primordial substance begins to differentiate and thus gives birth to the universe and all in it.


Mr. Keightley: Are they called “invisible” because they are not


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objective to any differentiation of consciousness.


Mme. Blavatsky: Say rather “invisible” to consciousness, if any differentiation were possible at this stage of evolution. Most assuredly it cannot be seen. Do not you see in the book that even for the Logos Mûlaprakriti is only a veil? And it is a veil that  Logos sees, this veil or the robes in which the Absolute is enveloped, but cannot perceive the latter.


The President: Is it correct to call it Mûlaprakriti?


Mme. Blavatsky: If you speak to a Hindu you will find what a Vedântin

calls Mûlaprakriti  is called Aditi in the Vedas. The Vedânta philosophy means, literally speaking, “the end of all knowledge.” The great difficulty in studying the Hindu systems esoterically is that in India alone there are six schools of philosophy. Now if you analyse these you will find that they agree perfectly in substance. Fundamentally they are identical; but there is such a wealth of names, such a quantity of side issues, of all kinds of details and ornamentations; of sons being their own fathers, and fathers born from their own daughters, that you become lost in all this, as in a jungle. State anything you will from the esoteric standpoint to a Hindu, and if he only wants to he can contradict and prove you in the wrong, from the standpoint of his own particular sectarian view, or the philosophy he accepts. Each of the six schools of India has its own views and its own (to it) peculiar terms. So that, unless you hold strictly to some one school and say so, your special terminology is sure to be misunderstood. It is nothing but splitting hairs, and quarreling about things that have no importance in reality.


Mr. Keightley: Then the same term identically is used in quite a different sense by different philosophies; for instance Buddhi has one meaning in the esoteric philosophy, and a different meaning in the Sânkhya?


Mme. Blavatsky: And quite a different meaning again in the Vishnu Purânas in which there are seven Prâkritis that come from Mahat and the latter is called Mahat-Buddhi.


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Mr. Keightley:  That is again quite different.


Mme. Blavatsky: No it is not; fundamentally it is perfectly the same thing, though in every philosophy you will have some other name and meaning given to it.


Mr. Kingsland: Yet we must call it something. Are we to have our own terms?


Mme. Blavatsky: I think the best thing you could do would be to coin new English words. If you want to ever become Western philosophers, you had better not take from the Hindus, who will be the first ones to say; “Behold the Europeans! They take from us all they can, disfigure everything and do no good.” Find equivalents for all these terms, coin new English words, and do not depart from them; and then there will be no confusion.


Mr. Kingsland: Does protyle come near the term Laya?


Mme. Blavatsky: There it is. You are obliged to throw yourself on the tender mercies of ancient Greek and other ancient languages, but the modern languages are really too materialistic and I doubt whether you can get any words to express that which you need.


Mr. Ellis: We may as well get it from the Greek as the Anglo-Saxon; all our scientific words are coined either from the Greek and the Latin, and become English only by use. Such a word as protyle is not really English at all.


Mr. Keightley: It is just adopted.


Mme. Blavatsky: How long? Hardly two years ago?


The President: If we have one word that answers the purpose why not use it? Mr. Crookes2 probably used the word protyle on the most materialistic plane of all.


Mme. Blavatsky: What he means by it, is primordial homogeneous matter.


2 [William Crookes, English physicist, 1832-1919, who coined the term protyle for a hypothetical primordial substance.]


6.                                 I.  Meeting January 10, 1889


Mr. Ellis: Perhaps, just when it is about to enter into the state of differentiation.


Mme. Blavatsky: Then certainly it is not “the robes” that he will ever discover, because they are on the seventh plane of matter and that he is searching on this one, which is the lowest.


Mr. Keightley: His protyle is “prehydrogen.”


Mme. Blavatsky: Nothing else, and yet no one will ever be able to find it. How many times have the scientists been disappointed. How often have they thought they had come at last to a real atom, protylic and homogeneous, to find it each time a compound thing of two or three elements! But let us go on.


Mr. Keightley: Is there, so to speak, on each of the seven planes, homogeneous matter relatively to that plane? Is it the root of every particular plane?


Mme. Blavatsky: There is, only it must be homogeneous only for that plane of perception and for those who are on that plane. If Mr. Crookes is ever able to find the protyle he is after, it will be homogeneous for only him and us. The illusion may last for some time, until the Sixth Race perhaps, when mankind will be entirely changed. Humanity is ever changing, physically and mentally and perfecting itself with every race more, as you know we are acquiring learning, perception and knowledge that we did not have before. Therefore, the science of today is the ignorance of tomorrow.


Dr. Williams: I should think it would be a great mistake to adopt any word that has been already adopted by a scientist with another meaning. Protoplasm has once come almost to mean the same thing as protyle does, but they have now narrowed it down.


Mme. Blavatsky: And quite right; because protyle, after all, comes from the Greek word (Hyle) and the Greeks used it not as a word belonging to this plane. Besides which it was used in the Chaldean cosmogony, before the Greeks.


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The President: And yet is not (hyle) used to mean “the root matter” by certain writers?


Mme. Blavatsky: It is; but these writers are not very ancient.


The President: No, but they used it in a sense which rather transcends that. The word (hyle) is now used really as giving very much the same idea that we endeavoured to give when we used the word Mûlaprakriti.


Mme. Blavatsky: Well, I do not know. There’s Dr. Lewins3 who calls himself a Hylo-Idealist, if you please; so there is the metaphysical meaning of the word desecrated entirely. So you certainly had better use another term. Laya does not mean anything in particular, on that plane or the other, but means a state, a condition. It is a Sanskrit word conveying the meaning of something entirely undifferentiated and changeless, a zero-point wherein all differentiation ceases that is what it means and nothing else.


Mr. Kingsland: The first differentiation would represent matter on the seventh plane?


Mme. Blavatsky: I believe, you can say so.


Mr. Kingsland: That is to say, I suppose that Mr. Crookes’ ideal protyle would be matter on its seventh plane.


Mme. Blavatsky: I do not know Mr. Crookes’ ideas about that. I am not sure, but what I understand he wants to find is simply matter in that state which he too calls the “zero-point.”


Mr. Keightley: Which would be so to speak the Laya point of this plane.


Mme. Blavatsky: I doubt whether he has any idea about other planes at all, and suspect he is perfectly satisfied with this one. What


3 [Robert Lewins, developer of the philosophical movement Hylo-Idealism, described as material idealism; hence, Hylo-Idealist.]



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he wants to find here is the protyle atom, this is plain. But what can even he or any one else know of atoms, something that no one has ever seen. What is an atom to scientists but another “working hypothesis” added to all the rest? Do you know, Dr. Williams?


Dr. Williams: No, indeed I do not.


Mme. Blavatsky: But, as a chemist, you must know what they mean by it?


Mr. Kingsland: It is a convenient definition of what they think.


Mme. Blavatsky: But surely they must have come now to the conclusion that it is no convenient definition no more than their elements are. They speak about some sixty or seventy elements, and laugh at the old honest nomenclature of the four and five elements of the ancients, and yet where are their own elements? Mr. Crookes has come to the conclusion that strictly speaking there is no such thing known as a chemical element. They have never arrived yet at a simple or single molecule, least of all, at an atom. What is it then?


Mr. Kingsland: An atom is a convenient term to divide up a molecule.


Mme. Blavatsky: If it is convenient to them I have no objection to it. You call also iron an element, don’t you?


Mr. Ellis: I think we ought never to forget that it is called the atomic theory. It has never been claimed as anything more.


Mme. Blavatsky: Aye, but even the word “theory” is now used in a wrong sense, by the modern schools, as shown by Sir W. Hamilton.4 Why should they, once they laugh at metaphysics, use a purely metaphysical term when applying it to physical science? And there are those to whom theory and axiom mean the same thing. So long as their pet theory is not today upset—which happens more often than the leap year—they regard it as an axiom; and woe to him, who dares doubt or even touch it, outside the sacred precincts of the fanes of science!


4 [Sir William Hamilton, Scottish metaphysician, 1788-1856.]



9.                                I.  Meeting January 10, 1889


Mr. Ellis: It is its inventor, Dalton,5 who called it atomic theory.


Mme. Blavatsky: Well, let us proceed.


Mr. Keightley: You speak of seven eternities. What are the seven eternities, and how can there be such a division in Pralaya when there is no one to be conscious of time?


Mme. Blavatsky: The modern astronomer knows “the ordinances of heaven” still less than his ancient brother did. Yet the fact, that if asked whether he could bring forth Mazzaroth6 in his season, or was with “him” who spread out the sky—the astronomer would reply in the negative prevents him in no wise from speculating about the ages of the sun, moon, and geological times, when there was not a living man with or without consciousness on earth. Why could not the ancients speculate or cognize backward and forwards as moderns do?


Mr. Keightley: Why should you speak of seven eternities? Why put it in that way?


Mme. Blavatsky: Because of the invariable law of analogy. As Manvantara is divided into seven periods so is Pralaya; as day is composed of twelve hours, so is night. Shall we say because we are asleep during night and are not conscious of time, that the hours do not run the same? They pass on and the clocks strike though we may not hear or count them. Pralaya is the “Night” after the Manvantaric “Day.” There is no one by and consciousness is asleep with the rest. But since it exists and is in full activity during Manvantara, and that it is fully alive to the fact that the law of analogy and periodicity is immutable, and being so that it must act equally at both ends, why cannot the sentence be used?


Mr. Ellis: I should want to know how you can count an eternity.


5 [John Dalton, English physicist, 1766-1844, noted for his ideas about atomic theory.]


6 [Mazzaroth, mentioned in Job 38:32, interpreted as the constellations.]


10.                               I.  Meeting January 10, 1889


Mme. Blavasky: Here we are! Because we Westerners are foolish enough to talk about and to speculate on something that has neither beginning nor can end, therefore the ancients must have done the same. I say they did not. No people in days of old has ever meant by “Eternity” beginningless and endless duration. Take the Greeks, speaking of Aeons. Do these mean something eternal? No more than their Neroses7 did. They had no word for eternity we give it. Parabrahman and Ain-Soph, and the Zervana Akerne 8 of the Avesta represent alone such an eternity—all the other periods are finite. All these were astronomical, moreover, based on tropical years and other enormous cycles—withal, not eternities, but a way of speaking of eternity. It is the word Aeon in the Bible that was translated as eternity; and yet it is not only a period but means an angel and a being as well.


The President: But is it not true to say in pralaya there is the Great Breath?


Mme. Blavatsky: Assuredly, for the “Great Breath” is ceaseless; it is the universal perpetuum mobile.


The President: If so, it is not possible to divide it into periods? It does away with the idea of absolute and complete nothingness. It does seem incompatible that you should speak of any number of periods; but if you have the Great Breath you might say there are so many indrawings and outdrawings of the Great Breath.


Mme. Blavatsky: And this would make away with the idea of absolute rest, were not this absoluteness of rest counteracted by the absoluteness of motion. Therefore one is as good as the other. There is a magnificent poem on the pralaya, I forget the name of its Hindu author. It is written by a very ancient Rishi and he writes and compares that motion of the Great Breath during the Pralaya to the rhythmical motions of the ocean. It is a most magnificent picture. It is the only reference on this subject that I know or ever heard of.


7 [Neros, a cycle of 600 years.]


8 [Zervana Akerne, Persian: boundless, limitless time.]


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Mr.—: The only difficulty is when you use the word eternity instead of the word Aeon.


Mme. Blavatsky: Why should I use the Greek word when I can use an English one? I give the explanation in The Secret Doctrine by saying the ancients had no such thing as eternity—as commonly understood.


Mr.—: Aeon, to the ordinary English reader, would not mean eternity.


Mme. Blavatsky: We have quite enough of foreign words; I have tried to avoid and put them into English.


The President:  Aeon, to most European Christian readers, does mean eternity, as they have translated it as “for ever and for ever.”


Mr. Ellis:  That always involves a beginning at least.


The President: No, “for ever and ever” backwards and forwards.


Mr. Ellis: It is sempiternal. It has a beginning, but it has no end. If you make a thing plural you divide it. There you make a point of beginning and a point of end. You will always make a division.


The President: Then you agree with the seven eternities.


Mr. Ellis: I think it is only a word that may be taken up by one of the daily papers. I do not think there is any difficulty in the least. The meaning of it is that there are seven concurrent phases going, on at the same time. It is division of time laterally. That is what I meant, if you can understand it. That is what I wanted to know if you count, it in that way.


Mme. Blavatsky: I count it in such a way as to translate as best I can the real meaning of a very difficult and abstruse text and then to give the interpretations that I was taught and have learned. It is just as you say; because if you read my explanations, there you will find the same thing.


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Mr. Keightley: Before we leave the subject, I would ask, is the relation of Pralaya and Manvantara strictly analogous to the relation between sleeping and waking?


Mme. Blavatsky: In a certain sense only, of course. It has that relation, if you take it in the abstract. During night we all exist and we are, though we sleep and may be unconscious of so living. But during Pralaya everything disappears from the phenomenal universe and merges in the noumenal.  Therefore defacto there is a great difference.


Mr. Keightley: You remember you gave us a very remarkable thing about sleep, saying that “it was the shady side of life.” Then is the Pralaya the shady side of cosmic life?


Mme. Blavatsky: You may call it so. It is a time of rest. Even cosmic matter, indestructible though it be in its essence, must have a time of rest, its Laya condition notwithstanding. The absoluteness of the eternal all-containing one essence has to manifest itself equally, in rest and activity.


Mr. Keightley: The next question is on Śloka two “Time was not for it lay asleep in the infinite bosom of duration”. The first point is what is the difference between time and duration as used here?


Mme. Blavatsky: Duration is: it has neither a beginning nor an end, nor time, as its very name implies, though we may divide it into Past, Present and Future. What is time? How can you call that “time” which has neither beginning or an end? Duration is beginningless and endless; time is  finite.


Mr. Keightley: Duration is the infinite, and time the finite conception?


Mme. Blavatsky: Time can be divided, duration cannot; therefore the word duration is used.


Mr. Kingsland: The only way you can define time is by the motions of the earth.


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Mme. Blavatsky: But you can define time in your own conception also can’t you?


Mr. Kingsland: Duration, you mean?


Mme. Blavatsky: No, time; for as to “duration” there is no such thing as splitting it, or putting landmarks on it. It is impossible.


Mr. Kingsland: But we can define time by certain periods.


Mme. Blavatsky: But not duration, which is the one real eternity. In this finite and phenomenal universe, of course you can. All you do is to divide time in duration and take illusions for realities.


Mr. Kingsland: But without that you would not be able to define time at all.


Mme. Blavatsky: Why not? The natural  division of time is night and day.


Mr. Kingsland: The essential idea of duration is existence, it seems to me.


Mme. Blavatsky: Existence has limited and definite periods and duration is a thing which has neither a beginning nor an end. While it is something perfectly abstract and contains time, time is that which has no duration. Duration is just like space. Space as an abstraction is endless; but in its concreteness and limitation, space becomes a representation of something. Of course you can call space the distance between this book and that table or between any two points you may imagine. It may be enormous, or it may be infinitesimal, yet it will always be space. But all such specifications are divisions in human conception.  In reality, space is what the ancients called Deity itself.


Mr. Keightley: Then time is the same as space they are one in the abstract.


Mme. Blavatsky: As two abstractions they may be one; yet I would say duration and space, not time and space.


14.                               I.  Meeting January 10, 1889


Mr. Keightley: You get time and space with differentiation, time  being the subjective character corresponding to space, the objective, one being the objective and the other being the subjective side of all manifestation.


The President: They are the only attributes of the infinite, really. But attribute is a wrong word, inasmuch as they are coextensive with the infinite; but that is also a difficult word.


Mr. Ellis: How can you say that? They are nothing but the creations of your own intellect. They are nothing but the forms in which you cannot help conceiving things. How can they be called attributes? Take cause and effect, they are nothing but the way in which you think of things. If you had a different brain you would think about things in a different way.


Mme. Blavatsky: And now you speak as a Hylo-Idealist would. We do not speak of the phenomenal world, but of the noumenal universe. It is without space and time, but still there is duration and abstract space. In the occult catechism it is asked: “what is the thing which always is, which you cannot imagine as not ‘being’, do what you may.” The answer is—Space. For there may be not a single man  in the universe to think of it, not a single eye to perceive it, not a single brain to sense it, but still space is—and you cannot make away with it.


Mr. Ellis: Because you cannot help thinking of it.


Mme. Blavatsky: My or your thinking has nothing to do with it. Space exists there where there is nothing and must exist in full vacuum as elsewhere.


Mr. Ellis: The Philosopher have reduced it to this. They say they also are nothing but attributes, nothing but accidents.


Mme. Blavatsky: Buddha says better than this still. He says speaking of Nirvâna that Nirvâna, after all is also an illusion.


Mr. Ellis: You would not call eternal space and duration the only attributes of the Inifinite?


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Mme. Blavatsky: I would not give to the Infinite any attributes at all.  That only which is finite and conditioned can have attributes.


Mr. Keightley: You touched upon a question that is put here. Time and space in modern philosophy are conceived of, as you said, simply as forms of the human physical brain, and as having no existence apart from human intellect, as we know it. Thence arises this old question: “We can conceive of no matter that is not extended” (in consequence of that faculty or that peculiarity of mental faculty), “no extension that is not extension of something. Is it the same on the higher planes, and if so, what is the substance that fills absolute space, and is it identical with that space?” You see, that brings to a focus the question.


Mme. Blavatsky: “Is it the same on another plane?” Now how can I answer your query? I never travelled in absolute space, as far as I know. All I can give you is simply the speculations of those who had a thousand times more brains than I, or any of you have. Some of you would call them vagaries. We don’t.


Mr. Ellis: Does not he answer his own question in the question itself?


Mme. Blavatsky: How?


Mr. Ellis: He presupposes that, that is the only way in which the intellect can think.


Mr. Keightley: I say on this plane our intellect is limited. In this way we only conceive of matter extended.


Mr. Ellis: If your soul or anything else could conceive, we will imagine for a moment, in another form. You cannot get an answer in words to that, can you? Your intellect has to understand those words. Therefore intellect, not being able to conceive in any other way, cannot get an answer in any other way.


16.                              I.  Meeting January 10, 1889


Mme. Blavatsky: On this very same plane, there are not only the intellects of men. There are other intellects and intelligences call them whatever you like. The minds of animals highest to the lowest, from elephant down to the ant. I can assure you that the ant has in relation to its own plane just as good an intellect as we have. If it cannot express it to us in words, it yet shows high reasoning powers, besides and above instinct, as we all know. Thus finding on this plane of ours so many and such varied states of consciousness and intelligences, we have no right to take into consideration or account only our own human consciousness, as though there were no other. Nor can we, beyond accepting it as a fact, presume to decide how far animal and insect consciousness goes.


Mr. R. Hall: Why not? Natural science can find it out.


Mme. Blavatsky: No, it cannot. It can speculate and guess but will never be able with its present methods to acquire any certitude for such speculation. If Sir John Lubbock9 could become an ant for awhile, and think as an ant, and remember it when returning to his own sphere of consciousness then would he know something for certain; not otherwise.


Mr. Keightley: The ants conceptions of time and space are not own conceptions.


Mme. Blavatsky: And therefore, if we find such conceptions that are not our conceptions and that are entirely on another plane, we have no right to deny a priori the existence of other planes of which we may have no idea but which must exist, nevertheless, planes higher and lower than our own by many degrees.


Dr. Williams: May I suggest on that point that every animal is more or less born with its faculties. Man is born the most helpless and ignorant of all and progresses, so far as we know, forever, in acquisition of the enlargement of his intelligences. That seems to be


9 [Sir John Lubbock, English politician, banker and archeologist, 1834-1913, was also author of the popular book, Ants, Bees, and Wasps, 1882, which was reprinted again in 1888.]


17.                               I.  Meeting January 10, 1889


the most practical differences between the intelligence of all animals and man.


Mr. Ellis: Have you ever seen a dog taught to sit on its hind legs?


Dr. Williams: Whenever animals are put beyond the in civilization they always return without exception to the primitive and prior condition into which they were born. This shows that they have no capability of holding on longer than they are under the influence of civilization.


Mr. Ellis: They would lose a great deal. But how are we to know they have not developed before? If they were put in different circumstances, of course they lose a great deal.


Dr. Williams: So far as our experience goes, we know the terms on which they were, and very clearly too.


Mr. Ellis: We know they can be taught, therefore they resemble man. If we put man back out of civilization what does he become? Nothing but the animal.


Mme. Blavatsky: To say that animals have no intelligence is the greatest fallacy in the world. How shall science explain to us the facts that there is no animal or insect which cannot be taught to remember, to obey the voice of the master. Why, take a flea. He will fire a gun, and he will draw water, and he will do all kinds of tricks.10  If a flea has an intellect, what must it be with others more developed? How can we say that the animals have got no intellect?


Mr.—:  They have not got the quality of thinking.


Mme. Blavatsky: They have not got the quality of reasoning, and yet they have.


Mr.—: A horse will pull a string and  fire off a cannon, but he does not know anything about the objects of it.


10 [“Flea circuses,” where trained insects played instruments and moved objects, were a great attraction of the nineteenth century.]

18.                              I.  Meeting January 10, 1889


Mme. Blavatsky: This is a question that has never been satisfactorily answered, because it is simply our organization and our human conceit that causes us to make of man a king of all the animals. I say there are animals compared to which a mortal man is the lowest of the animals. There is not a dirtier animal in the world than man and I say it is a great insult to any animal to go and compare him to a man. I would object if I were an animal. You cannot find any man who is as faithful as a dog. It shows feeling and affection. It does not show reasoning power, but it does show intelligence, feelings and memory. It is just the same as a man.


Mr.—: Look at the birds that pull up their own water.


Mr.—: But you cannot compare that with human intelligence.


Mme. Blavatsky: I think in all probability an ant has a thousand times more intellect than a man, if we take the proportionate size.


Mr.—: It is well known that any intelligent donkey, if he is left with only a door between him and the garden where he can get the things he might have to eat, will open it; he will pull down the handle of the door. Again, look at the way cats that are out at night act. In many a house that I have been in, the cats knock at the window pane with their heads on the balcony in front; and look at the way dogs will pull the bell sometimes. Surely that is reasoning enough.


Mme. Blavatsky: Go and compare a child and a kitten, if you please, when they are born; what can a child do? And a cat, immediately it stands on its legs, goes eating.


The President: That is, I think, what Dr. Williams meant just now when he said, “the animal is born more or less with all its faculties, and generally speaking does not gain on that, while man is gradually learning and improving.” Is not that really the point?


Dr. Williams:  That is exactly the point.


Mme. Blavatsky: Of course man is a perfect animal. He is a progressive animal.


19.                              I.  Meeting January 10, 1889


Mr. Ellis: Is not it a question of degree and surroundings?


Mme. Blavatsky: We look upon the animals, as the men of science look upon us.


The President: I think it is fair to say that the animal intelligence cannot be denied, and simply to add that the intelligence of the animal is of a different plane to anything we humans can appreciate. And so will it go higher and higher. That which transcends human intelligence we cannot pretend to understand in any way. That answers that question as put there.


Mr.—: But does not one of the great distinctions between the animal and the human intelligence be in the fact that human beings can, to some extent, work with abstract thought, while the animal can only work in the concrete? That is to say, that the animal can largely be taught and apparently will reason from it in conjunction with the fact that it may get food or something that it likes; whereas a human being can actually argue from facts and by means of imagination create the surroundings.


Mr. Ellis: How do you teach a child? By giving it a lump of sugar stick, or else smacking it. The child passes as you know by physiology through all the stages of every other class of animals, and therefore they are passing through the same stages as the animals are in now.


The President: We have rather wandered from the point I think.


Mr. Keightley: The question is, is there any consciousness or conscious being to cognise and make a division of time at the first flutter of manifestation.


Mme. Blavatsky: I should think not.


Mr. Keightley: In the way that Subba Row11 speaks of the first Logos he implies—


11 [T. Subba Row, in the metaphysical aspects of the Bhagavad-Gita.]


20.                              I.  Meeting January 10, 1889


Mme. Blavatsky: That the Logos  kept a diary or what.


Mr. Keightley: He implies both consciousness and intelligence.


Mme. Blavatsky: Well I am not of Subba Row’s opinion. You forget one thing, he spoke about the Logos without saying whether it is the first or the second he spoke about, the unmanifested Logos or the Logos. Several times he calls it Iswara so it is not the unmanifested Logos, because Iswara was never Nârâyana, you may call it what ever you like, but it is not the highest Logos, because that from which the manifested Logos is born is that which is translated by me there “the Eternal Father-Mother.” In the Vishnu Purâna they call it the egg of the world, and this egg of the world is surrounded by seven skins or layers or zones—call it whatever you like—it is that which is given in the Purânas as the Golden Egg. This is the Father-Mother and in this Golden Egg is born Brahmâ the male, which is in reality the second Logos, or the third, according to the enumeration adopted, not the highest—that is to say the point which is everywhere and nowhere. Mahat comes afterwards. Mahat is something between the third and fourth, it fluctuates, you understand, because it contains the physical germs in it and the whole roots of all the physical universe. At the same time it is a universal Divine Mind.


Mr. Keightley: It is the first manifestation, then?


Mme. Blavatsky: It is the third but it overlaps the fourth.


The President: Then the first Logos is the first point in the circle.


Mme. Blavatsky: The first point because there is the circle, the circle which has neither limit nor boundaries, nor can it have a name nor attributes, nor anything, and this point which is put there, is the unmanifested Logos. Which is simultaneous with that line you draw across the diameter. The first line is the Father-Mother and then comes from that Father-Mother the second Logos, that is to say, the manifested word. For instance in the Hindu Purânas it is said (and the Orientalists have said a good deal about that also)


21.                               I.  Meeting January 10, 1889


that the first production of Âkâsa is sound. Now Âkâsa is just what is called there the Mother or the Father-Mother (call it whichever you like), and sound means there simply speech or expression of the unuttered thought; and it is the Logos, that which the Greeks and Platonists called the Logos, and is just that which is sound and which made Dr. Wilson12 and many other Orientalists say, “What fools these Hindus are!” They speak of Âkâsa, which is according to our showing, Chaos, and from this Chaos they make sound proceed. It means just that which was adopted subsequently by St John, the Evangelist, who speaks about the Logos, saying just the same thing in other words.


Mr. Keightley: On this subject of time this question has been put “What is the consciousness which takes cognizance of time?” Is the consciousness of time limited to the plane of waking physical consciousness or does it exist on higher planes? Is the consciousness of sense of succession, is that limited purely to our present plane? Or does it exist on higher planes?


Mme. Blavatsky: Whose consciousness? Why, you must tell me, of whom you are talking—whose consciousness is limited?


Mr. Keightley: Our own. All our consciousness is succession. We have a succession of ideas or succession of thought. Haven’t we?


Mme. Blavatsky:  Then who is there to think like that?


Mr. Keightley: You speak of time. “Time was not.” Time to our minds conveys this idea of succession.


Mme. Blavatsky: And if time was not, it can convey no such idea. Time was not means that there was duration only and not time, because no one was there to make time or the division of time. That which was not, how can it have any consciousness or any aspect of consciousness? What does it mean, all this?


12 [Probably Horace Hayman Wilson, English Orientalist, 1786-1860, whose translation of the Vishnu Purana, Mme. Blavatsky used.]


22.                              I.  Meeting January 10, 1889


Mr. Keightley: This question really applied to a latter subject you speak thus of time: “Time is only an illusion produced by the succession of our states of consciousness as we travel through eternal duration, and it does not exist where no consciousness exists.” Then the question which is put is, is the consciousness of time, in our sense of the word, limited only to our present plane of waking consciousness, or does it exist on any other planes?


Mme. Blavatsky: It cannot exist because even in sleep it does not exist. You have been answering it to yourselves how many times, when we have been talking about dreams.13


Mr.—: Seeing that the “Gods” have a beginning and an ending, they must exist in time.


Mme. Blavatsky: They exist in space and time. Duration cannot be divided.


The President: But the word succession applies to them.


Mr.—: But is there not a consciousness which can take cognizance of it?


Mme. Blavatsky: Certainly the universal mind can.


Mr.—:  Then the idea exists there.


Mme. Blavatsky: I don’t think so. In the Absolute there cannot exist the same division of time as in our conception. I would say there is a consciousness there, but I don’t think time has got anything to do with it. Can you say that the sea has also a conception of time in its rhythmical striking of the shore, in the movement of the waves and so on? To my mind, the Absolute can have no consciousness, or not a consciousness such as we have here, and that is why they speak as they do about the Absolute. It has neither consciousness, nor desire, nor wish, nor thought, because it is absolute thought,


13 [The preceding meetings in December 1888, had dealt with the subject of dreams and can be found as an Appendix to Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge, Part 1, 1890.]


23.                               I.  Meeting January 10, 1889


absolute desire, absolute all—just what the Daily News14 laughed at from not understanding the true definition of the absolute said—I don’t remember how the phrase went there in the Daily News, do you,



Miss—: I do not.


Mme. Blavatsky: They laughed at “Be-ness” and yet there is no other way in this world of translating the word Sat but by Be-ness, because it is not existence, for existence implies something that feels that it exists. Existence must give you the idea of having a beginning, a creation, and an end, it is just what Gautama Buddha says about Nirvâna, or if not Buddha it is [   ]. He says Nirvâna does not exist but it is. Try to make what you can of this Oriental metaphysical conception. Still it is there, it exists and all the philosophy is built on it.


Mr. Ellis:  The Hebrew Jehovah was “I am”.


Mme. Blavatsky: He calls himself so. So is the Ormuzd of the Persians, too. Every one of us is [   ] the “I am that I am.”


Mr. Duncan: Be-ness has some connection with the word “to be.”


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes, but it is not that. No word, my dear Mr. Duncan, can apply better than that, better than the word Be-ness. It is a word we have coined, and we have coined it correctly, I think. It is the only thing that renders the Sanskrit word Sat. It is not existence, it is not being, it is absolute Be-ness.


The President: It is both being and non-being.


Mme. Blavatsky: Well then, how can you explain that better? We cannot conceive it. Our intellects are limited and language is far more finite and conditioned than we are. So how can we explain that which we can only conceive by our highest intuition?


14 [The London Daily News of January 10 had just published a notice of The Secret Doctrine as “The Secret of all Things”.]


24.                              I.  Meeting January 10, 1889


Mr. Ellis: The Germans understand this at once because they have a word they use every day, that is the word “sein.” “Sein,” of course, means “to be,” and “das sein” means, of course, what you mean by the word Be-ness. I am sure nobody would have said that was absurd, only you cannot use German words. No German would call this word absurd, but a frivolous Englishman would.


Mme. Blavatsky: Well now, you Englishmen invent a word that would answer to that “sein” there.


Mr. Ellis: One is constantly meeting with the absolute poverty of our language for purposes of translation. In German one or two words may require twenty for perfect translation.


Mme. Blavatsky: Now look at Max Müller.15 Why, he makes a mess of it positively, as the English language must have at least 40 or 50,000 words more invented or coined to express a part of that which the Sanskrit language expresses.


Mr. Ellis: We have no methods of doing what they do in the Sanskrit. They couple two words together and you have the whole meaning of a sentence. If we want to express that same quality I have found over and over again you have to put about twenty words. You cannot do it in one or two.


Mr. Duncan: I think that last question had reference to the consciousness of time.


Mme. Blavatsky: Oh, this is all finite beginning and ending so you cannot find any correspondence between that and real duration or real abstract space, for it is not, it cannot be localized. There is such a thing as time; it has a beginning and an end.


Mr.—: Yes but are we conscious of it?


Mme. Blavatsky: No, even the Devachanî is not conscious of it.


15 [Friederich Max Müller, German Orientalist, 1823-1900, editor of the 50-volume Sacred Books of the East series.]


25.                              I.  Meeting January 10, 1889


Mr.—: But he is conscious of a succession of states of consciousness.


Mme. Blavatsky: No, all is present to the Devachanî there is no past, because he would recall it and regret it, and there is no future because he would be anxious to have it. Devachan is a state of bliss in which everything is present; that is why they say the Devachanî has no conception and no idea of time; to him everything is just a real and vivid dream.


Mr.—: He can have no idea of time in as much as there is nothing to measure it by.


Mme. Blavatsky: To him it is not a dream, but to us it is a dream. When we dream everything is present and we enjoy the greatest bliss.


Mr.—: In a dream also we may dream a lifetime in half a second, yet we are conscious of succession of states of consciousness. Events take place one after the other.


Mme. Blavatsky: After the dream, not during the dream. During the dream you will be conscious of nothing of the kind. You will perhaps forget there is such a thing as succession of states of consciousness. You will forget it surely.


Mr. Ellis: If you were describing a picture to somebody you could not give him all that picture at once, you have to give him part of the picture then another, although you have it all in your mind.


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes, you have it all before you all the time.


Mr. Keightley: That is the last question.


( These remarks closed the proceedings )





Blavatsky Lodge of the
The Theosophical Society

Meeting held January 17th, 1889.


Mr. A. Keightley: Stanza 1 continued, Śloka 3: Universal mind was not, for there were no Ah-hi to contain it.”1 This Śloka seems to imply that the universal mind has no existence apart from the Ah-hi, but in the commentary you state that during the Pralaya, “the ‘universal mind’ remains as a permanent possibility of mental action, or as that abstract absolute thought, of which mind is the concrete relative manifestation,” and that the Ah-hi are the vehicle for divine universal thought and will. “ They are the intelligent forces that give to Nature her ‘laws,’ while themselves acting according to laws imposed upon them by still higher powers....(they are) the hierarchy of spiritual beings through which the universal mind comes into action.”2 This commentary suggests that the Ah-hi are not themselves the universal mind, but only the vehicle for its manifestation.


Mme. Blavatsky: Universal mind and absolute mind are one. Are they not? Very well, that only implies that as there are no finite differentiated minds during Pralaya therefore it is just as though there were no mind at all, if there is nothing to contain it, or to perceive it. That is the meaning. There is nothing to reflect or contain the ideation of the absolute mind, therefore it is not, because everything outside of the absolute and immutable Sat, or the Be-ness, is necessarily finite and conditioned sense it has a beginning and end, and here is something with no beginning and no end. Therefore sense the Ah-hi were not , there was no universal mind, because you must make a distinction between the absolute mind


1 The Secret Doctrine I:37.

2 The Secret Doctrine I:38.


28.                           2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


which is ever present, and its reflections in the Ah-hi at the first flutter of Manvantara. The Ah-hi are on the highest plane; they are those who reflect the universal mind collectively, and begin the work of evolution of all the lower forces until they come, throughout the seven planes, down to our lowest plane.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then the Ah-hi and the universal mind are necessary compliments of one another?


Mme. Blavatsky: Not at all. Universal mind, or absolute mind, always is, whether during Manvantara or during Pralaya; it is immutably one. But since the term Ah-hi means the highest Dhyâni—the Logoi perhaps—those which begin, which are the creation—or evolution, not creation, because everything is an emanation; since the Ah-hi were not, there was no universal mind, because it was the absolute dormant, latent mind, and it was not differentiated in the collectivity of these Dhyânis.


The President: It was rather absolute consciousness.


Mme. Blavatsky: It was absolute consciousness which is not consciousness. What is consciousness? Further on you make a question: “Can consciousness exist without any mind?” But it will come in time. You had better proceed, unless you have some other questions to ask. For instance, let us represent to ourselves, if you can do such a thing, that universal mind is a kind of vacuum, but vacuum with latent consciousness in it. You just suppose you pump out all the air you can from some vessel, there is a vacuum. You cannot represent yourselves in that particular vessel as a vehicle: there is the vacuum; but break these vessels that contain this soi-distant vacuum; where shall you look for it? It has disappeared, it is everywhere and nowhere. It is something, yet it is the absence of something. It is entirely a homogeneous thing. This is what is supposed to be a vacuum, I think. Dr. Williams, how would you describe vacuum?


Dr. Williams: Absolute vacuum is a figment really.


29.                            2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


Mme. Blavatsky: It is a figment which is a negative thing. It is the supposed place where nothing exists.


Dr. Williams: It is absence of air, I should think.


Mme. Blavatsky: You break those vessels and nothing exists, therefore universal mind is not, because there are no vehicles to contain it.


Mr. A. Keightley: The first question is, can you give us a definition of the universal mind, which will solve the difficulty?


Mme. Blavatsky: Well, I think I have just done so.


