EXPLANATIONS RELATIVE TO THE CONTROVERSY ON OCCULTISM
[Bulletin Mensuel de la Société Scientifique d’Études Psychologiques,
Paris, June 15, 1883, pp. 116 et seq.]
[Translation of the foregoing original French text.]
EXCERPTS FROM A LETTER OF MADAME BLAVATSKY.
Madras, May 17, 1883.
To Mr. Fauvety, President of the Scientific Society for Psychological Studies.
The monthly Bulletin of the Society of which you are the President, issue of April, 1883, has been read and translated to our members of the Occult Branch of The Theosophical Society, and it is in the name of that Branch, and of the entire Society which seems to have been confused with that Branch by the Spiritists, in a very unexpected manner, that I appeal to you for justice. This letter will be followed by a formal reply, which, we earnestly hope, you will have the kindness to publish in your Bulletin. . . .
It is impossible for me, in the limited space of an official letter, to enumerate all the errors and misinterpretations which abound in the addresses delivered at the meetings of the 6th and 21st of March. It should suffice if I assure you that those persons who have accused us of such absurdities as I have found in “the refutations” have never read The Theosophist. . . .
While waiting for our Refutation of the “Refutations of the Spiritists” to reach you by the next mail, I have the honor to beg you on our behalf to make the following declaration to your esteemed Society:
1. It is not true that the Theosophical Occultists of the Orient have ever preached or preach ANNIHILATION.
2. It is entirely false to say or to suggest, as Mr. T. has done, that we, the Founders of the Society, or any of the members of the Occult Branch, have ever declared that the basis on which you (Spiritists) rest your ethics—“that of the immortality of the conscious (Spiritual) Ego—is fundamentally false.” . . . I can indicate [?] 0* places in The Theosophist, as well as in writings signed by Occultists, where it is affirmed in the clearest manner that the 7th and 6th principles, the Divine Monad and its vehicle, the spiritual soul (which make a unity), are immortal, indestructible and infinite. Believing in the innumerable reincarnations of the “spiritual Ego,” the only “conscious Ego” in Eternity, not one of us, Occultists, could ever say that the individual consciousness was annihilated or that the “spiritual Ego” could fall back into the world of cosmic, primal matter. . . .
Finally, let it be understood: The Society preaches universal brotherhood based on equality, charity, tolerance and mutual love. It accepts all beliefs because it admits no infallibility (its own any more than that of others), and, in not admitting it, it observes, studies, compares and takes note of all without declaring anything as final. As to its Branches, so long as they practice brotherhood, each Branch can believe whatever it likes, because in matters of religion and belief, a Hottentot knows as much as a Fénelon. The fine speeches and assertions of a Tyndall are as worth while as those of his housemaid, and the Society accepts nothing but FACTS. Now, facts cannot be accepted as such on the evidence of one or a hundred thousand persons, but only on personal evidence appropriate to each individual. It goes without saying that I am
* [First cipher missing in the original.—Comp.]
speaking now of psychological and purely subjective facts, and not of physical facts. Hence the universal tolerance among Theosophists, one of the rules most positively enjoined. . . .
I offer you my apologies, Mr. President, for being unable to express my ideas more clearly. It is ten or eleven years since I have had occasion to speak or write in French, and I am therefore beginning to forget it. But I have confidence in your intuition and above all in your deep sense of justice. As I have already had the honor of telling you, we never attack anyone, but it is surely permissible for us to defend ourselves when we are attacked, and so unjustly at that. Mr. T. has been pleased . . . to represent us as charlatans preaching a false science, and it has pleased you to publish that accusation. You will allow us then to answer these accusations, proof in hand, etc. . . . Meanwhile, please accept, etc. . . .
(Signed) H. P. BLAVATSKY,
Corresponding Secretary of The Theosophical Society,