George W. Russell
William Stewart Ross
Sir Edwin Arnold
Sir William Crookes
THE PHENOMENON of the last 2000 years
Gandhi and Nehru
Helena Blavatsky also might be "judged" by those who were influended by her teachings in later generations.
The list above of students, followers and associates in the outer world
should give the reader more hints about HPB.
Sir William Crookes
Crookes was a British chemist and physicist who developed spectroscopy and pioneered vacuum tubes.
He discovered thallium and invented the Crookes tube and the Crookes radiometer.
Crookes joined the Theosophical Society in 1883, and later
the Society for Psychical Research, becoming its president in the 1890s.
Sir William was one of the very few scientists who dared to study spiritualistic phenomena.
Crookes studied the mediums Kate Fox, Florence Cook, and Daniel Dunglas Home.
Through these subjects, he experimented with the movement of bodies at a distance, rappings,
changes in the weights of bodies, levitation, appearance of luminous objects and phantom figures,
appearance of writing without human agency,
and other circumstances which "point to the agency of an outside intelligence."
Crookes was not the lone scientist of his time to believe in spiritualism
Many of his views were shared with
Alfred Russel Wallace, Oliver Lodge and Lord Rayleigh.
Arnold was an English poet, scholar, and journalist.
After a degree from Oxford, he was appointed Principal of Deccan College, Poona, in 1856.
Thanks to a phenomenal memory, he quickly mastered Sanskrit, Arabic, Turkish and Persian.
Arnold became well-known after the publication of The Light of Asia, his epic poem on the Buddha (1879).
He followed that with a translation of the Bhagavad-Gita, entitled The Song Celestial (1885).
Arnold became friends with Henry Olcott who introduced him and his writings to Ceylonese Buddhists.
Arnold knew Helena P. Blavatsky well and admired her extraordinary attainments.
It was Arnold's Song Celestial through which two Theosophists introduced Mohandas Gandhi to the Bhagavad-Gita,
Arnold was sympathetic to Theosophy and expressed the opinion that
the Theosophical movement had an excellent effect on humanity.
|William Stewart Ross
Ross was a Scottish writer and publisher.
He was noted as a secularist thinker, and used the pseudonym "Saladin".
Between 1888 and 1906 he was the editor of the Agnostic Journal.
He became a leading advocate of freethought, agnosticism, rationalism and secularism,
and served as president of the Lambeth Radical Association.
He wrote of HP Blavatsky,
"How she could have enemies at all is a 'miracle' to me;
for, in spite of her tremendous attainments and unrivalled talent,
she had not a vestige of pedantic assumption, and had the simple heart of a child.
'Impostor' indeed !
She was almost the only mortal I have ever met who was not an impostor."
To Ross, HPB was "the most extraordinary woman of our century, or of any century."
The great American inventor and businessman was also a Theosophist
by certificate and intention if not by outer action.
He became so before Helena Blavatsky and Henry Olcott relocated to India in 1879,
although the three never managed to convene prior to their departure to the East.
Edison developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world:
•motion picture camera
• practical electric light bulb.
"The Wizard of Menlo Park" is credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory.
"Ideas come from space."
"I do not believe that matter is inert, acted upon by an outside force.
To me it seems that every atom is possessed by a certain amount of primitive intelligence:
look at the thousand ways in which atoms of hydrogen combine with those of other elements.....
Do you mean to say they do this without intelligence?"
L. Frank Baum
Baum was an American author of children's books, best known for writing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
His works anticipated such century-later commonplaces as television, augmented reality, laptop computers,
wireless telephones, and other more mundane aspects of modern life.
Baum had a diverse career including writing, stage work, trade and commerce.
early film work, sales and newspaper reporting.
He and his wife became members of the Theosophical Society in 1892.
Baum's beliefs are often reflected in his writing.
Baum "firmly believed in reincarnation; he had faith in theimmortality of the soul ...
He was in agreement with the Theosophical belief that man on Earth was
only one step on a great ladder thatpassed through many states of consciousness ...
to a final state of Enlightenment.
He did believe in Karma, that whatever good or evil one does in his lifetime
returns to him as reward or punishment in future reincarnations.... "
Steiner was an Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect, and esotericist.
He first gained attention as a literary critic and for publishing The Philosophy of Freedom.
Early in the nineteenth century, he founded Anthroposophy,
with roots in German idealism and Theosophy, Goethean science and Rosicrucianism.
