Helena Blavatsky showed that there is no religion higher than truth. She worked with the guiding hand of The Hierarchy to support The Return to our Divine nature, changing the course of world history and averting humanity from a return to the repressive era of the Dark Ages.
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831 – 1891) was one of the most fascinating women of the 19th century. A Russian mystic, philosopher, author and linguist, she initiated a new cycle of awareness for mankind after following a quest that took her around the world in search of forgotten knowledge and connection with the great Mahatmas and the Ageless Wisdom.
Known affectionately as Madam Blavatsky, though in truth she preferred HPB, she was born into an aristocratic Russian-German family on August 12th 1831. Educated at Saratov and Tiflis in the Caucasus, she became an excellent linguist of modern languages aside from Russian, including French, German, English, and later Sanskrit and Tibetan. She was an accomplished pianist and had a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing and dancing, as was expected of the women of the era. Blavatsky did not ascribe to the popular ideals and beliefs pertaining to the submissive or subservient stance of the women of her time; her connection to truth and purpose was too strong.
Blavatsky showed considerable psychic abilities at a very young age, coupled with a very strong self-will and hot temper. Being taunted about this and being told that she would never marry, she set out to prove her critics wrong, marrying a man (Nikifor Vladimirovich Blavatsky) three times her age when she was only seventeen. The marriage proved disastrous and after three months she left the unconsummated marriage and boarded a ship to Constantinople. Blavatsky did not return to the comfortable life of her family, instead she spent the next 9 years travelling through Turkey, Greece, Egypt, France and England. Continuing her headstrong journey, in Italy she was wounded at the Battle of Mentana in 1867, fighting in Garibaldi’s army.
Blavatsky travelled to the USA and Canada and then attempted to enter Tibet with the purpose of locating her teacher and pursuing her studies, but was denied. This set-back did not deter a woman of her character; she continued to travel extensively and was eventually able to gain access into Tibet (some say dressed as a boy, others say accompanied by the Master Morya) to begin her personal tutelage under the Masters of the Ageless Wisdom – or ‘Mahatmas’ as they were then referred, deep within the Himalayan Mountains. Tibet was, for centuries, a great centre for esoteric teachers and a deep strand of the Ageless Wisdom had been preserved there.
A woman ahead of her time, Blavatsky had a voice when in most countries women were still unable to vote. She was a true adventurer and seeker of truth. She understood her purpose as a vehicle that would scribe for The Hierarchy (Masters) and demonstrate spiritual phenomena that had no ‘scientific’ explanation – the purpose of which was to ignite humanity to the fact that there is more to this world than can be explained by scientific reductionism.
Her intention to serve The Divine Plan was the reason that she rose every day in service to the Masters and the delivery of Truth. Blavatsky set an inspired example with her vigorous dedication and extraordinary production of writings on The Ageless Wisdom though having limited access to the rare / historic documents required. Despite the limitations, her writings are both scholarly and comprehensive. This grand accomplishment brought her to the attention of the scientific elite and the established religious powerhouses of the day who sought to discredit her by accusing her of falsities and deception. Blavatsky openly challenged the reductionist scientific community and orthodox religious theology of the day, and thus there were many who sought to ruin her reputation (which at times, and to her detriment, she took personally). And though she was known for being short-tempered, she was concurrently greatly beloved by those who knew her well for her wisdom, kindness, generosity, and light-heartedness.
Blavatsky did not see herself as a role model for the empowerment of women of her time, though history may now see her in this light; she simply held her purpose strong and allowed nothing to deter her conviction. She dedicated her life to the one purpose, and that was to bring to humanity once again, at a pivotal point in our history, the inspired Truth of the Ageless Wisdom. She was absolute in her dedication, whether it was the determination it took to access Tibet and her Masters, or her fervent obedience to whatever the Masters required of her.