Mr. A. Keightley: Quite so. Then number 2. What are the higher powers which condition the Ah-hi?”


Mme. Blavatsky: Well I don’t call them powers at all; it is simply a manifestation of the periodical law, the universal law, which becomes by turns active or inactive. This that law of periodical manifestation which creates them, which emanates them. I always use the word create, which is a very bad and wrong word to use, for there is no creation.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then the power which is higher than the Ah-hi is the law which necessitates manifestation.


Mme. Blavatsky: Just so; periodically, when the hour strikes, it  comes, and they appear into manifestation. They are on the first rung of manifestation, after which it goes on gradually shaping itself more and more.


Mr. B. Keightley: It should really be THE law, and not A law.


Mme. Blavatsky: The law and not a law. I give it [to] you from the standpoint of esoteric, or eastern teaching. If physical science objects, just say so, and I will try to repent. Who of you has an objection to make?


Mr. Kingsland: The grand difficulty is to account for this law.


30.                          2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


Mme. Blavatsky: You want to go beyond even the first manifestion, beyond what they call the Supreme Cause; you want to go beyond that. You try to understand and I can assure you, you won’t understand it; it is all a our imagination. We try to do the best we can, but it does not stand to reason at all. We do not even approach this absolute, this merely logical speculation which dates from thousands and thousands of years. If physical or modern science can say or invent something better, let it do so, but it has not done it yet. There are gaps and flaws everywhere, and at every moment one thing breaks its nose, and another comes, and then they jump over the wall and imagine some other speculation; that again in its turn breaks its nose, and that is all it is.


Mr. Kingsland: Would not cosmic mind be a better term than universal mind in this case?


Mme. Blavatsky: No; cosmic mind would take in the third degree. Cosmic mind is simply confined or limited to the manifested universe.


Mr. Kingsland: Quite so. In that sense it seems the passage is intended.


Mme. Blavatsky: Cosmic mind is quite a different thing from universal ideation. It is just the manifestation of that mind during the Manvantaric period of activity. But universal ideation knows no change. It was, always was, is, and will be. I never said it does not exist: it does not exist for our perception, because there were no minds to perceive it. Universal mind was not because there was no one to perceive it. One is latent and the other is active. One is a potentiality.


Mr. Kingsland: The universal mind was in the absolute, but it was cosmic mind that was not.


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes, but we speak here about manifestation. I cannot go and invent things; I am obliged to translate just as the


31.                           2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


stanzas give it in the book.


Mr. Kingsland:  That is the manifestation.


Mme. Blavatsky: Well, let us call it cosmic mind, if you like it better.


Mr. Kingsland: I only think there is a confusion between universal mind and absolute mind.


Mme. Blavatsky: If you say universal mind, it is absolute, but if you say cosmic mind, that is another thing.


Mr. Kingsland:  Then you can’t say that it was not.


Mme. Blavatsky: Cosmic ideation was not, but universal mind was.


Mr. Kingsland: Quite so.


Mme. Blavatsky: How can I put that it was not? I am obliged to translate as it is, and then to give all the commentaries. I didn’t invent them. If I were inventing it, I might put it otherwise.


Mr. Kingsland: If you say universal mind was not manifested, you get over the difficulty.


Mme. Blavatsky: Those who have written this do not concern themselves with the manifested universe. This relates to the highest, and does not deal yet with the universal matter, it deals with the universe of ideation of consciousness and so on.


Mr. Kingsland: It deals with the  first manifestation.


Mme. Blavatsky: You had better send your protest to those who have written this thing, because I can’t help it.


Mr. Kingsland: No, it is the English translation. Do you see what I mean, Harbottle?


The President: I see what you mean.


Mr. Mead: It is the same thing looked upon from different points of view.


32.                           2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


The President: I think we are apt to use the word cosmic as applied to the manifested universe in all its forms. This does not touch anything of the sort. This is the first absolute consciousness, or non-consciousness and I think it really does mean that the absolute consciousness could not be that universal mind because it was not to be expressed, it could not be expressed, there was no expression for it.  That is what I take the meaning of it.


Mr. Kingsland:  There is no expression for it; but it was there.


The President: It was there and it was not there.


Mme. Blavatsky: Because the Ah-hi were not, to the persons who can conceive of it; since there was nothing and no one to conceive of it, how could it be? It was not. You must remember the peculiar mode of expression used by the Easterners. They express it always allegorically, always figuratively. You can not ask them to express in scientific language which says so much, and means so little. 


Mr. Kingsland: When you say it was not, you mean it was not in the absolute.


Mme. Blavatsky: I beg your pardon. I say it was not, simply.


The President: If you can say it was, that would be taking a very one-sided view of what we mean by Sat. It would be equivalent to saying that Sat was being.


Mr. Mead: I think the question hangs on the time referred to altogether. It involves the question of time, and no time then existed.


The President: I think it goes even further back than that. I think it is all inherent in the meaning we attribute to the word Sat, which is as I say both being and non-being.


Mr. Kingsland: I don’t think there is any confusion in our minds, it is in the terms.


Mme. Blavatsky: Just read this over again, will you?


33.                           2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


Mr. A. Keightley: “What are the higher powers which condition the Ah-hi?”


Mme. Blavatsky: No, no, not that. I mean the thing to which Mr. Kingsland takes objection.


(Mr. A. Keightley then read the passage: Secret Doctrine, Stanza 1, Śloka 3 and commentary [ quoted at the beginning of the meeting]. )


Mme. Blavatsky: It ought to be higher “power” not “powers.”


Mr. Kingsland: First you say it was, and then it was not.


Mme. Blavatsky: I didn’t say that. The absolute must be always, it is a perfect impossibility for it to be otherwise. The absolute is a thing which must be taken tacitly. If there is such a thing as absolute something and not something, an absolute unknown or unknowable, then it must always have been and always be. It is impossible it should go out of the universe.  This is a tacit assumption.


Mr. Kingsland: But if you take it as it is written there, “universal mind was not,” it treats of it as if it were a manifestation. But mind itself is not a manifestation.


Mme. Blavatsky: Mind is a manifestation, universal mind is not the same thing; let us call it an ideation. Cosmic ideation was as soon as the Ah-hi appeared and continues throughout the Manvantara. But this is universal absolute ideation, and is always and cannot get out of the universe, whereas cosmic ideation was not and the only mistake is that I did not put cosmic. But why should I? I cannot put things out of my own head; I just translate as it is. There are many verses that come between, that I have left out altogether. It may be this would be better.


Mr. B. Keightley: Also, I think the term cosmos is used almost throughout The Secret Doctrine in reference chiefly to the solar manifested universe, and is not taken in the sense as referring to that which precedes.


34.                           2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


Mme. Blavatsky: I think we shall only deal with “cosmos” as our solar system. I think I say it in some place there, at least I so remember. I have a recollection that I have been writing about it.


Mr. A. Keightley: I think I see Kingsland’s objection, he means to say this expression is liable to cause a certain amount of confusion because, just as Madame Blavatsky has now expressed it, the universal mind always is and never can be. But that which is identical with what we call cosmic ideation was not, because the Ah-hi were not there to perceive it.


Mme. Blavatsky: And, as there was no manifestation, it was an impotentiality.


Mr. A. Keightley: First you say universal mind was not and then you say universal mind is always a permanent thing and always is.


Mme. Blavatsky: Because I try to explain the stanza. I know the meaning, I know the spirit too, not the dead letter, I don’t take the dead letter; I give it as it is, and then I give the spirit of it.


Dr. Williams: Does not the expression, “universal mind,” convey, itself, that idea?


Mr. B. Keightley: I think it is implicit in the word, “mind.”


Mme. Blavatsky: We are obliged to use it.


The President: Unless you call it consciousness.


Mme. Blavatsky: It is absolute consciousness. But it is not consciousness as we understand it.


Dr. Williams: If you get rid of all predicates, everything has been done that can be done. You say the Absolute is. If you say more than that you approach perception, and that is manifestation.


The President: You cannot attribute mind to the absolute until you have got something capable of perception radiating from the Absolute, in which case it is correct to say that the universal mind was not.



35.                           2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


Mr. Kingsland: It is correct in one sense but creates confusion.


Mme. Blavatsky: But what can we do? Do you want to change it? Now it is printed, what can you do?


Mr. Kingsland: We cannot do anything, now it is printed.


Mme. Blavatsky:  Then why do you break my heart? (Laughter)


The President: You asked him to object, really.


Mme. Blavatsky: But what can we do now? I think about 20 persons have broken their heads about it when they were preparing the thing, even the great metaphysical Fawcett,3 because I have been asking all of them. Is there anything according to Herbert Spencer4 or any of your scientists which you can object to? “No,” they said “it is perfect,” and now you  find flaws! Well, let us pass.


Mr. A. Keightley: “To what cosmic plane do the Ah-hi here spoken of belong?”


Mme. Blavatsky: To the first the second and the third. Because it is a triad, a manifested triad, a reflection of the non-manifested. Taking the triad in the sense that Pythagoras gives it, it disappears in the darkness and the silence. Taken in this sense it is the only thing, as there is Âtma, Buddhi, Manas—well all, the first, second, and third planes—the Ah-hi belong to these planes.


Mr. A. Keightley: That is to say the Ah-hi belong to the cosmic planes which correspond to Âtma, Buddhi, Manas.


Mme. Blavatsky: Just so, they correspond.


3 [Edward Douglas Fawcett, 1866-1960, English journalist who helped H.P.B. with The Secret Doctrine and went on to write on metaphysics. He was the brother of Col. P.H. Fawcett, the explorer, who left to discover a lost city in the Amazon in 1925 and never returned.]


4 [Herbert Spencer, English philosopher and sociologist, 1820-1903, who posited the “Unknowable” as the basis underlying the phenomenal world.]


36.                       2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


Mr. B. Keightley: Then this question cannot arise that Âtma, Buddhi, Manas—


Mme. Blavatsky: I know, the two are on the same plane.


Mr. B. Keightley: They are successive emanations; you get the Âtma, Buddhi in man, before Manas makes its appearance.


Mme. Blavatsky: But we do not speak of man now, if you please, we speak in general that these correspond. Don’t you go and mix up man with it now. We speak of the macrocosm simply, at the beginning when there was the first flutter of the manvantaric dawn, and then evolution begins.


Mr. B. Keightley: The question I want to put exactly is this: are those three planes simultaneous emanations or do they emanate one from the other?


Mme. Blavatsky: I suppose one from another, but I could not tell you that. Don’t ask me questions I cannot answer.


Mr. B. Keightley:  That is the question that is now meant here.


Mme. Blavatsky: Do you really want to apply mechanical law to cosmogony as it is in the metaphysical minds of the Orientals? You won’t get much if you come to apply space and time because there was no space and no time, so how can you ask me this question?


Mr. B. Keightley: Well, then, that’s settles the question.


Mme. Blavatsky: After this comes the question of the reflection of the triad in space and time, therefore, how can you apply anything mechanical?


Mr. B. Keightley: That is what I wanted you to say. I got what I wanted.


Mr. A. Keightley: Question 4. “Have these Ah-hi been men in previous Manvantaras or will they become so?”


Mme. Blavatsky: They will become men in a subsequent manvantara.


37.                           2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


Mr. A. Keightley: They do they remain permanently on this very exalted plane during the whole period of the Manvantara?


Mme. Blavatsky: Of the 15 figures? No, they pass through all the planes until they become on the third plane Manasaputra, the sons of Manas or mind. They are arûpa. On the higher planes these Ah-hi are arûpa, that is to say formless, bodies, without any substance, without anything, they are breaths. On the second plane they approach to rûpa or to form. On the third they become Mânasarupa, those who become incarnated in men.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then is that stage taken in one manvantara or are those various stages?


Mme. Blavatsky: It is. It is all the same thing, only a distinction is made. On every plane they reach they are called by other names.


Mr. A. Keightley: Quite so.


Mme. Blavatsky: There is more and more differentiation because what we talk about is the homogeneous substance, which we call substance from our conceit, because it cannot be any substance which we can conceive of. Later they become substance, if you like.


Mr. A. Keightley:  Then the Ah-hi of this manvantara—


Mme. Blavatsky: They do not exist any more, if you please. They have become long ago [   ].6 Read The Secret Doctrine you will see the thing there.


Mr. A. Keightley: I understood you to say they did not become men in this Manvantara.


Mme. Blavatsky: The 15 figures apply to the solar system. The first answers relate to the beginning of the whole objective universe, but after that, when you begin to speak about Father-Mother, then it


5 [The manvantaric life cycle that relates to the solar system “a duration of time which extends over over fifteen figures.”]


6 [This passage is left blank in the original. The published version of the Transactions gives “Planetary, Solar, Lunar, and lastly incarnating egos.”]


38.                           2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


relates to our objective universe and to the solar system only because our teaching does not busy itself at all with things outside. At least those things that I have selected. I could not go and select the whole thing. I have only taken that which relates to our solar system. I have just taken two or three just to show the general idea, and then skipped over whole stanzas and came to the point. I have said there are some 60 stanzas passed over. I would have had compliments from the Daily News if I had translated the whole of it.


Mr. B. Keightley: Then on the re-awakening will the men of one Manvantara have to pass through a similar stage to the Ah-hi stage in the next Manvantara?


Mme. Blavatsky: In many, many Manvantaras at the end of the tail of the serpent; when the tail will be in the mouth of the serpent, I might say. What have you got the ambition of becoming? An Ah-hi, or what? You will have time, my dear fellow, to do many things before you become an Ah-hi.


Mr. A. Keightley: “A man can choose what he shall think about, can the analogy be applied to Ah-hi?”


Mme. Blavatsky: No, because a man has free will and the Ah-hi have no free will. They have collective will. They are obliged to act simultaneously. It is one law that gives them the impulse and they have to act just according to that law. I do not call it free will. Free will can exist only in man, in a man who has a mind with consciousness, which acts and makes him perceive things not only within himself but outside himself also. These Ah-hi simply are forces ; you don’t take them to be men, do you? 


Mr. A. Keightley: No, but I take them to be conscious agents in the work.


Mme. Blavatsky: Conscious in so far that they act within the universal consciousness. The Mânasaputra is a different thing when they come on the third plane.


Mr. Hall: Can the Ah-hi be said to be enjoying bliss?


39.                           2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


Mme. Blavatsky: Why should they enjoy bliss or enjoy non-bliss? What have they done to do so? I don’t think they enjoy anything of the kind. They cannot smoke cigarettes even when they like. Why should they enjoy bliss? What extraordinary ideas you have! You can enjoy bliss only when you have known what suffering is.


Mr. Hall: I was making a distinction in my mind between bliss and happiness.


Mme. Blavatsky: I thought it was the same thing; you can have neither happiness nor bliss if you have not known suffering.


Mr. Hall: I was thinking of bliss as the state of the Absolute.


Mme. Blavatsky: You suppose the Absolute is bliss? The Absolute can have no condition, no attribute, nothing at all. The Absolute is conditionless; that is the first thing to learn about the absolute. It is only that which is finite and differentiated which can have some attribute or something of the kind.


Dr. Williams: How can they be said to be conscious intelligences in as much as intelligence is such a complex thing?


Mme. Blavatsky: Because the English language does not furnish us with a better word. I admit the word is very inadequate, but the English language is not the Sanskrit language. If it were written in Sanskrit you would not find a single objection. But what can you do  with the English language or any other European language?


Dr. Williams: There may not be one word, but I think a collection of words would express anything.


Mme. Blavatsky: Oh, then try, if you please, to do so!


Dr. Williams: It seems to me from what I can gather from your elucidation that it really means a force which is a unity, not a complex action and reaction of several forces—which would be implied in the word intelligence or anything which implies complexity—but rather it is that simple force, almost. The nouminal, the aspect of


40.                           2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


phenomenal force, would at least express better what is meant by that.


Mme. Blavatsky: Well, I don’t know. You take one flame and represent yourselves a flame and it will be unity. But the rays which will proceed from that flame, they will become complex and do all kind of things and will be seen to act each one on its own line.


Dr. Williams: But they only become complex when they find receptacles in lower forms.


Mme. Blavatsky: Just what they do find? The lower they descend the more they find it. But it is all one; it is simply the rays which proceed from one; and more and more do they proceed to differentiate until they become fully conditioned and fall down here in this world of ours, with its thousands and millions of inhabitants—as Carlyle7 said, “most of them fools.”


Dr. Williams: Well, the Ah-hi, then, considered as a primary essence, would be a unity.


Mme. Blavatsky: Certainly, because they proceed from unity. It is the  first of the seven rays, as they call it.


Mr. A. Keightley:  Then they are the reflection of unity.


Mme. Blavatsky: What are the prismatic rays, if you please, if not one single white ray? From the one they become three, from the three they become seven, because there is a prismatic scale of colors.


Mr. A. Keightley: Seven, but they are still one when they are moving rapidly over each other.


Mme. Blavatsky: To our perception, quite so. They become seven just in the same way, there if you please take the analogy.


Mr. A. Keightley: Next question. You say that during deep sleep “mind is not” on the material plane; but it is implied that during this period mind is active on another plane. Can you give us a definition


7 [Thomas Carlyle English author [1795/1881.]


41.                        2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


of the characteristics which distinguish mind in the waking state from mind during the sleep of the body?


Mme. Blavatsky: Well, I suppose there is a great difference between the two. You see, the reason in higher minds sleeps but the instinctual mind is awakened. That is the difference. The reason of the higher mind, in the physical man, is not always the same. Today I have been looking at a book and I learnt at last the great difference between cerebrum and cerebellum. I was always mixing them up in my mind, I was not sure of them, and this morning I on purpose went to look and I at last learnt that this is the cerebellum (pointing to the head) and this the cerebrum. The one sleeps when the other is awake and if you ask an astrologer, he will give you a magnificent idea. I don’t know where it is stated, but the brain is all in seven, and he separated them and put all the planets that answer to those portions. Now here you will find the earth, the sun, and the moon, here at the back of the head; and this part sleeps and rests when the other is awake.


Mr. A. Keightley:  Then what do you mean by instinctual?


Mme. Blavatsky: You see, it passes from a plane which we regard as an illusion. Now, for instance, this plane in which we are proceeding is called reality; we call it illusion, but we say that this part going to sleep, and this part of the brain having no more a definite function, it is the other one that begins and carries away man on the Astral—which is still more deceptive, because it is all the emanations of everything that is bad. It preserves no record. The great serpent it is called. Now if the higher mind sleeps there you will have a perception of the dreams and you can bring back when you awake the recollection of them—this pretence of dreams, but I think we have been discussing dreams quite enough—and unless it is that, you will have all these chaotic dreams because you have all these dreams with this peculiar part of your brain, the cerebellum.


Mr. B. Keightley: One thing that question was meant to cover was this: for instance, the fundamental conditions of the mind in the waking state are space and time.


42.                           2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes.


Mr. B. Keightley: Do they exist for the Manas, the mind, during the sleep of the physical body?


Mme. Blavatsky: No.


Mr. B. Keightley: So there you get at any rate one very marked distinction between the manifestation of man on the two planes of consciousness.


Mme. Blavatsky: There may be something approximate some hallucination of space and time; but certainly it is nothing real. We have been talking about it many times, and have seen that in one second you may live through the events of thirty years, as some dreams prove to you. Therefore there is no conception, no possibility of conceiving of division of time.


Mr. B. Keightley: Or of space.


Mme. Blavatsky: They are both in duration and eternity; they are not in time.


Mr. A. Keightley: Next question: It has been stated that Manas (mind) is the vehicle of Buddhi, but the universal mind has been spoken of as Maha Buddhi. Can you define the difference between Manas and Buddhi as applied in a universal sense, and Manas and Buddhi as manifested in man?


Mme. Blavatsky: Well, cosmic Buddhi is the vehicle of Mahat, that is to say, in the sense of Buddhi being Prakriti and this is Prakriti; at least it descends in the seven planes, that is the difference, and the Buddhi of man proceeds from the highest Âkâsa. He does not go on the highest plane until he comes to the most objective plane. Maha-Buddhi is used there in the same sense as Prakriti in its seven manifestations.


Mr. B. Keightley: But is the vehicle of Mahat, the universal mind? Does the Manas in man proceed from the universal mind too?


43.                            2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes it proceeds from Âkâsa—Buddhi, I mean, or Manas. on a lower plane. The Mânasa-Dhyânis are the same Ah-hi I just told you of on a lower plane.


Mr. B. Keightley: Because, of course, one would naturally think, as Mahat is the universal mind, that Manas in man proceeds from the universal mind.


Mme. Blavatsky: It is just the same Prakriti in its last manifestation. It is what in the Kabbalah is called Malkuth, the Bride of Heavenly Man—well, earth, everything earthly, or atomic.


Mr. B. Keightley: I.e., the plane of objective consciousness, in fact, waking consciousness.


Mr. A. Keightley: Question 8. “Can there be consciousness without mind?”


Mme. Blavatsky: There we come to the great question. Consciousness—what is it not? It is only the faculty of the mind, is not it? It is that which permeates the mind or the Ego, and causes it to perceive that such a mind has action, that such a thing is so—is not that it? How do you explain it otherwise? Consciousness is not a thing per se. It is a faculty of the mind. That is what Hamilton will tell you and what all the Eastern idealists will tell you. They cannot tell you anything else. It is a thing inseparable from mind—unless it is the mind of an idiot, of course you won’t have any consciousness.


Mr. A. Keightley: You say the fashion now-a-days amongst philosophers is to speak slightingly—


Mme. Blavatsky: We know that, of course.


Mr. A. Keightley: —of the idea of making mind an entity.


Mme. Blavatsky: Of course, but mind is still the soul. It is perfectly synonymous with soul. Those who don’t believe in soul certainly will tell you that there is no such thing as consciousness apart from brain, and once the brain is dead and the man is dead, there is no


44.                           2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


consciousness. The Nihilists, and Atheists, and the Materialists will tell you so. If you believe in mind, mind is the soul or the Ego. What kind of a soul is that if it has not any consciousness?


Mr. A. Keightley: But they accept consciousness.


Mme. Blavatsky: But not after the death of man, while we accept consciousness after death, and say the real consciousness and the real freedom of the Ego or the soul begins only after the physical death of man. It is then that it is no longer impeded by terrestrial matter that it is free, that it can perceive everything.


Mr. A. Keightley: Because they confine there consciousness to sense of perception.


Mme. Blavatsky: That is what they do, and we don’t. That is the difference between us.


Mr. Hall: When you say the physical death of man, do you mean the permanent death?


Mme. Blavatsky: What other death is there for a man?


Mr. Hall: I don’t know whether it is the fact that you meant us to take it that after each death the soul is free and can proceed without being hampered by the body.


Mme. Blavatsky: You make a too subtle distinction. What is it you are talking about?


Mr. Hall: If you mean when a man ceases to incarnate, that is another thing.


Mme. Blavatsky: When does he cease? When he becomes Nirvânî when you are dead and no Hall will exist any more, but your Ego will. The Roger Hall will have become one of the dresses your Ego has thrown off to assume another in a certain time.


Mr. Hall: But then why should the Ego be anymore able to perceive things than it is at present?


45.                           2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


Mme. Blavatsky: Because it is not impeded by matter, by gross matter. Can you see what is behind that door unless you are a clairvoyant? There is no impediment of matter, and the soul sees everything. It goes into Devachan, its own place, and afterwards it must reincarnate. But there are cases when they don’t go into Devachan, that is what we are fools enough to believe in.


Mr. Hall: It would not apply to every physical death.


Mme. Blavatsky: We do not speak about exceptions, they only prove the rule; we speak about the average death.


Mr. B. Keightley: There is a moment of freedom of that mind. I take it, between the actual death and the time when the Ego proceeds to the Devachanic state.


Mme. Blavatsky: We can only go by analogies? When I am dead, I will come and tell you, if I can. I do not think I will, but there are others who have been in trances, which is just as good as death, and there are those yogis who were, for instance, 40 days buried.


Mr. Hall: Those are all exceptions.


Mme. Blavatsky: There consciousness can live and the body is—I do not say dead, but any doctor will tell you, it is dead.


Mr. Hall:  But these are all exceptions. I was asking whether it applied to every physical death because, if at the ordinary physical death of ordinary man his Ego must go along of its self, then it is not impeded by Devachan by the illusory bliss as it is by the illusory matter.


Mme. Blavatsky: Don’t let us mix up these things or we will never end here.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then we come to the fourth Śloka. “The seven ways to bliss were not. The great causes of misery ( Nidâna and Mâyâ) were not.”  The question, is what are the seven way to bliss?


Mme. Blavatsky: Well, they are practically faculties, of which you


46.                           2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


will know more later on, perhaps, if you go a little deeper into esotericism.


Mr. A. Keightley:  Then the seven ways are not mentioned?


Mme. Blavatsky: No, they are not mentioned in The Secret Doctrine are they?  They are not, I should say not.


Mr. A. Keightley: I don’t think they are. Then the question is: Are the four truths of the Hînayâna School the same as the four truths mentioned by Edwin Arnold in his book The  Light of Asia?”8


Mme. Blavatsky: Almost the same. He mentions something which is somewhat different from it.


Mr. A. Keightley: The first is of sorrow, the second is of sorrows cause, the third of sorrow’s ceasing and the fourth is the way.


Mme. Blavatsky: What do you understand by Edwin Arnold’s explanation?


Mr. B. Keightley: Read the passage please, Arch. (Mr. A Keightley then read the passage indicated, Light of Asia.)


Mme. Blavatsky: All this is theological and all this exoteric; this is what you can find in all the volumes that any Buddhist Priest will give you; but there is far more explanation, of course, in Aryasanga’s9 works, though that is the esoteric too. Arnold took it from the Singhalese Buddhism.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then do these four truths; the  first of sorrow, the second of sorrow’s cause, the third sorrow ceasing and the fourth the way, do they represent the four noble truths esoterically?


8 [Edwin Arnold, 1832-1904, author of the popular life of the Buddha in verse, The Light of Asia.]


9 [H.P.B. indicates in The Secret Doctrine that there were two Aryasanga’s; one a pre-Christian adept, the other, the Buddhist philosopher, known as Asanga, connected the formation of the Yogâcâra school during the fourth century of our era. SD 1: 49-50 fn.]


47.                           2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes, I think they do. You will find Buddhism all about them.


Mr. B. Keightley: What do they really stand for?


Mme. Blavatsky: It would take too long and it has no relevancy to this Śloka. It would take much to long. It is impossible to tell you now. It would take several evenings to explain to you one of them thoroughly.


Mr. B. Keightley: I am not sure it would not be a profitable thing to take up next time.


Mme. Blavatsky: I am not sure that it would be. You had better follow the Ślokas. You are not going to follow that, because the  four noble truths meant one thing for the priests of the yellow robes, and meant different things to the mystics. The one acts on the dead letter, just the same as our priests will act on the canons of the Church, and the mystics have got nothing to do with it.


Mr. A. Keightley: Can you give us any idea for the moment?


Mme. Blavatsky: I cannot, I am not an exoteric Buddhist. Ask Olcott.10 He is the man to know all these things. He is a very pious Buddhist and I am not. I am nothing pious.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then I put this question now, is “The eight fold path the same as the seven ways to bliss?”


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes.


Mr. A. Keightley: “Are Nidâna and Mâyâ the (great causes of misery) aspects of the Absolute?”


Mme. Blavatsky: Is that number 4?


10 [Henry Steel Olcott, President-Founder of the Theosophical Society, 1832-1907. Olcott had publicly converted to Buddhism on a tour of Sri Lanka in 1880, and had written an influential

Buddhist Catechism for the schools there. ]


48.                         2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


Mr. A. Keightley:  That is number 4.


Mme. Blavatsky: Now what can Nidâna, I ask myself and Mâyâ have to do with each other? Nidâna is the concatenation of cause and effect. The twelve Nidânas are the enumeration of the chief causes which produce material for Karma to strike you very heavily. Mâyâ is simply an illusion. Now what has Nidâna  to do with Mâyâ? I cannot understand what analogy, what idea one has in common with the other. If you take the universe as an illusion, a Mâyâ then certainly the Nidânas as being in the universe are included in the Mâyâ, but apart from that, what has one thing to do with the other.


Mr. B. Keightley:  Then why do you class them together in that way?


Mme. Blavatsky: They are two distinct things. Mâyâ is an illusion. You think yourself a very grand fellow, that you can go and compete with any Ah-his, and any of the [   ]. But you make a fool of yourself and then comes Nirvâna and shows it to you. It is just then, I think that the man cannot take into his own head that he is not separate from the one and he goes and thinks himself a very great man in his own individuality, and he is nothing at all. He is still one in reality. It is nothing but Mâyâ, an illusion; but taking this Mâyâ it is illusion or ignorance that brings us to commit all the acts which awaken the Nidânas, which produce the first cause of Nidâna; this cause having been produced, the effects follow and there is Karma. Of course Nidânas and the production of bad Karmic effects and Mâyâ are at the root of every evil. If we knew what we are we would not do such things. Every one of us thinks he or she is a unit and something very grand in the eyes of all the authorities up stairs that you may think of; we are simply a drop of water in the ocean not to be distinguished from another drop, that is all we are. This sense of separateness is at the root of all evil. You know there is no correspondence, no analogy, except the one I gave just now.


The President: The only possible is that they both of them are synonymous with manifestation, inasmuch as there cannot be any manifestation without the production of Nidânas on the one hand and Mâyâ on the other.


49.                           2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


Mme. Blavatsky: You think you can produce something but in reality you cannot produce anything at all.


The President: The instant one single chain of a causation is started by any manifestation, whatever, there is the Nidâna.


Mme. Blavatsky: Now let us say: I have dressed myself in a red dress, I go out and because I am dressed in a red dress I have produced a cause, and a bull goes for me because I irritated his nerves; there is the Mâyâ of the bull and there is the Nidâna I have produced so you can put two and two together. It is just an illusion which makes us produce the most Nidânas.


The President: “Are Nidâna and Mâyâ aspects of the Absolute?” is the exact form of the question.


Mr. B. Keightley: The question really ought to be separated; the question, is to ask, first of all, is Mâyâ an aspect of the Absolute?


Mme. Blavatsky: It cannot be an aspect of the Absolute. It is {an} aspect of the differentiation, if you put it this way. If Mâyâ means an illusion, everything that is differentiated is an illusion also, but it cannot be an aspect of the Absolute.


The President: Mâyâ is a manifestation surely.


Mme. Blavatsky: Certainly; the Absolute cannot have any manifestation whatever, it can have reflection at best.


Mr. B. Keightley: In one of the old articles in The Theosophist, Mâyâ is described as the cause of manifestation. I forget by who.


Mme. Blavatsky: Perhaps by some Hindu.


Mr. B. Keightley: By some good Hindu metaphysician. I am not sure if it was not Subba Row himself. He describes Mâyâ as the cause of differentiation.


Mme. Blavatsky: If there were no Mâyâ, there would be nothing——


50.                           2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


no differentiation.


The President:  But if there were no differentiation, there would be Mâyâ so you cannot put one before the other, can you?


Mr. B. Keightley: But you are taking Mâyâ as the cause of differentiation, therefore the moment you get behind differentiation where is the Mâyâ. Mme. Blavatsky said that even Nirvâna is a Mâyâ.


Dr. Williams: Mâyâ is a collective term meaning all manifestation.


Mme. Blavatsky: Certainly; they say that every thing is an illusion, because, first of all no two persons in the world see things in the same way. They may see it alike on general principles, but they won’t see it altogether in the same way. And secondly, that which has a beginning and an end is not a reality, and, being less than the wink of the eye, it is an illusion, a momentary deception of the senses. This is why they call it an illusion. They call reality only that which was, is, and will be, which cannot be, now, that absolute consciousness or what they call Parabrahman, or what in Kabbalah is called Ain-Soph.


Dr. Williams: The term, it seems to me, applies to the complex points of differentiation. Differentiation applies to the unit, and the other term applies to the collection of the units.


Mr. B. Keightley: Yes, that is the way to explain it.


Mme. Blavatsky: Now I must ask Mr. Kingsland to bring in his objections.


Mr. Kingsland: It is Dr. Williams’ turn.


Mme. Blavatsky: Do make it a little lively. Don’t go to sleep, all of you. 


Dr. Williams: I notice one thing as you passed along the explanation. I do not quite understand what the idea was at the back of it. I think the expression would lead to a misunderstanding of what the real facts are. That is to reference to the cerebellum and cerebrum as being, respectively, the organ of the higher mind and lower mind.


51.                           2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


Mme. Blavatsky: I never said higher mind and lower mind. I said this one acted during the waking hours; for instance, with everyone of us now, what acts is the front part—I think you call it cerebrum. Well, the other is active simply when this part sleeps and rests and becomes, so to say, inert—well, it is paralyzed. Then the dreams begin and the mind begins to live and to feel and to be conscious with that part of the brain that is astrologically. I don’t know if it is so, scientifically, and I don’t presume to say, because there is no atom of science in me; I simply say that which the Occultists say and which the Kabbalists say, and all kinds of hallucinated lunatics in general. 


The President: You have described the back part as the instinctive.


Dr. Williams:  That is the word I wanted.


Mme. Blavatsky: “Instinctual.” Yes.


Dr. Williams: Of course, I want to avoid if possible making the appearance of any discrepancy. I stand as a go-between, between the two to reconcile, if possible, the two statements. Leave that for a moment or so and take an animal. An animal is supposed to have an instinctive mind, but the cerebellum is the organ of vegetative life. It simply controls the functions of the body, nothing more.


Mme. Blavatsky: But yet it acts during sleep.


Dr. Williams: The sensual mind is the mind which the senses open, and there can be no thought, no ideation, no anything of which we predicate intellect or instinct anywhere, except in that part of the brain into which the senses do go, and that is the cerebrum.


Mme. Blavatsky: I said it is the organ of instinctual animal function and these functions will reflect themselves in dreams and produce the dreams. And unless the higher Ego takes in hand the plane of the material, the dreams will have no sequence, even, because those dreams that we remember and that really have something in them are produced by the vision of the higher Ego. They are not produced by anything else. Every dog dreams, and certainly we cannot say a


52.                           2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


dog has prophetic dreams.


Mr. A. Keightley: Is not the cerebellum what you may call the organ of habit?


Mme. Blavatsky: Well, if I say instinctual, it comes to the same thing.


Mr. A. Keightley: Except that habit is very often referred to what we may call the present phase of existence and instinct to a past phase of existence.


Mme. Blavatsky: Whatever its name, the only thing that functions during night is cerebellum and not the cerebrum, because the dreams or the emanations—I don’t know how to express it—well, those instinctive feelings which are felt here are just recollections of what took place. I told you my dream the other day. The thing gets distorted, and at the moment you awake, you have a dream, and you have a thing that is half mixed up with all those feelings that were acting during sleep, and so on. If this part (the front brain) acted during sleep, then we would have consecutive dreams, because now we sit here we do not dream. We think, you understand, and we have all kinds of dreams awake, but there is some consecutiveness in them; we can think what we like and just make it clear. We can invent pictures, or, for instance, a man will be writing a novel; but in a dream you don’t do that, just because it is that part which acts.


Dr. Williams: The consecutiveness is brought about entirely by the coordinating faculty. I do not know that scientific men have attempted to determine what part of the brain it is.


Mme. Blavatsky: It does not act in sleep.


Dr. Williams: But the cerebrum certainly does act, and the proof of it is this: that the nearer we approach the waking sleep, the more vivid our dreams become.


Mme. Blavatsky: Just so; when you are awakening, but not before.


53.                           2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


Dr. Williams: When we are awakening, it is cerebrum which is coming into consciousness.


Mme. Blavatsky: It is just like something that has been very much heated during the day and which will emanate or irradiate during the night, but not at all because there is something acting there; it is the energy of the brain that comes out unconsciously.


The President: Didn’t you describe it just a moment ago as being that portion of the brain which received the impression of the senses? Is not it exactly during sleep when we receive such impressions of the senses? The reception of a very vivid impression.


Dr. Williams: Of course, you cannot reproduce anything except from that portion of the brain where it has been registered. The cerebellum does not receive and register impressions through the cerebrum.


The President: It because the senses are producing no impressions at all when we sleep, really.


Mr. B. Keightley: Not quite “no impressions at all,” because if you make a noise over a sleeping man he will awake, and very likely will be able to trace his dream to the sense of oppression which awoke him.


The President: Don’t you think that seems to show, from the very fact that brain activity is required to register it, that the brain must be brought into activity again? Or in other words, he must be woke up.