Early on, Steiner attempted to find a synthesis between science and spirituality.
Beginning around 1907, he began working collaboratively in a variety of artistic media,
including drama, the movement arts and architecture.
In the third phase of his work after World War I, Steiner worked to establish
Waldorf education, biodynamic agriculture, and anthroposophical medicine.
He based his epistemology on Johann Wolfgang Goethe's world view, in which
“Thinking … is no more and no less an organ of perception than the eye or ear.
Just as the eye perceives colours and the ear sounds, so thinking perceives ideas."
W. B. Yeats
William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet and a foremost figure in 20th century literature.
He was also an Irish Senator for two terms.
Yeats acted as chairman in the formation of the Dublin Hermetic Order in 1885.
In the same year, the Dublin Theosophical lodge was formed.
Yeats became heavily involved with the Theosophical Society and with hermeticism,
as well as the eclectic Rosicrucianism of the Golden Dawn.
Yeats's mystical inclinations were much informed by
Hindu Theosophical beliefs and the occult,
and provided much of the basis of his late poetry.
Of H.P.B. he wrote,
"A great passionate nature, a sort of female Dr. Johnson,
impressive I think to every man and woman who had in themselves any richness ...
She is the most human person alive, is like an old peasant woman,
and is wholly devoted, all her life is but sitting in a great chair with pen in hand.
For years she has written twleve hours a day."
|George W. Russell (AE)
AE was an Irish writer, editor, critic, poet, artistic painter and Irish nationalist.
He was also a mystic and a theosophical leader in Dublin for many years.
His friendship with Charles Johnston and W.B. Yeats from 1885
led Russell to a study of the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita.
In 1890, Russell gave up Art School, formally joined the Theosophical Society
and dedicated the next seven years to pursuing 'the path of mysticism'.
He wrote the following to Sean O'Faolain:
"Nobody ever affected the thought of so many able men and women by 'hocus pocus.'
The real source of H.P.Blavatsky's influence is to be found in The Secret Doctrine.
It is one of the most exciting and stimulating books written for the last hundred years.
Yeats, Maeterlinck, Sir William Crookes (the greatest chemist of modern times,
who was a member of her society) and scholars and scientists in many countries read H.P.Blavatsky's books.
Dip into ‘The Proem’ to The Secret Doctrine, and
you will understand the secret of the influence of that extraordinary woman on her contemporaries
which still persists strong as ever,
as I have found over here [in London] among many intellectuals and well-known writers."
Mohandas K. Gandhi
Gandhi was the preeminent leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India.
Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence
and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.
Mahatma was first applied to him in 1914 in South Africa.
Gandhi told his biographer, Louis Fischer,
"Theosophy is the brotherhood of man.
Theosophy is the teaching of Madame Blavatsky.
It is Hinduism at its best."
Nehru was the first Prime Minister of India.
He led the Indian independence movement under the guidance of Mahatma Gandhi
and ruled India from its independence in 1947 until his death in office in 1964.
Nehru is considered to be the architect of the modern Indian nation-state.
J. Nehru was initiated into the Theosophical Society at age thirteen by Annie Besant.
He had been introduced to Theosophy by his tutor Ferdinand Brooks,
who "in many ways he influenced me greatly."
Nehru's theosophical interests induced him to the study of the Buddhist and Hindu scriptures.
Nicholas was a Russian painter, writer, archaeologist, theosophist, philosopher, and activist.
Trained as an artist and a lawyer, his main interests were literature, philosophy, archaeology, and especially art.
Roerich was a dedicated activist for preserving art and architecture during times of war.
The "Roerich Pact" was signed into law by the United States and most nations of the Pan-American Union in 1935.
He earned several nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Helena was a Russian philosopher and writer.
In the early 20th century, she created a philosophic teaching of Living Ethics (Agni Yoga).
Along with her husband, she took part in expeditions of Central Asia (1924—1928).
She translated two volumes of The Secret Doctrine of H. P. Blavatsky,
and also selected Mahatma’s Letters (Cup of the East), from English to Russian.
London was an American author, journalist, and social activist.
He was a passionate advocate of unionization, socialism, and the rights of workers.
His writings are peppered with characters and commentary
which indicate his interest and affinity with Theosophy..
An excerpt from Star Rover tells of his deep belief in reincarnation:
"All my life I have had an awareness of other times and places.