When the Masters inspired Blavatsky to leave Paris for New York in 1873 she had no hesitation in boarding the next ocean liner from France with barely a penny to her name. She embraced the soulful impulses of her life of service and felt little reason to question their direction. Blavatsky resided in America for some time before again being inspired to locate Colonel Henry Steele Olcott (HSO) to support her to facilitate the delivery of the Ageless Wisdom. Olcott was a lawyer living in New York who had started investigating spiritual phenomena and writing about his discoveries for international publications. When Blavatsky and Olcott eventually met at the Chittenden ‘Eddy’ homestead (famous for much spiritual phenomena at the time), they hit it off immediately with their common interests in the occult side of man and of nature, free-thinking, humour, the social world, reform, and the desire to present truth to the world.
In 1875 during one of their evolutionary gatherings, Olcott suggested on impulse to Blavatsky that a society be formed ‘for the collection and diffusion of knowledge; for occult research, and the study and dissemination of ancient philosophical and theosophical ideas’ to be included in ‘One-United Brotherhood’. Blavatsky agreed. Thus on 7th September The Theosophical Society (TS) was established, with the inaugural address delivered by Olcott on 17th November 1875. This was to become the platform from which everyday people had access to the teachings of The Ageless Wisdom – which in the past had been held by a select few who had a level of dedication and purpose which the preservation of the teachings required.
The objectives of the society were stated as follows:
- Universal Brotherhood.
No distinctions were to be made by the members between races, creeds, or social positions, but every member was to be judged and dealt by on their personal merits. (To recognize that essentially we are the One Humanity and that we all carry the same divine spark within. This was not a naive or misplaced objective, but a reintroduction of the awareness that the origins of each and every human contain a shared universality, and to let that be the basis of true Brotherhood.).
- To study the philosophies of the East - those of India chiefly, presenting them gradually to the public in various works that would interpret exoteric religions in the light of esoteric teachings.
- To oppose materialism and theological dogmatism in every possible way, by demonstrating the existence of occult forces unknown to science, in nature, and the presence of psychic and spiritual powers in man; trying at the same time to enlarge the views of the Spiritualists by showing them that there are many other agencies at work in the production of phenomena besides 'Spirits' of the dead.
The Theosophical Society team became global and worked tirelessly to deliver the teachings of the Ageless Wisdom to humanity regardless of the detractors or their attacks, inclusive of nationality and religion-based propaganda. Their purpose was the undoing of the obfuscation of Truth (that which separated science, religion and philosophy).
Blavatsky stated: ‘“Theosophy” is purely ‘Divine Ethics’; the definitions in dictionaries are pure nonsense, based on religious prejudice and ignorance of the true spirit of the early Rosicrucians and mediæval philosophers who called themselves Theosophists. Theosophy literally means "God's Wisdom".’ Blavasky was not the first to use the term: it appears in the writings of the Alexandrian Neoplatonists, including Ammonius Saccas and Porphyry, and a lineage of medieval and renaissance philosophers, all the way to the 18th century. It is, in her words, ‘the sub-stratum and basis of all world-religions and philosophies, taught and practiced by a few elect ever since man became a thinking being.’
Blavatsky’s first major work ‘Isis Unveiled’, was written in the New York apartment she shared with Olcott, fondly known as the ‘Lamasery’ – a lively place of innovation, colour, discussion, laughter, and proposed reform. Famous artists, journalists, barristers, poets, scientists, inventors and free-thinkers such as Thomas Edison frequented the apartment at all hours of the day or night.
Whilst writing Isis Unveiled, she was known to remain at her desk for up to 17 hours a day and not leave her apartment for up to 6 months at a stretch – her dedication was unparalleled. In 1877 ‘Isis Unveiled’ was published and sold out within 10 days of publication. The ‘American Bookseller’ (October 1877) said, ‘The sale . . . is unprecedented for a work of its kind.’ ‘Isis Unveiled’ was the first book in the new transmission of the Ageless Wisdom – the book was divided into two volumes. Volume I, The ‘Infallibility’ of Modern Science, discusses occult science and the inner and outer nature of man. Volume II, Theology, discusses the origins of true Religion. Blavatsky never claimed that what she presented was unique, but simply a re-presentation of Hermetic and Neoplatonic philosophy.