Dr. Williams: All that you are describing is the function of the cerebrum.


Mme. Blavatsky: You have no consciousness of the activity of the cerebrum and it acts mechanically.


Mr. B. Keightley: One notices it often in ordinary life.


Mme. Blavatsky: In dreams, in the same way the memory comes


54.                           2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


into play. You must have a memory and perception of this thing, and if you catch one glimpse of it, maybe you will be able to reconstruct the dreams. I knew persons who could reconstruct their dreams in the most extraordinary way; if they only caught one little bit, it was enough. They would just throw themselves into a kind of negative state, and little by little it would come to them again, so that they could pump out again these things that were present unconsciously; but those persons are very rare. The average person dreams what is perfect nonsense, dreams of digestion, of nervous disturbances, etc., but I speak with respect to dreams that really are dreams.


Dr. Williams: It cannot be a matter of any importance. Still, I think if it should go out as it is, it would be very severely criticized. Whether this is a matter of any consequence, I don’t know.


Mme. Blavatsky: If we were to write like all the blessed sages in the world, we should be pitched into. “The Theosophical Society” they   say,“ is absurd.” It is a jumble, it has hallucinations, it is this, that, and the other; what can you do?


Dr. Williams: I suppose the Theosophical Society and yourself, as well, desire so far as possible to avoid giving them occasion for such remarks.


Mme. Blavatsky: It is no use to sit under an umbrella the whole of your life.


Mr. A. Keightley: One does not want to give them a handle they can seize hold of.


Mr. B. Keightley: Your old simile for the sleep of the brain was a very good one, the flickering embers of the fire dying down. If you reverse that and suppose a current of air passes over the slumbering embers— 


Dr. Williams:  That would be a beautiful illustration of it.


Mr. B. Keightley: That is the true analogy; then you get it.


55.                           2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


Mme. Blavatsky: I do not know if this is put down.


Mr. B. Keightley: The point of it is this; you get a factor or two, as it were. These waking sparks in the cerebrum, the brain just beginning to awake, combined with the activity that has been going on all night in the cerebellum, which in its turn is fading below the plane of consciousness.


Mme. Blavatsky: Were you here, Dr. Williams, when we talked about that? I have it all in the little book. I have been writing considerably in it. It is not notes such as I have taken here. There I have been writing whole pages.


Mr. A. Keightley: Does the cerebellum ever permanently stop working?


Mme. Blavatsky: No, but it is perfectly lost in the functions of the cerebrum, which is, just as Dr. Williams says, connected more with—what do you call—vegetative life.


Mr. B. Keightley: The stimuli which proceed from the cerebellum during waking life fall, all of them, below the waking consciousness. The field of consciousness being entirely occupied by the cerebrum till it goes to sleep, when the stimuli from the cerebellum begin to form the  field of consciousness.


Dr. Williams: You say all consciousness must necessarily reside in the cerebrum. I am speaking now of the ordinary dream state, that the ordinary dream state must always be connected with more or less activity of the cerebrum. Of course, when we say it sleeps, there is not an absolute paralysis, there is circulation of the blood. It is simply the withdrawal of the ordinary, normal amount of blood that occupies it during waking hours. Just in that state there are a great many stages.


The President: Then if dreams are the beginning and end of sleep they occur practically at the particular moment when the cerebrum is going to sleep, and deep sleep is temporary paralysis.


56.                           2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


Mr. B. Keightley: I don’t think it is strictly true that the cerebrum is the only seat of consciousness.


Mme. Blavatsky: No, but it is that which polishes the ideas and makes them perfect—coordinates them. But the other does not. It simply gives consciousness desire and so on.


Dr. Williams: They say a sensitive plant has consciousness. I meant coordinating consciousness.


Mr. B. Keightley: Du Prel11 cites some very curious experiments showing there is a kind of local consciousness.


Dr. Williams:  That is what they call reflex connection?


Mr. B. Keightley: He goes further than that in the cases of clairvoyants who perceive through the stomach. He cites a number of well authenticated cases that were experiments of his own in that direction, in which he shows that the threshold of consciousness is capable of a very wide range of variation, very much wider than we are accustomed to attribute to it, both upwards and downwards.


Mr. A. Keightley: The point I was about to raise was this. You get your cerebrum acting from the point of your consciousness at the beginning and end of sleep. Very well then, in the intervening period, a period of deep sleep, the consciousness of the man is not lost; what goes on?


Mr. B. Keightley: The consciousness of the man is then inherent in the higher Ego.


Mr. A. Keightley: But the brain is not a sufficiently sensitive registering organ under those circumstances.


Mr. B. Keightley: No; except what is impressed upon it at the moment of awakening, and that is liable, of course, to get mixed up with the suggestions and stimuli and sensations that have been going on during the night in the cerebellum.


11 [Baron Carl Du Prel, German philosopher, 1839-1899, who was a member of the Theosophical society.]


57.                           2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


Mr. A. Keightley: Now, query: the cerebellum has sometimes been called the coordinating organ of the physiological senses.


Mr. B. Keightley: Of the sense of sight, do you mean?


Mr. A. Keightley: Coordinating organ—I want to query whether it is possible for the cerebrum to be the coordinating organ of ideas?


Mr. B. Keightley: As opposed to sensations?


Mme. Blavatsky: Sensations. I suppose the animal also will have its sensations coordinated. If you give it a name in man, it is a different thing. In man there are the ideas, whereas an animal has nothing of the kind. It is simply an instinctual feeling; the animal does not think.


Mr. A. Keightley: Well, but roughly speaking, you have the animal with his sensation, which sensation is transmitted to the brain, if there is anything to be done with it for the first time. That process is repeated, until finely there is a sort of course of action determined, giving a repetition of the sensation. Ultimately, the end of it is that the cerebellum appears to act as an organ which will entail a definite course of action following a similar sensation without the creature taking a conscious part in the process. Is not that supposed to be the function of the cerebellum?


Dr. Williams: Yes.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then, you see, the cerebrum has taken it part and the cerebellum takes its part during the waking hours. Very well then; then we come to another part of it. Is it possible for the cerebrum to be a coordinating organ of ideas, as the cerebellum is a coordinating organ of action?


Mme. Blavatsky: Well, really, I don’t know physiology enough for it, I can tell you. I don’t know all the scientific things and I have read


58.                           2. Meeting January 17th, 1889.


a good deal of what Huxley12 was saying about the evidence of one lobe and another lobe. I say he has a theory which I cannot make head or tail of, just to reconcile it with occult theories, with what we are taught.


Dr. Williams: I don’t think you could understand him. I think Huxley is ultra materialistic.


Mme. Blavatsky: He speaks about things most peculiarly. I read him several times and I think if I read it ten times, I could not understand it either. It may be very scientific physiologically but in reality, as well as I could check it by my own experience in dreams, all that I see in sleep etc., I could not make head or tail of it. I don’t see it is that at all.


Mr. B. Keightley: If you tickle a sleeping man gently, he will make a movement to brush it away, but without waking. Therefore the stimulus goes to the cerebellum and the mechanical action is produced. Arch’s point was this: does the cerebrum, the forebrain, act in the same way with regard to the ideas? Does that establish a coordination between ideas?


Mme. Blavatsky: I believe it does. It cannot be otherwise.


Dr. Williams: I should say it could not be otherwise.


The President: Well I think we might make it now general.


12 [Thomas Henry Huxley English Biologist 1825-1895.]


( These remarks closed the proceedings )





Blavatsky Lodge of

The Theosophical Society

Meeting January 24th, 1889

at 17, Lansdowne Road W.


Mr. A. Keightley: The first question arises from what was stated at a previous meeting, when you said that it would take too long. We want to know if you will give us some explanation of the four and seven truths, even if it takes all the evening, as you said it would be too large a subject to deal with at the same time as others.


Mme. Blavatsky: Well, I will answer as follows: Everything about the four truths you can find in the Buddhist Catechism1  or any of the exoteric books, but I do not think you are ready, anyone of you, for the esoteric explanation of them; therefore I had better ask you to postpone this.


Mr. A. Keightley: Can anything that is esoteric be found in these exoteric books?


Mme. Blavatsky: You can find it in any manual of Buddhism; in Olcott’s book, for instance. 


Mr. A. Keightley: Then how far is that exoteric side to be taken for anything real?


Mme. Blavatsky: It is real, because in the Buddhist church they practice it, and certainly the high priests know the truth about it,


1 [H. S. Olcott’s A Buddhist Catechism, according to the Canon of the Southern Church, a discussion in question and answer form of the basic tenets of Buddhism, was originally printed in Ceylon in 1881 in English and Sinhalese for use in Buddhist Schools. It was reprinted ca. 1888/89 by the Theosophical publishing Society of London.]


60.                           3. Meeting January 24th, 1889.


and they do not take the exoteric forms literally. As to the small fry and the laymen, they do.


Mr. A. Keightley:  Then how far has that any value?


Mme. Blavatsky: It has a great value, because it is a discipline and it helps them to lead a good life and to have their mind on the spiritual.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then we pass on. The Secret Doctrine Stanza 1, Śloka 5. “Darkness alone filled the boundless All.” Is “darkness” the same as the “Eternal Parent: Space,” spoken of in Śloka 1?


Mme. Blavatsky: How can it be the same thing? To me, Space is something already with attributes, at least in potentiality; it is differentiated matter, and “darkness” is something of which  no attributes can be predicated, surely, for it is chaos; it is the absoluteness. How can it be the same?


Mr. A. Keightley: But then is “darkness” there used in the sense of the opposite pole to light?


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes, the opposite pole to manifestation. “Darkness” means something that is perfectly void of any attributes or qualities— all negative.


Mr. B. Keightley: It is not opposed to light, then, but opposed to differentiation?


Mme. Blavatsky:  There is no light yet.


Mr. B. Keightley: But it is really taken as the symbolism of negativeness.


Mme. Blavatsky: It is taken as that which you can find in the Bible the void, “Tohu-va-bohu”2 as they call it, the “chaos”; as it is said: “everything was darkness, and on the darkness the spirit of God was.” Just the same as in that sense. There was nothing in it—in the Universe.


2 [Genesis, 1:2, “And the earth was without form, and void.”]


61.                           3. Meeting January 24th, 1889.


Mr. Kingsland: Is it that there is no light, or simply nothing to manifest it?


Mme. Blavatsky: There is nothing to manifest it. It is not darkness as absence of light, but it is darkness as absoluteness in the absence of any manifestation.


Mr. Kingsland: Quite so; just the same as the Universal Mind we were discussing last time?


Mme. Blavatsky: Just so.


Col. Chowne:  Then is says: “Light proceeds from Darkness.”


Mme. Blavatsky: After that. First comes light. Light is the first Logos—call it whatever you like—it is the non-manifested Logos. In the second Logos it is not the Creator, but the light. In the Vishnu Purâna they do not call it even Brahmâ, because Brahmâ is an aspect of Vishnu in the Vishnu Purâna. What they say is it is Vishnu—all. Vishnu is and it is not.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then what is the difference there between the derivations of Vishnu and Brahmâ, the spreading and pervading?


Mme. Blavatsky: I the Vishnu Purâna you will find Vishnu spoken of as the Absolute “No-Thing” as the Ain Soph, That which is perfectly unknown, endless and incomprehensible. The Heavenly Man is its vehicle to manifest itself in the Universe when the Ain Soph becomes that celestial man. Just in the same way we deal with Vishnu in the Vishnu Purâna, who will be spoken of as the Absolute; and then one of his aspects will be Brahmâ, the male not the neuter. And after that he becomes everything. In the Veda you won’t find Vishnu prominently mentioned, nor Brahmâ. Vishnu is named in the Veda, but is not mentioned as anything of a high order. As to Brahmâ he is not mentioned at all.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then that quotation, “For Father, Mother and Son were once more One”?


62.                           3. Meeting January 24th, 1889.


Mme. Blavatsky: Means that all that, the creative forces and the causing forces—if I may use the expression—and the effect of this cause is the Universe. Again, in the undifferentiated condition all was merged into one and was One. The Absolute is during the Pralaya, always.


Mr. A. Keightley: Second. What are the different meanings of the terms: Father, Mother and Son? For in the Commentary you explain them (a) as Spirit, Substance, and the Universe; (b) as Spirit, Soul and Body; (c) as the Universe, the Planetary Chain, and Man.


Mme. Blavatsky: Well, so they are. I think I have explained entirely. What can I say more? Unless you anthropomorphize them and make ideals of them, and deities, and put them as the Father, Mother and Son, as put all kinds of goddesses and gods. I do not see how I can explain it in any other way.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then take the last items of the series: I suppose “Son,” “Substance,” “Body” and “Man” correspond?


Mme. Blavatsky: Certainly they do.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then why are “Father-Mother” linked together? And then the correspondence comes, “Spirit and Substance”; “Spirit and Soul”; and the “Universe and the Planetary Chain”; and the third term in the series seems to proceed from the other two.


Mme. Blavatsky: I put all the examples because it can be applied to anything. It can be applied to a planetary chain, it can be applied to the solar system, it can be applied to the whole Kosmos or anything you like. It is simply a figure of speech—a metaphor.


Mr. A. Keightley: But I think the point that I was meaning was this: you have Father and Mother and then you have the Son. The sentence seems to mean that the Son is distinct from the Father and the Mother, and that ultimately, in Pralaya, the Son is merged back again into the Father and Mother in a closer union.


Mme. Blavatsky: Remember, I do not speak about the period


63.                           3. Meeting January 24th, 1889.


preceding what they call in common parlance “Creation.” I speak about the time after matter was differentiated, but before it began to assume form. I say in The Secret Doctrine I do not touch the thing which was pre-natal—if you can say that of the Kosmos. I do not touch this at all. Father-Mother simply means here the differentiated primeval substance, protyle, when it began to differentiate became positive and negative, the active and the passive, and the Son, the production of the two, is the Son of the Universe, that is to say, of the universal forms.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then the ultimate state is the Laya state of Father Mother and Son?


Mme. Blavatsky: Laya is that which remains during Pralaya, but also that which, in the manifested universe, is at the terminus of all matter. It is the zero-point. Now ask Mr. Bulaki Rama what Laya means. He knows and will explain it to you a great deal better than I. I say it is non-differentiated matter, the zero-point as Crookes calls it. I don’t know how to describe in any other way, that point where indestructible substance becomes homogeneous, entirely and absolutely homogeneous, that is to say, and not objective.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then is that the point you are speaking of here, just at the time when the Father, Mother and Son become once more One?


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes, but I don’t know, I don’t think it is in The Secret Doctrine. I simply make reference to that which was before the Father-Mother period. If there is Father-Mother, then certainly there is no such condition as Laya.


Mr. B. Keightley: Father-Mother are later than the Laya condition.


Mme. Blavatsky: Certainly, individual objects may be in Laya, but the universe cannot be in Laya when Father-Mother appear there, as it is said in this stanza.


Mr. A. Keightley: That is the point I was meaning. Where the Son and the Father and the Mother reunite, there can be no differentiation at all.


64.                           3. Meeting January 24th, 1889.


Mme. Blavatsky: Certainly, it is the Laya, but not at that point you are talking about.


Col. Chowne: You explained it once as the essence.


Mme. Blavatsky: It is the essence, it is that which exists and does not exist, it is space. Now, for us, space is a word which has no meaning unless we limit and condition it; but in reality, space is the most abstract thing, and space containing all is just that unknown deity which is invisible and which we cannot understand, which we can but intellectually sense. What do they call it in Sanskrit, “dis,” isn’t it? The ‘ten divinities” that are in space. It is written “dis.”


Mr. Bulaki Rama: “Desha,” you mean, the “Ten Divinities” of space.


Mme. Blavatsky: It is just what I have been talking about. They pronounce like “sh” what we pronounce as “s,” for instance, they would say “shloka” for what we call “Śloka.”


Mr. B. Keightley: Is Fohat one of the three—Father, Mother, and Son—or what is it?


Mme. Blavatsky: Fohat is a manifestation. You mix up in the most extraordinary way the first Logos and the second Logos. The first is the unmanifested potentiality of Father, Mother and Son and of everything. It makes a triangle, that which is so dealt with by the Pythagoreans. You mix up the second Logos, which is the collectivity of the creators, or what they call in Greek Demiurgi, the builders of the universe, or simply the masons.


Mr. B. Keightley: I only want to get as clear as we can the sense in which the term is used in The Secret Doctrine.


Mme. Blavatsky: I use it in many senses in The Secret Doctrine. If you ask me such a thing I cannot remember in what sense I use it in such and such a page, but I can tell you in general what it means.


65.                           3. Meeting January 24th, 1889.


Mr. A. Keightley: Question 3. Can you give us the equivalents of these terms (Father, Mother and Son) in (a) the Vedântic and (b) in the Sankhya phraseology?


Mme. Blavatsky: No, Sir, I do not teach you the Vedânta, or the Sankhya. It will only confuse you, and make matters worse. Let us hold to the esoteric philosophy, without mixing up the Sankhya and other philosophies with it. There many things which are identical, but now, since we learn Occultism, I do not see why I should go and speak on it. This is, I know, a knotty question. I am  perfectly sure of it.


Mr. A. Keightley: Question 5. During Manvantara, when the “Son” is in existence or awake, do the Father and Mother exist independently, or only as manifested in the Son?


Mme. Blavatsky: This is a thing which tickled me very much when I read it. I cannot understand, unless you want to become polytheists and idolaters, how anyone can offer such a question as that. How can a Father and Mother be independent of the Son? Are the Father and Mother two entities of the male and female persuasions and the Son the product of these two entities? Why, it is all one, it seems to me. How can we anthropomorphize in such a way in metaphysical questions? Well, look here, I cannot tell you any better than this, that they are, if you like, centripetal and centrifugal forces. This is the Father-Mother. That which they produce, is the Son I can not say it any better, because this gives you the whole thing.


Mr. B. Keightley: And that is the point; because in our mental conceptions we had conceived of the centripetal and centrifugal forces as existing independently of the effects they produce. We regard the effects in ordinary thinking as secondary to these two forces.


Mme. Blavatsky: Well, you are very wise in the West. You are great pundits, a thousand times more so than any of these benighted pundits in the East. (I am not one of them, but I am very near to them in my heart.) But still you do not know anything about it, and


66.                           3. Meeting January 24th, 1889.


you cannot bring me any of your Herbert Spencers, or your other scientists, who know anything about it. They do not understand the thing as we do; they do not understand it aright, because you think about centripetal and centrifugal forces not as to any effect they produce. Therefore you think when there are no effects they will exist the same, do you, and they will produce no effects? They will be effectless. But why should you go and conceive a thing upside down? If these centripetal and centrifugal forces exist they must be producing effects, because there is nothing aimless in nature, and if they exist they produce effects. When there are no more effects the Forces do not exist either.


Mr. Kingsland: They exist as separate entities for mathematical purposes.


Mme. Blavatsky: Oh, for mathematics, but in nature and in science it is a different thing. We divide also man into seven principles. We do not mean that in man there are seven skins or seven entities, or seven souls or, as Gerald Massey3 thought, seven devils. They are only aspects of the one and nothing else. It certainly does not mean that. I see that you have been reading a good many books in your British Museum, but you are not accustomed to the way of expression—well, to this metaphorical form of speech of theirs. I do not know how it is, but I have been brought up from childhood in this way; and in the Georgian and Armenian times there was always this metaphorical mode of expression. In Persia they won’t say a single word.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then pass on to Śloka 6. “The universe the, Son of Necessity, was immersed in Parinishpanna. The causes of existence had been done away with.” If the “causes of existence” had been done away with, how did they come into existence again? For you state in the Commentary that the chief cause of existence is the desire to exist, and it has been just stated that the Universe is the Son of Necessity.


3 [Thomas Gerald Massey, English poet and 1828-1907, who argued for ancient Egypt as the homeland of western civilization.]


67.                           3. Meeting January 24th, 1889.


Mme. Blavatsky: What a contradiction indeed; it is extraordinary. “The causes of existence had been done away with.” Refer to the past Manvantaras or age of Brahmâ, but the cause which makes the wheel of Time and Space run into eternity, which is out of time and space (now try and understand me) has nothing to do with finite cause or that which we call Nidânas. What has one thing to do with the other? There is a little bit of criticism which I could not understand. I received it very humbly with very great gratitude, but I thought to myself of the person who wrote it. I do not think he will ever be a rival to Schopenhauer,4 or anyone like him. That was my intimate opinion. What is contradictory there.


Mr. A. Keightley: Nobody has said it is a contradiction.


Mme. Blavatsky: But read it, if you please. It is a very great contradiction. I want all of you to remark that.


Mr. A. Keightley: It is the contrast here. If the causes of existence had been done away with, how did they come into existence again? And there you answer that by saying that one Manvantara had disappeared into Pralaya and that the cause which led the previous Manvantara to exist is behind the limits of space and time, and therefore causes another Manvantara to come into being.


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes, because that cause is immutable and has nothing to do with the causes of this terrestrial plane produced by finite and conditioned being. And we say that cause is immutable and it can be in no sense a finite consciousness or desire. It postulates an absurdity to give to the Absolute desire or consciousness or necessity. If you don’t understand it, read it, and you will see it is so. I say it is no more natural to predicate of the Absolute, or to charge the Absolute with desire or thought, than it is to say, for instance—how did I put it here—than the striking of the hours in a clock proves the desire of the clock to strike. Now you say: “Yes, the clock is wound up.” I say the universe is wound up. The only difference is that this one is wound up in space and time, and the other is out of space and


4 [Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher, 1788-1860.]


68.                           3. Meeting January 24th, 1889.


time, that is to say, in eternity; therefore, it is one and the same thing. Whoever has something to say against it, let him come and say it, and I will see what objection there is. There I am charged positively with the most absurd idea, as if the Absolute could have any desire or feel necessity, is not it so? Read it all over again.


Mr. A. Keightley: Well, it is divided into two or three different headings (reads again).


Mme. Blavatsky: Well I don’t find the blind will of Schopenhauer so very stupid; it is a thousand times more philosophical than the philosophy of the ruler who created man. Doesn’t it accuse me of contradiction? Well, not me, but the Śloka there.


Mr. B. Keightley: No, I don’t think so. It seems to me to ask for an explanation.


Mme. Blavatsky: How can I explain why, when I am sitting down, I am not standing up? What can I say?


Mr. A. Keightley: It practically reduces the whole matter to “what is the cause in the Absolute of differentiation.


Mr. B. Keightley:  The difficulty is you can not postulate—


Mme. Blavatsky: Ah! It is a very easy question to ask, you understand. I know you don’t ask, but many ask. Fawcett asked it. He wants to ask what is the cause that propels or compels Parabrahman to create. Parabrahman is not a cause. It is not even the Absolute, as I say, but absoluteness. Now, how can we know the cause that propels Parabrahman to create? That which is behind all the veil of matter is incomprehensible, and no finite intellect can conceive it. Well we  can perhaps have a slight conception in our hazy ideas that there may be such a thing, but we don’t understand it, and to come and ask for the cause is perfectly ridiculous. Look at what Subba Row says in his lectures; it is perfectly true. He says that even the Logos—the first not the second—cannot see Parabrahman. He see simply the veil of matter, Mûlaprakriti. So you see what it must be; then how can you know the cause, when we have no idea of Mûlaprakriti,


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even? It is simply a conception. And it is just as Buddha said: “What is Nirvâna? It is no where.” “Then it is not, it does not exist?” “No it does not exist but it is.”  Well, just the same with that. Nirvâna itself is a Mâyâ. You will come always to the old question, unless you can conceive of such a thing as an eternal, endless, perpetual motion machine which you will call the universe—though properly we cannot call it a machine. We cannot call that a machine which is unlimited, limitless. But if you can conceive even of such an idea, you will never conceive of the Absolute in the way you do. You just try to imagine
[?space] in nature without giving it limits or form or anything. Understand my idea, and just try to imagine two forces: the centripetal and the centrifugal, which periodically must emanate from IT. Just as the clock must strike so this strikes and emanates periodically. When it has done striking it goes to sleep again. Try to imagine that and then you will have perhaps a notion. I tell you what was in my conception in the beginning. I had the perpetual motion machine. Mind you, it is not that I say, and certainly not that I would go and advocate, the automatic creation of the materialists; never. But it is for the purpose of giving a shape to it, and to allow people to conceive of it, because otherwise, you cannot.


Mr. B. Keightley: It is a peg to hang your mind upon.


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes, you must have a peg, therefore, imagine a perpetual motion machine which has no form and which is endless. Well, you can, with a little imagination, have these two forces which appear and disappear periodically.


Mr. Gardner: What portion of the machine is Parabrahman?


Mme. Blavatsky: What! Put him to bed! Please give him a pillow! Mr. Gardner, my dear man! Shame him, if you please, let him blush—Parabrahman, why, it is all. If there is one mathematical point in the universe where Parabrahman is not, then you had better go to bed, because it does not exist. It is not the present it is eternal. Oh! Do explain, somebody else, will you, please? Tell him some verses from the Veda to refresh him—anything you like.


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Mr. A. Keightley: Supposing you take your conception of a machine. If ultimately you work out your conception of the universe, you bring yourself back to plain, simple, centrifugal and centripetal forces.


Mme. Blavatsky: With intelligence, plus intelligence; that will be another kind of “machine.”


Mr. A. Keightley: Very well, call that the primary differentiation and get that back to Parabrahman.


Mme. Blavatsky: Why should it get back to Parabrahman? It will get back to Parabrahman when the universe has finished its Age of Brahmâ its cycle.


Mr. A. Keightley: Very well, then, you get your primary differentiation and you postulate then that you must have a cause, the great first cause, the Absolute. 


Mme. Blavatsky: No, I beg your pardon. The great First Cause is not the Absolute, never call it that; the great First Cause is the unconscious radiation or emanation. Call it what you like, you know English better than I do. That which manifests itself as light. {crossed out: its delight}


Mr. B. Keightley:   The unmanifested Logos, in fact.


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes, the unmanifested Logos, if you like, but never Parabrahman. It is the causeless cause of all, and Absoluteness cannot be a cause.  That is the great difficulty.


Mr. B. Keightley: Look at the paradox. You will say on the one hand that Absoluteness cannot be a cause, and you call it in the same breath a causeless cause.


Mme. Blavatsky: Because, in the first place the English language is very poor, and in the second place, human language is almost as poor. And then, with our finite language, our finite brains, our finite conception, it is impossible to put in form that which is formless. How can you go, and presume to put it in language? Look at Herbert


71.                           3. Meeting January 24th, 1889.


Spencer, he also calls it the First Cause, and he mixes it up with Absoluteness. Why, this is a very great philosophical mistake, at least in the eyes of the Vedântins. Certainly it is the greatest mistake.  


Mr. A. Keightley: What I am getting towards is this, that you get back to your unmanifested Logos, and behind that, whatever attribute you chose to apply, you have Parabrahman.


Mr. B. Keightley: As the root.


Mme. Blavatsky: Look here, if you want to have the Vedântin theory, there is Parabrahm and Mûlaprakriti. They are the same only Mûlaprakriti is an attribute—it is a primordial, undifferentiated matter. We can conceive of such a thing, knowing there is such a thing, if we take it a little limited, that is of limited size or space; but we cannot conceive of that which is beyond that matter, that is to say, which is not even spirit, which is meta-spirit, and is a thing inconceivable to the human intellect, and we can only barely sense it in our conceptions. We cannot put it in any definite words. This is the thing I want to impress upon you. Now Mr. Gardner thought Parabrahman was something; Parabrahman is no thing. Not nothing, it is Ain-Soph, the Endless. It is not a thing which is all and nothing, for it is Be-ness, and not non-being. Now try to understand this philosophically.


Mr. Kingsland: But it is still the First Cause, isn’t it?


Mme. Blavatsky: It is the root of all, the causeless cause, the root of everything. And the First Cause, the unmanifested Logos, is that which will be the cause of everything in the universe.


Mr. Kingsland: You don’t use the term “causeless” in the sense of cause-that-is-not-a-cause for anything else, but you use it in the sense of a cause that is not a cause behind it.


Mme. Blavatsky: It is a universal potentiality of that which will become potency. That is to say, if there is a difference in the English language between potentiality and potency. Is there?


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Mr. B. Keightley: Certainly there is, distinctly.


Mr. Kingsland:  That overcomes your objection then.


Mr. B. Keightley: Yes, I only put it as a paradox of expression.


Mme. Blavatsky: They call it the rootless root; that is to say, it has  no root because it is causality itself—causation.


Mr. Kingsland: It has no root, but it is the root of everything.


Mme. Blavatsky: It is the spiritual basis of all cause, which Mûlaprakriti certainly is not. They say Âkâsa has only one attribute, and it is sound, in the Vishnu Purâna. What is sound? It is Logos that is to say, the sensuous representation of something. You see, it is very difficult for me to tell you. I speak English like a Spanish cow, and I am very sorry for it, but I cannot speak better, though I try to explain it as well as I can.


Mr. A. Keightley: Is it possible, as a speculation, as an entirely speculative thing, to conceive that after the universe has gone back into the Parabrahmanic condition, that there should be to that Parabrahmanic condition a Paraparabrahmanic.


Mme. Blavatsky: It is what they say—Paraparabrahmanic, that is the expression they use in philosophy. Don’t they?


Mr. Hall: It is the old story about veil behind veil.


Mme. Blavatsky: No, it is not that. It is the {? that} nothing is behind the veil but nothingness—the root of all.


Mr. A. Keightley: Otherwise, you don’t get back to infinity.


Mme. Blavatsky: Well, infinity is Sat, and Sat is Parabrahman, and  Parabrahman is Absoluteness; it is immutability.


Mr. B. Keightley: You see, you can’t have the fallacy of an endless chain of the hen from the egg, and the egg from the hen and so on backwards. You must come to a stopping point somewhere.


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Mr. A. Keightley: Must you? That is the question.


Mme. Blavatsky: You can conceive of it. If you train your intellect to be always aspiring and striving after the beginning of things, then you can.


Mr. B. Keightley: Can you go back?


Mme. Blavatsky: If you take the Aristotelian method you cannot go on, and you will be lost in a maze of all kinds of speculations which will be fruitless. But if you begin with the universals, taking the method of Plato, then I think you can, because then having once traveled on that road you can far more easily backtrack, and beginning from the particulars ascend to the universals. Then your method will be splendid; not quite on the lines of the men of science, but still it is good for something.


Mr. B. Keightley: But what I understand Arch was putting was this: behind that cause you have one cause, and behind that another cause, behind that another, and so on ad infinitium.


Mme. Blavatsky: Is it so, Arch?


Mr. A. Keightley: It is partly that. Well it is this: the subject seems to me so big that you can’t get the right expression.


Mme. Blavatsky: But “causeless cause” puts a stop to it, because that means there is no cause behind it and that it had no cause, because it is cause itself. Why, for instance, do we say that the Absolute cannot think, nor can it desire, nor can it have attributes? Why, I have been saying to you a thousand times it has no consciousness. It has no desire because it is absolute desire; “IT” being the Absoluteness. How can you have the smallest thing that is not in IT? But we can’t say that anything is an attribute of IT.


Mr. B. Keightley: Certainly not.


Mme. Blavatsky: Because an attribute is something finite, and this is infinite. So a stop is put to your speculations, by these words:


74.                           3. Meeting January 24th, 1889.


“causeless cause” and “rootless root.” And I think it is the most remarkable, suggestive and graphic expression I ever saw.


Dr. Williams: I think it says everything that can be said.


Mme. Blavatsky: Take the Vedânta. I don’t know of any philosophy in the world higher than that philosophy.


Mr. A. Keightley:  Then we come to section b (of) question 6.


Mr. B. Keightley: I think you can pass over those; they have been practically dealt with. We have just been discussing them. Pass on to the next one.    


Mme. Blavatsky: Oh no, he has not done. There is a, b, c, and d of that.


Mr. A. Keightley: (Reads) “To conceive of either a necessity or a desire in the Absolute is to destroy the Absoluteness of the Absolute, or to reduce it to the ‘blind will’ of Schopenhauer.“


Mme. Blavatsky: Well, I have answered that question. It is not at all to reduce it to the “blind will” of Schopenhauer, but the “blind will,” as far as I can express it, it is expressed perfectly; that which appears to us as “blind will” is absolute—well, not intelligence; but yes, absolute intelligence, absolute wisdom or knowledge, or absolute consciousness.


Mr. A. Keightley: (b) “If this desire is attributed to the Logos, it can only exist subsequent to the emergence of the Logos.”


Mme. Blavatsky: I say no desire is attributed to Logos number one. That is what I said to you before.


Mr. A. Keightley: (c) “If it is said to exist as a latent potentiality in the Logos during Pralaya, then there must be a cause that makes it pass from latency into activity. Whence then the impulse to manifestation?”


Mme. Blavatsky: That is the old original question. We come again


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to the first principles. It is old Fawsett who wants absolutely that someone should leave their visiting card at the door of Parabrahman and ask him what impels him to such capers, to create the universe. How can we answer that? It is a perfect impossibility. The potentiality, it says, if it exists in the Logos, it exists in everything. It exists in you, it exists in this fan and everywhere. Once we have approached the Pralaya—well, certainly we are in it, and it exists everywhere—but why should “the impulse” be absolutely limited to the Logos? There is again a thing which shows he has not been thinking on these Eastern lines.


Mr. A. Keightley: “The visible that was the invisible that is rested in eternal non-being, the One Being.” Question 7. What is the meaning of the expression, “the visible that was, and the invisible that is”?


Mme. Blavatsky: “The visible that was means the universe of the past Manvantara, which had dropped into eternity and was no more. Very well; and “the invisible that is” means the eternal, present and ever invisible deity. It is abstract space, absolute Sat, and then we go over again what we have been talking about. It is very simple, that; I don’t see why the question is asked.


Mr. B. Keightley: It was really to find out from what point of view you were speaking in that Śloka, whether of the past manvantara or not.


Mme. Blavatsky: Certainly, the past Manvantara. “The visible that was,” was no more, “and the invisible that is” in this is certainly that which was, and that which will be in everything.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then we get to Śloka 8. “ Alone the one form of existence stretched boundless, infinite, causeless, in dreamless sleep; and life pulsated unconscious in universal Space, throughout that All-Presence which is sensed by the opened eye of the Dangma.” Does then this “eye” open upon the Absolute, or is the “one form of existence” and the “All Presence” here mentioned other than the Absolute?


76.                           3. Meeting January 24th, 1889.


Mme. Blavatsky: Well, but the eye of Dangma being open and all that—I suppose everyone ought to see that it is again a metaphorical way of expressing the thing. You may open your eyes, and anyone can open his eyes on the Absolute, but the question is, “shall we see It”? It is not said that the eye saw, it says it “sensed.” Now, if it is said that on opening the eye Dangma saw the Absolute, then it would be a fallacy and an absurdity, but it is said “sensed,” if you please.


Mr. B. Keightley: It is not taken in that sense. What was meant by the question was, is it through this open eye that we do receive such sense, or such feeling, or such consciousness, whatever you take it to be?


Mme. Blavatsky: Do you take it for your own eye?


Mr. B. Keightley: No, for the highest spiritual faculty.


Mme. Blavatsky: There was no Dangma at that time therefore nobody could see it. What other questions have you, then?


Mr. A. Keightley: What is “dreamless sleep”?


Mme. Blavatsky: “Dreamless sleep” is a sleep without dreams, I suppose. I certainly cannot give you a better definition. Who can?


Mr. A. Keightley: What does it mean?


Mme. Blavatsky: A dreamless sleep means a sleep without dreams.


Mr. B. Keightley: But that simply describes its state in relation to waking consciousness.


Mme. Blavatsky: In what particular is it? What is it about the dreamless sleep? I would like to know to what page it refers, what I have been talking about.


Mr. B. Keightley: It is part of that Śloka.


Mme. Blavatsky: I remember very well. I use the expression, only I don’t see what there is. It means that there can be no presentation of


77.                           3. Meeting January 24th, 1889.


the objects you can see in the universe, and therefore it is a “dreamless sleep.”


Mr. B. Keightley: What you say here is this (reads passage from The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1).


Mme. Blavatsky: I think that I have explained it, and what can I explain more?


Mr. Kingsland: It implies there is something very active going on in that state of dreams. I think what you want to know is, what is that which is active going on?


Mr. B. Keightley: A greater degree of activity.


Mr. Kingsland: What they want to get at is, what is that activity?