I have been aware of other persons in me....
I, whose lips had never lisped the word 'king,' remembered that
I once had been the son of a king.
More-- I remembered that once I had been a slave and a son of a slave,
and worn an iron collar around my neck....
All my previous selves have their voices, echoes, promptings in me....
I am man born of woman.
My days are few, but the stuff of me is indestructible.
I have been woman born of woman.
I have been woman and borne my childeren. And I shall be born again.
Oh, incalculable times again shall I be born."
Forster was an English novelist, short story writer, essayist and librettist.
He is known best for novels examining class difference and hypocrisy
in early 20th-century British society.
Thus, showing Forster's humanistic understanding and sympathy impulse.
Forster was also known for his continuing attention to
Helena Blavatsky and the Theosophical movement.
Margaret Schlegel in Howard's End
"reads theosophy books, thinks about auras and astral planes,
and ponders the 'endless levels beyond the grave."
His Mrs. Moore in A Passage to India
was quite likely modeled on Madame Blavatsky.
Einstein was NOT known to be a Theosophist,
but the great physicist was said to have always kept a copy of
The Secret Doctrine on his desk.
"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious.
It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.
Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder,
no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed.
It was the experience of mystery -- even if mixed with fear -- that engendered religion.
A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason
and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds:
it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity.
In this sense, and only this sense, I am a deeply religious man...
I am satisfied with the mystery of life's eternity and with a knowledge, a sense, of the marvelous structure of existence
-- as well as the humble attempt to understand even a tiny portion of the Reason that manifests itself in nature."
Alice Bailey was a writer and theosophist in occult teachings,
esoteric psychology and healing, astrological and other philosophic and religious themes.
From 1919 and 1949, Bailey wrote as amanuensis of the Master DK.
Her many volumes continue the exposition of the Ageless Wisdom
which Helena Blavatsky began in the previous century.
Her major works include
A Treatise on White Magic
A Treatise on Cosmic Fire
A Treatise on the Seven Rays
Esoteric Psychology I & II
The Rays and the Initiations
Alice Bailey originated The Arcane School
to train disciples for the Aquarian Age.
Assagioli was an Italian psychiatrist and pioneer in the fields of humanistic and transpersonal psychology.
He founded the psychological movement known as Psychosynthesis.
His work emphasized the possibility of progressive integration of the personality
around its own essential Self through the use of the will.
Assagioli was spiritually related to psychologists William James, C. G. Jung and Viktor Frankl.
He believed that before spiritual development there had to be a deep psychological transformation.
Roberto Assagioli was exposed at an early age by his mother to Theosophy.
He was a close friend of Alice Bailey and joined her Arcane School in the 30s.
He was a devoted student of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.
Assagioli kept a portrait of Madame Blavatsky in his waiting room.
But he did not want publicity about his Theosophical interests. He preferred to be seen first as a scientist.
Asked why it was necessary to be silent about his esoteric affiliations Assagioli said,
“It is my religion, and until I die I want silence about it.”
Henry Agard Wallace was 33rd Vice President of the United States,
Secretary of Agriculture, and the Secretary of Commerce.
Wallace was the nominee of the Progressive Party in the 1948 presidential election.
Wallace joined the Theosophical Society on June 6, 1925,
He became close friends and corresponded with the Irish theosophist Æ - George William Russell,
bringing him to the USA to teach and lecture.
In the 1930s, Wallace also befriended Nicolas and Helena Roerich.
In 1933, he induced the Roosevelt Administration
to send Roerich on an expedition to Central Asia on behalf of the Department of Agriculture.
Mr. Wallace also supported Living Ethics or Agni Yoga,
which emphasized a common thread running through all religions.
Henry Agard Wallace had wide ranging influence in business, agriculture, government and spirituality.
Born Helen Lyndon Goff in Australia,
Travers became an actress, journalist and novelist.
In 1933, she began writing children's novels about the magical English nanny Mary Poppins.
In the 60s, her heroine became world famous through Walt Disney's screen magic.
In the 20s, Pamela was befriended by early theosophists including
W.B. Yeats and Oliver St. John Gogarty.
She was mentored by the poet-painter AE - George William Russell
AE "was her supreme guru ... big-hearted, selfless....
"She did not just love Russell. He was her sun."
Travers later studied with Gurdjieff and Orage.
Her magical Mary Poppins
was quite probably modeled on
Madame Helena Blavatsky.