December 17, 1878 was Blavatsky’s last day on American soil as the Theosophical Society’s Headquarters had been relocated to Adyar, India. Both she and Olcott, having relinquished their New York apartment and selling their possessions in record time, boarded the steamship, The Canada, ready for the next phase of their journey. Blavatsky’s diary entry reads … “Great day ! Olcott packed up … what next ? All dark – but tranquil.”
Eventually, however, due to failing health, Blavatsky had to return to Europe, then to London where, in 1885, she established the Blavatsky Lodge. Blavatsky published her second monumental work ‘The Secret Doctrine’ in 1888. The book was again written in two large volumes, titled Cosmogenesis and Anthropogenesis. The first volume, deals with the origins, birth, and evolution of the Universe, the Cosmos, the Solar System, and our planet, whilst Anthropogenesis, the second volume, deals with the origins, birth, and evolution of mankind.
Blavatsky’s huge works reintroduced the knowledge of reincarnation and the understanding of re-embodiment for the purpose of evolution. The church had crushed this knowledge for hundreds of years. Blavatsky showed that there is no religion higher than truth, offering not simply revelation of this truth but also inspiration; the understanding that the evolution of human life is a reflection of the expansion of the universe.
Humanity was again to be seen in the context of Universal Brotherhood, demonstrating that separateness was an illusion and that the unity of every human being was indeed the way humanity is destined to go. She showed Victorian science, and science to this day, its limitations and introduced again the evolutionary path of consciousness into human awareness. She unapologetically re-introduced to the world the guiding hand of The Hierarchy, the Masters who stand behind humanity, supporting a Path of Return to our Divine nature.
Blavatsky’s greatest contribution was in her extraordinary role as a scholar and re-presenter of all that had gone before her. Inspired by the Mahatmas with whom she was in energetic contact throughout her life, she was able to access an extraordinary level of wisdom, knowledge, historical insight, and Occult and Divine Science, Astronomy, and Universal understanding. Not only did she draw together all that had been before her up until that point – all of the esoteric movements, the various teachings of the Ageless Wisdom throughout the ages, and representing many of its great teachers – but she delivered to the World the full package of its Science, in all of the intricate detail in which it had been taught throughout the Ages. In this sense, Blavatsky’s life and works represented a turning point in world history: it was a moment of repose – a drawing together and re-presenting of all and everything which had been before, all the movements, teachers and teachings. Blavatsky’s life and enormous contribution of works to humanity represented the in-breath – the preparatory stage for what was to come in the 20th and 21st centuries and beyond.
Blavatsky prepared the way for the enormous and very highly-accelerated advances which were to grace the world, beginning with Alice Ann Bailey, who became Blavatsky’s true successor to the Theosophical Society, and then the arrival of Serge Benhayon, along with the Second Coming of the Christ in 2012 and all of the energetic advances and offerings which the Hierarchy have graced the world with since. Blavatsky is where it all began in our modern era – and her preparatory work was essential in clearing the way for the greater Plan which was always held in store for this time on earth. Blavatsky’s utter dedication to what was asked of her through the Masters, her prolific work ethic, her voracious capacity for reading and absorbing information, as well as her strong connection with her Soul and the Masters made her the perfect initiate to bring through what was required at this time, and to draw everything to do with the Ageless Wisdom from the past together and to present it to the modern world in a clear, accessible and modern format.
Blavatsky worked with the Masters through impress, which is a type of Intuition, meaning that she was able to receive instantaneously communication via vibration, which consisted of energetic packages which contained all of the knowledge and wisdom which inspired her writings. She was the first of the high initiates to assume a teaching role during the time of the mass printing press, and thus her works were able to be distributed across the world, meaning she established a global presence and developed a worldly reputation. Whilst this meant the easy accessibility and transmission of the Ageless Wisdom across the world to those who were ready to hear and be inspired, it also meant a stepping into the spotlight and being willing to take the brunt of the vitriol, attack and abuse that inevitably came at her through the forces which have, throughout history, sought to shut such expression down. Blavatsky’s role was also that of a re-grouping. In the Theosophical Society, which she inspired, and which was based around the works and teachings which she brought through, she offered a sanctuary for those esoteric students from throughout the ages to return, re-group, and re-connect to their long-held truth, in preparation for the work which lay ahead.