Mme. Blavatsky: I surely cannot give you what is the activity of the causeless cause. I can tell you what is the activity in man. I am obliged to say I did not graduate as high as that. Man is a microcosm of the macrocosm. It means all the spiritual faculties behind matter. Matter being asleep and resting, we are more active than ever, though we cannot see with our spiritual eyes. But this belongs to the question of dreams, it does not belong at all to this series of questions.


Mr. B. Keightley: It is deeper than a state of dreams; it is further back still.


Mme. Blavatsky: There are no dreams on the physical plane. I said to you here that it is when we do not dream about anything that we dream the most. Not only that, but we act the most, and we live on an entirely different plane from this one, and our life is a thousand times more active. Our existence, rather, is a thousand times more varied; and it would be a nice thing if we could bring it back.


Mr. Kingsland: How do we act?


Mme. Blavatsky: We cannot take it, certainly, as we act on a physical plane, since that plane we are then on is Arûpa when here we are Rûpa.


78.                           3. Meeting January 24th, 1889.


Mr. Hall: Do we generate Karma in that condition?


Mme. Blavatsky: No, we do not. A man generates Karma every time he moves, with the exception {of} the activity of his highest faculties.


Mr. Hall:  Therefore it is the higher faculties which operate.


Mme. Blavatsky: And therefore you come to the dreams again. If you dream, for instance, you slew somebody, and you slew him asleep, that even affects your idea, and you dream you are killing a  man. Do you know, it may so happen that you will really kill a man, and the man will die, if you see it in the dream. Don’t try it, because you may do a nice little bit of black magic if it succeeded. If you had success, it might kill the man.


Mr. Kingsland: Now we are speaking about dreams that come back to consciousness?


Mme. Blavatsky: No, you can begin in consciousness and end unconsciously. The more it goes into the regions of the spiritual, the more it will be potent, and the easier you will kill the man.


Mr. B. Keightley: And the less you will remember about it.


Mr. Kingsland: Do you mean to say you can dream you have murdered a man, and not remember it at all, and that dream would be a potential force which might make you murder the man?


Mme. Blavatsky: It is your desire in the dream to hurt somebody. If you are neither an adept nor a black magician nor anything of the kind, nor a Jadoo,5 you cannot do it while you are awake, but in the dream life you are no more impeded by the limits of matter and of your senses, and that which limits you when you are awake. Then you can produce efects just the same as a hypnotizer could kill one of his subjects. You have such a potency in you that you can kill a


5 [Hindi term for magic or wonderworking, usually applied to traveling conjurers.]


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man at a distance, by thinking you are killing him.


Mr. Hall: But he must be asleep.


Mme. Blavatsky: Not a bit of it. You must be asleep, not he.


Mr. Kingsland: Then the question is do those actions produce Karma.


Mme. Blavatsky: That is what I say. On the lower plane, they will produce Karma; but if you are in your higher spiritual senses, you won’t kill a man at all. There you have not got those passions, and where you have not got them, by wanting to kill a man in the high spiritual regions you would kill yourself—because you are not separate from any man in creation, as your mind is not separate from the ALL.


Mr. Kingsland: In these dreamless sleeps it is only the higher principles which are active.


Mme. Blavatsky: We are talking about what Hall asked about, potentiality.


Mr. Kingsland: In every case we were referring to dreamless sleep.


Mme. Blavatsky: Dreamless sleep you may not remember. But from the next lower state you may remember, and do a good deal of mischief.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then question 10. What portion of the mind and what principles are active during dreamless sleep?


Mme. Blavatsky: Now, please, leave this. This will make us go on till twelve o’clock, wool gathering. It belongs, my dear fellow, to these other things. We discussed dreams for four or five evenings you know.


Mr. A. Keightley: We have no record of it.


Mme. Blavatsky: I have a record, excuse me. I can repeat it to you. I will take the same things and answer you.


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Mr. A. Keightley:  Then that closes these questions.


Col. Chowne: Then there is one thing you talked about: you said there was no other way of expressing how light came except by a cause, and that cause was darkness.


Mme. Blavatsky: Darkness so far that we don’t know anything about it, and it is perfect darkness for us; we cannot discern anything behind that, it is impossible.


Col. Chowne: But how does the light come?


Mme. Blavatsky: In consequence of an immutable law which manifests itself periodically. Just as I say the clock strikes and shows the hours without being conscious of it at all. Now, the clock is an automatic thing, and the other is a thing which has absolute consciousness. Therefore it is no better then clockwork because we cannot see how the intellect works.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then darkness and light in that stanza are not used as pairs of opposites.


Mme. Blavatsky: No, no; I use darkness because there is no other word suitable. If you say chaos and take that, immediately you create all kinds of confusion. Immediately you will have thoughts of chaotic matter and all kinds of anomalies. Therefore I use the word darkness, which is a great deal better.


Col. Chowne: The light that you refer to is not the physical light that we think of?


Mme. Blavatsky: Oh, no! The light means the first potentiality of all—the first flutter in undifferentiated matter which throws it into objectivity and into a plane which is nearer to manifestation than the other. That is the first light. Light is figuratively used.


Mr. A. Keightley: But then, also later in The Secret Doctrine the a more scientific part, you state that light is only made visible by darkness, or rather darkness is the original thing and light is the


81.                           3. Meeting January 24th, 1889.


result of the presence of objects in the objective world.


Mme. Blavatsky: If there is no sun, there would be no light, certainly, in the objective world.


Mr. A. Keightley: But I mean if there were no objects, there would be nothing to reflect the light.


Mme. Blavatsky: Take two rays of light, and they will produce darkness.


Mr. A. Keightley: Take a globe of water and pass an electric beam through it. The electric beam is perfectly dark, unless there are objects in the water, in which case you get specks of light.


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes, that is a good illustration.


Mr. B. Keightley: You cannot see the light, it passes through the water perfectly invisible.


Mr. Kingsland: You cannot see light itself. But light may be manifested to another sense, as something quite different may it not?


Mr. B. Keightley: Yes, because, after all, the light is only differentiation of vibration.


Mme. Blavatsky: You can have the sense of light in the taste or hearing; in all your senses you can have it, or you can, for instance, in the hearing have the sense of taste and have the sense of seeing; why, look at the clairvoyants, they are perfectly asleep. They are in trance, moreover, and they {you} come and put a letter {upon them} and the clairvoyant reads {it}. How is that?


Mr. A. Keightley:  That is a extra sense.


Mme. Blavatsky: It is not an extra sense. It is simply that the sense of seeing can be shifted. It passes into the sense of touch.


Mr. A. Keightley: Is not the sense of perception the beginning of the sixth sense?


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Mme. Blavatsky: Oh, yes, but that goes a little further. This is simply the shifting of the physical sense of sight into the sense of touch, nothing else. Now those clairvoyants will, blindfolded, read to you a letter; but if you ask them what will be the letter that I will receive tomorrow, that is not written yet, the clairvoyant will not tell you. But the sense you are talking about (the sixth sense) will, because it is there before you. That is quite a different thing. One is manifestation on the physical plane, and the other on the spiritual plane.


Mr. B. Keightley: You have an instance of this shifting of one sense into a another when you happen to take some very fiery extract into your mouth. It will produce the sense of a flash of light before your eyes.


Mr. A. Keightley: For instance, if you put the two poles of an electric battery together in your mouth, you will get a flash of light in your eyes and you get a metallic taste in your mouth.


Col. Chowne: If you knock your head against a wall, you get a flash of light in your eyes, too.


Mr. A. Keightley: That is the sense of touch transferred into the stimulation of the optic nerves.


Mme. Blavatsky: This is very interesting, and you ought to collect as many facts as you can about those phenomena on the physical plane. Then you could go higher and  use the phenomena which are in correspondence. You know what I mean, until we come to the highest that we can have.


Mr. B. Keightley: Now a blind man, too, gets practically the sense of sight transferred into the sense of touch. And besides that, he develops a very definite sense of locality which is independent of the sense of touch. For instance, he will find his way about a town or about a house which he knows without touching the objects to localize himself.


Mme. Blavatsky: Certainly, he sees by the other senses.


83.                           3. Meeting January 24th, 1889.


Mr. B. Keightley: But how does he see? Which of the senses helps him to get at it?


Mr. A. Keightley: But even when in possession of all the senses, physiologists have worked on the idea of a sense of direction.


Mr. Hall: Yes.  There certainly must be one.


Mme. Blavatsky: Dr. Williams, what do you say to that?


Dr. Williams: I don’t know anything about the sense of direction. I have not heard anything of it.


Mr. A. Keightley: It is supposed to refer to the semi-circular canals in the ear.


Dr. Williams: Senses of direction—that one might hear a sound, do you mean?


Mr. A. Keightley: No. Suppose that part of the brain is removed in an animal. As long as the animal is standing still and not moving, every function goes on perfectly naturally. If it once begins to move, even in places where it is most familiar, the idea of direction is lost. For instance, a canary in which this has happened, or there is some disease of the semi-circular canals, or any, will not be able to find its way to its food if these canals have been interfered with. The sense of direction is entirely lost.


Mr. B. Keightley: But all the control over the muscles is perfectly intact; it does not stagger about.


Mr. A. Keightley: No; it simply cannot go straight. That is very interesting. You will will find it really in any physiological book of late years which deals with the functions of the brain.


Mr. B. Keightley: Where are they situated?


Mr. A. Keightley: Close behind the ear.


Mr. B. Keightley: Then it must be connected with the sense of hearing.


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Mme. Blavatsky: I am afraid physiology is very much at sea as to the most elementary questions about the senses and so on; it goes and denies à priori the possibility of super-senses, if I may call them so, and does not know a single thing about the most simple matters, about that which one has experience of every day of one’s life. It does not know anything about the touch and the sight.


Mr. A. Keightley: Don’t you think it would be a thing for some future Thursday, if you would take the sense and so on principles to work upon?


Mme. Blavatsky: I would have all the physiologists sitting on me, if I did. Not in public you know.


Mr. A. Keightley: But you are not in public. You are only in Blavatsky Lodge.


Mme. Blavatsky: I am not learned enough to undertake such a thing as that.


Mr. B. Keightley: I think you could do it, if you tried. We should be content with the little elementary things, but I think you could give us the others, if you tried.


Mr. A. Keightley: At present, one works blindly in connection with these things, and often sets about working on matters which really are of no use, and have to be completely unlearned again.


Mme. Blavatsky: What does physiology say about it? You see, I am more capable of detecting mistakes if I see them; if I read a book on physiology, or if I hear somebody talk. It is a great deal easier for me to find the mistake then to come and tell you anything about the thing, because not knowing physiology or your technical terms, and not being sure how far they have progressed with their illusions and hallucinations, I do not know where to begin.


Mr. A. Keightley: I shall be very happy to supply you with books.


Dr. Williams: He can supply illusions enough.


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Mme. Blavatsky: Can you tell me, Dr. Williams, what they say in physiology about it?


Dr. Williams:  They say a great deal.


Mme. Blavatsky: Do they say anything about this?


Dr. Williams: The only thing they say worth consideration is—or rather the deduction that may be made from what they do say is—every sense may be resolved into the sense of touch. You may call that the coordinating sense, and the deduction is made from their embryological investigations, which show that the sense of touch is the first and primary sense and that all the others have been evolved from that, since sight and sound and taste, everything, are simply more highly specialized or differentiated forms of touch. I know nothing worthy of consideration.


Mme. Blavatsky: If you go to the trouble of reading the Anugîta6 and the conversation between the brahmin and his wife, I can assure you, he teaches very good things to his wife there, and very philosophically. You won’t lose your time. He (Mr. Keightley) can lend it to you, if you like. Really, it is worth reading, and the brahmin speaks there about the seven senses. All the time he talks about the seven senses. It is translated by Max Müller.7 “Mind and Understanding” are the two extra senses, and I say it is very badly translated, because it does not mean that in Sanskrit at all. I think the sense you understand, is sound, on the top of the latter, on the last rung on the terrestrial plane. Maybe they will win their case by touch, but I do not think it is so.


Mr. B. Keightley: By touch they mean skin, sensibility.


Mme. Blavatsky: Do they call skin, also, the eye that sees?


Mr. B. Keightley: No, they say the eye that sees is formed of one of


6 [The Anugîtâ is the discourse between Krishna and Arjuna that forms part of the Mahabharata. It was delivered after great battle described in the Bhagavad–Gîtâ.]

7 [Edited by Max Müller, it was translated by Kashinath Trimbak Telang as volume 8 of The sacred Books of the East (1882).]


86.                           3. Meeting January 24th, 1889.


the nerves of the skin.


Mr. A. Keightley: No, the eye is the outgrowth of the brain.


Mme. Blavatsky: And that is all that they say, the physiologists. They do not make much progress, it appears.


Dr. Williams: I meant that, that to me seems to be the only thing worth thinking very much about. That deduction is founded on the beginning of the very lowest forms of life, the first differentiation of that which results in the organ of sight, a simple pigment cell which is more sensitive to light than the other cells. I am not sure that there is no harmony between the most advanced physiology and that proportion of yours.


Mme. Blavatsky: The sense of sound is the first thing that manifests itself in the universe. Then after that, sound, is certainly, is in  correspondence with colors or sight; that is the second thing. Well, I think you have got enough for tonight.


Dr. Williams: I think the sense of sound always passes into the sense of sight. I do not think we can have any conception of anything unless it does.


Mme. Blavatsky: If you could only see clairvoyantly a person playing a piano, you would see the sound as plainly as you hear it. If you allow yourself to sit there in your own normal state and listen, of course you will hear the sound, but if you only can concentrate your ideas; just paralyze your sense of sound—you can even put cotton in your ears—you will see the sound and how much better you can see it, and detect every little note and modulation that you could not do otherwise. You cannot hear at a distance, but you can see at a distance.


Dr. Williams: Do you mean you see it as a sort of rhythmic movement?


Mme. Blavatsky: You see it if you are accustomed to it. Now let us take an illustration. For instance, to hear a person sing on the


87.                           3. Meeting January 24th, 1889.


stage, you must be within a limited distance from the stage, in a place where the acoustic properties are good and where the sound travels freely. But now you just imagine yourself that you have a very good sight, and you sit there and a prima donna will sing, say in Kensington Gardens; you can see it if there is no impediment. You will hear it with your sight better than you will see with your ears.


Mr. B. Keightley: Supposing you stop your physical ears and watch clairvoyantly the plane, and allow your clairvoyant hearing, so to speak, to operate at the same time. Clairvoyant sight would translate itself into hearing on the same plane.


Mme. Blavatsky: One would merge into the other. You can taste sound, if you like, too. There sounds which are exceedingly acid, and there are sounds which are exceedingly sweet, and bitter, and all the scale of taste, in fact. There is no nonsense, I say it seriously, and you will find it so if you want to know about the super-physical senses.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then, do you get the same extension in smelling into touch?


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes, you may reverse entirely and shift one sense into the other, and you may make it a great deal more intense and do anything you like. Now in the Vedas it is said—or is it in the Upanishads, I think it is the Upanishads—they speak about seeing a sound. I don’t know if I did not mention it in The Secret Doctrine. Oh! I wrote an article in The Theosopphist 8 about it. There is something either in the Upanishads or the Vedas.


Mr. Bulaki Rama: Yes, there is several times a mention of seeing a sound, but we think it is in the metaphorical sense.


Mme. Blavatsky: Now you want to take it so, because you are in the England universities.


8 [“Occult or Exact Science?” The Theosophist, vol. 7, April, May 1886 where she quotes the Book of Kiu-te that “sound is seen before it is heard.”]


88.                           3. Meeting January 24th, 1889.


Mr. B. Keightley: Instead of being the sons of Brahmâ!


Dr. Williams: I wonder if anyone has read a story in the last number of Harper’s Magazine,9 a story of a sailor who had been cast away on an island in one of the Archipelagoes, in the South Seas, and finds a race of people who have entirely lost the art of talking. They understand each other, and see what they think, but they regard sound as a very gross way of communicating thought. It is a very interesting little sketch.


Mme. Blavatsky: It would be a “Palace of Truth.” You could not say then, “How happy I am to see you,” and send them to all kinds of disagreeable places in your mind. They communicated in such a way as that in the olden times. There thoughts took objective form.


Mr. A. Keightley:  They hit each other in the eye with the thought.


Dr. Williams: He says he found it a powerful incentive to moral elevation (laughter).


Mme. Blavatsky: They could not fib then. You could not say a falsehood. How nice it would be to go into a drawing room of Mrs. Grundy’s10 and just to know that they must communicate their thoughts. It would be the sweetest thing in the world! How many compliments would be exchanged! Well gentlemen, what else? Once I am dead I won’t be worth much, so take your last chance before I

die. Gardner has subsided.


Mr. Gardner: No, I was thinking, “before you took your dreamless sleep.”


Mme. Blavatsky: We should know more about the senses and could just exchange thought and all kinds of things simply by scratching our noses. We would understand each other. This business would be thought transferring. It would be a very nice thing.


9 [“To Whom this may come” By Edward Bellamy Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, vol. 78 (February 1889), pp. 458-466.]


10 [Mrs. Grundy was a personification of British propriety during H.P.B.’s time.]


89.                           3. Meeting January 24th, 1889.


Mr. B. Keightley: It is a very curious thing, that transference of sense localities in parts of the body. For instance, as a rule, with the mesmeric clairvoyant, the sense of sight is transferred to the pit of the stomach and it won’t operate in any other part of the body.


Col. Chowne:  There is some center of nerves.


Mme. Blavatsky: You will learn that.


Mr. Gardner: Sometimes it works through the forehead.


Mr. B. Keightley: Generally the pit of the stomach or the back of the head.


Mme. Blavatsky: They never tried it here, at the back of the head (pointing).


A Lady:  They tried it through the feet.


Mr. B. Keightley: I never heard of seeing through the feet, though certainly the sense of sight is one they have experimented with the most.


Col. Chowne: You mean a blind man is supposed to read colors. I do not see how he distinguishes red from blue.


Mme. Blavatsky: The colors, you see, he can know. For instance a deaf man can be looking at the sounds; he can see because it gives him a kind of sound. Of course he does not hear it as a sound, but it is transferred to his mind as a something that is sound, really. Though it cannot be expressed. You could not understand it, of course.


Mr. Hall: Deaf and dumb people very often like to put their hands on a piano while it is being played, so that the vibration may be communicated to their brains.


Mr. B. Keightley: Then there is a well-known case of a blind man, who always associated sounds with colors. He had a conception, red, which he associated with brass instruments, the trumpet particularly. Red always suggested to his mind the trumpet.


90.                           3. Meeting January 24th, 1889.


Mme. Blavatsky: It is extremely interesting, this association of sounds and colors by vibration, and then it is a very scientific thing, as I think somebody speaks about it. Now, for instance, the sounds have got so many modulations and vibrations. And light is just the same way.


Dr. Williams: Sound begins at fifteen vibrations a second and runs through a very limited scale, so far as the ear is capable of conceiving it. The sounds increase in intensity, and then comes the sense of heat. The different senses seem to take up one scale of vibration, of which all these different manifestations consist. You go on with the sense of heat until you get a dull redness, and there you get light, and so you run through the whole gamut. It passes out of light, then call it the chemical rays that passes beyond color and produces chemical changes.


Mme. Blavatsky: Isn’t there a difference in prismatic colors? They are seven then there is something, I forget how they call it, a measurement.


Mr. B. Keightley: A wavelength.


Mme. Blavatsky: I don’t know how they call it. There are only five of them seen, or three. Is it an instrument that was invented, that these seven colors reduce themselves to one?


Mr. B. Keightley: No, there are three primary colors. These other seven are formed from combinations of those. First you get five—


Mme. Blavatsky: No, I speak about some instrument.


Mr. Kingsland: Perhaps the spectroscope.


Mme. Blavatsky: No, not that. I read that they had invented an instrument which could give not only the radiation of colors but the reduction of colors, and that seven colors passed through some 77


91.                           3. Meeting January 24th, 1889.


shades until merged into one white, you know.


Mr. Hall: Is that the helioscope?11


Mr. Kingsland: It is only a matter of combining again after they are once dispersed by means of the prism.


Mme. Blavatsky: Oh, but it is the seven colors, where in their, so to say, gradation or shading, instead of being seven they become perhaps seventy-seven times seven.


Dr. Williams: I think it was some adaptation for showing the ratio, rather, of wavelength and color to rate vibration. That would be almost indefinite number of vibrations, of course.


Mme. Blavatsky: But they must be counted. I speak about that because it will always come back to the three and the four and the seven.


Mr. Hall: Some people associate the different kinds of color, with different kinds of pain.


Mme. Blavatsky: It is very easy. When you have neuralgia, there must be some color you cannot look at without terrible pain.


Dr. Williams: Insane persons are treated sometimes by means of color.


Mme. Blavatsky: Now did you ever think why bulls are irritated at the red color? Do you know it gives them terrible pain? It enters somehow or other through their sight into the brain, and makes them perfectly crazy. It gives them physical pain.


Mr. Gardner: Is that why they wear red coats in hunting?


Mr. Kingsland: Oh! I thought you said “wolves.”


Mme. Blavatsky: Some colors do give pain. There are some sensitive persons who cannot look at very bright colors, they feel positively


11 [A helioscope was an instrument used for observing the sun.]


92.                           3. Meeting January 24th, 1889.


nervous at some combinations of colors, they cannot bear it.


Dr. Williams: I think it is the most interesting question of science.


Mme. Blavatsky: But I think the far more interesting question is to see the result of various combinations in the occult spheres. Now you will see one result on the terrestrial plane; but if you were to follow it up and see what are the results produced in the invisible sphere, well, it is invisible but still, some of the effects will become objective. Though the causes which are set in motion will be invisible, you will see the effects.


Dr. Williams: It is always far more interesting to investigate any question from the point of view of principles before descending into particulars.


Mme. Blavatsky: I believe the only exact science that you have is mathematics, and mathematics proceeds in this way.


Dr. Williams: Yes, from first principles to details.


Mme. Blavatsky: Certainly, it is not quite the Aristotelian way that you can use in mathematics.


Dr. Williams: I do not think science would object to this more than this: “Be sure of your first principles, If you know what they are then there would be no difficulty.”


Mme. Blavatsky: But how about they who don’t know what they see before their noses? They only see that which they think they see, and then they are obliged to give them up, because they see they are mistaken. Why are the men of science so very, very conceited?


Dr. Williams: Well, I think it all grows out of the idea that man in a certain way creates everything from himself, that he has no relation to any higher power than himself, and he regards himself as the highest power in the universe.


Mme. Blavatsky: Is it conceit?


93.                           3. Meeting January 24th, 1889.


Dr. Williams: I should say almost supreme conceit.


Mme. Blavatsky: How about our grandfathers? For the scientists want us to have a grandfather common with the ape; that is supreme degradation.


Mr. B. Keightley: No, they may think this: “Look how gloriously we have progressed in a few thousand years.”


Mr. Hall: Like a self-made man who is always referring to the time when he came to London with twopence in his pocket.


Mme. Blavatsky: How do you know there are not self-made apes in the forest? We do not know anything about it. I have seen apes who are very wise. I have seen many; I love apes. I have a great tenderness for them, and I think they are better than men are. It is a fact.


( The proceedings then came to a close. )



The Theosophical Society

Meeting at Blavatsky Lodge

on  Thusday, January 31, 1889


Mr. A. Keightley: The first question is in conection with Śloka 6, stanza 1 (reads passage from The Secret Doctrine.) Now, with reference to the “Seven Lords,” question 1 runs: “Since confusion is apt to arise in the correct application of the terms, will you please distinguish between Dhyâni-Chohans Planteary Spirits, Builders, and Dhyâni-Buddhas?”


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes; but you know, really, it will take a volume if you want to know all the hierarchies and every distinct class of angels among the Dhyâni-Chohans, Dhyâni-Buddhas, the Builders, etc. Now, Dhyâni-Chohan is a generic name for all Devas, or celestial beings. They are one and all called Dhyâni-Chohans. Now, a Planetary Spirit is the ruler of a planet, a kind of personal God, but finite; that is the difference you see. A Planetary Spirit is the one that has to rule and watch over each globe of a chain, or every planet, and there is some difference between those over the great sacred planets, and those over small chains like ours, because the earth has never been one of the sacred planets—never. It was simply taken as a substitute, like the moon and the sun, because the sun is the central star. And the moon has never been a planet. It is dead long ago.


Mr. A. Keightley: But does the earth belong to a chain which belongs to the train of one of the sacred planets?


Mme. Blavatsky: Oh no, not at all. The earth has its own chain. There are six companions which are not seen, which are on three different planes.


96.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


Mr. Kingsland: Are none of those other six, one of the sacred planets?


Mme. Blavatsky: No, sir, not one, and it is not feasible.


Mr. Kingsland:  Then how are we to distinguish between them?


Mme. Blavatsky: The seven sacred of antiquity were the planets which astrologers take now, minus the sun and the moon, which are substitutes.


The Chairman {T. B. Harbottle}: And plus two that we do not know.


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes, of which one is an intra-Mercurial planet, which they are trying to find and cannot. They wanted to call it Vulcan, or to give it a name before it was found out; they think they have found it, but they are not sure. Some say there are several, others one, but they do not know. When they find out they will know that it is one of the secret planets. And the other one is what I cannot explain. It was as the substitute of this planet that the moon was taken, and it was seen at a certain hour of the night just as though it was near the moon, but it was not; it is this planet which was not known at all. I think sometimes they do not give the name, but as to my astronomical ideas, I would not trust them.


The Chairman: Its not Herschel 1 is it?


Mme. Blavatsky: I thought it was at one time, and yesterday evening I was thinking a good deal about it, but I am not sure. If I were to see, or if it were possible to have a planisphere2 of the heavens to see at certain hours of the night, as astronomers must have it, I would have recognized it; but if it is not Herschel, I could not tell you.


The Chairman: But the modern astrologers say about Herschel that it is a planet which has an almost unexpected and what we should call an occult influence upon things; and they, having recently


1 [The planet Uranus was at one time referred to as Herschel’s planet after its modern discover, the English astronomer, William Herschel, 1738-1822.]


2 [A star chart.]


97.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


discovered Herschel, assign exactly the sort of attributes to Herschel in astrology that one should expect of the secret planet.


Mme. Blavatsky: That is way I thought it was so, but I am not sure and I cannot tell you until I have seen the planispheres. But as far as the name is concerned, you cannot go by the Sanskrit in order to know what is the name. I do not know well enough beyond this, that it is an occult planet, which is seen at a certain hour of the night, directly, as though near the moon.


Mr. Kingsland: Every night?


Mme. Blavatsky: I am not sure whether it is every night. I know it was so, and that it had a sacred day, also.


Mr. Gardner: It moves very slowly.


Mme. Blavatsky: And, mind you, the motion is retrograde. I do believe it is Herschel; but I would not swear to it.


Mr. B. Keightley: If you do away with the moon as one of the astrological planets, you would have to attach to one of the others the influence which is a present ascribed to the moon and the  question is, whether that can be done.


Mme. Blavatsky: What is said is this, that the influence of this secret  planet passes through the moon, i.e., the occult influence of this secret planet; but whether it passes so that it comes in a direct line, or how, I cannot explain. That is for your mathematicians to know better than I can.


The Chairman: Then if that were so, you would find the influence of Herschel would be very strong indeed when it was in conjunction with the moon, as the astrologers call it.


Mr. Kingsland: Are these seven planets all on the same plane as ourselves?


Mme. Blavatsky: Certainly.


98.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


Mr. Kingsland: Then I presume there is a separate plane belonging to each of those.


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes, you  find it in The Secret Doctrine.


Mr. A. Keightley: Are there minor chains belonging to these sacred planets? You say the earth has never been one of the sacred planets, and it has a chain.


Mme. Blavatsky: It has a chain and many others have chains, which have not been discovered, but will be discovered just as much as the earth’s. 


Mr. Kingsland: What makes the others sacred or secret?


Mme. Blavatsky: I suppose because they have occult influences.


The Chairman: But then the seven are on a different hierarchy, as it were, to the planetary spirit of the earth?


Mme. Blavatsky: Oh, yes. The planetary spirit of the earth is what they call the terrestrial spirit and is not very high. The planetary spirit has nothing to do with the spiritual man. It has to do with the things of matter with the cosmic beings—they are cosmic rulers, so to say, and they form into shape and fashion things. They have everything to do with matter, but not with spirit. With spirit it is the Dhyâni-Buddhas who have to do. It is another hierarchy that has to do with that, and I am explaining it to you here.


The Chairman: These planetary spirits, as we should use the phrase, have really nothing to do with the earth, except incidentally.


Mme. Blavatsky: They have every thing to do with the earth, materially.


Mr. Kingsland: They have to do, in fact, with man in his higher part.


Mme. Blavatsky: They have nothing whatever to do with spiritual man.


99.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


Mr. Kingsland: Have they anything to do with the fifth principle?


Mme. Blavatsky: They have something to do with the fourth principle but with the three higher principles they have nothing to do whatever. I have not finished yet. You asked me what were the things, and I tell you. First, Dhyâni-Chohans was a generic name for all the celestial beings. Second, the Builders are a class called by the ancients kosmocratores, the builders. They are builders simply, like the celestial masons who shape under the orders of the architect, so to speak. They are but the masons to the grand architect of the universe.


Mr. Kingsland: Are they not the planetary spirits, then?


Mme. Blavatsky: What, the Builders? Well, they are, but of a lower kind.


Mr. A. Keightley: Do they act under the planetary spirit of the earth?


Mme. Blavatsky: Well, no. The planetary spirit of the earth is not a bit higher unless he is one who has attained his rank, so to say, earlier than the others, and therefore he is considered the chief of them. Mind you, I tell you that which is said not in the exoteric religions (though in some, of course, you may learn it), but in the esoteric teaching.


The Chairman: But are not the builders of various classes when considering the solar system or the universe as a whole or any one particular planet? I mean, are there not Builders absolutely terrestrial, in the same way that there are builders of the solar system and the universe?


Mme. Blavatsky: Most assuredly.


Mr. Kingsland:  Then the terrestrial Builder is a planetary spirit?


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes, but a very low kind. What is our earth compared to Jupiter, for instance (well, we won’t speak of the solar angels)? It is nothing but a speck of dirt or mud.


100.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889



The Chairman: But it has its hierarchy.


Mme. Blavatsky: Of course it has, all of them have. This will be shown to you here. They are reflected in the intelligence of the G.A.O.T.U., 3 which is simply Mahat, the Universal Mind. There comes again the third. Well it is said distinctly the planetary spirits are those who watch over planets and globes of a chain such as that of our earth. Now, fourth, you spoke about Dhyâni-Buddhas. They are the same as the higher Devas. In India they are what are called Bodhisattvas in the Buddhist religion, but exoterically they are given only as five whereas there are seven. Why they do so is because exoterically they take it “à la letter,” but they represent the Seven. And it is also said in The Secret Doctrine “the five Buddhas who have come, and two who are to come in the sixth and seventh races”. Now, esoterically, their president is [   ],4 and he is called the Supreme Intelligence, and the Supreme Buddha, and [   ]5 which is again higher than the [   ], because he is as much above [   ] as Parabrahman is above Brahmâ or Mahat. It is the same difference. Or, as for instance, the Dhyâni-Buddha is higher then the Manushi Buddha, the human Buddha—which is the same difference. The Dhyâni-Buddhas are one thing exoterically and another thing in occultism. Exoterically, each is a Trinity. (continues reading from her own notes.) That is the difference between the Dhyâni-Buddhas and the others. The Dhyâni-Buddhas are those who remain from a previous Manvantara on a planet which is not as high as ours, which is very low; and the others have to pass through all kingdoms of Nature, through the mineral kingdom, the vegetable kingdom, and the animal kingdom.


Mr. Kingsland: Then the Dhyâni-Chohans are prehuman, and the Dhyâni-Buddhas are posthuman.


Mme. Blavatsky:  They are all Dhyâni-Chohans.


Mr. A. Keightley: Well, the planetary spirit.


3 [The Masonic formula meaning “ Grand Architect of the Universe.”]


4 [The published Transactions Vajrasattva though stating this is exoterically so.]


5 [Transactions: Vajradhara.]


101.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


Mme. Blavatsky: That is a creature in this period.


Mr. A. Keightley: Prehuman?


Mme. Blavatsky: How do you mean prehuman?


Mr. A. Keightley: Will be a human.


Mr. Kingsland: Dhyâni-Buddhas have been men.


Mme. Blavatsky: And the Dhyâni-Buddhas were before and they will not be men on this, but they will be something higher than men, because at the end of the seventh race it is said they will come and incarnate on earth.


Mr. Kingsland: Will they be what corresponds to man on a higher plane?


Mme. Blavatsky: I don’t know, but they will come in the seventh round, because all humanity will then become Buddhas, or Devas. They are the emanations or reflections of the Manushi Buddhas, the Human Buddhas. Not necessarily Gautama Buddha, for he is a Manushi Buddha, a human Buddha, a saint—whatever you like to call it.


Mr. A. Keightley: Question 2. “Does the planetary spirit in charge of a Globe go into Pralaya when his Globe enters Pralaya?”


Mme. Blavatsky: The planetary spirits go into Pralaya at the end of the seventh round, not after every one of the rounds, because he is in charge of the Globe, and has to watch the workings of the laws even during the statu quo condition of the Globe when it goes into its time of rest, that is to say, during its inter-planetary Pralaya. I explain everything in The Secret Doctrine and this is explained somewhere there.


The Chairman: I don’t remember it.


Mr. B. Keightley: I don’t think you put it in print.


Mme. Blavatsky: Maybe. Then they must have left it out. Or


102.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


perhaps it is the third or fourth volume. I remember I have written it.


Mr. A. Keightley: Well then, if anything is missed out of The Secret Doctrine, we will say it is in the third volume.


Mme. Blavatsky: No, really, I could show it to you, it is in the third volume. I know I have written it.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then question 3 does the Dhyâni whose province it is to watch over a Round, watch over, during his period of activity, the whole series of Globes, or only over a particular Globe?”


Mme. Blavatsky: I have explained this just now. Each of them has his own Globe to watch, but there are seven planetary spirits, and it is Dhyâni-Buddha. You make a mistake there.


Mr. A. Keightley: I said Dhyâni.


Mme. Blavatsky: Here it is said when the All and planetary, and the Dhyâni-Buddhas and all who will appear on earth in the seventh Round when all humanity will have become Buddhas {and} Devas, their sons, and they will be no more trammeled with matter, there is a difference between planetary and the other ( continues reading from her own notes). Mind you, in the Kabbalah you will see always mention of the three higher planes, of which they speak with great reluctance. Even there they will not go as far as that, they simply give you the Triad: Chokhmah (or whatever they call it) and Binah, the male and female intelligence, or wisdom and intelligence. And this Binah in the Kabbalah is called the Jehovah, and a female, if you please.


Mr. Kingsland: It says here that the Dhyâni is to watch successively every one of the rounds. A little confusion arose there.


Mme. Blavatsky: But Dhyâni is a generic name, as I said to you. It is an abbreviation of Dhyâni-Chohans that is all, but not of Dhyâni-Buddhas. Dhyâni-Buddhas is quite a different thing. If I said it, it is a very great mistake, a lapsus linguae to which I plead guilty very


103.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


often—as I have just said 28 was 5 times 7.


Mr. A. Keightley: Question 4. Is there any name which can be applied to the “Planetary Spirit,” which watches over the entire evolution of a planetary chain?


Mme. Blavatsky: Which one is it?


Mr. A. Keightley: Number 4.


Mme. Blavatsky: I had two or three pages written out, but perhaps it is better that I should not read it. There is nothing at all, it simply explains why we do not worship them.


The Chairman: Well, let us have it; it is a very interesting point, that.


Mme. Blavatsky: This is why we go against the idea of any personal extra-cosmic god. You cannot worship one such god, for “the gods are many,” is said in the Bible. Therefore you have to choose to worship many, who are all one as good, and as limited, as the other, which is polytheism and idolatry; or do as the Israelites have done——choose your one tribal god. (continues reading from notebook.) Now this, in the Bible, is what is said: “The gods are many, but the God is one.” Why? Because it is their own god that they have chosen. With the end of Pralaya he disappears, as Brahmâ does, and as all other Devas do. That is to say, he is merged into the Absolute, because he is simply one of the rays, which, whether the highest or the lowest, will all be merged into the Absolute. And therefore we do not worship and we do not offer prayers, to them because if we did we should have to worship many gods; and if we address our prayers to the one Absolute, then I do not think the one Absolute has got ears to hear us. That is my opinion. It may be  atheistical and I may appear a very great infidel  but I cannot help it.


Mrs. Williams: What objection would there be to worshipping many gods?


Mme. Blavatsky: I do not see any objection, but it would be a


104.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


tiresome thing. You would not have time to pay them all compliments. It would be rather a monotonous thing.


Mrs. Williams: You spoke of it as being idolatrous. I wanted to find out whether in your mind it was so.


Mme. Blavatsky: Not at all. I say if we have to offer prayers to some personal god, then we must believe in many gods, and we must offer prayers to many or none, because why should we have a preference? We do not know whether it is the best or the worst we may fall upon. It may be one who is not at all very perfect.


Mr. B. Keightley: Besides, we should make the others jealous.


Mme. Blavatsky: Besides, we have a god within us, every one of us. This is a direct ray from the Absolute; every one of us is the ‘celestial ray from the one— ”, well, I do not find any other word but the Absolute and the Infinite. Now then number 4.


Mr. A. Keightley: Is there any name which can be applied to the Planetary Spirit, which watches over the entire evolution of a Planetary Chain?


Mme. Blavatsky: No name, unless you make of it the generic name since he is not alone but seven. (continues reading from her notebook.) If you give him this name it will be a very good name, I think. It will be scientific and it will answer the purpose, but you are at liberty to give any name you like. What is in a name? “Choose you the daily gods you duly worship,” says Joshua.6


Mr. A. Keightley: Is there any name applied to it in the Sanskrit?


Mme. Blavatsky: Look here, the Vaishnavas worship Vishnu, the Śaivas worship Śiva, the other—how do call them—the [  ] worship Krishna, and so on. Everyone has a god of his own. Everyone chooses his own tribal god, or anything they like, or their racial god, and they are happy.


6 [This is a paraphrase of Joshua 24:15]


105.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


The Chairman: But such a God as Vishnu is the synthesis of the seven.


Mme. Blavatsky: One is the creator, so called, though he certainly did not create matter out of nothing, but the universe out of something. The other is preserver and the third is a destroyer, but being that, he is the highest, because that which destroys, regenerates, and because you cannot have a plant growing without killing the seed.  Therefore, he destroys to give a higher form, you understand.


Mr. A. Keightley:  Then these three questions; the name of the “Planetary Spirit,” and “is there a name which can be applied to the Planetary Spirit watching over a Round?” Also, “is Brahmâ the correct term to use concerning the Planetary Spirit of one Globe during one Round, or would Manu be the more correct term?” In this sense is Manu identical with Brahmâ.


Mme. Blavatsky: You have jumped to number 6.


Mr. A. Keightley: I put those three together, because they really practically come together. We wanted to distinguish a Planetary Spirit in a Chain of Worlds from the Planetary Spirit over one Globe, which really rules one Globe, and thirdly to ask whether Brahmâ is the correct term to use.


Mme. Blavatsky: Of the universe they would never say Brahmâ. They would say Manus, and they are the same as Brahmâ; and then the rest of them, sometimes they are reckoned the seven, sometimes ten, according to what they are talking about. And this is in the esoteric meaning in the Purânas.


Mr. A. Keightley: There is a special class of Planetary Spirits which deal with a Chain.


Mme. Blavatsky: There are Rishis, and the Manus are those who watch over every Round.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then are the Rishis and the Manus the same?


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Mme. Blavatsky: They are just the same Rishi or Manu. What is Manu? Manu comes from Man, to think—the thinking intelligence. Now just the same as this [   ], which is the intelligence, or this [   ] is considered the supreme intelligence, and he and Brahmâ one. Take the Vishnu Purâna; take any Purâna which will give you exoterically these things. They give the real thing, and they invent many things just as blinds. But you will find a good many things which you will never find in other scriptures. They will come and ornament things, and yet the fundamental truths are there.


Mr. A. Keightley: I want to avoid, if possible, all these blinds with regard to these names.


Mme. Blavatsky: The brahmins will pitch into us after that. Why shall I give them names? Am I a Roman Catholic priest, to come and baptize them, and give them all different names? To me they are ideations. I am not going to give them names. If I told you the real occult names, it would not make you any the wiser. You are sure to forget them the first moment.


The Chairman: But it helps us to place them.


Mme. Blavatsky:  Let us take the prismatic idea; let us call  them the Red God and the Orange God and the Yellow God and the Blue and the Green.


The Chairman: Very well. But in what regard, for instance, to that seven in one, what relation do they bear to the Sephiroth?


Mme. Blavatsky: They are three and seven. They are ten in all, but the higher is considered the greatest, and the seven, the god descending into matter.


The Chairman: What relation is there between that seven and the seven we were speaking of?


Mme. Blavatsky:  The Planetary Spirits? None.


The Chairman: Are they the Planetary Spirits?


107.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


Mme. Blavatsky: Well, I would not call them that. You never find a single name which is not Angelic. Take the Kabbalah. They call it the third Sephirot, as being intelligence; his angelic name is [   ], and he is called Jehovah, and this, that and the other, and the book goes on and gives the thing. How it is called, you cannot understand it. But, you see, all of them start from one point, and make a kind of broken ray, coming from one focus. Shall we then in this way give names to all of them?


The Chairman: No, but I think we might understand what they are, and what relation they bear to names which we do know at present. The Sephirot  is a name which is particularly familiar, and if one can have an idea that they are in the seventh Sephirot, we might know.


Mme. Blavatsky: They are just the kosmocratores on a higher plane, but yet the last hierarchy, Malkuth coming to earth. And this is the perfect hierarchy.


The Chairman: Then the sevenfold or prismatic gods which preside over the Planetary Chains will be something lower.


Mme. Blavatsky: Certainly they will be; because they are not the Watchers, you know.


The Chairman: I have got what I wanted.


Mme. Blavatsky: If you tell me what you want, I will say, but why are you so inquisitive, tell me?


The Chairman: Only because I think one looks for these analogies all through, and when the analogies do not seem to fit, you are puzzled. The only way to attempt to understand them is to see one analogy running through them.


Mme. Blavatsky: Do you want to compare them with the Kabbalah?


The Chairman: Yes, but not in details, because I do not know enough its details. One wants to know the relation, as it were, of the Planetary Chain to the cosmos, and secondly, of the spirits ruling


108.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


the Planetary Chains to the spirits of the cosmos, and so on.


Mme. Blavatsky: It is the [   ] in its collectivity, and this includes the seven lower Sephiroth. And it becomes another thing, for it becomes the bridegroom of the bride, Malkhut.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then we pass on to the stanza following; “But where was the Dangma when the when the Âlaya of the Universe (Soul basis of all, Anima Mundi) was in Paramârtha ( Absolute Being and Consciousness which are Absolute Non-being and Unconsiousness) and the Great Wheel was Anupâdaka?” Does Âlaya mean that which is never dissolved, being derived from “a” and “Laya”?


Mme. Blavatsky: Âlaya is the living sentient or active Soul of the World. (continues reading from her notes.) Now, the Laya means the negation or Layam, as they call it, because it is that which is perfect non-differentiation. It is perfectly homogeneous and it is negative, inactive, and has no attributes. And Âlaya is the Soul of the Universe.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then practically this stanza means  “Where was the Dangma, when the Âlaya of this universe was in Laya”


Mme. Blavatsky: There is Bulaki Rama, who will give you the true  explanation. Because I give you the Hindu things simply on analogy. I do not profess to teach it. What I give is occultism and the occult doctrine and I try to make, for example, to the Hindus and those who have read Hindu books, the thing more clear. I just give you the analogy, but there is a Sanskrit scholar. How would you explain it?


Mr. Bulaki Rama: Laya means that which is absolutely nothing, from the root, {li}, to disappear. And Âlaya is the one active life in vâtman.


Mme. Blavatsky: Just what I give you here. One is manifested and fully active and the other has disappeared from the realm of manifestation and fallen into Non-Being. So, then, I have given them correctly.


Mr. A. Keightley:  Then it is different exactly from what we put


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down in the question as being, e.g., never dissolved.


Mme. Blavatsky: Certainly not, because it is non-differentiation. Âlaya means latent. At the end of the manvantara, when pralaya sets in, certainly the Âlaya will become Laya and fall into nothing. There will be the one Great Breath only. It is most assuredly dissolved. It is eternally, throughout the Manvantaras, but the Laya is nothing, it a thing which is the thing which is a negation of all. Just the same as the Absolute, the Parabrahman; it is and it is not.


Mr. B. Keightley: Âlaya is simply two negatives put together to make a positive. You can get at it in that way.


Mr. Bulaki Rama: Laya means to disappear forever, and therefore it is not negative.


Mme. Blavatsky: That is to say it is nothing; it is just like Ain-Soph. What is Ain-Soph? No-thing. It is not a thing; that is to say, it is nothing, the zero point.


The Chairman: It is neither positive nor negetive.


Mme. Blavatsky: Hence Âlaya is the one active life in vâtman, while Laya is the life, latent. One is absolute life and Be-ness, and the other is absolute non-life and non-Be-ness. So you see it is perfectly the opposite.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then the next question is asked in these words, “Page 50, Âlaya is the one life, the one life is Jîvâtman. Are then Âlaya and Jîvâtman identical?”


Mme. Blavatsky: I should say that they were. I do not see any difference Anima Mundi—that is vâtman, the Soul of the World the living soul. va is life. For the matter of that, every life has got its Jîva, but this is the Jîvâtman the one Universal Soul. I think so at least. May be you will tell me otherwise, but it seems to me that Âlaya and vâtman are one.


Mr. Bulaki Rama: Certainly.


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Mme. Blavatsky: How would you translate “Âtma”?


Mr. Bulaki Rama: Well, it means that which is present.


Mr. A. Keightley: What is the difference between Âtma and Jîvâ?


Mme. Blavatsky: Jîvâtma is the life everywhere, that is, Anima-Mundi, and Âtma simply isWell as he explained it.


Mr. B. Keightley: It is your All-presence?


Mr. Kingsland:  Then it can only be Jîvâtman during Manvantara.


Mme. Blavatsky: Certainly. At least, the Vedântins say so; after that all becomes Parabrahman, and Parabrahman is beyond our conception. It is something we cannot certainly go and speculate about, because it has no attributes. It is all and nothing, nothing in our conceptions, or our ideas.


Mr. A. Keightley: Stanza 2: “Where were the Builders, the luminous sons of Manvantaric Dawn? In the Unknown Darkness in their Ah-hi (Chohanic Dhyâni-Buddhic) parinishpanna. The producers of form (rûpa) from no form (arûpa) the root of the world—Devâmatri and Svabhavat, rested in the bliss of non-being.” Question 9. “Luminous Sons of Manvantaric Dawn.” Are these the perfected human spirits of the last Manvantara or are they on their way to humanity in this or a subsequent Manvantara?


Mme. Blavatsky: They are the primordial seven rays from which will emanate, in their turn, all the other luminous or non-luminous lives, whether angels or devils, men or apes. These are the seven rays from which will come all the world of illusion.  The seven Logoi.


Mr. A. Keightley: Yes, exactly.  Then question 10.


Mme. Blavatsky: There you go again. Because I wanted to explain to you here that some are this and some are something else. “Some have been, others will become” (continues reading from her notebook). Everything, therefore, is there in the seven rays. You cannot say


111.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


which, because they are not yet differentiated and therefore are not yet individualized.


The Chairman: And within these are both prehuman and posthuman?


Mme. Blavatsky: Exactly. That is a very much earlier stage. This belongs all to the precosmic times, it does not belong to the after state. It is precosmic, before there was a universe.


Mr. A. Keightley: What puzzles one is talking of the negation, [   ], first of all, and then speaking of the luminous sense. One gets accustomed to the recurrence of terms which are intracosmic, in contradistinction to precosmic.


Mme. Blavatsky: It is only after the differentation of the seven rays and after the seven forces of Nature have taken them in hand and worked on them that they become one, the cornerstone of the temple; the other the rejected stone of clay or piece of clay. After that begins the shifting and the sifting and the differentiation and everything, and the sorting of things, but this all belongs to the precosmic period. Therefore it is very difficult. These answers are for those who are perfectly familiar with the occult philosophy, and as they proceed, I do not take them one after the other. There are breaks of forty stanzas, and there are stanzas that I would not be permitted to give. What can I do? I do the best I can. There are things they would not permit for anything to be translated. I wish I could. It is no fault of mine. Therefore are our teachers called egoists and selfish, because they do not want to give the information to the Fellows of the Royal Society, who would appreciate it so much! Who would sense it, and who would drag it in the mud, and laugh at it as they do everything else. Now then, question 10.


Mr. A. Keightley: “Builders—our Planetary System.” By our Planetary System, do you mean the solar system, or the chain to which our Earth belongs?


Mme. Blavatsky: The Builders are those who build or fashion things


112.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


(continues reading from her notebook). By Planetary System, I mean the solar system. I suppose it is called the solar system. I would not refer thus {to} that {as} the Planetary Chain. I would call the latter simply a chain. And if I say Planetary System, it is the solar system; if I say Planetary Chain, it is the Chain of Worlds. I do not know whether I am right in so using it. This one is our planet, the root, the lowest one, but the others are not, because they are not seen. They are are spheres, globes; they are not on our plane.


Mr. B. Keightley: It is the old mistake about Mars and Mercury.


Mme. Blavatsky: My dear sir, I have shown it in The Secret Doctrine. If Mars and Mercury belonged to our chain, we would not see them, we would not know anything about them. How would we see that which is not on our plane? It is perfectly impossible. Now, then comes a thing which pertains more to physics and chemistry and all that than anything else, but still you can, I suppose, learn something from that.


Mr. A. Keightley: Stanza 2. In reference to what is said on page 54 of oxygen and hydrogen combining to form water, would it really be correct to say that what we perceive is, in reality, a different “element” if the same substance? For example, when a substance is in the gaseous state, it is the element of air which is perceived; and when combined to form water, oxygen and hydrogen appear under the guise of the element of water. Would it be correct to say that when we get it in the solid state—ice—we then perceive the element of earth? Would a clairvoyant perceive oxygen and hydrogen separately in the water?


Mme. Blavatsky: There are two or three things I do not recognize at all. It must be Mr. Harte,7 who has put his finger in the pie. You remember at the beginning you wanted to make it more plain, and I have been crossing it out as much as I could. I can recognize in a


7 [Richard Harte, an American member who was one of Mme. Blavatsky’s many helpers with The Secret Doctrine. He left to work at the headquarters, in India October 1888.]


113.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


minute what is mine and what is not. He begins to make comparisons, and I don’t see at all the object of the comparison. I think it is all correlations, and I don’t see how we can say this or the other. They have made a most absurd objection to calling the earth and water and fire and air elements, because they say they are composed of elements. Now they begin to find out that they do not approach even to an element in their chemical analysis, and that such a thing as an element can only exist in their imagination. They can not get at an element which is really an element. Do what they will, they will find more and more that the element of today will become the two elements of tomorrow. This is a world of differentiation; therefore, if we call water an element, we have a perfect right so to do, because it is an element. It is something which does not resemble anything else, it is not like fire or air or earth. These are all states of one and the same element, if you like, of the one element in Nature. These are various manifestations in various aspects, but to our perceptions they are elements. Now they go and quarrel: “Shall we call it an element?” and then they say that oxygen and hydrogen do not exist any more, since they have correlated and become something else; but if you go and decompose water, immediately you have the two elements reappearing. Do they pretend to create something out of nothing?


Mr. B. Keightley: No, they say they do not understand.


Mme. Blavatsky: It proves that they are latent, and it is a fallacy to say they do not exist. They disappear from our plane of perception from our senses and sight, but they are there. There is not a single thing that exists that can go out of the universe.


Mr. Kingsland: Oxygen and hydrogen are all differentiated states of something. When they are combined to form water we lose sight of them as distinct differentiations, but if we could follow them with our inner sight, should we still see them?


Mme. Blavatsky: Most assuredly, because the test gives it to you. Not a very experienced person is required to test water, and if that person knew something of oxygen and hydrogen, that person would


114.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


tell you immediately which predominates. That is the test which will give you the real thing, but of course it must be an occultist. But they are there. They may be all the same—but they are not if you please. They will take a drop of water and decompose it and they will find so and so, but then the analysis or instrument cannot detect which is more intense than the other. The proportion will become the same, but it won’t be the same in the intensity or taste. This is an occult thing—I mean the intensity of one thing or the other. An occultist, if he were really so, would tell you even the plane from which it comes, too. Well, I don’t want to tell you more, because it would seem like a fable, and you would not understand.


Mr. Gardner: For instance, the water when I was going up Snowdon8 tasted very pure.


Mme. Blavatsky: Most assuredly, that water which you will get on the Himalayas will be quite different than the waters you drink in the valleys and the plains. There is nothing physical with out its subjective moral and spiritual aspects, and so on.


Mr. Kingsland: We cannot decompose the water without getting a definite quantity of oxygen and a definite quantity of hydrogen. You say one may be more intense than the other.


Mme. Blavatsky: Intense in quality, not in quantity.


Mr. Gardner:  The quality of oxygen?


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes, sir.


Mr. Kingsland: But that is not perceived.


Mme. Blavatsky: You don’t perceive the presence of the soul in man, at least the men of science don’t, but we do; that is the difference. How can you go and argue with a man of science?


Mr. Kingsland: We are dealing with the most physical plane.


Mme. Blavatsky: Never mind. The physical plane cannot exist


8 [ The highest mountain range in Wales, with numerous footpaths.]


115.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


nor give you any correspondence nor anything without having the spiritual mixed with it, because otherwise you cannot go to the root of things. When your men of science tell me they are acting on the physical plane, and say metaphysics is all nonsense, I see that their science is really perfectly honeycombed with metaphysics. The scientists cannot go beyond matter; beyond the things they perceive, it is all speculation,


The Chairman: The reason we can not distinguish in this way as to quality and intensity is because we have no perception of the three higher elements. If we had, we should at once distinguish.


Mme. Blavatsky: Certainly. Mr. Harbottle has just hit the nail on the head. I don’t want to enter into it, because I shan’t be understood.


Mr. Gardner: What do you mean by the term intensity?


Mme. Blavatsky: I mean intensity.


Mr. B. Keightley: You know whether a taste is intense or not.


Mme. Blavatsky: Now, you will take a drop of vinegar—let us come on the lowest plane—and you will know this vinegar weighs so much. You will take the same weight of another vinegar, and it will be quite different. But the weight will be the same.


Mr. Gardner: Well, the strength.


Mme. Blavatsky: Call it strength, if you like. I call it intensity.


The Chairman: It shows itself in the absence or presence of the essence.


Mr. Kingsland:  That can be analyzed chemically.


The Chairman: Yes, but there is something behind that.


Mr. Kingsland: There is nothing corresponding to that intensity in the molecule of oxygen and hydrogen, in the case of these we can analyze with our chemical methods.


116.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


Mme. Blavatsky: I will tell you a better thing yet, if you go on the occult principle. We are not Christians, we do not believe in the doctrine of transubstantiation as it is taught in the church, we are occultists, and yet, I say there is such a thing as transubstantiation on the occult plane, and that if it comes to this, if the priests, the Roman Catholic priests, were not such stupid fools, they would give a very good reply. They would say; ‘We take bread and wine, and we say that it changes by a kind of miracle or a mystery into the flesh and blood of Christ.” Very well then; once they take Christ to be one with the Absolute (which they do, I don’t know how they arrange it), then they are perfectly right. In this bread and wine there is as much of the Absolute, and I tell you that in every drop we swallow, and every morsel we eat, there is as much of Parabrahman as there is in anything, because, everything coming from the one Absolute it is impossible it should not be there. Transubstantiation is that which takes away for the time being—whether on the plane of illusion, or on the plane of senses—which takes away one quality of a thing, and makes it appear as though it were another. The bread and wine changes, and becomes flesh and blood. With a hypnotized person, you may give him a tallow candle and he will exclaim, “What delicious chocolate.” If he were not hypnotized, he would be choked unutterably. And if we go on to the plane of realities, then really, once they say their Christ is one with the Absolute, they are logical in maintaining the doctrine of transubstantiation, for the bread and wine becomes his flesh; because it is flesh and blood; if you want to anthropomorphize. Certainly a Vedântin would not say such a thing, but they act very logically, and that is all. Now I have told you a thing of which I did not like to speak, because I may hurt the feelings of any Roman Catholic who may be among you. I don’t like to hurt the feelings of anybody.


Mr. A. Keightley: Is this question possible to answer? Is it utterly nonsensical to say, when you speak of a gas, you perceive the different elements in that gas, as distinguished from its liquid condition?


117.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


Mme. Blavatsky: It is in the liquid condition, and yet you detect the gas in this liquid condition, you detect it clairvoyantly.


Mr. A. Keightley: For instance, oxygen ordinarily is in a gas; by various processes it is reduced to a liquid and solidified. The question really means this: when you find it in the gaseous condition, is it the element of air in the oxygen, the occult element of air which is perceived; and again the occult element of water which is perceived in the liquid condition, and the occult element of earth in the solid?


Mme. Blavatsky: Most assuredly. You have first of all fire—not the fire that burns there, but the real fire that the Rosicrucians talk about the one flame, the fire of life. On the plane of differentiation it become fire in whatever aspect you like; fire from friction, or what ever it is, it is fire. Very well, after that it produces heat in the liquid and then you pass through the element of water and from the liquid it becomes gas. You must know better than I, speaking of the physical things. Then from the gas the two gases mix up and produce water. You take simply a drop of water and follow it. When solid it becomes ice. When ice is liquefied it becomes water, this water becomes vapor, ether, anything you like; and then it entirely disappears in the universal flame, which of course you physicists won’t speak about. The universal flame—you call it [? Inter] ether but follow it like that and there it is. It is the element which appears to you here, and to say that this gas is not there or these two are not there I should say is a fallacy. The only thing we can say is that the gases have passed from the plane of the objective into the plane of the subjective.


Mr. Kingsland: It seems to me that it is only possible with the physical senses to see one element at a time, and therefore we are quite right to say if anything is in a liquid state that what we perceive is the element of water.


Mme. Blavatsky: Perfectly. There you are perfectly right and an occultist will answer you so. He will say as I tell you: it has disappeared from the plane of the objective and appeared on the


118.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


plane of the subjective.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then all substances on the physical plane are really so many correlations or combinations of these elements and ultimately of the one element.


Mme. Blavatsky: Most assuredly, if you only realized this: how many times I have spoken to you about this, that the first thing to realize is the existence of One and only One, i.e., of the Absolute. You have to start from universals to the particulars. You cannot proceed on your Aristotelian system, you will never come to anything. You will come to grief and confusion, and you will be always knocking your heads against stone walls, and your heads will come out second best.


Mr. Kingsland: How could we do that before we are initiates?


Mme. Blavatsky: I beg your pardon, there is no need to become initiates. There is something beyond matter, but the men of science laugh at metaphysics, and they say, “ fiddlesticks to your metas,” and yet I say they are always dealing with metaphysics; that is what they do.


Mr. Kingsland: You can start with that hypothesis.


Mme. Blavatsky: If you permit metaphysics in your hypothesis, and you do not believe in metaphysics, what is your hypothesis worth? Take, for instance, ether. Now, in Webster’s Dictionary, what do they call it? “A problematical or hypothetical agent of so and so, which is not yet believed in.” They take it as just a necessity and yet you build on that ether the whole theory—axiomatic, mind you, your axiomatic teachings of light, and your vibrations. What right have you to do it? If you base yourself on a phantom of your imagination, a physical consciousness that it is such a thing, I call it humbug and sham.


Mr. Kingsland: You want us to go further back.


Mme. Blavatsky: I want men with something like brains, but not men with brains only on the physical plane that they cannot see beyond. They have not got feelers or antennae.


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Mr. Kingsland: How can you, by getting a something which is hypo-hypothetical, so to speak, arrive at more knowledge by working on what you do not know?


Mme. Blavatsky: You don’t work on your own inventions, you work on the wisdom of the ages. And if during these 100,000 years or so all the men of the best intellects said all the same and found out this, and their adepts and their wise men said the same thing over and over again, there must be more truth in that than in the speculations of the few.


Mr. B. Keightley: I think the position is summed up in this way. Physical science is—


Mme. Blavatsky: Nothing but a conceit.


Mr. B. Keightley: The whole bases of occultism lies in this, that there is latent within every man a power which can give him true knowledge, a power of perception of truth, which enables him to deal first hand with universals if he will be strictly logical and face the facts and not juggle with words. Thus he can truly proceed from universals to particulars by the effect of the innate spiritual power which is in every man, and with certainty, not as a hypothesis. It is a hypothesis only as regards our physical senses.


Mr. Kingsland: But how is he to get at that except through initiation?



Mme. Blavatsky: He has it inherent in him, it is simply the method of your education together with these ideas that they took into their heads “that we will not proceed in such a way, that we will take the Aristotelian method and the Baconian method, and there never was a man in antiquity who was capable or worthy of untying our shoestrings.” And therefore you see they do take one hypothesis after the other. There is not a single thing that will be said in science


120.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


that is not purely hypothetical. From your Sir William who said of something: “I have come to the conclusion that it does not exist more than 50,000,000 years ago,” and then said: “I am of opinion it existed 80,000,000 {years} ago.” Between 80 and 50,000,000 there is a difference. Huxley goes and says a certain thing takes 1000 years; another one will go and say something else, while another says, “I am not disposed to admit such a thing.” Why, my dear sir, Plato was a match for any one of your greatest philosophers of the day. Such sages as Plato—I don’t speak about Socrates, but I think Plato could beat all the Schopenhauers, and Herbert Spencers, and Hartmanns10 and all the tutti quanti that the nineteenth century is so proud of. And if he proved that you could not get at knowledge unless you began from universals and speculated down to particulars, and found the thing on the terrestrial plane, I suppose he was more right than you are. We had intelligence, we had knowledge, we had most extraordinary knowledge before. What have we got now?


Mr. Kingsland: It is only in the last few years that we have had the privilege of learning this.


Mme. Blavatsky: You had the privilege nearly 1,900 years ago. You knew it all. It was only in the fifth century that you succeeded in destroying every temple. You have been hunting the occultists and have been acting so that those who knew went away, hid themselves and never came near the civilized minds. Everything was destroyed; your poor scientists are nothing but the children of the reaction, and the men of science who have eyes will not see, and will not permit that anyone in antiquity was greater than themselves. You go and read your best men from Oxford and Cambridge. When they speak about Plato, they say, “Oh! He did not know anything about the circulation of the blood. Pythagoras—well, he knew a little bit of arithmetic, but we are the kings, you know, and the gods in the nineteenth century.” And it has led to something very beautiful, your civilization—the highest morality, to begin with.


9 [Sir William Thomson, Scottish physicist 1824-1907.  Raised to the peerage in1892 as Lord Kelvin. There is a extensive footnote about him SD 2:10. ]


10 [A reference to the German philosopher, Eduard von Hartmann, 1842-1906.]


121.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


Mr. B. Keightley: The whole point lies in this: as to the way you are going to set to work to build your hypothesis. Suppose you are hypothesis building, which I don’t expect. I am quite sure, not by the physical senses, but by the use of strict logic and strict reasoning. You can form a basis of thought. If you look at Schopenhauer and read him carefully, and Hartmann and others, you will step-by-step they have come to the same bases of thought as have been adopted in India, particularly in the Vedântin system.


Mr. Kingsland: By the inductive method?


Mr. B. Keightley: No, though they pretended to do it by the inductive method. They started by an intuition. Schopenhauer got the idea, it came upon him like a flash. He then set to work, having got his hypothetical idea and started with the broad basis of facts. He got his facts together, and so, you reading his book are nicely led up to reach the point which came to him as a flash. But he did not get it by the inductive method. He says he did not.


Mme. Blavatsky: Every fact you get you do get by intuition, you get it by a  flash.


Mr. B. Keightley: Every scientist of the nineteenth century, from the time science has become anything like science, has said the same thing, that he has made his great discoveries not by a system of classifying facts in the nice Baconian method, but by having the facts in his mind.


The Chairman:  Darwin especially says so. He gives you the moment at which the idea first came to him and it was in comparing some of the physical  and flora and fauna.


Mr. Kingsland: But they had been working for years, if the idea came to them apparently in the form of intuition—


The Chairman:  But they might have been quite unconsciously working up to it in various ways. If you read what Darwin says himself, you will come to the same conclusion as I did, that the thing came to him almost as a finished idea.


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Mme. Blavatsky: All of them come just in that way: intuitionally.


The Chairman:  I cannot quote it, I wish I could, but I will turn it up.


Mme. Blavatsky: There is somewhere a book that says that all the greatest discoveries that have ever been made in the world came just like flashes of lightning, everything even the law of gravitation. How did Newton discover that? Through the apple. 


Mr. Kingsland: If you have no knowledge of universals, how are you to proceed from universals to particulars? What knowledge of universals has this century, we will say? They have got no knowledge of the law of God, that is the highest ideal of the universe.


Mme. Blavatsky: A very high one, yes.


Mr. B. Keightley: But they have not carried out the canon which was laid down, that their ideas should be tried by strict logic.


Mr. Kingsland: Excuse me, Herbert Spencer does not.


Mme. Blavatsky: Herbert Spencer calls it the First Cause, and he calls it the Absolute and I will show it {to} you in his First Principles.11He calls the Absolute “the First Cause” in three lines. Well, the First Cause cannot be the Absolute because the First Cause is the effect.


Mr. Kingsland: That only proves to me that a man who may be considered to be one who has the highest intellect has no knowledge of universals.


Mme. Blavatsky: Because he has been made to study on your methods.


Mr. Kingsland: How can the poor fellow help that?


11 [First Principles (1862) was the first volume of what would become a nine-volume work under the title of A System of Synthetic Philosophy covering biology, sociology, ethics and politics.]


123.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


Mme. Blavatsky: You take Solomon Ben Judah,12 the great philosopher, who was a Jew, one of the greatest men living, he whose works have been refused by the French Academy—I don’t know what you call it, the French University. They proclaim them heretical, because they say he was an Aristotelian, and Aristotle was not then in odor of sanctity. This Aristotelian has more spirituality in him than any of the great men of science that I ever read about. Because he explains Kabbalah just in the way that The Secret Doctrine would explain it. In the most spiritual way he explains it, and yet he is called an Aristotelian, and why? Because he had an intuition. He is one of the greatest of the poets.


Mr. Kingsland: But you are not really answering my objection. There maybe a man here and there who has this intuition, but the ordinary mortals who treat of our political economy, and our methods of improving our dwellings and all the rest of it, how can they obtain the knowledge of these particulars, when they have practically no idea of universals?


The Chairman:  It seems to me that the real objection to the lines adopted by modern science lies in the fact that in every case when they make a so-called discovery, they jump at it. They go a  long way ahead and argue downwards, and they are very often completely wrong. What I mean is this, most of their detail work comes after the idea of their main scheme has occurred to them, and they then make the details taking the logical test and commencing with universals and then seeing if it agrees with the particulars, they work backwards and they make the particulars agree with the false conception, and they won’t permit anybody to start a little higher up and argue down to them, and according to their particulars. That is really why occultism and science are at loggerheads.


Mme. Blavatsky: The thing that they say is: “Oh! look at science;


12 [Eleventh century A.D. Jewish philosopher and poet, known also as Solomon ibn Gabirol. His works being interdicted by the University of Paris is mentioned in Isaac Myer’s Qabbalah, 1888, p. 9.]


124.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


everything they have said is perfectly correct. Everything is brought there and the cases are shown and so on and they are dovetailed together”—I say because they are syllogisms. They begin if you please, by inventing a proposition; they will come to the conclusion that it is dovetailed, but it is not. That the first proposition is the correct one. It may be anything. I may come and say: “a horse has the head of a serpent, therefore all horses are with serpent’s heads,” and it would be a scientific proposition because I put it myself, which is perfectly incorrect.


The Chairman: You see, they, most of them, start with a universal, only it happens to be a negative.


Dr. Williams: I think Mr. Kingsland’s point is this, that while it is a perfectly true principle, yet before the mind is open to receive universals, it must have facts as a basis for the universals, otherwise it could not exist.


Mme. Blavatsky: Well, mind being a microcosm, I suppose he would have some means of getting to the microcosm.


Dr. Williams: It seems to me that the two go always hand in hand.


Mme. Blavatsky: I touch this thing. Why do I touch it? Because I have a hand. What makes the hand to move? Will power, whatever you like. From where does it come? Go and follow it out in that way, and if you follow from these particulars to your own universals, then after a few times you will be perfectly able to begin and take universals, and then having come to something, make your hand the head of it.


Dr. Williams: That is what I say; you first have to trace your hand and from that you may predict many things; but you must have your facts first. If you begin with a child , you do not begin teaching him as the very first thing some universal fact, because you cannot.


Mr. Kingsland: You see, H.P.B. blames the scientists of today. I instance Herbert Spencer as a man who has got as near the Absolute as any of our modern men, and she is down on him; if a man like he


125.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


is so far wrong, what are all the rest of us to do?


Mme. Blavatsky: Shall I tell you, and give you good advice? Try to be a little less conceited, you men of science, that is the way to begin. Try not to think yourselves the only intelligences that have ever been developed in this universe and that all the rest are fools, and that the ancients did not know anything at all, and don’t go and consult what the ancients said, because they study classics very well. How many ideas have I traced in your modern science which have never been acknowledged to their proper source and which were stolen bodily from ancient science? I could write, if they only took one of my articles, in one of your great reviews, I can assure you, and I would put them to shame. I have traced inventions which I can trace as easily as you like to the old men of science who existed thousands of years ago.


The Chairman: There is a great deal in Lucretius 13 Lucretius is full of modern science.


Mr. B. Keightley: I think the practical answer to your question is this: not to deny with quite such dead certain as your modern men do.


Mr. Kingsland: I do not say they could not find universals if they tried to look for them.


Mme. Blavatsky: Let them be agnostics, but don’t let them be bigots.


Mr. B. Keightley: You take a man like Huxley. The first thing he will say is: “I know that, that is not so.” You say to him anything—that, for instance, in every material thing we see there is a psychic side; in another way, that the thing exists on a different plane of consciousness. He will say, “I know that is not so” before you have got the words out of your mouth, almost.


Mme. Blavatsky: There is a man of science—and he is a great man


13 [Probably Titus Lucretius, the first century B.C. Roman Poet known for Dererum natura (On the Nature of things.)]


126.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


of science in America—who pitches into me in the American. 14 He says it is all chaos, and he goes on and he is obliged to say: “Yes, it is true, but why does she show such animus to the men of science, if she quotes them?” But I quote them just to break their heads with the weapons furnished by the older men of science. He sends to us the most stupid things. He sends his journal in which he speaks about it. Some men of science who write in the journal wanted, it may be, that I should be exposed, but they only showed their own ignorance.


Mr. A. Keightley: Does not the difference between the men of science who talk about the particulars and you who talk about universals consist in this: that the man of science, as a general rule, depends purely upon his reason and his observation to deal with the facts of his physical consciousness? The practice of working from universals depends upon the intuition, which proceeds from a higher plane of consciousness, but as the man of science declines to admit anything but that which he can touch with his physical senses, he will insist on negativing anything else.


Mme. Blavatsky: He steps off the platform of agnosticism, which is perfectly his right, but he has no right to come and dogmatize on his own plane of matter. If he said: “It is not the province of physical science to go beyond physicals; it may be, or it may not be on the physical; to every appearance it is so and so,” then we should say: “Very well; we bow to you; you are a very great man; you find every faculty in the hind leg of a frog, and all sorts of things”; but why does he say: “There is nothing beyond that” and everyone who comes and says beyond that there is knowledge he will come and pitch into? Mind you, I had a very great respect for science when I was in my green age, between twenty and thirty. The men of science were then my gods.


Dr. Williams: I do not think the great representative men of science take that ground. They did in the past, and there are some who occupy a lower sphere who do today. Spencer, for instance, whenever


14 [Scientific American ?]


127.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


he is brought face to face with {a} thing which may be true or not true simply says, “it may be.”


Mme. Blavatsky: But you take the best of them. He certainly is one of the greatest intellects; I do not mean to say at all because he says something flapdoodle somewhere that he is not a great man of science—he is. But when you say that Huxley does this thing or Tyndall,15 or when you say any fellow of the Royal Society, I say no, I have seen a good many of them, and with the exception of Crookes and of Wallace16 I never found one who would not call the other a madman. Do you suppose the others do not call Crookes a madman? They say: “ He is cracked on one point.”. So they say about Wallace. Have they the right to say that of such a man of science, that he is cracked because he believes in things beyond matter? They have no such right at all.