By way of her teachings, Blavatsky held nothing back from the world. She brought through the fact that the Earth is subject to grand cycles, and that among these cycles are the cycles of repose and motion – a teaching she sourced from ancient Hindu cosmology. She taught that the physical, temporal world is essentially illusion, because it is temporary, in comparison with the eternal changelessness of the Universe and what she termed the One Principle, which represents the unity of and unifying substance which makes up the Universe. She taught that everything in the Universe is ‘alive’, in some capacity or another, and that therefore the Universe is a ceaseless forum of communication, and that no laws of nature or physics are ‘blind’ or unconscious. She taught that the Universe is governed by the principle of Hierarchy – that the higher vibration is continually pulling up or arising the lower vibration, and that this defines the movement of the Universe which is constant expansion. With this teaching, she gave full meaning to the ancient Hermetic teaching – ‘as is above, so too below’, which refers to the unfoldment of man’s Divine and Heavenly origins (above), on this physical plane of life (below). Blavatsky taught about the fact of our vast human history, including introducing the fact of the root races (including Hyperborea, Lemuria and Atlantis), of which we are the fifth, teaching that we have been around – imprisoned within the Wheel of Re-birth – for a very, very long time.
In her main work, ‘The Secret Doctrine’, Blavatsky set out the three core, fundamental propositions which defined her cosmology: the first is that there is one underlying, fundamental, indivisible Truth – she calls this ‘”Be-ness” rather than Being’. It is within this beholding substance that all life occurs and upon which all matter exists. The second is the principle of eternal change: ‘the absolute universality of that law of periodicity, of flux and reflux, ebb and flow.’ And thirdly, the very distinct path of evolution – with all of the laws which it entails, including the Law of Karma, which is cause and effect, and the Cycle of Rebirth – which we as a collective humanity here on earth are subject to. Blavatsky refers to evolution as a continuing process of unfoldment whereby the separated sparks of the one ‘Universal Over-Soul’ return back to their original, unified and harmonious state.
The vast and boundless collection of wisdom contained in ‘The Secret Doctrine’ has stood the test of time. It remains an extraordinary and intensely powerful homage to the Universe, Man, Man’s place in and journey through the Universe, and, ultimately, to God. An idea of its significance and value is gleaned from Alice Ann Bailey’s comments decades later when she wrote:
‘But those of us who really studied it and arrived at some understanding of its inner significance have a basic appreciation of the truth that no other book seems to supply. HPB said that the next interpretation of the Ageless Wisdom would be a psychological approach, and ‘A Treatise on Cosmic Fire’, which I published in 1925, is the psychological key to The Secret Doctrine. None of my books would have been possible had I not at one time made a very close study of The Secret Doctrine.’Alice A. Bailey
Perhaps her most significant challenge to modern science was in the issue she took with Darwin’s theory of evolution and the principle of ‘natural selection’ on which it is based, presenting rather a far more comprehensive vision of human evolution, encompassing of our divine origins and our return back from a lesser or fallen state. She unapologetically re-introduced the existence, the evidence (for those ready to see), of the guiding hand of the Hierarchy, the Masters who stand behind humanity, supporting a Path of Return to our Divine nature, our return to Soul.
In 1891 Blavatsky’s body gave out under the strain of delivering such grandeur to the world, under the pressure of attack from both science and religion, but not before an unwavering, vigorously dedicated woman had delivered the enormous volumes of the Ageless Wisdom that were to energetically offer the chance to see the course of world history afresh and avert humanity from returning to the repressive era known as the Dark Ages. This time the darkness was not to come from religion, rather from the science that had replaced it; a science of materialistic atheism that was to sweep across the globe in the following century. Her books remain in print today.