Dr. Williams: I do not know what the smaller men say because I never care to read what they write.


Mme. Blavatsky: Look at Huxley; look at the tone of regret he adopts. Didn’t they say that Zöllner17 died a madman? Look at the French scientists, they all say he did. All the Germans say the same: “Softening of the brain.” “He died in consequence of the fact that he happened to believe in the phenomenal form.”


Mr. Kingsland: But that is something like blaming a schoolboy for not applying the calculus.


The Chairman: That is equivalent to saying that the scientist is deficient in principles.


Mr. B. Keightley: They are only that because they choose to make themselves so, and they choose deliberately to be dogmatic.


15 [John Tyndall, Irish physicist and popular writer and lecturer on science, 1820-1893.] 


16 [Alfred Russel Wallace, English naturalist, 1823-1913, who like William Crookes had advocated for a scientific investigation of spiritualism.]


17 [Johann Zöllner, German scientist, 1834-1882, who took an interest in trying to validate mediumistic phenomena and whose career suffered accordingly.]


128.                               4. Meeting January 31, 1889


Mr. Kingsland:  The best of them do not deal in dogmatic negatives.


Mme. Blavatsky: I do not know. Look at Huxley and such men. They deal greatly in dogmatic negatives. I do not call Tyndall a very great man of science. He is a popularizer and a compiler. I call Huxley a great man of science, and there is not one more bitter than Huxley, not one.


( These remarks closed the proceedings )







The Theosophical Society

Meeting held at Blavatsky Lodge

on February 7, 1889.


Mr. A. Keightley: Śloka 3, stanza 2 “ The hour had not yet struck;  the ray had not yet flashed into the germ; the Mâtri-Padma had not yet swollen.” “ The ray of the “ Ever-Darkness becomes as it is emitted, a ray of effulgent life or light, and flashes into the ‘Germ’—the point in the Mundane Egg, represented by matter in its abstract sense.” {Question} 1. Is the point in the Mundane Egg the same as the point in the circle—the unmanifested Logos?


Mme. Blavatsky: Never; the point in the circle is that which we call the unmanifested Logos. The manifested Logos is a triangle, and  I have said it many times. Does not Pythagoras speak of the never manifested Monad which lives in solitude and darkness, which, when the hour strikes, radiates from itself number 1? This number 1, descending, produces number 2, and number 2, number 3, the 3 forming a triangle, the first full geometrical figure in the world of forms. It is this triangle which is the point in the Mundane Egg, and which, after gestating, starts from the egg and forms a triangle and not the point in the circle, for the point in the circle is the unmanifested Logos.


Mr. A. Keightley:  That is what I thought.


Mme. Blavatsky: Brahmâ-Vâch-Virâj in the Hindu philosophy, and it is Keter, Chokhmah and Binah in the Sephirotal tree. The one Logos is the potential, the unrevealed cause; the other the actus, or in other words, the Monad evolving, from its invisible self, the active effect which in its term becomes a cause on a lower plane. Now discuss the matter. Who has any objections? Collect your


130.                         5. Meeting February 7, 1889


combativeness and go, gentlemen. Has no one any objections to offer? Do ask The President.


The President: Well, in one sense, the second question bears upon it because it illustrates, or at least it will settle the question, as to the exact plane of differentiation with which the whole of this Śloka is dealing as I take it. Ask the second question.


Mr. A. Keightley: 2. “What is the Ever-Darkness, in the sense used here?”


Mme. Blavatsky: Ever-Darkness means the ever-unknowable mystery, behind the veil even of the Logos.


Mr. A. Keightley: Parabrahman, in fact.


Mme. Blavatsky: Parabrahman; even the Logos can see only Mûlaprakriti. It can not see that which is beyond the veil; that is the  “Ever-Unknowable Darkness.”


Mr. A. Keightley: What is the ray, then, in this connection?


Mme. Blavatsky: The plane of the circle whose face is blank, and whose point in the circle is white; but white figuratively, because  certainly it has no color. The first possible conception in our minds of the invisible Logos. Ever-Darkness is eternal and the ray is periodically flashed out of its central point through the germ. The ray is withdrawn back into the central point and the Germ grows into the second Logos, the triangle within the Mundane Egg. If you don’t understand still, you just offer me any questions and I will try to answer them.


The President: The difficulty we were all in when we were reading this Śloka the other day and considering that we were doubtful whether it really referred to the same epoch of manifestation as the earlier portion, as the first stanza—for instance.


Mme. Blavatsky: There is the beauty of these stanzas. And I will tell you afterwards, later in the questions.


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The President: I may say I think most  of these questions are intended to bring out this point, that is to say, whereabouts we are.


Mr. B. Keightley: Because the Mundane Egg seems to be really the third stage. At any rate, not earlier than the third.


Mme. Blavatsky: The first stage is when the point appears within the dark circle, within that unknowable darkness.


The President: May I interrupt you for one moment—that point being the unmanifested Logos?


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes. The second stage is when from the white point, proceeds the ray which darts and produces the first point, which in the Zohar is called Keter or Sephirâ, then produces Chokhmah and Binah, the Logos. And yet, from this manifested Logos will go the seven rays, which in the Zohar are called the lower Sephirot, and which in our system are called, well, the Primordial Seven, from which there will proceed innumerable series of hierarchies. They simplify the thing and take simply the four planes and the worlds and so on. That is all. This does not explain anything.


Mr. Kingsland: What you say is that the triangle is what you here refer to as the Germ in the Mundane Egg?


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes.


Mr. B. Keightley: The Mundane Egg being used in a very much wider sense than that of terrestrial—being the Universal Egg, so to speak.


Mme. Blavatsky: There is the Universal Egg, and the Solar Egg; they refer to it, and of course you must qualify it and say what it is.


Mr. B. Keightley: Abstract form is the same, whatever scale you take it on.


The President: Being the eternal feminine, really.


132.                         5. Meeting February 7, 1889


Mme. Blavatsky: No, no. There is no eternal female principle, and there is no eternal male principle. There is the potential of both in one only, a principle which cannot be even called spirit.


The President: Put it thus, then; abstract form being the first manifestation of the female principle.


Mme. Blavatsky: The first manifestation, not of the female principle, but of the ray, that proceeds from the central point, which is perfectly sexless; this ray produces first that which is the potentiality united of both sexes, but is not yet either male or female sex. That differentiation will come later when it falls into matter, when the triangle becomes a square.  The first tetraktys.


The President: Then the Mundane Egg is as sexless as the ray?


Mme. Blavatsky: It is undifferentiated primordial matter.


The President: One is in the habit of associating matter with anything to which the name of female is applied.


Mme. Blavatsky: Matter certainly is female, because it is receptive of the ray of the sun which fecundates it, and this matter produces everything that is on its face; but that is quite a different thing. This is on the lowest plane.


The President: This is substance, rather than material.


Mr. B. Keightley: And substance is of no sex.


Mme. Blavatsky: Do you know what is matter? The synonym  of matter is mother, and mother comes from matter, they are interchangeable.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then what I want to understand is this; you have the ray, which ultimately starts the manifested Logos, or the Germ within the Mundane Egg. Does the Mundane Egg exist, then, in any way, excepting potentiality, before this first triangular—if you may call it so—Germ is started by this ray?


133.                         5. Meeting February 7, 1889


Mme. Blavatsky: What is the egg, the Mundane Egg, or Universal Egg, call it whatever you like, whether on the principle of universality, or on the principle of a solar system? The egg means the ever-eternal, existing, undifferentiated matter, which is not strictly matter as we ordinarily use the term, but which, as we say, is the atoms. The atoms are indestructible; and matter is destructible in form, but the atoms are absolutely indestructible.


Mr. Gardner: Do you mean to say that the atoms are not yet crystallized?


Mme. Blavatsky: I do not speak about chemical atoms. I speak about the atoms of occultism, which certainly no chemist has ever seen. They are mathematical points. If you read about the Monads of Leibniz,1 you will see what it is, this atom.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then may one say the Germ is the active point within the Alayic condition of substance?


Mme. Blavatsky: The Germ is just a figurative way of speaking. The Germ is everywhere just as one speaks of the circle, whose center and circumference, is everywhere and nowhere; because, given the proposition that the circle is endless, surely it is infinite and you cannot place the circumference anywhere, or put any center to that which is limitless. It is simply a way of talking, just to bring to your conception something more clearly than you could otherwise imagine it. Just the same with the Germ. They call it the Germ, and the Germ is all the Germs, that is to say, the whole of Nature: the whole creative power that will emanate, that they call Brahmâ or any name you like. For every plane it has got another name.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then you practically answer the third question. “What stage of manifestation is symbolized by the Mundane Egg?”


Mme. Blavatsky: I say the Mundane Egg is on the plane of


1 [Gottfried Leibniz, German philosopher and polymath, 1646-1716. His 1714 work, Monadologie, outlined his thesis of the monad as ultimate unit that is a free, independent agent.]


134.                         5. Meeting February 7, 1889


differentiation the first stage if you like, but from the plane of non-differentiation it is the third, as I just told you. The egg represents the just differentiated cosmic matter in which the vital creative germ receives its first spiritual impulse, and potentially becomes potency. I think that is answered.


Mr. B. Keightley: That is a very good phrase, “potentially becomes potency”; it just expresses the difference between the first and the second stanzas.


Mme. Blavatsky: That is my difficulty, you see, I don’t know English well enough to come and explain it to you.


Mr. A. Keightley: Question 4. “Is the Mâtri-Padma here spoken of the eternal or the periodical Egg?”


Mme. Blavatsky: The eternal, of course, it will become periodical only when the ray from Logos number one will have flashed from the latent Germ in the Mâtri-Padma, which, you understand, is the Egg, the womb of the universe, as it is called. You would not call eternal the physical germ in the female, but rather the latent spirit of the Germ concealed within the male cell in Nature. In all the creations of plants or animals, it is just the same. Take it on analogy or on the method of correspondence, it is just the same.


Mr. B. Keightley: Śloka 4. “But as the hour strikes and it becomes receptive of the Fohatic impress of Divine Thought ( the Logos or the male aspect of the Anima-Mundi Âlaya )—its heart opens.” Question 5: Does not “Fohatic impress of Divine thought” apply to a later stage of differentiation, strictly speaking?


Mme. Blavatsky: Now look here, this involves a very difficult answer. I wish you would give all your attention to it. Understand once for all, for if you understand clearly this thing, it will prevent your putting many, many questions which are perfectly useless, and you will understand them better also. You see, I have explained to you as well as I can, now try and correct me, if you please, if I don’t


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explain clearly. They want to say that Fohat is a later manifestation.Very well. I answer that Fohat is, as a full-blown force or entity, a later development. Fohatic as an adjective may be used in any sense, Fohat as a noun springs from a Fohatic attribute. Do you understand this now? No electricity will be developed or generated from something where there is no electric power. But before electricity, or a certain kind of electricity, is developed, you can speak about the electric impulse and electric impress, cannot you? I say Fohatic, because Fohatic has got a special meaning in the esoteric teaching; and I will first give you the meaning here. It comes afterwards, you know. The Divine Principle is eternal and gods are periodical.


Mr. B. Keightley: In other words, the Fohatic principle—to translate it into a different term   the Fohatic principle is eternal, but Fohat an entity or a god.


Mme. Blavatsky: Or, as a synthesis of this force on our plane of differentiation, it is periodical and is limited, and it comes later.


 The President: The Fohatic principle produces Fohat in stead of, arising from it.


Mme. Blavatsky: It is the Śakti or force of the Divine. Fohat and Brahmâ are all one thing. There are various aspects of the Divine Mind.


Mr. B. Keightley: Have you written nothing more about that there?


Mme. Blavatsky: Not here. It is too easy a thing to write anything about. It comes in the next question.


Mr. A. Keightley: “In the commentary on stanza 2, is it not your aim to convey some idea of the subject by speaking of the correspondences on a much later stage of evolution? For instance, is not ‘Fohat’ in the sense used here the synthesis of the primordial seven, and therefore appearing at a much later stage than that of the first manifestation of the Âlaya.


Mme. Blavatsky: It is so, most assuredly; but then you were told


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more than once that the commentaries busy themselves but with the evolution of our solar system in this book. The beauty and the wisdom of the stanzas are in this, that they may be interpreted on seven different planes, the last reflecting in its grossly differentiated aspect, and copying on the universal law of correspondences, or analogy, all that it sees before in the beginning. Every plane is a reflection and a copy of another plane. As it took place in the definite undifferentiated plane, so it took place on the second, on the third, on the fourth, and so on. Now these stanzas represent all of them, and the student who understands well the gradual development, so to speak, and the progressive order of things, will understand perfectly to which it applies. If we talk about the higher divine world, we shall talk just in the same way, because in The Secret Doctrine I give to the world and to your great critics, I certainly give it as applied to the solar system, and even this they do not understand. They call it idle talk, so why shall I go and bother my brains to go into something more on the higher plane? This is not for the profane, let us make a difference, we must draw a line of demarcation somewhere.


Mr. Forsyth: Then are we to understand, Madame, that the whole of the writing in The Secret Doctrine has reference only to the solar system, as we understand the solar system?


Mme. Blavatsky: It has reference to that chiefly. The second volume is simply the development of life on our earth, not even in the solar system, for the thing is so tremendous that it would require 100 volumes to write all this. Sometimes I make remarks about larger questions, but as a whole the exposition begins and ends on this earth and with the development of life from the first day of manvantara. You see how they are confused even on this terrestrial plane; so what would it be if I mixed up the evolution of life on Neptune, or beyond the solar system? Why, they would not understand a word. The esoteric doctrine teaches all that, but then it is not in months you can learn. You have to study for 20 or 30 years, and according to your capacity it will be given to you, because a man may be spirit-blind just as he is color-blind on this plane, and I


137.                         5. Meeting February 7, 1889


know unfortunately too many of those who are perfectly spirit-blind.


The President: But the stanzas up to the point we have reached them do deal with the awakening from the Pralaya.


Mme. Blavatsky: Most assuredly. But after that, where I come and say that so many stanzas are left out, then it begins with the solar system.


The President: That is really the point I wanted to get at, whether the second stanza was still entirely dealing with that awakening from the Maha Pralaya. We have not come to the point you mention yet, have we?


Mme. Blavatsky: Certainly not, but as it deals with this awakening on all the planes, you can apply it to any plane, because one covers the other.


The President: Because we are feebly and vaguely attempting to apply it to the highest plane of which we have the faintest idea.


Mr. B. Keightley: There is also this, that the stanzas deal with the abstract, and the commentaries are applied more particularly to the solar system.


Mme. Blavatsky: But the stanzas contain seven meanings, and every one of them may be applied to the highest, and the second, the third, and so on to the seventh plane of matter. But certainly I speak more about the four lower planes. As you will see there, when we come to the part about the moon and the evolution of the stars and so on, there I speak more about the solar system. I limit myself to that in the commentaries. Not in the stanzas, because I have rendered them just as they are. 


Mr. Kingsland: I think we are making a little mistake in this way. Instead of following the process entirely out on the first plane and then taking it on to the lowest plane, we are supposing it takes place on the higher plane, and we immediately jump down on the lower, instead of following the whole process on one plane.


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Mme. Blavatsky: Perfectly so; but it did not begin on a Thursday and it won’t end on a Thursday. The creation begins on Monday, didn’t it—because Sunday is the day of rest?


Mr. B. Keightley: Because he took his day off on Sunday.


Mme. Blavatsky: Sabbath breaking, I call it.


The President:  No, Sabbath is Saturday.


Mme. Blavatsky: You call it Sabbath, it is no fault of mine. Well, then, we will go on. Moreover, you have to learn the etymology of the word Fohat. There is where it becomes difficult to understand. It is a Turanian compound word. “Pho” is the word. “Pho” was once and is derived from the Sanskrit “bhu,” meaning existence, or rather the essence of existence. Now, “Swayambhû” is Brahmâ and man at the same time. “Swayambhû” means self-existence and self-existing; it means also Manvantara. It means many, many things according to the sense in which you take it, and one must know exactly whether the accent is on the “m” or on the “u”, or where it is, for therein lies the difference. Take “bhu.” It means earth our earth. Take “Swayambhû.” It means divine breath, self-existence, that which is everlasting, the eternal breath. To this day in China, Buddha is called “Pho.”


A Lady: Is not the first meaning breath?


Mme. Blavatsky: It is not. It is self-essence. It is very difficult for me to translate it to you. Look at the Sanskrit dictionaries. They will give you 100 etymologies, and they won’t know what it is. It is existence, it is self-evolution, it is earth, it is spirit, everything you like. It depends on the accent, and how it is placed. That is a very difficult thing. In this sense certainly it comes from bhu and sva. Now, they don’t pronounce the “b” generally, it is “Pho”, which is bhu or Budha, which means wisdom. Fohat comes from Mahat, and it is the reflection of the Universal Mind—the synthesis of all the seven and the intelligences of all the seven creative builders or kosmocratores. Hence the word, you understand—for life


139.                         5. Meeting February 7, 1889


and electricity are one in our philosophy. I told you, I think, Mr. Kingsland, that they say life is electricity, and the one life is simply the essence and the root of all the electric phenomena that you have in this world on this manifested plane.


The President: If “Sat” the potentiality of being, “Pho” is the potency of being—the very next thing.


Mme. Blavatsky:  That is very good. Just repeat it.


The President: If “Sat” the potentiality of being, “Pho” is the potency of being itself, the next to “Sat.”


Mme. Blavatsky:  That is so, and it is a very good definition indeed.


Mr. A. Keightley: Can you explain more fully the process by which Horus or any other god is born through and not from an immaculate source? Can you render in clearer language the distinction between “through” and “from” in this sense? The only explanation is rendered in the unintelligible mathematics of the Source of Measures.2


Mme. Blavatsky: If mathematics is unintelligible, what can my poor, unfortunate English teach you better? Because mathematics alone can express that which it is impossible to express in words, in such poor words as mine are.


Mr. B. Keightley: I think I should prefer your words to the mathematics.


Mme. Blavatsky:  That is a compliment, of course.


Mr. B. Keightley: I quite agree with it.


Mme. Blavatsky: The author of the Source of Measures is a very great Kabbalist. I have got a very great regard for him, and he is one of my pupils, and he knows a thousand times more than I do. In mathematics I am the biggest fool that ever was created. Two and two will seem to me five. I labored under the impression that five


2 [ The Key to the Hebrew-Egyptian Mystery in the Source of Measures, Cincinnati, 1875, by James Ralston Skinner, 1830-1893.]


140.                         5. Meeting February 7, 1889


times seven was 28.


Mr. Kingsland: Then do not be surprised if we cannot make anything of it.


Mme. Blavatsky: I get mixed up sometimes on this plane, but you have not got always to pull yourselves down by the tail as I have. I have got my own region. Now listen to this, and I will try to give it as well as I can. On the first plane of differentiation there is no sex but both sexes exist potentially in the primordial matter, as I have before explained to you. Now that mother which I just told you was the same as matter is not fecundated by any act in space and time, but fertility or protectiveness {productiveness} is inherent in it. Therefore that which emanates or is born out of that inherent virtue is not born from but through it. That is to say, that virtue is the sole cause that the something manifests through it as a vehicle, whereas on the physical plane the mother is not the active cause but the passive effect rather and the agent of an independent cause. Now listen: even in speaking of the mother of their God, Christians will show her first fecundated by the Holy Ghost and say Christ is born from her, whereas Christ is not born “from” but “through” her. Lightning may manifest itself through a board, pass through it, but the chip of wood from the hole made by the thunderbolt proceeds from the wood plank. Do you see the difference? “From” implies and necessitates a limited and conditioned object from which it can start, from which something starts, this act having to take place in space and time. “Through” applies to eternity as much as any thing else, as much as to something limited. The Great Breath, for instance thrills through space, which is endless, and is “in” not “from” eternity. Do you understand the difference?


Mr. Kingsland: Would not a good illustration be the case of a ray of light passing through a crystal and becoming seven colors? You say it is an immaculate medium?


Mme. Blavatsky: It is an immaculate medium. It is not that this medium is fecundated, it is not that, it passes through, it is the


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vehicle, therefore the Mâtri-Padma; the first scene is called born from an immaculate matter {mother}, which is the root of the immaculate conception in the Christian religion, because it is taken from that the immaculate matter. He is not born from her but through her, and Christians if they understand well their own dogmas would not say he is born from the Virgin Mary, but through her, if they wish to make an incarnation of Jesus; there is the great difference. But for instance, the Roman Catholics have materialized the idea in such a way that they positively made a goddess of her, and drag her at the same time in the mud; and made of her a simple woman, instead of explaining. They don’t preserve the orginal idea. They do not say, as they should, that she was such a virtuous woman that she was chosen to be the mother of that in which God incarnated. But by saying she is a goddess, they imply a false idea, and that they do consider her as a goddess is shown by their adoration. And as a goddess, what merit has she got? No merit at all. She need be neither virtuous, good, bad, nor indifferent. It is supposed that she gives birth to gods. I say the religions have materialized this divine abstract conception in the most terribly materialistic way. Speaking of spirituality, there is nothing more materialistic and coarse in this world than the religions, Christian, Brahmanical, anything—except the Buddhist, which is not a religion but a philosophy. They have all dragged down divinity to the lowest depths of degradation. Instead of trying and rising to a divinity, they try to drag down the Logos, just as in America I have seen the negroes in Methodist Churches get into such a state of excitement that they will jump up and do all kinds of things, and then with their umbrellas they will try to catch Jesus and say, Come here, Jesus! Come here, Jesus! It is positive blasphemy. I have seen it once, and it disgusted me.


Mr. Forsyth: And they fall down on the floor.


Mme. Blavatsky: Oh! You have seen it too. I am very glad you can corroborate my statement.


Mr. Forsyth: Yes, they fall down and foam at the mouth.


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Mme. Blavatsky: Now comes a question, gentlemen, a strange question, a mathematical one.


Mr. A. Keightley: “How does the triangle become the square; and how does the square become the six-faced cube?”


Mme. Blavatsky: In occult Pythagorean geometry, the tetrad is said to combine within itself all the materials of which kosmos was produced; that is the Pythagorean rule. The point or 1 extends to a line that make 2, the line to a superor triangle is converted into a solid or 4 or the tetrad, by the point being placed over it.


Mr. B. Keightley: A pyramid, it is a four-pointed figure.


Mr. Kingsland: It is a four-sided figure.


The President: It is a four-sided figure.


Mr.—: Is it pyramidical?


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes, but it must have something on it. We will see how it is transformed into the pentagon and the pentagon into the six. 


Mr. A. Keightley: But a pyramid is not a square.


Mme. Blavatsky:  The base of it is.


The President: No, it is a triangle turned into a pyramid.


Mme. Blavatsky: Excuse me, there are four faces. My dear sir, I don’t speak to you about the figures. They asked me about the square. They do not speak about the cube here, they speak about the cube afterwards.


Mr. Kingsland: Isn’t it built on a square, and then it becomes the four things.


Mr. Gardner: The four sides coming up to the apex.


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The President: You may have a three-faced pyramid.


Mme. Blavatsky: I don’t speak here of that, it will come later. You can take Pythagoras by the beard if you can get him.


Mr. Kingsland: Do you mean a triangle becomes a tetraktys?


Mme. Blavatsky: I say it becomes the tetraktys because matter is square always. It is always a plane square, and once that the triangle falls into it, you have the seven. Allow me a pencil and I will draw it for you. 


Mr. B. Keightley: We shall see as we go on. You get a plane square, then the moment you add another point, a you get your pyramid or square-based pyramid.


Mr. Kingsland: We want to know how you get your square, first.


Mr.—: How do you get from the triangle to the square?


Mme. Blavatsky: I can’t show it to you, but in mathematics it exists. It is not on this plane of matter that you can square the circle. We know what it means to square the circle, but the men who spent years trying to square the circle are shut up in lunatic asylums. On this plane you cannot think of squaring the circle, but we can. It is quite a different thing.


The President: Eliphas Lévi 3 takes it in this way: he takes the first eternal as representing the triangle, and the synthesis of the three forming a fourth point; but I don’t see myself how that brings one any nearer to matter. I think he puts it that way in his works. Does he not?


Mr. B. Keightley: The point becomes the line two, the line become a plane superficies three, then you have the triangle or the first plane figure.


Mme. Blavatsky: And the supercies or triangle is converted into a solid of four, or the tetrad, by the point being placed over it.


3 [Pen name of Alphonse Louis Constant, French occult writer, 1810-1875.]


144.                         5. Meeting February 7, 1889


Mr. B. Keightley:  Then that is a triangular pyramid.


Mme. Blavatsky: But then it becomes again another thing to make the cube out of the square. It will become a triangular pyramid, but it will come on the base of the square.


The President: At the same time, what one was wanting to get at was that the first four stages ought to have produced, and according to that process did produce four dimensions—if you take the point, line, superficies, and solid, you have 1, 2, 3, and 4. But of course, if you take the ordinary plane square, you are simply altering a mathematical figure, still of the same dimensions.


Mme. Blavatsky: You can’t understand the thing unless you have this conception very clearly in your mind: that the first real figure that you can conceive of and that can be produced in this world of ours is a triangle. The point is no figure at all nor the 2 for which the Pythagoreans had the greatest contempt, because it cannot form any figure. You can do nothing with them, you can not make of two lines a figure. The first one then is the triangle, and this is taken as a symbol of the first manifested Logos; the first in this world of manifestation. I think this is as plain as can be.


The President: And further, the first possible solid is the four-sided figure, with four angles, four sides each plain side contained by three lines. It is not the square, it is the pyramid; it is the three-sided pyramid.


Mme. Blavatsky: [   ] which is the point itself [   ]  produces, or is one. It goes to the left or the right, it produces Chokhmah, the wisdom. He makes this plane, which is a horizontal plane of matter, and produces intelligence, Binah, or the Mahat, and then returns back into the quaternary; I don’t know these names. It is still the tetraktys, and this is called the Tetragrammaton in the Kabbalah. It is called that, because it is the first thing. The triangle falling matter, or standing on

matter, makes the four, that is to say, spirit, matter, male and female. That is the real significance of it. This number contains both the


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productive and the produced numbers; this is why it is sacred. Now, it is the spirit, will, and intellect which form {the} triangle animating the four lower principles, and then come the seven principles which we speak of in Theosophy. They are the same that Pythagoras spoke about, the seven properties in man, and even the Rosicrucians took it. The square becomes the cube when each point of the triangle becomes dual, male and female. The Pythagoreans said once 1 twice 2, and there ariseth a tetrad having on its top the highest unity, which becomes the pyramid whose base is a plane tetrad; divine light resting on it makes the abstract cube. Now take six solid or concrete squares, they make a cube, don’t they? And the cube unfolded gives you the cross or the vertical four, barred by the horizontal three. Four here and three will make seven, because you count again the central square, as you know (I have given it in The Secret Doctrine), making our seven principles or the Pythagorean seven properties in man. And this is the cross, the symbol of Christianity, which is the vertical male and the horizontal female. It is spirit and matter, and at the same time it is the most phallic symbol there is.


Mr. B. Keightley: Isn’t that rather excluded, because the vertical is four, while the horizontal is three?


Mme. Blavatsky: My dear sir, that which is above is itself below, but the below is seen as in a looking glass reversed. I told you it is four and divine; on the divine plane it becomes four, and material on the plane of matter, for matter is four also. That which is three and divine here is, for instance, the three higher principles in man becoming the nothing yet. It is nothing yet, it is simply the thing which will become something. You must always take this, that it will be reversed and will be like the reflection in the looking glass, for your right arm will appear to your left.


Mr. B. Keightley: Therefore you get your three and your four interchanged.


Mme. Blavatsky: Just so.


Mr. B. Keightley: Question 9: “What is meant by Astral Light in


146.                         5. Meeting February 7, 1889


the middle paragraph of page 60?”


Mme. Blavatsky: It means an infernal misprint of the printer, who just put “has” instead of “lies,” and also carelessness of the bright but not quick-eyed editors. They just ask in the most innocent way what it means. It means an infernal mistake of the printer and an oversight on your part for which I ought to have skinned you if I had seen it.


Mr. B. Keightley: You saw the proofs too; you are in the same boat.


Mme. Blavatsky: Read it; see if it has any sense.


Mr. A. Keightley: (reads the passage: Secret Doctrine, vol. 1, p. {60}.)


Mr. B. Keightley:  That has means lies that is what it is.


Mr. A. Keightley: But “has” has distinctly a meaning.


Mme. Blavatsky: It has not, because Astral Light expands. What is “has,” then, if you please?   


The President: You can say that a thing has something between it and another thing.


Mr. Forsyth: What do you wish to say then, madam?


Mme. Blavatsky: I would say it expands. It is a misprint, I can assure you. Look at my manuscript.


Mr. Forsyth: I would like you to think of a word and let us know decidedly what word it is.


Mme. Blavatsky: If they say it is correct, they are English and I am not.


The President: “ Is spread.” It has that meaning to me.


Mme. Blavatsky: Will you kindly read this, Mr. Forsyth, because I take it for a misprint, and I know I would never put this sentence.


Mr. B. Keightley: You would often say this room has a door between it and the next.


147.                         5. Meeting February 7, 1889


Mme. Blavatsky: But there is nothing there relative to “has.”


Mr. B. Keightley:  The tetragrammaton.


Mr. Forsyth: “Has” means possession.


Mme. Blavatsky: What is meant by Astral Light is explained in questions 10 and 11. Why are you so very impatient, all of you?


Mr. Kingsland: I don’t think we misunderstood the meaning of that.


Mme. Blavatsky: Oh you are very, very pundit-like, all of you.


The President: I don’t understand what it means, but I understand what you mean to convey.


Mme. Blavatsky: What can be meant by Astral Light? The Astral Light is the great deceiver.


Mr. B. Keightley: We seem to have gone suddenly from the stage of the first manifested Logos, and landed ourselves on the other side of the plane of Astral Light and Tetragrammaton.


Mme. Blavatsky: Now, what do you mean? Allow me. “ Thus is repeated on earth the mystery enacted, according to the seers, on the divine plane.” (continues reading from passage in The Secret Doctrine.) That is to say the second Logos becomes a Tetragrammaton, the triangle and the four. I think it is as plain as can be. “It is now in the ‘Lap of Mâyâ” and between its self, and the Reality Has the Astral Light,” etc. Now, why did you come and pitch into me in my old age and dishonor me? I believe this thing is the most clear of all the blessed paragraphs that are here in the book. Is it, or not? I put it to the justice of those here. You see how I am ill-treated.


Mr. Forsyth: It is a shame, madam. I think your interpretation, “lies” in place of “has,” has a somewhat different meaning to the general reader. It certainly to me has a slightly different meaning.


Mme. Blavatsky: Maybe it is more English, but I would not put it.


148.                         5. Meeting February 7, 1889


Mr. Forsyth: If you put it in classic English, “has” is strictly a matter of possession.


Mme. Blavatsky: I suppose they understand it just as it is. What is it Mr. Kingsland just proceeded to scold me for?


Mr. Kingsland: I do not think it has been perfectly made clear yet how the three becomes the four.


The President:  Yes, I think it has. I think the explanation of that is that the “four” really and truly means what we call the third dimension of space, and consequently is Mâyâ—Tetragrammaton, in one sense. You mean a different sort of four, and if it can do that, obviously there is Mâyâ and the highest triangle. It answers its self, that use of the pyramid to explain the four.


Mme. Blavatsky: Just so.


Mr. Kingsland: Is the Astral Light used there in the sense of Mâyâ.


Mme. Blavatsky: Most assuredly. When you come there to a certain passage where I speak of the seven principles and the moon and all that, I show there are only four planes, that the three which are above do not belong to our terrestrial chain or to the chain of any planet. You do not know anything about it. You can’t speculate. I am not a high adept. I am a poor old woman very ill-treated here. We speak only of the four planes that we can conceive.


Mr. B. Keightley: We apologize to you, but the explanation of the whole thing is the pyramid.


The President:  It explains it all, because we get in that four what we could not see at all, the third dimension of space, and consequently Mâyâ. One is apt to look on the Tetragrammaton as above Mâyâ.


Mme. Blavatsky: Did you read my article in The Theosophist on the Tetragrammaton? 4 The Kabbalists say something else, but in my sight the Tetragrammaton is not very high. I have been just answering Mr. Subba Row,


4 [Blavatsky, “Tetragrammaton,” The Theosophist, 1887, November pp. 104-116.] 


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He said: “How can it be seven principles?” I said: “I am not going to worship the Tetragrammaton. I do not see why I should. I do not worship different things. I know only of the Absolute and perfectly homogeneous. I can invent for myself any kind of conceptions and flapdoodles.” The Tetraktys of the  Pythagoreans swore was quite a different kind of tobacoo, if you please, quite another thing. You just take the third chapter of Genesis and the beginning of the fourth and you find there the Tetragrammaton. You find Eve, and Adam Jehovah who becomes Cain. That is what you find. There is the Tetragrammaton. That is the first one which is symbolized. Then comes at the end of the fourth chapter already the human conception, and there is Enoch and there is Seth, and to him was born a son, Enos. And it is written in the real Jewish scrolls, “From that time man began to be male and female,” and they have translated it in the authorized—James’s version—“From that time man began to call upon the Lord.” I ask you if you can translate it like that, when in the real Hebrew you see men began to be called “Yod-he-vah.” That is always so, you know. They say one thing in the Hebrew scriptures and they translate it as another. They do not take into consideration the fact that the people had all symbolical and figurative language. Then they will never come and see the difference: it is always “Lord God” or “God” or Jehovah” and all that, nothing else, and even “Jehovah” says to Moses that he never was called by the name Jehovah. Centuries and thousands of years before that there is Abraham, who builds an altar to “Jehovah.” Is it so, or not? 


The President: In the revised version, they translate Elohim as “Lord” in the first chapter.


Mme. Blavatsky:  They have no right translating Elohim as God” in the singular. It means “Lords” and “Gods.” Everything there is in the plural. They can not go against the facts. They translate Abel and say it is the “son of Eve.” I say fiddlesticks! I say it was a daughter of Eve for Abel is the female aspect of Cain. When they separate, the first separation is shown in the first verse of the fourth chapter,


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when Cain was born unto Eve, and she said there, it is translated: “I have gotten a man from the Lord,” though it doesn’t mean this. It means what Ralston Skinner showed perfectly; it means Jehovah, male and female kind. Abel comes afterwards and is female, and then comes the separation of sexes. And then they say he kills Abel, and he doesn’t kill him at all—he marries him. That is the whole of it. I am obliged to tell you these things, if you are to learn. History is history and facts are facts.


Mr. A. Keightley: How does Astral Light come between Tetragrammaton and “reality”?


Mme. Blavatsky: How do I know? It is there. 


Mr. A. Keightley: What is “reality” in this context?


Mme. Blavatsky: That which has neither form, color, limitation, attributes, nothing. A number that is nothing, it is all; it is the Absolute. Now, this, if I have not said it 120 times, I have not said it once.


The President: The whole of these questions have arisen out of a misunderstanding of the word Tetragrammaton. Now I think we understand what Tetragrammaton is.


Mr. B. Keightley: It is simply humanity, as far as I know it. Man.


Mme. Blavatsky: No, it is rather different—I do not call it so. It is Malkhut, when the bridegroom comes to the bride on earth; then it becomes humanity.


Mr. B. Keightley: After the separation.


Mme. Blavatsky:  The seven lower sephorot have to be passed through. The Tetragrammaton becomes more and more material.


Mr. B. Keightley: And then after the separation he is completely Tetragrammaton.


Mme. Blavatsky: Then he becomes M.P. or a Grand Master of


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all the Masons.


Mr. Kingsland: In one sense the Astral Light is between the four lower planes and the three higher ones.


Mme. Blavatsky: Between Tetraktys and Tetragrammaton there is an immense difference. The difference is because Pythagoras swore by the Tetraktys of the invisible Monad, which comes and having produced the first point and the second and the third retires afterwards into the darkness and everlasting silence, i.e., into that of which we cannot know anything. It is the first Logos and this is the Tetraktys. There is the point. The point comes that is 1. He produces the first point, the second, third, and fourth. Or if you take it from the point of matter, there is the horizontal plane of the triangle and there is the second side, the third and the point. Eliphas Lévi says many things to which certainly I will never consent, and he knew very well he was bamboozling the public. He simply laughed at people.


The President: At the same time he gives that idea of the formation of the four, inasmuch as he suggests it is the synthesis of it. You may perfectly well take the Monad which forms the 1, the 2, the 3 and retires into the darkness. At any rate it is not a great extension of the idea, and therefore I say he is really describing the tetraktys.


Mme. Blavatsky: And I just showed it to you. You take the point in the circle and you proceed and make a triangle from the lower point and take the plane of matter and you proceed like that, it become the reverse. He takes it on a lower plane.


Mr. B. Keightley: That is how the confusion has arisen in our minds. Eliphas Lévi is speaking of the tetraktys as the Tetragrammaton.


Mme. Blavatsky: In the preliminary rules to the Esoteric Section5 I


5 [H.P.B. founded the Esoteric Section in London, October 1888, as an inner section of the Theosophical Society for those who wanted to make a greater commitment to the movement.]


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said: “please, all those who want to study the eastern esoteric science, have the kindness not to belong to any society except the Masonic societies, which are perfectly harmless, to the Masonic societies or to the Odd Fellows, but you must not belong to any of the occult societies, that teach you after the western methods.” Very well; this morning I received an insult. Mr. Westcott6 writes to me and says: “I am a fellow of the Theosophical Society and I’m going to be blackmailed and sent like a black sheep out of the fold because I have belonged to a society.” I said: “My dear fellow, I have got nothing to do with you. You don’t belong to my Esoteric Section; you are welcome to belong to anything you like.” Now you see the enormous confusion it produces in you, simply because you have read Eliphas Lévi. What shall it be with others who study in other societies, which will go and say that the Tetragrammaton is the highest divinity? You will have such a confusion that you will never learn anything of the one or the other, and the consequence will be that you will be in the most fearful state of confusion. I said you may belong to the Masonic societies, but not to the occult societies. I am perfectly sure I have got enough to do. Whether there are 300 members or 30, I don’t care. It will be useless trouble to teach and teach and  find they won’t understand it.


The President: We have no more formal business tonight.


6 [William Wynn Westcott, 1848-1925, Freemason, hermeticist, and one of the founders in 1888 of the occult group, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.]



( These remarks closed the proceedings )



The Theosophical Society

Meeting of the Blavatsky Lodge

Thursday, February 14, 1889


Mr. Kingsland ( in the absents of Mr. Harbottle ) took the chair.


Mr. A. Keightley: The first verse stanza 3 “ The last vibration of the seventh eternity thrills through infinitude. The Mother swells, expanding from within without like the bud of the lotus.” (Commentary, the first three sentences.1) Question 1. Does the commencement of time as distinguished from duration correspond to the appearance of the second or manifested Logos?


Mme. Blavatsky: Is it the first question, this?


Mr. A. Keightley: Yes.


Mme. Blavatsky: You see, it was not there. I answer the question which was written there. It doesn’t seem to meet it. You say: “How is it that the mother swells,” and so on, if there is a difference between duration and time, or to what time it corresponds, to what period? That is the question isn’t it?


Mr. A. Keightley: (reads question again.)


Mme. Blavatsky: Certainly it does not correspond, because you see that when the Mother swells, it is a good proof that the differentiation has set in; and while, when Logos number one radiates through primordial or undifferentiated matter in Laya, there is no action in chaos. Thus there is a great difference between those. There is no time at this stage. There is neither space nor time when the first thing begins, and it is all in space and time once


1 [ The Secret Doctrine 1:62 ]


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it is differentiated. The last vibration of the seventh eternity is the first announcing dawn and it is this last vibration which is the  synonym of the unmanifested Logos at the time of the primordial radiation. It is Father-Mother, potentially; and when the second Logos emanates the third, has it become the Virgin Mother. Then only. Do you understand the differentiation.


Mr. A. Keightley: I understand the difference between these two, but I do not see how it applies to time and duration.


Mme. Blavatsky: When the first Logos appears, there is neither time nor space. Duration is always; it is eternal; but there is neither time nor space; it is outside time and space. This last or seventh vibration means just the same as if it was said: the first Logos radiated. That is to say, the ray emanated from the Absolute—or radiated rather, because nothing emanates from the Absolute. Therefore, this term, the last vibration of the seventh eternity, applies to the moment or period, whatever it is, when the light appears. Therefore it is certainly not the time of the second Logos


Mr. B. Keightley: The question as put there was whether time appears; whether you can speak of time from the moment when the second Logos, the unmanifested-manifested Logos, appears.


Mme. Blavatsky: Most assuredly, because then time begins. It is what he told me that made me answer, because I could not understand your question when I read it first. I though you meant that the word “time” could not be applied to the seventh vibration, or you mixed up the first and the second Logos. It was written in a way that I could not understand. Certainly there is an immense space of time between the two. One is just at the last moment when it ceases to be outside of time and space, and the second is when space and time begin—periodical time.


Mr. B. Keightley: Space and time as periodical manifestations begin with the second Logos.


155.                               6. Meeting February 14, 1889


Mme. Blavatsky: When it is said the Mother swells like the lotus or the bud, it means that it has begun already—because it could not have happened before. Before there is no action possible and no quality applied to anything. It is impossible to see it here, at least in our philosophy. The divine ray Logos number one, is the abstract parent, while Logos number two is at the same time his mother’s son and her husband. Now, if you go and study the cosmogonies and the theogonies of all the peoples you will in the Indian and the Chaldean, everywhere, that the second Logos, the creative Logos, is spoken of as his mother’s husband and his mother’s son. Now, for instance, Osiris is the son and husband of Isis, and Horus is the son and the husband and the father too. It is all interchangeable. Just the same with Brahmâ; Brahmâ is the father, the husband and the son of Vâch. You understand the difference—when he differentiates.


Mr. A. Keightley: That is to say, that the first differentiation is everything, practically.


Mme. Blavatsky: Most assuredly. It is only on the second plane that this Mother becomes the Virgin Mother, because before that it has no qualifications, non what ever no adjective.


Mr. Kingsland: In other words, you would say there is no differentiation with the first Logos. The differentiation only begins with the second, and therefore the first Logos is outside of time and space, and time and space begin with the second.


Mr. A. Keightley: The second question refers to the words: “One is the abstraction or noumenon of infinite time (Kâla).” Is this the  “duration” referred to in stanza 1: “Time...lay asleep in the infinite bosom of duration,” or is it the potentiality of time?


Mme. Blavatsky: I have been just explaining it. Duration has always potential time in it, in itself. Duration is eternal time which had neither beginning nor end. Time is something, and that is why they say in the eastern philosophy, “Time is the son of duration, its child.”


156.                               6. Meeting February 14, 1889


Mr. A. Keightley: Yes, exactly.


Mme. Blavatsky: Infinite time.


Mr. A. Keightley: At once with the second Logos you proceed out of duration into time, and time is therefore periodical, while duration is eternal.


Mme. Blavatsky: Just so, as I have just been saying. Periodical time is the child of eternal duration. Well, has anyone questions to ask? Let them ask, if they have anything, because after that it won’t be understood again. Have you anything to ask, Mr. Kingsland?


Mr. Kingsland: No, I think I have not.


Mr. Scott-Elliot: You mentioned radiation and emanation. One has never any distinct idea. What is the difference—the difference between radiation and emanation?


Mme. Blavatsky: Enormous. Radiation is the unconscious action, so to say, of something from which something radiates, but emanation is—well, it supposes already something that emanates out itself consciously. Now radiation can come from the Absolute; emanation cannot. Nothing can emanate from it.


Mr. Scott-Elliot: Radiation comes from the Absolute.


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes, the first radiation when the Logos radiates. The first ray, that of which is said in the bible: “Let there be Light and Light was.” The first divine Light, this is radiation. It radiates; but emanating means emanating one from the other—how shall I say—from one being to another being, that is the difference. I make this difference because I don’t know how to translate in any other way. We have a word for it in the occult language, but it is impossible to translate it into English.


Mr. Scott-Elliot: Then there is a closer connection between that which has emanated and that from which it emanates than there is between that which radiates and that from which the radiation takes place.


157.                               6. Meeting February 14, 1889


Mme. Blavatsky: No. You see, the radiation—if it radiates, it is sure, sooner or later, to be withdrawn again. Emanation emanates and may run into other emanations and it is separated; that is a different thing. It may be, of course, that at the end of the cycle of times it will also be withdrawn into the one Absolute. But meanwhile, during the cycle of changes and the cycle of change of forms, this will be an emanation. And it is in my mind the same as evolution—of course, in another sense, but it is exactly the same thing. One thing evolves from the other and one thing emanates from the other, with the change of forms and substance and so on.


Mr. A. Keightley: Number 3. Page 63, line 5 {of The Secret Doctrine}. Is not Astral Light used here in a different sense from that on page 60, line 22? Please enlarge upon this idea of prototypes existing, before becoming manifest upon the material plane.


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes, certainly. Well, Astral Light is a very wide term. As I said, I use this because to use another would be to make the book still more incomprehensible, and heaven knows that they are complaining quite enough of its being very difficult already. I have tried to avoid all such words, and I have put Astral Light in general. Now suppose I had said and given to you the difference—that Astral Light is used here as a convenient term for one very little understood, “the realm of Âkâsa or primordial light manifested in the divine ideation.” Now, suppose I had to use this very long phrase. Very few would understand it, I would have to explain what is divine ideation, I would have to explain what is the Âkâsa; have to explain the difference between Âkâsa and Ether and so on. Therefore I use it as a term that everyone understands. Astral Light is everywhere. It may be from the highest plane to the lowest plane, it is always Astral Light, at least according to the Kabbalists. All the Kabbalists call it so, from the days of the alchemists and the Rosicrucians. Astral Light must be accepted here as a generic term for universal and divine ideation reflected in the waters of space or chaos, which is the Astral Light proper. That is to say the Astral Light


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is like the mirror of the highest divine ideation, but it is all reversed, because it is a plane of illusion and everything is topsy-turvy there. In the divine thought everything exists and there was no time when it did not so exist, so that it is impossible to say that anything came out, because this divine mind is Absoluteness and everything was, is, and will be in it. At least, according to our philosophy, it is the undifferentiated—I will not say field—but the nouminal abstract space which will be occupied, the field of primordial consciousness. It is the field, how ever, of latent consciousness which is coveal with the duration of the first and unmanifested Logos—which is the light which shineth in darkness, which is in the Gospel, is the first word used there; which comprehends it not. When the hour strikes for the second Logos then from the latent potentiality radiates a lower field of differentiated consciousness, which is Mahat in the Vishnu Purânas and all the other Purânas, or the collectivity of those Dhyâni-Chohans of which Mahat is the representative. Now do you understand the thing that you have been asking the last time?


Mr. Kingsland: Not altogether. What is the relation between Astral Light used in that sense and Fohat?


Mme. Blavatsky: Fohat is in the Astral Light because it is everywhere until the fourth plane, but the Astral Light doesn’t go to the fifth plane. Then begins the Âkâsa, You see, we call the Astral Light that which mirrors all the upper planes of consciousness, matter, being, call it whatever you like.


Mr. Kingsland: When you say that the Astral Light contains the prototype of everything, does it contain not only the prototype, but does it contain it in a sequence of events in the same way that we have sequence of events on the physical plane?


Mme. Blavatsky: There is a great difference between how this Astral Light reflects all kinds of things and how the other reflects them, because the first one, the highest ones are eternal. The Astral Light is periodic. It changes not only with the great Manvantara but it changes with every period, with every cycle. The Astral Light will change with every tropical year, if you like.



159.                               6. Meeting February 14, 1889


Mr. Kingsland: Then every thing that exists on this plane exists first of all in the Astral Light?


Mme. Blavatsky: No, it exists, first of all in the divine eternal consciousness and nothing can exist or take place on this plane if it does not exist there.


Mr. Kingsland: And then, further, it is reflected on the Astral Light.


Mme. Blavatsky: But it is reflected topsy-turvy; that is why we call it illusion. It is from the Astral Light that we take our prototypes. The evolution takes its prototypes from the Astral Light, but Astral Light takes its representation from the upper ones and gives them entirely upside down. Just like a looking-glass, it will reverse everything. Therefore we call it illusion.


Mr. Kingsland: Therefore, both we ourselves and nature get our ideas from the Astral Light in whatever we produce?


Mme. Blavatsky: They cannot get them. And those who go mentally beyond the Astral Light, those are they who see the truth and can sense it. Otherwise they will never see it. If they do not go beyond the Astral Light they will be always in that ocean of illusion or deception, of self-ideation which is good for nothing. Because once we begin to think we see things really with our eyes of senses, with our physical eyes, we won’t see anything at all.


Mr. B. Keightley: There really seems to be three stages. First divine ideation reflects its self in [  ], the highest Âkâsa beyond the Astral Light.


Mme. Blavatsky: Which is the eternal, full of divine consciousness, which being Absolute consciousness cannot differentiate, cannot have any qualities, cannot act, but it is only that which is reflected from it or mirrored that can act, because the unconditioned and the infinite can have no relation with the finite and conditioned.


2 [A cyclic period of 25,868 years, SD, 2:505.]


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Therefore it is our medium from which we take our “middle Heaven”, as the Gnostics called it, the middle space, on which is Sophia Achamoth. The Gnostics all spoke about the middle space, which was the region of Sophia Achamoth, not the Sophia the Divine Sophia, but the Sophia Achamoth, the mother of all the evil spirits, the seven spirits, the builders of the Earth. And the Gnostics said it was these ones that built, and that therefore the God of the Bible was one of those wicked spirits. This is what they said the Gnostics, Valentinus and Marcion and so on.


Mr. B. Keightley:  They had three heavens, then?


Mme. Blavatsky: I wish somebody could translate this thing. I have it entirely in Latin. It is the Pistis of Sophia.3 If only somebody could translate this!


Mr. B. Keightley: I think Roger Hall knows it.


Mme. Blavatsky: But it must be given entirely in the Kabbalistic language. You know nothing of the Kabbalah, and you won’t be able to do it; it wants somebody who knows Kabbalah well. I can’t ask Mathers4 to do it, because he will do it in his own Kabbalistic way. There will be eternity in the way and there will be St. Joseph and everything. Therefore I can’t give it to him. I must get somebody who knows Latin and at the same time who knows Kabbalah well enough to translate. There you will see this middle space and the upper middle space and the seven heavens that they spoke about. You see, if you only study the early Christian Fathers and compare that with what is said now with the theological teachings, why, you see there is just the same difference as there is between the teachings of Ammonius Saccas5 and the teachings of Mr. Spurgeon.6 They


3 [ The Pistis Sophia ( The faith of Sophia ) an important Gnostic text that was eventually translated in Mme. Blavatsky’s magazine, Lucifer, in 1890-1891.]

4 [Samuel Liddell “MacGregor” Mathers, English occultist, 1854-1918, one of the founders of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.]

5 [Ammonius Saccas, third century A.D. Greek philosopher in Alexandria, Egypt, whose ideas influenced the development of Neoplatonism.]

6 [Charles Haddon Spurgeon, English Baptist preacher, 1834-1892.]


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believed in the seven heavens and the seven planes, they talked about the incarnation. I will show it to you in the teachings of the Church Fathers, beginning with Alexandrinus7 and ending with any of them. Then, after the sixth century, there begins our own flapdoodle church, theology which disfigures everything, which becomes more and more pagan. Which takes not, mind you, the pagan ideas of the higher initiates, but of the mob, the rabble. You see they always come and say I go against Christianity. I never go against Christ or the teachings of Christianity of the first centuries, but I go against this terrible perversion of all the truths. There is not a single thing they have not disfigured, and in such a way you can not name a rite, whether in the Roman Catholic or the Episcopal or Protestant Churches, that cannot be traced directly back to the rites of the pagan mob. Not at all of the mysterious initiates, but the pagan mob, simply, at the time when they were so persecuted, and when they wanted to save the scriptures of the initiation, and they had to compromise and come to terms. And they had come to terms with the fathers of the church, who were very ignorant. They were very learned or very ignorant. Now let us take Augustine; they call him the greatest man and the wisest. I say he is as ignorant as can be. And then they went and made a kind of olla podrida out of these pagan rites and the little things of the initiations. I am going to give it all in Lucifer,8 the rites of ritualism in masonry and the church, and I am going to give it in five or six numbers. I think it will be very interesting for the masons, and for others too, because I show the origin, and I show it on the authority of the manuscripts and the old classics, and they cannot say I have invented it.


Dr. Williams: I was talking with a bishop of the Church of England last week, and he admitted that if the Church wanted to continue its integrity it would have to go back to the teaching of the early Christian fathers.


Mme. Blavatsky: But they will have to give up the temples and everything.



7 [Clement of Alexandria, leader of Christians in Alexandria, c. 150-c.215.]


8 [“The Roots of Ritualism in Church and Masonary,” Lucifer, March, May, 1889. The May installment ended with the words to be “continued” but never was.]


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The early Christians until the beginning of the third century would not hear of temples, or rites, or ceremonies, or churches or anything of the kind. That which is called a church in Paul is simply a gathering and an assembly in a room; there were no churches, no rites, nothing at all. You know what this {Minucius} Felix says: he says, “you say that we are not pious because we have not temples, and this, that, and the other, but we cannot have a temple, for where is the temple that is large enough to contain the Almighty and the Absolute?”9 This his argument that went dead against the temples. Therefore if your bishop wants to return he will have to make away with every church and temple, and every chapel. They have to go to the endowment of Jesus. When you pray don’t go into the synagogues and do as the Pharisees do. Go into the room and pray. This is the meaning of it. Surely there is not the slightest comparison between what Jesus or Christ taught you, and what the Church is doing, not the smallest similitude. It is like two different things. It says one thing and you do another; and you call yourselves Christians, when you are all nothing but the most paradoxical people in creation. I mean all Christendom, I don’t mean only England.


Dr. Williams: I think the world is coming to it very fast now.


Mme. Blavatsky: If I can help it a bit, I am perfectly ready to do anything. I can assure you I am perfectly ready to do anything, even to be cut into a thousand pieces, I don’t care; for this is the curse. It is Church cant!


Mr. Kingsland: They would have to have meetings on the model of the Blavatsky Lodge.


Mme. Blavatsky: Well, at the Blavatsky Lodge they don’t teach anything but good. They don’t teach you anything of the vices. It is not a self-admiration society. At the Blavatsky Lodge you hear from me very disagreeable truths, but I think they do not do you any


9 [These words are a paraphase of the third century Roman Christian apologist Minucius Felix’s Octavius, 32.1.]


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harm, do they? I say I am a very poor specimen of anything good, but I will say as the Lutheran preacher did: “do as I tell you, don’t do as I do.”


Dr. Williams: What is the first manifestation of the Astral Light proceeding downward toward matter?


Mme. Blavatsky: From the Astral Light? Already it will be on the fourth, third and second planes, from which of the planes do you mean? You take The Secret Doctrine and you see the four planes. I is useless to speak about that which cannot be given in any language.


Mr. Kingsland: I think what Mr. Williams means is, what is that which makes the reflection become potentiality?


Mr. Williams: What is the first manifestation proceeding out from the Astral Light toward the plane of manifestation? I mean manifestation on the material plane.


Mme. Blavatsky: My dear Dr. Williams, I must ask you do you speak about theogany {theogony?}? Do you speak about the physical forces? On what plane do you want me to tell you this? Because, if you speak about the theogany, I may say there are all the builders that proceed from it, the builders of the cosmic terrestrial world.


Dr. Williams: But the different planes are all inter-reality are they not?


Mme. Blavatsky: Certainly. But what is this Astral Light? All these intelligences, which are already from the sun of chaos, in matter and all these builders of the lower world proceed from it. All the seven elements, of which you know only five so far, or four.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then, there you are speaking of two distinct planes: the cosmic plane, and that which applies particularly to our earth. I suppose you would say, then, there were as many divisions of the Astral Light, if one may so speak of it, as there are planetary systems.


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Mme. Blavatsky: Most assuredly.


Dr. Williams: Did you use the term there in our abstract sense, in the sense of unity?


Mme. Blavatsky: I use terms mostly in that sense. At least, in my mind it all comes to that, I am afraid. But when we begin talking about the plane of differentiated matter and the evolution on earth, of course I am obliged to go into details.


Dr. Williams: Really, the idea at the back of the question was whether it manifests simultaneously in many different ways, or whether there is some sort of emanation from the Astral Light which constitutes a higher degree of potentiality from which various forms in the physical universe proceed, or the physical forces proceed. Or whether they proceed simultaneously in many different forms from this unity.


Mme. Blavatsky: I think the question will be answered in the following question.


Mr. B. Keightley: I think it is covered by the question of the prototypes.


Mme. Blavatsky: Now, question 4 is answered in the third.


Mr. A. Keightley: Question 4 is: “Is there an evolution of types through the various planes of the Astral Light or do all possible types exist in the Divine Thought?”


Mme. Blavatsky: Certainly, no possible types, nothing can be there, that does not exist in the Divine Thought.


Mr. A. Keightley: In that case (that there is an evolution) would it be correct to say that actual Astral prototypes of physical forms only exist on the lowest plane of the Astral Light?


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes, because this is the world of forms, and there,  there are no forms. You cannot come and make the comparison there. It is the world of forms, and there is the world Ârupa.


165.                               6. Meeting February 14, 1889


Mr. B. Keightley: You have not read the keynote of the thing.


Mme. Blavatsky: Number 4 is answered in the third. Number 5 is answered here. The existence of the physical forms on the Astral Plane—their prototypes can best be compared to the nouminal germ from which will proceed the phenomenal germ which will finally become the acorn. Now, do you understand this thing?


Dr. Williams: No, I am afraid I do not.


Mme. Blavatsky: That first it can be compared to a nouminal germ; from the nouminal germ there comes the phenomenal germ and that germ becomes the acorn. Now, just to show you the different prototypes on different planes and how one thing is evolved from the other. From the acorn will grow an oak and this oak as a tree may be of a thousand forms, all varying from each other. You see, all these forms are contained in the acorn, and yet from the same acorn the form that the oak will take depends already on extraneous circumstances, on physical forces at work, and all kinds of things. You know it is impossible to speak about this. The germ is there, but you cannot speak about form. And it is contained in the phenomenal germ and the nouminal germ.


Dr. Williams: Does the nouminal germ exist in the Astral Light? Can that in any way be said to be an emanation from the Astral Light?


Mme. Blavatsky: It is. The nouminal germ does not exist in the Astral Light but beyond, above. It is already a physical germ that exists in the Astral Light, the physical germ. That is to say the prototype, what Aristotle calls the privation of matter.


Dr. Williams: Do you understand this prototype of the developed oak tree exists or does it develop with the physical oak tree? And is not the development of the physical oak tree the result of the developed prototype?


Mme. Blavatsky: Surely it is, but we cannot give it a form and expression here. We know that nothing can be here unless it is


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found in another higher plane, and from one plane to another it must proceed. From the highest it comes to the lowest and must have its development; only here it has its last consolidation of forms and development of forms. And this I tell you further: it is such a difficult subject that I do not think any one of you, even those who study Occultism, can understand it, and this is that the real Vedântin philosopher will tell you that even the oak or the tree that grows from the germ has its karma, and that whatever way it grows it is the result of karma. Now, try to understand that.


Mr. A. Keightley: Does that mean, then, that supposing you have an oak tree, the privation of the oak tree is a perfect example of a tree growth?


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes; but who had done the privation; who has traced it out?


Mr. A. Keightley:  That is the Divine Thought as I understand it.


Mme. Blavatsky: I beg your pardon. It is the Dhyâni-Chohans, the builders on the lowers plane, and as they draw it, it is their karma for having drawn it.


Mr. A. Keightley: But I thought they could not draw, apart from the natural evolutionary law.


Mme. Blavatsky: It is sometimes in such extraordinary forms that it is a thing of intention. We can’t see it, but it is so.


Mr. Kingsland: Do you mean they actually draw it as it will be when the tree is full grown, before the tree is full grown?


Mme. Blavatsky: Just so, as the astral body of every man, woman, and child must exist before the physical body takes the shape of the astral form. The Hindus will tell you the gods, Brahmâ, Vishnu, Śiva are all under karmic law. They all say the same. You read the Hindu books,  you will find it. All that which is at the end of Pralaya to die so to say, to end in a certain form, is under karmic law.


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Mr. Kingsland: That is closely connected with the phenomena of prediction. How is it that somnambulists are able to predict certain events that take place?


Mme. Blavatsky: Because they see it in the Astral Light.


Mr. B. Keightley: You can get this state. The Dhyâni-Chohans first of all takes that, the nouminal idea of it, or reflects it from the Divine Mind, as I understand; that, of course, is perfect in the Divine Mind, it is perfection. But as the Dhyâni-Chohan reflects it in himself and transmits it again in the astral plane he modifies it of course, either intentionally or otherwise—according to what I do not know, but either intentionally or otherwise—so that you get then the oak tree modified from perfection.


Mme. Blavatsky: This is why the Rosicrucians and all the Kabbalists of the Middle Ages spoke about spirits, that every species, every tree, everything in nature, every kingdom of nature has its own elements, its own Dhyâni-Chohans or what they call elemental spirits.


Mr. Hall: Would the Dhyâni-Chohans be the Hamadryads?10


Mme. Blavatsky: It is the Greeks who call them so.


Mr. B. Keightley: Then, when you have, for instance, oaks, you have  many different variation of oaks, each differing very considerably from each other. Are they, so to speak, differentiations of a single idea in the Divine Mind, differentiated in a thousand forms?


Mme. Blavatsky: They are the broken rays of one ray, and on every plane they are broken. As they pass through the seven planes they are all broken on each plane into thousands and millions, until they come to the world of forms; and every one breaks into an intelligence on its own plane, because every plant has an intelligence. It is no use to come and say that there are only sensitive plants which feel, and all that. If botanists could have the slightest—we won’t say Kabbalistic ideas, but real clairvoyant powers or intuition—they


10 [Spirits of trees in Greek mythology.]


168.                               6. Meeting February 14, 1889


would see that there is no plant that has not got its own intelligence, its own purpose of life, its own free will. It cannot, of course, walk or perambulate or move, but it has its own purpose of life. It can do this, the other, or the third. It can close its petals or unclose them, it has its own ideation—each little blade of grass.


Mr. B. Keightley: Its own intelligence on its own plane.


Mme. Blavatsky: And this intelligence is not the plant, it is that Dhyâni-Chohan or let us call it elemental, that incarnates in it. It all seems as though we are a pack of fools, believing in all this. The Kabbalists laugh at this belief of nymphs and sylphs and gnomes and all that, but this is perfectly true, this is an allegorical way of talking; there is not a thing in this universe that is not animated, and all these atoms go to form a thing. They are a produce of a kind of intelligence of its own, a cosmic intelligence that acts.


Mr. Hall: I think botanists practically admit all that.


Mme. Blavatsky: Only for the sensitive plants.


Mr. Hall: Look at the way they admit plants will grow towards the light; that implies it.


Mme. Blavatsky: Look at the great piety of the solar flower—of the sun-flower. It will always turn to the sun. Why, it is considered in the East a very pious yogi among the flowers, especially as it is clothed in yellow, and they have a great respect in some parts for it.


Mr. Scott-Elliot: But surely the words Dhyâni-Chohan and elemental are not convertible. We have always understood Dhyâni-Chohan as referring to the providers of the whole system.


Mme. Blavatsky: Dhyâni-Chohan applies to everything. You call it Dhyâni-Chohan, but you cannot call them Dhyâni-Buddha.


Mr. Scott-Elliot: I have always understood it to be a Dhyâni-Buddha.


Mr. Kingsland: We had it all explained last Thursday.


169.                               6. Meeting February 14, 1889


Mr. Scott-Elliot: Then these elementals, all creation, are they on their way to animal life, those that animate plants, say?


Mme. Blavatsky: Just the same, and the animals are on their way to humanity, and humanity on their way to Devas or the highest Dhyâni-Chohans. We have used the words promiscuously because no one has taken the trouble to learn it from the A.B.C. to the last letter. We always have spoken of the Dhyâni-Chohans with out going into details, and these are the details that will give you the correct idea. Otherwise you will be at sea, and you will never understand it.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then I suppose you speak of evolution from the prototypical world, through the elemental kingdom up to minerals and animals and human beings in the elemental world, as well as on the other parts.


Mme. Blavatsky: Just the same below, so it is above.


Mr. A. Keightley: But at the same time, are they separate or are they one and the same thing?


Mme. Blavatsky: Well, they are separate as you are separate from another man who may be walking now in Regent’s Street.11


Mr. Hall: Is it not that we are just the material shadows of our astral prototypes?


Mme. Blavatsky: We are; and the astral prototypes are the shadows of their higher prototypes, which are the Dhyânis, up to the Dhyâni-Buddhas.


Mr. A. Keightley: Could you use the term in this way: that there is an elemental which is connected with us in the astral world, we ourselves being separated from that elemental in the astral world; that the elementals are represented in this astral world, and so are we, but we are in addition represented in the physical?


Mme. Blavatsky: We are in the Divine World also.


11 [Fashionable thoroughfare in London’s West End.]


170.                               6. Meeting February 14, 1889


Mr. B. Keightley: No, I will tell you how it is. Our body—the cells of our physical body—have of course their astral correspondence, which you might call elementals. Those are not our selves, but we must have as human beings our humanity, so to speak, on the astral plane, apart from the animal elementals which are the correspondencies of the physical body.


Mr. A. Keightley:  That is what I meant.


Mr. B. Keightley:  The animal elementals on the astral plane.


Mme. Blavatsky: These are questions of immense difficulty. They are such abstruse questions that one answer will elicit another question and then this question elicits ten questions more. It is a thing to which you Europeans are not at all accustomed. It is a train of thought that you could not follow unless you began from the beginning, and were trained as the Eastern people are trained, especially now the yogis, who begin a systematic course of training for the development of metaphysical ideas, and so on. It is a very difficult, abstruse subject, this. You see it is not enough to come and have a very flowery tongue, and to express yourself well and have a flow of language. You must first of all pass into the heads or the brains of those who listen to you a clear representation of what a thing is in reality. Unless you do that you will be listening to a very nice metaphysical speech, as I know many friends of ours have done and get nothing out of it. You have to know and understand everything and how it stands in relation to another thing, and you have to begin from the beginning and proceed from the universals to particulars. And then it will be extremely difficult to understand anything on the higher planes. This is a question that we had already.


Mr. A. Keightley: There is another question arising out of that, that I wanted to ask you. I was talking to a man not very long ago who said that there had been a communication from a sort of intelligence which signed itself “Chela,” and it was written by means of a medium. That medium according to the intelligence was not very amenable.


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It varied, the condition varied, and so did the communications. But one sentence which was used struck me as rather curious. It said: “First of all you have to get the brain in a proper receptive condition, then when that brain is in a proper receptive condition, it stimulates the muscles of the hand to follow out the letters which are traced in a subtle medium.” Probably he meant the letters in the Astral Light; that is to say, there seemed to be a double action. First, there was a tracing of the letters. Secondly, there was an impression on the brain to stimulate the nerves and the muscles and all the rest of it, to follow the tracings with pen and ink or pencil of that which was traced in the Astral Light. Is that a true representation of the way such things are done?


Mme. Blavatsky: When you trace it from the Astral Light, your brain may go to sleep, and need simply have the will to copy that without giving it a thought, whether it is good, bad or indifferent wise or foolish.


Mr. A. Keightley: But that is an actual thing. Supposing for instance that this physical writing here was previously traced in the Astral Light. Were I a medium, my hand would follow the tracings with the pencil in the Astral Light with the physical pen and ink.


Mme. Blavatsky: Most assuredly. But certainly you must see it, and seeing, of course you must have a certain process going on in your brain.


Mr. A. Keightley: According to this explanation, apparently there was the double process going on—not only the sight but the stimulation of the brain to follow this tracing.


Mme. Blavatsky: “Stimulation”—I don’t understand the use of it. If you don’t want to do it, then perhaps your brain would be stimulated to do it. I cannot understand it.


Mr. A. Keightley: That was the explanation of the medium not being particularly amenable.


Mme. Blavatsky: Well, let us have question 6.



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Mr. A. Keightley: Page 63, line 22 {of The Secret Doctrine, vol, 1)” Is Manu a unity of human consciousness personified into one human comprehension, or is he the individualization of the Thought Divine as applied for Manvantaric purposes?”


Mme. Blavatsky: Oh! It is about the root Manus and the Seed Manus. It is about the fourteen {Manus} you are talking.


Mr. A. Keightley: (repeats the question.)


Mme. Blavatsky: Well, didn’t we speak of it last time, or the time before last? You asked me, I think, whether Manu and those builders were the same. This is at least the Spirit, and whose duty it was to watch over the planet; and I told you then there were seven of them. Don’t you remember this? It is just the same. Well, do you want to know what Manu is, and what he represents, or do you want simply, metaphysically, to know what kind of consciousness he has or how many consciousnesses he represents? Again, I don’t understand that.


Mr. A. Keightley: It means this—is Manu what you may call the primary thought, which is separated into a variety of intelligences in the physical world? That is to say, is Manu the thing from which intelligences proceed on earth in diversity, or is he the synthesis of divers intelligences?


Mme. Blavatsky: He is not. He is the beginning of this earth; from Manu humanity is born. He was the only one who remained, and the others, who came with him, they have gone somewhere else. And, you see, he creates humanity by himself. He creates a daughter to himself, and from this daughter there is the evolution of humanity of the soul, mankind. Now, Manu is a unity, which contains all the pleuralities and their modifications. The name “Manu” comes from the word “man,” to think; it is a Sanskrit word, and thought in its actions and human brains is endless. So it is Manu which is and contains in itself all these forms that will be developed on earth from the particular Manu. Every Manvantara has its own Manu. Every [   ] has its own Manu. From this Manu, the Manus of all the Kalpa Manus will be such.


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Mr. A. Keightley: Then, practically, Manu is in the position with regard to humanity as a prism is to a single ray of white light.


Mme. Blavatsky: I would call it the white light which contains all the other lights, and then passes through the prism of differentiation and evolution.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then, that is the decomposing prism. Then Manu has no relation to a uniting prism, if we may so use it, the prism of re-union.


Mme. Blavatsky: Going to one Manu, no. The Manu is simply the Alpha of something differentiated, which when it comes to the Omega, that something disappears. It is Omega, and then you pass onward.


Mr. A. Keightley:  Then, that is practically what I mean.


Mme. Blavatsky: Except, perhaps, Swayambhu.


Mr. Kingsland: Can’t you say it stands in relation to each Manvantara the same as the first Logos?


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes, on the physical plane it is just in the same relation as if you take it on this, on the physical plane. It will be just that as it stands on {the} universal plane.


Mr. B. Keightley: Now, look at it for a moment. From the side of consciousness, you may say all the cells of the human body have each their own individual consciousness, but yet there is the unit of consciousness which is the man—well, is the analogy applicable to the Manu?


Mme. Blavatsky: I think it is—very well.


Mr. B. Keightley: Is the Manu a unit of consciousness which remains a unit?


Mme. Blavatsky: It is the latent, or it contains in itself all that.


Mr. B. Keightley: Which remains a unit in spite of differentiation.


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There the unit of consciousness a man, but still there are all the cells of his body which are individualized to a certain extent. But the unit of consciousness of man still persists.


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes, just that. I think it is a very good analogy.


Mr. B. Keightley: Because I want to get at the point whether the Manu represents a single consciousness—if I may make the phrase, one, a unit.


Mme. Blavatsky: But do you suppose that your consciousness is a single consciousness? Why, your consciousness is a reflection of thousands and millions of consciousnesses.


Mr. B. Keightley: But still it is united in a focus.


Mme. Blavatsky: But still this contains all consciousnesses which you have absorbed, and no one has got one alone. I don’t know what you mean by that, that your brain is a focus. Of course, it is there. Manu is, as I say, meaning to think. It is the thinking man.


Mr. Hall: Has Manu, then, an individuality?


Mme. Blavatsky: Well, I don’t know. It has no individuality in the abstract sense.


Mr. Scott-Elliot: All the consciousnesses that you have been talking about, are they the hosts of the Dhyâni-Buddhas who are concentrated in the ray of the one man?


Mme. Blavatsky: Oh, no. The Dhyâni-Buddhas are on the higher plane. They have nothing to do with our dirty house-hold work of our earth. It is just as you will put, for instance, somebody as a great governor in the house, and then this governor will have nothing to do with the work of the kitchen maids. Of all that he does not know anything. He governs simply a place. Or let us take the Queen, if she were not a constitution, or anyone, an emperor. In such an example, that is the thinking man, it has nothing to do with what the subalterns do. If you understand me, this is a thing which


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belonged to that mind. To that ruler, they are under the sway of that ruler, and yet that ruler is not cognizant of them. So it is with the Dhyâni-Buddha that has come and emanated from him and all that. But he has nothing to do with them. It is just like the millions of cells that do something automatically or the foot which steps there without thinking about it. Every one thing has got its allotted duty to perform, but the Dhyâni-Buddhas is the supervisor. I gave it all to you about two Thursdays ago.


Mr. B. Keightley: Not quite what you have given now.


Mme. Blavatsky: Very well, then. Of course, if we go on with the conversation you will hear new things for 365 days in the year, because the subject is immense. I cannot express myself. My dear Mr. Scott-Elliot, I tell you, as I grow older the worse I begin speaking English. I begin to be in despair. I have the thoughts in my head and I can express them less and less. It is very difficult for me to express it. I can write it but to speak it is very difficult.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then, Manu is a unit of consciousness which differentiates into a multitude.


Mme. Blavatsky: It is.


Mr. A. Keightley: Then is Manu pre-manvantaric? What I am wanting to get at is this.


Mr. Kingsland: What becomes of Manu at the end of the Manvantara?


Mme. Blavatsky: Manu is not individuality. It is not one. It is the whole of mankind.


Mr. Scott-Elliot: The whole of man kind?


Mme. Blavatsky: Certainly, it is not an individual. The Hindu will come and tell you man {Manu ?} is an individual, but I say it is perfect nonsense. Manu is that, the forefathers, the Pitris, the progenitors of mankind, as it is called.


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Mr. B. Keightley: In other words, it is a name applying to the Monads which come from the Lunar Chain.


Mme. Blavatsky: Why are they called the Lunar? Because the moon is said—of course, in defiance of all astronomy—to be the parent of the Earth; and these are the Monads. They progressed and passed through the First Round; and then it is they who, having become the first men, the Manus give birth to others by evolving there astral selves. They give birth to humanity, they give birth to the animals, and to all kinds of things. So in the Purânas they say for instance such and such a high yogi gave birth to all the serpents or all the birds—this, that, and the other—you see it there.


Mr. Scott-Elliot: What I wanted to express was the perfected humanity of one Round becomes the Dhyâni-Chohans or the Dhyâni-Buddhas of the next manvantara, and are the guiding rulers of the universe.


Mme. Blavatsky: But what do you call Manvantara? We call Manvantara seven Rounds; and this is a small, little Manvantara, of our globe.


Mr. Scott-Elliot: What bearing has Manu on the hosts of the Dhyâni-Buddhas?


Mme. Blavatsky: He has no bearing at all. The hosts of Dhyâni-Buddhas evolve a lower set of Dhyani-Buddhas, these Dhyâni-Buddhas a third, and so on. There are seven of them though in Tibet they take only five Buddhas—after that they begin to be Kosmocratores, the builders (call them whatever names you like, they have all got special names in the Sanskrit)—then the builders of the Astral Light; and it is an endless hierarchy of one kind of Dhyânis evoluting another kind of Dhyânis. Everyone becomes more consolidated, more material, until it comes to the builders of this universe, some of which are Manus, the Pitris and the Lunar ancestors. It has a task, to give birth to men; and they give birth by projecting their astral shadows. And the first humanity (if humanity it can be called) are those Châyâs of those lunar ancestors over which


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physical nature begins building the physical body, which begins to be formless; then the second race begins to be more and more {formed}. Then they are sexless, then they become bi-sexual; and they hermaphrodites, and then they separate and go all kinds of ways for the propagation of mankind. This is all given in The Secret Doctrine.


Mr. Scott-Elliot: Then, talking of Manvantara, the Manvantara is the period which is embraced by the seven rounds of seven planets.


Mme. Blavatsky:  The Manvantara of our planetary chain.


Mr. Scott-Elliot: But I see you talk in The Secret Doctrine of a minor Manvantara.


Mme. Blavatsky: There is a minor Manvantara, and there is a major Manvantara, and there are various kinds of Manvantaras.


Mr. Scott-Elliot: Or rather, I thought Manvantara meant the circle, a single round of the seven worlds, and that Kalpa represented the total seven rounds of the seven worlds.


Mme. Blavatsky: Minor Manvantara means between two Manus, but as I show also there, there are fourteen Manus in reality. There are seven Root Manus at the beginning of the round and Seed Manu, as it is called, at the end of the round. Therefore they make fourteen. There two Manus for each round, but these Manus are simply figures of speech—they are symbols the beginning of humanity and the end, and the Manus are simply synonymous with the Pitris, the fathers, the progenitors of mankind, the Lunar ancestors. These are Manus.


Mr. Scott-Elliot: What would you call the duration of a minor Manvantara?


Mme. Blavatsky: If you take the exoteric duration, it is one thing. I could not tell you.


Mr. B. Keightley: Manvantara simply means the period of activity. You may speak about it as twelve hours of daylight and Pralaya of the


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night, or you may speak of Manvantara as the individual life of man.


Mme. Blavatsky: There are seven kinds of pralaya and seven kinds of Manvantara, and they are all mentioned, from the Vishnu Purânas to the last ones; all kinds of Pralayas and Manvantara also.


Mr. B. Keightley: It simply means a period of activity and it is not limited in any of the Theosophical writings. It is never used in a definite sense as meaning a definite period of years; you have to gather from the context what period is spoken of a specific period of time.


Mr. Scott-Elliot: During which the rays circle round the seven globes.


Mr. B. Keightley: You have to gather from the context what the extent of the Manvantara that is spoken of is, but you cannot go very far wrong, because what applies on one scale applies to the smaller scale, just as you take it.


Mr. A. Keightley: Question 7, page 64, second paragraph. “Is ‘water’ as used here purely symbolical or has it a correspondence in the evolution of the elements?”


Mme. Blavatsky: I speak about the water here simply in this way. You see, you make a great mistake, all of you, in confusing the universal elements with the terrestrial elements. Now, again, I do not speak about the chemical elements, I speak simply about the elements as they are known here, that we have been talking the last time about. We had a long conversation about it. But the universal elements, I would call them the noumena of the terrestrial elements. They are kosmic elements. Kosmic does not apply to our little solar system. Kosmic is infinite. I have in my head always the infinite.


Dr. Williams: Are they identical with the elementals, or is that something entirely different?


Mme. Blavatsky: Elementals are simply the creatures produced for the various species in differentiation. That is to say, every


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differentiation of matter produces and evolves a kind of a force an intelligence—well, anything you like—that which the Kabbalists and the Rosicrucians called elemental spirits, nature’s spirits. They chronloized {chronologized ?} those things. But we say there is an intelligence, in every one there is a force. Hartmann12 there writes about undines, and he believes they are real creatures. It is a little bit too much to believe in sylphs, they are creatures of our imaginations,

and they do not exist by themselves.   


Mr. Hall: Would not they exist to the person who believes in that seriously?


Mme. Blavatsky: Every one of us can believe in elementals which they create for themselves. There are some who create this and that. This is what the spiritualist do, if you please. You can create an elemental, but this elemental will have no existence outside your vitiated imagination. It will be an intelligence, but the form you will give it, and the attributes you will give it, will be of your own creation, and this is the horrible thing.


Mr. Hall: And it weakens you physically.


Mme. Blavatsky: It will make a lunatic of you. It evaporizes you. This is why most mediums end in the lunatic asylums or get drunkards for life. Look at Kate Fox.13 Look at Charles Foster14 and all the great mediums, in fact. 


Mr. A. Keightley: But then there, “water” is used as actually the kosmic element.


Mme. Blavatsky: It is. It is called water, darkness; chaos is called


12 [Franz Hartmann, German Theosophical writer. 1838 to 1912. He dealt  extensively with the creatures of the elements, and especially with the female water-spirits, the undines, in his 1887 life of Paracelsus, and An Adventure Among the Rosicrucians.]


13 [Kate Fox, one of the Americans pioneers of mediumship, 1837-1892, who ended her days as an alcoholic.]


14 [Charles H. Foster, American medium, 1838-1888, whose alcoholism led him to the insane asylum and a vegetative state.]


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water. “The waters of space” means you can have water. What is water? What is matter? Matter is in one of the three states: solid, fluid, or gaseous. Very well, and in occult things there are four more, there are seven states. But if you only speak and you say I shall limit our conversation only to this plane, if you take it as water in three states, as matter in its three states, you will understand perfectly what I mean.


Mr. A. Keightley: But what I am working at is this: water is used as the one element originally in the cosmic sense, and then the terrestrial plane, water is preceded by ether, fire, and air.


Mme. Blavatsky: But ether contains in itself fire and water and air and everything, all the elements, all the seven. And this ether which is the hypothetical agent of your physical science is the last form of Âkâsa. Therefore you can judge.


Mr. B. Keightley: But the point, really, of that question was this: as to whether the term water is applied to the kosmic, first matter apparently from which everything evolves.


Mme. Blavatsky: Because it is not yet solid matter. That is why, as we know it, we cannot go and speak about that if we do not show it on this plane—something that we know, that we can conceive and understand. Now, space instead of water in the scriptures of any Bible some other word was used that we cannot understand, some word that has no meaning to us. That is why they call it water, because it has not the solidity of matter.


Mr. B. Keightley: Supposing that we knew anything about ether, it might just as well be called ether.


Mme. Blavatsky: Most assuredly, the moist principle—what is it the philosophers call it? “The hot and moist principle” from which proceed all things. “The waters of space” —you read this expression in all the scriptures and the Purânas and even in the Bible, and everywhere it is the same thing.


Mr. B. Keightley: It is from the “waters of space” that Sophia


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Achamoth proceeds.


Mme. Blavatsky: It proceeds from this Astral Light.


Mr. B. Keightley: Sophia Achamoth proceeds from the “waters of space.”


Mme. Blavatsky: Moses says it requires earth and water to make a living soul. Understand it, if you like—and it is very easy—that is to say that man is a living soul, that the Nefesh is of a dual element. It partakes of the middle pre-astral of the psychic and of the metaphysic.


Mr. B. Keightley: It is really, then, the root, the Astral Light.


Mme. Blavatsky: That which is all the prototype of everything on earth.


Mr. A. Keightley: Verse 2, stanza 3. Are the virgin-egg and the eternal-egg the same, or are they different stages of differentiation?


Mme. Blavatsky: In its prototypal form as the eternal-egg and not the virgin-egg, the virgin-egg is already differentiated.


Mr. A. Keightley: You say in one sense it is absolute eggness.


Mme. Blavatsky: In one sense it is, but not in another sense. In this sense of the inner nature of its essence, it is the eggness, just as I say; but in the sense of its form in which it appears for its purposes of differentiation and evolution, it becomes a virgin-egg. It is all a metaphorical way of speaking. I say it is just the same. The eternal egg is a pre-differentiation in a Laya condition, at the moment (before differentiation) it can have neither attributes nor qualities. The virgin-egg is already qualified therefore differentiated, but it is the same, just as I told you. Everything is the same, nothing is separated from the other in its abstract essential nature. But in the world of illusion, in the world of forms, of differentiation we seem all to be various persons and to be different things and all kinds of subjects. Well, whoever has got questions to ask, let them. I think there are many questions, I think, that you ask me over and over


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again, questions from another aspect; and it is the same aspect.


Mr. A. Keightley: When we ask you questions from the different points of view, it all serves to explain things. Then we are able to put them before you in the light in which we may understand them.


Dr. Williams: When you were speaking of writing from an appearance which is the Astral Light, can you explain anything more of that phenomena? If there is a writing in the Astral Light from which the medium writes, does not that imply form in the Astral Light?


Mme. Blavatsky: No, I would not say it is a form. It is something that assumes a form for the time being and takes a form which is comprehensible to the medium.


Dr. Williams: The medium perceives or sees something, other wise  there would be nothing from which he would write.


Mme. Blavatsky: Most assuredly. It takes that, the potential energy—the essence of the thing assumes a form which {is} comprehensible

to the medium.


Mr. Hall: It assumes form in his own brain only.


Mme. Blavatsky: And he sees it. Now, for instance, a sentence will be uttered in a language which is perfectly unknown to the medium, which the medium has never heard. The medium will see the thing repeated in the Astral Light not in the language that he or she does not understand, but in the language which is its own language. When two persons speak, let us say an adept speaks with his chela, that chela does not understand the language of the adept or the adept the language of the chela on the physical plane, yet they understand each other because every word that is uttered is impressed on the brain, if you like—no language, the language of thought.


Mr. Scott-Elliot: No language is necessary.


Mr. Hall: You ask anybody who knows one or two languages


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equally well, you nearly always find he is unable to tell you in which he thinks.


Mme. Blavatsky: I am perfectly unable to say in what language I think sometimes. Very likely I can just perceive, you know, that I think in some language.


Dr. Williams: Is not that a lack of concentration upon the subject of thought itself? If one were to concentrate their minds it seems to me they must inevitably think in one or other of the languages in which they are equally familiar.


Mr. B. Keightley: No, because the more concentrated your thought, the less you think in words.


Mr. Hall: It is only when the man reflects afterwards, and then he has to give a certain form to his thoughts. And then he takes one of the languages, which he knows.


Dr. Williams: Is thought anything until it assumes form?


Mr. B. Keightley: You can certainly have formed thought apart from words.


Mme. Blavatsky: How do the dumb and the deaf think, in what language?


Dr. Williams: Well, there is something which stands with them for words.  The signification in there minds is precisely the same.


Mme. Blavatsky: Sometimes deaf and dumb persons will be taught a language by the process that they have invented. And after that, when they are able to communicate their thoughts to people, they cannot say in what language they thought. They had no guide.


Dr. Williams: But words are simply symbols to express qualities. We perceive the qualities in various ways and the words simply stand as symbols for the qualities. Now, they have another set of symbols and those symbols convey to their consciousness the same qualities that words do to ours, so that it actually comes to the same thing.


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Mme. Blavatsky: But you said one must think in a special language.


Dr. Williams: And they think by their sign language.


Mr. Hall: I think not. Because you cannot think the language until you have formed it.


Mme. Blavatsky: When you speak, do you follow the ideas that take form in your thinking? You don’t think, you just speak as it comes to you, especially a man who is accustomed to speak easily.


Mr. Kingsland: You generally think too rapidly for speech at all.


Mme. Blavatsky: But this thinking does not at all take place in a language.


Dr. Williams: Do we think at all, then?


Mme. Blavatsky: We could not speak and give expression to thought if we did not think.


Dr. Williams: That is what I am trying to analyze. There is something which precedes, and speech is the external symbol which first exists in the mind.


Mr. Hall:  That is real thought.


Mme. Blavatsky: It is abstract thought.


Mr. Hall: A man would never have to look for words. When he thoroughly understands his subject, he knows all the things he wants to talk about; and then he is at a loss for words to translate the idea.


Miss Kenealy: Speech is precipitated thought, just as one may have chemical solution, and thought is that solution. Speech is solution precipitated.


Mme. Blavatsky: I think this is a good defination.


Miss Kenealy: One thinks ideas, not words.


Mme. Blavatsky: What form do these thoughts take in the brain? I


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know I could not follow, I could not say what I think. I think and I will say it, but I cannot say in what form they have come in my brain.


Mr. A. Keightley:  Then you don’t think in symbols.


Mme. Blavatsky: If I want to think something, I want to meditate it, but when I talk simply, as I talk now, I don’t give a thought to that—thought!


Dr. Williams: I don’t mean that you watch the mechanical processes that are going on in your brain, but I mean thought must take a concrete form until it is used in speech; otherwise, naturally, there could be no speech.


Mme. Blavatsky: I can only judge by my own experience.


Mr. Kingsland: But when you are meditating—for instance, without any attempt to put them into words—when you simply think about a thing, meditate about it—that is the question.


Dr. Williams: Then I should say we are thinking or we are not thinking. We may make the mistake that was attributed to a certain extent to Washington, who went always about with his head down and his hands behind his back. Somebody said he was a very deluded man, he thought he was thinking. And it seems to me we are either thinking or not thinking. And in meditation we either have thoughts or we do not have thoughts. Now the moment we have a thought, that is a concrete form in the mind, but it is, as the lady remarked, a precipitation, so to say, from the realm of idea. An idea is not a thought, it is something entirely different; and ideas precipitate themselves into thought.


Mr. B. Keightley: But I think you can certainly have thought that is not expressed in words.


Dr. Williams: I don’t think you can. The moment ideas are precipitated into thought, then you can speak. We fail to distinguish between the realm of feeling and emotion and thought. Feeling and emotion is only one of the sources. They are really identical. Feeling


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is only one of the sources of ideas which are precipitated into thought. 


Mr. Hall: [   ] takes entirely a different idea of what thought is from what I think the rest of us would take it.


Mr. Kingsland: You classify thought in a different way.


Mr. B. Keightley: (to Mme. Blavatsky) When you are thinking out an article, do you think it out in words?


Mme. Blavatsky: Never.


Dr. Williams: If you don’t think in words, where do the words come from?


Mr. B. Keightley:  They come afterwards.


Dr. Williams: From what do they come?


Mr. B. Keightley: For instance, Mme. Blavatsky writes an elaborate article like one she has been writing now. Well, I know from the way in which that article was written, the draft of that article, the outline of it, the distinct sequence of the ideas and so on must have existed in her mind—not in words, before she put pen to paper.


Dr. Williams: Oh, of course. I understand there exist in memory the materials.


Mr. B. Keightley: No, no. The plan, the idea of the article—how it was to be put, what facts were to be brought in. But not if you asked her to write down on paper the plan on which she was going to write her article.


Mr. Kingsland: Dr. Williams wants to draw a distinction between an idea and a thought.


Dr. Williams: I have something else, that was simply this—there is a time in the evolution of thought when things become manifested to consciousness; now what exists prior to that? That was the point I was after all the while. Prior to anything taking form in human consciousness, can we predicate anything of it at all?


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Mme. Blavatsky: Well, let us say I am a carpenter, and I want to build or construct something—well, let us say a cabinet—how do I do it unless I am told to do so and so? If I am left to my own resources, I begin thinking it will be so and so. But this thought is not created in my brain; it is that I have put myself en rapport with a certain current which makes my thought draw from that privation of the thing which I am going to do in the Astral Light. Now, do I express it so that you understand it?


Mr. Kingsland: Supposing a person finishes his argument. You know in a moment what you are going to say. You know exactly what it is. Though you take five minutes to answer it, you thought it in five seconds.


Dr. Williams: The thought is instantaneous. You have got to go through what takes time when it precipitates itself, so to say, in the realm of space and time. Then the movements of the mouth take the time.


Mr. Kingsland: But surely you knew in a moment what answer you were going to give.


Mme. Blavatsky: Dr. Williams, believe me, perhaps I will say a very great absurdity, and perhaps not. As I understand the thing, it seems to me that thought is a perfect sponge, and that it imbibes into itself from the Astral Light. And the more the capacity of this sponge to imbibe, to absorb ideas that are in the Astral Light, the more you will have ideas. Now, persons who are dull, it is because their brains are not sponge-like as that of others. They are very hard sponges through which it passes with great difficulty. But our thoughts—we call them our own, it is only the form into which you put them that is our own—but the beginning, the origin of that thought, has existed from all eternity. It must be somewhere either in this or on the plane of divine ideation. We cannot invent anything that was not or is not.


Mr. Kingsland: It is just that your brain has managed to catch it.


Mme. Blavatsky: A man who is very intelligent and a man who is


188.                               6. Meeting February 14, 1889


very stupid, it is simply the capacity of his physical brain; and he is capable to start his ideas. I am speaking now occultly.


Dr. Williams: What then would be your definition of a thought?


Mme. Blavatsky: You must ask me something easier. I am not a speaker, I cannot give it to you in good language. I see it and understand it, but I cannot express it.


Miss Kenealy: Thought is the faculty of the higher brain and speech is a faculty of the lower brain, to a great extent automatic and mechanical.


Mme. Blavatsky: Yes, but there is something beyond that. It is the definition on the physical plane. But you must go beyond.


Mr. B. Keightley: You get to this question: what is the power in speech which makes it convey ideas? Because it actually exists. I know in reading other languages, and you might see it in English. It often happens to me in reading German. If I am reading German, particularly out-of-the-way books, I come across a word I have never seen before. It is not a compound of any words that I know, yet in reading that I shall get an accurate idea of the word. I have often tested it by hunting it up and found I have got from the word itself—


Miss Kenealy: A sort of correspondence.


Mr. Kingsland: It is the word standing in the context.


Mme. Blavatsky: Tell me another thing. How is it that a person of average intelligence, or very intelligent, who will be able to speak and write and all that, comes to an illness, there comes something—well, physiological reasons, and the brain is so plugged up that it is impossible—it cannot evolute a single idea, the person can neither think nor write nor express anything. That shows that there is something, that there is a physiological reason which shuts up the avenues through which all the ideas from the Astral Light pass. Is it so or not? I ask these ladies who have been studying physiology.


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Mr. B. Keightley: Everyone feels sometimes that one’s brain is packed with cotton wool, and there is not an idea of any kind in it.


Dr. Williams: I remember several years ago an article of mine was criticized by a scientific materialist, and he said it made him feel as though ants were crawling through his brain. It must have been congested through his effort to understand it.


Mr. Hall: Don’t you think when a person sees a word which he does not know, and yet gets a clear idea of it, that it is because he is in a certain way in a magnetic rapport?


Mme. Blavatsky: With the man who wrote, or what?


Mr. Hall: With the ideas of the man who wrote it; and that he gets it from the Astral Light.


Mme. Blavatsky: But as Mr. Kingsland says just now, it is perhaps because of what precedes and follows. The general sense of the sentence makes one guess at the word.


Miss Kenealy: Is there not a direct correspondence between thought and words? I think there is.


Mr. B. Keightley: Between thought and sound. Not necessarily between thought and words, as there is an element of the arbitrary in words.


Mme. Blavatsky: You see, this is why I say that human testimony is such an unreliable thing. For instance, we are talking and there are two persons in the room. A person may be saying to me something. In 99 cases out of a 100 that person will be saying to me one thing and I will understand it in my own way. And though perhaps I will understand the thing and remember, yet there will be something that will not represent in my brain that which that person said. That is why it is impossible to go and repeat what another said to you, because you will not repeat the very words, which you do not retain in the memory; but you repeat simply the suggestions of your own thought, with variations.


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Dr. Williams: Some individuals remember words and repeat them verbatim. They used to do that in ages past, much more then they do now, the necessity for that having passed away. We remember now the first principles, which underlie communications and we may use different words in expressing those principles, but yet we do correctly convey the principles which were communicated to us. I think it has grown out of the necessities of the times, of the changed way in which we acquire knowledge and communicate it. But I think the test of every human mind, the test of truth, must come back to a knowledge of its own constitution. I do not say any other possible test for the truth to the individual mind, except a greater or less degree of knowledge of its own constitution. And this very subject of thought and mind seems to me goes right back to the very root of it all. If we listen to beautiful music or if we look at a beautiful picture, we may not have a thought about them; and yet we are thrilled, and that is all emotional. That is pure feeling. And so I think it is very often we mistake a thrill of feeling for a thought, or a series of thoughts. So I would make that distinction between feeling and thought and between ideas and thought. The moment anything comes into thought, the mind having coordinated the material out of which that comes into thought, then it takes form; and then it {is} capable of speech. And therefore, when we think anything, we can express it in speech.



( These remarks closed the proceedings )





The Theosophical Society
Meeting of the Blavatsky Lodge

at Lansdowne Rd. Holland Park

on Thursday February 21 1889

Mr. Harbottle in the Chair


Mr. B. Keightley: First are some additional questions on some points that we just touched upon last time. Stanza 3, Śloka 2: “The vibration sweeps along,” etc. (Reads from The Secret Doctrine.) The first question is; How are we to understand the expression that the vibration touches the whole universe and also the germ? For does not the germ mean the germ of the universe not yet called into existence?


Mme. Blavatsky: Now, will you put me this very long speech in very short sentences, for I don’t understand what you mean here. Maybe I have misunderstood you far more than you have misunderstood me.


Mr. B. Keightley: Not having put the question, I cannot say.


Mme. Blavatsky: Whoever has put the question, let him rise and explain.


Mr. Kingsland: I think the question has reference to the explanation with reference to the germ, that the universe has not yet come into existence, because the germ being only the germ in the primordial triangle—


Mme. Blavatsky: Then what do you mean when you say the unmanifested universe? Is not the universe eternal?


Mr. Kingsland: We do not use the term here—unmanifested universe.


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Mme. Blavatsky: Do you say manifested? No.


Mr. Kingsland: We do not use either.


Mme. Blavatsky: If you do not use either, it means unmanifested universe, for here both are purely abstract terms. The universe does not mean the Kosmos or world of forms, but the formless space, the future vehicle of the universe, which will be manifested. Otherwise how could we speak, as we do, of the unmanifested universe? The same for the germ. The germ is eternal and must be so if matter—or rather the undifferentiated atoms of future matter—are said to be indestructible and eternal. That germ therefore is one with space, as infinite as it is indestructible, and as eternal as abstract space itself. Now do you understand? The same again for the word vibration. Who can imagine that the term is meant here for a real audible sound? Why, it is figurative.


Mr. Kingsland: Yes, but is it not figurative in the same sense that the emanation from the first triangle is figurative.


Mme. Blavatsky: Not at all. It is figurative; but speaking of the universe, how can I say anything else? Shall I say, “the space in which will be the universe”?


Mr. Kingsland: Does not the vibration correspond to the point, the unmanifested Logos?


Mme. Blavatsky: It does. But it is from darkness, which means here the “beyond,” beyond the first Logos even. That is what it means.


The President: Is it the ray from the eternal Logos that is the vibration?


Mme. Blavatsky: No, no, no. Read the thing again and it will make them understand.


Mr. B. Keightley: The first Śloka was this: ( Reads again from The Secret Doctrine, stanza 3, Śloka 2).


Mme. Blavatsky: Well, all this is figurative.


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Mr. Kingsland: And the whole Śloka refers to the period before there is any manifestation whatever.


Mme. Blavatsky: Most assuredly. It refers to the abstract things, to the potentiality of that which will be. Space is eternal, as is repeated many times in The Secret Doctrine. Space is something that will be whether there is a manifested universe or an unmanifested universe. This space is synonymous with the universe. It is synonymous with the “waters of space,” with everything, with eternal darkness and with Parabrahman, so to say.


Mr. Kingsland: Then this vibration is before even differentiation begins.


Mme. Blavatsky: There I am just telling you. You read this second question.


Mr. B. Keightley: Question 2. Is not the germ here, the point in the circle, the first Logos?


Mme. Blavatsky: Precisely, and the central point being everywhere, the circumference of the circle is nowhere. This means that all such expressions are simply figures of speech. I think this proves it.


Mr. B. Keightley: Is that all you have?


The President: I think one sometimes does not quite see how apparently fresh terms are to be referred back to the old ones; but I think that explains it.


Mr. Kingsland: It seems to be jumping back a little bit. Whereas we began to be catching on to differentiation, now we seem to go back.


The President: The first stanza is negative and the second positive in a sense. Almost the whole of the first stanza says: “There was not this there was not that, nor the other. It is simply a description of the nothingness or the all”; whereas with the second stanza we begin at once with that which precedes differentiation, the first movements as it were.


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Mr. B. Keightley: Speaking of that which will be positive, in fact.


The President: Is not it rather that?


Mme. Blavatsky: Most assuredly. Perfectly so, just so, that is what I have been saying.


The President: But it really refers to the same points.


Mr. B. Keightley: Then the third  Śloka: “Darkness Radiates Light.” Question 3. Is this equivalent to the first Logos becoming the second Logos?


Mme. Blavatsky: Now, you see this question, if you only look back over the transactions, has been answered more than once. Darkness as a general rule refers only to the unknown totality, the absoluteness. It is all a question of analogy and comparisons. Contrasted with eternal darkness, the first Logos is light certainly; contrasted with the second, or manifested, Logos, the first is darkness and the second is light. All depends upon where you locate that or another power, on what plane and so on. Now, is this clear?


Mr. B. Keightley: Yes, and I am very glad the question has been asked because it has brought a general explanation.


Mme. Blavatsky: If I were to answer from every standpoint, it would not be two but twenty-two volumes. How is it possible to answer more than in general terms?


Mr. B. Keightley: Question 4. The phrase is: “Darkness radiates light” and light, drops one solitary ray into the waters.” Why is light represented as dropping one ray? How is this one ray represented in connection with the triangle?


Mme. Blavatsky: Because howsoever many powers may appear to us on this plane, brought back to their first, original principles they will all be resolved into unity. We say seven prismatic colors, don’t we, but they proceed all from the one white ray and they will be drawn back into this ray, and it is this one solitary ray which expands into


195.                               7. Meeting February 21, 1889


the seven rays on the plane of illusion. It is represented in connection with the triangle, because the triangle is the first geometrical figure  on the third dimentional plane; and we cannot come and give figures which can only be represented on planes of which we have no conception or idea. Therefore we are obliged to take that which has a certain aspect on this plane. It is stated in Pythagoras, as also in the oldest stanzas, that the ray which Pythagoras called the Monad descended from no place, a-loka, like a falling star through the planes of non-being into the first world of being and gave birth to number 1. Then descending to the right following an oblique direction, it gives birth to number 2. Then, turning at a right angle, it begets number 3, and from thence re-ascends at an oblique angle (do I make use of the right expression?) to number 1 back again; from whence it disappears once more into the realm of non-being. These are the words, I do not no how to translate better—that is to say, it starts, it shoots, then having passed through innumerable worlds of non-being and formless worlds, where no form can exist, it proceeds and creates the point first. Then it proceeds to the right in an oblique direction and creates number 2. And having created number 2 it returns and creates number 3, thence returns to number 1, and from this it disappears into non-being again.


Mr. B. Keightley: Where does the right angle occur?


The President: Is there a right angle? It is a equilateral triangle.


Mr. Kingsland: It is an acute angle.


Mme. Blavatsky: What do you call, if you please, a horizontal like that (drawing with pencil on a sheet) when it arrives here (indicating), is it not a right angle? I meant that obliquely. I had in my mind a different thing.


Mr. Gardner: It would be 450.


Mme. Blavatsky: (Describes the angle meant with a pencil on paper.)


Mr. B. Keightley: The point really to get at is this; in the conception of it, are the sides of the triangle imagined as being equal, so that it


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is a perfectly symmetrical triangle?


Mme. Blavatsky: It is a triangle just as Pythagoras gives it.


Mr. B. Keightley: It is rather an important point, because you know that the right angled triangle is a very important geometrical science, and Pythagoras was the discoverer of that very wonderful proposition.


Mme. Blavatsky: Of the hypotenuse, but that is not this. Then we will please put horizontal instead of right.


Mr. Hall: But horizontal what? You cannot have an imaginary horizontal.


Mme. Blavatsky: In this I cannot follow you. I am no pundit in geometry, mathematics, or anything like that.


Mr. Kingsland: It is a line at right angles to the radius, starting from the point.


Mr. Hall: Is it an equilateral triangle?


Mr. Kingsland: Yes.


Mr. B. Keightley: The moment you think of a point and the line descending from it, you have an imaginary horizontal right angle to the first line.


Mr. Hall:  Then this ray first of all descends.


Mr. B. Keightley: Not vertically.


Mme. Blavatsky: First of all it descends vertically. It shoots like a falling star, as is said, and then it goes in the oblique direction; and then it goes in the horizontal direction, and then it returns like that, obliquely, as he says, and rises again.


Mr. Hall: I understand that.


Mme. Blavatsky: That is just what Pythagoras gives in the old books,


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for Pythagoras studied in India and he was called the Yavanâchârya.1 All the books are full of the traditions of the Greek teacher, because he was a teacher in many things for them also and he learned with the Brahmins, with the initiated, and he taught the uninitiated a good deal. Everyone says it was Pythagoras. Many traditions speak of him as going again into the country and the west and teaching this, that, and the other. I have been reading many things. He is called the Yavanâchârya, the Greek teacher.


Mr. Kingsland: Do you say when this one ray forms a triangle that it has begun to differentiate?


Mme. Blavatsky: Most assuredly. The triangle is the first differentiation of the one ray. Certainly, it is always the same ray, and from this ray come the seven rays; and the seven may be as the one that started from the unknown to the known, and then produced the triangle.


Mr. Kingsland: After it has got to the apex and formed a triangle, do you say it has begun to differentiate?


Mme. Blavatsky:  Then it begins to differentiate.


Mr. Kingsland: Then the solitary here is simply equivalent to the point.


Mr. Hall: I want to put one question. You say: “all the planes of non-being”; how can there be planes of non-being?


Mme. Blavatsky: There are, but it is too long to explain it now. There are planes of non-being. I understand your objection perfectly, but it is so. 


Mr. B. Keightley: Then again in a sense there is something (of course in a sense course quite in a different sense from the way we use the word here), something you can call differentiated, though not as we know the term.


1 [Sanskrit: “The Greek Teacher.]


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Mme. Blavatsky: I understand that is the whole question. It is not “differentiated” but there are planes. To us the lowest appear differentiated, but there, it is just that which is non-being to us, which is being and matter to others. It is all analogies. We cannot come and reach with our finite intellect that which is pure, undifferentiated first principle. It is perfectly impossible, not only on this plane, but on the 77th plane.


Mr. Hall: Then you can say in an instance of this kind, you never can reach any plane where there would not be a higher.


Mme. Blavatsky: I can assure you, you won’t. You must get disembodied first, and then you must again be embodied 77 million times. I would like to know, how can something finite understand that which is infinite? It is all human speculation, my dear sir, let there be the highest intellect in the world, the highest initiated adept. It is as Masters said: that the highest Dhyâni-Chohans of the solar system can have no conception of what is in the higher systems—in those still higher than our solar system. It is a perfect impossibility, because, however high they may be (we may call them personal gods and far more than personal gods), still they are finite. They are not the unity—the Absolute. And the time will come when they have to dissolve, in whatever manner they may do so, whether cremated or

buried, I don’t know, but there will be a time when the end comes for them.


Mr. Hall: Then is there a finite point you might call, in a sense, the absolute  finite point of the journey of all?


Mr. B. Keightley: Final point? You see, you cannot bring in any way whatever the Absolute in connection with the finite.


Mme. Blavatsky: It makes me despair that most of them must go beyond, they must touch, they must hear, they must sense, and in a way conceive it with one of their five physical senses otherwise  very few will understand. It is, my dear sir, the effect of your education from your childhood. All of you are brought up in a kind of material atmosphere, and you must have everything put before you so that


199.                               7. Meeting February 21, 1889


it speaks to one of your senses, otherwise you cannot understand it. Even the God you believe in, you make something finite, you make him feel anger, you make him feel goodness, you make him smell sweet, and you make this, that, and the other of him and all kinds of things, just as though this God was a gigantic man and nothing more.


Mr. Hall: I mean this: when at the end of the Manvantara for the whole universe, so to speak, when everything gets reabsorbed into the Absolute, then when Maha-Pralaya is over, and a fresh Maha-Manvantara begins, might you not say in a sense there was, if I may use the term, a special point?


Mme. Blavatsky: But all this depends on which Maha-Pralaya you speak of. Is it that which refers to this little speck of dirt which we call our planetary chain, or is it the Maha-Pralaya of the whole universe?


Mr. Hall:  Of the whole universe.


Mme. Blavatsky: What do we know of it? Why, in comparison with the Hindus, nothing. They just put fifteen zeros to show it.


Mr. B. Keightley: How can you answer the question? How can you ask it?


Mr. Kingsland: Have you read this last pamphlet on Parabrahman? 2


Mr. Hall: No.


Mr. Kingsland: You would not ask it if you had. Read that and then you have the question answered. It is all there.


Mr. B. Keightley: Yes, it is all there.


Mme. Blavatsky: Let us hold to that which we can conceive. Don’t let us go beyond the limits, not only of the universe, but the Kosmos;


2 [Parabrahm by Amaravella (Edouard Coulomb), translated from Le Lotus by G.R.S. Mead. London: Theosophical Publishing Society 1889, vol. l, no. 18 of Theosophical Siftings.]